Monday Books

Chairs: Ruth Dean and Gretchen Knowlton

Come and enjoy discussions led by Waynflete faculty and staff on books they have chosen. Gatherings are held in the Waynflete Library, 6:00 to 7:30 p.m. (please note this updated time change). Monday Books is open to the entire Waynflete community.

The titles are available to borrow at the Library or may be purchased at a 20% discount online or in-store at Print: A Bookstore. Use the code MONDAYBOOKS.

Book descriptions below are courtesy of Print: A Bookstore. This year's selections have been added to the Library's Overdrive Digital Library, a collection of ebooks selected by Waynflete librarians for the Waynflete community. You can find a link to the Digital Library on the Library's page of the Waynflete website. To use the Digital Library you must have an account. Please contact Laurel Daly (ldaly@waynflete.org) to set one up.


2019-2020 Dates

 

September 16, 2019

 

Discussion Leader: English Department Chair, Lorry Stillman

Book: The Boy Who Harnessed The Wind by William Kamkwamba & Bryan Mealer

This book is an all-school read! It will be a theme for this year's Convocation and will be visited in class curriculum at each grade level.

 

 

William Kamkwamba was born in Malawi, a country where magic ruled and modern science was mystery. It was also a land withered by drought and hunger. But William had read about windmills, and he dreamed of building one that would bring to his small village a set of luxuries that only 2 percent of Malawians could enjoy: electricity and running water. His neighbors called him misala—crazy—but William refused to let go of his dreams. With a small pile of once-forgotten science textbooks; some scrap metal, tractor parts, and bicycle halves; and an armory of curiosity and determination, he embarked on a daring plan to forge an unlikely contraption and small miracle that would change the lives around him.

The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind is a remarkable true story about human inventiveness and its power to overcome crippling adversity. It will inspire anyone who doubts the power of one individual's ability to change his community and better the lives of those around him.

 


 

October 21, 2019

 

Discussion Leaders: Global Community Scholars Coordinator, Nicole Bradeen & Upper School Director, Lowell Libby, in collaboration with the Parents Association Inclusion and Equity Committee

Book: White Fragility: Why It's So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism by Robin DiAngelo, foreword by Michael Eric Dyson

 

 

The New York Times best-selling book exploring the counterproductive reactions white people have when their assumptions about race are challenged, and how these reactions maintain racial inequality. 

In this “vital, necessary, and beautiful book” (Michael Eric Dyson), antiracist educator Robin DiAngelo deftly illuminates the phenomenon of white fragility and “allows us to understand racism as a practice not restricted to ‘bad people’ (Claudia Rankine). Referring to the defensive moves that white people make when challenged racially, white fragility is characterized by emotions such as anger, fear, and guilt, and by behaviors including argumentation and silence. These behaviors, in turn, function to reinstate white racial equilibrium and prevent any meaningful cross-racial dialogue. In this in-depth exploration, DiAngelo examines how white fragility develops, how it protects racial inequality, and what we can do to engage more constructively.

 


 

November 18, 2019

 

Discussion Leader: English Teacher, John Radway

Book: Lanny: A Novel by Max Porter

 

 

 

An entrancing new novel by the author of the prizewinning Grief Is the Thing with Feathers

There’s a village an hour from London. It’s no different from many others today: one pub, one church, redbrick cottages, some public housing, and a few larger houses dotted about. Voices rise up, as they might anywhere, speaking of loving and needing and working and dying and walking the dogs. This village belongs to the people who live in it, to the land and to the land’s past.

It also belongs to Dead Papa Toothwort, a mythical figure local schoolchildren used to draw as green and leafy, choked by tendrils growing out of his mouth, who awakens after a glorious nap. He is listening to this twenty-first-century village, to its symphony of talk: drunken confessions, gossip traded on the street corner, fretful conversations in living rooms. He is listening, intently, for a mischievous, ethereal boy whose parents have recently made the village their home. Lanny.

With Lanny, Max Porter extends the potent and magical space he created in Grief Is the Thing with Feathers. This brilliant novel will ensorcell readers with its anarchic energy, with its bewitching tapestry of fabulism and domestic drama. Lanny is a ringing defense of creativity, spirit, and the generative forces that often seem under assault in the contemporary world, and it solidifies Porter’s reputation as one of the most daring and sensitive writers of his generation.


 

January 6, 2020

 

Discussion Leader: English Teacher, Jim Millard

Book: Night Sky with Exit Wounds by Ocean Vuong

 

 

 

One of the most celebrated poetry books of the year:

Michiko Kakutani in The New York Times writes: "The poems in Mr. Vuong's new collection, Night Sky With Exit Wounds...possess a tensile precision reminiscent of Emily Dickinson's work, combined with a Gerard Manley Hopkins-like appreciation for the sound and rhythms of words. Mr. Vuong can create startling images (a black piano in a field, a wedding-cake couple preserved under glass, a shepherd stepping out of a Caravaggio painting) and make the silences and elisions in his verse speak as potently as his words...There is a powerful emotional undertow to these poems that springs from Mr. Vuong's sincerity and candor, and from his ability to capture specific moments in time with both photographic clarity and a sense of the evanescence of all earthly things."

 


 

February 3, 2020

 

Discussion Leaders: Science Teacher, Katrina St. John and College Advisor, Emily Birchby

Book: Inheritance: A Memoir of Genealogy, Paternity, and Love by Dani Shapiro

 

 

 

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER 

“A gripping genetic detective story, and a meditation on the meaning of parenthood and family.” —Jennifer Egan, author of Manhattan Beach 
 
From the acclaimed, best-selling memoirist and novelist—“a writer of rare talent” (Cheryl Strayed)—a memoir about the staggering family secret uncovered by a genealogy test: an exploration of the urgent ethical questions surrounding fertility treatments and DNA testing, and a profound inquiry of paternity, identity, and love.

What makes us who we are? What combination of memory, history, biology, experience, and that ineffable thing called the soul defines us?

In the spring of 2016, through a genealogy website to which she had whimsically submitted her DNA for analysis, Dani Shapiro received the stunning news that her father was not her biological father. She woke up one morning and her entire history--the life she had lived--crumbled beneath her.

Inheritance is a book about secrets--secrets within families, kept out of shame or self-protectiveness; secrets we keep from one another in the name of love. It is the story of a woman's urgent quest to unlock the story of her own identity, a story that has been scrupulously hidden from her for more than fifty years, years she had spent writing brilliantly, and compulsively, on themes of identity and family history. It is a book about the extraordinary moment we live in--a moment in which science and technology have outpaced not only medical ethics but also the capacities of the human heart to contend with the consequences of what we discover.

 

 

March 9, 2020

 

Discussion Leader: Performing Arts Teacher, Tiki Fuhro

Book: The Wolves: A Play: Off-Broadway Edition by Sarah DeLappe

 

 

 

One of the most-talked about new plays of the 2016 Off-Broadway season, Sarah DeLappe’s The Wolves opened to enthusiastic acclaim, including two sold-out, extended runs at The Playwrights Realm/The Duke on 42nd Street.The Wolves follows the 9 teenage girls―members of an indoor soccer team―as they warm up, engage in banter and one-upmanship, and fight battles big and small with each other and themselves. As the teammates warm up in sync, a symphony of overlapping dialogue spills out their concerns, including menstruation (pads or tampons?), is Coach hung over?, eating disorders, sexual pressure, the new girl, and the Khmer Rouge (what it is, how to pronounce it, and do they need to know about it―“We don’t do genocides ’til senior year.”) By season’s and play’s end, amidst the wins and losses, rivalries and tragedies, they are warriors tested and ready―they are The Wolves.

Description from amazon.com

 


 

April 13, 2020 - Reserved Snow Date

In case any Monday Books needs to be rescheduled due to weather