Fall Reading List for the Crozet Library Book Club

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Discussions are held from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at Crozet Library. Everyone is welcome.

Monday, Sept. 14: Chesapeake, by James Michener

“A panoramic narrative of life on Maryland’s Eastern Shore focuses on a 10-square-mile area at the mouth of the Choptank River and the families that settle there, from the early seventeenth century to the present day. Chesapeake sweeps readers from the unspoiled world of the Native Americans to the voyages of Captain John Smith, the Revolutionary War, and right up to modern times.” Publisher

Monday, Oct. 5: Frankenstein, by Mary Shelley

“A summer evening’s ghost stories, lonely insomnia in a moonlit Alpine room, and a runaway imagination—fired by philosophical discussions with Lord Byron and Percy Bysshe Shelley about science, galvanism, and the origins of life—conspired to produce for Mary Shelley this haunting night specter. By morning, it had become the germ of her Romantic masterpiece, Frankenstein. Written in 1816 when she was only nineteen, Mary Shelley’s novel of ‘The Modern Prometheus’ chillingly dramatized the dangerous potential of life begotten upon a laboratory table. A frightening creation myth for our own time, Frankenstein remains one of the greatest horror stories ever written and is an undisputed classic of its kind.” Amazon.com

Monday, Nov. 2: American Lion: Andrew Jackson in the White House, by Jon Meacham

“The “evolution of presidential power” is the basic theme around which Meacham constructs his riveting account of the freshness Jackson brought to the White House—meaning, before his advent into the chief executive office, political power was considered to be best left in the hands of the landed elite, but Jackson believed in the ‘primacy of the will of the common people,’ and during his administration, ‘democracy was making its stand.’ This was a difficult time for the American republic; the issue of slavery was developing into a major political issue, and with that, the rise of southern questioning of just how strong the union of states was and what rights individual states possessed to safeguard regional interests. But Jackson administered the ship of state with good instincts and wisdom.” Booklist

Monday, Dec. 7: My Father’s Tears and Other Stories, by John Updike

“Updike compresses the strata of a life in his delicately rendered, tremendously moving posthumous collection. In ‘Free,’ the memory of a life-affirming affair buckles against a man’s loyalty to his deceased wife. In ‘The Accelerating Expansion of the Universe,’ the retired protagonist, depressed by what he perceives as the universe’s indifference to human affairs, is done in by the accumulated detritus of his life. Many characters are haunted by a sense of isolation, such as the protagonist of ‘Personal Archaeology,’ who roams his Massachusetts estate, searching for traces of previous ownership, or the emotionally stranded absentee landlord of an Alton, Pa., family farm in ‘The Road Home,’ who returns after 50 years and finds himself lost in his hometown. With masterly assurance, Updike transforms the familiar into the mysterious.” Publishers Weekly