PageTurners Read “The Samurai’s Garden”

The Samurai’s Garden
Gail Tsukiyama
The daughter of a Chinese mother and a Japanese father, Tsukiyama uses the Japanese invasion of China during the late 1930s as a somber backdrop for her unusual story about a 20-year-old Chinese painter named Stephen who is sent to his family’s summer home in a Japanese coastal village to recover from a bout with tuberculosis. Here he is cared for by Matsu, a reticent housekeeper and a master gardener. Over the course of a remarkable year, Stephen learns Matsu’s secret and gains not only physical strength, but also profound spiritual insight. Matsu is a samurai of the soul, a man devoted to doing good and finding beauty in a cruel and arbitrary world, and Stephen is a noble student, learning to appreciate Matsu’s generous and nurturing way of life and to love Matsu’s soulmate, gentle Sachi, a woman afflicted with leprosy.

The PageTurners Book Club met on Thursday, April 12, at 6 pm in the Bottom Shelf Room at the Rice Lake Public Library. Seven people attended the discussion. The general consensus about the book was that it was well written and lyrical. The average score awarded to this book was  out of 5 books; the lowest score was a 4 / 5 and the highest score 4.5 / 5.

Click on the book graphic below to see a full recap of book club members’ opinions.

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The Samurai’s Garden by Gail Tsukiyama is available at the Rice Lake Public Library. There over ten 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.

The PageTurners Book Club is sponsored by the Friends of the Rice Lake Public Library. It usually meets on the first Thursday of each month at 6 pm at the Rice Lake Public Library. Discussion lasts an hour; everyone is welcome.

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PageTurners Read “Passing Strange”

Passing Strange : a Gilded Age Tale of love and Deception Across the Color Line
by Martha A. Sandweiss
Clarence King is a hero of nineteenth-century western history. Brilliant scientist and witty conversationalist, bestselling author and architect of the great surveys that mapped the West after the Civil War, King hid a secret from his Gilded Age cohorts and prominent Newport family: for thirteen years he lived a double life–as the celebrated white Clarence King and as a black Pullman porter and steelworker. Unable to marry the black woman he loved, the fair-haired, blue-eyed King passed as a Negro, revealing his secret to his wife Ada only on his deathbed. Historian Martha Sandweiss is the first writer to uncover the life that King tried so hard to conceal. She reveals the complexity of a man who, while publicly espousing a personal dream of a uniquely American amalgam of white and black, hid his love for his wife and their five biracial children.

The PageTurners Book Club met on Thursday, March 1, at 6 pm in the Bottom Shelf Room at the Rice Lake Public Library. Seven people attended the discussion. The general consensus about the book was that the author spent too much time on describing Clarence King’s career, and not enough time on his marriage. The average score awarded to this book was 3.25 out of 5 books; the lowest score was a 3 / 5 and the highest score 4 / 5.

Click on the book graphic below to see a full recap of book club members’ opinions.

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Passing Strange by Martha A. Sandweiss is available at the Rice Lake Public Library. There are several 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.

The PageTurners Book Club is sponsored by the Friends of the Rice Lake Public Library. It usually meets on the first Thursday of each month at 6 pm at the Rice Lake Public Library. Discussion lasts an hour; everyone is welcome.

PageTurners Read : “House of Mirth”

The House of Mirth
by Edith Wharton

“The House of Mirth” by Edith Wharton was written in 1905, contemporary to the action of the novel. Lily Bart is a beautiful and vivacious woman, living among wealthy relatives in turn of the century New York City. She is popular with many, and receives numerous marriage proposals. However, after an indiscretion of hers becomes known, she is made persona non grata among her former friends. The novel traces her rise and fall as she is held to a high social standard that makes no allowances for individuality or foibles.

Three people attended the discussion for “House of Mirth” by Edith Wharton. Opinions were divided on whether it was liked, but everyone agreed that it was as timely now as when it was written in 1905. The average score was 3.37 out of 5 possible; the lowest was a 2.5, and the highest was a 4.5. Click on the books below to see a full write up of the book club’s opinions.

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“The House of Mirth” by Edith Wharton is available at the Rice Lake Public Library. There are over twenty 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.

The PageTurners Book Club is sponsored by the Friends of the Rice Lake Public Library. It usually meets on the first Thursday of each month at 6 pm at the Rice Lake Public Library. Discussion lasts an hour; everyone is welcome.

PageTurners Read “Alias Grace”

Alias Grace
by Margaret Atwood

Grace Marks was convicted of being an accessory to the murder of Thomas Kinnear and Nancy Montgomery in 1834. Due to the impassioned pleas of her lawyer and the conflicted public sentiment towards her, she was not sentenced to death, but rather life in prison. She gave at least three conflicting descriptions of the murders and no one ever knew whether she had masterminded the terrible events, particpiated actively in them, or was merely a victim of circumstances browbeat by her accomplice. Alias Grace is the fictional account, by acclaimed Canadian author Margaret Atwood, of one (fictional) man’s attempt to discover whether Grace Marks is insane, innocent, or supremely cunning.

The PageTurners Book Club discussed Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood on Thursday, December 9. Six people attended the discussion. Most people enjoyed the book, but felt that the ending was too ambiguous. Although the book was long and very detailed, most liked that. The group gave it a 4 / 5 rating. The highest rating was 4.5 / 5 and the lowest was 3.5 / 5. The full rating guide can be found by clicking on the 4 Book icon below.

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Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood is available at the Rice Lake Public Library. It is available in regular print through the MORE System. Please visit the card catalog website or call us at 234-4861 to reserve a copy today.

The PageTurners Book Club is sponsored by the Friends of the Rice Lake Public Library. It meets on the first Thursday of each month at 6 pm at the Rice Lake Public Library. Discussion lasts an hour; everyone is welcome.