Meetings in 2022

January 17, 2022: The Largesse of the Sea Maiden by Denis Johnson 

February 27, 2022:  Pere Goriot by Honore de Balza

March 26, 2022: The Garden of the Finzi-Continis by Georgia Bassani

April 30, 2022: Hamnet by Maggie O’Farrell  Mary Helen

May, 2022: The Woman Who Smashed the Codes by Jason Fagone Peggy

June, 2022: Babbit by Sinclair Lewis

July, 2022: The Anomaly by Herve Le Tellier

August, 2022:  A Long Petal of the Sea by Isabelle Allende

September, 2022: The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

October, 2022: Burn For Me Ilona Andrews

November, 2022: My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante

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Meetings in 2021

February 19, 2021: A Tale of Two Cities by C. Dickens

March 19, 2021: East of Eden by John Steinbeck

April, 2021: Virgil Wander by Leif Enger

May 30, 2021: Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton

June 26, 2021: Murmur of Bees by Sofia Segovia

July 24th at 6:30pm: The Hour of Peril by Daniel Stashower

August 21, 2021: All Creatures Great and Small by James Herriot

September, 2021: Blackout by Marc Eisberg

October, 2021: Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer

November 2021: The Stahl House: Case Study of a Modernist Icon, by Bruce Stahl and Kim Cross

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Meetings in 2020

January 25, 2020: Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly

February 22, 2020, 6 pm: Robinson Crusoe Daniel Defoe


March 21, 2020: Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson

April 18, 2020, 6 pm: The Glass Bead Game by Hermann Hesse

May 30, 2020: Clementine: The Life of Mrs. Winston Churchill by Sonia Purnell

June, 2020: The Dove Keepers by Alice Hoffman

July 24, 2020: The Devil and the White City by Erik Larson

August 22, 2020: Dead Sit Talking by Brandon Hobson

September, 2020: Possession by A. Byatt

October, 2020: Just Mercy by B. Stevenson

November, 2020: Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

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Christmas Party

Marry Christmas


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Our Meetings in 2019


January 26, 2019 at 6pm: Lost City of Z by David Grann

February 24, 2019: Less by Andrew Sean Greer

March 23, 2019 at 4 pm: Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys

April 27, 2019 at 12 pm: Out of Africa by Isak Dinesen

May 18, 2019: Big Fish by Daniel Wallace

June, 16, 2019 at 4pm: The Accidental Empress by Allison Pataki.

July 20, 2019 at 6pm: The Heart Is A Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers.

August 25, 2019:  Boys Life by Robert McCammon.

September 21, 2019: Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens.

October, 20, 2019: Within These Lines by Stephanie Morrill.


November, 2019: Snow Falling on Cedars, by David Guterson.

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Our Meetings in 2018

January, 2018: no meeting

February 17, 2018: A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles.

March, 2018: no meeting

April 27, 2018 at 6 pm : The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane by Lisa See.

May 19, 2018 at 6 pm: A Flash of Green by John D. MacDonald, the author of the Travis McGee series of environmental corruption novels (This one is not a Travis McGee novel).

June 23, 2018: Native Son by Richard Wright.

July 21, 2018 : Color: A Natural History of the Palette by Victoria Finlay.

August 25, 2018: Five Carat Soul by James McBride.

NPR review:

September 15, 2018: Manuscript Found in Accra by Paulo Coelho.

October 20, 2018: The Masqueraders by Georgette Heyer.

November 17, 2018 at 6 pm: A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini.

Reader’s Guide from the Penguin Random House


“Khaled Hosseini was born in Kabul, Afghanistan, in 1965. His father was a diplomat in the Afghan Foreign Ministry and his mother taught Farsi and history at a high school in Kabul. In 1976, the Foreign Ministry relocated the Hosseini family to Paris. They were ready to return to Kabul in 1980, but by then their homeland had witnessed a bloody communist coup and the invasion of the Soviet Army. The Hosseinis sought and were granted political asylum in the United States, and in September 1980 moved to San Jose, California. Hosseini earned a bachelor’s degree in biology in 1988 from the Santa Clara University and a medical degree from the University of California, School of Medicine in 1993. In March 2001, while practicing medicine, Hosseini began writing his first novel, The Kite Runner, which was published in 2003. That debut went on to launch one of the biggest literary careers of our time. Today, Khaled Hosseini is one of the most recognized and bestselling authors in the world. His books, The Kite Runner, A Thousand Splendid Suns, and And the Mountains Echoed, have been published in over seventy countries and sold more than 40 million copies worldwide.”

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Our Meetings in 2017


November 18, 2017 at 6 pm: The overcoat/The cloak by Nikolai Gogol.

The food theme will be Ukrainian.

October 28, 2017: Heart in the right place:  a memoir by Carolyn Jourdan.

September 30, 2017: Stolen Beauty by Laurie Lico Albanese.

August 26, 2017: H is for Hawk by Helen McDonald.

July 22, 2017: Sail of Stone by Ake Edwardson.

June 10, 2017: Empty Mansions by New York Times journalist Paul Dedman and Huguette Clark’s cousin Paul Clark Newell Jr.

More info about the book at:

Food theme: Hugette lived the first 6 years of her life in France, the rest in the American West,  New York City, and California. It’s all over the place, so anything will be appropriate.

May, 2017: no meeting

April, 2017: Hillbilly Elegy by J.D. Vance.

March, 2017: no meeting

February 11, 2017: The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri, Saturday.

January 6, 2017: Enemy Women by Paulette Jiles.


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Our Meetings in 2016


The book: “Home is a roof over a pig: an American family’s journey in China” by Aminta Arrington.

“It is a story of one American family’s two-year encounter with China and how it transforms them.” More info about the author and the book at:

Date/time: November 19 at 6pm

Cuisine: American, Chinese

Please RSVP by November 16.

We will meet on October 15th, 2016 @ 6pm

For our October Book Club Meeting, we will have author and Paralympic athlete, Bob Lujano. Bob’s autobiography, No Arms, No Legs, No Problem tells the story of his life and his experiences as an athletes. He will have copies of his book for sale for $10.00. A great chance to get an autographed copy!  He was featured in the Wheelchair Rugby movie, Murderball.

The main dish will be pot roast. Please bring a side dish, salad, dessert or wine to go with the meal.
Please RSVP by October 14th.

September: Still Alice by Lisa Genova, Friday September 16

August: For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway, August 26 at 6 pm


Strapless by Deborah Davis 2

Day/time: Saturday, July 30th, 2016.

The book is Strapless by Deborah Davis.

The story of John Singer Sargent and his painting, Madame X.


We will meet on Saturday, June 18th at 6 pm.  The book is Thomas and Beulah by Rita Dove.

More information about the book at:

Below is a YouTube link to a selection of poems from Rita Dove’s Pulitzer Prize-winning book, read by the author:


The book club will discuss: The Towers of Tuscany by Carol M. Cram on  May 28 at 6:00.

Some reviews:

Historical Novel Society:

Bowen Island Undercurrent:

Carol M. Cram’s official site:

Interview with Carol M. Cram:


The book: Crabwalk by Guenter Grass.  It was published in 2002.  It weaves historic & present together with a focus on the refugee ship Wilhelm Gustloff.

Day/time: April 30 at 5:30 pm.


We will discuss the book “Before Ever After” by Samanta Sotto on March 25th at 6:30 pm. Food theme is Easter, European and Mediterranean.

“Before Ever After” is a wonderful romantic and mysterious book that inspired a serious craving for baked eggs and rekindled a desire to travel all over the world.

Here is an official author’s page on the Facebook.

Also, there is a great video clip about the book on YouTube.


The book club is reading All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr.

IMG_20160227_202402 2

Date/Time: February 27 at 6 pm.

Useful information:


Day/time: Friday, January 22

The Book Club is reading The Cold Dish by Craig Johnson.

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Our Meetings in 2015

M. Atwood


The book club is reading The Penelopiad by Margaret Atwood.

Date: Sunday, November 15 at 6 pm

Our food theme is Greek/Mediterranean


Book: What Stands in a Storm: Three Days in the Worst Superstorm to Hit the South’s Tornado Alley by Kim Cross

Author Kim Cross will be joining us on Friday, October 2nd, 2015 from 6pm to 9pm, for our book club meeting.  We will be discussing her novel, What Stands in a Storm.  This is a very detailed account of the events and heartache of the April 29th, 2011 tornadoes that swept across Alabama.

Kim is a graduate of the University of Alabama and teaches Journalism there too.  She is a very active freelance writer for many national and local magazines, a former travel editor of Southern Living, a former national champion in more than one sport, an avid camper and mountain biker, and the founder of Magic City Cycling Chics.  Kim’s family lives here and they can frequently be found at local parks where they have all sorts of adventures.

Day/time: Friday, October 2nd, 2015, 6 pm-9pm

Food theme: Our theme is Tornadoes and Tailgates!  So any of your favorite dishes for disasters or tailgate favorite foods please bring and share.  Feel free to wear your favorite team colors and show some spirit!

A few quotes from the book:

“Tornadoes are the Russian roulette of storms.”

“The smell the tornado left in its wake combined pine, sulfur, and natural gas with the sickly sweet smell of death. It was a nauseating, desperate smell that clung to his nostrils and turned his stomach in every disaster zone he would ever visit. After one tornado, a man looked at him with ancient eyes and described the smell in words he would never forget: It comes from the pit of hell.”

“Nature holds mysteries and power we barely fathom. It can, and will, inflict unimaginable suffering. But the same forces that destroy the walls that protect us also bring down the walls that divide us. And when everything else is stripped away, what stands is a truth as old as time: The things that tear our world apart reveal what holds us together.”


Book: The Shooting Party = Драма на Oхоте  by A.  Chekhov.

Since we had a little discussion about Chekhov during our gathering in July, I would like to propose his detective novel The Shooting Party = Драма на Oхоте for our meeting in September.

Also, there is a great Russian film adaptation of the novel freely available on the official Mosfilm site:  Mой Ласковый и Нежный Зверь (Moi laskovyi i nezhnyi zver’) = A Hunting Accident. Unfortunately, the film doesn’t contain English subtitles. However, it still gives you a sense of Russian life described in the novel. Please click СМОТРЕТЬ, if you want to watch it.

Here is an interesting review of the film and novel Chekhov’s Shooting Party, Russian Style published in the New York Times:

Day/time of the meeting : I was informed by Florence that she plans to organize a meeting on October 2. Let’s have a September meeting on Saturday, September 12 at 5 pm.

Food theme: Russian. Weather permitting, we will have a BBQ outside.

“It’s very hard, feeling that you’re no more than a piece of unwanted furniture in this world.”
― Anton Chekhov. The Shooting Party


The Paris Wife by Paula McLainWe will be reading The Paris Wife by Paula McLain.

Here is an interesting review from the New York Times:

No one ever accused Ernest Hemingway of creating memorable women characters — except perhaps in his posthumously published Paris memoir, “A Moveable Feast,” where he idealizes his first wife, Hadley Richardson, as the alter ego who shared with him the good old days before fame and fortune and another woman wrecked it all.” Read more

Day/time: Saturday, August 22nd.


A Wild Sheep Chase by Haruki Murakami

Date/time: Sunday, July 26, 6 pm


The Gentle GiantDate/Time:  Saturday, June 20, 6:00 PM  

Book:   The Gentle Giant of Dynamite Hill: The Untold Story of Arthur Shores and His Family’s Fight for Civil Rights

A first-hand account by his daughters, Judge Helen Shores Lee and Barbara Shores, with Denise George. (Jeffco Library system has 22 copies of the book).

 Cuisine:  Southern (and Birmingham, in particular).  NOTE! I don’t fry chicken or make mac & cheese. I’ll have black-eyed peas and rice, probably some greens, and not sure which main course yet–ideas?.  Salads of any sort (e.g., potato salad, tomato/cucumber) would be fitting.  And if anybody ever ate at the lunch counter at Loveman’s or Kress and knows what was served there, that’s a possibility.

Judge Helen Shores Lee, whose family home was bombed twice in one week and whose neighborhood suffered more than 50 bomb blasts, was the speaker at my media group in May.  I was fascinated by her stories. She shared with us a startling fact that is NOT in the book! If you can make it to book group, I’ll fill you in on what she told us that will one day be in history books!

Part of the reason I chose this book is because I covered a civil trial in Judge Lee’s courtroom that made international headlines. That case is chapter 2 in the book.The other reason–the main one– is that the Shores sisters tell a compelling FIRST-HAND account of the perils of life on Dynamite Hill and amusing and poignant stories of their family life. And you won’t believe which dignitary played “horsey” to Judge Lee’s “cowgirl” when she was a child!”

May: Our Mutual Friend by Charles Dickens

Day and time: Saturday, May 30 at 6 pm

Please bring a recipe obtained from a friend !

AprilThe Tower: Tales from a Lost Country  by Uwe Tellkamp

Date and time: Saturday, April 25, 2015 at 5:30 pm


The Telegraph: The Tower: Tales from a Lost Country by Uwe Tellkamp

Goodreads: The Tower: A Novel 

March: All God’s Dangers: the life of Nate Shaw by Theodore Rosengarten

Date and time: FRIDAY March 27th at 6:15 pm


The University of Chicago Press: All God’s Dangers Dangers: The Life of Nate Shaw

The New York Times: Lost in Literary History: A Tale of Courage in the South

February: Valleys of the Assassins by Freya Stark

Date and time: Saturday 2/21 @ 5:30

Food theme: Mid-Eastern

January: The next meeting will be held on January 10, 2015 at 6:30 p.m.

The book: Excellent Women by Barbara Pym.

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November Meeting, 2014

The November meeting will be held on Saturday, November 1 from 6 to 9 pm. We will discuss “The Woman Upstairs” by Claire Messud. The gastronomic theme will be comfort foods.

When “The Woman Upstairs” was published in 2013, it received critical accolades including being named a New York Times Book Review Notable Book, a Washington Post Top Ten Book of the Year, a Chicago Tribune Noteworthy Book, a Huffington Post Best Book, a Boston Globe Best Book of the Year, a Kirkus Best Fiction Book, and a Goodreads Best Book. The novel’s protagonist is a single woman and thwarted artist who feels that life has passed her by until she comes under the thrall of a family who has everything she is missing in her own life. 

The author Claire Messud is no stranger to literary awards. Her best known work, “The Emperor’s Children”, was a New York Times, Los Angeles Times, and Washington Post Best Book of the Year. Her first novel, “When the World Was Steady”, and her book of novellas, “The Hunters”, were both finalists for the PEN/Faulkner Award; and her second novel, “The Last Life”, was a Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year and Editor’s Choice at The Village Voice. All four books were named New York Times Notable Books of the Year. Messud has been awarded Guggenheim and Radcliffe Fellowships and the Strauss Living Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

Claire Messud reads from and discusses her novel: The Woman Upstairs:

Part One:

Part Two:

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