Book Club Opportunities

If you love to read and discuss books, and are looking for a place to meet others, St. Andrew's Library is the place to gather with others who are like-minded. St. Andrew's hosts two separate book groups where you can connect. The views and opinions expressed in the books do not necessarily reflect those of
St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church.

THE ST. ANDREW'S FAITH BASED BOOK CLUB 

Meets the 3rd Thursday of each month from 4:00–5:00 pm. Contact Jean O'Hanlon if you have any questions. We are currently reading and discussing the following books: 

March 22, 2018 - The Lost Letters of Pergammon  by Bruce Longnecker

  • “A Fascinating Glimpse into the World of the New Testament

“Transported two thousand years into the past, readers are introduced to Antipas, a Roman civic leader who has encountered the writings of the biblical author Luke. Luke’s history sparks Antipas’ interest, and they begin corresponding. While the account is fictional, the author is a highly respected New Testament scholar who weaves reliable historical information into a fascinating story, offering a fresh, engaging, and creative way to learn about the New Testament world. The first edition has been widely used in the classroom (over 30,000 copies sold). This updated edition, now with improved readability and narrative flow, will bring the social and political world of Jesus and his first followers to life for many more students of the Bible.”  (Review on Amazon)

 

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THE ST. ANDREW'S WOMEN'S BOOK CLUB

Meets the 4th Tuesday of each month from 7:00–8:30 pm in the church Library except November and December when we meet earlier because of Thanksgiving and Christmas. For more information, contact Katrina Lantz at 401-0897 or Katrina Lantz. Here is what we are reading!

February 27, 2018 – The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane by Lisa See

  • “Li-Yan grows up gathering and preparing tea leaves with her family in the Yunnan mountains in China, guided by the traditional beliefs of her Akha tribe. But forced apart from the man she loves and giving up her new-born baby for adoption, she soon questions the validity of her tribes’ traditions. Being one of the few educated in her tribe, she learns the tea business which enables her to leave and look for her daughter who now lives with her American family in the United States. Chinese tea gains international respect and she soon finds herself in the US. Will she find her long-lost daughter and will her daughter accept her? The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane is the sixth and latest of Lisa See’s historical fiction novels which put China and its culture into focus. It is Goodreads’ Most Anticipated of 2017 in the historical fiction category.” (Goodreads Review)

March 27, 2018 - Rent Collector by Cameron Wright

  • “Sang Ly struggles to survive by picking through garbage in Cambodia's largest municipal dump. Under threat of eviction by an embittered old drunk who is charged with collecting rents from the poor of Stung Meanchey, Sang Ly embarks on a desperate journey to save her ailing son from a life of ignorance and poverty.” (Review from Pima County Public Library)

April 24, 2018 - News of the World  by Paulette Jiles

  • "In the aftermath of the Civil War, an aging itinerant news reader agrees to transport a young captive of the Kiowa back to her people in this exquisitely rendered, morally complex, multilayered novel of historical fiction from the author of Enemy Women that explores the boundaries of family, responsibility, honor, and trust. In the wake of the Civil War, Captain Jefferson Kyle Kidd travels through northern Texas, giving live readings from newspapers to paying audiences hungry for news of the world. An elderly widower who has lived through three wars and fought in two of them, the captain enjoys his rootless, solitary existence. In Wichita Falls, he is offered a $50 gold piece to deliver a young orphan to her relatives in San Antonio. Four years earlier, a band of Kiowa raiders killed Johanna's parents and sister; sparing the little girl, they raised her as one of their own. Recently rescued by the U.S. army, the ten-year-old has once again been torn away from the only home she knows. Their 400-mile journey south through unsettled territory and unforgiving terrain proves difficult and at times dangerous. Johanna has forgotten the English language, tries to escape at every opportunity, throws away her shoes, and refuses to act "civilized." Yet as the miles pass, the two lonely survivors tentatively begin to trust each other, forming a bond that marks the difference between life and death in this treacherous land.” (Goodreads Review)

May 22, 2018 - Lucky Boy  by Shanti Sekaran

  • “Eighteen years old and fizzing with optimism, Solimar Castro-Valdez embarks on a perilous journey across the Mexican border. Weeks later, she arrives in Berkeley, California, dazed by first love found then lost, and pregnant. This was not the plan. Undocumented and unmoored, Soli discovers that her son, Ignacio, can become her touchstone, and motherhood her identity in a world where she's otherwise invisible. Kavya Reddy has created a beautiful life in Berkeley, but then she can't get pregnant and that beautiful life seems suddenly empty. When Soli is placed in immigrant detention and Ignacio comes under Kavya's care, Kavya finally gets to be the singing, story-telling kind of mother she dreamed of being. But she builds her love on a fault line, her heart wrapped around someone else's child. "Nacho" to Soli, and "Iggy" to Kavya, the boy is steeped in love, but his destiny and that of his two mothers teeters between two worlds as Soli fights to get back to him.” (Amazon.com.)

June 26, 2018 - Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI  by David Grann

  • “In Killers of the Flower Moon, David Grann revisits a shocking series of crimes in which dozens of people were murdered in cold blood. The book is a masterpiece of narrative nonfiction, as each step in the investigation reveals a series of sinister secrets and reversals. But more than that, it is a searing indictment of the callousness and prejudice toward Native Americans that allowed the murderers to operate with impunity for so long. Killers of the Flower Moon is utterly riveting, but also emotionally devastating.” (Goodreads Review)
 

July 26th     Sensible Shoes  by Sharon Garlough Brown         2013 Midwest Publishing Awards Show Honorable Mention

          Sharon Garlough Brown tells the moving story of four strangers as they embark together on a journey of spiritual formation: 

        Hannah, a pastor who doesn’t realize how exhausted she is.  Meg, a widow and recent empty-nester who is haunted by her past.  Mara, a woman who has experienced a lifetime of rejection and is now trying to navigate a difficult marriage.  Charissa, a hard-working graduate student who wants to get things right. 

You’re invited to join these four women as they reluctantly arrive at a retreat center and find themselves drawn out of their separate stories of isolation and struggle and into a collective journey of spiritual practice, mutual support and personal revelation.

          Along the way, readers will be taken into a new understanding of key spiritual practices and find tangible support for the deeper life with God.   Amazon Review

August 23rd     Holy Fire   by R. T. Kendall

          The Holy Spirit…Greater than your theology, bigger than denominations, beyond all we can imagine, God’s gift to the church and to you.

          Debate about the Holy Spirit has been around for a long time.  In Holy Fire, best-selling author and respected theologian R. T. Kendall sets the record straight about the Holy Spirit’s role in our lives and in the life of the church.

          If you want to increase your knowledge of this most misunderstood member of the Trinity, or if you long to experience His presence in your life in a deeper way than ever before, this book is for you.

          Are you charismatic?  He is bigger than your signs-and-wonders events.  Are you Reformed?  He will not be limited by your theology.  As Jesus said of the Holy Spirit, “He blows where He will.”     Amazon Review

September 27th    The Way of Letting Go  by Wilma Derkson

          Maybe it was the sting of remarks from a relative or friend.  Maybe a miscarriage ended your hopes for a family.  For all of your heartbreaks, maybe you wished there was someone to help you through.  For Wilma Derksen, letting go of the 15 misconceptions about grief led her back to hope.  In this book she tells how you can do the same.

          Wilma’s world collapsed when her teenaged daughter, Candace, was taken hostage and murdered.  Wilma now shares her choices to “let go “ of heartbreak, which gave her the courage to navigate through the dark waters of sorrow.  Like Wilma, maybe your heartbreak forced you to retreat from happy expectations, of believing that life is fair, of finding closure for every circumstance.  She encourages patiently; let go of the happy ending, let go of perfect justice, let go of fear, and let go of closure.  Wilma’s wisdom will help you overcome your broken heart, and her advice will enable you to break free of pain to live a life of true joy.  Amazon Review

October 25th         The Hum of Angels  by Scot McKnight

          Would You Recognize an Angel if You Saw One?  The majority of earth’s inhabitants believe in Angels.  Yet so few of us can claim to have seen one.  Why?

          Perhaps it’s because in order to encounter one, we first have to learn what to look for and how to look!  We live in a world where the natural and supernatural overlap.  Angels are constantly on mission from God and constantly at work in this world.

          From the Garden of Eden to the Book of Revelation, Scripture is filled with hundreds of references to these wondrous creatures.  In this creative work, Scot McKnight explores what the Bible says- and doesn’t say – about these majestic beings.  And that’s deeply important because angels are still on mission today.  They express God’s love, confirm His presence, and even lead humans in redemptive worship.

          Don’t just believe in angels.  Learn how to recognize these messengers of God that are all around us and know how God might be using them to affect our lives.  Amazon Review

November 15th       Learning to Walk in the Dark  by Barbara Brown Taylor

          From the New York Times best-selling author of An Altar in the World, Barbara Brown Taylor’s Learning to Walk in the Dark provides a way to find spirituality in those times when we don’t have all the answers.

          Taylor has become increasingly uncomfortable with our tendency to associate all that is good with lightness and all that is evil and dangerous with darkness.  Doesn’t God work in the nighttime as well?  In Learning to Walk in the Dark, Taylor asks us to put aside our fears and anxieties and to explore all that God has to teach us “in the dark.”  She argues that we need to move away from our “solar spirituality” and ease our way into appreciating “lunar spirituality” (since, like the moon, our experience of the light waxes and wanes.)  Through darkness we find courage, we understand the world in new ways, and we feel God’s presence around us, guiding us through things seen and unseen.  Often, it is while we are in the dark that we grow the most.

          With her characteristic charm and literary wisdom, Taylor is our guide through a spirituality of the nighttime, teaching us how to find our footing in times of uncertainty and giving us strength and hope to face all of life’s challenging moments.  Amazon Review

December 20th      Hidden Christmas  by Timothy Keller

          Even people who are not practicing Christians think they are familiar with the story of the nativity.  Every Christmas displays of Baby Jesus resting in a manger decorate lawns and churchyards, and songs about shepherds and angels fill the air.  Yet despite the abundance of these Christian references in popular culture, how many of us have examined the hard edges of this biblical story?

          In his new book, Timothy Keller takes readers on an illuminating journey into the surprising background of the nativity.  By understanding the message of hope and salvation within the Bible’s account of Jesus’ birth, readers will experience the redeeming power of God’s grace in a deeper and more meaningful way.  Amazon Review

January 24th      Joseph’s Story     by Art Kramer

          This is a tale about Joseph, the earthly father of Jesus, the Son of God.  Joseph tells his story in modern day language usage.  The author speculates about what could have happened to Joseph and Mary on their journeys while protecting Jesus from those who would have harmed him.  Summary by Art Kramer, Christmas, 2016

February 28th        Still    by Lauren Winner

Following up her highly acclaimed Girl Meets God, author Lauren F. Winner has written an engrossing reflection of literary grace and spiritual wisdom with Still: Notes on a Mid-Faith Crisis.

          As she lives through a failed marriage and the loss of her mother, Winner finds her Christian faith slipping away.  Through reading religious works and tomes and being counseled by leaders of the church, she learns she must find the courage to trust in God in order to find His presence.

          Elegantly written and profound, Still offers reflections on how murky and gray the spiritual life can be.   Amazon Review

March 28th       Wounded Healer   by Henri Nouwen

          The Wounded Healer is a hope-filled and profoundly simple book that speaks directly to those men and women who want to be of service in their church or community, but have found the traditional ways often threatening and ineffective.  In this book, Henri Nouwen combines creative case studies of ministry with stories from diverse cultures and religious traditions in preparing a new model for ministry.  Weaving keen cultural analysis with his psychological and religious insights, Nouwen has come up with a balanced and creative theology of service that begins with the realization of fundamental woundedness in human nature.  Emphasizing that which is in humanity common to both minister and believer, this woundedness can serve as a source of strength and healing when counseling others.  Nouwen proceeds to develop his approach to ministry with an analysis of sufferings-a suffering world, a suffering generation, a suffering person, and a suffering minister.  It is his contention that ministers are called to recognize the sufferings of their time in their own hearts and make that recognition the starting point of their service.  For Nouwen, ministers must be willing to go beyond their professional role and leave themselves open as fellow human beings with the same wounds and suffering-in the image of Christ.  In other words, we heal from our own wounds.  Filled with examples from everyday experience, The Wounded Healer is a thoughtful and insightful guide that will be welcomed by anyone engaged in the service of others.   Amazon Review