The Roycroft Book Club

"Pure literature and good books are meat and drink.
They are the silos that feed the mind, nourishing and energizing it.” – Elbert Hubbard

 

Join the Roycroft Campus as we follow in the footsteps of Elbert Hubbard and immerse ourselves in the love of literature. Throughout the year we will read contemporary bestsellers, historical non-fiction, and perhaps even a little Hubbard himself culminating in a discussion at the Roycroft Power House.

 2018 Book Titles

JANUARY 2018

WonderBOOK DISCUSSION - Wednesday, January 10th at 7:00pm

The Wonder - By Emma Donoghue

Tourists flock to the cabin of eleven-year-old Anna O'Donnell, who is said to be living without food, and a journalist is sent to cover the sensation. Lib Wright, a veteran of Florence Nightingale's Crimean campaign, is hired to keep watch over the girl. As Anna's life ebbs away, Lib finds herself responsible not just for the care of a child but for that child's very survival. Haunting and magnetic, The Wonder is a searing examination of doubt, faith, and what nourishes us, body and soul. Written with all the propulsive tension that made Donoghue’s Room a huge bestseller, it works beautifully on many levels -- an intimate tale of two strangers who transform each other's lives, a powerful psychological thriller, and a spellbinding story of love pitted against evil.

 

 

MARCH 2018

Electrifying Fall of Rainbow CityBOOK DISCUSSION - Wednesday, March 7th at 7:00pm

The Electrifying Fall of Rainbow City: Spectacle and Assassination at the 1901 World's Fair - By Margaret Creighton

In 1901, Buffalo, New York, the eighth biggest city in America, wanted to launch the new century with the Pan American Exposition. It would showcase the Western hemisphere and bring millions of people to western New York. With Niagara Falls as a drawing card and with stunning colors and electric lights, promoters believed it would be bigger, better, and literally more brilliant than Chicago's White City of 1893. Weaving together narratives of both notorious and forgotten figures, Margaret Creighton unveils the fair's big tragedy and its lesser-known scandals. From a deranged laborer who stalked and shot President William McKinley to a sixty-year-old woman who rode a barrel over Niagara Falls, to two astonishing acts, a little person and an elephant who turned the tables on their duplicitous manager, Creighton reveals the myriad power struggles that would personify modern America. The Buffalo fair announced the new century, but in ways nobody expected.

 

MAY 2018

Handmaids TaleBOOK DISCUSSION - Wednesday, May 9th at 7:00pm

The Handmaid's Tale - By Margaret Atwood

The story is told through the eyes of Offred, one of the unfortunate Handmaids under the new social order. In condensed but eloquent prose, by turns cool-eyed, tender, despairing, passionate, and wry, she reveals to us the dark corners behind the establishment’s calm facade, as certain tendencies now in existence are carried to their logical conclusions. The Handmaid's Tale is funny, unexpected, horrifying, and altogether convincing. It is at once scathing satire, dire warning, and a tour de force. It is Margaret Atwood at her best.

 

 

 

June 2018

BOOK DISCUSSION - Wednesday, June 20th at 7:00pmStoried Life of AJFikry

The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry - By Gabrielle Zevin

A. J. Fikry’s life is not at all what he expected it to be. He lives alone, his bookstore is experiencing the worst sales in its history, and now his prized possession, a rare collection of Poe poems, has been stolen. But when a mysterious package appears at the bookstore, its unexpected arrival gives Fikry the chance to make his life over--and see everything anew.

 

 

 

 

SEPTEMBER 2018

Killers of the Flower MoonBOOK DISCUSSION - Wednesday, September 12th at 7:00pm

Killers of the Flower Moon - By David Grann

In the 1920s, the richest people per capita in the world were members of the Osage Indian nation in Oklahoma. After oil was discovered beneath their land, they rode in chauffeured automobiles, built mansions, and sent their children to study in Europe. Then, one by one, the Osage began to be killed off. As the death toll climbed to more than twenty-four, the FBI took up the case. It was one of the organization’s first major homicide investigations and the bureau badly bungled the case. Author David Grann revisits a shocking series of crimes in which dozens of people were murdered in cold blood. Based on years of research and startling new evidence, 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 American Indians that allowed the murderers to operate with impunity for so long.

 

 

NOVEMBER 2018

What She AteBOOK DISCUSSION - Wednesday, November 14th at 7:00pm

What She Ate: Six Remarkable Women and the Food That Tells Their Stories - By Laura Shaparo

Everyone eats, and food touches on every aspect of our lives—social and cultural, personal and political. Yet most biographers pay little attention to people’s attitudes toward food, as if the great and notable never bothered to think about what was on the plate in front of them. Once we ask how somebody relates to food, we find a whole world of different and provocative ways to understand her. Food stories can be as intimate and revealing as stories of love, work, or coming-of-age. Each of the six women in this entertaining group portrait was famous in her time, and most are still famous in ours; but until now, nobody has told their lives from the point of view of the kitchen and the table. They include Dorothy Wordsworth, whose food story transforms our picture of the life she shared with her famous poet brother; Rosa Lewis, the Edwardian-era Cockney caterer who cooked her way up the social ladder; Eleanor Roosevelt,  First Lady and rigorous protector of the worst cook in White House history; Eva Braun, Hitler’s mistress, who challenges our warm associations of food, family, and table; Barbara Pym, whose witty books upend a host of stereotypes about postwar British cuisine; and Helen Gurley Brown, the editor of Cosmopolitan, whose commitment to “having it all” meant having almost nothing on the plate except a supersized portion of diet gelatin.

 

 

2019 Book Titles

FEBRUARY 2019

PachinkoBOOK DISCUSSION - Wednesday, February 20th at 7:00pm

Pachinko - By Min Jin Lee

In the early 1900s, teenaged Sunja, the adored daughter of a crippled fisherman, falls for a wealthy stranger at the seashore near her home in Korea. He promises her the world, but when she discovers she is pregnant--and that her lover is married--she refuses to be bought. Instead, she accepts an offer of marriage from a gentle, sickly minister passing through on his way to Japan. But her decision to abandon her home, and to reject her son's powerful father, sets off a dramatic saga that will echo down through the generations.

 

 

APRIL 2019

EducatedBOOK DISCUSSION - Wednesday, April 17th at 7:00pm

Educated: A Memoir - By Tara Westover

Tara Westover was seventeen the first time she set foot in a classroom. Born to survivalists in the mountains of Idaho, she prepared for the end of the world by stockpiling home-canned peaches and sleeping with her “head-for-the-hills” bag. In the summer she stewed herbs for her mother, a midwife and healer, and in the winter she salvaged metal in her father’s junkyard.  When another brother got himself into college and came back with news of the world beyond the mountain, Tara decided to try a new kind of life. She taught herself enough mathematics, grammar, and science to take the ACT and was admitted to Brigham Young University. There, she studied psychology, politics, philosophy, and history, learning for the first time about pivotal world events like the Holocaust and the Civil Rights Movement. Her quest for knowledge transformed her, taking her over oceans and across continents, to Harvard and to Cambridge University. Only then would she wonder if she’d traveled too far, if there was still a way home. 

 

JUNE 2019

Death WestawayBOOK DISCUSSION - Wednesday, June 19th at 7:00pm

The Death of Mrs. Westaway - By Ruth Ware

On a day that begins like any other, Hal receives a mysterious letter bequeathing her a substantial inheritance. She realizes very quickly that the letter was sent to the wrong person—but also that the cold-reading skills she’s honed as a tarot card reader might help her claim the money. Soon, Hal finds herself at the funeral of the deceased…where it dawns on her that there is something very, very wrong about this strange situation and the inheritance at the center of it. Full of spellbinding menace and told in Ruth Ware’s signature suspenseful style, this is an unputdownable thriller from the Agatha Christie of our time.

 

 

AUGUST 2019

BOOK DISCUSSION - Wednesday, August 17th at 7:00pmDinner List

The Dinner List: A Novel - By Rebecca Serle

At one point or another, we’ve all been asked to name five people, living or dead, with whom we’d like to have dinner. Why do we choose the people we do? And what if that dinner was to actually happen? These are the questions Rebecca Serle contends with in her utterly captivating novel, THE DINNER LIST, a story imbued with the same delightful magical realism as One Day, and the life-changing romance of Me Before You. When Sabrina arrives at her thirtieth birthday dinner she finds at the table not just her best friend, but also three significant people from her past, and well, Audrey Hepburn. As the appetizers are served, wine poured, and dinner table conversation begins, it becomes clear that there’s a reason these six people have been gathered together.

 

 

OCTOBER 2019

LibraryBookBOOK DISCUSSION - Wednesday, October 16th at 7:00pm

The Library Book - By Susan Orlean

Weaving her life-long love of books and reading with the fascinating history of libraries and the sometimes-eccentric characters who run them, award-winning journalist and New York Times bestselling author Susan Orlean presents a mesmerizing and uniquely compelling story as only she can. With her signature wit, insight, compassion, and talent for deep research, she investigates the legendary Los Angeles Public Library fire to showcase the larger, crucial role that libraries play in our lives. To truly understand what happens behind the stacks, Orlean visits the different departments of the LAPL, encountering an engaging cast of employees and patrons and experiencing alongside them the victories and struggles they face in today’s climate. She also delves into the evolution of libraries across the country and around the world, from a metropolitan charitable initiative to a cornerstone of national identity. She reflects on her childhood experiences in libraries; studies arson and the long history of library fires; attempts to burn a copy of a book herself; and she re-examines the case of Harry Peak, the blond-haired actor long suspected of setting fire to the library over thirty years ago. Along the way, she reveals how these buildings provide much more than just books—and that they are needed now more than ever.

 

 

Past Books

2018

The Wonder - By Emma Donoghue

The Electrifying Fall of Rainbow City: Spectacle and Assassination at the 1901 World's Fair - By Margaret Creighton

The Handmaid's Tale - By Margaret Atwood

The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry - By Gabrielle Zevin

Killers of the Flower Moon - By David Grann

What She Ate: Six Remarkable Women and the Food That Tells Their Stories - Laura Shaparo

2017

Commonwealth - By Ann Patchett

Underground Airlines - By Ben Winters

The Book of Speculation - By Erika Swyler

Leaving Before the Rains Come - By Alexandra Fuller

Grandma Gatewood's Walk - By Ben Montgomery

The Lady in Gold - Anne-Marie O'Conner

2016

All the Light We Can Not See - By Anthony Doerr

West with the Night - By Beryl Markham

Shop Class as Soul Craft - By Matthew B. Crawford

The Alchemist - By Paulo Coelho

Station Eleven - By Emily St. John Mandel

A Fierce Radiance - By Lauren Belfer

 2015

Two in the Far North - By Margaret Murie

The Secret History of Wonder Woman - By Jill Lepore

Lusitania: An Epic Tragedy - By Diana Preston

Legendary Locals of East Aurora - By Rob Goller

Let the Great World Spin - By Colum McCann

2014

And the Mountains Echoed - By Khaled Hosseini

The Red Badge of Courage - By Stephen Crane

In the Garden of Beasts - By Erik Larson

Thomas Jefferson:The Art of Power - By Jon Meacham and Little Journeys:Thomas Jefferson - By Elbert Hubbard

 

 
Back to top