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2012-2013 Reading List
||September 10, 2012
The Slap by Christos Tsiolkas
The reverberations from the slap are far-reaching, affecting the marriages and friendships of
all those who witness it. What unfolds is a powerful, haunting novel about love, sex, marriage,
and the fury and intensity that family can arouse. In this remarkable novel, told through the
eyes of eight different characters, the slap and the ensuing emotional maelstrom become
catalysts for an unflinching and all-seeing journey into the modern family and domestic life.
Children come of age, marriages teeter on the brink, and midlife crises erupt against a
backdrop of lust, jealousy, deception and inadequacy. In its penetrating and incisive
examination of the ever-growing middle class and its fears and aspirations, The Slap is a
fiercely intelligent and provocative story about the nature of loyalty and happiness,
compromise and truth.
||October 15, 2012
Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
Standing as one of the most revered works in all of English literature, 'Great expectations'
traces the development of Philip Pirrip, called Pip, from a boy of shallow aspirations to a man
of depth and character. Pip is reared by his sister and her husband Joe Gargery, a blacksmith.
In his youth he is influenced by the eccentric Miss Havisham, who was jilted on her wedding
night and who has brought up her adopted niece Estella to hate men.
|November 12, 2012
Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese
Orphans Marion and Shiva Stone are twin brothers born of a secret union between a beautiful
Indian nun and a brash British surgeon at a mission hospital in Addis Ababa. Bound together by
a preternatural connection and a shared fascination with medicine, the twins come of age as
Ethiopia hovers on the brink of revolution. Yet it will be love, not politics — their passion
for the same woman — that will tear them apart and force Marion, fresh out of medical school,
to flee his homeland. He makes his way to America, finding refuge in his work as an intern at
an underfunded, overcrowded New York City hospital. When the past catches up to him, Marion
must entrust his life to the two men he thought he trusted least in the world: the surgeon
father who abandoned him and the brother who betrayed him.
||December 10, 2012
The Paris Wife by Paula McLain
This novel tells Hemingway’s story from a unique point of view - that of his first wife,
Hadley. Through her eyes and voice, we experience Paris of the Lost Generation and meet
fascinating characters such as Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald, Gertrude Stein, Ezra Pound, and
Gerald and Sara Murphy. The city and its inhabitants provide a vivid backdrop to this
engrossing and wrenching story of love and betrayal that is made all the more poignant knowing
that, in the end, Hemingway would write of his first wife, "I wish I had died before I
loved anyone but her."
||January 14, 2013
Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James
When literature student Anastasia Steele is drafted to interview the successful young
entrepreneur Christian Grey for her campus magazine, she finds him attractive, enigmatic and
intimidating. Convinced their meeting went badly, she tries to put Grey out of her mind - until
he happens to turn up at the out-of-town hardware store where she works part-time. Erotic,
amusing, and deeply moving, the Fifty Shades Trilogy is a tale that will obsess you, possess
you, and stay with you forever.
||February 11, 2013
The Girls by Lori Lansens
In 29 years, Rose Darlen has never spent a moment apart from her twin sister, Ruby. She has
never gone for a solitary walk or had a private conversation. Yet, in all that time, she has
never once looked into Ruby's eyes. Joined at the head, "The Girls" (as they are
known in their small Ontario town) are the world's oldest surviving craniopagus twins. While
some writers might be tempted to play up the grotesque aspects of life as a conjoined twin,
Lansens treats her so-called freaks with sensitivity and respect. The result is an
extraordinarily moving narrative about human connectedness that questions the very meaning of
||March 11, 2013
The Help by Kathryn Stockett
Aibileen is a black maid in 1962 Jackson, Mississippi, who's always taken orders quietly, but
lately she's unable to hold her bitterness back. Her friend Minny has never held her tongue but
now must somehow keep secrets about her employer that leave her speechless. White socialite
Skeeter just graduated college. She's full of ambition, but without a husband, she's considered
a failure. Together, these seemingly different women join together to write a tell-all book
about work as a black maid in the South, that could forever alter their destinies and the life
of a small town.
||April 8, 2013
Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
Clay Jenkins returns home from school to find a mysterious box with his name on it lying on his
porch. Inside he discovers several cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Baker - his classmate and
crush - who committed suicide two weeks earlier. On tape, Hannah explains that there are
thirteen reasons why she decided to end her life. Clay is one of them. If he listens, he'll
find out how he made the list. "Thirteen Reasons Why" is a gripping, addictive
international bestseller. It's an unrelenting modern classic.
||May 13, 2013
Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
Mired in poverty, the student Raskolnikov nevertheless thinks well of himself. Of his
pawnbroker he takes a different view, and in deciding to do away with her he sets in motion his
own tragic downfall. Dostoyevsky's penetrating novel of an intellectual whose moral compass
goes haywire, and the detective who hunts him down for his terrible crime, is a stunning
psychological portrait, a thriller and a profound meditation on guilt and retribution.
||June 10, 2013
A potluck evening where members review and vote on potential titles for next year’s book