2011 is the tenth anniversary of the book groups at Berkeley Heights Public Library! I think some of our founding members are even still with us. Congrats, guys (or should I say gals?)! To put how long that is in perspective, the morning book group just finished discussing its 121st book on Friday, A Reliable Wife by Robert Goolrick.
We also selected what they'll be reading over the next few months. Since we liked The Photograph by Penelope Lively so much last year, Moon Tiger is up in June. It's the novel that won Lively the Booker Prize. Then, another Margaret Atwood novel, Alias Grace. The morning book group last read her Handmaid's Tale back in 2002. In September we're discussing Mao's Last Dancer by Li Cunxin, which I suggested after I saw it on the Brookfield, WI Public Library's "Great Lives" Biography Book Group's list. And lastly we have The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot, the hugely popular nonfiction story of an African-American woman whose cells have been used for scientific research since the 1950s.
Books that didn't make the cut were The Imperfectionists by Tom Rachman, Faithful Place by Tana French, A Good Man is Hard to Find by Flannery O'Connor, Skeletons at the Feast by Chris Bohjalian, Winter in Madrid by C.J. Sansom, I Capture the Castle by Dorothy Smith, The Master Butchers Singing Club by Louise Erdrich, and Sisters of Cain by Miriam Monfredo. They are all really good books or they wouldn't have been nominated, but we passed on them since they interested fewer than half of the group.
As a founding member, I remember the first morning book was The Ginger Tree by Oswald Wynd. I still think kindly of that book. The first evening book, In the Lake of the Woods by Tim O'Brien, is still a puzzle.
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