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Readers' Forum

The group meets in the library's Fridlington Room at 7:00 p.m. All meeting dates are Mondays. Questions? Call the library at 908-709-7272 and ask for the reference desk. The library cannot guarantee a copy of each book for every person who wishes to participate in the Reader's Forum, but we will make every effort to obtain multiple copies.

Great Expectations (1861) by Charles Dickens
September 28, 2015 In what may be Dickens's best novel, humble, orphaned Pip is apprenticed to the dirty work of the forge but dares to dream of becoming a gentleman — and one day, under sudden and enigmatic circumstances, he finds himself in possession of "great expectations." In this gripping tale of crime and guilt, revenge and reward, the compelling characters include Magwitch, the fearful and fearsome convict; Estella, whose beauty is excelled only by her haughtiness; and the embittered Miss Havisham, an eccentric jilted bride.—GoodReads
Family Life (2014) by Akhil Sharma
October 26, 2015 Ajay and Birju play cricket in the streets of Delhi, waiting for the day their plane tickets will arrive. Finally joining their father in America, Ajay and Birju enjoy their new, extraordinary life in New York. Then tragedy strikes, leaving one brother incapacitated and the other practically orphaned in this strange land.
The Invention of Wings (2014) by Sue Monk Kidd
November 23, 2015 The story follows Hetty "Handful" Grimke, a Charleston slave, and Sarah, the daughter of the wealthy Grimke family. The novel begins on Sarah's eleventh birthday, when she is given ownership over Handful, who is to be her handmaid. "The Invention of Wings" follows the next thirty-five years of their lives. Inspired in part by the historical figure of Sarah Grimke (a feminist, suffragist and, importantly, an abolitionist), Kidd allows herself to go beyond the record to flesh out the inner lives of all the characters, both real and imagined.
The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry (2014) by Gabrielle Zevin
December 28, 2015 When his most prized possession, a rare collection of Poe poems, is stolen, bookstore owner A. J. Fikry begins isolating himself from his friends, family and associates before receiving a mysterious package that compels him to remake his life.
Everything I Never Told You (2014) by Celeste Ng
January 25, 2016 "Lydia is dead. But they don't know this yet." So begins this exquisite novel about a Chinese American family living in 1970s small-town Ohio. Lydia is the favorite child of Marilyn and James Lee, and her parents are determined that she will fulfill the dreams they were unable to pursue. But when Lydia's body is found in the local lake, the delicate balancing act that has been keeping the Lee family together is destroyed, tumbling them into chaos.
Lila (2014) by Marilynne Robinson
February 22, 2016 Abandoning her homeless existence to become a minister's wife, Lila reflects on her hardscrabble life on the run with a canny young drifter and her efforts to reconcile her painful past with her husband's gentle Christian worldview.
The Measure of a Man: A Spiritual Autobiography (2000) by Sidney Poitier
March 28, 2016 Born in Miami in 1927 and raised in the Bahamas, Sidney Poitier began acting after the War World II and eventually made his Hollywood debut in “No Way Out” (1950). He became the first black actor to win an Academy Award for Best Actor. In 1968 he was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II and is the recipient of four honorary doctorate degrees. He has starred in more than forty films, directed nine, and written four. He has received three Golden Globe Awards, an American Film Institute Lifetime Achievement Award, the Kennedy Center Lifetime Achievement Award, and the Screen Actors Guild Lifetime Achievement Award, among many other awards and honors. In 1997 Poitier was named the Ambassador to Japan from the Bahamas. He is married, has six daughters, four grandchildren, and one great-grandchild.
All the Light We Cannot See (2014) Anthony Doerr
April 25, 2016 "All the Light We Cannot See" is a Pulitzer Prize winning novel about a blind French girl and a German boy whose paths collide in occupied France as both try to survive the devastation of World War II. Marie-Laure lives with her father in Paris near the Museum of Natural History, where he works as the master of its thousands of locks. When she is six, Marie-Laure goes blind and her father builds a perfect miniature of their neighborhood so she can memorize it by touch and navigate her way home. When she is twelve, the Nazis occupy Paris and father and daughter flee to the walled citadel of Saint-Malo, where Marie-Laure's reclusive great-uncle lives in a tall house by the sea. With them they carry what might be the museum's most valuable and dangerous jewel. In a mining town in Germany, the orphan Werner grows up with his younger sister, enchanted by a crude radio they find. Werner becomes an expert at building and fixing these crucial new instruments, a talent that wins him a place at a brutal academy for Hitler Youth, then a special assignment to track the resistance. More and more aware of the human cost of his intelligence, Werner travels through the heart of the war and, finally, into Saint-Malo, where his story and Marie-Laure's converge.
In the Unlikely Event (2015) by Judy Blume
May 23, 2016 In 1987, Miri Ammerman returns to her hometown of Elizabeth, New Jersey, to attend a commemoration of the worst year of her life. Thirty-five years earlier, when Miri was fifteen, and in love for the first time, a succession of airplanes fell from the sky, leaving a community reeling. Against this backdrop of actual events that Blume experienced in the early 1950s, when airline travel was new and exciting and everyone dreamed of going somewhere, she paints a vivid portrait of a particular time and place--Nat King Cole singing "Unforgettable," Elizabeth Taylor haircuts, young (and not-so-young) love, explosive friendships, A-bomb hysteria, rumors of Communist threats, and a young journalist who makes his name by reporting on tragedies. Through it all, one generation reminds another that life goes on.


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