April book discussions slated

Public book discussions are scheduled in April at the Decorah Public Library.

Decorah Public Library staff will host six book discussions in April.

The groups are open to the public and newcomers are encouraged to attend. Anyone interested should call the library at 382-3717 to learn more or to reserve a book. Zoom links are available on the Library’s website or you can email ktorresdal@decorahlibrary.org to be added to any of the six groups’ email distribution lists. Funds for multiple copy sets were provided by Friends of Decorah Public Library.

*The Happy Hour Book Group will meet via Zoom Wednesday, April 12 at 5:15 p.m. to discuss Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé’s “Ace of Spades.” Welcome to Niveus Private Academy, where money paves the hallways, and the students are never less than perfect. Until now. Because anonymous texter Aces is bringing two students’ dark secrets to light. Talented musician Devon buries himself in rehearsals, but he can’t escape the spotlight when his private photos go public. Head girl Chiamaka isn’t afraid to get what she wants, but soon everyone will know the price she has paid for power. Someone is out to get them both. Someone who holds all the aces. And they’re planning much more than a high-school game…

* The Cookbook Group will meet on April 13 at 6:30 p.m in the library’s mezzanine to discuss Ken Forkish’s “Evolutions in Bread.” If you want to craft artisan pan breads and rustic Dutch oven loaves at home with professional, consistent results, this is the book for you. Think crispy, crackly crusts and soft, airy interiors, just like from your favorite artisan bakery—except it came from your own oven. Approachable to the home baker, while still being chock-full of expert knowledge and all-new recipes, Evolutions in Bread covers same-day loaves, overnight cold-proof doughs, and classic levains. Forkish shares the secrets he has learned for making sourdough starter that’s more flour efficient while also exploring classic breads and enriched doughs, such as Japanese Milk Bread and Brioche. This is a follow-up to Forkish’s James Beard Award Winning “Flour, Water, Salt, Yeast”.

* The History Book Group will meet Thursday, April 20 at 3 p.m. on the 2nd floor of the library to discuss chapters 10-17 of Herbert P. Bix’s “Hirohito and the Making of Modern Japan.” In this biography of the Japanese emperor Hirohito, Herbert P. Bix offers a look at the enigmatic leader whose sixty-three-year reign ushered Japan into the modern world. Bix shows what it was like to be trained from birth for a lone position at the apex of the nation’s political hierarchy and as a revered symbol of divine status. Influenced by an unusual combination of the Japanese imperial tradition and a modern scientific worldview, the young emperor gradually evolves into his preeminent role, aligning himself with the growing ultranationalist movement, perpetuating a cult of religious emperor worship, resisting attempts to curb his power, and all the while burnishing his image as a reluctant, passive monarch.

* The Friday Book Group will meet via Zoom Friday, April 21 at 2 p.m. to discuss Barbara Kingsolver’s “Demon Copperhead.” Set in the mountains of southern Appalachia, this is the story of a boy born to a teenaged single mother in a single-wide trailer, with no assets beyond his dead father’s good looks and copper-colored hair, a caustic wit, and a fierce talent for survival. He braves the modern perils of foster care, child labor, derelict schools, athletic success, and addiction. Through all of it, he reckons with his own invisibility in a popular culture where even the superheroes have abandoned rural people in favor of cities.

* The Speculative Fiction Book Group will meet via Zoom Wednesday, April 26 at 5:15 p.m. to discuss Ada Palmer’s “Too Like the Lightning.” Mycroft Canner is a convict. For his crimes he is required, as is the custom of the 25th century, to wander the world being as useful as he can to all he meets. Carlyle Foster is a sensayer—a spiritual counselor in a world that has outlawed the public practice of religion. The world into which Mycroft and Carlyle have been born is a hard-won utopia built on technologically-generated abundance. And in this world, Mycroft and Carlyle have stumbled on the wild card that may destabilize the system: the boy Bridger, who can effortlessly make his wishes come true. Who can, it seems, bring inanimate objects to life…

* Following the Speculative Fiction Book Group, the Speculative Short Fiction Group will meet at 6:15 p.m. April 26 via the same Zoom link to discuss stories 1-3 from Ken Liu’s collection “The Paper Menagerie and Other Stories:” “The Bookmaking Habits of Select Species,” “State Change,” and “The Perfect Match.”

For more information, contact Tricia Crary (Friday Book Group), Kristin Torresdal (Happy Hour, History, and Speculative Fiction Book Groups), or Zach Row-Heyveld (Cookbook Group) at 563-382-3717.