Always New! Join six LLI members as they lead interesting and lively discussions of contemporary titles and old classics.
March 14 — Magna Carta by Dan Jones. FacilitatorÂ Michael MugnoloÂ
Over eight hundred years ago on a meadow by the River Thames, an incompetent despotic monarch met with his nobles to make a number of concessions in an attempt to save both his crown and the head it wobbled on. Within months, the king reneged on his obligations and England descended into a bloody civil war. Â Nonetheless, their agreement, now known as The Magna Carta, survives as what Winston Churchill termed “the foundation of principles and systems of government of which neither King John or his nobles dreamedâ€ť.
March 21 — Euphoria by Lily King. Facilitator Heather HopkinsÂ
A fictional work inspired by the lives of three young anthropologists – Margaret Mead, Reo Fortune and Gregory Bateson – and the time they spent together in the early 1930s on the Sepik River of what was then known as the Territory of New Guinea. The novel takes us into the native lives and customs they encountered and the world of academic rivalry, while at the same time revealing the love triangle that changed everything forÂ them.
March 28 — Lost Horizon by James Hilton. FacilitatorÂ Mark AlbertsonÂ
Reviewer Harold G. Martin once labeled this book a romance, not in the sense of a standard love story but rather the romance or affinity for an ideal world– a Utopia? Conway, a lifelong British Colonial functionary, finds in Shangri-La an escape from what he considers overrated virtues of duty and self-denial. Â As opposed to his younger companion, Mallinson, who sees only revulsion with the promise of Shangri-La–a society of the most sordid variety peopled by those who are at best inferior. Â Does Conway understand the changing nature of the world around him?
April 4 — Born to Run by Christopher McDougall. Facilitator Richard AuwarterÂ
The author, a marathon runner, sets out to discover the secrets of the blissful Tarahumara Indians isolated by Mexico’s deadly Copper Canyon. He has the ability to run hundreds of miles without rest or injury.Â From science labs at Harvard to the sun-baked valleys and freezing peaks across North America, numbers of ultra-marathoners are pushing their bodies to the limit. Finally, a climatic race in the Copper Canyon that pits America’s best ultra-runners against the tribe.
April 11 — Effi Briest by Theodor Fontane.Â Facilitator Miwako OgasawaraÂ
This novel, loosely based upon a real scandal, is regarded as Theodor Fontaneâ€™s masterpiece. Â Seventeen yearÂ old Effi,Â a daughter of an aristocratic family, is married off to an ambitious career officer old enough to be her father. Â Left neglected in her fatherâ€™s new post in a northern city, Effi falls into the trap of a dashing womanizer. Â Their affair leads to a tragic consequence years later. Â Along with Madam Bovary and Anna Karenina, Effi Briest forms a trilogy of the 19th century adultery novels.
April 18 — Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe.Â Facilitator Morgan CorriganÂ
First published in 1958, the book eschews the temptation of depicting pre-colonial life as a kind of Eden and is a relentlessly unsentimental rendering of Nigerian tribal life before and after the coming of colonialism. Â Â His Ibo protagonist, Okonkwo, is a self-made man who has worked all his life to overcome his fatherâ€™s weakness and has achieved, finally, a great prosperity and even greater reputation among his fellows in theÂ village of Umuofia. Okonkwo is a champion wrestler, a prosperous farmer and also husband to three wives and father to several children.