OFTB Book Selections

Join us on Saturday, October 14th, 2017 for


Intriguing Books. Incredible Food. Inspired Conversation.

Savor a lively evening of dinner and book talk hosted by members of the community.
Each “one-night book club” features a discussion leader with a unique perspective on the work – or the author in person!
All event participants are then invited to enjoy dessert and coffee at the library.
Reserve your spot below or at the library, and be sure to number your top three book choices.

Thank you for supporting your library!


Space is limited, and books will be assigned in the order that paid reservations are received.
Once we receive your payment and preferences, we will notify you of your book assignment, host and location.

Price: $100 per person


There will be several copies of each title available for check out at the library.

1st Choice:

2nd Choice:

3rd Choice:

Price Per Ticket $100

A Life Well Played: My Stories
by Arnold Palmer
His affable grin and legendary wins – and losses – made him a celebrity on the pro circuit. By 1960, he personified golf’s mainstream cachet in America’s new suburban landscape. Leveraging his PGA Tour stardom, he pitched cars, wristwatches, motor oil, even a signature beverage. This 2016 book, released shortly after his death, shares the folksy wisdom and charm behind America’s love affair with “Arnie.”
Discussion Leader: Michael Doctor, PGA of America Hall of Fame 2015 inductee, former PGA head professional at Skaneateles Country Club, former PGA of America board member

—— Book Withdrawn—— Eight Flavors: The Untold Story of American Cuisine
by Sarah Lohman
Exploring hallmark seasonings of the American table, Lohman finds traders, botanists, farmers, writers and chefs around the globe. Among them: a New England merchant who traveled to Sumatra in search of black pepper for his newly-independent homeland, and an enslaved child on an island off Madagascar who discovered the method for pollinating vanilla orchids. Savor these beautifully illustrated stories of the tastes of home.
Discussion Leader: Greg Rhoad, managing chef at Side Hill Farmers Meats and Market, former chef at Rosalie’s Cucina and Inns of Aurora

———–SOLD OUT! ———– Homer and Langley
by E.L. Doctorow
Acclaimed for his literary time-travels through American history, Doctorow re-imagines the lives of two Manhattan eccentrics. Over several decades, the reclusive Collyer brothers – one blind, the other gassed in WWI – famously turned their Fifth Avenue mansion into a hoarders’ death trap. This stunning novel illuminates the evolving 20th century as witnessed, and engaged in, by two troubled and fascinating siblings, loyal to each other for life.
Discussion Leader: Joshua Williams, Skaneateles Schools language arts faculty member, son of a homeless father

———–SOLD OUT! ———– Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis
by J.D. Vance
Hillbilly honor demands toughness, self-reliance, family loyalty – and can darken into violence, narrow horizons, distrust of outsiders. Proud of, and wounded by, the generations that formed him, Vance chronicles his chaotic upbringing in a world of teenage marriage, drug addiction and food stamp profiteers. Rescued by a “crazy hillbilly” grandmother’s love, transformed by the Marine Corps and Yale Law, secure yet still haunted, Vance examines the toll of Appalachia’s culture of isolation.
Discussion Leader: Margaret Usdansky Niebuhr, director of the Center for Learning and Student Success, research associate professor of human development and family science at Syracuse University

In the Kingdom of Ice: The Grand and Terrible Polar Voyage of the USS Jeannette
by Hampton Sides
In 1879 a Navy officer leads his 32-man crew into the Bering Strait aboard the three-masted steamship Jeannette. Their bid to claim the North Pole for America fails when the ship founders in pack ice and sinks. A harrowing trek follows across barren islands and frozen seas, as grit and heroism transform a Gilded Age publicity stunt into a thousand mile quest – against all odds – for home.
Discussion Leaders: Jason Briner and Elizabeth Thomas, University of Buffalo geology faculty, Arctic travelers

———–SOLD OUT! ———– The Soul of Central New York
by Sean Kirst
Risking their lives, strangers save a soldier from a burning truck. At Syracuse University, future NFL multi-year MVP Jim Brown launches a storied career. From the famous to the forgotten, Kirst’s collection spans generations and touches hearts in vivid, moving portraits of the community he cherishes.
Discussion Leader: Sean Kirst, journalist, winner of the 2008 Ernie Pyle Award for Human Interest Writing and 2017 Onondaga Historical Association Medal

———–SOLD OUT! ———– Lassoing the Sun: A Year in America’s National Parks
by Mark Woods
Turning 50 and in need of a change, Jacksonville metro columnist Woods decides to reconnect with the great outdoors. He plans a year visiting and writing about National Parks, making trips of discovery with his mother, wife and daughter. But when his mother is diagnosed with cancer with only months to live, Lassoing the Sun becomes a different project altogether: a book about family, the land, the legacies we inherit and the ones we leave behind.
Discussion Leader: Todd Marshall, marriage and family therapist, National Parks enthusiast

Mad Enchantment: Claude Monet and the Painting of the Water Lilies
by Ross King
Claude Monet at 73 is wealthy, celebrated – and haunted by loss. His beloved wife, Alice, and his eldest son, Jean, have died. His eyesight is failing. German forces threaten Paris. Yet Monet undertakes a spectacular series of oils depicting his meditative garden at Giverny. As WWI history turns a corner, an Impressionist icon creates a triumph of his own.
Discussion Leader: Wendy Harris, award-winning and nationally-collected plein-air landscape artist

Shoe Dog: A Memoir by the Creator of Nike
by Phil Knight

The company name was an afterthought. The swoosh logo was an in-house sketch rushed into production on deadline. The management team was a band of brilliant, dedicated misfits collectively called Buttface. Yet their talent, drive and knack for running a business on zero equity launched a world brand and pioneered global sourcing. Fail fast, they told themselves – and did, then pressed on to change what the world’s athletes wear to win.
Discussion Leader: Rick Burton, David B. Falk Endowed Professor of Sports Management at Syracuse University, US Olympic Committee chief marketing officer for the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics

Norse Mythology
by Neil Gaiman
Gaiman takes grown-ups where the wild things are. His latest book traces the origin stories of Northern Germanic gods, whose wisdom and conniving create such marvels as fishing nets, poetry and human beings. Dwarves, elves, giants, even a bearded, cross-dressing Odin complicate the drama, propelling the cosmic cycle toward Ragnarok, the twilight of the gods.
Discussion Leader: Janie Darovskikh, figurative artist, winner of the Norwegian Marshall Award for Sculpture, founder of the American Nordic Artists Association

Skaneateles Through Time
by Julie DiBagio and Sally Holben
Skaneateles Lake
by Paul K. Williams and Charles N. Williams
by Sue Ellen Woodcock
Choose one, two, or all to read! Each slim volume in our Skaneateles trio takes you on a journey through nearly 200 years of local history. Comparing “then and now” photographs and postcards, you will marvel at how much has changed and how much remains timeless. Three books by five authors bring fresh insights to familiar surroundings.
Discussion Leader: Julie DiBagio, Skaneateles Through Time co-author, longtime Skaneateles resident, amateur historian

———–SOLD OUT! ———–  Strangers Tend to Tell Me Things
by Amy Dickinson
When readers question the snarky tone surfacing in her “Ask Amy” advice column, author Amy Dickinson realizes she doesn’t have all the answers. In these crisp, funny, heartfelt essays, Dickinson looks inward and writes of moving away and coming home, losing and rediscovering romance, renewing and redefining family and, in the end, finding spiritual renewal.
Discussion Leader: Amy Dickinson, author, nationally-syndicated advice columnist, New York Times bestselling writer