R.E.A.D. Book List Announced
Date: October 31, 2006
The results are in! Thanks to those of you who voted and helped to choose this year's reading list for R.E.A.D. (Read, Eat, and Discuss), the Andrews University campus-wide book club.
Below are the books that were selected and the dates of the upcoming discussions:
November 15 - The Lost Continent: Travels in Small Town America by Bill Bryson
"An inspiring and hilarious account of one man's rediscovery of America and his search for the perfect small town. 'The kind of book Steinbeck might have written if he'd traveled with David Letterman.'" New York Magazine (publisher)
December 13 - Plan B: Further Thoughts on Faith by Anne Lamott
"In 2001, Anne Lamott's Traveling Mercies established its author as a popular, idiosyncratic commentator on matters of faith. In this collection of essays, Lamott writes about scary times in a post-9/11 world, where terrorism, environmental disaster, and personal tragedy seem close at hand. Plan B offers hope in the midst of despair, mixing Lamott's crazy wisdom ("I think we are diamond hearts, wrapped in meatballs") with starkly honest insights about aging, Alzheimer's, and death." (barnesandnoble.com)
January 17 - The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy
"The God of Small Things heralds a voice so powerful and original that it burns itself into the reader's memory. Set mainly in Kerala, India, in 1969, it is the story of Rahel and her twin brother Estha, who learn that their whole world can change in a single day, that love and life can be lost in a moment. Armed only with the invincible innocence of children, they seek to craft a childhood for themselves amid the wreckage that constitutes their family. Sweet and heartbreaking, ribald and profound, this is a novel to set beside those of Salman Rushdie and Gabriel Garcia Marquez." (publisher)
February 21 - The Color of Water: A Black Man's Tribute to His White Mother by James McBride
"Around the narrative of Ruth McBride Jordan, a.k.a. Rachel Deborah Shilsky, the daughter of an angry, failed Orthodox Jewish rabbi in the South, her son James writes of the inner confusions he felt as a black child of a white mother and of the love and faith with which his mother surrounded their large family. The result is a powerful portrait of growing up, a meditation on race and identity, and a poignant, beautifully crafted hymn from a son to his mother." (barnesandnoble.com)
March 14 - Night by Elie Wiesel
"In Nobel laureate Elie Wiesel's memoir Night, a scholarly, pious teenager is wracked with guilt at having survived the horror of the Holocaust and the genocidal campaign that consumed his family. His memories of the nightmare world of the death camps present him with an intolerable question: how can the God he once so fervently believed in have allowed these monstrous events to occur? There are no easy answers in this harrowing book, which probes life's essential riddles with the lucid anguish only great literature achieves. It marks the crucial first step in Wiesel's lifelong project to bear witness for those who died." (amazon.com)
April 18 - Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting by in America by Barbara Ehrenreich
"To understand life beyond boom-time America, Barbara Ehrenreich spent months laboring as a cleaning woman; as a waitress; and as a Wal-Mart sales clerk. Her revelations about these hard, supposedly "unskilled" jobs and the difficulty of making ends meet in the U.S. gives this book a powerful, personal edge." (barnesandnoble.com)
May 16 - Marley and Me: Life and Love with the World's Worst Dog by John Grogan
"Labrador retrievers are generally considered even-tempered, calm and reliable-and then there's Marley, the subject of this delightful tribute to one Lab who doesn't fit the mold. Grogan, a columnist for the Philadelphia Inquirer, and his wife, Jenny, were newly married and living in West Palm Beach when they decided that owning a dog would give them a foretaste of the parenthood they anticipated. Marley was a sweet, affectionate puppy who grew into a lovably naughty, hyperactive dog. With a light touch, the author details how Marley was kicked out of obedience school after humiliating his instructor and swallowed an 18-karat solid gold necklace. With the arrival of children in the family, Marley became so incorrigible that Jenny, stressed out by a new baby, ordered her husband to get rid of him; she eventually recovered her equilibrium and relented. Grogan's chronicle of the adventures parents and children enjoyed with the overly energetic but endearing dog is delivered with great humor. Dog lovers will love this account of Grogan's much loved canine." (Publisher's Weekly)
June 20 - March by Geraldine Brooks (winner of the 2006 Pulitzer Prize for fiction)
"From Louisa May Alcott's beloved classic Little Women, Geraldine Brooks has animated the character of the absent father, March, and crafted a story "filled with the ache of love and marriage and with the power of war upon the mind and heart of one unforgettable man" (Sue Monk Kidd). With "pitch-perfect writing" (USA Today), Brooks follows March as he leaves behind his family to aid the Union cause in the Civil War. His experiences will utterly change his marriage and challenge his most ardently held beliefs. A lushly written, wholly original tale steeped in the details of another time, March secures Geraldine Brooks's place as a renowned author of historical fiction." (publisher)
All books will be available for purchase at the Andrews Bookstore for 30% off. Each meeting will be held on a Wednesday from noon-1 pm in the University Relations House (unless otherwise announced). Bring your lunch and dessert and drinks will be provided. Even if you haven't had the chance to finish the book, feel free to come and sit in on the discussion. All faculty, staff and students are invited to attend!
Don't miss this opportunity to exercise your mind and make new friends!
If you would like to help in the planning of the club, or if you have any questions, contact the University Relations Office at 471-3322, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.