An evening book discussion group reading fiction and nonfiction from around the world. All are welcome! Interested in joining us? Pick up the monthly title anytime at the Checkout Desk, then come by for discussion!
Meets the 3rd Tuesday of every month at 6:00 PM
THE BAD-ASS LIBRARIANS OF TIMBUKTU
In the 1980s, a young adventurer and collector for a government library, Abdel Kader Haidara, journeyed across the Sahara Desert and along the Niger River, tracking down and salvaging tens of thousands of ancient Islamic and secular manuscripts that had fallen into obscurity. The Bad-Ass Librarians of Timbuktu tells the incredible story of how Haidara, a mild-mannered archivist and historian from the legendary city of Timbuktu, later became one of the world’s greatest and most brazen smugglers.
In 2012, thousands of Al Qaeda militants from northwest Africa seized control of most of Mali, including Timbuktu. They imposed Sharia law, chopped off the hands of accused thieves, stoned to death unmarried couples, and threatened to destroy the great manuscripts. As the militants tightened their control over Timbuktu, Haidara organized a dangerous operation to sneak all 350,000 volumes out of the city to the safety of southern Mali. The Bad-Ass Librarians of Timbuktu is an inspiring account of the victory of art and literature over extremism.
Read or listen to The Bad-Ass Librarians of Timbuktu on Wisconsin's Digital Library.
Jules Epstein is undergoing a metamorphosis. In the wake of his parents’ deaths, his divorce from his wife of more than thirty years, and his retirement from the New York legal firm where he was a partner, he travels to Israel, with a nebulous plan to do something to honor his parents. In Tel Aviv, he is sidetracked by a charismatic American rabbi planning a reunion for the descendants of King David who insists that Epstein is part of that storied dynastic line. He also meets the rabbi’s beautiful daughter who convinces Epstein to become involved in her own project—a film about the life of David being shot in the desert.
But Epstein isn’t the only seeker embarking on a journey. Leaving her family in Brooklyn, a young, well-known novelist arrives at the Tel Aviv Hilton where she has stayed every year since birth. Troubled by writer’s block and a failing marriage, she hopes that the hotel can unlock a dimension of reality that has been closed off to her. But when she meets a retired literature professor who proposes a project she can’t turn down, she’s drawn into a mystery that alters her life in ways she could never have imagined.
Read or listen to The Dry on Wisconsin's Digital Library.
Upcoming Discussion Titles
THE DRESSMAKER OF KHAIR KHANA
Gayle Tzemach Lemmon
Fiction, Ghana/United States
THE MONUMENTS MEN
Robert M. Edsel
THE ROUND HOUSE
Fiction, an Ojibwe reservation
THE BOY WHO HARNESSED THE WIND