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First Thursday Book Discussion Group

Join us for Hoover Public Library's First Thursday book discussion group. Sessions are the first Thursday of the month from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. in the Theatre level Conference Room. One novel is discussed each session. Snacks and drinks will be provided. Feel welcome to join us!

The Dutch House

Ann Patchett

At the end of the Second World War, Cyril Conroy combines luck and a single canny investment to begin an enormous real estate empire, propelling his family from poverty to enormous wealth. His first order of business is to buy the Dutch House, a lavish estate in the suburbs outside of Philadelphia. Meant as a surprise for his wife, the house sets in motion the undoing of everyone he loves.

The story is told by Cyril's son Danny, as he and his older sister, the brilliantly acerbic and self-assured Maeve, are exiled from the house where they grew up by their stepmother. The two wealthy siblings are thrown back into the poverty their parents had escaped from and find that all they have to count on is one another. It is this unshakeable bond between them that both saves their lives and thwarts their futures.

Set over the course of five decades, The Dutch House is a dark fairy tale about two smart people who cannot overcome their past. Despite every outward sign of success, Danny and Maeve are only truly comfortable when they're together. Throughout their lives they return to the well-worn story of what they've lost with humor and rage. But when at last they're forced to confront the people who left them behind, the relationship between an indulged brother and his ever-protective sister is finally tested.

Find The Dutch House in the catalog.

Book Group: 
First Thursday Book Discussion Group
Thursday, November 5, 2020 at 10:00 am

The Red Lotus

Chris Bohjalian

The first time Alexis saw Austin, it was a Saturday night. Not in a bar, but in the emergency room where Alexis sutured a bullet wound in his arm. Six months later, on the brink of falling in love, they travel to Vietnam on a bike tour so that Austin can show her his passion for cycling and he can pay his respects to the place where his father and uncle fought in the war. But as Alexis sips white wine and waits at the hotel for him to return from his solo ride, two men emerge from the tall grass and Austin vanishes into thin air. The only clue he leaves behind is a bright yellow energy gel dropped on the road. As Alexis grapples with this bewildering loss, navigating the FBI, Austin's prickly family, and her colleagues at the hospital, Alexis uncovers a series of strange lies that force her to wonder: Where did Austin go? Why did he really bring her to Vietnam? And how much danger has he left her in? Set amidst the adrenaline-fueled world of the emergency room, The Red Lotus is a global thriller about those who dedicate their lives to saving people, and those who peddle death to the highest bidder.

Find The Red Lotus in the catalog.

Book Group: 
First Thursday Book Discussion Group
Thursday, December 3, 2020 at 10:00 am

Mrs. Everything

by Jennifer Weiner

Jo and Bethie Kaufman were born into a world full of promise. Growing up in 1950s Detroit, they live in a perfect “Dick and Jane” house, where their roles in the family are clearly defined. Jo is the tomboy, the bookish rebel with a passion to make the world more fair; Bethie is the pretty, feminine good girl, a would-be star who enjoys the power her beauty confers and dreams of a traditional life.
But the truth ends up looking different from what the girls imagined. Jo and Bethie survive traumas and tragedies.

Find Mrs. Everything in the catalog.

Book Group: 
First Thursday Book Discussion Group
Thursday, January 7, 2021 at 10 am

Beneath a Scarlet Sky

by Mark Sullivan

Pino Lella wants nothing to do with the war or the Nazis. He’s a normal Italian teenager—obsessed with music, food, and girls—but his days of innocence are numbered. When his family home in Milan is destroyed by Allied bombs, Pino joins an underground railroad helping Jews escape over the Alps, and falls for Anna, a beautiful widow six years his senior. In an attempt to protect him, Pino’s parents force him to enlist as a German soldier—a move they think will keep him out of combat.

Find Beneath a Scarlet Sky in the catalog.

Book Group: 
First Thursday Book Discussion Group
Thursday, February 4, 2021 at 10 am

The Nickel Boys

by Colson Whitehead

When Elwood Curtis, a black boy growing up in 1960s Tallahassee, is unfairly sentenced to a juvenile reformatory called the Nickel Academy, he finds himself trapped in a grotesque chamber of horrors. Elwood’s only salvation is his friendship with fellow “delinquent” Turner, which deepens despite Turner’s conviction that Elwood is hopelessly naive, that the world is crooked, and that the only way to survive is to scheme and avoid trouble.

Find The Nickel Boys in the catalog.

Book Group: 
First Thursday Book Discussion Group
Thursday, March 4, 2021 at 10 am

The Queen’s Secret: A novel of England’s World War II Queen

by Karen Harper

1939. As the wife of the King George VI and the mother of the future queen, Elizabeth—“the queen mother”—shows a warm, smiling face to the world. But it’s no surprise that Hitler himself calls her the “Most Dangerous Woman in Europe.” For behind that soft voice and kindly demeanor is a will of steel. Two years earlier, George was thrust onto the throne when his brother Edward abdicated, determined to marry his divorced, American mistress Mrs. Simpson.

Book Group: 
First Thursday Book Discussion Group
Thursday, April 1, 2021 at 10 am

Dear Edward

by Ann Napolitano

One summer morning, twelve-year-old Edward Adler, his beloved older brother, his parents, and 183 other passengers board a flight in Newark headed for Los Angeles. Among them are a Wall Street wunderkind, a young woman coming to terms with an unexpected pregnancy, an injured veteran returning from Afghanistan, a business tycoon, and a free-spirited woman running away from her controlling husband. Halfway across the country, the plane crashes. Edward is the sole survivor.
Edward’s story captures the attention of the nation, but he struggles to find a place in a world without his family.

Find Dear Edward in the catalog.

Book Group: 
First Thursday Book Discussion Group
Thursday, May 6, 2021 at 10 am

The Water Dancer

by Ta-Nehisi Coates

Young Hiram Walker was born into bondage. When his mother was sold away, Hiram was robbed of all memory of her—but was gifted with a mysterious power. Years later, when Hiram almost drowns in a river, that same power saves his life. This brush with death births an urgency in Hiram and a daring scheme: to escape from the only home he’s ever known. So begins an unexpected journey that takes Hiram from the corrupt grandeur of Virginia’s proud plantations to desperate guerrilla cells in the wilderness, from the coffin of the Deep South to dangerously idealistic movements in the North.

Find The Water Dancer in the catalog.

Book Group: 
First Thursday Book Discussion Group
Thursday, June 3, 2021 at 10 am

Normal People

by Sally Rooney

Connell and Marianne grew up in the same small town, but the similarities end there. At school, Connell is popular and well liked, while Marianne is a loner. But when the two strike up a conversation—awkward but electrifying—something life changing begins. A year later, they’re both studying at Trinity College in Dublin. Marianne has found her feet in a new social world while Connell hangs at the sidelines, shy and uncertain.

Find Normal People in the catalog.

Book Group: 
First Thursday Book Discussion Group
Thursday, July 1, 2021 at 10 am

The Book of Lost Friends

by Lisa Wingate

Louisiana, 1875: In the tumultuous era of Reconstruction, three young women set off as unwilling companions on a perilous quest: Hannie, a freed slave; Lavinia, the pampered heir to a now destitute plantation; and Juneau Jane, Lavinia’s Creole half-sister. Each carries private wounds and powerful secrets as they head for Texas, following roads rife with vigilantes and soldiers still fighting a war lost a decade before.

Find The Book of Lost Friends in the catalog.

Book Group: 
First Thursday Book Discussion Group
Thursday, August 5, 2021 at 10 am

The Four Winds

by Kristin Hannah

Texas, 1934. Millions are out of work and a drought has broken the Great Plains. Farmers are fighting to keep their land and their livelihoods as the crops are failing, the water is drying up, and dust threatens to bury them all. One of the darkest periods of the Great Depression, the Dust Bowl era, has arrived with a vengeance.

Find The Four Winds in the catalog.

Book Group: 
First Thursday Book Discussion Group
Thursday, September, 2, 2021 at 10 am

The Stationery Shop

by Marjan Kamali

Roya, a dreamy, idealistic teenager living amid the political upheaval of 1953 Tehran, finds a literary oasis in kindly Mr. Fakhri’s neighborhood stationery shop, stocked with books and pens and bottles of jewel-colored ink. Then Mr. Fakhri, with a keen instinct for a budding romance, introduces Roya to his other favorite customer—handsome Bahman, who has a burning passion for justice and a love for Rumi’s poetry—and she loses her heart at once. Their romance blossoms, and the little stationery shop remains their favorite place in all of Tehran.

Find The Stationery Shop in the catalog.

Book Group: 
First Thursday Book Discussion Group
Thursday, October 7, 2021 at 10 am

Girl, Woman, Other

by Bernardine Evaristo

The twelve central characters of this multi-voiced novel lead vastly different lives: Amma is a newly acclaimed playwright whose work often explores her Black lesbian identity; her old friend Shirley is a teacher, jaded after decades of work in London’s funding-deprived schools; Carole, one of Shirley’s former students, is a successful investment banker; Carole’s mother Bummi works as a cleaner and worries about her daughter’s lack of rootedness despite her obvious achievements.

Find Girl, Woman, Other in the catalog.

Book Group: 
First Thursday Book Discussion Group
Thursday, November 4, 2021 at 10 am

Anxious People

by Fredrik Backman

Looking at real estate isn’t usually a life-or-death situation, but an apartment open house becomes just that when a failed bank robber bursts in and takes a group of strangers hostage. The captives include a recently retired couple who relentlessly hunt down fixer-uppers to avoid the painful truth that they can’t fix their own marriage. There’s a wealthy bank director who has been too busy to care about anyone else and a young couple who are about to have their first child but can’t seem to agree on anything, from where they want to live to how they met in the first place.

Find Anxious People in the catalog.

Book Group: 
First Thursday Book Discussion Group
Thursday, December 2, 2021 at 10 am

2021 SNEAK PEAK