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Ashe County Reading Challenge Book Club Guide: February 2024 Meeting Notes

February 2024


RCBC February 2024 Meeting Notes

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

This book recounts the investigation into the disappearance of Robin Benedict, a high paid prostitute. William Douglas is not only guilty of her murder but also for embezzling money from Tufts University to support his affair with her.


A non-fiction book about the beautiful big cats known as cougars (or mountain lions, or any of the other 80 names!) This book is full of true stories, facts, and mythology surrounding the cougar. It also answers the question: Do we have any mountain lions in Ashe County?


  • Blood Farm: The Explosive Big Pharma Scandal That Altered the AIDS Crisis by Cara McGoogan

I think Good Reads summed this book up the best: “The shocking story of how corporate greed and political corruption turned a miracle cure for hemophilia into a deadly poison that accelerated the AIDS epidemic and the international effort to cover it up Factor VIII was meant to be a miracle drug. Its blood clotting protein could save hemophiliacs from dangerous, even lethal, bleeds. But what doctors didn’t know as they injected Factor VIII into the arms of eager patients was that pharmaceutical companies like Bayer and Baxter were harvesting Factor VIII from blood collected on skid row, in night clubs, and in prisons during the growing AIDs crisis.”


  • Light in the Darkness: Uncovering Grief and Trauma by Kimberly Resch, Brain Ross, and Corrine Casanova

This book includes case studies and interviews with experts and survivors that talk about how we can lift the stigma of mental illness. It also includes what the author calls a “wisdom well”, that will help you reconnect with yourself and find hope again. This is an accompaniment to the movie Light in the Darkness that came out in 2019.


When Nora Seed tries to take her own life she wakes up in a library. This library holds an infinite number of books, all of which contain another reality. Nora gets the chance to face her regrets and see what her life could have become. Will she trade in her old life for a new one?


After too many drinks and a one night stand Tess finds herself pregnant. She leaves her current fiance and moves to Hickory, NC to marry the father of her baby. When polio hits the small town in 1944, Tess begins to work at the hospital and uncover truths about her new husband.


This novel spans space and time to tell the story of how war and immigration affected one child in 1983 Europe and another in 2019 USA. Good Reads calls it “ …both a testament to the sacrifices that parents make and a love letter to the children who survive the most unfathomable dangers-and never stop dreaming".


An editor for The New Yorker magazine quits his job to become a security guard at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Through the solitude of the job and the art he looks at everyday he learns to see the beauty in not only the extraordinary but also the mundane.