Book Discussion Group

Clio's Chroniclers: The History Discussion Group Meeting

Rubicon: The Last Years of the Republic by Tom Holland and recommended by member, Bert Rosini.

Rubicon: The Last Years of the Roman Republic Cover Image
ISBN: 9781400078974
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Anchor - March 8th, 2005


In 49 B.C., the seven hundred fifth year since the founding of Rome, Julius Caesar crossed a small border river called the Rubicon and plunged Rome into cataclysmic civil war. Tom Holland’s enthralling account tells the story of Caesar’s generation, witness to the twilight of the Republic and its bloody transformation into an empire. From Cicero, Spartacus, and Brutus, to Cleopatra, Virgil, and Augustus, here are some of the most legendary figures in history brought thrillingly to life. Combining verve and freshness with scrupulous scholarship, Rubicon is not only an engrossing history of this pivotal era but a uniquely resonant portrait of a great civilization in all its extremes of self-sacrifice and rivalry, decadence and catastrophe, intrigue, war, and world-shaking ambition.

Publishers Weekly

After a palace coup demolished the reign of King Tarquin of Rome in 509 B.C., a republican government flourished, providing every person an opportunity to participate in political life in the name of liberty. As Holland, a novelist and adapter of Herodotus' Histories for British radio, points out in this lively re-creation of the republic's rise and fall, the seeds of destruction were planted in the very soil in which the early republic flourished. It was more often members of the patrician classes who had the resources to achieve political success. Such implicit class distinctions in an ostensibly classless society also gave rise to a new group of rulers who acted like monarchs. Holland chronicles the rise to power of such leaders as Sulla Felix, Pompey, Cicero and Julius Caesar. Some of these leaders, such as Pompey, appealed to the masses by expanding the republic through military conquest; others, like Cicero, worked to reinforce class distinctions. Holland points to the suppression of the Gracchian revolution-a series of reforms in favor of the poor pushed by the Gracchus brothers in the second century B.C.-as the beginning of the end of the republic, providing the context into which Julius Caesar would step with his own attempts to save the republic. As Holland points out, Caesar actually precipitated civil wars and helped to reestablish an imperial form of government in Rome. With the skill of a good novelist, Holland weaves a rip-roaring tale of political and historical intrigue as he chronicles the lively personalities and problems that led to the end of the Roman republic. Maps. Agent, Patrick Walsh. (On sale Feb. 17) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.

Clio's Chroniclers: The History Discussion Group Meeting

Come and participate in bookstore owner Augie Aleksy's strongly receommended title, The King of Vodka: The Story of Pytor Smirnov and the Upheaval of an Empire by Linda Himilstein.

"I strongly recommend this book for MBA programs specializing in Entrepreneur grooming. This man (Pytor Smirnov) was born a serf with no formal education. He only had the desire to be the best and wealthiest vodka manufacturer in the world. Which he accomplished with creative marketing techniques, hard work, confidence and tenacity. Not even a Bacherlor's degree in accounting and he pulled it off. Wow.

However this isn't your typical "how to" or business text. It is well written and an enjoyable read for those interested in biography, Russian history from Nicholas II through the Soviet Union, and "rags to riches" true tales. It's also about family problems that many wealthy and successful individuals create and experience."

Augie Aleksy


The King of Vodka: The Story of Pyotr Smirnov and the Upheaval of an Empire Cover Image
ISBN: 9780060855918
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Harper Perennial - November 30th, 2010

Mystery Discussion Group

Red Leaves by Thomas Cook recommended by member Bill Sawisch.


"Thomas Cook writes like a wounded angel, and Red Leaves is one of his masterworks."—Peter Straub

Eric Moore has a stable life in a quiet town. Then, on an ordinary night, his teenage son Keith babysits Amy Giordano, the eight-year-old daughter of a neighboring family. The next morning Amy is missing, and Eric isn't sure his son is innocent. Caught in a vortex of doubt and lies, Eric must find out what happened to Amy Giordano before his—and the community's—suspicions about Keith are proved right.

An Edgar Award Nominee for Best Novel

"Red Leaves is both heart-wrenching and gut-wrenching. A family can be 'briefly held,' and yet so enduring."—New York Daily News

"[Cook is] one of the most suspenseful of crime-fiction writers . . . Readers will glimpse blurred snapshots from their own lives—and be afraid."—Cleveland Plain Dealer

"This disturbing exploration of humans' true motives . . . builds to a rapid and unexpected climax."—Newsweek

Red Leaves Cover Image
ISBN: 9780156032346
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Mariner Books - June 5th, 2006


Centuries & Sleuths Bookstore will Close at 1PM Today for an Offsite Signing

Discussion & Signing


Robert D. Putnam

American Grace: How Religion Divides & Unites Us


Fourth Presbyterian Church

126 East Chestnut Street

Chicago IL 60611



American Grace: How Religion Divides and Unites Us Cover Image
ISBN: 9781416566717
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Simon & Schuster - October 5th, 2010

Better Together: Restoring the American Community Cover Image
ISBN: 9780743235471
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Simon & Schuster - September 2nd, 2004

Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community Cover Image
ISBN: 9780743203043
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Simon & Schuster - August 7th, 2001

Mystery Discussion Group

Title: Chasing the Devil's Tail (Valentibe St. Cyr in New Orleans) by David Fulmer

***Special Treat: David Fulmer will make a long distance speaker phone call from Atlanta @ 3PM CST to the Group at the store. This will give MDG time and the chance to discuss Chasing the Devil's Tail and the opportunity to ask the author those questions you've always wanted ask after finishing a book.

We will have additional books available for purchase at Centuries & Sleuths if you wish to participate.

Chasing the Devil's Tail Cover Image
ISBN: 9780156027281
Availability: Special Order
Published: Mariner Books - July 1st, 2003

The Last Celebration of the Bicentennial of the birth of Edgar Allan Poe.

Poe on the Road: with the cooperation of the Oak Park Public Library.

Celebrating the birth of the Man who made Mystery, Terror, & Horror in Fiction what it is TODAY!

M.C. August Aleksy with Commentaries from Local Guest Authors


Bob Goldsborough (A President in Peril)                          Luisa Buehler (The Innkeeper)

Mary Welk (Rune Stone Murders)                                    Michael Black (Hostile Takeovers)

Wearing a costume is encouraged and you may be able to drink from a Cask of Amontillado from Forest Park's House Red.

Special Event with a Visit from The Chicago Dickens Fellowship

Title to be Discussed: Martin Chuzzlewit by, of course C. Dickens.

This is their 3rd group visit to Centuries & Sleuths. The first with local Sherlockians to discuss the prime suspect in The Mystery of Edwin Drood  the unfinished work of the Master and the second with the G.K. Chesterton Society of Chicago to talk about GKC's literary biography of C. Dickens. The discussions are informative & lively. "Don't miss it!"

Martin Chuzzlewit Cover Image
By Charles Dickens, Patricia Ingham (Introduction by), Patricia Ingham (Notes by)
ISBN: 9780140436143
Availability: Backordered
Published: Penguin Classics - August 1st, 2000


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