Book discussion groups set for March

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

Decorah Public Library staff will host six book discussions in March, including a new Speculative Fiction Novella Group.

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 to be added to any of the six groups’ email distribution lists. Funds for multiple copy sets were generously provided by Friends of Decorah Public Library..

* The Happy Hour Book Group will meet via Zoom Wednesday, March 9 at 5:15 p.m. to discuss David Heska Wanbli Weiden’s “Winter Counts.” Virgil Wounded Horse is the local enforcer on the Rosebud Indian Reservation in South Dakota. When heroin makes its way into the reservation and finds Virgil’s nephew, his vigilantism suddenly becomes personal. He enlists the help of his ex-girlfriend and sets out to learn where the drugs are coming from, and how to make them stop. As Virgil links the pieces together, he must face his own demons and reclaim his Native identity.

* Cookbook Book Group will meet on Thursday, March 10 at 7 p.m. in the lower-level meeting room of the library for the potluck and final discussion of Toni Tipton-Martin’s James Beard Award winning cookbook “Jubilee: Recipes from Two Centuries of African American Cooking.” Cook along with pioneering figures in African American cuisine, from enslaved chefs to middle- and upper-class writers and entrepreneurs. With more than 100 stories and recipes, from classics such as Sweet Potato Biscuits, Seafood Gumbo, Buttermilk Fried Chicken, and Pecan Pie with Bourbon to lesser-known but even more decadent dishes like Bourbon & Apple Hot Toddies, Spoon Bread, and Baked Ham Glazed with Champagne, Jubilee presents techniques, ingredients, and dishes that show the roots of African American cooking—deeply beautiful, culturally diverse, fit for celebration.

* The History Book Group will meet via Zoom Thursday, March 17 at 3 p.m. to discuss Andrea Pitzer’s “Icebound: Shipwrecked at the Edge of the World.” Long before Bering or Amundsen, long before Franklin or Shackleton, there was William Barents—in many ways the greatest polar explorer of them all. In this narrative of the Far North, enriched by her own adventurous sojourns in the Arctic, Andrea Pitzer brings Barents’ three harrowing expeditions to vivid life—while giving fascinating insights into one of history’s most intrepid navigators.

* The Friday Book Group will meet via Zoom Friday, March 18 at 2 p.m. to discuss Christina Baker Kline’s “A Piece of the World.” To Christina Olson, the entire world was her family’s remote farm in the coastal town of Cushing, Maine. Born in the home her family had lived in for generations, and increasingly incapacitated by illness, Christina seemed destined for a small life. Instead, for more than twenty years, she was host and inspiration for the artist Andrew Wyeth, and became the subject of one of the best-known American paintings of the twentieth century.

* The Speculative Fiction Book Group will meet via Zoom Wednesday,. March 23 at 5:15 p.m. to discuss Makiia Lucier’s “Year of the Reaper.” Before an ambush by enemy soldiers, Lord Cassia was an engineer’s apprentice on a mission entrusted by the king. But when plague sweeps over the land, leaving countless dead and devastating the kingdom, even Cas’ title cannot save him from a rotting prison cell and a merciless sickness. Three years later, Cas wants only to return to his home in the mountains and forget past horrors. But home is not what he remembers. His castle has become a refuge for the royal court, and they have brought their enemies with them. When an assassin targets those closest to the queen, Cas is drawn into a search for a killer.

New group scheduled

* The Speculative Fiction Novella Group will meet on alternate months for half-hour meetings on Zoom following the Speculative Fiction Book Group. The first meeting will be held via Zoom Wednesday, March 23 at 6:30 p.m. to discuss Brandon Sanderson’s “The Emperor’s Soul.” Shai is a Forger, a foreigner who can flawlessly copy and re-create any item by rewriting its history with skillful magic. Condemned to death after trying to steal the emperor’s scepter, she is given one opportunity to save herself. Though her skill as a Forger is considered an abomination by her captors, Shai will attempt to create a new soul for the emperor, who is almost dead. Probing deeply into his life, she discovers Emperor Ashravan’s truest nature—and the opportunity to exploit it.

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

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