October Simply Books! Meeting

Hi All!  Sorry for the delay in getting this up.   I couldn’t think of a way to tie in a Simply Books! update with Horror Month.  We’re not all that scary.

So here we are with another great list of books to share.  It’s as varied as ever, and we had some great conversations about this month’s reads.  I always like to share these books in our members’ words whenever I can (read: whenever I take good enough notes), so I’ve done that here.


The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt
Improbable premise, but so absorbing it’s hard to put
down.  The choice of words is exquisite.  Some examples: “tag of turpentine,” “sheet
metal light,” “sharp ding of silver glittering.”  The story itself is about a young man
drawn into the art underworld and into an obsession with a captivating painting.

Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty
A novel about a suburban PTA gone mad.  Very easy to
relate to from a teacher’s point of view.  Moves fast, good twists, and an interesting
ending.  Moriarty has created a niche for herself with stories that are appealing fun
with some alluring darkness.

Instructions for a Heat Wave by Maggie O’Farrell
A scorching heatwave becomes a
metaphor for family relationships in this novel about siblings returning to their family
home in the wake of their father’s disappearance.

Grandma Gatewood’s Walk: The Inspiring Story of the Woman Who Saved the Appalachian Trail by Ben Montgomery
In 1955, at the age of 67, Emma Gatewood hiked the entirety of
the Appalachian Trail for “a lark.”  Montgomery was able to interview her surviving
children and had access to the postcards Gatewood sent home, giving a nice personal look
into her story.  She’d eventually hike the trail three times.

Short Term Anxiety Provoking Psychotherapy: A Treatment Manual by Peter Emanuel Sifneos
Sifneos developed STAPP in the 1950’s.  According to Harvard Medical School
(where Sifneos taught), this method “is a highly interactive process for well motivated
and psychologically resilient individuals with a circumscribed emotional problem.”
Here’s his memorial page at HMS: http://tinyurl.com/pb5aqfu.

Island of Vice: Theodore Roosevelt’s Doomed Quest to Clean Up Sin-Loving New York by Richard Zacks
An anecdote-filled exploration of Roosevelt’s time as president of the New
York Police Commission.  It’s a fun ride filled with larger-than-life characters, but
never slips into caricature.  A nice sense of time and place, and how this period shaped
Roosevelt as a national figure.

The Longings of Women by Marge Piercy
A novel that explores marriage and what women
have to lose, in many different ways, when a marriage breaks up. The novel centers on the
experiences of three women of different classes and backgrounds.  Very feminist, very
intricate, with shifting perspectives and many layers.

This month’s meeting is scheduled for Saturday, November 22nd at 2pm.  November is one of those five-Saturday months that get thrown into the mix every once in a while just to mess with me.  Please come join us if you can!


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