Glen Ellyn Public Library Book Discussion
GEPL book discussions are held in the Board Room. Copies of book discussion titles are available near the 2nd Floor Information Desk. Reserve your spot.
Fall Book Discussions
The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling
Thursday, September 14 | 7–8 pm
The story of Mowgli, the man-cub who is brought up by wolves in the jungles of Central India, is one of the greatest literary myths ever created. As he embarks on a series of thrilling escapades, Mowgli encounters such unforgettable creatures as the bear Baloo, the graceful black panther Bagheera and Shere Khan, the tiger with the blazing eyes.
Other animal stories in The Jungle Books range from the dramatic battle between good and evil in Rikki-tikki-tavi to the macabre comedy The Undertakers.
With The Jungle Books, Rudyard Kipling drew on ancient beast fables, Buddhist philosophy, and memories of his Anglo-Indian childhood to create a rich, symbolic portrait of man and nature, and an eternal classic of childhood.
The Garden of Small Beginnings by Abbi Waxman
Thursday, October 12 | 7–8 pm
Lilian Girvan has been a single mother for three years — ever since her husband died in a car accident. One mental breakdown and some random suicidal thoughts later, she’s just starting to get the hang of this widow thing. She can now get her two girls to school, show up to work, and watch TV like a pro. The only problem is she’s becoming overwhelmed with being underwhelmed.
At least her textbook illustrating job has some perks — like actually being called upon to draw whale genitalia. Oh, and there’s that vegetable-gardening class her boss signed her up for. Apparently being the chosen illustrator for a series of boutique vegetable guides means getting your hands dirty, literally. Wallowing around in compost on a Saturday morning can’t be much worse than wallowing around in pajamas and self-pity.
After recruiting her kids and insanely supportive sister to join her, Lilian shows up at the Los Angeles Botanical Garden feeling out of her element. But what she’ll soon discover — with the help of a patient instructor and a quirky group of gardeners — is that into every life a little sun must shine, whether you want it to or not.
The Professor and the Madman: A Tale of Murder, Insanity, and the Making of the Oxford English Dictionary by Simon Winchester
Thursday, November 9 | 7–8 pm
It is known as one of the greatest literary achievements in the history of English letters. The creation of the Oxford English Dictionary began in 1857, took seventy years to complete, drew from tens of thousands of brilliant minds, and organized the sprawling language into 414,825 precise definitions. But hidden within the rituals of its creation is a fascinating and mysterious story — a story of two remarkable men whose strange twenty-year relationship lies at the core of this historic undertaking.
Professor James Murray, an astonishingly learned former schoolmaster and bank clerk, was the distinguished editor of the OED project. Dr. William Chester Minor, an American surgeon from New Haven, Connecticut, who had served in the Civil War, was one of thousands of contributors who submitted illustrative quotations of words to be used in the dictionary. But Minor was no ordinary contributor. He was remarkably prolific, sending thousands of neat, handwritten quotations from his home in the small village of Crowthorne, fifty miles from Oxford. On numerous occasions Murray invited Minor to visit Oxford and celebrate his work, but Murray’s offer was regularly — and mysteriously — refused.
Thus the two men, for two decades, maintained a close relationship only through correspondence. Finally, in 1896, after Minor had sent nearly ten thousand definitions to the dictionary but had still never traveled from his home, a puzzled Murray set out to visit him. It was then that Murray finally learned the truth about Minor — that, in addition to being a masterful wordsmith, Minor was also a murderer, clinically insane, and locked up in Broadmoor, England’s harshest asylum for criminal lunatics.
The Professor and the Madman is an extraordinary tale of madness and genius, and the incredible obsessions of two men at the heart of the Oxford English Dictionary and literary history.