Island Senior: Mullis Center Book Club Selects Upcoming Titles
“Island Senior” is a regular column on the San Juan Update written by Peggy Sue McRae.
In my last Island Senior article, The Year of Covid-19, I took stock of the past year, a challenging time for most of us, and took note of some of the good things that helped me through a whole year of Covid-19. Books and human contact through zoom were among the positive influences.
Thanks to the Mullis Center Book Club, I read books I may not have chosen on my own but that transported me to occupied France during WWII, New York City through an immigrant’s eyes, and life on the Mississippi River. Each story, whether the adventures of Swedish octogenarians on a crime spree or Russians suffering the deprivations of war offered us something encouraging toward the resiliency of being human.
We have just selected our next books. The books have usually been around long enough that you can find a second-hand copy. Librarian Beth Helstein moderates the club and the books are often available at the library in large print, audio format, or as a downloadable ebook.
We meet the second Monday of the month at 1:15 p.m. and, since the pandemic, we have been meeting via zoom. If you need help with Zoom, call or email the Library for help. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for the Zoom meeting invitation. We are an open club and happy to welcome new readers.
April 12: The Water Dancer by Ta-Nehisi Coates
A Virginia slave narrowly escapes a drowning death through the intervention of a mysterious force that compels his escape and personal underground war against slavery.
May 10: The Night Watchman by Louise Erdrich
Based on the author’s grandfather, this historical novel traces the experiences of a Chippewa Council night watchman in mid-19 century rural North Dakota who fights Congress to enforce Native American treaty rights.
June 13: Emily, Alone by Stewart O’Nan
Newly independent widow Emily Maxwell dreams of visits by grandchildren and mourns changes in her quiet Pittsburgh neighborhood before realizing an inner strength to pursue developing opportunities.
July 11: The Perfume Collector by Kathleen Tessaro
After receiving a large inheritance from a complete stranger, London socialite and newlywed Grace Monroe searches for the identity of her mysterious benefactor and uncovers the story of a unique woman who inspired one of Paris’ greatest perfumers, which transforms her own life.
August 8: Pictures at an Exhibition by Sara Houghteling
In the wake of WWII, Max, the son of an art dealer and his pianist wife, wanders Paris in an effort to recover his family’s lost masterpieces, looted by the Nazis during occupation, uncovering in the process stories about the heroism of Rose, his father’s beautiful gallery aide, the disappearance of his closest friend and an old family secret.