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.

Please contact Sarah List at or 706-613-3650 to find out if the meeting will be virtual or in-person. 

Talking About Books - Athens

Loving Frank

Book Cover

September 21, 2011

Loving Frank by Nancy Horan: "I have been standing on the side of life, watching it float by. I want to swim in the river. I want to feel the current."

So writes Mamah Borthwick Cheney in her diary as she struggles to justify her clandestine love affair with Frank Lloyd Wright. Four years earlier, in 1903, Mamah and her husband, Edwin, had commissioned the renowned architect to design a new home for them. During the construction of the house, a powerful attraction developed between Mamah and Frank, and in time the lovers, each married with children, embarked on a course that would shock Chicago society and forever change their lives.

In this groundbreaking historical novel, fact and fiction blend together brilliantly. While scholars have largely relegated Mamah to a footnote in the life of America's greatest architect, author Nancy Horan gives full weight to their dramatic love story and illuminates Mamah's profound influence on Wright.

Drawing on years of research, Horan weaves little-known facts into a compelling narrative, vividly portraying the conflicts and struggles of a woman forced to choose between the roles of mother, wife, lover, and intellectual. Horan's Mamah is a woman seeking to find her own place, her own creative calling in the world, and her unforgettable journey, marked by choices that reshape her notions of love and responsibility, leads inexorably to this novel's stunning conclusion. -Publisher

The Year of Living Biblically

Book Cover

August 17, 2011

The Year of Living Biblically: One Man's Humble Quest to Follow the Bible as Literally as Possible by A.J. Jacobs: Raised in a secular family but interested in the relevance of faith in our modern world, A.J. Jacobs decides to attempt to obey the Bible as literally as possible for one full year. He vows to follow the Ten Commandments. To be fruitful and multiply. To love his neighbor. But also to obey the hundreds of less publicized rules: to avoid wearing clothes made of mixed fibers; to stone adulterers. The resulting spiritual journey is at once funny and profound, reverent and irreverent, personal and universal and will make you see history's most influential book with new eyes. Jacobs embeds himself in a cross-section of communities that take the Bible literally: he tours a creationist museum and sings hymns with Amish; he dances with Hasidic Jews and does Scripture study with Jehovah's Witnesses. He wrestles with seemingly archaic rules that baffle the 21st-century brain, and he discovers ancient wisdom of startling relevance. -Publisher

Heart of Darkness

Book Cover

July 20, 2011

Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad: Heart of Darkness is a novella written by Joseph Conrad. It is widely regarded as a significant work of English literature and part of the Western canon. The story tells of Charles Marlow, an Englishman who took a foreign assignment from a Belgian trading company as a ferry-boat captain in Africa. Heart of Darkness exposes the myth behind colonization while exploring the three levels of darkness that the protagonist, Marlow, encounters--the darkness of the Congo wilderness, the darkness of the European's cruel treatment of the natives, and the unfathomable darkness within every human being for committing heinous acts of evil. Although Conrad does not give the name of the river, at the time of writing the Congo Free State, the location of the large and important Congo River, was a private colony of Belgium's King Leopold II. Marlow is employed to transport ivory downriver. However, his more pressing assignment is to return Kurtz, another ivory trader, to civilization, in a cover-up. Kurtz has a reputation throughout the region. This symbolic story is a story within a story or frame narrative. It follows Marlow as he recounts from dusk through to late night, to a group of men aboard a ship anchored in the Thames Estuary his Congolese adventure. The passage of time and the darkening sky during the fictitious narrative-within-the-narrative parallel the atmosphere of the story. -Publisher

More previous titles...

  • The Kitchen Boy by Robert Alexander
  • Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates
  • The Alchemist by Paulo Coehlo
  • Benjamin Franklin by Edmund S. Morgan
  • Into Thin Air - Jon Krakauer
  • The Road - Cormac McCarthy
  • Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress - Dai Sijie
  • Suite Française - Irène Némirovsky
  • A Thousand Splendid Suns - Khaled Hosseini
  • Walden - Thoreau
  • Everyman - Phillip Roth
  • Keepers of the House - Shirley Ann Grau
  • Bless Me, Ultima by Rudolfo Anaya
  • Brick Lane by Monica Ali
  • Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen
  • Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides
  • Good Faith by Jane Smiley
  • Galileo's Daughter by Dava Sobel
  • Three Cups of Tea: One Man's Mission to Promote Peace - One School at a Time by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Redlin
  • A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier by Ishmael Beah
  • Rabbit, Run by John Updike
  • People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks
  • The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner
  • The Flanders Panel by Arturo Perez-Reverte
  • The Story of Edgar Sawtelle by David Wroblewski
  • The March by E.L. Doctorow
  • The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Schafer and Annie Barrow
  • The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett
  • The Accidental Tourist by Anne Tyler
  • The World is Flat by Thomas Friedman
  • Sea Glass by Anita Shreve
  • The History of Love by Nicole Krauss
  • The Widow of the South by Robert Hicks
  • Infidel by Ayaan Hirsi Ali
  • The Seville Communion by Arturo Perez-Reverte
  • Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout
  • Rooftops of Tehran by Mahbod Seraji
  • The Help by Kathryn Stockett
  • The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larrson
  • The Temple Bombing by Melissa Fay Greene
  • The French Lieutenant's Woman by John Fowles
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