The Napa Library Book Club meets on the 2nd Thursday of each month from 1 - 2 p.m at the Napa Main Library. Below is a list of some of the books we currently have on our reading list.
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Nobel Laureate Pearl S. Buck's epic Pulitzer Prize-winning novel and Oprah Book Club selection about a vanished China and one family's shifting fortunes. Though more than seventy years have passed since this remarkable novel won the Pulitzer Prize, it has retained its popularity and become one of the great modern classics. In The Good Earth Pearl S. Buck paints an indelible portrait of China in the 1920s, when the last emperor reigned and the vast political and social upheavals of the twentieth century were but distant rumblings. This moving, classic story of the honest farmer Wang Lung and his selfless wife O-Lan is must reading for those who would fully appreciate the sweeping changes that have occurred in the lives of the Chinese people during the last century. Nobel Prize winner Pearl S. Buck traces the whole cycle of life: its terrors, its passions, its ambitions and rewards. Her brilliant novel--beloved by millions of readers--is a universal tale of an ordinary family caught in the tide of history.
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From the National Book Award-winning author of Slaves in the Family , a riveting true life/true crime narrative of the partnership between the murderer who invented the movies and the robber baron who built the railroads. One hundred and thirty years ago Eadweard Muybridge invented stop-motion photography, anticipating and making possible motion pictures. He was the first to capture time and play it back for an audience, giving birth to visual media and screen entertainments of all kinds. Yet the artist and inventor Muybridge was also a murderer who killed coolly and meticulously, and his trial is one of the early instances of a media sensation. His patron was railroad tycoon (and former California governor) Leland Stanford, whose particular obsession was whether four hooves of a running horse ever left the ground at once. Stanford hired Muybridge and his camera to answer that question. And between them, the murderer and the railroad mogul launched the age of visual media. Set in California during its frontier decades, The Tycoon and the Inventor interweaves Muybridge's quest to unlock the secrets of motion through photography, an obsessive murder plot, and the peculiar partnership of an eccentric inventor and a driven entrepreneur. A tale from the great American West, this popular history unspools a story of passion, wealth, and sinister ingenuity.
The Booker Prize-winning author's first novel since The Photograph is a powerful story of growth, death, and rebirth and a study of the previous century--its major and minor events, its shaping of public consciousness, and its changing of lives.
For several years the Iranian government tried everything to silence Shirin Ebadi: They arrested her, bugged her phones, attacked her home, shadowed her everywhere she went, seized her office, and nailed a death threat to her front door. But nothing could stop Ebadi from her work as a human rights lawyer defending women, children, and the persecuted in Iran. After several years of harrassment and intimidation, the Iranian spy services turned their sights onto Ebadi's only weakness: those she loved the most, her family. First the authorities detained her daughter, then they laid a trap for her husband straight out of a spy novel. The Iranian government took everything from Shirin Ebadi--her marriage, her home, her property, her bank accounts, they even seized her Nobel Prize--but the one thing they could not take was her spirit and her desire for a better future for her country. Shirin Ebadi is one of the most revered leaders on the global stage. For the first time she's telling the full story of how the government of Iran tried to destroy her, and almost succeeded
Rachel Kushner has written an astonishingly wise, ambitious, and riveting novel set in the American community in Cuba during the years leading up to Castro's revolution -- a place that was a paradise for a time and for a few. The first novel to tell the story of the Americans who were driven out in 1958, this is a masterful debut. Young Everly Lederer and K. C. Stites come of age in Oriente Province, where the Americans tend their own fiefdom -- three hundred thousand acres of United Fruit Company sugarcane that surround their gated enclave. If the rural tropics are a child's dreamworld, Everly and K.C. nevertheless have keen eyes for the indulgences and betrayals of the grown-ups around them -- the mordant drinking and illicit loves, the race hierarchies and violence. In Havana, a thousand kilometers and a world away from the American colony, a cabaret dancer meets a French agitator named Christian de La Mazière, whose seductive demeanor can't mask his shameful past. Together they become enmeshed in the brewing political underground. When Fidel and Raúl Castro lead a revolt from the mountains above the cane plantation, torching the sugar and kidnapping a boat full of "yanqui" revelers, K.C. and Everly begin to discover the brutality that keeps the colony humming. Though their parents remain blissfully untouched by the forces of history, the children hear the whispers of what is to come. At the time, urgent news was conveyed by telex. Kushner's first novel is a tour de force, haunting and compelling, with the urgency of a telex from a forgotten time and place.