PCL Book Club meets at 7pm on the third Tuesday of the month. All are welcome.
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January: Arcadia by Lauren Groff
In the fields of western New York State in the 1970s, a few dozen idealists set out to live off the land, founding what would become a commune centered on the grounds of a decaying mansion called Arcadia House. Arcadia follows this rollicking, tragic dream from its hopeful start through its heyday and beyond. What unfolds is an astonishingly beautiful novel about happiness and the impossible dream of perfection.
February: The Death of Vivek Oji by Emezi Akwaeke
Raised by a distant father and an understanding but overprotective mother, Vivek suffers disorienting blackouts, moments of disconnection between self and surroundings. As adolescence gives way to adulthood, Vivek finds solace in friendships with the warm, boisterous daughters of the Nigerwives, foreign-born women married to Nigerian men. But Vivek’s closest bond is with Osita, the worldly, high-spirited cousin whose teasing confidence masks a guarded private life. As their relationship deepens—and Osita struggles to understand Vivek’s escalating crisis—the mystery gives way to a heart-stopping act of violence in a moment of exhilarating freedom.
March: The Paris Library by Janet Skeslien Charles
Paris, 1939: Young and ambitious Odile Souchet has it all: her handsome police officer beau and a dream job at the American Library in Paris. When the Nazis march into Paris, Odile stands to lose everything she holds dear, including her beloved library. Together with her fellow librarians, Odile joins the Resistance with the best weapons she has: books. But when the war finally ends, instead of freedom, Odile tastes the bitter sting of unspeakable betrayal.
April: And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini
In this tale, Hosseini explores the many ways in which families nurture, wound, betray, honor, and sacrifice for one another; and how often we are surprised by the actions of those closest to us, at the times that matter most. Following its characters and the ramifications of their lives and choices and loves around the globe, the story expands gradually outward, becoming more emotionally complex and powerful with each turning page.
May: Biography of your choice – Famous figures in STEM
June: The Dutch House by Ann Patchett
At the end of the Second World War, Cyril Conroy combines luck and a single canny investment to begin an enormous real estate empire, propelling his family from poverty to enormous wealth. His first order of business is to buy the Dutch House, a lavish estate in the suburbs outside of Philadelphia. Meant as a surprise for his wife, the house sets in motion the undoing of everyone he loves.
July: Swamplandia! by Karen Russell
The Bigtree alligator-wrestling dynasty is in decline, and Swamplandia!, their island home and gator-wrestling theme park, formerly #1 in the region, is swiftly being encroached upon by a fearsome and sophisticated competitor called the World of Darkness. Ava’s mother, the park’s indomitable headliner, has just died; her sister has fallen in love with a spooky character; and her brilliant big brother, who dreams of becoming a scholar, has just defected to the World of Darkness in a last-ditch effort to keep their family business from going under. Ava’s father is AWOL; and that leaves Ava, a resourceful but terrified thirteen, to manage ninety-eight gators and the vast, inscrutable landscape of her own grief.
August: City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert
In 1940, nineteen-year-old Vivian Morris was just kicked out of Vassar College, owing to her lackluster freshman-year performance. Her affluent parents send her to Manhattan to live with her Aunt Peg, who owns a flamboyant, crumbling midtown theater called the Lily Playhouse. There Vivian is introduced to an entire cosmos of unconventional and charismatic characters, from the fun-chasing showgirls to a sexy male actor, a grand-dame actress, a lady-killer writer, and no-nonsense stage manager. But when Vivian makes a personal mistake that results in a professional scandal, it turns her new world upside down in ways that it will take her years to fully understand.
September: Little Bee by Chris Cleave
WE DON’T WANT TO TELL YOU TOO MUCH ABOUT THIS BOOK. It is a truly special story and we don’t want to spoil it. Nevertheless, you need to know something, so we will just say this: It is extremely funny, but the African beach scene is horrific.
The story starts there, but the book doesn’t. And it’s what happens afterward that is most important.
Once you have read it, you’ll want to tell everyone about it. When you do, please don’t tell them what happens either. The magic is in how it unfolds.
October: Normal People by Sally Rooney
At school, Connell and Marianne pretend not to know each other. He’s a popular, well-adjusted, star of the school football team, while she is lonely, proud and intensely private. But when Connell comes to pick his mother up from her job at Marianne’s house, a strange and indelible connection grows between the two teenagers – one they are determined to conceal.
November: The Friend by Sigrid Nunez
When a woman unexpectedly loses her lifelong best friend and mentor, she finds herself burdened with the unwanted dog he has left behind. Her own battle against grief is intensified by the mute suffering of the dog, and by the threat of eviction: dogs are prohibited in her apartment building. While others worry that grief has made her a victim of magical thinking, the woman refuses to be separated from the dog except for brief periods of time. Isolated from the rest of the world, increasingly obsessed with the dog’s care, determined to read its mind and fathom its heart, she comes dangerously close to unraveling. But while troubles abound, rich and surprising rewards lie in store for both of them.
Starting July 16, 2022, call 988 for matters of mental health crisis. Calling 988 will connect you directly to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, which is staffed by trained crisis counselors 24/7, 365 days a year. May is Mental Health Month Find local, state, and national resources along with fact sheets and a guide to…
Each May, we should take the time to raise awareness that mental health matters. For those living with mental or behavioral health issues, we are here to show support and to help reduce the stigma that so many people experience. Show your support by tag: #MentalHealthMonth #MHM2022 #parklandcommunitylibrary #mentalhealthmatters With mental health entering more and…
May is Foster Care Awareness Month. To celebrate we are promoting The Kindness Project. The Kindness Project provides support to foster families in the Lehigh Valley and surrounding areas by supplying clothing, furniture, and other essential items, free of charge, to children in foster care. Children are often placed in foster care with no personal items.…