Books clubs can be an enjoyable way to connect with friends over lively conversations about good books. Here are some reads recommended by several area book clubs. The synopses were provided by author/publisher websites, GoodReads.com, Wikipedia or Amazon.com. If you participate in a book group and would like to share your group’s selection, please contact Kia Ware and firstname.lastname@example.org Reading Between the Wines
Reading Between the Wines is a group of 17 women from Essex County and the Northern Neck who love good books, good friends, good food and good wine!
A Fine Balance
With a compassionate realism and narrative sweep that recall the work of Charles Dickens, this magnificent novel captures all the cruelty and corruption, dignity and heroism, of India. The time is 1975. The place is an unnamed city by the sea. The government has just declared a State of Emergency, in whose upheavals four strangers--a spirited widow, a young student uprooted from his idyllic hill station, and two tailors who have fled the caste violence of their native village--will be thrust together, forced to share one cramped apartment and an uncertain future. As the characters move from distrust to friendship and from friendship to love, A Fine Balance creates an enduring panorama of the human spirit in an inhuman state.
Half the Way Home: A Memoir of Father and Son
From the author of the best-selling King Leopold’s Ghost, this haunting and deeply honest memoir tells of Adam Hochschild’s conflicted relationship with his father, the head of a multinational mining corporation. The author lyrically evokes his privileged childhood on an Adirondack estate, a colorful uncle who was a pioneer aviator and fighter ace, and his first explorations of the larger world he encountered as he came of age in the tumultuous 1960s. But above all this is a story of a father and his only son and of the unexpected peace finally made between them.
The Mimosa Book Club
The Mimosa Book Club has been meeting for over 15 years in King William County. Each person recommends a book to read over a twelve month period and then leads the discussion over lunch.
The Book Thief
It’s just a small story really, about among other things: a girl, some words, an accordionist, some fanatical Germans, a Jewish fist-fighter, and quite a lot of thievery. Set during World War II in Germany, Markus Zusak’s groundbreaking new novel is the story of Liesel Meminger, a foster girl living outside of Munich. Liesel scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing when she encounters something she can’t resist–books. With the help of her accordion-playing foster father, she learns to read and shares her stolen books with her neighbors during bombing raids as well as with the Jewish man hidden in her basement before he is marched to Dachau. This is an unforgettable story about the ability of books to feed the soul.
The Creekside Readers
The Creekside Readers is a Westmoreland County book club founded in 2007 by three friends. The club, whose motto is to provide entertainment, education, and group therapy through reading and discussion, has now grown to 23 active members. The Creekside Readers also donate new children’s books each Christmas to one of the Northern Neck charities serving the needs of local children.
The Kitchen House
When a white servant girl violates the order of plantation society, she unleashes a tragedy that exposes the worst and best in the people she has come to call her family. Orphaned while onboard ship from Ireland, seven-year-old Lavinia arrives on the steps of a tobacco plantation where she is to live and work with the slaves of the kitchen house. Under the care of Belle, the master’s illegitimate daughter, Lavinia becomes deeply bonded to her adopted family, though she is set apart from them by her white skin.
Eventually, Lavinia is accepted into the world of the big house, where the master is absent and the mistress battles opium addiction. Lavinia finds herself perilously straddling two very different worlds. When she is forced to make a choice, loyalties are brought into question, dangerous truths are laid bare, and lives are put at risk. Kathleen Grissom lives in rural Virginia and this is her debut novel.