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Following are the books we will be discussing in the 2021-2022 Season.  

Schedule is tentative.



November 1, 2021
Hamnet: A Novel of the Plague by Maggie O'Farrell.  305 pp
"Set in Stratford, England, in the late 16th century, Hamnet imagines the emotional, domestic, and artistic repercussions after the world's most famous (though never named) playwright and his wife lose their only son, 11-year-old Hamnet, to the bubonic plague in 1596. Four years later, the boy's father transposes his grief into his masterpiece — titled with a common variant of his son's name — in which the father dies and the son lives to avenge him.” [NPR].
One of NYT’s ten best for 2020 and winner of the Nation Book Critics Circle award for fiction.


December 6, 2021
Metazoa: Animal Life and the Birth of the Mind by Peter Godfrey-Smith.   336 pp
As in his Other Minds (2016), the Australian philosopher/scuba diver engagingly grapples with the oldest and most personal of scientific conundrums: consciousness.
In Metazoa, "the way I will proceed is by starting with life  -- understood in a materialist way -- and trying to show how the evolutionary development of living systems can give rise to minds."


January 3, 2022
Piano Notes by Charles Rosen.  256 pp
In Piano Notes, a finalist for a 2003 National Book Critics Circle Award, Charles Rosen, one of the world's most talented pianists, distills a lifetime of wisdom and lore into an unforgettable tour of the hidden world of piano playing. Somewhat autobiographical, somewhat technical, and often laugh-out-loud funny.  "If your shelves have room for one volume about the piano from glory to decline, Piano Notes is the book of choice."  --New York Review of Books


February 7, 2022
The Mismeasure of Man by Stephen Jay Gould.   352 pp
Stephen Jay Gould's masterful demolition of the IQ industry is brilliant, funny, engaging prose that dissects the motivations behind those who would judge intelligence, and hence worth, by cranial size, convolutions, or score on extremely narrow tests. How did scientists decide that intelligence was unipolar and quantifiable?  Gould's answer is clear and simple: power maintains itself.

 
March 7, 2022
The Cuckoo's Calling by Robert Galbraith (J.K. Rowling). 455 pp.
This is the first (2013) Cormoran Strike novel of the J.K. Rowling new mystery series.  Strike is a brilliant, war-wounded private investigator, who, with his very efficient office assistant, meets situations that get increasingly strange as the book goes on. Rowling's writing is as great as ever as is her collection of characters.


April 4, 2022
Nature’s God: The Heretical Origins of the American Republic by Matthew Stewart  566 pp
The American Revolution led to the creation of the world’s first secular republic . It was this secular break from the supernatural religion of the British that made America’s independence truly revolutionary. The book offers a reappraisal of the religious and philosophical origins of America’s revolution and shows that it was secularist ideals, not Christian values, that drove the establishment of America’s most cherished freedoms.


May 2, 2022
Tree Story:  The History of the World Written in Rings by Valerie Trouet  256 pp
Tracing her own professional journey while exploring dendrochronology's history and applications, Trouet describes the basics of how tell-tale tree cores are collected and dated with ring-by-ring precision, explaining the unexpected and momentous insights we've gained from the resulting samples.  Blending popular science, travelogue, and cultural history, Tree Story highlights exciting findings of tree-ring research, including the fate of lost pirate treasure, successful strategies for surviving California wildfires, the secret to Genghis Khan's victories, the connection between Egyptian pharaohs and volcanoes, and even the role of olives in the fall of Rome. These fascinating tales are deftly woven together to show us how dendrochronology sheds light on global climate dynamics and uncovers the clear links between humans and our leafy neighbors.

 

The Harvard Book Club meets on the first Monday afternoon of each month in winter months. Come join us for one or all of the discussions.

During the pandemic, we have met virtually via Zoom.  In 2022, we hope to meet in face-to-face mode, at members' homes.

For details contact:

George Timson: GTimson@q.com 

 

 

 

 

 


 
 
 


 

 

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November 4, 2019  
Harvard’s Secret Court: The Savage 1920 Purge of Campus Homosexuals by William Wright. 294 pp.

December 2, 2019   
After Many a Summer Dies the Swan by Aldous Huxley.     368 pp.

January 6, 2020 
Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI by David Grann. 352 pp.

February 3, 2020   
No Highway by Nevil Shute.  184 pp.

March 2, 2020  
Passionate Sage: The Character and Legacy of John Adams By Joseph J. Ellis. 277 pages.

April  6, 2020
Educated: A Memoir by Tara Westover.  352 pp.

May 4, 2020

Circe by Madeline Miller.  416 pp.