Book Groups

Books by Women | CLL Monthly Book Club

Books by Women

Second Tuesdays from 6:00 to 7:15 p.m.
September through June
Bumpus Activity Room in the Gratz Center

Books by Women has met faithfully for more than twenty years to discuss classic and contemporary works by women authors. All women are invited to join in the conversations whenever their schedules allow.

2017-2018 Book Discussion Schedule

Tuesday, September 12, 2017
Do Not Say That We Have Nothing by Madeleine Thien

In this book Madeleine Thien discusses the lives of two successive generations of musicians: those who lived through Mao’s Cultural Revolution in the mid-twentieth century and the children of those survivors, who became the students protesting in Tiananmen Square in 1989. Shortlisted for the 2016 Man Booker award.

Hardcover; 480 pages

Tuesday, October 10, 2017
The Lab Girl by Hope Jahren

Hope Jahren’s memoir reads like a novel. A tenured professor at the University of Hawaii, Jahren is a geobiologist who studies biological bits from ancient plants to determine climatic conditions of the time.Winner of the 2016 National Book Critics Circle Award for Autobiography.

Hardcover; 240 pages

Tuesday, November 14, 2017
Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult

This story about prejudice, race, and justice is based on the true story of a labor
and delivery nurse who was prohibited from caring for a newborn because the father requested that no African American nurse tend his baby. The story is currently being adapted as a feature film.

Hardcover; 480 pages

Tuesday, December 12, 2017
A Fatal Grace by Louise Penny

During the Christmas season, Miss CC de Poitiers is electrocuted on a frozen lake,
in front of the entire town, during the annual curling tournament in the small hamlet of Three Pines, Quebec. Inspector Gamache digs beneath the surface of village life to find long-buried secrets. Winner of the Agatha Christie Award for Mystery.

Paperback; 320 pages

Tuesday, January 9, 2018
Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly

Hidden Figures brings to life the African American women mathematicians who
were instrumental in winning the space race. The account uncovers the role of women at critical points in the history of science.

Hardcover; 368 pages

Tuesday, February 13, 2018
Girl in Disguise by Greer Macallister

This novel is inspired by the life of Kate Warne, the first woman detective hired by Pinkerton National Detective Agency (in 1856). In Girl in Disguise, Macallister gives readers a glimpse into the cloak-and-dagger world of nineteenth-century Chicago that we may not know existed.

Hardcover; 308 pages

Tuesday, March 13, 2018
Becoming Nicole: The Transformation of an American Family by Amy Ellis Nutt

A childless couple adopts twin boys in this inspiring true story of a transgender girl, her identical twin brother, and an ordinary American family’s extraordinary journey to understand, nurture, and celebrate the unique in us all. Author Amy Ellis Nutt is a Pulitzer Prize-winning science reporter for the Washington Post.

Paperback; 320 pages

Tuesday, April 10, 2018
The Secrets of Wishtide by Kate Saunders

Laetitia Rodd is a fifty-two-year-old widow living in Hampstead, England in 1850.
She takes on a confidential investigation, brought to her by her brother Fred, a criminal barrister: a gentleman wants her to investigate the woman his son hopes to marry, a woman the father believes is an unsuitable wife for his son.

Hardcover; 352 pages

Tuesday, May 8, 2018
The South Side: A Portrait of Chicago and American Segregation
by Natalie Y. Moore

Natalie Y. Moore shines a light on the current state of segregation in Chicago’s South Side. Winner of the 21st Century Award from the Chicago Public Library
and Foundation in 2017.

Hardcover; 225 pages

Tuesday, June 12, 2018
A Piece of the World by Christina Baker Kline

This novel by the author of The Orphan Train, Christina was born in her family home on a remote family farm in a small coastal town. There she was destined for a simple life, until she became the subject of one of the best-known paintings of the twentieth century: “Christina’s World,” by artist Andrew Wyeth.

Hardcover; 320 pages


Books by Women Reading List

A reading list of books read by Books by Women from December 1991 through the present is available here.

For more information about Books by Women, contact Anne Ellis (312.573.3369).

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CLL Monthly Book Club

   Tuesdays, September 26, October 24, November 28, and December 19
   11:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m.
   Free and open to all 60 and older; no RSVP necessary

In its third year, the CLL member-run book club enjoys books selected by members who wish to lead the discussion. Grab a great read, and bring a friend!

Tuesday, September 26
   Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine
   by Gail Honeyman

We’ll kick off another year of engaging discussions with a novel that Janet Maslin of The New York Times called “satisfyingly quirky.” The story of a socially awkward office worker who happens into life-changing relationships will start us off laughing and considering what we think is really essential. If you loved A Man Called Ove or The Rosie Project, this could be just the book for you.

Tuesday, October 24
   by Yaa Gyasi

“Homegoing is an inspiration.” So says Ta-Nehisi Coates, author of Between the World and Me. Gyasi’s prize-winning debut novel, which tells the story of Effia and Esi, born into different villages in eighteenth-century Ghana, made it onto a bunch of “Best Books of 2016” lists. Readers follow the two sisters’ descendants through 300 years of Ghanaian and American history in this richly-researched and beautifully-written work.

Tuesday, November 28
   Hillbilly Elegy
   by J.D. Vance

A year after the presidential election we will continue to discern what it all means with a consideration of what the loss of the American Dream has done to the white working class in the United States. A memoir by a former marine and Yale Law School grad who grew up in coal country, this is a work that not only delves into one family’s reality but also a culture in crisis.

Tuesday, December 19
   Christmas Days: 12 Stories and 12 Feasts for 12 Days
   by Jeanette Winterson

Remember all those recipes in Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquival? This collection of imaginative and magical holiday stories also includes recipes for each of the twelve days of Christmas. We’ll celebrate the season with good writing, visions of good food dancing in our heads, and good company.

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