Book Clubs

The following groups meet monthly in the library. All groups welcome new members and all meetings are open to the public.
  History Book Club
  The next meeting of this group will be on Wednesday, May 25, at 7:00 p.m. The topic will be "Modern life in the Middle East and the Islamic State."
       Book Club Chair Sam Coulbourn invites you to read any nonfiction book on subjects such as Iraq from its formation after WWI, Syria, the Caliphate, Origins of conflict, Sunni vs. Shii vs. Kurds vs. Alewhites vs. Wahabi, modern technology v. 7th-century ideas, the impact of USSR and U.S. in Afghanistan, U.S. combat in Iraq; Arab Spring; Turkey and Islam, Jordan, The Gulf States, Egypt, much more.
Current Issues Political Book Discussion Group  The next meeting of this group will be on Wednesday, June 15, at 2:00 p.m.The topic will be The Shallows: What the Internet is doing to our Brains by Nicholas Carr.
€œ"Is Google making us stupid?"€ When Nicholas Carr posed that question, in a celebrated Atlantic Monthly cover story, he tapped into a well of anxiety about how the Internet is changing us. He also crystallized one of the most important debates of our time: As we enjoy the Net's bounties, are we sacrificing our ability to read and think deeply?
      Now, Carr expands his argument into the most compelling exploration of the Internet'€™s intellectual and cultural consequences yet published. As he describes how human thought has been shaped through the centuries by "€œtools of the mind"--€”from the alphabet to maps, to the printing press, the clock, and the computer--”Carr interweaves a fascinating account of recent discoveries in neuroscience by such pioneers as Michael Merzenich and Eric Kandel. Our brains, the historical and scientific evidence reveals, change in response to our experiences. The technologies we use to find, store, and share information can literally reroute our neural pathways.
      Building on the insights of thinkers from Plato to McLuhan, Carr makes a convincing case that every information technology carries an intellectual ethic--”a set of assumptions about the nature of knowledge and intelligence. He explains how the printed book served to focus our attention, promoting deep and creative thought. In stark contrast, the Internet encourages the rapid, distracted sampling of small bits of information from many sources. Its ethic is that of the industrialist, an ethic of speed and efficiency, of optimized production and consumption--and now the Net is remaking us in its own image. We are becoming ever more adept at scanning and skimming, but what we are losing is our capacity for concentration, contemplation, and reflection.
      Part intellectual history, part popular science, and part cultural criticism, The Shallows sparkles with memorable vignettes . . . €”even as it plumbs profound questions about the state of our modern psyche. This is a book that will forever alter the way we think about media and our minds.
Sunday Book Chat   
  The next meeting will be held on June 19 at 2p.m. The topic will be The Story of a New Name by Elena Ferrante.
PUBLISHER'S SUMMARY: The second book . . . featuring the two friends Lila and Elena. The two protagonists are now in their twenties. Marriage appears to have imprisoned Lila. Meanwhile, Elena continues her journey of self-discovery. The two young women share a complex and evolving bond that brings them close at times, and drives them apart at others. Each vacillates between hurtful disregard and profound love for the other. With this complicated and meticulously portrayed friendship at the center of their emotional lives, the two girls mature into women, paying the cruel price that this passage exacts.

  Greek Drama Discussion Group The next meeting will be on Monday, June 20, at 4:00 p.m. The topic will be The Persians by Aeschylus
SUMMARY: The Persians”is a tragedy. First produced in 472 BCE, it is considered the oldest surviving play in the history
of theatre, and also the only extant Greek tragedy that is based on contemporary events. It recounts the Persian
response to news of their military defeat under Xerxes at the Battle of Salamis in 480 BCE, one of the decisive
episodes in the ongoing Greco-Persian Wars.
Monday Evening Book Group The next meeting will be on June 20, at 6 p.m.The topic will be All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr.
PUBLISHER'S SUMMARY: Marie-Laure lives with her father in Paris near the Museum of Natural History, where he works as the master of its thousands of locks. When she is six, Marie-Laure goes blind and her father builds a perfect miniature of their neighborhood so she can memorize it by touch and navigate her way home. When she is twelve, the Nazis occupy Paris and father and daughter flee to the walled citadel of Saint-Malo, where Marie-Laure's reclusive great-uncle lives in a tall house by the sea. With them they carry what might be the museum's most valuable and dangerous jewel.
   In a mining town in Germany, the orphan Werner grows up with his younger sister, enchanted by a crude radio they find. Werner becomes an expert at building and fixing these crucial new instruments, a talent that wins him a place at a brutal academy for Hitler Youth, then a special assignment to track the resistance. More and more aware of the human cost of his intelligence, Werner travels through the heart of the war and, finally, into Saint-Malo, where his story and Marie-Laure'€™s converge.
Poetry Readers
The will resume monthly meetings in the fall.
MVLC Book Club Kit Info