May Read: Educated

While I have no regrets about they hysterical and wonderful book I picked up this year in the Christmas book exchange I couldn’t help but get a tinge of envy for the two folks who left with Tara Westovers’ Educated. I look forward to reading and discussing with every in April.

“Tara Westover was seventeen the first time she set foot in a classroom. Born to survivalists in the mountains of Idaho, she prepared for the end of the world by stockpiling home-canned peaches and sleeping with her “head-for-the-hills bag.” In the summer she stewed herbs for her mother, a midwife and healer, and in the winter she salvaged in her father’s junkyard. The family was so isolated from mainstream society that there was no one to ensure the children received an education, and no one to intervene when one of Tara’s older brothers became violent. As a way out, Tara began to educate herself, learning enough mathematics and grammar to be admitted to Brigham Young University. Her quest for knowledge would transform her, taking her over oceans and across continents, to Harvard and to Cambridge. Only then would she wonder if she’d traveled too far, if there was still a way home. With the acute insight that distinguishes all great writers, Tara Westover has crafted a universal coming-of-age story that gets to the heart of what an education offers: the perspective to see one’s life through new eyes, and the will to change it.”–



My other thoughts/suggestions:

Margaret Atwoods “The Handmaid’s Tale”

or “Heavy” by Kiese Laymon:


Valentine’s Book Club

From Bonnie:

Hi Girls!  I’ve been thinking about what to serve for a Valentine’s meal for some time and finally have settled on a modified version of a ratatouille, a vegetable medley, which I found it in Isabel Allende’s 1998 book, Aphrodite, A Memoir of the Senses.  This is what her friend, Shekter, serves to Annette, the woman of his erotic dreams, whenever she comes to visit.  You will each have to evaluate it efficacy on your own as an aphrodisiac!  I will likely serve it with rice or quinoa and perhaps a few seductive oysters.  For sides I suggest the usual: appetizers, salads, bread, wine and desserts, either with or without hints of romance!

Kim Oh -Fruit Salad

Katherine _Appetizer

June -Hummus

Donna -Desert

Kim Hall -Green Salad

Caroline & Elizabeth -Bubbles & Bread

April Read: “Behold the Dreamers”

Behold the Dreamers  by Imbolo Mbue

A compulsively readable debut novel about marriage, immigration, class, race, and the trapdoors in the American Dream—the unforgettable story of a young Cameroonian couple making a new life in New York just as the Great Recession upends the economy

New York Times Bestseller • Winner of the PEN/Faulkner Award • long listed for the PEN/Open Book Award • An ALA Notable Book 2017


NPR • The New York Times Book Review • San Francisco Chronicle • The Guardian • St. Louis Post-Dispatch • Chicago Public Library • BookPage • Refinery29 • Kirkus Reviews

Jende Jonga, a Cameroonian immigrant living in Harlem, has come to the United States to provide a better life for himself, his wife, Neni, and their six-year-old son. In the fall of 2007, Jende can hardly believe his luck when he lands a job as a chauffeur for Clark Edwards, a senior executive at Lehman Brothers. Clark demands punctuality, discretion, and loyalty—and Jende is eager to please. Clark’s wife, Cindy, even offers Neni temporary work at the Edwardses’ summer home in the Hamptons. With these opportunities, Jende and Neni can at last gain a foothold in America and imagine a brighter future.

However, the world of great power and privilege conceals troubling secrets, and soon Jende and Neni notice cracks in their employers’ façades.

When the financial world is rocked by the collapse of Lehman Brothers, the Jongas are desperate to keep Jende’s job—even as their marriage threatens to fall apart. As all four lives are dramatically upended, Jende and Neni are forced to make an impossible choice.

Also proposed:

Educated by Tara Westover

This Is How It Always Is by Laurie Frankel

March Book Choice -Little Fires Everywhere

Our March read comes from Bonnie  “Little Fires Everywhere” By Celeste Ng. See below for a review as well as the other two books Bonnie suggested

An Amazon Best Book of September 2017: With her first two novels, Celeste Ng has established herself as a writer of rare sensitivity and talent. Her debut Everything I Never Told You was picked by the Amazon Editors as the best book of 2014 and went on to be a best seller. Now, Little Fires Everywhere is sure to please her fans and attract many more. The Richardson family lives in the planned community of Shaker Heights, Ohio—a place of wealth, comfort, and stability—and they are a clan that embodies those traits. But when Mia, a single mother, and her fifteen year old daughter, Pearl, rent a house in the area, their very different lives will merge with those of the Richardson family and begin to contort the carefully laid lattice that supports their views. Once again, the plotting and pacing are nearly perfect, the characters believable and real. Ng is a master of family and societal dynamics, shifting perspectives, and the secrets that we try to protect—and readers who loved her debut will recognize the author in this second novel, even as she continues to stretch herself as a writer. We are now eagerly awaiting her next novel. –Chris Schluep, Amazon Book Review



Other suggestions from Bonnie:

January 10, 2019 Book Club

Looking forward to kicking off the year. Correction! Melissa Stewart will be our fabulous host next  Thursday 1/10 @ 6:30. We will be discussing “Where the Crawdads Sing”. Melissa is planning on a pork tenderloin pasta fagioli.  Leave a comment below to let us know if you can come what you will bring.

Christmas Party 2018!

You and your spouse are cordially invited to our raucous Christmas party, December 13th at 6:30. Katherine Owens is hosting us and kindly requests RSVP ASAP so she can start the prep. She will be serving beef tenderloin and a wild rice & green bean side. She suggests green salad, rolls, 2 desserts! (a girl after my own heart), apps, and rolls. Keep in mind when you sign up there will be approximately 60% more folks there than usual.


Also a quick reminder on our annual tradition  -bring an unwrapped booked to throw in the pot for what is always a rousing round of Dirty Santa!


Please let a comment below to let us know if you can come and what you will bring.

February 2018 Book Choice -The Girl Who Feel From the Sky

Donna lead the selection of our Feb choice, I look forward to returning to this favorite author.

‘[A] breathless telling of a tale we’ve never heard before. Haunting and lovely, pitch-perfect, this book could not be more timely.”-Barbara Kingsolver 

Chosen by Barbara Kingsolver as the winner of the PEN/Bellwether Prizefor best fiction manuscript addressing issues of social justice, The Girl Who Fell From the Skyhas garnered rave reviews since its February 2010 publication. The Washington Postcalls it “an auspicious debut” and named it one of the Best Novels of 2010. The Miami Heraldsays: “Durrow’s powerful novel is poised to take a place among classics of the American experience.” The Oregonianhails it as a Top 10 Book of 2010. The Girl Who Fell From the Skyis already a book club favorite, a New York Times Bestseller, a USA Today Bestsellera LA Times Bestseller, an Indie Next Pick, a Pennie’s Pickat Costco, and is now in its 15th printing in paperback.

This debut novel tells the story of Rachel, the daughter of a Danish mother and a black G.I. who becomes the sole survivor of a family tragedy.

With her strict African American grandmother as her new guardian, Rachel moves to a mostly black community, where her light brown skin, blue eyes, and beauty bring mixed attention her way. Growing up in the 1980s, she learns to swallow her overwhelming grief and confronts her identity as a biracial young woman in a world that wants to see her as either black or white.

Meanwhile, a mystery unfolds, revealing the terrible truth about Rachel’s last morning on a Chicago rooftop. Interwoven are the voices of Jamie, a neighborhood boy who witnessed the events, and Laronne, a friend of Rachel’s mother. Inspired by a true story of a mother’s twisted love, The Girl Who Fell from the Skyreveals an unfathomable past and explores issues of identity at a time when many people are asking “Must race confine us and define us?”

Two Other Almost reads:
  • Salvation & Sand Mountain: Snake-handling and redemption in Souther Appalachia -Dennis Covington
  • The Radium Girls: The Dark Story of America’s Shining Women -Kate Moore