Book Discussions

“Books Sandwiched In” provides readers with a regular opportunity to participate in informal, facilitated discussion of noteworthy works of fiction and nonfiction. All are welcome to join us on the first Wednesday of the month at 11:30 pm.  Participants are encouraged to bring a lunch and share their thoughts on the current reading selection, copies of which are available on a first-come first-served basis at the circulation desk.

The group has established two annual traditions. In August, the group will discuss the book that has been selected for the Carolina Summer Reading Program. And in September, in recognition of Banned Books Week, the group will discuss a book that has been challenged or banned. Celebrated annually during the last week of September, Banned Books Week is sponsored by the American Library Association and the American Booksellers Association and endorsed by the Center for the Book at the Library of Congress.

See the complete list of books 2004 – 2017.

Upcoming Book Discussions:

Aug
2
Wed
BSI: How Does it Feel to be a Problem; Being Young and Arab in America”” by Moustafa Bayoumi @ CHPL Room C
Aug 2 @ 11:30 am – 12:30 pm

This is the book chosen for the UNC Freshman class “read.”

Bayoumi explores the experiences of 7 Arab -American young adults as they cope with their identities, cultural heritage,and dealing with governmental distrust in the wake of the 911 disaster and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Books Sandwiched In is open to the public. You may bring a sandwich and share your thoughts on the book. The group is sponsored by the Friends of the Chapel Hill Public Library. Copies of the books for discussion are available at the Library circulation desk on a first come, first served basis.

Sep
6
Wed
BSI: “The Diary of a Young Girl” by Anne Frank (banned or challenged book) @ CHPL Room C
Sep 6 @ 11:30 am – 12:30 pm

Books Sandwiched In.  Bring a lunch and join the discussion.

This later edition of the beloved classic contains entries from the 25 trying months of the family in hiding in Nazi-occupied Amsterdam.  Anne Frank received a blank diary for her 13th birthday, just weeks before they went into hiding.   She filled it with her personal entries of claustrophobic, quarrelsome intimacy with her parents, sister, a second family, and an older dentists who has little tolerance for Anne’s vivacity.  The diary has vivid grubby details of the wartime struggles and candid discussions of emotions familiar to teenagers.  Her later entries reveal her compassion and spiritual depth.  Just 15, Anne died in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in March, 1945.  A moving and eloquent document of the Holocaust.

Books Sandwiched In is open to the public. You may bring a sandwich and share your thoughts on the book. The group is sponsored by the Friends of the Chapel Hill Public Library. Copies of the books for discussion are available at the Library circulation desk on a first come, first served basis.

Oct
4
Wed
BSI: “A Man Called Ove” by Fredrick Backman @ CHPL Room C
Oct 4 @ 11:30 am – 12:30 pm

Books Sandwiched In.  Bring a sandwich and join the discussion.

Meet Ove in this heart-warming story.  He’s a curmudgeon, sometimes called the “bitter neighbor from hell”, one who points his finger at anyone he dislikes.  Behind the cranky exterior there is a story and a sadness.  So when a chatty young couple with two chatty children move in next door and accidentally flatten Ove’s mailbox, it leads to a tale of unkempt cats, unexpected friendship, and the art of backing up a U-Haul.  All of this will change this cranky old man and the local residents’ association.  Blackman’s novel explores the profound impact one’s life has on others.

 Books Sandwiched In is open to the public. You may bring a sandwich and share your thoughts on the book. The group is sponsored by the Friends of the Chapel Hill Public Library. Copies of the books for discussion are available at the Library circulation desk on a first come, first served basis.

Nov
1
Wed
BSI: “The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History” by Elizabeth Kolbert @ CHPL Room C
Nov 1 @ 11:30 am – 12:30 pm

Books Sandwiched In.  Bring a lunch and join the discussion.

Kolbert, in this prize-winning book, demonstrates that the earth is in the midst of a modern, man-made sixth extinction.  Over the past half billion years there have been five previous mass extinctions when the diversity of life on earth suddenly and dramatically contracted.  One was the destruction of much that was living such as the dinosaurs as well as other plant and animal life when an asteroid struck the earth.   The sixth is applied to flora and fauna now existing in diverse habitats from the author’s backyard to remote areas throughout the world.  It is the one in which we live.  This is a thought-provoking book with many examples found in the author’s travels and research.

Books Sandwiched In is open to the public. You may bring a sandwich and share your thoughts on the book. The group is sponsored by the Friends of the Chapel Hill Public Library. Copies of the books for discussion are available at the Library circulation desk on a first come, first served basis.

Dec
6
Wed
BSI: “Galileo’s Daughter: A Historical Memoir of Science, Faith, and Love” by Dava Sobel @ CHPL Room C
Dec 6 @ 11:30 am – 12:30 pm

Books Sandwiched In.  Bring a lunch and join the discussion.

This book gives a life of Galileo as told from his letters to and from his daughter, Maria Celeste, who was cloistered in a convent.   It relates how Galileo and his daughter both faced life and the hazards and injustices they saw. His science related to the sun-centered planetary system has endangered him with the Catholic Church and brings a condemnation of heresy.   The author relates how he and his daughter both faced life and sought to protect and comfort each other.  This dramatic book is a remarkable account of the human side of Galileo under house arrest after being condemned by the church of heresy.

Books Sandwiched In is open to the public. You may bring a sandwich and share your thoughts on the book. The group is sponsored by the Friends of the Chapel Hill Public Library. Copies of the books for discussion are available at the Library circulation desk on a first come, first served basis.

Feb
7
Wed
BSI: “Lawrence in Arabia: War, Deceit, Imperial Folly and the Making of the Modern Middle East” by Scott Anderson @ CHPL Room C
Feb 7 @ 11:30 am – 12:30 pm

Books Sandwiched In.  Bring a sandwich and join the discussion.

This book is about T.E. Lawrence who witnessed the Arab Revolt against the Turks in World War l as he rode at the head of an Arab army in 1917.  He was fighting a rearguard action against his own government and its imperial ambitions.  The author spent four years of intensive primary document research to argue against older ideas of how the modern Middle East was formed.  He maintains the conflict was shaped by adventurers and low-level officers.  He captures the way in which folly of the past creates the anguish of the present.  The book has been critically recognized in respected publications and was a finalist for the 2014 National Book Critics Circle Award in Biography.

Books Sandwiched In is open to the public. You may bring a sandwich and share your thoughts on the book. The group is sponsored by the Friends of the Chapel Hill Public Library. Copies of the books for discussion are available at the Library circulation desk on a first come, first served basis.