Read on the Edge with the Morning Coffee Book Club where Scott Biegen, a PSPL Librarian (and English Teacher in a previous life), leads a book club meeting at the Welwood Murray Memorial Library. Members of the Morning Coffee Book Club read the selection for the month and then discuss it at a monthly meeting. Refreshments are generously provided by Aspen Mills Bakery. Thank you, Aspen Mills!
The group meets the 3rd Wednesday of the month (September-May) from 10:00 a.m.-11:30 a.m. in the Cornelia White Community Room at the Welwood Murray Memorial Library.
The Welwood Murray Memorial Library is located at the corner of S. Palm Canyon Dr. and E. Tahquitz Canyon Way at 100 S. Palm Canyon Dr. Palm Springs, CA 92262. Free parking is available in the Downtown Parking Structure and on a free parking lot on S. Belardo Road (behind Ruby's—time restrictions may apply). For more information call the Palm Springs Public Library at 760-322-READ (7323).
2017 / 2018 Season
September 20, 2017 -The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood**
October 18, 2017 - The Color Purple by Alice Walker**
November 15, 2017 - Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong by James W. Loewen**
December 20, 2017 - A Home at the End of the World by Michael Cunningham**
January 17, 2018 - Ceremony by Leslie Marmon Silko**
February 21, 2018 - Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates**
March 21, 2018 - The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion**
April 18, 2018 - How the García Girls Lost Their Accents by Julia Alvarez**
May 16, 2018 - The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga**
** —This book is also available as a Downloadable Audiobook and/or eBook from PSPL.
September 20, 2017
The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood**
—From the bestselling author of the MaddAddam trilogy, here is the #1 New York Times bestseller and seminal work of speculative fiction from the Booker Prize-winning author.
—Now a Hulu series starring Elizabeth Moss, Samira Wiley, and Joseph Fiennes. Includes a new introduction by Margaret Atwood.
Offred is a Handmaid in the Republic of Gilead. She may leave the home of the Commander and his wife once a day to walk to food markets whose signs are now pictures instead of words because women are no longer allowed to read. She must lie on her back once a month and pray that the Commander makes her pregnant, because in an age of declining births, Offred and the other Handmaids are valued only if their ovaries are viable.
Offred can remember the days before, when she lived and made love with her husband Luke; when she played with and protected her daughter; when she had a job, money of her own, and access to knowledge. But all of that is gone now….
Funny, unexpected, horrifying, and altogether convincing, The Handmaid's Tale is at once scathing satire, dire warning, and literary tour de force.
October 18, 2017
The Color Purple by Alice Walker**
—Winner of the Pulitzer Prize
—Winner of the National Book Award
Published to unprecedented acclaim, The Color Purple established Alice Walker as a major voice in modern fiction. This is the story of two sisters—one a missionary in Africa and the other a child wife living in the South—who sustain their loyalty to and trust in each other across time, distance, and silence. Beautifully imagined and deeply compassionate, this classic novel of American literature is rich with passion, pain, inspiration, and an indomitable love of life.
Intense emotional impact . . . Indelibly affecting . . . Alice Walker is a lavishly gifted writer.—The New York Times Book Review
Places Walker in the company of Faulkner.—The Nation
Superb . . . A work to stand beside literature of any time and place.—San Francisco Chronicle
The Color Purple is an American novel of permanent importance.—Newsweek
Marvelous characters . . . A story of revelation . . . One of the great books of our time.—Essence
November 15, 2017
Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong by James W. Loewen**
This updated and revised edition of the American Book Award winner and national bestseller revitalizes the truth of America’s history, explores how myths continue to be perpetrated, and includes a new chapter on 9/11 and the Iraq War.
Americans have lost touch with their history, and in Lies My Teacher Told Me Professor James Loewen shows why. After surveying eighteen leading high school American history texts, he has concluded that not one does a decent job of making history interesting or memorable. Marred by an embarrassing combination of blind patriotism, mindless optimism, sheer misinformation, and outright lies, these books omit almost all the ambiguity, passion, conflict, and drama from our past.
In this revised edition, packed with updated material, Loewen explores how historical myths continue to be perpetuated in today's climate and adds an eye-opening chapter on the lies surrounding 9/11 and the Iraq War. From the truth about Columbus's historic voyages to an honest evaluation of our national leaders, Loewen revives our history, restoring the vitality and relevance it truly possesses.
Thought provoking, nonpartisan, and often shocking, Loewen unveils the real America in this iconoclastic classic beloved by high school teachers, history buffs, and enlightened citizens across the country.
December 20, 2017
A Home at the End of the World by Michael Cunningham**
From Michael Cunningham, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Hours, comes this widely praised novel of two boyhood friends: Jonathan, lonely, introspective, and unsure of himself; and Bobby, hip, dark, and inarticulate. In New York after college, Bobby moves in with Jonathan and his roommate, Clare, a veteran of the city's erotic wars. Bobby and Clare fall in love, scuttling the plans of Jonathan, who is gay, to father Clare's child. Then, when Clare and Bobby have a baby, the three move to a small house upstate to raise "their" child together and, with an odd friend, Alice, create a new kind of family. A Home at the End of the World masterfully depicts the charged, fragile relationships of urban life today.
January 17, 2018
Ceremony by Leslie Marmon Silko**
Thirty years since its original publication, Ceremony remains one of the most profound and moving works of Native American literature, a novel that is itself a ceremony of healing. Tayo, a World War II veteran of mixed ancestry, returns to the Laguna Pueblo Reservation. He is deeply scarred by his experience as a prisoner of the Japanese and further wounded by the rejection he encounters from his people. Only by immersing himself in the Indian past can he begin to regain the peace that was taken from him. Masterfully written, filled with the somber majesty of Pueblo myth, Ceremony is a work of enduring power.
February 21, 2018
Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates**
Hailed as a masterpiece of realistic fiction and as the most evocative portrayal of the opulent desolation of the American suburbs since it's publication in 1961, Revolutionary Road is the story of Frank and April Wheeler, a bright, beautiful, and talented couple who have lived on the assumption that greatness is only just around the corner. With heartbreaking compassion and remorseless clarity, Richard Yates shows how Frank and April mortgage their spiritual birthright, betraying not only each other, but their best selves.
In his introduction to this edition, novelist Richard Ford pays homage to the lasting influence and enduring power of Revolutionary Road.
March 21, 2018
The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion**
—Winner of the National Book Award
From one of America’s iconic writers, comes a stunning book of electric honesty and passion. Joan Didion explores an intensely personal yet universal experience: a portrait of a marriage—and a life, in good times and bad—that will speak to anyone who has ever loved a husband or wife or child.
Several days before Christmas 2003, John Gregory Dunne and Joan Didion saw their only daughter, Quintana, fall ill with what seemed at first flu, then pneumonia, then complete septic shock. She was put into an induced coma and placed on life support. Days later—the night before New Year’s Eve—the Dunnes were just sitting down to dinner after visiting the hospital when John Gregory Dunne suffered a massive and fatal coronary. In a second, this close, symbiotic partnership of forty years was over. Four weeks later, their daughter pulled through. Two months after that, arriving at LAX, she collapsed and underwent six hours of brain surgery at UCLA Medical Center to relieve a massive hematoma.
This powerful book is Didion’s attempt to make sense of the “weeks and then months that cut loose any fixed idea I ever had about death, about illness . . . about marriage and children and memory . . . about the shallowness of sanity, about life itself.”
April 18, 2018
How the García Girls Lost Their Accents by Julia Alvarez**
Acclaimed writer Julia Alvarez’s brilliant and buoyant and beloved first novel gives voice to four sisters recounting their adventures growing up in two cultures. Selected as a Notable Book by both the New York Times and the American Library Association, it won the PEN Oakland/Josephine Miles Award for books with a multicultural perspective and was chosen by New York librarians as one of twenty-one classics for the twenty-first century. Ms. Alvarez was recently honored with the 2013 National Medal of Arts for her extraordinary storytelling.
In this debut novel, the García sisters—Carla, Sandra, Yolanda, and Sofía—and their family must flee their home in the Dominican Republic after their father’s role in an attempt to overthrow a tyrannical dictator is discovered. They arrive in New York City in 1960 to a life far removed from their existence in the Caribbean. In the wild and wondrous and not always welcoming U.S.A., their parents try to hold on to their old ways, but the girls try find new lives: by forgetting their Spanish, by straightening their hair and wearing fringed bell bottoms. For them, it is at once liberating and excruciating to be caught between the old world and the new. How the García Girls Lost Their Accents sets the sisters free to tell their most intimate stories about how they came to be at home—and not at home—in America.
Simply wonderful. —Los Angeles Times
May 16, 2018
The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga**
—Winner of the Man Booker Prize
A stunning literary debut critics have likened to Richard Wright’s Native Son, The White Tiger follows a darkly comic Bangalore driver through the poverty and corruption of modern India’s caste society.
The white tiger of this novel is Balram Halwai, a poor Indian villager whose great ambition leads him to the zenith of Indian business culture, the world of the Bangalore entrepreneur. On the occasion of the president of China’s impending trip to Bangalore, Balram writes a letter to him describing his transformation and his experience as a driver and servant to a wealthy Indian family, which he thinks exemplifies the contradictions and complications of Indian society.
Recalling The Death of Vishnu and Bangkok 8 in ambition, scope, The White Tiger is narrative genius with a mischief and personality all its own. Amoral, irreverent, deeply endearing, and utterly contemporary, this novel is an international publishing sensation—and a startling, provocative debut.