Enrichment for Adults
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Join the Knox Presbyterian Book Group.
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.
of discussions for 2007 - 2008:
Calendar of Discussions available in printable PDF
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
21Christ the Lord Out of Egypt by Anne RiceAnne
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
18Two Old Women; An Alaska Legend of Betrayal, Courage,
and Survival by Velma WallisBased 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
6My Sisters Keeper by Jodi PicoultAnna
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
Feb. 10Heavens my Destination by Thornton
WilderGeorge 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
16Hateship, 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:
Apr. 20A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty SmithFrancie
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
May 25Cant Wait to Get to Heaven by Fannie
FlaggOctogenarian Elner Shimfissle falls of a ladder
after accidentally disturbing a hornets nest while
picking figs. After she dies at the hospital, the novels
bite-size chapters alternate between funny and touching
vignettes showing how Elners death and life has affected
dozens of people in town, interspersed with scenes of Elners
laugh-out-loud assent into the hereafter. Perhaps Flaggs
funniest novel since her debut, shes created a charming,
life-affirming tale and a full cast of memorable characters,
including Elners 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 29The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon by Stephen
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
of Discussions available in printable PDF
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 Hummingbirds 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
Bible Guide V
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 Gods
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
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
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
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
Questions may be directed to Bible guide firstname.lastname@example.org