Library Book Club: Winterdance

by Jane Ahrens

Winterdance: The Fine Madness of Running the Iditarod  by Gary Paulson

We had a wonderful time discussing THE FEATHER THIEF and Jane had done some sleuthing of her own re: the characters in this book, a true story. Everyone who attended loved the book and there was plenty to discuss and chew on. Thanks to the group that came and thanks too for the delicious goodies and to Ann for letting us stay a little late at the library.

We have chosen a book highly recommended by Sarah for February and pushed the date back slightly:

WINTERDANCE: The Fine Madness of Running the Iditarod  by Gary Paulson
Date: Wednesday, February 15th
Time: 5:30 pm
Recommended by Sarah Malinowski

This nonfiction (short and easy- to- read!) book is by much beloved YA novelist Gary Paulson (author of over 200 books including HATCHET and DOGSONG) and deals with the famous dog sled race as well as the amazing intelligence of animals. And Sarah really loved it which sounds good to me.

Winterdance: The Fine Madness of Running the Iditarod
by Gary Paulsen

“Fueled by a passion for running dogs, Gary Paulsen entered the Iditarod–the eleven hundred and eighty mile sled-dog race through the Alaskan wilderness–in dangerous ignorance and with a fierce determination. For seventeen days, he and his team of dogs endured blinding wind, snowstorms, frostbite, dogfights, moose attacks, sleeplessness, hallucinations–and the relentless push to go on. Winterdance is the enthralling account of a stunning wilderness journey of discovery and transformation (Chicago Tribune), lived and told by the best author of man-against-nature adventures writing today (Publishers Weekly).” ~

The other book we almost chose was LAB GIRL by Hope Jahren. This memoir of a “tree scientist” trying to find her way in a man’s world is wonderful not only for its amazing description of the hidden life of trees but also its portrayal of both a working friendship and mental illness. Those of us who had read it all loved it.

We also picked our March book! Robin chose three different cooking memoirs – all of which sound fascinating – but in the end we went with:

EAT A PEACH by David Chang
Date: Wednesday, March 15th
Time: 5:30pm
Recommended by Robin Toldo
Location: Sarah Mal’s house!!

A book written by the acclaimed chef of NY’s Momofuku restaurant which chronicles his journey to become a cook and his experience in the modern restaurant world. All the books Robin chose sounded wonderful but we picked this one and Sarah has offered to host us that night so that we can cook a meal together! It’s a don’t miss book group if you ask me!

The library will order copies for us and I know some of you will listen to them but a few of us already have copies so ask around if you’re looking for one. As always, I look forward to our next meeting and to reading these next few books. So many books, never enough time…

Let me know if you have any questions and enjoy this overcast weather which is perfect for curling up next to a fire and reading a good book.



Library Book Club selections:

Please email Abby McCall on with any questions or to be added to the Book Club email list.

For those of you who prefer e-books please avail yourselves of the Library’s app on their website.

Please invite friends who might also be interested. The more readers the better and so many people are unable to join on any given night that I don’t think we can have too many people. There are lots of book lovers on the island and it’s really nice to bring the group together. Please feel free to forward this to anyone else you can think of. All are welcome.

We generally select the book for the following month at the preceding meeting. Feel free to BYOBeverage and a snack to share if you like

Upcoming Dates

SimplyE app/Livebrary
It allows one (one may need a NYS address) to become a member of the New York Library system and borrow digital and audiobooks for free. All our book club books thus far have been available to borrow online or in an audible format.

Fishers Island Library website:

Contact Librarian Ann Banks with Library questions.

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