NCC Library Book Club
Our Upcoming Titles!
The Sacred Acre: The Ed Thomas Story
by Mark Tabb
On a Sunday in May 2008, an F-5 tornado struck the town of Parkersburg, Iowa, killing eight people and destroying 250 homes and businesses within 34 seconds. The next day, Parkersburg’s beloved football coach, Ed Thomas, made a stunning prediction: “God willing, we will play our first home game here on this field this season.” One hundred days later, the home team scored a victory on the field they dubbed “The Sacred Acre,” serving as a galvanizing point for the town to band together and rebuild. But just as Parkersburg was recovering, another devastating tragedy struck. While working with a group of football and volleyball players early one morning, one of Ed’s former students walked in and gunned him down point blank. Ed Thomas was 58. The murder of this hometown hero spread across national news headlines. Ed’s community and family reeled from shock. Yet the story doesn’t end here. What happened next proves that even a double tragedy is no match for faith, love … and the power of forgiveness.
The Astronaut Wives Club
by Lily Koppel
As America's Mercury Seven astronauts were launched on death-defying missions, television cameras focused on the brave smiles of their young wives. Overnight, these women were transformed from military spouses into American royalty. They had tea with Jackie Kennedy, appeared on the cover of Life magazine, and quickly grew into fashion icons.
Annie Glenn, with her picture-perfect marriage, was the envy of the other wives; JFK made it clear that platinum-blonde Rene Carpenter was his favorite; and licensed pilot Trudy Cooper arrived with a secret that needed to stay hidden from NASA. Together with the other wives they formed the Astronaut Wives Club, providing one another with support and friendship, coffee and cocktails.
As their celebrity rose--and as divorce and tragic death began to touch their lives--they continued to rally together, and forming bonds that would withstand the test of time, and they have stayed friends for over half a century. THE ASTRONAUT WIVES CLUB tells the real story of the women who stood beside some of the biggest heroes in American history.
Our Souls at Night
In the familiar setting of Holt, Colorado, home to all of Kent Haruf's inimitable fiction, Addie Moore pays an unexpected visit to a neighbor, Louis Waters. Her husband died years ago, as did his wife, and in such a small town they naturally have known of each other for decades; in fact, Addie was quite fond of Louis's wife. His daughter lives hours away, her son even farther, and Addie and Louis have long been living alone in empty houses, the nights so terribly lonely, especially with no one to talk with. But maybe that could change? As Addie and Louis come to know each other better--their pleasures and their difficulties--a beautiful story of second chances unfolds, making Our Souls at Night the perfect final installment to this beloved writer's enduring contribution to American literature. (From Amazon.com)
A Man Called Ove
by Fredrik Backman
(From Amazon.com). Meet Ove. He’s a curmudgeon—the kind of man who points at people he dislikes as if they were burglars caught outside his bedroom window. He has staunch principles, strict routines, and a short fuse. People call him “the bitter neighbor from hell.” But must Ove be bitter just because he doesn’t walk around with a smile plastered to his face all the time?
Behind the cranky exterior there is a story and a sadness. So when one November morning a chatty young couple with two chatty young daughters move in next door and accidentally flatten Ove’s mailbox, it is the lead-in to a comical and heartwarming tale of unkempt cats, unexpected friendship, and the ancient art of backing up a U-Haul. All of which will change one cranky old man and a local residents’ association to their very foundations.
A feel-good story in the spirit of The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry and Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand, Fredrik Backman’s novel about the angry old man next door is a thoughtful exploration of the profound impact one life has on countless others. “If there was an award for ‘Most Charming Book of the Year,’ this first novel by a Swedish blogger-turned-overnight-sensation would win hands down” (Booklist, starred review).
No One Is Coming to Save Us
The Great Gatsby brilliantly recast in the contemporary South: a powerful first novel about an extended African-American family and their colliding visions of the American Dream.
JJ Ferguson has returned home to Pinewood, North Carolina to build his dream home and to woo his high school sweetheart, Ava. But he finds that the people he once knew and loved have changed, just as he has. Ava is now married, and wants a baby more than anything. The decline of the town’s once-thriving furniture industry has made Ava’s husband Henry grow distant and frustrated. Ava’s mother Sylvia has put her own life on hold as she caters to and meddles with those around her, trying to fill the void left by her absent son. And Don, Sylvia’s undeserving but charming husband, just won’t stop hanging around.
JJ’s newfound wealth forces everyone to consider what more they want and deserve from life than what they already have—and how they might go about getting it. Can they shape their lives to align with their wishes rather than their realities? Or are they resigned to the rhythms of the particular lives they lead? No One Is Coming to Save Us is a revelatory debut from an insightful voice that combines a universally resonant story with an intimate glimpse into the hearts of one family. (From GoodReads)
The Boys in the Bunkhouse : Servitude and Salvation in the Heartland
by Dan Barry
With this Dickensian tale from America’s heartland, New York Times writer and columnist Dan Barry tells the harrowing yet uplifting story of the exploitation and abuse of a resilient group of men with intellectual disability, and the heroic efforts of those who helped them to find justice and reclaim their lives.
In the tiny Iowa farm town of Atalissa, dozens of men, all with intellectual disability and all from Texas, lived in an old schoolhouse. Before dawn each morning, they were bussed to a nearby processing plant, where they eviscerated turkeys in return for food, lodging, and $65 a month. They lived in near servitude for more than thirty years, enduring increasing neglect, exploitation, and physical and emotional abuse—until state social workers, local journalists, and one tenacious labor lawyer helped these men achieve freedom.
Drawing on exhaustive interviews, Dan Barry dives deeply into the lives of the men, recording their memories of suffering, loneliness and fleeting joy, as well as the undying hope they maintained despite their traumatic circumstances. Barry explores how a small Iowa town remained oblivious to the plight of these men, analyzes the many causes for such profound and chronic negligence, and lays out the impact of the men’s dramatic court case, which has spurred advocates—including President Obama—to push for just pay and improved working conditions for people living with disabilities.
A luminous work of social justice, told with compassion and compelling detail, The Boys in the Bunkhouse is more than just inspired storytelling. It is a clarion call for a vigilance that ensures inclusion and dignity for all. From Amazon.com
In a Dark, Dark Wood
by Ruth Ware
"What should be a cozy and fun-filled weekend deep in the English countryside takes a sinister turn in Ruth Ware’s suspenseful, compulsive, and darkly twisted psychological thriller.
Sometimes the only thing to fear…is yourself.
When reclusive writer Leonora is invited to the English countryside for a weekend away, she reluctantly agrees to make the trip. But as the first night falls, revelations unfold among friends old and new, an unnerving memory shatters Leonora’s reserve, and a haunting realization creeps in: the party is not alone in the woods." Read more at Amazon.com
"What did you read this summer?"
It is 1960 in North Carolina and the lives of Ivy Hart and Jane Forrester couldn't be more different. Fifteen-year-old Ivy lives with her family as tenants on a small tobacco farm, but when her parents die, Ivy is left to care for her grandmother, older sister, and nephew. As she struggles with her grandmother's aging, her sister's mental illness, and her own epilepsy, she realizes they might need more than she can give.
When Jane Forrester takes a position as Grace County's newest social worker, she is given the task of recommending which of her clients should be sterilized without their knowledge or consent. The state's rationalization is that if her clients are poor, or ill, or deemed in some way "unfit" they should not be allowed to have children. As Jane is drawn in by the Hart women's case, she begins to discover the secrets of the small farm―secrets much darker than she would have guessed. Soon, she must decide whether to take drastic action to help them, or risk losing a life-changing battle.
Read more at Amazon.com.
Past Book Club Titles
Sing You Home by Jodi Picoult
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
The Bean Trees by Barbara Kingsolver
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
The Children's Blizzard by David Laskin
Life Is So Good by George Dawson
Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
A Buffalo in the House by R. D. Rosen
Where'd You Go, Bernadette? by Maria Semple
To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee
The Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown
Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh
The Traitor's Wife by Allison Pataki
Me Before You by Jojo Moyes
Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
Still Alice by Lisa Genova
Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline
Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
Fan Girl by Rainbow Rowell
The Necklace by Cheryl Jarvis
Call the Midwife by Jennifer Worth
Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein
The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion
Ordinary Grace by William Kent Krueger
Defending Jacob by William Landay
The Shack by William P. Young
Bold Spirit: Helga Estby's Forgotten Walk Across Victorian America by Linda Lawrence Hunt
The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
Night by Elie Wiesel
What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty
Necessary Lies by Diane Chamberlain
"What did you read this summer?" Members shared their favorite summer reads.
In a Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware
The Boys in the Bunkhouse :Servitude and Salvation in the Heartland by Dan Barry
No One Is Coming to Save Us by Stephanie Powell Watts
A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman
Our Souls at Night by Kent Haruf
All of these books are available in the NCC Library.