Book Club Ideas
In The Little Giant of Aberdeen County, Truly Plaice has a huge girth, but feelings of insignificance. Tiffany Baker’s folksy Truly keeps her feelings in check to buffer her heart from the indignities she has suffered. When Truly solves an age old family mystery she gains a sense of empowerment.
American twins Julia and Valentina have inherited the estate of their mother’s twin sister, which includes a flat. However, a condition is attached to this inheritance. The twins’ parents, Edie and Jack, are forbidden from entering the flat.
When She Woke is a stunning story about a stigmatized woman struggling to navigate an America of a not-too-distant future, where the line between church and state has been eradicated and convicted felons are released back into the population after being “chromed.”
This book by Elizabeth Strout is a series of short stories primarily set in Maine with a common character, Olive Kitteridge, a retired schoolteacher. As the townspeople grapple with their problems, mild and dire, Olive is brought to a deeper understanding of herself and her life–sometimes painfully, but always with ruthless honesty. Olive Kitteridge offers profound insights into the human condition–its conflicts, its tragedies and joys, and the endurance it requires.
How to Bake a Perfect Life by Barbara O’Neal is about the power of baking to get you through the rough times. Ramona owns a bakery and when absorbed in her craft she is able to forget about the rough times in her life, such as having a baby as a teenager, bitter relationships in her family, and her son-in-law in Afghanistan. When her son-in-law is injured her pregnant daughter must head overseas to care for him and leaves her 13 year old stepdaughter, Katie, with Ramona. Through the art of baking, Ramona and Katie develop a friendship.
My Name is Mary Sutter is a book about a well-respected midwife who dreams of being a surgeon in the Civil War era. She gets her chance at an overcrowded Union hospital where she is given the opportunity to assist with amputations when no one else with medical training was available. Her determination and skill win the respect and love of the doctors who were reluctant to believe in her.
The Christmas Box is about a young family that moves in with an elderly woman, MaryAnne Parkin, to help her with meal preparation and to care for her old mansion. They develop a deep friendship with Mary who teaches the overworked Richard about the first gift of Christmas.
How would it feel if the sun and the moon where the only things you could count on in your life?
A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier is Ishmael Beah’s story of what it took to survive the civil war in Sierra Leone. Under unimaginable conditions he was without his family, traveling the land with a pack of boys. He was then captured by the government army, given drugs and turned into a soldier at the age of 13.
In rural Mississippi, Larry lives a solitary existence, never able to rise above the whispers of suspicion when his date went missing over 20 years ago. Silas, who was once a friend of Larry’s, is the town constable. He and Larry have no reason to cross paths until another girl disappears and Larry is blamed again. And now the two men who once called each other friend are forced to confront the past they’ve buried and ignored for decades.
Cooking the Books