UUFP Book Club

Saturday June 3, 2017

For June 3, Saturday noon, the book is Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes. Life has been good to Tony Webster, who’s both contentedly retired and contentedly divorced. Then friends reappear from a childhood long left behind and presumably shelved, and as the past suddenly looms large, Tony must rethink everything that has been his life.



 Saturday May 6, 12:00

 May 6, noon The Third Reconstruction: How a Moral Movement is Overcoming the Politics of Division and Fear by William J. Barber II A modern-day civil rights champion tells the stirring story of how he helped start a movement to bridge America’s racial divide.



Saturday, June 3rd, 12:00

June 3, Saturday noon, the book is The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes. Life has been good to Tony Webster, who’s both contentedly retired and contentedly divorced. Then friends reappear from a childhood long left behind and presumably shelved, and as the past suddenly looms large, Tony must rethink everything that has been his life.        -Cyndi


The April Book Club meeting:  Noon, April 1st at the Fellowship,

Please join us in the Library. Feel free to bring a bag lunch

and maybe a little something special to share.

Hope you can join us!! And bring ideas for the coming months.



The March Book Club meeting is at Noon, March 4th at the Fellowship,

in the Library. Bringing/sharing lunch is optional. This month, our selection is Following Atticus by Tom Ryan. The book is Tom Ryan’s story of deciding to pay tribute to a class friend who died of cancer by attempting to climb, with his dog Atticus, all 48 of New Hampshire’s 4000’ peaks in one winter while raising money for charity.



UUFP Book Club: Saturday, February 4th at 12:00

Waking up White, and Finding Myself in the Story of Race 

by Debby Irving

This month’s book club selection is “Waking up White, and Finding Myself in the Story of Race” by Debby Irving. It has been described as “A courageous, insightful and critical contribution to awareness of race in the U.S. A virtual one woman Truth and Reconciliation Commission, Debby’s journey from an “aha” moment to consciousness is a journey for all Americans. “– Thomas Shapiro

Please join us on Saturday, February 4th at 12:00 noon at the fellowship. Feel free to bring a bag lunch and maybe a little something special to share.

Hope you can join us!! And bring ideas for the coming months.



Calling all readers!!!  January 7, 2017: 12:00

                                      The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins 51sib8vhzl-_sx318_bo1204203200_

Amazon Review: Intersecting, overlapping, not-quite-what-they-seem lives. Jealousies and betrayals and wounded hearts. A haunting unease that clutches and won’t let go. All this and more helps propel Paula Hawkins’s addictive debut into a new stratum of the psychological thriller genre. At times, I couldn’t help but think: Hitchcockian. From the opening line, the reader knows what they’re in for: “She’s buried beneath a silver birch tree, down towards the old train tracks…” But Hawkins teases out the mystery with a veter-an’s finesse. The “girl on the train” is Rachel, who commutes into London and back each day, rolling past the backyard of a happy-looking couple she names Jess and Jason. Then one day Rachel sees “Jess” kissing another man. The day after that, Jess goes missing. The story is told from three character’s not-to-be-trusted perspectives: Rachel, who mourns the loss of her former life with the help of canned gin and tonics; Megan (aka Jess); and Anna, Rachel’s ex-husband’s wife, who happens to be Jess/Megan’s neighbor. Rachel’s vo-yeuristic yearning for the seemingly idyllic life of Jess and Jason lures her closer and closer to the investiga-tion into Jess/Megan’s disappearance, and closer to a deeper understanding of who she really is. And who she isn’t. This is a book to be devoured. -Neal Thompson 

We will meet for discussion at the Fellowship the first Saturday of January at noon. Feel free to bring lunch – or not. We always have a lively, informative discussion and this book is a real crazy ride with lots to talk about. (The book is available in many formats. )

Hope you can join us!! And bring ideas for the coming months.



December 10, 2016

The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd screen-shot-2016-12-03-at-11-08-52-am

The Book Club will meet the second Saturday in December due to scheduling conflicts. We will still meet at the Fellowship at 12. Bringing/sharing lunch is optional.

This month, our selection is The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd.

Inspired by the true story of early-nineteenth-century abolitionist and suffragist Sarah Grimké, Kidd paints a moving portrait of two women inextricably linked by the horrors of slavery. Sarah, daughter of a wealthy South Carolina plantation owner, exhibits an independent spirit and strong belief in the equality of all. Thwarted from her dreams of becoming a lawyer, she struggles throughout life to find an outlet for her convictions. Handful, a slave in the Grimké household, displays a sharp intellect and brave, rebellious disposition. She maintains a compliant exterior, while planning for a brighter future. Told in first person, the chapters alternate between the two main characters’ perspectives, as we follow their unlikely friendship (characterized by both respect and resentment) from childhood to middle age. While their pain and struggle cannot be equated, both women strive to be set free—Sarah from the bonds of patriarchy and Southern bigotry, and Handful from the inhuman bonds of slavery. Kidd is a master storyteller, and, with smooth and graceful prose, she immerses the reader in the lives of these fascinating women as they navigate religion, family drama, slave revolts, and the abolitionist movement. Review by Kerri Price

This book is available in several formats, including Kindle and Audiobook. In addition, Miranda has borrowed the Book Club Bag of Books for Invention of Wings from the Chester County Library system. That means she has 12 or so copies of the title to lend out. Please talk to Miranda if you wish to borrow a copy.



October 1st, 2016

twelve-years-a-slave-book-cover-01-379x600Twelve Years A Slave by Solomon Northup

Book Club will go back to the 1st Saturday as usual. The group had decided on The Third Reconstruction, but that is only available in very expensive formats, so it was decided to put that back to December. It comes out in paperback in late October. So for October, the book is Twelve Years A Slave by Solomon Northup. It was on my personal bucket-list, and I found it fascinating and very readable.

If time is short as it may be for some of you, the movie actually follows the book quite closely, so if you want to watch the movie for the discussion, that works. I do recommend that you look up Solomon Northup, his life before and after his enslavement. I found that to be incredible and worthy of discussion and put the experience in the context of a very different time in our nations history.

Again, noon, Saturday, October 1st, bring lunch if you like, and something to share if the spirit moves you. Hope to see you all. Cyndi


Look for this book on our list once it’s available in paperback!

The Bookclub members have chosen the book “The Third Reconstruction: Moral imageMonday’s, Fusion Politics, and the Rise of the new Justice Movement by Reverend William Barber II. We will meet at 12:00 in the Social Room with our BYOLunch and snacks to share. Below are excerpts from the cover of the book, the UU World magazine and the Kirkus Reviews:

From the book cover:

In this memoir of how Rev. Barber and allies as diverse as progressive Christians, union members, and immigration-rights activists came together to build a coalition, he offers a trenchant analysis of race-based inequality and a hopeful message for a nation grappling with persistent racial and economic injustice. Rev. Barber writes movingly—and pragmatically—about how he laid the groundwork for a state-by-state movement that unites black, white, and brown, rich and poor, employed and unemployed, gay and straight, documented and undocumented, religious and secular. Only such a diverse fusion movement, Rev. Barber argues, can heal our nation’s wounds and produce public policy that is morally defensible, constitutionally consistent, and economically sane. The Third Reconstruction is both a blueprint for movement building and an inspiring call to action from the twenty-first century’s most effective grassroots organizer.

From the UU World magazine:

In a rousing and inspiring rally Thursday night for broad-based justice that brought the standing-room-only crowd to its feet many times, the Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II, UUA President Peter Morales, and others exhorted the crowd of Unitarian Universalists to say “enough!” to white supremacy, classism, homophobia, and “other kinds of violence perpetrated by fear,” as Morales said.

Barber, who said injustice, inequality, and oppression evince a “heart problem” in the nation, said it is “dangerous to mess with the heart; if the heart malfunctions, the whole body gets sick.” He called upon UUs and people of faith to “stop what you’re doing” and “keep shocking the heart.” As the audience leapt to its feet clapping and cheering, he shouted, over and again, “It’s time to shock this nation!”

A Kirkus Reviews:

“A battle-hardened pastor calls for a faith-based, grass-roots movement for social justice…It’s the religious component that makes his story particularly interesting. Fully aware of the suspicion Bible-speak arouses in modern progressive circles, the author still insists on viewing the justice struggle through a moral prism, one always backstopped by ‘a Higher Power.’…A heartfelt dose of old-time religion mixed with modern-day activism.”

We hope you’ll join us on the 8th.



Book Club September 10, 2016 update

We had a great discussion on “East of Eden” by John Steinbeck. We then decided not to meet during July and August as we are all going in different directions during the summer. How great we have such interesting lives!!!

So we will resume meeting the first Saturday in September 3, noon at the Fellowship. That is tentative right now because it is the Labor Day weekend so that date may change if most of us have other plans.

The book we chose is another classic, “Catch 22” by Joseph Heller. “Catch 22” has been described as one of the greatest literary works of the twentieth century. Set in World War II, the novel follows the experiences of airmen based in the Mediterranean Sea as they attempt to fulfill their service requirements and so get to go home. The phrase “catch 22” entered the Eng-lish language referring to an unsolvable logic problem that Heller uses as a plot device. The writing style is described as unique, the characters multidimensional, and it is consistently highly ranked in lists of greatest English – language novels ever written.

It is on my literary bucket list and I am looking forward to reading it and to our lively

discussion afterward. Please let me know if that first Saturday in September does or does not work for you.

Have a blessed summer!!!



                          Book Club June 2016  Screen Shot 2016-05-29 at 6.28.01 PM

The book club met May 7 at the Fellowship and we had a wonderful discussion of Anthony Doerr’s All the Light We Cannot See. If you have not read the book, it is highly recommended.

We decided to read a classic this month, John Steinbeck masterpiece: East of Eden.  It is hard to write a review of this saga.  The book is full of powerfully developed characters, explicit and hidden subplots, spanning sixty years and three generations.  The theme is the struggle between good and evil, a replay of the Cain and Abel story from Genesis in the developing United States.

As usual, if someone has not read, has not finished, or does not like the book (although, I can’t imagine that!!!), come anyway. We will meet at 12 noon, Saturday June 4. If you like, bring your lunch and maybe something to share. Be ready to feed your intellect with our discussion group!! Hope to see some of you there!!!


Book Club May 2016

The UUFP Book Club is meeting Saturday, May 7th at noon at UUFP.  The book we are reading is “All the Light We Cannot See” by Anthony Doerr. Please bring a small potluck dish to share.   Everyone is welcome to join us for good food and engaging conversation! -Cyndi

From the highly acclaimed, multiple award-winning Anthony Doerr, the beautiful, stunningly ambitious instant New York Times bestseller about a blind French girl and a German boy whose paths collide in occupied France as both try to survive the devastation of World War II.

Marie-Laure lives with her father in Paris near the Museum of Natural History, where he works as the master of its thousands of locks. When she is six, Marie-Laure goes blind and her father builds a perfect miniature of their neighborhood so she can memorize it by touch and navigate her way home. When she is twelve, the Nazis occupy Paris and father and daughter flee to the walled citadel of Saint-Malo, where Marie-Laure’s reclusive great-uncle lives in a tall house by the sea. With them they carry what might be the museum’s most valuable and dangerous jewel.

In a mining town in Germany, the orphan Werner grows up with his younger sister, enchanted by a crude radio they find. Werner becomes an expert at building and fixing these crucial new instruments, a talent that wins him a place at a brutal academy for Hitler Youth, then a special assignment to track the resistance. More and more aware of the human cost of his intelligence, Werner travels through the heart of the war and, finally, into Saint-Malo, where his story and Marie-Laure’s converge.

Doerr’s “stunning sense of physical detail and gorgeous metaphors” (San Francisco Chronicle) are dazzling. Deftly interweaving the lives of Marie-Laure and Werner, he illuminates the ways, against all odds, people try to be good to one another. Ten years in the writing, a National Book Award finalist, All the Light We Cannot See is a magnificent, deeply moving novel from a writer “whose sentences never fail to thrill” (Los Angeles Times).


The next book club meeting will be at 12 noonSaturday, March 5, at Cyndi’s home.  Lunch will be provided. (See Cyndi for directions).

The new selection is QUEER AND PRESENT DANGER by Kate Bornstein.

This is a memoir, described as the story of a nice Jewish boy who joins the Church of Scientology and leaves twelve years later to become the lovely lady she is today. The book is available in paperback, kindle and audible.
The book is published by Beacon Press and is part of the UU InSpirit offerings.
Note to current and potential book club members: it is acceptable to come if you have not finished/read/liked the book selection. It is acceptable to bring a guest or two. Just be prepared for lively conversation on a dynamic topic or a few, with intelligent thoughtful people.
Hope to see you!!! – Cyndi

More About the Author

Kate BornsteinBiography

Kate Bornstein is a performance artist and playwright whose latest book was released May 1, 2012–a memoir, A QUEER AND PLEASANT DANGER, with the subtitle, “The true story of a nice Jewish boy who joins the Church of Scientology and leaves twelve years later to become the lovely lady she is today.”

Kate has authored several award-winning books in the field of Women and Gender Studies, including GENDER OUTLAW: ON MEN, WOMEN, AND THE REST OF US, and MY GENDER WORKBOOK which she is currently updating for a second edition after 15 years.

Kate lives in New York City with her girlfriend, three cats, two dogs, and one turtle.

Photo Credit: Barbara Carrellas, 2012.


Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson  bookcover.php

The book club is meeting January 30 at 1:00 at UUFP. Everyone is welcome to join us for conversation and light snacks. Please bring a small snack to share, thank you.

“Just Mercy is a powerful true story about the potential for mercy to redeem us, and a clarion call to fix our broken system of justice—from one of the most brilliant and influential lawyers of our time.

Bryan Stevenson was a young lawyer when he founded the Equal Justice Initiative, a legal practice dedicated to defending those most desperate and in need: the poor, the wrongly condemned, and women and children trapped in the farthest reaches of our criminal justice system. One of his first cases was that of Walter McMillian, a young man who was sentenced to die for a notorious murder he insisted he didn’t commit. The case drew Bryan into a tangle of conspiracy, political machination, and legal brinksmanship—and transformed his understanding of mercy and justice forever.

Just Mercy is at once an unforgettable account of an idealistic, gifted young lawyer’s coming of age, a moving window into the lives of those he has defended, and an inspiring argument for compassion in the pursuit of true justice”. (Goodreads review)

Just Mercy is also a TED Talk:

“Simply punishing the broken—walking away from them or hiding them from sight—only ensures that they remain broken and we do, too. There is no wholeness outside of our reciprocal humanity.” Linda


We had a wondeful meeting discussing the book Sweeness at the Bottom of the Pie and also sharing titles of books we’ve read and love.

Look for an update soon for our next meeting date and recommend reading.




October 17, 2015 @ 1:30, UUFP

The book club welcomes all sleuths at heart to join us on this adventure with Flavia de Luce. All are welcome to join us for lunch and discussion of the book of the month. We will meet at UUFP, at 1:30 on October 17.

The book club selection for September is “The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie” by Allen Bradley. Set in the English countryside in 1950, it features Flavia de Luce, an 11-year-old amateur sleuth who pulls herself away from her beloved chemistry lab in order to clear her father in a murder investigation. First-time novelist, Bradley, wrote the book after winning the 2007 Debut Dagger Award and selling the publishing rights in 3 countries based on the first chapter and a synopsis. Well received by critics as an old -fashioned mystery featuring an unforgettable protagonist, the novel has won multiple awards and is the first in a proposed 10-book series.


We will discuss future meeting intervals and formats for our meetings at this meeting so please bring your ideas. It has been suggested that we do not read a specific book but rather discuss books we have read and loved.

It is not necessary to have read/finished the book to join us for talk and fun. How can we miss: readers are a powerful force in the universe!!!


August 22, 2015

We are continuing to read “Nixon Under the Bhodi Tree, and Other Works of Buddhist Fiction edited by Kate Wheeler.

It is a collection of short fiction works contributed by award winning authors described as visionary, exciting and in-ventive. It is available in paperback format.

The book club meets monthly and it is not necessary to have read or finished reading the book to join us for discussion and fellowship.

The next meeting date is August 22 at the Brick House, Pottstown, PA at 1:00.

Please join us for lunch and a lively discussion! All are welcome.

Hope to see you there!





Please join us for a lively discussion as we read, meet and discuss the book selected by the book club members.  We meet approximately every 4-6 weeks.  For more information please contact: [link to come]

Our current book: Still Life with Breadcrumbs by Anna Quindlen

This month we are meeting during lunch on June 21 @ 12:30 at the Proximity Cafe, 1450 E. High Street, Pottstown, PA 19464.  Carpooling possible from UUFP.  Members, friends and visitors are welcome.

Review by Goodreads:  “Rebecca Winter remains a household name, thanks to the iconic photograph “Still Life with Bread Crumbs” that catapulted her art career into the public eye. But Rebecca Winter, the person, has changed significantly in the decades since she captured that domestic image of her kitchen counter after her husband and son retired for the evening. She’s no longer married, for one. And it’s been so long since she made a significant sale that she can no longer afford the upscale Manhattan apartment that contains the kitchen immortalized in that famous picture.

As a result, the 60-year-old Rebecca feels adrift when she sublets her home and moves in-to a rented cottage in rural New York. Each time a royalty check hits her bank account, the couple-hundred-dollar deposit leaves her feeling momentarily rich. Some other people in the small town are familiar with “Still Life” and consider Rebecca something of a celebrity, but she is often left to her own thoughts. That solitude gives Rebecca plenty of time to figure out whether her camera is still the best way to share what she sees with the world—and to determine who she is outside of the context of high-end art galleries and New York City.

Brilliantly written, powerfully observed, Still Life with Bread Crumbs is a deeply moving and often very funny story of unexpected love, and a stunningly crafted journey into the life of a woman, her heart, her mind, her days, as she discovers that life is a story with many levels, a story that is longer and more exciting than she ever imagined.”

Please join us and bring a book suggestion if you’ve recently had a GOOD READ!! Thank you,

Past books that we have read and enjoyed:

The Satanic Verses by Salman Rushdi
Still Alice by Lisa Genova
Sweetness #9 by Stephan Eirik Clark
The Snow Leopard by Peter Matthiessen
A Deadly Mission by Judith Campbell
Focus by Daniel Goleman
Why Does the World Exist? An Existential Detective Story by Jim Holt
Long Walk to Freedom by Nelson Mandela
The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka
The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck.
Winter by Len Deighton


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