Book Discussions

North Branch Book Group: The Smartest Kids in the World

titleThursday, October 30, 7 pm, North Branch 

The Smartest Kids in the World by Amanda Ripley

The United States will spend 619.1 billion dollars on elementary and secondary education in the coming year according to the National Center for Education Statistics. Yet ranks far below average among OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) countries for achievement. "How do other countries create “smarter” kids? What is it like to be a child in the world’s new education superpowers?....Ripley succeeds in making our own culture and our own choices seem alien — quite a feat for an institution as familiar and fiercely defended as high school. The question is whether the startling perspective provided by this masterly book can also generate the will to make changes." (The New York Times, Amanda Murphy Paul) Copies of the book are available at the North Branch for those who will be attending the discussion. Please register for an email reminder.

 

A Year of August Wilson: Jitney

titleMonday, October 20, 6 pm, 3rd floor Seminar Room, Main Library

Regular cabs won’t travel to1970s Pittsburgh Hill District, so small businessman Becker and his drivers provide taxi services for the city’s Black community. Now, Becker faces the possible closure of his building, and his son's return from prison. Can this community’s bond help them weather a series of storms? Through detailed characters and finely wrought language, Wilson turns everyday experiences into poetry.

Join artists from Fleetwood Jourdain Theatre and the Chicago community to read aloud and discuss plays from the August Wilson "Century" Cycle.

Part of 11 Months of African American History series, and the community wide, "RACE: are We So Different?" program series and museum exhibit, in collaboration with the YWCA Evanston Northshore  and the Illinois Holocaust Museum.

 

   

African American Literature Discussion: The Invisible Line, 3 American Families and the Secret Journey from Black to White

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Tuesday, October 21, 7 pm, Small Meeting Room, Main Library

Many light skinned African Americans crossed the color line to avoid the very real and harsh implications of racial classification. Legal scholar Daniel Sharfstein chronicles the lives of three such families who made the transition from black to white during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Drawing on archival material, Sharfstein constructs an absorbing history, demonstrating the fluidity and arbitrariness of racial classification.

Copies of The Invisible Line will be held at the Reader's Services desk on the 2nd floor; stop by, register online, or call 847-448-8620. For more information, including related  interviews, videos and other websites, see the AAL blog.

Part of 11 Months of African American History series, and the community wide, "RACE: are We So Different?" program series and museum exhibit, in collaboration with the YWCA Evanston Northshore  and the Illinois Holocaust Museum.
   

CAMS Book Group: Home Town

titleMonday, October 27, 7 pm, Chicago Avenue/Main Street

This fascinating book takes us inside the everyday workings of Northampton, Massachusetts -- a place that seems to personify the typical American hometown. Kidder unveils the complex drama behind the seemingly ordinary lives of Northampton's residents. And out of these stories he creates a splendid, startling portrait of a town, in a narrative that gracefully travels among past and present, public and private, joy and sorrow.

A host of real people are alive in these pages: a tycoon with a crippling ailment; a criminal whom the place has beguiled, a genial and merciful judge, a single mother struggling to start a new life at Smith College; and, at the center, a policeman who patrols the streets of his beloved hometown with a stern yet endearing brand of morality -- and who is about to discover the peril of spending a whole life in one small place. Their stories take us behind the town's facades and reveal how individuals shape the social conscience of a community. 

Copies of Home Town will be held at the Chicago Avenue/Main Street location; stop by or call 847-905-0764.

   

GLBT Book Discussion: Rubyfruit Jungle

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Tuesday, November 11, 7 pm, Small Meeting Room, Main Library

Greg Salustro , former Evanston Arts Commissioner, and chair of “Reeling 32”, Chicago’s LGBTQ annual film festival leads a monthly discussion of books and plays by or about members of the gay/lesbian/bi/transgender community. The second title is Rita Mae Brown's, Rubyfruit Jungle. Copies are available at the Readers Advisory desk on the 2nd floor; to register or reserve a copy call 847-448-8620 or register online.

 

   

Keepinitreal: Ugly Americans

titleTuesday, October 28, 7 pm, Seminar Room, 3rd Floor, Main Library

This book documents the "Wild East" of the mid-1990s, where young, brilliant, and hypercompetitive traders became "hedge fund cowboys," manipulating loopholes in an outdated and inefficient Asian financial system to rake in millions. Using a concept called arbitrage, they made their fortunes mainly on minute shifts in stocks being sold on the Nikkei, the Japanese stock market, collapsing banks and nearly bankrupting the Japanese economy in the process. Other schemes were also concocted, most of which were technically legal, though certainly unethical.

Copies of Ugly Americans will be held at the Reader's Services desk on the 2nd floor; stop by or call 847-448-8620. Please check the Keepinitreal Blog for author interviews, fun facts, and interesting videos.

   

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