“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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2023 BOOK SELECTIONS

BOOK DISCUSSION

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2023 at 7:00p

FEBRUARY TITLE: The Midnight Library – By Matt Haig

Somewhere out beyond the edge of the universe there is a library that contains an infinite number of books, each one the story of another reality. One tells the story of your life as it is, along with another book for the other life you could have lived if you had made a different choice at any point in your life. While we all wonder how our lives might have been, what if you had the chance to go to the library and see for yourself? Would any of these other lives truly be better?

In The Midnight Library, Matt Haig’s enchanting blockbuster novel, Nora Seed finds herself faced with this decision. Faced with the possibility of changing her life for a new one, following a different career, undoing old breakups, realizing her dreams of becoming a glaciologist; she must search within herself as she travels through the Midnight Library to decide what is truly fulfilling in life, and what makes it worth living in the first place.

BOOK DISCUSSION

Wednesday, April 19th, 2023 at 7:00p

APRIL TITLE: Lessons in Chemistry – By Bonnie Garmus

Chemist Elizabeth Zott is not your average woman. In fact, Elizabeth Zott would be the first to point out that there is no such thing as an average woman. But it’s the early 1960s and her all-male team at Hastings Research Institute takes a very unscientific view of equality. Except for one: Calvin Evans; the lonely, brilliant, Nobel–prize nominated grudge-holder who falls in love with—of all things—her mind. True chemistry results.

But like science, life is unpredictable. Which is why a few years later Elizabeth Zott finds herself not only a single mother, but the reluctant star of America’s most beloved cooking show Supper at Six. Elizabeth’s unusual approach to cooking (“combine one tablespoon acetic acid with a pinch of sodium chloride”) proves revolutionary. But as her following grows, not everyone is happy. Because as it turns out, Elizabeth Zott isn’t just teaching women to cook. She’s daring them to change the status quo.

BOOK DISCUSSION

Wednesday, June 21st, 2023 at 7:00p

JUNE TITLE: Heaven’s Ditch – By Jack Kelly

The technological marvel of its age, the Erie Canal grew out of a sudden fit of inspiration. Proponents didn’t just dream; they built a 360-mile waterway entirely by hand and largely through wilderness. As excitement crackled down its length, the canal became the scene of the most striking outburst of imagination in American history. Zealots invented new religions and new modes of living. The Erie Canal made New York the financial capital of America and brought the modern world crashing into the frontier. Men and women saw God face to face, gained and lost fortunes, and reveled in a period of intense spiritual creativity.

Heaven’s Ditch by Jack Kelly illuminates the spiritual and political upheavals along this “psychic highway” from its opening in 1825 through 1844. “Wage slave” Sam Patch became America’s first celebrity daredevil. William Miller envisioned the apocalypse. Farm boy Joseph Smith gave birth to Mormonism, a new and distinctly American religion. Along the way, the reader encounters America’s very first “crime of the century,” a treasure hunt, searing acts of violence, a visionary cross-dresser, and a panoply of fanatics, mystics, and hoaxers.

BOOK DISCUSSION

Wednesday, September 20th, 2023 at 7:00p

SEPTEMBER TITLE: A Piece of the World – By Christine Baker Kline

To Christina Olson, the entire world is her family farm in the small coastal town of Cushing, Maine. The only daughter in a family of sons, Christina is tied to her home by health and circumstance and seems destined for a small life. Instead, she becomes Andrew Wyeth’s first great inspiration, and the subject of one of the best-known paintings of the twentieth century, Christina’s World.

As she did in her beloved bestseller Orphan Train, Christina Baker Kline interweaves fact and fiction to vividly reimagine a real moment in history. A Piece of the World is a powerful story of the flesh-and-blood woman behind the portrait, her complicated relationship to her family and inheritance, and how artist and muse can come together to forge a new and timeless legacy. This story also has ties to the Roycroft.

BOOK DISCUSSION

Wednesday, November 15th, 2023 at 7:00p

NOVEMBER TITLE: The Silent Patient – By Alex Michaelides

Alicia Berenson’s life is seemingly perfect. A famous painter married to an in-demand fashion photographer, she lives in a grand house with big windows overlooking a park in one of London’s most desirable areas. One evening her husband Gabriel returns home late from a fashion shoot, and Alicia shoots him five times in the face, and then never speaks another word.

Alicia’s refusal to talk, or give any kind of explanation, turns a domestic tragedy into something far grander, a mystery that captures the public imagination and casts Alicia into notoriety. The price of her art skyrockets, and she, the silent patient, is hidden away from the tabloids and spotlight at the Grove, a secure forensic unit in North London.

Theo Faber is a criminal psychotherapist who has waited a long time for the opportunity to work with Alicia. His determination to get her to talk and unravel the mystery of why she shot her husband takes him down a twisting path into his own motivations―a search for the truth that threatens to consume him….

PAST BOOKS

2023
The Magnolia Palace – By Fiona Davis

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