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AT THE LIBRARY: Book discussion groups and Meeting of Minds

At 6 p.m. Thursday, Tim Janes leads the library’s Short Story Reading Group in a discussion of “The Swimmer” by John Cheever.

“The Swimmer” was originally published in The New Yorker on July 18, 1964, and then in the 1964 short story collection “The Brigadier and the Golf Widow.” It was later collected in “The Stories of John Cheever.”

The story begins with Neddy Merrill lounging at a friend’s pool on a warm midsummer day. 

On a whim, Neddy decides to return home by swimming through all the pools in the neighborhood, which he names “the Lucinda River” to honor his wife. 

He begins the journey enthusiastic and full of youthful energy, and in the early stops on his journey, his friends enthusiastically greet him with drinks; it is readily apparent that he is well-regarded, and has an upper or upper-middle-class social standing.

As his journey progresses, the story’s tone gradually becomes darker and more surreal.

You can read “The Swimmer” by checking out “The Stories of John Cheever” (call No. F Chee) from the library; it is also available through “The Library of America Story of the Week” project at http://storyoftheweek.loa.org/2012/05/swimmer.html.

If you would like a printed copy or the link to Library of America, email john.clarkbooks@gmail. To register to attend and receive a Zoom invitation, email the same address.

At 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 27, join Angela and Jennifer for Pageturner’s, a book group dedicated to titles you won’t want to put down. You’ll meet on Zoom to discuss “The Chestnut Man” by Søren Sveistrup.

A psychopath is terrorizing Copenhagen. His calling card is a “chestnut man” — a handmade doll made of matchsticks and two chestnuts — that he leaves at each bloody crime scene.

Examining the dolls, forensics makes a shocking discovery — a fingerprint belonging to a young girl, a government minister’s daughter who had been kidnapped and murdered a year ago. 

A tragic coincidence or something more twisted? 

To save innocent lives, a pair of detectives must put aside their differences to piece together the Chestnut Man’s gruesome clues because it’s clear that the madman is on a mission that is far from over. And no one is safe. 

On that cheery note, you can get an e-book or audiobook of “The Chestnut Man” through Hoopla in CCPPL’s Online Library.

To sign up for Pageturner’s, go to the library’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/clarkbooks, click on events and then choose Pageturner’s from the list. There you will find a link to sign up for Pageturner’s.

You will also find links for and instructions on how to use Hoopla. 

It’s pretty simple, but if you have any difficulties, call the library at 859-744-5661, and connect to line 2, the Reference desk.

Also at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 27, Meeting of Minds holds its quadrennial Halloween horror discussion concerning the presidential election. 

Join your friends and neighbors around the spooky Zoom campfire as we speculate about electoral dystopias that await us. Why, really, is Election Day so close to Halloween?

All scary speculations are welcome or be radical and present a Utopian speculation. Best speculation wins the admiration of the rest of the crew. 

If you’ve never been to Meeting of Minds or if you haven’t attended for a while, get a Zoom invitation by emailing john.clarkbooks@gmail.com.

Autumn is rounding toward peak beauty and the weather is pleasantly clement. It’s wonderful weather for walking. When you come to the library for curbside pickups, park the car and take time to walk around the front lawn and Holly Rood.

Have a wonderful week. Take care of yourself.


John Maruskin is director of adult services at the Clark County Public Library. He can be reached at john.clarkbooks@gmail.com.