Book Discussion Group
The Book Discussion Group meets on the second Thursday of each month, in the Rollins Center Room 114 at the Newtown Campus, from 7:30 to 9:00 pm. For more information, call 215-968-8164 or send email to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Winter weather: For snow or bad weather information, call 215-968‑8000. On the radio, the College code for snow closing is 2760.
(Title links to go to Amazon.com.)
Amazon Description: Who is killing America? Is it really Donald Trump and a GOP filled with white supremacists? In a major new work of historical revisionism, Dinesh D’Souza makes the provocative case that Democrats are the ones killing America by turning it into a massive nanny state modeled on the Southern plantation system.
"Remarkable…A deeply unsettling book, offering a rare and disturbing inside glimpse into the strangeness, brutality and claustrophobia of North Korea… Kim's book is full of small observations that vividly evoke the paranoia and loneliness of a nation living in fear and in thrall to its 'Great Leaders'…Her portraits of her students are tender and heartbreaking, highlighting the enormity of what is at stake."
One Of The 10 Best Books Of The Year—The New York Times Book Review - Winner Of The Center For Fiction First Novel Prize
An Amazon Best Book of June 2018: What does it really mean to be an Indian/Native American/American Indian/Native? Orange's vivid debut novel allows a unique cast—ranging from teenagers to elders—to pull this question apart even as they add a modern layer of complexity: They live in the urban landscape of Oakland, California. The thrust of Orange's cross-cut storytelling is not to force his characters onto a strict plot line but to explore the varied ways of being an Indian and, more important, of feeling like an Indian. Fractured families, Oakland itself, and detachment from tradition make an Indian identity seem even more elusive to the younger characters, but it's a feeling that they unknowingly share—and that Orange wants to expose. As an amateur filmmaker says to a teen he's interviewing, "When you hear stories from people like you, you feel less alone." Isolation and longing permeate the page, lifted briefly only as the characters intersect at the Big Oakland Powwow, with chaotic results. If I have any quibble about the book (and it could be a failure of mine, really), it's that there are a few too many characters for me to comfortably hold in my head. But then again, this isn't a comfortable novel, and therein lies its power and purpose. —Adrian Liang, Amazon Book Review
Amazon description: Pam and Nate were a couple who just couldn’t get away from each other, sharing not only their bed, but also a successful lifestyle empire as DIY home renovators, bloggers, podcasters, and co-authors. When Nate dies in a freak accident, Pam becomes a 44-year-old widow, at once too young and too old—too young to be thrust into widowhood and too old to rejoin the dating pool.
Now the single mother of a headstrong and grief-stricken teenager, Pam’s life becomes a juggling act between dealing with her loss and learning how to parent by herself. On top of all that she also must reinvent herself or lose the empire that she and Nate had built so carefully. It is time for Pam to seize the opportunity to step up as a mother, come out from behind Nate’s shadow, and rise as the sole face of the Designer You brand, and maybe, possibly, hopefully, find love again.
A New York Times Book Review Editors' Choice - Shortlisted for the 2018 J. Anthony Lukas Prize - An Outside Magazine Best Book of 2017 - A Science Friday Best Science Book of 2017
Amazon description: Before men ruled the earth, there were wolves. Once abundant in North America, these majestic creatures were hunted to near extinction in the lower 48 states by the 1920s. But in recent decades, conservationists have brought wolves back to the Rockies, igniting a battle over the very soul of the West.
With novelistic detail, Nate Blakeslee tells the gripping story of one of these wolves, O-Six, a charismatic alpha female named for the year of her birth. Uncommonly powerful, with gray fur and faint black ovals around each eye, O-Six is a kind and merciful leader, a fiercely intelligent fighter, and a doting mother. She is beloved by wolf watchers, particularly renowned naturalist Rick McIntyre, and becomes something of a social media star, with followers around the world.
But as she raises her pups and protects her pack, O-Six is challenged on all fronts: by hunters, who compete with wolves for the elk they both prize; by cattle ranchers who are losing livestock and have the ear of politicians; and by other Yellowstone wolves who are vying for control of the park’s stunningly beautiful Lamar Valley. These forces collide in American Wolf, a riveting multigenerational saga of hardship and triumph that tells a larger story about the ongoing cultural clash in the West—between those fighting for a vanishing way of life and those committed to restoring one of the country’s most iconic landscapes.
An Amazon Best Book of December 2018: No one in Milkman, winner of the 2018 Man Booker Prize, has a name. The place isn’t named either, although it appears to be 1970s Belfast, the city where Anna Burns grew up. There are very few paragraphs in this stream-of-consciousness novel that is essentially about borders—the borders we try to maintain between ourselves and others, borders between different families, between cities, between countries, belief systems, even with time itself. The story revolves around “middle sister,” who keeps to herself and only likes to read old books because she’s not particularly a fan of the 20th Century. When a local man with a dangerous reputation, a “paramililtary,” takes an unwelcome interest in her, she is unable to repel him and seems incapable of breaking the chain of gossip and innuendo that surrounds her as a result. The issues in Milkman seem very relevant to today--#MeToo, political Manichaeism, gossip and opinion presented as fact—but this is a modernist novel and should be viewed through that prism first. It won’t be every reader’s cup of tea. It’s a rare vintage from an island that has no name. –Chris Schluep, Amazon Book Review