GLEASON PUBLIC LIBRARY

22 Bedford Road
Carlisle, MA 01741

phone: 978-369-4898
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ABOUT THE LIBRARY

CARLISLE READS

voting logo with cover images

What if all of Carlisle read and discussed one book? A committee of readers has narrowed down your suggestions to four options, and we need your help NOW to choose what Carlisle will read in January 2015. If you have suggestions for future titles or programs, or if you'd be interested in helping to plan Carlisle Reads, please email Martha at mpatten@mvlc.org or ask at the Library any time.

Carlisle Reads is sponsored by the Friends of the Gleason Public Library. Would you like to receive updates on library events? Click here to subscribe to our monthly enewsletter.

2015 PICK

Life after Life cover

The votes are in, and the Carlisle Reads title for January 2015 will be Life After Life by Kate Atkinson.

LIFE AFTER LIFE BY KATE ATKINSON
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.....is a clever, deeply humane, experimentally constructed gem of a novel that asks the reader to believe in the possibility of second chances and open their minds to both what could be and what might have been. Richly layered and spanning the two World Wars, its heroine, Ursula Todd, is born again and again and leads many varied lives; some are of more historical significance than others but all are peopled with richly drawn secondary characters. Each life (and death) is a masterfully drawn time capsule as Europe marches irrevocably towards its destiny and Ursula faces the question of whether if you could change history, would you?

Atkinson won the the Whitbread Book of the Year Award for her first novel, Behind the Scenes at the Museum in 1995 and is the author of the best selling Jackson Brodie series of novels beginning with Case Studies .

Community programming might include any number of events around WW1 and WW2, such as the Blitz, this being especially apt as this is the 100th anniversary if the beginning of WW1 and the 70th anniversary of D-Day. We could also consider the themes of fate and déjà vu, the family saga as biography, and the concept of second chances in life - our own and those of well known people.

-Susannah Vazehgoo

If you have suggestions for future titles or programs, or if you'd be interested in helping to plan Carlisle Reads, please email Martha at mpatten@mvlc.org or ask at the Library any time.

EVENTS PROGRAM

  • Thursday 1/8, 7pm: Movie: The Blitz: London’s Longest Night
  • Saturday 1/10, 1:30pm: Movie: Groundhog Day
  • Monday 1/12, 10:15am: Life After Life Book Discussion
  • Tuesday 1/20, 7pm: Life After Life Book Discussion
  • Wednesday 1/21, 7pm (snow date 1/28): German Strategy in WWII—Attack England? With Elliot Lilien
  • Saturday 1/24, 7pm: Life After Hours
  • Tuesday 1/27, 10:30am: WWII Poems
  • Tuesday 1/27, 7pm: Discussion: Time Travel in Literature
  • Wednesday 2/4, 7pm: Wrap-up discussion

Thursday 1/8, 7pm: Movie: The Blitz: London’s Longest Night
The story of the war's most concentrated aerial attack on London in 1941 and how the city nearly perished under the German barrage. Featuring harrowing first-hand accounts from survivors of the attack and dramatic recreations of events based on newly declassified information, this film brings to life the story of one night that nearly changed the course of history. Had Hitler trusted the intelligence on the amount of damage to the city and continued his attack, London would have crumbled under the sustained barrage.

Runtime 90 minutes; not rated.

Saturday 1/10, 1:30pm: Movie: Groundhog Day
Bring the family for a movie that puts a lighthearted twist on the theme of reliving one's life. We'll be showing a romantic comedy about a weatherman caught in a personal time warp where it is Groundhog Day again, and again, and again.

Runtime 101 minutes; rated PG.

Monday 1/12, 10:15am, and Tuesday 1/20, 7pm: Book Discussions
Life After Life is a clever, deeply humane, experimentally constructed gem of a novel that asks readers to believe in the possibility of second chances and open their minds to both what could be and what might have been. Richly layered and spanning the two World Wars, its heroine, Ursula Todd, is born again and again and leads many varied lives; some are of more historical significance than others but all are peopled with richly drawn secondary characters. Each life (and death) is a masterfully drawn time capsule as Europe marches irrevocably towards its destiny and Ursula faces the question of whether if you could change history, would you?

Join us for two discussions of the book to share your thoughts and perspectives on the novel with friends, neighbors, and fellow readers.

Wednesday 1/21, 7pm: German Strategy in WWII—Attack England? With Elliot Lilien
Click here or call the library to register, as space is limited.
On the brink of WWII, Germany aims to build a continental empire embracing all Europe with the goal of becoming a major world power. But England stands in the way. Should the German forces lead an offensive against England? If so, how? Join us as Dr. Elliot Lilien presents an in-depth look at Germany’s strategy against England during WWII.

Dr. Elliott Lilien taught at Concord Carlisle High School from 1965 to 2000. He holds degrees from the University of Chicago, Columbia Law School, and Harvard University.

Saturday 1/24, 7pm: Life After Hours
Tickets $20; supporting membership $75; on sale December 15 at the Library
Take your own trip through the 1920s, 1930s, and 1940s, as the library becomes a time machine. Enjoy cocktails, snacks, and activities of the time, from dancing to parlor games to motion pictures, as well as trivia about Carlisle and England during each decade. Period or festive attire encouraged.

Tuesday 1/27, 10:30am: WWII Poems
Dip or dive into the pleasures of poetry. This informal course, led by Mary Zoll, will include poetry readings and reactions, discussions of the patterns and techniques used in the poems, and perhaps some intellectual understanding of the poems. Mary Zoll has published a few poems and read a multitude of poems. In fitting with the setting of Life After Life, January’s class will discuss poems of World War II.

Tuesday 1/27, 7pm: Time Travel in Literature
What’s the history of time travel in fiction, and why is it so compelling today? Is all time travel science fiction, and how is it used as a trope by writers of other genres? And just what are the consequences of disturbing the space-time continuum? Come discuss these questions and recommend your favorite examples, from H.G. Wells to Outlander and everything in between.

Wednesday 2/4, 7pm: Wrap-up discussion
This year’s Carlisle Reads title was our first fiction selection. What worked for you about this year’s program, and what didn’t? What types of events would you have liked to see? Have comments on the book that didn’t make it into our discussions? Come by the library for an informal discussion of this and future Carlisle Reads programs. We’ll also discuss how the planning process works and how you can share your book suggestions and more.

CARLISLE READS

American Nations dinner
Last year's American Nations dinner

PRESS FOR 2014'S TITLE

Winner of the 2012 Maine Literary Award for Non-fiction

"[C]ompelling and informative." — The Washington Post

"[American Nations] sets itself apart by delving deep into history to trace our current divides to ethno-cultural differences that emerged during the country’s earliest settlement." — The New Republic, Editors’ Picks: Best Books of 2011

"Fascinating...Engrossing...In the end...[American Nations] is a smart read that feels particularly timely now, when so many would claim a mythically unified ’founding Fathers’ as their political ancestors." — The Boston Globe

"In American Nations, [Colin Woodard] persuasively reshapes our understanding of how the American political entity came to be...[A] fascinating new take on history." — The Christian Science Monitor

RELATED READING

Click here for further reading suggestions, including Mr. Woodard’s other works, and other titles related to the history of American regional cultures and related topics.

PAST READS

Past community reads have included:

  • 2014: American Nations: A History of the Eleven Rival Regional Cultures of North America, by Colin Woodard
  • 2013: The River of Doubt: Theodore Roosevelt’s Darkest Journey, by Candice Millard
  • 2012: The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, by Rebecca Skloot
  • 2011: Zeitoun, by Dave Eggers
  • 2010: The Nine: Inside the Secret World of the Supreme Court, by Jeffrey Toobin
  • 2009: The Post-American World, by Fareed Zakaria

The One City, One Book concept began in Seattle in 1998, when librarian Nancy Pearl asked what would happen if the whole city read the same book. The idea caught on nationwide and has become popular in the Boston area as a way to promote reading, build community, and provoke discussion. Carlisle’s program was established in 2009.