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Toulon Public Library District

3rd Thursday Book Club@TPLD

We are the 3rd Thursday Book Club. We meet at the Toulon Public Library on the 3rd Thursday of the month at 6:30 pm except December. Ask Michael or Mary for more details by visiting or calling the library 286-5791.

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2021-2022 Third Thursday Book Club List:

June16: Biography or The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo By Taylor Jenkins Reid: Aging and reclusive Hollywood movie icon Evelyn Hugo is finally ready to tell the truth about her glamorous and scandalous life. But when she chooses unknown magazine reporter Monique Grant for the job, no one is more astounded than Monique herself. Why her?

July 21: Historical Fiction or: The Pillars of the Earth By Ken Follett: Everything readers expect from Follett is here: intrigue, fast-paced action, and passionate romance. But what makes The Pillars of the Earth extraordinary is the time the twelfth century; the place feudal England; and the subject the building of a glorious cathedral. Follett has re-created the crude, flamboyant England of the Middle Ages in every detail. The vast forests, the walled towns, the castles, and the monasteries become a familiar landscape.
Against this richly imagined and intricately interwoven backdrop, filled with the ravages of war and the rhythms of daily life, the master storyteller draws the reader irresistibly into the intertwined lives of his characters into their dreams, their labors, and their loves: Tom, the master builder; Aliena, the ravishingly beautiful noblewoman; Philip, the prior of Kingsbridge; Jack, the artist in stone; and Ellen, the woman of the forest who casts a terrifying curse. From humble stonemason to imperious monarch, each character is brought vividly to life.
The building of the cathedral, with the almost eerie artistry of the unschooled stonemasons, is the center of the drama. Around the site of the construction, Follett weaves a story of betrayal, revenge, and love, which begins with the public hanging of an innocent man and ends with the humiliation of a king.

August 18: Nonfiction or The Great Influenza By John M. Barry: At the height of WWI, history’s most lethal influenza virus erupted in an army camp in Kansas, moved east with American troops, then exploded, killing as many as 100 million people worldwide. It killed more people in twenty-four months than AIDS killed in twenty-four years, more in a year than the Black Death killed in a century. But this was not the Middle Ages, and 1918 marked the first collision of science and epidemic disease. Magisterial in its breadth of perspective and depth of research and now revised to reflect the growing danger of the avian flu, The Great Influenza is ultimately a tale of triumph amid tragedy, which provides us with a precise and sobering model as we confront the epidemics looming on our own horizon. John M. Barry has written a new afterword for this edition that brings us up to speed on the terrible threat of the avian flu and suggest ways in which we might head off another flu pandemic.

September 15: Horror or Open Carry By Marc Cameron: U.S. Marshal Arliss Cutter is a born tracker. Raised in the Florida swamplands, he honed his skills in the military, fought in the Middle East, and worked three field positions for Marshal Services. When it comes to tracking someone down—or taking someone out—Cutter’s the best. But his newest assignment is taking him out of his comfort zone to southeast Alaska. Cold, dark, uninhabited forests often shrouded in fog. And it’s the kind of case that makes his blood run cold . . . the shocking murder of a Tlingit Indian girl. 
But the murder is just the beginning. Now, three people have disappeared on Prince of Wales Island. Two are crew members of the reality TV show, Fishwives. Cutter’s job is to find the bodies, examine the crew’s footage for clues, and track down the men who killed them. But it won’t be easy, because the whole town is hiding secrets, every trail is a dead end—and the hunter becomes the hunted . . .

October 20:Historical nonfiction or The Rose Code By Kate Quinn: 1940. As England prepares to fight the Nazis, three very different women answer the call to mysterious country estate Bletchley Park, where the best minds in Britain train to break German military codes. Vivacious debutante Osla is the girl who has everything—beauty, wealth, and the dashing Prince Philip of Greece sending her roses—but she burns to prove herself as more than a society girl, and puts her fluent German to use as a translator of decoded enemy secrets. Imperious self-made Mab, product of east-end London poverty, works the legendary codebreaking machines as she conceals old wounds and looks for a socially advantageous husband. Both Osla and Mab are quick to see the potential in local village spinster Beth, whose shyness conceals a brilliant facility with puzzles, and soon Beth spreads her wings as one of the Park’s few female cryptanalysts. But war, loss, and the impossible pressure of secrecy will tear the three apart.1947. As the royal wedding of Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip whips post-war Britain into a fever, three friends-turned-enemies are reunited by a mysterious encrypted letter--the key to which lies buried in the long-ago betrayal that destroyed their friendship and left one of them confined to an asylum. A mysterious traitor has emerged from the shadows of their Bletchley Park past, and now Osla, Mab, and Beth must resurrect their old alliance and crack one last code together. But each petal they remove from the rose code brings danger--and their true enemy closer…

 

 Guidelines:

You do not have to finish the book, but keep in mind that the ending may be spoiled!

Books will be voted upon from a list of 40 at the inaugural, October 2018 meeting.

Each member has a valued opinion! Please keep your political arguments on FaceBook ;)

Come join us for a casual discussion! All are welcome. 

General Questions:

No need to answer. Some may be used to facilitate discussion.

Questions to consider (Fiction):

  1. How did you experience the book? Were you immediately drawn into the story—or did it take a while? Did the book intrigue, amuse, disturb, alienate, irritate, or frighten you? 

  2. Which characters do you particularly admire or dislike? What are their primary characteristics?

  3. Who in the book would you like to meet? What would you ask,or say? 

  4. If you could insert yourself as a character in the book, what role would you play? 

  5. Consider the ending. Did you expect it or were you surprised? Was it manipulative or forced? Was it neatly wrapped up—maybe too neatly? Or was the story unresolved, ending on an ambiguous note? 

  6. Can you pick out a passage that strikes you as particularly profound or interesting? 

  7. Does the book remind you of your own life? An event? A person—like a friend, family member, boss, co-worker? 

  8. If you were to talk with the author, what would you want to know? (Many authors enjoy talking with book clubs. Contact the publisher to see if you can set up a phone or Skype chat.) 

  9. Have you read the author’s other books? Can you discern a similarity—in theme, writing style—between them? Or are they completely different?

Questions to Consider (for Non-Fiction)

If your book is a cultural portrait of life in another country, or different region of your own country, start with these questions:

  1. Do the issues affect your life? How so—directly, on a daily basis, or more generally? Now, or sometime in the future? 

  2. Does the author—or can you—draw implications for the future? Are there long- or short-term consequences to the issues raised in the book? If so, are they positive or negative? Affirming or frightening? 

  3. Does the author—or can you—offer solutions to the issues raised in the book? Who would implement those solutions? How probable is success? 

  4. Are the book's issues controversial? How so? And who is aligned on which sides of the issues? Where do you fall in that line-up? 

  5. Can you point to specific passages that struck you personally—as interesting, profound, silly or shallow, incomprehensible, illuminating? 

  6. Did you learn something new? Did it broaden your perspective about a personal or societal issue? Perhaps about another culture in another country or an ethnic/regional culture in your own country?

Year 1: 2018-2019 Book Club List:

 November 15 2018: The Girl from the Train by Irma Joubert

As World War II draws to a close, Jakob fights with the Polish resistance against the crushing forces of Germany and Russia. They intend to destroy a German troop transport, but Gretl’s unscheduled train reaches the bomb first. Gretl is the only survivor. Though spared from the concentration camp, the orphaned German Jew finds herself lost in a country hostile to her people. When Jakob discovers her, guilt and fatherly compassion prompt him to take her in. For three years, the young man and little girl form a bond over the secrets they must hide from his Catholic family.

 January 17 2019: The Vanishing American Adult: Our Coming-of-Age Crisis--and How to Rebuild a Culture of Self-Reliance By Ben Sasse 

Raised by well-meaning but overprotective parents and coddled by well-meaning but misbegotten government programs, America's youth are ill-equipped to survive in our highly-competitive global economy. Many of the coming-of-age rituals that have defined the American experience since the Founding: learning the value of working with your hands, leaving home to start a family, becoming economically self-reliant―are being delayed or skipped altogether. The statistics are daunting: 30% of college students drop out after the first year, and only 4 in 10 graduate. One in three 18-to-34 year-olds live with their parents.

February 21 2019: Empty Mansions by Bill Dedman and Paul Newell Jr. 328.73

Empty Mansions is a rich mystery of wealth and loss, connecting the Gilded Age opulence of the nineteenth century with a twenty-first-century battle over a $300 million inheritance. At its heart is a reclusive heiress named Huguette Clark, a woman so secretive that, at the time of her death at age 104, no new photograph of her had been seen in decades. Though she owned palatial homes in California, New York, and Connecticut, why had she lived for twenty years in a simple hospital room, despite being in excellent health? Why were her valuables being sold off? Was she in control of her fortune, or controlled by those managing her money?

 March 21 2019: The Story of Arthur Trulove by Elizabeth Berg

Wonderfully written and full of profound observations about life, The Story of Arthur Truluv is a beautiful and moving novel of compassion in the face of loss, of the small acts that turn friends into family, and of the possibilities to achieve happiness at any age.

 April 18 2019: The Knitting Circle by Ann Hood

After the sudden loss of her only child, Stella, Mary Baxter joins a knitting circle in Providence, Rhode Island, as a way to fill the empty hours and lonely days, not knowing that it will change her life. Alice, Scarlet, Lulu, Beth, Harriet, and Ellen welcome Mary into their circle despite her reluctance to open her heart to them. Each woman teaches Mary a new knitting technique, and, as they do, they reveal to her their own personal stories of loss, love, and hope. Eventually, through the hours they spend knitting and talking together, Mary is finally able to tell her own story of grief, and in so doing reclaims her love for her husband, faces the hard truths about her relationship with her mother, and finds the spark of life again.

 June 20 2019: Orphan #8 by Kim van Alkemade

In this stunning new historical novel inspired by true events, Kim van Alkemade tells the fascinating story of a woman who must choose between revenge and mercy when she encounters the doctor who subjected her to dangerous medical experiments in a New York City Jewish orphanage years before.

 July 18 2019: Midnight Assassin by Patricia Bryan and Thomas Wolf

On the night of December 1,1900, Iowa farmer John Hossack was attacked and killed while he slept at home beside his wife, Margaret. On April 11, 1901, after five days of testimony before an all-male jury, Margaret Hossack was found guilty of his murder and sentenced to life in prison. One year later, she was released on bail to await a retrial; jurors at this second trial could not reach a decision, and she was freed. She died August 25, 1916, leaving the mystery of her husband's death unsolved.

 August 15 2019: Witness in Bishop Hill by Sara Hoskinson Frommer

Things have finally calmed down enough for cozy heroine Joan Spencer and her new husband, Lt. Fred Lundquist, to take a long-delayed honeymoon to celebrate their three-month-old nuptials. Of course, it won’t be a traditional honeymoon, since they’ll have Joan’s teenage son, Andrew, in tow, and the fact that they are using the trip to finally visit Fred’s family makes it even more unusual. But Joan is happy; she’ll get some time away with her family, and she’ll finally get to see the tiny historic Swedish-American community where Fred grew up, Bishop Hill. 

September 19 2019: Paddle Your Own Canoe by Nick Offerman

Growing a perfect moustache, grilling red meat, wooing a woman—who better to deliver this tutelage than the always charming, always manly Nick Offerman, best known as Parks and Recreation’s Ron Swanson?  Combining his trademark comic voice and very real expertise in woodworking—he runs his own woodshop—Paddle Your Own Canoe features tales from Offerman’s childhood in small-town Minooka, Illinois. This was one of Evelyn Roark’s students.

 October 17 2019: Coop by Mike Perry. 977.5

In over his head with two pigs, a dozen chickens, and a baby due any minute, the acclaimed author of Population: 485 gives us a humorous, heartfelt memoir of a new life in the country. Living in a ramshackle Wisconsin farmhouse—faced with thirty-seven acres of fallen fences and overgrown fields, and informed by his pregnant wife that she intends to deliver their baby at home—Michael Perry plumbs his unorthodox childhood for clues to how to proceed as a farmer, a husband, and a father.

November 11 2019: The Secrets We Kept, Lara Prescott

The Secrets We Kept combines a legendary literary love story--the decades-long affair between Pasternak and his mistress and muse, Olga Ivinskaya, who was sent to the Gulag and inspired Zhivago's heroine, Lara--with a narrative about two women empowered to lead lives of extraordinary intrigue and risk. From Pasternak's country estate outside Moscow to the brutalities of the Gulag, from Washington, D.C. to Paris and Milan, The Secrets We Kept captures a watershed moment in the history of literature--told with soaring emotional intensity and captivating historical detail. And at the center of this unforgettable debut is the powerful belief that a piece of art can change the world.

January 16 2020: Bossypants, Tina Fey

At last, Tina Fey's story can be told. From her youthful days as a vicious nerd to her tour of duty on Saturday Night Live; from her passionately halfhearted pursuit of physical beauty to her life as a mother eating things off the floor; from her one-sided college romance to her nearly fatal honeymoon -- from the beginning of this paragraph to this final sentence.

February 20 2020: Telegram for Mrs. Mooney, Cate M. Ruane

On the same day that France surrenders to the Nazis, Jack Mooney--a New Yorker, barely out of high school--hitches a ride to Montreal, where he enlists as a pilot in the Royal Canadian Air Force. The last thing he says to his little brother before leaving home is, "Don't forget me, kid." Two years later a telegram arrives: Jack, now a Spitfire pilot flying for the Royal Air Force, is missing in action somewhere in German-occupied Europe.

March 19 2020: The Orphan’s Tale, Pam Jenoff

Sixteen-year-old Noa has been cast out in disgrace after becoming pregnant by a Nazi soldier and being forced to give up her baby. She lives above a small rail station, which she cleans in order to earn her keep… When Noa discovers a boxcar containing dozens of Jewish infants bound for a concentration camp, she is reminded of the child that was taken from her. And in a moment that will change the course of her life, she snatches one of the babies and flees into the snowy night.

Noa finds refuge with a German circus, but she must learn the flying trapeze act so she can blend in undetected, spurning the resentment of the lead aerialist, Astrid. At first rivals, Noa and Astrid soon forge a powerful bond. But as the facade that protects them proves increasingly tenuous, Noa and Astrid must decide whether their friendship is enough to save one another—or if the secrets that burn between them will destroy everything.

April 16 2020: The Greater Journey: Americans in Paris,  D. McCullough

In The Greater Journey, David McCullough tells the enthralling, inspiring—and until now, untold—story of the adventurous American artists, writers, doctors, politicians, and others who set off for Paris in the years between 1830 and 1900, hungry to learn and to excel in their work. What they achieved would profoundly alter American history.

 

May 21 2020: Forty Rod Road, Grove N. Mower

Introducing Hank Chandler: Flawed, fumbling and about to fail out of college at the end of his freshman year. Struggling to straighten out his life and to figure out the mysterious death of a friend, Hank accepts a job on Wyoming ranch. The spread on Forty Rod Road, run by Buzz and Hope Stifel, turns out to be a lot less than Hank expected, but the owners are decent, hard-working folks who take Hank on and teach him how to be a ranch hand. Soon, he learns the Stifels have their own secrets and faults, as grudges, infidelity, and a killing or two muddy the waters. In a world far from his own, Hank Chandler takes the leap from innocence to experience, as love, redemption and revenge accompany him on his journey down Forty Rod Road.

June 18 2020: June Take the Cannoli, Sarah Vowell

While tackling subjects such as identity, politics, religion, art, and history, these autobiographical tales are written with a biting humor, placing Vowell solidly in the tradition of Mark Twain and Dorothy Parker. Vowell searches the streets of Hoboken for traces of the town's favorite son, Frank Sinatra. She goes under cover of heavy makeup in an investigation of goth culture, blasts cannonballs into a hillside on a father-daughter outing, and maps her family's haunted history on a road trip down the Trail of Tears.

July 16 2020: Lake of the Ozarks, Bill Geist

Before there was "tourism" and souvenir ashtrays became "kitsch," the Lake of the Ozarks was a Shangri-La for middle-class Midwestern families on vacation, complete with man-made beaches, Hillbilly Mini Golf, and feathered rubber tomahawks. It was there that author Bill Geist spent summers in the Sixties during his school and college years working at Arrowhead Lodge-a small resort owned by his bombastic uncle-in all areas of the operation, from cesspool attendant to bellhop. What may have seemed just a summer job became, upon reflection, a transformative era where a cast of eccentric, small-town characters and experiences shaped (some might suggest "slightly twisted") Bill into the man he is today. He realized it was this time in his life that had a direct influence on his sensibilities, his humor, his writing, and ultimately a career searching the world for other such untamed creatures for the Chicago Tribune, the New York Times, and CBS News.

August 20 2020: Atomic City Girls, Janet Beard

In November 1944, eighteen-year-old June Walker boards an unmarked bus, destined for a city that doesn’t officially exist. Oak Ridge, Tennessee has sprung up in a matter of months—a town of trailers and segregated houses, 24-hour cafeterias, and constant security checks. There, June joins hundreds of other young girls operating massive machines whose purpose is never explained. They know they are helping to win the war, but must ask no questions and reveal nothing to outsiders.

September 17 2020: There, There, Tommy Orange

Tommy Orange’s wondrous and shattering novel follows twelve characters from Native communities: all traveling to the Big Oakland Powwow, all connected to one another in ways they may not yet realize. Among them is Jacquie Red Feather, newly sober and trying to make it back to the family she left behind. Dene Oxendene, pulling his life together after his uncle’s death and working at the powwow to honor his memory. Fourteen-year-old Orvil, coming to perform traditional dance for the very first time. Together, this chorus of voices tells of the plight of the urban Native American—grappling with a complex and painful history, with an inheritance of beauty and spirituality, with communion and sacrifice and heroism. Hailed as an instant classic, There There is at once poignant and unflinching, utterly contemporary and truly unforgettable.

 October 15 2020: Let’s Pretend This Never Happened: A Mostly True Memoir, J. Lawson

In the irreverent Let’s Pretend This Never Happened, Lawson’s long-suffering husband and sweet daughter help her uncover the surprising discovery that the most terribly human moments—the ones we want to pretend never happened—are the very same moments that make us the people we are today. For every intellectual misfit who thought they were the only ones to think the things that Lawson dares to say out loud, this is a poignant and hysterical look at the dark, disturbing, yet wonderful moments of our lives.

November 19 – The Holdout by Graham Moore

                In this twisty tale, a young juror, Maya Seale, is convinced that African American high school teacher Bobby Nock is innocent of killing the wealthy white female student with whom he appears to have been involved and persuades her fellow jurors likewise. Ten years later, a true-crime docuseries reassembles the jurors, and Maya, now a defense attorney, must prove her own innocence when one of them is found dead in Maya's room.

December – No meeting.  Merry Christmas!

 January 21 – The Last Train to Key West by Chenel Cleeton

          The Cuban Revolution of 1933 left Mirta Perez’s family in a precarious position. Mirta arrives in the Keys on her honeymoon. Her new husband’s illicit business interests may threaten not only her relationship, but her life.
Elizabeth Preston's trip from New York to Key West is a chance to save her once-wealthy family from their troubles as a result of the Wall Street crash.
Over the course of the holiday weekend, the women’s paths cross unexpectedly, and the danger swirling around them is matched only by the terrifying force of the deadly storm threatening the Keys. 

 February 18 – Ring Around the Rosie by Julian Scott

          Rosie Thompson is an eighteen-year-old girl with her whole life ahead of her. The Homecoming Dance is just one night away and she can already feel the weight of the crown upon her head. But when she leaves her home that Friday night, it’s for the very last time. When her body is found in a park the next morning, a whole town is turned upside down and a family is torn apart.

March 18 – The Giver of Stars by Jojo Moyes

          Alice Wright marries handsome American Bennett Van Cleve hoping to escape her stifling life in England. But small-town Kentucky quickly proves equally claustrophobic.  So when a call goes out for a team of women to deliver books as part of Eleanor Roosevelt’s new traveling library, Alice signs on. The leader is Margery, a smart-talking, self-sufficient woman who’s never asked a man’s permission for anything. They will be joined by three other singular women who become known as the Packhorse Librarians of Kentucky.
These heroic women refuse to be cowed by men or by convention. And though they face all kinds of dangers, they’re committed to their job: bringing books to people who have never had any, arming them with facts that will change their lives.
Based on a true story.

April 18– Only Two Came Back by Gregg Moutoux

          The untold story of the Lewis and Clark Expedition.

            Question and Answer time with the author!

May 20–The United States of Anxiety by Jen Lancaster

          Jen Lancaster is here to take a hard look at our elevating anxieties, and with self-deprecating wit and levelheaded wisdom, she charts a path out of the quagmire that keeps us frightened of the future and ashamed of our imperfectly perfect human lives. Take a deep breath, and her advice, and you just might get through a holiday dinner without wanting to disown your uncle.

June 17–What the Wind Knows by Amy Harmon

          Anne Gallagher grew up enchanted by her grandfather’s stories of Ireland. Heartbroken at his death, she travels to his childhood home to spread his ashes. There, overcome with memories of the man she adored and consumed by a history she never knew, she is pulled into another time.

July 15 – The Gown by Jennifer Robson

          With  The Gown, Jennifer Robson takes us inside the workrooms where one of the most famous wedding gowns in history was created. Balancing behind-the-scenes details with a sweeping portrait of a society left reeling by the calamitous costs of victory, she introduces readers to three unforgettable heroines whose lives are woven together by the pain of survival, the bonds of friendship, and the redemptive power of love.

August 19 – The Death of Mrs. Westaway – by Ruth Ward

          On a day that begins like any other, Hal receives a mysterious letter bequeathing her a substantial inheritance. She realizes very quickly that the letter was sent to the wrong person—but also that the cold-reading skills she’s honed as a tarot card reader might help her claim the money.
Soon, Hal finds herself at the funeral of the deceased…where it dawns on her that there is something very, very wrong about this strange situation and the inheritance at the centre of it.

 September 16 – The Itinerant by Jim Nowlan

            This insightful look at mid-century life in central Illinois will provide a walk down memory lane that touches your heart while it broadens your feeling for people and politics. Jim Nowlan knows what he is writing about, and it shows.

Question and Answer time with the author!

October 21 – The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot

        Her name was Henrietta Lacks, but scientists know her as HeLa. She was a poor Southern tobacco farmer who worked the same land as her slave ancestors, yet her cells—taken without her knowledge—became one of the most important tools in medicine. The first “immortal” human cells grown in culture, they are still alive today, though she has been dead for more than sixty years.  HeLa cells were vital for developing the polio vaccine; uncovered secrets of cancer, viruses, and the atom bomb’s effects; helped lead to important advances like in vitro fertilization, cloning, and gene mapping; and have been bought and sold by the billions.

November 18: Biography or The Other Einstein By Marie Benedict: In the tradition of The Paris Wife and Mrs. Poe, The Other Einstein offers us a window into a brilliant, fascinating woman whose light was lost in Einstein's enormous shadow. It is the story of Einstein's wife, a brilliant physicist in her own right, whose contribution to the special theory of relativity is hotly debated and may have been inspired by her own profound and very personal insight.
Mitza Maric has always been a little different from other girls. Most twenty-year-olds are wives by now, not studying physics at an elite Zurich university with only male students trying to outdo her clever calculations. But Mitza is smart enough to know that, for her, math is an easier path than marriage. And then fellow student Albert Einstein takes an interest in her, and the world turns sideways. Theirs becomes a partnership of the mind and of the heart, but there might not be room for more than one genius in a marriage.

January 20: Fiction or 8.4 By Peter Hernon: The New Madrid Seismic Zone is 140 miles, stretching across five states. In 1811 and 1812 enormous earthquakes erupted along this zone, effecting 24 states, creating lakes in Tennessee and causing the Mississippi River to run backward. In Peter Hernon’s 8.4 the New Madrid awakens, threatening the country with systematic collapse in a chillingly plausible case of history repeating itself. It’s up to a team of scientists to stop the impending destruction, working against nature, time and a horrifying, human-made conspiracy.

February 17:Legend or Serpent By Clive Cussler: On the bottom of the icy sea off Nantucket lies the battered remains of the Italian luxury liner, Andrea Doria. But few know that within its bowels rests a priceless pre-Columbian antiquity—a treasure that now holds the key to a puzzle that is costing people their lives. For Kurt Austin, the leader of a courageous National Underwater Marine Agency (NUMA) exploration team, the killing begins when he makes a daring rescue of a beautiful marine archaeologist. The target of a powerful Texas industrialist named Halcon, Nina Kirov was attacked off the coast of Morocco after her discovery of a carved stone head that may prove Christopher

March 17: Fiction or A Painted House By John Grisham: "The hill people and the Mexicans arrived on the same day. It was a Wednesday, early in September 1952. The Cardinals were five games behind the Dodgers with three weeks to go, and the season looked hopeless. The cotton, however, was waist-high to my father, over my head, and he and my grandfather could be heard before supper whispering words that were seldom heard. It could be a "good crop.

"April 17: Mystery or Stone’s Throw By Robert Parker & Mike Lupica: Paradise is rocked by the mayor's untimely death in the latest novel starring police chief Jesse Stone. Paradise is rocked by the mayor's untimely death in the latest novel starring police chief Jesse Stone.
The town of Paradise receives a tragic shock when the acting mayor is discovered dead. It's ostensibly suicide, but Jesse's not so sure. And when the town becomes embroiled in a controversial and dodgy land deal, all signs suggest that the victim may have gotten in the way of some bad and powerful people.

May 19: Fiction or Jamaica Inn By Daphne de Maurier: The coachman tried to warn her away from the ruined, forbidding place on the rainswept Cornish coast. But young Mary Yellan chose instead to honor her mother's dying request that she join her frightened Aunt Patience and huge, hulking Uncle Joss Merlyn at Jamaica Inn.
From her first glimpse on that raw November eve, she could sense the inn's dark power. But never did Mary dream that she would become hopelessly ensnared in the vile, villainous schemes being hatched within its crumbling walls—or that a handsome, mysterious stranger would so incite her passions... tempting her to love a man whom she dares not trust.