Sophia Circle

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Tuesday, December 11 at 7:00 PM at Cornell Estates: Discuss the Book LITTLE FIRES EVERYWHERE

June 12 we will be discussing The Women in the Castle by Jessica Shattuck

Set at the end of World War II, in a crumbling Bavarian castle that once played host to all of German high society, a powerful and propulsive story of three widows whose lives and fates become intertwined—an affecting, shocking, and ultimately redemptive novel from the author of the New York TimesNotable Book The Hazards of Good Breeding.

 Amid the ashes of Nazi Germany’s defeat, Marianne von Lingenfels returns to the once-grand castle of her husband’s ancestors, an imposing stone fortress now fallen into ruin following years of war. The widow of a resister murdered in the failed July 20, 1944, plot to assassinate Adolf Hitler, Marianne plans to uphold the promise she made to her husband's brave coconspirators: to find and protect their wives, her fellow resistance widows.

This is based on an actual assassination plot against Hitler. Imagine what might have happened to the families of the plotters after they, the assassins, were killed in their attempt.
I just returned a large print copy to the library. There are several in the system. Amazon has it in Kindle and paper for under $12.
July 9 we will welcome Melanie Springer Mock, author of Worthy, Finding Yourself in a World Expecting Someone Else. She will talk to us about, and I hope help us discuss, her book and why she wrote it.
Melanie is an English professor at George Fox University. She writes, in this book, about the expectations other people and society have for our lives and how they may prevent us from growing into the beautiful image of God we were each created to be.
Don't miss this opportunity to compare your experiences and your reactions to the book with the actual author.
I bought six books. Three remain. If you would like you may give me $12 in exchange for your very own copy. They are also available from Amazon in hardback, paper and Kindle editions. I  don't think the library has this book.
I am looking forward to your responses and insights regarding both these books.
APRIL:  Fiction - MARCH by Geraldine Brooks
Ma|y:  Non-Fiction  -  BORN A CRIME by Trevor Noah
February 24, 2018:  Because only one of the six attendees had been able to finish Keeper of Lost Things we decided, at our last meeting to discuss two books at the March meeting. (We aren't  a bunch of slow readers. The library supply was insufficient for the demand and only three people got a crack at the one purchased copy between us.)
On March 13th we will discuss Keeper and The Girl at the Baggage Claim. The going theory is that one will e a short discussion and the other more extensive.
I have not heard from Donna, nor have I called her, my bad. I hope she is feeling 100% and will be open to hosting us. I will let you know.
In the meantime, enjoy your reading.

Novenber:  Piecing Me Together by Renee Watson

December:  The Book of Joy by the Dalai Lama

January:  Homecoming by Yaa Gyasi
Being Mortal by Atul Gawande: 
In Being Mortal, bestselling author Atul Gawande tackles the hardest challenge of his profession: how medicine can not only improve life but also the process of its ending.

Medicine has triumphed in modern times, transforming birth, injury, and infectious disease from harrowing to manageable. But in the inevitable condition of aging and death, the goals of medicine seem too frequently to run counter to the interest of the human spirit. Nursing homes, preoccupied with safety, pin patients into railed beds and wheelchairs. Hospitals isolate the dying, checking for vital signs long after the goals of cure have become moot. Doctors, committed to extending life, continue to carry out devastating procedures that in the end extend suffering.

Gawande, a practicing surgeon, addresses his profession’s ultimate limitation, arguing that quality of life is the desired goal for patients and families. Gawande offers examples of freer, more socially fulfilling models for assisting the infirm and dependent elderly, and he explores the varieties of hospice care to demonstrate that a person's last weeks or months may be rich and dignified.

Full of eye-opening research and riveting storytelling, Being Mortal asserts that medicine can comfort and enhance our experience even to the end, providing not only a good life but also a good end

I have been hearing a lot of concern about the length of this month's book, nearly 800 pages in the paperback version. I hear people are busy in the summer and don't have as much time to read, etc. After taking such concerns to heart a co promise has been reached. We will take an extra month to read The Goldfinch (by Donna Tartt) and discuss it at our September meeting. For the August gathering, please come prepared to tell everyone about a book you have enjoyed reading, not a Sophia Corcle selection, and would encourage the rest of us to read. About five minute presentation would be appropriate.
Whether it is the sort of book you think would be a good Sophia Circle choice or not, I'm sure we will enjoy  learning abput books we may not have encountered yet.
Enjoy.the extra time with.The Goldfinch. Linda Smith says it has an unexpected ending.
Happy reading.
For September:  Our next book will be the 2014 Pulitzer Prize winner for fiction, The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt.
Both the library and Powells seem to have a good supply so you shouldn't have any difficulty finding it. It is a long one so I recommend finding a copy soon and getting right on it. (Hint:  check the large print shelf at the library if you don't find it right away.)
Happy reading

Our book for discussion at our July meeting will be:

One Summer America 1927 

by Bill Bryson

ISBN13: 9780767919418 
ISBN10: 0767919416 

Powells Staff Pick

Trust Bill Bryson to make the summer of 1927 as immediate and thrilling to the reader as it was to the Americans who lived through it. Written with Bryson's characteristic combination of wit, irony, and genuine fondness for his subject matter, One Summer is a joyful read by a master of narrative nonfiction.  Recommended By Rhianna W.,

Publisher Comments

In One Summer Bill Bryson, one of our greatest and most beloved nonfiction writers, transports readers on a journey back to one amazing season in American life.

The summer of 1927 began with one of the signature events of the twentieth century: on May 21, 1927, Charles Lindbergh became the first man to cross the Atlantic by plane nonstop, and when he landed in Le Bourget airfield near Paris, he ignited an explosion of worldwide rapture and instantly became the most famous person on the planet. Meanwhile, the titanically talented Babe Ruth was beginning his assault on the home run record, which would culminate on September 30 with his sixtieth blast, one of the most resonant and durable records in sports history. In between those dates a Queens housewife named Ruth Snyder and her corset-salesman lover garroted her husband, leading to a murder trial that became a huge tabloid sensation. Alvin “Shipwreck” Kelly sat atop a flagpole in Newark, New Jersey, for twelve days—a new record. The American South was clobbered by unprecedented rain and by flooding of the Mississippi basin, a great human disaster, the relief efforts for which were guided by the uncannily able and insufferably pompous Herbert Hoover. Calvin Coolidge interrupted an already leisurely presidency for an even more relaxing three-month vacation in the Black Hills of South Dakota. The gangster Al Capone tightened his grip on the illegal booze business through a gaudy and murderous reign of terror and municipal corruption. The first true “talking picture,” Al Jolson’s The Jazz Singer, was filmed and forever changed the motion picture industry. The four most powerful central bankers on earth met in secret session on a Long Island estate and made a fateful decision that virtually guaranteed a future crash and depression.

     All this and much, much more transpired in that epochal summer of 1927, and Bill Bryson captures its outsized personalities, exciting events, and occasional just plain weirdness with his trademark vividness, eye for telling detail, and delicious humor. In that year America stepped out onto the world stage as the main event, and One Summer transforms it all into narrative nonfiction of the highest order.

Chicago Tribune Noteworthy Book
A GoodReads Reader's Choice 
Bill son’s bestselling books include A Walk in the WoodsI’m a Stranger Here MyselfIn a Sunburned CountryA Short History of Nearly Everything (which earned him the 2004 Aventis Prize), The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid, and At Home. He lives in England with his wife.
BOOKS FOR MA"Y:  Today I received the five copies I ordered of Living as A Covenant Community by Evy McDonald.  If you wpuld like me to deliver one to your home please let me know. Otherwise I will have them with me at church on Sunday. I'll put them in my car in the morning in case I see you before then. The cost is $11, I hope we'll be able to share the books so everyone has a chance to read one before the meeting on May 9th.
Amazon has this title in Kindle format for $7 something. I don't read Kindle books of I can help it so I didn't pay close attention as I was researching sources. No library source.
Jeri Silfies
Good Valentines Day meeting tonight. We had a good book discussion, shared stories, prayed and ate yummy snacks. We even planned our reading for the next three months. We will be reading Zealot by Reza Aslan next, Small, Great Thinga by Jodi Picoult for discussion in April, and Living as a Covenant Community for May. I am looking forward to hearing what you think of our choices.
Happy reading!
September. -  Silent Sister by Diane Chamberlain.  Washington County Library system (WCCL) has several copies of this one and it is available locally at Powells.




October. -  In from the David Weekley.  WCCL has one copy and I have four circulating among group members.



November. -  The Good Lord Bird by James McBride. WCCL has several copies as does PowelA


Older is a journey. Old is a destination." according to J. Ellsworth Kalas, author of our August book for Sophia Circle, I Love Growing Older but I'll Never Grow Old.

This book and s about learning how to "make peace with where you are right now." It is about learning from the past and then moving past it. It's about growing and continuing to grow - personally, spiritually, and in our relationships with God and with others.
I purchased four copies at $8.50 each and have distributed them to various circle members. Please share these copies so that everyone has time to read one. If you would like a copy of your own, they are available at Amazon and Cokesbury. Powell's did not have any copies when I last checked.
Our next meeting date is Tuesday, August 9th.

Tuesday 7PM

The Home of Donna Detrick

This women's reading group selects a book which is read ahead and discussed.  Fellowship and prayer are also part of the program.

Next Meeting: January 13, 2015

Our December book will be:

UULY 2016
For our meeting on July 12 we are reading Girl Waits With Gun By Amy Stewart. It is rolicking good fun that will keep you engaged from beginning to end. Thank you, Pat Eagle, for finding this good summer reading choice.

Here is what the publisher has to say about it:

Girl Waits with Gun

by Amy Stewart
Girl Waits with Gun
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ISBN13: 9780544409910 
ISBN10: 0544409914 

Powells Staff Pick

I was excited to read a story about one of America's first females in law enforcement, and I was expecting more of a tale, or collection of tales, from her career as a sheriff. Instead, the story follows Constance Kopp, and her sisters, through the harrowing events that led her to that vocation. Girl Waits with Gun is not what I was expecting, but it was fantastic! Recommended By Janelle M.,

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments

From the New York Times best-selling author of The Drunken Botanist comes an enthralling novel based on the forgotten true story of one of the nation’s first female deputy sheriffs. 
Constance Kopp doesn’t quite fit the mold. She towers over most men, has no interest in marriage or domestic affairs, and has been isolated from the world since a family secret sent her and her sisters into hiding fifteen years ago. One day a belligerent and powerful silk factory owner runs down their buggy, and a dispute over damages turns into a war of bricks, bullets, and threats as he unleashes his gang on their family farm. When the sheriff enlists her help in convicting the men, Constance is forced to confront her past and defend her family — and she does it in a way that few women of 1914 would have dared.

May 10, 2016
The Book of Unknown Americans
         By  Cristina Henríquez
Arturo and Alma Rivera have lived their whole lives in Mexico. One day, their beautiful fifteen-year-old daughter, Maribel, sustains a terrible injury, one that casts doubt on whether she’ll ever be the same. And so, leaving all they have behind, the Riveras come to America with a single dream: that in this country of great opportunity and resources, Maribel can get better.
When Mayor Toro, whose family is from Panama, sees Maribel in a Dollar Tree store, it is love at first sight. It’s also the beginning of a friendship between the Rivera and Toro families, whose web of guilt and love and responsibility is at this novel’s core.
Woven into their stories are the testimonials of men and women who have come to the United States from all over Latin America. Their journeys and their voices will inspire you, surprise you, and break your heart.
Suspenseful, wry and immediate, rich in spirit and humanity, The Book of Unknown Americans is a work of rare force and originality.
Recommended by: Pat Eagle

June 12, 2016
An Invisible Thread
When Laura Schroff brushed by a young panhandler on a New York City corner one rainy afternoon, something made her stop and turn back. She took the boy to lunch at the McDonald's across the street that day. And she continued to go back, again and again for the next four years until both of their lives had changed dramatically. Nearly thirty years later, that young boy Maurice has gotten married and has his own children. Now he works to change the lives of disadvantaged kids, just like the boy he used to be.
An Invisible Thread is the true story of the bond between a harried sales executive and an eleven-year-old boy who seemed destined for a life of poverty. It is the heartwarming story of a friendship that has spanned three decades and brought meaning to an over-scheduled professional and hope to a hungry and desperate boy living on the streets.
Recommended by: Linda Smith

Note: Dates may be changed due to scheduling conflicts.

Book forApril, 2016

Across Many Mountains A Tibetan Familys Epic Journey from Oppression to Freedom

by Yangzom Brauen
Across Many Mountains A Tibetan Familys Epic Journey from Oppression to Freedom
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ISBN13: 9781250012036 
ISBN10: 1250012031 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments

A powerful, emotional memoir and an extraordinary portrait of three generations of Tibetan women whose lives are forever changed when Chairman Maos Red Army crushes Tibetan independence, sending a young mother and her six-year-old daughter on a treacherous journey across the snowy Himalayas toward freedom

Kunsang thought she would never leave Tibet. One of the country's youngest Buddhist nuns, she grew up in a remote mountain village where, as a teenager, she entered the local nunnery. Though simple, Kunsang's life gave her all she needed: a oneness with nature and a sense of the spiritual in all things. She married a monk, had two children, and lived in peace and prayer. But not for long. There was a saying in Tibet: "When the iron bird flies and horses run on wheels, the Tibetan people will be scattered like ants across the face of the earth." The Chinese invasion of Tibet in 1950 changed everything. When soldiers arrived at her mountain monastery, destroying everything in their path, Kunsang and her family fled across the Himalayas only to spend years in Indian refugee camps. She lost both her husband and her youngest child on that journey, but the future held an extraordinary turn of events that would forever change her life--the arrival in the refugee camps of a cultured young Swiss man long fascinated with Tibet. Martin Brauen will fall instantly in love with Kunsang's young daughter, Sonam, eventually winning her heart and hand, and taking mother and daughter with him to Switzerland, where Yangzom will be born. 

Many stories lie hidden until the right person arrives to tell them. In rescuing the story of her now 90-year-old inspirational grandmother and her mother, Yangzom Brauen has given us a book full of love, courage, and triumph,as well as allowing us a rare and vivid glimpse of life in rural Tibet before the arrival of the Chinese. Most importantly, though, ACROSS MANY MOUNTAINS is a testament to three strong, determined women who are linked by an unbreakable family bond.  

Born in 1980 to a Swiss father and Tibetan mother,YANGZOM BRAUEN is an actress, model, and political activist. She lives in both Los Angeles and Berlin and has appeared in a number of German and American films. She is also very active in the Free Tibet movement, making regular radio broadcasts about Tibet and organizing public demonstrations against the Chinese occupation of Tibet. back to top
- See more at:

Keeping Faith
Publisher Comments
When the marriage of Mariah White and her cheating husband, Colin, turns ugly and disintegrates, their seven-year-old daughter, Faith, is there to witness it all. In the aftermath of a rapid divorce, Mariah falls into a deep depression—and suddenly Faith, a child with no religious background whatsoever, hears divine voices, starts reciting biblical passages, and develops stigmata. And when the miraculous healings begin, mother and daughter are thrust into the volatile center of controversy and into the heat of a custody battle—trapped in a mad media circus that threatens what little stability the family has left.

It is more uplifting than it sounds!






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