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All About Book Club Books: The Toni Morrison Book Club, The Bromance Book Club, The Book Club Cookbook and the Maximum Security Book Club

11 Mar

I love curling up at night with a good book before I fall asleep, but sometimes the best part of reading isn’t about just reading it yourself, but also about the great conversations they spark and the bonding that occurs over the shared experience.  A variety of fiction and nonfiction books have even used book clubs as a source of inspiration.

The Toni Morrison Book Club
by Juda Bennett
Toni Morrison Book Club
This is one of our newest additions to our collection here at HPL and if you are a fan of Toni Morrison, like me, you’ll be interested in checking it out.  This memoir looks at a group of friends who vary in race, sexual orientation, and country of origin, but all share bonds over Morrison’s work.  Controversies spring up, but the book club also becomes a powerful way to not only look at Morrison’s own works, but also the participant’s lives.

The Bromance Book Club
by Lyssa Kay Adams
Bromance Book Club
Looking for something a bit lighter?  Check out this fun ebook from eBCCLS or eLibraryNJ about a baseball player who turns to a romance book club when his own relationship starts to break apart.  Can he use the book groups latest read as a guide to saving his own marriage?

The Book Club Cookbook: Recipes and Food for Thought from Your Book Club’s Favorite Books and Authors
by Judy Gelman
Book Club Cook Book
If you are hosting a book club, you may be wondering what to serve your guests?  Look no further than The Book Club Cookbook available from BCCLS libraries.  It includes recipe and discussion ideas for 100 popular book club choices so you can sample a good book and a delicious dish!

The Maximum Security Book Club: Reading Literature in A Men’s Prison
by Mikita Brottman
maximum security book club
In this memoir Mikita Brottman, a scholar, recounts her experience of reading literature with prisoners in a maximum-security jail near Baltimore.  Discussing selections like Macbeth and Heart of Darkness not only gives the book club members new insights, but also changes Brottman’s own experiences of the literary works.  The Maximum Security Book Club provides a unique perspective on both literature and the experience of those incarcerated in our nation’s prisons.  It is available from Hoopla as an ebook and digital audiobook.

Book Club
Book Club
Looking for a fun movie to watch with your book club friends?  Check out the 2018, Book Club starring the stellar cast of Diane Keaton, Jane Fonda, Candice Bergen, and Mary Steenburgeon as four friends who decide to put aside their usual book club fare for the steamy Fifty Shades of Grey.

Looking for a book club?  Well you are in luck.  We have four unique genre book clubs at the Hoboken Library and we are reading some terrific books in the upcoming months.

Our Science Fiction and Fantasy Book Discussion Group picked The Gate to Women’s Country by Sheri S. Tepper for March, which looks at a world where the gender divide has become so great that walls keep them apart; a thought provoking look at a disturbing dystopia.  Come and discuss it with us on Monday, March 23 at 6 PM.

On Tuesday, March 31 at 6:30 PM join us for the first meeting of the Hoboken Public Library’s Romance Book Club! We will be discussing Jennifer Robson’s The Gown.  Read more about the book in our Valentine’s Day blog post.

Our History Book Club will be back on April 6 at 6:30 PM, to read the Pulitzer Prize winning, A Midwife’s Tale: The Life of Martha Ballard, Based on Her Diary, 1785-1812 by Laurel Thatcher Ulrich, which looks at the fascinating life of and world of a midwife in 18th Century Maine!  You can borrow the DVD American Experience adaptation or stream it from Kanopy.

On April 14 at 6:30 PM the Mystery Book Club will discuss Eight Perfect Murders by award winning author, Peter Swanson.

Written by:
Aimee Harris
Head of Reference

Super Science Fiction and Fantasy Reads: The Third Quarter of 2018 with the Science Fiction and Fantasy Book Discussion Group

17 Oct

The summer of 2018 continued to be filled with a lot of enjoyable books for our Science Fiction and Fantasy Group.  We hope you can join us for future discussions.  On Monday, October 22nd we will be discussing the short stories of HP Lovecraft for our Halloween Read at 6 PM.  At 3 PM and 4:30 PM we will be showing two Classic Spooky Comedies.  Then in November we will be discussing Red Shirts by John Scalzi; stop by the reference desk to get a print or ebook copy.  We always welcome suggestions for what books the group reads!  Email hplwriters @ gmail.com to be added to our mailing list.

Spellsinger
by Alan Dean Foster
Spellsinger
In July we discussed Spellsinger by Alan Dean Foster in honor of the summer reading theme of “Reading Rocks.”  I had enjoyed the book as a teenager and was interested to see how it held up after so many years and what the group thought of it.  You may remember I referenced the series along with others in the funny fantasy genre in my post looking back on my favorite novels over the year.  It was a fun light read for summer focusing on an average guy who becomes a hero when he is accidentally sent to an alternate dimension where he can do magic by playing cover songs from earth. The book ends on a cliffhanger leading in to the second book in the series, but many of the group agreed that it felt like the novel came full circle on an emotional development with the main character expanding his definition on what it means to truly be a person.  The group watched the R rated animated sci-fi cult classic Heavy Metal before the discussion.  Besides being available in print, you can also borrow Spellsinger along with other books in the series, as ebooks from Hoopla.

The Three-Body Problem
by Cixin Liu
translated by Ken Liu
3BodyProblem
We had previously read another book in translation, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne which was originally written in French, but The Three-Body Problem was our first translation of a more modern science fiction novel.  Besides print you can borrow it as a digital audiobook from Hoopla.  The group on the whole found the beginning of the work with its exploration of China’s Cultural Revolution a bit slow, but felt it picked up as the main story of first alien contact was introduced.  Several members of the group planned to read the other two works in the trilogy The Dark Forest and Death’s End.  I thought Liu’s use of VR game technology in the novel was especially interesting in comparison to Ready Player One, which we had discussed previously and you can now see a movie adaptation on Blu-ray or DVD.  Unfortunately a planned movie adaptation of the novel, The Three-Body Problem, was shelved a few years ago so instead we watched the classic Forbidden Planet, which is available on Blu-ray and DVD.  The movie, though from the 50’s, holds up well in both look and plot and its retro vibe only adds to its charm.

Lady of the Forest
by Jennifer Roberson

LadyoftheForest

book cover from eLibraryNJ

We read Lady of the Forest by Jennifer Roberson for our August book.  The book hooked readers with its suspenseful opening.  The group enjoyed that the book had many different characters’ perspectives and how it told the story of not just how Robin evolved into the character of myth and legends but how his merry men also met and joined him. The book especially focuses on Marian who goes from being an intelligent but more conservative, traditional lady of the day to finding her inner warrior.  It is an interesting twist on Robin, who is depicted as having PTSD from fighting in the crusades.  I think my favorite character was Eleanor, the sheriff’s daughter, who despite making several very bad decisions still intrigued me as a depiction of how a more independent oriented women would be treated in that era.  Besides print, Hoboken residents, can borrow the book from eLibraryNJ as an ebook.  Roberson also wrote a sequel Lady of Sherwood.  We watched the movie Robin and Marian which looked at the couple towards the end of their lives rather than the beginning of their adulthood in the book; it provided an interesting look at how their relationship would have evolved.  My heart still belongs to the animated Disney version, but I also enjoyed this more serious interpretation and thought Sean Connery and Audrey Hepburn gave stellar performances in the title roles.  You can learn more about the history of the Robin Hood legend from Robin Hood–The Outlaw Hero, Episode 9 of Heroes and Legends, part of The Great Courses series of lectures available for streaming from Kanopy.

I hope you will join us for upcoming discussions.  And if you like mysteries check out the Hoboken Public Library’s New Mystery Book Club!  You can email rosary.vaningen @ hoboken.bccls.org for more info about the Mystery book club!

Written by:
Aimee Harris
Head of Reference

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