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 the Reference Desk or email stern@noblenet.org.

Next Meeting: October 16, 2019
To Discuss: There There by Tommy Orange

Orange tells the story of 12 characters, each of whom have reasons for traveling to the Big Oakland Powwow. Jacquie Red Feather is newly sober and trying to make it back to the family she left behind. Dene is there because he has been collecting stories to honor his uncle’s death. Edwin is looking for his true father. Opal came to watch her boy Orvil dance. All of them are there for the cultural celebration that is the Big Oakland Powwow. All of them are connected by bonds they may not yet understand. But Tony Loneman is also there. And Tony has come to the Powwow with darker intentions. Reviewer Derek Palacio calls There There, “propulsive, groundbreaking…polyphonic and multigenerational, weaving together an array of contemporary Native American voices into a [narrative] about violence and recovery, about family and loss, about identity and power.” Awards: Center for Fiction First Novel Prize. Pulitzer Prize Nominee for Fiction (2019). National Book Award Nominee for Fiction (2018).

Tommy Orange is a recent graduate from the MFA program at the Institute of American Indian Arts. He is a 2014 MacDowell Fellow, and a 2016 Writing by Writers Fellow. He is an enrolled member of the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes of Oklahoma. He was born and raised in Oakland, California, and currently lives in Angels Camp, California.

To Think About While You Read: Who are “Urban Indians”? How did the idea of the Urban Indian relate to the assimilation that was pushed on American Indians by the US Government and European culture? Think about how each character navigates the reality of being an Urban Indian while trying to stay connected with their heritage.

Web Articles for Further Reading 
Yes, Tommy Orange’s New Novel Really Is That Good – by Colm Toibin, nytimes.com, June 19, 2018.
Video: ‘Writing out of a loneliness,’ novelist explores the range of native experiences – YouTube, Dec 14, 2018.
What does it mean to be Native American? A new novel offers a bracing answer. by Ron Charles, washingtonpost.com, May 29, 2018.
Meet Tommy Orange, author of the year’s most galvanizing debut novel by David Canfield, ew.com, June 4, 2018

2019 SCHEDULE (2019-2020 Discussion Titles were voted on by group members in May 2019.)
November 20    Varina by Charles Frazier
December 18    Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman
January 15        Less by Andrew Sean Greer
February 19      Educated by Tara Westover
March 18          The Friend by Sigrid Nunez
April 15             Stay With Me by Ayobami Adebayo
May 20              How to Stop Time by Matt Haig
June 17             The Word is Murder by Anthony Horowitz

Previous Discussions (1998 to 2018)