On the Waterfront by Budd Schulberg (discussed at the March 31 meeting, books/audio books available February 24.) Building on his Academy Award-winning screenplay of the classic film, Budd Schulberg's On the Waterfront is the story of ex-prizefighter Terry Malloy's valiant stand against corruption on the New Jersey docks. It generates all the power, grittiness, and truth of that great production, but goes beyond it in setting. It is a story of strength and fallibility, of hope and defeat, of love and betrayal. (113 pages)
In the Company of Cheerful Ladies by Alexander McCall Smith (discussed at the April 28 meeting, books/audio books available March 31 Precious Ramotswe, proprietor of the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency in Botswana, and now married to Mr. J. L. B. Matekoni, owner of Tlokweng Road Speedy Motors, is filled with worry over personal problems. At the same time, her assistant is preoccupied with finding a husband, and it appears that Charlie, the apprentice at the auto shop, has run off with an older woman. Large cups of bush tea remain the main source of relief for thirst and for solving mysteries. This is the sixth novel of the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency series--the Wednesday Night Readers have read and discussed the previous five. (233 pages)
Born Standing Up: A Comic’s Life by Steve Martin (discussed at the May 26 meeting, books/audio books available April 28) At age 10, Steve Martin got a job selling guidebooks at the newly opened Disneyland. In the decade that followed, he worked in Disney's magic shop, print shop, and theater, and developed his own magic/comedy act. By age 20, studying poetry and philosophy on the side, he was performing a dozen times a week. He writes about mentors, girlfriends, his complex relationship with his parents and sister, and about some of his great peers in comedy. He also writes about how he figured out what worked on stage.
Child of Dandelions by Shenaaz Nanji (discussed at the June 30 meeting, books/audio books available May 26) Fifteen-year-old Sabine lives a life of luxury with her wealthy Indian family in Kampala, Uganda. Then Idi Amin comes to power and things change quickly. All British Indians are expelled from the country. Sabine's father thinks they will be safe because they are Ugandan citizens, but they soon discover that they are in serious danger. Sabine struggles to deal with a world falling apart. Prejudices are clearly delineated, and the thin veneer of civilization crumbles as the chilling background beat of the radio relentlessly counts down the days left before all British Indians must leave the country. This book was selected by the American Library Association as the Best Book of the Year for Young Adults. (214 pages)
High Lonesome by Louis L'Amour (discussed at the July 28 meeting, books/audio books available June 30) Considine and Pete Runyan had once been friends, back in the days when both were cowhands. But when Runyan married the woman Considine loved, the two men parted ways. Runyan took on the sheriff’s job and Considine took up robbing banks. Now Considine is planning a raid on a bank that will pit him against Sheriff Considine and lead to either riches or ruin. (152 pages)