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The Connect Book Club
  Forthcoming books
Book for November 01, 2017
Group 3
Meeting at Wiebke's place
The Quiet American
The Quiet American

was first published in 1955. The novel depicts growing American involvement in Vietnam in the 1950s during the First Indochina War between the French colonial power and the communist Viet Minh resistance. Greene portrays the well-meaning U.S. official Pyle, blinded by American exceptionalism and unaware of the calamities his actions bring upon the Vietnamese. The novel begins with Pyle's assassination and is told through the eyes of Thomas Fowler, a veteran British Journalist and opium addict, former lover of Pyle's Vietnamese mistress Phuong. The book correctly predicts subsequent American foreign policy and the outcome of the Vietnam War. It was twice adapted into film, in 1958 and 2002.


Author: Graham Greene

was an English writer, born in 1904, died 1991 in Vevey, Switzerland. He established his reputation with the novel Stamboul Train, which was made into the movie Orient Express. Greene became a Roman Catholic in 1926, influenced by his wife. In 1938 he went to Mexico to report on the persecution of Catholics in the aftermath of the Mexican revolution. A result was his novel The Power and the Glory. Greene resisted the lable of a 'catholic writer'. In 1940 he became literary editor of the Spectator. During the war he went to work for the British Foreign Office and was stationed in Sierra Leone from 1941 to 1943. He was twice shortlisted for the Nobel Prize. William Golding described Greene as "the ultimate chronicler of twentieth-century man's consciousness and anxiety."

Book for November 10, 2017
Group 1
Consider the Lobster
Consider the Lobster
Do lobsters feel pain? Did Franz Kafka have a funny bone? What is John Updike's deal, anyway? And what happens when adult video starlets meet their fans in person? David Foster Wallace answers these questions and more in essays that are also enthralling narrative adventures. Whether covering the three-ring circus of a vicious presidential race, plunging into the wars between dictionary writers, or confronting the World's Largest Lobster Cooker at the annual Maine Lobster Festival, Wallace projects a quality of thought that is uniquely his and a voice as powerful and distinct as any in American letters.

Author: David Foster Wallace
David Foster Wallace (February 21, 1962 – September 12, 2008) was an American writer and university instructor of English and creative writing. His novel Infinite Jest was listed by Time magazine as one of the hundred best English-language novels published between 1923 and 2005. His last novel, The Pale King, was a final selection for the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 2012.
Book for November 15, 2017
Group 2
All That Is
All That Is

"All That Is" covers a period from 1945 to 1985: From his experience as a young naval officer in battles off Okinawa, Philip Bowman returns to America. He studies and writes for a theatre journal. New York is an untamed place where anything seems possible. He finds a position as an editor in a prestigious publishing house at a time when publishing is still largely a private affair — a scattered family of small houses here and in Europe — a time of gatherings in fabled apartments and conversations that continue long into the night. In this world of dinners, deals, and literary careers, Bowman finds that he fits in perfectly. But despite his success, love eludes him. His first marriage goes bad, another fails to happen. Finally he meets a woman who enthralls him — setting him on a course he could never have imagined.


Author: James Salter

James Salter (1925 - 2015) was an American novelist and short-story writer. Originally a career officer and pilot in the United States Air Force, he abandoned the military profession in 1957 following the publication of his first novel, The Hunters. According to Salter only his 1967 novel A Sport and a Pastime came close to meeting his own standards. After Solo Faces in 1979 Salter didn't publish another novel until All That Is in 2013, two years before his death. Salter won the PEN/Faulkner Award in 1989.

Book for December 06, 2017
Group 3
Purity
Purity
Purity Tyler grew up in a small cabin south of the Bay area with her eccentric mother. She hates her name and prefers to go by "Pip". In her early 20s with $130,000 in student loan debt, her mother refuses to reveal who her father is. Hoping he can chip in on the loan payments, she goes searching for him.

Pip meets Andreas Wolf, born in the 1950s in East Germany, who is a rival of Julian Assange. He runs an operation called the Sunlight Project from his refuge in Boliva. The mission is to expose corruption in the world's governments. So Pip heads to South America to take an internship there, thinking it may help her locate her missing father.

Author: Jonathan Franzen
(born August 17, 1959) is an American novelist and essayist. His 2001 novel, The Corrections, a sprawling, satirical family drama, drew widespread critical acclaim, earned Franzen a National Book Award, was a Pulitzer Prize for Fiction finalist, a James Tait Black Memorial Prize and a shortlisting for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award. His most recent novel, Freedom (2010), led to a controversialappearance on the cover of Time magazine alongside the headline "Great American Novelist".

Franzen writes for The New Yorker magazine. His 1996 Harper's essay Perchance to Dream bemoaned the state of contemporary literature. 2001's selection of The Corrections for Oprah Winfrey's book club led to a much publicized feud with the talk show host. In recent years, Franzen has become recognized for his purveyance of opinions on everything from social networking services such as Twitter ("the ultimate irresponsible medium") and the proliferation of e-books ("just not permanent enough") to the disintegration of Europe ("The people making the decisions in Europe are bankers. The technicians of finance are making the decisions there. It has very little to do with democracy or the will of the people.") and the self-destruction of America ("almost a rogue state").
Book for January 10, 2018
Group 2
The Radium Girls: The Dark Story of America's Shining Women
The Radium Girls: The Dark Story of America's Shining Women
The incredible true story of the women who fought America's Undark danger

The Curies' newly discovered element of radium makes gleaming headlines across the nation as the fresh face of beauty, and wonder drug of the medical community. From body lotion to tonic water, the popular new element shines bright in the otherwise dark years of the First World War.

Meanwhile, hundreds of girls toil amidst the glowing dust of the radium-dial factories. The glittering chemical covers their bodies from head to toe; they light up the night like industrious fireflies. With such a coveted job, these "shining girls" are the luckiest alive ― until they begin to fall mysteriously ill.

But the factories that once offered golden opportunities are now ignoring all claims of the gruesome side effects, and the women's cries of corruption. And as the fatal poison of the radium takes hold, the brave shining girls find themselves embroiled in one of the biggest scandals of America's early 20th century, and in a groundbreaking battle for workers' rights that will echo for centuries to come.

Written with a sparkling voice and breakneck pace, The Radium Girls fully illuminates the inspiring young women exposed to the "wonder" substance of radium, and their awe-inspiring strength in the face of almost impossible circumstances. Their courage and tenacity led to life-changing regulations, research into nuclear bombing, and ultimately saved hundreds of thousands of lives...

Author: Kate Moore
Kate Moore is the author of more than fifteen books across the genres of gift, humour, biography, history and children’s brand publishing. A multiple Sunday Times bestselling author, she is extremely versatile, equally adept at creating projects to clients’ briefs, ghostwriting memoirs and innovating her own ideas. Her work has been published in national newspapers, translated into more than twelve languages, used in national advertising campaigns and performed at the South Bank Centre, London.
Book for February 14, 2018
Group 2
Open City
Open City
A haunting novel about identity, dislocation, and history, Teju Cole’s Open City is a profound work by an important new author who has much to say about our country and our world.

Along the streets of Manhattan, a young Nigerian doctor named Julius wanders, reflecting on his relationships, his recent breakup with his girlfriend, his present, his past. He encounters people from different cultures and classes who will provide insight on his journey—which takes him to Brussels, to the Nigeria of his youth, and into the most unrecognizable facets of his own soul.

Author: Teju Cole
was born in Kalamazoo, Michigan to Nigerian parents, and is the oldest of four children. Cole and his mother returned to Lagos, Nigeria shortly after his birth, where his father joined them after receiving his MBA from Western Michigan University. Cole moved back to the United States at the age of 17 to attend Western Michigan University for one year, then transferred to Kalamazoo College, where he received his bachelor's degree in 1996. After dropping out of medical school at the University of Michigan, Cole enrolled in an African art history program at the University of London, then pursued a doctorate in art history at Columbia University.
Book for March 14, 2018
Group 2
My Absolute Darling
My Absolute Darling
Turtle Alveston is a survivor. At fourteen, she roams the woods along the northern California coast. The creeks, tide pools, and rocky islands are her haunts and her hiding grounds, and she is known to wander for miles. But while her physical world is expansive, her personal one is small and treacherous: Turtle has grown up isolated since the death of her mother, in the thrall of her tortured and charismatic father, Martin. Her social existence is confined to the middle school (where she fends off the interest of anyone, student or teacher, who might penetrate her shell) and to her life with her father.

Then Turtle meets Jacob, a high-school boy who tells jokes, lives in a big clean house, and looks at Turtle as if she is the sunrise. And for the first time, the larger world begins to come into focus: her life with Martin is neither safe nor sustainable. Motivated by her first experience with real friendship and a teenage crush, Turtle starts to imagine escape, using the very survival skills her father devoted himself to teaching her. What follows is a harrowing story of bravery and redemption. With Turtle's escalating acts of physical and emotional courage, the reader watches, heart in throat, as this teenage girl struggles to become her own hero—and in the process, becomes ours as well.

Shot through with striking language in a fierce natural setting, My Absolute Darling is an urgently told, profoundly moving read that marks the debut of an extraordinary new writer.

Author: Gabriel Tallent
Gabriel Tallent grew up in Mendocino, California, thrashing through the underbrush in search of anything awesome. He attended the Mendocino Community High School and spent a lot of time backpacking, re-reading Greek tragedies, and trying to figure out Moby Dick. Tallent received his BA from Willamette University and wrote his thesis on the discursive construction of pleasure in Samuel Richardson’s Pamela, which is more interesting than it sounds. He has worked as a crew leader for Northwest Youth Corps, as an extremely bored and distracted checker at Target, as dining room staff at the Alta Lodge, and as a food runner and server at The Copper Onion. He lives in Salt Lake City, where he can be found climbing or futilely trying to identify plants in Little Cottonwood Canyon. His stories have been published in Narrative and in the St Petersburg Review. His debut novel, My Absolute Darling, was published in August 2017 by Riverhead Books.