Large Enough to Serve You
Small Enough to Know You

Sisterhood Book Club 2016–2017

Our book discussion group has been going on “forever.” We meet in member homes on the third Wednesday of every-other month (must RSVP for location) for lively book discussions.

For questions

Contact Carol Rothschild at bookclub@congregationbethtorah.org.

Coming up…

September 20, 7:30 PM
SparePartsThe Richardson Reads One Book pick for 2016 is Spare Parts by Joshua Davis
Free lecture and book signing with author
Richardson High School auditorium (click for map)

Our book club will be attending this event as a group, arriving at 6:30 PM (doors open at 6:45 PM). If you plan to attend with us, please RSVP by August 26 so that we can order a ticket for you.

In 2004, four Latino teenagers arrived at the Marine Advanced Technology Education Robotics Competition at the University of California, Santa Barbara. They were born in Mexico but raised in Phoenix, Arizona, where they attended an underfunded public high school. No one had ever suggested to Oscar, Cristian, Luis, or Lorenzo that they might amount to much, but two inspiring science teachers had convinced these impoverished, undocumented kids from the desert who had never even seen the ocean that they should try to build an underwater robot.

And build a robot they did. Their robot wasn’t pretty, especially compared to those of the competition. They were going up against some of the best collegiate engineers in the country, including a team from MIT backed by a $10,000 grant from ExxonMobil. The Phoenix teenagers had scraped together less than $1,000 and built their robot out of scavenged parts. This was never a level competition yet, against all odds…they won!

But this is just the beginning for these four, whose story became a key inspiration to the DREAMers movement. Joshua Davis’s Spare Parts is a story about overcoming insurmountable odds and four young men who proved they were among the most patriotic and talented Americans in this country.

 

October 13

Anna and
Tycher Library Reads at the JCC
Anna and the Swallow Man by Gavriel Savit

Plan on meeting up for dinner at Cindi’s at 5:30 PM and attending the author’s discussion as a group. If you plan to attend, please let Carol Rothschild know by October 7 so that a reservation can be made for you.

Kraków, 1939, is no place to grow up. There are a million marching soldiers and a thousand barking dogs. And Anna Lania is just seven years old when the Germans take her father and suddenly, she’s alone.

Then she meets the Swallow Man. He is a mystery, strange and tall. And like Anna’s missing father, he has a gift for languages: Polish, Russian, German, Yiddish, even Bird. When he summons a bright, beautiful swallow down to his hand to stop her from crying, Anna is entranced.

Over the course of their travels together, Anna and the Swallow Man will dodge bombs, tame soldiers, and even, despite their better judgement, make a friend. But in a world gone mad, everything can prove dangerous…

January 18

Snow in August
Snow in August by Pete Hamil

Brooklyn, 1947. The war veterans have come home. Jackie Robinson is about to become a Dodger. And in one close-knit working-class neighborhood, an eleven-year-old Irish Catholic boy named Michael Devlin has just made friends with a lonely rabbi from Prague.

Snow in August is the story of that unlikely friendship – and of how the neighborhood reacts to it. For Michael, the rabbi opens a window to ancient learning and lore that rival anything in Captain Marvel. For the rabbi, Michael illuminates the everyday mysteries of America, including the strange language of baseball. But like their hero Jackie Robinson, neither can entirely escape from the swirling prejudices of the time. Terrorized by a local gang of anti-Semitic Irish toughs, Michael and the rabbi are caught in an escalating spiral of hate for which there’s only one way out – a miracle…

March 15

Ice Cream Queen
The Ice Cream Queen of Orchard Street by Susan Jane Gilman

As a child in 1913, Malka Treynovsky flees Russia for New York with her family – only to be crippled and abandoned in the streets. Taken in by a tough-loving Italian ices peddler, Malka survives. When she falls in love with Albert, they set off together across America in an ice cream truck to seek their fortune; slowly, she transforms herself into Lillian Dunkle, “The Ice Cream Queen of America” – doyenne of an empire of ice cream franchises and a celebrated television personality.

Spanning 70 years, Lillian’s rise – fraught with setbacks, triumphs, and tragedies – is inextricably linked to the course of American history itself, from Prohibition to the disco days of Studio 54. And when her past starts catching up with her, her world implodes spectacularly.

May 17

Marriage of Opp
The Marriage of Opposites by Alice Hoffman

A forbidden love story set on the tropical island of St. Thomas about the extraordinary woman who gave birth to painter Camille Pissarro—the Father of Impressionism.

Growing up on idyllic St. Thomas in the early 1800s, Rachel dreams of life in faraway Paris. Rachel’s mother, a pillar of their small refugee community of Jews who escaped the Inquisition, has never forgiven her daughter for being a difficult girl who refuses to live by the rules. Growing up, Rachel’s salvation is their maid Adelle’s belief in her strengths, and her deep, life-long friendship with Jestine, Adelle’s daughter. But Rachel’s life is not her own. She is married off to a widower with three children to save her father’s business. When her husband dies suddenly and his handsome, much younger nephew, Frédérick, arrives from France to settle the estate, Rachel seizes her own life story, beginning a defiant, passionate love affair that sparks a scandal that affects all of her family, including her favorite son, who will become one of the greatest artists of France.

July 19

Secret Chord
The Secret Chord by Geraldine Brooks

“A page turner. . .Brooks is a master at bringing the past alive. . .in her skillful hands the issues of the past echo our own deepest concerns: love and loss, drama and tragedy, chaos and brutality.” – Alice Hoffman, The Washington Post

A rich and utterly absorbing novel about the life of King David, from the Pulitzer Prize–winning author of People of the Book and March.

With more than two million copies of her novels sold, New York Times bestselling author Geraldine Brooks has achieved both popular and critical acclaim. Now, Brooks takes on one of literature’s richest and most enigmatic figures: a man who shimmers between history and legend. Peeling away the myth to bring David to life in Second Iron Age Israel, Brooks traces the arc of his journey from obscurity to fame, from shepherd to soldier, from hero to traitor, from beloved king to murderous despot and into his remorseful and diminished dotage.

The Secret Chord provides new context for some of the best-known episodes of David’s life while also focusing on others, even more remarkable and emotionally intense, that have been neglected. We see David through the eyes of those who love him or fear him—from the prophet Natan, voice of his conscience, to his wives Mikal, Avigail, and Batsheva, and finally to Solomon, the late-born son who redeems his Lear-like old age. Brooks has an uncanny ability to hear and transform characters from history, and this beautifully written, unvarnished saga of faith, desire, family, ambition, betrayal, and power will enthrall her many fans.