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Ashe County Reading Challenge Book Club Guide: October 2023 Meeting Notes

October 2023


RCBC October 2023 Meeting Notes

Books Discussed (Click on the titles below to link to our Cardinal website.)

Mirror, Mirror: A Book of Reverso Poems by Marilyn Singer

  • A book of poems you can read forwards and backwards! These reverso poems offer a modern take on some of our favorite fairy tales. 

Left On Tenth: A Second Chance at Life by Deliah Ephron

  • A memoir written by Deliah Ephron detailing her fight with leukemia and journey falling in love again. 

A Long Time Gone by Karen White 

  • When a storm uproots a tree on her family's property revealing the remains of a long dead woman, Viven knows what she must do: uncover long buried family secrets and break the cycle of loss that has haunted the women in her family for generations. 

That Quail Robert by Margaret A. Stanger

  • The heartwarming story of an abandoned quail chick who found his home with a human family living in Cape Cod. 

Recovering by Mary Sarton

  • In her sixty-sixth year (1978-79) Mary Sarton battled with the end of a cherished relationship, a mastectomy, and depression. She details her journey overcoming these struggles in this publication of her journal. 

Three Hours in Paris by Cara Black

  • Country girl Kate Rees is sent on a mission to kill Hitler even though she has no formal spy training. When the mission goes terribly wrong she is on the run for her life. 

The Possible World by Less O’Halloran Swartz

  • Told from the point of views of the main characters: a boy who witnessed the brutal murder of his parents, the doctor that is tending to him, and one-hundred-year-old Claire who has a long buried secret. The three are brought together by the event that changed their lives forever. 

Ruth and the Green Book by Calvin Alexander Ramsey 

  • This picture book tells the story of how Ruth and her parents must rely on “The Negro Motorist Green Book” while traveling south to visit her grandma in Alabama. 

The Watsons Go to Birmingham-1963 by Christopher Paul Cirtus

  • Narrated by ten-year-old Ben, this story follows the Watsons as they travel from Flint, Michigan, to Birmingham, Alabama, to visit grandma. However, traveling is not easy or safe for African American families in 1963 and what the Watsons experience on this trip will change their lives forever. 

The Spare Man by Mary Robinette Kowal

  • Telsa Crane, one of the richest women in the world, is enjoying her honeymoon on an interplanetary space liner. All is going well until someone on the ship ends up dead and her husband is named the prime suspect! 

Horse by Geraldine Brooks

  • I think Goodreads summarized this complex novel the best, “A discarded painting in a junk pile, a skeleton in an attic, and the greatest racehorse in American history: from these strands, a Pulitzer Prize winner braids a sweeping story of spirit, obsession, and injustice across American history.” 

A Fall of Marigolds by Susan Meissner

  • This novel is told from the points of view of two women living one hundred years apart. Both women are having to face the pain of losing a loved one. Clara Wood lost the man she loved in the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire of 1911. Taryn Michaels loses her husband in the collapse of the World Trade Center in 2001. The lives of these two women living a century apart are woven together by a single scarf and their shared grief. 

Flying, Falling, Catching by Henri Nouwen and Carolyn Whitney-Brown

  • This book might fit perfectly in our challenge category, but it is not your typical circus story! This book details the last four years of Henri Nouwen’s life as he becomes close to the trapeze group named The Flying Rodleighs. 

Mrs. Pollifax Series by Dorothy Gilman

  • Mrs. Pollifax is a lovely grandmother who is a proud member of the garden club and also works part time for the CIA! This series follows Mrs. Pollifax and her adventures traveling the world and fighting crime. Here is a list of the Mrs. Pollifax series in order. The first book is The Unexpected Mrs. Pollifax, and it is recommended that the series be read in order.

Five Little Pigs by Agatha Christie 

  • Everyone thought it was an open-and-shut case. Caroline Crale killed her husband by poison. When Caroline's daughter shows up sixteen years later with a letter from her mother claiming her innocence the case is blown open again. After all, there are five other little pigs that could be to blame.