Previous TBP Book Club Selections

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These are the books we have read in past months.   Visit each book's individual web page for more information about the book, the author, and related reading. Some of our book clubs are recorded and posted as MP3 Podcasts on our blog at: https://www.tsl.texas.gov/texastalkingbooks/?cat=20
 

June 2017 - The One-Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared     by Jonas Jonasson

100 Year Old Mna Book Cover
Sweden.  On his one-hundredth birthday, former demolitions expert Allan Karlsson escapes from an old folks’ home, steals a suitcase filled with money, and begins a madcap adventure running from criminals and the police.  Originally published in Swedish in 2009.  Some strong language.  2012.  DB 75820; LB 07275

 


April 2017 - The Boys in the Boat by Daniel Brown

Boys in the Boat book cover
Recounts the accomplishments of nine working-class athletes from the University of Washington who beat elite teams at home and abroad and won the gold medal for rowing at the 1936 Nazi-orchestrated Berlin Olympics.  Bestseller.  2013.  DB 77138

 


March 2017 - You Know When the Men are Gone by Shiobhan Fallon


You Know When Men Gone book coverThere is an army of women waiting for their men to return in Fort Hood, Texas.  Through a series of loosely interconnected stories, Fallon takes the readers onto the base, inside the homes, into the marriages and families not seen by the public.  When the men are gone, babies still cry, telephones ring, Saturday morning cartoons screech, but without the men, there is a sense of muted silence, a sense of muted life.  Strong language, violence and some descriptions of sex.  2011.  DT 07103
 


February 2017 - Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

Me Before You Book Cover
Working-class English girl Louisa “Lou” Clark is hired as an aide to wealthy Will Traynor, a former mogul who has been paralyzed since a road accident.  Lou tries to keep the embittered Will engaged with the world, while Will encourages Lou to expand her horizons.  Some strong language.  Bestseller.  2012.  DB 76161
 


November 2016 - Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee

Go Set Watchman Book Cover
Twenty years after the events of To Kill a Mockingbird (DB 77672), Jean Louise Finch (once known as Scout) returns home to Maycomb, Alabama.  She confronts the racism of her hometown in the 1950s, including the views of Atticus, the father she idolizes. Some strong language.  Bestseller.  2015.  DB 81896
 


August 2016 – The Revenant by Michael Punke

Revenant Book Cover
Missouri River tributaries, 1823. When a trapper is mauled by a grizzly, he is left behind with two volunteers who soon abandon him.  Deserted, defenseless, and enraged, he vows to survive--and exact his revenge. Based on the real life of fur trapper Hugh Glass. Someviolence and some strong language. 2002.  DB 59088; DX 59088
 


July 2016 – The Rosie Project by Graeme C. Simsion

Rosie Project Book Cover
Socially stunted geneticist Don Tillman embarks on an endeavor he calls the Wife Project.  As he quantifies the qualities of a perfect wife, he encounters Rosie, who seeks Don's help in identifying her real father.  Some strong language and some descriptions of sex.  Bestseller.  2013.  DB 78150; DX 78150
 


May 2016 - Family Romanov: Murder, Rebellion, and the Fall of Imperial Russia by Candace Fleming

Family Romanov Book Cover
Recounts when Russia's last tsar, Nicholas II, inherited the throne in 1894, and how he was unprepared to do so.  Details how the Romanov family lived a life of opulence as World War I raged outside their door and political unrest grew into the Russian Revolution.  Commercial audiobook.  For senior high and older readers.  2014.  DB 79654; DX 79654
 


March 2016 – All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

All Light Cannot See Book Cover
When Paris is invaded by the Nazis, Marie-Laure LeBlanc's father evacuates her to St. Malo to stay with her great-uncle.  Blind since the age of six, Marie-Laure must learn the town by the scale model her father has left.  Then, the Germans arrive.  Violence and descriptions  of sex.  Bestseller.  2014.  DB 75192; DX 75192
 


January 2016 – Midnight Plan of the Repo Man by W. Bruce Cameron


Former college football star Ruddy McCann has become a repo man, bar bouncer, and car thief.  One day Ruddy hears the voice of a dead realtor in his head demanding help in finding his murderers.  But soon the voice begins demanding Ruddy clean up his act--and his apartment.  Some strong language.  2014.  DB 80722; DX 80722
 


November 2015 - The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman

Book cover image of The Ocean At The End of The Lane
Sussex, England. A man returns to his childhood home for a funeral. While there, he is drawn to the farm where his friend Lettie lived with her mother and grandmother. After he enters the property, he remembers the terrifying experiences he and Lettie shared. Some violence. Bestseller.  2013.  DB77198; DX 77198
 

September 2015 - Wild by Cheryl Strayed

Wild book coverAuthor recounts the three-month, 1,100-mile solo hike she took on a whim in 1995, after years of devastating personal losses. Describes her encounters with rattlesnakes, locals, fellow hikers, and her own thoughts during her trek from Los Angeles to Washington State on the Pacific Crest Trail. Strong language. Bestseller. 2012.  DB 74646' DX 74646
 

July 2015 - Where'd You Go Bernadette by Maria Semple

book cover image of WHERE'D YOU GO BERNADETTE
Seattle. Eighth-grader Bee's request for a family trip to Antarctica is the last straw for her mother Bernadette, who has become so socially inept that she hired a virtual assistant in India to handle her life. Just before the trip, Bernadette vanishes. Heartbroken Bee Investigates. Some strong language. Bestseller.  2012.  DB  75351; DX 75351
 


May 2015 - The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Steadman

Book cover for THE LIGHT BETWEEN OCEANS.
Western Australia, 1926. On an island one hundred miles from the mainland, lighthouse keepers Isabel and Tom Sherbourne discover a boat carrying a dead man and a crying baby. The decisions they make that day come back to haunt them several years later. Bestseller. 2012.  DB 75192; DX 75192
 


March 2015 - Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand

Book cover for UNBROKEN.
Author of Seabiscuit (DB 51968) details the life of Louis Zamperini (b. 1917), an Olympic runner and World War II bombardier, who survived a plane crash and forty-seven days adrift at sea only to become a POW in Japan. Relates Louis's later religious awakening under Billy Graham's ministry. Violence. Bestseller. 2010.  DB 72129; DX 72129
 


January 2015 - The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce

Unlikely Pilgrimage Harold Fry Book Cover
Six months after retiring, Harold Fry receives a letter from former coworker Queenie Hennessy, who is dying of cancer. Intending to post a reply, Harold instead walks the length of England to personally deliver his note, leaving behind his wife Maureen.  Along the way Harold ruminates on his life.  Some strong language. 2012.  DB 76196; DX 76196
 


November 2014 - The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald


First published in 1925, this classic is set in the ebullient Jazz Age of the 1920s. Wealthy Jay Gatsby strives desperately to recapture his past and his lost love, Daisy Buchanan. Gatsby's hedonistic pursuit of the American dream leads him to a tragic fate.    DB 16147; DX 16147
 


September 2014 - Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

Ready Player One book cover
2045. Multibillionaire James Halliday dies, leaving his last will and testament online for the world to see. His massively multiplayer online game OASIS has a hidden feature--an Easter egg--and the person who finds the egg first wins Halliday's fortune. Some strong language. Bestseller.  2011.    DB 73772; DX 73772
 


July 2014 - The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd

Secret Life of Bees book cover
South Carolina, 1964. Fourteen-year-old Lily rescues her African American housekeeper--and substitute mother--Rosaleen, from the hospital. Rosaleen had been beaten for trying to register to vote.  They flee to a safe place where Lily's battered late mother had also fled--a beekeeping operation run by three black sisters. Some strong language. 2002.  DB 55533; DX 55533
 


May 2014 - Let The Great World Spin by Collum McCann

Let Great World Spin book cover
New York City, 1974. Disparate residents--including Philippe Petit, who performs an illegal high-wire walk between the Twin Towers; the judge who hears Petit's case; and a grieving mother--encounter death, love, and salvation. Strong language, some violence, and some descriptions of sex. National Book Award.  2009.  DB 70450; DX 70450
 


March 2014 - The Paris Wife by Paula McLain

Paris Wife book cover
Ingenue Hadley Richardson falls in love with war hero Ernest Hemingway, eight years her junior, in 1920s Chicago. After marrying, the couple moves to Paris and becomes part of the literary crowd.  Hadley raises their son as Hemingway begins an affair with Hadley's friend Pauline. Some strong language. Bestseller.  2011.  DB 72814; DX 72814
 


January 2014 - The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

Fault In Our Stars book cover
A miracle drug may have given sixteen-year-old cancer patient Hazel a few more years, but she is still depressed. Then Hazel meets cute Augustus during a support-group meeting and her world shifts in unexpected and inspiring ways. Some strong language. For senior high and older readers.   Commercial audiobook. 2012.  DB 74112
 


November 2013 - The Blind Contessa's New Machine by Carey Wallace

Cover image of Blind Contessa's New Machine book. Shows woman's head with a butterfly over her eyes.
Early nineteenth-century Italy. Contessa Carolina tells her parents and fiance she is going blind, but they won't listen. Only local eccentric Turri believes her. He invents a machine—a typewriter—for her, and the two fall in love. Based on a true story. 2010.  DB 71568; DX 71568
 


September 2013 - The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Sloot

Cover image of The Immortal Life if Henrietta Lacks. Shows picture of woman on front.
Science journalist chronicles the life of African-American Henrietta Lacks, who in 1951 had cervical tissue removed and grown in culture—without her permission—producing the first continuously replicating human-cell samples for research. Discusses subsequent medical breakthroughs, including the polio vaccine and AIDS treatment. 2010.  DB 70661; DX 70661
 


July 2013 - The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

Cover image of The Night Circus book. Illlustrations show a small black and white circus in a white hand.
At the Circus of Dreams magicians Celia and Marco are pitted against each other in an epic magical battle. Their mentors plan for it to have only one survivor, not foreseeing that Celia and Marco will fall in love. Some strong language and some descriptions of sex. Bestseller. 2011.  DB 73783
 


May 2013 - The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein

Cover image of the book the Art of Racin in the Rain. Shows the top half of a dogs looking quizically.
Enzo, a mixed-breed dog, believes he will be reincarnated as a human. He stands by his master Denny Swift's side through Denny's race-car driving career, the birth of his daughter Zo, the death of his wife Eve, and a bitter custody battle with Eve's parents. Some strong language. Bestseller. 2008.  DB 66787; DX 66787
 


March 2013 - Outlaw Tales of Texas:  "True Stories of the Lone Star State's Most Infamous Crooks, Culprits, and Cutthroats" by Charles L. Convis

Cover image of The Outlaw Tales of Texas.  A faded photograph depicts a desert scene with men on horseback.
The frontier towns of Texas were populated by some of the toughest and most dangerous characters in the West. Jim Miller went to church, left early to shoot his brother-in-law in the head, and returned before the service was over.  2008.  DT 06996
 


January 2013 - No End in Sight: My Life as a Blind Iditarod Racer by Rachael Scdoris and Jeff Steber

No End in Sight book cover
No End in Sight details Scdoris’ childhood experiences with her visual impairment and how she trained and developed the skills necessary to compete in the 1,000+ mile Iditarod race.  At 16, she was the youngest athlete ever to finish a 500-mile race that helped qualify her for the big race.  She details her struggle to convince Iditarod officials to allow her to compete and how, in 2005, she became the first legally blind person to do so.  DX 61948

 

A recording, transcript, and associated bibliography can be found on the No End in Sight's book club web page linked below.

No End in Sight Book Club Page


September 2012 - Moonwalking with Einstein by Joshua Foer

Moonwalking with Einsteien book cover image.
Best-selling author Joshua Foer, joined us on September 4th as we discussed Moonwalking with Einstein: The Art and Science of Remembering Everything. Foer, science journalist and 2006 U.S. Memory Championship winner, describes the year he spent working to improve his memory. He explores ancient philosophers' and medieval scholars' techniques such as the memory palace, an imagined spatial construction used to organize recollections. The book discusses savants and amnesiacs, and why memorization still matters.  DB 72817; DX 72817

A recording, transcript, and associated bibliography can be found on the Moonwalking with Einstein's web page linked below.

Moonwalking with Einstein Book Club Page


July 2012 - Book Thief by Markus Zusak

Cover image for The Book Thief book.
Death narrates the tale of nine-year-old Liesel from 1939 to 1943 in Nazi Germany. Liesel copes with a foster family, air raids, her friend Rudy, and a hidden Jew, sustained by the books she steals. Some strong language. For senior high and older readers. 2006.  DX 62431
 


April 2012 - Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L’Engle (1962) – 50 Year Anniversary                           

Cover image for a Wrinkle in Time book.
When an atomic physicist disappears, his children begin a bizarre search.  Led by three whimsical characters, Mrs. Whatsit, Mrs. Who, and Mrs. Which, they manage their interplanetary journey by "wrinkling" to span space and time.  Newberry Award 1963. Prequel to A Wind in the Door (DX 41596). For grades 5-8.  DX 48972.
 

 

Page last modified: June 7, 2017