Thursday, June 26, 2014

Saturday Samplers Book Group to Meet

Bernardsville Public Library’s book discussion group, Saturday Samplers, will meet on Saturday, July 12 at 3:30 pm to discuss “Methland: the Death and Life of an American Small Town” (2009) by Nick Reding.  [The author will not be present.]

A New York Times bestseller, the book tells the dramatic story of the methamphetamine epidemic that is sweeping the American heartland and of one community’s attempt to battle its way to a brighter future. It focuses on Oelwein, Iowa (pop. 6,159), which, like thousands of other small towns across the country, has suffered from the consolidation of the agricultural industry, a depressed local economy, and an out-migration of people. Over a period of four years, journalist Nick Reding traced the connections between the lives touched by the drug and the global forces that set the stage for this epidemic.

Nick Reding was born in Saint Louis, Missouri and earned an MFA in Creative Writing from N.Y.U., where he was a University Fellow from 1995 until 1997. He lived in New York City for thirteen years, where he worked as a magazine editor, a graduate school professor, and a freelance writer. His first book was “The Last Cowboys at the End of the World,” and “Methland” is his second.  He has written for Harper’s, Food and Wine, Outside, Fast Company, and Details. He lives in Saint Louis, where he is a Visiting Scholar at the Saint Louis University School of Law, and is working on his third book, “Heartland,” about what the Midwest will look like in fifty years.

Led by Evelyn Fischel, Saturday Samplers is a book discussion group dedicated to sampling various kinds of literature, including short stories, nonfiction, new and old novels, and even teen fiction.  Its goal is to search out interesting, noteworthy, and sometimes overlooked books.  Readers can find information about the group and about the books and authors on the reading list at  No sign-up is needed to join the discussion.  Call the library at 766-0118 for more information.

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