Book Club Meeting will be Oct. 23, 2012 – 8:00 PM @ Library
October 2012′s book club book is:
The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson
Every Sunday, Mr. Utterson, a prominent London lawyer, and his distant kinsman, Mr. Richard Enfield, take a stroll through the city of London. Even though to a stranger’s eyes, these two gentlemen seem to be complete opposites, both look forward to, and enjoy, their weekly stroll with one another. One Sunday, they pass a certain house with a door unlike those in the rest of the neighborhood. The door reminds Mr. Enfield of a previous incident in which he witnessed an extremely unpleasant man trampling upon a small, screaming girl while the strange man was in flight from something, or to somewhere.
The young Robert Louis Stevenson suffered from repeated nightmares of living a double life, in which by day he worked as a respectable doctor and by night he roamed the back alleys of old-town Edinburgh. In three days of furious writing, he produced a story about his dream existence. His wife found it too gruesome, so he promptly burned the manuscript. In another three days, he wrote it again. The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde was published as a “shilling shocker” in 1886, and became an instant classic. In the first six months, 40,000 copies were sold. Queen Victoria read it. Sermons and editorials were written about it. When Stevenson and his family visited America a year later, they were mobbed by reporters at the dock in New York City. Compulsively readable from its opening pages, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde is still one of the best tales ever written about the divided self.
September 2012′s book club book was:
The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio by Terry Ryan
In the 1950s, the Ryan family struggled to make ends meet. Ten kids and a father who spent most of his paycheck on booze drained the family’s meager finances. But mom Evelyn Ryan, a former journalist, found an ingenious way to bring in extra income: entering contests on the backs of cereal boxes and the like. Evelyn won supermarket shopping sprees that put much-needed food on the table, provided washing machines and other appliances the family couldn’t afford, and delivered cash to pay the mounting pile of bills.
This well-told, suspenseful tale is peppered with examples of Evelyn’s winning poems and slogans, taken from the years of notebooks that she saved and passed on to her daughter, and has a fiction-worthy climax that will keep listeners laughing even as they’re glued to Ryan’s tale.
For Book Club we had a contest with all the ladies that showed up in the spirit of Evelyn Ryan. The challenge? Make a little jingle for Payson Library Book Club.
Third place went to Sue P.
If you love books
Come take a look.
Book Club’s a riot.
We’re not very quiet,
Treats are supplied,
Come join the ride.
Second place went to Lindsay W.
Book Club is good,
Book Club is great,
Every 4th Tuesday,
Remember the date!
….and the first place jingle went to Katie G.
So many words we’ve read apart,
Make each of us feel oh so smart.
When back together we arrive,
The stories grow and come alive.
Thanks everyone for participating, here are some others,
Reading is so much fun!
Come to Book Club
Each and every one!
Payson Library Book Club is great,
You read a book, then rate.
Looking for a fun book to read?
Come to our club and it will be a breeze.
Meet new people and eat yummy treats too!
The Book Club in Payson
Invites you to be
A member, a reader,
Of drama and hilarity.
Payson Library Book Club is the best.
Come if you need a rest.
Are you lonely and bored?
Well you’re in for a treat,
Come to the Payson Library Book Club
For friends and books that can’t be beat.
March 2012′s book club book was:
Peace like a River by Leif Enger
Dead for 10 minutes before his father orders him to breathe in the name of the living God, Reuben Land is living proof that the world is full of miracles. But it’s the impassioned honesty of his quiet, measured narrative voice that gives weight and truth to the fantastic elements of this engrossing tale.
From the vantage point of adulthood, Reuben tells how his father rescued his brother Davy’s girlfriend from two attackers, how that led to Davy being jailed for murder and how, once Davy escapes and heads south for the Badlands of North Dakota, 12-year-old Reuben, his younger sister Swede and their janitor father light out after him. But the FBI is following Davy as well, and Reuben has a part to play in the finale of that chase, just as he had a part to play in his brother’s trial.
It’s the kind of story that used to be material for ballads, and Enger twines in numerous references to the Old West, chiefly through the rhymed poetry Swede writes about a hero called Sunny Sundown. That the story is set in the early ’60s in Minnesota gives it an archetypal feel, evoking a time when the possibility of getting lost in the country still existed. Enger has created a world of signs, where dead crows fall in a snowstorm and vagrants lie curled up in fields, in which everything is significant, everything has weight and comprehension is always fleeting.
This is a stunning debut novel, one that sneaks up on you like a whisper and warms you like a quilt in a North Dakota winter, a novel about faith, miracles and family that is, ultimately, miraculous.
February 2012′s book club book was:
Till We Have Faces by C.S. Lewis
To those familiar with the Chronicles of Narnia, C.S. Lewis’ novel Till We Have Faces A Myth Retold may come as a pleasant surprise. Till We Have Faces is a dark, complex novel suitable for adults. This is a sophisticated retelling of the Greek Myth of Psyche and the god Cupid years ago, which Lewis himself admitted was his greatest work of fiction.
January 2012′s book club book was:
Heaven is for Real by Todd Burpo
Heaven Is for Real is the true story of the four-year old son of a small town Nebraska pastor who during emergency surgery slips from consciousness and enters heaven. He survives and begins talking about being able to look down and see the doctor operating and his dad praying in the waiting room. The family didn’t know what to believe but soon the evidence was clear.
Colton said he met his miscarried sister whom no one had told him about, and his great grandfather who died 30 years before Colton was born, then shared impossible-to-know details about each. He describes the horse that only Jesus could ride, about how “reaaally big” God and his chair are, and how the Holy Spirit “shoots down power” from heaven to help us.
Told by the father but often in Colton’s own words, the disarmingly simple message is heaven is a real place, Jesus really loves children, and be ready there is a coming last battle.
December 2011′s book club book was:
The Christmas Train by David Baldacci
Tom Langdon’s life hasn’t been the same since his all-time love, Eleanor Carter, left him years ago while the two were hotshot journalists, and since he’s quit serious reporting for writing fluff. Banned from flying for a year because of an air rage incident, he’s decided to write about riding the rails over the Christmas holidays, planning to link up with his erstwhile girlfriend, a Hollywood star, in L.A. Aboard the Capitol Limited, running from D.C. to Chicago, Tom meets a host of unusual fellow travelers, including rambunctious train personnel, lonely wanderers and a pair of elopers; he also runs into Eleanor, now a screenwriter for a legendary film director who’s on board researching a possible film about trains. Matters complicate further aboard the Southwest Chief, running from Chicago to L.A., as Tom’s Tinseltown girlfriend shows up and proposes marriage just as Tom and Eleanor are working their way back together; a sneak thief nabs valuables; and an avalanche traps the train in the midst of a historic blizzard.
The narrative is loaded with cool train lore (Baldacci dedicates the book to “everyone who loves trains and holidays”) and plenty of romance and good cheer, though suspense is low who can doubt how things will work out?
November 2011′s book club book was:
The Duggars: 20 and counting by Michelle & Jim Bob Duggar
This practical, positive book reveals the many parenting strategies that Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar use as they preside over America’s best-known mega-family. Each time a new baby arrives, the press from around the world clamors for interviews and information. Visitors are amazed to find seventeen (baby number twenty is due April, 2012) well-groomed, well-behaved, well-schooled children in a home that focuses on family, financial responsibility, fun—and must importantly, faith.
Readers will learn about the Duggars’ marriage—how they communicate effectively, make family decisions, and find quality time alone. They’ll discover how the Duggars manage to educate all their children at home, while providing experiences that go beyond the family walls, through vacations and educational trips. And they’ll see how the Duggar family manages their finances and lives debt-free—even when they built their own 7,000-square-foot house.
Answering the oft asked question—How can I do with one or two children what you do with seventeen(soon to be eighteen)?—Jim Bob and Michelle reveal how they create a warm and welcoming home filled with what Michelle calls “serene chaos.” They show how other parents can succeed whether they’re rearing a single child or several. With spiritual insights, experience-based wisdom, practical tips, and plenty of humorous and tender anecdotes, the Duggars answer the questions that pour into the family’s Web site on a daily basis—especially after every national media interview and TV appearance—including their segments on the Discovery Health Channel’s “Meet the Duggars” series.
October 2011′s book club book was:
Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith
This may be the most wacky by-product of the busy Jane Austen fan-fiction industry—at least among the spin-offs and pastiches that have made it into print. In what’s described as an “expanded edition” of Pride and Prejudice, 85 percent of the original text has been preserved but fused with “ultraviolent zombie mayhem.”
For more than 50 years, we learn, England has been overrun by zombies, prompting people like the Bennets to send their daughters away to China for training in the art of deadly combat, and prompting others, like Lady Catherine de Bourgh, to employ armies of ninjas. Added to the familiar plot turns that bring Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy together is the fact that both are highly skilled killers, gleefully slaying zombies on the way to their happy ending. Is nothing sacred? Well, no, and mash-ups using literary classics that are freely available on the Web may become a whole new genre. What’s next? Wuthering Heights and Werewolves?
September 2011′s book club book was:
Matched by Ally Condie
For Cassia, nothing is left to chance–not what she will eat, the job she will have, or the man she will marry. In Matched, the Society Officials have determined optimal outcomes for all aspects of daily life, thereby removing the “burden” of choice.
When Cassia’s best friend is identified as her ideal marriage Match it confirms her belief that Society knows best, until she plugs in her Match microchip and a different boy’s face flashes on the screen. This improbable mistake sets Cassia on a dangerous path to the unthinkable–rebelling against the predetermined life Society has in store for her. As author Ally Condie’s unique dystopian Society takes chilling measures to maintain the status quo, Matched reminds readers that freedom of choice is precious, and not without sacrifice.
August 2011′s book club book was:
The Wednesday Letters by Jason F. Wright
Jack and Laurel Cooper are two hardworking, loving Christian pillars of the community who die in each others arms one night in the bed-and-breakfast that they own and operate. The event calls their three grown children home for the funeral, including their youngest son, a fugitive from the law who must face an outstanding warrant for his arrest and confront his one true love, now engaged to another man. As events unfold around the funeral, the three children discover a treasure trove of family history in the form of Wednesday letters-notes that Jack wrote to his wife every single week of their married lives. As they read, the children brush across the fabric of a devoted marriage that survived a devastating event kept secret all these years. It’s a lovely story: heartening, wholesome, humorous, suspenseful and redemptive. It resonates with the true meaning of family and the life-healing power of forgiveness all wrapped up in a satisfying ending.
July 2011′s book club book was:
A Distant Prayer by Joseph Banks
A two-time recipient of the Distinguished Flying Cross, Joe Banks served on a B-17 bomber out of Foggia, Italy in World War II. If he could complete fifty missions he got to home. But on the 49th mission his aircraft was shot down, with all his crew mates killed. Joe parachuted into Germany where he was taken prisoner of war. He had to make a 600 kilometer walk across frozen Germany before escaping to Allied lines. A truly inspirational story that tells the price paid for freedom. A book that everyone in the family will read, from teenagers to grandparents.
June 2011′s book club book was:
A Girl Named Zippy by Haven Kimmel
It’s a cliche‚ to say that a good memoir reads like a well-crafted work of fiction, but Kimmel’s smooth, impeccably humorous prose evokes her childhood as vividly as any novel. Born in 1965, she grew up in Mooreland, Ind., a place that by some “mysterious and powerful mathematical principle” perpetually retains a population of 300, a place where there’s no point learning the street names because it’s just as easy to say, “We live at the four-way stop sign.”
Hers is less a formal autobiography than a collection of vignettes comprising the things a small child would remember: sick birds, a new bike, reading comics at the drugstore, the mean old lady down the street. The truths of childhood are rendered in lush yet simple prose; here’s Zippy describing a friend who hates wearing girls’ clothes: “Julie in a dress was like the rest of us in quicksand.” Over and over, we encounter pearls of third-grade wisdom revealed in a child’s assured voice: “There are a finite number of times one can safely climb the same tree in a single day”; or, regarding Jesus, “Everyone around me was flat-out in love with him, and who wouldn’t be? He was good with animals, he loved his mother, and he wasn’t afraid of blind people.” Dreamy and comforting, spiced with flashes of wit, this book seems a natural for readers of the Oprah school of women’s fiction. The startling baby photograph on the cover should catch browsers’ eyes.
May 2011′s book club book was:
The Scarlet Pimpernel by Baroness Orczy
The Scarlet Pimpernel is a classic novel, though it is hard to categorize. It is part romance, part adventure, part spy thriller, and part superhero fiction. All of these elements went into the pot and the resulting stew is extremely entertaining.
The book follows the adventures of Sir Percy Blakeney as he seeks to help French aristocrats escape the guillotine during the French Revolution. Since official English policy forbids this, Blakeney adopts a masked identity as the Scarlet Pimpernel to remain anonymous. The French, of course, detest this interference in their affairs and set out to trap and kill the Pimpernel at all costs. As part of his effort to deflect suspicion from himself, he plays the fool in every day life and he does it well. His own wife considers him a useless fop… and that’s where the story really gets interesting.
She ends up following him into danger in an attempt to save him which allows the most suspenseful section of the book to be told from Mrs. Blakeney’s perspective. Her terror for her husband’s fate is pure and adds to the tension considerably.
It’s laugh out loud funny, suspenseful, romantic, and generally quite a page-turner.
April 2011′s book club book was:
A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett
This is a story about a different kind of princess than one might imagine; a princess that is an orphan – lonely, cold, hungry and abused. Sara Crewe begins life as the beloved, pampered daughter of a rich man. When he dies a pauper, she is thrown on the non-existent mercy of her small-minded, mercenary boarding school mistress.
Stripped of all her belongings but for one set of clothes and a doll, Sara becomes a servant of the household. Hated by the schoolmistress for her independent spirit, Sara becomes a pariah in the household, with only a few secretly loyal friends. But through her inner integrity and strength of will, Sara Crewe maintains the deportment, inner nobility and generous spirit of a “real” princess.
It is a fabulous story of the triumph of human will, and good over evil.
March 2011′s book club book was:
I’d Know You Anywhere by Laura Lippman
Near the start of this outstanding novel of psychological suspense, Eliza Benedict, a 38-year-old married mother of two living in suburban Maryland, receives a letter from Walter Bowman, the man who kidnapped her the summer she was 15 and is now on death row. The narrative shifts between the present and that long ago summer, when Eliza involuntarily became a part of Walter’s endless road trip, including the fateful night when he picked up another teenage girl, Holly Tackett. Soon after Walter killed Holly, Eliza was rescued and taken home.
Eliza must now balance a need for closure with a desire to protect herself emotionally. Walter wants something specific from her, but she has no idea what, and she’s not sure that she wants to know. All the relationships, from the sometimes contentious one between Eliza and her sister, Vonnie, to the significantly stranger one between Walter and Barbara LaFortuny, an advocate for prisoners, provide depth and breadth to this absorbing story.
February 2011′s book club book was:
Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater
Grace, 17, loves the peace and tranquility of the woods behind her home. It is here during the cold winter months that she gets to see her wolf—the one with the yellow eyes. Grace is sure that he saved her from an attack by other wolves when she was nine. Over the ensuing years he has returned each season, watching her with those haunting eyes as if longing for something to happen. When a teen is killed by wolves, a hunting party decides to retaliate. Grace races through the woods and discovers a wounded boy shivering on her back porch. One look at his yellow eyes and she knows that this is her wolf in human form. Fate has finally brought Sam and Grace together, and as their love grows and intensifies, so does the reality of what awaits them. It is only a matter of time before the winter cold changes him back into a wolf, and this time he might stay that way forever.
January 2011′s book club book was:
The Fifth Child by Doris May Lessing
The married couple in this novel pull off a remarkable achievement: They purchase a three-story house with oodles of bedrooms, and, on a middle-class income, in the ’70s, fill it to the brim with happy children and visiting relatives. Their holiday gatherings are sumptuous celebrations of life and togetherness. And then the fifth child arrives. He’s just a child–he’s not supernatural. But is he really human? This is an elegantly written tale that the New York Times called “a horror story of maternity and the nightmare of social collapse . . . a moral fable of the genre that includes Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and George Orwell’s 1984.”
December 2010′s book club book was:
Gingerbread Cookie Murder by Joanne Fluke, Laura Levine, and Leslie Meier
This book is filled with many different holiday recipes so we thought it would be fun to have members of the book club make one of them and have an array of many tasty treats. Be sure to come join us!
“Gingerbread Cookie Murder” is written by Joanne Fluke. When Hannah Swensen finds her neighbor Ernie Kusak with his head bashed in and sprawled on the floor of his condo next to an upended box of Hannah’s Gingerbread Cookies, she discovers a flurry of murder suspects that’s as long as her holiday shopping list.
“The Dangers Of Gingerbread Cookies” is written by Laura Levine. Jaine Austen has been enlisted to help with her parents’ retirement community’s play The Gingerbread Cookie That Saved Christmas. Playboy Dr. Preston McCay is playing the role of the gingerbread cookie when he ‘accidentally’ falls to his death during the final act. Now Jaine must figure out if one of the doctor’s jealous lovers was capable of murder.
“Gingerbread Cookies And Gunshots” is written by Leslie Meier. When Lucy Stone discovers the body of Rick Juergens, whose five-year-old son Nemo disappeared, she senses foul play. Crumbs from a gingerbread cookie Lucy gave to Nemo are found in the back seat of Rick’s car. With the hours quickly ticking till Christmas, Lucy races against the clock to find a killer before he strikes again.
November 2010′s book club book was:
The Spy Who Came In From the Cold by John le Carré
Alec Leamas is responsible for keeping the double agents under his care undercover and alive, but East Germans start killing them, so he gets called back to London by Control, his spy master. Yet instead of giving Leamas the boot, Control gives him a scary assignment: play the part of a disgraced agent, a sodden failure everybody whispers about. Control sends him back out into the cold–deep into Communist territory to checkmate the bad-guy spies on the other side. The political chessboard is black and white, but in human terms the vicinity of the Berlin Wall is a moral no-man’s land, a gray abyss patrolled by pawns.
Le Carré beats most spy writers for two reasons. First, he knows what he’s talking about, since he raced around working for British Intelligence while the Wall went up. He’s familiar with spycraft’s fascinations, but also with the fact that it leaves ideals shaken and emotions stirred. Second, his literary tone has deep autobiographical roots. Spying is about betrayal, and Le Carré was abandoned by his mother and betrayed by his father, a notorious con man. In a world of lies, Le Carré writes the bitter truth: it’s every man for himself. And may the best mask win.
October 2010′s book club book was:
The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
The Bluest Eye, published in 1970, is the first novel written by Toni Morrison, winner of the 1993 Nobel Prize in Literature. It is the story of eleven-year-old Pecola Breedlove – a black girl in America whose love for its blond, blue-eyed children can devastate all others – who prays for her eyes to turn blue: so that she will be beautiful, so that people will look at her, so that her world will be different. This is the story of the nightmare at the heart of her yearning and the tragedy of its fulfillment.
September 2010′s book club book was:
Favorite Wife: Escape from Polygamy by Susan Ray Schmidt
A riveting memoir of life inside one of North America’s most notorious polygamous cults.
She had no choice in the matter—none of the girls did. Her mission was to give birth to and raise many children in devoted service to a shared husband. Susan was fifteen years old when she became the sixth wife of Verlan LeBaron, one of the leaders of a rogue Mormon cult, who was engaged in a blood feud with his brother that from 1972 to 1988 claimed up to two dozen lives.
In this gripping and eloquent book, Susan Ray Schmidt tells the story of growing up on the inside and of her ultimate escape with her children from an oppressive and violent life. Delving more deeply into this mysterious underworld than any previous work, Favorite Wife is a powerful account of the affairs of the heart, coming of age under exceptional circumstances, and the tough choices that are sometimes painfully necessary to preserve human dignity.
August 2010′s book club book was:
The Help by Kathryn Stockett
What perfect timing for this optimistic, uplifting debut novel set during the nascent civil rights movement in Jackson, Miss., where black women were trusted to raise white children but not to polish the household silver. Eugenia Skeeter Phelan is just home from college in 1962, and, anxious to become a writer, is advised to hone her chops by writing about what disturbs you. The budding social activist begins to collect the stories of the black women on whom the country club sets relies and mistrusts enlisting the help of Aibileen, a maid who’s raised 17 children, and Aibileen’s best friend Minny, who’s found herself unemployed more than a few times after mouthing off to her white employers. The book Skeeter puts together based on their stories is scathing and shocking, bringing pride and hope to the black community, while giving Skeeter the courage to break down her personal boundaries and pursue her dreams. Assured and layered, full of heart and history, this one has bestseller written all over it.
July 2010′s book club book was:
The Letters of John and Abigail Adams by Abigail Adams, John Adams, and Frank Shuffelton
The Letters of John and Abigail Adams provides an insightful record of American life before, during, and after the Revolution; the letters also reveal the intellectually and emotionally fulfilling relationship between John and Abigail that lasted fifty-four years and withstood historical upheavals, long periods apart, and personal tragedies. Covering key moments in American history-the Continental Congress, the drafting of the Declaration of Independence, the Revolutionary War, and John Adams’s diplomatic missions to Europe-the letters reveal the concerns of a couple living during a period of explosive change, from smallpox and British warships to raising children, paying taxes, the state of women, and the emerging concepts of American democracy.
June 2010′s book club book was:
Left to Tell by Immaculee Ilibagiza
In 1994, when Immaculee was 22 years old and home from college for her Easter vacation, the death of Rwanda’s Huto President started the slaughter of nearly one million ethnic Tutsis. Immaculee survived by hiding in a tiny bathroom, 4′ by 3′, with 7 other starving women for 91 cramped, terrifying days. During this time she not only learned to pray, but to forgive those who killed most of her family and sought to find and kill her. This is one of the most amazing stories on the value of prayer that you will ever read.