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.
Midnight in Peking: How the Murder of a Young Englishwoman Haunted the Last Days of Old China
by Paul French
Tuesday, August 5, at 6:30 p.m.
Chronicling an incredible unsolved murder, Midnight in Peking captures the aftermath of the brutal killing of a British schoolgirl in January 1937. The mutilated body of Pamela Werner was found at the base of the Fox Tower, which, according to local superstition, is home to the maliciously seductive fox spirits. As British detective Dennis and Chinese detective Han investigate, the mystery only deepens and, in a city on the verge of invasion, rumor and superstition run rampant. Based on seven years of research by historian and China expert Paul French, this true-crime thriller presents readers with a rare and unique portrait of the last days of colonial Peking. Winner of both the Edgar Award for Best Fact Crime and the CWA Non-Fiction Dagger.
This discussion will be held upstairs in the library.
In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex
by Nathaniel Philbrick
Tuesday, September 2, at 7:00 p.m.
The ordeal of the whaleship Essex was an event as mythic in the nineteenth century as the sinking of the Titanic was in the twentieth. In 1819, the Essex left Nantucket for the South Pacific with twenty crew members aboard. In the middle of the South Pacific the ship was rammed and sunk by an angry sperm whale. The crew drifted for more than ninety days in three tiny whaleboats, succumbing to weather, hunger, disease, and ultimately turning to drastic measures in the fight for survival. Nathaniel Philbrick uses little-known documents-including a long-lost account written by the ship’s cabin boy-and penetrating details about whaling and the Nantucket community to reveal the chilling events surrounding this epic maritime disaster. A movie version of this book will soon be released directed by Ron Howard and starring Chris Hemsworth, Cillian Murphy, Ben Whishaw, and Brendan Gleeson.
This discussion will be held upstairs in the library. Please note the time change from past discussions to 7:00 p.m.