Glen Ellyn Public Library Book Discussion
GEPL book discussions are held in The Lounge from 7-8 pm. Copies of book discussion titles are available near the 2nd Floor Information Desk. Reserve your spot for one or more GEPL Book Discussions.
Summer Book Discussions
Founding Gardeners: The Revolutionary Generation, Nature, and the Shaping of the American Nation by Andrea Wulf
Thursday, June 14
A fascinating look at the founding fathers from the unique and intimate perspective of their lives as gardeners, plantsmen, and farmers.
For the founding fathers, gardening, agriculture, and botany were elemental passions, as deeply ingrained in their characters as their belief in liberty for the nation they were creating. Andrea Wulf describes how, even as British ships gathered off Staten Island, George Washington wrote his estate manager about the garden at Mount Vernon; how a tour of English gardens renewed Thomas Jefferson’s and John Adams’s faith in their fledgling nation; how a trip to the great botanist John Bartram’s garden helped the delegates of the Constitutional Congress break their deadlock; and why James Madison is the forgotten father of American environmentalism.
These and other stories reveal a guiding but previously overlooked ideology of the American Revolution. Founding Gardeners adds depth and nuance to our understanding of the American experiment, and provides us with a portrait of the founding fathers as they’ve never before been seen.
I Was Anastasia: A Novel by Ariel Lawhon
Thursday, July 12
Did Anastasia Romanov survive the Russian Revolution, or was Anna Anderson, the woman who notoriously claimed her identity, an impostor?
Russia, July 17, 1918: Under direct orders from Vladimir Lenin, Bolshevik secret police force Anastasia Romanov, along with the entire imperial family, into a damp basement in Siberia where they face a merciless firing squad. None survive. At least that is what the executioners have always claimed.
Germany, February 17, 1920: A young woman bearing an uncanny resemblance to Anastasia Romanov is pulled shivering and senseless from a canal. Refusing to explain her presence in the freezing water or even acknowledge her rescuers, she is taken to the hospital where an examination reveals that her body is riddled with countless, horrific scars. When she finally does speak, this frightened, mysterious young woman claims to be the Russian Grand Duchess.
As rumors begin to circulate through European society that the youngest Romanov daughter has survived the massacre at Ekaterinburg, old enemies and new threats are awakened. The question of who this woman is and what actually happened to Anastasia creates a saga that spans fifty years and three continents.