Decorah Public Library staff are hosting eight book discussions in July. 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 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), Zach Row-Heyveld (Cookbook, Quick Bites Groups and Troubled Water) or Kristin Torresdal (Happy Hour, History, and Speculative Fiction Book Groups) at 563-382-3717.
The World by Night & Reeling for the Empire
Quick Bites will meet in a hybrid format on Tuesday, July 12 at 12:15 to discuss Anjali Sachdeva’s “The World by Night” and Karen Russell’s “Reeling for the Empire.” In-person attendees will meet in the lower-level meeting room at the library and digital attendees will join via Zoom. The World by Night tells the story of an isolated homesteader who discovers a cave near her sod house. “Reeling for the Empire” features a group of women whose humanity is imperiled after being sold into servitude and transformed into silk worms in Emperor Meiji’s silk factories in Japan. Links to materials are available on the library’s website.
The Happy Hour Book Group will hold a hybrid meeting Wed. July 13 at 5:15 p.m. to discuss Louise Erdrich’s “The Sentence.” In-person attendees will meet in the lower-level public meeting room at the library and digital attendees will join via Zoom. A small independent bookstore in Minneapolis is haunted from November 2019 to November 2020 by the store’s most annoying customer. Flora dies on All Souls’ Day, but she simply won’t leave the store. Tookie, who has landed a job selling books after years of incarceration that she survived by reading, must solve the mystery of this haunting while at the same time trying to understand all that occurs in Minneapolis during a year of grief, astonishment, isolation, and furious reckoning.
Principles for Dealing with the Changing World Order: Why Nations Succeed and Fail
The History Book Group will hold a hybrid meeting Thurs. July 14 at 3:00 p.m. to discuss Ray Dalio’s “Principles for Dealing with the Changing World Order: Why Nations Succeed and Fail.” In-person attendees will meet in the lower-level public meeting room at the library and digital attendees will join via Zoom. A few years ago, renowned investor Ray Dalio began noticing a confluence of political and economic conditions he hadn’t encountered before in his fifty-year career. Seeking to explain the cause-effect relationships behind these conditions, he began a study of analogous historical times, such as the years between 1930 and 1945, in which wealth and power shifted in ways that reshaped the world order. Looking back across five hundred years of history and nine major empires, Dalio puts into perspective the cycles and forces that have driven the successes and failures of all the world’s major countries.
The Cookbook Group will meet in-person in the lower-level meeting room of the library on Thursday, July 14 at 6:30 for the potluck and final discussion of Yotam Ottolenghi’s “Ottolenghi Flavor.” In this groundbreaking cookbook, Yotam Ottolenghi and Ixta Belfrage offer a next-level approach to vegetables that breaks down the fundamentals of cooking into three key elements: process, pairing, and produce. For process, Yotam and Ixta show how easy techniques such as charring and infusing can change the way you think about cooking. Discover how to unlock new depths of flavor by pairing vegetables with sweetness, fat, acidity, or chile heat, and learn to identify the produce that has the innate ability to make dishes shine.
The Friday Book Group will hold a hybrid meeting Fri. July 15 at 2:00 p.m. to discuss Andrew Sean Greer’s “Less.” In-person attendees will meet in the lower-level public meeting room at the library and digital attendees will join via Zoom. Arthur Less is a failed novelist about to turn fifty. A wedding invitation arrives in the mail: his boyfriend of the past nine years is now engaged to someone else. He can’t say yes—it would all be too awkward—and he can’t say no—it would look like defeat. But on his desk are a series of literary invitations he’s received from around the world. Arthur arranges to skip town by accepting them all, and thus begins a fantasia that will take him to Mexico, Italy, Germany, Morocco, India, and Japan, and put thousands of miles between him and the problems he refuses to face. What could possibly go wrong?
The Shop & Trevor
Quick Bites will meet in a hybrid format on Tuesday, July 26 at 12:15 for a discussion of Anthony Veasna So’s short story “The Shop” and Ocean Vuong’s poem “Trevor.” In-person attendees will meet in the lower-level meeting room and digital attendees will join via Zoom. “The Shop” tells the story of the cast of Cambodian immigrants and refugees that find themselves working at Toby’s dad’s auto shop in California and the extent to which Toby is willing to go for his family and the American dream. “Trevor” is about the confusing, intense, unlikely love between two teens. Links to materials are available on the library’s website.
Children of Time
The Speculative Fiction Book Group will meet via Zoom Wed. July 27 at 5:15 p.m. to discuss Adrian Tchaikovsky’s “Children of Time.” The last remnants of the human race left a dying Earth, desperate to find a new home among the stars. Following in the footsteps of their ancestors, they discover the greatest treasure of the past age—a world terraformed and prepared for human life. But all is not right in this new Eden. In the long years since the planet was abandoned, new masters have turned it from a refuge into mankind’s worst nightmare. Now two civilizations are on a collision course, both testing the boundaries of what they will do to survive.
The Speculative Fiction Novella Group will meet via Zoom Wed. July 27 at 6:30 p.m. to discuss Sylvain Neuvel’s “The Test.” In the not-too-distant future, Idir is sitting the British Citizenship Test. He wants his family to belong. Twenty-five questions to determine their fate. Twenty-five chances to impress. When the test takes an unexpected and tragic turn, Idir is handed the power of life and death. How do you value a life when all you have is multiple choice?