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Book Club: Between the Covers with Alice Moody

New Program!

Day(s): Wednesdays
Date(s): 11/1, 12/6
Time(s): 7-8:30 pm
Class Location: Nagel Room
Instructor: Alice Moody
Ages: 21+
Fee: $35 per single month or $130 for the entire series

Have you read any good books lately?

Love to read? Enjoy a nice glass of wine with your book? Interested in discussing new books and meeting new people? If so, we welcome you to join Alice Moody as she leads a lively and engaging book discussion exploring contemporary fiction and non-fiction. Explore notions of theme, style, tone and perspective. Connect the reading with your own personal experiences and explore the author's intent. These are some of the books we are considering:

Wednesday, November 1st

Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis by J.D. Vance

From a former Marine and Yale Law School Graduate, a poignant account of growing up in a poor Appalachian town, that offers a broader, probing look at the struggles of America’s white working class. Part memoir, part historical and social analysis, J. D. Vance’s Hillbilly Elegy is a fascinating consideration of class, culture, and the American dream.


Vance’s grandparents were “dirt poor and in love.” They got married and moved north from Kentucky to Ohio in the hopes of escaping the dreadful poverty around them. Their grandchild (the author) graduated from Yale Law School, a conventional marker of their success in achieving upward mobility for their family. But Vance cautions that is only the short version. The slightly longer version is that his grandparents, aunt, uncle, and mother struggled to varying degrees with the demands of their new middle class life and they, and Vance himself, still carry around the demons of their chaotic family history. 

Delving into his own personal story and drawing on a wide array of sociological studies, Vance takes us deep into working class life in the Appalachian region. This demographic of our country has been slowly disintegrating over forty years, and Vance provides a searching and clear-eyed attempt to understand when and how “hillbillies” lost faith in any hope of upward mobility, and in opportunities to come.

At times funny, disturbing, and deeply moving, this is a family history that is also a troubling meditation on the loss of the American dream for a large portion of this country.

http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/27161156-hillbilly-elegy

 

Wednesday, December 6th

Commonwealth by Ann Patchett

One Sunday afternoon in Southern California, Bert Cousins shows up at Franny Keating’s christening party uninvited. Before evening falls, he has kissed Franny’s mother, Beverly—thus setting in motion the dissolution of their marriages and the joining of two families.


Spanning five decades, Commonwealth explores how this chance encounter reverberates through the lives of the four parents and six children involved. Spending summers together in Virginia, the Keating and Cousins children forge a lasting bond that is based on a shared disillusionment with their parents and the strange and genuine affection that grows up between them.

When, in her twenties, Franny begins an affair with the legendary author Leon Posen and tells him about her family, the story of her siblings is no longer hers to control. Their childhood becomes the basis for his wildly successful book, ultimately forcing them to come to terms with their losses, their guilt, and the deeply loyal connection they feel for one another.

http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/28214365-commonwealth

 

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