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VB Reads...Afternoon Book Chat

Join Sittrea in the Readings Gallery on the second Wednesday of each month at 1:00pm for an OPEN Book Chat. Authors DO NOT attend. Bring a latte and enjoy! Everyone welcome.

Wednesday, June 12, 1:00pm

When the Emperor Was Divine by Julie Otsuka

In this lean and devastatingly evocative first novel, Julie Otsuka tells their story from five flawlessly realized points of view and conveys the exact emotional texture of their experience: the thin-walled barracks and barbed-wire fences, the omnipresent fear and loneliness, the unheralded feats of heroism. When the Emperor Was Divine is a work of enormous power that makes a shameful episode of our history as immediate as today's headlines.

When the Emperor Was Divine Cover Image
$13.95
ISBN: 9780385721813
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Anchor - October 14th, 2003

Wednesday, July 10, 1:00pm

Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End by Atul Gawande

In his bestselling books, Atul Gawande, a practicing surgeon, has fearlessly revealed the struggles of his profession. Now he examines its ultimate limitations and failures-in his own practices as well as others'-as life draws to a close. Riveting, honest, and humane, Being Mortal shows how the ultimate goal is not a good death but a good life-all the way to the very end.

Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9781250076229
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Picador - September 5th, 2017

Wednesday, August 14, 1:00pm

A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles

In 1922, Count Alexander Rostov is deemed an unrepentant aristocrat by a Bolshevik tribunal, and is sentenced to house arrest in the Metropol, a grand hotel across the street from the Kremlin. Rostov, an indomitable man of erudition and wit, has never worked a day in his life, and must now live in an attic room while some of the most tumultuous decades in Russian history are unfolding outside the hotel's doors. Unexpectedly, his reduced circumstances provide him entry into a much larger world of emotional discovery.

A Gentleman in Moscow: A Novel Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9780670026197
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Viking - September 6th, 2016

Wednesday, September 11, 1:00pm

The Alice Network: A Novel by Kate Quinn

1947. In the chaotic aftermath of World War II, American college girl Charlie St. Clair is pregnant, unmarried, and on the verge of being thrown out of her very proper family. She's also nursing a desperate hope that her beloved cousin Rose, who disappeared in Nazi-occupied France during the war, might still be alive. So when Charlie's parents banish her to Europe to have her "little problem" taken care of, Charlie breaks free and heads to London, determined to find out what happened to the cousin she loves like a sister.

1915. A year into the Great War, Eve Gardiner burns to join the fight against the Germans and unexpectedly gets her chance when she's recruited to work as a spy. Sent into enemy-occupied France, she's trained by the mesmerizing Lili, the "Queen of Spies", who manages a vast network of secret agents right under the enemy's nose.

Thirty years later, haunted by the betrayal that ultimately tore apart the Alice Network, Eve spends her days drunk and secluded in her crumbling London house. Until a young American barges in uttering a name Eve hasn't heard in decades, and launches them both on a mission to find the truth...no matter where it leads.

The Alice Network: A Novel Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780062654199
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: William Morrow Paperbacks - June 6th, 2017

Wednesday, October 9, 1:00pm

A Sense of the World: How a Blind Man Became History's Greatest Traveler by Jason Roberts

He was known simply as the Blind Traveler. A solitary, sightless adventurer, James Holman (1786-1857) fought the slave trade in Africa, survived a frozen captivity in Siberia, hunted rogue elephants in Ceylon, helped chart the Australian outback—and, astonishingly, circumnavigated the globe, becoming one of the greatest wonders of the world he so sagaciously explored. A Sense of the World is a spellbinding and moving rediscovery of one of history's most epic lives—a story to awaken our own senses of awe and wonder.

A Sense of the World: How a Blind Man Became History's Greatest Traveler Cover Image
$15.99
ISBN: 9780007161263
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Harper Perennial - May 29th, 2007

Wednesday, November 13, 1:00pm

The Daughter of Time by Josephine Tey

Inspector Alan Grant of Scotland Yard, recuperating from a broken leg, becomes fascinated with a contemporary portrait of Richard III that bears no resemblance to the Wicked Uncle of history. Could such a sensitive, noble face actually belong to one of the world’s most heinous villains—a venomous hunchback who may have killed his brother’s children to make his crown secure? Or could Richard have been the victim, turned into a monster by the usurpers of England’s throne? Grant determines to find out once and for all, with the help of the British Museum and an American scholar, what kind of man Richard Plantagenet really was and who killed the Little Princes in the Tower.

The Daughter of Time Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9780684803869
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Scribner - November 29th, 1995

Wednesday, December 11, 1:00pm

Britt-Marie Was Here: A Novel by Fredrik Backman

Britt-Marie can’t stand mess. A disorganized cutlery drawer ranks high on her list of unforgivable sins. She is not one to judge others—no matter how ill-mannered, unkempt, or morally suspect they might be. It’s just that sometimes people interpret her helpful suggestions as criticisms, which is certainly not her intention.

But hidden inside the socially awkward, fussy busybody is a woman who has more imagination, bigger dreams, and a warmer heart that anyone around her realizes.

When Britt-Marie walks out on her cheating husband and has to fend for herself in the miserable backwater town of Borg—of which the kindest thing one can say is that it has a road going through it—she finds work as the caretaker of a soon-to-be demolished recreation center. The fastidious Britt-Marie soon finds herself being drawn into the daily doings of her fellow citizens, an odd assortment of miscreants, drunkards, layabouts. Most alarming of all, she’s given the impossible task of leading the supremely untalented children’s soccer team to victory. In this small town of misfits, can Britt-Marie find a place where she truly belongs?

Britt-Marie Was Here: A Novel Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781501142543
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Washington Square Press - February 7th, 2017

Wednesday, January 8, 1:00pm

In the Midst of Winter: A Novel by Isabel Allende

During the biggest Brooklyn snowstorm in living memory, Richard Bowmaster, a lonely university professor in his sixties, hits the car of Evelyn Ortega, a young undocumented immigrant from Guatemala, and what at first seems an inconvenience takes a more serious turn when Evelyn comes to his house, seeking help. At a loss, the professor asks his tenant, Lucia Maraz, a fellow academic from Chile, for her advice. 

As these three lives intertwine, each will discover truths about how they have been shaped by the tragedies they witnessed, and Richard and Lucia will find unexpected, long overdue love. Allende returns here to themes that have propelled some of her finest work: political injustice, the art of survival, and the essential nature of—and our need for—love.

In the Midst of Winter: A Novel Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9781501178146
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Atria Books - September 4th, 2018

Wednesday, February 12, 1:00pm

To the Bright Edge of the World: A Novel by Eowyn Ivey

In the winter of 1885, decorated war hero Colonel Allen Forrester leads a small band of men on an expedition that has been deemed impossible: to venture up the Wolverine River and pierce the vast, untamed Alaska Territory. Leaving behind Sophie, his newly pregnant wife, Colonel Forrester records his extraordinary experiences in hopes that his journal will reach her if he doesn't return--once he passes beyond the edge of the known world, there's no telling what awaits him. 

The Wolverine River Valley is not only breathtaking and forbidding but also terrifying in ways that the colonel and his men never could have imagined. As they map the territory and gather information on the native tribes, whose understanding of the natural world is unlike anything they have ever encountered, Forrester and his men discover the blurred lines between human and wild animal, the living and the dead. And while the men knew they would face starvation and danger, they cannot escape the sense that some greater, mysterious force threatens their lives. 

Meanwhile, on her own at Vancouver Barracks, Sophie chafes under the social restrictions and yearns to travel alongside her husband. She does not know that the winter will require as much of her as it does her husband, that both her courage and faith will be tested to the breaking point. Can her exploration of nature through the new art of photography help her to rediscover her sense of beauty and wonder?

The truths that Allen and Sophie discover over the course of that fateful year change both of their lives--and the lives of those who hear their stories long after they're gone--forever. 

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To the Bright Edge of the World: A Novel Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780316242837
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Back Bay Books - August 29th, 2017

Wednesday, March 11, 1:00pm

Code Girls: The Untold Story of the American Women Code Breakers of World War II by Liza Mundy

Recruited by the U.S. Army and Navy from small towns and elite colleges, more than ten thousand women served as codebreakers during World War II. While their brothers and boyfriends took up arms, these women moved to Washington and learned the meticulous work of code-breaking. Their efforts shortened the war, saved countless lives, and gave them access to careers previously denied to them. A strict vow of secrecy nearly erased their efforts from history; now, through dazzling research and interviews with surviving code girls, bestselling author Liza Mundy brings to life this riveting and vital story of American courage, service, and scientific accomplishment.

Code Girls: The Untold Story of the American Women Code Breakers of World War II Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780316352543
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Hachette Books - October 2nd, 2018

Wednesday, April 8, 1:00pm

Voting Month!

Come pick which books you would like to read next year!

Wednesday, May 13, 1:00pm

Outlander: A Novel by Diana Gabaldon

Scottish Highlands, 1945. Claire Randall, a former British combat nurse, is just back from the war and reunited with her husband on a second honeymoon when she walks through a standing stone in one of the ancient circles that dot the British Isles. Suddenly she is a Sassenach—an “outlander”—in a Scotland torn by war and raiding clans in the year of Our Lord . . . 1743.
 
Claire is catapulted into the intrigues of a world that threatens her life, and may shatter her heart. Marooned amid danger, passion, and violence, Claire learns her only chance of safety lies in Jamie Fraser, a gallant young Scots warrior. What begins in compulsion becomes urgent need, and Claire finds herself torn between two very different men, in two irreconcilable lives.

Outlander: A Novel Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9780385319959
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Delta - August 10th, 1998

Wednesday, June 10, 1:00pm

The Call of the Wild by Jack London

Life is good for Buck in Santa Clara Valley, where he spends his days eating and sleeping in the golden sunshine. But one day a treacherous act of betrayal leads to his kidnap, and he is forced into a life of toil and danger. Dragged away to be a sledge dog in the harsh and freezing cold Yukon, Buck must fight for his survivial. Can he rise above his enemies and become the master of his realm once again? With an inspirational introduction by award-winning author Melvyn Burgess, The Call of the Wild is one of the twenty wonderful classic stories being reissued in Puffin Classics in March 2015.

The Call of the Wild (Puffin Classics) Cover Image
By Jack London, Melvin Burgess (Introduction by)
$5.99
ISBN: 9780141321059
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Puffin Books - March 27th, 2008

Wednesday, July 8, 1:00pm

The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals by Michael Pollan

What should we have for dinner? Ten years ago, Michael Pollan confronted us with this seemingly simple question and, with The Omnivore’s Dilemma, his brilliant and eye-opening exploration of our food choices, demonstrated that how we answer it today may determine not only our health but our survival as a species. In the years since, Pollan’s revolutionary examination has changed the way Americans think about food. Bringing wide attention to the little-known but vitally important dimensions of food and agriculture in America, Pollan launched a national conversation about what we eat and the profound consequences that even the simplest everyday food choices have on both ourselves and the natural world. Ten years later, The Omnivore’s Dilemma continues to transform the way Americans think about the politics, perils, and pleasures of eating.

The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9780143038580
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Penguin Books - August 28th, 2007

Wednesday, August 12, 1:00pm

The Tattooist of Auschwitz: A Novel by Heather Morris

In April 1942, Lale Sokolov, a Slovakian Jew, is forcibly transported to the concentration camps at Auschwitz-Birkenau. When his captors discover that he speaks several languages, he is put to work as a Tätowierer (the German word for tattooist), tasked with permanently marking his fellow prisoners.

Imprisoned for over two and a half years, Lale witnesses horrific atrocities and barbarism—but also incredible acts of bravery and compassion. Risking his own life, he uses his privileged position to exchange jewels and money from murdered Jews for food to keep his fellow prisoners alive.

One day in July 1942, Lale, prisoner 32407, comforts a trembling young woman waiting in line to have the number 34902 tattooed onto her arm. Her name is Gita, and in that first encounter, Lale vows to somehow survive the camp and marry her.

A vivid, harrowing, and ultimately hopeful re-creation of Lale Sokolov's experiences as the man who tattooed the arms of thousands of prisoners with what would become one of the most potent symbols of the Holocaust, The Tattooist of Auschwitz is also a testament to the endurance of love and humanity under the darkest possible conditions.

The Tattooist of Auschwitz: A Novel Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780062797155
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Harper Paperbacks - September 4th, 2018