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What Are You Reading? Lawrence Book Clubs Weigh In

Pictured: the Church Ladies Book Club of Lawrence, KS.

True confession time. I’m incredibly nosy when it comes to book club reading lists. I love finding out what other Lawrence book clubs are reading. The books range from fluffy summer reads to character building classics. I checked in with some local book clubs and asked, “What are you reading?” Here’s my report.

All book descriptions from the Novelist database.

Last Wednesday Book Club (December 2 at the library) is reading The Martian by Andy Weir, which  is the 2016 Read Across Lawrence adult selection. “After a bad storm cuts his team’s Mars mission short, injured astronaut Mark Watney is stranded. Now he needs to figure out how to survive on Mars until the next manned mission in four years.”

The Great Books Discussion Group meets at the library December 5 to discuss selections from The Odyssey by Homer. “This classic story chronicles the adventures of the warrior Odysseus as he struggles to return home to Ithaca and his beloved wife, Penelope, after the fall of Troy.”

West Side Storybook Club is reading Room by Emma Donoghue. “A five-year-old narrates his story of growing up in a single room where his mother works to protect him from the man who has held her prisoner for seven years.” (This club has a tradition that if you don’t read the book, you bring a bottle of wine to the meeting. Given the harrowing premise of Room, some may be arriving with bottle in hand!)

My book club, MPBC, is reading West With the Night by Beryl Markham. “Originally published in 1942, the author describes her experiences growing up in Africa, training and breeding race horses, and being the first woman to fly the Atlantic from east to west.”

Delphi Book Club, celebrating its 35th year, is reading The Hare with Amber Eyes: A Hidden Inheritance by Edmund de Waal. “When the author inherits 264 miniature Japanese netsuke carvings, he sets out to find the stories behind them. It’s a great detective story.”

Last Tuesday of the Month Book Club is reading Being Mortal: Medicine and What Happens in the End by Atul Gwande. “Medicine has made great strides, but in the inevitable condition of aging and death, its goals seem to run counter to the interest of the human spirit. Gawande, a practicing surgeon, addresses his profession’s ultimate limitation, arguing that quality of life is the goal for patients and families.”

Just in time for the holidays, the Bluestocking Book Club is reading The Thanksgiving Visitor by Truman Capote. “A twelve-year-old boy recalls his life and friendship with an elderly cousin in rural Alabama in the 1930s, and the lesson she taught him one Thanksgiving Day about dealing with a bully from school.”

Amicus Libris Book Club is reading The Paris Architect by Charles Belfoure. “A Parisian architect is paid handsomely to design secret hiding spaces for Jews in his Nazi-occupied country but struggles with risking his life for a cause he is ambivalent towards, until a personal failure brings home their suffering.”

The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion is on this month’s Stevens Brand Law Firm Book Club list. “Don Tillman, a brilliant geneticist, thinks that having women fill out a questionnaire before a date is perfectly reasonable. Rosie Jarman, an impetuous barmaid, thinks Don should loosen up. The story follows this unlikely pair in this funny, feel-good story.”

The Jayhawk Readers just read Winterdance: The Fine Madness of Running the Iditarod by Gary Paulsen. “This account of one man’s obsession with racing dogs and running the Iditarod, recalls his experiences in the famous dogsled race across Alaska.”

20,000 Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne is the Church Ladies Book Club’s latest selection. “This classic book retells the adventures of a French professor and his two companions as they sail above and below the world’s oceans as prisoners on the fabulous electric submarine of the deranged Captain Nemo.”

For for information about book clubs in Lawrence, check out the book club hub on our website.

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