The Carmel Valley Library Book Group is a sophisticated, well-traveled and well-read book group that eases through their books intermixing film and conversation. This group has met at the library for almost 15 years; they gather every Thursday at 2:30pm and they're always accepting new members.
This group typically discusses a book for several weeks or more. They read fiction, non-fiction, history, and biography. For a sampling of their style, here are the nominees from an official club ballot in October 2016 to choose the next book to read:
The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins (1859):
Late one moonlit night, Walter Hartright encounters a solitary and terrified woman dressed all in white. He saves her from capture by her pursuers, and determines to solve the mystery of her distress and terror. This gripping tale of murder, intrigue, madness and mistaken identity has never been out of print since its publication.
Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf (1925)
It is a June day in London in 1923 and the lovely Clarissa Dalloway is having a party. Whom will she see? Her friend Peter, back from India, who has never really stopped loving her? What about Sally, with whom Clarissa had her life's happiest moment? Meanwhile, the shell-shocked Septimus Smith is struggling with his life on the same London day. Luminously beautiful, Mrs. Dalloway uses the internal monologue of
the characters to tell a story of inter-war England. With this, Virginia Woolf changed the
The Six: The Lives of the Mitford Sisters by Laura Thompson (2015)
The Mitford sisters – the intertwined stories of their stylish and scandalous lives - recounted in masterly fashion by Laura Thompson - hold up a revelatory mirror to upper-class English life before and after World War II.
The Golden Notebook by Doris Lessing (1962)
In this authentic, taboo-breaking novel, Lessing brings the plight of women's lives from obscurity behind closed doors into broad daylight. The Golden Notebook
resonates with the concerns and experiences of a great many women and is a true modern classic, thoroughly deserving of its reputation as a feminist bible. Lessing won a Nobel prize in 2007.
The End of the Affair by Graham Greene (1951)
Set in London during and just after World War II is the story of a flourishing love affair between Maurice Bendrix and Sarah Miles. After a violent episode at Maurice's apartment, Sarah suddenly and without explanation breaks off the affair.
Nutshell by Ian McEwan (2016):
Classic story of murder and deceit - but from a very different narrator!
Atonement by Ian McEwan (2001)
Three children lose their innocence as the sweltering summer heat bears down on the hottest day in 1935 and their lives are changed forever. Cecilia Tallis is of England's privileged class; Robbie Turner is the housekeeper's son. In their moment of intimate surrender they are interrupted by Cecilia's hyperimaginative and scheming 13-year-old sister, Briony. And as chaos consumes the family, Briony commits a crime, the guilt of which she shall carry throughout her life.
The Good Soldier by Ford Maddox Ford (1915)
Handsome, wealthy, and a veteran of service in India, Captain Edward Ashburnham appears to be the ideal "good soldier" and the embodiment of English upper-class virtues. Ford's masterpiece is a searing study of moral dissolution behind the façade of an English gentleman – and its stylistic influence lingers to this day.
Jude the Obscure by Thomas Hardy (1895)
Sexually innocent Jude is trapped into marriage by seductive Arabella. The marriage is a failure, and Jude's welcome freedom allows him to pursue his obsession with his pretty cousin Sue Bridehead, a brilliant charismatic free-thinker who would be his ideal soulmate if not for her aversion to physical love. When Jude and Sue decide to lead their lives outside marriage they bring down on themselves all the force of a repressive society. Caused a furor on its publication. Hardy exposed his deepest feelings in this bleak, angry novel and, stung by the hostile response, he never wrote another.
Code of the Woosters by PG Wodehouse (1938)
Aunt Dalia demands that Bertie Wooster help her dupe an antique dealer into selling her an 18th-century cow creamer. Dalia trumps Bertie's objections by threatening to sever his standing invitation to her house for lunch, an unthinkable prospect given Bertie's devotion to the cooking of her chef, Anatole.
The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler (1939)
Raymond Chandler's hard-boiled debut brings to life the city LA underworld – and Philip Marlowe, the archetypal fictional detective. Old man Sternwood, crippled and wheelchair-bound, is being given the squeeze by a blackmailer and he wants Marlowe to make the problem go away. But with Sternwood's two wild, devil-may-care daughters prowling LA's seedy backstreets, Marlow's got his work cut out - and that's before he stumbles over the first corpse.
Want to read and discuss one of these books with the club? Or just want to see which book wins? Stop by the Buckeye on Thursdays at 2:30! And for more information about this book club, other book clubs, and tools such as MCFL’s Book Club To Go Kits, inquire at the library or check out this page on the MCFL website