Friends Book Group 2016-2017
The Friends of the River Vale Library Book Group meets every second Wednesday of the month at 7:30 pm. Scheduling changes may occur due to holidays. Pick up next month's book at the Circulation Desk after each meeting. Newcomers are always welcome to join us!
September 14 - The Swans of Fifth Avenue
by Melanie Benjamin
A novel about New York's "Swans" (socialites) of the 1950's--and the scandalous, headline-making, and enthralling friendship between literary legend Truman Capote and peerless socialite Babe Paley.
Discussion Leader: Dom Amuso
October 5 - Under the Same Sky
by Joseph Kim
Inside the hidden and mysterious world of North Korea, Joseph Kim lived a young boy's normal life until he was five. Then, disaster struck: the first wave of the Great Famine killed his father and sent his mother and sister on desperate escape routes into China. Alone on the streets and desperate, he, too, crossed a frozen river to China. Through an underground network of activists, he was spirited to the American consulate, and become one of just a handful of North Koreans to be brought to the U.S. as refugees.
Discussion Leader: Betty Wagreich
November 9 - The Marriage of Opposites
by Alice Hoffman
From the New York Times bestselling author of The Dovekeepers and The Museum of Extraordinary Things, this is the story of a forbidden love on the tropical island of St. Thomas, and the extraordinary woman who gave birth to painter Camille Pissarro, the Father of Impressionism.
Discussion Leader: Jeanne Martine
December 14 - Unfinished Business: women men work family
by Anne Marie Slaughter
In her pragmatic style, Slaughter bursts the bubble on all the "half-truths" we tell young women about "having it all", and explains what is really necessary to get true gender equality, both in the workplace and at home. Deeply researched, and filled with warm, wise, and funny anecdotes that first made her the most trusted and admired voice on the issue, Slaughter's book is sure to change minds and ignite debates.
Discussion Leader: Armine Lulejian
January 11 - The Nightingale
by Kristen Hannah
Viann and Isabelle have always been close despite their differences. Younger, bolder sister Isabelle lives in Paris while Viann lives a quiet and content life in the French countryside with her husband Antoine and their daughter. When World War II strikes and Antoine is sent off to fight, Viann and Isabelle's father sends Isabelle to help her older sister cope. As the war progresses, it's not only the sisters' relationship that is tested, but also their strength and their individual senses of right and wrong.
Discussion Leader: Joanne Levine
February 8 - Boys in the Boat
by Daniel James Brown
Traces the story of an American rowing team from the University of Washington that defeated elite rivals at Hitler's 1936 Berlin Olympics, sharing the experiences of their enigmatic coach, a visionary boat builder, and a homeless teen rower.
Discussion Leader: Linda Glass
March 8 -A Woman Possessed
by Marilyn Hering
In 1913, silk mill workers in Paterson, New Jersey, went on strike, demanding an eight-hour work day and better working conditions, reasonable requests that nevertheless led to the arrest of over 1,800 people. Young Eleanor O'Bannion was not arrested, but she was there. Living in the tenements of Paterson, she survived near starvation, poverty, and illness. But she carries her own secret past, and this secret robs her of any happiness as she struggles to look to the future.
Discussion Leaders: Linda Glass
April 12 - The Man in the White Sharkskin Suit
by Lucette Lagnado
Lucette Lagnado's father Leon is a successful Egyptian businessman and boulevardier who, dressed in his signature white sharkskin suit, makes deals and trades at Shepherd's Hotel and at the dark bar of the Nile Hilton. After the fall of King Farouk and the rise of the Nasser dictatorship, Leon loses everything and his family is forced to flee, abandoning a life once marked by beauty and luxury to plunge into hardship and poverty.
Discussion Leader: Diane Gladstone
May 10 - The Birth House: A Novel
by Ami McKay
As apprentice to the outspoken midwife Miss Babineau, Dora learns to assist the women of an isolated Nova Scotian village through infertility, difficult labors, breech births, unwanted pregnancies, and unfulfilling sex lives. During the turbulent World War I era, uncertainty and upheaval accompany the arrival of a brash new medical doctor and his promises of progress and fast, painless childbirth. In a clash between tradition and science, Dora finds herself fighting to protect the rights of women as well as the wisdom that has been handed down through the years.
Discussion Leader: Carla Norfleet
June 14 - Orhan's Inheritance
by Aline Ohanesian
When Orhan's brilliant and eccentric grandfather, Kemal Turkoglu, who built a dynasty out of making kilim rugs, is found dead, submerged in a vat of dye, Orhan inherits the decades-old business. But Kemal has left the family estate to an aging woman in a retirement home in Los Angeles. Intent on righting this injustice, Orhan unearths a story that, if told, has the power to undo the legacy upon which Orhan's family is build, a story that could unravel his own future.
Discussion Leader: Armine Lulejian
July 12 - A Fall of Marigolds
by Susan Meissner
September 1911. On Ellis Island in New York Harbor, nurse Clara Wood cannot face returning to Manhattan, where the man she loved fell to his death in the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire. Then, while caring for a fevered immigrant whose own loss mirrors hers, she becomes intrigued by a name embroidered onto the scarf he carries and finds herself caught in a dilemma that compels her to confront the truth about the assumptions she's made. Will what she learns devastate her or free her?
Discussion Leader: TBD