Books ‘n Bites

Join us each month for a fun and lively book club experience!

If you like to exercise your physical as well as your literary muscles, the Walking Book Club explores the trails of Vail and the themes of the book of the month.  Every second Friday of the month. When the snow starts to fall, the Walking Book Club transforms into Skiing Book Club, with members meeting to discuss the book and then take to the slopes!

If you’d rather enjoy the beauty of nature through a window, and join in a discussion of the book of the month over light refreshments, please join us for Books ‘n’ Bites.  Once a month this group meets in the Community Room to share conversation and sample foods inspired by the book of the month.


Titles for the 2019 year

November 2019: “My Ántonia” by Willa Cather

Celebrating 100 Years

2018 marks the one hundredth anniversary of the publication of Willa Cather’s My Ántonia, which depicts life on the rural farms of Nebraska in the late 1800s. The story is narrated by Jim Burden, who moves from Virginia to Nebraska as a boy to live with his grandparents. On the way, he meets the Shimerda family, also on their way to Nebraska. The Shimerdas, including their daughter Ántonia, come to the United States from Bohemia (present-day Czech Republic). Jim strikes up a friendship with Ántonia and begins teaching her and her younger sister English.  Together they face the struggles of adjusting to an unforgiving environment, an experience drawn from Cather’s own life.


October 2019: “Zorro: A Novel” by Isabel Allende

A swashbuckling adventure story that reveals for the first time how Diego de la Vega became the masked man we all know so well.
Born in southern California late in the 18th century, he is a child of two worlds. Diego de la Vega’s father is an aristocratic Spanish military man turned landowner;his mother, a Shoshone warrior. Diego learns from his maternal grandmother the ways of her tribe while receiving from his father lessons in the art of fencing. It is here, during Diego’s childhood, that he witnesses the brutal injustices dealt Native Americans and first feels the inner conflict of his heritage.
Sent to Barcelona for a European education, Diego joins “La Justicia,” a secret underground resistance movement devoted to helping the powerless and the poor.
Between California and Barcelona, the persona of Zorro is formed, a great hero is born and the legend begins. After many adventures, Diego de la Vega, a.k.a. Zorro, returns to America to reclaim the hacienda on which he was raised and to seek justice for all who cannot fight for it themselves.Performed by Blair Brown.


Titles for the 2020 year

January 2020: “Girl with a Pearl Earring” by Tracy Chevalier

In seventeenth-century Delft, there’s a strict social order -rich and poor, Catholic and Protestant, master and servant -and all know their place. When Griet becomes a maid in the household of the painter Johannes Vermeer, she thinks she knows her role: housework, laundry, and the care of his six children. She even feels able to handle his shrewd mother-in-law; his restless, sensual wife; and their jealous servant. What no one expects is that Griet’s quiet manner, quick perceptions, and fascination with her master’s paintings will draw her inexorably into his world. Their growing intimacy sparks whispers; and when Vermeer paints her wearing his wife’s pearl earrings, the gossip escalates into a full-blown scandal that irrevocably changes Griet’s life.Written with the precision and focus of an Old Master painting, Girl With a Pearl Earring is a vivid portrait of colorful seventeenth-century Delft, as well as the hauntingly poignant story of one young girl’s rite of passage.

February 2020: “The secret life of bees: a novel” by Sue Monk Kidd

Set in South Carolina in 1964, The Secret Life of Bees tells the story of Lily Owens, whose life has been shaped around the blurred memory of the afternoon her mother was killed. When Lily’s fierce-hearted black “stand-in mother,” Rosaleen, insults three of the deepest racists in town, Lily decides to spring them both free. They escape to Tiburon, South Carolina–a town that holds the secret to her mother’s past. Taken in by an eccentric trio of black beekeeping sisters, Lily is introduced to their mesmerizing world of bees and honey, and the Black Madonna. This is a remarkable novel about divine female power, a story women will share and pass on to their daughters for years to come.

March 2020: “Flight of dreams: A Novel” by Ariel Lawhon

On the evening of May 3rd, 1937, ninety-seven people board the Hindenburg for its final, doomed flight to Lakehurst, New Jersey. Among them are a frightened stewardess who is not what she seems; the steadfast navigator determined to win her heart; a naive cabin boy eager to earn a permanent spot on the world’s largest airship; an impetuous journalist who has been blacklisted in her native Germany; and an enigmatic American businessman with a score to settle. Over the course of three hazy, champagne-soaked days their lies, fears, agendas, and hopes for the future are revealed.
Flight of Dreams is a fiercely intimate portrait of the real people on board the last flight of the Hindenburg. Behind them is the gathering storm in Europe and before them is looming disaster. But for the moment they float over the Atlantic, unaware of the inexorable, tragic fate that awaits them.

April 2020:  “The last midwife: A Novel” by Sandra Dallas

It is 1880 and Gracy Brookens is the only midwife in a small Colorado mining town where she has delivered hundreds, maybe thousands, of babies in her lifetime. The women of Swandyke trust and depend on Gracy, and most couldn’t imagine getting through pregnancy and labor without her by their sides.
But everything changes when a baby is found dead…and the evidence points to Gracy as the murderer.
She didn’t commit the crime, but clearing her name isn’t so easy when her innocence is not quite as simple, either. She knows things, and that’s dangerous. Invited into her neighbors’ homes during their most intimate and vulnerable times, she can’t help what she sees and hears. A woman sometimes says things in the birthing bed, when life and death seem suspended within the same moment. Gracy has always tucked those revelations away, even the confessions that have cast shadows on her heart.
With her friends taking sides and a trial looming, Gracy must decide whether it’s worth risking everything to prove her innocence. And she knows that her years of discretion may simply demand too high a price now…especially since she’s been keeping more than a few dark secrets of her own.

May 2020: “A Tree Grows in Brooklyn”

The beloved American classic about a young girl’s coming-of-age at the turn of the century, Betty Smith’s A Tree Grows in Brooklyn is a poignant and moving tale filled with compassion and cruelty, laughter and heartache, crowded with life and people and incident. The story of young, sensitive, and idealistic Francie Nolan and her bittersweet formative years in the slums of Williamsburg has enchanted and inspired millions of readers for more than sixty years. By turns overwhelming, sublime, heartbreaking, and uplifting, the daily experiences of the unforgettable Nolans are raw with honesty and tenderly threaded with family connectedness — in a work of literary art that brilliantly captures a unique time and place as well as incredibly rich moments of universal experience.


Past Books Include:

  • September 2019: “The storied life of A.J. Fikry: A Novel” by Gabrielle Zevin
  • August 2019: “Pigs in Heaven: a novel” by Barbara Kingsolver
  • July 2019: “The Martian: A Novel” by Andy Weir
  • June 2019: “The Stars Are Fire” by Anita Shreve
  • May 2019: “The Lovely Bones” by Alice Sebold
  • April 2019 : “All grown up” by Jami Attenberg
  • March 2019: ” The Last of the Menu Girls” by Denise Chavez (OBOV 2019 Title)
  • February 2019: “Everybody’s son” by Thrity Umrigar
  • January 2019: “The Dinner ” by Herman Koch
  • December 2018: No Book Club
  • November 2018: “Mansfield Park” by Jane Austen
  • October 2018: “The Silver Star” by Jeannette Walls
  • September 2018: “The Little Paris Bookshop” by Nina George
  • August 2018: “The Alice Network” by Kate Quinn

                     

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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