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Year of Wonders

Tuesday, February 9
6:00 PM at The Reader's Loft

Year of Wonders

A Reader's Loft Book Club Discussion

An unforgettable tale of a brave young woman during the plague in 17th century England from the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of"March"and"The Secret Chord"coming from Viking in October 2015 
When an infected bolt of cloth carries plague from London to an isolated village, a housemaid named Anna Frith emerges as an unlikely heroine and healer. Through Anna's eyes we follow the story of the fateful year of 1666, as she and her fellow villagers confront the spread of disease and superstition. As death reaches into every household and villagers turn from prayers to murderous witch-hunting, Anna must find the strength to confront the disintegration of her community and the lure of illicit love. As she struggles to survive and grow, a year of catastrophe becomes instead annus mirabilis, a "year of wonders."   Inspired by the true story of Eyam, a village in the rugged hill country of England, "Year of Wonders"is a richly detailed evocation of a singular moment in history. Written with stunning emotional intelligence and introducing "an inspiring heroine" ("The Wall Street Journal"), Brooks blends love and learning, loss and renewal into a spellbinding and unforgettable read.

Sandra Shackelford's Writing Circle

Monday, February 15
12:30 PM - 2:00 at The Reader's Loft Bookstore

Sandra Shackelford

Sandra Shackelford's Writing Circle

The Readers Loft will host a six-week Writing Circle facilitated by Sandra Shackelford beginning Monday, February 15 from 12:30 to 2 p.m.

This workshop is open to all regardless of previous writing experience and abilities.

In this casual and noncompetitive atmosphere, circle members will learn about and discuss the creative non-fiction writing process through personal essay; memoir; travel writing; food writing and "true stories well told." Loosening up and learning through the use of prompts and various other writing exercises also included.  Participants will be encouraged to share their stories in their own words, while developing and using  their new found unique writing voice.

Sandra Shackelford spent a decade working for civil and human rights in the Mississippi Delta town of Greenwood during the 1950's and sixties. She is a professional writer, documentary artist, instructor and oral historian. As Writing Circle facilitator, she encourages the creative process in people who come together drawing each out as they begin or continue to tell the stories of their lives.

A former journalist and accomplished professional artist, Sandra has taught at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, Saint Norbert College and Aldo Leopold Community School.  Currently she is a writing specialist at the College of Menominee Nation and is at work on her memoir.

Course fee: $75/six weeks

*Limited to 7 participants*

 Past Circle writers are high in their praise of Sandra's Writing Circles:

-It was wonderful listening to the variety of writers and learning about their backgrounds, experiences and reasons for writing. The book lists and tips you offered the class were much appreciated.

-Your enthusiasm is contagious and encouraging.

-I thought the workshop format worked well. I enjoyed the time spent discussing and writing. I thought the environment was nurturing to both those who were seasoned and novices alike.

-Really tapped a need in the community.

Liam R. Callanan

Thursday, February 18
6:00 PM at The Reader's Loft

Liam R. Callanan

Liam R. Callanan reads from Listen and Other Stories

Liam Callanan, author of the critically acclaimed novels The Cloud Atlas and All Saints, returns with a short story collection that crosses decades, oceans and continents in pursuit of stories that, like its title suggests, are more than worthy of a listen.

Advance Praise: 

"Over and over Callanan finds that moment when a character's past, their deepest longings, their most intimate fears, emerge from the flood-waters of daily life and stand exposed. These richly imagined and beautifully written stories transport the reader from TV studios to lonely woods, from an old convent to a new gym, from war-time Alaska to the beach at Santa Monica. The result is a wonderfully readable and hugely pleasurable collection." —Margot Livesey, The Flight of Gemma Hardy

"What a wide-ranging, inventive collection Liam Callanan has given us. In page after page, he conjures striking characters and places—recent and historical, domestic and foreign—that quickly grow visceral and real. Listen to these lovely stories, indeed; each one is memorable, and each one different from the last." —Alix Ohlin, Inside and Signs and Wonders

"Here is what makes these stories necessary and timeless: Liam Callanan's incisive ability to render not just our desires and the choices we make to fulfill or thwart those desires, but the mystery behind those choices. These stories glow, backlit by the author's generous and discriminating vision, his ability to contrast doubt and faith in our actions and interactions, all in the service of an abiding grace. And lest all of the above sound unduly serious, let me assure you: there is humor here of the most vital stripe, wherein halfway through your laughter you realize you're laughing not only at the characters, but at your own foolish, if well-intentioned, ways." —Michael Parker, All That I Have in This World

"A scout who hoarded candy faces the wrath of a bear. A sister's jealousy has fatal consequences. A TV station's arts critic refuses to join a tradition of going pantsless on an anchor's last day. A lot of the folks in Liam Callanan's fine new collection of stories are on the cusp of making important decisions. And perhaps those decisions are a bit constricting, and just to amplify that point , a number of characters are physically trapped, whether in a locked mausoleum, a tent with a ferocious bear outside, a dilapidated convent on fire, or in a home being flooded by dam. Past decisions are equally debilitating, and that sometimes leads to an attempt to preserve the lost, perhaps through their voices, or their breath. Whatever their foibles, it's hard not to connect with the life-infused characters of Listen and Other Stories, blessed as they are with the author's grace and good humor." —Daniel Goldin, Boswell Book Company (Milwaukee)

"I picked up this book to get a feel for the type of short stories Liam was writing. I was about to host his event, but I didn't have time to read the whole thing. So, I read "Listen," the title story, and immediately knew that this was an amazing book. I started at the beginning and could not put it down. These stories are beautiful, shocking, concise, and compelling. Each story has its own reasons to read and love, but the collection as a whole gives such a breadth of human existence and style. I found it irresistible. For something not being on my to-read list to being one that I feel urged to recommend is surprising to me. Read Listen & Other Stories." —Shane Mullen, Left Bank Books (St. Louis)

Liam Callanan's "stories have a great way of getting under the skin and lingering beyond the final page. With great compassion for his characters, Callanan meets them at a series of critical points, getting into their heads with precision and finding warmth, humor, sorrow, grief, and fear."—Timothy Day, Washington Independent Review of Books

Click here for a viewing of  the book trailer.

HOTT Poetry Series

Thursday, February 25
5:30pm-7:30pm at The Reader's Loft Bookstore

HOTT Poetry Series

Ralph Murre, Jenna Cornell & D. R. Clowers

Ralph Murre -- who comes without a degree or an apology -- is a sailor, a motorcyclist, an artist, and something of a jack-of-all-trades. He confesses to "messing about in books" and has written three small volumes of poetry and co-authored a fourth.  Murre says he is currently honored to serve as Door County’s Poet Laureate, and swears there really is such a thing and that he didn’t just make that up.

With her first story written at age nine and first published opinion article at age ten, Jenna Cornell has since seen her work published in The Northern Lights Arts Journal, The Manifest, Sheepshead Review, The Fourth Estate, Mauthe Center Magazine, Examiner.com, and had plays read at Theatre on the Bay. 

She submitted her short screenplay "Hunk of Burning Love" to the Canadian Short Screenplay Competition in 2014 and made it into the Top 50 Quarterfinals. In 2015, she released her first poetry collection as an indie author titled Fantastic Illusions of Life, Love, the Birds, and the Bees.

Fiction, screen writing, and journalism are one of the many things she involved in. She also writes fiction, poetry,  and music.  As a vocalist and wordsmith, Jenna spends part of her time writing songs. She intends to record in the near future.

After receiving his BA in English Lit and MA from the University of Michigan and teaching for three years at Drake University, David or D.R. Clowers switched fields and got a law degree from the University of Chicago. After practicing law for many years in Milwaukee, he moved to a self-build, rustic cabin in Door County’s woods in 2001 and lived there, off the grid, for nine years, while re-establishing his law practice in Sturgeon Bay. He has been the featured reader at the UUFDC's Dickinson Poetry series, and has self-published two chapbooks, Shedding My Three Piece Birthday Suit, and Doggysattva Love. His poems have appeared in Verse Wisconsin, Fox Cry, Knock, Your Daily Poem, The Peninsula Pulse, WFOP's annual calendars and in Ralph Murre's Re-Verse. Several of his poems have received recognition in the WFOP's Triad, the Gruetzmacher and the Hal Prize contests. One of his poems appeared in the anthology, Soundings: the Poetry of Door County, and two others in an anthology published by Duluth's Holy Cow Press in 2015, Amethyst and Agate: Poems of Lake Superior.  He performs in community theater groups, serves on several boards, teaches poetry writing and reading theater classes at Door County's LIR program. In his spare time he goes to the Y, swims, runs, bikes, skis, sails, practices law and does the Legal Aid Clinic for Door County.

Amanda Linsmeier

Saturday, February 27
1:00 PM at The Reader's Loft Bookstore

Amanda Linsmeier

An afternoon with Amanda Linsmeier 
debut author of 
Ditch Flowers

Amanda Linsmeier’s work has appeared on Brain, Child Magazine, WOW! Women on Writing, and Portage Magazine. She works part-time at her local library and brings home more books than she has time to read. Amanda lives in the countryside of Manitowac county with her husband and children, two dogs, and half-wild cat. Ditch Flowers is her first novel.

Publisher's Comments:

"Trouble comes in threes, Grandma CeCe always said..." 

A baby. Just holding one sets Julia's heart thumping. She's wanted a child for so long. When she finally gets pregnant, she's bursting to tell the world...until a checkup from the doctor confirms a miscarriage. 

Julia's world feels like it's dissolving. This second tragedy following her father-in-law's death, shakes her and her husband Greg. To support his mother, they uproot their lives and move to Greg's childhood home. Under the bright Midwestern sky, Julia can feel a new world and new hope beginning.

But trouble comes in threes, and soon a boy shows up at Julia's new daycare whose blue eyes and freckled face look eerily like Greg's. Despite her love for her husband, Julia finds her thoughts haunted by the boy's face, and she can't shake the feeling that her husband has a secret.

Judith Claire Mitchell at A Reader's Loft Book Club!

Tuesday, March 8 - 6:00 PM
Judith Claire Mitchell at A Reader

The Reader's Loft welcomes Madison-based author Judith Claire Mitchell to book club! 

 We encourage other area book clubs to read her debut novel, A Reunion of Ghost and be  part of a large group discussion with Judith.  This is just an idea and non readers of her book are welcome too.  However, we can't guarantee  there won't be spoilers, so pick up a copy (paperback goes on sale January 26) and join us!  Call to reserve your copy today.

Publisher's comments:

In the waning days of 1999, the Alter sisters–Lady, Vee, and Delph–finalize their plans to end their lives. Their reasons are not theirs alone; they are the last in a long line of Alters who have killed themselves, beginning with their great-grandmother, the wife of a German-Jewish Nobel Prize-winning chemist who developed the first poison gas used in World War I. The chemist himself, their son Richard, and Richard’s children all followed suit.

The childless sisters also define themselves by their own bad luck. Lady, the oldest, never really resumed living after her divorce. Vee, a widow, is facing cancer’s return. And Delph, the youngest, is resigned to a lonely life of stifled dreams. But despite their pain they love each other fiercely, and share a darkly brilliant sense of humor.

As the sisters gather in the ancestral Upper West Side apartment to close the circle of the Alter curse, an epic story of four generations of one family–inspired in part by the troubled life of Fritz Haber, Nobel Prize winner and inventor of chlorine gas–unfolds. A Reunion of Ghosts is a magnificent tale of fate and blood, sin and absolution; partly a memoir of sisters unified by a singular burden, partly an unflinching eulogy of those who have gone before; and above all, a profound commentary on the events of the 20th century.

A Reunion of Ghosts has been published by Harper in North America.

Margaret Goss

Saturday, March 12
1:00 PM at The Reader's Loft

Margaret Goss

Margaret Goss shares her debut novel, The Uncommitted

Margaret Goss grew up in Oswego, New York the child of first generation Italian immigrants.  Her father, a high school English and journalism teacher, and her mother, an art teacher and painter, felt she should pursue a career outside the arts as a way to facilitate financial stability.  Margaret went on to earn a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing (University of Arizona 1990and a Master of Arts in Public Administration (University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1996).  She spent many years working in the healthcare industry as a nurse, but writing remained her passion.  It would be years later as a mother at home with young children that Margaret would finally put the story brewing in her mind down on paper and then into her laptop.  

Inspiration for The Uncommitted came from the death of her mother who left behind paintings of what Margaret believed to be images of heaven.  Born to a family of women with strong intuition, her mother believed in an unbreakable bond between those who are the living and who are dead.  Her desire to become a writer, however, may have stemmed from the hours she spent as a child watching and then mimicking her father at his typewriter. 

Publisher's comments: 


Josephine Reilly is a typical young mother, striving to do what is best for her family in the suburbs of St. Paul, Minnesota. Declan, her ambitious and talented husband, has a thriving career as a corporate lawyer. On the surface, life could not appear more perfect.

Yet, Josie has an unrealized gift, one that has haunted her since the drowning death of a childhood friend. Josie is a messenger, as was her mother and grandmother before her, carrying messages from the dead to the living through dreams, visions and telepathy. For years, Josie suppresses her gift but when mother dies, she is unable to ignore it any longer. 

Upon exploring her ability, she finds she’s underestimated the dangers in channeling the dead when those she loves become targets of an invisible evil. Her sanity comes into question and she’s at risk of losing everything she holds dear. Then fate places Dr. Andrew Chase in Josie’s path, a healer of supernatural capabilities. Only he hasn’t come to prevent her fall...  

 The Uncommitted is a compelling tale of the spiritual struggle within us and of the realities beyond our physical sight.

"Engrossing debut...Goss boldly blurs the spiritual, the secular and the supernatural - resulting in a story that, depending on how deep your faith goes, seems eerily real."  Read More. 

 -Michael Popke, Madison Isthmus

"When Josie learns of her unusual powers, she journeys from typical suburban wife and mom to pyschic medium carrying messages between life and death. Her powers eventually lead her to fear for her family, her sanity, and her life! This first novel from Margaret Goss is a compelling read, exploring themes of spirituality and family, and is impossible to put down!"

 -Diana Winter, School Librarian

Brittany Cavallaro & Melissa Gorzelanczyk

Saturday, March 26 - 1:00 - 3:00 PM

Pizza Party with Brittany Cavallaro & Melissa Gorzelanczyk

Join us for a pizza party celebrating Wisconsin-based young adult authors, Brittany Cavallaro and Melissa Gorzelanczyk!

Brittany Cavallaro
A Study in Charlotte

From the Publisher:
The last thing Jamie Watson wants is a rugby scholarship to Sherringford, a Connecticut prep school just an hour away from his estranged father. But that's not the only complication: Sherringford is also home to Charlotte Holmes, the famous detective s great-great-great-granddaughter, who has inherited not only Sherlock s genius but also his volatile temperament. From everything Jamie has heard about Charlotte, it seems safer to admire her from afar.

From the moment they meet, there s a tense energy between them, and they seem more destined to be rivals than anything else. But when a Sherringford student dies under suspicious circumstances, ripped straight from the most terrifying of the Sherlock Holmes stories, Jamie can no longer afford to keep his distance. Jamie and Charlotte are being framed for murder, and only Charlotte can clear their names. But danger is mounting and nowhere is safe and the only people they can trust are each other.

Equal parts tender, thrilling, and hilarious, a Study in Charlotte is the first in a trilogy brimming with wit and edge-of-the-seat suspense.

Melissa Gorzelanczyk

From the Publisher:
People don t understand love. If they did, they'd get why dance prodigy Karma Clark just can't say goodbye to her boyfriend, Danny. No matter what he says or does or how he hurts her, she can't stay angry with him . . . and can t stop loving him. But there's a reason why Karma is helpless to break things off: she's been shot with a love arrow. 

Aaryn, son of Cupid, was supposed to shoot both Karma "and" Danny but found out too late that the other arrow in his pack was useless. And with that, Karma's life changed forever. One pregnancy confirmed. One ballet scholarship lost. And dream after dream tossed to the wind.
A clueless Karma doesn't know that her toxic relationship is Aaryn's fault . . . but he's going to get a chance to make things right. But what if this god from Mount Olympus finds himself falling in love with a beautiful dancer from Wisconsin who can never love him in return? 

This fast-paced debut novel explores the internal & external conflicts of a girl who finds herself inexplicably drawn to a boy who seemingly doesn't reciprocate her feelings, touching on the issues of love, sex and responsibility, with a heroine struggling to control her destiny.

H is for Hawk

Tuesday, April 12
6:00 PM at The Reader's Loft

H is for Hawk

A Reader's Loft Book Club Discussion

When Helen Macdonald's father died suddenly on a London street, she was devastated. An experienced falconer — Helen had been captivated by hawks since childhood — she'd never before been tempted to train one of the most vicious predators, the goshawk. But in her grief, she saw that the goshawk's fierce and feral temperament mirrored her own. Resolving to purchase and raise the deadly creature as a means to cope with her loss, she adopted Mabel, and turned to the guidance of The Once and Future King author T.H. White's chronicle The Goshawk to begin her challenging endeavor. Projecting herself "in the hawk's wild mind to tame her" tested the limits of Macdonald's humanity and changed her life.

Heart-wrenching and humorous, this book is an unflinching account of bereavement and a unique look at the magnetism of an extraordinary beast, with a parallel examination of a legendary writer's eccentric falconry. Obsession, madness, memory, myth, and history combine to achieve a distinctive blend of nature writing and memoir from an outstanding literary innovator.

Jen Larsen

Saturday, April 16 - 1:00 PM
Jen Larsen

Author Jen Larsen Returns to The Reader's Loft

Help us welcome back author Jen Larsen with her debut young adult novel, Future Perfect. Jen Larsen is a full-time writer and feminist. She has an MFA in creative writing from the University of San Francisco, and currently lives in Madison, WI. 

From the Author's Website:
Every year on her birthday, Ashley Perkins gets a card from her grandmother—a card that always contains a promise: lose enough weight, and I will buy your happiness. Ashley doesn’t think there’s anything wrong with the way she looks, but no amount of arguing can persuade her grandmother that “fat” isn’t a dirty word—that Ashley is happy with her life, and her body, as it is.

But Ashley wasn’t counting on having her dreams served up on a silver platter at her latest birthday party. She falters when Grandmother offers the one thing she’s always wanted: tuition to attend Harvard University—in exchange for undergoing weight loss surgery. Through her indecisions and doubts, Ashley’s story is a liberating one—a tale of one girl, who knows that weight is just a number, and that no one is completely perfect.

Neal Griffin & Patricia Skalka

Thursday, April 21 - 6:00 PM

A Night of Mystery with Neal Griffin and Patricia Skalka

Neal Griffin
A Voice from the Field

A 25-year veteran on the police force, Wisconsin native Neal Griffin brings an authenticity to his work few have experienced. "Neal creates street savvy police characters with a blend of courage and guile, but he pulls no punches in the portrayal of cops who have no business wearing a badge or gun. In his books, Neal tackles the serious issues that face American policing, leaving the reader with an untainted insider’s view." Neal returns to the Reader's Loft to promote his newest work, A Voice from the Field.

From the publisher:
Tia Suarez jumped off the pages in Griffin's brilliant debut novel, Benefit of the Doubt. Now she takes center stage in her own story, A Voice from the Field, a gripping thriller about human trafficking in the U.S. Gunther Kane and his white supremacist group are using forced prostitution to finance the purchase of automatic weapons. Kane snatches young women off the streets and sells them to hundreds of men. When a victim is used up, she's killed and dumped. After all, there are always more where she came from.

Physically recovered from being shot but struggling with PTSD, Tia Suarez almost doesn't believe her eyes when she glimpses a Hispanic teenager bound and gagged in the back of Kane's van. The look of terror on the woman's face makes Tia desperate to rescue her. Tia Suarez doesn't back down for anyone. Not the department shrink; not the feds who dismiss her; not even her boyfriend, a Marine veteran who thinks she doesn't know what she's getting into. Tia will find the missing teen come hell or high water.

Patricia Skalka
Death Stalks Door County

Patricia rejoins in honor of the paperback debut of her much celebrate first novel, Death Stalks Door County. "Skalka, a Chicago writer, turned to fiction following a successful career in nonfiction. Her many credits include: Staff Writer for Reader’s Digest, freelancer, ghost writer, writing instructor and book reviewer."

From the Publisher:
Six deaths mar the holiday mood as summer vacationers enjoy Wisconsin's beautiful Door County peninsula. Murders, or bizarre accidents? Newly hired park ranger Dave Cubiak, a former Chicago homicide detective, assumes the worst but refuses to get involved. Grief-stricken and guilt-ridden over the loss of his wife and daughter, he s had enough of death.

Forced to confront the past, the morose Cubiak moves beyond his own heartache and starts investigating, even as a popular festival draws more people into possible danger. In a desperate search for clues, Cubiak uncovers a tangled web of greed, betrayal, bitter rivalries, and lost love beneath the peninsula s travel-brochure veneer. Befriended by several locals but unsure whom to trust or to suspect of murder, the one-time cop tracks a clever killer.

In a setting of stunning natural beauty and picturesque waterfront villages, Death Stalks Door County introduce[d] a new detective series, The Dave Cubiak Door County Mysteries. 

Linda Vander Heyden

Saturday, May 7 - 11:00 AM
Linda Vander Heyden

Story Time with Linda Vander Heyden

Linda joins us at the Reader's Loft to share her debut children's book, Mr. McGinty's Monarchs. Mr. McGinty and his dog Sophie while walking one day discover that all of the milkweed in town has been mowed down! Mr. McGinty knows monarch caterpillars need milkweed to survive. He and Sophie must come up with a plan to save the monarchs. With themes of friendship, environmentalism and teamwork, Mr. McGinty's Monarchs is sure to find a place among your favorites.

Linda has always loved nature and, as a child, spent many summers at her family’s cottage, captivated by frogs and butterflies. She hopes her book will inspire others to protect and save these remarkable butterflies. Linda lives in Wisconsin with her husband, two dogs, two cats, and two horses.


Thursday, May 12
6:00 PM at The Reader's Loft


A Reader's Loft Book Club Discussion

For sixteen-year-old Dan Crawford, New Hampshire College Prep is more than a summer program — it's a lifeline. An outcast at his high school, Dan is excited to finally make some friends in his last summer before college. But when he arrives at the program, Dan learns that his dorm for the summer used to be a sanatorium, more commonly known as an asylum. And not just any asylum — a last resort for the criminally insane.

As Dan and his new friends, Abby and Jordan, explore the hidden recesses of their creepy summer home, they soon discover it's no coincidence that the three of them ended up here. Because the asylum holds the key to a terrifying past. And there are some secrets that refuse to stay buried.

Featuring found photos of unsettling history and real abandoned asylums and filled with chilling mystery and page-turning suspense, Madeleine Roux's teen debut, Asylum, is a horror story that treads the line between genius and insanity.

Local Author Charles P. Ries

Thursday, May 19
6:00 PM at The Reader's Loft Bookstore

Local Author Charles P. Ries

Charles P. Ries, author of The Fathers We Find: The Making of a Pleasant, Humble Boy

Here at The Reader's Loft, we welcome native Wisconsin author, Charles P. Ries reading and signing copies of his new book, The Father's We Find. This story is set in rural Southeast Wisconsin during the 1950's through the 1970's. A near autobiographical tale based on the experiences of "Chuck," the narrator, had growing up on a mink farm just outside the Sheboygan, WI area shape the story as if one were there.  Through a series of fun loving characters in a small town parish, this crowd pleaser will easily bring one back to the good old days.

Every family–every life–should have a chronicler as honest, clear-eyed, and loving as Charles Ries. —Larry Watson

About the Author: Charles P. Ries lives in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. His narrative poems, short stories, interviews, and poetry reviews have appeared in over two hundred print and electronic publications. He has received five Pushcart Prize nominations for his writing. He was awarded the Wisconsin Regional Writers Association “Jade Ring” Award for humorous poetry and awarded Outstanding Achievement recognition by the Wisconsin Library Association Awards Committee for his full collection of poetry, Girl Friend & Other Mysteries of Love. Ries currently works at Marquette University and is Senior Director of Development Design and Innovation in University Advancement.

The Invention of Wings

Tuesday, June 14
6:00 PM at The Reader's Loft

The Invention of Wings

A Reader's Loft Book Club Discussion

Hetty “Handful” Grimke, an urban slave in early nineteenth century Charleston, yearns for life beyond the suffocating walls that enclose her within the wealthy Grimke household. The Grimke's daughter, Sarah, has known from an early age she is meant to do something large in the world, but she is hemmed in by the limits imposed on women.

Kidd's sweeping novel is set in motion on Sarah's eleventh birthday, when she is given ownership of ten year old Handful, who is to be her handmaid. We follow their remarkable journeys over the next thirty five years, as both strive for a life of their own, dramatically shaping each others destinies and forming a complex relationship marked by guilt, defiance, estrangement and the uneasy ways of love.

As the stories build to a riveting climax, Handful will endure loss and sorrow, finding courage and a sense of self in the process. Sarah will experience crushed hopes, betrayal, unrequited love, and ostracism before leaving Charleston to find her place alongside her fearless younger sister, Angelina, as one of the early pioneers in the abolition and women's rights movements.

Miss Dreamsville and the Collier County Women's Literary Society

Tuesday, July 12
6:00 PM at The Reader's Loft

Miss Dreamsville and the Collier County Women

A Reader's Loft Book Club Discussion

Eighty-year-old Dora, the narrator of a story that began a half century earlier, is bonding with an unlikely set of friends, including Jackie Hart, a restless middle-aged wife and mother from Boston, who gets into all sorts of trouble when her family moves to a small, sleepy town in Collier County, Florida, circa 1962.
With humor and insight the novel chronicles the awkward North-South cultural divide as Jackie, this hapless but charming “Yankee,” looks for some excitement in her life by accepting an opportunity to host a local radio show where she creates a mysterious, late-night persona, “Miss Dreamsville,” and by launching a reading group—the Collier County Women’s Literary Society—thus sending the conservative and racially segregated town into uproar. The only townspeople who venture to join are regarded as outsiders at best—a young gay man, a divorced woman, a poet, and a young black woman who dreams of going to college.

This brilliant fiction debut by Amy Hill Hearth, a New York Times bestselling author, brings to life unforgettable characters who found the one thing that eluded them as individuals:a place in the world. Inspired by a real person, Miss Dreamsville and the Collier County Women’s Literary Society will touch the heart of anyone and everyone who has ever felt like an outsider longing to fit in.

Daring Ladies of Lowell

Tuesday, August 9
6:00 PM at The Reader's Loft

Daring Ladies of Lowell

A Reader's Loft Book Club Discussion

Eager to escape life on her family's farm, Alice Barrow moves to Lowell in 1832 and throws herself into the hard work demanded of "the mill girls." The hours are long and the conditions are bad, but Alice soon finds a true friend in Lovey Cornell, a saucy, strong-willed girl who is outspoken about the dangers they face in the factories . . . and about Alice opening her heart to a blossoming relationship with Samuel Fiske, the handsome and sympathetic son of the mill's owner. 
But when Lovey is found dead under suspicious circumstances, a sensational trial brings the workers' unrest to a boiling point, leaving Alice is torn between finding justice for her friend and her growing passion for the man with whom she had no business falling in love. 


Tuesday, September 13
6:00 PM at The Reader's Loft


A Reader's Loft Book Club Discussion

One by one, the teens in Nottawa, Wisconsin join the newest, hottest networking site and answer one question: What do you need? A new iPhone?  Backstage tickets to a concert? In exchange for a seemingly minor task, the NEED site will fulfill your request. Everyone is doing it. So why shouldn't you?

Kaylee Dunham knows what she needs --a kidney for her sick brother. She doesn’t believe a social networking site can help, but it couldn’t hurt to try.

Or could it?

After making her request, Kaylee starts to realize the price that will have to be paid for her need to be met. The demands the site makes on users in exchange for their desires are escalating and so is the body count. Will Kaylee be able to unravel the mystery of who created the NEED network—and pull the plug before it destroys them all?

The Nightingale

Tuesday, October 11
6:00 PM at The Reader's Loft

The Nightingale

A Reader's Loft Book Club Discussion

In love we find out who we want to be.

In war we find out who we are.

FRANCE, 1939

In the quiet village of Carriveau, Vianne Mauriac says goodbye to her husband, Antoine, as he heads for the Front. She doesn't believe that the Nazis will invade France … but invade they do, in droves of marching soldiers, in caravans of trucks and tanks, in planes that fill the skies and drop bombs upon the innocent. When a German captain requisitions Vianne's home, she and her daughter must live with the enemy or lose everything. Without food or money or hope, as danger escalates all around them, she is forced to make one impossible choice after another to keep her family alive.

Vianne's sister, Isabelle, is a rebellious eighteen-year-old girl, searching for purpose with all the reckless passion of youth. While thousands of Parisians march into the unknown terrors of war, she meets Gäetan, a partisan who believes the French can fight the Nazis from within France, and she falls in love as only the young can … completely. But when he betrays her, Isabelle joins the Resistance and never looks back, risking her life time and again to save others.

With courage, grace and powerful insight, bestselling author Kristin Hannah captures the epic panorama of WWII and illuminates an intimate part of history seldom seen: the women's war. The Nightingale tells the stories of two sisters, separated by years and experience, by ideals, passion and circumstance, each embarking on her own dangerous path toward survival, love, and freedom in German-occupied, war-torn France--a heartbreakingly beautiful novel that celebrates the resilience of the human spirit and the durability of women. It is a novel for everyone, a novel for a lifetime.

Circling the Sun

Tuesday, November 8
6:00 PM at The Reader's Loft

Circling the Sun

A Reader's Loft Book Club Discussion

Brought to Kenya from England as a child and then abandoned by her mother, Beryl is raised by both her father and the native Kipsigis tribe who share his estate. Her unconventional upbringing transforms Beryl into a bold young woman with a fierce love of all things wild and an inherent understanding of nature's delicate balance. But even the wild child must grow up, and when everything Beryl knows and trusts dissolves, she is catapulted into a string of disastrous relationships. Beryl forges her own path as a horse trainer, and her uncommon style attracts the eye of the Happy Valley set, a decadent, bohemian community of European expats who also live and love by their own set of rules. But it's the ruggedly charismatic Denys Finch Hatton who ultimately helps Beryl navigate the uncharted territory of her own heart. The intensity of their love reveals Beryl's truest self and her fate: to fly.