The 2nd Saturday Book Discussion Group brings great, fiction and nonfiction, classic and contemporary books to life, exploring those shared lives together in a round table setting. Discussions take place the second Saturday of every month at 3pm. Participation is free, and no registration is required.

Born a Crime book jacket

Current Book Selection

Saturday, April 13 at 3pm
Sequim Branch Library

Born a Crime
by Trevor Noah

Noah’s path from apartheid South Africa to the desk of The Daily Show began with a criminal act: his birth. Born to a white Swiss father and a black Xhosa mother, at the time such a union was punishable by five years in prison. As he struggles to find himself in a world where he was never supposed to exist, his mother is determined to save her son from the cycle of poverty, violence, and abuse that would ultimately threaten her own life. With an incisive wit and unflinching honesty, Noah weaves together a moving yet funny portrait of a boy making his way through a damaged world in a dangerous time.

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2nd Saturday 2019 Book Selection List

The Girls of Atomic City book jacket

January 12 at 3pm
The Girls of Atomic City
by Denise Kiernan

The Tennessee town of Oak Ridge was created from scratch in 1942. One of the Manhattan Project’s secret cities, it did not appear on any maps until 1949, and yet at the height of World War II it was using more electricity than New York City and was home to more than 75,000 people, many of them young women. Their jobs were shrouded in mystery, but they were buoyed by a sense of shared purpose, close friendships, and a surplus of handsome scientists and Army men. But against this wartime backdrop, a darker story was unfolding. The penalty for talking about their work, even the most innocuous details, was job loss and eviction. They all knew something big was happening at Oak Ridge, but few could piece together the true nature of their work until “Little Boy” was dropped over Hiroshima, Japan, and the secret was out.

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Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania book jacket

February 9 at 3pm
Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania
by Erik Larson

On May 1, 1915, with WWI entering its tenth month, a luxury ocean liner as richly appointed as an English country house sailed out of New York, bound for Liverpool, carrying a record number of children and infants. For months, German U-boats had brought terror to the North Atlantic. But the Lusitania was one of the era’s great transatlantic “Greyhounds”–the fastest liner then in service–and her captain, William Thomas Turner, placed tremendous faith in the gentlemanly strictures of warfare that for a century had kept civilian ships safe from attack. Germany, however, was determined to change the rules of the game, and Walther Schwieger, the captain of Unterseeboot-20, was happy to oblige. Meanwhile, an ultra-secret British intelligence unit tracked Schwieger’s U-boat, but told no one. As U-20 and the Lusitania made their way toward Liverpool, an array of forces all converged to produce one of the great disasters of history.

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Good Lord Bird book jacket

March 9 at 3pm
The Good Lord Bird
by James McBride

Henry Shackleford is a young slave living in the Kansas Territory in 1857, when the region is a battleground between anti- and pro-slavery forces. When John Brown, the legendary abolitionist, arrives in the area, an argument between Brown and Henry’s master quickly turns violent. Henry is forced to leave town with Brown, who believes he’s a girl. Over the ensuing months, Henry conceals his true identity as he struggles to stay alive. Eventually Henry finds himself with Brown at the historic raid on Harpers Ferry in 1859 – one of the great catalysts for the Civil War.

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Born a Crime book jacket

April 13 at 3pm
Born a Crime
by Trevor Noah

Noah’s path from apartheid South Africa to the desk of The Daily Show began with a criminal act: his birth. Born to a white Swiss father and a black Xhosa mother, at the time such a union was punishable by five years in prison. As he struggles to find himself in a world where he was never supposed to exist, his mother is determined to save her son from the cycle of poverty, violence, and abuse that would ultimately threaten her own life. With an incisive wit and unflinching honesty, Noah weaves together a moving yet funny portrait of a boy making his way through a damaged world in a dangerous time.

Request a copy here

1984 book jacket

May 11 at 3pm
1984
by George Orwell

1984 depicts a gray world dominated by Big Brother and its vast network of agents, quashing freedom in a totalitarian world, where news is manufactured according to the authorities’ will and people live by rote. Dissidents are disciplined into being willing tools of their masters. Winston Smith lives in this social system where surveillance, brainwashing, and execution are the state’s tools for erasing personal will. His foray into passion ends with his arrest by the Thought Police and challenges him to be a hero.

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History of Wolves book jacket

June 8 at 3pm
History of Wolves
by Emily Fridlund

Fourteen-year-old Linda lives with her parents in the beautiful, austere woods of northern Minnesota, where their nearly abandoned commune stands as a last vestige of a lost counter-culture world. Isolated at home and an outlander at school, Linda is drawn to the enigmatic, attractive Lily and new history teacher Mr. Grierson. When Mr. Grierson is charged with possessing child pornography, the implications of his arrest deeply affect Linda as she wrestles with her own fledgling desires and craving to belong. And then, the young Gardner family moves in across the lake and Linda finds herself welcomed into their home as a babysitter for their little boy, Paul. It seems that her life finally has purpose but with this new sense of belonging, she is also drawn into secrets she doesn’t understand. As she struggles to find a way out of the sequestered world into which she was born, Linda confronts the life-and-death consequences of the things people do–and fail to do–for the people they love.

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If Today Be Sweet book jacket

July 13 at 3pm
If Today Be Sweet
by Thrity Umriger

The recent death of her beloved husband, Rustom, has taken its toll on Tehmina Sethna. Now, while visiting her son, Sorab, in his suburban Ohio home, she is being asked to choose between continuing her old life in India and starting a new one in this unfamiliar country with her son, his American wife, and their child. Her destiny is uncertain, and soon the plight of two troubled young children next door will force the most difficult decision she has ever faced. Ultimately, the journey is one that Tehmina must travel alone.

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I’ll Push You book jacket

August 10 at 3pm
I’ll Push You
by Patrick Gray

Two best friends, 500 miles, one wheelchair, and the challenge of a lifetime. Friendship takes on new meaning in this true story of Justin and Patrick, born less than two days apart in the same hospital. Best friends their whole lives, they grew up together, went to school together, and were best man in each other’s weddings. When Justin was diagnosed with a neuromuscular disease that robbed him of the use of his arms and legs, Patrick was there, helping to care for him in ways he’d never imagined. Determined to live life to the fullest, the friends refused to give into despair or let physical limitations control what was possible. So, when Justin heard about the Camino de Santiago, a 500-mile trek through Spain, he wondered aloud to Patrick whether the two of them could ever do it. Patrick’s immediate response was “I’ll push you.”

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The Girl With Seven Names book jacket

September 14 at 3pm
The Girl With Seven Names
by Hyeonseo Lee

As a child growing up in North Korea, Hyeonseo Lee was one of millions trapped by a secretive and brutal communist regime. Her home on the border with China gave her some exposure to the world beyond the confines of the Hermit Kingdom and, as the famine of the 1990s struck, she began to realize that she had been brainwashed her entire life. Given the repression, poverty and starvation she witnessed surely her country could not be “the best on the planet”? Aged seventeen, she decided to escape North Korea.

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Clallam

October 12 at 3pm
Clallam County Reads
Title To Be Announced

The Soul of an Octopus book jacket

October 12 at 3pm
The Soul of an Octopus
by Sy Montgomery

In this astonishing book the author explores the emotional and physical world of the octopus–a surprisingly complex, intelligent, and spirited creature–and the remarkable connections it makes with humans. Octopuses have varied personalities and intelligence they show in myriad ways: endless trickery to escape enclosures and get food; jetting water playfully to bounce objects like balls; and evading caretakers by using a scoop net as a trampoline and running around the floor on eight arms. But with a beak like a parrot, venom like a snake, and a tongue covered with teeth, how can such a being know anything? And what sort of thoughts could it think? Montgomery chronicles the growing appreciation of the octopus, but also tells a love story. By turns funny, entertaining, touching, and profound, The Soul of an Octopus reveals what octopuses can teach us about consciousness and the meeting of two very different minds.

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The Good Pilot Peter Woodhouse book jacket

November 9 at 3pm
The Good Pilot Peter Woodhouse
by Alexander McCall Smith

Val Eliot, a land girl working on an English farm during World War II, finds herself in charge of protecting a rescued border collie named Peter Woodhouse from the owner who mistreated him. When Val meets Mike, an American Air Force pilot stationed nearby, she realizes that the safest place for the little dog is alongside Mike at the base. With the love and attention of the pilots, Peter Woodhouse becomes Dog First Class, the mascot of the U.S. Air Force, boldly accompanying the officers on their missions – until a disaster jeopardizes their future.

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To Kill a Mockingbird book jacket

December 14 at 3pm
To Kill a Mockingbird
by Harper Lee

The setting is a dusty Southern town during the Depression. A white woman accuses a black man of rape. Though he is obviously innocent, the outcome of his trial is such a foregone conclusion that no lawyer will step forward to defend him – except the town’s most distinguished citizen. His compassionate defense costs him many friendships but earns him the respect and admiration of his two motherless children.

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