Decorah Public Library staff are hosting five book discussions in October. 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 website 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.
We Are Satellites
The Happy Hour Book Group will hold a hybrid meeting Wed. Oct. 13 at 5:15 p.m. to discuss Sarah Pinsker’s “We Are Satellites.” In-person attendees will meet in the lower-level public meeting room at the library and digital attendees will join via Zoom. Val and Julie just want what’s best for their kids, David and Sophie. So when teenage son David comes home one day asking for a Pilot, a new brain implant to help with school, they reluctantly agree. Julie soon feels mounting pressure at work to get a Pilot, leaving Val and Sophie part of the shrinking minority of people without the device. The implications are clear: get a Pilot or get left behind.
The Company: The Rise and Fall of the Hudson’s Bay Empire
The History Book Group will meet on the 2nd floor of the library Thurs. Oct. 14 at 3:00 p.m. to discuss Stephen R. Bown’s “The Company: The Rise and Fall of the Hudson’s Bay Empire.” The Hudson’s Bay Company started out small in 1670, trading practical manufactured goods for furs with the Indigenous inhabitants of inland subarctic Canada. Controlled by a handful of English aristocrats, it expanded into a powerful political force that transformed the culture and economy of many Indigenous groups. By the time its monopoly was rescinded after two hundred years, the Hudson’s Bay Company had reworked the entire northern North American world.
Cookbook Book Group will meet on Thursday, October 14 at 7:00 p.m. in the lower-level public meeting room to discuss Ori Menashe and Genevieve Gergis’s “Bavel.” “Bavel” invites home cooks to explore the broad and varied cuisines of the Middle East through fragrant spice blends; sublime zhougs, tahini, labneh, and hummus; rainbows of crisp-pickled vegetables; tender, oven-baked flatbreads; fall-off-the-bone meats and tagines; buttery pastries and tarts; and so much more. “Bavel” celebrates the freedom to cook what we love without loyalty to any specific country, and represents a world before the region was divided into separate nations.
The Friday Book Group will hold a hybrid meeting Fri. Oct. 15 at 2:00 p.m. to discuss Charles Dickens’ “Great Expectations.” In-person attendees will meet in the lower-level public meeting room at the library and digital attendees will join via Zoom. Orphaned Pip is apprenticed to the dirty work of the forge but dares to dream of becoming a gentleman. This tale of crime and guilt includes characters such as Magwitch, the fearful and fearsome convict; Estella, whose beauty is excelled only by her haughtiness; and the embittered Miss Havisham, an eccentric jilted bride.
The Speculative Fiction Book Group will meet via Zoom Wed. Oct. 27 at 5:15 p.m. to discuss parts 4-6 of Michael McDowell’s “Blackwater.” “Blackwater” traces more than fifty years in the lives of the powerful Caskey family of Perdido, Alabama, under the influence of the mysterious and beautiful—but not quite human—Elinor Dammert.