In support of our search for truth and meaning, the UUFCC Book Group meets monthly to discuss a book selected by the members. The selections are a balance of fiction and nonfiction and topics range from classic and modern classic, current fiction, environmental, biography and memoir, and social justice topics. Last Wednesday of each month at 1:30 p.m. (except for the Nov/Dec meeting which is a combined meeting on a date to be announced).
The UUFCC Book Group will be meeting on Zoom until it is safe to meet in person again. All of the books chosen for this season are readily available at the public library or inexpensively from Amazon. Mary Jane often has the book in Kindle format and can lend you a reader with the book on it if you can pick it up at the Fellowship. Contact her if you want one of the books in electronic format.
The link will be emailed to members of the Book Group prior to the meetings each month. Contact the firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to receive the Zoom link or to be added to the email list.
Schedule from Fall 2021 through Spring 2022
All book descriptions are from Amazon.com
October 27, 2021: The Pearl by John Steinbeck
Like his father and grandfather before him, Kino is a poor diver, gathering pearls from the gulf beds that once brought great wealth to the Kings of Spain and now provide Kino, Juana, and their infant son with meager subsistence. Then, on a day like any other, Kino emerges from the sea with a pearl as large as a sea gull’s egg, as “perfect as the moon.” With the pearl comes hope, the promise of comfort and of security….
December 1 or 8 TBD: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon
Christopher John Francis Boone knows all the countries of the world and their capitals and every prime number up to 7,057. He relates well to animals but has no understanding of human emotions. He cannot stand to be touched. And he detests the color yellow.
This improbable story of Christopher’s quest to investigate the suspicious death of a neighborhood dog makes for one of the most captivating, unusual, and widely heralded novels in recent years.
January 26, 2022: Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking by Malcolm Gladwell
Blink is a book about how we think without thinking, about choices that seem to be made in an instant–in the blink of an eye–that actually aren’t as simple as they seem. Why are some people brilliant decision makers, while others are consistently inept? Why do some people follow their instincts and win, while others end up stumbling into error? How do our brains really work–in the office, in the classroom, in the kitchen, and in the bedroom? And why are the best decisions often those that are impossible to explain to others?
February 23, 2022: The Awakening by Kate Chopin
Heralded as one of the first instances of feminist literature and rejected at its time of publication by the literary set on grounds of moral distaste, Kate Chopin’s The Awakening caused consternation in 1899.It is one of the earliest American novels that focuses on women’s issues without condescension. It is also widely seen as a landmark work of early feminism, generating a mixed reaction from contemporary readers and critics. Chopin’s fascinating exploration of one woman challenging the expectation that surrounds her is powerful, daring and ultimately tragic in its conclusions.
March 30, 2022: Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents by Isabel Wilkerson
In this brilliant book, Isabel Wilkerson gives us a masterful portrait of an unseen phenomenon in America as she explores, through an immersive, deeply researched narrative and stories about real people, how America today and throughout its history has been shaped by a hidden caste system, a rigid hierarchy of human rankings.
Beyond race, class, or other factors, there is a powerful caste system that influences people’s lives and behavior and the nation’s fate. Linking the caste systems of America, India, and Nazi Germany, Wilkerson explores eight pillars that underlie caste systems across civilizations, including divine will, bloodlines, stigma, and more.
April 27, 2022: Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End by Atul Gawande
Medicine has triumphed in modern times, transforming birth, injury, and infectious disease from harrowing to manageable. But in the inevitable condition of aging and death, the goals of medicine seem too frequently to run counter to the interest of the human spirit. Nursing homes, preoccupied with safety, pin patients into railed beds and wheelchairs. Hospitals isolate the dying, checking for vital signs long after the goals of cure have become moot. Doctors, committed to extending life, continue to carry out devastating procedures that in the end extend suffering.
Gawande, a practicing surgeon, addresses his profession’s ultimate limitation, arguing that quality of life is the desired goal for patients and families. Gawande offers examples of freer, more socially fulfilling models for assisting the infirm and dependent elderly, and he explores the varieties of hospice care to demonstrate that a person’s last weeks or months may be rich and dignified.
May 25, 2022: And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini
Khaled Hosseini, the #1 New York Times–bestselling author of The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns, has written a new novel about how we love, how we take care of one another, and how the choices we make resonate through generations. In this tale revolving around not just parents and children but brothers and sisters, cousins and caretakers, Hosseini explores the many ways in which families nurture, wound, betray, honor, and sacrifice for one another; and how often we are surprised by the actions of those closest to us, at the times that matter most. Following its characters and the ramifications of their lives and choices and loves around the globe—from Kabul to Paris to San Francisco to the Greek island of Tinos—the story expands gradually outward, becoming more emotionally complex and powerful with each turning page.