2nd Saturday Book Discussion Group

The Garden of Evening Mists

Current Book Selection

Saturday, June 9 at 3pm
Sequim Branch Library

The Garden of Evening Mists
by Tan Twan Eng

Malaya, 1951. Yun Ling Teoh, the scarred lone survivor of a brutal Japanese wartime camp, seeks solace among the jungle–fringed tea plantations of Cameron Highlands. There she discovers Yugiri, the only Japanese garden in Malaya, and its owner and creator, the enigmatic Aritomo, exiled former gardener of the emperor of Japan. Despite her hatred of the Japanese, Yun Ling seeks to engage Aritomo to create a garden in memory of her sister, who died in the camp. Aritomo refuses but agrees to accept Yun Ling as his apprentice “until the monsoon comes.” Then she can design a garden for herself. As the months pass, Yun Ling finds herself intimately drawn to the gardener and his art, while all around them a communist guerilla war rages. But the Garden of Evening Mists remains a place of mystery. Who is Aritomo and how did he come to leave Japan? And is the real story of how Yun Ling managed to survive the war perhaps the darkest secret of all?

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Complete 2nd Saturday Book Selection List

Station Eleven

January 13 at 3pm
Station Eleven
by Emily St. John Mandel

An audacious, darkly glittering novel about art, fame, and ambition set in the eerie days of civilization’s collapse, from the author of three highly–acclaimed previous novels. One snowy night a famous Hollywood actor slumps over and dies onstage during a production of King Lear. Hours later, the world as we know it begins to dissolve. Moving back and forth in time— from the actor’s early days as a film star to fifteen years in the future, when a theater troupe known as the Traveling Symphony roams the wasteland of what remains—this suspenseful, elegiac, spellbinding novel charts the strange twists of fate that connect five people.

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LaRose

February 10 at 3pm
LaRose
by Louise Erdrich

North Dakota, late summer, 1999. Landreaux Iron stalks a deer along the edge of the property bordering his own. He shoots with easy confidence – but when the buck springs away, Landreaux realizes he’s hit something else, a blur he saw as he squeezed the trigger. When he staggers closer, he realizes he has killed his neighbor’s five-year-old son, Dusty Ravich. The youngest child of his friend and neighbor, Peter Ravich, Dusty was best friends with Landreaux’s five-year-old son, LaRose. The two families have always been close, sharing food, clothing, and rides into town; their children played together despite going to different schools; and Landreaux’s wife, Emmaline, is half-sister to Dusty’s mother, Nola. Horrified at what he’s done, the recovered alcoholic turns to an Ojibwe tribe tradition – the sweat lodge – for guidance, and finds a way forward. Following an ancient means of retribution, he and Emmaline will give LaRose to the grieving Peter and Nola. “Our son will be your son now,” they tell them.

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Empire of Glass

March 10 at 3pm
Empire of Glass
by Kaitlin Solimine

In the mid-1990s, an American teenager, named Lao K in Chinese, stands on Coal Hill, a park in Beijing, a loop of rope in her hand. Will she assist her Chinese homestay mother, Li-Ming, who is dying of cancer, in ending her life, or will she choose another path? Twenty years later, Lao K receives a book written by Li-Ming called “Empire of Glass,” a narrative that chronicles the lives of Li-Ming and her husband, Wang, in pre and post-revolutionary China over the last half of the twentieth century. Lao K begins translating the story, which becomes the novel we are reading. But, as translator, how can Lao K separate fact from fiction, and what will her role be in the book’s final chapter?

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Evicted

April 14 at 3pm
Ordinary Grace
by William Kent Krueger

New Bremen, Minnesota, 1961. It was the Twins’ debut season; the country had a new, young president. But for thirteen-year-old Frank Drum it was a grim summer in which death visited often and took many forms. Accident. Nature. Suicide. Murder. Frank was forced to demonstrate a maturity and gumption beyond his years. Forty years later, he tells the story of discovering the terrible price of wisdom and the enduring grace of God.

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A Man Called Ove

May 12 at 3pm
A Man Called Ove
by Fredrik Backman

Meet Ove. He’s a curmudgeon—the kind of man who points at people he dislikes as if they were burglars caught outside his bedroom window. He has staunch principles, strict routines, and a short fuse. People call him “the bitter neighbor from hell”. But behind the cranky exterior there is a story and a sadness. So when one November morning a chatty young couple with two chatty young daughters move in next door and accidentally flatten Ove’s mailbox, it is the lead–in to a comical and heartwarming tale of unkempt cats, unexpected friendship, and the ancient art of backing up a U–Haul.

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The Garden of Evening Mists

June 9 at 3pm
The Garden of Evening Mists
by Tan Twan Eng

Malaya, 1951. Yun Ling Teoh, the scarred lone survivor of a brutal Japanese wartime camp, seeks solace among the jungle–fringed tea plantations of Cameron Highlands. There she discovers Yugiri, the only Japanese garden in Malaya, and its owner and creator, the enigmatic Aritomo, exiled former gardener of the emperor of Japan. Despite her hatred of the Japanese, Yun Ling seeks to engage Aritomo to create a garden in memory of her sister, who died in the camp. Aritomo refuses but agrees to accept Yun Ling as his apprentice “until the monsoon comes.” Then she can design a garden for herself. As the months pass, Yun Ling finds herself intimately drawn to the gardener and his art, while all around them a communist guerilla war rages. But the Garden of Evening Mists remains a place of mystery. Who is Aritomo and how did he come to leave Japan? And is the real story of how Yun Ling managed to survive the war perhaps the darkest secret of all?

Request a copy here

Hold Still: a memoir with photographs

July 14 at 3pm
Hold Still: a memoir with photographs
by Sally Mann

In this extraordinary memoir, a unique interplay of narrative and image, Sally Mann’s abiding concerns – family, race, mortality, and the storied landscape of the American South – are revealed as almost genetically predetermined, written into her DNA by a colorful cast of characters who came before her.

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Moonglow

August 11 at 3pm
Moonglow
by Michael Chabon

The deathbed confession of a man the narrator refers to only as “my grandfather” is a tale of madness, of war and adventure, of sex and marriage and desire, of existential doubt and model rocketry, of the shining aspirations and demonic underpinnings of American technological accomplishment at midcentury, and, above all, of the destructive impact-and the creative power-of keeping secrets and telling lies.

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Golden Legend

September 8 at 3pm
Golden Legend
by Nadeem Aslam

The story of a Muslim widow and her Christian neighbors whose community is consumed by violent religious intolerance. When shots ring out on the Grand Trunk Road, Nargis’s life begins to crumble around her. Her husband, Massud-a fellow architect-is caught in the cross fire and dies before she can confess her greatest secret to him. Now under threat from a powerful military intelligence officer, who demands that she pardon her husband’s American killer, Nargis fears that the truth about her past will soon be exposed. For weeks someone has been broadcasting people’s secrets from the minaret of the local mosque, and, in a country where even the accusation of blasphemy is a currency to be bartered, the mysterious broadcasts have struck fear in Christians and Muslims alike. When the loudspeakers reveal a forbidden romance between a Muslim cleric’s daughter and Nargis’s Christian neighbor, Nargis finds herself trapped in the center of the chaos tearing their community apart.

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Everything I Never Told You

October 13 at 3pm
Everything I Never Told You
by Celeste Ng

Lydia is dead. But they don’t know this yet. Lydia is the favorite child of Marilyn and James Lee; their middle daughter, a girl who inherited her mother’s bright blue eyes and her father’s jet-black hair. Her parents are determined that Lydia will fulfill the dreams they were unable to pursue-in Marilyn’s case that her daughter become a doctor rather than a homemaker, in James’s case that Lydia be popular at school, a girl with a busy social life and the center of every party. When Lydia’s body is found in the local lake, the delicate balancing act that has been keeping the Lee family together tumbles into chaos, forcing them to confront the long-kept secrets that have been slowly pulling them apart.

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Short Nights of the Shadow Catcher

November 10 at 3pm
Short Nights of the Shadow Catcher
by Tim Egan

Edward Curtis was dashing, charismatic, a passionate mountaineer, a famous photographer-the Annie Liebowitz of his time. And he was thirty-two years old in 1900 when he gave it all up to pursue his great idea: he would try to capture on film the Native American nation before it disappeared. At once an incredible adventure narrative and a penetrating biographical portrait, Egan’s book tells the remarkable untold story behind Curtis’s iconic photographs, following him throughout Indian country from desert to rainforest as he struggled to document the stories and rituals of more than eighty tribes. Even with the backing of Theodore Roosevelt and J.P. Morgan, it took tremendous perseverance-six years alone to convince the Hopi to allow him into their Snake Dance ceremony. The undertaking changed him profoundly, from detached observer to outraged advocate. He would die penniless and unknown in Hollywood just a few years after publishing the last of his twenty volumes. But the charming rogue with the grade-school education had fulfilled his promise-his great adventure succeeded in creating one of America’s most stunning cultural achievements.

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A Constellation of Vital Phenomena

December 8 at 3pm
A Constellation of Vital Phenomena
by Anthony Marra

In a rural village in December 2004 Chechnya, a failed doctor, Akhmed, harbors the traumatized 8-year-old daughter of a father abducted by Russian forces and treats a series of wounded rebels and refugees while exploring the shared past that binds him to the child.

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2018-05-15T14:28:31+00:00
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