• Lunch at Luann’s Book club lists schedule of winter, spring titles

    Looking for a few good books? Look no further than Lunch at Luann’s Book Club.

    The book club meets from noon to 1 p.m. one Wednesday each month in the Luann Dummer Center for Women, Room 103, O’Shaughnessy Educational Center. Everyone is welcome. Bring your lunch and join the discussion, even if you have not read or finished the book.

    Here are the dates and the featured books during January and spring semester 2010:

    • Jan. 27: The Golden Apples, by Eudora Welty

    Welty is on home ground in the state of Mississippi in this collection of seven stories. She portrays the MacLains, the Starks, the Moodys and other families of the fictitious town of Morgana. “I doubt that a better book about ‘the South’ – one that more completely gets the feel of the particular texture of Southern life and its special tone and pattern – has ever been written” (New Yorker).

    • Feb. 24: Infidel, by A.H. Ali

    In this profound memoir from the internationally renowned author of The Caged Virgin, Ayaan Hirsi Ali tells her astonishing life story, from her traditional Muslim childhood in Somalia, Saudi Arabia and Kenya, to her intellectual awakening and activism in the Netherlands, and her current life under armed guard in the West. Raised in a strict Muslim family and extended clan, Hirsi Ali survived civil war, female mutilation, brutal beatings, adolescence as a devout believer during the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood, and life in four troubled, unstable countries largely ruled by despots. In her early 20s, she escaped from a forced marriage and sought asylum in the Netherlands, where she earned a college degree in political science, tried to help her tragically depressed sister adjust to the West, and fought for the rights of Muslim immigrant women and the reform of Islam as a member of Parliament.

    • March 24: Haunted Ground, by Erin Hart

    Erin Hart brings the beauty, poignancy, mystery and romance of the Irish countryside to her richly nuanced first work, a mystery novel. Meticulously crafted and resonating with traditional music and folklore, Haunted Ground celebrates Ireland’s turbulent history, revealing the eternal subliminal connections between past and present in a riveting novel that heralds the arrival of a bright new crime-writing star.

    •  April 21: Handle with Care, by Jodi Picoult

    Emotionally riveting and moving, Handle with Care brings readers into the heart of a family bound by an incredible burden, a desperate will to keep their ties from breaking and, ultimately, a powerful capacity for love.

    • May 19: Evensong, by Gail Godwin

    In a satisfying sequel to Father Melancholy’s Daughter (1990), Godwin contemplates family ties, the prickly bonds of marriage and the varieties of religious faith. Walter and Ruth Gower’s daughter is now Margaret Bonner, 33, an Episcopal minister like her father, married to his former helpmate, Adrian Bonner. As usual with Godwin, all the characters are superbly drawn, particularly the irritating but lovable Adrian and ruthlessly manipulative Grace, who nonetheless arouses feelings of emotional kinship in Margaret. The young minister is an engaging heroine whose struggles with spiritual and domestic commitment are convincingly depicted.

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