The Wednesday Book Group meets on the second Wednesday of each month at 7 pm. Over the past two years our meetings, which have been primarily over Zoom, have given us a valuable connection to other church members offering both support and fellowship during this unprecedented time.  Following are comments on some favorite selections from several members.

Kathy Schwei writes:  One of my favorite fiction books our Wednesday Night Book Group read was The Giver of Stars by Jojo Moyes. It was a historical fiction book based on the pack horse librarians used in the Depression era in a remote area of Kentucky. These five women grew into a strong sisterhood that faced racism, men’s efforts to control women, poverty, alcoholism and many other kinds of adversity in that time period and location. I loved the strong female characters and their dedication to literacy and compassion for the people they served.

A favorite non-fiction book was The Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown. The book recounted the efforts of the American men’s crew team in the 1936 Olympics in Germany and their unlikely quest for a gold medal. I loved learning about the sport of crew, the boats they used, their training regimens, and the building of a team that knew that only by each person giving their all could they hope to win. They formed a brotherhood for life through the challenges they overcame.

From Jennifer Vallier:  As part of the UUCW Women’s Book Club, I have discovered friends as well as interesting books that I would not have chosen on my own.  One particularly memorable book was Hiding in the Spotlight, a true story about a young Jewish musician who survived WWII by passing as non-Jewish and performing for the nazis.  It is a powerful story, made even more meaningful by a special connection – the main character (Zhanna) was actually the piano teacher of Patty Stevenson.  We exchanged letters with Zhanna’s son about the book and its impact on the group.  I also appreciate that the book club selects a variety of books, including popular fiction, humor and deep topics.  One of my all-time favorite reads from this group is Pachinko by Min Jin Lee.  Set in Japan and Korea in the early 1900’s, it was well-written, contained strong female characters & explained the nuances of the cultural tensions between Japan & Korea at that point in history.  Whatever book we read, there are always a variety of perspectives on the topics & characters, and I enjoy exploring different viewpoints.

Sue Schalig writes:  My membership in the Women’s Book Club has enriched my life in so many ways.  I have always been a book lover and my years as a member have led me to read books I might never have discovered without the help of the club. I’ve also met many new friends through the club.  Lively conversation offers all of us new insights on that month’s selection.  Some of my favorites from last year include I’m Still Here by Austin Channing, The Dalai Lama’s Cat by David Michie, and The Vanishing Half by Brittany Bennett.  In 2020 I especially loved Where the Crawdad Sings by Delia Oliver.  Copies of many of my favorites are now on my bookshelves and I look forward to rereading them in the future.  So, in summary: membership in the book club is a “no pressure” way of making friends, reading good books, and discussing them with other book lovers.

Connect your passion for reading with making new friends. Join the Wednesday Night Book Group! For more information, contact Joanne Kopischke.