The Noon Book Group meets at the Springfield City Library, 220 State Street in the lower level Community Room on the second Tuesday of each month from noon to 1:00 p.m. Newcomers are always welcome. Ask for a copy of the book at the Second Level (Rotunda) Circulation Desk. Copies of each book are kept at the desk during the month prior to the selection discussion.
For further information, contact Chris at 413-263-6828 ext. 442 or email: email@example.com.
Reading Selections for 2013
January 8 -- The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey (fiction) 2012
Alaska, 1920: a brutal place to homestead, and especially tough for recent arrivals Jack and Mabel. Childless, they are drifting apart--he breaking under the weight of the work of the farm; she crumbling from loneliness and despair. In a moment of levity during the season's first snowfall, they build a child out of snow. The next morning the snow child is gone--but they glimpse a young, blonde-haired girl running through the trees. This little girl, who calls herself Faina, seems to be a child of the woods. She hunts with a red fox at her side, skims lightly across the snow, and somehow survives alone in the Alaskan wilderness. As Jack and Mabel struggle to understand this child who could have stepped from the pages of a fairy tale, they come to love her as their own daughter. But in this beautiful, violent place things are rarely as they appear, and what they eventually learn about Faina will transform all of them.
February 12 -- Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand (nonfiction) 2010
On a May afternoon in 1943, an Army Air Forces bomber crashed into the Pacific Ocean and disappeared, leaving only a spray of debris and a slick of oil, gasoline, and blood. Then, on the ocean surface, a face appeared--Lt. Louis Zamperini. Captured by the Japanese and driven to the limits of endurance, Zamperini would answer desperation with ingenuity; suffering with hope, resolve, and humor.
March 12 -- The Cruelest Month by Louise Penny (fiction) 2008
When the charming, seemingly idyllic town of Three Pines is rocked by a killing during an impromptu Easter seance at a local haunted house, Chief Inspector Armand Gamache is confronted by a web of baffling questions as he searches for a killer.
April 9 -- The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot (nonfiction) 2010
Her name was Henrietta Lacks, but scientists know her as HeLa. She was a poor Southern tobacco farmer, yet her cells--taken without her knowledge--became one of the most important tools in medicine. The first "immortal" human cells grown in culture, they are still alive today, though she has been dead for more than sixty years. HeLa cells were vital for developing the polio vaccine; uncovered secrets of cancer and viruses; helped lead to in vitro fertilization, cloning, and gene mapping; and have been bought and sold by the billions. Yet Henrietta Lacks is buried in an unmarked grave. Her family did not learn of her "immortality" until more than twenty years after her death, when scientists began using her husband and children in research without informed consent. The story of the Lacks family is inextricably connected to the dark history of experimentation on African Americans, the birth of bioethics, and the legal battles over whether we control the stuff we are made of.
May 14 -- Cleaning Nabokov's House by Leslie Daniels (fiction) 2011
After her marriage fails and she loses custody of her children and her house, Barb Barrett moves into the former house of literary genius Vladimir Nabokov, discovering what could be his last unpublished manuscript and embarking on a journey toward her own redemption.
June 11 -- Room: a Novel by Emma Donoghue (fiction) 2010
Narrator Jack and his mother, who was kidnapped seven years earlier when she was a 19-year-old college student, celebrate his fifth birthday. They live in a tiny, 11-foot-square soundproofed cell in a converted shed in the kidnapper's yard. The sociopath, whom Jack has dubbed Old Nick, visits at night, grudgingly doling out food and supplies. But Ma, as Jack calls her, proves to be resilient and resourceful--and attempts a nail-biting escape.
July 9 -- Wild: from Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed (nonfiction) 2012
A personal account by the Pushcart Prize-winning author of Torch traces the personal crisis she endured after the death of her mother and a painful divorce, which prompted her ambition to undertake a dangerous 1,100-mile solo hike that both drove her to rock bottom and helped her to heal.
August 13 -- The Light Between Oceans: a Novel by M.L. Stedman (fiction) 2012
Moving his young bride to an isolated lighthouse home on Australia's Janus Rock where the couple suffers miscarriages and a stillbirth, Tom allows his wife to claim an infant who has washed up on the shore only to witness a rift in their marriage that is further complicated by a search by the baby's desperate mother.
September 10 -- The End of Your Life Book Club by Will Schwalbe (nonfiction) 2012
This is the inspiring true story of a son and his mother, who start a “book club” that brings them together as her life comes to a close. Over the next two years, Will and Mary Anne carry on conversations that are both wide-ranging and deeply personal, prompted by an eclectic array of books and a shared passion for reading. Their list jumps from classic to popular, from poetry to mysteries, from fantastic to spiritual. The issues they discuss include questions of faith and courage as well as everyday topics such as expressing gratitude and learning to listen. Throughout, they are constantly reminded of the power of books to comfort us, astonish us, teach us, and tell us what we need to do with our lives and in the world. Reading isn't the opposite of doing; it's the opposite of dying.
October 8 -- The Yellow Birds by Kevin Powers (fiction) 2012
In the midst of a bloody battle in the Iraq War, two soldiers, bound together since basic training, do everything to protect each other from both outside enemies and the internal struggles that come from constant danger. (The author joined the army at 17, later serving in Iraq in 2004 & 2005. He is currently a Michener Fellow in Poetry at University of Texas at Austin.)
November 12 -- Defending Jacob: a Novel by William Landay (fiction) 2012
His happy life and long-time respectability as a suburban Massachusetts assistant district attorney shattered when his 14-year-old son is charged with the murder of a fellow student, Andy Barber faces a wrenching decision about family loyalty when the facts increasingly suggest the boy is guilty.
December 10 -- The Rent Collector by Camron Wright (fiction) 2012
Sang Ly struggles to survive by picking through garbage in Cambodia's largest municipal dump. Under threat of eviction by an embittered old drunk who is charged with collecting rents from the poor of Stung Meanchey, Sang Ly embarks on a desperate journey to save her ailing son from a life of ignorance and poverty.