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Knox Book Group
Book Group Choices

We meet in the Parlor approximately every six weeks after Sunday Worship. Anyone may participate. Just read the book from the schedule below and come prepared to express your opinion.

Most books are available in paperback and may be charged out from local libraries.
Book choices are suggested by members of the group.

We bring bag lunches and eat together after the discussion.

Calendar of discussions for 2007 - 2008:

Calendar of Discussions
available in printable PDF

Sept. 16——-Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress The Cultural Revolution of Chairman Mao Zedong altered Chinese history in the 1960s and '70s, forcibly sending hundreds of thousands of Chinese intellectuals to peasant villages for "re-education." This moving, often wrenching short novel by a writer who was himself re-educated in the '70s tells how two young men weather years of banishment, emphasizing the power of literature to free the mind. The two friends are good at storytelling, and the village headman commands them to put on "oral cinema shows" for the villagers, reciting the plots and dialogue of movies. When another city boy leaves the mountains, the friends steal a suitcase full of forbidden books he has been hiding, knowing he will be afraid to call the authorities. Enchanted by the prose of a host of European writers, they dare to tell the story of The Count of Monte Cristo to the village tailor and to read Balzac to his shy and beautiful young daughter. Luo, who adores the Little Seamstress, dreams of transforming her from a simple country girl into a sophisticated lover with his foreign tales. Discussion leader: Linda Rice-Johnston

Oct. 21—Christ the Lord Out of Egypt by Anne Rice—Anne Rice, famed author of The Vampire Chronicles has written a novel about Jesus Christ. Rice leaves the gothic behind and explores the mysteries beneath the childhood of Jesus. At age seven, the boy and his family leave Egypt to return to their home. Although the historical and cultural details are authentic and well done, it is the character of Jesus that drives this novel.
Discussion leader: Lois Leinkram

Nov. 18—Two Old Women; An Alaska Legend of Betrayal, Courage, and Survival by Velma Wallis—Based on an Athabascan Indian legend passed along for many generations from mothers to daughters of the upper Yukon River Valley in Alaska, this is the suspenseful, shocking, ultimately inspirational tale of two old women abandoned by their tribe during a brutal winter famine.
Discussion leader: Dorothy Jackson

Jan. 6—My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult—Anna was genetically engineered to be a perfect match for her cancer-ridden older sister. Since birth, the 13-year-old has donated platelets, blood, her umbilical cord, and bone marrow as part of her family's struggle to lengthen Kate's life. Anna is now being considered as a kidney donor in a last-ditch attempt to save her 16-year-old sister. As this compelling story opens, Anna has hired a lawyer to represent her in a medical emancipation suit to allow her to have control over her own body. Discussion leader: Robbie Snow

Feb. 10—Heaven’s my Destination by Thornton Wilder—George Brush, a traveling textbook salesman, is a fervent religious convert who is determined to lead a good life. With sad and sometimes hilarious consequences, his travels take him through smoking cars, bawdy houses, banks, and campgrounds from Texas to Illinois -- and into the soul of America itself. Discussion leader: Barbara Lecky

Mar. 16—Hateship, Friendship, Loveship, Courtship, Marriage by Alice Munro —Readers know what they are going to get when they pick up an unfamiliar Alice Munro collection, and yet almost every page carries a bounty of unexpected action, feeling, language, and detail. Her stories are always unique, blazing an invigorating originality out of her seemingly commonplace subjects. Each collection develops her oeuvre in increments, subtly expanding her range. Discussion leader: Becky Stites

Apr. 20—A Tree Grows in Brooklyn
by Betty Smith—Francie Nolan, avid reader, penny-candy connoisseur, and adroit observer of human nature, has much to ponder in colorful, turn-of-the-century Brooklyn. Discussion leader: Mary Jo Fritsch

May 25—Can’t Wait to Get to Heaven by Fannie Flagg—Octogenarian Elner Shimfissle falls of a ladder after accidentally disturbing a hornets’ nest while picking figs. After she dies at the hospital, the novel’s bite-size chapters alternate between funny and touching vignettes showing how Elner’s death and life has affected dozens of people in town, interspersed with scenes of Elner’s laugh-out-loud assent into the hereafter. Perhaps Flagg’s funniest novel since her debut, she’s created a charming, life-affirming tale and a full cast of memorable characters, including Elner’s late sister, Ida, who greets her in heaven still carrying her purse and a grudge about the bad hair styling she got at her funeral. Flagg is an expert at balancing pathos with plenty of Southern sass.
Discussion leader: Helen Bledsoe

June 29—The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon by Stephen King
Trisha McFarland is a plucky 9-year-old hiking with her brother and mom, who is grimly determined to give the kids a good time on their weekends together. Trisha's mom is recently divorced, and her brother is feuding with her for moving from Boston to small-town Maine, where classmates razz him. Trisha steps off the trail for a pee and a respite from the bickering. And gets lost. Discussion leader: Robbie Snow

Calendar of Discussions available in printable PDF

Recommended but not yet chosen:
The Ha-Ha by Dave King
Leeway Cottage by Beth Gutcheon
White Ghost Girls by Alice Greenway
Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro
Bee Season by Myla Goldberg
Under the Banner of Heaven by Jon Krakauer
The Robber Bridegroom by Eudora Welty
Love in the Driest Season by Neely Tucker
The Hummingbird’s Daughter by Luis Alberto Urrea
March by Geraldine Brooks
A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole
Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See
Nickel and Dimed by Barbara Ehrenreich
Back When We Were Grownups by Anne Tyler
Empire Falls by Richard Russo
The Wild Girl by Jim Fergus
The Lake, the River and the Other Lake by Steve Amick
The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls
Quarantine by Jim Crace

*Reviews in quotations taken from readinggroupguides.com and amazon.com.

Join the Knox Presbyterian Book Group.

V A Bible Guide V
 (They're not the same) 

Which Version of the Bible should I read ?

   There are several standard versions of the Bible available. There is the New Revised Standard Version (NRSV), which is a revision of the tried and true Revised Standard Version (RSV). There is also the New International Version (NIV) and the Jerusalem Bible (JB). These translations are reliable, up-to-date, and fairly straightforward to read. If you like the more elegant style of British English, you may want to choose the New English Bible (NEB), also revised. Finally the Good News Bible (GNB) is one to consider if you want to read a version that has a simpler, more colloquial style. 

Of special note is The Life Recovery Bible for those struggling with compulsive behaviors.

*The Life Recovery Bible directs the reader to the resources for recovery found in the Scriptures. First published using the Living Bible translation by Tyndale House in 1992, it was reprinted using the New Living Translation in late 1998.

The Life Recovery Bible includes several helpful features for people in recovery, through Alcoholics Anonymous or other recovery groups patterned after AA. User-friendly, with three devotional reading plans (Twelve-Step Plan, Recovery Principle Plan, and Serenity Prayer Plan) interspersed throughout the Bible text, its devotional readings are tied to those specific passages of Scripture related to recovery.

Recovery profiles of Bible characters highlight the ways in which individuals have overcome significant life challenges. Other features include introductory materials for specific books of the Bible, recovery commentary notes, and an index.

As a source of encouragement to individuals in recovery, the Life Recovery Bible serves as a constant reminder of God’s presence, consequences, and the promise of forgiveness.

For the Christian recovering from addiction to alcohol, drugs, or eating disorders, this is the Bible for you.
The King James Version (KJV) is not recommended. Even though it is a beautiful translation, its language is antiquated. In addition, more accurate translations are now available. The Living Bible is also not recommended. It is very colloquial and can give an inaccurate translation of the meaning of the originals. One other version that is available is the New American Standard Bible (NASB). Unfortunately, it is not too helpful, because the translation employs a literal, almost wooden style. 

   If you're planning to buy a new Bible, you might want to consider purchasing a study Bible. Study Bibles are available in almost all of the major versions mentioned above. They are more expensive, but the notes and comments in them are valuable in helping to understand the text. 

   Bibles may be found online at http://bible.gospelcom.net/bible?

Why read the Bible?

Mark Twain wrote, "The Bible has noble poetry in it; and some clever fables; and some blood-drenched history; and a wealth of obscenity; and upwards of a thousand lies."

Was he right?

How would you know?   Nine out of ten Americans own a Bible, but fewer than half ever read it.  People say it's confusing, boring, hard to understand, and besides, we already know all the stuff that's in it.

The problem is, most of us don't really know much about the Bible. Most people know stories about Noah, Moses, and Jesus (thanks to Hollywood). But the Bible is full of timeless stories about justice and morality; vengeance and murder; adultery, sin, and redemption. Television soap operas don't even come close to the drama in the Bible. Brother murders brother. Abraham nearly sacrifices his own son. A tent peg is driven through a man's head in Judges. King David sends a soldier into the front lines in order to gain the man's wife. Solomon threatens to cut a baby in half. There are two Creation stories in Genesis--and no apple!

The Bible is everywhere--in our language, in our courts, in our art, in our poetry, and most of all, in our churches. Isn't it about time we discovered what is really written in the Bible?

Questions may be directed to Bible guide knoxhome@cox.net
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