O. Henry Prize Stories
The Ceiling by Kevin Brockmeier
First Prize O.Henry Winner of 2002. "The Ceiling" is a story about domestic life. A husband must come to terms with the mysterious estrangement of his wife and the diminishment of his marriage even as the world itself is diminished, irrevocably.
Join us as we discuss Rules Of Civility by Amor Towles
Twenty-five-year- old Katey Kontent, armed with little more than a formidable intellect, a bracing wit, and her own brand of cool nerve, embarks on a journey from a secretarial pool through the upper echelons of New York society in search of a brighter future.
Copies of the book are available at the Circulation Desk.
Seniors are invited to join this book discussion club which meets every third Thursday of the month.
Great Expectations – Charles Dickens
One of Charles Dickens's most fascinating novels, Great Expectations follows the orphan Pip as he leaves behind a childhood of misery and poverty after an anonymous benefactor offers him a chance at the life of a gentleman. From the young Pip's first terrifying encounter with the convict Magwitch in the gloom of a graveyard to the splendidly morbid set pieces in Miss Havisham's mansion to the magnificently realized boat chase down the Thames, Great Expectations is filled with the transcendent excitement that Dickens could so abundantly provide.
Call the library for information 732-938-2300
Copies of the book will be available at the circulation desk.
Longbourn by Jo Baker
Jo Baker dares to take us beyond the drawing rooms of Jane Austen's classic - into the often overlooked domain of the stern housekeeper and the starry-eyed kitchen maid, into the gritty daily particulars faced by the lower classes in Regency England during the Napoleonic Wars - and, in doing so creates a vivid, fascinating, fully realized world that is wholly her own.
National Author's Day was adopted by the General Federation of Women's Clubs in 1929 and in 1949 was given a place on the list of special days, weeks and months prepared by the US Department of Commerce. The resolution states in part "By celebrating authors' day as a nation, we would not only show patriotism, loyalty and appreciation of the men and women who have made American literature possible but would also encourage and inspire others to give of themselves in making a better America."
To celebrate this day, we will have a panel of authors representing different fiction genres including romance, science fiction, YA, mysteries and cozies. These eight authors will share tips and techniques about writing and the business of writing.
Light refreshments will be served. This presentation is co-sponsored by the Monmouth Creative Writers Group.
Today, we will discuss Spring with a Broken Corner by Mario Benedetti with Moderator Fidelia San Miguel.
Part of the award-winning series: Literature of World Languages: A Public Forum for Multilingual Book Discussions.
Books are read and discussed in Chinese, Hebrew, Hindi, Italian, Russian and Spanish languages.
One Sunday in the summer of 1988, a woman living on a reservation in North Dakota is attacked. The details of the crime are slow to surface as Geraldine Coutts is traumatized and reluctant to reveal the details of what happened, either to the police or to her husband, Bazil, and thirteen-year-old son, Joe. In one day, Joe's life is irrevocably transformed. He tries to heal his mother, but she will not leave her bed and slips into an abyss of solitude. Increasingly alone, Joe finds himself thrust prematurely into an adult world for which he is ill prepared.
While his father endeavors to wrest justice from a situation that defies his efforts, Joe becomes frustrated and sets out with his trusted friends, Cappy, Zack, and Angus, to get some answers of his own. Their quest takes them to the Round House, a sacred place of worship for the Ojibwe. And this is only the beginning.
This book discussion will be moderated by Colts Neck Librarian Stephanie Laurino. Refreshments will be served and all are welcome to attend, however registration is preferred. Stop by or call the library to reserve your copy of the book today.
Based on actual historical events, this tale is the poignant story of May Dodd's journey west. Committed to an insane asylum by her blueblood family for an affair with a man beneath her station, May finds that her only hope of freedom is to participate in a secret government program whereby women from the "civilized" world become the brides of Cheyenne warriors.
Copies of the book are available at the front desk.
Short-listed for the Man Booker Prize, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Jhumpa Lahiri sets this novel in India and America. It is the story of two brothers joined by tragedy, a brilliant woman haunted by her past, a country in revolt, and eternal love.
Limited number of books available at the Circulation Desk.
Moderator: Rick Kelsten
Useful feedback can go a long way to help you become a better writer, but how do you separate the helpful from the unhelpful? Join us for a series of monthly critique sessions. If you’d like to share your own work for constructive feedback, see www.monmouthwriters.com for details of what to expect, as well as format/printing instructions. Priority will be given to folks who follow the straightforward submission guidelines.
Critique Sessions: meet the 2nd Satrurday of the month
Call the library to register: 732-938-2300
Recounts how the author and his mother read and discussed books during her chemotherapy treatments, describing how the activity involved a wide range of literary genres, furthered their appreciation for literature, and strengthened their bond.
O.Henry Prize Stories
Mirrors by Caroll Shields
This story concerns a couple who have long spent their summers in a vacation house without a single mirror. Readers will enjoy the symbolic use of the mirror and how it is weaved through the whole story.
Join us as we discuss Behind The Beautiful Forevers by Katherine Boo
This book jolts the reader's consciousness with the opposing realities of poverty and wealth in a searing visit to the Annawaldi settlement, a flimflam slum in the city of Mumbai, India, perched along the modern highway leading to the airport and almost within a stone's throw of new, luxurious hotels.
Orphan Train – Christina Baker Kline
Penobscot Indian Molly Ayer is close to “aging out” out of the foster care system. A community service position helping an elderly woman clean out her home is the only thing keeping Molly out of juvie and worse... As she helps Vivian sort through her possessions and memories, Molly learns that she and Vivian aren’t as different as they seem to be. A young Irish immigrant orphaned in New York City, Vivian was put on a train to the Midwest with hundreds of other children whose destinies would be determined by luck and chance. Molly discovers that she has the power to help Vivian find answers to mysteries that have haunted her for her entire life. Rich in detail and epic in scope, Orphan Train is a powerful novel of upheaval and resilience, of unexpected friendship, and of the secrets we carry that keep us from finding out who we are.
Alma DeGeer Dunahew, the mother of three young boys, works as the maid for a prominent citizen and his family in West Table, Missouri. Her husband is mostly absent, and, in 1929, her scandalous, beloved younger sister is one of the 42 killed in an explosion at the local dance hall. Who is to blame? Mobsters from St. Louis? The preacher who railed against the loose morals of the waltzing couples? Or could it have been a colossal accident? Alma thinks she knows the answer-and that its roots lie in a dangerous love affair.
We meet the third Thursday of each month (unless otherwise noted) at 10:30 am and welcome new members. Books are available at the Circulation Desk.
The 19th Wife: A Novel by David Ebershoff
The 19th Wife is the international bestselling novel by David Ebershoff. Inspired by the life of Ann Eliza Young, the novel intertwines a historical narrative with a modern-day murder mystery.
Growing up in the 1930s, there is no more magical place than Palisades Amusement Park in New Jersey, the roar of the Cyclone roller coaster and the lure of the world’s biggest salt-water pool. But a family of dreamers doesn't always share the same dreams, and then the world intrudes: the Great Depression, Pearl Harbor, perils like fire and race riots in the park. Yet they are all drawn back to each other—and to Palisades Park—until the park closes forever in 1971. Alan Brennert (Moloka'i), known for transforming historical events into great fiction, takes us back to a time when life seemed simpler—except, of course, it wasn't.
The Wall Book Club welcomes new members in the Meeting Room. Monthly selection titles are available at the circulation desk.
Novice through expert writers and those who want to be inspired...
Join award winning creative individuals to discuss your current works in a supportive and constructive environment. Tips on getting published. (Meets monthly on the third Thursday of each month)
Unbroken is the true story of Louis Zamperini, a promising young Olympic runner from Torrance, California, who was called into service on a bomber crew in the Pacific in World War II. Zamperini's plane went down in the Pacific Ocean and he and two other survivors drifted over 40 days living on rainwater and the occasional fish or bird they could catch. One of the crash survivors died on the raft. Zamperini and the other survivor, the plane's pilot, were finally nearing land when they were captured by the Japanese navy. The Japanese did not inform America of the capture of Zamperini, and after some time he was declared officially dead. His family in California refused to give up hope that he might return alive.
Not long after Rhoda Janzen turned forty, her world turned upside down. Needing a place to rest and pick up the pieces of her life, Rhoda packed her bags, crossed the country, and returned to her quirky Mennonite family's home, where she was welcomed back with open arms and offbeat advice.
O. Henry Prize Stories
The House Behind a Weeping Cherry by Ha Jin
This is a story about the world of exploitation, helplessness, and forbidden hope. The plot is a love story about a factory worker and a prostitute who maintain a cheerfulness as they rise above the enormous difficulties of their lives.
The All-Girl Filling Station's Last Reunion: A Novel by Fannie Flagg
After marrying off her daughters, Sookie Poole is looking to spending time with her husband and her beloved birds. But she receives an envelope with old documents which will turn her world upside down. Sookie finds the courage to accept and take pride decisions she has made about her life. Kirkus calls this book “ a charming story … just the right blend of history and fiction.”
Limited number of books available at the Circulation Desk.
Critique Sessions: meet the 2nd Saturday of the month
Meeting at an Amsterdam restaurant for dinner, two couples move from small talk to the wrenching shared challenge of their teenage sons' act of violence that has triggered a police investigation and revealed the extent to which each family will go to protect those they love.
Down River – John Hart
A small North Carolina town is torn apart when a power company wants to buy up all the farmland on the river; some residents cling to their bucolic way of life, while others see only dollar signs. Adam Chase's family has owned the largest parcel in the area for centuries, and his father has no desire to sell. But tempers flare, and soon a young woman is severely beaten, a body is found on the Chase farm, and Adam is the chief suspect. Newly arrived after five years away, Adam is the town pariah. His stepmother had accused him of murdering a family friend, and while the court acquitted him, his family and friends did not. While time has softened some, others seem ready to unleash their stored-up anger.
Someone is a fully realized portrait of one woman’s life in all its complexity. Marie’s first heartbreak and her eventual marriage; her brother’s brief stint as a Catholic priest, subsequent loss of faith, and eventual breakdown; the Second World War; her parents’ deaths; the births and lives of Marie’s children; the changing world of her Irish-American enclave in Brooklyn—McDermott sketches all of it with sympathy and insight. This is a novel that speaks of life as it is daily lived; a crowning achievement by one of the finest American writers at work today.
This sophisticated and entertaining first novel presents the story of a young woman whose life is on the brink of transformation. On the last night of 1937, twenty-five-year-old Katey Kontent is in a second-rate Greenwich Village jazz bar when Tinker Grey, a handsome banker, happens to sit down at the neighboring table. This chance encounter and its startling consequences propel Katey on a year-long journey into the upper echelons of New York society—where she will have little to rely upon other than a bracing wit and her own brand of cool nerve. With its sparkling depiction of New York’s social strata, its intricate imagery and themes, and its immensely appealing characters, Rules of Civility won the hearts of readers and critics alike.
Little Failure: A Memoir by Gary Shteyngart
Frequently collapsing the distinction between comedy and tragedy, author Gary Shteyngart traces his family history from Stalinist Russia to assimilation in America. Along the way through the asthma and panic attacks, alcoholism and psychoanalysis that preceded his literary breakthrough, Shteyngart reveals that the richest, most complex character the he has written may well be himself.
Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng
A story of family, history, and the meaning of home, Everything I Never Told You is both a page-turner and a sensitive family portrait. It examines the difference between cultures and illuminates the ways in which mothers and daughters, fathers and sons, and husbands and wives struggle to understand one another.
BOOK AND A MOVIE
Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil: A Savannah Story by John Berendt
John Berendt's account of a shooting on May 2, 1981 at one of Savannah’s grandest mansions reads like a novel yet it is a work of nonfiction. Berendt skillfully interweaves a first-person account of life in this isolated remnant of the Old South with the unpredictable twists and turns of a landmark murder case into a modern classic.
The 1997 movie adaptation of the book starring Kevin Spacey and John Cusack will be shown after the books discussion.
Song of Shank by Jeffrey Renard Allen
Author Jeffery Renard Allen blends history and fantastical invention to bring to life Thomas Greene Wiggins, a nineteenth-century slave and improbable musical genius who performed under the name Blind Tom, a man who deeply changes all who meet him.
The Book of Unknown Americans by Cristina Henriquez
Cristina Henríquez’s powerful novel takes place in a run-down apartment building in Delaware, home to nine families who arrived in the United States from various South and Central American countries. In alternating chapters, these men and women share stories of how their adopted country has left its mark on them, for better and worse.