Hawthorne Bookish Sort Book Club

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Hawthorne Bookish Sort Book Club illustration with steaming coffee in a mug with an open book in the background

The Bookish Sort Book Club meets the 1st Thursday of each month at 4:30 p.m. in Hawthorne’s Meeting Room. Join us for lively discussions of fiction and nonfiction titles selected by participants in this vibrant, member-led group!

The Bookish Sort Book Club met Thursday, October 6, at 4:30 for a discussion of American Dirt. Nine of us enjoyed this month’s meaningful discussion. The advantage of a diverse group discussing a focus book is the range of interpretations of the same work by members of the group. This has never been truer than with this book: Ginger began with a question about the meaning of the title and who would have believed all the various perspectives on such a simple enquiry. Our discussion then turned to the characters: with most people feeling that Lydia and her son, Luca, were well developed but the other characters could have been more fully developed. The book began with a very graphic scene and followed with many dangerous incidents; some members of the group found these parts of the book hard to experience. Others found the entire book a page turner.

 Critics of the book in the press mentioned a number of minor inconsistencies and errors in the plot and descriptions of life in Mexico; however, whatever the reaction, critics and our group agreed with one reviewer who said: “Some of the criticisms may certainly be valid, but they don’t diminish the importance or relevance of the story… If nothing else, hopefully productive conversations and awareness will be generated about the issues that the critics raise, as well as the timely issue of immigration.”

In November, we will make some selections for January and months afterwards. One book that has been suggested by Guylene (as well as on Goodreads) is Bewilderment by Richard Powers. Guylene says, “Warning: this is sad … It is a beautiful, hypnotic read with deep levels of covering everything such as ecology, astrophysics, what is means to be human, being a parent, being a child, and much more. This is a deeply immersive read with a sense of wonder and amazement; It is a mind and heart opening must-read."

Upcoming Meetings:

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book cover of The Liar's Dictionary by Eley Williams

The Liar's Dictionary by Eley Williams

Thursday, November 3, at 4:30 p.m., Hawthorne Branch Meeting Room

“An exhilarating and laugh-out-loud debut novel from a prize-winning new talent which chronicles the misadventures of a lovelorn Victorian lexicographer and the young woman put on his trail a century later to root out his misdeeds while confronting questions of her own sexuality and place in the world.

Mountweazel n. the phenomenon of false entries within dictionaries and works of reference. Often used as a safeguard against copyright infringement.

Peter Winceworth, Victorian lexicographer, is toiling away at the letter S for Swansby's multivolume Encyclopaedic Dictionary. His disaffection compels him to insert unauthorized fictitious entries into the dictionary in an attempt to assert some sense of individual purpose and artistic freedom.

In the present day, Mallory, a young intern employed by the publisher, is tasked with uncovering these mountweazels before the work is digitized. She also has to contend with threatening phone calls from an anonymous caller. Is the change in the definition of marriage really that upsetting? And does the caller really intend for the Swansby's staff to 'burn in hell'?

As these two narratives combine, both Winceworth and Mallory discover how they might negotiate the complexities of the often nonsensical, relentless, untrustworthy, hoax-strewn, and undefinable path we call life. An exhilarating debut novel from a formidably brilliant young writer, The Liar's Dictionary celebrates the rigidity, fragility, absurdity, and joy of language.”  (Goodreads)

  • Thursday, December 1: We will continue our tradition of having a group read. Title to be determined at October’s meeting.

A couple of group-read books have been suggested for our December Holiday Meeting. We’ll make a decision in October. This is not a book you need to read ahead of time; we will take turns reading in the meeting. We will briefly discuss the book at the end if time permits. In the past, we read the following:

 2021: The Best Christmas Pageant Ever

Barbara Robinson

2020: A Child's Christmas in Wales

Dylan Thomas

2019: A Christmas Memory

Truman Capote

 

News/Announcements:

Send Guylene (gresue@aclib.usany news or announcements you would like to see added to this blog.

Want to see what we’ve been reading? Check out our group’s reading history list from when we started in September 2013:

2013
Hawthorne Book Club Selections for 2013
Date Title Author
September 5 The Yearling Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings
October 4 South Moon Under Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings
November 7 The Last Runaway Tracy Chavelier
December 5 Their Eyes Were Watching God Zora Neale Hurston

                          

 2014
Hawthorne Book Club Selections for 2014
Date Title Author
January 2 Housekeeping: A Novel Marilynne Robinson
February 6 The Occupation of Eliza Goode Shelley Fraser Mickle
March 6 Gone Girl Gillian Flynn
April 3 Killing Mister Watson Peter Matthiessen
May 1 Queen of October Shelley Fraser Mickle
June 5 The Elegance of the Hedgehog Muriel Barbary
July 3 People of the Book: A Novel Geraldine Brooks
August 7 The Professor and the Madman Simon Winchester
September 4 Artifacts Mary Anna Evans
October 2 Devil in the White City Erik Larson
November 6 Women of the Silk Gail Tsukiyama
December 4 The Boys in the Boat Daniel James Brown

 

2015

 

Hawthorne Book Club Selections for 2015
Date Title Author
January 8 The Monuments Men Robert M. Edsel
February 5 South of Broad Pat Conroy
March 5 The Hunting Dogs John Horst
April 2 The Bookman's Tale: A Novel of Obsession Charlie Lovett
May 7 Olive Kitteridge Elizabeth Stout
June 4 Middlesex: A Novel Jeffrey Eugenides
July 9 The Goldfinch Donna Tartt
August 6 The Girl on the Train Paula Hawkins
September 3 Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks Rebecca Skloot
October 1 Isaac's Storm Erik Larson
November 5 Literary Potluck  
December 3 The Short and Tragic Life of Robert Peace Jeff Hobbs

 

2016
Hawthorne Book Club Selections for 2016
Date Title Author
January 7 The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry Gabrille Zevin
February 4 All the Light We Cannot See Anthony Doerr
March 3 To Kill a Mockingbird/Go Set a Watchman Harper Lee
April 7 The Shipping News Annie Proulx
May 5 Tracks Robyn Davidson
June 2 The Razor's Edge W. Somerset Maugham
July 7 Water for Elephants Sara Guren
August 4 Still Life Louise Penny
October 19 And The Good News Is Dana Perino
November 3 Literary Potluck  
December 1 The Human, the Orchid, and the Octopus Jacques Cousteau and Susan Schiefelbein
     
2017
Hawthorne Book Club Selections for 2017
Date Title Author
January 5 Major Pettigrew's Last Stand Helen Simonson
February 2 Cross Creek Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings
March 2 Grapes of Wrath John Steinbeck
April 6 The Sympathizer Viet Thanh Nguyen
May 4 Life of Pi Yann Martel
June 1 Little Paris Bookshop Nina George
July 6 Lab Girl Hope Jahern
August 3 Summer Edith Wharton
September 7 *cancelled due to Hurricane Irma*  
October 5 The Whip Karen Kondazian
November 2 Literary Potluck & Choosing Book Club Name, The Bookish Sort Book Club  
December 7 The Dark Flood Rise Margaret Drabble

 

2018
Hawthorne Book Club Selections for 2018
Date Title Author
January 4 The Widow Fiona Barton
February 1 *no meeting*  
March 1 A Man Called Ove: A Novel Fredrick Backman
April 5 H is for Hawk Helen MacDonald
May 3 Our Souls at Night Kent Haruf
June 7 The Handmaid's Tale Margaret Atwood
July 5 The Sellout Paul Beatty
August 2 The Road to Jonestown: Jim Jones and Peoples Temple Jeff Guinn
September 6 Philomena: A Mother, Her Son, and A Fifty-Year Search Martin Sixsmith
October 4 My Cousin Rachael Daphne du Maurier
November 1 Literary Potluck  
December 6 Plainsong Kent Haruf

 

2019
Hawthorne Book Club Selections for 2019
Date Title Author
January 3 The Bite of History Caroline Anaya 
February 7 Barracoon Zora Neale Hurston
March 7 Why I Live at the P. O. [group read] Eudora Welty
April 4 American Philosophy: A Love Story John Kaag
May 2 Princess Ruth: Love and Tragedy in Hawaii Jo Ann Lordahl
June 6  Gentleman from Moscow Amor Towles
July 11 Varina Charles Frazier
August 1 The Book Thief Richard Flanagan
September 5  *cancelled due to Hurricane Dorian*  
October 3 Poetry - each member brought a poem to share  
November 7 Literary Potluck  
December 5 A Christmas Memory [group read] Truman Capote

 

2020
Hawthorne Book Club Selections for 2020
Date Title Author
January 2 Joy School Elizabeth Berg
February 6 Where the Crawdads Sing Delia Owen
March 5 House on Mango Street Sandra Cisneros
April 2 *COVID-19 Closure*  
June 4 State of Wonder (via Zoom) Ann Patchett
July 2 Beekeeper of Aleppo: A Novel (via Zoom) Christy Lefteri
August 7 Angela's Ashes (Zoom) Frank McCourt
September 3 News of the World (Zoom) Paulette Jiles
October 1 Underground Railroad (Zoom) Colson Whitehead
November 5 I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (Zoom) Maya Angelou
December 3 A Child's Christmas in Wales (Zoom) Dylan Thomas
     

 

2021
Hawthorne Book Club Selections for 2021
Date Title Author
January 7 Zoo Station (Zoom) David Downing
February 4 The Cellist of Sarajevo (Zoom) Steven Gaolway
March 4 A Promised Land (Zoom) Barack Obama
April 1 Guests on Earth (Zoom) Lee Smith
May 6 A Long Way from Chicago (Zoom) Richard Peck
June 3 The Great Alone (Zoom) Kristin Hannah
July 1 The Indigo Girl (Zoom) Natasha Boyd
August 5 The Overstory: A Novel (Zoom) Richard Powers
September 2 The Snow Child (Zoom) Eowyn Ivey
October 7 The Vanishing Half (Zoom) Brit Bennett
November 4 The Bookwoman of Troublesome Creek (Zoom) Kim Richardson
December 2 The Best Christmas Pageant Ever (Zoom) Barbara Robinson

 

2022
Hawthorne Book Club Selections for 2022
Date Title Author
January 2 Klara and the Sun (Zoom) Kazuo Ishiguro
February 3 The Nightingale (Zoom) Kristin Hannah
March 3 Don't Let's Go to the Dogs Tonight (Zoom) Alexandra Fuller
April 7 The Warmth of Other Suns (Zoom) Isabelle Wilkerson
May 5 The Madness of Crowds (resuming in-person meetings) Louise Penny
June 2 The Lincoln Highway Amor Towles
July 7 Nomadland: Surviving America in the 21st Century Jessica Bruder, Karen White, et al.
August 4 Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America Barbara Ehrenreich
September 1 The Midnight Library: A Novel Matt Haig
October 6 American Dirt Jeanine Cummins
     
     
 

 

Interested in other book clubs? The Alachua County Library District has several. You can find more information on our Book Clubs page.

By SylviaA on November 21, 2022