June Meeting

Join the Walker Book Group on Sunday, June 9 at 6:15pm on Zoom only (no potluck or meeting in Channing) for a discussion of the Haruki Murakami’s book of short stories, Men without Women. The discussion will focus on three stories: “Drive my car,” “Scheherazade, and “Kino,” but you are encouraged to read all three stories. The seven stories in this collection focus on the lives of men who find themselves alone. While these stories examine loneliness, like other stories by Murakami they are marked by subtle humor.

Future Meetings

The next meeting will be on Sunday, September 8. Over the summer, we will read James McBride’s book, The Heaven and Earth Grocery Store for discussion at our September meeting.

If you have suggestions for future reads, please send them to Martha at the email address provided below.

General Information

The Walker Book Group meets the second Sunday of each month from September through June. Newcomers are always welcome. Weather and Covid permitting, we meet at 5:30 in Channing Hall for a potluck dinner followed by the book discussion at 6:30. All participants are asked to bring their own dishes and tableware, as well as a dish to share. The dish may be homemade or storebought.

Those unable to meet in person may join us on Zoom for the book discussion. In winter months we may meet only on Zoom. On those occasions, you can join us at 6:15 for general conversation, followed by the book discussion at 6:30. Information about the meeting place and time will be published in Albany UU—Windows Weekly.

Use this link to join by Zoom:

https://tinyurl.com/WalkerBookGroup

By phone: 1-929-436-2866
Meeting ID: 871 5139 8632
Passcode: 0000

For future updates, subscribe to the Walker Book Group email list by sending an email to WalkerBookGroup+subscribe@AlbanyUU.groups.io. (No need for any subject or message body.) 

For further information, contact Martha Musser at mussermartha@gmail.com.

Previous Books

Demon Copperhead by Barbara Kingsolver

In this Pulitzer-Prize winning retelling of Charles Dickens’ David Copperfield, Kingsolver moves the action to present-day Appalachia, with a moving story of a young boy growing up under very difficult circumstances. Along with the challenges of growing up in Appalachia, the story provides a look at the values that sustain residents and the effect of drugs such as Oxycontin on the hero and the community.

Horse by Geraldine Brooks

This historical novel’s title refers to Lexington, a late 19th century stallion. The overriding theme of the novel, however, is race as it confronts the consequences of white Americans’ failure to recognize the full humanity of Black people over the course of two centuries. The story intertwines the lives of Theo, a Black Londoner working in Washington D.C. on a graduate degree in art history, and Jarret, the enslaved antebellum groom of Lexington.

Poverty, by America by Matthew Desmond

Poverty, by America is a nonfiction book, which asks why the richest country on earth has by far the highest poverty rate in the developed world. Many of you are familiar with Desmond’s Pulitzer-Prize-winning book, Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City, which is based on his dissertation research in Milwaukee’s low-income areas. Poverty, by America is an equally compelling and important book.

Rising Out of Hatred: The Awakening of a Former White Nationalist by Eli Saslow

Saslow, a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter, tells the story of Derek Black, who grew up in the epicenter of white supremacism and, in college, came to realize that his worldview was wrong. Through his story, Saslow confronts erroneous beliefs about racism, explores America’s divided nature and helps us to better understand one another.

Tom Lake by Ann Patchett

Tom Lake is Patchett’s pandemic book. The book centers around Thornton Wilder’s play Our Town. The book’s central character, Lara, relates to her three young adult daughters her experience as an actor in the play and her relationship at Tom Lake’s summer theater with Duke, now a movie star. The story is a very enjoyable read.

Tyranny of the Minority: Why American Democracy Reached the Breaking Point by Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt

In Tyranny of the Minority, these Harvard law professors describe how our Constitution and laws result in a tyranny of the minority.  For example, our electoral college results in presidents elected by a minority of voters.  Two senators per state means that a California Senator represents 59 times as many individuals as are represented by a Wyoming Senator. 

The Confidante: The Untold Story of the Woman Who Helped Win WW II and Save America by Christopher Gotham

Anna Rosenberg, from a prominent Jewish family, was born in Budapest and immigrated with her family to New York City in 1912. During World II, she was an advisor on labor issues to President Roosevelt. After the war, she was tasked with advising U.S. servicemen in the European theater on how to enter the American labor market. This effort led to the creation of the GI Bill, the first of her many accomplishments.

Crook Manifesto by Colson Whitehead

In his latest book, Whitehead returns to his Harlem Shuffle protagonist Ray Carney. Carney’s furniture store is now successful, but he is drawn back into his old games to score Jackson 5 tickets for his teenaged daughter. The book is a lens to explore Harlem at a particular tipping point in time, the 1970’s.

Tender as the Night by F. Scott Fitzgerald

This 1934 semi-biographical novel about Fitzgerald and his wife, Zelda, explores the excesses of the Jazz age. The novel chronicles the rise and fall of Dick Diver, a promising young psychiatrist, and his wife, Nicole, who is one of his patients.