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Back in Time: Historical Fiction Book Club

If you like a bit of fiction with your history, join us for great discussions each month at 1:00 p.m. in LRNC 131 on the following dates. For more information, please contact Susan Green at 281.290.3242 or susan.e.green@lonestar.edu for more information.


Kindness of Enemies book coverDecember 1 - Kindness of Enemies by Leila Aboulela
It's 2010 and Natasha, a half Russian, half Sudanese professor of history, is researching the life of Imam Shamil, the 19th century Muslim leader who led the anti-Russian resistance in the Caucasian War. When Natasha discovers that her star student, Oz, is not only descended from the warrior but also possesses Shamil's priceless sword, the Imam's story comes vividly to life. Narrated from the point of view of both Natasha and the historical characters she is researching, The Kindness of Enemies is both an engrossing story of a provocative period in history and an important examination of what it is to be a Muslim in a post 9/11 world. - publisher's summary excerpt


Wonder book coverJanuary 5 - The Wonder
by Emma Donughue
"Tourists flock to the cabin of eleven-year-old Anna O'Donnell, who is said to be living without food, and a journalist is sent to cover the sensation. Lib Wright, a veteran of Florence Nightingale's Crimean campaign, is hired to keep watch over the girl." - publisher's summary excerpt


Last Days of Night book coverFebruary 2 - The Last Days of Night by Graham Moore
Legal and moral power struggles between Thomas Edison and George Westinghouse with Nikola Tesla as a pawn between them. “A thrilling novel based on actual events, about the nature of genius, the cost of ambition, and the battle to electrify America.” publisher's summary excerpt


Moon in the Palace book coverMarch 2 - The Moon in the Palace
by Weina Dai Randel
Fictionalized account of Empress Wu Hou's early years as a concubine and the power struggles of the 7th century Chinese court.




Hild book coverApril 6 - Hild
by Nicola Griffith
“Sweeping historical novel about the rise of the most powerful woman of the Middle Ages: Saint Hilda of Whitby. Hild is born into a world in transition.”- publisher's summary excerpt




Magdalen Girls book coverMay 4 - Magdalen Girls
by V.S Alexander
“In 1962 Dublin, there still existed the commercial laundries in convents, known as Magdalen laundries, run by nuns and worked by young women of "ill repute"--prostitutes, petty thieves, unwed mothers, and girls abandoned by their families for various reasons.” - review excerpt from Library Journal


Books without Borders

Starting February 16, the library will offer an additional BWB discussion from 7:00 p.m.-8:00 p.m.
in LRNC 215 for anyone that would prefer an evening meeting time.

Throughout the year our group will be reading books, both fiction and non-fiction, that highlight the literature, culture, environment, and politics of various parts of the world. Each month a LSC-CyFair faculty member will introduce and facilitate the conversation in LRNC 131 on the dates listed below at 1:00 p.m. unless otherwise noted. Join us as we delve into Books without Borders. Contact Rachel Renick at 281.290.5254 or rachel.l.renick@lonestar.edu for book copies and more information.


December 15 - Pacific: Silicon Chips and Surfboards, Coral Reefs and Atom Bombs, Brutal Dictators, Fading Empires, and the Coming Collision of the World's Superpowers by Simon Winchester
Facilitator: Monica Norem, Reference Librarian

"An enthralling biography of the Pacific Ocean and its role in the modern world, exploring our relationship with this imposing force of nature…In telling the story of the Pacific, Simon Winchester takes us from the Bering Strait to Cape Horn, the Yangtze River to the Panama Canal, and to the many small islands and archipelagos that lie in between. He observes the fall of a dictator in Manila, visits aboriginals in northern Queensland, and is jailed in Tierra del Fuego, the land at the end of the world. His journey encompasses a trip down the Alaska Highway, a stop at the isolated Pitcairn Islands, a trek across South Korea and a glimpse of its mysterious northern neighbor. Winchester’s personal experience is vast and his storytelling second to none. And his historical understanding of the region is formidable, making Pacific a paean to this magnificent sea of beauty, myth, and imagination that is transforming our lives." - publisher summary excerpt

Snow Flower and the Secret Fan book coverJanuary 19 - Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See
Facilitator: Rachel Renick, Reference Librarian

Come celebrate Chinese New Year early with us this year by discussing Snow Flower and the Secret Fan! “In nineteenth-century China, in a remote Hunan county, a girl named Lily, at the tender age of seven, is paired with a laotong, "old same," in an emotional match that will last a lifetime. The laotong, Snow Flower, introduces herself by sending Lily a silk fan on which she's painted a poem in nu shu, a unique language that Chinese women created in order to communicate in secret, away from the influence of men. As the years pass, Lily and Snow Flower send messages on fans, compose stories on handkerchiefs, reaching out of isolation to share their hopes, dreams, and accomplishments. Together, they endure the agony of foot-binding, and reflect upon their arranged marriages, shared loneliness, and the joys and tragedies of motherhood. The two find solace, developing a bond that keeps their spirits alive. But when a misunderstanding arises, their deep friendship suddenly threatens to tear apart.” – publishers summary

Bad Ass Librarians of Timbuktu book coverFebruary 16 at 1:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. - The Bad Ass Librarians of Timbuktu by Joshua Hammer
Facilitator: Susan Green, Interim Library Director

“To save precious centuries-old Arabic texts from Al Qaeda, a band of librarians in Timbuktu pulls off a brazen heist worthy of Ocean’s Eleven. In the 1980s, a young adventurer and collector for a government library, Abdel Kader Haidara, journeyed across the Sahara Desert and along the Niger River, tracking down and salvaging tens of thousands of ancient Islamic and secular manuscripts that had fallen into obscurity. The Bad-Ass Librarians of Timbuktu tells the incredible story of how Haidara, a mild-mannered archivist and historian from the legendary city of Timbuktu, later became one of the world’s greatest and most brazen smugglers.” - publisher's summary excerpt

March 23 at 1:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. - The Time of the Doves (La Plaça del Diamant) by Mercè Rodoreda (note: email rachel.l.renick@lonestar.edu if you would like to borrow the book)

Facilitator: Tona Espel, Part-Time Reference Librarian

The Time of the Doves is featured in The Western Canon by Harold Bloom for the country of Catalonia as part of the list of canonical books of the "Chaotic Age." “The Time of the Doves, the powerfully written story of a naïve shop-tender during the Spanish Civil War and beyond, is a rare and moving portrait of a simple soul confronting and surviving a convulsive period in history.” – publisher's summary excerpt

Sixth Extinction book coverApril 20 at 1:30 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. (note time change) - The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History by Elizabeth Kolbert
Facilitators: Aurora Lugo, Biology Professor, and Bobby O’Brien, History Professor

The Sixth Extinction was the 2015 Pulitzer Prize Winner in General Nonfiction. “Over the last half a billion years, there have been five mass extinctions, when the diversity of life on earth suddenly and dramatically contracted. Scientists around the world are currently monitoring the sixth extinction, predicted to be the most devastating extinction event since the asteroid impact that wiped out the dinosaurs. This time around, the cataclysm is us. In The Sixth Extinction, two-time winner of the National Magazine Award and New Yorker writer Elizabeth Kolbert draws on the work of scores of researchers in half a dozen disciplines, accompanying many of them into the field: geologists who study deep ocean cores, botanists who follow the tree line as it climbs up the Andes, marine biologists who dive off the Great Barrier Reef…The sixth extinction is likely to be mankind's most lasting legacy; as Kolbert observes, it compels us to rethink the fundamental question of what it means to be human.”- publisher's summary excerpt

Copper Sun book coverMay 18 at 1:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. - Copper Sun by Sharon M. Draper
Facilitator: Melanie Wachsmann, Reference Librarian

“When pale strangers enter fifteen-year-old Amari's village, her entire tribe welcomes them; for in her remote part of Africa, visitors are always a cause for celebration. But these strangers are not here to celebrate. They are here to capture the strongest, healthiest villagers and to murder the rest. They are slave traders. And in the time it takes a gun to fire, Amari's life as she's known it is destroyed, along with her family and village. Beaten, branded, and dragged onto a slave ship, Amari is forced to witness horrors worse than any nightmare and endure humiliations she had never thought possible — including being sold to a plantation owner in the Carolinas who gives her to his sixteen-year-old son, Clay, as his birthday present. Now, survival and escape are all Amari dreams about.” - publisher's summary excerpt

Claire of the Sea Light book coverJune 15 at 1:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. - Claire of the Sea Light by Edwidge Danticat
Facilitator: Jane Stimpson, Reference Librarian

“Just as her father makes the wrenching decision to send her away for a chance at a better life, Claire Limyè Lanmè—Claire of the Sea Light—suddenly disappears. As the people of the Haitian seaside community of Ville Rose search for her, painful secrets, haunting memories, and startling truths are unearthed. In this stunning novel about intertwined lives, Edwidge Danticat crafts a tightly woven, breathtaking tapestry that explores the mysterious bonds we share—with the natural world and with one another.” – publisher's summary

I Love a Mystery Book Club

Enjoy the flexibility of a book club where everyone reads a different book from one theme or author—it’s a great way to add to your “to read” list! The club meets the last Wednesday of the month at 12:00 p.m. in LRNC 131. For more details, contact Cindy Hoffart-Watson at 281.290.3265 or cynthia.j.hoffart-watson@lonestar.edu.

Check the Harris County Public Library mystery newsletter for book suggestions.

Upcoming Schedule:

Contact the LSC-CyFair Library: chat | e-mail | voice - 281.290.3214 | text - 832.463.0478
Maintained by: M. Norem-Reference Librarian
monica.r.norem@lonestar.edu