Book Clubs

Do you love discussing a good book with a friend? If so, please visit one of Seymour Library’s book clubs. Upcoming meeting times and book selections are listed below. Feel free to come to a book club meeting even if you didn’t make it all the way through the book.



Monday Nightcap Book Chat

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This book club is a collaboration between the Equal Rights Heritage Center and Seymour Library. It meets the first Monday of the month at 7 p.m. at the NYS Equal Rights Heritage Center, 25 South St. in Auburn.

September 9 at 7 p.m.: The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood. A chilling look at the near future presents the story of Offred, a Handmaid in the Republic of Gilead, once the United States, an oppressive world where women are no longer allowed to read and are valued only as long as they are viable for reproduction.

October 7 at 7 p.m.: Celebrate Ethnic Heritage Month by bringing in a cookbook that is important to your family or yourself plus a dish to pass. Historian Ruth Bradley will also present “What Is a Recipe Story.”


Coffee and Crime

 

Coffee and Crime Book Club focuses on mysteries and crime fiction. One author or series is chosen for each meeting and members pick any title to read. The club meets the second Tuesday of the month at noon. Topics are chosen at each meeting for the upcoming month.

September 10 at noon: The John Rebus series by Ian Rankin. Many ebooks and digital audiobooks in this series are also available through Hoopla.

October 8 at noon: The Bruno, Chief of Police series by Martin Walker.


Tea and Tales

 

Historical fiction and the classics are the focus of Tea and Tales Book Club. The club meets the third Tuesday of each month at noon.

September 17 at noon: The Atomic City Girls by Janet Beard. A novel inspired by the stories of everyday women who contributed to the Manhattan Project during World War II follows the experiences of 18-year-old June, who, in 1944, travels to a city that does not officially exist to work alongside hundreds of other young women operating massive secret machines in support of the war effort. The ebook and digital audiobook are also available through Hoopla.

October 15 at noon: to be determined


History Book Club

 

The History Book Club reads nonfiction that focuses on local, American, and world history. The group meets the third Saturday of the month at 11 a.m.

September 21 at 11 a.m.: Spying on the South: An Odyssey Across the American Divide by Tony Horwitz. Recounts the author’s effort to retrace Frederick Law Olmstead’s epic journey across the pre-Civil War American South one hundred fifty years later, reporting on what remains of Olmstead’s “Cotton Kingdom.” 

October 19 at 11 a.m.: Titan: The Life of John D. Rockefeller, Sr. by Ron Chernow. The author presents a monumental biography of the legendary oilman, capitalist, Baptist, and philanthropist, the first portrait to draw on Rockefeller’s own papers.  The digital audiobook is also available through Hoopla.


Read More Book Club

 

Our evening group, Read More Book Club, picks titles in support of the library’s reading challenge. The club meets the fourth Wednesday of the month at 7 p.m at Panera Bread, 6 Plaza Dr., Auburn.

September 25 at 7 p.m.: A challenged or banned book

October 23 at 7 p.m.: A ghost story


Coffee and Conversation

The Coffee and Conversation Book Club reads a wide assortment of books, fiction and nonfiction, and meets the last Thursday of the month at 10:30 a.m.

September 26 at 10:30 a.m.: The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration by Isabel Wilkerson, Parts 4 through Epilogue (pages 223-538). In this epic, beautifully written masterwork, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Isabel Wilkerson chronicles one of the great untold stories of American history: the decades-long migration of black citizens who fled the South for northern and western cities, in search of a better life. From 1915 to 1970, this exodus of almost six million people changed the face of America.

October 31 at 10:30 a.m.: The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead. After Cora, a slave in pre-Civil War Georgia, escapes with another slave, Caesar, they seek the help of the Underground Railroad as they flee from state to state and try to evade a slave catcher, Ridgeway, who is determined to return them to the South.


Past Selections

August

The Simon Serrailler series by Susan Hill. Many ebooks and digital audiobooks in this series are also available through Hoopla.

The Bourbon Thief by Tiffany Reisz. Waking up from a night spent with a beautiful stranger to discover he has been robbed of a million-dollar bottle of bourbon she claims is hers, Cooper McQueen listens to the woman’s lurid tale of how her prestigious family distillery went out of business. The ebook and digital audiobook are also available through Hoopla.

The Quartet: Orchestrating the Second American Revolution, 1783-1789 by Joseph J. Ellis. Shares historical insights into America’s post-Revolution efforts for independence, citing key debates over the creations of the Articles of Confederation and the Bill of Rights.

A book set in space

The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration by Isabel Wilkerson, Parts 1 through 3 (pages 1-221). In this epic, beautifully written masterwork, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Isabel Wilkerson chronicles one of the great untold stories of American history: the decades-long migration of black citizens who fled the South for northern and western cities, in search of a better life. From 1915 to 1970, this exodus of almost six million people changed the face of America.

July

The Book of Unknown Americans by Cristina Henríquez. Moving from Mexico to the United States when their daughter suffers a near-fatal accident, the Riveras confront cultural barriers, their daughter’s difficult recovery, and her developing relationship with a Panamanian boy.

The Inspector Alan Banks series by Peter Robinson. Many ebooks and digital audiobooks in this series are also available through Hoopla.

Pachinko by Min Jin Lee. In early 1900s Korea, prized daughter Sunja finds herself pregnant and alone, bringing shame on her family until a young tubercular minister offers to marry her and bring her to Japan, in the saga of one family bound together as their faith and identity are called into question. 

The Johnstown Flood by David McCullough. A graphic account of the collapse of a poorly constructed dam and the resulting flood which killed 2,000 people and caused a nationwide scandal.

A book you would normally consider a guilty pleasure

If Beale Street Could Talk by James Baldwin. When a pregnant Tish’s boyfriend Fonny, a sculptor, is wrongfully jailed for the rape of a Puerto Rican woman, their families unite to prove the charge false. 

June

Stonewall: The Riots That Sparked the Gay Revolution by David Carter. The 1969 riots over police action against The Stonewall Inn, a gay bar in New York City’s Greenwich Village, brought to light to years of oppression and is now considered a starting point for the LGBTQ equality movement.

The Decker and Larzarus series by Faye Kellerman. Many digital audiobooks in this series are also available through Hoopla.

Mayflower: A Story of Courage, Community, and War by Nathaniel Philbrick. A history of the Pilgrim settlement of New England challenges popular misconceptions, discussing such topics as the diseases of European origin suffered by the Wampanoag tribe, the fragile working relationship between the Pilgrims and their Native American neighbors, and the devastating impact of the King Philip’s War.

A book that includes a wedding

The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris. An international best-seller based on the true story of an Auschwitz-Birkenau survivor traces the experiences of a Jewish Slovakian who uses his position as a concentration-camp tattooist to secure food for his fellow prisoners. The digital audiobook is also available through Hoopla.

May

This Is Where You Belong: The Art and Science of Loving the Place You Live by Melody Warnick. Recounts how, after several moves around the country, the author decided to adopt their latest town as a permanent home by identifying reasons to love it, sharing her findings about the psychology of place attachment and the motivations of people dedicated to improving their cities.

The Shetland series by Ann Cleeves. Many digital audiobooks in this series are also available through Hoopla.

The Alice Network by Kate Quinn. In 1947, pregnant Charlie St. Clair, an American college girl banished from her family, arrives in London to find out what happened to her beloved cousin Rose, who disappeared in Nazi-occupied France during the war, and meets a former spy who, torn apart by betrayal, agrees to help her on her mission. The digital audiobook is also available through Hoopla.

Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis by J.D. Vance. Shares the poignant story of the author’s family and upbringing, describing how they moved from poverty to an upwardly mobile clan that included the author, a Yale Law School graduate, while navigating the demands of middle-class life and the collective demons of the past.

A coming of age book

Clock Dance by Anne Tyler. A lifetime of painful milestones and fading grandchild prospects compel a woman to help her son’s ex, whose 9-year-old daughter needs protection from violent local dynamics.

April

The Under Suspicion series by Mary Higgins Clark and Alafair Burke.

A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles. Deemed an unrepentant aristocrat by a Bolshevik tribunal in 1922, Count Alexander Rostov is sentenced to house arrest in a grand hotel across the street from the Kremlin, where he endures life in an attic room while some of the most tumultuous decades in Russian history unfold.The digital audiobook is also available through RB Digital.

Most Blessed of the Patriarchs: Thomas Jefferson & The Empire of the Imagination by Annette Gordon-Reed & Peter Onuf. A noted historian and a leading Jefferson scholar clarify philosophical questions about the Founding Father to trace his youth and development through the inconsistencies attributed to his character and his old age. 

A book set during the current season. You can decide if it is winter or spring.

Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman. A socially awkward, routine-oriented loner teams up with a bumbling IT guy from her office to assist an elderly accident victim, forging a friendship that saves all three from lives of isolation and secret unhappiness.

March

The Tess Monaghan series by Laura Lippman

The Gods of Newport by John Jakes. Determined to secure entry into the elite social circles of late nineteenth-century Rhode Island, former robber baron Sam Driver enlists the help of a pair of social gadflies but finds his efforts complicated by his daughter’s dangerous romance with an impoverished young Irishman. The digital audiobook is also available through Hoopla.

In The Hurricane’s Eye: The Genius of George Washington & The Battle of Yorktown by Nathaniel Philbrick. Details the campaign that ultimately won the Revolutionary War for the Americans, from the Battle of the Chesapeake–fought without a single American ship–to the victory at Yorktown.

A book set in a different country

The Boston Girl by Anita Diamant. Recounting the story of her life to her granddaughter, octogenarian Addie describes how she was raised in early-twentieth-century America by Jewish immigrant parents in a teeming multicultural neighborhood. The digital audiobook is also available through Hoopla.

February

A Piece of the World by Christina Baker Kline. Imagines the life story of Christina Olson, the subject of Andrew Wyeth’s painting “Christina’s World,” describing the simple life she led on a remote Maine farm, her complicated relationship with her family, and the illness that incapacitated her. The digital audiobook is also available through Hoopla.

Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass by Frederick Douglass. Written more than a century ago by Frederick Douglass, a former slave who went on to become a famous orator, writer, journalist, minister, and leader, this masterpiece is one of the most eloquent indictments of slavery ever recorded.

Something short (a novella, short story/stories)

An American Marriage by Tayari Jones. Newlyweds Celestial and Roy, the living embodiment of the New South, are settling into the routine of their life together when Roy is sent to prison for a crime he didn’t commit. An insightful look into the lives of people who are bound and separated by forces beyond their control. The ebook and digital audiobook are also available through Hoopla.

January

The Spenser series by Robert B. Parker

Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens. Viewed with suspicion in the aftermath of a murder, Kya Clark, who has survived alone for years in a marsh near the North Carolina coast, becomes targeted by unthinkable forces.

The Soul of America: The Battle for Our Better Angels by Jon Meacham. Pulitzer Prize–winning author Jon Meacham helps us understand the present moment in American politics and life by looking back at critical times in our history when hope overcame division and fear.

A book with stars on the cover or in the title

Rules of Civility by Amor Towles. A chance encounter with a handsome banker in a Greenwich Village jazz bar on New Year’s Eve 1938 catapults witty Wall Street secretary Katey Kontent into the upper echelons of New York society, where she befriends a shy multi-millionaire, an Upper East Side ne’er-do-well and a single-minded widow.