The Wednesday Evening Book Discussion Group reads both fiction and nonfiction titles, and is currently meeting at 6pm on the fourth Wednesday of every month.

In-Person Meeting: This group will meet at the Port Angeles Main Library. Beginning in October, the meetings will be held inside the Carver Room. All are welcome to join the conversation!

The upcoming book selections will be available for pick up any time after the current month’s discussion, during service hours at the Port Angeles Main Library, on a first-come, first-served basis. Additional copies of the titles are also available in various formats through the catalog links below. Library staff and volunteers will moderate the discussion.

Book Groups Homepage
When Breath Becomes Air

Current Book Selection

December 21 at 6pm – Register Here
(third Wednesday due to holiday)
When Breath Becomes Air
by Paul Kalanithi

At the age of thirty-six, on the verge of completing a decade’s worth of training as a neurosurgeon, Paul Kalanithi was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer. One day he was a doctor treating the dying, and the next he was a patient struggling to live. And just like that, the future he and his wife had imagined evaporated. When Breath Becomes Air chronicles Kalanithi’s transformation from a naïve medical student “possessed,” as he wrote, “by the question of what, given that all organisms die, makes a virtuous and meaningful life” into a neurosurgeon at Stanford working in the brain, the most critical place for human identity, and finally into a patient and new father confronting his own mortality.

Request a copy here

2023 Book Groups Schedule
2022 Book Discussion Schedule
Dinner with Edward by Isabel Vincent

January 26 at 6pm – Register Here
Dinner with Edward
by Isabel Vincent

Isabel Vincent first arrives at Edward’s New York apartment to check on him as a favor to his daughter. She has no idea that the nonagenarian baking a sublime roast chicken and a light-as-air apricot soufflé will end up changing her life. But their meeting comes at a moment of transition for each of them: Edward wants nothing more than to follow his late wife to the grave, while Isabel is watching her marriage unravel. As Edward and Isabel meet weekly for the glorious dinners that Edward prepares, he shares so much more than his recipes for apple galette or the perfect martini, or even his tips for deboning poultry. Edward teaches Isabel the art of slowing down, taking the time to think through her own life—cutting it back to the bone and examining the guts, no matter how messy that proves to be.

Request a copy here

The Overstory by Richard Powers

February 23 at 6pm – Register Here
The Overstory
by Richard Powers

An Air Force loadmaster in the Vietnam War is shot out of the sky, then saved by falling into a banyan. An artist inherits a hundred years of photographic portraits, all of the same doomed American chestnut. A hard-partying undergraduate in the late 1980s electrocutes herself, dies, and is sent back to life by creatures of air and light. A hearing and speech-impaired scientist discovers that trees are communicating with one another. Each summoned in different ways by trees– they are brought together in a last and violent stand to save the continent’s few remaining acres of virgin forest.

Request a copy here

The Undocumented Americans

March 23 at 6pm – Register Here
The Undocumented Americans
by Karla Cornejo Villavicencio

Writer Karla Cornejo Villavicencio was on DACA when she decided to write about being undocumented for the first time using her own name. It was right after the election of 2016, the day she realized the story she’d tried to steer clear of was the only one she wanted to tell. So she wrote her immigration lawyer’s phone number on her hand in Sharpie and embarked on a trip across the country to tell the stories of her fellow undocumented immigrants—and to find the hidden key to her own.

Looking beyond the flashpoints of the border or the activism of the DREAMers, Cornejo Villavicencio explores the lives of the undocumented—and the mysteries of her own life. She finds the singular, effervescent characters across the nation often reduced in the media to political pawns or nameless laborers. The stories she tells are not deferential or naively inspirational but show the love, magic, heartbreak, insanity, and vulgarity that infuse the day-to-day lives of her subjects.

Request a copy here

Vesper Flights

April 27 at 6pm – Register Here
Vesper Flights
by Helen Macdonald

Meditating on notions of captivity and freedom, immigration and flight, Helen invites us into her most intimate experiences: observing the massive migration of songbirds from the top of the Empire State Building, watching tens of thousands of cranes in Hungary, seeking the last golden orioles in Suffolk’s poplar forests. She writes with heart-tugging clarity about wild boar, swifts, mushroom hunting, migraines, the strangeness of birds’ nests, and the unexpected guidance and comfort we find when watching wildlife.

Request a copy here

Euphoria

May 25 at 6pm – Register Here
Euphoria
by Lily King

In 1933 three young, gifted anthropologists are thrown together in the jungle of New Guinea. They are Nell Stone, fascinating, magnetic, and famous for her controversial work studying South Pacific tribes, her intelligent and aggressive husband Fen, and Andrew Bankson, who stumbles into the lives of this strange couple and becomes totally enthralled. Within months the trio are producing their best work ever but soon a firestorm of fierce love and jealousy begins to burn out of control, threatening their bonds, their careers, and, ultimately, their lives.

Request a copy here

Homeland Elegies

June 22 at 6pm – Register Here
Homeland Elegies
by Ayad Akhtar

A deeply personal work about identity and belonging in a nation coming apart at the seams, Homeland Elegies blends fact and fiction to tell an epic story of longing and dispossession in the world that 9/11 made. Part family drama, part social essay, part picaresque novel, at its heart it is the story of a father, a son, and the country they both call home.

Request a copy here

The Plague of Doves

July 27 at 6pm – Register Here
The Plague of Doves
by Louise Erdrich

Though generations have passed, the town of Pluto continues to be haunted by the murder of a farm family. Evelina Harp—part Ojibwe, part white—is an ambitious young girl whose grandfather, a repository of family and tribal history, harbors knowledge of the violent past. Judge Antone Bazil Coutts, who bears witness, understands the weight of historical injustice better than anyone. Through the distinct and winning voices of three unforgettable narrators, the collective stories of two interwoven communities ultimately come together to reveal a final wrenching truth.

Request a copy here

Two Years Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Nights

August 24 at 6pm – Register Here
Two Years Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Nights
by Salman Rushdie

In the near future, after a storm strikes New York City, the strangenesses begin. A down-to-earth gardener finds that his feet no longer touch the ground. A graphic novelist awakens in his bedroom to a mysterious entity that resembles his own sub–Stan Lee creation. Unbeknownst to them, they are all descended from the whimsical, capricious, wanton creatures known as the jinn, who live in a world separated from ours by a veil.

Request a copy here

Indianapolis

September 28 at 6pm – Register Here
Indianapolis
by Lynn Vincent

Just after midnight on July 30, 1945, the USS Indianapolis is sailing alone in the Philippine Sea when she is sunk by two Japanese torpedoes. For the next five nights and four days, almost three hundred miles from the nearest land, nearly nine hundred men battle injuries, sharks, dehydration, insanity, and eventually each other. Only 316 will survive.

For the first time, the authors go beyond the men’s rescue to chronicle the Indianapolis’s extraordinary final mission: the survivors’ fifty-year fight for justice on behalf of their skipper, Captain Charles McVay III, who is wrongly court-martialed for the sinking.

Request a copy here

Deacon King Kong

October 26 at 6pm – Register Here
Deacon King Kong
by James McBride

In September 1969, a fumbling, cranky old church deacon known as Sportcoat, shuffles into the courtyard of the Cause Houses housing project in south Brooklyn, pulls a .38 from his pocket, and, in front of everybody, shoots the project’s drug dealer at point-blank range. As the story deepens, it becomes clear that the lives of the characters overlap in unexpected ways. When the truth does emerge, McBride shows us that not all secrets are meant to be hidden, that the best way to grow is to face change without fear, and that the seeds of love lie in hope and compassion.

Request a copy here

My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry

November 16 at 6pm – Register Here
(third Wednesday due to holiday)
My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry
by Fredrik Backman

Elsa is seven years old and different. Her grandmother is seventy-seven years old and crazy– standing-on-the-balcony-firing-paintball-guns-at-men-who-want-to-talk-about-Jesus-crazy. She is also Elsa’s best, and only, friend. At night Elsa takes refuge in her grandmother’s stories, in the Land of Almost-Awake and the Kingdom of Miamas where everybody is different and nobody needs to be normal. When Elsa’s grandmother dies and leaves behind a series of letters apologizing to people she has hurt, Elsa’s greatest adventure begins.

Request a copy here

When Breath Becomes Air

December 21 at 6pm – Register Here
(third Wednesday due to holiday)
When Breath Becomes Air
by Paul Kalanithi

At the age of thirty-six, on the verge of completing a decade’s worth of training as a neurosurgeon, Paul Kalanithi was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer. One day he was a doctor treating the dying, and the next he was a patient struggling to live. And just like that, the future he and his wife had imagined evaporated. When Breath Becomes Air chronicles Kalanithi’s transformation from a naïve medical student “possessed,” as he wrote, “by the question of what, given that all organisms die, makes a virtuous and meaningful life” into a neurosurgeon at Stanford working in the brain, the most critical place for human identity, and finally into a patient and new father confronting his own mortality.

Request a copy here

NOLS Book Discussion Groups are generously supported by a donation made in memory of Sally Albiso, and local Friends of the Library groups.