Tales & Talk Book Discussion Group
Tales & Talk is a book discussion group sponsored by the Johnson City Public Library.
Membership is open to all adults. The group meets 6 times a year on the 2nd or 3rd Thursday of September, October, November, March, April and May. One of the groups meets in the morning and the other in the evening. Both groups will read the same book.
The books to be discussed will be available to group members to borrow or to purchase.
For more information call (423)434-4454, send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or inquire at the Information Desk on the 2nd floor of the library.
Fall 2013 Discussion Books:
The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce
September 12, 2013 at 10:30 am
September 19, 2013 at 6:00 pm
Spontaneity has never been Harold Fry’s strong suit, especially once he retired. Just ask his long-suffering wife, Maureen. So imagine her surprise when Harold abruptly decides to walk 500 miles to the north of England in a naive attempt to save a dying woman, a colleague he once knew briefly but to whom he hadn’t spoken in 20 years. It’s the proverbial case of a man going out to mail a letter and never coming home. Clad only in his everyday garb, lacking a cell phone, backpack, or reliable sense of direction, Fry puts one poorly shod foot in front of the other and trudges through villages and hamlets, often relying on the kindness of strangers to keep his momentum going. To the object of his inspiration, the fading Queenie Hennessy, he writes pithy postcards, bravely exhorting her not to die. Solitary walks are perfect for imagining how one might set the world to rights, and Harold does just that, although not always with uplifting results, as he ruminates on missed opportunities and failed relationships. Accomplished BBC playwright Joyce’s debut novel is a gentle and genteel charmer, brimming with British quirkiness yet quietly haunting in its poignant and wise examination of love and devotion. Sure to become a book-club favorite. Copyright 2012 Booklist Reviews
The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes
October 10, 2013 at 10:30 am
October 17, 2013 at 6:00 pm
At once commanding and subtle, Barnes has created a refined novel intensely suspenseful in its emotional complexities and exemplary in its arresting tropes, rhythms, revelations, and musings on the puzzle of time and the mysteries of memory and desire. And how masterfully Barnes induces us, page by page, to revise our perceptions of and feelings toward his ensnared narrator. Cordially divorced and smugly retired, Tony is yanked out of complacency by a perplexing letter. The recently deceased mother of his disastrous first love has inexplicably bequeathed him the diary of a school friend of his who committed suicide. As Tony seeks an explanation, Barnes turns evocative motifs––the way Tony and his friends wore their watches with the faces on the inside of their wrists; the night Tony witnessed the Severn Bore, a powerful tidal surge that reverses the river’s flow––into metaphors for how we distort the past and how oblivious we are to the pain of others. Winner of the 2011 Man Booker Prize, Barnes’ sublimely modulated and profoundly disquieting tale of delusion, loss, and remorse ends devastatingly with a crescendo twist. Copyright 2011 Booklist Reviews.
The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman
November 14, 2013 at 10:30 am
November 21, 2013 at 6:00 pm
Stedman’s haunting tale opens in 1918 with the return of Tom Sherbourne to his home in Australia after serving four years in the Great War. He applies for a job as a lighthouse keeper and is assigned to the light on Janus Rock, a remote island off the southwest coast where he hopes to erase his horrific memories of war. Several years later, Tom brings to the island his bride, Isabel, a free-spirited young woman who is determined to adapt to Tom’s solitary life with their only contact with the mainland a quarterly visit from the supply boat. Four years later, after Isabel has suffered two miscarriages and a very recent stillbirth, an event occurs that forever changes them. A dinghy washes up on the beach carrying a dead man and a newborn baby girl, giving Isabel hope that she may become, at last, a mother. The choice they make as a couple comes to haunt them, their unexpected happiness replaced by guilt and mistrust. Stedman draws the reader into her emotionally complex story right from the beginning, with lush descriptions of this savage and beautiful landscape, and vivid characters with whom we can readily empathize. Hers is a stunning and memorable debut. Copyright 2012 Booklist Reviews.