Gibson's Book Club, 2014-2015

Our book club is open to all. We've chosen an eclectic, ambitious list of books for the coming year: join us for every meeting, or deal yourself in as the spirit moves you.

Most of these titles are in paperback, or should be by the time we'll read them, and they will all be discounted 25% from the publisher's price for the following year, whether you join us for meetings or not.

All meetings unless otherwise noted are on the first Monday of the month, and begin at 7:00, to give you time to have dinner and relax a bit first. Parking is free in the Capitol Commons garage and on the street, after 5 p.m...


Book List

TransAtlantic (Paperback)

ISBN-13: 9780812981926
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Random House Trade Paperbacks, 6/2014

Gibson's Book Group reads TransAtlantic, by Colum McCann

Monday, Sept. 15,  7 PM

In the National Book Award-winning "Let the Great World Spin," Colum McCann thrilled readers with a marvelous high-wire act of fiction that The New York Times Book Review called "an emotional tour de force." Now McCann demonstrates once again why he is one of the most acclaimed and essential authors of his generation with a soaring novel that spans continents, leaps centuries, and unites a cast of deftly rendered characters, both real and imagined.

The Last Policeman (Paperback)

ISBN-13: 9781594746741
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Quirk Books, 5/2013

Gibson's Book Club reads The Last Policeman

Monday, October 6, 7 PM

Concord Reads, the community-wide project sponsored by the Concord Public Library Foundation, has chosen this vividly imagined work of "pre-apocalyptic" fiction for 2014. The asteroid is about to hit, and you're a Concord policeman. Yes, this Concord. How do you handle it when you're supposed to be solving a murder but an asteroid is about to wipe out all life on earth?  ... Bookmark this link to learn more about the programming planned around the book this fall. 

Americanah (Paperback)

ISBN-13: 9780307455925
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Anchor, 3/2014

Gibson's Book Club reads Americanah, by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Monday, November 3, 7 PM

One of "The""New York Times"'s Ten Best Books of the Year
Winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction
An NPR "Great Reads" Book, a "Chicago Tribune" Best Book, a "Washington Post "Notable Book, a "Seattle Times "Best Book, an "Entertainment Weekly" Top Fiction Book, a "Newsday "Top 10 Book, and a "Goodreads "Best of the Year pick.

A powerful, tender story of race and identity by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, the award-winning author of "Half of a Yellow Sun."

Ifemelu and Obinze are young and in love when they depart military-ruled Nigeria for the West. Beautiful, self-assured Ifemelu heads for America, where despite her academic success, she is forced to grapple with what it means to be black for the first time. Quiet, thoughtful Obinze had hoped to join her, but with post-9/11 America closed to him, he instead plunges into a dangerous, undocumented life in London. Fifteen years later, they reunite in a newly democratic Nigeria, and reignite their passion--for each other and for their homeland.

ISBN-13: 9780767919395
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Anchor, 10/2011

Gibson's Book Club reads At Home, by Bill Bryson 

Monday, December 1, at 7 PM.

With his signature wit, charm, and seemingly limitless knowledge, Bill Bryson takes us on a room-by-room tour through his own house, using each room as a jumping off point into the vast history of the domestic artifacts we take for granted. As he takes us through the history of our modern comforts, Bryson demonstrates that whatever happens in the world eventually ends up in our home, in the paint, the pipes, the pillows, and every item of furniture. Bryson has one of the liveliest, most inquisitive minds on the planet, and his sheer prose fluency makes "At Home" one of the most entertaining books ever written about private life.

Also available at a 25% discount, this sumptuous illustrated edition.

ISBN-13: 9780141441849
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Penguin Classics, 12/2007

Gibson's Book Club reads The Good Soldier, by Ford Madox Ford

Monday, January 5, at 7 PM

A masterpiece of early modernism, 'The Good Soldier' tells the story of the unfolding relationships between two couples at the beginning of the 20th century in the words of an archetypal 'unreliable narrator'. Its portrayal of the destruction of a civilized elite is a work of unforgettable power and literary skill. 

Othello (Mass Market Paperback)

ISBN-13: 9780743477550
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Simon & Schuster, 1/2004

Gibson's Book Club discusses and does a dramatic reading of Othello, by William Shakespeare

Monday, February 2, at 7 PM

Each February, our book club not only discusses but reads aloud a play by the immortal Bard. We find that our understanding improves through performance. It's a lot of fun. We skip the exposition so we can get out at a normal time, and we all take turns reading the juicy bits so no one feels left out. 

This year we're reading Shakespeare's great tale of jealousy, deceit, and murder, Othello.

Our book club reads the Folger edition, which is inexpensive and has excellent notes. Please join us!

Love Anthony (Paperback)

ISBN-13: 9781439164693
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Gallery Books, 4/2013

Gibson's Book Club reads Love, Anthony, by Lisa Genova

Monday, March 2, at 7 PM

Olivia's dream of a "normal" life shattered when her son was diagnosed with autism at age three. But just as Olivia was starting to realize that happiness and autism could coexist, he died. Now she's alone in a cottage on Nantucket, separated from her husband, desperate to understand the meaning of her son's short life.

To deepen our understanding of the issues underlying this novel, we're encouraging everyone also to read Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime and What Color is Monday in preparation for this meeting.

Regeneration (Paperback)

ISBN-13: 9780142180594
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Plume, 12/2013

Gibson's Book Club reads Regeneration, by Pat Barker, and the works of Sassoon and other WWI poets

Monday, April 6, at 7 PM

This year we honor Poetry Month by reading this classic novel based on the life and work of poet Siegfried Sassoon, whose anti-war poetry revealed the horrors of trench warfare and who influenced other poets of the time, such as Wilfred Owen. We will also be reading a marvelous and inexpensive collection of World War I poetry published by Dover.

ISBN-13: 9781250062185
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Picador, 1/2015

Gibson's Book Club reads The Sixth Extinction, by Elizabeth Kolbert

Monday, May 4, at 7 PM

A major book about the future of the world, blending intellectual and natural history and field reporting into a powerful account of the mass extinction unfolding before our eyes Over the last half a billion years, there have been five mass extinctions, when the diversity of life on earth suddenly and dramatically contracted. Scientists around the world are currently monitoring the sixth extinction, predicted to be the most devastating extinction event since the asteroid impact that wiped out the dinosaurs. This time around, the cataclysm is us. In" The Sixth Extinction," two-time winner of the National Magazine Award and "New Yorker" writer Elizabeth Kolbert draws on the work of scores of researchers in half a dozen disciplines, accompanying many of them into the field: geologists who study deep ocean cores, botanists who follow the tree line as it climbs up the Andes, marine biologists who dive off the Great Barrier Reef. She introduces us to a dozen species, some already gone, others facing extinction, including the Panamian golden frog, staghorn coral, the great auk, and the Sumatran rhino. Through these stories, Kolbert provides a moving account of the disappearances occurring all around us and traces the evolution of extinction as concept, from its first articulation by Georges Cuvier in revolutionary Paris up through the present day. The sixth extinction is likely to be mankind's most lasting legacy; as Kolbert observes, it compels us to rethink the fundamental question of what it means to be human.

(Hardcover edition also available at 25% discount until paperback is published)

The Bees (Hardcover)

ISBN-13: 9780062331151
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Ecco Press, 8/2014

Gibson's Book Club Reads The Bees, by Laline Paull

Monday, June 1, at 7 PM

(Hardcover edition linked above, until paperback ISBN is known--and hardcover available at 25% discount until paperback is published)

The Handmaid's Tale meets The Hunger Games in this brilliantly imagined debut set in an ancient culture where only the queen may breed and deformity means death.

Flora 717 is a sanitation worker, a member of the lowest caste in her orchard hive where work and sacrifice are the highest virtues and worship of the beloved Queen the only religion. But Flora is not like other bees. With circumstances threatening the hive's survival, her curiosity is regarded as a dangerous flaw but her courage and strength are an asset. She is allowed to feed the newborns in the royal nursery and then to become a forager, flying alone and free to collect pollen. She also finds her way into the Queen's inner sanctum, where she discovers mysteries about the hive that are both profound and ominous.

But when Flora breaks the most sacred law of all--daring to challenge the Queen's fertility--enemies abound, from the fearsome fertility police who enforce the strict social hierarchy to the high priestesses jealously wedded to power. Her deepest instincts to serve and sacrifice are now overshadowed by an even deeper desire, a fierce maternal love that will bring her into conflict with her conscience, her heart, her society--and lead her to unthinkable deeds.

Thrilling, suspenseful and spectacularly imaginative, The Bees gives us a dazzling young heroine and will change forever the way you look at the world outside your window.

ISBN-13: 9781476746593
Availability: Not Yet Published
Published: Scribner Book Company, 6/2016

Gibson's Book Club reads All the Light We Cannot See, by Anthony Doerr

Monday, July 6, at 7 PM

The most acclaimed and beloved novel of the season, the instant national bestseller--"hauntingly beautiful" ("The New York Times"), "incandescent, luminous...enthralling" ("O, The Oprah Magazine").

Marie-Laure lives with her father in Paris near the Museum of Natural History, where he works as the master of its thousands of locks. When she is six, Marie-Laure goes blind. When she is twelve, the Nazis occupy Paris, and father and daughter flee to the walled citadel of Saint-Malo, where Marie-Laure's reclusive great uncle lives in a tall house by the sea. They carry with them what might be the museum's most valuable and dangerous jewel.

In a German town, an orphan named Werner grows up with his younger sister, enchanted by a crude radio they find. Werner's expertise wins him a place at a brutal academy for Hitler Youth, then a special assignment to track the Resistance. Increasingly aware of the human cost of his intelligence, Werner travels through the heart of the war and into Saint-Malo, where his story and Marie-Laure's converge.

Anthony Doerr's "stunning sense of physical detail and gorgeous metaphors" ("San Francisco Chronicle)" are dazzling. Deftly interweaving the lives of Marie-Laure and Werner, he illuminates the ways, against all odds, people try to be good to one another. Ten years in the writing, "All the Light We Cannot See" is a "beautiful, daring, heartbreaking, oddly joyous novel" ("The Seattle Times").

(Hardcover available at 25% discount until paperback is published)

New books, new trailers

The Thing The Book: A Monument to the Book as Object

What exactly is a book? This wildly inventive and thought-provoking volume asks that question of more than 30 of today's top creative visionaries.

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