by Louis Begley
Proud, traditional, and impeccably organized, Albert Schmidt is a buttoned-down lawyer of the old school. But now, after years of careful management, his life is slowly unraveling. His beloved wife has recently died. He stumbles–or is he being pushed?–into early retirement. And his daughter, his only child, is planning to marry a man Schmidt cannot approve of, for reasons he can scarcely admit, even to himself. As Schmidt gropes for resolutions, he finds unexpected hope in an intense passion that comes out of the blue.
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The PageTurners Book Club met on Thursday, October 4 at 6 pm in the Bottom Shelf Room at the Rice Lake Public Library. Seven people attended the discussion. The general consensus was that the dialog was confusing, primarily because it didn’t use punctuation. No one was certain whether Schmidt was speaking to someone or thinking to himself. Nobody was excited about this novel. The average score awarded to this book was 2.5 out of 5 books; the lowest score was a 2 / 5 and the highest score 3 / 5.
Click on the book graphic below to see a full recap of book club members’ opinions.
About Schmidt by Louis Begley is available at the Rice Lake Public Library. There are over five copies of this book in the MORE System. Please visit the card catalog website or call us at 234-4861 to reserve a copy today.
Christian is an idealistic and impoverished young writer who, newly arrived in Montmartre, is haphazardly inducted into a circle of young Bohemians led by Toulouse-Lautrec. A comedy of mistaken identities ensues, quickly enmeshing the young poet in a love triangle involving the unobtainable and consumptive Satine, queen courtesan of the Moulin Rouge, and the foppish Duke of Roxbury, his villainous rival for her affections.
No one ever paid much attention to Muriel and her humdrum small town life, so she and her best friend Rhonda decide to leave it behind and head for the big city… where they end up having the exciting adventure of their lives! What’s more, soon everyone takes notice when Muriel becomes engaged to a handsome and popular sports hero!
A young mute woman and her child travel to New Zealand in the 1800s for an arranged marriage to a farmer. After the marriage she meets another man, and the competition for her love begins. Just one of the men realizes that her affections can only be won through her beloved piano.
The story of Australian pianist David Helfgott. He suffers as a child under his father’s ambitions and as a young man defies his father’s wishes in order to pursue his dreams. At the beginning of a great concert career, he experiences a nervous breakdown and is hospitalized, but later returns to the concert hall. Tells the story of rebellion and of individuality through the eyes of a pianist whose major form of self-expression is found in the keys of his instrument.
A human baby accidentally ends up at the North Pole and grows up among the elf community. Buddy, as he comes to be known, knows that he’s “special”. When he’s 30, Buddy learns from Santa that he’s really a human. He decides to go in search of his father, to find out where he belongs. He walks to Manhattan, and is immediately run over by a cab. His father at first rejects him and Buddy ends up in a department store where other elves are working. But all the while, things are looking bad for Santa Claus. When Santa crashes his sleigh in Central Park, it’s Buddy’s moment to shine.
Gilbert Cates was a renowned Producer and Director of films and tv shows. He was most notable as the producer of some of the Academy awards shows. He, also, was a professor at UCLA where he founded their department of Theater, Film and Television. He passed away a couple of days ago on October 31st. His death is under an investigation. Here is a list of his films that the library owns:
It’s hard to find porridge, a chair and a bed that’s “just right” nowadays, as a little girl is about to find out. Goldilocks, a little girl with a big imagination, has her life changed forever when she wanders into the home of some furry, but friendly, bears.
A childless witch steals a baby girl and whisks her away to a tall tower to raise as her own and calls her Rapunzel. Rapunzel turns into a lovely but lonely young woman with the longest golden hair in the land. When a handsome Prince sees her, it’s love at first sight. He begs her to let down her hair so he can use it as a ladder and come face to face with the woman of his dreams. Will it be curtains for Rapunzel when the Witch finds out about the Prince?
Bill Cosby stars as Blue, an inner-city father struggling to save enough money to buy a house for his family. His obsession with money causes him to neglect his family. When his son (Dennis Hines) is diagnosed with fatal sickle-cell anemia, Blue realizes his priorities need to change.
The U.S.S. Swordfish U-boat is taken prisoner in a battle with a German sub. Meningitis strikes half the German crew. Avoiding the contagion and POW protocol, crew members and prisoners must work together to survive.
In the aftermath of World War II, a mass grave of brutally executed Australian POWs is discovered. A tough military lawyer and his team are dispatched to prosecute the Japanese guards. To win his fight for justice, the lawyer must deal with an American officer protecting his national interests and a Japanese commander who has sworn his troops to a blood oath of silence.
A mother and her two young sons try to survive the best they can since her husband, the boys’ father, is presumed to have died in the Korean War. One day they meet an injured stranger and his dog who change their lives.
The content and opinions expressed in this review do not necessarily reflect the views of nor are they endorsed by the Rice Lake Public Library.
Rated R Central Station is a heartwarming story about a former school teacher and the boy who needs her help to find his father. The chemistry between the two is amazing. Vinícius de Oliveira performance was more mature than his years. To top it off, the brilliance of the film is Walter Salles’s filming the backdrop of Brazil. This film will bring you to tears, not once but multiple times. … Read More
Eccentric inventor Caractacus Potts creates an extraordinary car called Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. It not only drives, it also flies and floats as it leads him, his two children and his beautiful lady friend, Truly Scrumptious, into a magical world of pirates, castles and adventure. There, the group encounter a host of unforgettable characters, including Baron Bomburst of Vulgaria, his persnickety wife, a lovable village toymaker and an evil child catcher.
Chaos reigns when the beautiful daughter of a family casually announces her plans to marry. What follows is a warmly humorous story, with wedding preparations, ruffled egos and the unavoidable meeting with the prospective in-laws.
Ray Kinsella (Kevin Costner) hears a voice, followed by a brief vision of a baseball field. He believes that if he builds a baseball diamond in his cornfield, Shoeless Joe Jackson from the infamous 1919 Chicago “Black” Sox will return to play baseball. By being willing to take a chance, Ray gets a second time up at bat in life.
William Bloom, is a young man who never really knew his now dying father, Edward–outside of the tall tales his dad told him about growing up. During Edward’s last days William and his wife Josephine hold a bedside vigil next to the old man as he recollects elaborate memories of his youth. Still doubting the legends and folklore, William makes a journey to meet a mysterious woman from whom Edward had bought property.
Anna and Ben, the two children of Jackie and Luke, have to cope with the fact that their parents divorced and that there is a new woman in their father’s life: Isabel, a successful photographer. She does her best to treat the kids in a way that makes them still feel at home when being with their dad, but also loves her work and does not plan to give it up. But Jackie, a full-time-mother, regards Isabel’s efforts as offensively insufficient. She can’t understand that work can be important to her as well as the kids. The conflict between them is deepened by the sudden diagnose of cancer, which might be deadly for Jackie. They all have to learn a little in order to grow together.
When a single mother and her young daughter move to rural France and open a chocolate shop – with Sunday hours – across the street from the local church, they are met with some resistance from the rigidly moral community. But as soon as the townspeople discover their delicious products, their attitudes begin to change.
Like mother, like daughter. Neither a hard-as-nails New York playwright nor her flaky Louisiana mother will take the necessary steps to mend their long-time rift. No, this is a job for the Sisterhood, sworn life-long friends who stage an outlandish “intervention” to bring daughter and mother back together again.
When Chris’ best friend Annie loses her husband, Chris derives a scheme to memoralize him. The two women, along with some of their friends–all fiftysomething women–will make a nude calendar to raise money for the hospital where he died. The calendar becomes hugely popular. Based on actual events, this story carefully balances the stories of several women as it follows the media explosion.