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Free Book Clubs in February at Kona Bookstore

January 29, 2017, 10:39 AM HST
* Updated September 8, 5:04 PM
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Brenda McConnell and Joy Vogelgesang. Kona Stories courtesy photo.

Kona Stories bookstore is offers a monthly series of book club meetings to discuss works of fiction, travel and non-fiction.

The groups meet at Kona Stories bookstore on the KTA side of Keauhou Shopping Center and are offered free of charge if books are purchased at Kona Stories. If not, a $5 donation is requested. The next meetings are scheduled as follows:

  • Fiction meets at 6:30 p.m. on the 2nd Tuesday of each month
  • Travel meets at 6:30 p.m. on the 3rd Tuesday of each month
  • Non-fiction meets at 6 p.m. on the 4th Tuesday of each month

Participants are invited to bring a pupu or beverage to share and to come prepared to discuss the books from the following list.

For more info, call Brenda or Joy at (808) 324-0350 or visit www.konastories.com.

February 14, 2017 Fiction Group is discussing: The Madwoman Upstairs by Catherine Lowell

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In Catherine Lowell’s smart and original debut novel an enjoyable academic romp that successfully combines romance and intrigue (Publishers Weekly) the only remaining descendant of the Bronte family embarks on a modern-day literary treasure hunt to find the family’s long-rumored secret estate, using only the clues her father left behind and the Brontes own novels.

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Samantha Whipple is used to stirring up speculation wherever she goes. Since her eccentric father’s untimely death, she is the presumed heir to a long-rumored trove of diaries, paintings, letters, and early novel drafts passed down from the Bronte family a hidden fortune never revealed to anyone outside of the family, but endlessly speculated about by Bronte scholars and fanatics. Samantha, however, has never seen this alleged estate and for all she knows, it’s just as fictional as Jane Eyre or Wuthering Heights.

But everything changes when Samantha enrolls at Oxford University and long lost objects from the past begin rematerializing in her life, beginning with an old novel annotated in her father’s handwriting. With the help of a handsome but inscrutable professor, Samantha plunges into a vast literary mystery and an untold family legacy, one that can only be solved by decoding the clues hidden within the Brontes own works.

A fast-paced adventure from start to finish, The Madwoman Upstairs is a smart and original novel and a moving exploration of what happens when the greatest truth is, in fact, fiction.

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This group meets at 6:30PM @ Kona Stories Book Store.

February 21, 2017 Travel Group is discussing: Black Dragon River: A Journey down the Amur River between Russia and China by Dominic Ziegler

Black Dragon River is a personal journey down one of Asia’s great rivers that reveals the region’s essential history and culture. The world’s ninth largest river, the Amur serves as a large part of the border between Russia and China. As a crossroads for the great empires of Asia, this area offers journalist Dominic Ziegler a lens with which to examine the societies at Europe’s only borderland with East Asia. He follows a journey from the river’s top to bottom, and weaves the history, ecology and peoples to show a region obsessed with the past and to show how this region holds a key to the complex and critical relationship between Russia and China today.

One of Asia’s mightiest rivers, the Amur is also the most elusive. The terrain it crosses is legendarily difficult to traverse. Near the river’s source, Ziegler travels on horseback from the Mongolian steppe into the taiga, and later he is forced by the river’s impassibility to take the Trans-Siberian Railway through the four-hundred-mile valley of water meadows inland. As he voyages deeper into the Amur wilderness, Ziegler also journeys into the history of the peoples and cultures the river’s path has transformed.

The known history of the river begins with Genghis Khan and the rise of the Mongolian empire a millennium ago, and the story of the region has been one of aggression and conquest ever since. The modern history of the river is the story of Russia’s push across the Eurasian landmass to China. For China, the Amur is a symbol of national humiliation and Western imperial land seizure; to Russia it is a symbol of national regeneration, its New World dreams and eastern prospects. The quest to take the Amur was to be Russia’s route to greatness, replacing an oppressive European identity with a vibrant one that faced the Pacific. Russia launched a grab in 1854 and took from China a chunk of territory equal in size nearly to France and Germany combined. Later, the region was the site for atrocities meted out on the Russian Far East in the twentieth century during the Russian civil war and under Stalin.

The long shared history on the Amur has conditioned the way China and Russia behave toward each other and toward the outside world. To understand Putin’s imperial dreams, we must comprehend Russia’s relationship to its far east and how it still shapes the Russian mind. Not only is the Amur a key to Putinism, its history is also embedded in an ongoing clash of empires with the West.

This group meets at 6:30PM @ Kona Stories Book Store.

February 28, 2017 Non-Fiction Group is discussing:  The Wright Brothers by David McCullough

The #1 New York Times bestseller from David McCullough, two-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize the dramatic story-behind-the-story about the courageous brothers who taught the world how to fly Wilbur and Orville Wright.

On a winter day in 1903, in the Outer Banks of North Carolina, two brothers bicycle mechanics from Dayton, Ohio changed history. But it would take the world some time to believe that the age of flight had begun, with the first powered machine carrying a pilot.

Orville and Wilbur Wright were men of exceptional courage and determination, and of far-ranging intellectual interests and ceaseless curiosity. When they worked together, no problem seemed to be insurmountable. Wilbur was unquestionably a genius. Orville had such mechanical ingenuity as few had ever seen. That they had no more than a public high school education and little money never stopped them in their mission to take to the air. Nothing did, not even the self-evident reality that every time they took off, they risked being killed.

In this enjoyable, fast-paced tale (The Economist), master historian David McCullough shows as never before how two Ohio boys from a remarkable family taught the world to fly (The Washington Post) and captures the marvel of what the Wrights accomplished (The Wall Street Journal). He draws on the extensive Wright family papers to profile not only the brothers but their sister, Katharine, without whom things might well have gone differently for them. Essential reading, this is a story of timeless importance, told with uncommon empathy and fluency about what might be the most astonishing feat mankind has ever accomplished The Wright Brothers soars (The New York Times Book Review).

This group meets at 6:00PM @ Kona Stories Book Store.

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