Vashon Island Unitarian Universalists Book Club Choices for 2023-24

If you would like to download or print this list, you can find a PDF copy here.

October Book Choice :
How to Love the World: Poems of Gratitude & Hope, edited by James Crews, forward by Ross Gay, 2021. (Offers uplifting, deeply felt and relatable poems by -well known authors.)

November Book
The Heaven & Earth Grocery Store, by James McBride, 2023. (This is a novel about a small-town secrets and the people who keep them. It has a murder, mixes of Whites and Minorities, and shows us that even in dark times, it is love and community-heaven & earth-that sustain us.)


December Book
American Nations: A history of the 11 rival regional cultures of North America, by Colin Woodard, Penguin Books, 2012. (particularly relevant in
understanding who voted for who in this presidential year, this is an endlessly fascinating look at American regionalism and the eleven “nations” that continue to shape North America.)


January Book– the Unitarian Universalist Common Read for this year which is:
On Repentance & Repair: Making Amends in an Unapologetic World, by Rabbi Danya Ruttenberg (Beacon Press, 2022 -bulk discounts available)


February Book
Bittersweet: How Sorrow and Longing makes us whole, by Susan Cain, 2022. Based on the premise that light and dark, birth and death, bitter & sweet are forever paired.}


March Book
Being Mortal: Medicine and what Matters in the End, by Atul Gawande (Includes study guides to get more out of the book and follow the character arcs from tragedy to triumph)

April Book
Nature’s Best Hope : A New Approach to Conservation that Starts in Your Yard , by Douglas W Tallamy.(Awakens readers to the urgent decline of wildlife because native plants are disappearing.)


May Book
The Rose Code, by Kate Quinn, {A heart-stopping World War II story of three female code breakers at Bletchly Park and the spy they must root out after the war is over.)


June Book
The Brothers K, by David James Duncan,2008. (A father’s dreams of baseball glory are destroyed by a mill accident, the mother clings to religion to ward off her past and 4 boys are raised in the 60s. By turns uproariously funny and deeply moving, it is original and poignant in its universality.)

July Book
The Selma Awakening: How the Civil Rights Movement Tested and Changed Unitarian Universalism, by Mark D. Morrison-Reed, 2014 (Selma represented a turning point for UUs.)


August Book
The Light we Carry: Overcoming in Uncertain Times, by Michelle Obama, Crown publisher, 2022. This new book shares practical wisdom and powerful strategies for staying hopeful and balanced in today’s highly uncertain world


These additional books were nominated, as possible choices, but were not high enough in votes to be chosen for this year. You might read them on your own or consider them for future years.

Hounded, by Frederic Martini, Austin Mccauley Publisher, 2023. (This is a delightful new novel by a scientist combining dogs and science fiction. A New York detective is assigned a Neo-nine as his partner. A Neo-nine is a genetically enhanced dog/human who’s mom was a black labrador. The dog has many hidden talents and the ability to speak as a person in Virtual Reality, helping to solve many interesting crimes; Great fun to read and gives one things to think about in our possible futures.)

Sapians: A Brief History of Humankind, by Yuval Noah Harari. (Bill Gates: I would recommend this book to anyone interested in a fun, engaging book about early human history… you’ll have a hard time putting it down.)

The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating, by Elisabeth Tova Bailey, 2016 (Rich and regenerative)

1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus, 2nd edition, by Charles C. Mann (A groundbreaking work of science, history and archaeology that radically alters our understanding of the Americas before Coumbus

Living Beautifully with Uncertaintanty & Change, by Pema Chodron (The author {a Buddhist Nun }shares practices for living with wisdom and integrity even in confusing and uncertain situations )

Analogia:The Emergence of Technology Beyond Programmable Control, by George Dyson, 2020. (This book presents a startling look back at the analog age and an unsettling look at what comes next.

A is for Almost Anything: An Assortment of Poetry, by JR Turek, 2016. (All the poems begin with the letter A)

The Artist’s Way: A spiritual Path to Higher Creativity, by Julia Cameron, 1992. (A Course in discovering & recovering your Creative Self.)