Nonfiction Book Club

Our discussions take place in our Community Room unless otherwise indicated. Copies of the books for discussion are available at our Checkout Desk for readers registering for the discussion.

 

Deep: Freediving, Renegade Science, and What the Ocean Tells Us About Ourselves
by James Nestor
Tuesday, June 9, at 6:30 p.m.

New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice, Scientific American Recommended Read, and Amazon Best Science Book of 2014. Deep is a voyage from the ocean’s surface to its darkest trenches, the most mysterious places on Earth. Fascinated by the sport of freediving—in which competitors descend great depths on a single breath—James Nestor embeds with a gang of oceangoing extreme athletes and renegade researchers. He finds whales that communicate with other whales hundreds of miles away, sharks that swim in unerringly straight lines through pitch-black waters, and other strange phenomena. Most illuminating of all, he learns that these abilities are reflected in our own remarkable, and often hidden, potential—including echolocation, directional sense, and the profound bodily changes humans undergo when underwater. Along the way, Nestor unlocks his own freediving skills as he communes with the pioneers who are expanding our definition of what is possible in the natural world, and in ourselves.

This discussion will be held upstairs in the library.

 

Hitler’s Furies: German Women in the Nazi Killing Fields
by Wendy Lower
Tuesday, July 7, at 6:30 p.m.

In a surprising account that powerfully revises history, Wendy Lower uncovers the role of German women on the Nazi eastern front—not only as plunderers and direct witnesses, but as actual killers. Lower, drawing on twenty years of archival research and fieldwork, presents startling evidence that these women were more than “desk murderers” or comforters of murderous German men: they went on “shopping sprees” and romantic outings to the Jewish ghettos; they were present at killing-field picnics, not only providing refreshment but also shooting Jews. And Lower uncovers the stories of SS wives with children of their own whose brutality is as chilling as any in history. 

Hitler’s Furies challenges our deepest beliefs: women can be as brutal as men, and the evidence can be hidden for seventy years.

National Book Award Finalist.

This discussion will be held upstairs in the library.

 

Lives in Ruins: Archaeologists and the Seductive Lure of Human Rubble
by Marilyn Johnson
Tuesday, August 4, at 6:30 p.m.

Pompeii, Machu Picchu, the Valley of the Kings, the Parthenon–the names of these legendary archaeological sites conjure up romance and mystery. The news is full of archaeology: treasures found (British king under parking lot) and treasures lost (looters, bulldozers, natural disaster, and war). Archaeological research tantalizes us with possibilities (are modern humans really part Neanderthal?). Where are the archaeologists behind these stories? What kind of work do they actually do, and why does it matter?

Lives in Ruins is an absorbing and entertaining look at the lives of contemporary archaeologists as they sweat under the sun for clues to the puzzle of our past. Johnson digs and drinks alongside archaeologists, chases them through the Mediterranean, the Caribbean, and even Machu Picchu, and excavates their lives. Her subjects share stories we rarely read in history books, about slaves and Ice Age hunters, ordinary soldiers of the American Revolution, children of the first century, Chinese woman warriors, sunken fleets, mummies.

What drives these archaeologists is not the money (meager) or the jobs (scarce) or the working conditions (dangerous), but their passion for the stories that would otherwise be buried and lost.

This discussion will be held upstairs in the library.







Monday:   10 a.m. - 6 p.m.
Tuesday:   10 a.m. - 8 p.m.
Wednesday:   10 a.m. - 6 p.m.
Thursday:   10 a.m. - 8 p.m.
Friday:   10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Saturday:   10 a.m. - 5 p.m
Sunday:   12 p.m. - 4 p.m.



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Brookfield, CT 06804
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