The Commons Ladies Book Club

Books 300w

Chairmen:  

  • JoAnne Kuzdzal
  • Kathy Zyroll

Meeting

  • 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

October 2019

Educated: A Memoir

By Tara Westover

Hostess:  Beatriz

Reviewer:  Kathy

Biography

#1 NEW YORK TIMES, WALL STREET JOURNAL, AND BOSTON GLOBE BESTSELLER • NAMED ONE OF THE TEN BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW • ONE OF PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA’S FAVORITE BOOKS OF THE YEAR • BILL GATES’S HOLIDAY READING LIST • FINALIST FOR THE NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE’S JOHN LEONARD PRIZE FOR BEST FIRST BOOK • LONGLISTED FOR THE CARNEGIE MEDAL FOR EXCELLENCE

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY The Washington Post O: The Oprah MagazineTime • NPR • Good Morning America San Francisco ChronicleThe Guardian The Economist Financial TimesNewsdayNew York PosttheSkimmRefinery29BloombergSelfReal Simple Town & CountryBustlePastePublishers WeeklyLibrary JournalLibraryReadsBookRiot • Pamela Paul, KQED • New York Public Library

An unforgettable memoir about a young girl who, kept out of school, leaves her survivalist family and goes on to earn a PhD from Cambridge University

Born to survivalists in the mountains of Idaho, Tara Westover was seventeen the first time she set foot in a classroom. Her family was so isolated from mainstream society that there was no one to ensure the children received an education, and no one to intervene when one of Tara’s older brothers became violent. When another brother got himself into college, Tara decided to try a new kind of life. Her quest for knowledge transformed her, taking her over oceans and across continents, to Harvard and to Cambridge University. Only then would she wonder if she’d traveled too far, if there was still a way home.

October 2019

Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family & Culture in Crisis

By J.D. Vance

Hostess:  Beatriz

Reviewer:  Kathy

NonFiction/ Social Sciences

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER, NAMED BY THE TIMES AS ONE OF “6 BOOKS TO HELP UNDERSTAND TRUMP’S WIN” AND SOON TO BE A MAJOR-MOTION PICTURE DIRECTED BY RON HOWARD

“You will not read a more important book about America this year.“—The Economist

“A riveting book.”—The Wall Street Journal

“Essential reading.”—David Brooks, New York Times

Hillbilly Elegy is a passionate and personal analysis of a culture in crisis—that of white working-class Americans. The disintegration of this group, a process that has been slowly occurring now for more than forty years, has been reported with growing frequency and alarm, but has never before been written about as searingly from the inside. J. D. Vance tells the true story of what a social, regional, and class decline feels like when you were born with it hung around your neck.

The Vance family story begins hopefully in postwar America. J. D.’s grandparents were “dirt poor and in love,” and moved north from Kentucky’s Appalachia region to Ohio in the hopes of escaping the dreadful poverty around them. They raised a middle-class family, and eventually one of their grandchildren would graduate from Yale Law School, a conventional marker of success in achieving generational upward mobility. But as the family saga of Hillbilly Elegy plays out, we learn that J.D.’s grandparents, aunt, uncle, sister, and, most of all, his mother struggled profoundly with the demands of their new middle-class life, never fully escaping the legacy of abuse, alcoholism, poverty, and trauma so characteristic of their part of America. With piercing honesty, Vance shows how he himself still carries around the demons of his chaotic family history.

A deeply moving memoir, with its share of humor and vividly colorful figures, Hillbilly Elegy is the story of how upward mobility really feels. And it is an urgent and troubling meditation on the loss of the American dream for a large segment of this country.

“Beautiful and propulsive . . . Despite the singularity of [Tara Westover’s] childhood, the questions her book poses are universal: How much of ourselves should we give to those we love? And how much must we betray them to grow up?”—Vogue

“Westover has somehow managed not only to capture her unsurpassably exceptional upbringing, but to make her current situation seem not so exceptional at all, and resonant for many others.”—The New York Times Book Review

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

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