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Overstory

Virtual Book Club
Mondays, 9 AM via Zoom

Book Club will read the novel "The Overstory" by Richard Powers. Richard Powers is the author of twelve novels. His most recent, The Overstory, won the Pulitzer Prize in Fiction. He is also the recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship and the National Book Award, and he has been a four-time National Book Critics Circle Award finalist. He lives in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains. "Monumental… The Overstory accomplishes what few living writers from either camp, art or science, could attempt.…A gigantic fable of genuine truths."
- Barbara Kingsolver, The New York Times Book Review

Book Club meets via Zoom every Monday from 9 am - 10 am.  If you've wondered if a book club is for you, everyone is welcome to attend and you can sit in on a session to observe.  To attend the discussion of  "The Overstory", please register for the Zoom event using this link  Please note that this link has changed as of 12/2 and can now be used to register for all or partial sessions of The Overstory.

Since this book does not have consistent chapter numbering or breaking points, I'll try to add more clues about the stopping points, which may be helpful to people listening to the audio book or who have a different edition of the paper copy.  These numbers correspond to the pages of the edition shown to the left of this text. 

For the session on December 7th, please read through page 285. There is large type print on the page that reads "You can't clearcut your way to heaven." 

Sections to read through the end of the novel:

December 14th, pages 286-322
December 21st, pages 323-410
December 28th, through the end of the novel

Ancillary Reading and Notes:

The Hidden Life of Trees by Peter Wohlleben.  Peter Wohlleben is a forest manager in Germany.  This book describes his experiences  working in the forest, as well as discussing the need for increased global awareness about our ecosystems.

Douglas Pavlichek is described as taking part in "The Stanford Prison Experiment" which was a real experiment conducted in 1971.

Olivia Vandergriff is loosely based on activist Julia Lorraine Hill.

Patricia Westerford's character is based on researchers Suzanne Simard and Diana Beresford-Kroeger.  Here's an interview with Richard Powers where he discusses background on the book and characters.



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Where to Find Free Ebooks and Audio Books Online

  • Audible is offering a collection of books in audio format for free.  These are primarily children’s books. This is a great resource and may only be offered for a limited time.
  • The Internet Archive is a large repository of books, audio, video, websites and software.  Access is free once you create an account.  There is much to discover here and multiple ways to access the information.  
  • Lit2Go is part of an educational resource clearinghouse based in Florida.  This limited collection of ebooks and audio books includes many classics.
  • Overdrive can be accessed via the Libby app or directly through their web site.  You will need your library card and PIN to check out books.  
  • Project Gutenberg offers access to over 60,000 titles with a focus on books that are now out of copyright. 
  • RBDigital is a content provider that offers magazines, ebooks and audiobooks.  To access the service, you need to create an account which will ask for your library card number.  After that, you will login with the username and password you create.  
  • The Screen Actors Guild has a small number of videos of celebrities reading children’s books for the project Storyline Online. Listen to Betty White, Oprah, Rami Malek and others as they read a variety of children’s books.
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Not Sure What to Read Next?

  • Booklist is a publication of the American Library Association.  ALA has made this journal freely available.  Booklist has long been a trusted source for librarians purchasing books.  Read reviews, peruse lists of recommended titles and see what the hottest trends in publishing are.  
  • Goodreads is a popular social site where people comment on books they have read and rate them.  If you’re on the fence about reading a title, check out what people have to say on the Goodreads forums.  You will need a free account to participate.
  • Novelist is a product from Ebsco that will help you find your next favorite book.  You will need your library card number to login. From there, you can browse titles by author, genre, target age and more.