R.E.A.D. Adult Book Club
Read, Enjoy, and Discuss
The R.E.A.D. Adult Book Club, led by Laureen Lueck for over fifteen years, meets on the first Monday of the month at 5:30 p.m. at the Angie W. Cox Public Library. Book selection is based on group member recommendations covering a variety of genres.
Welcome to our 2024 picks!
FEB. 5, 2024
Shotgun Lovesongs by Nickolas Butler
Hank, Leland, Kip and Ronny were all born and raised in the same Wisconsin town--Little Wing--and are now coming into their own (or not) as husbands and fathers. One of them never left, still farming the family's land that's been tilled for generations. Others did leave, went farther afield to make good, with varying degrees of success; as a rock star, commodities trader, rodeo stud. And seamlessly woven into their patchwork is Beth, whose presence among them--both then and now--fuels the kind of passion one comes to expect of love songs and rivalries.
Now all four are home, in hopes of finding what could be real purchase in the world. The result is a shared memory only half-recreated, riddled with culture clashes between people who desperately wish to see themselves as the unified tribe they remember, but are confronted with how things have, in fact, changed. There is conflict here between longtime buddies, between husbands and wives--told with writing that is, frankly, gut-wrenching, and even heartbreaking. But there is also hope, healing, and at times, even heroism. It is strong, American stuff, not at all afraid of showing that we can be good, too--not just fallible and compromising.
Shotgun Lovesongs is a remarkable and uncompromising saga that explores the age-old question of whether or not you can ever truly come home again--and the kind of steely faith and love returning requires.
JANUARY PICK UP
MARCH 4, 2024
The Guest List by Lucy Foley
On an island off the coast of Ireland, guests gather to celebrate two people joining their lives together as one. The groom: handsome and charming, a rising television star. The bride: smart and ambitious, a magazine publisher. It's a wedding for a magazine, or for a celebrity: the designer dress, the remote location, the luxe party favors, the boutique whiskey. The cell phone service may be spotty and the waves may be rough, but every detail has been expertly planned and will be expertly executed. But perfection is for plans, and people are all too human. As the champagne is popped and the festivities begin, resentments and petty jealousies begin to mingle with the reminiscences and well wishes. The groomsmen begin the drinking game from their school days. The bridesmaid not-so-accidentally ruins her dress. The bride's oldest (male) friend gives an uncomfortably caring toast. And then someone turns up dead. Who didn't wish the happy couple well? And perhaps more important, why?
FEBRUARY PICK UP
APRIL 1, 2024
The Greatest Beer Run Ever by John Donohue
In 1967, John (Chick) Donohue was a 26-year-old U.S. Marine Corps veteran working as a merchant seaman when he was challenged one night in a New York City bar. The men gathered at this hearth had lost family and friends in the ongoing war in Vietnam. Now, they were seeing protesters turn on the troops. One neighborhood patriot proposed an idea many might deem preposterous: One of them should sneak into Vietnam, track down their buddies in combat, and give each of them messages of support from back home, maybe some laughs - and beer. Chick volunteered for the mission. He sailed to Vietnam on a cargo ship carrying a backpack full of American beer, landing in Qui Nho'n in 1968. Things went awry when Chick got caught in the Tet Offensive, starting in the early hours as an eyewitness to the battle to retake the U.S. Embassy in Saigon, where he became stuck for months.
Chick Donohue later became legendary as "the Sandhog who went to Harvard." He worked for decades on behalf of New York's tunnel builders as the legislative and political director of Sandhogs Local 147. This is the story of his epic beer run to Vietnam, in his own words and in those of the men he found in the war zone.
MARCH PICK UP
MAY 6, 2024
The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid
From Taylor Jenkins Reid, "a genius when it comes to stories about life and love" (Redbook), comes an unforgettable and sweeping novel about one classic film actress's relentless rise to the top--the risks she took, the loves she lost, and the long-held secrets the public could never imagine.
Aging and reclusive Hollywood movie icon Evelyn Hugo is finally ready to tell the truth about her glamorous and scandalous life. But when she chooses unknown magazine reporter Monique Grant for the job, no one in the journalism community is more astounded than Monique herself. Why her? Why now? Monique is not exactly on top of the world. Her husband, David, has left her, and her career has stagnated. Regardless of why Evelyn has chosen her to write her biography, Monique is determined to use this opportunity to jumpstart her career. Summoned to Evelyn's Upper East Side apartment, Monique listens as Evelyn unfurls her story: from making her way to Los Angeles in the 1950s to her decision to leave show business in the late 80s, and, of course, the seven husbands along the way. As Evelyn's life unfolds--revealing a ruthless ambition, an unexpected friendship, and a great forbidden love--Monique begins to feel a very a real connection to the actress. But as Evelyn's story catches up with the present, it becomes clear that her life intersects with Monique's own in tragic and irreversible ways.
APRIL PICK UP
JUNE 3, 2024
Finding Me by Viola Davis
In my book, you will meet a little girl named Viola who ran from her past until she made a life changing decision to stop running forever. This is my story, from a crumbling apartment in Central Falls, Rhode Island, to the stage in New York City, and beyond. This is the path I took to finding my purpose and my strength, but also to finding my voice in a world that didn't always see me. As I wrote Finding Me, my eyes were open to the truth of how our stories are often not given close examination. They are bogarted, reinvented to fit into a crazy, competitive, judgmental world. So I wrote this for anyone who is searching for a way to understand and overcome a complicated past, let go of shame, and find acceptance. For anyone who needs reminding that a life worth living can only be born from radical honesty and the courage to shed facades and be...you. Finding Me is a deep reflection on my past and a promise for my future. My hope is that my story will inspire you to light up your own life with creative expression and rediscover who you were before the world put a label on you.
MAY PICK UP
JULY 1, 2024
The Brilliant Life of Eudora Honeysett by Annie Lyons
Wanting to organize an assisted death on her own terms, world-weary octogenarian Eudora Honeysett forges an unexpected bond with exuberant ten-year-old Rose, who drags her to tea parties, shopping sprees, and other social excursions.
JUNE PICK UP
AUG. 5, 2024
The Half Moon by Mary Beth Keane
From the beloved bestselling author of Ask Again, Yes, an unforgettable novel about a couple in a small town and the complexities of marriage, family, longing, and desire. Malcolm Gephardt, handsome and gregarious longtime bartender at the Half Moon, has always dreamed of owning a bar. When his boss finally retires, Malcolm stretches to buy the place. He sees unquantifiable magic and potential in the Half Moon and hopes to transform it into a bigger success, but quickly realizes that making margins won't be easy. His smart and confident wife, Jess, has devoted herself to her law career. After years of trying to have a baby, she is struggling to accept the idea that motherhood may not be in the cards for her. Like Malcolm, she feels her youth beginning to slip away and wonders how to reshape her future.
Award-winning author Mary Beth Keane's new novel takes place over the course of a week when Malcolm learns shocking news about Jess, a patron of the bar goes missing, and a blizzard hits the town, trapping everyone in place. With a deft eye and generous spirit, Keane explores the disappointments and unexpected consolations of midlife, the many forms forgiveness can take, and what it means to be a family.
JULY PICK UP
SEPT. 3, 2024
(This is a Tuesday)
Lessons in Chemistry by Bonie Garmus
Set in 1960s California, this blockbuster debut is the hilarious, idiosyncratic and uplifting story of a female scientist whose career is constantly derailed by the idea that a woman's place is in the home, only to find herself starring as the host of America's most beloved TV cooking show.
Elizabeth Zott is not your average woman. In fact Elizabeth Zott would be the first to point out that there is no such thing as an average woman. But it's the 1960s and despite the fact that she is a scientist, her peers are very unscientific when it comes to equality. The only good thing to happen to her on the road to professional fulfillment is a run-in with her super-star colleague Calvin Evans (well, she stole his beakers.) The only man who ever treated her-and her ideas-as equal, Calvin is already a legend and Nobel nominee. He's also awkward, kind and tenacious. Theirs is true chemistry. But as events are never as predictable as chemical reactions, three years later Elizabeth Zott is an unwed, single mother (did we mention it's the early 60s??) and the star of America's most beloved cooking show Supper at Six. Elizabeth's singular approach to cooking ('take one pint of H2O and add a pinch of sodium chloride') and independent example are proving revolutionary. Because Elizabeth isn't just teaching women how to cook, she's teaching them how to change the status quo. Laugh-out-loud funny, shrewdly observant, and studded with a dazzling cast of supporting characters, Lessons in Chemistry is as original and vibrant as its protagonist.
AUGUST PICK UP
OCT. 7, 2024
Zero Days by Ruth Ware
Hired by companies to break into buildings and hack security systems, Jack and her husband, Gabe, are the best penetration specialists in the business. But after a routine assignment goes horribly wrong, Jack arrives home to find her husband dead. To add to her horror, the police are closing in on their suspect--her. Suddenly on the run and quickly running out of options, Jack must decide who she can trust as she circles closer to the real killer in this unputdownable and heart-pounding mystery from an author whose "propulsive prose keeps readers on the hook and refuses to let anyone off until all has been revealed.
SEPTEMBER PICK UP
NOV. 4, 2024
The Wager by David Grann
From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Killers of the Flower Moon and The Lost City of Z, a mesmerizing story of shipwreck, survival, and savagery, culminating in a court martial that reveals a shocking truth On January 28, 1742, a ramshackle vessel of patched-together wood and cloth washed up on the coast of Brazil. Inside were thirty emaciated men, barely alive, and they had an extraordinary tale to tell. They were survivors of His Majesty's Ship the Wager, a British vessel that had left England in 1740 on a secret mission during an imperial war with Spain. While the Wager had been chasing a Spanish treasure-filled galleon known as "the prize of all the oceans," it had wrecked on a desolate island off the coast of Patagonia. The men, after being marooned for months and facing starvation, built the flimsy craft and sailed for more than a hundred days, traversing 2500 miles of storm-wracked seas. They were greeted as heroes. But then ... six months later, another, even more decrepit craft landed on the coast of Chile. This boat contained just three castaways, and they had a very different story to tell. The thirty sailors who landed in Brazil were not heroes - they were mutineers. The first group responded with countercharges of their own, of a tyrannical and murderous captain and his henchmen. It became clear that while stranded on the island the crew had fallen into anarchy, with warring factions fighting for dominion over the barren wilderness. As accusations of treachery and murder flew, the Admiralty convened a court martial to determine who was telling the truth. The stakes were life-and-death-for whomever the court found guilty could hang.
The Wager is a grand tale of human behavior at the extremes told by one of our greatest nonfiction writers. Grann's recreation of the hidden world on a British warship rivals the work of Patrick O'Brian, his portrayal of the castaways' desperate straits stands up to the classics of survival writing such as The Endurance, and his account of the court martial has the savvy of a Scott Turow thriller. As always with Grann's work, the incredible twists of the narrative hold the reader spellbound. Most powerfully, he unearths the deeper meaning of the events, showing that it was not only the Wager's captain and crew who were on trial - it was the very idea of empire.
OCTOBER PICK UP
DEC. 2, 2024
A Christmas Memory by Richard Paul Evans
The #1 New York Times bestselling King of Christmas Fiction is back this holiday season with another heartwarming and wintery tale of rediscovering faith and love. A coming-of-age holiday tale based on Richard Paul Evans's own childhood that shows us how hope and acceptance can be found in the most unexpected of places.
NOVEMBER PICK UP
JAN. 6, 2025
The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick
When twelve-year-old Hugo, an orphan living and repairing clocks within the walls of a Paris train station in 1931, meets a mysterious toy seller and his goddaughter, his undercover life and his biggest secret are jeopardized.
DECEMBER PICK UP
JAN. 6, 2025
Front Desk by Kelly Yang
Recent immigrants from China and desperate for work and money, ten-year-old Mia Tang's parents take a job managing a rundown motel in Southern California, even though the owner, Mr. Yao is a nasty skinflint who exploits them; while her mother (who was an engineer in China) does the cleaning, Mia works the front desk and tries to cope with demanding customers and other recent immigrants--not to mention being only one of two Chinese in her fifth grade class, the other being Mr. Yao's son, Jason.
DECEMBER PICK UP