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May Book

The mystery and beauty of modern-day Vietnam is skillfully unveiled in Camilla Gibb's fourth novel, The Beauty of Humanity Movement, which takes its title from a short-lived group of artists and intellectuals who spoke out against Ho Chi Minh's policies, following the country's liberation from colonial rule. Set in the recent past, amidst the vibrancy of Hanoi, and with a cast of young characters who long for the status of American consumer products and the fame of Vietnamese Idol, The Beauty of Humanity Movement tells the story of a country undergoing extraordinary change. Gibb also weaves together a tale of love, loss and redemption, while exploring the legacy of art and the meaning of family-defined, "not always by bloodlines but by the heart." At the heart of the story is Old Man Hung, one of the few remaining witnesses to the circle of outspoken artists and intellectuals who congregated in the café he inherited, and lost, many years before. With a failing memory and the great love of his life lost, Hung's day seems almost over until a chance encounter with Maggie, a young Vietnamese-American art curator who comes to Hanoi in search of clues to the life of her father, an artist who disappeared during the Fall of Saigon. For the 80-year-old Hung, Maggie's appearance evokes painful memories of the woman he turned his back on 40 years ago, but whose curious beauty and betrayal still haunt him. Included in the discussion guide is an exclusive Bookclub-in-a-Box interview with Camilla Gibb. Every Bookclub-in-a-Box discussion guide includes complete coverage of the themes and symbols, writing style and interesting background information on the novel and the author, as well as a complementary RAG (Read-Along-Guide), a quick reference pamphlet offering interesting facts and questions to consider while reading the novel.

June Book
Daughter of Molokai

Alan Brennert’s beloved novel Moloka'i, currently has over 600,000 copies in print. This companion tale tells the story of Ruth, the daughter that Rachel Kalama—quarantined for most of her life at the isolated leprosy settlement of Kalaupapa—was forced to give up at birth.

The book follows young Ruth from her arrival at the Kapi'olani Home for Girls in Honolulu, to her adoption by a Japanese couple who raise her on a strawberry and grape farm in California, her marriage and unjust internment at Manzanar Relocation Camp during World War II—and then, after the war, to the life-altering day when she receives a letter from a woman who says she is Ruth’s birth mother, Rachel.

Daughter of Moloka'i expands upon Ruth and Rachel’s 22-year relationship, only hinted at in Moloka'i. It’s a richly emotional tale of two women—different in some ways, similar in others—who never expected to meet, much less come to love, one another. And for Ruth it is a story of discovery, the unfolding of a past she knew nothing about. Told in vivid, evocative prose that conjures up the beauty and history of both Hawaiian and Japanese cultures, it’s the powerful and poignant tale that readers of Moloka'i have been awaiting for fifteen years.
Date Title Author Chooser Host
May 5

The Beauty of Humanity Movement

Camilla Gibb Anne Nancy G directions
Jun 2

Daughter of Moloka'i

Alan Brennert Nancy G Anne directions
July 14     Mary Mc   directions
Aug 4     Mary Mu Mary Mu directions