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Image of book cover for Thousand Miler

We have a book discussion group that meets every other month to discuss a common book. This group has been meeting for over 15 years and people come and they go but there is one constant…we read a good book and then get together to discuss it. We meet in the months of February, April, June, August, October and December on the first Wednesday at 4pm. This year we decided to meet in the off months to discuss any books we were reading when we aren’t reading the book club book. This has turned out to be great fun. As a matter of fact, some people come to this discussion even though they aren’t regulars at the other one. The group meets on the first Wednesday of January, March, May, September and November at 4pm. The September meeting was made all the more special because we welcomed our newest member, Haley Brook, who at 1 month old is the youngest person to ever attend one of our book discussions. There is a wide variety of reading interests in this group so the discussions are always fun. Here are the books that were discussed this September:


From Baghdad, with love: a Marine, the war, and a dog named Lava by Jay Kopleman

            When Marines enter an abandoned house in Fallujah, Iraq, and hear a suspicious noise, they clench their weapons, edge around the corner, and prepare to open fire. What they find during the U.S.–led attack on the “most dangerous city on Earth” in late 2004, however, is not an insurgent but a puppy left behind when most of the city's residents fled. Despite military law forbidding pets, the Marines de-flea the pup with kerosene, de-worm him with chewing tobacco, and fill him up on Meals Ready to Eat. Thus begins the dramatic rescue of a dog named Lava―and Lava's rescue of at least one Marine, Lieutenant Colonel Jay Kopelman.

Inseparable: the original Siamese twins and their rendezvous with American history by Yunte Huang

            A portrait of nineteenth-century conjoined twins Chang and Eng Bunker describes their rise from savvy side-show celebrities to wealthy Southern gentry and discusses how their experiences reflected America's historical penchant for objectifying differences.

I Can’t Date Jesus by Michael Arceneaux

            A timely collection of alternately hysterical and soul-searching essays about what it is like to grow up as a creative, sensitive black man in a world that constantly tries to deride and diminish your humanity.

Salvageable by Jean Baxter

            The trouble with trust is once it's broken, it changes who you are and who you will become forever. If Michael Jarrid thinks the worst has happened when his parents don't believe him over his pregnant ex-girlfriend's lie, he is wrong. feeling alone, he pours all of his heart and soul into a new relationship. what Lacey does to him is even worse ... now he doesn't even trust himself. Is his life salvageable?

A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman

            A curmudgeon hides a terrible personal loss beneath a cranky and short-tempered exterior while clashing with new neighbors, a boisterous family whose chattiness and habits lead to unexpected friendship.

The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah

            An epic love story and family drama set at the dawn of World War II.

Fly girls: the daring American women pilots who helped win WWII by P.O’Connell Pearson

            A beautifully written account of the remarkable but often forgotten group of female fighter pilots who answered their country's call in its time of need during World War II.   

The Lost Years by Mary Higgins Clark    

            Mariah Lyons risks her life to solve the brutal murder of her father, Dr. Jonathan Lyons, a well-respected academic, who in a stroke of luck comes into the possession of an ancient and highly valuable parchment stolen from the Vatican in the 15th century.

Antiques Roadkill by Barbara Allan

            Moving back in with her eccentric, larger-than-life mother, Brandy Borne finds small-town Serenity anything but serene. It seems an unscrupulous antiques dealer has swindled Vivian out of the family's heirlooms. But when he is found run over in a country lane, Brandy becomes Murder Suspect Number One--with her mother coming in a very close second.

Thousand-miler: adventures hiking the Ice Age Trail by Melanie Radzicki McManus

            While sharing her story of what it was like to hike 1,100 miles of Wisconsin forestland, prairie, wetlands and farmland, McManus also shares the stories of thru-hikers she encounters along the way. Their collective tales shed light on the motivations of thru-hikers, how they accomplish the feat (everyone does it differently), and what the various trail segments and trailside communities are like. (The author will be here at Sturm Memorial Library on November 14th!)

Secret daughter: a mixed-race daughter and the mother who gave her away by June Cross

            June Cross was born in 1954 to Norma Booth, a glamorous, aspiring white actress, and James “Stump” Cross, a well-known black comedian. Sent by her mother to be raised by black friends when she was four years old and could no longer pass as white, June was plunged into the pain and confusion of a family divided by race. Secret Daughter tells her story of survival. It traces June’s astonishing discoveries about her mother and about her own fierce determination to thrive.

The lost vintage: a novel by Ann Mah

            Sweetbitter meets The Nightingale in this page-turner about a woman who returns to her family's ancestral vineyard in Burgundy to study for her Master of Wine test, and uncovers a lost diary, a forgotten relative, and a secret her family has been keeping since WWII.

This is how it always is by Laurie Frankel

            When Rosie and Penn and their four boys welcome the newest member of their family, no one is surprised it's another baby boy. At least their large, loving, chaotic family knows what to expect. But Claude is not like his brothers. One day he puts on a dress and refuses to take it off. He wants to bring a purse to kindergarten. He wants hair long enough to sit on. When he grows up, Claude says, he wants to be a girl. Rosie and Penn aren't panicked at first. Kids go through phases, after all, and make-believe is fun. But soon the entire family is keeping Claude's secret. Until one day it explodes.