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Contemporary Books:


Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Lilac Girls
by Martha Hall Kelly

lilacgirlsThis novel is based on the real-life story of a New York socialite who crusaded for justice for a group of female concentration camp survivors after the atrocities of World War II. Caroline Ferriday was a former Broadway actress attached to the French consulate in New York when Hitler’s army invaded Poland in September 1939. Across the ocean, young of Kasia Kuzmerick, a Polish teenager, was beginning her dangerous role as a courier for the underground resistance movement. In Germany, an ambitious young doctor, Herta Oberheuser, hoped for a satisfying career when she applied for a government medical position. The lives of these three women were set on a collision course when Kasia was caught and sent with her sister to Ravensbruck, the notorious German concentration camp for women where inhumane medical experiments were performed daily.


Tuesday, October 10, 2017

X: A Novel
by Ilyasah Shabazz and Kekla Magoon

  X A Novel GMR 2017 18 200x300     The 2017-2018 selection for the Michigan Humanities Council’s Great Michigan Read, X: A Novel is a fictionalized account of the early years of the civil rights activist, Malcolm X. While living in Lansing, Malcolm Little was a young man with boundless potential but with the odds stacked against him. After losing his father under suspicious circumstances and his mother to a mental health hospital, Malcolm fell into a life of petty crime and eventually went to prison. Instead of letting prison be his downfall, Malcolm found a religion, a voice, and the podium that would eventually make him one of the most prominent figures of the burgeoning civil rights movement. A tale of reinvention and redemption, written by Ilyasah Shabazz, Malcolm X’s third daughter, and Kekla Magoon, the book explores the Michigan roots of Malcolm X, including the early life experiences, both good and bad, that molded him into one of the most dominant leaders of the twentieth century.



Tuesday, November 14, 2017

West of Sunset

by Stewart O'Nan

westofsunset2In 1937, F. Scott Fitzgerald, legendary Jazz Age author of The Great Gatsby, was atroubled, uncertain man whose literary success was long over. In poor health, with his socialite wife, Zelda, committed to an asylum, his finances in ruin, and the extravagant days of the roaring twenties behind him, he struggled to make a new start as a screenwriter in Hollywood. He would die of a heart attack in 1940. With references to Fitzgerald’s glamorous Jazz Age past, the novel follows him as he arrives on the MGM lot, falls in love with brassy gossip columnist Sheilah Graham, begins work on his last book, The Last Tycoon, and tries to maintain a semblance of family life for hiis daughter, Scottie. The Golden Age of Hollywood is brought vividly to life with a romantic cast of characters, from Dorothy Parker and Ernest Hemingway to Humphrey Bogart. “[An] almost unbearably bittersweet portrait of the once-great novelist F. Scott Fitzgerald’s sad yet glittering final years in Hollywood… “(USA Today)




 For more information about the Contemporary Book Discussion Group, contact Sue Patterson, 734.453.0750 ext. 241, or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.