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The Connect Book Club
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Book for November 13, 2019
Group 2
Meeting at Jennifer's place
Desperate Characters
Desperate Characters
Otto and Sophie Bentwood live in a changing neighborhood in Brooklyn. Their stainless-steel kitchen is newly installed, and their Mercedes is parked curbside. After Sophie is bitten on the hand while trying to feed a stray, perhaps rabies-infected cat, a series of small and ominous disasters begin to plague the Bentwoods' lives, revealing the fault lines and fractures in a marriage—and a society—wrenching itself apart.

First published in 1970 to wide acclaim, Desperate Characters stands as one of the most dazzling and rigorous examples of the storyteller's craft in postwar American literature — a novel that, according to Irving Howe, ranks with "Billy Budd, The Great Gatsby, Miss Lonelyhearts, and Seize the Day."

Author: Paula Fox
Paula Fox (April 22, 1923 – March 1, 2017) was an American author of novels for adults and children and of two memoirs. For her contributions as a children's writer she won the biennial, international Hans Christian Andersen Award in 1978, the highest international recognition for a creator of children's books. She also won several awards for particular children's books including the 1974 Newbery Medal for her novel The Slave Dancer;[3][b] a 1983 National Book Award in category Children's Fiction (paperback) for A Place Apart; and the 2008 Deutscher Jugendliteraturpreis for A Portrait of Ivan (1969) in its German-language edition Ein Bild von Ivan.

In 2011, she was inducted into the New York State Writers Hall of Fame. The NYSW Hall of Fame is a project of the Empire State Center for the Book. Her adult novels went out of print in 1992. In the mid nineties she enjoyed a revival as her adult fiction was championed by a new generation of American writers.
Book for November 20, 2019
Group 4
Killing Time
Killing Time
Killing Time is the story of Paul Feyerabend's life. Finished only weeks before his death in 1994, it is the self-portrait of one of this century's most original and influential intellectuals. Trained in physics and astronomy, Feyerabend was best known as a philosopher of science. But he emphatically was not a builder of theories or a writer of rules. Rather, his fame was in powerful, plain-spoken critiques of "big" science and "big" philosophy. Feyerabend gave voice to a radically democratic "epistemological anarchism:" he argued forcefully that there is not one way to knowledge, but many principled paths; not one truth or one rationality but different, competing pictures of the workings of the world. "Anything goes," he said about the ways of science in his most famous book, Against Method. And he meant it. Here, for the first time, Feyerabend traces the trajectory that led him from an isolated, lower-middle-class childhood in Vienna to the height of international academic success. He writes of his experience in the German army on the Russian front, where three bullets left him crippled, impotent, and in lifelong pain. He recalls his promising talent as an operatic tenor (a lifelong passion), his encounters with everyone from Martin Buber to Bertolt Brecht, innumerable love affairs, four marriages, and a career so rich he once held tenured positions at four universities at the same time. Although not written as an intellectual autobiography, Killing Time sketches the people, ideas, and conflicts of sixty years. Feyerabend writes frankly of complicated relationships with his mentor Karl Popper and his friend and frequent opponent Imre Lakatos, and his reactions to a growing reputation as the "worst enemy of science."

Author: Paul Karl Feyerabend
Paul Karl Feyerabend (January 13, 1924 – February 11, 1994)was an Austrian-born philosopher of science best known for his work as a professor of philosophy at the University of California, Berkeley, where he worked for three decades (1958–1989). At various different points in his life, he lived in England, the United States, New Zealand, Italy, Germany, and finally Switzerland. His major works include Against Method (published in 1975), Science in a Free Society (published in 1978) and Farewell to Reason (a collection of papers published in 1987). Feyerabend became famous for his purportedly anarchistic view of science and his rejection of the existence of universal methodological rules. He was an influential figure in the sociology of scientific knowledge. Asteroid (22356) Feyerabend is named in his honour.
Book for December 04, 2019
Group 3
Madame Bovary
Madame Bovary

was first published in Paris in 1856. Emma Bovary, married to a boring Doctor with a medical practice in provincial Normandy, begins an affair with an unscrupulous landowner ...

When the novel was first serialized in La Revue de Paris in 1856, public prosecutors attacked the book for obscenity. The resulting trial in January 1857 made it notorious. After Flaubert's acquittal on 7 February 1857, Madame Bovary became a bestseller. A seminal work of literary realism, the novel is now considered one of the most influential literary works in history.


Author: Gustave Flaubert
(12 December 1821 – 8 May 1880) was a French novelist and the leading exponent of literary realism in 19th century France. He is known especially for his debut novel Madame Bovary (1857), his Correspondence, and his scrupulous devotion to style and aesthetics.
Book for December 18, 2019
Group 4
Inheritance
Inheritance
A Memoir of Genealogy, Paternity, and Love What makes us who we are? What combination of memory, history, biology, experience, and that ineffable thing called the soul defines us? In the spring of 2016, through a genealogy website to which she had whimsically submitted her DNA for analysis, Dani Shapiro received the stunning news that her father was not her biological father. She woke up one morning and her entire history—the life she had lived—crumbled beneath her. Inheritance is a book about secrets—secrets within families, kept out of shame or self-protectiveness; secrets we keep from one another in the name of love. It is the story of a woman’s urgent quest to unlock the story of her own identity, a story that has been scrupulously hidden from her for more than fifty years, years she had spent writing brilliantly, and compulsively, on themes of identity and family history. It is a book about the extraordinary moment we live in—a moment in which science and technology have outpaced not only medical ethics but also the capacities of the human heart to contend with the consequences of what we discover. Timely and unforgettable, Dani Shapiro’s memoir is a gripping, gut-wrenching exploration of genealogy, paternity, and love.

Author: Dani Shapiro
Dani Shapiro (born April 10, 1962) is an American writer who is the author of five novels and the best-selling memoirsHourglass, Slow Motion, and Devotion. She has also written for magazines such as The New Yorker, The Oprah Magazine, Vogue, and ELLE. Since 1997 she has been married to screenwriter Michael Maren. They have one child. Shapiro has also written for the screen, having adapted Oscar Wilde's The Happy Prince for HBO in 1999. In 2000, she co-wrote a screenplay based on her memoir, Slow Motion, with her husband, journalist and screenwriter Michael Maren. She has been a professor of creative writing at Wesleyan University and an instructor at the New School and Columbia University.
Book for January 08, 2020
Group 2
Snap
Snap
On a stifling summer's day, eleven-year-old Jack and his two sisters sit in their broken-down car, waiting for their mother to come back and rescue them. Jack's in charge, she said. I won't be long.

But she doesn't come back. She never comes back. And life as the children know it is changed for ever.

Three years later, mum-to-be Catherine wakes to find a knife beside her bed, and a note that says: I could have killed you.

Meanwhile Jack is still in charge - of his sisters, of supporting them all, of making sure nobody knows they're alone in the house, and - quite suddenly - of finding out the truth about what happened to his mother.

But the truth can be a dangerous thing ...

Author: Belinda Bauer
Belinda Bauer (born 1962) is a British writer of crime novels. She grew up in England and South Africa, but later moved to Wales, where she worked as a court reporter in Cardiff; the principality is often used as a setting in her work.

Bauer's debut novel, Blacklands, won the British Crime Writers' Association's Gold Dagger award for the best crime novel of 2010. Both Blacklands and her second novel Darkside (2011) are set in the town On Exmoor, Somerset, England. Both have been translated into several languages.

Finders Keepers, Bauer's third novel, was set in Shipcott. The book was published in Britain on 5 January 2012, and in the United States on 28 February 2012.

In 2014, her book Rubbernecker, set in Cardiff and Brecon, won the Theakston's Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year Award.

Bauer is a former journalist and screenwriter; she won the Carl Foreman BAFTA for her screenplay The Locker Room.

In July 2018 Bauer's novel, Snap, was longlisted for that year's Man Booker Prize.
Book for January 17, 2020
Group 1
Meeting at Amy and Daniel's place
Children of Time
Children of Time
Adrian Tchaikovksy's award-winning novel Children of Time, is the epic story of humanity's battle for survival on a terraformed planet.
Who will inherit this new Earth?

The last remnants of the human race left a dying Earth, desperate to find a new home among the stars. Following in the footsteps of their ancestors, they discover the greatest treasure of the past age - a world terraformed and prepared for human life.

But all is not right in this new Eden. In the long years since the planet was abandoned, the work of its architects has borne disastrous fruit. The planet is not waiting for them, pristine and unoccupied. New masters have turned it from a refuge into mankind's worst nightmare.

Now two civilizations are on a collision course, both testing the boundaries of what they will do to survive. As the fate of humanity hangs in the balance, who are the true heirs of this new Earth?

Author: Adrian Tchaikovsky
Adrian Tchaikovsky is the author of the acclaimed Shadows of the Apt fantasy series. He has been nominated for the David Gemmell Legend Award and a British Fantasy Society Award. In civilian life he is a lawyer, gamer, and amateur entomologist.
Book for February 12, 2020
Group 2
To See The Light Return: a Brexitopian novel
To See The Light Return: a Brexitopian novel
Decades into the future, in a disUnited Kingdom, the breakaway county of Devon harbours dark secrets as its leader, Mayor Spight, trades with the rogue state of New Jersey to keep the engines of state running. Resistance agents are working against the clock to restore power to the people, but time is running out.

Author: Sophie Galleymore Bird
Sophie Galleymore Bird is an author.
Book for February 14, 2020
Group 1
Meeting at Steve's place
The Other Americans
The Other Americans
From the Pulitzer Prize finalist, author of The Moor's Account--a timely and powerful new novel about the suspicious death of a Moroccan immigrant that is at once a family saga, a murder mystery, and a love story, all of it informed by the treacherous fault lines of American culture.

Late one spring night, Driss Guerraoui, a Moroccan immigrant in California, is walking across a darkened intersection when he is killed by a speeding car. The repercussions of his death bring together a diverse cast of characters: Guerraoui's daughter Nora, a jazz composer who returns to the small town in the Mojave she thought she'd left for good; his widow Maryam, who still pines after her life in the old country; Efrain, an undocumented witness whose fear of deportation prevents him from coming forward; Jeremy, a former classmate of Nora's and a veteran of the Iraq war; Coleman, a detective who is slowly discovering her son's secrets; Anderson, a neighbor trying to reconnect with his family; and the murdered man himself.

As the characters tell their stories, the invisible connections that tie them together--even while they remain deeply divided by race, religion, or class--are slowly revealed. When the mystery of what happened to Driss Guerraoui unfolds, a family's secrets are exposed, a town's hypocrisies are faced, and love, in its messy and unpredictable forms, is born.

Author: Laila Lalami
Laila Lalami was born in Rabat and educated in Morocco, Great Britain, and the United States. She is the author of the novels Hope and Other Dangerous Pursuits, which was a finalist for the Oregon Book Award; Secret Son, which was on the Orange Prize longlist; and The Moor’s Account, which won the American Book Award, the Arab American Book Award, and the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award. It was on the Man Booker Prize longlist and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. Her essays and opinion pieces have appeared in the Los Angeles Times, the Washington Post, The Nation, Harper’s, the Guardian, and the New York Times. The recipient of a British Council Fellowship, a Fulbright Fellowship, and a Guggenheim Fellowship, she is currently a professor of creative writing at the University of California at Riverside.