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I'm sad and in shock about the fire damage done to Notre Dame Cathedral today. I've never read The Hunchback of Notre Dame (originally titled Notre Dame de Paris). Victor Hugo wrote it as a deliberate attempt to save the cathedral itself, which was dilapidated at the time and in danger of being torn down entirely. The character of Quasimodo was written as a metaphor for the cathedral. So I'm going to read the book. I'm making a meetup of it, in case anyone else would like to share the journey with me. I may have to reschedule it out by a month myself. If anyone is interested in such a book club meetup, but needs a different day, time, week, or month, I'm wide open to rescheduling for others' convenience, as well. Please do contact me if you have any interest.
This book is alternative history - fiction placed in a historical setting. Winner of the Pulitzer Prize Winner of the National Book Award Winner of the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction Longlisted for the Man Booker Prize One of the Best books of the Year: The New York Times, The Washington Post, NPR, The Boston Globe, The Seattle Times, HuffPost, Esquire, Minneapolis Star Tribune Cora is a slave on a cotton plantation in Georgia. Life is hellish for all the slaves but especially bad for Cora; an outcast even among her fellow Africans, she is coming into womanhood—where even greater pain awaits. When Caesar, a recent arrival from Virginia, tells her about the Underground Railroad, they decide to take a terrifying risk and escape. Matters do not go as planned and, though they manage to find a station and head north, they are being hunted. In Whitehead's ingenious conception, the Underground Railroad is no mere metaphor—engineers and conductors operate a secret network of tracks and tunnels beneath the Southern soil. Cora and Caesar's first stop is South Carolina, in a city that initially seems like a haven—but the city's placid surface masks an insidious scheme designed for its black denizens. Even worse: Ridgeway, the relentless slave catcher, is close on their heels. Forced to flee again, Cora embarks on a harrowing flight, state by state, seeking true freedom. As Whitehead brilliantly re-creates the unique terrors for black people in the pre-Civil War era, his narrative seamlessly weaves the saga of America from the brutal importation of Africans to the unfulfilled promises of the present day. The Underground Railroad is at once a kinetic adventure tale of one woman's ferocious will to escape the horrors of bondage and a shattering, powerful meditation on the history we all share.
We liked Victoria Aveyard's Red Queen, and since we found it a fairly quick read, we're attempting to complete two books for next month: books 2 and 3 in the Red Queen series, Glass Sword and King's Cage. GLASS SWORD The electrifying next installment in the Red Queen series escalates the struggle between the growing rebel army and the blood-segregated world they've always known—and pits Mare against the darkness that has grown in her soul. Mare Barrow's blood is red—the color of common folk—but her Silver ability, the power to control lightning, has turned her into a weapon that the royal court tries to control. The crown calls her an impossibility, a fake, but as she makes her escape from Maven, the prince—the friend—who betrayed her, Mare uncovers something startling: she is not the only one of her kind. Pursued by Maven, now a vindictive king, Mare sets out to find and recruit other Red-and-Silver fighters to join in the struggle against her oppressors. But Mare finds herself on a deadly path, at risk of becoming exactly the kind of monster she is trying to defeat.Will she shatter under the weight of the lives that are the cost of rebellion? Or have treachery and betrayal hardened her forever? KING'S CAGE In this breathless third installment to Victoria Aveyard's bestselling Red Queen series, allegiances are tested on every side. And when the lightning girl's spark is gone, who will light the way for the rebellion? Mare Barrow is a prisoner, powerless without her lightning, tormented by her lethal mistakes. She lives at the mercy of a boy she once loved, a boy made of lies and betrayal. Now a king, Maven Calore continues weaving his dead mother's web in an attempt to maintain control over his country—and his prisoner. As Mare bears the weight of Silent Stone in the palace, her once-ragtag band of newbloods and Reds continues organizing, training, and expanding. They prepare for war, no longer able to linger in the shadows. And Cal, the exiled prince with his own claim on Mare's heart, will stop at nothing to bring her back. When blood turns on blood, and ability on ability, there may be no one left to put out the fire—leaving Norta as Mare knows it to burn all the way down. ********** I'll be reserving a room at the Dover Public Library. The reservation will be from 2 PM to 4 PM. I read through their policies, and here are the bits that seem pertinent to us: *Programs may not disrupt the use of the Library by others. Attendees must enter and exit the building in a quiet, orderly manner. Children may not be left alone in the Library while a parent attends a meeting. Persons attending the meetings are subject to all Library rules and regulations. *Library facilities must be left in a clean and orderly condition. *Refreshments may be prepared in the kitchenette, but clean-up, immediately following the meeting, is required. Users must pay for repair of any damages or any extra clean up costs incurred. The Library will not be responsible for materials or equipment left in the building by users. *The Library reserves the right to revoke meeting room privileges at any time. *Permission to use Library facilities does not constitute an endorsement by the Library staff or its Board of Trustees of the users or their beliefs. Plus this: “Meet Green” @ the Library! Groups are requested to abide by these eco-friendly room rules: *Be paperless: make handouts available on a website, or use both sides of post-consumer recycled paper if handouts are required. *Use refillable water bottles instead of plastic water bottles. *Use recyclable materials when serving food/drink and save packaging by using bulk containers, not single-serving packets. *Use appropriate recycling containers (provided). *Turn off all lights and equipment used at the end of the meeting. It looks like food options are a little broader at the Dover Library, if we'd like to coordinate a pot-luck-y kind of thing. Or bring take out individually, perhaps.