The Book Group meets once a month for conversations about great books they’ve all (mostly) read. The books we read are about a variety of topics from spirituality, current events, and also include great works of fiction. All book lovers are welcome.
Reading Group Book List
The Lincoln Highway, Amor Towles. In June, 1954, being released from detention, with both parents dead, and the family farm repossessed by the bank, eighteen-year-old Emmett Watson’s intention is to pick up his eight-year-old brother and head west where they can start their lives anew. But Emmett discovers that two friends from the work farm have hatched an altogether different plan for Emmett’s future. 2021. 600 pages
River of the Gods by Candice Miller. This is the tale of two friends turned enemies, Richard Burton and John Speke, off to solve the geographic riddle of their era: the source of the Nile River. 2022 349 pages
Quichotte by Salman Rushdie. Inspired by the Cervantes classic Don Quixote, Sam DuChamp, mediocre writer of spy thrillers, creates Quichotte, a courtly, addled salesman obsessed with television, who falls in impossible love with a TV star. Together with his (imaginary) son Sancho, Quichotte sets off on a picaresque quest across America to prove worthy of her hand. Meanwhile his creator, in a midlife crisis, has equally urgent challenges of his own. 2019 416 pages
Justice Deferred: Race and the Supreme Court Orville Burton and Armand Derner. In Justice Deferred, the authors systematically examine key decisions of the Court that, in large measure, reflect rather than shape the nation’s attitudes on race, with a very uneven progression full of historical missteps that offer caveats going forward 2021, 344 pages
Travels with George by Nathaniel Philbrick. Washington’s unique contribution to the forging of America by retracing his journey as a new president through the new, unsure nation.
The New Climate War’ the fight to take back our planet Michael Mann. Considers how fossil fuel companies have delayed action on climate change, and offers a plan for how we can save the planet. 2021. 272 pages
The Cartographers: A Novel. By Peng Sheperd, Emily Woo Zeller. A young woman discovers that a map in her deceased father’s belongings holds a secret—one that will lead her on an adventure and to the truth about her family’s dark history. 416 pages
July 13 (Note second Thursday to avoid Fourth of July)
The Code Breaker: Jennifer Doudna, Gene Editing, and the Future of the Human Race, Walter Isaacson, The story of CRISPR and a key player, Jennifer Doudna, whose work made her the second woman to win chemistry Nobel, following Marie Currie. The development of CRISPR and the race to create vaccines for coronavirus will hasten our transition to the next great innovation revolution. 2021. 560 pages
As I Lay Dying, William Faulker. Narrated by 15 different characters, it is the story of the death of Addie Bundren and her poor, rural family’s quest and motivations—noble or selfish—to honor her wish to be buried in her hometown of Jefferson, Mississippi. 267 pages
Wilmington’s Lie, The Murderous Coup of 1898 and the Rise of White Supremacy by David Zucchino It is a searing account of the Wilmington, North Carolina massacre and coup, a rare violent overthrow of an elected government.
This Life, Secular Faith and Spiritual Freedom. Martin Hägglund. This Life offers an inspiring basis for transforming our lives, demonstrating that our commitment to freedom and democracy should lead us beyond both religion and capitalism. He shows that all spiritual questions of freedom are inseparable from economic and material conditions. 2019. 389 pages