Decorah Public Library staff are hosting five book discussions in December. The groups are open to the public and newcomers are encouraged to attend. Anyone interested should call the library at 382-3717 to learn more or to reserve a book. Zoom links are available on the Library’s Calendar of Events page or you can email firstname.lastname@example.org to be added to any of the five groups’ email distribution lists. Funds for multiple copy sets were generously provided by Friends of Decorah Public Library.
Deacon King Kong
The Happy Hour Book Group will hold a hybrid meeting Wed. Dec. 8 at 5:15 p.m. to discuss James McBride’s “Deacon King Kong.” In-person attendees will meet in the lower-level public meeting room at the library and digital attendees will join via Zoom. In September 1969, an old church deacon known as Sportcoat enters a housing project in south Brooklyn and shoots the project’s drug dealer at point-blank range. “Deacon King Kong” brings to life the people affected by the shooting: the victim, the African-American and Latinx residents who witnessed it, the white neighbors, the local cops assigned to investigate, the members of the Five Ends Baptist Church where Sportcoat was deacon, the neighborhood's Italian mobsters, and Sportcoat himself.
The Cookbook Group will meet in the lower-level public meeting room on Thursday, December 9 at 7 p.m. to discuss “Italian American” by Angie Rito and Scott Tacinelli. In “Italian American,” Angie Rito and Scott Tacinelli, the chefs of critically acclaimed Don Angie in New York City’s West Village, reinvigorate the genre with a modern point of view that proudly straddles the line between Italian and American. They present family classics passed down through generations side-by-side with creative spins and riffs inspired by influences both old and new. These comforting dishes feel familiar but are far from expected, including their signature pinwheel lasagna, ribs glazed with orange and Campari, saucy shrimp parm meatballs, and a cheesy, bubbling gratin of broccoli rabe and sharp provolone.
A Deadly Education
The Speculative Fiction Book Group will meet via Zoom Wed. Dec. 15 at 5:15 p.m. to discuss Naomi Novik’s “A Deadly Education.” “A Deadly Education” is set at Scholomance, a school for the magically gifted where there are no teachers, no holidays, and no friendships, and failure means certain death—until one girl, El, begins to unlock its many secrets. She may be without allies, but she possesses a dark power strong enough to level mountains and wipe out millions.
Franklin D. Roosevelt: A Political Life
The History Book Group will meet on the 2nd floor of the library Thurs. Dec. 16 at 3:00 p.m. to discuss chapters 11-21 of Robert Dallek’s “Franklin D. Roosevelt: A Political Life.” For FDR, politics was a far more fulfilling pursuit than the management of family fortunes or the indulgence of personal pleasure, and by the time he became president, he had commanded the affection of millions of people. While all Roosevelt’s biographers agree that the onset of polio at the age of thirty-nine endowed him with a much greater sense of humanity, Dallek sees the affliction as an insufficient explanation for his transformation into a masterful politician who would win an unprecedented four presidential terms, initiate landmark reforms that changed the American industrial system, and transform an isolationist country into an international superpower.
One Night Two Souls Went Walking
The Friday Book Group will hold a hybrid meeting Fri. Dec. 17 at 2:00 p.m. to discuss Ellen Cooney’s “One Night Two Souls Went Walking.” In-person attendees will meet in the lower-level public meeting room at the library and digital attendees will join via Zoom. A young interfaith chaplain is joined on her hospital rounds one night by an unusual companion: a rough-and-tumble dog who may or may not be a ghost. As she tends to the souls of her patients, their stories provide unexpected healing for her own heartbreak.