The Road by Cormac McCarthy

We will discuss The Road by Cormac McCarthy on Tuesday, October 10


A searing, post apocalyptic novel destined to become Cormac McCarthy’s masterpiece.

A father and his son walk alone through burned America. Nothing moves in the ravaged landscape save the ash on the wind. It is cold enough to crack stones, and when the snow falls it is gray. The sky is dark. Their destination is the coast, although they don’t know what, if anything, awaits them there. They have nothing; just a pistol to defend themselves against the lawless bands that stalk the road, the clothes they are wearing, a cart of scavenged food—and each other.

The Painted Veil by W. Somerset Maugham

We will discuss The Painted Veil by W. Somerset Maugham on Tuesday, September 12



Set in England and Hong Kong in the 1920s, The Painted Veil is the story of the beautiful, but love-starved Kitty Fane.

When her husband discovers her adulterous affair, he forces her to accompany him to the heart of a cholera epidemic. Stripped of the British society of her youth and the small but effective society she fought so hard to attain in Hong Kong, she is compelled by her awakening conscience to reassess her life and learn how to love.

The Painted Veil is a beautifully written affirmation of the human capacity to grow, to change, and to forgive.
 

Brighton by Michael Harvey

We will discuss Brighton by Michael Harvey  on Tuesday, August 8

An extraordinary thriller—gripping, haunting, and marvelously told—about two friends growing up in a rapidly changing Boston, who must face the sins of their past in the midst of a series of brutal murders

Kevin Pearce—baseball star, honor student, the pride of Brighton—was fifteen when he left town in the back of his uncle’s cab. He and his buddy, Bobby Scales, just committed a heinous act of violence for what they thought were the best of reasons. Kevin didn’t want a pass, but he was getting it anyway. Bobby would stay and face the music; Kevin’s future would remain as bright as ever. At least that was the way things were supposed to work. Except in Brighton, things never work the way they’re supposed to.

Twenty-seven years later, Kevin is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist for the Boston Globe. He’s never been back to his old block, having avoided his family and, especially, Bobby Scales. Then he learns his old friend is the prime suspect in a string of local murders. All of the sudden Kevin’s headed home—to protect a friend and the secret they share. To report this story to the end and protect those he loves, he must navigate not only an elusive, slippery killer, but his own corrupted conscience.

A powerhouse of a thriller, Brighton is a riveting and elegiac exploration of promises broken, debts owed, and old wrongs made right . . . no matter what the cost.
 

Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

We will discuss Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie on Tuesday, July 11


Ifemelu and Obinze are young and in love when they depart military-ruled Nigeria for the West. Beautiful, self-assured Ifemelu heads for America, where despite her academic success, she is forced to grapple with what it means to be black for the first time. Quiet, thoughtful Obinze had hoped to join her, but with post-9/11 America closed to him, he instead plunges into a dangerous, undocumented life in London. 

Fifteen years later, they reunite in a newly democratic Nigeria, and reignite their passion—for each other and for their homeland. 

A Mixture of Frailties by Robertson Davies

We will discuss A Mixture of Frailties by Robertson Davies on Tuesday, June 13

This will be Jean Ryan's last meeting as Director of Institute for Paralegal Studies


"A Mixture of Frailties", the third volume of Robertson Davies "Salterton" Trilogy, is his first extended engagement with one of the great neuroses of Canadian culture: Canada's artistic relationship to Europe, and particularly to Britain. Davies begins his story with the funeral of Louisa Bridgetower, the Salterton matron whose imposing presence ranges throughout the earlier volumes of the "Salterton" Trilogy. The substantial income from her estate is to be used to send an unmarried young woman to Europe to pursue an education in the arts. 

Mrs. Bridgetower's executors end up selecting Monica Gall, an almost entirely unschooled singer whose sole experience comes from performing with the Heart and Hope Gospel Quartet, a rough outfit sponsored by a small fundamentalist group. Monica soon finds herself in England, a pupil of some of Britain's most remarkable teachers and composers, and she gradually blossoms from a Canadian rube to a cosmopolitan soprano with a unique - and tragicomic - career.


Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty

We will discuss Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty on Tuesday, May 9


Big Little Lies follows three women, each at a crossroads:

Madeline is a force to be reckoned with. She’s funny and biting, passionate, she remembers everything and forgives no one. Her ex-husband and his yogi new wife have moved into her beloved beachside community, and their daughter is in the same kindergarten class as Madeline’s youngest (how is this possible?). And to top it all off, Madeline’s teenage daughter seems to be choosing Madeline’s ex-husband over her. (How. Is. This. Possible?).

Celeste is the kind of beautiful woman who makes the world stop and stare. While she may seem a bit flustered at times, who wouldn’t be, with those rambunctious twin boys? Now that the boys are starting school, Celeste and her husband look set to become the king and queen of the school parent body. But royalty often comes at a price, and Celeste is grappling with how much more she is willing to pay.

New to town, single mom Jane is so young that another mother mistakes her for the nanny. Jane is sad beyond her years and harbors secret doubts about her son. But why? While Madeline and Celeste soon take Jane under their wing, none of them realizes how the arrival of Jane and her inscrutable little boy will affect them all.

Big Little Lies is a brilliant take on ex-husbands and second wives, mothers and daughters, schoolyard scandal, and the dangerous little lies we tell ourselves just to survive.

The Lincoln Lawyer by Michael Connelly


We will discuss The Lincoln Lawyer by Michael Connelly  on Tuesday, April 11



Mickey Haller is a Lincoln Lawyer, a criminal defense attorney who operates out of the backseat of his Lincoln Town Car, traveling between the far-flung courthouses of Los Angeles to defend clients of every kind. Bikers, con artists, drunk drivers, drug dealers -- they're all on Mickey Haller's client list. For him, the law is rarely about guilt or innocence, it's about negotiation and manipulation. Sometimes it's even about justice.

A Beverly Hills playboy arrested for attacking a woman he picked up in a bar chooses Haller to defend him, and Mickey has his first high-paying client in years. It is a defense attorney's dream, what they call a franchise case. And as the evidence stacks up, Haller comes to believe this may be the easiest case of his career. Then someone close to him is murdered and Haller discovers that his search for innocence has brought him face-to-face with evil as pure as a flame. To escape without being burned, he must deploy every tactic, feint, and instinct in his arsenal -- this time to save his own life.