FPC Book Group
This group of Presbyterians and friends in the community has been active since January 2000.
New members and "drop-ins" are always welcome! Feel free to check with any member of the group about participating. Contact the group at email@example.com.
Except where noted the group meets on the last Sunday of the month at 7:00 p.m.
We meet in a downstairs meeting room in the main building at the
Bell Trace Retirement Community off of East 10th Street.
Books for 2020
January 19, 2020 – Elizabeth Strout, Olive Kitteridge. Leader: Allan Edmonds. New York Times bestselling author Elizabeth Strout binds together 13 rich, luminous narratives into a book with the heft of a novel, through the presence of one larger-than-life, unforgettable character. Crosby, Maine, may seem like nowhere, but seen through this brilliant writer’s eyes, it’s in essence the whole world, and the lives that are lived there are filled with all of the grand human drama–desire, despair, jealousy, hope, and love. At times stern, at other times patient, at times perceptive, at other times in sad denial, Olive Kitteridge, a retired schoolteacher, deplores the changes in her little town and in the world at large, but she doesn’t always recognize the changes in those around her. 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.
February 23, 2020 – Catherine Kerrison, Jefferson’s Daughters. Leader: Paul Rothrock. This is the remarkable untold story of Thomas Jefferson’s three daughters -- two white and free, one black and enslaved -- and the divergent paths they forged in a newly independent America. Thomas Jefferson had three daughters: Martha and Maria by his wife, Martha Wayles Jefferson, and Harriet by his slave, Sally Hemmings. They shared a father, but the similarities end there. This book recounts the journey of these three women and how their struggle to define themselves reflects both the possibilities and the limitations that resulted from the American Revolution. The NY Times Book Review says it’s “beautifully written…To a nuanced study of Jefferson’s two white daughters, the author innovatively adds a discussion of his only enslaved daughter. The result is a stunning if unavoidably unbalanced book, combining detailed treatments of Martha’s and Maria’s experiences with imaginative attempts to reconstruct Harriet’s life.”
March 29, 2020 – Hyeon-seo Lee (with John David), The Girl with Seven Names. Leader: Kathy Brown. This New York Times bestseller provides an extraordinary insight into life under one of the world’s most ruthless and secretive dictatorships -- and the story of one woman’s terrifying struggle to avoid capture/repatriation and guide her family to freedom. When she was a child growing up in North Korea, Lee’s home was on the border of China and gave her some exposure to the world beyond the confines of the Hermit Kingdom. At age 17, she decided to escape; she could not have imagined that it would be 12 years before she was reunited with her family. From the Toronto Star: “Lee supplies details in straightforward prose made powerful by the horror of simple observation and with the natural suspense of a high-stakes escape…Lee’s book is the kind of page turner that would make for compelling fiction and therefore it is all the more heartbreaking because it is real.”
April 26, 2020 – Tom Hanks, Uncommon Type: Some Stories. Leader: Karen Bush Watts. Short stories “with evocative moments of reflection on the state of the American dream.”
May 31, 2020 – Susan Quinn, Eleanor and Hick. Leader: Ginny Coombs. In 1932, Eleanor Roosevelt entered the claustrophobic, duty-bound existence of the First Lady with dread. By that time, she had put her deep disappointment in her marriage behind her and developed an independent life—now threatened by the public role she would be forced to play. A lifeline came to her in the form of a feisty campaign reporter for the Associated Press: Lorena Hickok. These fiercely compassionate women inspired each other to right the wrongs of the turbulent era in which they lived. Over the next 30 years, until Eleanor’s death, the two women carried on an extraordinary relationship: Deeply researched and told with great warmth, Eleanor and Hick is a vivid portrait of love and a revealing look at how an unlikely romance influenced some of the most consequential years in American history.
June 28, 2020 – Lauren Wilkinson, American Spy. Leader: Becky Rusie. It’s 1986, the heart of the Cold War, and Marie Mitchell is an intelligence officer with the FBI. She’s brilliant, but she’s also a young black woman working in an old boys’ club. So when she’s given the opportunity to join a shadowy task force aimed at undermining Thomas Sankara, the charismatic revolutionary president of Burkina Faso whose Communist ideology has made him a target for American intervention, she says yes. Yes, even though she secretly admires the work Sankara is doing for his country. In the year that follows, Marie will observe Sankara, seduce him, and ultimately have a hand in the coup that will bring him down. But doing so will change everything she believes about what it means to be a spy, a lover, and a good American.