The book club at the Cannon Beach Library will visit Japan 80 minutes at a time, look behind the scenes at the U.S. Supreme Court and study health care around the world over the next three months.
The Cannon Beach Reads! members recently planned their monthly reading for 2011 to include fiction and nonfiction, and both recent and classic books.
Cannon Beach Reads! meets at 7 p.m. on the third Wednesday of each month at the library. Usually there are about a dozen readers discussing the month's book at the library's big table near the fireplace. Visitors and new members are welcome. The program is free.
The group's fifth year begins this month with the novel "The Housekeeper and the Professor" by Yoko Ogawa, which is set in Japan and was translated by Stephen Snyder. A brilliant math professor's brain is injured so that he can only remember 80 minutes at a time before his brain starts to erase its recent memory. A young mother becomes his housekeeper and adapts to living constantly in the present.
The February book is a 2008 New York Times Best Book of the Year, "The Nine: The Secret World of the Supreme Court" by Jeffrey Toobin. The writer was able to interview justices and others involved in the court to show more of the court's recent workings than the public usually sees, including some of the political dealing that goes into nominating justices.
In March, library readers will learn about health plans around the world in "The Healing of America: A Global Quest for Better, Cheaper and Fairer Health Care." Journalist T.R. Reid takes an injury to doctors in several countries to see how they would treat it. He finds that many countries fairly distribute good care to their citizens with better results at less cost than is the case in the United States.
"Their Eyes Were Watching God,' a 1937 novel by Zora Neale Hurston about life in Florida in the early 1900s that is regarded as a pioneering work for both African-American writing and female writers, will be the April book. A Barbara Kingsolver novel, "The Lacuna," about a boy whose youth in Mexico involves Diego Rivera, Frida Kahlo and Trotsky before he moves to the U.S. to become a major writer, is the May title.
The remaining books in the schedule include James Agee's illustrated, Depression-era account of the lives of sharecroppers in "Let Us Now Praise Famous Men," and "The Ugly American," by William J. Lederer and Eugene Burdick, about fictional but thinly disguised American aid workers in a Vietnam-like country who are insensitive to the people they are supposed to be helping.
August brings a nonfiction title. "Citizens of London," about Americans who help forge the alliance with Britain during World War II, is by Lynne Olson, while in September "Finding Nouf" by Zoe Ferraris has a Palestinian businessman in Saudi Arabia finding himself working on a murder mystery with the help of a woman after a lifetime of not looking at or associating with women.
October's "Before the Dawn: Recovering the History of Our Lost Ancestors" by Nicholas Wade, tells how DNA research is uncovering human pre-history. The classic "House of the Seven Gables" by Nathaniel Hawthorne is November's book, and the year ends in flames with "The Big Burn: Teddy Roosevelt and the Fire That Saved America," by Timothy Egan.
For more information, call the library at (503) 436-1391.