Booker and Beyond Book Club

The Booker and Beyond Book Club meets on the second Tuesday of each month in Classroom B on the 3rd floor. Members submit titles that they are prepared to lead for discussion and the group selects the titles.

On this page recent news will be shared with the most recent first.

June, 2021     

For our second in-person meeting this year, the attendance by 17 persons with 3 newcomers was exceptional.

We had a lively discussion started by Faye Rosenberg’s introduction of another book authored by Isobel Allende, In the Midst of Winter.  The wide range of opinions expressed by the group again highlight the satisfaction that joining a Collington book club can bring.

All are welcome to come to our next meeting, scheduled for July 13 when Ann Carlson will start a discussion of The Brilliant Life of Eudora Honeysett by Annie Lyons.

September 9. 2020

Eleven of us met in the Ivy Room patio area to discuss the book Beekeeper of Aleppo.  We also brought in additional participants via Zoom for those who couldn’t join physically.

Dorothy Yuan started the discussion by providing some detail regarding the author, Christie Lefteri.  All aspects of the story of refugees described most movingly in the book were discussed.  But one of the central topics, that of the relationship of the protagonist with a young fellow refugee who turned out to be imaginary, was the most intriguing.  I believe Tucker Farley offered an insightful explanation.  She felt that “His care for Mohammad took the form of both protecting him, giving him story charms to protect him and keep him safe, and allowing him to both disappear with the possibility of meeting up later, and still be alive somewhere for the future where, protected by his fatherly love and talismanic stories he had a mantle of safety that his actual son (who died) did not have”.

Trying to allow participants on Zoom to join in the discussion was only partially successful without a better microphone.  Hopefully we can improve this technical aspect next time.

January 14, 2020

Depend on a thought provoking and informative narrative to elicit an active discussion by the 18 attendants of the Book Club last week.  Sara Case suggested and started the discourse on the well written book, An Upstairs Wife by Rafia Zakaria.  The next selection chosen by the members will be Courting Mr. Lincoln by Louis Bayard scheduled for February 11, 2020.  We welcome your participation.

October 8, 2019

Twelve members were present to review the award-winning book Washington Black by Esi Edugyan.  Ann Carlson led off the discussion by asking us to compare the extent of fantasy vs. realism presented by the author.  We arrived at the consensus that when a book is well written whether the question is addressed is not relevant.  A further conclusion is that a good work of fiction does not require personal experience by the author.

The members have selected books to be discussed for the next three months:

                  November: Where The Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens.

                  December: The Upstairs Wife by Rafia Zakaria

                January:  Mudbound by Hillary Jordan

Meetings are held on the second Tuesday of each month. All are invited to come and participate in our lively discussions regardless of whether you have had a chance to read the book.

April 12, 2019

When fourteen of us joined in a discussion of the book Born a Crime by Noah Trevor, virtually everyone contributed their thoughts and impressions. We thank
Sipra Johnson for her suggestion of a most informative and heart-rending book and for opening up a number of insightful discussion leads.

Our next book, scheduled for May 14, suggested by Dorothy Barker, will be The
Library Book by Susan Orlean. After reading this interesting book I’m sure many of you will want to attend the discussion.

For those who want to get ahead in their reading, the next book voted on by the
group, to be discussed in June will be Educated by Tara Westover, suggested by Ann Carson.

March 7, 2019

Frances Nebasky started the Book Club discussion of The Great Alone by Kristin Hanna in our February meeting by first listing the three criteria for a well-written book.  We then offered our opinion as to whether these criteria were fulfilled.  From the participation of many of the more than twenty attendees it became obvious that even with the mostly negative assessments much can be learned from the discussion.

In lieu of a meeting for March there will be a community discussion of Becoming by Michelle Obama on March 30th.

For the next meeting scheduled for April 9th,  Sipra Johnson will lead a discussion of Born a crime, Stores from a South African Childhood by Trevor Noah.

December 11, 2018

For more than an hour book club attendees pointed out and discussed a number of insightful passages in the new novel, Varina, by Charles Frazier.  Most of sixteen present agreed that Ann Carson made an excellent suggestion.  It was also interesting to learn from her the important role of the Independent Book Sellers Association in the promotion of a book.  Kudos to this organization.

Selections for the next two sessions are:
January 8:  The Dream of Scipio…by Lain Pears…suggested by Linda Ewald
February 12: The Great Alone…by Kristin Hanna…suggested by Frances Nebasky

All are welcome to come.

September 11, 2018

During this month’s meeting Zora Hesse provided a comprehensive review of the many parties involved in the Partition of India, setting the background for the thirteen participants for an interesting discussion of the book, Cracking India by Bapsi Sidwah.

The next meeting is set for Oct 9th when Tucker Farley will lead a discussion of the intriguing book: The Door, by Magna Szabo.

All are welcome, even if you fail to read the book.

July 10, 2018

Cleopatra, by Stacy Schiff was the book chosen to be discussed and was attended by 17 members.  We were all thankful to Zora Hesse for suggesting the long, but informative book which allowed us to learn much about the subject.  It would have been more interesting if we had some male members who might have countered the strong feminist view.

Our next book is Exit West by Mohsin Hamid, discussion to be led by Faye Rosenberg on August 14.  All are welcome regardless of whether you choose to read the book or not.

May 10, 2018

On Tuesday, May 8th, 18 members met to discuss the book, Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng, which at first read resembled a soap opera.  However, under the skillful direction of the discussion leader, Linda Ewald, the group pondered important topics including birth vs. nurture, mother-daughter relationships, and life-style choices, as well as sutle nuances hidden within the skillful writing of the author.

The next book chosen by the group will be Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi.  Discussion to be led by Dorothy Yuan on June 12th.

March 13, 2018: Dorothy Yuan posted:

Vena Darling introduced and led a discussion of our book selection of the month Behold the Dreamers by Mbolo Imbue.  She managed to elicit a lively discussion.  A discussion that revealed the many varied opinions of the sixteen present regarding the lives of the one percent vs. that of struggling immigrants arriving in the same city.

We hope you’ll consider joining this lively group for our next meeting to be led by Tucker Farley on the book Wild Seed by Octavia Butler scheduled for April 10th

February 13, 2018: Dorothy Yuan posted:

Bobbie McCuskey did an excellent job of elucidating for us the nuanced implications behind the award-winning book, Lincoln in the Bardo by first describing the character of the author, George Saunders.  Further discussion by the sixteen members of the group motivated many of us to go back for a second read and to listen to the audiotape.

Our next selection scheduled for March 13th will be Behold the Dreamers by Mbolo Imbue.  Discussion to be led by Vena Darling.

We welcome one and all.

January 9, 2018: Dorothy Yuan posted:

Some fifteen of us gathered for a discussion of the book: Pearl, by Mary Gordon suggested by Linda Ewald. The discussion elicited many interesting aspects and hidden meanings, not all of which can be gleaned by a first reading, allowing us to fully appreciate the value of such a meeting.

The next meeting is scheduled for  February 13, when we will go over the book: Lincoln in the Bardo, by George Saunders.  Discussion to be led by Bobbie McCuskey.

December 28, 2017: Dorothy Yuan posted:

Sara Case led off a spirited dialogue on the book Home Fires by the nineteen attendees in our latest meeting.  All agreed that the evocative novel addressing contemporary societal struggles, structured on the ancient Greek tragedy, Antigone, was an excellent choice.

We look forward to reading the next book, chosen by the group, Pearl, written by Mary Gordon, with discussion to be led by Linda Ewald on Tuesday, January 9th.

December 18, 2017: Dorothy Yuan posted selections for early 2018:

#1 choice: Lincoln and the Bardo…for February 13th… Bobby McCuskey
#2 choice: Behold the Dreamers…..For March 13th……..Vena Darling
#3 choice: Wild Seed …For April 10th… Tucker Farley