Quartet in Autumn by Barbara Pym. Barbara Pym is widely regarded as the 20th century Jane Austen. This is a wonderful story about 4 people who work together and grow old together. Filled with dry, ironic humor, Quartet in Autumn is a poignant depiction of the lives of four elderly people, who have worked together for several years. All of them live alone, and none of them have much of a life outside of their repetitive and intellectually deadening jobs. They treat each other only as colleagues and not as friends, both in and out of the office. The two women consider the two men to be merely “part of the furniture,” and the men have no interest in the women beyond their function in the office. As a result, they have never socialized, visited each other’s houses or apartments, shared a lunch hour together, or come to know each other as human beings.
Please join us at the College Club on Thursday, December 1st at 6:30 for a fun discussion. A glass of wine, a good book to savor, various desserts to enjoy, and good friends—ingredients for a great evening! Come join us!
The Friday Morning Book Club
The December selection is The Nightingale by Kristen Hanna. This book is about two sisters struggling to survive during World War II in France. One sister is rebellious and intent on fighting for France while the other simply wants to survive the war with her family intact. Both sisters learn who they are and what they are capable of as the war wages on. The Nightingale begins at the Oregon Coast in 1995 with an elderly woman who is dying of cancer. Her son is helping her to move to a retirement home. Her identity is not revealed. As her son is helping her, he sees a photo of a woman named Juliette Gervaise and asks his mother who she is. The elderly woman begins to remember the story of Vianne and Isabelle.
Marsha is the discussion leader and Kathy Kubala the hostess. Social hour with coffee and goodies begins at 9:30 AM. Book discussion will begin at 10:00 AM. All are welcome!
The next meeting for Reading between the Wines is Thursday, October 1 at 6:30 PM. We will be discussing Provenance by Aly Sujo and Laney Salisbury, a true story of a con man and an art forger and an audacious art fraud in the 20th century. Filled with extraordinary characters and told at breakneck speed, Provenance reads like a well-plotted thriller. But this is most certainly not fiction. It is the astonishing narrative of one of the most far-reaching and elaborate cons in the history of art forgery. Stretching from London to Paris to New York, investigative reporters Laney Salisbury and Aly Sujo recount the tale of infamous con man and unforgettable villain John Drewe and his accomplice, the affable artist John Myatt. Together they exploited the archives of British art institutions to irrevocably legitimize the hundreds of pieces they forged, many of which are still considered genuine and hang in prominent museums and private collections today.
October’s Breakfast by the Book event will meet on Friday, Oct. 16th. There will be a social hour with coffee and goodies at 9:30 AM. The discussion will begin at 10:00 AM. This month’s selection is The Summer before the War by Helen Simonson. According to the reviews this book is “at once haunting and effervescent, The Summer before the War demonstrates the sure hand of a master. Simonson’s characters enchant us, her English countryside beguiles us, and her historical intelligence keeps us at the edge of our seats. This luminous story of a family, a town, and a world in their final moments of innocence is as lingering and lovely as a long summer sunset”.
Discussion leader—Kathy Kubala
Usually “Reading between the Wines” happens on the first Thursday evening of every month. This month we are deviating a bit. Our first book of the new College Club year is “Harriet Wolfe’s Seventh Book of Wonders” by Julianna Baggott. In “Harriet Wolf’s Seventh Book of Wonders,” its title character rewrites the story of her life when she’s in old age. Her aim is to leave behind a document explaining herself to her daughter, Eleanor, who never knew her own father, and to Eleanor’s daughters, Tilton and Ruth. Harriet Wolf’s Seventh Book of Wonders, Julianna Baggott’s most sweeping and mesmerizing novel yet, offers a profound meditation on motherhood and sisterhood, as well as on the central importance of stories. It is a novel that affords its characters that rare chance we all long for-the chance to reimagine the stories of our lives while there’s still time.
The Breakfast by the Book committee is meeting on August 21st to plan for the monthly events. There will be a social hour with coffee and goodies at 9:30 AM. Book discussion will begin at 10:00 AM. All are welcome! The book selection is a novel, “The Invention of Wings” by Sue Monk Kidd. The Invention of Wings, a powerful and sweeping historical novel by Sue Monk Kidd, begins, fittingly, with an image of flight: Hetty “Handful”, who has grown up as a slave in early nineteenth century Charleston, recalls the night her mother told her that her ancestors in Africa could fly over trees and clouds. That day, Handful’s mother, Charlotte, gave her daughter the gift of hope— the possibility that someday she might regain her wings and fly to freedom. Throughout Kidd’s exquisitely written story, Handful struggles, sometimes with quiet dissidence, sometimes with open rebellion, to cultivate a belief in the invincibility of her spirit and in the sacred truth that one does not need actual wings in order to rise.
Hostess: Judy Danforth
Discussion Leader: Dorinne Ebel
“Reading between the Wines” will meet on Thursday July 7 at 6:30 at the College Club. Our book is “A Fall of Marigolds” by Susan Meissner. “Like the golden threads of a scarf sprinkled with marigolds, Susan Meissner weaves two unspeakable New York tragedies—the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire and 9/11—into a shimmering novel of love and acceptance. Meissner’s heroines, Clara and Taryn, live a century apart, but their stories are connected not just by a bright scrap of fabric but by love lost. A compelling novel, A Fall of Marigolds turns fate into a triumph of spirit.”
Breakfast by the Book will meet on June 17th at 9:30.
We will place the name of the book on the desk in the living room.
6:30 pm; Discussion leader—
Our book for June 2 is “Still Life” by Louise Penny. It’s the first in a series of mysteries set in a small town in Quebec. Still Life introduces not only an engaging series hero in Inspector Gamache, who commands his forces—and this series—with integrity and quiet courage, but also a winning and talented new writer of traditional mysteries in the person of Louise Penny.
We will have “snacks” that are French in nature, in keeping with the location of the book.
Acclaimed by critics, beloved by readers of all ages, taught everywhere from inner-city grade schools to universities across the country, and translated all over the world, The House on Mango Street is the remarkable story of Esperanza Cordero. Told in a series of vignettes – sometimes heartbreaking, sometimes deeply joyous – it is the story of a young Latina girl growing up in Chicago, inventing for herself who and what she will become. Few other books in our time have touched so many readers.