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About OWL


Non-Fiction Book Discussion Group

 

When:  Second Thursday of each month from 2:00 - 3:15 p.m. New members welcome! Come to one or all meetings. Books are available at the front desk.
Where:  The Jamie Gagarin Community Room & Gallery
Facilitated by:  Caitlin Costa ccosta@owlibrary.org


 
2018  Selections

 


 

August 9
Can't We Talk about Something More Pleasant?
A Memoir by Roz Chast

In a graphic autobiography, cartoonist and storyteller Roz Chast brings her wit to the topic of aging parents. Spanning the last several years of their lives and told through a mixture of cartoons, family photos, documents, and a narrative as rife with laughs as it is with tears, Chast's memoir is both comfort and comic relief for anyone experiencing the life-altering loss of elderly parents.  This first memoir is an amazing portrait of two lives at their end and an only child coping as best she can.  Moderated by Audrey

 

 


 

 

September 13
Churchill and Orwell: The Fight for Freedom by Thomas E. Ricks

No one would have predicted that they would be considered two of the most important people in British history for having the vision and courage to campaign tirelessly against the totalitarian threat from both the left and the right. In a crucial moment, they responded first by seeking the facts of the matter, seeing through the lies and obfuscations, and then they acted on their beliefs. Together they kept the West's compass set toward freedom as its due north. Moderated by Laurie

 

 

 


 

October 11 
The American Spirit: Who We Are and What We Stand For by David McCullough

This is a timely collection of speeches by historian David McCullough that shares fundamental American principles. The American Spirit reminds us of core American values to which we all subscribe, regardless of which region we live in, which political party we identify with, or our ethnic background. This is a book about America for all Americans that tells us who we are and helps to guide us as we find our way forward. Moderated by Zeus

 


 

November 8
Capote: A Biography by Gerald Clarke 
Discussion Paired with Fiction "Other Voices, Other Rooms"

How Capote went from an enchanter, the startlingly fresh voice of his first novel, Other Voices, Other Rooms, to someone you wanted to hold away from you with a pair of tongs is an amazing story, as disturbing as anything Capote ever wrote. It is fascinating to delve into the lives of so many public figures and noted writers and artists. Moderated by Curry

 


December 13 
Musicophilia: Tales of Musica and the Brain by Oliver Sacks

Oliver Sacks explores the place music occupies in the brain and how it affects the human condition. He shows us a variety of musical misalignments: a man struck by lightning who suddenly desires to become a pianist at the age of 42; an entire group of children with Williams syndrome, who are hypermusical from birth; people with “amusia,” to whom a symphony sounds like the clattering of pots and pans; and a man whose memory spans only 7 seconds - for everything but music. Moderated by Margaret


 

January 10, 2019
Blue Nights by Joan Didion

A work about losing a daughter, this book is textured with bits of Joan Didion’s own childhood and married life with her husband, John Gregory Dunne, and daughter, Quintana Roo. She examines her thoughts, fears, and doubts regarding having children, illness, and growing old. Reflecting on her daughter but also on her role as a parent, Didion asks the candid questions any parent might about how she feels she failed either because cues were not taken or perhaps displaced. Moderated by Jean


 

February 14
American Heiress... the Kidnapping, Crimes and Trial of Patty Hearst by Jeffrey Toobin

New Yorker meets Raymond Chandler; this book is hard to put down. The kidnapping of Patty Hearst was one of the most bizarre episodes in recent U.S. history – a tale of high drama and farce, and of personal transformation, the nature of which continues to be the subject of speculation. Toobin brings his legal expertise to examine the trial and the events that led up to it. Moderated by Cindy


 

March 14
Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City by Matthew Desmond

The author is a sociologist and ethnographer, and his book shows the world that many poor occupy, as close to hell as you are likely to find in 21st century America. The poor are exploited when trying to rent a place to live; some make wealth off their misery. We ignore how people are hurt by illegal and unethical practices and the lack of any outside control on the actions of landlords. Moderated by Dick

 

 


 

April 11 
Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption by Bryan Stevenson

Bryan Stevenson as a young lawyer founded the Equal Justice Initiative, a legal practice defending those most in need: the poor, the wrongly condemned, and women and children trapped in the farthest reaches of our criminal justice system. One of his first cases was that of a young man who was sentenced to die for a murder. The case transformed Bryan’s understanding of mercy and justice forever and led to an inspiring argument for compassion in the pursuit of true justice. Moderated by Morgan

 


 

May 9
The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History by Elizabeth Kolbert

This is an account of the looming catastrophe caused by ecology's neighbors from hell: mankind. Over the last half-billion years, there have been five mass extinctions. Scientists are currently monitoring the sixth extinction, predicted to be the most devastating since the asteroid impact that wiped out the dinosaurs. Kolbert tells us why and how human beings have altered life on the planet in a way no species has before. The sixth extinction is likely to be mankind's most lasting legacy. Moderated by Alan


 

June 13
2019- 20 Book Selection , and When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi

At the age of 36, completing medical training, Paul Kalanithi was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer. One day he was a doctor treating the dying, and the next he was a patient struggling to live. This book chronicles Kalanithi’s transformation from a medical student into a neurosurgeon at Stanford working in the brain, and finally into a patient and father confronting his own mortality. Moderated by Jocelyn

 


 

July 11
Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood by Trevor Noah

This book provides a harrowing look at life in South Africa under apartheid. Trevor Noah’s unlikely path from apartheid South Africa to The Daily Show began with a criminal act: his birth. He was born to a white Swiss father and a black Xhosa mother when such a union was punishable by five years in prison. This is a love letter to the author’s remarkable mother. Moderated by Mary

 

 

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