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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.
Brimming with humour, a glittering cast of characters, and one beautifully rendered scene after another, this singular novel casts a spell as it relates the count’s endeavour to gain a deeper understanding of what it means to be a man of purpose.
Rediscovering Americanism by Mark R. LevinFrom five-time #1 New York Times bestselling author, radio host, and "one of the conservative moment's most influential voices" (The Washington Times) Mark R. Levin comes a searing plea for a return to America's most sacred values. In Rediscovering Americanism, Mark R. Levin revisits the founders' warnings about the perils of overreach by the federal government and concludes that the men who created our country would be outraged and disappointed to see where we've ended up. Levin returns to the impassioned question he's explored in each of his bestselling books: How do we save our exceptional country? Because our values are in such a precarious state, he argues that a restoration to the essential truths on which our country was founded has never been more urgent. Understanding these principles, in Levin's words, can "serve as the antidote to tyrannical regimes and governments." Rediscovering Americanism is not an exercise in nostalgia, but an appeal to his fellow citizens to reverse course. This essential book brings Levin's celebrated, sophisticated analysis to the troubling question of America's future, and reminds us what we must restore for the sake of our children and our children's children.
Publication Date: 2018
Why Liberalism Works by Deirdre Nansen McCloskeyAn insightful and passionately written book explaining why a return to Enlightenment ideals is good for the world The greatest challenges facing humankind, according to Deirdre McCloskey, are poverty and tyranny, both of which hold people back. Arguing for a return to true liberal values, this engaging and accessible book develops, defends, and demonstrates how embracing the ideas first espoused by eighteenth-century philosophers like Locke, Smith, Voltaire, and Wollstonecraft is good for everyone. With her trademark wit and deep understanding, McCloskey shows how the adoption of Enlightenment ideals of liberalism has propelled the freedom and prosperity that define the quality of a full life. In her view, liberalism leads to equality, but equality does not necessarily lead to liberalism. Liberalism is an optimistic philosophy that depends on the power of rhetoric rather than coercion, and on ethics, free speech, and facts in order to thrive.
Publication Date: 2019
Some Past Book Club Reads
Battle Royale: Remastered
Koushun Takami's notorious high-octane thriller envisions a nightmare scenario: a class of junior high school students is taken to a deserted island where, as part of a ruthless authoritarian program, they are provided arms and forced to kill until only one survivor is left standing. Criticized as violent exploitation when first published in Japan--where it became a runaway best seller--Battle Royale is a Lord of the Flies for the 21st century, a potent allegory of what it means to be young and (barely) alive in a dog-eat-dog world. A new translation by Nathan Collins.
The award-winning author of Beauty Queens presents an evocative mystery in New York City of the Roaring 20s, where Evie O'Neill immerses herself in the world of glamorous Ziegfield girls and speakeasies before helping her uncle, a folklore museum curator, solve a rash of occult-based murders.
Flowers for Algernon
Charlie Gordon, born with an unusually low IQ, must face his gradual return to his former state when the astounding results of an experimental surgery that increased his intelligence prove to be only temporary.
The Handmaid's Tale
Set in the near future, America has become a puritanical theocracy and Offred tells her story as a Handmaid under the new social order.
"Ghana, eighteenth century: two half sisters are born into different villages, each unaware of the other. One will marry an Englishman and lead a life of comfort in the palatial rooms of the Cape Coast Castle. The other will be captured in a raid on her village, imprisoned in the very same castle, and sold into slavery. Homegoing follows the parallel paths of these sisters and their descendants through eight generations: from the Gold Coast to the plantations of Mississippi, from the American Civil War to Jazz Age Harlem. Yaa Gyasi's extraordinary novel illuminates slavery's troubled legacy both for those who were taken and those who stayed--and shows how the memory of captivity has been inscribed on the soul of our nation."
When a plane crash strands thirteen teen beauty contestants on a mysterious island, they struggle to survive, to get along with one another, to combat the island's other diabolical occupants, and to learn their dance numbers in case they are rescued in time for the competition.
A Night Divided
When the Berlin Wall went up, Gerta, her mother, and her brother Fritz were trapped on the eastern side where they were living, while her father, and her other brother Dominic were in the West--four years later, now twelve, Gerta sees her father on a viewing platform on the western side and realizes he wants her to risk her life trying to tunnel to freedom.
When suicide becomes a worldwide epidemic, the only known cure is The Program, a treatment in which painful memories are erased, a fate worse than death to seventeen-year-old Sloane who knows that The Program will steal memories of her dead brother and boyfriend.
A fourth-generation German-American now living in easy circumstances on Cape Cod (and smoking too much), who, as an American infantry scout hors de combat, as a prisoner of war, witnessed the fire-bombing of Dresden, Germany, "The Florence of the Elbe," a long time ago, and survived to tell the tale. This is a novel somewhat in the telegraphic schizophrenic manner of tales of the planet Tralfamadore, where the flying saucers come from. Peace.
An autobiographical comic of ten years in the life of cartoonist, Tillie Walden, focusing on her time as a figure skater.