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December 2020:
The Lost Book of Adana Moreaulost book of adana moreau

Welcome to the December hoopla Book Club Blog!  This month we're reading The Lost Book of Adana Moreau by Michael Zapata (available as an eBook and eAudiobook on Hoopla).

The mesmerizing story of a Latin American science fiction writer and the lives her lost manuscript unites decades later in post-Katrina New Orleans. In 1929 in New Orleans, a Dominican immigrant named Adana Moreau writes a science fiction novel. The novel earns rave reviews, and Adana begins a sequel. Then she falls gravely ill. Just before she dies, she destroys the only copy of the manuscript.  Decades later in Chicago, Saul Drower's dying grandfather asks him to send a mysterious package to Adana Moreau's son, Maxwell, a theoretical physicist at the University of Chile.  When the package is unexpectedly returned, Saul discovers that it contains a manuscript titled A Model Earth, written by none other than Adana Moreau.  Who was Adana Moreau?  How did Saul's grandfather, a Jewish immigrant born on a steamship, come across this lost manuscript?  With the help of his friend Javier, Saul tracks down an address for Maxwell in New Orleans, and, just as Hurricane Katrina strikes, the two head south to that storm-ravaged city in search of answers.

Check out the discussion page for reading suggestions, thought provoking questions, and fun discussions.


November 2020:
Girl, Woman, Othergirl woman other

Welcome to the November hoopla Book Club Blog!  This month we're reading Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo (available as an eBook and eAudiobook on Hoopla).

The twelve central characters of this multi-voiced novel lead vastly different lives: Amma is a newly acclaimed playwright whose work often explores her black lesbian identity; her old friend Shirley is a teacher, jaded after decades of work in London's funding-deprived schools; Carole, one of Shirley's former students, works hard to earn a degree from Oxford and becomes an investment banker; Carole's mother Bummi works as a cleaner and worries about her daughter's lack of rootedness despite her obvious achievements. From a nonbinary social media influencer to a 93-year-old woman living on a farm in Northern England, these unforgettable characters also intersect in shared aspects of their identities, from age to race to sexuality to class. Sparklingly witty and filled with emotion, centering voices we often see othered, and written in an innovative and fast-moving form that borrows from poetry, Girl, Woman, Other is a polyphonic and richly textured social novel that reminds us of everything that connects us to our neighbors, even in times when we are encouraged to be split apart.

Check out the discussion page for reading suggestions, thought provoking questions, and fun discussions.


October 2020:
I'll be Gone in the Dark 

i'll be gone in the dark

Welcome to the Welcome to the October hoopla Book Club Blog!  This month we're reading I'll be Gone in the Dark by Micelle McNamara (available as an eBook and eAudiobook on Hoopla).

For more than ten years, a mysterious and violent predator committed fifty sexual assaults in Northern California before moving south, where he perpetrated ten sadistic murders. Then he disappeared, eluding capture by multiple police forces and some of the best detectives in the area.  Three decades later, Michelle McNamara, a true crime journalist who created the popular website TrueCrimeDiary.com, was determined to find the violent psychopath she called "the Golden State Killer." Michelle poured over police reports, interviewed victims, and embedded herself in the online communities that were as obsessed with the case as she was. I’ll Be Gone in the Dark—the masterpiece McNamara was writing at the time of her sudden death—offers an atmospheric snapshot of a moment in American history and a chilling account of a criminal mastermind and the wreckage he left behind. It is also a portrait of a woman’s obsession and her unflagging pursuit of the truth. Utterly original and compelling, it has been hailed as a modern true crime classic—one which fulfilled Michelle's dream: helping unmask the Golden State Killer.

Check out the discussion page for reading suggestions, thought provoking questions, and fun discussions.


September 2020:
Shuggie Bain 

shuggie bain

Welcome to the Welcome to the September Adult Online Bookclub!  This month we're reading Shuggie Bain by Douglas Stuart (available as an eBook and eAudiobook on Hoopla).

Shuggie Bain is the unforgettable story of young Hugh "Shuggie" Bain, a sweet and lonely boy who spends his 1980s childhood in public housing in Glasgow, Scotland. Thatcher's war on heavy industry has put husbands and sons out of work, and the city's notorious drugs epidemic is waiting in the wings. Shuggie's mother Agnes walks a wayward path: she is Shuggie's guiding light but a burden for his artistic brother and practical sister. She dreams of a house with its own front door while she flicks through the pages of the Freemans catalogue, ordering a little happiness on credit, anything to brighten up her grey life. Married to a "whoremaster" of a husband, Agnes keeps her pride by looking good-her beehive, make-up, and pearly-white false teeth offer a glamorous image of a Glaswegian Elizabeth Taylor. But under the surface, Agnes finds increasing solace in drink, and she drains away the lion's share of each week's benefits-all the family has to live on-on cans of extra-strong lager hidden in handbags and poured into tea mugs. Agnes's older children find their own ways to get a safe distance from their mother, abandoning Shuggie to look after her as she swings between alcoholic binges and sobriety. He is meanwhile doing all he can to somehow become the normal boy he desperately longs to be, but everyone has realized that Shuggie is "no right," and now Agnes's addiction has the power to eclipse everyone close to her-even and especially her beloved Shuggie. A heartbreaking novel of addiction, sexuality, and love, Shuggie Bain is an epic portrayal of a working-class family that is rarely seen in fiction.

Check out the discussion page for reading suggestions, thought provoking questions, and fun discussions.


August 2020:
The Atomic City Girls

atomic city girls

Welcome to the August Adult Online Book club!  This month we're reading The Atomic City Girls by Janet Beard (available as an eBook and eAudiobook on Hoopla).

 In November 1944, eighteen-year-old June Walker boards an unmarked bus, destined for a city that doesn't officially exist. Oak Ridge, Tennessee has sprung up in a matter of months--a town of trailers and segregated houses, 24-hour cafeterias, and constant security checks. There, June joins hundreds of other young girls operating massive machines whose purpose is never explained. They know they are helping to win the war, but must ask no questions and reveal nothing to outsiders. The girls spend their evenings socializing and flirting with soldiers, scientists, and workmen at dances and movies, bowling alleys and canteens. June longs to know more about their top-secret assignment and begins an affair with Sam Cantor, the young Jewish physicist from New York who oversees the lab where she works and understands the end goal only too well, while her beautiful roommate Cici is on her own mission: to find a wealthy husband and escape her sharecropper roots. Across town, African-American construction worker Joe Brewer knows nothing of the government's plans, only that his new job pays enough to make it worth leaving his family behind, at least for now. But a breach in security will intertwine his fate with June's search for answers. When the bombing of Hiroshima brings the truth about Oak Ridge into devastating focus, June must confront her ideals about loyalty, patriotism, and war itself.

Check out the discussion page for reading suggestions, thought provoking questions, and fun discussions.


July 2020:
The Water Keeper

water keeper


Welcome to the July Adult Online Book club!  This month we're reading The Water Keeper by Charles Martin (available as an eBook and eAudiobook on Hoopla).

Murphy Shepherd is a man with many secrets. He lives alone on an island, tending the grounds of a church with no parishioners, and he’s dedicated his life to rescuing those in peril. But as he mourns the loss of his mentor and friend, Murph himself may be more lost than he realizes.  When he pulls a beautiful woman named Summer out of Florida’s Intracoastal Waterway, Murph’s mission to lay his mentor to rest at the end of the world takes a dangerous turn. Drawn to Summer, and desperate to find her missing daughter, Murph is pulled deeper and deeper into the dark and dangerous world of modern-day slavery.  With help from some unexpected new friends, including a faithful Labrador he plucks from the ocean and an ex-convict named Clay, Murph must race against the clock to locate the girl before he is consumed by the secrets of his past—and the ghosts who tried to bury them.

Check out the discussion page for reading suggestions, thought provoking questions, and fun discussions.


June 2020:
The Good Neighbor

good neighbor


Welcome to the June Adult Online Book club!  This month we're reading The Good Neighbor: The Life and Work of Fred Rogers by Maxwell King (available as an eBook and eAudiobook on Hoopla).

The Good Neighbor,
 the first full-length biography of Fred Rogers, tells the story of this utterly unique and enduring American icon. Drawing on original interviews, oral histories, and archival documents, Maxwell King traces Rogers’s personal, professional, and artistic life through decades of work, including a surprising decision to walk away from the show to make television for adults, only to return to the neighborhood with increasingly sophisticated episodes, written in collaboration with experts on childhood development. An engaging story, rich in detail, The Good Neighbor is the definitive portrait of a beloved figure, cherished by multiple generations.  

Check out the discussion page for reading suggestions, thought provoking questions, and fun discussions.


April 2020:
The Gown 

the gown

Welcome to the April Adult Online Book club!  This month we're reading The Gown by Jennifer Robson (available as an eBook and eAudiobook on Hoopla).

London, 1947: Besieged by the harshest winter in living memory, burdened by onerous shortages and rationing, the people of postwar Britain are enduring lives of quiet desperation despite their nation’s recent victory. Among them are Ann Hughes and Miriam Dassin, embroiderers at the famed Mayfair fashion house of Norman Hartnell. Together they forge an unlikely friendship, but their nascent hopes for a brighter future are tested when they are chosen for a once-in-a-lifetime honor: taking part in the creation of Princess Elizabeth’s wedding gown. Toronto, 2016: More than half a century later, Heather Mackenzie seeks to unravel the mystery of a set of embroidered flowers, a legacy from her late grandmother. How did her beloved Nan, a woman who never spoke of her old life in Britain, come to possess the priceless embroideries that so closely resemble the motifs on the stunning gown worn by Queen Elizabeth II at her wedding almost seventy years before? And what was her Nan’s connection to the celebrated textile artist and holocaust survivor Miriam Dassin?  

Check out the discussion page for reading suggestions, thought provoking questions, and fun discussions.