The group meets on the second Tuesday of the month at 6:30 p.m. in the Beavercreek Community Library meeting room.
The discussion is informal and any adult is welcome to join us. For additional information, contact (937) 352-4001.
May 08, 2018 – 6:30 p.m.
By Yaa Gyasi
Two half-sisters, Effia and Esi, unknown to each other, are born into two different tribal villages in 18th century Ghana. Effia is married off and lives in comfort in the Cape Coast Castle, raising half-caste children who will be sent abroad to be educated in England before returning to the Gold Coast to serve as administrators of the Empire. Her sister, Esi, is imprisoned beneath Effia’s rooms in the Castle’s dungeon, and later shipped off to America to be sold into slavery. Stretching from the tribal wars of Ghana to slavery and Civil War in America, from the coal mines in the north to the Great Migration to the streets of 20th century Harlem, this story follows the parallel lives of these two women and their descendants through eight generations.
June 12, 2018 – 6:30 p.m.
By Laura Barnett
A man is walking down a country lane. A woman, cycling towards him, swerves to avoid a dog. There are three possible outcomes, three small decisions that could determine the rest of their lives. Eva and Jim are nineteen and students at Cambridge when their paths first cross in 1958. And then there is David, Eva’s then-lover, an ambitious actor who loves Eva deeply. The Versions of Us follows the three different courses their lives could take following this first meeting. It explores the idea that there are moments when lives might have turned out differently. It is also a story about the nature of love, how it grows, changes and evolves as we go through life.
July 10, 2018 – 6:30 p.m.
By Tim Bauerschmidt and Ramie Liddle
Norma, newly widowed and diagnosed with uterine cancer, is advised to undergo surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy. Norma tells her doctor, ‘I’m ninety years old. I’m hitting the road,’ and takes off with her retired son, his wife, and their poodle in an RV. This is the charming, infectiously joyous true chronicle of their experiences on the road. With each passing mile, Miss Norma’s health improves and conversations that had once been taboo begin to unfold. They bond in ways they never had before, and their definitions of home, family, and friendship expand. They meet countless people from all walks of life—strangers who become fast friends and welcome them with kindness and open hearts.
August 14, 2018 – 6:30 p.m.
By Diane Ackerman
When Germany invades Poland in 1939, Stuka bombers devastate Warsaw along with the city’s zoo. With most of their animals dead, zookeepers Jan and Antonina Żabiński begin using the empty cages to smuggle Jews. They hide others inside their villa, emerging after dark for dinner and socializing. Jan, active in the Polish resistance, keeps ammunition buried in the elephant enclosure and stashes explosives in the animal hospital. In this true story, Antonina keeps her unusual household afloat, caring for both its human and its animal inhabitants, along with keeping alive an atmosphere of play and innocence as Europe crumbles around them.
September 11, 2018 – 6:30 p.m.
By April Smith
In the 1930’s, five American Gold Star Mothers travel to France to visit the graves of their WWI soldier sons, meeting for the first time just before their journey begins: Katie, an Irish maid from Dorchester, Massachusetts; Minnie, wife of an immigrant Russian Jewish chicken farmer; Bobbie, a wealthy Boston socialite; Wilhelmina, a former tennis star in precarious mental health; and Cora Blake, a single mother and librarian from coastal Maine. The women travel to Verdun to visit the battleground and cemeteries where their sons are buried. Shocking events occur—a death, a scandal, a secret revealed—guaranteeing that Cora’s life and those of her traveling companions will become inextricably intertwined.
October 09, 2018 – 6:30 p.m.
By Cara Nicoletti
As a young bookworm reading in her grandfather’s butcher shop, Cara Nicoletti noticed how books and food bring people to life. Now she serves up stories and recipes inspired by beloved books and the food that gives their characters depth and personality. From the breakfast sausage in Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House in the Big Woods to chocolate cupcakes with peppermint buttercream from Jonathan Franzen’s The Corrections, these books and the tasty treats in them put her on the road to happiness. Feel free to bring a favorite dish from the book and we’ll munch as we talk.
November 13, 2018 – 6:30 p.m.
By Denise Kiernan
At the height of World War II, Oak Ridge, Tennessee, is home to 75,000 residents, consuming more electricity than New York City. But to most of the world, the town does not exist. Thousands of civilians—many of them young women from small towns across the South—are recruited to this secret city, enticed by solid wages and the promise of war-ending work. Few of these women ever guess the true nature of the tasks they perform each day, only learning of it after the war ends. This book is told in their own voices and portrays a remarkable, forgotten chapter of American history, made by women who with their pluck, desire to contribute, and enduring courage help to win the war and change history forever.
December 11, 2018 – 6:30 p.m.
By Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows
As London is emerging from the shadow of World War II, writer Juliet Ashton is in search of her next book subject. An unusual coincidence leads her to a Guernsey book club, born as a spur-of-the-moment alibi after its members are discovered breaking curfew by the Germans occupying their island. Julie begins to correspond with the Society’s members, learning about their lives, literary preferences, and the impact the German occupation had on them.
January 08, 2019 – 6:30 p.m.
By Robert Wagner
In a career spanning more than sixty years, Robert Wagner has witnessed the twilight of the Golden Age of Hollywood and the rise of television. During that time he became acquainted with remarkable women who were the greatest screen personalities of their day. This is his intimate and revealing account of the charisma of these women on film, why they became stars, and how their specific emotional and dramatic chemistries affected the choices they made as actresses, as well as the choices they made as women.