Books We’re Reading & Meeting Dates

Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Grounded: Finding God in the World. A Spiritual Revolution. Diana Butler Bass

Diana Butler Bass, leading commentator on religion, politics, and culture, follows up her acclaimed book Christianity After Religion by arguing that what appears to be a decline in traditional religious practices actually signals a major transformation in how people understand and experience God. The distant God of conventional religion has given way to a more intimate sense of the sacred that is with us in the world. This shift, from a vertical understanding of God to a God found on the horizons of nature and human community, is at the heart of a spiritual revolution that surrounds us—and that is challenging not only religious institutions but political and social ones as well.

Tuesday, November 16, 2021

Ledger: Poems Jane Hirshfield

A pivotal book of personal, ecological, and political reckoning tuned toward issues of consequence to all who share this world’s current and future fate.

Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Unbound: My Story of Liberation and the Birth of the Me Too Movement. Tarana Burke

From the founder and activist behind the largest movement of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, Tarana Burke shares her never never before revealed life story of how she first came to say me too and launch one of the largest cultural events in American history.

Tuesday, February 15, 2022

Transcendent Kingdom. Yaa Gyasi

Gifty is a fifth-year candidate in neuroscience at Stanford School of Medicine studying reward-seeking behavior in mice and the neural circuits of depression and addiction. Her brother, Nana, was a gifted high school athlete who died of a heroin overdose after a knee injury left him hooked on OxyContin. Her suicidal mother is living in her bed. Gifty is determined to discover the scientific basis for the suffering she sees all around her.

Tuesday, March 15, 2022

Why We Swim. Bonnie Tsui

Why We Swim is propelled by stories of Olympic champions, a Baghdad swim club that meets in Saddam Hussein’s palace pool, modern-day Japanese samurai swimmers, and even an Icelandic fisherman who improbably survives a wintry six-hour swim after a shipwreck. New York Times contributor Bonnie Tsui, a swimmer herself, dives into the deep, from the San Francisco Bay to the South China Sea, investigating what about water—despite its dangers—seduces us and why we come back to it again and again.

Tuesday, April 19, 2022

Reason for Hope: A Spiritual Journey. Jane Goodall

Her revolutionary studies of Tanzania’s chimpanzees forever altered our definition of “humanity.” Now, intriguing as always, Jane Goodall explores her deepest convictions in a heartfelt memoir that takes her from the London Blitz to Louis Leaky’s famous excavations in Africa and then into the forests of Gombe.

Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Land of Big Numbers. Te-Ping Chen

Gripping and compassionate, Land of Big Numbers depicts the diverse and legion Chinese people, their history, their government, and how all of that has tumbled—messily, violently, but still beautifully—into the present.  Cutting between clear-eyed realism and tongue-in-cheek magical realism, Chen’s stories coalesce into a portrait of a people striving for openings where mobility is limited.