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 The House and Home Magazine at email@example.com.
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 more than 20 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.
Orphan Train – Christina Baker Kline
The author of Bird in Hand and The Way Life Should Be delivers her most ambitious and powerful novel to date: a captivating story of two very different women who build an unexpected friendship: a 91-year-old woman with a hidden past as an orphan-train rider and the teenage girl whose own troubled adolescence leads her to seek answers to questions no one has ever thought to ask.
Nearly eighteen, Molly Ayer knows she has one last chance. Just months from “aging out” of the child welfare system, and close to being kicked out of her foster home, a community service position helping an elderly woman clean out her home is the only thing keeping her out of juvie and worse.
Vivian Daly has lived a quiet life on the coast of Maine. But in her attic, hidden in trunks, are vestiges of a turbulent past. As she helps Vivian sort through her possessions and memories, Molly discovers that she and Vivian aren’t as different as they seem to be. A young Irish immigrant orphaned in New York City, Vivian was put on a train to the Midwest with hundreds of other children whose destinies would be determined by luck and chance.
The closer Molly grows to Vivian, the more she discovers parallels to her own life. A Penobscot Indian, she, too, is an outsider being raised by strangers, and she, too, has unanswered questions about the past. As her emotional barriers begin to crumble, Molly discovers that she has the power to help Vivian find answers to mysteries that have haunted her for her entire life - answers that will ultimately free them both.
Rich in detail and epic in scope, Orphan Train is a powerful novel of upheaval and resilience, of second chances, of unexpected friendship, and of the secrets we carry that keep us from finding out who we are.
Lancaster Community Library (LCL) Brook Group
The LCL Book Group meets monthly at the Lancaster Community Library in Kilmarnock VA and consists of
twenty-one members. The library is most supportive of the group and the library director, Lindsy Gardner, attends the meetings and guides the library in obtaining the titles that are chosen each year. The LCL Book Group’s title choices may often be subjects and authors that not only on occasion take members out of their comfort zones, but also lend themselves to interesting discussions and viewpoints. The LCL Book Group welcomes new members. Meetings are the third Monday of each month, in the library meeting room, 2:30 to 4:00 PM. There is also a group member’s blog with a link off the library “Reader’s Corner” webpage: www.lancasterlibrary.org/readers-corner.html
Selected Stories – Alice Munroe
Spanning almost thirty years and settings that range from big cities to small towns and farmsteads of rural Canada, this magnificent collection brings together twenty-eight stories by a writer of unparalleled wit, generosity, and emotional power. In her Selected Stories, Alice Munro makes lives that seem small unfold until they are revealed to be as spacious as prairies and locates the moments of love and betrayal, desire and forgiveness that change those lives forever. To read these stories--about a traveling salesman and his children on an impromptu journey; an abandoned woman choosing between seduction and solitude--is to succumb to the spell of a writer who enchants her readers utterly even as she restores them to their truest selves.
Reading Between the Wines
Reading Between the Wines is a group of women from Essex County and the Northern Neck
who love good books, good friends, good food and good wine!
RICO - How Politicians, Prosecutors, and the Mob Destroyed One of the FBI’s finest Special Agents – Joe Wilfinger & Christophir Kerr
In October 2003 Paul Rico, a 78-year old retired FBI agent, was arrested and charged with the 1981 murder of a Tulsa Oklahoma based millionaire. Rico died a few months later in January 2004, before a trial or even a preliminary hearing could be held. An investigation by two retired agents proves two things: 1) he was a great agent and 2) he was not guilty. This is the true story of FBI Agent H. Paul Rico. The writers, Tappahannock resident Joe Wolfinger and Christophir Kerr, are both retired FBI agents and attorneys. They never met Rico. They are, however, both veteran investigators who made their bones by working the streets building complicated cases and winning difficult convictions. They appreciate first rate agents, like Rico, who take the risk of mixing it up with criminals and persuading some of them to cooperate with law enforcement or, as they used to refer to it when they were active agents, persuading them to “join America’s team.” When they began they were surprised at what they found and, more particularly, at what was missing. Over the past several years, they reviewed hundreds of court documents and public records, and conducted several hundred interviews. Ultimately, they were shocked at the total miscarriage of justice that surrounded and eventually consumed the Rico case. With the assistance of veteran newsman Jerry Seper, who helped reorganize and refocus the Rico story, the truth about the veteran agent is considerably different from what the public has been told or read in some newspapers, seen on the Internet or heard from some blustery Congressman. Wolfinger and Kerr repeatedly developed information that contradicts the “evidence” used in the case against Rico and show that the myth of his involvement in the 1981 murder was the concoction of two desperate Boston mobsters. More than that, they detail how the false charges that led to Rico’s lonely death can only be explained by a perfect storm of corruption, ambition, raw politics and incompetence.