Literary Group

Literary meetings are held the third Tuesday of the month. Social time commences at 7:00 p.m with discussion beginning at 7:20, unless otherwise noted.  Facilitator: Wendy Zimmerman


2017 Literary suggestions for May meeting – AAUW Wooster Click on the red link to open suggested titles:  2017 Wooster Branch Selection suggestions

June 20, 2017 – 7:00 p.m.  Hillbilly Elegy. J.D. Vance. Hostess- Julie Mennes, Reviewer- Carol McKiernan, Co-host-Linda Crouch.

 July 18– 7:00 p.m. A Spool of Blue Thread. Anne Tyler – Hostess- Helen Atchison, Reviewer-Cathy Stone, co-host Betty Raber.

August 15 – 7:00 p.m. Grandma Gatewood’s Walk. Ben Montgomery – Hostess- Mary Beth Henthorne, Reviewer- Mary Beth H., Co-host-Bev McCoy.

September 19 – 7:00 p.m. – Jambusters: The Women’s Institute at War 1939-1945. Julie Summers – Location- @ the Art Center-to be confirmed by Letty, Reviewer – Sue Herman. Hostess-Letty, Co-host-Susan Buchwalter

October 17 – 7:00 p.m. – The One in-a-Million Boy. Monica Wood – Hostess-Jan Steinbrenner, Reviewer-Pei-hsin, Co-host-Nancy Danby.

November 14 -7:00 p.m. –  Lab Girl. Hope Jahren (moved to 2nd Tuesday of the month) – Location-OARDC-(Letty will check on), Reviewer-Letty, Hostess-Anita Greene, Co-host-Carolyn Kearney

January 16, 2018 – 7:00 p.m. –  A Gentleman in Moscow. Amor Towles – Location- dinner meeting at TJ’s restaurant, Reviewer-Jan Steinbrenner.

February 20 – 7:00 p.m. – The Underground Railroad. Colson Whitehead – Location-1st Presbyterian, Reviewer-Betty Raber, Hostess-Judy Mallon, Co-host-Mimi Lewellen

March 20 – 7:00 p.m. – Radium Girls. Kate Moore – Hostess-Mary Ann Merchant, Reviewer-Linda Crouch, Co-host-Lee Peart.

April 17 –  7:00 p.m. – The Samurai’s Garden. Gail Tsukiyama – Hostess-Carol McKiernan, Reviewer-Chris Evans, Co-host-Jan Steinbrenner

May 15 – 6:00 p.m. –  Book Selection-location- Hunters Chase Clubhouse – Hostess –  Carolyn Kearney, Co-host Sue Olive

June 19 – 7:00 p.m. – We Were The Lucky Ones. Georgia Hunter – Hostess-Mimi Lewellen, Reviewer-Stefani Koorhan, Co-host- Mary Beth Henthorne.

Adelante! Book of the Month 2016 – 2017.

January 2017 – National Mentoring Month                                                                                           The Confidence Code – Bringing Your Boldest Self to Your Biggest Challenges By Amy Cuddy (@amyjcuddy)                                                                                                                                           Amy Cuddy has galvanized tens of millions of viewers around the world with her TED Talk about “power poses.” Now she presents the enthralling science underlying these and other fascinating body-mind effects and teaches us how to use simple techniques to liberate ourselves from fear in high-pressure moments, perform at our best, and connect with and empower others to do the same. As Cuddy’s book reveals, we don’t need to embark on a grand spiritual quest or complete an inner transformation. Instead, we need to nudge ourselves — moment by moment — by tweaking our body language, behavior, and mindset in our daily lives.

February 2017 – Black History Month                                                                                            Florynce “Flo” Kennedy: The Life of a Black Feminist Radical by Sherie M. Randolph, 2005–06 AAUW American Fellow (@sherandolph)                                                                                      Often photographed in a cowboy hat with her middle finger defiantly in the air, Florynce “Flo” Kennedy was a vibrant leader of the Black Power and feminist movements. In the first biography of Kennedy, Sherie M. Randolph traces the life and political influence of this bold and controversial radical activist. Rather than reacting to the predominantly white feminist movement, Kennedy brought the lessons of Black Power to white feminism. Randolph narrates Kennedy’s progressive upbringing, her path-breaking graduation from Columbia University’s law school, and her long career as a media-savvy activist, showing how Kennedy rose to founding roles in organizations such as the National Black Feminist Organization and the National Organization for Women. Using an extensive and previously uncollected archive, Randolph demonstrates profound connections within the histories of the new left, civil rights, Black Power, and feminism, showing that black feminism was pivotal in shaping postwar U.S. liberation movements.

March 2017 – Women’s History Month                                                                                              Sisters in Law: How Sandra Day O’Connor and Ruth Bader Ginsburg Went to the Supreme Court and Changed the World by Linda Hirshman (@LindaHirshman1)                                      The relationship between Sandra Day O’Connor and Ruth Bader Ginsburg — Republican and Democrat, Christian and Jew, western rancher’s daughter and Brooklyn girl — transcends party, religion, region, and culture. Strengthened by each other’s presence, these groundbreaking judges, the first and second to serve on the highest court in the land, have transformed the United States itself, making it a more equal place for all women. Linda Hirshman’s dual biography combines legal detail with warm personal anecdotes that bring these very different women into focus as never before. Meticulously researched and compellingly told, it is an authoritative account of our changing law and culture and a moving story of a remarkable friendship.         Recommended by Shirlea Griswold, AAUW Colorado Springs (CO) Branch

April 2017 – Sexual Assault Awareness Month                                                                                     The Sacrifice by Joyce Carol Oates (@JoyceCarolOates)                                                                   When a 14-year-old girl is the alleged victim of a terrible act of racial violence, the incident shocks and galvanizes her community, exacerbating the racial tension that has been simmering in this New Jersey town for decades. Unfolding in a succession of multiracial voices, in a community transfixed by this alleged crime and the spectacle unfolding around it, this profound novel exposes what — and who — the “sacrifice” actually is and what consequences these events hold for us all. Oates offers a sympathetic portrait of the young girl and her mother and challenges our expectations and beliefs about our society, our biases, and ourselves. As the chorus of its voices — from the police to the media to the victim and her family — reaches a crescendo, The Sacrifice offers a shocking new understanding of power and oppression, innocence and guilt, truth and sensationalism, justice and retribution.Recommended by Peggy Woods-Clark, AAUW national member.

May 2017 – Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month                                                                                 Re Jane by Patricia Park, 2013–14 AAUW American Fellow (@patriciapark718)                             For Jane Re, a half-Korean, half-American orphan, the place she’s wanted to escape her whole life is Flushing, Queens. Sardonic yet vulnerable, Re toils — unappreciated — in her strict uncle’s grocery store and politely observes the traditional principle of nunchi. Desperate for a new life, she becomes the au pair for the Mazer-Farleys, two Brooklyn English professors and their adopted Chinese daughter. Inducted into the world of organic food co-ops and 19th-century novels, Re is the recipient of Beth Mazer’s feminist lectures and Ed Farley’s very male attention. But when a family death interrupts Re and Farley’s blossoming affair, she flies off to Seoul, leaving New York behind. Reconnecting with family and struggling to learn the ways of modern-day Korea, Re begins to wonder if Farley is the man for her. Re returns to Queens, where she must find a balance between two cultures and accept who she really is.

June 2017 – LGBT Pride Month                                                                                                    Becoming Nicole: The Transformation of an American Family by Amy Ellis Nutt (@amyellisnutt)                                                                                                                                      When Wayne and Kelly Maines adopted identical twin boys, they thought their lives were complete. But it wasn’t long before they noticed a marked difference between Jonas and his brother, Wyatt. Jonas preferred sports and trucks and many of the things little boys were “supposed” to like. Wyatt liked princess dolls, dress-up, and playing Little Mermaid. By the time the twins were toddlers, confusion over Wyatt’s insistence that he was female began to tear the family apart. In the years that followed, the Maineses came to question their long-held views on gender and identity, accept and embrace Wyatt’s transition to Nicole, and undergo an emotionally wrenching transformation of their own that would change their lives forever. Becoming Nicole chronicles a journey that could have destroyed a family but instead brought it closer together.

July 2017                                                                                                                                           Euphoria by Lily King (@lilykingbooks)     Wooster AAUW Literary discussed                                                                                    English anthropologist Andrew Bankson has been alone in the field for several years, studying a tribe on the Sepik River in the territory of New Guinea with little success. Increasingly frustrated and isolated by his research, Bankson is on the verge of suicide when he encounters the famous and controversial Nell Stone and her wry, mercurial husband, Fen. Bankson is enthralled by the magnetic couple, whose eager attentions pull him back from the brink of despair. Ultimately, the three young, gifted anthropologists find themselves caught in a love triangle that threatens their bonds, careers, and lives. Set between World War I and World War II and inspired by events in the life of revolutionary anthropologist Margaret Mead, Euphoria is an enthralling story of passion, possession, exploration, and sacrifice.                                Recommended by Eunice Ciaccio, AAUW Colorado Springs (CO) Branch.

August 2017                                                                                                                                          Louisa Catherine: The Other Mrs. Adams by Margery M. Heffron                                           Louisa Catherine Johnson Adams, wife and political partner of John Quincy Adams, became one of the most famous women in the United States when her husband assumed office as the sixth president in 1825. Shrewd, intellectual, and articulate, she was close to the center of U.S. power over many decades, and extensive archives reveal her as an unparalleled observer of the politics, personalities, and issues of her day. Louisa left behind a trove of journals, essays, letters, and other writings, yet no biographer has mined these riches until now. Margery M. Heffron brings Louisa out of the shadows to offer the first full and nuanced portrait of an extraordinary first lady. Louisa’s sharp insights as a tireless recorder provide a fresh view of early American democratic society, presidential politics and elections, and — indeed — every important political and social issue of her time. Recommended by Debbie Bowie, AAUW Keene (NH) Branch.