bookFebruary 18 book club via Zoom

The Meyersville Church Book Club will meet on Tuesday, February 18 as a Zoom meeting again. If you are not on the book club email list, please leave a message at the church and you will be included in the Zoom meeting. We will be discussing Nothing to See Here by Kevin Wilson. Since libraries are closed, please find the book on library audio or text download, Kindle, or buy it (perhaps used) on Amazon.

Nothing to See Here,  by Kevin Wilson

Nothing to See Here

From a Goodreads review of the book:
“Lillian and Madison were unlikely roommates and yet inseparable friends at their elite boarding school. But then Lillian had to leave the school unexpectedly in the wake of a scandal and they’ve barely spoken since. Then Lillian gets a letter from Madison pleading for her help.

Madison’s twin stepkids are moving in with her family and she wants Lillian to be their caretaker. However, there’s a catch: the twins spontaneously combust when they get agitated, flames igniting from their skin in a startling but beautiful way. Lillian is convinced Madison is pulling her leg, but it’s the truth.

Over the course of one humid, demanding summer, Lillian and the twins learn to trust each other - and stay cool - while also staying out of the way of Madison’s buttoned-up politician husband. Surprised by her own ingenuity yet unused to the intense feelings of protectiveness she feels for them, Lillian ultimately begins to accept that she needs these strange children as much as they need her - urgently and fiercely. Couldn’t this be the start of the amazing life she’d always hoped for?

With white-hot wit and a big, tender heart, Kevin Wilson has written a most unusual story of parental love.”

And from the NPR review,
“But it's the sweetness of this novel that will melt you, even when it ventures dangerously close to flaming schmaltz, and despite its somewhat predictable (but still satisfying) ending. Lillian, hoping to "hypnotize them with my own weirdness," blindly feels her way. As she wins her charges' trust with her unruffled dependability, she finds herself feeling things and opening up in ways she hadn't expected. When she teaches them to dribble and shoot baskets on Madison's private court, she writes, "I felt like a coach in an inspirational movie," and it occurs to her, "Maybe raising children was just giving them the things you loved most in the world and hoping that they loved them, too."

One of the points he makes in this new charmer is that, actually, most parents are outlandish — and when you think about it, none are perfect. Parenting is challenging and inexact and involves plenty of mess-ups and missed shots. But steady, unwavering love — well, that's a slam dunk.”

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book14 July book club via Zoom

The Meyersville Church Book Club will meet on Tuesday, July 14 as a Zoom meeting again. If you are not on the book club email list, please leave a message at the church and you will be included in the Zoom meeting. We will be discussing Educated by Tara Westover. Since libraries are closed, please find the book on library audio or text download, Kindle, or buy it (perhaps used) on Amazon.

From the NY Times review of the book:

Educated, A Memoir by Tara Westover
335 pp. Random House

Educated 223x300America has struggled with the urban-rural divide for centuries, stretching all the way back to when Manhattan’s own Alexander Hamilton fixed his sights on backwoods whiskey distilleries as a revenue source for the new Republic, prompting rebellion. But one could make the case that the divide has never consumed us as much as it does today. The political parties are aligned more than ever around blue metropolises and red spaces in between. Economic growth is now so glaringly concentrated in certain urban areas that it has reignited the age-old debate over staying vs. going. Should the young and ambitious from struggling small towns and cities be encouraged to seek their fortune in the hotbeds of dynamism and overpriced Sunday brunch, or does this only sunder family ties and hasten the collapse of the interior?

It was this dilemma that helped make J.D. Vance’s “Hillbilly Elegy” a runaway best seller in 2016 — the tale of a young man who’d overcome the dysfunctions of his transplanted Appalachian family to ascend to the Ivy League and Silicon Valley, with plenty of culture shocks along the way. Yet Tara Westover’s new tale of escape, “Educated,” makes Vance’s seem tame by comparison. Where Vance wrote affectingly of showing up at Ohio State and Yale Law with the limited preparation provided by his middling schools in Middletown, Ohio, Westover describes showing up in college with no schooling at all. Where Vance describes a family contending with the all-too-common burdens of substance abuse, Westover lays bare a family cursed by ideological mania and outlandish physical trauma. If Vance’s memoir offered street-heroin-grade drama, Westover’s is carfentanil, the stuff that tranquilizes elephants.

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