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

April 2024


RCBC April 2024 Meeting Notes

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


The Lighthouse Keeper is a novel filled with family loss and eternal love. Peter is just 10 years old when a tragic accident leaves him an orphan. He is then forced to live with Uncle Billy in the Port Hope Island Lighthouse. There, Billy tells him the tragedy of his past and how he came to be the lighthouse keeper. The message Billy leaves with Peter stays with him through World War 2 and his own set of losses. 

Possibly categories: A book about water. A book set on an island. 

Violet Alston-Holt is a professor of forestry and ecology who has lived a quiet life raising her biracial son in Oak Knoll, N.C. Then the Whitmans move in next door. Their oversized house and mistreatment of the environment kills a historic oak tree and ruins other parts of Violet’s garden. While the grownups battle, Violet’s son Xavier is falling in love with the Whitmans teen daughter. This book will make you ask: What does it mean to be a good neighbor? 

Possible categories: A book about gardening. 

If you enjoy a good murder mystery or cooking competition, this is the book for you! During the filming of the 10th season of the baking competition Bake Week, someone ends up dead. Follow the story from the different viewpoints of the contestants to find out who dies and who did it! 

Possible categories: A book with multiple narrators. A book about a hobby you love. A cozy mystery. A book by a new author. 

  • Magnificent Corpses: Searching Through Europe for St. Peter's Head, St. Claire's Heart, St. Stephen's Hand, and Other Saintly Relics by Anneli Rufus

What happened to the holy relics of medieval Europe? These bodily remains of saints and other sacred figures have been a center stage for great churches and cathedrals for centuries! Follow Anneli Rufus as she travels around Europe to visit some of the most significant relics. The author will have you laughing out loud with her sick humor and hilarious descriptions of these holy relics. 

Possible categories: A nonfiction book that is not a biography or memoir. 

This novel follows young Mary Tudor as she is separated from her mother and is forced to live under the rule of her evil stepmother. She is then stripped of her title and becomes the caregiver for her stepsister. Good Reads said it best “Told in the voice of the young Mary, this novel explores the history and intrigue of the dramatic rule of Henry VIII, his outrageous affair with and marriage to the bewitching Anne Boleyn, and the consequences of that relationship for his firstborn daughter.” 

Possible Categories: A book about a royal family. A young adult book. A historical fiction novel. 

This novel takes place in a small town in Pennsylvania named Chicken Hill, during the year 1972. This community is made primarily of African Americans and immigrant Jews. The center of this community is the Heaven and Earth Grocery Store. They are digging for a new development in town when a skeleton is discovered. While uncovering the secrets of who the skeleton is and how it got there, a story is told about the struggles of people living on the margins and what they must do to survive. This is a novel with many characters and storylines so take notes while reading! 

Possible categories: a book with a neurodivergent character. A historical fiction book. 

Esther Zook moves from Pennsylvania to Colorado after her fathers death. Her wayward sister makes a visit and leaves her daughter, Winnie, in Esther’s care. Esther knows absolutely nothing about taking care of a baby but luckily, handyman Levi is there to help her out. Will this unlikely pair grow into more than just friends?  

Possible categories: A book about a hobby you love. An amish romance. 

Four women friends have worked for “The Museum” as assassins for most of their lives but now it’s time to retire. They are sixty years old and the assassin industry is relying more on technology than people skills. The Board sends them on an all expenses paid cruise to mark their retirement. However, while on this trip they discover they have been marked for death. Will they make it out alive? 

Possible categories: A book you couldn’t put down. A cozy mystery.

  • That Pinson Girl by Gerry Wilson

Seventeen-year-old Leona Pinson gives birth to an illegitimate son in 1918 Mississippi. She refuses to name the father but is convinced he will return from the war and save them from her dysfunctional family. Leona’s mother is distant and her brother abusive and violent. When the child’s father returns from war with a new wife, Leona’s dreams are shattered. Now she must rely on the son of her grandfather and his former slave, Luther Biggs, to protect them. 

Possible categories: A book you couldn’t put down. A historical fiction novel. A book published in 2024.