Book Groups

Books by Women | CLL Monthly Book Club
Mass Incarceration: A Book Discussion Series

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 twenty years to discuss classic and contemporary works by women authors. All women are invited to join in the conversations whenever their schedules allow.

Books by Women Reading List

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

2015–2016 Book Discussion Schedule

Tuesday, December 8, 2015
The Grass Is Singing
   by Doris Lessing

This murder mystery is set in Southern Rhodesia during a time in which the country is under white rule. It opens with a newspaper announcement of the death of Mary Turner, the wife of a disgraced farmer, and outlines the circumstances of her death in the face of her failed marriage and her environment. Author Doris Lessing won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2007.

Paperback; 272 pages

Tuesday, January 12, 2016
Even the Terrible Things Seem Beautiful to Me Now: The Best of Mary Schmich
   by Mary Schmich

This book is a collection of the columns Mary Schmich wrote for the Chicago Tribune for over two decades on a biweekly basis. Schmich includes 164 columns in this book, including the 10 columns that earned her the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for Commentary.

Paperback; 320 pages

Tuesday, February 9, 2016
   by Lily King

The novel is based on the life of Margaret Mead and tells the story of a love triangle that takes place in the most remote provinces of New Guinea. Euphoria was a finalist for the National Book Critics Award for Fiction in 2014.  

Paperback; 288 pages

Tuesday, March 8, 2016
Ghost Hero
   by S. J. Rozan

Chau Chun, known as the Ghost Hero, is a celebrated Chinese ink painter who was killed in 1989 during the Tiananmen Square uprising. An American-born Chinese private investigator, Lydia Chin, is contacted by an art world insider to investigate the rumor that new paintings by the deceased artist have emerged. Ghost Hero won the Dilys Award for Mystery in 2012. 

Paperback; 336 pages

Tuesday, April 12, 2016
Can't We Talk about Something More Pleasant?
   by Roz Chast

Author Roz Chast, a cartoonist for the New Yorker, depicts through cartoons, family photos, and documents the decline of her aging parents. A poignant and funny narrative, Can't We Talk about Something More Pleasant? won the National Book Critics Circle Award for Autobiography in 2014.

Hardcover; 240 pages

Tuesday, May 10, 2016
Go Set a Watchman
   by Harper Lee

This sequel to To Kill a Mockingbird is set in author Harper Lee's famed Maycomb, Alabama, during the 1950s. Scout Finch, now an adult woman, returns to New York to visit her father, Atticus.

Hardcover; 304 pages

Tuesday, June 14, 2016
The Girl on the Train
   by Paula Hawkins

Protagonist Rachel becomes obsessed with a “perfect” couple that she sees through the windows of a train, one she takes each morning and evening on her commute to and from London. When the woman goes missing, Rachel finds herself in the middle of the investigation into her disappearance, all while trying to deal with her own growing addiction to alcohol and lapses in memory.

Hardcover; 336 pages

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

Back to top

CLL Monthly Book Club (New!)

   Tuesdays, November 24 and December 15
   11:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m.
   Free and open to all 60 and older; no RSVP necessary

Members asked for it, and now we’ve got it . . . a CLL Book Group! This fall we’ll try different genres and meeting styles so that the group can shape how the experience evolves. Grab a great read, and come check us out. Classes will be facilitated by CLL Program Coordinator Susan Quaintance.

Tuesday, November 24 • The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien
This modern classic and New York Times bestseller was a finalist for both the 1990 Pulitzer Prize and National Book Critics Circle Award and has become a staple of American classrooms. Hailed by the New York Times as “a marvel of storytelling,” O’Brien’s portrayal of the boots-on-the-ground experience of soldiers in the Vietnam War is a landmark in war writing.

Tuesday, December 15 • Gilead by Marilynne Robinson
Twenty-four years after her first novel, Housekeeping, Marilynne Robinson returns with an intimate tale of three generations from the Civil War to the twentieth century: a story about fathers and sons and the spiritual battles that still rage at America's heart. In the luminous and unforgettable voice of Congregationalist minister John Ames, Gilead reveals the human condition and the often unbearable beauty of an ordinary life. Gilead won of the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 2005.

Back to top