The Commons Ladies Book Club

Books 300w


  • JoAnne Kuzdzal
  • Kathy Zyroll


  • 3rd Tuesday of every month
  • 2:00PM
  • At a member’s home

Come join us. 

We always offer tasty refreshments and lots of good conversation.  New members & even those who have not read the book are always welcome. 

Books We Are Reading

February 2020

The Secrets We Kept

By Lara Prescott

Hostess:  Barbi

Reviewer:  Barbi

Genre:     Historical Fiction


A thrilling tale of secretaries turned spies, of love and duty, and of sacrifice–inspired by the true story of the CIA plot to infiltrate the hearts and minds of Soviet Russia, not with propaganda, but with the greatest love story of the twentieth century: Doctor Zhivago.

At the height of the Cold War, two secretaries are pulled out of the typing pool at the CIA and given the assignment of a lifetime. Their mission: to smuggle Doctor Zhivago out of the USSR, where no one dare publish it, and help Pasternak’s magnum opus make its way into print around the world. Glamorous and sophisticated Sally Forrester is a seasoned spy who has honed her gift for deceit all over the world–using her magnetism and charm to pry secrets out of powerful men. Irina is a complete novice, and under Sally’s tutelage quickly learns how to blend in, make drops, and invisibly ferry classified documents.

The Secrets We Kept combines a legendary literary love story–the decades-long affair between Pasternak and his mistress and muse, Olga Ivinskaya, who was sent to the Gulag and inspired Zhivago’s heroine, Lara–with a narrative about two women empowered to lead lives of extraordinary intrigue and risk. From Pasternak’s country estate outside Moscow to the brutalities of the Gulag, from Washington, D.C. to Paris and Milan, The Secrets We Kept captures a watershed moment in the history of literature–told with soaring emotional intensity and captivating historical detail. And at the center of this unforgettable debut is the powerful belief that a piece of art can change the world.

Upcoming & Past Books

CLICK on either Current Books or Past Books to see CLC Books. CLICK on a specific book to learn Book Club Meeting details and MORE about the book selection.

Click on a picture to start the slideshow

Books of Interest

Note: CLC Book Club members have suggested the following books as either possible future Book Club candidates, or as an interesting reads. Before picking any of these books for yourself, do your homework.

In no particular order

Pachinko by Min Jin Lee
*** Suggested as a followup to the Lisa See book we have read. Pachinko is an “extraordinary epic” of four generations of a poor Korean immigrant family as they fight to control their destiny in 20th-century Japan
*** Perhaps review at an appropriate restaurant in June???
The Turn of the Key by Ruth Ware
The Widows by Jess Montgomery
Suspect by Robert Crais
Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly
The Dutch House by Ann Patchett
Ask Again, Yes by Mary Beth Keane
Conviction by Denise Mina
Family Upstairs by Lisa Jewell
Still Alice by Lisa Genova
The Dressmaker’s Gift by Fiona Valpy
Every Breath by Nicholas Sparks
The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides
** If you plan to read this, do not read any spoilers. Great thriller!! Many in the book club have read and recommend. You won’t be able to put it down!!

Here If You Need Me by Kate Braestrup

Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen

The Woodcutter’s Wife by David Johnson

A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman

The Lost Painting by Jonathan Haar

Nickel and Dimed by Barbara Ehrenreich

Cleopatra Books

Chilbury Ladies’ Choir by Jennifer Ryan

The Girl with Seven Names by Hyeonseo Lee

Scratch Beginnings by Adam W Shepard

Sold by Patricia McCormick

Born with Teeth by Kate Mulgrew

The Other Einstein by Marie Benedict

The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwater

13 Hours in Benghazi

Killing England by Bill O’Reilly

Columns of Fire by Ken Follett

2017 Suggestions

  • The Light Between Oceans by ML Stedman
    • Book & Movie
  • Cleopatra: A Life by Stacy Schiff
  • Cleopatra’s Sister/ Cleopatra’s Shadow by Emily Holleman
    • Suggested to have several books about Cleopatra read and discussed during one meeting
    • You would not have to read all books…just 1
  • The Promise by Ann Weisgarber
    • About 1900 Galveston Hurricane
  • Nelson DeMille books: Wild Fire, The Quest, and more
  • John Irving Books: A Widow for One Year
  • A Year In The World by Frances Mayes
  • The Girl In Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware
  • Song of the Silk Road by Mingmei Yip
  • No 1 Ladies Detective Agency Series of Books by Alexander McCall Smith
  • Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield
  • Wedding Dress by Rachel Hauck
  • Spring Fever by Mary Kay Andrews
  • Kitchen House by Kathleen Grisson
  • Falling Leaves by Adeline Yin Mah
  • Circling the Sun by Paula McLain
  • Brooklyn by Colm Toibin
    • Book & Movie
  • The Nightengale by Kristin Hannah
    • If you liked All The Light You Cannot See
  • Foreign Agent by Brad Thor
  • Loving Frank by Nancy Horan  Story about Frank Lloyd Wright