Book Selections for Fall and Winter 2017-18
Meeting the second Monday of each month, contact Molly Lindner (email@example.com) or Pat McCune (firstname.lastname@example.org) to let them know you are interested in being part of this group.
Monday, September 11, 2017
In 1799, Jacob de Zoet disembarks on the tiny island of Dejima, the Dutch East India Company’s remotest trading post in a Japan otherwise closed to the outside world. Jacob is intrigued by a female midwife who studies with the physician on the island where all foreigners live. This book concerns the carefully controlled exchange of ideas between Japan and the western traders during the 18th century and reveals the Japanese woman’s medical knowledge that causes her abduction by a Japanese monk to a horrendous and secret place. The
length of this book makes it ideal to spread over two months, and we will read it in September.
Monday, October 9, 2017
Sharan Newman, To Wear the White Cloak. 2003. Seventh book in Newman’s Catherone LeVendeur series about Catholics and Jews in 12th century
France. Historical/Detective fiction is the genre.
Recommended by Stephanie Newell. Goodreads rating 3.84.
Friday, October 27 and Saturday, Oct 28th– both at TBE
WTBE is hosting Maggie Anton at TBE, Friday night and Saturday, for talks and book signings. We are planning on a dinner for Friday night. Sign up at tbesisterhood.org/whats-happening/programms/maggie-anton-at-tbe-oct-2728-2017/.
Monday, November 13, 2017.
Pope, Dudley, Ramage & the Saracens (Lord Ramage #17)
Barbary Coast pirates—the Saraceni—are capturing slaves and terrorizing fishing villages along the coast of Sicily. Ramage and his crew are sent to track them down before they can devastate another town. I recommend this book for anyone familiar with the famous Abrey-Matchuran series written by Patrick O’Brian. The Nicholas Ramage series follows the exploits of Lord Nicholas Ramage during the Napoleonic Wars. Genre: historical drama. Goodreads rating 4.12.
Monday, December 11, 2017
Sundaresan, Indu, The Twentieth Wife, 2006. (The Taj Mahal Trilogy, book 1). An enchanting sixteenth-century epic of grand passion and adventure, this debut novel tells the captivating story of one of India’s most legendary and controversial empresses – a woman whose brilliance and determination trumped myriad obstacles, and whose love shaped the course of the Mughal empire.—I chose this book because it takes us to India around the time of Henry VIII and Elizabeth I of England. Goodreads rating 4.03.
Monday, January 8, 2018
Cassell, Leila, Girl in the Hat Shop, Silverwood books, 2016. The year is 1940. Fay is a salesgirl in a Mayfair hat shop. But Fay is no ordinary girl. She sees things before they happen and, forbidden by her mother to speak about the visions that have clouded her life since she was a child, she has learnt to stay silent. Now, with the threat of invasion on everyone’s mind, she must speak up, and in a climate of prejudice and suspicion…Reviewed favorably by Rachel Urist in Washtenaw Jewish News, July-August 2017. Goodreads rating 4.33.
Monday, February 12, 2018
Gulland, Sandra, The Many Lives & Secret Sorrows of Josephine B., Scribner & Sons, 1995
I highly recommend this book because Josephine Tascher’s story prior to meeting Napoleon Bonaparte is as interesting as her later career as Empress of France. Her Creole parentage and upbringing in the French Martinique where her family owns slaves and a plantation set the stage for Josephine’s exotic debut in France. Her life there a cliffhanger all the way, not least because of her experiences during the Revolution and the long aftermath of poverty and treachery among the factions vying for control of the country. The second and third volumes in her fictionalized biography take Josephine through the end of her life.
Winspear, Jacqueline, A Dangerous Place, A Maisie Dobbs Novel.
Anyone who knows this series loves the main character. I love the writing style. Having sought refuge on Gibralter, while Germany is
arming for its invasion of France, Maisie Dobbs is grieving the death of her husband and the subsequent loss of their child in a miscarriage. I have rarely read such a moving description of a woman’s sorrow and her efforts to put one foot in front of the other. Maisie
becomes draw into the small community of Sepharic Jews on Gibralter, one of whom is murdered and uses her detective skills to search for the murderer.
Rhys, Jean, The Wide Sargasso Sea, first published 1966; reissued by Norton Critical Editions, 2016. A colleague of mine at Kent State University, Stark told me to read this book in order to understand the Afro-Caribbean world. Rhys tells the story of the insane and depraved Creole woman in Jane Eyre, Bertha Mason, who Mr. Rochester keeps hidden in his mansion. A new introduction by the award-winning Edwidge Danticat, author most recently of Claire of the Sea Light, expresses the enduring importance of this work. Drawing on her own
Caribbean background, she illuminates the setting’s impact on Rhys and her astonishing work.