Book Discussion Groups

 

Genoa Library

Morning Discussion

May 20th, 2021  At 9:30am

Thackrey room

In the opening pages of Jamie Ford’s stunning debut novel, Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, Henry Lee comes upon a crowd gathered outside the Panama Hotel, once the gateway to Seattle’s Japantown. It has been boarded up for decades, but now the new owner has made an incredible discovery: the belongings of Japanese families, left when they were rounded up and sent to internment camps during World War II. As Henry looks on, the owner opens a Japanese parasol.

This simple act takes old Henry Lee back to the 1940s, at the height of the war, when young Henry’s world is a jumble of confusion and excitement, and to his father, who is obsessed with the war in China and having Henry grow up American. While “scholarshipping” at the exclusive Rainier Elementary, where the white kids ignore him, Henry meets Keiko Okabe, a young Japanese American student. Amid the chaos of blackouts, curfews, and FBI raids, Henry and Keiko forge a bond of friendship–and innocent love–that transcends the long-standing prejudices of their Old World ancestors. And after Keiko and her family are swept up in the evacuations to the internment camps, she and Henry are left only with the hope that the war will end, and that their promise to each other will be kept.

Forty years later, Henry Lee is certain that the parasol belonged to Keiko. In the hotel’s dark dusty basement he begins looking for signs of the Okabe family’s belongings and for a long-lost object whose value he cannot begin to measure. Now a widower, Henry is still trying to find his voice–words that might explain the actions of his nationalistic father; words that might bridge the gap between him and his modern, Chinese American son; words that might help him confront the choices he made many years ago.

Set during one of the most conflicted and volatile times in American history, Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet is an extraordinary story of commitment and enduring hope. In Henry and Keiko, Jamie Ford has created an unforgettable duo whose story teaches us of the power of forgiveness and the human heart.

Copies of the book are available at the
Genoa Library Circ Desk
or 
on the Libby App as an Ebook 
Questions? Call Ariel at (419) 855-3380.

Genoa Library

 

Evening Discussion

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May 18th, 2021  At 6:30pm

Thackrey Room

The uplifting and unforgettable true story of a US Marine, the stray dog he met on an Afghan battlefield, and how they saved each other and now travel America together, "spreading the message of stubborn positivity."

In 2010, Sergeant Craig Grossi was doing intelligence work for Marine RECON—the most elite fighters in the Corps—in a remote part of Afghanistan. While on patrol, he spotted a young dog "with a big goofy head and little legs" who didn’t seem vicious or run in a pack like most strays they’d encountered. After eating a piece of beef jerky Craig offered—against military regulations—the dog began to follow him. "Looks like you made a friend," another Marine yelled. Grossi heard, "Looks like a 'Fred.'" The name stuck, and a beautiful, life-changing friendship was forged.

Fred not only stole Craig’s heart; he won over the RECON fighters, who helped Craig smuggle the dog into heavily fortified Camp Leatherneck in a duffel bag—risking jail and Fred’s life. With the help of a crew of DHL workers, a sympathetic vet, and a military dog handler, Fred eventually made it to Craig’s family in Virginia.

Months later, when Craig returned to the U.S., it was Fred’s turn to save the wounded Marine from Post-Traumatic Stress. Today, Craig and Fred are touching lives nationwide, from a swampy campground in a Louisiana State Park to the streets of Portland, Oregon, and everywhere in between.

A poignant and inspiring tale of hope, resilience, and optimism, with a timeless message at its heart—"it is not what happens to us that matters, but how we respond to it"—Craig & Fred is a shining example of the power of love to transform our hearts and our lives.

Copies of the book are available at the
Genoa Library Circ Desk
or 
on the Libby App as an Ebook
Questions? Call Ariel at (419) 855-3380.
 
Elmore Library

Morning Discussion

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June 17th - 10am

damschroder meeting room

Jim Gaffigan never imagined he would have his own kids.

Though he grew up in a large Irish-Catholic family, Jim was satisfied with the nomadic, nocturnal life of a standup comedian, and was content to be "that weird uncle who lives in an apartment by himself in New York that everyone in the family speculates about." But all that changed when he married and found out his wife, Jeannie "is someone who gets pregnant looking at babies."

Five kids later, the comedian whose riffs on everything from Hot Pockets to Jesus have scored millions of hits on YouTube, started to tweet about the mistakes and victories of his life as a dad. Those tweets struck such a chord that he soon passed the million followers mark. But it turns out 140 characters are not enough to express all the joys and horrors of life with five kids, so hes' now sharing it all in Dad Is Fat.

From new parents to empty nesters to Jim's twenty-something fans, everyone will recognize their own families in these hilarious takes on everything from cousins ("celebrities for little kids") to growing up in a big family ("I always assumed my father had six children so he could have a sufficient lawn crew") to changing diapers in the middle of the night ("like The Hurt Locker but much more dangerous") to bedtime (aka "Negotiating with Terrorists").

Copies of the book are available at the
Elmore Library Circ Desk
or
on the Libby app as an Ebook
Call Jen (419) 862-2482 with questions
 

Read Between the Wines Book Group

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June 22, 2021 - 6:30pm
This meeting will be held via ZOOM
join us at: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89758535821?pwd=SGJyMTVta1pEOUwvdjdTYTJzNXIzZz09

Meeting ID: 897 5853 5821
Password: 190209

Gulliver's Travels describes the four voyages of Lemuel Gulliver, a ship's surgeon. In Lilliput he discovers a world in miniature; towering over the people and their city, he is able to view their society from the viewpoint of a god. However, in Brobdingnag, a land of giants, tiny Gulliver himself comes under observation, exhibited as a curiosity at markets and fairs. In Laputa, a flying island, he encounters a society of speculators and projectors who have lost all grip on everyday reality; while they plan and calculate, their country lies in ruins. Gulliver's final voyage takes him to the land of the Houyhnhnms, gentle horses whom he quickly comes to admire - in contrast to the Yahoos, filthy bestial creatures who bear a disturbing resemblance to humans

Copies of the book are available at the Elmore Library Circ Desk
or
 on the Libby app as an Ebook
Call Katie (419) 862-2482 with questions