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.
2016–2017 Book Discussion Schedule
Tuesday, September 13, 2016
The Lost Tudor Princess: The Life of Lady Margaret Douglas
by Alison Weir
Lady Margaret had an alarming talent for dangerous intrigue. Margaret served four of the wives of her uncle Henry Vlll; was sent to the Tower of London more than once; used her influence to marry her son, Henry Stuart, to Mary Queen of Scots; and was instrumental in her grandson James VI, King of Scotland, being crowned King of England. The author includes genealogical charts, maps, clothing receipts, and ambassador reports.
Hardcover; 537 pages
Tuesday, October 11, 2016
The House Girl by Tara Conklin
The novel is set in 1852 Virginia and modern-day New York. The author weaves together the story of an escaped slave, Josephine, in the pre-Civil War South and a determined junior lawyer, Lina Sparrow, living in New York in 2004. The story follows Lina Sparrow as she looks for an appropriate lead plaintiff in a lawsuit seeking compensation for families of slaves. In her research, Lina learns about Lu Anne Bell, a renowned prewar artist whose famous works might have actually been painted by her slave, Josephine.
Paperback; 400 pages
Tuesday, November 8, 2016
The Witches of Salem, 1692 by Stacy Schiff
The author unpacks the mystery of the Salem Witch Trials. Aside from suffrage, the Salem Witch Trials represent the only movement when women played the central role in American history. It began in 1672 during an exceptionally raw Massachusetts winter when a minister’s daughter began to scream and convulse. It ended less than a year later, but not before nineteen men and woman had been hanged. Author Stacy Schiff won the Pulitzer Prize for Cleopatra in 2011.
Paperback; 512 pages
Tuesday, December 13, 2016
The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie by Muriel Sparks
The story is set in the 1930s in Edinburgh, Scotland. Six ten-year-old girls were assigned to be mentored by Miss Jean Brodie, a teacher. Under her mentorship, these six girls—whom Miss Brodie singles out as the elite group among her students—begin to stand out from the rest of the school; however, one of these girls will betray her.
Paperback; 160 pages
Tuesday, January 10, 2017
The Girl Next Door by Ruth Rendell
In 1944 a group of children playing in a tunnel near their London neighborhood found a tin box containing two skeletal hands, one male and one female. Six decades later, they react to the rediscovery by construction workers of these hands and the crime investigation that follows.
Paperback; 304 pages
Tuesday, February 14, 2017
The Underground Girls of Kabul:
In Search of a Hidden Resistance in Afghanistan
by Jenny Nordberg
In Afghanistan, a country culturally dominated by men, the birth of a son is cause for celebration, and the arrival of a daughter is often mourned as a misfortune. A third kind of child, a bacha posh, is a girl dressed as a boy and raised as a boy and presented as such to the outside world. The author, a Swedish journalist, broke the story of this phenomenon to the New York Times.
Paperback; 288 pages
Tuesday, March 14, 2017
Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy: Four Women Undercover in the Civil War
by Karen Abbott
This book chronicles the stories of four women who played unconventional roles during the Civil War. Belle was a boisterous flirt and Confederate spy; Rose was a seductive widow who also spied for the South; Emma disguised herself as a man and enlisted in the Union Army; and Elizabeth is a wealthy spinster in the Confederate capital with Union loyalties.
Paperback; 412 pages
Tuesday, April 11, 2017
The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah
This story focuses on the experiences of two sisters living in France during World War II. One sister has a child and a missing husband yet works quietly to save Jewish children. The other sister wants to do something heroic to save France.
Paperback; 448 pages
Tuesday, May 9, 2017
The Girls of Atomic City:
The Untold Story of the Women Who Helped Win World War II
by Diane Kiernan
This narrative, which uses interviews with the surviving women and meticulous historical research, tells the story of the young women, mostly southern and mostly poor, who were recruited to live and work in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, on a top-secret project to build an atomic bomb.
Paperback; 373 pages
Tuesday, June 13, 2017
The Japanese Lover by Isabel Allende
This is a multi-generational love story that spans the decades from the Holocaust in Poland and the wars in the Balkans to present-day San Francisco. Alma Belasco is an elderly widow, living in a nursing home in San Francisco, who shares with her young Romanian caregiver the story of the longtime love of a Japanese gardener who, as a child, had been sent with his family to a retention camp.
Paperback; 336 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 20, October 25, November 22, December 20
11:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m.
Free and open to all 60 and older; no RSVP necessary
In its second 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 to our monthly gatherings!
Tuesday, September 20
Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates
The New York Times Book Review named Between the World and Me one of the ten best books of 2015, and we are going to see if we agree as we kick off a new season of reading together. As our country struggles to navigate this moment in race relations, we will listen in on Coates’s letter to his son, detailing what it means to be a young black man in the United States today.
Tuesday, October 25
The Secret Chord by Geraldine Brooks
Writing about The Secret Chord, one reviewer said that it “reads like a prose poem, with battle after battle recounted in detail, but it’s a page turner of a poem.” Geraldine Brooks’ fictional account of the life of the Bible’s King David is rich with historical detail and characters who defy what we think we know about them.
Tuesday, November 22
The Meaning of Human Existence by Edward O. Wilson
Provocative and lively, biologist and naturalist Edward O. Wilson considers humanity’s place in the cosmos and other ticklish existential questions. You might not agree with all his answers, but the group will surely have plenty to talk about.
Tuesday, December 20
My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante
Find out what all the buzz is about! Book One of the Neopolitan Novels (Elena Ferrante’s series that has developed quite the cult following), My Brilliant Friend details the story of Lily and Elena, two working class girls from 1950s Naples, and also the story of their country in the midst of epic changes.
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