Help choose a book for discussion group


Dana Ryals, Madison College Librarian

The Madison College Libraries invite you to cast a vote and help us choose a book for our book club discussion this fall semester. We have selected five books that explore themes of faith, race, gender, environment, community relationships, utopian ideals, and information sharing in the modern age. Following are descriptions of the five books. Look them over and place your vote (finally – one that counts!) by Sept. 16 on the book club website or find and click on our book club picture from the scrolling images on the library’s home page.

“2312” by Kim Stanley Robinson:  In 2312 Earth is no longer humanity’s only home; new habitats have been created throughout the solar system on moons, planets, and in between. But in this year, a sequence of events will force humanity to confront its past, present, and future.

“The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao” by Junot Diaz:  Oscar is a sweet but disastrously overweight ghetto nerd who dreams of becoming the Dominican J.R.R. Tolkien and, most of all, finding love. Oscar may never get what he wants because of the fukú—a curse that has haunted his family for generations, but he uses his science fiction and fantasy imagination for his epic journey from Santo Domingo to the United States.

“The Imperfectionists” by Tom Rachman:  Preoccupied by personal challenges while running a struggling newspaper in Rome, an obituary writer confronts mortality, an eccentric publisher obsesses over his dog, and other staff members uncover the paper’s founding by an impulsive millionaire. A novel about the changing face of journalism and what it means for society.

“Jesus Cow” by Michael Perry:  Life is suddenly full of drama for low-key Harley Jackson. A woman in a big red pickup has stolen his bachelor’s heart, a Hummer-driving predatory developer is threatening to pave the last vestiges of his family farm, and inside his barn is a calf bearing the image of Jesus Christ. Because of the calf, soon Harley will have lots of money, and more trouble than he ever dreamed.

“Parable of the Sower” by Octavia E. Butler:  Parable of the Sower is a hopeful tale set in a dystopian future of the United States of walled cities, diseases, fires, and madness. Lauren Olamina is an 18-year-old woman with hyper empathy syndrome; if she sees another in pain, she feels their pain as acutely as if it were real. When her relatively safe neighborhood enclave is inevitably destroyed, along with her family and dreams for the future, Lauren grabs a backpack full of supplies and begins a journey north.

Cast your vote before Sept. 16 at The libraries will acquire several copies of the chosen book, and we’ll meet a few times throughout the semester to discuss our reactions!  Happy voting, and have a great semester from all of us in the Libraries and Student Achievement Centers!