Wednesday Night Book Group discusses “West with Giraffes”

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On April 10th at 7:00 pm, the Wednesday Night Book Group will discuss the 2021 best-seller West with Giraffes by Lynda Rutledge.

The novel was inspired by a forgotten true story about a pair of giraffes who survived a trans-Atlantic voyage and a hurricane, then were trucked cross-country to the San Diego Zoo capturing the hearts and lifting the spirits of Depression Era folks along the way. The story explores themes of survival, friendship, and the power of unlikely connections while shedding light on the human spirit’s ability to find solace in the most unexpected places.

Contact Patti Ulwelling for the information to join the conversation or to inquire about the Book Group. All are welcome.

Upcoming Reads:

May 8 – “Between the World and Me” by Ta-Nehisi Coates. Nonfiction. 152 pages. 2015. Banned or challenged several times.
In a letter to his son, Coates seeks answers to why he and other black people seemed to live in fear.

June 12 – “Tom Lake” by Ann Patchett. Fiction, 2023 320 pages.
Three adult daughters return to their family’s Northern Michigan orchard in the (Covid) spring of 2020 and learn about their mother’s youthful relationship with a famous actor who she shared the stage with at a nearby theater company named Tom Lake. Tom Lake is a light and entertaining meditation on youthful love, married love, and the lives parents have led before their children were born.

July 10 – “A Council of Dolls” by Mona Susan Power, an enrolled member of the Rock Sioux tribe. Historical fiction, published in 2023, 286 pages
It’s the story of three women told in part through the stories of the dolls they carried. Different eras covered: Cora 1888, Lillian, 1925 and Sissy, 1961.

August 14 – “Poverty by America” by Matthew Desmond, published in 2023. 305 pages, nonfiction.
The author of Evicted writes about systemic poverty in the United States, allowing for discussion on how individuals can identify and challenge the ways in which we all, rich or poor, may be complicit.

September 11 – “Remarkably Bright Creatures” by Shelby Van Pelt Fiction 2022 360 pages.
For fans of A Man Called Ove, a charming, witty and compulsively readable exploration of friendship, reckoning, and hope that traces a widow’s unlikely connection with a curmudgeonly giant Pacific octopus who knows more than anyone could.

October 9 – “The Thread Collectors” by Shaunna Edwards, Historical fiction, 373 pages, published 8/23.1863.
In a small Creole cottage in New Orleans, an ingenious young Black woman named Stella embroiders intricate maps on repurposed cloth to help enslaved men flee and join the Union Army while in New York City, a Jewish woman stitches a quilt for her husband, who is stationed in Louisiana with the Union Army. As these two women risk everything for love and freedom during the brutal Civil War, their paths converge in New Orleans, where an unexpected encounter leads them to discover that even the most delicate threads have the capacity to save us.

November 13 – “The Heaven and Earth Grocery Store” by James McBride. Historical Fiction, 385 pages. 2023.
In 1972, a skeleton found by workers digging a foundation unravels a secret long held by immigrant Jews and African Americans working together to keep a deaf boy safe. The story shines a light on how American communities are at times torn apart by differences as well as uplifts with humor and messages of hope. The Barnes and Noble 2023 book of the year.

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