WVTF 2011 Book Club Selections

January – canceled due to weather

February –  The Glass Castle  by Jeanette Walls - /glass-castle

MarchRaney by Clyde Edgarton - /raney

AprilTo Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee - /kill-mockingbird

Beyond the main street of Les Laveuses runs the Loire, smooth and brown as a sunning snake - but hiding a deadly undertow beneath its moving surface. This is where Framboise, a secretive widow, plies her culinary trade at the cręperie - and lets her memory play strange games.

Featuring the brilliantly drawn Roxanna, a mulatto slave who suffers dire consequences after switching her infant son with her master’s baby, and the clever Pudd’nhead Wilson, an ostracized small-town lawyer, Twain’s darkly comic masterpiece is a provocative exploration of slavery and miscegenation. Leslie A. Fiedler described the novel as “half melodramatic detective story, half bleak tragedy,” noting that “morally, it is one of the most honest books in our literature.” Those Extraordinary Twins, the slapstick story that evolved into Pudd’nhead Wilson, provides a fascinating view of the author’s process.

The extraordinary tale of a refugee youth soccer team and the transformation of a small American town. Clarkston, Georgia, was a typical Southern town until it was designated a refugee settlement center in the 1990s, becoming the first American home for scores of families in flight from the world’s war zones—from Liberia and Sudan to Iraq and Afghanistan. Suddenly Clarkston’s streets were filled with women wearing the hijab, the smells of cumin and curry, and kids of all colors playing soccer in any open space they could find.

It's 1946 and author Juliet Ashton can't think what to write next. Out of the blue, she receives a letter from Dawsey Adams of Guernsey - by chance, he's acquired a book that once belonged to her - and, spurred on by their mutual love of reading, they begin a correspondence. When Dawsey reveals that he is a member of the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, her curiosity is piqued and it's not long before she begins to hear from other members.As letters fly back and forth with stories of life in Guernsey under the German Occupation, Juliet soon realizes that the society is every bit as extraordinary as its name.

Paris, July 1942: Sarah, a ten year-old girl, is brutally arrested with her family by the French police in the Vel' d'Hiv' roundup, but not before she locks her younger brother in a cupboard in the family's apartment, thinking that she will be back within a few hours.Paris, May 2002: On Vel' d'Hiv's 60th anniversary, journalist Julia Jarmond is asked to write an article about this black day in France's past.

Barbara Kingsolver takes us on an epic journey from the Mexico City of artists Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo to the America of Pearl Harbor, FDR, and J. Edgar Hoover. The Lacuna is a poignant story of a man pulled between two nations as they invent their modern identities.

Three ordinary women are about to take one extraordinary step. Abileen is a black maid in 1962 Jackson, Mississippi, raising her seventeenth white child. She's always taken orders quietly, but lately it leaves her with a bitterness she can no longer bite back. Her friend Minny has certainly never held her tongue, or held on to a job for very long, but now she's working for a newcomer with secrets that leave her speechless. And white socialite Skeeter has just returned from college with ambition and a degree but, to her mother's lament, no husband.

Through the eyes of Scout and Jem Finch, Lee explores the issues of race and class in the Deep South of the 1930s with compassion and humour. She also creates one of the great heroes of literature in their father, Atticus Finch, whose lone struggle for justice pricks the conscience of a town steeped in prejudice and hypocrisy.

Raney, a humorous novel by North Carolina author, Clyde Edgerton, relays Raney Bell Shepherd’s personal account of her tumultuous first two years as a rural, ultra-conservative southern bride, to Charles Shepherd, a flaming liberal whose best friend is black. Though they make beautiful music together, the newlyweds work to harmonize their discordant viewpoints and become one, even as Raney’s staunch Baptist background threatens to blow them apart. An entertaining and thought-provoking novel in which the characters squarely deal with change and the issues at hand.

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