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1969 - What A Year It Was!

Did you know our little library has an active book club? We meet once a month – even when we can’t be in the same room. After things shut down, we resorted to meeting virtually or in the library parking lot. We are very dedicated. However, please don’t confuse this with either reading or talking about the books we choose. This is not to say we NEVER talk about the book, but most of the time it’s either tangentially or not at all. There are so many other things to talk about these days! Our little book club, therefore, has a name that evolves, depending on how things go. For a long time, we were “We Don’t Just Talk About Books” Book Club. Then we went through a phase where we chose books that nobody wanted to read so our name changed to “We Don’t Read the Book” Book Club. We still met, however, to discuss such weighty topics as how much toilet paper we each had stocked up, various wedding plans that had to be seriously changed, how to safely travel to South Dakota during a pandemic and the inability to get a handgun in any color other than purple. This past month, however, we finally hit on a book that everyone liked AND read! Because of that, our book club name for this month is “We Actually Read the Book” Book Club. Now that I’ve got your attention, you might want to know what the title of this book we actually read is – Summer of ’69 by Elin Hilderbrand.

Hilderbrand always delivers a good story line dealing with relationships, both with family and friends. She has several plot lines going which intersect throughout the book. In this case, the story takes place on both Nantucket Island and Martha’s Vineyard. For those of us who remember 1969, this book brings back many memories. What a tumultuous year it was! While I was too young to attend Woodstock (really just barely though), I certainly read about it in the headlines. Then there was the incident at Chappaquiddick which was also interwoven into the book’s story.

The main characters are all from the same family – 3 sisters and one brother. The brother is drafted into the Vietnam War and we only hear from him through the letters he sends home. The demonstrations and unrest about the war become part of the story as well. And, given the recent current events, it is an eerily familiar account as one of the sisters is involved in the protests surrounding civil rights. Hilderbrand ties it all up nicely in the end, though, and I felt good about the family’s future together. After all the uncertainty back then (and now), it was definitely a feel-good read for the summer.

Back to our Book Club… We soldier on this month with The Giver of Stars by JoJo Moyes. Let’s see, last month we shared homemade strawberry rhubarb wine in Dixie cups. Who knows what delights will await us this month? Our fearless leader will threaten to bring the book club to someone’s house if they don’t attend (of course, this never happens!) and we will, no doubt, have a lively discussion about many things including the obligatory and, possibly cursory, discussion of the book. Who knows what the name will change to afterward? In the meantime, if you are interested in the other books we’ve read, they can be found on our website: https://www.forthunterfreelibrary.com/book-club

Happy Reading – if you’ve read a good book that you think we’d enjoy or one that we’d simply have no interest in discussing, please pass it along!

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