Tuesday, November 3, 2009

November 2009 discussion

Our November selection is the Pulitzer Prize winning Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies by Jared Diamond.
Diamond details the major events in human history and describes how human history has have been influenced by, well, guns, germs, and steel (among other things).
This book was made into a documentary on PBS and all 18 parts can be found on YouTube.
Here's part one

Join us on Monday, November 23rd at 6:30 p.m. for our discussion.

Friday, September 25, 2009

October 2009 Discussion

Our October read is a work of fiction by Diane Setterfield titled, The Thirteenth Tale. The main character is Vida Winter, a famous author who is also famously coy when it comes to her personal life. Many biographers have tried to get her real life story out, but each time she gives a differing account. Vida finally chooses to tell Margaret Lee, a young book seller, her real story. Apparently, this story includes tales of murder, ghosts, and of course, romance.
Join us for the discussion on October 26th at 6:30 p.m. in the First Amendment Room in Eldridge.

Friday, August 14, 2009

September 2009 discussion

For September we are back to reading non-fiction with the book, The 10,000 Year Explosion: How Civilization Accelerated Human Evolution by Gregory Cochran and Henry Harpending. The authors explore how and why humans evolved from neanderthals to the homosapiens we are today. An interesting and readable explanation of evolution througout history.
Join us for discussion on September 28th at 6:30 p.m. Books are available now at the Eldridge branch library.

August 2009 discussion

Our August selection is Year of Wonders by Geraldine Brooks. Brooks is most known for her latest novel, People of the Book, but this was highly reviewed as well.
Set in the 17th century, the novel follows Anna Frith, a widow who works as a servant to the local vicar in a small English village. The plague has arrived in the village and now those who live there are faced with the decision, do they stay and help the sick or do they flee in an attempt to keep healthy? Brooks raises questions of morality and religion in this historically accurate work of fiction.

Join us on August 24th at 6:30 p.m. for a discussion. Books are available now at the Eldridge branch library.

Friday, June 26, 2009

July 2009 discussion

Our July 27th discussion will be on The River of Doubt by Candace Millard, a book about Theodore Roosevelt that concentrates solely on the months he spent exploring the uncharted Rio Duvida which flows wildly through the rainforests of South America. The journey was a long and treacherous one, as described by Roosevelt-

"We have had a hard and somewhat dangerous but very successful trip. No less than six weeks were spent... forcing our way down through what seemed a literally endless succession of rapids and cataracts. For forty-eight days we saw no human being. In passing these rapids we lost five of the seven canoes... One of our best men lost his life in the rapids."

The story begins after Roosevelt's defeat as a Progressive Party candidate in 1912. To get away from it all, he plans another grand adventure in South America. Taking over a month to travel through the rainforest to the mouth of the Rio Duvida, Roosevelt and his son Kermit began to realize they were not prepared for the journey. Numerous members of the party were sent home and heavy supplies were abandoned before they even began their descent. No non-native had ever traversed the river, so Brazilian army commander Rondon lead the trip and vowed to survey and record every inch of the river.

The trip began slowly as Rondon stopped numerous times to measure the river's curves. As they began to run into dangerous rapids, the men had to dock their boats wade through the piranha infested waters and carve a path through the rainforest filled with natives so primitive, they had not yet even conceived of boats. The rapids almost took the life of Roosevelt's son Kermit, and soon after did take the life of one of the paid workers on the journey. Things got even worse as the natives attacked the party's dog and Roosevelt became deathly ill. At one point he begged the party to go on without him, but his son refused to let him die alone in the rainforest.

The author does a fantastic job describing the rainforest as it was in 1913-14, very primitive and untouched by humans. She also gives great background on each of the main players in the story- Rondon, Cherrie- a naturalist sent to collect bird specimens, and the two Roosevelts. This journey down the uncharted waters of the dangerous Rio Duvida (now the Rio Roosevelt) isn't known by many, but is a fantastic tale for fans history, social studies, and geography.

Join us for discussion on July 27th at 6:30 p.m., in the First Amendment Room of the Scott County Library in Eldridge. Books are available for check out now!

Monday, June 8, 2009

June 2009 Discussion

Our June book discussion will be on the book Then We Came to the End by Joshua Ferris. TWCTTE was a National Book Award Finalist in 2007. Set in the 1990s, it follows the lives of employees at an advertising agency in Chicago. Ferris himself worked at an ad agency and was fascinated by "the hierarchies, the coded messages, the power struggles." This work of fiction is based on his experience and fascination with the behind the scenes stories of his coworkers.
Discussion will be on June 29th at 6:30 p.m. in the First Amendment Room in Eldridge. Books are available for checkout now.

Check out the official website for the book

Friday, April 3, 2009

May 2009 Discussion

In May we will be discussing the book Stiff: The Curious Life of Human Cadavers by Mary Roach. Stiff is an unusual exploration of human bodies and the ways they are used...postmortem. Click here for more info on the author and her books.
Discussion will be a week early due to Memorial Day. Please join us on May 18th in Eldridge at 6:30 p.m. in the First Amendment Room. Books are available now at the Eldridge branch.

Monday, March 16, 2009

April 2009 Discussion

Our April discussion will be on the sci-fi classic, Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card. It is an award winning novel about a young boy sent to military academy to train for a war against an alien race. Card explores many philosophical questions about war, violence, and children. Copies will be available at and following the March discussion. The April discussion will be on Monday the 27th at 6:30 p.m. at the Eldridge branch.

March 2009 Discussion

Scott County Reads will be discussing the non-fiction book, Salt: Grain of Life by Pierre Lazlo on March 23rd at 6:30 p.m. We have one copy of the book left for anyone interested!

Salt tells the history of, well, salt and describes how this commodity has shaped human history. An interesting look at an unusual topic.

February 2009 Discussion

Scott County Reads book discussion group just finished a discussion of the book Eleanor Vs. Ike by Robin Gerber. The book is a work of fiction that explores the possibility of an election between Eleanor Roosevelt and Dwight D Eisenhower.
We discussed if the events in the book could actually have happened or not. We also talked about what did happen in the election between Eisenhower and Stephenson, compared to the fictional election between Eleanor and Ike. Gerber did a great job blending facts with the fiction and we all had to do our homework when I came to distinguishing the two.
All members of the group really enjoyed the book and would recommend it to fans of history and historical fiction.