Books n' Beans Archive 2010

coffee cup and books

The Books'n'Beans Book Discussion Group is the one for you if you love discussing contemporary fiction!!!

We meet on the second Thursday of each month at 7:00 in Meeting Room F178 (East) in the East Wing of the Fishers Library. See the schedule below for details on dates and book titles.

For more information, contact the Adult Reference Department at 579-0307.




“Sarah’s Key” by Tatiana de Rosnay

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. Through her contemporary investigation, she stumbles onto a trail of long-hidden family secrets that connect her to Sarah. Julia finds herself compelled to retrace the girl's ordeal, from that terrible term in the Vel d'Hiv', to the camps, and beyond. As she probes into Sarah's past, she begins to question her own place in France, and to reevaluate her marriage and her life.  Tatiana de Rosnay offers us a brilliantly subtle, compelling portrait of France under occupation and reveals the taboos and silence that surround this painful episode. 


“The Handmaid’s Tale” by Margaret Atwood  

A chilling look at the near future presents the story of Offred, a Handmaid in the Republic of Gilead, once the United States, an oppressive world where women are no longer allowed to read and are valued only as long as they are viable for reproduction. 

MARCH 2010

“The Kitchen Boy” by Robert Alexander        

 A novel based on the 1918 Bolshevik revolution and the murders of Czar Nicholas II and the rest of the Russian royal family is told from the perspective of the event's only surviving witness, a young kitchen boy.

APRIL 2010

“Finding Nouf”  by Zoe Ferraris  

When sixteen-year-old Nouf goes missing, her prominent family calls on Nayir al-Sharqi, a pious desert guide, to lead the search party. Ten days later, just as Nayir is about to give up in frustration, her body is discovered by anonymous desert travelers. But when the coroner’s office determines that Nouf died not of dehydration but from drowning, and her family seems suspiciously uninterested in getting at the truth, Nayir takes it upon himself to find out what really happened.   He quickly realizes that if he wants to gain access to the hidden world of women, he will have to join forces with Katya Hijazi, a lab worker at the coroner’s office who is bold enough to bare her face and to work in public. Their partnership challenges Nayir, as he confronts his desire for female companionship and the limitations imposed by his beliefs. 

MAY 2010

“Pursuit of Love/Love in a Cold Climate”  by Nancy Mitford

Few aristocratic English families of the twentieth century enjoyed the glamorous notoriety of the infamous Mitford sisters. Nancy Mitford's most famous novels, The Pursuit of Love and Love in a Cold Climate, satirize British aristocracy in the twenties and thirties through the amorous adventures of the Radletts, an exuberantly unconventional family closely modelled on Mitford's own. The Radletts of Alconleigh occupy the heights of genteel eccentricity, from terrifying Lord Alconleigh (who, like Mitford's father, used to hunt his children with bloodhounds when foxes were not available), to his gentle wife, Sadie, their wayward daughter Linda, and the other six lively Radlett children. Mitford's wickedly funny prose follows these characters through misguided marriages and dramatic love affairs, as the shadow of            World War II begins to close in on their rapidly vanishing world.

JUNE 2010

“The Eightby Katherine Neville        

About to embark on a business trip to Algeria, Catherine Velis meets a mysterious man who offers her an enormous sum of money if she will find the pieces of an old chess service reputed to be in Algeria.

JULY 2010

 “The Art of Racing in the Rain” by Garth Stein 

On the eve of a faithful canine's death, Enzo (the dog) takes stock of his life while recalling the sacrifices, unexpected losses, and person struggles of his would-be race-car driver human, Denny, in the latter's efforts to retain custody of his daughter. 


“The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society”   by Mary Ann Shaffer                                          

In 1946, as England emerges from the shadow of World War II, writer Juliet Ashton finds inspiration for her next book in her correspondence with a native of Guernsey and his eccentric friends, who tell her about

their island, the books they love, German occupation, and the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, a book club born as an alibi during German occupation. 


“East of the Sun” by Julia Gregson    

This powerful historical novel follows the lives of three British women travel to India in the late 1920: Rose, engaged to a handsome cavalry officer she barely knows; Tor, determined to find a husband of her own to escape a loveless home in England; and Viva, an impoverished orphan returning to the country of her birth in search of answers. As these women set out on their individual paths, they confront personal and political challenges that reshape the courses of their lives and forge unbreakable bonds between them.


“Practical Magic” by Alice Hoffman 

Sorcery is the legacy of Gillian and Sally Owens, a two-hundred-year-old family legacy they both try to escape--one through marriage, the other through running away--until they realize that their magic is a gift, rather than an affliction. 


“What Was Lost” by Catherine O’Flynn   

O'Flynn's debut begins with self-made detective and ten-year-old orphan Kate Meaney as she buses her way to the Green Oaks Shopping Mall, where she'll survey the various customers who may want to commit crimes: "Crime was out there. Undetected, unseen." With notebook and stuffed monkey in tow, Kate spends her days when not in school either outside the mall looking to catch a thief or at a neighborhood store sharing her observations with the shop owner's son, 22-year-old Adrian Palmer. When Kate disappears one day, never to be seen again, suspicion falls on Adrian, and the two-decade-spanning, unsolved case wreaks destruction on the lives of those who had touched Kate's life in one way or another. This seamlessly written, character-driven novel offers up well-appreciated humor along with its darker    material, and readers who enjoy sideswiping surprises will not be disappointed. 


“Lying Awake” by Mark Salzman

In a Carmelite monastery outside of Los Angeles, Sister John of the Cross, an elderly nun, experiences a series of dazzling and incisive visions, but she is confronted with a difficult choice when she discovers that she must choose between her spiritual gifts and the medical establishment that seeks to cure the powerful headaches that accompany her visions.


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