This book club (established September 2009) is hosted by the Brenham Country Club and meets in the main club house. We have about 25 “members” who come as their schedules permit. We meet at 1 pm on the fourth Wednesday of each month. Our books are chosen by a consensus of members based upon recommendations.
We choose books that are available in a variety of formats: hardback, paperback, audible, and e-books.
Discussion is led by a facilitator who provides background material and questions. Members are encouraged to bring to the discussion any material or information that might add to the group’s body of knowledge.
If you’d like more information, feel free to contact me.
Previously reviewed books are listed here.
Overdrive instructions are listed here.
Need help with facilitating? Try here.
Selections for 2017-2018
January Selection Facilitated by Suzette Moser
The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics by Daniel James Brown
Out of the depths of the Depression comes an irresistible story about beating the odds and finding hope in the most desperate of times—the improbable, intimate account of how nine working-class boys from the American West showed the world at the 1936 Olympics in Berlin what true grit really meant. 416 pages
February Selection Facilitated by Diann Spurlock
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night by Mark Haddon
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. 226 pages
March Selection Facilitated by Brenda Schultz
My Name is Lucy Barton: A Novel by Elizabeth Strout
Lucy Barton is recovering slowly from what should have been a simple operation. Her mother, to whom she hasn’t spoken for many years, comes to see her. Gentle gossip about people from Lucy’s childhood in Amgash, Illinois, seems to reconnect them, but just below the surface lie the tension and longing that have informed every aspect of Lucy’s life: her escape from her troubled family, her desire to become a writer, her marriage, her love for her two daughters. Knitting this powerful narrative together is the brilliant storytelling voice of Lucy herself: keenly observant, deeply human, and truly unforgettable. 208 pages
April Selection Facilitated by Sandra Stephens
The Residence: Inside the Private World of the White House by Kate Anderson Brower
America’s First Families are unknowable in many ways. No one has insight into their true character like the people who serve their meals and make their beds every day. Full of stories and details by turns dramatic, humorous, and heartwarming, The Residence reveals daily life in the White House as it is really lived through the voices of the maids, butlers, cooks, florists, doormen, engineers, and others who tend to the needs of the President and First Family. 336 pages
May Selection Facilitated by Suzette Moser
Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End by Atule Gawande
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. 304 pages
June Selection Facilitated by ?
A Lucky Life Interrupted: A Memoir of Hope by Tom Brokaw
Tom Brokaw has led a fortunate life, with a strong marriage and family, many friends, and a brilliant journalism career culminating in his twenty-two years as anchor of the NBC Nightly News and as bestselling author. But in the summer of 2013, when back pain led him to the doctors at the Mayo Clinic, his run of good luck was interrupted. He received shocking news: He had multiple myeloma, a treatable but incurable blood cancer. Friends had always referred to Brokaw’s “lucky star,” but as he writes in this inspiring memoir, “Turns out that star has a dimmer switch.” 256 pages
July Selection Facilitated by Jan Kelm
The Train to Crystal City: FDR’s Secret Prisoner Exchange Program and America’s Only Family Internment Camp During World War II by Jan Jarboe Russell
During World War II, trains delivered thousands of civilians from the United States and Latin America to Crystal City, Texas. The trains carried Japanese, German, and Italian immigrants and their American-born children. The only family internment camp during the war, Crystal City was the center of a government prisoner exchange program called “quiet passage.” Hundreds of prisoners in Crystal City were exchanged for other more ostensibly important Americans by diplomats, businessmen, soldiers, and missionaries by behind enemy lines in Japan and Germany. 432 pages
August Selection Facilitated by Sallie Anne Bryan
The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway
The quintessential novel of the Lost Generation, The Sun Also Rises is one of Ernest Hemingway’s masterpieces and a classic example of his spare but powerful writing style. A poignant look at the disillusionment and angst of the post-World War I generation, the novel introduces two of Hemingway’s most unforgettable characters: Jake Barnes and Lady Brett Ashley. The story follows the flamboyant Brett and the hapless Jake as they journey from the wild nightlife of 1920s Paris to the brutal bullfighting rings of Spain with a motley group of expatriates. It is an age of moral bankruptcy, spiritual dissolution, unrealized love, and vanishing illusions. 251 pages
September Selection Facilitated by WCR Presenter
Washington County READ
October Selection Facilitated by Nancy Shoup
A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Bakman
Meet Ove. He’s a curmudgeon by the kind of man who points at people he dislikes as if they were burglars caught outside his bedroom window. He has staunch principles, strict routines, and a short fuse. People call him “the bitter neighbor from hell.” But must Ove be bitter just because he doesn’t walk around with a smile plastered to his face all the time? Behind the cranky exterior there is a story and a sadness. So when one November morning a chatty young couple with two chatty young daughters move in next door and accidentally flatten Ove’s mailbox, it is the lead-in to a comical and heartwarming tale of unkempt cats, unexpected friendship, and the ancient art of backing up a U-Haul. All of which will change one cranky old man and a local residents’ association to their very foundations. 368 pages
November and December – no selections
January 2018 Selection Facilitated by Sue Hewitt
Miller’s Valley: A Novel by Anna Quindlen
For generations the Millers have lived in Miller’s Valley. Mimi Miller tells about her life with intimacy and honesty. As Mimi eavesdrops on her parents and quietly observes the people around her, she discovers more and more about the toxicity of family secrets, the dangers of gossip, the flaws of marriage, the inequalities of friendship and the risks of passion, loyalty, and love. Miller’s Valley is a masterly study of family, memory, loss, and, ultimately, discovery, of finding true identity and a new vision of home. 272 pages
February 2018 Selection Facilitated by George Ann Harding
Claude & Camille: A Novel of Monet by Stephanie Cowell
In the mid-nineteenth century, a young man named Claude Monet decided that he would rather endure a difficult life painting landscapes than take over his father’s nautical supplies business in a French seaside town. Against his father’s will, and with nothing but a dream and an insatiable urge to create a new style of art that repudiated the Classical Realism of the time, he set off for Paris. 340 pages