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NON-FICTION Book Group : "The American Way of Death, Revisited" by Jessica Mitford
First Tuesday at 1PM
Here is the classic anatomy of America's funeral practices, revised, expanded, and brought up-to-date for a new generation. Thirty-five years ago, Jessica Mitford's savage and hilarious The American Way of Death was a number one best-seller and occasioned new legislation intended to reform the funeral industry.
By the time of her death in 1996, Mitford had almost finished a complete revision of that long-out-of-print book--demonstrating, with her genius for outrageous and devastating muckraking, that, far from being reformed, the industry is more pernicious than ever in its assault on our values and our wallets. This revised edition contains completely new chapters on, among other things, prepayment ("Pay Now--Die Poorer") and the new multi-national corporations ("A Global Village of the Dead"), as well as a jaundiced look at the failure of the Federal Trade Commission to enforce the laws that the original edition of this book helped bring about. And, of course, there's a total updating of the facts and figures that tell the tale. A classic work of investigative journalism.
A brilliant piece of satirical writing. An essential guide to dealing with the questionable (to put it politely) practices of an industry that--alas--sooner or later affects us all.
The Non-Fiction group will take the summer off and will meet again in September, when they will be reading Dead Wake by Erik Larson.
Third Thursday Book Group
Thursday May 17 at 1 PM
From the New York Times bestselling author of The Red Tent and Day After Night, comes an unforgettable novel about family ties and values, friendship and feminism told through the eyes of a young Jewish woman growing up in Boston in the early twentieth century. Addie Baum is The Boston Girl, born in 1900 to immigrant parents who were unprepared for and suspicious of America and its effect on their three daughters. Growing up in the North End, then a teeming multicultural neighborhood, Addie's intelligence and curiosity take her to a world her parents can't imagine-a world of short skirts, movies, celebrity culture, and new opportunities for women. Addie wants to finish high school and dreams of going to college. She wants a career and to find true love.
Eighty-five-year-old Addie tells the story of her life to her twenty-two-year-old granddaughter, who has asked her "How did you get to be the woman you are today." She begins in 1915, the year she found her voice and made friends who would help shape the course of her life. From the one-room tenement apartment she shared with her parents and two sisters, to the library group for girls she joins at a neighborhood settlement house, to her first, disastrous love affair, Addie recalls her adventures with compassion for the naïve girl she was and a wicked sense of humor.
Written with the same attention to historical detail and emotional resonance that made Anita Diamant's previous novels bestsellers, The Boston Girl is a moving portrait of one woman's complicated life in twentieth century America, and a fascinating look at a generation of women finding their places in a changing world.
Call 603/329-6411 or visit www.HampsteadLibrary.org for more information about Hampstead Public Library programs and services.
Books are available at the Library's main desk. Anyone is welcome to join the book club's discussion on the Third Thursday of each month.
Upcoming Book Group Selections
Upcoming titles for our Third Thursday Book Group:
May 17 - The Boston Girl by Anita Diamant
June 21 - Wright Brothers by David McCullough
The Non-Fiction Book Group meets the first Tuesday of the month, at 1PM.
July and August, the group takes a break, to return in September.
June 5 - THE AMERICAN WAY OF DEATH, REVISITED by Jessica Mitford
Sept 4 - Dead Wake by Erik Larson
Oct 2 - Nothing Like It In The World by Stephen Ambrose