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Book Group selections 2023

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2023 book group info

If you like to read and discuss books, join the BJUMC Book Group. It meets monthly, usually on the 2nd Thursday of the month from September-November and January-May at 7:00 p.m. in classroom 3 /4, or sometimes at alternate locations. Members suggest which books are discussed- all types and genres are considered. New members are welcome! Below are our selections for January-March. We are taking a break for the holiday season, and the next meeting will be held on January 12, 2023 in classroom 3 /4 starting at 7:00 p.m. The prediscussion dinners have resumed! If you want to join the pre-discussion dinner at The Ridge restaurant at 5:30 p.m., please RSVP to Carol Lutes at (908-672-4600) or carollutes@gmail.com. Please contact Janet Kaefer at jbkaefer@optonline.net for additional information, or to be added to the email contact list.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

January 12, 2023: Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI by David Grann, Will Patton, et al.

NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FINALIST • NATIONAL BESTSELLER • A twisting, haunting true-life murder mystery about one of the most monstrous crimes in American history, from the author of The Lost City of Z.

In the 1920s, the richest people per capita in the world were members of the Osage Nation in Oklahoma. After oil was discovered beneath their land, the Osage rode in chauffeured automobiles, built

mansions, and sent their children to study in Europe.
Then, one by one, the Osage began to be killed off. The family of an Osage woman, Mollie Burkhart, became a prime target. One of her relatives was shot. Another was poisoned. And it was just the beginning, as more and more Osage were dying under mysterious circumstances, and many of those who dared to investigate the killings were themselves murdered.
As the death toll rose, the newly created FBI took up the case, and the young director, J. Edgar Hoover, turned to a former Texas Ranger named Tom White to try to unravel the mystery. White put together an undercover team, including a Native American agent who infiltrated the region, and together with the Osage began to expose one of the most chilling conspiracies in American history.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

February 9, 2023: Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus (led by Barbara Conca) NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • GOOD MORNING AMERICA BOOK CLUB PICK • A must-read debut! Meet Elizabeth Zott: a “formidable, 11 unapologetic and inspiring” (PARADE) scientist in 1960s California whose career takes a detour when she becomes the unlikely star of a beloved TV cooking show in this novel that is “irresistible, satisfying and full of fuel. It reminds you that change takes time and always requires heat” (The New York Times Book Review) "A unique heroine ... you'll find yourself wishing she wasn’t fictional." —Seattle Times Chemist Elizabeth Zott is not your average woman. In fact, Elizabeth Zott would be the first to point out that there is no such thing as an average woman. But it’s the early 1960s and her allmale team at Hastings Research Institute takes a very unscientific view of equality. Except for one: Calvin Evans; the lonely, brilliant, Nobel–prize nominated grudge-holder who falls in love with—of all things—her mind. True chemistry results. But like science, life is unpredictable. Which is why a few years later Elizabeth Zott finds herself not only a single mother, but the reluctant star of America’s most beloved cooking show Supper at Six. Elizabeth’s unusual approach to cooking (“combine one tablespoon acetic acid with a pinch of sodium chloride”) proves revolutionary. But as her following grows, not everyone is happy. Because as it turns out, Elizabeth Zott isn’t just teaching women to cook. She’s daring them to change the status quo.  

 

Laugh-out-loud funny, shrewdly observant, and studded with a dazzling cast of supporting characters, Lessons in Chemistry is as original and vibrant as its protagonist.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

March 9, 2023: The Island of Missing Trees by Elif Shafak (led by Janet Kaefer) A REESE'S BOOK CLUB PICK Winner of the 2022 BookTube Silver Medal in Fiction * Shortlisted for the Women's Prize for Fiction. “A wise novel of love and grief, roots and branches, displacement and home, faith and belief. Balm for our bruised times." ―David Mitchell, author of Utopia Avenue A rich, magical new novel on belonging and identity, love and trauma, nature and renewal, from the Booker-shortlisted author of 10 Minutes 38 Seconds in This Strange World. Two teenagers, a Greek Cypriot and a Turkish Cypriot, meet at a taverna on the island they both call home. In the taverna, hidden beneath garlands of garlic, chili peppers and creeping honeysuckle, Kostas and Defne grow in their forbidden love for each other. A fig tree stretches through a cavity in the roof, and this tree bears witness to their hushed, happy meetings and eventually, to their silent, surreptitious departures. The tree is there when war breaks out, when the capital is reduced to ashes and rubble, and when the teenagers vanish. Decades later, Kostas returns. He is a botanist looking for native species, but really, he’s searching for lost love. Years later a Ficus carica grows in the back garden of a house in London where Ada Kazantzakis lives. This tree is her only connection to an island she has never visited--- her only connection to her family’s troubled history and her complex identity as she seeks to untangle years of secrets to find her place in the world. A moving, beautifully written, and delicately constructed story of love, division, transcendence, history, and eco-consciousness, The Island of Missing Trees is Elif Shafak’s best work yet.

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