The Salter Center Book Discussion Group was established in 2004; and meets every third Monday at 10:00 a.m. in the Senior Room of the Jack and Patti Salter Center, 1545 East Lincoln.
Following is a bibliography of the titles read by the group over the years. To check on availability, click on title and you will be directed to the ROPL Catalog.
December 6, 2004
No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency (1400034779) (2002) by Alexander McCall Smith (Mystery M)
January 3, 2005
The Sisters, the Saga of the Mitford Family (0393010430) (2002) by Mary S. Lovell (Biography M)
A portrait of the Mitford sisters follows Jessica, a communist; Debo, the Duchess of Devonshire; Nancy, a best-selling novelist; Diana, who was the most hated woman in
February 7, 2005
The Red Hat Club (0312316933) (2003) by Heywood Smith (Fiction S)
Best friends since high school, a tightly knit club of five southern women rallies together when one of their husbands is discovered to be having an affair.
March 7, 2005
Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night (0385509456) (2003) by Mark Haddon (Fiction H)
Despite his overwhelming fear of interacting with people, Christopher, a mathematically-gifted, autistic fifteen-year-old boy, decides to investigate the murder of a neighbor's dog and uncovers secret information about his mother.
April, 4, 2005
One Thousand White Women (031218008X) (1998) by Jim Fergus (Western F)
An Indian request in 1854 for 1,000 white brides to ensure peace is secretly approved by the
May 2, 2005
Year of Wonders (0142001430) (2001) by Geraldine Brooks (Fiction B)
Young Anna Frith, a vicar's maid, is faced with the loss of her family, the disintegration of her local community, and a passionate, illicit love as she and her village confront the horrors of the plague, in a historical novel based on real-life events in seventeenth-century
June 20, 2005
Working Stiff’s Manifesto (1569472807) (2002) by Ian Levison (Biography L)
The author, a college graduate with a "restrictive" English degree, recounts his job search woes after having forty-two jobs in the past ten years, as everything from a fish cutter to a film set assistant.
July 18, 2005
Three Junes (0375421440) (2002) by Julia Glass (Fiction G)
Reveals the interconnected lives, loves, and relationships of different generations of the McLeod family over the course of three crucial summers.
August 15, 2005
Fahrenheit 451 (0345410017) (1953) by Ray Bradbury (Fiction B)
A totalitarian regime has ordered all books to be destroyed, but one of the book burners suddenly realizes their merit.
September 19, 2005
How the Irish Saved Civilization (0385418485) (1995) by Thomas Cahill (941.5 C)
Reveals the pivotal role played by the monks and scribes of
October 17, 2005
The Other Boleyn Girl (0743227441) (2001) by Philippa Gregory (Fiction G)
The daughters of a ruthlessly ambitious family, Mary and Anne Boleyn are sent to the court of Henry VIII to attract the attention of the king, who first takes Mary as his mistress, in which role she bears him an illegitimate son, and then Anne as his wife.
November 21, 2005
Reading Lolita in
The author describes growing up in the Islamic Republic of Iran and the group of young women who came together at her home in secret every Thursday to read and discuss great books of Western literature.
December 19, 2005
Stone Diaries 014023313X (1995) by Carol Shields (Fiction S)
Daisy Goodwill Flett, whose mother died during Daisy's birth in 1905, moves from
January 16, 2006
Lucrezia Borgia : Life, Love, and Death in Renaissance Italy by Sarah Bradford (2004) (Biography B)
Lucrezia Borgia is legendary as the archetypal villainess who carried out the poisoning plotted by her scheming father-Pope Alexander VI, aka Rodrigo Borgia-and by her ruthlessly ambitious brother Cesare.
February 20, 2006
The Sparrow 0449912558 (1997) by Mary Doria Russell (Fiction R)
The sole survivor of a crew sent to explore a new planet, Jesuit priest Emilio Sandoz discovers an alien civilization that raises questions about the very essence of humanity, an encounter that leads Sandoz to a public inquisition and the destruction of his faith.
March 20, 2006
Benjamin Franklin: An American Life 0684807610 (2003) by Walter Isaacson (Biography F)
Presents a portrait of Benjamin Franklin as a scientist, inventor, diplomat, writer, business strategist, and statesman while tracing his life as one of
April 17, 2006
Salt: A World History 0802713734 (2002) by Kurlansky, Mark (553.632 K)
Explores the role of salt in shaping history, discussing how one of the world's most sought-after commodities has influenced economics, science, politics, religion, and eating customs.
May 15, 2006
The Kite Runner 1573222453 (2003) by Khaled Hosseini (Fiction H)
Traces the unlikely friendship of a wealthy Afghan youth and a servant's son, in a tale that spans the final days of
June 19, 2006
Marie Antoinette: The Journey 038548948X (2001) by Antonia Fraser (Biography M)
The award-winning biographer of such historical figures as Mary Queen of Scots, Cromwell, and King Charles II now pens a riveting portrait of the young Archduchess of Austria, who arrived in France in 1770 to marry the future Louis XVI and was guillotined 23 years later.
July 24, 2006
The Piano Tuner 0375414657 (2002) by Daniel Mason (Fiction M)
n 1886, piano tuner Edgar Drake leaves London for the jungles of Burma, where he has been asked to repair a grand piano belonging to a British army officer who uses the piano and music to help keep the peace among warring local Burmese princes.
August 28, 2006
The Red Tent 9780312427290 (1997) by Anita Diamant (Fiction D)
The story of Dinah, a tragic character from the Bible whose great love, a prince, is killed by her brother, leaving her alone and pregnant. The novel traces her life from childhood to death, in the process examining sexual and religious practices of the day, and what it meant to be a woman.
September 18, 2006
The Poisonwood Bible 0060786507 (1999) by Barbara Kingsolver (Fiction K)
The family of a fierce evangelical Baptist missionary--Nathan Price, his wife, and his four daughters--begins to unravel after they embark on a 1959 mission to the Belgian Congo, where they find their lives forever transformed over the course of three decades by the political and social upheaval of Africa.
October 16, 2006
Lady Chatterley’s Lover 1593082398 (1928) by D.H. Lawrence (Fiction L)
Trapped in her sexless marriage to the invalid Sir Clifford, Constance Chatterley seeks a release in a passionate love affair with her husband's gamekeeper, in an unexpurgated edition of the controversial novel.
November 20, 2006
The Queen’s Fool 0743246071(2004) by Philippa Gregory (Fiction G)
In this sequel to The Other Boleyn Girl, readers return to Tudor England, where the offspring of Henry VIII ascend to the throne amid treason, poisonous rivalries, accusations of heresy, and unrequited love.
December 18, 2006
Pope Joan: A Novel 9780307452368 (1996) by Donna Wolfolk Cross (Fiction C)
For a thousand years men have denied her existence--Pope Joan, the woman who disguised herself as a man and rose to rule Christianity for two years. Now this compelling novel animates the legend with a portrait of an unforgettable woman who struggles against restrictions her soul cannot accept.
January 15, 2007
When We Were Orphans 0375410546 (2000) by Kazuo Ishiguro (Fiction I)
Christopher Banks, an English boy born in early-20th-century
February 19, 2007
Vanishing Acts 0743454545 (2005) by Jodi Picoult (Fiction P)
Working with the Search and Rescue bloodhound team to find missing people, single mother Delia Hopkins anticipates her upcoming nuptials, until a series of unsettling flashbacks threatens to devastate her life and the lives of those she loves.
March 26, 2007
The child of an alcoholic father and an eccentric artist mother discusses her family's nomadic upbringing, during which she and her siblings fended for themselves while their parents outmaneuvered bill collectors and the authorities.
April 16, 2007
Arc of Justice 0805079335 (2004) by Kevin Boyle (323.119 B)
Follows the 1925 murder trial of African-American doctor Ossian Sweet, who was accused of murdering a white person during a mob attack on his home, and includes a history of the Sweet family and a portrait of his attorney, Clarence Darrow.
May 21, 2007
Honeymoon with My Brother: A Memoir (2005) by Franz Wisner (Biography)
The author recounts how after being jilted, he strengthened his relationship with his brother, Kurt, by sharing a fifty-three-country, two-year vacation that was to have been his honeymoon.
June 18, 2007
The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair that Changed America 0609608444 (2003) by Erik Larson (364.1523 L)
An account of the Chicago World's Fair of 1893 relates the stories of two men who shaped the history of the event--architect Daniel H. Burnham, who coordinated its construction, and serial killer Herman Mudgett.
July 16, 2007
Them 0679640258 (1969) by Joyce Carol Oates (Fiction O)
From the 1930s through the race riots of 1967, the members of the Wendall family, living in inner-city
August 20, 2007
Ladder of Years 0679441557 (1995) by Anne Tyler (Fiction T)
Forty-year-old Delia Grinstead, mother of three almost-grown children, impulsively walks away from her marriage and sets off into the unknown to begin an entirely new life, but suddenly she discovers that she is accumulating fresh responsibilities.
September 17, 2007
The Year of Magical Thinking 140004314X (2005) by Joan Didion (Biography D)
An autobiographical portrait of marriage and motherhood by the acclaimed author details her struggle to come to terms with life and death, illness, sanity, personal upheaval, and grief.
October 15, 2007
The Namesake 9780395927212 (2003) by Jhumpa Lahiri (Fiction L)
A portrait of the immigrant experience follows the Ganguli family from their traditional life in
November 19, 2007
Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman’s Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia 9780143038412 (2007) by Elizabeth Gilbert (910.4 G)
Book traces the author’s decision to quit her job and travel the world for a year after suffering a midlife crisis and divorce, an endeavor that took her to three places in her quest to explore her own nature, experience fulfillment, and learn the art of spiritual balance.
December 17, 2007
Secret Daughter: A Mixed-Race Daughter and Mother Who Gave Her Away by June Cross (2006) (Biography C)
The daughter of a white mother and black father describes the factors that caused her mother to place her in the custody of an African-American family and the impact of her mother's later choice to hide the truth about their relationship.
January 21, 2008
The Romanov Prophecy: A Novel 0345460057 (2004) by Steve Berry (Fiction B)
In this great historical mystery based on the 1918 murder of Nicholas II and his family, Barry skillfully blends fact with a contemporary tale of conspiracy. After the fall of communism, the Russian people have voted to restore the monarchy. Miles Lord, a black lawyer from
February 18, 2008
The Lost Continent: Travels in Small-Town
When a native of
March 17, 2008
At Weddings and Wakes 0374106746 (1992) by Alice McDermott (Fiction M)
Children in an Irish-American family in the 1960s tell about their activities and the stories of Irish immigrants they have heard.
April 21, 2008
The Beekeeper’s Apprentice:On the Segregation of the Queen (1994) 0312104235 by Laurie King (Mystery K)
When Mary Russell meets famous detective Sherlock Holmes, she discovers that he is also a beekeeper. Soon she finds herself on the trail of kidnappers and discovers a plot to kill both Holmes and herself.
May 19, 2008
The Places in Between 0156031566 (2006) by Rory Stewart (915,81 S)
Traces the author's 2002 journey by foot across
June 16, 2008
Five Quarters of the
A sensual novel follows a woman as she returns to the French village where she lived as a girl during the German occupation.
July 21, 2008
An Unfinished Life: A Novel 1400042011 (2004) by Mark Spragg (Fiction S)
Seeking to escape her brutal boyfriend and hoping to introduce her daughter, Griff, to the grandfather she has never met, widow Jean Gilkyson seeks refuge in her late husband's
August 18, 2008
Water for Elephants: A Novel 1565124995 (2006) by Sara Gruen (Fiction G)
Ninety-something-year-old Jacob Jankowski remembers his time in the circus as a young man during the Great Depression, and his friendship with Marlena, the star of the equestrian act, and Rosie, the elephant, who gave them hope.
September 15, 2008
Riveting from the start, Rodriguez's account tells the story of one
October 20, 2008
Love in the Time of Cholera 9780307387141 (1988) by Gabriel Garcia Marquez (Fiction M)
Fermina Daza and Florentino Ariza consummate their passion at the beginning of the 20th century after having waited over 50 years.
November 17, 2008
A Three Dog Life 0151012113 (2006) by Abigail Thomas (Biography T)
The wife of a man who was institutionalized after an accident left him brain damaged describes her efforts to rebuild her life in a small country town with three dogs, a process during which she struggled with a very different relationship with her husband, passed her days knitting, and found comfort in friendships.
December 15, 2008
Rasputin's Daughter 0670034681 (2006) by Robert Alexander (Fiction A)
Interrogated by the provisional government of revolutionary Russia on the details of her father's death, Maria, the daughter of Rasputin, remembers her father's powerful influence over the throne, her struggles over the discovery of his true nature, and the numerous threats to his life.
January 19, 2009
The Giant's House: A Romance 0380730200 (1996) by Elizabeth McCracken (Fiction M)
Befriending an adolescent boy who is ostracized for his unusual height, bereft Cape Cod librarian Peggy Cort finds a soulmate in James and comes to love him as he grows into a man of eight feet.
February 16, 2009
The Pillars of the Earth 0688046592 (1989) by Ken Follett (Fiction F)
Set in twelfth-century England, this epic of kings and peasants juxtaposes the building of a magnificent church with the violence and treachery that often characterized the Middle Ages.
March 16, 2009
A Sense of the World: How a Blind Man Became History's Greatest Traveler 0007161069
(2006) by Jason Roberts (Biography R)
Offers a portrait of James Holman, a nineteenth-century adventurer renowned for his solo journey around the world, despite a blindness brought on by a mysterious shipboard illness during the Napoleonic Wars.
April 20, 2009
Finding my Voice 1892123908 (2002) by Diane Rehm (Biography R)
A leading radio personality describes her rise from an abusive childhood in an Arab-American household in
May 18, 2009
A Spell of Winter 0871137828 (2001) by Helen Dunmore (Fiction D)
Abandoned by their parents, Catherine and her brother, Rob, are left to the care of their mysterious grandfather, living in an enclosed and stifling world, where their only solace is their relationship with each other.
June 15, 2009
At the end of World War II the Joseph family arrives in
July 20, 2009
In 1946, writer Juliet Ashton finds inspiration for her next book in her correspondence with a native of
August 17, 2009
Frankenstein: Or, the Modern Prometheus 0140367128 (1831) by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley (Fiction S)
An ambitious young scientist succeeds in creating a living creature, only to bring death and destruction to those he loves. This masterpiece of Gothic horror is also considered to be the first science-fiction novel.
September 21, 2009
Mockingbird : A Portrait of Harper Lee 080507919X (2006) by Charles Shields (Biography L)
Explores the life and literary career of Harper Lee, the woman behind the creation of To Kill a Mockingbird, describing her struggle to create her famed novel, and her contributions to her lifelong friend Truman Capote's In Cold Blood.
October 19, 2009
The Buccaneers : A Novel 0670866458 (1995) by Edith Wharton (Fiction W)
When the wealthy St. George girls and their friend are rejected by New York society because their bloodlines are too short, they go to England and make superb marriages, but Nan St. George finds that being a duchess does not necessarily bring happiness.
November 16, 2009
The Last Days of Dogtown: A Novel 0743225732 (2005) by Anita Diamant (Fiction D)
Based loosely on a true story of a historic community, this novel is set on Cape Ann in the early 1800s. Peopled with widows, orphans, spinsters, scoundrels, free Africans, and "witches," it resurrects a forgotten sector of society.
December 21, 2009
Tropic of Cancer 0802131786 (1961) by Henry Miller (Fiction M)
Presents the original 1934 text, which was banned in the
January 18, 2010
Olive Kitteridge 9781400062089 (2008) by Elizabeth Strout (Fiction S)
At the edge of the continent, in the small town of
February 15, 2010
The Bishop’s Daughter: A Memoir 9780393059847 (2008) by Honor
A daughter of a
March 15, 2010
The Tender Bar: A Memoir 1401300642 (2005) by J.R. Moehringer (Biography M)
In a memoir of growing up with a single mother, the author describes how he received valuable life lessons and friendship from an assortment of characters at the neighborhood bar, who provided him with a kind of fatherhood by committee.
April 19, 2010
Presumed Innocent 0374237131 (1987) by Scott Turow (Fiction T)
Rusty Sabich, a prosecuting attorney investigating the murder of Carolyn Polhemus, his former lover and a prominent member of his boss's staff, finds himself accused of the crime.
May 17, 2010
Out Stealing Horses 1555974708 (2007) by Per Petterson (Fiction P)
After a meeting with his only neighbor, sixty-seven-year-old Trond is forced to reflect upon a long-ago incident that marks the beginning of a series of losses for Trond and his childhood friend, Jon.
June 21, 2010
The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox 9780151014118 (2006) by Maggie O'Farrell (Fiction O)
Iris Lockhart receives news that her great-aunt Esme is being released from
the key to long-hidden family secrets that could change her life forever.
July 19, 2010
Audrey Hepburn: A Biography 0671758004 (1994) by Warren G. Harris (Biography H)
Chronicles the life of the charming and dignified actress, discussing her childhood in Nazi-occupied
August 16, 2010
Lying Awake (2000) by Mark Salzman
Sister John of the Cross, an elderly nun, experiences a series of dazzling visions, but she is confronted with a difficult choice between her spiritual gifts and curing the powerful headaches that accompany her visions.
September 20, 2010
Chronicles the 1914 expedition of Theodore Roosevelt into the unexplored heart of the Amazon basin to explore and map the region surrounding a tributary called the
October 18, 2010
Hanna's Daughters 0345433491 (1998) by Marianne Fredriksson (Fiction F)
At her mother's deathbed Anna becomes determined to learn more about both her mother Joanna, and her grandmother, Hanna, and looks through old diaries, letters, and photographs.
November 15, 2010
The Mistress's Daughter 0670038385 (2007) by A.M Homes (Biography H)
An acclaimed novelist's memoir about what it means to be adopted and how all of us construct our sense of self and family.
December 20, 2010
The Leisure Seeker: A Novel 9780061671784 (2009) by Michael Zadoorian (Fiction Z)
In this affecting road novel, an elderly married couple leave their
January 17, 2011
Ahab's Wife, or, the Star-Gazer: A Novel 0688171877 (1999) by Sena Jeter Nasland (Fiction N)
A rich epic, drawn from the classic Moby Dick, chronicles the life of Una Spenser, wife of the immortal Captain Ahab, from her
February 21, 2011
The Living Great Lakes: Searching for the Heart of the
Provides a history of the
March 21, 2011
Representing some unsavory characters in his work as a defense lawyer, Mickey Haller takes on his first high-paying and possibly innocent client in years, but finds the case complicated by events that suggest a particularly evil perpetrator.
April 18, 2011
The Girls who Went Away: The Hidden History of Women who Surrendered Children for Adoption in the Decades Before Roe v. Wade (2006) by Ann Fessler
A powerful and groundbreaking revelation of the secret history of the 1.5 million women who surrendered children for adoption in the several decades before Roe v. Wade.
May 16, 2011
Annie's Ghosts: A Journey into a Family Secret 9781401322472 (2009) by Steve Luxenberg (306.875 L)
Traces the author's surprise discovery that his late mother had had a sister who was sent away under mysterious circumstances and never mentioned by the family again, his efforts to research his long-lost aunt's story and whereabouts, and his struggles to understand the secrecy of her existence.
Following is a bibliography of the titles the group will be reading in 2011:
June 20, 2011
The Heretic’s Daughter: A Novel 9780316024488 (2008) by Kathleen Kent (Fiction K)
Young Sarah Carrier tries to cope with life in
July 18, 2011
Reliable Wife: A Novel 9781565125964 (2009) by Robert Goolrick (Fiction G)
Ralph Truitt, a wealthy businessman with a troubled past who lives in a remote nineteenth-century Wisconsin town, has advertised for a reliable wife; and his ad is answered by Catherine Land, a woman who makes every effort to hide her own dark secrets.
August 15, 2011
Leap of Faith: Memoirs of an Unexpected Life 0786867175 (2003) by Hussein Noor (Biography N)
Sharing a personal perspective on the past three decades of world history, Queen Noor talks frankly of the many challenges of her life as wife and partner to the monarch, providing both an intimate portrait of the late King Hussein and a moving account of their public role.
September 19, 2011
Was it Beautiful?: A Novel 0609609785 (2003) by Alison McGhee (Fiction M)
Following the death of his beloved grown son in a freak accident, William T. Jones finds his once happy and successful life falling apart as he struggles to deal with his own grief, loneliness, and the destruction of his marriage.
October 17, 2011
The author offers an account of his father's life, from the turn-of-the-century arrival of a young immigrant from
November 21, 2011
Blame 9780374114305 (2009) by Michelle Huneven (Fiction H)
Patsy MacLemoore, a history professor in her late twenties with a brand-new Ph.D. from
December 19, 2011
A Clearing in the Distance:
Chronicles the life and career of landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted, and the effect his ideas had on American culture.