This Discussion Group will meet on the 3rd Wednesday of each month, 7:00 pm in the Library. Everyone welcome to attend. Books and discussion guides will be available at the circulation desk.
March 20 – Remarkable Creatures by Tracey Chevalier. This is the story of Mary Anning, who has a talent for finding fossils, and whose discovery of ancient marine reptiles such as that ichthyosaur shakes the scientific community and leads to new ways of thinking about the creation of the world.
Working in an arena dominated by middle-class men, however, Mary finds herself out of step with her working-class background. In danger of being an outcast in her community, she takes solace in an unlikely friendship with Elizabeth Philpot, a prickly London spinster with her own passion for fossils.
The strong bond between Mary and Elizabeth sees them through struggles with poverty, rivalry and ostracism, as well as the physical dangers of their chosen obsession. It reminds us that friendship can outlast storms and landslides, anger and and jealousy.
April 17 - The Honk and Holler Opening Soon by Billie Letts. In 1973, Caney Paxton returned from Vietnam in a wheelchair. While in the VA hospital, he and some buddies designed a cafe that was built on a then-busy highway outside of Sequoyah, OK. The cafe was supposed be called The Honk and Holler, but because of a misunderstanding and about a half a case of Coors, the nonrefundable $600 red-neon sign read “The Honk and Holler Opening Soon.” Caney retreated to his cafe and for 12 years led a lonely life with only his combat nightmares and his regular customers for company. One day shortly before Christmas, a Crow woman named Vena Takes Horse appears at the door wearing red cowboy boots and carrying a severely injured dog. Caney could see that “she was trouble” but gave her a job, thus changing his life forever. Bui Khanh, a Vietnamese immigrant, arrives sometime after Vena and in broken English also asks for work. He becomes more than a short-order cook; he helps free Caney from his terrible nightmares. A warm, sentimental tale, abundant with quirky detail and homespun wisdom.
To hear the speech of the real America, to smell the grass and the tress, to see the colors and the light—these were John Steinbeck’s goals as he set out, at the age of fifty-eight, to rediscover the country he had been writing about for so many years. With Charley, his French poodle, Steinbeck drives the interstates and the country roads, dines with truckers, encounters bears at Yellowstone and old friends in San Francisco. He reflects on the American character, racial hostility, on a particular form of American loneliness he finds almost everywhere and on the unexpected kindness of strangers that is also a very real part of our national identity.