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Book Club in the Daytime – Evicted
3:00 pm - 4:00 pm
The Book Club in the Daytime meets on the third Wednesday every month at 3:00 p.m. in the Board Room. Join us for a discussion of books of all kinds: both American and international, fiction and nonfiction, new and old! This group is open to everyone. No registration is required.
(We also meet every third Thursday at 6:30. You are welcome to join us for whichever meeting day/time works for you! We read the same book for both groups.) Questions? Please call the Reference Desk at 610-828-0441 ext. 103 or email at email@example.com.
This month’s book:
(Click the title to search our catalog and place a hold on the book.)
In this Pulitzer Prize-winning book, Harvard sociologist Matthew Desmond takes us into the poorest neighborhoods of Milwaukee to tell the story of eight families on the edge. Arleen is a single mother trying to raise her two sons on the 20 dollars a month she has left after paying for their rundown apartment. Scott is a gentle nurse consumed by a heroin addiction. Lamar, a man with no legs and a neighborhood full of boys to look after, tries to work his way out of debt. Vanetta participates in a botched stickup after her hours are cut. All are spending almost everything they have on rent, and all have fallen behind. The fates of these families are in the hands of two landlords: Sherrena Tarver, a former schoolteacher turned inner-city entrepreneur, and Tobin Charney, who runs one of the worst trailer parks in Milwaukee. They loathe some of their tenants and are fond of others, but as Sherrena puts it, “Love don’t pay the bills.”
Even in the most desolate areas of American cities, evictions used to be rare. But today, most poor renting families are spending more than half of their income on housing, and eviction has become ordinary, especially for single mothers. As we see families forced into shelters, squalid apartments, or more dangerous neighborhoods, we bear witness to the human cost of America’s vast inequality–and to people’s determination and intelligence in the face of hardship. Based on years of embedded fieldwork and painstakingly gathered data, this masterful book transforms our understanding of extreme poverty and economic exploitation while providing fresh ideas for solving a devastating, uniquely American problem.
A discussion guide with author bio, interview excerpt and discussion questions is available here.