Friday with the Friends
Join the FRIENDS every month for a lively discussion of selected books. The Second Friday Book Club welcomes everyone and no registration is required! This is a brown-bag book club sponsored by the FRIENDS of the Mandel Public Library of West Palm Beach. Please feel free to bring your lunch! Book chatter begins at 11:30 AM followed by a moderated book discussion at Noon with Mandel Public Library Reference Librarians. For more information, please call 561-868-7701.
Friday, May 12, 2017 from 11:30 AM to 1:00 PM
Third floor, Hibiscus Room – Stoner by John Edward Williams
William Stoner is born at the end of the nineteenth century into a dirt-poor Missouri farming family. Sent to the state university to study agronomy, he instead falls in love with English literature and embraces a scholar’s life, so different from the hardscrabble existence he has known. John Williams’s luminous and deeply moving novel is a work of quiet perfection. William Stoner emerges from it not only as an archetypal American, but as an unlikely existential hero, standing, like a figure in a painting by Edward Hopper, in stark relief against an unforgiving world.
Friday, June 9, 2017 from 11:30 AM to 1:00 PM
Third floor, Hibiscus Room – Commonwealth by Ann Patchett
The acclaimed, bestselling author--winner of the PEN/Faulkner Award and the Orange Prize--tells the enthralling story of how an unexpected romantic encounter irrevocably changes two families' lives. One Sunday afternoon in Southern California, Bert Cousins shows up at Franny Keating's christening party uninvited. Before evening falls, he has kissed Franny's mother, Beverly--thus setting in motion the dissolution of their marriages and the joining of two families. Spanning five decades, Commonwealth explores how this chance encounter reverberates through the lives of the four parents and six children involved.
Friday, July 14, 2017 from 11:30 AM to 1:00 PM
Third floor, Hibiscus Room – What She Knew by Gilly Macmillan
In a heartbeat, everything changes...Rachel Jenner is walking in a Bristol park with her eight-year-old son, Ben, when he asks if he can run ahead. It's an ordinary request on an ordinary Sunday afternoon, and Rachel has no reason to worry--until Ben vanishes. Police are called, search parties go out, and Rachel, already insecure after her recent divorce, feels herself coming undone. As hours and then days pass without a sign of Ben, everyone who knew him is called into question, from Rachel's newly married ex-husband to her mother-of-the-year sister. Inevitably, media attention focuses on Rachel too, and the public's attitude toward her begins to shift from sympathy to suspicion. As she desperately pieces together the threadbare clues, Rachel realizes that nothing is quite as she imagined it to be, not even her own judgment. And the greatest dangers may lie not in the anonymous strangers of every parent's nightmares, but behind the familiar smiles of those she trusts the most. Where is Ben? The clock is ticking.
Friday, August 11, 2017 from 11:30 AM to 1:00 PM
Third floor, Hibiscus Room – A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles
A Gentleman in Moscow immerses us in another elegantly drawn era with the story of Count Alexander Rostov. When, in 1922, he is deemed an unrepentant aristocrat by a Bolshevik tribunal, the count is sentenced to house arrest in the Metropol, a grand hotel across the street from the Kremlin. Rostov, an indomitable man of erudition and wit, has never worked a day in his life, and must now live in an attic room while some of the most tumultuous decades in Russian history are unfolding outside the hotel's doors. Unexpectedly, his reduced circumstances provide him a doorway into a much larger world of emotional discovery.