What we're about

The Libation and Literature Book Club has been a very successful meet up with consistent meetups each month for nearly two years. The group caters towards the realization of the fine balance of socialization and substantive discussion. The core focus of the group is to expose members to a variety of authors both well-known, and not as well-known that share the common attribute of great writing, and meaningful story-telling. With that said, this is not a beach book group, and we will avoid the tendency of some groups to over intellectualize certain subject matter, which tends to come off as pseudo-intellectual and pedantic. Instead we will embrace the subject matter in the tradition of great authors like Orwell, Hemingway and Tom Wolfe have; the latent subject matter may be historical/political, but the beauty of the prose is never sacrificed to achieve these peripheral themes. Additionally, the books are pre-selected well in advance to avoid the trap of scurrying to find consensus of what to read the following month, which rarely pleases anyone.

My own background is that of a historian and a lawyer, which obviously influences some of my preferences, but above all else, I'm choosing books that contain a number of themes, and appeal to a broad spectrum of readers. That way discussing them from various viewpoints can reveal more nuance and will make the experience more engaging. Last, I'm fairly new to the area and want to create an environment conducive to meeting new and interesting people. If you would like to join, please email me to tell me about yourself and some of your favorite books. The group has been meeting in Fort Lauderdale, but starting in 2014 we will meet in Miami. Many of the members from the Fort Lauderdale group will track down to Miami because they feel a special kinship with the group. We look forward to meeting all our new members.

Upcoming events (2)

Discuss “Klara and the Sun” by Kazuo Ishiguro

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Here is the story of Klara, an Artificial Friend with outstanding observational qualities, who, from her place in the store, watches carefully the behavior of those who come in to browse, and of those who pass on the street outside. She remains hopeful that a customer will soon choose her. Klara and the Sun is a thrilling book that offers a look at our changing world through the eyes of an unforgettable narrator, and one that explores the fundamental question: what does it mean to love?
Amazon.com Review

When he was awarded the 2017 Nobel Prize, the committee noted how Ishiguro “uncovered the abyss beneath our illusory sense of connection with the world.” In this beautiful novel, Ishiguro presents an “Artificial Friend,” a robot girl with artificial intelligence designed as a playmate for real children. It is a simultaneously heartbreaking and heart-mending story about the abyss we may never cross.

Discuss “The Forgotten Man” by Amity Shales

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It's difficult today to imagine how America survived the Great Depression. Only through the stories of the common people who struggled during that era can we really understand how the nation endured. These are the people at the heart of Amity Shlaes's insightful and inspiring history of one of the most crucial events of the twentieth century.

In The Forgotten Man, Amity Shlaes, one of the nation's most respected economic commentators, offers a striking reinterpretation of the Great Depression. Rejecting the old emphasis on the New Deal, she turns to the neglected and moving stories of individual Americans, and shows how through brave leadership they helped establish the steadfast character we developed as a nation. Some of those figures were well known, at least in their day—Andrew Mellon, the Greenspan of the era; Sam Insull of Chicago, hounded as a scapegoat. But there were also unknowns: the Schechters, a family of butchers in Brooklyn who dealt a stunning blow to the New Deal; Bill W., who founded Alcoholics Anonymous in the name of showing that small communities could help themselves; and Father Divine, a black charismatic who steered his thousands of followers through the Depression by preaching a Gospel of Plenty.

Shlaes also traces the mounting agony of the New Dealers themselves as they discovered their errors. She shows how both Presidents Hoover and Roosevelt failed to understand the prosperity of the 1920s and heaped massive burdens on the country that more than offset the benefit of New Deal programs. The real question about the Depression, she argues, is not whether Roosevelt ended it with World War II. It is why the Depression lasted so long. From 1929 to 1940, federal intervention helped to make the Depression great—in part by forgetting the men and women who sought to help one another.

Authoritative, original, and utterly engrossing, The Forgotten Man offers an entirely new look at one of the most important periods in our history. Only when we know this history can we understand the strength of American character today.

Past events (91)

Discuss “A Thousand Splendid Suns” Khaled Hosseini

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