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Book Club Selections for this month –
Main Selection | Our Souls at Night by Kent Haruf
In Holt, Colorado, Addie pays an unexpected visit to her neighbor, Louis. Her husband died years ago, as did his wife, and in such a small town they naturally have known of each other for decades. His daughter lives hours away in Colorado Springs, her son even farther away in Grand Junction, and Addie and Louis have long been living alone in houses now empty of family, the nights so terribly lonely, especially with no one to talk to. Their brave adventures—their pleasures and difficulties—make Our Souls at Night the perfect final instalment to this beloved writer’s enduring contribution to American literature.
Discussion Questions: Our Souls at Night
Greek Selection | The Years That Followed by Catherine Dunne
In 1966, Calista at 17 is beautiful and headstrong but also quite naïve. When she meets the handsome Alexandros, everything changes. Alexandros is much older, magnetic – and rich. Calista is swept off her feet and leaves Dublin for a new life in Cyprus. Meanwhile in Spain, Pilar is desperate to leave the poverty of rural Extremadura behind and she moves to Madrid. There, she meets an older man who offers her excitement and opportunity. Petros charms Pilar and she begins to imagine a future together even though it is impossible. Unknown to both women, their lives are linked in a way that neither could have imagined. Tragic events will change them forever. Inspired by a Greek myth, this beautifully-written novel is a compelling tale of two women, thousands of miles apart, whose lives are thrown into turmoil by the power of love – and the desire for revenge.
Acclaimed international bestseller Catherine Dunne’s thrilling US debut is the story of two wronged women bent on revenge at all costs, and “a page-turner that’s both poignant and satisfying” (Booklist).
Revenge is sweeter than regret…
Dublin. Calista is young, beautiful, and headstrong. When she falls in love with the charming, older Alexandros and moves to his native Cyprus, she could never imagine that her whirlwind courtship would lead to a dark and violent marriage. But Calista learns to survive. She knows she will find peace when she can finally seek retribution.
Madrid. Pilar grew up with very little means in rural Spain and finally escaped to a new life. Determined to leave poverty behind her, she plunges into a life of working hard and saving money. Enchanted by an older man, Pilar revels in their romance, her freedom, and accruing success. She’s on the road to achieving her dreams. Yet there is one thing that she is still searching for, the one thing she knows will make her truly happy.
Sweeping across the lush European backdrops of Spain, Greece, and Ireland, The Years That Followed is a gripping, modern telling of a classic story. As two wronged women plot for revenge, their intricately crafted schemes send shockwaves through their families that will echo for many generations to come.
Discussion Questions: The Years That Followed
Just for Fun Selection | Out of Africa by Isak Dinesen
Baroness Karen von Blixen-Finecke wrote under the pen name Isak Dinesen in Danish, French, and English, including the superlative Out of Africa, her famous 1937 memoir made into a film about running a 4,000-acre coffee plantation in British East Africa, now Kenya, from 1914 to 1931. She wrote with great feeling and affection about the people and landscape of the African continent: “The sky was rarely more than pale blue or violet, with a profusion of mighty, weightless, ever-changing clouds towering up and sailing on it, but it has blue vigour in it, and at a short distance it painted the ranges of hills and the woods a fresh deep blue.” She came to Kenya from Denmark with her husband, and when they separated she stayed on to manage the farm by herself, visited frequently by her lover, the big-game hunter Denys Finch-Hatton. In Africa, “I learned how to tell tales,” she recalled many years later. Her account of her African adventures, written after she had lost her beloved farm and returned to Denmark, is that of a master storyteller, a woman whom John Updike called “one of the most picturesque and flamboyant literary personalities of the century.”
Selected by the Modern Library as one of the 100 best nonfiction books of all time
In this book, the author of Seven Gothic Tales gives a true account of her life on her plantation in Kenya. She tells with classic simplicity of the ways of the country and the natives: of the beauty of the Ngong Hills and coffee trees in blossom: of her guests, from the Prince of Wales to Knudsen, the old charcoal burner, who visited her: of primitive festivals: of big game that were her near neighbors–lions, rhinos, elephants, zebras, buffaloes–and of Lulu, the little gazelle who came to live with her, unbelievably ladylike and beautiful.
The Random House colophon made its debut in February 1927 on the cover of a little pamphlet called “Announcement Number One.” Bennett Cerf and Donald Klopfer, the company’s founders, had acquired the Modern Library from publishers Boni and Liveright two years earlier. One day, their friend the illustrator Rockwell Kent stopped by their office. Cerf later recalled, “Rockwell was sitting at my desk facing Donald, and we were talking about doing a few books on the side, when suddenly I got an inspiration and said, ‘I’ve got the name for our publishing house. We just said we were go-ing to publish a few books on the side at random. Let’s call it Random House.’ Donald liked the idea, and Rockwell Kent said, ‘That’s a great name. I’ll draw your trademark.’ So, sitting at my desk, he took a piece of paper and in five minutes drew Random House, which has been our colophon ever since.” Throughout the years, the mission of Random House has remained consistent: to publish books of the highest quality, at random. We are proud to continue this tradition today.
Children’s Selection | I Am Jack by Anna Myatt
Kids really like dogs and so every child will enjoy Jack’s story. This heartwarming new book is all about a pet dog’s love for his family. A beautiful story you will want to read to your little one over and over again. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of I am Jack will be donated to the Daughters of Penelope Foundation.
A Humble Gift by Danielle Lazarakis
A heartwarming tale of two friends celebrating what makes them unique as they explore the beautiful world around them.
About the Author
Danielle Lazarakis is a Greek-American author and illustrator of Children’s Books and Adult Contemporary Fiction. She was born in the San Francisco Bay Area during a time when smart phones didn’t exist, and you had to use the encyclopedia to find out the answers to the fifty-thousand questions that pop into your mind on a daily basis. Despite these struggles, she had an amazing childhood with an amazingly whimsical single mother, who always encouraged imagination and creativity in her two children. Danielle is also an actress, small business owner, and professional living-room fort builder.
Foundation Book Club Chairman
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