Seven book group members braved the bitter cold and lack of pizza (The Rivers was unexpectedly closed) to discuss Bill Bryson’s In a Sunburned Country and select next year’s reads. Fortunately, the lack of pizza was compensated for with free beer (complements of Irv and John), which helped lubricate the conversation. The donated beer did not give Irv and John a leg up in the next year’s book selection process, but was greatly appreciated.
The Men’s Book Group read a dozen books last year, equally divided between fiction and non-fiction. And, perhaps for the first time, books of fiction won the top two positions––13 points each for Giants in the Earth by O.E. Rolvaag and That Distant Land by Wendell Berry.
Seven of us met at the Rivers in December to discuss Wendell Berry’s collection of short stories, That Distant Land. Berry’s book is a compilation of 23 short stories, all taking place in or around a fictional, small, Kentucky river town called Port William. Throughout the book, the characters are interlinked from story to story by kinship, friendship, and/or membership in the community.
Seven of us met at that the Rivers to discuss Charles Mann’s 1493, his sequel to the well-received 1491. Mann is ambitious; he takes on nothing less than the roots and consequences of globalization and does so from the perspectives of historian, economist, and sociologist.
A small but enthusiastic group of members met on October 6th to discuss the book, Grandma Gatewood’s Walk.
Ron, Angelo, Raye, Chuck, Art, John Hand, Irv, and Adrian gathered on August 4th to review the book The Burglary: The Discovery of J. Edgar Hoover’s Secret FBI by Betty Medsger. We generally enjoyed the book and found it an interesting period through which we lived, but did not know enough about. This is the story of a group of people who robbed an FBI office, made files available to the media, the subsequent attempts by the FBI to capture the robbers, and the aftermath of the revelations that the FBI was spying on Americans.
Several of us met at the Rivers Eatery on July 7, 2016, to discuss Tinkers by Paul Harding. Those in attendance included John Sill, Art, Mark, Irv, Ed, and Adrian. The book examines the thoughts and surroundings of a dying man as he reflects on his life, the life of his father, and the life of his father’s father. The author went back and forth between third person and first person narrations and sometimes it was confusing who was speaking. I think we all found the book interesting, but had mixed feelings about it.
Attendees were Adrian, Ed, Ted, Jack, John Hand, Ray, Chuck, Angelo, Mark, and Bill. Irv wanted to be there, but the trout were biting in Idaho and he couldn’t leave; but he sent his scores in for consideration.
Reported by Jack Wichita
Nine of us met at the Rivers Eatery to discuss The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, and the book, recommended by Ron, was well received by the group. In general, folks liked the characters, thought the writing was clear and expressive, and the romantic story line was enjoyable and not too sappy, as some critics have complained. But the real payoff was the setting and period: the Island of Guernsey––one of the British Channel Islands located between England and France––immediately after WWII.
Reported by Adrian Wydeven
Four of us met to discuss The Goldfinch on May 5; additionally, one person sent some notes before the meeting and one sent some after. We were lucky to have Bill Bauer join us because he was the only one in attendance who had finished the book. John and I had completed only about 1/3 of the book and Chuck had not read it. Art had finished the book and through his notes (sent before the meeting) was our fifth member.