CJE's Virtual Book Club

Join us for our next CJE Virtual Book Club discussion!

 Book Club is going to take a Summer break and will return in September.


Check out even more reading recommendations from CJE staff and friends:

 

Book Title: Colson Whitehead
Book Author: The Underground Railroad

The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead

Cora is a young slave on a cotton plantation in Georgia. An outcast even among her fellow Africans, she is on the cusp of womanhood--where greater pain awaits. And so when Caesar, a slave who has recently arrived from Virginia, urges her to join him on the Underground Railroad, she seizes the opportunity and escapes with him. In Colson Whitehead's ingenious conception, the Underground Railroad is no mere metaphor: engineers and conductors operate a secret network of actual tracks and tunnels beneath the Southern soil. Cora embarks on a harrowing flight from one state to the next, encountering, like Gulliver, strange yet familiar iterations of her own world at each stop.

This book can be bought on Amazon and Barnes and Noble. You can also purchase the book directly through your favorite independent bookstore (check for curbside pickup options) or purchase online at Bookshop.org, an online bookshop that financially supports independent bookshops locally and nationwide. It can also be borrowed from the Chicago Public Library.

 

Book Title: The Henna Artist
Book Author: Alka Joshi

The Henna Artist by Alka Joshi

Escaping from an abusive marriage, seventeen-year-old Lakshmi makes her way alone to the vibrant 1950s pink city of Jaipur. There she becomes the most highly requested henna artist-and confidante-to the wealthy women of the upper class. But trusted with the secrets of the wealthy, she can never reveal her own. Known for her original designs and sage advice, Lakshmi must tread carefully to avoid the jealous gossips who could ruin her reputation and her livelihood. As she pursues her dream of an independent life, she is startled one day when she is confronted by her husband, who has tracked her down.

This book can be bought on Amazon and Barnes and Noble. You can also purchase the book directly through your favorite independent bookstore (check for curbside pickup options) or purchase online at Bookshop.org, an online bookshop that financially supports independent bookshops locally and nationwide. It can also be borrowed from the Chicago Public Library.

 

Book Title: The Overstory
Book Author: Richard Powers

Overstory by Richard Powers

A sweeping, impassioned work of activism and resistance that is also a stunning evocation of the natural world. From the roots to the crown and back to the seeds, Richard Powers’ novel unfolds in concentric rings of interlocking fables from antebellum New York to the late twentieth-century Timber Wars of the Pacific Northwest and beyond. There is a world alongside ours—vast, slow, interconnected, resourceful, magnificently inventive, and almost invisible to us. This is the story of a handful of people who learn how to see that world and who are drawn up into its unfolding catastrophe.

This book can be bought on Amazon and Barnes and Noble. You can also purchase the book directly through your favorite independent bookstore (check for curbside pickup options) or purchase online at Bookshop.org, an online bookshop that financially supports independent bookshops locally and nationwide. It can also be borrowed from the Chicago Public Library.

 

Book Title: Infinite Country: A Novel
Book Author: Patricia Engel

Infinite Country: A Novel

Patricia Engel, a dual citizen and daughter of immigrants, gives voice to a family as they navigate the particulars of their circumstances. Talia must urgently get back home to Bogotá, where her father and a plane ticket to the United States are waiting for her. If she misses her flight, she might also miss her chance to finally be reunited with her family. How this family came to occupy two different countries, two different worlds, comes into focus like twists of a kaleidoscope. We see Talia’s parents fall in love against a backdrop of civil war and social unrest. We see them leave Bogotá with their firstborn in pursuit of safety and opportunity in the United States, and we see the births of two more children on American soil. Rich with Bogotá urban life, steeped in Andean myth, and tense with the daily reality of the undocumented in America, Infinite Country “is as much an all-American story as it is a global one”.

This book can be bought on Amazon and Barnes and Noble. You can also purchase the book directly through your favorite independent bookstore (check for curbside pickup options) or purchase online at Bookshop.org, an online bookshop that financially supports independent bookshops locally and nationwide. It can also be borrowed from the Chicago Public Library.

 

Book Title: Devil in the White City
Book Author: Erik Larson.

Devil in the White City by Erik Larson

Erik Larson tells the stories of two men: Daniel H. Burnham, the architect responsible for the 1893 Chicago World's Fair construction, and H.H. Holmes, a serial killer masquerading as a charming doctor. Burnham's challenge was immense. In a short period of time, he was forced to overcome the death of his partner and numerous other obstacles to construct the famous "White City".  The activities of the sinister Dr. Holmes, who is believed to be responsible for scores of murders around the time of the fair, are equally remarkable. He devised and erected the World's Fair Hotel, complete with crematorium and gas chamber, near the fairgrounds and used the event to lure victims.

This book can be bought on Amazon and Barnes and Noble. You can also purchase the book directly through your favorite independent bookstore (check for curbside pickup options) or purchase online at Bookshop.org, an online bookshop that financially supports independent bookshops locally and nationwide. It can also be borrowed from the Chicago Public Library.

 

Book Title: Outwitting History: The Amazing Adventures of a Man Who Rescued a Million Yiddish Books by Aaron .
Book Author: Aaron Lansky

Outwitting History: The Amazing Adventures of a Man Who Rescued a Million Yiddish Books

As a twenty-three-year-old graduate student, Aaron Lansky set out to save the world’s abandoned Yiddish books before it was too late. Today, more than a million books later, he has accomplished what has been called “the greatest cultural rescue effort in Jewish history.” In Outwitting History, Lansky shares his adventures as well as the poignant and often laugh-out-loud stories he heard as he traveled the country collecting books. Introducing us to a dazzling array of writers, he shows us how an almost-lost culture is the bridge between the old world and the future—and how the written word can unite everyone who believes in the power of great literature.

This book can be bought on Amazon and Barnes and Noble. You can also purchase the book directly through your favorite independent bookstore (check for curbside pickup options) or purchase online at Bookshop.org, an online bookshop that financially supports independent bookshops locally and nationwide. It can also be borrowed as a Chicago Public Library Ebook.

 

Euphoria by Lily King

Book Title: Euphoria
Book Author: Lily King

In 1933, three young, gifted anthropologists are thrown together in the jungle of New Guinea. They are Nell Stone, fascinating, magnetic, and famous for her controversial work studying South Pacific tribes her intelligent and aggressive husband Fen and Andrew Bankson, who stumbles into the lives of this strange couple and becomes totally enthralled. Within months, the trio are producing their best ever work, but soon a firestorm of fierce love and jealousy begins to burn out of control, threatening their bonds, their careers, and, ultimately, their lives...

This book can be bought on Amazon and Barnes and Noble. You can also purchase the book directly through your favorite independent bookstore (check for curbside pickup options) or purchase online at Bookshop.org, an online bookshop that financially supports independent bookshops locally and nationwide. It can also be borrowed as a Chicago Public Library Ebook  or as an Audiobook.

 

 

Book Title: Educated
Book Author: Tara Westover

Educated by Tara Westover

Born to survivalists in the mountains of Idaho, Tara Westover was seventeen the first time she set foot in a classroom. Her family was so isolated from mainstream society that there was no one to ensure the children received an education. When another brother got himself into college, Tara decided to try a new kind of life. Her quest for knowledge transformed her, taking her over oceans and across continents, to Harvard and Cambridge University. Only then would she wonder if she'd traveled too far, if there was still a way home.

This book can be bought on Amazon and Barnes and Noble. You can also purchase the book directly through your favorite independent bookstore (check for curbside pickup options) or purchase online at Bookshop.org, an online bookshop that financially supports independent bookshops locally and nationwide. It can also be borrowed as a Chicago Public Library Ebook  or as an Audiobook.

 

 

The Thing Around Your Neck by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

 

Book Title: The Thing Around Your Neck
Book Author: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

This collection of short stories explores two cultures and the deeply human struggle to reconcile them. Adichie turns her penetrating eye on not only Nigeria but America in twelve dazzling stories that explore the ties that bind men and women, parents and children, Africa and the United States. Stories for discussion: A Private Experience, The Thing Around your Neck, The American Embassy, The Headstrong Historian.

This book can be bought on Amazon and Barnes and Noble. You can also purchase the book directly through your favorite independent bookstore (check for curbside pickup options) or purchase online at Bookshop.org, an online bookshop that financially supports independent bookshops locally and nationwide. It can also be borrowed as a Chicago Public Library Ebook  or as an Audiobook.

 

 

Book Title: The Secret Diary of Hendrik Groen
Book Author: Hendrick Groen

The Secret Diary of Hendrik Groen by Hendrick Groen

Technically speaking, Hendrik is elderly but has no plans to go out quietly. Hendrik has decided to rebel - on his own terms. A funny and tender-hearted tale about friendship, love, and an old man young at heart.

This book can be bought on Amazon and Barnes and Noble. You can also purchase the book directly through your favorite independent bookstore (check for curbside pickup options) or purchase online at Bookshop.org, an online bookshop that financially supports independent bookshops locally and nationwide.

 

 

Book Title: The Man Called Ove
Book Author: Fredrick Backman

A Man Calle Ove by Fredrick Backman

At first sight, Ove is almost certainly the grumpiest man you will ever meet. But isn't it rare to find such unswerving conviction about what the world should be, and a lifelong dedication to making it just so? A funny, moving, uplifting tale of love and community that will leave you with a spring in your step.

This book can be bought on Amazon and Barnes and Noble. You can also purchase the book directly through your favorite independent bookstore (check for curbside pickup options) or purchase online at Bookshop.org, an online bookshop that financially supports independent bookshops locally and nationwide. It can also be borrowed as a Chicago Public Library Ebook here or as an Audiobook here. For those outside of the Chicago Public Library system, you can search for this Ebook at your local public library here or as an Audiobook here.

The Tunnel by A.B. Yehoshua

 

 

Book Title: The Tunnel
Book Author: A. B. Yehoshua

 

A suspenseful and poignant story of a family coping with the mental decline of their husband and father—an engineer who they discover is involved in an ominous secret military project.

This book can be bought on Amazon and Barnes and Noble. You can also purchase the book directly through your favorite independent bookstore (check for curbside pickup options) or purchase online at Bookshop.org, an online bookshop that financially supports independent bookshops locally and nationwide. It can also be borrowed as a Chicago Public Library Ebook here or as an Audiobook here. For those outside of the Chicago Public Library system, you can search for this Ebook at your local public library here or as an Audiobook here.

 

 

Book Club: Sisters In Law

Book Title: Sisters in Law
Book Author: Linda Hirshman.

Hirshman’s dual biography about two trailblazing Supreme Court Justices, Republican Sandra Day O’Connor and Democrat Ruth Bader Ginsburg, shows how both groundbreaking judges strengthened and supported each other, transforming American law and making our country a more equal place for all women.

This book can be bought on Amazon and Barnes and Noble. You can also purchase the book directly through your favorite independent bookstore (check for curbside pickup options) or purchase online at Bookshop.org, an online bookshop that financially supports independent bookshops locally and nationwide. It can also be borrowed as a Chicago Public Library Ebook here. For those outside of the Chicago Public Library system, you can search for this Ebook at your local public library here or as an Audiobook here.

 

 

Book Title:The Lady in Gold: The Extraordinary Tale of Gustav Klimt's Masterpiece, Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer
Book Author: Anne-Marie O'Connor.

The Lady in Gold: The Extraordinary Tale of Gustav Klimt's Masterpiece, Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer by Anne-Marie O'Connor

O’Connor thrillingly writes about the international dispute surrounding Gustav Klimt's 1907 masterpiece portrait of Viennese Jewish socialite, Adele Bloch-Bauer. Stolen by Nazis during World War II, the painting became the subject of a decade-long dispute between her heirs and the Austrian government.

This book can be bought on Amazon, Barnes and Noble. You can also purchase the book directly through your favorite independent bookstore (check for curbside pickup options) or purchase online at Bookshop.org, an online bookshop that financially supports independent bookshops locally and nationwide. It can also be borrowed as a Chicago Public Library Ebook here. For those outside of the Chicago Public Library system, you can search for this Ebook at your local public library here.

 

 

Book Title:The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek.
Book Author: Kim Michele Richardson’s

Kim Michele Richardson, The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek

Overview: Richardson’s book is about a young woman, Cussie Mary Carter, also named Bluet, who worked for the Pack Horse Library Project of Kentucky. Bluet spends her days delivering books to the poor and underserved community of Troublesome Creek, Kentucky in the 1930s. Richardson’s book is a powerful portrayal of how the written word can impact people’s lives.

This book can be bought on AmazonBarnes and Noble or through your favorite independent bookstore (check for curbside pickup options). It can also be borrowed as a Chicago Public Library Ebook here or borrowed as a Chicago Public Library Audiobook here. For those not in the Chicago Public Library system, you can search for this Ebook or Audiobook at your local public library here.

 

 

Book Title: Americanah
Book Author: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s.

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s, Americanah

Overview: Adichie tells an immigrant story through the eyes of two young Nigerians making their way in the U.S. and the UK. Ifemelu is a bright young woman who struggles to find success in America, but ultimately succeeds by embracing her own identity. Obinze, Ifemelu’s soft-spoken high school sweetheart, finds himself alone and afraid in the UK as an undocumented immigrant. After getting deported back to Nigeria, Obinze later finds wealth and success. The two reunite in Nigeria years later, both perceived by Nigerian society as Americanah – those who return from abroad to look down on their fellow countrymen.

This book can be bought on AmazonBarnes and Noble or through your favorite independent bookstore (check for curbside pickup options). It can also be borrowed as a Chicago Public Library Ebook here or borrowed as a Chicago Public Library Audiobook here. For those not in the Chicago Public Library system, you can search for this Ebook or Audiobook at your local public library here.

 

 

Book Title: In the Garden of the Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler's Berlin.
Book Author: Erik Larson

In the Garden of the BeastsIn the Garden of the Beasts
 

Overview: Larson thrillingly captures the story of William E. Dodd, America’s newly appointed ambassador to Germany right before World War II. Dodd wasn’t a diplomat or politician, but rather a college professor, devoted to the history of the American South. Despite his lack of political experience, Dodd arrived in Berlin during the summer of 1933 with his wife and grown children to navigate the dangerous waters between American Isolationism and the growing cries of our allies to join their fight against Hitler.

This book can be bought on AmazonBarnes and Noble or through your favorite independent bookstore (check for curbside pickup options). It can also be borrowed as a Chicago Public Library Ebook here or borrowed as a Chicago Public Library Audiobook here. For those not in the Chicago Public Library system, you can search for this Ebook or Audiobook at your local public library here.

 

700 Sundays

 

Book Title: 700 Sundays
Book Author: Billy Crystal
Publication date(s):2006
Overview: Growing up, Billy Crystal’s devoted father worked two jobs and only had Sundays to spend with his family. It’s a book that could be anyone’s family, any ethnic group. You will laugh as much as you cry. A very quick read. ENJOY!
Genre: Biography/Memoir
Recommended by: Susan Stouber, Community Member

 

The Last Year of the War

 

Book Title: The Last Year of the War
Book Author: Susan Meissner
Publication date(s):2019
Overview: After her father is accused of being a Nazi sympathizer in 1943, Elise Sontag’s normal Iowa teenage existence comes to an end when her German-American family is placed in a Texas internment camp. We follow Elise as she and her family are caught up in the paranoia and politics of World War II and forced to embark upon a course of events beyond their control.
Genre: Historical Fiction
Recommended by: Susanna Ehrmann, Community Member

 

Inheritance: A Memoir of Genealogy, Paternity, and Love

 

Book Title: Inheritance: A Memoir of Genealogy, Paternity, and Love
Book Author: Dani Shapiro
Publication date(s):2019
Overview: After submitting her DNA to a genealogy website, Dani Shapiro receives shocking news about her paternity. Her memoir charts her journey through self-discovery, the true meaning of family, and the secrets we are willing to keep to prevent hurting those we love.
Genre: Biography/Memoir
Recommended by: Barbara Milsk, Volunteer Services Program Manager
 

 

Uncanny Valley: A Memoir

Book Title: Uncanny Valley: A Memoir
Book Author: Anna Wiener
Publication date(s):January 2020
Overview: A New York Times Bestselling coming-of-age memoir about the early years of the Silicon Valley tech start-up boom.
Genre: Biography/Memoir
Recommended by: Victoria Chudy, IT Department

 

The Overstory

 

Book Title: The Overstory
Book Author: Richard Powers
Publication date(s):2018, 2019
Overview: This novel explores why people believe what they believe and what sacrifices they're willing to make to fight for what they think is right. They are several main characters all tied together by trees. The book explores environmental justice themes over several decades.
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Recommended by: Christie Norrick, LSRI Project Manager

 

Mans Search for Meaning

 

Book Title: Man’s Search for Meaning
Book Author: Viktor E. Frankl
Publication date(s): 1959, 1962,1984, 1992,2006
Overview: Dr. Frankl describes his experiences  in 4 Nazi death camps and the lessons he learned for spiritual survival. Frankl argues that we cannot avoid suffering but we can choose how to cope with it, find meaning in it, and move forward with renewed purpose. This book continues to inspire us all to find significance in the very act of living.
Genre: Non-Fiction, Biography/Memoir
Recommended by: David Rosenblatt, Social Worker, CJE Counseling

The Giver of Stars

 

 

Book Title: The Giver of Stars
Book Author: Jojo Moyes
Overview: This book is a wonderful historic and fictional account of “packhorse librarians” (started as part of Eleanor Roosevelt’s traveling library idea) in rural Kentucky.  It takes place during the depression, and develops characters worth caring about facing cultural expectations of class, gender, and marriage, etc.).
Genre: Historical Fiction
Recommended by: Marla Goldberg, Volunteer Services Coordinator

 


CJE Virtual Book Club Intro with Sharon and Oreo

Are you a fan of historical fiction, science fiction, fantasy, mystery, or horror stories? Do you prefer non-fiction, short stories, or poetry? Share your favorite reads with CJE SeniorLife's Virtual Book Club! Each month, we'll choose a 'Book Club Pick of the Month' and host a virtual book discussion for that month’s selection.

 

CJE Virtual Book Club Discussion - Inheritance by Dani Shapiro

Our first CJE Virtual Book Club discussion will be about the book Inheritance: A Memoir of Genealogy, Paternity, and Love by Dani Shapiro. This discussion will be led by book enthusiast and volunteer Renee Hochberg! We'll meet virtually via Zoom on Thursday, June 18 from 11 am to 12 pm. More details on how to join CJE's Virtual Book Club discussions and find other recommended books from the community can be found at www.cje.net/CJEVirtualBookClub. Share your favorite reads with CJE SeniorLife's Virtual Book Club! Each month, we'll choose a 'Book Club Pick of the Month' and host a virtual book discussion for that month’s selection. Send your recommended books (titles and a sentence or two about why they're your top picks) to CJE Program Support Specialist Sharon Shapiro at sharon.shapiro@cje.net.

 

Shakespeare 101 Series - Part 1

Take this four-part beginners' course in Shakespeare with CJE Community Engagement Program Coordinator, Casey Shipman. This video in an introduction in to Shakespeare's life, his works, and English theatre at the time.

 

How to Borrow Free eBooks and Audiobooks from the Library

This video will walk you through how to sign up for OverDrive, a free eBook and audiobook service you can access through the Libby App on your smartphone or tablet or directly on your computer web browser. You'll be reading or listening to free eBooks or audiobooks in no time!

 

 

14 amazing travel memoirs to read when you're stuck at home

Listen to full-length classic audiobooks. Riveting reads include The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, Pride and Prejudice, Treasure Island and many more.