2017


Upcoming meeting:

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

The food theme will be Ukrainian.

Past meetings:

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: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17704903-empty-mansions

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.

enemy-women-by-paulette-jiles

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Our Meetings in 2016

November:

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: http://www.amintaarrington.com/home-is-a-roof/

Date/time: November 19 at 6pm

Cuisine: American, Chinese

Please RSVP by November 16.


October:
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


July:

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.


June:

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:

http://faculty.uscupstate.edu/jpellegrino/articles/dovearticle.htm

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

May:

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

Some reviews:

Historical Novel Society:

https://historicalnovelsociety.org/reviews/the-towers-of-tuscany/

Bowen Island Undercurrent:

http://www.bowenislandundercurrent.com/arts/review-the-towers-of-tuscany-1.925737

Carol M. Cram’s official site: https://carolcram.com/

Interview with Carol M. Cram: https://carolcram.com/interviews/


April:

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.


March:

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.


February:

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:


January:

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

November:

The book club is reading The Penelopiad by Margaret Atwood.

Date: Sunday, November 15 at 6 pm

Our food theme is Greek/Mediterranean


October:

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.”


September:

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.
http://cinema.mosfilm.ru/films/film/1970-1979/moy-laskoviy-i-nejniy-zver/

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

http://www.nytimes.com/1981/09/11/movies/chekhov-s-shooting-party-russian-style.html

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


August:

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.

July:

A Wild Sheep Chase by Haruki Murakami

Date/time: Sunday, July 26, 6 pm


June:

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

Reviews:

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

Reviews:

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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Meeting in October, 2014

The Book Club will meet on October 18 from 6 pm until 9 pm. We will discuss “Wild” by Chery Strayed. It is an exciting book about a young woman’s adventures on the Pacific Crest Trail. Her painful experiances with her mother’s death, a failed marriage, and drug addiction drove her into the wilderness. This book is available at all libraries, ebooks, and Amazon.

Please bring what ever you would like share on a camping trip to eat. We will be very informal so wear comfortable sneakers, camping attire, and fleece or down vests. Weather permitting we may eat outside and have a small contained bonfire. Please bring a camp chair or folding chair for outside.
Here is an interview with the author, Chery Strayed:

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September Meeting, 2014

The book: Dry Storeroom No. 1: The Secret Life of the Natural History Museum by Richard Fortey.

Day and time: September 27 at 6 pm.

Dinner: You favorite dish/meal

Natural_History_Museum_London_Jan_2006

The Natural History Museum Web site: http://www.nhm.ac.uk/

Some interesting quotes from the book:

To more you know about nature, the more you see, and this is enriching.

The Natural History Museum is, the first and foremost, a celebration of what time has done to life.

I believe profoundly in the importance of museums; I would go as far as to say that you can judge a society by the quality of its museums. 

A life accumulates a collection: of people, work and perplexities. We are all our own curators .

There is a close relationship between scientist, curator and librarian. Like the “algal” partner in lichen, all three are capable of independent existence. But working together in the Museum environment, the different virtues of all three partners produce something greater than any individual could on his or her own.  The scientists might have the kind of manic devotion to research … but without a great library the work might not have the depth that makes a classic; the curator for his part is vital in ensuring that the contribution is there for posterity, and for other students.

The end of all this is to open humankind’s eyes and hearts to the joy of our world’s biological richness, from microbe to mastodon. From Selaginella to Sequoia. The means is to continued discovery, unraveling the Tree of Life, and describing the fascinating biographies of a million organisms. Every species on Earth has its story to tell. But the first stage will always be the naming of names.

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August Meeting

The book: Empire of the Summer Moon by S C Gwynne

Date: Saturday evening 8/16/2014 at 6pm

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It is story of America’s manifest destiny colliding with native Americans who were very powerful warriors. Below is a link to some programs at the Fort Worth Library about this part of Texas history. One of the presentations is by the great grandson of Quanah Parker, the last Comanche chief:

Comanche Nation: The Story of Quanah and Cynthia Ann Parker at: http://fortworthtexas.gov/library/info/default.aspx?id=101296

There are some more interesting programs and exhibits that deepen the understanding of Comanche history and culture at the Comanche National Museum and Cultural Center at: http://www.comanchemuseum.com/mission_history

Also, I am posting the link to the article “Showdown at Waggoner Ranch” by Gary Cartwright. Thanks to Peggy. It gives some details about the Waggoner Ranch, association of the Waggoners and Quanah Parker: http://www.texasmonthly.com/content/showdown-waggoner-ranch?fullpage=1

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