Batavia Public Library

Books We Have Discussed Previously

2018-2019 Season

Tuesday, May 14, 2019, 7:30 p.m.

The  Distancers: An American Memoir by Lee Sandlin

A beautiful story about the author’s German immigrant ancestors who settled on a farm in the Midwest.  In the process of researching his genealogy he shakes his family tree and discovers what his ancestors endured and how they survived.  

Tuesday, June 11, 2019, 7:30 p.m.

The Leavers by Lisa Ko

In this emotionally charged story of cross-cultural adoption and complicated lives, a woman is deported from America to China, leaving behind an adolescent son who never knew what happened to his mother. 

Previous book discussions:

The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell

A riveting and suspenseful tale of a Jesuit expedition to make first contact with the source of the mysterious music originating from another planet. The disastrous encounter leads Emilio Sandoz, the sole survivor, to question his faith and humanity.
(Science Fiction; Haunting; Reflective) 

The Stranger in the Woods: The Extraordinary Story of the Last True Hermit by Michael Finkel

The story of a 20-yr old Massachusetts man who disappeared into the woods of Maine to live there alone for almost three decades. A National Geographic Best Book of the Year.

(Life Stories; Hermits/Solitude) 

Rocket Men: The Daring Odyssey of Apollo 8 and the Astronauts Who Made Man’s First Journey to the Moon by Robert Kurson

This lively account of the astonishing Apollo 8 mission to the moon provides an inside look at the experiences of the astronauts, their wives, and the NASA officials who all took a chance on this risky launch. The One Book, One Batavia 2019 selection.

(True Adventure; Inspiring) 

The Truth and Other Lies by Sascha Arango

It’s Henry Hayden’s name on the cover of his best-selling novels, but it’s his wife who writes them. Now his mistress is pregnant and Henry has to make a decision.  “One wicked tale…with schemers all around” (Kirkus).


Rise: How a House Built a Family by Cara Brookins

An inspiring true story of a family’s healing after the author escapes an abusive relationship but has nowhere to live. She does the unthinkable and builds a house from the ground up with her four children.

(Memoir; Life Stories) 

Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption by Bryan Stevenson

This searing indictment of the American justice system covers the inspiring story of Stevenson’s battle, as founder of the Equal Justice Initiative, to defend “hopeless cases,” freeing people from excessive punishment or wrongful convictions. The overarching narrative focuses on an African-American man on death row for killing a white woman despite credible evidence to the contrary.

(Memoir; Law; Social Reform; Engaging, touching)   

Montana 1948 by Larry Watson 

In this spare, haunting page turner, a Western sheriff arrests his physician brother for the abuse of Native American women.

(Literary Fiction)

Autumn by Ali Smith

This post-Brexit novel tells the story of friendship between Daniel, a century old and Elizabeth, born in 1984. Shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2017.

(Literary Fiction; Psychological Fiction)