Book Group Books

The Home Front: World War II in Fiction

The Paris Architect - Charles Belfoure
In Paris during the Nazi occupation. Lucien Bernard--who, like the book's author, is an architect--is offered a large sum of money to outsmart the Gestapo by devising unique hiding places for Jews.
The Wind Is Not a River - Brian Payton
In the Japanese invasion and partial occupation of Alaska's Aleutian Islands, war correspondent John Easley is shot down in a seaplane along with six crewmembers in April 1943, just off the barren island of Attu, and his wife Helen back home refuses to accept his disappearance.
Crooked Heart - Lissa Evans
When Noel Bostock--aged ten, no family--is evacuated from London to escape the Nazi bombardment, he lands in a suburb northwest of the city with Vera Sedge--a thirty-six-year old widow drowning in debts and dependents. Always desperate for money, she's unscrupulous about how she gets it.
The Translation of Love - Lynne Kutsukake
Intertwining stories of several protagonists in post-World War II Tokyo,including a daughter and her father repatriated after being interned in Canada..

Readers' Choice Nonfiction

How the Irish Saved Civilization:the untold story of Ireland's heroic role from the fall of Rome to the rise of medieval Europe - Thomas Cahill
While barbarians were sacking Europe, the monks and scholars of Ireland were painstakingly and lovingly preserving the written record. An illuminating history.
The Tender Bar: a memoir - J. R. Moehringer
First a fatherless boy, then a floundering young man, the author of this memoir found his rescue in an unlikely place.
The Other Wes Moore: One name, two fates - Wes Moore
Two unrelated young men, both named Wes Moore, growing up a few blocks apart have astoundingly different outcomes.
Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy: Four women undercover in the Civil War- - Karen Abbott
On both sides of the Civil War these women were ingenious, courageous, and loyal in breathtaking battles and rescues.

Americans Abroad in Novels

The Expats - Chris Pavone
In this thriller, an ex-CIA housewife is at loose ends in Luxembourg.
Crazy Rich Asians - Kevin Kwan
A satire in which a Chinese-born American girl accompanies her boyfriend home to meet his superwealthy relatives and friends in Singapore.
Peacekeeping - Mischa Berlinski
In this literary fiction, a novelist and his UN employee wife try to influence Haitian politics.
The Sandcastle Girls - Chris Bohjalian
Historical fiction set in 1915 when a young woman brings aid to the Armenian refugees and falls in love, a story discovered and told by her granddaughter 100 years later.

History that Reads Like a Novel

Salt: A World History - Mark Kurlansky
How “the rock we eat” shaped civilization
Falling Upwards: how we took to the air - Richard Holmes
Flying, from dream to reality
Midnight Rising: John Brown and the raid that sparked the Civil War - Tony Horwitz
Harper’s Ferry retold
A Crack in the Edge of the World - Simon Winchester
The San Francisco earthquake 1906 and the billions of years that led to it.

Secrets and Science in Popular Fiction

cover of  A Reliable Wife
cover of The Husband’s Secret
cover of Forty signs of rain
cover of The Martian
A Reliable Wife - Robert Goolrick
A gothic novel set in turn of the twentieth century Wisconsin
The Husband’s Secret - Liane Moriarty
Intertwined lives and secrets in Australia
Forty Signs of Rain - Kim Stanley Robinson
A near-future experience of science and politics
The Martian - Andy Weir
Stranded on the red planet, can a lone astronaut survive?

Exploring Nonfiction

cover of Cleopatra: a Life
cover of The Sixth Extinction: an unnatural history
Behind the Beautiful Forevers
cover of Being Mortal
Cleopatra: a Life - Stacy Schiff
Biography takes us back over the millennia
The Sixth Extinction: an unnatural history - Elizabeth Kolbert
The world in crisis--science writing
Behind the Beautiful Forevers - Katherine Boo
The stories of a Mumbai slum
Being Mortal - Atul Gawande
Psychology and medicine raise important questions

Families and Sagas: the power of stories

cover of Land of Love and Drowning
cover of The Storied Life of A. J. Fickry
cover of The Tiger's Wife
cover of The Round House
Land of Love and Drowning - Tiphanie Yanique
The Virgin Islands is home to three generations of the Bradshaw family, where legends, history under colonial rule, and individuals’ stories shape two sisters, Eeona and Anette.
The Storied Life of A. J. Fickry - Gabrielle Zevin
An independent bookstore owner, a foundling child, a traveling sales rep on a small island off the coast of Massachusetts—ingredients for a literary love story?
The Tiger's Wife - Téa Obreht
Legends and superstitions, the history of the Balkans, and her beloved physician grandfather’s untold secrets shape a young doctor, returning to her family’s roots.
The Round House - Louise Erdrich
A 13 year old boy tries to win justice for his mother, from the courts and community in North Dakota’s complex of cultures, on and off the reservation.

Far-Flung Places

cover of   Shadow of the Silk Road
cover of A Thousand Days in Venice: an unexpected romance
cover of The Longest Road: Overland in search of America, from Key West to the                      Arctic Ocean
cover of  A Sense of the World: How a blind man became history’s greatest traveler
Shadow of the Silk Road - Colin Thubron
A journey of thousands of years, thousands of miles
A Thousand Days in Venice: an unexpected romance - Marlena di Blasi
In love with a place and a person
The Longest Road: Overland in search of America, from Key West to the Arctic Ocean - Philip Caputo
Driving with an Airstream, a wife and a dog.
A Sense of the World: How a blind man became history’s greatest traveler - Jason Roberts
Logging more than 250,000 miles in mid-19th century

Back and Forth: Fiction with Shared Themes

cover of To Kill a Mockingbird
cover of Americanah
cover of The Best Revenge
cover of Blackbird House
To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
Is it the classic we remember from the film and from high school?
Americanah - Chiminanda Nogzi Adiche
A Nigerian in the US encounters race issues for the first time.
The Best Revenge - Rebecca Rule
Short stories about New Hampshire
Blackbird House - Alice Hoffman
A web of tales in 200 years in a salt water farm on Cape Cod

Extraordinary Women: Biographies and memoirs

cover of Desert Queen: The extraordinary life of Gertrude Bell
cover of The art of scandal: the life and times of Isabella Stewart Gardner
cover of King Peggy: An American Secretary, Her Royal Destiny, and the Inspiring Story of How She Changed An African Village
cover of  My Beloved World
Desert Queen: The extraordinary life of Gertrude Bell - Janet Wallach
The woman who invented the Middle East as we know it.
The art of scandal: the life and times of Isabella Stewart Gardner - Douglas Shand-Tucci
The woman whose home and collection is a jewel in Boston’s crown
King Peggy: An American Secretary, Her Royal Destiny, and the Inspiring Story of How She Changed An African Village - Peggielene Bartels & Eleanor Herman
A DC secretary becomes an African king
My Beloved World - Sonia Sotomayor
The Supreme Court justice’s journey.