Archive for the ‘usf book club’ category

USF Book Club – August & September Selections

July 17th, 2013

The next 2 books we will be discussing are Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter and Family Pictures by Sue Miller.

Please join us on August 2nd at noon in room 209 in the Gleeson library. The library does not have copies of Beautiful Ruins so please request it through Link+ or from the SF Public Library. The SF Public library also has sound recordings and digital editions available for check out.

The story begins in 1962. On a rocky patch of the sun-drenchedbeautiful_ruins_cover Italian coastline, a young innkeeper, chest-deep in daydreams, looks out over the incandescent waters of the Ligurian Sea and spies an apparition: a tall, thin woman, a vision in white, approaching him on a boat. She is an actress, he soon learns, an American starlet, and she is dying.

And the story begins again today, half a world away, when an elderly Italian man shows up on a movie studio’s back lot—searching for the mysterious woman he last saw at his hotel decades earlier. (book summary from publisher website)

For our next book, we meet on September 6th at noon in room 209 at the Gleeson library. The library does not have copies of Family Pictures by Sue Miller so please request it through Lfamily_pictures_coverink+ or from the SF Public Library.

The whole world could not have broken the spirit and strength of the Eberhardt family of 1948. Lainey is a wonderful if slightly eccentric mother. David is a good father, sometimes sarcastic, always cool-tempered. Two wonderful children round out the perfect picture. Then the next child arrives — and life is never the same again. Over the next forty years, the Eberhardt family struggles to survive a flood tide of upheaval and heartbreak, love and betrayal, passion and pain…hoping they can someday heal their hearts. (back cover)


USF Book Club June Selection

May 15th, 2013

The next book the Book Club will be discussing is:

The Plague of Doves,” by Louise Erdrich.  We will meet on June 14th at noon in room 209 (if room unavailable, other location tbd) of the Gleeson Library.  If you are unable to obtain a copy from the Gleeson Library, you may request it from Link+ or get it at SFPL. (San Francisco Public Library also has digital copies available for your E-book reader.)

The unsolved murder of a farm family haunts the small, white, off-reservation town of Pluto, North Dakota. The vengeance exacted for this crime and the subsequent distortions of truth transform the lives of Ojibwe living on the nearby reservation and shape the passions of both communities for the next generation. The descendants of Ojibwe and white intermarry, their lives intertwine; only the youngest generation, of 2013_6_plagueofdovesmixed blood, remains unaware of the role the past continues to play in their lives. Evelina Harp is a witty, ambitious young girl, part Ojibwe, part white, who is prone to falling hopelessly in love. Mooshum, Evelina’s grandfather, is a seductive storyteller, a repository of family and tribal history with an all-too-intimate knowledge of the violent past. Nobody understands the weight of historical injustice better than Judge Antone Bazil Coutts, a thoughtful mixed blood who witnesses the lives of those who appear before him, and whose own love life reflects the entire history of the territory. In distinct and winning voices, Erdrich’s narrators unravel the stories of different generations and families in this corner of North Dakota. Bound by love, torn by history, the two communities’ collective stories finally come together in a wrenching truth revealed in the novel’s final pages. (summary)


USF Book Club May Selection

April 19th, 2013

The next book the Book Club will be discussing is:

A Covert Affair: Julia Child and Paul Child in the OSS ,” by Jennet Conant.  We will meet on May 10th at noon in room 209 (if room unavailable, other location tbd) of the Gleeson Library.  Since there are no copies in the Gleeson Library, you may request it from Link+ or get it at SFPL.

…account of Julia and Paul Child’s experiences as members of the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) in the Far East during World War II and the tumultuous years when they were caught up in the McCarthy Red spy hunt in the 1950s and behaved with bravery and honor. It is the fascinating portrait of a group of idealistic men and women who were recruited by the citizen spy service, slapped into uniform, and dispatched to wage political covertaffairwarfare in remote outposts in Ceylon, India, and China. The eager, inexperienced 6 foot 2 inch Julia springs to life in these pages, a gangly golf-playing California girl who had never been farther abroad than Tijuana. Single and thirty years old when she joined the staff of Colonel William Donovan, Julia volunteered to be part of the OSS’s ambitious mission to develop a secret intelligence network across Southeast Asia. Her first post took her to the mountaintop idyll of Kandy, the headquarters of Admiral Lord Louis Mountbatten, the supreme commander of combined operations. Julia reveled in the glamour and intrigue of her overseas assignment and lifealtering romance with the much older and more sophisticated Paul Child, who took her on trips into the jungle, introduced her to the joys of curry, and insisted on educating both her mind and palate. A painter drafted to build war rooms, Paul was a colorful, complex personality. (summary)


USF Book Club March and April Selections

February 7th, 2013

The next two books the Book Club will be discussing are:

“Whatever Makes You Happy: A Novel,” by William Sutcliffe.  We will meet on March 1st at noon in room 209 of the Gleeson Library.  Since there are no copies in the Gleeson Library, you may request it from Link+ or get it at SFPL.

Gillian, Helen, and Carol are three suburban mothers who have known each other siwhtevrmksuhapynce their respective sons were babies, and have met in a regular coffee group for years. These days, their sons are a bunch of thirty-four-year-old layabouts: they have no wives and no children, never call, and seem unlikely to outgrow their Gillian, Helen, and Carol are three suburban mothers who have known each other since their respective sons were babies, and have met in a regular coffee group for years. These days, their sons are a bunch of thirty-four-year-old layabouts: they have no wives and no children, never call, and seem unlikely to outgrow their post-adolescent lifestyles anytime soon. After yet another fruitless Mother’s Day, Carol has an outlandish but irresistible idea: each woman will go drop in on her son for an unexpected weeklong visit and find out what’s really keeping him from responsible adult life. (Publisher summary)

“The Tiger’s Wife: A Novel,” by Tea Obreht.  We will meet on April 5th at noon in room 209 of the Gleeson Library.  A confirmation of the room number will be sent in March.  If there are no copies available in the Gleeson Library, you may request it from Link+ or get it at the SFPL.

In a Balkan country mending from years of conflict, Natalia, a young doctor, arrives on a mission of mercy at an orphanage by the sea. By the time she and her lifelong friend Zóra begin to inoculatigerswifete the children there, she feels age-old superstitions and secrets gathering everywhere around her. Secrets her outwardly cheerful hosts have chosen not to tell her. Secrets involving the strange family digging for something in the surrounding vineyards. Secrets hidden in the landscape itself. But Natalia is also confronting a private, hurtful mystery of her own: the inexplicable circumstances surrounding her beloved grandfather’s recent death. After telling her grandmother that he was on his way to meet Natalia, he instead set off for a ramshackle settlement none of their family had ever heard of and died there alone. A famed physician, her grandfather must have known that he was too ill to travel. Why he left home becomes a riddle Natalia is compelled to unravel.   Grief struck and searching for clues to her grandfather’s final state of mind, she turns to the stories he told her when she was a child. On their weeklytrips to the zoo he would read to her from a worn copy of Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book, which he carried with him everywhere; later, he told her stories of his own encounters over many years with “the deathless man,” a vagabond who claimed to be immortal and appeared never to age. But the most extraordinary story of all is the one her grandfather never told her, the one Natalia must discover for herself. One winter during the Second World War, his childhood village was snowbound, cut off even from the encroaching German invaders but haunted by another, fierce presence: a tiger who comes ever closer under cover of darkness. “These stories,” Natalia comes to understand, “run like secret rivers through all the other stories” of her grandfather’s life. And it is ultimately within these rich, luminous narratives that she will find the answer she is looking for.  (Publisher summary)


USF Book Club February Selection

January 14th, 2013

The Book club selected, “Pigs in Heaven,” by Barbara Kingsolver for our February meeting. We will meet on February 1st at noon in room 209 in the Gleeson Library.  If you are unable to get a copy from Gleeson Library, you may request it from Link+ or get it at SFPL.

 

When six-year-old Turtle Greer witnesses a freak accident at the Hoover Dam, her insistence on what she has seen and her mother’s belief in her lead to a man’s dramatic rescue. But Turtle’s moment of celebrity draws her into a conflict of historic proportions.” [Back cover]