Hammondsport Library Book Discussion Group 

The LIBRARY BOOK CLUB is open to all adults and teens who love to read and talk about it! New members are always welcome.

The book club meets at the library on the second Monday of each month at 6:45 pm, unless otherwise stated.  Please call or email our director, Sally Jacoby Murphy if you have any questions.     Phone: 607-569-2045     Email: murphys@stls.org

Upcoming dates and selections:  (descriptions from Goodreads or Amazon)

Monday, November 14, 2022 at 6:45 pm. Featured Subject: Dolly Parton. Selections will be available at the Library in October.

Dolly : My Life and Other Unfinished Business, by Dolly Parton

The successful country singer reveals her life since leaving home at the age of eighteen to pursue a singing career, while discussing her personal philosophies, her marriage, her friendships, and achievements.

Dolly Parton, Songteller : My Life in Lyrics, by Dolly Parton

Dolly Parton, Songteller: My Life in Lyrics is a landmark celebration of the remarkable life and career of a country music and pop culture legend. As told by Dolly Parton in her own inimitable words, explore the songs that have defined her journey. Illustrated throughout with previously unpublished images from Dolly Parton’s personal and business archives.

Smart Blonde : Dolly Parton, by Stephen Miller

Dolly Parton is a larger-than-life figure. The most honored female country performer of all time, she’s known as much for her songwriting as for her sequined outfits, big hair, “foxy personality” (her words), and her Nashville theme park, Dollywood. But beneath the sparkles and underpinning her success is an indomitable businesswoman, whose generosity and moral compass have contributed to her legendary status.

Born into poverty in East Tennessee, Dolly got her first guitar at age eight and performed at Pentecostal churches before rising to prominence on The Porter Wagoner Show in 1967. Her career took off from there, and she became a multi-format star, writing and performing pop music as well as country songs, starring in films and musicals, and creating several successful business and charitable enterprises. Today, she is a household name, but certain aspects of her past and her current life―her marriage of nearly fifty years, in particular―remain closely guarded.

In Smart Blonde, Miller pulls back the curtain. Through interviews with Dolly’s family members, musicians, and producers, Miller explores her private life, including her relationship with her famously publicity-shy husband, Carl Dean, and her lifelong friendship with Judy Ogle. What emerges is a unique portrait of a strong woman who has consistently taken control of her life, her music, and her business―often against all odds―with determination and élan.

Monday, December 12, 2022 at 6:45 pm. Featured book: Forest of Vanishing Stars, by Kristen Harmel

An evocative coming-of-age World War II story about a young woman who uses her knowledge of the wilderness to help Jewish refugees escape the Nazis—until a secret from her past threatens everything. After being stolen from her wealthy German parents and raised in the unforgiving wilderness of eastern Europe, a young woman finds herself alone in 1941 after her kidnapper dies. Her solitary existence is interrupted, however, when she happens upon a group of Jews fleeing the Nazi terror. Stunned to learn what’s happening in the outside world, she vows to teach the group all she can about surviving in the forest—and in turn, they teach her some surprising lessons about opening her heart after years of isolation. But when she is betrayed and escapes into a German-occupied village, her past and present come together in a shocking collision that could change everything.

Monday, January 9, 2022 at 6:45 pm. Featured book: The Woman They Could Not Silence, by Kate Moore

1860: As the clash between the states rolls slowly to a boil, Elizabeth Packard, housewife and mother of six, is facing her own battle. The enemy sits across the table and sleeps in the next room. Her husband of twenty-one years is plotting against her because he feels increasingly threatened―by Elizabeth’s intellect, independence, and unwillingness to stifle her own thoughts. So Theophilus makes a plan to put his wife back in her place. One summer morning, he has her committed to an insane asylum.

The horrific conditions inside the Illinois State Hospital in Jacksonville, Illinois, are overseen by Dr. Andrew McFarland, a man who will prove to be even more dangerous to Elizabeth than her traitorous husband. But most disturbing is that Elizabeth is not the only sane woman confined to the institution. There are many rational women on her ward who tell the same story: they’ve been committed not because they need medical treatment, but to keep them in line―conveniently labeled “crazy” so their voices are ignored.

No one is willing to fight for their freedom and, disenfranchised both by gender and the stigma of their supposed madness, they cannot possibly fight for themselves. But Elizabeth is about to discover that the merit of losing everything is that you then have nothing to lose…

Bestselling author Kate Moore brings her sparkling narrative voice to The Woman They Could Not Silence, an unputdownable story of the forgotten woman who courageously fought for her own freedom―and in so doing freed millions more. Elizabeth’s refusal to be silenced and her ceaseless quest for justice not only challenged the medical science of the day, and led to a giant leap forward in human rights, it also showcased the most salutary lesson: sometimes, the greatest heroes we have are those inside ourselves.

Monday, February 13, 2022 at 6:45 pm. Featured book: The Shadow of the Wind, by Carlos Ruiz Zafón

Barcelona, 1945: A city slowly heals in the aftermath of the Spanish Civil War, and Daniel, an antiquarian book dealer’s son who mourns the loss of his mother, finds solace in a mysterious book entitled The Shadow of the Wind, by one Julián Carax. But when he sets out to find the author’s other works, he makes a shocking discovery: someone has been systematically destroying every copy of every book Carax has written. In fact, Daniel may have the last of Carax’s books in existence. Soon Daniel’s seemingly innocent quest opens a door into one of Barcelona’s darkest secrets–an epic story of murder, madness, and doomed love.