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Adult Book Club

Led by Susan Tacent and funded through the generosity of the Friends of the Rogers Free Library.

Monthly book club meetings are held at 6:30 pm on the last Wednesday of the month.

Meet us in the Upstairs Conference Room or on Zoom. New members are always welcome!

Monthly book selections are listed below. The library pre-orders multiple physical copies from the catalog so that copies of the books are available for checkout one month prior to each meeting. Click each link below to see other ways to borrow the books (i.e. Audiobook, eBook, eAudiobook, Large Print, Kindle, etc.)

Book Cover for Horse by Geraldine Brooks

September 27

Horse by Geraldine Brooks

A discarded painting in a junk pile, a skeleton in an attic, and the greatest racehorse in American history: from these strands, Pulitzer Prize winner Geraldine Brooks braids a sweeping story of spirit, obsession, and injustice across American history.

Based on the remarkable true story of the record-breaking thoroughbred Lexington, Horse is a novel of art and science, love and obsession, and our unfinished reckoning with racism.

Book Cover for The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Lewis Stevenson

October 25

The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Lewis Stevenson

This gothic novella, first published in 1886, is about a London legal practitioner named Gabriel John Utterson who investigates strange occurrences between his old friend, Doctor Henry Jekyll, and the evil Edward Hyde.

This novella’s impact is such that it has become a part of the language, with the phrase “Jekyll and Hyde” entering the vernacular to refer to people with an unpredictably dual nature: usually very good, but sometimes shockingly evil.

Book Cover for A Little History of the World by E.H. Gombrich

November 29

A Little History of the World by E.H. Gombrich

The international bestseller: E. H. Gombrich’s sweeping history of the world, for the curious of all ages.

For adults seeking a single-volume overview of world history, for students in search of a quick refresher course, or for families to read and learn from together, Gombrich’s Little History enchants and educates.

Book Cover for The Underworld: Journeys to the Depths of the Ocean by Susan Casey

December 27

The Underworld: Journeys to the Depths of the Ocean by Susan Casey

From bestselling author Susan Casey, an awe-inspiring portrait of the mysterious world beneath the waves, and the men and women who seek to uncover its secrets.

Throughout this journey, Susan learned how vital the deep is to the future of the planet, and how urgent it is that we understand it in a time of increasing threats from climate change, industrial fishing, pollution, and the mining companies that are also exploring its depths.

Book Cover for Mister Monkey by Francine Prose

January 31

Mister Monkey by Francine Prose

Acclaimed New York Times bestselling author Francine Prose weaves an ingenious, darkly humorous, and brilliantly observant story that follows the exploits and intrigue of a constellation of characters affiliated with an off-off-off-off Broadway children’s musical.

With her trademark wit and verve, Prose delves into humanity’s most profound mysteries: art, ambition, childhood, aging, and love. Startling and captivating, Mister Monkey is a breathtaking novel from a writer at the height of her craft.

Book Cover for The Street by Ann Petry

February 28

The Street by Ann Petry (Birss Foundation 2024 book)

The Street tells the poignant, often heartbreaking story of Lutie Johnson, a young black woman, and her spirited struggle to raise her son amid the violence, poverty, and racial dissonance of Harlem in the late 1940s.

Originally published in 1946 and hailed by critics as a masterwork, The Street was Ann Petry’s first novel, a beloved bestseller with more than a million copies in print.

The John Howard Birss, Jr. Memorial Program from Roger Williams University chooses a significant or culturally impactful book annually to be honored. The RFL Adult Book Club reads their selection every February.

Book Cover for The Anthologist by Nicholson Baker

March 27

The Anthologist by Nicholson Baker

Chowder really needs to write an introduction to his new anthology of verse, Only Rhyme—it’s the first work his editor has sent him in months—but he’s having a hard time getting started. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Chowder can’t keep his mind from drifting to the sufferings of the great poets, from Tennyson and Yeats to Roethke, Merwin, to every poet who’s been published in The New Yorker. As he ponders the strange power and musicality of language, and adjusts to his newly single life, Chowder’s introduction slowly but surely begins to take shape.

A wholly entertaining and beguiling love story, and the first novel in the chronicles of Paul Chowder, The Anthologist is “a loving and superbly witty homage to poetryand to life” (The Boston Globe).

April 24

RARI 2024 Book

For over 15 years, Rhode Island’s One Book, One State program, Reading Across Rhode Island (RARI), has focused on a single book selected to stimulate meaningful discussions across our state. Once the selection is made, bookstores, schools, and libraries spread the word and build up momentum toward our concluding event featuring sold out addresses by the author.

This year’s selection is the memoir Solito by Javier Zamora.

At the age of nine, Javier travels three-thousand-miles from his small town in El Salvador, through Guatemala and Mexico, and across the U.S. border. He will leave behind his beloved aunt and grandparents to reunite with a mother who left four years ago and a father he barely remembers. Traveling alone amid a group of strangers and a “coyote” hired to lead them to safety, Javier expects his trip to last two short weeks.
 
A memoir as gripping as it is moving, Solito provides an immediate and intimate account not only of a treacherous and near-impossible journey, but also of the miraculous kindness and love delivered at the most unexpected moments. Solito is Javier Zamora’s story, but it’s also the story of millions of others who had no choice but to leave home.

COPIES OF THE BOOK WILL BE ABLE FOR CHECKOUT AT THE CIRCULATION DESK AT THE END OF MARCH.

Book Cover for Flight Behavior by Barbara Kingsolver

May 29

Flight Behavior by Barbara Kingsolver

Flight Behavior is a brilliant and suspenseful novel set in present day Appalachia; a breathtaking parable of catastrophe and denial that explores how the complexities we inevitably encounter in life lead us to believe in our particular chosen truths. Kingsolver’s riveting story concerns a young wife and mother on a failing farm in rural Tennessee who experiences something she cannot explain, and how 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 represents contemporary American fiction at its finest.

Join us for our monthly book club led by Susan Tacent. New members are always welcome! Books are available for checkout at the library.

All meetings are held at 6:30 pm on the last Wednesday of the month unless otherwise noted.

Please note: These meetings will be held in person in the Upstairs Conference Room and on Zoom. RSVP required.

Susan Tacent holds a PhD in Comparative Literature from Brown University, where she received an Excellence in Teaching award.


The adult book club is funded through the generosity of the Friends of the Rogers Free Library Community Grant Program.