On Tuesday, June 12 at 6:00 p.m. we will chat about Jessica Shattuck’s The Women in the Castle.
This book is set at the end of World War II, amid the ashes of Nazi Germany’s defeat, in a crumbling Bavarian castle that once played host to all of German high society, a powerful and propulsive story of three widows whose lives and fates become intertwined.
Tuesday, April 10 at 6:00 p.m. we will be discussing The Rosie Project by Graeme C. Simsion.
Meet Don Tillman, a brilliant yet socially challenged professor of genetics, who’s decided it’s time he found a wife. And so, in the orderly, evidence-based manner with which Don approaches all things, he designs the Wife Project to find his perfect partner: a sixteen-page, scientifically valid survey to filter out the drinkers, the smokers, the late arrivers.
Rosie Jarman is all these things. She also is strangely beguiling, fiery, and intelligent. And while Don quickly disqualifies her as a candidate for the Wife Project, as a DNA expert Don is particularly suited to help Rosie on her own quest: identifying her biological father. When an unlikely relationship develops as they collaborate on the Father Project, Don is forced to confront the spontaneous whirlwind that is Rosie–and the realization that, despite your best scientific efforts, you don’t find love, it finds you.
On Tuesday, August 8th at 6:00 p.m. we will be discussing The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce.
Meet Harold Fry, recently retired. He lives in a small English village with his wife, Maureen, who seems irritated by almost everything he does. Little differentiates one day from the next. Then one morning a letter arrives, addressed to Harold in a shaky scrawl, from a woman he hasn’t heard from in twenty years. Queenie Hennessy is in hospice and is writing to say goodbye. But before Harold mails off a quick reply, a chance encounter convinces him that he absolutely must deliver his message to Queenie in person. In his yachting shoes and light coat, Harold Fry embarks on an urgent quest. Determined to walk six hundred miles to the hospice, Harold believes that as long as he walks, Queenie will live. A novel of charm, humor, and profound insight into the thoughts and feelings we all bury deep within our hearts,
We will be discussing Trevor Noah’s Born a Crime on Tuesday, July 11 at 6:00 p.m.
The compelling, inspiring, and comically sublime story of one man’s coming-of-age, set during the twilight of apartheid in South Africa and the tumultuous days of freedom that followed.
Born a Crime is the story of a mischievous young boy who grows into a restless young man as he struggles to find himself in a world where he was never supposed to exist. It is also the story of that young man’s relationship with his fearless, rebellious, and fervently religious mother: his teammate, a woman determined to save her son from the cycle of poverty, violence, and abuse that would ultimately threaten her own life.
Tuesday, June 13, 6:00 p.m.
A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman (2014).
Ove, a grumpy, isolated retiree who spends his days enforcing block association rules and visiting his wife’s grave, decides to give up on life until an unlikely friendship develops with a boisterous young family that moves in next door.
Tuesday, May 9, 6:00 p.m.
A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson (1998).
Following his return to America after twenty years in Great Britain, the author decided to reacquaint himself with his native country by walking the 2,100-mile Appalachian Trail, which provided him with the opportunity to test his own powers of ineptitude while witnessing the majestic silliness of his fellow human beings.
Tuesday, June 14, 6:00 p.m.
The Girls of Atomic City: The Untold Story of the Women Who Helped Win World War II by Denise Kiernan (2013).
The incredible story of the young women of Oak Ridge, Tennessee, who unwittingly played a crucial role in one of the most significant moments in U.S. history.
The Tennessee town of Oak Ridge was created from scratch in 1942. One of the Manhattan Project’s secret cities, it didn’t appear on any maps until 1949, and yet at the height of World War II it was using more electricity than New York City and was home to more than 75,000 people, many of them young women recruited from small towns across the South. Their jobs were shrouded in mystery, but they were buoyed by a sense of shared purpose, close friendships—and a surplus of handsome scientists and Army men!
But against this vibrant wartime backdrop, a darker story was unfolding. The penalty for talking about their work—even the most innocuous details—was job loss and eviction. One woman was recruited to spy on her coworkers. They all knew something big was happening at Oak Ridge, but few could piece together the true nature of their work until the bomb “Little Boy” was dropped over Hiroshima, Japan, and the secret was out. The shocking revelation: the residents of Oak Ridge were enriching uranium for the atomic bomb.
Though the young women originally believed they would leave Oak Ridge after the war, many met husbands there, made lifelong friends, and still call the seventy-year-old town home. The reverberations from their work there—work they didn’t fully understand at the time—are still being felt today. In The Girls of Atomic City, Denise Kiernan traces the astonishing story of these unsung WWII workers through interviews with dozens of surviving women and other Oak Ridge residents. Like The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, this is history and science made fresh and vibrant—a beautifully told, deeply researched story that unfolds in a suspenseful and exciting way.
Tuesday, February 9, 6:00 p.m.
Thinking in Pictures: and Other Reports from My Life with Autism by Temple Grandin (1996).
Dr. Temple Grandin is a gifted animal scientist and professor. She also lectures widely on autism because she is autistic. In her enlightening autobiography she explains how she thinks, feels, and experiences the world in ways that are incomprehensible to the rest of us.