Featured Books & Discussion Moderators
Choose a title listed here to read in advance of your dinner and book discussion. Begin the evening at 5:30 p.m. in the designated Book Feast room in the FLCC Student Center and get acquainted with your fellow dinner companions over award-winning wine created by students in FLCC's viticulture program. Dinner will be served at 6 p.m. Participants will then savor five courses and delve into a lively discussion led by an FLCC faculty member who will offer a unique perspective on the evening's book selection. Space is limited to 12 guests per evening.
Register online or by phone at (585) 785-1454.
Oct. 6: The Book of Joy: Lasting Happiness in a Changing World by Dalai Lama, Desmond Tutu, and Douglas Carlton Abrams
Moderated by Lori Vail, instructor of humanities
In 2015, Archbishop Tutu traveled to the Dalai Lama's home in Dharamsala, India, to celebrate His Holiness's eightieth birthday and to create what they hoped would be a gift for others. They looked back on their long lives to answer a single burning question: How do we find joy in the face of life's inevitable suffering? By the end of a week filled with laughter and punctuated with tears, these two global heroes had stared into the abyss and despair of our time and revealed how to live a life brimming with joy. This book offers us a rare opportunity to experience their astonishing and unprecendented week together, from the first embrace to the final good-bye.
Oct. 13: Astrophysics for People in a Hurry by Neil deGrasse Tyson
Moderated by Trevor Johnson-Steigelman, assistant professor of physics
What is the nature of space and time? How do we fit within the universe? How does the universe fit within us? There's no better guide through these mind-expanding questions than acclaimed astrophysicist and best-selling author Neil deGrasse Tyson. But today, few of us have time to contemplate the cosmos. So Tyson brings the universe down to Earth succinctly and clearly, with sparkling wit, in tasty chapters consumable anytime and anywhere in your busy day. This book will reveal just what you need to be fluent and ready for the next cosmic headlines: from the Big Bang to black holes, from quarks to quantum mechanics, and from the search for planets to the search for life in the universe.
Oct. 20: The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Annie Barrows and Mary Ann Shaffer
Moderated by Natalie Walton, adjunct instructor of history
Written with warmth and humor as a series of letters, this novel is a celebration of the written word in all its guises, and of finding connection in the most surprising ways. As London is emerging from the shadow of the Second World War, writer Juliet Ashton is looking for her next book subject. Who could imagine that she would find it in a letter from a man she's never met, a native of the island of Guernsey, who has come across her name written inside a book. As Juliet and her new correspondent exchange letters, Juliet is drawn into the world of this man and his friends. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society-born as a spur-of-the-moment alibi when its members were discovered breaking curfew by the Germans occupying their island-boasts a charming, funny, deeply human cast of characters. Captivated by their stories, she sets sail for Guernsey, and what she finds will change her forever.
Oct. 27: The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer by Siddhartha Mukherjee
Moderated by Jim Hewlett, Professor of Biology
Winner of the Pulitzer Prize, and now a documentary from Ken Burns on PBS, The Emperor of All Maladies is a magnificent, profoundly humane "biography" of cancer-from its first documented appearances thousands of years ago through the epic battles in the twentieth century to cure, control, and conquer it to a radical new understanding of its essence. Physician, researcher, and award-winning science writer, Siddhartha Mukherjee examines cancer with a cellular biologist's precision, a historian's perspective, and a biographer's passion. The result is an astonishingly lucid and eloquent chronicle of a disease humans have lived with-and perished from-for more than five thousand years. The Emperor of All Maladies is about the people who have soldiered through fiercely demanding regimens in order to survive-and to increase our understanding of this iconic disease. Riveting, urgent, and surprising, this illuminating book provides a fascinating glimpse into the future of cancer treatments, as well as hope and clarity to those seeking to demystify cancer.
Nov. 3: How to Love Wine: A Memoir and Manifesto by Eric Asimov
Moderated by Gina Lee '13, viticulture and wine technology specialist
Eric Asimov, the acclaimed chief wine critic for the New York Times, has written a beautiful and thought-provoking combination memoir and manifesto, How to Love Wine. With charm, wit, and intelligence, Asimov tells how he went from writing beer reviews for his high school newspaper on Long Island to the most coveted job in the industry. He evaluates the current wine culture, discussing trends both interesting and alarming, and celebrates the extraordinary pleasures of wine while, at the same time, questioning the conventional wisdom about wine. Whether you're a connoisseur or a novice, already love wine or want to know it better, How to Love Wine: A Memoir and Manifesto is the book for you.
Dec. 1: Field Notes from a Catastrophe: Man, Nature, and Climate Change by Elizabeth Kolbert
Moderated by Clinton Krager, associate professor of biology
Elizabeth Kolbert's environmental classic Field Notes from a Catastrophe first developed out of a groundbreaking, National Magazine Award-winning three-part series in The New Yorker in 2006. Kolbert cuts through the competing rhetoric and political agendas to elucidate for Americans what is really going on with the global environment and asks what, if anything, can be done to save our planet. In the years since, the story has continued to develop; the situation has become more dire, even as our understanding grows. Now, Kolbert returns to the defining book of her career, updating it and making it, again, a must-read for our moment.