“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, “classics”, and perhaps even a little Hubbard himself culminating in a discussion at the Roycroft Power House.

The book club discussions are free and opened to the general public. We meet on the date listed for each book at 7pm in the Roycroft Power House, 39 South Grove, East Aurora, NY 14052. If you would like to be included on our email list, please send your email address to anowicki@roycroftcampuscorp.com stating your interest in the book club.

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2024 BOOK SELECTIONS

BOOK DISCUSSION

Wednesday, January 17th, 2024 at 7:00pm

POSTPONED to Wednesday, January 24th, 2024 at 7:00pm

JANUARY TITLE: Far From the Twisted Reach – By Matt Bindig

In the summer of 2019, while staring down a deadening depression, Matt Bindig packed up his family for a three-week road trip out West—circling through six national parks—searching for the truth behind Bill Clinton’s words, “There is nothing wrong with America that cannot be cured by what is right with America.” After twenty-one days and 3,700 miles, he returned to his mind-numbingly normal suburban life with a collection of classic family photos and a journal full of scribbled notes. Six months later, COVID arrived and the world changed forever.

BOOK DISCUSSION

Wednesday, February 21st, 2024 at 7:00pm

FEBRUARY TITLE: Demon Copperhead – By Barbara Kingsolver

Set in the mountains of southern Appalachia, Demon Copperhead is the story of a boy born to a teenaged single mother in a single-wide trailer, with no assets beyond his dead father’s good looks and copper-colored hair, a caustic wit, and a fierce talent for survival. Relayed in his own unsparing voice, Demon braves the modern perils of foster care, child labor, derelict schools, athletic success, addiction, disastrous loves, and crushing losses. Through all of it, he reckons with his own invisibility in a popular culture where even the superheroes have abandoned rural people in favor of cities.

Many generations ago, Charles Dickens wrote David Copperfield from his experience as a survivor of institutional poverty and its damages to children in his society. Those problems have yet to be solved in ours. Dickens is not a prerequisite for readers of this novel, but he provided its inspiration. In transposing a Victorian epic novel to the contemporary American South, Barbara Kingsolver enlists Dickens’ anger and compassion, and above all, his faith in the transformative powers of a good story. Demon Copperhead speaks for a new generation of lost boys, and all those born into beautiful, cursed places they can’t imagine leaving behind.

BOOK DISCUSSION

Wednesday, April 17th, 2024 at 7:00pm

APRIL TITLE: The Art Thief – By Michael Finkel

For centuries, works of art have been stolen in countless ways from all over the world, but no one has been quite as successful at it as the master thief Stéphane Breitwieser. Carrying out more than two hundred heists over nearly eight years—in museums and cathedrals all over Europe—Breitwieser, along with his girlfriend who worked as his lookout, stole more than three hundred objects, until it all fell apart in spectacular fashion.

Unlike most thieves, Breitwieser never stole for money. Instead, he displayed all his treasures in a pair of secret rooms where he could admire them to his heart’s content. Possessed of a remarkable athleticism and an innate ability to circumvent practically any security system, Breitwieser managed to pull off a breathtaking number of audacious thefts. Yet these strange talents bred a growing disregard for risk and an addict’s need to score, leading Breitwieser to ignore his girlfriend’s pleas to stop—until one final act of hubris brought everything crashing down.

BOOK DISCUSSION

Wednesday, June 19th, 2024 at 7:00pm

JUNE TITLE: The Museum of Ordinary People – By Mike Gayle

Still reeling from the sudden death of her mother, Jess is about to do the hardest thing she’s ever done: empty her childhood home so that it can be sold.  As she sorts through a lifetime of memories, everything comes to a halt when she comes across something she just can’t part with: an old set of encyclopedias.  To the world, the books are outdated and ready to be recycled.  To Jess, they represent love and the future that her mother always wanted her to have.

In the process of finding the books a new home, Jess discovers an unusual archive of letters, photographs, and curious housed in a warehouse and known as the Museum of Ordinary People.  Irresistibly drawn, she becomes the museum’s unofficial custodian, along with the warehouse’s mysterious owner.  As they delve into the history of objects in their care, they not only unravel heart-stirring stories that span generations and continents, but also unearth long-buried secrets that lie closer to home.

Inspired by an abandoned box of mementos, The Museum of Ordinary People is a poignant novel about memory and loss, the things we leave behind, and the future we create for ourselves.

BOOK DISCUSSION

Wednesday, September 18th, 2024 at 7:00pm

SEPTEMBER TITLE: Implosion – By Elizabeth Garber

What could be cooler, thinks teen Elizabeth Garber in 1965, than to live in a glass house designed by her architect dad? Ever since childhood, she’s adored everything he loves―his XKE Jaguar, modern art, and his Eames black leather chair―and she’s been inspired by his passionate intensity as he teaches her about modern architecture. When Woodie receives a commission to design a high-rise dormitory―a tower of glass―for the University of Cincinnati, Elizabeth, her mother and brothers celebrate with him. But less than twenty years later, Sander Hall, the mirror-glass dormitory, will be dynamited into rubble.

Implosion: Memoir of an Architect’s Daughter delves into the life of visionary architect Woodie Garber and the collision of forces in the turbulent 1970s that caused his family to collapse. Soon after the family’s move into Woodie’s glass house, his need to control begins to strain normal bonds; and Elizabeth’s first love, a young black man, triggers his until-then hidden racism. This haunting memoir describes his descent into madness and follows Elizabeth’s inspiring journey to emerge from her abuse, gain understanding and freedom from her father’s control, and go on to become a loving mother and a healer who helps others.

BOOK DISCUSSION

Wednesday, November 13th, 2024 at 7:00pm

NOVEMBER TITLE: Noon at Tiffany’s – By Echo Heron

In the summer of 1888, Clara Wolcott, a daring young artist from Ohio, walked into Louis Tiffany’s Manhattan office to interview for a job as a designer. For the next 21 years, her pivotal role in his multi-million-dollar empire remained one of Tiffany’s most closely guarded secrets—a secret that when revealed 118 years later sent the international art world into a tailspin. Torn between his obsession with Clara and his lust for success, Tiffany resorts to desperate measures to keep her creative genius under his command. Clara cleverly navigates both her turbulent love-hate relationship with Tiffany and the rigid rules of Victorian and Edwardian societies, in order to embrace all the adventure and romance turn-of-the-century New York City has to offer. Basing her story on a recently discovered cache of letters written between 1888 and 1944, New York Times bestselling author Echo Heron artfully blends fact with fiction to draw the reader into the remarkable life of one of America’s most prolific and extraordinary women artists: Clara Wolcott Driscoll, the hidden genius behind the iconic Tiffany lamps.

PAST BOOKS

2023
The Magnolia Palace – By Fiona Davis
The Midnight Library – By Matt Haig
Lessons in Chemistry – By Bonnie Garmus
Heaven’s Ditch: God, Gold and Murder on the Erie Canal – By Jack Kelly
A Piece of the World – By Christine Baker Kline
The Silent Patient – By Alex Michaelides

2022
The Exiles – By Christine Baker Kline
Klara and the Sun – By Kazuo Ishiguro
The Giver of Stars – By Jojo Moyes
The Dictionary of Lost Words – By Pip Williams
The Vanishing Half – By Brit Bennett
The Secrets We Kept – By Lara Prescott

2021
A Perfect Mother – By Aimee Malloy
Finding Dorothy – By Elizabeth Letts
A Gentleman in Moscow – By Amor Towles

2020
Little Women – By Louisa May Alcott
Inland – By Tea Obreht

2019
Pichinko – By Min Jin Lee
Educated: A Memoir – By Tara Westover
The Death of Mrs. Westaway – By Ruth Ware
The Dinner List – By Rebecca Serle
The Library Book – By Susan Orlean

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