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Hello friends! Looking to meet up with curious people ready to talk books? We offer two book clubs that meet in the evening September-May/June; two are monthly and one is quarterly. All are facilitated by a knowledgable leader, and none require a long-term commitment (but we bet you'll want to come back next time). Check them out here and contact the facilitator for any answers you need!

PPB Book Clubs

Awakening - Skinny Books April 5, 2023, 6:30PM

Awakening - Skinny Books April 5, 2023, 6:30PM

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First published in 1899, this beautiful, brief novel so disturbed critics and the public that it was banished for decades afterward. Now widely read and admired, "The Awakening" has been hailed as an early vision of woman's emancipation. This sensuous book tells of a woman's abandonment of her family, her seduction, and her awakening to desires and passions that threated to consumer her. Originally entitled "A Solitary Soul, " this portrait of twenty-eight-year-old Edna Pontellier is a landmark in American fiction, rooted firmly in the romantic tradition of Herman Melville and Emily Dickinson. Here, a woman in search of self-discovery turns away from convention and society, and toward the primal, from convention and society, and toward the primal, irresistibly attracted to nature and the senses "The Awakening," Kate Chopin's last novel, has been praised by Edmund Wilson as "beautifully written." And Willa Cather described its style as "exquisite, " "sensitive, " and "iridescent." This edition of "The Awakening" also includes a selection of short stories by Kate Chopin.

"This seems to me a higher order of feminism than repeating the story of woman as victim... Kate Chopin gives her female protagonist the central role, normally reserved for Man, in a meditation on identity and culture, consciousness and art." -- From the introduction by Marilynne Robinson.

Brood: Skinny Books May 3, 2023, 6:30PM

Brood: Skinny Books May 3, 2023, 6:30PM

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An exquisite new literary voice--wryly funny, nakedly honest, beautifully observational, in the vein of Jenny Offill and Elizabeth Strout--depicts one woman's attempt to keep her four chickens alive while reflecting on a recent loss.

"Full of nuance and humor and strangeness...[Polzin] writes beautifully about everything." --The New York Times


Over the course of a single year, our nameless narrator heroically tries to keep her small brood of four chickens alive despite the seemingly endless challenges that caring for other creatures entails. From the forty-below nights of a brutal Minnesota winter to a sweltering summer which brings a surprise tornado, she battles predators, bad luck, and the uncertainty of a future that may not look anything like the one she always imagined.

Intimate and startlingly original, this slender novel is filled with wisdom, sorrow, and joy. As the year unfolds, we come to know the small band of loved ones who comprise the narrator's circumscribed life at this moment. Her mother, a flinty former home ec teacher who may have to take over the chickens; her best friend, a real estate agent with a burgeoning family of her own; and her husband, whose own coping mechanisms for dealing with the miscarriage that haunts his wife are more than a little unfathomable to her.

A stunning and brilliantly insightful meditation on life and longing that will stand beside such modern classics as H Is for Hawk and Gilead, Brood rewards its readers with the richness of reflection and unrelenting hope.

Burning: Pageturners November 29, 2022, 7PM

Burning: Pageturners November 29, 2022, 7PM

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NATIONAL BESTSELLER - A READ WITH JENNA BOOK CLUB PICK! - A gripping thriller with compassionate social commentary (USA Today) about three unforgettable characters who seek to rise--to the middle class, to political power, to fame in the movies--and find their lives entangled in the wake of a catastrophe in contemporary India.

Jivan is a Muslim girl from the slums, determined to move up in life, who is accused of executing a terrorist attack on a train because of a careless comment on Facebook. PT Sir is an opportunistic gym teacher who hitches his aspirations to a right-wing political party and finds that his own ascent becomes linked to Jivan's fall. Lovely--an irresistible outcast whose exuberant voice and dreams of glory fill the novel with warmth and hope and humor--has the alibi that can set Jivan free, but it will cost her everything she holds dear.

Taut, symphonic, propulsive, and riveting from its opening lines, A Burning is an electrifying debut.

Emergency: A Year of Healing and Heartbreak in a Chicago ER - Pageturners May 30, 2023, 7PM

Emergency: A Year of Healing and Heartbreak in a Chicago ER - Pageturners May 30, 2023, 7PM

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The riveting, pulse-pounding story of a year in the life of an emergency room doctor trying to steer his patients and colleagues through a crushing pandemic and a violent summer, amidst a healthcare system that seems determined to leave them behind

ONE OF NEWSWEEK'S MOST ANTICIPATED BOOKS OF 2022

As an emergency room doctor working on the rapid evaluation unit, Dr. Thomas Fisher has about three minutes to spend with the patients who come into the South Side of Chicago ward where he works before directing them to the next stage of their care. Bleeding: three minutes. Untreated wound that becomes life-threatening: three minutes. Kidney failure: three minutes. He examines his patients inside and out, touches their bodies, comforts and consoles them, and holds their hands on what is often the worst day of their lives. Like them, he grew up on the South Side; this is his community and he grinds day in and day out to heal them.

Through twenty years of clinical practice, time as a White House fellow, and work as a healthcare entrepreneur, Dr. Fisher has seen firsthand how our country's healthcare system can reflect the worst of society: treating the poor as expendable in order to provide top-notch care to a few. In The Emergency, Fisher brings us through his shift, as he works with limited time and resources to treat incoming patients. And when he goes home, he remains haunted by what he sees throughout his day. The brutal wait times, the disconnect between hospital executives and policymakers and the people they're supposed to serve, and the inaccessible solutions that could help his patients. To cope with the relentless onslaught exacerbated by the pandemic, Fisher begins writing letters to patients and colleagues--letters he will never send--explaining it all to them as best he can.

As fast-paced as an ER shift, The Emergency has all the elements that make doctors' stories so compelling--the high stakes, the fascinating science and practice of medicine, the deep and fraught interactions between patients and doctors, the persistent contemplation of mortality. And, with the rare dual perspective of somebody who also has his hands deep in policy work, Fisher connects these human stories to the sometimes-cruel machinery of care. Beautifully written, vulnerable and deeply empathetic, The Emergency is a call for reform that offers a fresh vision of health care as a foundation of social justice.

Good Earth (Reissue): Pageturners September 27, 2022, 7PM

Good Earth (Reissue): Pageturners September 27, 2022, 7PM

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The timeless Pulitzer Prize-winning masterpiece following a humble farmer's journey through 1920s China returns with this beautifully repackaged edition that celebrates its nearly ninety years as an American classic.

Travel to 1920s China, a time when the last emperor still ruled and the sweeping changes of the twentieth century were distant rumblings, with this timeless, evocative classic tale of the honest farmer Wang Lung and his family as they struggle to survive in the midst of vast political and social upheavals.

Nobel Prize and Pulitzer Prize winner Pearl S. Buck traces the whole cycle of life: its terrors, its passions, its ambitions, and rewards. "A comment upon the meaning and tragedy of life as it is lived in any age in any quarter of the globe" (The New York Times), this brilliant novel--beloved by millions--is a universal tale of an ordinary family caught in the tide of history.

Infinite Country: Skinny Books November 2, 2022, 6:30PM

Infinite Country: Skinny Books November 2, 2022, 6:30PM

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A REESE'S BOOK CLUB PICK and INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

WINNER OF THE 2021 NEW AMERICAN VOICES AWARD, LONGLISTED FOR THE 2022 ANDREW CARNEGIE MEDAL, AND A NATIONAL ENDOWMENT OF THE ARTS "BIG READS" SELECTION

"A profound, beautiful novel." --People * "Poignant." --BuzzFeed * "A breathtaking story of the unimaginable prices paid for a better life." --Esquire

This "heartbreaking portrait of a family dealing with the realities of migration and separation" (Time) is "a sweeping love story and tragic drama [and] an authentic vision of what the American Dream looks like in a nationalistic country" (Elle).

I often wonder if we are living the wrong life in the wrong country.

Talia is being held at a correctional facility for adolescent girls in the forested mountains of Colombia after committing an impulsive act of violence that may or may not have been warranted. She urgently needs to get out and get back home to Bogotá, where her father and a plane ticket to the United States are waiting for her. If she misses her flight, she might also miss her chance to finally be reunited with her family.

How this family came to occupy two different countries, two different worlds, comes into focus like twists of a kaleidoscope. We see Talia's parents, Mauro and Elena, fall in love in a market stall as teenagers against a backdrop of civil war and social unrest. We see them leave Bogotá with their firstborn, Karina, in pursuit of safety and opportunity in the United States on a temporary visa, and we see the births of two more children, Nando and Talia, on American soil. We witness the decisions and indecisions that lead to Mauro's deportation and the family's splintering--the costs they've all been living with ever since.

Award-winning, internationally acclaimed author Patricia Engel, herself a dual citizen and the daughter of Colombian immigrants, gives voice to all five family members as they navigate the particulars of their respective circumstances. Rich with Bogotá urban life, steeped in Andean myth, and tense with the daily reality of the undocumented in America, Infinite Country "is as much an all-American story as it is a global one" (Booklist, starred review).

Intimacies: Skinny Books June 7, 2023, 6:30PM

Intimacies: Skinny Books June 7, 2023, 6:30PM

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A NEW YORK TIMES TOP 10 BOOK OF 2021

LONGLISTED FOR THE 2021 NATIONAL BOOK AWARD IN FICTION

ONE OF BARACK OBAMA'S FAVORITE 2021 READS

AN INSTANT NATIONAL BESTSELLER

A BEST BOOK OF 2021 FROM Washington Post, Vogue, Time, Oprah Daily, New York Times, Los Angeles Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Atlantic, Kirkus and Entertainment Weekly

"Intimacies is a haunting, precise, and morally astute novel that reads like a psychological thriller.... Katie Kitamura is a wonder." --Dana Spiotta, author of Wayward and Eat the Document

"One of the best novels I've read in 2021." - Dwight Garner, The New York Times

A novel from the author of A Separation, an electrifying story about a woman caught between many truths.

An interpreter has come to The Hague to escape New York and work at the International Court. A woman of many languages and identities, she is looking for a place to finally call home.

She's drawn into simmering personal dramas: her lover, Adriaan, is separated from his wife but still entangled in his marriage. Her friend Jana witnesses a seemingly random act of violence, a crime the interpreter becomes increasingly obsessed with as she befriends the victim's sister. And she's pulled into an explosive political controversy when she's asked to interpret for a former president accused of war crimes.

A woman of quiet passion, she confronts power, love, and violence, both in her personal intimacies and in her work at the Court. She is soon pushed to the precipice, where betrayal and heartbreak threaten to overwhelm her, forcing her to decide what she wants from her life.

Libertie: Pageturners February 28, 2023, 7PM

Libertie: Pageturners February 28, 2023, 7PM

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A New York Times 100 Notable Books of 2021 and Best Historical Fiction Pick
A Best Book of the Year: Washington Post, TIME, Los Angeles Times, and Christian Science Monitor

"A stunning look at what freedom really means." --The New York Times

Coming of age in a free Black community in Reconstruction-era Brooklyn, Libertie Sampson is all too aware that her mother, a physician, has a vision for their future together: Libertie is to go to medical school and practice alongside her. But Libertie is hungry for something else--is there really only one way to be independent? And she is constantly reminded that, unlike her light-skinned mother, she will not be able to pass for white. When a young man from Haiti proposes to Libertie and promises a better life on the island, she accepts, only to discover that she is still subordinate to him and all men. As she tries to parse what freedom actually means for a Black woman, Libertie struggles with where she might find it--for herself and for generations to come.

Inspired by the life of one of the first Black female doctors in the United States, critically acclaimed and Whiting Award-winning author Kaitlyn Greenidge returns with an unforgettable and immersive novel that will resonate with readers eager to understand our present through a deep, moving, and lyrical dive into our past.

Love & Saffron: A Novel of Friendship, Food, and Love - Skinny Books March 1, 2023, 6:30PM

Love & Saffron: A Novel of Friendship, Food, and Love - Skinny Books March 1, 2023, 6:30PM

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The Instant National Bestseller and #1 Indie Next Pick

In the vein of the classic 84, Charing Cross Road, this witty and tender novel follows two women in 1960s America as they discover that food really does connect us all, and that friendship and laughter are the best medicine.

When twenty-seven-year-old Joan Bergstrom sends a fan letter--as well as a gift of saffron--to fifty-nine-year-old Imogen Fortier, a life-changing friendship begins. Joan lives in Los Angeles and is just starting out as a writer for the newspaper food pages. Imogen lives on Camano Island outside Seattle, writing a monthly column for a Pacific Northwest magazine, and while she can hunt elk and dig for clams, she's never tasted fresh garlic--exotic fare in the Northwest of the sixties. As the two women commune through their letters, they build a closeness that sustains them through the Cuban Missile Crisis, the assassination of President Kennedy, and the unexpected in their own lives.

Food and a good life--they can't be separated. It is a discovery the women share, not only with each other, but with the men in their lives. Because of her correspondence with Joan, Imogen's decades-long marriage blossoms into something new and exciting, and in turn, Joan learns that true love does not always come in the form we expect it to. Into this beautiful, intimate world comes the ultimate test of Joan and Imogen's friendship--a test that summons their unconditional trust in each other.

A brief respite from our chaotic world, Love & Saffron is a gem of a novel, a reminder that food and friendship are the antidote to most any heartache, and that human connection will always be worth creating.

Mad Woman's Ball: Skinny Books October 5, 2022 6:30PM

Mad Woman's Ball: Skinny Books October 5, 2022 6:30PM

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Soon to be a major film from Amazon Studios, the prizewinning French bestseller

"In this darkly delightful Gothic treasure, Mas explores grief, trauma, and sisterhood behind the walls of Paris's infamous Salpêtrière hospital."

--Paula Hawkins, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Girl on the Train


The Salpetriere Asylum: Paris, 1885. Dr. Charcot holds all of Paris in thrall with his displays of hypnotism on women who have been deemed mad and cast out from society. But the truth is much more complicated--these women are often simply inconvenient, unwanted wives, those who have lost something precious, wayward daughters, or girls born from adulterous relationships. For Parisian society, the highlight of the year is the Lenten ball--the Madwomen's Ball--when the great and good come to gawk at the patients of the Salpetriere dressed up in their finery for one night only. For the women themselves, it is a rare moment of hope.

Genevieve is a senior nurse. After the childhood death of her sister Blandine, she shunned religion and placed her faith in both the celebrated psychiatrist Dr. Charcot and science. But everything begins to change when she meets Eugenie, the 19-year-old daughter of a bourgeois family that has locked her away in the asylum. Because Eugenie has a secret: she sees spirits. Inspired by the scandalous, banned work that all of Paris is talking about, The Book of Spirits, Eugenie is determined to escape from the asylum--and the bonds of her gender--and seek out those who will believe in her. And for that she will need Genevieve's help . . .

Night Watchman: Pageturners January 31, 2023, 7PM

Night Watchman: Pageturners January 31, 2023, 7PM

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WINNER OF THE 2021 PULITZER PRIZE FOR FICTION

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

WASHINGTON POST, AMAZON, NPR, CBS SUNDAY MORNING, KIRKUS, CHICAGO PUBLIC LIBRARY, AND GOOD HOUSEKEEPING BEST BOOK OF 2020

Based on the extraordinary life of National Book Award-winning author Louise Erdrich's grandfather who worked as a night watchman and carried the fight against Native dispossession from rural North Dakota all the way to Washington, D.C., this powerful novel explores themes of love and death with lightness and gravity and unfolds with the elegant prose, sly humor, and depth of feeling of a master craftsman.

Thomas Wazhashk is the night watchman at the jewel bearing plant, the first factory located near the Turtle Mountain Reservation in rural North Dakota. He is also a Chippewa Council member who is trying to understand the consequences of a new "emancipation" bill on its way to the floor of the United States Congress. It is 1953 and he and the other council members know the bill isn't about freedom; Congress is fed up with Indians. The bill is a "termination" that threatens the rights of Native Americans to their land and their very identity. How can the government abandon treaties made in good faith with Native Americans "for as long as the grasses shall grow, and the rivers run"?

Since graduating high school, Pixie Paranteau has insisted that everyone call her Patrice. Unlike most of the girls on the reservation, Patrice, the class valedictorian, has no desire to wear herself down with a husband and kids. She makes jewel bearings at the plant, a job that barely pays her enough to support her mother and brother. Patrice's shameful alcoholic father returns home sporadically to terrorize his wife and children and bully her for money. But Patrice needs every penny to follow her beloved older sister, Vera, who moved to the big city of Minneapolis. Vera may have disappeared; she hasn't been in touch in months, and is rumored to have had a baby. Determined to find Vera and her child, Patrice makes a fateful trip to Minnesota that introduces her to unexpected forms of exploitation and violence, and endangers her life.

Thomas and Patrice live in this impoverished reservation community along with young Chippewa boxer Wood Mountain and his mother Juggie Blue, her niece and Patrice's best friend Valentine, and Stack Barnes, the white high school math teacher and boxing coach who is hopelessly in love with Patrice.

In the Night Watchman, Louise Erdrich creates a fictional world populated with memorable characters who are forced to grapple with the worst and best impulses of human nature. Illuminating the loves and lives, the desires and ambitions of these characters with compassion, wit, and intelligence, The Night Watchman is a majestic work of fiction from this revered cultural treasure.

School for Good Mothers: Pageturners April 25, 2023, 7PM

School for Good Mothers: Pageturners April 25, 2023, 7PM

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An Instant New York Times Bestseller

A Read with Jenna Today Show Book Club Pick

In this taut and explosive debut novel, one lapse in judgement lands a young mother in a government reform program where custody of her child hangs in the balance.

Frida Liu is struggling. She doesn't have a career worthy of her Chinese immigrant parents' sacrifices. She can't persuade her husband, Gust, to give up his wellness-obsessed younger mistress. Only with Harriet, their cherubic daughter, does Frida finally attain the perfection expected of her. Harriet may be all she has, but she is just enough.

Until Frida has a very bad day.

The state has its eyes on mothers like Frida. The ones who check their phones, letting their children get injured on the playground; who let their children walk home alone. Because of one moment of poor judgment, a host of government officials will now determine if Frida is a candidate for a Big Brother-like institution that measures the success or failure of a mother's devotion.

Faced with the possibility of losing Harriet, Frida must prove that a bad mother can be redeemed. That she can learn to be good.

A searing page-turner that is also a transgressive novel of ideas about the perils of "perfect" upper-middle class parenting; the violence enacted upon women by both the state and, at times, one another; the systems that separate families; and the boundlessness of love, The School for Good Mothers introduces, in Frida, an everywoman for the ages. Using dark wit to explore the pains and joys of the deepest ties that bind us, Chan has written a modern literary classic.