Every Third Tuesday at 6 pm AZ Time
2023-24 Book Selections
December 19, 2023
Finding Chika: a little girl, an earthquake, and the making of a family by Mitch Albom. Memoir, 235 pages.
Chika Jeune's life began just days before the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, marked by extreme poverty and tragedy. Mitch Albom and his wife, Janine, who operate the Have Faith Haiti Orphanage, embraced her as part of their family when her mother passed away during childbirth. Chika's diagnosis of a medical condition with no local solution led to her becoming a permanent part of the Alboms' lives, as they embarked on a two-year global journey to find a cure. Through it all, Chika's optimism and humor showed Mitch the enduring strength of love in their unbreakable bond. Led by Jeanne Paige
January 16, 2024
The Forest of Vanishing Stars by Kristin Harmel. Fiction, 376 pages.
After being stolen from her wealthy German parents and raised in the unforgiving wilderness of eastern Europe, a young woman finds herself alone in 1942. Her solitary existence is interrupted, however, when she stumbles upon a group of Jewish refugees fleeing the Nazi terror. She then uses her knowledge of the wilderness to help refugees escape the Nazis-until a secret from her past threatens everything. Led by Susan Mitchler
February 20, 2024
Horse by Geraldine Brooks. Historical Fiction, 416 pages.
In 1850 Kentucky, an enslaved groom named Jarret forms a deep bond with a bay foal, leading the horse to remarkable victories in the South. During the Civil War, a young artist known for his racehorse paintings joins the Union army, eventually reuniting with the stallion and Jarret, far from the racetracks' glamour. In 1954 New York City, gallery owner Martha Jackson becomes obsessed with a mysterious nineteenth-century equestrian oil painting. Fast forward to 2019 in Washington DC, where Australian scientist Jess and Nigerian-American art historian Theo discover an unexpected connection through their shared interest in the horse. Jess studies the stallion's bones for clues to his abilities, while Theo uncovers the forgotten history of the Black horsemen crucial to his racing success.
Led by Mary Lofgren
March 19, 2024
The Book Woman's Daughter by Kim Richardson. Fiction, 331 pages.
In the rugged Kentucky mountains, Honey Lovett, daughter of the famous Troublesome Creek packhorse librarian, has always known that clinging to the old ways can complicate life further. When her parents are imprisoned, Honey takes up her mother's packhorse library route, determined to prove her independence in the remote Appalachian hollers. Along the treacherous journey, she encounters resistance but also discovers the extraordinary strength of the women who shape their world and realizes that books can bring freedom to those who need it most. Led by Susan Mitchler
April 16, 2024
The Wind Knows My Name by Isabel Allende. Historical Fiction, 273 pages.
In Vienna, 1938, five-year-old Samuel Adler's father disappears during Kristallnacht, and his mother sends him on a Kindertransport train to England, carrying just a change of clothes and his violin. In Arizona, 2019, Anita Diaz and her mother escape danger in El Salvador to reach the United States, only for Anita to be separated from her mother due to the family separation policy. She finds solace in a magical world of imagination while social worker Slena Duran and a lawyer work to reunite Anita with her mother. "The Wind Knows My Name" weaves together their past and present, a story of family, home, sacrifice, and the enduring dreams of resilient children. Led by Susan Gilfeather
May 21, 2024
The Girls by Lori Lansens. Fiction, 346 pages.
Born during a ferocious tornado in 1974, sisters Rose and Ruby Darlen have been extraordinary from the start. And they’re closer than most sisters, having spent 29 years joined at the head and sharing a web of essential veins. Just as the girls are on the verge of becoming the oldest surviving craniopagus twins in history, the question of whether they live to celebrate their 30th birthday suddenly becomes impossible to answer. Rose and Ruby set out to write their shared story, comprised of two distinctly different autobiographies, with just one rule: neither is allowed to see what the other has written. Through the sisters' incredible bond, both physical and emotional, the girls reveal a moving, funny and delightful story of family, connection, and a search for the truth of who we are. Led by Nancy Goddard
June 18, 2024
Mountains Beyond Mountains by Tracy Kidder. Nonfiction, 301 pages.
In medical school, Paul Farmer found his life’s calling to cure infectious diseases and to bring the lifesaving tools of modern medicine to those who need them most. Tracy Kidders’ magnificent account shows how one person can make a difference in solving global health problems through a clear-eyed understanding of the interaction of politics, wealth, social systems, and disease. Profound and powerful, Mountains Beyond Mountains takes us from Harvard to Haiti, Peru, Cuba, and Russia as Farmer changes people’s minds through his dedication to the philosophy that “the only real nation is humanity.” Led by Margot Richardson-Corlett
July 16, 2024
The Secret Book of Flora Lea by Patti Henry. Fiction, 346 pages. When a woman stumbles across a mysterious children's book, long held secrets about her missing sister and their childhood spent in the English countryside during World War II are revealed. (There is a wonderful twist at the very end of this story.) Led by Susan Mitchler