Book Groups

Books by Women | CLL Monthly Book Club

Books by Women

Second Tuesdays from 6:00 to 7:15 p.m.
September through June
Bumpus Activity Room in the Gratz Center

Books by Women has met faithfully for more than twenty years to discuss classic and contemporary works by women authors. All women are invited to join in the conversations whenever their schedules allow.

2017-2018 Book Discussion Schedule

Tuesday, September 12, 2017
Do Not Say That We Have Nothing by Madeleine Thien

In this book Madeleine Thien discusses the lives of two successive generations of musicians: those who lived through Mao’s Cultural Revolution in the mid-twentieth century and the children of those survivors, who became the students protesting in Tiananmen Square in 1989. Shortlisted for the 2016 Man Booker award.

Hardcover; 480 pages

Tuesday, October 10, 2017
The Lab Girl by Hope Jahren

Hope Jahren’s memoir reads like a novel. A tenured professor at the University of Hawaii, Jahren is a geobiologist who studies biological bits from ancient plants to determine climatic conditions of the time.Winner of the 2016 National Book Critics Circle Award for Autobiography.

Hardcover; 240 pages

Tuesday, November 14, 2017
Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult

This story about prejudice, race, and justice is based on the true story of a labor
and delivery nurse who was prohibited from caring for a newborn because the father requested that no African American nurse tend his baby. The story is currently being adapted as a feature film.

Hardcover; 480 pages

Tuesday, December 12, 2017
A Fatal Grace by Louise Penny

During the Christmas season, Miss CC de Poitiers is electrocuted on a frozen lake,
in front of the entire town, during the annual curling tournament in the small hamlet of Three Pines, Quebec. Inspector Gamache digs beneath the surface of village life to find long-buried secrets. Winner of the Agatha Christie Award for Mystery.

Paperback; 320 pages

Tuesday, January 9, 2018
Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly

Hidden Figures brings to life the African American women mathematicians who
were instrumental in winning the space race. The account uncovers the role of women at critical points in the history of science.

Hardcover; 368 pages

Tuesday, February 13, 2018
Girl in Disguise by Greer Macallister

This novel is inspired by the life of Kate Warne, the first woman detective hired by Pinkerton National Detective Agency (in 1856). In Girl in Disguise, Macallister gives readers a glimpse into the cloak-and-dagger world of nineteenth-century Chicago that we may not know existed.

Hardcover; 308 pages

Tuesday, March 13, 2018
Becoming Nicole: The Transformation of an American Family by Amy Ellis Nutt

A childless couple adopts twin boys in this inspiring true story of a transgender girl, her identical twin brother, and an ordinary American family’s extraordinary journey to understand, nurture, and celebrate the unique in us all. Author Amy Ellis Nutt is a Pulitzer Prize-winning science reporter for the Washington Post.

Paperback; 320 pages

Tuesday, April 10, 2018
The Secrets of Wishtide by Kate Saunders

Laetitia Rodd is a fifty-two-year-old widow living in Hampstead, England in 1850.
She takes on a confidential investigation, brought to her by her brother Fred, a criminal barrister: a gentleman wants her to investigate the woman his son hopes to marry, a woman the father believes is an unsuitable wife for his son.

Hardcover; 352 pages

Tuesday, May 8, 2018
The South Side: A Portrait of Chicago and American Segregation
by Natalie Y. Moore

Natalie Y. Moore shines a light on the current state of segregation in Chicago’s South Side. Winner of the 21st Century Award from the Chicago Public Library
and Foundation in 2017.

Hardcover; 225 pages

Tuesday, June 12, 2018
A Piece of the World by Christina Baker Kline

This novel by the author of The Orphan Train, Christina was born in her family home on a remote family farm in a small coastal town. There she was destined for a simple life, until she became the subject of one of the best-known paintings of the twentieth century: “Christina’s World,” by artist Andrew Wyeth.

Hardcover; 320 pages


Books by Women Reading List

A reading list of books read by Books by Women from December 1991 through the present is available here.

For more information about Books by Women, contact Anne Ellis (312.573.3369).

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CLL Monthly Book Club

   Tuesdays, March 20, April 17, May 29, and June 26  
   11:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m.
   Free and open to all 60 and older; no RSVP necessary

In its third year, the CLL member-run book club enjoys books selected by members who wish to lead the discussion. Grab a great read, and bring a friend!

Tuesday, March 20
   Lab Girl
by Hope Jahren

Winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award for Autobiography, Lab Girl takes its readers on a journey in which a girl grows from playing in her father’s college laboratory into a woman whose love for geobiology has made her into one of the most engaging science authors writing today. Her wisdom extends beyond the walls of the lab as she paints vivid pictures of her family, co-workers, and the world around us all.

Tuesday, April 17
   The Underground Railroad
by Colson Whitehead

The Underground Railroad won both the 2016 Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award for its ferocious re-casting of the slave narrative as adventure tale, history lesson, and reflection on the American present. In choosing it for her Book Club, Oprah Winfrey said, “Get it, then get another copy for someone you know because you are definitely going to want to talk about it once you read that heart-stopping last page.”

Tuesday, May 29
   Fahrenheit 451
by Ray Bradbury

HBO will be releasing a new film of this class novel in 2018, so we will re-visit this mid-twentieth century exploration of conscience, censorship, and of course, the critical role of books in a free society. In a time when television dictates reality and owning a book can get a person killed, one “fireman” (whose job it is to burn books) comes to wrestle with what he previously believed and unthinkingly accepted.

Tuesday, June 26
   Black Narcissus
by Rumer Godden

One of Rumer Godden’s earliest (1939) works, Black Narcissus follows a group of British Anglican nuns in India. A subtle, gentle, and even humorous consideration of cultural colonization and the cost of mission—to those on both sides of the proposition—the novel was made into a well-regarded 1947 film.

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