The Friends'  BOOK CLUB


RICHARD BASS, 

CO-ORDINATOR


Cell: 323-533-3550


rbass9210@yahoo.com




The FOPSL Book Club 

meets on the 

third Friday

 of the month 

at 2:00pm in 

The Learning Center 

at the Library.


The 

Book Club

is Open

to 

EVERYONE!


Members of the Club 

read the selected book 

for the month, 

then join in 

lively discussions.



The Friends of the Palm Springs Library purchase copies of the books that

are available in the Library for checkout. They are also available as downloadable

e-books through the Library's overdrive program.  

Click on the following link to view more information:


City of Palm Springs:
Book Club FOPSL


Scheduled Book Discussions

For Our NEXT SEASON . . .

October 20, 2017

The ADVENTURES of TOM SAWYER

by Mark Twain, 1876, 274 pages


Whether forming a pirate gang to search for buried treasure or spending a quiet time at home, sharing his medicine with Aunt Polly's cat, the irrepressible Tom Sawyer evokes the world of boyhood in nineteenth century rural America. In this classic story, Mark Twain re-created a long-ago world of freshly whitewashed fences and Sunday school picnics into which sordid characters and violent incidents sometimes intruded. The tale powerfully appeals to both adult and young imaginations. Readers explore this memorable setting with a slyly humorous born storyteller as their guide.
Tom and Huck Finn conceal themselves in the town cemetery, where they witness a grave robbery and a murder. Later, the boys, feeling unappreciated, hide out on a forested island while the townspeople conduct a frantic search and finally mourn them as dead. The friends triumphantly return to town to attend their own funeral, in time for a dramatic trial for the graveyard murder. A three-day ordeal ensues when Tom and his sweetheart, Becky Thatcher, lose their way in the very cave that conceals the murderer.
With its hilarious accounts of boyish pranks and its shrewd assessments of human nature, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer has captivated generations of readers of all ages. This inexpensive edition of the classic novel offers a not-to-be-missed opportunity to savor a witty and action-packed account of small-town boyhood in a bygone era.


November 17, 2017

LADIES of the CANYONS: 

A League of Extraordinary Women and 

Their Adventures in the American Southwest 

by Lesley Poing-Kempes, 2015, 384 pages


Ladies of the Canyons is the true story of remarkable women who left the security and comforts of genteel Victorian society and journeyed to the American Southwest in search of a wider view of themselves and their world.

Educated, restless, and inquisitive, Natalie Curtis, Carol Stanley, Alice Klauber and Mary Cabot Wheelwright were plucky, intrepid women whose lives were transformed in the first decades of the twentieth century by the people and the landscape of the American Southwest. Part of an influential circle of women that included Louisa Wade Wetherill, Alice Corbin Henderson, Mabel Dodge Luhan, Mary Austin and Willa Cather, these ladies imagined and created a new home territory, a new society and a new identity for themselves and for the women who would follow them.

Their adventures were shared with the likes of Theodore Roosevelt and Robert Henri, Edgar Hewett and Charles Lummis, Chief Tawakwaptiwa of the Hopi and Hostiin Klah of the Navajo. Their journeys took them to Monument Valley and Rainbow Bridge, into Canyon de Chelly and across the high mesas of the Hopi, down through the Grand Canyon and over the red desert of the Four Corners, to the pueblos along the Rio Grande and the villages in the mountains between Santa Fe and Taos. Although their stories converge in the outback of the American Southwest, the saga of Ladies of the Canyons is also the tale of Boston’s Brahmins, the Greenwich Village avant-garde, the birth of American modern art, and Santa Fe’s art and literary colony.

Ladies of the Canyons is the story of New Women stepping boldly into the New World of inconspicuous success, ambitious failure, and the personal challenges experienced by women and men during the emergence of the Modern Age.


December 15, 2017

LAB GIRL

by Hope Jahren, 2016, 291 pages


Lab Girl is a book about work, love, and the mountains that can be moved when those two things come together. It is told through Jahren’s remarkable stories: about her childhood in rural Minnesota with an uncompromising mother and a father who encouraged hours of play in his classroom’s labs; about how she found a sanctuary in science, and learned to perform lab work done “with both the heart and the hands”; and about the inevitable disappointments, but also the triumphs and exhilarating discoveries, of scientific work.
Yet at the core of this book is the story of a relationship Jahren forged with a brilliant, wounded man named Bill, who becomes her lab partner and best friend. Their sometimes rogue adventures in science take them from the Midwest across the United States and back again, over the Atlantic to the ever-light skies of the North Pole and to tropical Hawaii, where she and her lab currently make their home. 
Jahren’s probing look at plants, her astonishing tenacity of spirit, and her acute insights on nature enliven every page of this extraordinary book. Lab Girl opens your eyes to the beautiful, sophisticated mechanisms within every leaf, blade of grass, and flower petal. Here is an eloquent demonstration of what can happen when you find the stamina, passion, and sense of sacrifice needed to make a life out of what you truly love, as you discover along the way the person you were meant to be.


January 19, 2018

FOR WHOM the BELL TOLLS

by Ernest Hemingway, 1940, 480 pages


In 1937, Ernest Hemingway traveled to Spain to cover the civil war there for the North American Newspaper Alliance. Three years later he completed the greatest novel to emerge from "the good fight," For Whom the Bell Tolls.

The story of Robert Jordan, a young American in the International Brigades attached to an antifascist guerilla unit in the mountains of Spain, it tells of loyalty and courage, love and defeat, and the tragic death of an ideal. In his portrayal of Jordan's love for the beautiful Maria and his superb account of El Sordo's last stand, in his brilliant travesty of La Pasionaria and his unwillingness to believe in blind faith, Hemingway surpasses his achievement in The Sun Also Rises and A Farewell to Arms to create a work at once rare and beautiful, strong and brutal, compassionate, moving, and wise. "If the function of a writer is to reveal reality," Maxwell Perkins wrote Hemingway after reading the manuscript, "no one ever so completely performed it."

Greater in power, broader in scope, and more intensely emotional than any of the author's previous works, it stands as one of the best war novels of all time.


February 16, 2018

The UNDERGROUND RAILROAD

by Colson Whitehead, 2016, 320 pages


Cora is a slave on a cotton plantation in Georgia. Life is hell for all the slaves, but especially bad for Cora; an outcast even among her fellow Africans, she is coming into womanhood—where even greater pain awaits. When Caesar, a recent arrival from Virginia, tells her about the Underground Railroad, they decide to take a terrifying risk and escape. Matters do not go as planned—Cora kills a young white boy who tries to capture her. Though they manage to find a station and head north, they are being hunted.

In Whitehead’s ingenious conception, the Underground Railroad is no mere metaphor—engineers and conductors operate a secret network of tracks and tunnels beneath the Southern soil. Cora and Caesar’s first stop is South Carolina, in a city that initially seems like a haven. But the city’s placid surface masks an insidious scheme designed for its black denizens. And even worse: Ridgeway, the relentless slave catcher, is close on their heels. Forced to flee again, Cora embarks on a harrowing flight, state by state, seeking true freedom. Like the protagonist of Gulliver’s Travels, Cora encounters different worlds at each stage of her journey—hers is an odyssey through time as well as space. As Whitehead brilliantly re-creates the unique terrors for black people in the pre–Civil War era, his narrative seamlessly weaves the saga of America from the brutal importation of Africans to the unfulfilled promises of the present day. The Underground Railroad is at once a kinetic adventure tale of one woman’s ferocious will to escape the horrors of bondage and a shattering, powerful meditation on the history we all share.


March 16, 2018

STILL LIFE

by Louise Penny, 2008, 320 pages


Chief Inspector Armand Gamache of the Surêté du Québec and his team of investigators are called in to the scene of a suspicious death in a rural village south of Montreal. Jane Neal, a local fixture in the tiny hamlet of Three Pines, just north of the U.S. border, has been found dead in the woods. The locals are certain it's a tragic hunting accident and nothing more, but Gamache smells something foul in these remote woods, and is soon certain that Jane Neal died at the hands of someone much more sinister than a careless bowhunter. Still Life introduces not only an engaging series hero in Inspector Gamache, who commands his forces--and this series--with integrity and quiet courage, but also a winning and talented new writer of traditional mysteries in the person of Louise Penny.


April 20, 2018

The THREE-YEAR SWIM CLUB: 

The Untold Story of Maui's Sugar Ditch Kids 

and Their Quest for Olympic Glory

by Julie Checkoway, 2016, 351 pages


In 1937, a schoolteacher on the island of Maui challenged a group of poverty-stricken sugar plantation kids to swim upstream against the current of their circumstance. The goal? To become Olympians.They faced seemingly insurmountable obstacles. The children were Japanese-American, were malnourished and barefoot and had no pool; they trained in the filthy irrigation ditches that snaked down from the mountains into the sugarcane fields. Their future was in those same fields, working alongside their parents in virtual slavery, known not by their names but by numbered tags that hung around their necks. Their teacher, Soichi Sakamoto, was an ordinary man whose swimming ability didn't extend much beyond treading water. In spite of everything, including the virulent anti-Japanese sentiment of the late 1930s, in their first year the children outraced Olympic athletes twice their size; in their second year, they were national and international champs, shattering American and world records and making headlines from L.A. to Nazi Germany. In their third year, they'd be declared the greatest swimmers in the world, but they'd also face their greatest obstacle: the dawning of a world war and the cancellation of the Games. Still, on the battlefield, they'd become the 20th century's most celebrated heroes, and in 1948, they'd have one last chance for Olympic glory.


May 18, 2018

The IMMORTAL LIFE of HENRIETTA LACKS

by Rebecca Skloot, 2010, 381 pages


Her name was Henrietta Lacks, but scientists know her as HeLa. She was a poor black tobacco farmer whose cells—taken without her knowledge in 1951—became one of the most important tools in medicine, vital for developing the polio vaccine, cloning, gene mapping, and more. Henrietta's cells have been bought and sold by the billions, yet she remains virtually unknown, and her family can't afford health insurance. This phenomenal New York Times bestseller tells a riveting story of the collision between ethics, race, and medicine; of scientific discovery and faith healing; and of a daughter consumed with questions about the mother she never knew.


June 15, 2018

The SEVEN STAIRS: 

An Adventure of the Heart

by Stuart Brent, 1962, 231 pages


Here in a new, updated edition is the famous story of an ex-GI named Stuart Brent who turned his passion for reading into a bookstore that became a mecca for book lovers across America. His exuberant memoir reveals the strategies and beliefs that made him one of the nation's most colorful and revered independent booksellers. Filled with personal anecdotes about celebrated authors, pioneering publishers and editors, and illustrious customers such as Katharine Hepburn and Ernest Hemingway, The Seven Stairs provides a rare window on the world of books. For everyone who believes in the power of literacy and the joy of reading, the story shines with conviction and inspiration.



PREVIOUSLY: 


September 16, 2016  The Race for Paris

by Meg Waite Clayton, 306 pages (published 2015)

For a summary of the discussion, click here.

 

October 21, 2016   Gloria Steinem, My Life on the Road 

by Gloria Steinem, 304 pages (published 2015)

For a summary of the discussion, click here.

 

November 18, 2016   My Antonia

by Willa Cather, 232 pages (published 1918)

For a summary of the discussion click here.


December 16, 2016   Americanah 

by Chimamanda Ngoze Adichie, 477 pages (published 2013)

For a summary of the discussion click here.


 January 20, 2017   Destiny Disrupted: 

 A History of the World Through Islamic Eyes 

by Tamim Ansary,  357 pages (published 2009)

For a summary of the discussion click here. 



February 17, 2017    Death in Venice

by Thomas Mann, 77 pages (published 1912)

For a summary of the discussion, click here.



March 17, 2017     TINSELTOWN:  

Murder, Morphine & Madness at the Dawn of Hollywood

by William J. Mann, 426 pages (published 2014)

For a summary of the discussion, click here.


April 21, 2017    Treasure Island

by Robert Louis Stevenson, 254 pages (published 1883)
For a summary of the discussion, click here.


May 19, 2017    You or Someone Like You
by Chandler Burr,  353 pages (published 2009)
For a summary of the discussion, click here.


June 16, 2017    Everything I Never Told You
by Celeste Ng,  297 pages (published 2014)
For a summary of the discussion, click here.


September 15, 2017      Another Brooklyn

by Jacqueline Woodson, 175 pages  (published 2016)

For a summary of the discussion, click here.





 


 




 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

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