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:

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.

Mar
7
Wed
BSI: “Our Souls at Night” by Kent Haruf @ CHPL Room C
Mar 7 @ 11:30 am – 12:30 pm

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

Kent Haruf  has written a spare, bittersweet yet inspiring story of a man and a woman  of advanced age who come together to talk about their pleasures and difficulties and hopes.  This is the author’s last book, the setting being his often used Holt, Colorado.  Louis and Addie have lost their spouses and find the nights terribly lonely with on one to talk to.  Addie visits her long-time neighbor Louis and makes the surprising proposal that they begin sleeping together without sex just to talk and provide the sleep-easing comfort of physical company.  Their unlikely friendship deepens despite gossips and meddling family members.  Night after night they pass through awkwardness to intimacy and alliance. This story is of second chances and the desire to love and be loved which does not dissolve with age.

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.

Apr
4
Wed
BSI: “Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of The Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race” by Margot Lee Shetterely @ CHPL Room C
Apr 4 @ 11:30 am – 12:30 pm

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

This is the phenomenal true story, often infuriating yet uplifting, of the black female mathematicians at NASA  whose calculations helped fuel some of America’s greatest achievements in space.  During the labor shortages of WW ll when the aeronautics industry needed the “right stuff” these women, bright high school math teachers, were recruited to go to the high-energy world at Langley Memorial Aeronautical Laboratory.  They used pencils, slide rules and calculators to utilize their skills in the space race before John Glenn and Neil Armstrong.  Their work was largely unknown even as it came at the beginning of the Civil Rights Movement.

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.