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January Bookclub

  • Jan 21, 2014 · 6:30 PM
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This month's read

People of the Book

Geraldine Brooks

In 1996, Hanna Heath, an Australian rare-book expert, is offered the job of a lifetime: analysis and conservation of the famed Sarajevo Haggadah, which has been rescued from Serb shelling during the Bosnian war. Priceless and beautiful, the book is one of the earliest Jewish volumes ever to be illuminated with images. When Hanna, a caustic loner with a passion for her work, discovers a series of tiny artifacts in its ancient binding - an insect wing fragment, wine stains, salt crystals, a white hair - she begins to unlock the book's mysteries. The reader is ushered into an exquisitely detailed and atmospheric past, tracing the book's journey from its salvation back to its creation.

In Bosnia during World War II, a Muslim risks his life to protect it from the Nazis. In the hedonistic salons of fin-de-siècle Vienna, the book becomes a pawn in the struggle against the city's rising anti-Semitism. In inquisition-era Venice, a Catholic priest saves it from burning. In Barcelona in 1492, the scribe who wrote the text sees his family destroyed by the agonies of enforced exile. And in Seville in 1480, the reason for the Haggadah's extraordinary illuminations is finally disclosed. Hanna's investigation unexpectedly plunges her into the intrigues of fine art forgers and ultra-nationalist fanatics. Her experiences will test her belief in herself and the man she has come to love.

Inspired by a true story, People of the Book is at once a novel of sweeping historical grandeur and intimate emotional intensity, an ambitious, electrifying work by an acclaimed and beloved author.(



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  • Kathie

    Yes! Thank you, Alice, for stepping up and being our questioner. Looking forward to reading her book selection.

    January 23, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    I enjoyed it very much. Alice did a great job with the question.

    January 23, 2014

  • Casandra W.

    Great group of people

    January 21, 2014

  • Kristi

    Running late, but I'll be there...

    January 21, 2014

  • Dianne J.

    I was hoping I could leave my daughter and join you, but that is not going to happen. I apologize for the late cancellation, but I am such an optimist and I don't like to miss our great book discussions.

    January 21, 2014

  • Meg

    I won't be attending this month's meetup and I need to return one of the library books to Alice. Does anyone going to this month's meetup live or work in the Tampa area? I'm in downtown Tampa and I'd like to drop the book off so it can be returned. Thanks. :)

    January 20, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    I'm ecstatic a spot opened up for me! I thoroughly enjoyed the book and had also read Brooks' "March", not realizing it was the same author.
    I really enjoyed the last two meetings very much and am looking forward to the Gateway to India menu.
    See you all on Tuesday with bells on!

    January 19, 2014

  • Kathie

    Hi. I've read this before, but thought I would give this a quick once-thru so I can take part in the discussion. Anybody else out there reading it? :)

    January 7, 2014

    • Janice T.

      Just finished it and loved it.

      January 8, 2014

    • Kristi

      I'm about halfway through and really enjoying it.

      January 9, 2014

  • Tara C.

    I'm reading it and actually like it. Didn't think I would. Hope I can squeeze into the January meeting still.

    January 7, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    Hope I can make it, this month. School starts back for me in a week, but may have time read later this week :-)

    December 30, 2013

  • CherylAnn P.

    Alice has volunteered to be Grand Inquisitor

    December 8, 2013

  • TERRI B.

    will be having knee replacement surgery in January, So, I won;t be up to attending the meeting, But will be reading the book.

    November 21, 2013

  • Kathie

    The book for January has been selected: People of the Book, by Geraldine Brooks. Thanks to all who voted. :)

    November 3, 2013

17 went

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