PVWC Book Club

August, 2019

Becoming, by Michelle Obama

Summary (www.amazon.com):

#1 NEW YORK TIMES, WALL STREET JOURNAL, AND BOSTON GLOBE BESTSELLER • NAMED ONE OF THE TEN BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW • ONE OF PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA’S FAVORITE BOOKS OF THE YEAR • BILL GATES’S HOLIDAY READING LIST • FINALIST FOR THE NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE’S AWARD IN AUTOBIOGRAPHY • FINALIST FOR THE NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE’S JOHN LEONARD PRIZE FOR BEST FIRST BOOK • FINALIST FOR THE PEN/JEAN STEIN BOOK AWARD

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY The Washington Post O: The Oprah MagazineTime • NPR • Good Morning America San Francisco ChronicleThe Guardian The Economist Financial TimesNewsdayNew York PosttheSkimmRefinery29BloombergSelfReal Simple Town & CountryBustlePastePublishers WeeklyLibrary JournalLibraryReadsBookRiot • Pamela Paul, KQED • New York Public Library

An unforgettable memoir about a young girl who, kept out of school, leaves her survivalist family and goes on to earn a PhD from Cambridge University

Born to survivalists in the mountains of Idaho, Tara Westover was seventeen the first time she set foot in a classroom. Her family was so isolated from mainstream society that there was no one to ensure the children received an education, and no one to intervene when one of Tara’s older brothers became violent. When another brother got himself into college, Tara decided to try a new kind of life. 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.

“Beautiful and propulsive . . . Despite the singularity of [Tara Westover’s] childhood, the questions her book poses are universal: How much of ourselves should we give to those we love? And how much must we betray them to grow up?”—Vogue

“Westover has somehow managed not only to capture her unsurpassably exceptional upbringing, but to make her current situation seem not so exceptional at all, and resonant for many others.”—The New York Times Book Review

Book Selections for July 2019 to December 2019:

  1. July 2019: Becoming, by Michelle Obama . https://www.amazon.com/Becoming-Michelle-Obama-ebook/dp/B079ZYWJJ8
  2. August 2019: Educated, by Tara Westover https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35133922-educated
  3. September 2019: Women Rowing North: Navigating Life’s Currents and Flourishing As We Age, by Mary Pipher . https://www.goodreads.com/en/book/show/38884171-women-rowing-north
  4. October 2019: Becoming Madame Mao, by Anchee Min . https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/9750.Becoming_Madame_Mao
  5. November 2019: The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning, by Margareta Magnussen. https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35297297-the-gentle-art-of-swedish-death-cleaning
  6. December 2019: The Lives of Bees, by Thomas Seeley . https://www.amazon.com/Lives-Bees-Untold-Story-Honey/dp/0691166765

Short url of the club homepage: http://tinyurl.com/pvwc-bookclub

Club Goal:

The women of Portola Valley are among the most resourceful, inspiring, and literal people. We read books and share our reading experiences to enrich our lives, gain knowledge, keep up mental stimulation, connect with and learn from each other, and just simply relax and have fun!

We invite you to join us on this wonderful journey of self-discovery, making friends, and learning about the world through reading and sharing.

Book types: classic literature, science fiction, popular science, award-winning literature, ... No political books.

  • Meeting Frequency: 1 book / month; No meeting in November - December due to holidays. Online discussion is open all year long.
  • Meeting: 11am - 1pm, last Thursday of each month, at PV Library private room.
  • Format: Casual. You do not need to finish the book to participate in discussion; if you find it difficult to finish a book, we understand - everyone has a different taste and some times a book just does not work for you; no worries, you are still welcome to come and hear what others have to say about the book and why or why not they like it.
  • Movies: We may choose to view movies of the books we read and discuss that as well.
  • Member Recommendations: Members are encouraged to recommend their favorite book to the club. While we are a small group, members could recommend up to 3 books; however, as we grow, we will limit to 1 book recommendation per member.
  • Moderator: Members of the club volunteers and takes turn to be moderators for the monthly discussion.
  • Vote: New poll will be posted on the Vote for Next Book page in June and December. Each voting period will choose 6 months' book.
  • Online Discussion: If you are not able to attend the monthly meeting, we encourage you to post on our online forum to share your reading experience. During the off season in the summer months (July - August) and holiday season (November - December), we continue to have the same procedure for selecting the book of the month, and will have online discussion only.