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.

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

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2020 BOOK SELECTIONS

BOOK DISCUSSION

Wednesday, January 15th at 7:00p

JANUARY TITLE: Little Women – By Louisa May Alcott

Celebrating the 150th anniversary of the classic novel. Little Women was originally published in two volumes in 1868 and 1869. It follows the lives of the four March sisters—Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy— from childhood to womanhood and is loosely based on the author and her three sisters. Although Little Women was a novel for girls, it differed notably from the current writings for children, especially girls. A new screen adaption of the story is set for release in December of 2019.

BOOK DISCUSSION

Wednesday, February 19th at 7:00p

FEBRUARY TITLE: Inland – By Tea Obreht

In the lawless, drought-ridden lands of the Arizona Territory in 1893, two extraordinary lives unfold. Nora is an unflinching frontierswoman awaiting the return of the men in her life—her husband, who has gone in search of water for the parched household, and her elder sons, who have vanished after an explosive argument. Nora is biding her time with her youngest son, who is convinced that a mysterious beast is stalking the land around their home. Meanwhile, Lurie is a former outlaw and a man haunted by ghosts. He sees lost souls who want something from him, and he finds reprieve from their longing in an unexpected relationship that inspires a momentous expedition across the West. The way in which Lurie’s death-defying trek at last intersects with Nora’s plight is the surprise and suspense of this brilliant novel.

BOOK DISCUSSION

Wednesday, April 15th at 7:00p

APRIL TITLE: Zoo Nebraska – By Carson Vaughan

When Dick Haskin’s plans to assist primatologist Dian Fossey in Rwanda were cut short by her murder, Dick’s devotion to primates didn’t die with her. He returned to his hometown with Reuben, an adolescent chimp, in the bed of a pickup truck and transformed a trailer home into the Midwest Primate Center. As the tourist trade multiplied, so did the inhabitants of what would become Zoo Nebraska, the unlikeliest boon to Royal’s economy in generations and, eventually, the source of a power struggle that would lead to the tragic implosion of Dick Haskin’s dream. A resonant true story of small-town politics and community perseverance and of decent people and questionable choices, Zoo Nebraska is a timely requiem for a rural America in the throes of extinction.

BOOK DISCUSSION

Wednesday, June 17th at 7:00p

JUNE TITLE: A Perfect Mother – By Aimee Malloy

They call themselves the May Mothers—a group of new moms whose babies were born in the same month. Twice a week, they get together in Brooklyn’s Prospect Park for some much-needed adult time.

When the women go out for drinks at the hip neighborhood bar, they want a fun break from their daily routine. But on this hot Fourth of July night, something goes terrifyingly wrong: one of the babies is taken from his crib. Winnie, a single mom, was reluctant to leave six-week-old Midas with a babysitter, but her fellow May Mothers insisted everything would be fine. Now he is missing. What follows is a heart-pounding race to find Midas, during which secrets are exposed, marriages are tested, and friendships are destroyed.

BOOK DISCUSSION

Wednesday, August 19th at 7:00p

AUGUST TITLE: Finding Dorothy – By Elizabeth Letts

Hollywood, 1938: As soon as she learns that M-G-M is adapting her late husband’s masterpiece for the screen, seventy-seven-year-old Maud Gage Baum sets about trying to finagle her way onto the set. Nineteen years after Frank’s passing, Maud is the only person who can help the producers stay true to the spirit of the book—because she’s the only one left who knows its secrets. But the moment she hears Judy Garland rehearsing the first notes of “Over the Rainbow,” Maud recognizes the yearning that defined her own life story, from her youth as a suffragette’s daughter to her coming of age as one of the first women in the Ivy League, from her blossoming romance with Frank to the hardscrabble prairie years that inspired The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. Judy reminds Maud of a young girl she cared for and tried to help in South Dakota, a dreamer who never got her happy ending. Now, with the young actress under pressure from the studio as well as her ambitious stage mother, Maud resolves to protect her—the way she tried so hard to protect the real Dorothy.

BOOK DISCUSSION

Wednesday, October 21st at 7:00p

OCTOBER TITLE: A Gentleman in Moscow – By Amor Towles

In 1922, Count Alexander Rostov is deemed an unrepentant aristocrat by a Bolshevik tribunal, and is sentenced to house arrest in the Metropol, a grand hotel across the street from the Kremlin. Rostov, an indomitable man of erudition and wit, has never worked a day in his life, and must now live in an attic room while some of the most tumultuous decades in Russian history are unfolding outside the hotel’s doors. Unexpectedly, his reduced circumstances provide him entry into a much larger world of emotional discovery.

PAST BOOKS

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