Lakeland Book Club

Reading good books with good friends in North Idaho

The Snow Child | October, 2012 October 1, 2012

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The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey

Selected by Erin Ranney

The Snow Child

From Amazon.com:

Alaska, 1920: a brutal place to homestead, and especially tough for recent arrivals Jack and Mabel. Childless, they are drifting apart–he breaking under the weight of the work of the farm; she crumbling from loneliness and despair. In a moment of levity during the season’s first snowfall, they build a child out of snow. The next morning the snow child is gone–but they glimpse a young, blonde-haired girl running through the trees.

This little girl, who calls herself Faina, seems to be a child of the woods. She hunts with a red fox at her side, skims lightly across the snow, and somehow survives alone in the Alaskan wilderness. As Jack and Mabel struggle to understand this child who could have stepped from the pages of a fairy tale, they come to love her as their own daughter. But in this beautiful, violent place things are rarely as they appear, and what they eventually learn about Faina will transform all of them.

This book was selected because:

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The Autobiography of Mrs. Thom Thumb | September, 2011 September 1, 2011

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The Autobiography of Mrs. Thom Thumb by Melanie Benjamin

Selected by Erin Ranney

From Amazon.com:

For anyone who loves the historical novels of Sara Gruen, Geraldine Brooks, and E. L. Doctorow, a barnstorming tale of an irrepressible, brawling, bawdy era and the remarkable woman who had the courage to match the unique spirit of America’s Gilded Age.

She was only two feet, eight inches tall, but more than a century later, her legend reaches out to us. As a child, Mercy Lavinia “Vinnie” Warren Bump was encouraged to live a life hidden away from the public. Instead, she reached out to the immortal impresario P. T. Barnum, married the tiny superstar General Tom Thumb in the wedding of the century, and became the world’s most unexpected celebrity. Vinnie’s wedding captivated the nation, preempted coverage of the Civil War, and even ushered her into the White House. But her fame also endangered the person she prized most: her similarly sized sister, Minnie, a gentle soul unable to escape the glare of Vinnie’s spotlight. A barnstorming novel of the Gilded Age, The Autobiography of Mrs. Tom Thumb is the irresistible epic of a heroine who conquered the country with a heart as big as her dreams—and whose story will surely win over yours.

This book was selected because:

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The Merchant of Venice | January, 2009 January 7, 2009

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The Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare

Selected by Erin Ranney

From Amazon.com:

The Merchant of Venice is a play by Shakespeare, believed to have been written between 1596 and 1598. Classified as a comedy in the First Folio, and while it shares certain aspects with Shakespeare’s other romantic comedies, the play is perhaps more remembered for its dramatic scenes, and is best known for Shylock and the ‘pound of flesh’. The play’s anti-semitic tendency gained more attention after the Holocaust, for example in a production by George Tabori.

The title character is the merchant Antonio, not the Jewish moneylender Shylock, who is the play’s most prominent and more famous character. This is made explicit by the title page of the first quarto: The moſt excellent Hiſtorie of the Merchant of Venice. With the extreame crueltie of Shylock the Iewe towards the ſayd Merchant, in cutting a iuſt pound of his fleſh: and the obtayning of Portia by the choyſe of three cheſts.

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The Pelican Brief | November, 2006 November 1, 2006

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The Pelican Brief by John Grisham

Selected by Erin Ranney

From Amazon.com:

In suburban Georgetown, a killer’s Reeboks whisper on the floor of a posh home. In a seedy D.C. porno house, a patron is swiftly garroted to death. The next day America learns that two of its Supreme Court justices have been assassinated. And in New Orleans, a young law student prepares a legal brief.

To Darby Shaw it was no more than a legal shot in the dark, a brilliant guess. To the Washington establishment it’s political dynamite. Suddenly Darby is witness to a murder–a murder intended for her. Going underground, she finds that there is only one person–an ambitious reporter after a newsbreak hotter than Watergate–she can trust to help her piece together the deadly puzzle. Somewhere between the bayous of Louisiana and the White House’s inner sanctums, a violent cover-up is being engineered. For someone has read Darby’s brief–someone who will stop at nothing to destroy the evidence of an unthinkable crime.

This book was selected because:

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