Book Clubs

 

If you are looking for an opportunity to talk about books you have read, you have come to the right place. West Florida Public Libraries has book clubs at Pensacola Library, Molino Branch Library, Tryon Branch Library and Southwest Branch Library. Each book club has a different theme. 

 

West Florida Public Libraries Book Club (Popular Literary)

Meets the third Wednesday of every month

10:30 a.m. at Pensacola Library

 

APRIL 19

“News of the World”

Paulette Jiles

In the aftermath of the Civil War, an aging itinerant news reader agrees to transport a young captive of the Kiowa back to her people in this exquisitely rendered, morally complex, multilayered novel of historical fiction from the author of Enemy Women that explores the boundaries of family, responsibility, honor, and trust.

 

MAY 17

Commonwealth”

Ann Patchett

One Sunday afternoon in Southern California, Bert Cousins shows up at Franny Keating’s christening party uninvited. Before evening falls, he has kissed Franny’s mother, Beverly–thus setting in motion the dissolution of their marriages and the joining of two families. 

 

JUNE 21

“The Devil in the White City”

Erik Larson

Erik Larson intertwines the true tale of the 1893 World’s Fair and the cunning serial killer who used the fair to lure his victims to their deaths. Combining meticulous research with nail-biting storytelling, Larson has crafted a narrative with all the wonder of newly discovered history and the thrills of the best fiction.

 

JULY 19

“The Circle”

Dave Eggers

When Mae Holland is hired to work for the Circle, the world’s most powerful internet company, she feels she’s been given the opportunity of a lifetime. The Circle, run out of a sprawling California campus, links users’ personal emails, social media, banking and purchasing with their universal operating system, resulting in one online identity and a new age of civility and transparency. What begins as the captivating story of one woman’s ambition and idealism soon becomes a heart-racing novel of suspense, raising questions about memory, history, privacy, democracy and the limits of human knowledge.

 

AUG. 16

“Swing Time”

Zadie Smith

Two girls dream of being dancers, but only one, Tracey, has talent. The other has ideas: about rhythm and time, about black bodies and black music, what constitutes a tribe, or makes a person truly free. Their close but complicated childhood friendship ends abruptly in their early twenties, never to be revisited, but never quite forgotten either.

 

SETP. 20

“Everything I Never Told You”

Celeste Ng

Lydia is the favorite child of Marilyn and James Lee; their middle daughter, a girl who inherited her mother’s bright blue eyes and her father’s jet-black hair. Her parents are determined that Lydia will fulfill the dreams they were unable to pursue. When Lydia’s body is found in the local lake, the delicate balancing act that has been keeping the Lee family together tumbles into chaos, forcing them to confront the long-kept secrets that have been slowly pulling them apart. 

 

OCT. 18

“A Gentleman in Moscow”

Amor Towles

In 1922, Count Alexander Rostov is deemed an unrepentant aristocrat by a Bolshevik tribunal and is sentenced to house arrest in the Metropol, a grand hotel across the street from the Kremlin. Rostov, an indomitable man of erudition and wit, has never worked a day in his life, and must now live in an attic room while some of the most tumultuous decades in Russian history are unfolding outside the hotel’s doors. 

 

NOV. 15

“This Is How It Always Is”

Laurie Frankel

When Rosie and Penn and their four boys welcome the newest member of their family, no one is surprised it’s another baby boy. At least their large, loving, chaotic family knows what to expect. But Claude is not like his brothers. One day he puts on a dress and refuses to take it off. He wants to bring a purse to kindergarten. He wants hair long enough to sit on. When he grows up, Claude says, he wants to be a girl. Rosie and Penn aren’t panicked at first. Kids go through phases, after all, and make-believe is fun. But soon the entire family is keeping Claude’s secret. Until one day it explodes.

 

DEC. 20

“The Bear and the Nightingale”

Katherine Arden

In a village at the edge of the wilderness of northern Russia, where the winds blow cold and the snow falls many months of the year, a stranger with piercing blue eyes presents a new father with a gift – a precious jewel on a delicate chain, intended for his young daughter. Uncertain of its meaning, Pytor hides the gift away and Vasya grows up a wild, willful girl, to the chagrin of her family. But when mysterious forces threaten the happiness of their village, Vasya discovers that, armed only with the necklace, she may be the only one who can keep the darkness at bay.

 

West Florida Public Libraries Book Club (Best Sellers)

Meets the fourth Thursday of every month

6 p.m. at Pensacola Library

APRIL 27

“The Girl Before”

JP Delaney

JP Delaney’s new psychological thriller tells the story of Jane, who has just moved to a new home at One Folgate Street. The house is an architectural masterpiece, and as she settles into her new home, Jane finds out that she has a lot in common with the previous tenant, who recently died. Jane soon begins to unknowingly follow the same patterns, meet the same people and experience the same terrors.

 

MAY 25

“Big Little Lies”

Liane Moriarty

A terrible riot at Pirriwee Public’s annual school Trivia Night that leaves one parent dead. Was it a murder, a tragic accident, or just parents behaving badly? Join West Florida Public Libraries Staff to discuss Liane Moriarty’s “Big Little Lies”, a #1 New York Times Bestseller and inspiration for the HBO® Limited Series.

 

JUNE 22

“Dragon Teeth”

Michael Crichton

The year is 1876. Warring Indian tribes still populate America’s western territories even as lawless gold rush towns begin to mark the landscape. In much of the country it is still illegal to support evolution. Against this backdrop two monomaniacal paleontologists pillage the Wild West, hunting for dinosaur fossils, while surveilling, deceiving and sabotaging each other in a rivalry that will come to be known as the Bone Wars.

 

JULY 27

“Same Beach, Next Year”

Dorothea Benton Frank

A chance meeting on the Isle of Palms, one of Charleston’s most stunning barrier islands, brings former sweethearts, Adam Stanley and Eve Landers together again. Their respective spouses, Eliza and Carl, fight sparks of jealousy flaring from their imagined rekindling of old flames. As Adam and Eve get caught up on their lives, their partners strike up a deep friendship and flirt with an unexpected attraction of their own.

 

AUG. 24

“When Breath Becomes Air”

Paul Kalanithi

A memoir by a young neurosurgeon faced with a terminal cancer diagnosis who attempts to answer the question “What makes a life worth living?” At the age of thirty-six, on the verge of completing a decade’s worth of training as a neurosurgeon, Paul Kalanithi was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer. One day he was a doctor treating the dying, and the next he was a patient struggling to live. And just like that, the future he and his wife had imagined evaporated.

 

Pensacola Opera Book Discussion

The Pensacola Opera will give select previews of certain operas at Pensacola Library.

 

FEB. 27 – 6 p.m.

“Dead Man Walking”

Sister Helen Prejean

Tells the story of convicted killer Matthew Poncelet and Sister Helen Prejean, his spiritual adviser, and the journey they undertake in search of the truth.

 

 

Molino Book Club (Genre Exploration)

Meets the last Monday of every month

6 p.m. at Molino Branch Library

 

MARCH 27

“Captain Blood” (Swashbuckler)

Rafael Sabatini

Physician and country gentleman Peter Blood is forced to turn from medicine to piracy in this swashbuckling classic brimming with stolen treasure, adventure on the high seas, and romance.

 

APRIL 24

“The Grammar of God” (Non-Fiction)

Aviya Kushner

The author recalls how, after becoming very familiar with the Biblical Old Testament in its original Hebrew growing up, an encounter with an English language version led her on a ten-year project of examining various translations of the Old Testament and their histories.

 

JUNE 26

“Infernal Devices” (Steampunk)

K. W. Jeter

He inherited a watchmaker’s store – and a whole heap of trouble. But idle sometime-musician George has little talent for clockwork. And when a shadowy figure tries to steal an old device from the premises, George finds himself embroiled in a mystery of time travel, music and sexual intrigue. A genuine lost classic, Infernal Devices is a Steampunk classic that has been out of print for far too long. It’s time has come.

 

JULY 31

“These is My Words” (Wild West Fiction)

Nancy E. Turner

In a compelling fiction debut, Nancy E. Turners unforgettable “These Is My Words” melds the sweeping adventures and dramatic landscapes of Lonesome Dove with the heartfelt emotional saga of Oldest Living Confederate Widow Tells All.

 

AUG. 28

“Burying the Honeysuckle Girls” (Mystery)

Emily Carpenter

Althea Bell is still heartbroken by her mother’s tragic, premature death—and tormented by the last, frantic words she whispered into young Althea’s ear: Wait for her. For the honeysuckle girl. She’ll find you, I think, but if she doesn’t, you find her. Adrift ever since, Althea is now fresh out of rehab and returning to her family home in Mobile, Ala., determined to reconnect with her estranged, ailing father. While Althea doesn’t expect him, or her politically ambitious brother, to welcome her with open arms, she’s not prepared for the chilling revelation of a grim, long-buried family secret.

 

SEPT. 25

Lost City of the Monkey God (Non-Fiction)

Douglas J. Preston

A 500-year-old legend. An ancient curse. A stunning medical mystery. And a pioneering journey into the unknown heart of the world’s densest jungle. Since the days of conquistador Hernan Cortes, rumors have circulated about a lost city of immense wealth hidden somewhere in the Honduran interior, called the White City or the Lost City of the Monkey God. Indigenous tribes speak of ancestors who fled there to escape the Spanish invaders, and they warn that anyone who enters this sacred city will fall ill and die. In 1940, swashbuckling journalist Theodore Morde returned from the rainforest with hundreds of artifacts and an electrifying story of having found the Lost City of the Monkey God-but then committed suicide without revealing its location. Three quarters of a century later, bestselling author Doug Preston joined a team of scientists on a groundbreaking new quest.

 

OCT. 30 

“Baby Blue” (Mystery)

Lloyd Albritton

When two young boys, Buckshot and Pooty Barnhill, stumble upon the gruesome, headless corpse of a young white man in the woods of Nokomis, local Deputy Sheriff J. B. Coon, a farmer and part-time deputy, is summoned to investigate. Deputy Coon quickly targets a suspect in Manse Mobley, a mysterious old Negro moonshiner who rides a magnificent stallion and carries a shotgun.The bigger question, however, is why? Even as his boss pushes him to close the case “Unsolved,” as just another shootout between two unimportant country hooligans fighting over a bottle of whiskey, J. B. suspects more. His curiosity and subsequent investigation lead him to one of the wealthiest and most prominent families in the State of Alabama, Dr. John Blue and his beautiful wife, Marie. The Blues have secrets. Deep, dark secrets! As the Blues’ secrets unfold, J. B. begins to wish he had listened to his boss and left that door closed, but once he has crossed the threshold of truth, there is no turning back. Other lives must now be destroyed. And J. B. Coon may be one of them.

 

NOV. 27

“This House is Mine” (Fiction)

Dorte Hansen

All her life Vera has felt like a stranger in the old and drafty farmhouse she arrived in as a 5-year-old refugee from East Prussia in 1945, and yet she can’t seem to let it go. Sixty years later, her niece Anne suddenly shows up at her door with her small son — Anne has fled the trendy Hamburg neighborhood she never fit into when her relationship implodes. Vera and Anne are strangers to each other, but have much more in common than they think. As the two strong-willed and very different women share the great old house, they surprisingly find what they have never searched for: a family. 

 

DEC. 18

“News of the World” (Western)

Paulette Jiles

In the aftermath of the Civil War, an aging itinerant news reader agrees to transport a young captive of the Kiowa back to her people in this exquisitely rendered, morally complex, multilayered novel of historical fiction from the author of Enemy Women that explores the boundaries of family, responsibility, honor, and trust.

 

Books to Film Book Club

Meets the last Tuesday of every month

6 p.m. at Tryon Branch Library

 

APRIL 25

“Finest Hours”

Michael Tougias

In the winter of 1932, New England was battered by the most brutal nor’easter in years, wreaking havoc on land and creating a wind-whipped peril of the freezing Atlantic. In the early hours of Monday, February 18, while the storm raged, two oil tankers, the Fort Mercer and the Pendleton, broke in two. The Coast Guard raced its cutters to the Fort Mercer to rescue the men huddled in the halves, and when the Pendleton proved to be in danger of capsizing, sent out into the storm two 36-foot wooden lifeboats, each manned by four crewmen, in what every crewman realized could be a suicide mission in the enormous seventy-foot seas.

 

MAY 30

“Whiskey Tango Foxtrot”

Kim Barker

A wisecracking foreign correspondent recounts her experiences in Afghanistan and Pakistan while sharing cautionary observations about the region in its first post-Taliban years and the responsibilities of the U.S. and NATO.

 

Southwest Branch Library Book Club

Meets the first Thursday morning and second Saturday afternoon of the month. Pick the meeting that works best for you.

10:30 a.m. (Thursdays) and 2 p.m. (Saturdays) at Southwest Branch Library

 

MARCH 2 and MARCH 11

“Small Great Things”

Jodi Picoult

Ruth Jefferson is a labor and delivery nurse at a Connecticut hospital with more than twenty years’ experience. During her shift, Ruth begins a routine checkup on a newborn, only to be told a few minutes later that she’s been reassigned to another patient. 

 

APRIL 6 and APRIL 8

“Lilac Girls”

Martha Hall Kelly

On a September day in Manhattan in 1939, twenty-something Caroline Ferriday is consumed by her efforts to secure the perfect boutonniere for an important French diplomat and resisting the romantic advances of a married actor. Meanwhile across the Atlantic, Kasia Kuzmerick, a Polish Catholic teenager, is nervously anticipating the changes that are sure to come since Germany has declared war on Poland. 


MAY 4 and MAY 13

“The Whistler”

John Grisham

Lacy Stoltz is an investigator for the Florida Board on Judicial Conduct. She is a lawyer, not a cop, and it is her job to respond to complaints dealing with judicial misconduct. After nine years with the Board, she knows that most problems are caused by incompetence, not corruption.

 

JUNE 1 and JUNE 10

Lost City of the Monkey God (Non-Fiction)

Douglas J. Preston

A 500-year-old legend. An ancient curse. A stunning medical mystery. And a pioneering journey into the unknown heart of the world’s densest jungle. Since the days of conquistador Hernan Cortes, rumors have circulated about a lost city of immense wealth hidden somewhere in the Honduran interior, called the White City or the Lost City of the Monkey God. Indigenous tribes speak of ancestors who fled there to escape the Spanish invaders, and they warn that anyone who enters this sacred city will fall ill and die. In 1940, swashbuckling journalist Theodore Morde returned from the rainforest with hundreds of artifacts and an electrifying story of having found the Lost City of the Monkey God-but then committed suicide without revealing its location. Three quarters of a century later, bestselling author Doug Preston joined a team of scientists on a groundbreaking new quest.

 

JULY 6 and JULY 8

“A Piece of the World”

Christina Baker Kline

To Christina Olson, the entire world was her family’s remote farm in the small coastal town of Cushing, Maine. Born in the home her family had lived in for generations, and increasingly incapacitated by illness, Christina seemed destined for a small life. Instead, for more than twenty years, she was host and inspiration for the artist Andrew Wyeth, and became the subject of one of the best known American paintings of the twentieth century.