April 12, 2018 at 7:00 PM will be at Jack Kittle’s to discuss “Crossing to Safety” by Wallace Stegner who taught Wendell Berry and other writers. Since its first publication in 1987 it has established itself as one of the greatest and most cherished American novels of the 20th century. Tracing the lives, loves and aspirations of two couples who move between Vermont and Wisconsin, it is a work of quiet majesty, deep compassion, and powerful insight into the alchemy of friendship and marriage.
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May 3, 2018 at 7:00 PM will be John Hollender ‘s to discuss “A Gentleman in Moscow” by Amor Towles. An independently wealthy aristocrat in 1917 at the time of the revolution, he is deprived of his citizenship and sentenced to live in a hotel attic where he had been living in a suite. With charm and wit he makes a life for himself, befriending a young girl who is often there with her politically connected parents. She is equally clever and steals a hotel master key which allows them access everywhere in this large and most famous Moscow hotel. Years pass and he becomes the maitre de at the hotel restaurant where all the important people dine and close friends with the chef and manager. Then the child he befriended reappears as a young married adult with a very young child. She is leaving for Siberia to find her husband who has been sentenced and “you are the only one I can trust to care for my daughter”. The story continues with unexpected twists and turns and with insight into what it is like to live in a totalitarian state where only the group matters and the individual is expendable.
June 14 at 7:00 PM will be at Jim Topple’s. Terry Hughey will make a cameo Decatur appearance to lead the discussion on “Guns, Germs, and Steel” by Jared Diamond. Jared Diamond argues that geographical and environmental factors shaped the modern world. Societies that had had a head start in food production advanced beyond the hunter-gatherer stage, and then developed religion –as well as nasty germs and potent weapons of war –and adventured on sea and land to conquer and decimate preliterate cultures. A major advance in our understanding of human societies, Guns, Germs, and Steel chronicles the way that the modern world came to be and dismantles racially based theories of human history.