Book & Film Discussions

Murder by the Book Discussion Group

Murder by the Book Discussions are on the 2nd Thursday of every month from 1:3-2:30 p.m. Email Mary.Frueh@mymanatee.org to register.

December 10, 2020, 1:30 p.m. on Zoom
Please Look After Mom by Kyæong-suk Sin

A million-plus-copy best seller in Korea--a magnificent English-language debut poised to become an international sensation--this is the stunning, deeply moving story of a family's search for their mother, who goes missing one afternoon amid the crowds of the Seoul Station subway. Told through the piercing voices and urgent perspectives of a daughter, son, husband, and mother, Please Look After Mom is at once an authentic picture of contemporary life in Korea and a universal story of family love. You will never think of your mother the same way again after you read this book. 

January 14, 2021, 1:30 p.m. on Zoom
The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler

When a case of blackmail involving the daughter of a California millionaire leads to murder, the inimitable Philip Marlowe is stirred into action as he becomes embroiled in a
troublesome case of extortion complicated by kidnapping, pornography, seduction, and murder.

February 11, 2021, 1:30 p.m. on Zoom
Nothing Ventured by Jeffrey Archer

A series debut introduces London Metropolitan Police Force detective William Warwick, who on his first investigation reflects on his complicated childhood while uncovering the schemes of a ruthless art collector. By #1 New York Times best-selling author of The Clifton Chronicles.

March 11, 2021, 1:30 p.m. on Zoom
Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

Viewed with suspicion in the aftermath of a murder, Kya Clark, who has survived alone for years in a marsh near the North Carolina coast,
becomes targeted by unthinkable forces.

April 8, 2021, 1:30 p.m. on Zoom
Raven Black by Ann Cleeves

In the remote Scottish Shetland Islands, Det. Insp. Jimmy Perez investigates the murder of teenage Catherine Ross, found strangled on a snowy hillside shortly after New Year's. Police and citizens alike are quick to lay the blame on local eccentric Magnus Tait, who was not only the last person to see Catherine alive but also the prime suspect in the disappearance eight years earlier of another girl. Perez is soon drawn into an intricate web of lies as he unearths long-buried secrets that go deeper into the past of the Shetland Islands than anyone wants to go.

May 13, 2020, 1:30 p.m. on Zoom
The Murder List by Hank Phillippi Ryan

A bright, hard-working law student married to a faithful and devoted husband discovers that everything she believes about her life is false and is caught up in a game of cat-and-mouse for her very survival.

June 10, 2021, 1:30 p.m. on Zoom
In the Woods by Tana French

Twenty years after witnessing the violent
disappearances of two companions from a small Dublin suburb, detective Rob Ryan investigates a chillingly similar murder that takes place in the same area, a case that forces him to piece together his traumatic memories.


Braden River - Book Discussion Group

The Braden River Book Discussion Group meets on the 2nd Tuesday of each month from 6:30-7:30 p.m. Email Mary.Frueh@mymanatee.org to register.

January 12, 2021, 1:30 p.m. on Zoom
Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel

The sudden death of a Hollywood actor during a production of "King Lear" marks the beginning of the world's dissolution in a story told at various past and future times from the perspectives of the actor and four of his associates.

February 9, 2021, 1:30 p.m. on Zoom
Ask Again, Yes: a Novel by Mary Beth Keane

When a violent event forcibly ends their romance, the son and daughter of two NYPD
rookies reconnect years later and struggle to
prevent the past from triggering another separation.

March 9, 2021, 1:30 p.m. on Zoom
The Story of Arthur Truluv by Elizabeth Berg

Making daily visits to the grave of his beloved late wife, Arthur forges unexpected relationships with a nosy neighbor and
a troubled teen who dubs him "Truluv" before them trio discovers healing and family together.

April 13, 2021, 1:30 p.m. on Zoom
The Exiles: a Novel by Christina Baker Kline

Sent to a Tasmanian penal colony after conceiving her employer’s grandchild, a young governess befriends a talented midwife and an orphaned Aboriginal chief’s daughter while confronting the harsh realities of British colonialism and oppression in 19th century
Australia (historical fiction).

May 11, 2021, 1:30 p.m. on Zoom
The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

Waging a fierce competition for which they have trained since childhood, circus magicians Celia and Marco unexpectedly fall in love with each other and share a fantastical romance that manifests in fateful ways.

June 8, 2021, 1:30 p.m. on Zoom
The Lions of Fifth Avenue: a Novel by Fiona Davis

A New York Public Library superintendent’s wife
reevaluates her priorities upon joining a woman’s suffrage group in 1913, decades before her granddaughter’s efforts to save an exhibit expose tragic family secrets. By the best-selling author of The Chelsea Girls.

Braden River - Teen Books and Beyond

All programs are virtual, email Molly.Saunders@mymanatee.org to register. Follow on Instagram @bradenriverlibrary_teens

January 16, 2021, 4 p.m. on Zoom
Books & Beyond: Manga, Comics & Graphic Novels

February 20, 2021, 4 p.m. on Zoom
Books & Beyond: Black Voices

March 6, 2021, 4 p.m. on Zoom
Young Adult Book Blitz!

March 20, 2021, 4 p.m. on Zoom
Books & Beyond: Realistic Fiction

April 17, 2021, 4 p.m. on Zoom
Books & Beyond: #WeNeedMoreDiverseBooks

Non-Fiction Addiction Book Discussion

Non-Fiction Addiction meets on the third Wednesday of the month from 6:30-7:30 p.m. (unless otherwise noted) Email Liz.Williams@mymanatee.org to register. 

Wednesday, December 16, 2020, 6:30 p.m. on Zoom
Christmas: A Short History from Solstice to Santa by Andy Thomas

Mystery Book Discussion

The Mystery Book Discussion group meets on the third Thursday of the month at 10 a.m. Email Callie.Hutchison@mymanatee.org to register.

Thursday, December 17, 2020, 10 a.m. on Zoom
Three Single Wives by Gina LaManna with a special appearance by author

Graphic Novel Book Club

Let's Get Graphic! Book club meets on the second Saturday of the month at 2 p.m. Email Megan.Robinson@mymanatee.org to register. 

Saturday, December 12, 2020, 2 p.m. on Zoom
Quince (Eisner Award nominated) Sebatian Kadlecik and Kit Steinkellner 

Lupe is just your average, insecure, well-meaning, occasionally cranky teenage girl whose life is completely turned upside down when she discovers she has superpowers at her quinceañera. Her quince powers only last as long as she's fifteen, so over the course of this rollercoaster year, we follow the adventures of Lupe as she figures out what it really means to be a hero. 

Something is Killing the Children Vol. 1 by GLAAD Award winning author James Tynion IV 

When the children of Archer's Peak begin to go missing, everything seems hopeless. The few children that return alive have terrible stories-impossible details of terrifying creatures that live in the shadows. Their only hope is the arrival of a mysterious stranger, one who believes the children and claims to be the only adult who sees what they can see. 

Classics Up Close Book Discussion

Classics Up Close meets on the fourth Tuesday of the month at 12 p.m. Email Mary.Frueh@mymanatee.org to register.

Tuesday, January 26, 2021, 12 p.m. on Zoom
Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand

In a scrap heap within an abandoned factory, the greatest invention in history lies dormant and unused. By what fatal error has its value gone unrecognized? In defense of those greatest of human qualities, one man sets out to show what would happen to the world if all the heroes of innovation and industry went
on strike. Is he a destroyer or a liberator?

Tuesday, February 23, 2021, 12 p.m. on Zoom
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith

Young Francie Nolan, having inherited both
her father's romantic and her mother's practical nature, struggles to survive and thrive growing up in the slums of Brooklyn in the early twentieth century.

Tuesday, March 23, 2021, 12 p.m.
Jane Eyre: An Autobiography by Emily Bronte

Jane Eyre follows the emotions and experiences of its title character as she matures to adulthood, and her love for Mr. Rochester, the master of fictitious Thornfield Hall. The unfolding of Jane's moral and spiritual sensibility are coloured by a heightened intensity, previously the domain of poetry. Jane Eyre revolutionized the art of fiction.

Tuesday, April 27, 2021, 12 p.m. on Zoom
One day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich
by Aleksandr Isaevich Solzhenitsyn

Ivan Denisovich faces daily hardships and struggles to maintain his humanity while being a prisoner in a Stalinist labor camp.

Tuesday, May 25, 2021, 12 p.m. on Zoom
The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane

An episode of the American Civil War 1895: Novel about the meaning of courage, as it is discovered by a recruit in the American Civil War.

Tuesday, June 22, 2021, 12 p.m.
The Heart is a Lonely Hunter
by Carson McCullers

Mick Kelly, a quiet, sensitive, and wise-beyond- her-years young girl, searches for beauty in a small, Southern town in the 1930s, as she develops a relationship with deaf-mute John Singer.


FILM DISCUSSIONS | What's the hoopla?

Manatee Libraries staff and friends gather online to discuss films available through Hoopla Digital, a streaming service that is free with your library card! Did you miss the live chat? Catch up with our playlists below!