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Fiction Book Discussion Group


The Fiction Book Group has been meeting since 2002. New members welcome! Come to one or all meetings. Books are available at the front desk. 

When:  Second Thursday of each month from 3:30 - 5:00 p.m.
Where:  The Jamie Gagarin Community Room & Gallery
Facilitated by:  Caitlin Costa ccosta@owlibrary.org
 

2017 - 2018  Selections

             
September 14, 2017
The Human Stain
by Philip Roth

This novel is set in 1998, the year in which America is whipped into a frenzy of prurience by the impeachment of a president, and in a small New England town, an aging classics professor is forced to retire when his colleagues decree that he is a racist. The charge is a lie, but the real truth about the professor would have astonished even his most virulent accuser.
Moderated by Carol  

 
 

October 12, 2017
The Sympathizer
by Viet Thanh Nguyen

The pace and suspense of a thriller combines with a sweeping epic of love and betrayal. The narrator, a communist double agent, is a “man of two minds,” a half-French, half-Vietnamese army captain who comes to America after the fall of Saigon. While building a new life with other Vietnamese refugees in Los Angeles, he is secretly reporting back to his communist superiors in Vietnam. This is an exploration of identity and America, an espionage novel, and a story of love and friendship.
Moderated by Cindy 
 

November 9, 2017
The Once and Future King
by T.H. White

The story starts in the last years of the rule of King Uther Pendragon. The first part, The Sword in the Stone, chronicles Arthur's upbringing by his foster father Sir Ector, his rivalry and friendship with his foster brother Kay, and his initial training by Merlyn, a wizard who lives through time backwards. Merlyn, knowing the boy's destiny, teaches Arthur (known as "Wart") what it means to be a good king by turning him into various kinds of animals: fish, hawk, ant, goose, and badger.
Moderated by Morgan
         

December 14, 2017 - Followed by holiday get-together
A Confederacy of Dunces
by John Kennedy Toole

In this American comic masterpiece, hero Ignatius J. Reilly is huge, obese, fractious, fastidious, a latter-day Gargantua, a Don Quixote of the French Quarter. The story bursts with wholly original characters, denizens of the depths of New Orleans, incredibly true-to-life dialogue, and the zaniest series of high and low comic adventures.
Moderated by Bill

 

January 11, 2018 - Paired with Non-Fiction Book Club title by Baldwin this month.
Giovanni’s Room
by James Baldwin

Set in the 1950s Paris of American expatriates, liaisons, and violence, a young man finds himself caught between desire and conventional morality. With a sharp, probing imagination, Baldwin's narrative delves into the mystery of loving and creates a moving, highly controversial story of death and passion that reveals the unspoken complexities of the human heart.
Moderated by Mary 

 

February 8, 2018 
The Crucible
by Arthur Miller

This play is a haunting examination of groupthink and mass hysteria in a rural community. Based on historical people and real events, the play uses the power of socially sanctioned violence unleashed by the rumors of witchcraft as a powerful parable about McCarthyism. At once an allegory of the 1950’s anti-communist witch hunts and a spotlight on 17th century witch trials in Salem, Massachusetts, this play shows how ignorance and good intentions can interweave to destroy lives.
Moderated by Laura S 

 March 8, 2018 
The Loved One: An Anglo-American Tragedy
by Evelyn Waugh

Set among the manicured lawns and euphemisms of a memorial park in Hollywood, this novel satirizes the American way of death. Set in the L.A. funeral industry, there is a love triangle among people who are unusually comfortable handling dead things. A poet and pets' mortician enters the artificial paradise of a memorial park. Within its golden gates, death is sold like a package holiday.
Moderated by George 

 
April 12, 2018 
The Moviegoer
by Walker Percy

A New Orleans stockbroker surveys the world with a detached gaze even as he yearns for a spiritual redemption he cannot bring himself to believe in. Almost 30, he occupies himself dallying with his secretaries and going to movies, which provide him with the "treasurable moments" absent from his real life. But one fateful Mardi Gras, he embarks on a hare-brained quest that outrages his family, endangers his fragile cousin, and sends him reeling through the chaos of the French Quarter.
Moderated by Jean 

May 10, 2018 
The Sellout
by Paul Beatty

Raised by a single father, the narrator spent his childhood as the subject in racially charged psychological studies. This novel satirizes a young man's isolated upbringing and the race trial that sends him to the Supreme Court. It challenges the sacred tenets of the U.S. Constitution, urban life, the civil rights movement, the father-son relationship, and the black Chinese restaurant.
Moderated by Alan 

 

 June 14, 2018  -  Book selection for 2018-2019 and...  
The Optimist’s Daughter 
by Eudora Welty

The optimist in question is a 71-year-old judge who has come to a New Orleans hospital. His daughter arrives to be by his side. The operation on the judge's eye goes well, but the recovery does not. He lies still, growing ever more passive until finally--with some help from his shockingly vulgar wife of two years--he simply dies. Together the wife and daughter travel to bury him.
Moderated by Laurie F 

 

July 12, 2018 - Paired with Non-Fiction Book Club title Hillbilly Elegy by J. D. Vance this month.
Bastard out of Carolina
by Dorothy Allison

This novel dramatically illuminates the lives described in J.D. Vance's Hillbilly Elegy. South Carolina is home to the Boatwright family: a clan of hard-drinking men and indomitable women who get married young and age too quickly. Ruth Anne, known simply as Bone, is a bastard child who observes the world around her and is caught in a family triangle.
Moderated by Jeff

 

 

 

 

 

 

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