Talking About Books

Meets the 3rd Wednesday of each month at 10:30 a.m.
At the Athens-Clarke County Library

The third Wednesday of the month, Talking About Books (TAB) Discussion Group, is made up of a diverse group of people, mostly retirees, who come together in the spirit of learning and friendship, to discuss literature, both fiction and non-fiction, classic and contemporary. Book choices are submitted throughout the year and voted on semi-annually by the group itself. Book choices are announced each month with time for purchase or PINES holds. Author biographies and discussion questions (when available) are provided. Anyone is welcomed to join us - all you need is a desire to read good literature and spend an hour in friendly conversation.

The Calligrapher’s Daughter

Book Cover

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

The Calligrapher's Daughter by Eugenia Kim: In early-twentieth-century Korea, Najin Han, the privileged daughter of a calligrapher, longs to choose her own destiny. Smart and headstrong, she is encouraged by her mother--but her stern father is determined to maintain tradition, especially as the Japanese steadily gain control of his beloved country. - Publisher

And Thereby Hangs a Tale

Book Cover

January 2014, 10:30 a.m.

And Thereby Hangs a Tale by Jeffrey Archer: Tragic, comic, outrageous—these fifteen tales from international bestselling author Jeffrey Archer showcase his remarkable talent for capturing an unforgettable moment in time...

In India, in “Caste-Off,” a man and woman fall in love while waiting for a traffic light to turn green on the streets of Delhi...

From Germany comes “A Good Eye,” about a priceless oil painting that has remained in the same family for over two hundred years, until...

To the Channel Islands and “Members Only,” where a golf ball falls out of a Christmas cracker, and a young man’s life will never be the same...

To Italy and “No Room at the Inn,” where a young man who is trying to book a hotel room ends up in bed with the receptionist, unaware that she...

To England, where, in “High Heels,” a woman has to explain to her husband why a pair of designer shoes couldn’t have gone up in flames... -Publisher

In the Time of the Butterflies

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November 2013, 10:30 a.m.

In the Time of the Butterflies by Julia Alvarez: It is November 25, 1960, and three beautiful sisters have been found dead near their wrecked Jeep at the bottom of a 150-foot cliff on the north coast of the Dominican Republic. The official state newspaper reports their death as accidental. It does not mention that a fourth sister lives. Nor does it explain that the sisters were among the leading opponents of Gen. Rafael Leonidas Trujillo's dictatorship. It doesn't have to. Everybody knows of Las Mariposas--the Butterflies. In this extraordinary novel, the voices of all four sisters--Minerva, Patria, María Teresa, and the survivor, Dedé--speak across the decades to tell their own stories, from hair ribbons and secret crushes to gunrunning and prison torture, and to describe the everyday horrors of life under Trujillo's rule. Through the art and magic of Julia Alvarez's imagination, the martyred Butterflies live again in this novel of courage, love, and the human cost of political oppression -Publisher

In the Country of Men

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October 16, 2013, 10:30 a.m.

In the Country of Men by Hisham Matar: Libya, 1979. Nine-year-old Suleiman’s days are circumscribed by the narrow rituals of childhood: outings to the ruins surrounding Tripoli, games with friends played under the burning sun, exotic gifts from his father’s constant business trips abroad. But his nights have come to revolve around his mother’s increasingly disturbing bedside stories full of old family bitterness. And then one day Suleiman sees his father across the square of a busy marketplace, his face wrapped in a pair of dark sunglasses. Wasn’t he supposed to be away on business yet again? Why is he going into that strange building with the green shutters? Why did he lie?

Suleiman is soon caught up in a world he cannot hope to understand—where the sound of the telephone ringing becomes a portent of grave danger; where his mother frantically burns his father’s cherished books; where a stranger full of sinister questions sits outside in a parked car all day; where his best friend’s father can disappear overnight, next to be seen publicly interrogated on state television.

In the Country of Men is a stunning depiction of a child confronted with the private fallout of a public nightmare. But above all, it is a debut of rare insight and literary grace. -Publisher

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