Coordinator: Bev Motich

Purpose: Our primary purpose is to have a fun and engaging discussion about the book selected for the month.

Responsibilities: Everyone is invited to participate. We select the books for the year by voting at our November meeting. Titles may include fiction and nonfiction. The only condition is that the recommended books must be in print and readily available. The member who makes the recommendation becomes the discussion leader if that book is selected.

Meeting Place and Time:  Currently, meetings are held at 6:30 PM on ZOOM on the last Sunday of the month.

Contact:  Bev Motich  [email protected]

UUCV Book Group 2024 Schedule (with Discussion Leaders)

January 28 – American Roulette by team of eight authors (Darlene Smith)

An eclectic group of eight authors, of which seven live in Carlisle, spent six months collaborating on American Roulette, a blockbuster novel full of tension, dread, and anguish. Each author created one of the eight key characters—complete with a supporting cast—who find themselves sharing a common destiny. Readers have but a single day to get to know each of the protagonists before time and circumstances seal their fate.

February 25 – The Gathering by Anne Enright (Sharon O’Brien)

A moving, evocative portrait of a large Irish family and a shot of fresh blood into the Irish literary tradition, combining the lyricism of the old with the shock of the new. The nine surviving children of the Hegarty clan are gathering in Dublin for the wake of their wayward brother, Liam, drowned in the sea. His sister, Veronica, collects the body and keeps the dead man company, guarding the secret she shares with him something that happened in their grandmother’s house in the winter of 1968. As Enright traces the line of betrayal and redemption through three generations her distinctive intelligence twists the world a fraction and gives it back to us in a new and unforgettable light. The Gathering is a daring, witty, and insightful family epic, clarified through Anne Enright’s unblinking eye. It is a novel about love and disappointment, about how memories warp and secrets fester, and how fate is written in the body, not in the stars.

March 24 – Searching for Savanna: The Murder of One Native American Woman and the Violence Against the Many by Mona Gable (Bev Ayers-Nachamkin)

“In this engaging and meticulously researched account centered on one horrific crime in North Dakota, Mona Gable explores the failings of the justice system and society behind the epidemic of missing and murdered Indigenous women. An urgently needed look at an epidemic of femicide by an excellent writer.” —Nina Burleigh, journalist and author of The Fatal Gift of Beauty: The Trials of Amanda Knox

April 28 – The Shortest History of Israel and Palestine – From Zionism to Intifadas and the Struggle for Peace by Michael Scott-Baumann (Keith Bittinger)

Summary: Part of the “Shortest History” book series, this is an accessible, balanced chronicle of how the Israel-Palestine conflict originated and developed over the past century.

Paperback: 288 pages, 10 chapters

Audio Book: 7 hrs 35 mins

May 19 – Counting Lost Stars by Kim Van Alkemade (Bev Motich)

New York Times bestselling author of Orphan #8, Kim van Alkemade returns with a gripping and poignant historical saga in which an unmarried college student who’s given up her baby for adoption helps a Dutch Holocaust survivor search for his lost mother. The book alternates between the stories of characters living in two eras –  1960, New York City and 1941, The Hague.

June 23 – Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus (Susan Rimby)

Lessons in Chemistry tells the story of a woman in a non-traditional profession, and all the discrimination she incurs during the late 1950s and early 1960s as she struggles to define her own life.  At the end, there’s hope and healing, and the women and their male supporters win the day. If you ever wondered why second-wave feminists were angry in the 1960s and ’70s, reading this book will show you why.

July 28 – Oryx and Crate by Margaret Atwood (Bev Ayers-Nachamkin)

Snowman, known as Jimmy before mankind was overwhelmed by a plague, is struggling to survive in a world where he may be the last human, and mourning the loss of his best friend, Crake, and the beautiful and elusive Oryx whom they both loved. In search of answers, Snowman embarks on a journeywith the help of the green-eyed Children of Crakethrough the lush wilderness that was so recently a great city, until powerful corporations took mankind on an uncontrolled genetic engineering ride. Margaret Atwood projects us into a near future that is both all too familiar and beyond our imagining.

August 25 – Lady Tan’s Circle of Women by Lisa See (Susan Rimby)

Lady Tan’s Circle of Women is based on a real historical character in the Ming dynasty, a woman who gains renown as a healer of women.  Over her lifetime, she gains about as much power as a woman in that culture can have.  Along the way, she solves a murder and develops a life-long friendship with a woman of a lower class.

September 22 – The Age of AI – And Our Human Future by Henry Kissinger, Eric Schmidt, and Daniel Huttenlocher (Keith Bittinger)

Summary: In The Age of AI, three leading thinkers come together to explore Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the way it is transforming human society—and what this technology means for us all.

Paperback: 288 pages, 7 chapters

Audio Book: 7 hrs 13 mins

October 27 – Women Talking by Miriam Toews (John Katz)

In an isolated Mennonite colony, women, children, and even infants have  endured rape, assault, and other brutalities with terrifying regularity. The book opens when the women of two families meet to discuss their options–which are rather limited, given how they have been kept illiterate and utterly ignorant of the outside world. This book is at once appalling, fascinating, and thrillingly suspenseful.

November 24 – 2025 reading selections