Friday, July 4, 2014

Memoirs and Coffee Book Group to Discuss "A House in the Sky"

The next meeting of Bernardsville Public Library’s book discussion group, Memoirs and Coffee, will be held on Tuesday, July 22 at 10:30 am in the library’s Community Room. Pat Kennedy-Grant, Readers’ Services Manager for the library, will lead the discussion of “A House in the Sky” (2013) by Amanda Lindhout with Sara Corbett. [The author will not be present.]

The book became a New York Times bestseller, won the 2014 CBC Bookie Award for Best Canadian Nonfiction and was nominated for the 2014 Libris Award for best non-fiction book of 2013. It has been optioned to be made into a movie. 

A dramatic memoir, the book describes a woman whose curiosity led her to the world’s most beautiful and remote places, its most imperiled and perilous countries, and then into fifteen months of harrowing captivity in Somalia.

As a child, the author escaped a difficult home life by paging through issues of National Geographic and imagining herself in its exotic locales. In her teens, she worked as a cocktail waitress in Calgary, Alberta and saved her tips so she could travel the globe. She backpacked through Latin America, Laos, Bangladesh, and India, and then went on to Sudan, Syria, and Pakistan. In war-ridden Afghanistan and Iraq, she worked as a television reporter, and in August 2008, she traveled to Somalia—“the most dangerous place on earth.” On her fourth day, she was abducted by a group of masked, armed teenagers. She was held hostage for 460 days, and this book tells her story of what happened and how she survived.

Eliza Griswold The New York Times Book Review wrote of the book, “Exquisitely told…[A House in the Sky] is much more than a gonzo adventure tale gone awry—it’s a young woman’s harrowing coming-of-age story and an extraordinary narrative of forgiveness and spiritual triumph….There’s no self-pity or grandiosity in these pages. In the cleanest prose, she and Corbett allow events both horrific and absurd…to unfold on their own. Lindhout’s resilience transforms the story from a litany of horrors into a humbling encounter with the human spirit.” 

There is no charge to attend, and no registration is needed to join the discussion.  Call the library at 766-0118 for more information.

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