This evening’s meeting has been postponed to October 20, 2022, at 7 PM because many of our regular members are unavailable to meet this evening. All book titles will be moved forward one month to accommodate.

The All Good Books club will meet in person (at 7842 Mission Road, Prairie Village, KS) or online using the Zoom web link (https://tinyurl.com/lastBoat) to discuss Helen Zia’s novel Last Boat Out of Shanghai.

The discussion will occur (now) on Thursday, October 20, 2022, at 7 PM CDT.

The book recounts the real-life stories of four young people caught up in the mass exodus of Shanghai in the wake of China’s 1949 Communist revolution. Marge Trinkl will facilitate the discussion. Join us in person or online!

If you’re now planning ahead for November, the book club will meet on November 17, 2022, at 7 PM to discuss Enough about Me by Richard Lui.

The All Good Books group will meet on Thursday, August 18, 2022, at 7:00 PM to discuss The Duchess by Wendy Holden. The meeting will also be accessible on Zoom using this web link: https://tinyurl.com/AllGoodBooksDuchess

Eloise Snider will facilitate the discussion and all are welcome.

Here’s the Publisher’s summary of the historical novel:

It was a love so strong, a king renounced his kingdom—all for that woman. Or was she just an escape route for a monarch who never wanted to rule? Bestselling author Wendy Holden takes an intimate look at one of the most notorious scandals of the 20th century.

  1. A middle-aged foreigner comes to London with average looks, no money and no connections. Wallis’s first months in the city are lonely, dull and depressing. With no friends of her own she follows the glamorous set in magazines and goes to watch society weddings. Her stuffy husband Ernest’s idea of fun, meanwhile, is touring historic monuments.

When an unexpected encounter leads to a house party with the Prince of Wales, Wallis’s star begins to rise. Her secret weapon is her American pep and honesty. For the prince she is a breath of fresh air. As her friendship with him grows, their relationship deepens into love. Wallis is plunged into a world of unimaginable luxury and privilege, enjoying weekends together at his private palace on the grounds of Windsor Castle.

Wallis knows the fun and excitement can’t last. The prince will have to marry and she will return to Ernest. The sudden death of George V seems to make this inevitable; the Prince of Wales is now King Edward VIII. When, to her shock and amazement, he refuses to give her up–or recognize that they are facing impossible odds–her fairy tale becomes a nightmare. The royal family close ranks to shut her out and Ernest gives an ultimatum.

Wallis finds herself trapped when Edward insists on abdicating his throne. She can’t escape the overwhelming public outrage and villainized, she becomes the woman everyone blames—the face of the most dramatic royal scandal of the twentieth century.

The All Good Books group will meet on Thursday, July 21, 2022, at 7:00 PM to discuss “Keep Sharp” by Sanjay Gupta (Tom Jowett will introduce the discussion). All meetings are held in the Church Library of the Mission Road Congregation of Community of Christ (7842 Mission Road, Prairie Village, KS).

The book club meeting will also be available on Zoom using the following web link: https://tinyurl.com/AllGoodBooks

This is a joint activity by the Community of Christ Mission Road Congregation and the Johnson County Community College Retirees Association. All are welcome!

The All Good Books group will meet on the following dates for the rest of the year and discuss the books listed. All meetings are held in the Church Library of the Mission Road Congregation of Community of Christ (7842 Mission Road, Prairie Village, KS)

7:00 PM, June 16, 2022: How the Word Is Passed by Clint Smith (Jane Landrum will introduce the book)

7:00 PM, July 21, 2022: Keep Sharp by Sanjay Gupta (Tom Jowett will introduce the book)

7:00 PM, August 18, 2022: The Duchess by Wendy Holden (Eloise Snider will introduce the book)

7:00 PM, September 15, 2022: The Last Boat Out of Shanghai by Helen Zia (Marge Trinkl will introduce the book)

7:00 PM, October 20, 2022: Enough about Me by Richard Lui (Jonathan Bacon will introduce the book)

7:00 PM, November 17, 2022: The Lost and Found Book Shop by Susan Wiggs (TBD)

December: No book club, December Break

The All Good Books group will resume meeting (after a long hiatus due to COVID) on May 19, 2022, at 7:00 PM in the Church Library of the Community of Christ Mission Road Congregation (7842 Mission Road, Prairie Village, KS). Jane Landrum is the new facilitator for the group with Jonathan Bacon assisting.

For the first meeting, everyone is invited to share a book report, a quote, or an interesting idea from the best, most recent book you’ve read.

Bring a friend, and come prepared to just talk about books for an hour or so and learn what everyone else has been reading!

I am taking the reins of our group for a little while to give Jonathan a much-deserved rest and relaxation (in a beautiful warm place.) Two things I would like to know for those still interested in this group:

  1. Do you still want to discuss “Four Winds” by Kristin Hannah? If so when?
  2. Related question – the Midland Mission Center (Community of Christ) has invited people to join a Peace & Justice bookclub, beginning on March 1 – it will be bi-weekly and the first book is by Clint Smith – “How the Word is Passed: a Reckoning with the History of Slavery Across America” -we can join as a group or we can each individually join – Open this link: View this email in your browser

IF the group wants to do both, please let me know by email: jlandrum1 when you want to discuss Four Winds this month.

For now, we are still meeting by Zoom, but the pastors at Mission Road (I’m one of them) are hopeful we can open up the church to groups like this by late February or early March.

Jane Landrum

816-868-8850

Sent from Mail for Windows

Book club members (during our hiatus) have suggested several book titles that might be good reading and excellent discussion material. The titles are listed below with links to Goodreads (for descriptions).

An American Marriage by Tayari Jones

Beloved by Toni Morrison

Dear Grace by Clare Swatman

Elementary, She Read by Vicki Delany

Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly

Homecoming by Yaa Gyasi (couldn’t find on Goodreads, so this link is to Amazon)

I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith

Kindred by Octavia Butler

Make Your Bed by William H. McRaven

Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden

Radical Kindness by by Angela C. Santomero

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

The Lost and Found Bookshop by Susan Wiggs

The Oysterville Sewing Circle by Susan Wiggs

The Peculiar Life of a Lonely Postman by Denis Theriault

Things You Save in a Fire by Katherine Center

Happy reading!

After an email poll, the majority of book club members who responded would prefer to wait until the book club can meet in person. So, we’ll not meet on Zoom or in person until at least mid- to late-Summer.

The novels most frequently nominated to add to the schedule are “The Four Winds” by Kristin Hannah and “The Midnight Library” by Matt Haig. We’ll discuss those two novels in that order when we resume meeting in person. Happy reading and we look forward to resuming our discussions in-person sometime in 2021.

The All Good Books Group will meet this evening, Thursday, March 18, 2021, at 7:00 PM on Zoom using our usual weblink. We’ll discuss Fredrik Backman’s novel “Anxious People.” We hope you can join us to discuss some of these questions.

  1. The book starts with the narrator talking about “idiots.” Though it’s easy to declare someone an idiot, it’s also true how difficult being a human is. What’s the narrator saying about human nature? When you read the word ‘idiot’ what comes to mind? Do you routinely encounter “idiots?”
  2. At the onset of the story, it’s about a bank robber and a hostage drama. Why does the “bank robber” decide to rob a bank? How experienced is the bank robber? What does the bank robber’s choices say about desperation and how it can limit our vision?
  3. The story is told in a nonlinear fashion with the hostage storyline, multiple events on a bridge and numerous background stories. How are these storylines connected?
  4. How does the story involve Jim and Jack? Who are they? Are they main characters or peripheral to the storyline? How is Nadia involved?
  5. How does the bridge storyline impact Jack’s life and career choices? Nadia’s life choices and career?
  6. We learn about Jim and Jack’s family through the non-linear nature of the novel. How does their family history factor into decisions they make about the bank robber?
  7. How would you react if you were a hostage?
  8. How did the people held hostage react? What do we learn about each character during the hostage situation? What did you learn about grief, fear and loneliness, the inability of couples to communicate and why people react to those forces?
  9. While searching for an apartment are the characters really searching for something else?
  10. How did your perception of the characters change as you read more of the novel? Which character “spoke to you the most?” Why?
  11. At the conclusion of the story, the narrator states, “The truth is that this was a story about many different things, but most of all about idiots. Because we’re doing the best we can, we really are. We’re trying to be grown-up and love each other…. We’re looking for something to cling on to, something to fight for, something to look forward to. We’re doing all we can to teach our children how to swim. We have all of this in common, yet most of us remain strangers, we never know what we do to each other, how your life is affected by mine.” What does that observation mean to you and do you agree?
  12. Would you recommend the novel to your reader friends? How would you classify it? How would you describe it to potential readers?

Thank you to Heather Caliendo whose discussion questions (bookclubchat.com/books/book-club-questions-for-anxious-people-by-fredrik-backman/) inspired many of these questions.

At last evening’s All Good Books group meeting we decided to read Anxious People by Fredrik Backman for our next meeting on Thursday, March 18, 2021, on Zoom at 7 PM.

We talked about some of the books on the recent survey (see the results below, percentages represent the percent of respondents selecting that book) but also discussed books members are currently reading. Here’s the list:

  • The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab
  • Still Life: A Chief Inspector Gamache Novel by Louise Penney (cloak and dagger murder mystery)
  • Countdown 1945: The Extraordinary Story of the Atomic Bomb and the 116 Days That Changed the World by Chris Wallace
  • The Cold Vanish: Seeking the Missing in North America’s Wildlands by Jon Billman  (stories of missing persons in America’s wilderness)
  • Maisie Dobbs (Maisie Dobbs Mysteries Series Book 1) by Jacquline Winspear

From the survey results:

  • A Brief History of Everyone Who Ever Lived: The Human Story Retold Through Our Genes, by Adam Rutherford, 510 pages 37.50%
  • A Good Neighborhood: A Novel, by Therese Anne Fowler, 311 pages 25.00%
  • American Dirt (Oprah’s Book Club): A Novel by Jeanine Cummins, 400 pages 62.50%
  • Anxious People, by Fredrik Backman, 349 pages 12.50%
  • Beach Read, by Emily Henry, 380 pages 12.50%
  • Big Lies in a Small Town: A Novel, by Diane Chamblain, 411 pages 25.00%
  • Leave the World Behind, by Rumaan Alam, 253 pages 12.50%
  • The Four Winds, by Kristin Hannah, 450 pages, Release date: February 2 87.50%
  • The Last Flight: A Novel, by Julie Clark, 290 pages 12.50%
  • The Lost and Found Bookshop, by Susan Wiggs, 365 pages 50.00%
  • The Midnight Library, by Matt Haig, 299 pages 62.50%
  • The Paris Library, by Janet Skeslien Charles, 364 pages, Release date: February 9 37.50%
  • The Rose Code, by Kate Quinn, Release date: March 9 25.00%
  • Things I Want My Daughters to Know: A Novel, by Elizabeth Noble, 402 pages 25.00%
  • This Close to Okay, by Leesa Cross-Smith, 321 pages, Release date: February 2

There was also one write-in suggestion: Eli’s Promise by Ronald Balson

Happy reading everyone!