Interested in joining? Contact Jessica by email or call (269) 585-8711
Open for Discussion is a monthly drop-in book discussion for adults, and we always welcome new members! We select a mix of fiction and nonfiction reads, and our informal discussions last one hour.
We meet at the library at 10:30 AM on the third Tuesday of every month September through May with a break in December. See below for previous titles, and check out our events calendar for upcoming reads!
A suspenseful novel set in present day Appalachia; a parable of catastrophe and denial that explores how the complexities we inevitably encounter in life lead us to believe in our particular chosen truths. A young wife and mother on a failing farm in rural Tennessee experiences something she cannot explain, and her discovery energizes various competing factions—religious leaders, climate scientists, environmentalists, politicians—trapping her in the center of the conflict and ultimately opening up her world. Flight Behavior is arguably Kingsolver’s most thrilling and accessible novel to date, and like so many other of her acclaimed works, represents contemporary American fiction at its finest.
A sort of Easy Rider meets The Notebook, Michael Zadoorian’s poignant, funny, vibrant, and unforgettable novel, The Leisure Seeker, is a story of two seniors who escape from their retirement home and embark upon a hilarious and touching end-of-life road trip. Here is a story that will appeal to a wide range of readers: from retiring Baby Boomers to fans of Mitch Albom, Tom Perotta, David Sedaris, Nick Hornby, and Nicholas Sparks. In fact, the Detroit Free Press says, “I would recommend Michael Zadoorian’s The Leisure Seeker to almost anyone.”
Rachel takes the same commuter train every morning. Every day she rattles down the track, flashes past a stretch of cozy suburban homes, and stops at the signal that allows her to daily watch the same couple breakfasting on their deck. She’s even started to feel like she knows them. “Jess and Jason,” she calls them. Their life—as she sees it—is perfect. Not unlike the life she recently lost. And then she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s enough. Now everything’s changed. Unable to keep it to herself, Rachel offers what she knows to the police, and becomes inextricably entwined in what happens next, as well as in the lives of everyone involved. Has she done more harm than good?
When the Taliban took control of the Swat Valley in Pakistan, one girl spoke out. Malala Yousafzai refused to be silenced and fought for her right to an education. In 2012, when she was fifteen, she almost paid the ultimate price. Shot in the head at point-blank range, few expected her to survive. Instead, Malala’s miraculous recovery has taken her from a remote valley in northern Pakistan to the halls of the United Nations in New York. At sixteen, she became a global symbol of peaceful protest and the youngest nominee ever for the Nobel Peace Prize. This is the remarkable tale of a family uprooted by global terrorism, of the fight for girls’ education, and of brave parents who have a fierce love for their daughter in a society that prizes sons.
This is the improbable but true story of how nine working-class boys from the American West showed the world at the 1936 Olympics in Berlin. Drawing on the boys’ own journals and vivid memories of a once-in-a-lifetime shared dream, an unlikely quest unfolds about an eight-oar crew team composed of the sons of loggers, shipyard workers, and farmers, that was never expected to defeat the elite teams of the East Coast and Great Britain, yet they did, going on to shock the world by defeating the German team rowing for Adolf Hitler. The emotional heart of the tale lies with Joe Rantz, a teenager without family or prospects, who rows not only to regain his shattered self-regard but also to find a real place for himself in the world.
Mudgirl is a child abandoned who survives by an accident of fate—or destiny. After her rescue, the well-meaning couple who adopt her quarantine her poisonous history behind the barrier of their middle-class values. Meredith “M.R.” Neukirchen is the first woman president of an Ivy League university. Her commitment to her career and moral fervor for her role are all-consuming, but when her leadership is challenged, the fierce idealism and intelligence that delivered her from a more conventional life threaten to undo her. A reckless trip thrusts M.R. into an unexpected psychic collision with Mudgirl and the life M.R. believes she has left behind. Mudwoman is at once a psychic ghost story and a compelling portrait of a highly complex contemporary woman cracking the glass ceiling at enormous personal cost.
One snowy night a famous Hollywood actor slumps over and dies onstage during a production of King Lear. Hours later, the world as we know it begins to dissolve. Moving back and forth in time – from the actor’s early days as a film star to fifteen years in the future, when a theater troupe known as the Traveling Symphony roams the wasteland of what remains – this suspenseful, elegiac, spellbinding novel charts the strange twists of fate that connect five people: the actor, the man who tried to save him, the actor’s first wife, his oldest friend, and a young actress with the Traveling Symphony, caught in the crosshairs of a dangerous self-proclaimed prophet. Station Eleven tells a story about the relationships that sustain us, the ephemeral nature of fame, and the beauty of the world as we know it.
Meet Don Tillman, a brilliant yet socially inept professor of genetics, who’s decided it’s time he found a wife. In the orderly, evidence-based manner with which Don approaches all things, he designs the Wife Project to find his perfect partner: a sixteen-page, scientifically valid survey to filter out the drinkers, smokers, and late arrivers. Though Don easily disqualifies Rosie Jarman as a candidate for The Wife Project (even if she is “quite intelligent for a barmaid”), Don is intrigued by Rosie’s own quest to identify her biological father. An unlikely relationship develops as they collaborate on The Father Project, and Don is forced to confront the spontaneous whirlwind that is Rosie―and the realization that, despite your best scientific efforts, you don’t find love, it finds you.
We Need New Names by NoViolet Bulawayo
Still Life with Bread Crumbs by Anna Quindlen
The Living Great Lakes: Searching for the heart of the inland seas by Jerry Dennis
The Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline
The Romanov Sisters by Helen Rappaport
The Aviator’s Wife by Melanie Benjamin
The Life of Pi by Yann Martel
The Art Forger by B. A. Shapiro
The Burgess Boys by Elizabeth Strout
The History of Love by Nicole Krauss
The American Way of Eating by Tracie McMillan
The Round House by Louise Erdrich
Wild: From lost to found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed
Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
Annie’s Ghosts by Steve Luxenberg
Mrs. Lincoln’s Dressmaker by Jennifer Chiaverini