The Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline
Molly Ayer is close to “aging out” out of the foster care system. A community service position helping an elderly woman clean out her home is the only thing keeping Molly out of juvie and worse. As she helps Vivian sort through her possessions and memories, Molly learns that she and Vivian aren’t as different as they seem to be. A young Irish immigrant orphaned in New York City, Vivian was put on a train to the Midwest with hundreds of other children whose destinies would be determined by luck and chance. Molly discovers that she has the power to help Vivian find answers to mysteries that have haunted her for her entire life – answers that will ultimately free them both.
The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh
The Victorian language of flowers was used to convey romantic expressions, but for Victoria Jones it's been more useful in communicating grief, mistrust and solitude. After a childhood spent in the foster-care system Victoria is now eighteen and emancipated. With nowhere to go she sleeps in a public park where she plants her own small garden. When a local florist discovers her talents Victoria realizes she has a gift for helping others through flowers.
When Women Were Birds: fifty-four variations on voice by Terry Tempest Williams
At 54, Williams continues to grapple with her mother's death at age 54 in a meditative memoir in 54 parts, each an inquiry into a mysterious and haunting legacy: My mother left me her journals, and all her journals were blank. As Williams performs elegant variations on the meanings of voice and silence, she remembers four generations of women in her Mormon family, especially her smart, bird-loving grandmother, and pays homage to other mentors, including conservationist Mardy Murie and Green Belt Movement leader Wangari Maathai.
Short Nights of the Shadow Catcher: the epic life and immortal photographs of Edward Curtis by Timothy Egan
Edward Curtis was dashing, charismatic, a passionate mountaineer, a famous photographer--the Annie Liebowitz of his time. And he was thirty-two years old in 1900 when he gave it all up to pursue his great idea: He would try to capture on film the Native American nation before it disappeared. At once an incredible adventure narrative and a penetrating biographical portrait, Egan's book tells the remarkable untold story behind Curtis's iconic photographs, following him throughout Indian country from desert to rainforest as he struggled to document the stories and rituals of more than eighty tribes.
2014 is the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act. To celebrate this notable act we will be discussing...
A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson
Stretching from Georgia to Maine, the Appalachian Trail offers some of America's most breathtaking scenery. After living for many years in England, Bill Bryson moved back to the United States and decided to reacquaint himself with his country by taking to this uninterrupted "hiker's highway." Before long, Bryson and his infamous walking companion, Stephen Katz, are preparing to set off on a walk that is both amusingly ill-conceived and surprisingly adventurous. Fresh, illuminating, and uproariously funny, A Walk in the Woods is travel writing at its very best.
Flagstaff Reads selection for 2014...
This I Believe: the personal philosophies of remarkable men & women edited by Dan Gediman & Jay Allison
This I Believe was introduced more than 50 years ago as a radio program hosted by William R. Murrow. In 2005 it was resurrected as a not-for--profit organization collecting contemporary essays aired on NPR, and continues today with essays in magazines, newspapers and radio stations. This book contains a diverse collection of eighty essays (some from the original series) by contributors both famous and unknown, anyone able to distill into a few minutes the guiding principles by which they live.
...please check the website for other Flagstaff Reads events.
The Bully Pulpit: Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and the golden age of journalism by Doris Kearns Goodwin
The Bully Pulpit (continued)