Novel Conversations is a monthly book discussion group fostering dialogue around works of fiction and nonfiction, exploring world literature in a round-table setting. The Novel Conversations Book Discussion Group meets at 4pm on the fourth Wednesday of each month in the Sequim Branch Library meeting room. All are welcome to drop in and participate. Participation is free, and no registration is required.

Fahrenheit 451

Current Book Selection

May 22 at 4pm
Sequim Branch Library

Fahrenheit 451
by Ray Bradbury

In a not too distant future, humans live a seemingly care-free existence where they’re happy and productive. Though, there is a “price”  for this life: they must place special drops in their eyes daily and follow the rules perfectly, including the rule that they never own or read books. Guy Montag is a firefighter. He doesn’t fight fires though, but hunts down those people who refuse to follow the law and burns their books. Like everyone else, Guy has been taught that books are filled with inaccuracies and insane ideas. He continues to believe this lie until he meets someone who teaches him that the dreams in his mind can only be explained through the knowledge found in books. When Guy’s mentor, Captain Beatty, comes to realize that Guy has joined the rebellion, Guy must make a difficult decision to save the collective thoughts of the human race.

Request a copy here

Novel Conversations 2019 Book Selection List

Kite Runner

January 23 at 4pm
The Kite Runner
by Khaled Housseini

In a divided country on the verge of war, two childhood friends, Amir and Hassan, are about to be torn apart forever. It’s a glorious afternoon in Kabul and the skies are bursting with the exhilarating joy of a kite-fighting tournament. But in the aftermath of the day’s victory, one boy’s fearful act of betrayal will mark their lives forever and set in motion an epic quest for redemption. Now, after twenty years of living in America, Amir returns to a perilous Afghanistan under the Taliban’s iron-fisted rule to face the secrets that still haunt him and take one last daring chance to set things right.

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Secret Life of Bees

February 27 at 4pm
Secret Life of Bees
By Sue Monk Kidd

When Lily’s fierce-hearted black “stand-in mother,” Rosaleen, insults three of the town’s most vicious racists, Lily decides they should both escape to Tiburon, South Carolina—a town that holds the secret to her mother’s past. There, they are taken in by an eccentric trio of black beekeeping sisters who introduce Lily to a mesmerizing world of bees, honey, and the Black Madonna who presides over their household. This is a remarkable story about divine female power and the transforming power of love.

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Killers of the Flower Moon

March 27 at 4pm
Killers of the Flower Moon
by David Grann

In the 1920s, the richest people per capita in the world were members of the Osage Indian Nation in Oklahoma. Then, one by one, they began to be killed-off. David Grann revisits a shocking series of crimes in which dozens of people were murdered in cold blood. The book is a masterpiece of narrative nonfiction, as each step in the investigation reveals a series of sinister secrets and reversals. But more than that, it is a searing indictment of the callousness and prejudice toward Native Americans that allowed the murderers to operate with impunity for so long.

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I'll Push You

April 24 at 4pm
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.”

Request a copy here

Fahrenheit 451

May 22 at 4pm
Fahrenheit 451
by Ray Bradbury

In a not too distant future, humans live a seemingly care-free existence where they’re happy and productive. Though, there is a “price”  for this life: they must place special drops in their eyes daily and follow the rules perfectly, including the rule that they never own or read books. Guy Montag is a firefighter. He doesn’t fight fires though, but hunts down those people who refuse to follow the law and burns their books. Like everyone else, Guy has been taught that books are filled with inaccuracies and insane ideas. He continues to believe this lie until he meets someone who teaches him that the dreams in his mind can only be explained through the knowledge found in books. When Guy’s mentor, Captain Beatty, comes to realize that Guy has joined the rebellion, Guy must make a difficult decision to save the collective thoughts of the human race.

Request a copy here

Into the Magic Shop

June 26 at 4pm
Into the Magic Shop
by James R. Doty

With an alcoholic father and a depressed mother, Doty’s life was at a dead end when, he wandered into a magic shop looking for a plastic thumb. Instead, he met Ruth, who taught him a series of exercises to ease his own suffering and manifest his greatest desires. She gave him his first glimpse of the unique relationship between the brain and the heart. Part memoir, part science, part inspiration, and part practical instruction, Doty shows us how we can fundamentally change our lives by first changing our brains and our hearts.

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The House of Broken Angels

July 24 at 4pm
The House of Broken Angels
by Luis Alberto Urrea

In his final days, beloved and ailing patriarch Miguel Angel de La Cruz, affectionately called Big Angel, has summoned his entire clan for one last legendary birthday party. But as the party approaches, his mother dies herself, leading to a farewell doubleheader in a single weekend. Among the guests is Big Angel’s half-brother, known as Little Angel, who must reckon with the truth that although he shares a father with his siblings, he has not shared a life.  This indelible portrait of a complex family reminds us of what it means to be the first generation and to live two lives across one border.

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Homegoing

August 28 at 4pm
Homegoing
by Yaa Gyasi

Two half-sisters, Effia and Esi, are born into different villages in eighteenth-century Ghana. Effia is married off to an Englishman and lives in comfort in the palatial rooms of Cape Coast Castle. Unbeknownst to Effia, her sister, Esi, is imprisoned beneath her in the castle’s dungeons, sold with thousands of others into the Gold Coast’s booming slave trade, and shipped off to America, where her children and grandchildren will be raised in slavery. One thread of Homegoing follows Effia’s descendants through centuries of warfare in Ghana, as the Fante and Asante nations wrestle with the slave trade and British colonization. The other thread follows Esi and her children into America.

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The Line Becomes a River book jacket

September 25 at 4pm
The Line Becomes a River
by Francisco Cantú

A beautiful, fiercely honest, and nevertheless deeply empathetic look at those who police the border and the migrants who risk – and lose – their lives crossing it. For Francisco Cantú the border is in the blood: his mother, a park ranger and daughter of a Mexican immigrant, raised him in the scrublands of the Southwest. Haunted by the landscape of his youth, Cantú joins the Border Patrol. He and his partners are posted to remote regions crisscrossed by drug routes and smuggling corridors, where they learn to track other humans under blistering sun and through frigid nights. They haul in the dead and deliver to detention those they find alive. Plagued by nightmares, he abandons the Patrol for civilian life. But when an immigrant friend travels to Mexico to visit his dying mother and does not return, Cantú discovers that the border has migrated with him, and now he must know the whole story.

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Title To Be Announced

October 23 at 4pm
Clallam County Reads
Title To Be Announced

The Soul of an Octopus

October 23 at 4pm
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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Pachinko

November 27 at 4pm
Pachinko
by Min Jin Lee

Pachinko follows one Korean family through the generations, beginning in early 1900s Korea with Sunja, the prized daughter of a poor yet proud family, whose unplanned pregnancy threatens to shame them all. Deserted by her lover, Sunja is saved when a young tubercular minister offers to marry and bring her to Japan. So begins a sweeping saga of an exceptional family in exile from its homeland and caught in the indifferent arc of history. Through desperate struggles and hard-won triumphs, its members are bound together by deep roots as they face enduring questions of faith, family, and identity. 

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We Were The Lucky Ones

December 18 at 4pm (third Wednesday due to Holiday Season)
We Were The Lucky Ones
by Georgia Hunter

An extraordinary, propulsive novel based on the true story of a family of Polish Jews who are separated at the start of the Second World War, determined to survive – and to reunite.  Three generations of the Kurc family are doing their best to live normal lives, even as the shadow of war grows closer. The talk around the family Seder table is of new babies and budding romance, not of the increasing hardships threatening Jews in their hometown of Radom, Poland. But, soon the horrors overtaking Europe will become inescapable and the Kurcs will be flung to the far corners of the world, each desperately trying to navigate his or her own path to safety.

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