<--- Book Club

Book Club Archive


2016 books

February 18, 2016 - 7:00 pm  
The Secret Chord by Geraldine Brooks

Two kinds of readers might exult over Geraldine Brooks's biblical epic about the life of King David, The Secret Chord. The first can cite chapter and verse of the Good Book. The second craves the resonance of the best historical fiction. Both will relish this new novel, which brings alive the Old Testament world of a thousand years before the Christian era.  - Virginia’s selection
 


San Francisco’s Laguna Honda Hospital is the last almshouse in the country. Anyone who had fallen, or, often, leapt, onto hard times and needed extended medical care—ended up here. So did Victoria Sweet, who came for two months and stayed for twenty years. Laguna Honda, gave Sweet the opportunity to practice a kind of attentive medicine that has almost vanished. God’s Hotel revealed surprising truths about the essence, cost, and value of caring for the body and the soul.  - Jane’s selection


April 21, 2016 - 7:00 pm 
Being Mortal by Atul Gawande

In Being Mortal, bestselling author Atul Gawande tackles the hardest challenge of his profession: how medicine can not only improve life but also the process of its ending  Medicine has triumphed in modern times, transforming birth, injury, and infectious disease from harrowing to manageable. But in the inevitable condition of aging and death, the goals of medicine seem too frequently to run counter to the interest of the human spirit. Gawande offers examples of freer, more socially fulfilling models for assisting the infirm and dependent elderly,, Being Mortal asserts that medicine can comfort and enhance our experience even to the end, providing not only a good life but also a good end. - Holly’s selection


Thursday, May 19, 20167:00 pm (church library)
Digging to America by Anne Tyler

Digging to America is  Anne Tyler’s richest, most deeply searching novel–a story about what it is to be an American, and about Iranian-born Maryam Yazdan, who, after 35 years in this country, must finally come to terms with her “outsiderness.” A luminous novel brimming with subtle, funny, and tender observations that immerse us in the challenges of both sides of the American story.


Thursday, June 16 7:00 pm  (Sunday School classroom)

Etta and Otto and Russell and James: A Novel by Emma Hooper

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is incredibly moving and  beautifully written. It is a book that restores one's faith in life even as it deepens its mystery.  The book explores the interactions and connections between spouses and friends—the rivalries, the camaraderie, the joys and tragedies—and reveals the extraordinary lengths to which people will go in the name of love.


Thursday, July 21, 2016  - 7:00 pm 

A God in Ruins, by Kate Atkinson

A God in Ruins, by Kate Atkinson, is an ingenious and moving exploration of one ordinary man's path through extraordinary times. It tells the dramatic story of the 20th century through Teddy - a-would-be poet, heroic World War II pilot, husband, father, and grandfather-as he navigates the perils and progress of a rapidly changing world. After all that Teddy endured in battle, his greatest challenge is living in a future he never expected to have.


Thursday, September 15, 2016, 7:00 pm (Church Library)

The Nightingale, by Kristin Hannah  

This novel explores the relationship between the two sisters during World War II and what we do in moments of great challenge. Do we rise to the occasion or fail? Are we heroes or cowards? Are we loyal to the people we love most or do we betray them? 


Thursday, October 20, 2016, 7:00 pm (Church Library)

Lucky Jim, by Kingsley Amis

Lucky Jim by Kingsley Amis is regarded by many as the finest, and funniest, comic novel of the twentieth century, Lucky Jim remains as trenchant, withering, and eloquently misanthropic as when it first scandalized readers in 1954. More than just a merciless satire of cloistered college life and stuffy postwar manners, Lucky Jim is an attack on the forces of boredom, whatever form they may take, and a work of art that at once distills and extends an entire tradition of English comic writing, from Fielding and Dickens through Wodehouse and Waugh. 


Thursday, November 17, 2016, 7:00 pm (Classroom C)

A Man Called Ove: A Novel, by Fredrik Backman

Ove has staunch principles, strict routines, and a short fuse. People call him “the bitter neighbor from hell.” Behind the cranky exterior there is a story and a sadness. It is a thoughtful exploration of the profound impact one life can have on countless others.


Thursday, December 15th, 2016

Gift from the Sea by Anne Morrow Lindbergh

In this inimitable, beloved classic—graceful, lucid and lyrical—Anne Morrow Lindbergh shares her meditations on youth and age; love and marriage; peace, solitude and contentment as she set them down during a brief vacation by the sea. Drawing inspiration from the shells on the shore, Lindbergh’s musings on the shape of a woman’s life bring new understanding to both men and women at any stage of life.  Lindbergh casts an eye on the trappings of modernity that threaten to overwhelm us: the time-saving gadgets that complicate rather than simplify, the multiple commitments that take us from our families. She helps readers find a space for contemplation and creativity within their own lives.  


Thursday, January 19th, 2017 - Church Library

On Writing by Stephen King

You don’t need to be a King fan, a horror fan, or someone who wants to write to love this book. It’s just a great book about determination, and how the past shapes us, and how the love and support of a single person can make all the difference. It’s also the best explanation of addiction, and overcoming addiction, that I’ve ever read.”


In twelve months, Christopher Buckley coped with the passing of his father, William F. Buckley, the father of the modern conservative movement, and his mother, Patricia Taylor Buckley, one of New York's most glamorous and colorful socialites. He was their only child, and their relationship was close and complicated. The book is a fascinating take on parental loss that deviates from the usual clichés.


THE LITTLE WAY OF RUTHIE LEMING follows Rod Dreher, a Philadelphia journalist, back to his hometown of St. Francisville, Louisiana (pop. 1,700) in the wake of his younger sister Ruthie's death. When she was diagnosed at age 40 with a virulent form of cancer in 2010. Dreher was moved by the way the community he had left behind rallied around his dying sister, a schoolteacher. Dreher began to wonder whether the ordinary life Ruthie led in their country town was in fact a path of hidden grandeur, even spiritual greatness, concealed within the modest life of a mother and teacher. Dreher and his wife Julie "decided to accept the limitations of small-town life in exchange for the privilege of being part of a community."


Thursday, April 20, 2017

My Life in France  by Julia Child

Julia Child single handedly awakened America to the pleasures of good cooking, but as she reveals in this bestselling memoir, she didn't know the first thing about cooking when she landed in France.  When she first arrived in 1948 with her husband, Paul, she spoke no French and knew nothing about the country itself. But as she dove into French culture, buying food at local markets and taking classes at the Cordon Bleu, her life changed forever. Julia's unforgettable story unfolds with the spirit so key to her success as a cook and teacher and writer, brilliantly capturing one of the most endearing American personalities of the last fifty years.


Thursday May 18, 2017
Plainsong  Kent Haruf

Kent Haruf reveals a whole community as he interweaves the stories of a pregnant high school girl, a lonely teacher, a pair of boys abandoned by their mother, and a couple of crusty bachelor farmers. From simple elements, Haruf achieves a novel of wisdom and grace--a narrative that builds in strength and feeling until, as in a choral chant, the voices in the book surround, transport, and lift the reader off the ground.