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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