Ludington Library's Bookclub for Adults
The "Rabid Reader" Book Club welcomes new members anytime at the Ludington Library. Meetings are on the third Friday of each month, 9:30 am, at the Ludington Library. Their next meeting will be July 15 at 9:30 am, discussing the novel: "In the Garden of Beasts" by Erik Larson.
The time is 1933, the place, Berlin, when William E. Dodd becomes America’s first ambassador to Hitler’s Nazi Germany in a year that proved to be a turning point in history.
A mild-mannered professor from Chicago, Dodd brings along his wife, son, and flamboyant daughter, Martha. At first Martha is entranced by the parties and pomp, and the handsome young men of the Third Reich with their infectious enthusiasm for restoring Germany to a position of world prominence. Enamored of the “New Germany,” she has one affair after another, including with the suprisingly honorable first chief of the Gestapo, Rudolf Diels. But as evidence of Jewish persecution mounts, confirmed by chilling first-person testimony, her father telegraphs his concerns to a largely indifferent State Department back home. Dodd watches with alarm as Jews are attacked, the press is censored, and drafts of frightening new laws begin to circulate. As that first year unfolds and the shadows deepen, the Dodds experience days full of excitement, intrigue, romance—and ultimately, horror, when a climactic spasm of violence and murder reveals Hitler’s true character and ruthless ambition.
Suffused with the tense atmosphere of the period, and with unforgettable portraits of the bizarre Göring and the expectedly charming--yet wholly sinister--Goebbels, In the Garden of Beasts lends a stunning, eyewitness perspective on events as they unfold in real time, revealing an era of surprising nuance and complexity. The result is a dazzling, addictively readable work that speaks volumes about why the world did not recognize the grave threat posed by Hitler until Berlin, and Europe, were awash in blood and terror.
Rabid Readers Reading List for 2016*
12/18/2015: “Ordinary Grace” by William Kent Krueger. Fiction, c. 2013
01/15/2016: “Fahrenheit 451” by Ray Bradbury. Classical fiction, c. 1953
02/19/2016: “Cascade” by Maryanne O’Hara. Fiction, c. 2013
03/18/2016: “A Fine Balance” by Rohinton Mistry, Fiction, c.2001
04/15/2016: “Alice I Have Been” by Melanie Benjamin. Historical fiction, c. 2010
05/20/2016: “Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe” by Benjamin Alire Saenz. YA fiction, c. 2012
06/17/2016: “A Spool of Blue Thread” by Anne Tyler. Fiction, c. 2015
07/15/2016: “In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler’s Berlin” by Erik Larson. Novelistic history, c. 2011
08/19/2016: “Women of the Silk” by Gail Tsukiyama. Fiction, c. 1991
09/16/2016: “The Nightingale” by Kristin Hannah. Historical fiction, c. 2015
10/21/2016: “Americanah” by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. Fiction, c. 2014
11/18/2016: “About Grace” by Anthony Doerr. Fiction, c. 2004
* Subject to change