Our longest running book group brings together readers who enjoy discussing and sharing insights about a single title each month. Facilitated conversations are lively, intelligent, and insightful. The titles are mostly fiction, with one nonfiction choice included each year. The group chooses titles for the coming year by ballot in the spring. Book discussions are held on the third Wednesday of the month, September through June (no July or August meetings), and all adult patrons enthusiastic about reading and talking about books are invited to join us as often as they can. Before each meeting, you can pick up your copy for the next month’s discussion at the Circulation Desk. If you have questions, please contact Karen Stern at stern@noblenet.org.


Next Meeting: April 21, 2021, 7:00 pm (virtually with an emailed link from the coordinator)
To Discuss: Case Histories by Kate Atkinson

The scene is set in Cambridge (England), with three case histories from the past: A young child who mysteriously disappeared from a tent in her back garden; an unidentified man in a yellow sweater who marched into an office and slashed a young girl through the throat; and a young woman found by the police sitting in her kitchen next to the body of her husband, an axe buried in his head. Jackson Brodie, a private investigator and former police detective, is quietly contemplating life as a divorced father when he is flung into the midst of these resurrected old crimes and finds that in digging into the past he seems to have unwittingly threatened his own future. This wonderfully crafted, intricately plotted novel is heartbreaking, uplifting, full of suspense and often very funny. Highly recommended for fans of modern British TV crime drama (the book actually inspired a TV series of the same name), and especially for readers who aren’t sure they love mysteries but love a complex protagonist.

Kate Atkinson ​​The daughter of a shopkeeper, Atkinson was born in York, England, the setting for several of her books. She studied English literature at the University of Dundee, gaining her master’s degree in 1974. Atkinson subsequently studied for a doctorate in American literature, and failed at the viva (oral examination) stage. After leaving the university, she took on a variety of jobs from home help to legal secretary and teacher. She now lives in Edinburgh. (Wikipedia)

Her first novel, Behind the Scenes at the Museum, won the Whitbread Book of the Year Award in 1995. She is the author of a collection of short stories, Not the End of the World, and of the critically acclaimed novels Human Croquet, Emotionally Weird, Case Histories, and One Good TurnCase Histories introduced her readers to Jackson Brodie, former police inspector turned private investigator, and won the Saltire Book of the Year Award and the Prix Westminster. It later became the BBC television series, Case Histories, starring Jason Isaacs.

Web Articles for Further Reading:
The Fragility of Goodness: Kate Atkinson tells Alex Clark how she overcame her nerves by Alex Clark, 9 March, 2001, theguardian.com
Kate Atkinson on Desert Island Discs (Downloadable Interview)Novelist Kate Atkinson is interviewed by Lauren Laverne on the long-running BBC Radio 4 programme.
A Noirish Hall of Mirrors Filled With Mysteries  by Janet Maslin, nytimes.com, November 15, 2004.

2020-21 SCHEDULE (Meetings are currently virtual. Please contact stern@noblenet.org if you would like to join the group and receive meeting links. No Meetings in July and August)
2020-2021 discussion titles were voted on by group members in May 2020. Click each title for more information from our catalog.

April 21              Case Histories by Kate Atkinson
May 19               House of Mirth by Edith Wharton
June 16              Once Upon a River by Diane Setterfield

Previous Discussions (1998 to 2020)