TE Book Club
Temple Emanuel Book Club
2020-21 Titles and Dates
My Name is Asher Lev - (a play by Aaron Posner based on the novel by Chaim Potok.)
All God’s Children Need Traveling Shoes (1997) by Maya Angelou
It’s about her struggle between being both American and African, her feelings that she has no place in America with its racial inequality in the early 60’s, her decision therefore to move to Africa, her experiences there, and then her ultimate decision to return to America. I think as Americans and Jews with a Jewish homeland in Israel, it’s something we can relate to in addition to enjoying her unique perspective on her awareness of self and culture. Happy to lead the discussion if selected.
Educated (2018) by Tara Westover
Tara Westover is an American author living in the UK. Born in Idaho to a father opposed to public education, she never attended school. She spent her days working in her father's junkyard or stewing herbs for her mother, a self-taught herbalist and midwife. She was seventeen the first time she set foot in a classroom, and after that first taste, she pursued learning for the next decade. She received a BA from Brigham Young University in 2008 and was subsequently awarded a Gates Cambridge Scholarship. She earned an MPhil from Trinity College, Cambridge in 2009, and in 2010 was a visiting fellow at Harvard University. She returned to Cambridge, where she was awarded a PhD in history in 2014.
One Night, Markovitch (2012) by Ayelet Gundar-Goshen
Set in the years before the birth of Israel, during the British Mandate for Palestine and Nazi rule in Europe, the novel wears its period lightly. Eternal themes of love and longing, sex and marriage take priority. This is story-telling that feels instinctive, chasing characters into extreme situations. Reversals of fortune and the literary equivalent of handbrake turns follow one another furiously. Characters suffer and prosper in love, living, dying, hoping, despairing. Men and women smash together, scorching each other, sometimes fatally, with the intensity of their desires. Gundar-Goshen exerts reassuring control over her narrative, though, and confidently molds symmetries from it that are both moving and satisfying.
A Woman is No Man (2019) by Etaf Rum
Three generations of Palestinian-American women living in Brooklyn are torn between individual desire and strict mores of Arab culture in this powerful novel – a heart wrenching story of love, intrigue, courage and betrayal that will resonate with women from all backgrounds, giving voice to the silenced and to the oppressed.
The Alice Network (2017) by Kate Quinn
A female spy recruited to the real-life Alice Network in France during World War I and an unconventional American socialite searching for her cousin in 1947—are brought together in a mesmerizing story of courage and redemption.
1947. In the chaotic aftermath of World War II, American college girl Charlie St. Clair is pregnant, unmarried, and on the verge of being thrown out of her very proper family. She's also nursing a desperate hope that her beloved cousin Rose, who disappeared in Nazi-occupied France during the war, might still be alive. So when Charlie's parents banish her to Europe to have her "little problem" taken care of, Charlie breaks free and heads to London, determined to find out what happened to the cousin she loves like a sister.
1915. A year into the Great War, Eve Gardiner burns to join the fight against the Germans and unexpectedly gets her chance when she's recruited to work as a spy. Sent into enemy-occupied France, she's trained by the mesmerizing Lili, the "Queen of Spies", who manages a vast network of secret agents right under the enemy's nose.
Thirty years later, haunted by the betrayal that ultimately tore apart the Alice Network, Eve spends her days drunk and secluded in her crumbling London house. Until a young American barges in uttering a name Eve hasn't heard in decades, and launches them both on a mission to find the truth...no matter where it leads.
Where the Crawdads Sing (2018) by Delia Owens
For years, rumors of the “Marsh Girl” have haunted Barkley Cove, a quiet town on the North Carolina coast. So in late 1969, when handsome Chase Andrews is found dead, the locals immediately suspect Kya Clark, the so-called Marsh Girl. But Kya is not what they say. Sensitive and intelligent, she has survived for years alone in the marsh that she calls home, finding friends in the gulls and lessons in the sand. Then the time comes when she yearns to be touched and loved. When two young men from town become intrigued by her wild beauty, Kya opens herself to a new life–until the unthinkable happens.
The Collaborator of Bethlehem (2007) by Matt Rees
A really wonderful mystery where the reader also gains fascinating and tremendous insight into the internal situation of Palestinians in the West Bank. The author was the Jerusalem bureau chief for Time Magazine for 20 years and draws on his vast experience and knowledge. One of our members knows the author who may be able to “Skype” with the Club.
The Water Dancer (2019) by Ta-Nehisi Coates
Young Hiram Walker was born into bondage. When his mother was sold away, Hiram was robbed of all memory of her—but was gifted with a mysterious power. Years later, when Hiram almost drowns in a river, that same power saves his life. This brush with death births an urgency in Hiram and a daring scheme: to escape from the only home he’s ever known.
So begins an unexpected journey that takes Hiram from the corrupt grandeur of Virginia’s proud plantations to desperate guerrilla cells in the wilderness, from the coffin of the deep South to dangerously utopic movements in the North. Even as he’s enlisted in the underground war between slavers and the enslaved, Hiram’s resolve to rescue the family he left behind endures.
The Silent Patient (2019) by Alex Michaelides
Alicia Berenson’s life is seemingly perfect. A famous painter married to an in-demand fashion photographer, she lives in a grand house with big windows overlooking a park in one of London’s most desirable areas. One evening her husband Gabriel returns home late from a fashion shoot, and Alicia shoots him five times in the face, and then never speaks another word.