titleThursday, April 30, 7 pm, North Branch 

In 1917, Siegfried Sasson, noted poet and decorated war hero, publicly refused to continue serving as a British officer in World War I. His reason: the war was a senseless slaughter. He was officially classified "mentally unsound" and sent to Craiglockhart War Hospital. There a brilliant psychiatrist, Dr. William Rivers, set about restoring Sassoon's "sanity" and sending him back to the trenches. This novel tells what happened as only a novel can. It is a war saga in which not a shot is fired. It is a story of a battle for a man's mind in which only the reader can decide who is the victor, who the vanquished, and who the victim.

Copies of Regeneration are available at the North Branch for those who will be attending the discussion. Please register for an email reminder.



altMonday, August 31, 2015, 7 pm, Chicago Avenue/Main Street

The novel that takes place during the waning period of the Ottoman Empire, in the small Anatolian town of Eskibahce. As the story opens, an ethnic mix of Turks, Armenians, and Greeks, both Muslims and Christians, are living side-by-side in a comfortable and relatively peaceful existence. But first the Franks, as the Ottomans call the Western Europeans, and then the Greeks invade their homeland. These events set off a cataclysmic chain of events that tear apart the lives of the residents of Eskibahce. The Sultan declares a holy war against the invaders. The Muslims are conscripted as soldiers and the Christians are sent into labor battalions. The Armenians are evacuated from the region in a death march. The Italians occupy Eskibahce. The Christians are forced to relocate to Greece. Throughout it all, the residents struggle to survive amidst the turmoil.


Copies of Birds Without Wings will be held at the Chicago Avenue/Main Street location; stop by or call 847-905-0764.




altThursday, August 20, 6 pm, North Branch

The "Fighting 69th" is a First World War regiment of mostly New York-Irish soldiers. Amongst a cocky crew, perhaps the cockiest is Jerry Plunkett, a scrappy fellow who looks out only for himself. The officers and non-coms of the regiment do their best to instill discipline in Plunkett, and the chaplain, Father Duffy, tries to make Plunkett see the greater good, all to no avail. Behind the lines or in the trenches, Plunkett acts selfishly and cowardly, eventually costing the lives of many of his fellow soldiers. A final act of cowardice leads to terrible consequences, but Plunkett sees in them a chance to redeem himself...if only he can.  The Fighting 69th. (DVD 2007)

Run Time: 90 minutes

Rated: PG


altMonday, August 17, 6 pm, Chicago Avenue/Main Street Branch

In 1917, in Paris, the famous dancer Mata Hari has a double life as a German spy, obtaining secrets from French and Russian officers in bed. The chief of the French Secret Service Dubois is unsuccessfully in her tail trying to find proofs to incriminate Mata Hari. The Russian general Serge Shubin has a crush on Mata Hari, but when she meets the young Russian pilot lieutenant Alexis Rosanoff, she sleeps with him to photograph secret documents in his possession. But they fall in love for each other, and the jealousy of her lover Shubin provides the evidences to Dubois to arrest her.  Mata Hari. (DVD 2006)

Run Time: 89 minutes

Rated: Not Rated


altSunday, August 2, 3 pm, Community Meeting Room, Main Library

The film follows a group of German schoolboys, talked into enlisting at the beginning of World War 1 by their jingoistic teacher. The story is told entirely through the experiences of the young German recruits and highlights the tragedy of war through the eyes of individuals. As the boys witness death and mutilation all around them, any preconceptions about "the enemy" and the "rights and wrongs" of the conflict disappear, leaving them angry and bewildered. This is highlighted in the scene where Paul mortally wounds a French soldier and then weeps bitterly as he fights to save his life while trapped in a shell crater with the body. The film is not about heroism but about drudgery and futility and the gulf between the concept of war and the actuality.  All Quiet on the Western Front. (DVD 2007)

Run Time: 136 minutes

Rated: Not Rated 


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