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:

July 26, 2018 - 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 23, 2018 - 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 27, 2018 - 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 25, 2018 - 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 15, 2018 - 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 20, 2018 - 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 24, 2019 - 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 28, 2019 - 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 28, 2019 - The 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)

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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!

  • July 24, 2018 - Endurance: A Year in Space, A Lifetime of Discovery by Scott Kelly
    “A stunning memoir from the astronaut who spent a record-breaking year aboard the International Space Station – a candid account of his remarkable voyage, of the journeys off the planet that preceded it, and of his colorful formative years.” (Goodreads Review)
  • August 28, 2018 -What We Lose by Zinzi Clemmons
    “The plot of Zinzi Clemmons's What We Lose (Viking) is simple: Thandi, a college student born and raised in Philadelphia by a South African mother and an American father, watches as her firecracker mother slowly dies of cancer. But this is no straightforward story of illness and loss. Thandi's recitation juxtaposes narrative with stream-of-consciousness observations about race, class, and colorism: ‘I've often thought that being a light-skinned black woman is like being a well-dressed person who is also homeless,’ she muses.
    “With these adept commentaries on what it means to be multicultural, Clemmons places Thandi's coming-of-age in a broad social context, offering choice lines from a famous rap song, an excerpt from Barack Obama's memoir, graphs illustrating the trajectory of her emotions through the stages of her mother's dying, and even photographs of notorious serial killers' wives. And as Thandi sifts through these disparate elements, her grief-induced fragility takes on a hard edge: ‘In the weeks after my mother died, my sex drive was merciless.’
    “Contrasting what it means to be black in America with being black in Johannesburg, where her mother's relatives still live, Clemmons presents a brutally honest yet nuanced view of contemporary identity: ‘When I called myself black, my [South African] cousins looked at me askance...calling myself black was wrong to them...it was something they didn't want to be.’ Raw and ravishing, this novel pulses with vulnerability and shimmering anger.” (Review by Nicole Dennis-Benn)
  • September 25, 2018 - A Piece of the World  by Christina Baker Kline
    “Imagines the life story of Christina Olson, the subject of Andrew Wyeth's painting "Christina's World," describing the simple life she led on a remote Maine farm, her complicated relationship with her family, and the illness that incapacitated her.” (Review by Pima County Public Library)
  • October 23, 2018 -The Nix by Nathan Hill
    “Nathan Hill’s smart, darkly humorous debut, is the tale of Samuel Andresen-Anderson, an unmotivated English professor who was once a successful writer. Samuel’s mother, Faye, walked out on the family when he was a kid, and he hasn’t seen her since. When she’s charged with a surprising crime involving a politician—an act that attracts the attention of the national media—Samuel is more than a little surprised. Portrayed as a revolutionary, the Faye of today is nothing like the conventional woman he knew years ago. Samuel’s life takes an unexpected turn after he decides to help his mother—a choice he hopes will result in material for a new book. As he delves into Faye’s background and finds out more about her, he comes to realize that he never really knew her at all. Hill navigates between the past and the present with skill, presenting scenes from Faye’s life in the 1960s that are richly authentic. This is a timely, resonant novel from a writer on the rise.” (Bookpage Reviews)
  • November 27, 2018 - LaRose by Louise Erdich
    “Louise Erdrich wields her breathtaking narrative magic in an emotionally haunting contemporary tale of a tragic accident, a demand for justice, and a profound act of atonement with ancient roots in Native American culture.” (Summary from Goodreads)