A group of women meet once a month on a Friday evening in a member’s home to discuss a book which has been chosen by the group at the previous meeting. The meeting starts with a light supper of soup, salad, bread, and dessert. Members take turns bringing the salad, bread and dessert and the soup is supplied by the hostess. Members take turns leading the informal discussion.
After reading Three Cups of Tea three years ago, the group registered as the “Souper Readers” with the Central Asia Institute. The readers save their pennies all year and make an annual donation to building schools in Pakistan.
In July, the group attends a performance of the Shakespeare Theatre in Madison.
For further information, contact the church office @ 732-356-3575
January 16 The Fault in our Stars, by John Greene AND Wonder, by R.J. Palcio
“Our cozy group on a cold winter night enjoyed ham-lentil soup and fennel-mandarin orange salad with our bread and dessert. Even though Marion and Kathy wondered if we would enjoy the “unusual” offerings, we all surely did.
The YA novels caused some of the group to remember times in their own teens when they were bullied or stood silent while others were. We wondered how realistic the books were in their depictions of teens’ insights and emotions, but realized that extreme physical pain can bring maturity. We agreed that Augie was fortunate to have such loving parents and sister while other characters learned prejudice from their families. We liked Mr. Brown’s precepts especially choosing kindness over being right.
Discussing The Fault in Our Stars, we wondered if teens are more realistic about death and talked about some of our own experiences of the death of a loved one – how hard to believe it really happened. The characters in the story got to have closure and experience love even in the face of immanent death. We discussed fate (our stars) versus having control of our fates in ourselves.
We could understand why so many young people really enjoyed these novels because we did too.”
February 20 Sacred Time, by Ursula Hegi
The first question raised in our discussion of “Sacred Time” by Ursula Hegi was what was the meaning of the title, when it seemed pretty much all of the characters had a tremendous amount of sadness in their lives. In the book, the grandfather called his time listening to opera recordings his “sacred time.” Victor felt that his sacred time was hearing the heartbeat of his wife, which he thought was the closest a man could get to knowing what it was like to be pregnant.
We questioned whether or not Anthony intentionally encouraged Bianca to jump out of the window, and if he did in fact encourage her, did he fully understand the consequences of jumping out of an eight story window. We all felt that Anthony had the motivation to get of Bianca out of his life, but given his age, we felt that he did not fully understood the consequences of encouraging Bianca to “fly.”
We strongly felt that the adults had not helped Anthony to come to terms with seeing his cousin jump out of the window. For most of Anthony’s life after the accident, he felt that he was at fault for Bianca’s death, and none of the adults in his life told him otherwise. Rather than tell Anthony it was a horrible accident and encourage him to express his feelings, his aunt and mother both believed that Anthony had pushed Bianca out of the window, and never discussed the event further with him.
The story led into a discussion of the funny things some of our children had done when they were young, and how children’s minds are very different from adults. We also talked about how important it is to keep our loved ones alive after their deaths.
March 20 Unbroken, by Laura Hillenbrand
April 17 Poetry Night: The Lady of Shallotby Alfred Lord Tennyson, The Raven, by Edgar Allan Poe,
Evangeline, by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow,
Poetry of Robert Frost, E.E, Cummings, Wendell Berry and others.
May 15 Peace Like a River, Leif Enger
June 19 Saving Fish from Drowning, by Amy Tan
July 17 Shakespeare Theatre
August 14 I Know Just What You Mean, by Ellen Goodman and Pat O’Brien