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Bad Ass Librarians of Timbuktu by Joshua Hammer
Tuesday, July 2
Bad Ass Librarians of Timbuktu by Joshua Hammer
7:00 pm
Virtual
In the 1980s, a young adventurer and collector for a government library, Abdel Kader Haidara, journeyed across the Sahara Desert and along the Niger River, tracking down and salvaging tens of thousands of ancient Islamic and secular manuscripts that were crumbling in the trunks of desert shepherds. His goal: preserve this crucial part of the world’s patrimony in a gorgeous library. But then Al Qaeda showed up at the door.
 
“Part history, part scholarly adventure story, and part journalist survey…Joshua Hammer writes with verve and expertise” (The New York Times Book Review) about how Haidara, a mild-mannered archivist from the legendary city of Timbuktu, became one of the world’s greatest smugglers by saving the texts from sure destruction. With bravery and patience, Haidara organized a dangerous operation to sneak all 350,000 volumes out of the city to the safety of southern Mali. His heroic heist “has all the elements of a classic adventure novel” (The Seattle Times), and is a reminder that ordinary citizens often do the most to protect the beauty of their culture. His the story is one of a man who, through extreme circumstances, discovered his higher calling and was changed forever by it. (Amazon Review)
 
You must be logged in as a Member to participate in the event. Log-in at https://www.msoginc.org/members.php. Go to "Event Registration" to register for the book club.
 
Upcoming Book Club Readings:
August 6. 2024  The Ancestor by Danielle Trussoni  
September 3, 2024  She Has Her Mother's Laugh by Carl Zimmer 
October 1, 2024   Judge Sewall's Apology by Richard Francis 



The Ancestor by Danielle Trussoni
Tuesday, August 6
The Ancestor by Danielle Trussoni
7:00 pm
Virtual
After a DNA test reveals that Alberta “Bert” Monte is the sole heir of a wealthy noble family in the Italian Alps, she leaves New York to visit the family estate: Montebianco Castle, a centuries-old compound isolated in the mountains. What appeared to be a fairy tale inheritance, however, soon turns into a nightmare as Bert begins to uncover the dark legacy of her family: the truth about the abandoned village at the base of the castle; the whispers of stolen children; and the rumors of a legendary monster in the mountains. As Bert unravels the truth, she learns that her true inheritance lies not in a noble title or ancestral treasures, but in her very genes, and now she must choose between preserving a secret centuries in the keeping or abandoning it forever. (Amazon Review)
 
You must be logged in as a Member to participate in the event. Log-in at https://www.msoginc.org/members.php. Go to "Event Registration" to register for the book club.
 
Upcoming Book Club Readings:
September 3, 2024  She Has Her Mother's Laugh by Carl Zimmer 
October 1, 2024   Judge Sewall's Apology by Richard Francis 
November 5, 2024  The Mayflower: The Families, the Voyage, and the Founding of America by Rebecca Fraser   



She Has Her Mother's Laugh by Carl Zimmer
Tuesday, September 3
She Has Her Mother's Laugh by Carl Zimmer
7:00 pm
Virtual
Zimmer writes, “Each of us carries an amalgam of fragments of DNA, stitched together from some of our many ancestors. Each piece has its own ancestry, traveling a different path back through human history. A particular fragment may sometimes be cause for worry, but most of our DNA influences who we are—our appearance, our height, our penchants—in inconceivably subtle ways.” Heredity isn’t just about genes that pass from parent to child. Heredity continues within our own bodies, as a single cell gives rise to trillions of cells that make up our bodies. We say we inherit genes from our ancestors—using a word that once referred to kingdoms and estates—but we inherit other things that matter as much or more to our lives, from microbes to technologies we use to make life more comfortable. We need a new definition of what heredity is and, through Carl Zimmer’s lucid exposition and storytelling, this resounding tour de force delivers it. 
 
Weaving historical and current scientific research, his own experience with his two daughters, and the kind of original reporting expected of one of the world’s best science journalists, Zimmer ultimately unpacks urgent bioethical quandaries arising from new biomedical technologies, but also long-standing presumptions about who we really are and what we can pass on to future generations. (Amazon Review)
 
You must be logged in as a Member to participate in the event. Log-in at https://www.msoginc.org/members.php. Go to "Event Registration" to register for the book club.
 
Upcoming Book Club Readings:
October 1, 2024   Judge Sewall's Apology by Richard Francis 
November 5, 2024  The Mayflower: The Families, the Voyage, and the Founding of America by Rebecca Fraser 
December 3, 2024   The Story of the Trapp Family Singers by Maria Von Trapp 
 



Judge Sewall's Apology by Richard Francis
Tuesday, October 1
Judge Sewall's Apology by Richard Francis
7:00 pm
Virtual
The Salem witch hunt has entered our vocabulary as the very essence of injustice. Judge Samuel Sewall presided at these trials, passing harsh judgment on the condemned. But five years later, he publicly recanted his guilty verdicts and begged for forgiveness. This extraordinary act was a turning point not only for Sewall but also for America's nascent values and mores.
 
In Judge Sewall's Apology, Richard Francis draws on the judge's own diaries, which enables us to see the early colonists not as grim ideologues, but as flesh-and-blood idealists, striving for a new society while coming to terms with the desires and imperfections of ordinary life. Through this unsung hero of the American conscience -- a Puritan, an antislavery agitator, a defender of Native American rights, and a Utopian theorist -- we are granted a fresh perspective on a familiar drama. (Amazon Review)
 
You must be logged in as a Member to participate in the event. Log-in at https://www.msoginc.org/members.php. Go to "Event Registration" to register for the book club.
 
Upcoming Book Club Readings:
November 5, 2024  The Mayflower: The Families, the Voyage, and the Founding of America by Rebecca Fraser 
December 3, 2024   The Story of the Trapp Family Singers by Maria Von Trapp 



The Mayflower: The Families, the Voyage, and the Founding of America by Rebecca Fraser
Tuesday, November 5
The Mayflower: The Families, the Voyage, and the Founding of America by Rebecca Fraser
7:00 pm
Virtual
The voyage of the Mayflower and the founding of Plymouth Colony is one of the seminal events in world history. But the poorly-equipped group of English Puritans who ventured across the Atlantic in the early autumn of 1620 had no sense they would pass into legend. They had eighty casks of butter and two dogs but no cattle for milk, meat, or ploughing. They were ill-prepared for the brutal journey and the new land that few of them could comprehend. But the Mayflower story did not end with these Pilgrims’ arrival on the coast of New England or their first uncertain years as settlers. Rebecca Fraser traces two generations of one ordinary family and their extraordinary response to the challenges of life in America.
 
Edward Winslow, an apprentice printer, fled England and then Holland for a life of religious freedom and opportunity. Despite the intense physical trials of settlement, he found America exotic, enticing, and endlessly interesting. He built a home and a family, and his remarkable friendship with King Massassoit, Chief of the Wampanoags, is part of the legend of Thanksgiving. Yet, fifty years later, Edward’s son Josiah was commanding the New England militias against Massassoit’s son in King Philip’s War.
 
The Mayflower is an intensely human portrait of the Winslow family written with the pace of an epic. Rebecca Fraser details domestic life in the seventeenth century, the histories of brave and vocal Puritan women and the contradictions between generations as fathers and sons made the painful decisions which determined their future in America. (Amazon Review)
 
You must be logged in as a Member to participate in the event. Log-in at https://www.msoginc.org/members.php. Go to "Event Registration" to register for the book club.
 
Upcoming Book Club Readings:
December 3, 2024   The Story of the Trapp Family Singers by Maria Von Trapp 



The Story of the Trapp Family Singers by Maria Von Trapp
Tuesday, December 3
The Story of the Trapp Family Singers by Maria Von Trapp
7:00 pm
Virtual
With nearly 1,500 Broadway performances, six Tony Awards, more than three million albums sold, and five Academy Awards, The Sound of Music, based on the lives of Maria, the baron, and their singing children, is as familiar to most of us as our own family history. But much about the real-life woman and her family was left untold.
 
Here, Baroness Maria Augusta Trapp tells in her own beautiful, simple words the extraordinary story of her romance with the baron, their escape from Nazi-occupied Austria, and their life in America.
 
Maria Augusta Kutschera was born on a train en route to Vienna just before midnight on January 26, 1905. Her mother died when she was only two years old and her father left her with an elderly cousin so that he could be free to travel. She experienced a lonely and very strict upbringing without any siblings or other children in the household. She was raised a socialist and an atheist and was actively cynical towards all religions. It was during a visit to a church to hear a Bach concert that her mind was changed when she heard the words of a well-known priest, Father Kronseder. Her meeting with him led to her entering a convent to become a nun. While she was devoted to the convent life, she was taken away from the outdoor activities she once thrived on. Her doctor, concerned that her health was failing, helped the nuns to decide to send Maria to the home of retied naval captain Georg Von Trapp, to be governess to his bedridden daughter. On November 26, 1927, Maria and Georg were married. The rest is history. (Amazon Review)
 
You must be logged in as a Member to participate in the event. Log-in at https://www.msoginc.org/members.php. Go to "Event Registration" to register for the book club.