Rockport Public Library hosts the following book clubs. We would be happy to have you join us.
Current Issues Political Book Discussion Group
PUBLISHER'S WEEKLY REVIEW: In a career that peaked as associate director of the CIA's overseas operations, Devine served--and survived--more than three decades with the CIA, from the Nixon to Clinton administrations. Predictably, he considers "a powerful intelligence service... an imperative of modern statecraft," believes in the effectiveness of covert action, and denounces the current tendency to politicize intelligence while condemning "White House 'dabbling'." Devine describes the CIA's thinking on covert action during his career and discusses--without excessive use of the first person singular--his worldwide implementation of those principles at the sharp end of covert war, from overseeing the missile shipments that initiated the Iran-Contra scandal to delivering the Stingers that turned the tide against the Russians in Afghanistan. He argues for long-term maintenance of a "CIA covert action component" in Afghanistan as part of a "robust U.S. mission," and hypothesizes that "most future paramilitary engagement will be reminiscent of the smaller Cold War covert action programs." Whether one agrees with Devine's particulars, the insights derived from a long and varied career make this a top-line addition to the proliferating body of "insider" memoirs from the years when the Cold War gave way to the "war on terrorism," and the rules began to change.
The next meeting of the Book Chat will be on
16 at 2:00 p.m. The topic will be Beloved by Toni Morrison.
It is the story--set in post-Civil War Ohio--of Sethe, an escaped slave who has risked death in order to wrench herself from a living death; who has lost a husband and buried a child; who has borne the unthinkable and not gone mad: a woman of "iron eyes and backbone to match." Sethe lives in a small house on the edge of town with her daughter, Denver, her mother-in-law, Baby Suggs, and a disturbing, mesmerizing intruder who calls herself Beloved.
Sethe works at "beating back the past," but it is alive in all of them. It keeps Denver fearful of straying from the house. It fuels the sadness that has settled into Baby Suggs' "desolated center where the self that was no self made its home." And to Sethe, the past makes itself heard and felt incessantly: in memories that both haunt and soothe her...in the arrival of Paul D ("There was something blessed in his manner. Women saw him and wanted to weep"), one of her fellow slaves on the farm where she had once been kept...in the vivid and painfully cathartic stories she and Paul D tell each other of their years in captivity, of their glimpses of freedom...and, most powerfully, in the apparition of Beloved, whose eyes are expressionless at their deepest point, whose doomed childhood belongs to the hideous logic of slavery and who, as daughter, sister and seductress, has now come from the "place over there" to claim retribution for what she lost and for what was taken from her.
Sethe's struggle to keep Beloved from gaining full possession of her present--and to throw off the long, dark legacy of her past--is at the center of this profoundly affecting and startling novel. But its intensity and resonance of feeling, and the boldness of its narrative, lift it beyond its particulars so that it speaks to our experience as an entire nation with a past of both abominable and ennobling circumstance.
Greek Drama Discussion Group The next meeting will be Monday, August 24, at 4:00 p.m. in the Trustees Room at the library. The topic will be Heraclesby Euripides. History Book Club
The next meeting of this group will be on Wednesday, August 26, at 7:00 p.m. The topic will be the history of food in America. Please read any nonfiction book on the topic and come prepared for a lively discussion!
We can explore what Americans have considered a square meal, starting with Native Americans (Indians), and including Pilgrims, then people arriving from other parts and classes of England, Ireland, Scotland, Germany, Italy, Russia, African slaves, China. We can also look at regional foods from the South, New England, the West, Midwest.
The next meeting of this group will be on
Thursday, Sept. 18, at 4:00 p.m.
in the Brenner Friends Room. The topic will be Made in Detroit
by Marge Piercy. Copies of the book will be available at the library's main desk a month before the meeting.
Rockport Book Group
The Rockport Book group's daytime session meets the first Thursday of every month, the evening group meets the second Wednesday of every month. For information on how to join this group or to start your own group, please contact Elizabeth Reed, book group coordinator by email: firstname.lastname@example.org