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Rhonda Leet

Thursday, August 6
5:00 pm at The Reader's Loft

Rhonda Leet

Being Schooled: What This Teacher Learned in the American School System
By Rhonda Leet

Being Schooled evolved from a letter Rhonda Leet wrote to the school board in regard to growing concern about her school's climate. Her twelve years of teaching journals will give you a real honest glimpse into the daily challenges that take away the joy of teaching. She had valid concerns including teachers leaving in droves and escalating behavior problems. Upon leaving her school, Leet's passion for educational reform has not waned since removing her nameplate from the classroom door. Educating students went beyond the brick and mortar of school as she welcomed student families to visit her home, gardens and barnyard animals well after the school bell had rung where more lessons could be gathered. This book may have readers looking in the mirror saying to themselves; how do I value a teacher, children, parenting, and marriage? Get ready for a wave of emotions when you read about her teaching experience! Parents write... "Your students are a part of your family" "Mrs. Leet you are a rare jewel in education today"

Rhonda Leet received her bachelor's degree in education from St. Norbert College, De Pere, Wisconsin and a master's degree in education from Lesley University, Cambridge, Massachusetts. She taught for twelve years in one of the largest school districts in Wisconsin. 

Leet resides in a small rural town in Wisconsin with her adoring handyman husband. They have a "farmette" with sheep, chickens, and always a barn cat. She enjoys reading, taking daily walks, riding her bike and gardening, and she continues to teach from her humble farmette to anyone who pays her a visit.  

Storied Life of A.J. Vikry

Tuesday, August 11
6:00 pm at The Reader's Loft

Storied Life of A.J. Vikry

A Reader's Loft Book Group Discussion

The Reader's Loft Book Group is Always Open to the Public

In the spirit of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society and The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, Gabrielle Zevin s enchanting novel is a love letter to the world of books--and booksellers--that changes our lives by giving us the stories that open our hearts and enlighten our minds. On the faded Island Books sign hanging over the porch of the Victorian cottage is the motto No Man Is an Island; Every Book Is a World. A. J. Fikry, the irascible owner, is about to discover just what that truly means.A. J. Fikry s life is not at all what he expected it to be. His wife has died, his bookstore is experiencing the worst sales in its history, and now his prized possession, a rare collection of Poe poems, has been stolen. Slowly but surely, he is isolating himself from all the people of Alice Island--from Lambiase, the well-intentioned police officer who s always felt kindly toward Fikry; from Ismay, his sister-in-law who is hell-bent on saving him from his dreary self; from Amelia, the lovely and idealistic (if eccentric) Knightley Press sales rep who keeps on taking the ferry over to Alice Island, refusing to be deterred by A.J. s bad attitude. Even the books in his store have stopped holding pleasure for him. These days, A.J. can only see them as a sign of a world that is changing too rapidly.And then a mysterious package appears at the bookstore. It s a small package, but large in weight. It s that unexpected arrival that gives A. J. Fikry the opportunity to make his life over, the ability to see everything anew. It doesn t take long for the locals to notice the change overcoming A.J.; or for that determined sales rep, Amelia, to see her curmudgeonly client in a new light; or for the wisdom of all those books to become again the lifeblood of A.J. s world; or for everything to twist again into a version of his life that he didn t see coming. As surprising as it is moving, The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry is an unforgettable tale of transformation and second chances, an irresistible affirmation of why we read, and why we love.

Neal Griffin: Author of 'Benefit of the Doubt'

Wednesday, August 26 - 6:00 pm
Neal Griffin: Author of

Join us as we welcome law enforcement veteran Neal Griffin as he discusses his debut novel, 'Benefit of the Doubt', a story bestselling author Jon Land calls a “major debut destined to take its place alongside the work of Robert Parker, C.J. Box and Harlan Coben.” 

For an excerpt of the novel, more bio information, and much more, check out Neal's website: nealgriffin.com

Reviews:
"Benefit of the Doubt needs none--there is no doubt that this fine debut novel is the sure-handed work of an exciting new author."--Don Winslow, "New York Times" bestselling author of Savages

"[A] unique and suspenseful debut novel by a cop-turned-author who knows the turf. The story moves at warp speed."--Joseph Wambaugh, #1 "New York Times" bestselling author 

"A taut and cleverly-plotted page-turner! Griffin is a terrific story-teller, and this compelling tale will keep you guessing from the first chilling line to the unpredictable and completely surprising last page."--Hank Phillippi Ryan, Mary Higgins Clark, Anthony & Agatha Award-winning author

Preview:

Ben Sawyer was a big-city cop, until he nearly killed a helpless suspect in public. Now a detective in the tiny Wisconsin town where he and his wife grew up, Ben suspects that higher-ups are taking payoffs from local drug lords.

Before long, Ben is off the force. His wife is accused of murder. His only ally is another outcast, a Latina rookie cop. Worse, a killer has escaped from jail with vengeance on his mind, and Newburg--and Ben Sawyer--in his sights.

Author info:

Neal Griffin is a twenty-five year veteran of law enforcement. He's seen it all, from routine patrols to drug enforcement to homicide investigations, from corrupt cops to men and women who went far above and beyond the call of duty.

The Chaperone

Not Open To Public
Wednesday, September 2

The Chaperone

From the Publisher:

A "New York Times "bestseller, "The Chaperone "is a captivating novel about the woman who chaperoned an irreverent Louise Brooks to New York City in the 1920s and the summer that would change them both. 

Only a few years before becoming a famous silent-film star and an icon of her generation, a fifteen-year-old Louise Brooks leaves Wichita, Kansas, to study with the prestigious Denishawn School of Dancing in New York. Much to her annoyance, she is accompanied by a thirty-six-year-old chaperone, who is neither mother nor friend. Cora Carlisle, a complicated but traditional woman with her own reasons for making the trip, has no idea what she's in for. Young Louise, already stunningly beautiful and sporting her famous black bob with blunt bangs, is known for her arrogance and her lack of respect for convention. Ultimately, the five weeks they spend together will transform their lives forever. 

For Cora, the city holds the promise of discovery that might answer the question at the core of her being, and even as she does her best to watch over Louise in this strange and bustling place she embarks on a mission of her own. And while what she finds isn't what she anticipated, she is liberated in a way she could not have imagined. Over the course of Cora's relationship with Louise, her eyes are opened to the promise of the twentieth century and a new understanding of the possibilities for being fully alive. 

Drawing on the rich history of the 1920s, '30s, and beyond--from the orphan trains to Prohibition, flappers, and the onset of the Great Depression to the burgeoning movement for equal rights and new opportunities for women--Laura Moriarty's The Chaperone illustrates how rapidly everything, from fashion and hemlines to values and attitudes, was changing at this time and what a vast difference it all made for Louise Brooks, Cora Carlisle, and others like them.

Gilead

Tuesday, September 8
6:00 pm at The Reader's Loft

Gilead

A Reader's Loft Book Group Discussion

The Reader's Loft Book Group is Always Open to the Public

Twenty-four years after her first novel, "Housekeeping," Marilynne Robinson returns with an intimate tale of three generations from the Civil War to the twentieth century: a story about fathers and sons and the spiritual battles that still rage at America's heart. Writing in the tradition of Emily Dickinson and Walt Whitman, Marilynne Robinson's beautiful, spare, and spiritual prose allows "even the faithless reader to feel the possibility of transcendent order" ("Slate"). In the luminous and unforgettable voice of Congregationalist minister John Ames, Gilead reveals the human condition and the often unbearable beauty of an ordinary life. "Gilead "is the winner of the 2005 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.

I Am Malala

Tuesday, October 13
6:00 pm at The Reader's Loft

I Am Malala

A Reader's Loft Book Group Discussion

The Reader's Loft Book Group is Always Open to the Public

A MEMOIR BY THE YOUNGEST RECIPIENT OF THE NOBEL PEACE PRIZE 

"I come from a country that was created at midnight. When I almost died it was just after midday." 

When the Taliban took control of the Swat Valley in Pakistan, one girl spoke out. Malala Yousafzai refused to be silenced and fought for her right to an education.
 
On Tuesday, October 9, 2012, when she was fifteen, she almost paid the ultimate price. She was shot in the head at point-blank range while riding the bus home from school, and few expected her to survive. 

Instead, Malala's miraculous recovery has taken her on an extraordinary journey from a remote valley in northern Pakistan to the halls of the United Nations in New York. At sixteen, she became a global symbol of peaceful protest and the youngest nominee ever for the Nobel Peace Prize. 

"I AM MALALA "is the remarkable tale of a family uprooted by global terrorism, of the fight for girls' education, of a father who, himself a school owner, championed and encouraged his daughter to write and attend school, and of brave parents who have a fierce love for their daughter in a society that prizes sons. 

"I AM MALALA "will make you believe in the power of one person's voice to inspire change in the world.

Having Our Say: The Delany Sisters

Not Open To Public
Wednesday, November 4

Having Our Say: The Delany Sisters

Publisher's comments:

Filled with humorous and poignant anecdotes, this New York Times bestselling dual memoir offers a rare glimpse into the birth of black freedom and the rise of the black middle class in America. Sadie and Bessie's lifelong insights provide readers with a priceless oral history of our nation's past century

Paris Architect

Tuesday, November 10
6:00 pm at The Reader's Loft

Paris Architect

 Reader's Loft Book Group Discussion

The Reader's Loft Book Group is Always Open to the Public

A gifted architect reluctantly begins a secret life devising ingenious hiding places for Jews in Nazi-occupied Paris
Like most gentiles in Nazi-occupied Paris, architect Lucien Bernard has little empathy for the Jews. So when a wealthy industrialist offers him a large sum of money to devise secret hiding places for Jews, Lucien struggles with the choice of risking his life for a cause he doesn't really believe in. Ultimately he can't resist the challenge and begins designing expertly concealed hiding spaces--behind a painting, within a column, or inside a drainpipe--detecting possibilities invisible to the average eye. But when one of his clever hiding spaces fails horribly and the immense suffering of Jews becomes incredibly personal, he can no longer deny reality.

Written by an expert whose knowledge imbues every page, this story becomes more gripping with every life the architect tries to save.

Shotgun Lovesongs

Wednesday, December 2
Shotgun Lovesongs

Publisher's comments:

Hank, Leland, Kip and Ronny were all born and raised in the same Wisconsin town--Little Wing--and are now coming into their own (or not) as husbands and fathers. One of them never left, still farming the family's land that's been tilled for generations. Others did leave, went farther afield to make good, with varying degrees of success; as a rock star, commodities trader, rodeo stud. And seamlessly woven into their patchwork is Beth, whose presence among them--both then and now--fuels the kind of passion one comes to expect of lovesongs and rivalries. 

Now all four are home, in hopes of finding what could be real purchase in the world. The result is a shared memory only half-recreated, riddled with culture clashes between people who desperately wish to see themselves as the unified tribe they remember, but are confronted with how things have, in fact, changed. There is conflict here between longtime buddies, between husbands and wives--told with writing that is, frankly, gut-wrenching, and even heartbreaking. But there is also hope, healing, and at times, even heroism. It is strong, American stuff, not at all afraid of showing that we can be good, too--not just fallible and compromising. 

Shotgun Lovesongs is a remarkable and uncompromising saga that explores the age-old question of whether or not you can ever truly come home again--and the kind of steely faith and love returning requires.

                             

 

 

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