Activities

January Book Discussions

Decorah Public Library staff are hosting five book discussions in January. 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 ktorresdal@decorahlibrary.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.

For more information, contact Tricia Crary (Friday Book Group) or Kristin Torresdal (Happy Hour, History, and Speculative Fiction Book Groups) at 563-382-3717.

The Measure

The Happy Hour Book Group will meet at Pulpit Rock Brewing Co. Wed. Jan. 17 at 5:15 p.m. to discuss Nikki Erlick’s “The Measure.” It seems like any other day. You wake up, pour a cup of coffee, and head out. But today, when you open your front door, waiting for you is a small wooden box. This box holds your fate inside: the answer to the exact number of years you will live. From suburban doorsteps to desert tents, every person on every continent receives the same box. As society comes together and pulls apart, everyone faces the same shocking choice: Do they wish to know how long they’ll live? And, if so, what will they do with that knowledge? 

Tom Lake

The Friday Book Group will meet on the 2nd floor of the library Fri. Jan. 19 at 2:00 p.m. to discuss Ann Patchett’s “Tom Lake.” It’s spring and Lara’s three grown daughters have returned to the family orchard. While picking cherries, they beg their mother to tell them the one story they’ve always longed to hear—of the film star with whom she shared a stage, and a romance, years before. 

North Woods

The Speculative Fiction Book Group will meet via Zoom Wed. Jan. 24 at 5:15 p.m. to discuss Daniel Mason’s “North Woods.” When a pair of young lovers abscond from a Puritan colony, little do they know that their humble cabin in the woods will become home to an extraordinary succession of inhabitants. An English soldier, destined for glory, abandons the battlefields of the New World to devote himself to apples. A pair of spinster twins survive war and famine, only to succumb to envy and desire. A crime reporter unearths a mass grave, but finds the ancient trees refuse to give up their secrets. A lovelorn painter, a conman, a stalking panther, a lusty beetle; as each one confronts the mysteries of the north woods, they come to realize that the dark, raucous, beautiful past is very much alive. Zoom link available on the library website. 

All Systems Red

Following the Speculative Fiction Book Group, the Speculative Fiction Novella Group will meet at 6:15 p.m. via the same Zoom link to discuss Martha Wells’ “All Systems Red.” On a distant planet, a team of scientists is conducting surface tests, shadowed by their Company-supplied ‘droid—a self-aware SecUnit that has hacked its own governor module and refers to itself (though never out loud) as “Murderbot.” Scornful of humans, Murderbot wants is to be left alone long enough to figure out who it is, but when a neighboring mission goes dark, it’s up to the scientists and Murderbot to get to the truth. Zoom link available on the library website.

Decisions for War, 1914-1917

The History Book Group will meet on the 2nd floor of the library Thurs. Jan. 18 at 3:00 p.m. to discuss Richard F. Hamilton’s “

The History Book Group will meet on the 2nd floor of the library Thurs. Jan. 18 at 3:00 p.m. to discuss Richard F. Hamilton’s “Decisions for War, 1914-1917.” Focusing on the choices made by coteries, this study examines the perplexing question of why World War I happened. In each case, the decision to enter the war was made by a handful of individuals—monarchs, ministers, military people, party leaders, ambassadors, and a few others. In each case also, separate and distinct agendas are seen, with considerations differing from one nation to the next.   

.” Focusing on the choices made by coteries, this study examines the perplexing question of why World War I happened. In each case, the decision to enter the war was made by a handful of individuals—monarchs, ministers, military people, party leaders, ambassadors, and a few others. In each case also, separate and distinct agendas are seen, with considerations differing from one nation to the next.