book club

Our Monthly Reads - August 2013

Have you been able to keep up with our monthly reading? How about your own? Take some suggestions from us if you're stuck in a rut! Here's what the staff has been up to this month!

Kate McIlvain, Director of Program Operations

Become What You Are  by Alan Watts

"Diving deeper into the work of Alan Watts, this month I am reading his collection of essays entitled "Become What You Are."  Many of these essays were previously published serially before being compiled into one book, and they each demonstrate Watts' deftness and expertise with comparative religions.  Some of the essays serve as quick meditations, others take a deep dive into east/west philosophies, and others are parables for everyday use and reflection.  Every time I pick up "Become What You Are," I find something new to chew on.  I give this book 4 paws

paw prints

Liz Burgess, Executive Director

Inferno by Dan Brown

"I have just started reading "Inferno" by Dan Brown.  I'm excited to get into Harvard professor of symbology, Robert Langdon's new quest in search of clues to a world-historical mystery.  I've enjoyed Dan Brown's previous novels, particularly "Angels and Demons," and have no doubt this will not disappoint as a page turner since his books are always filled with history, intrigue, secret codes, and symbols embedded in paintings, books, churches, monuments, and buildings.  How fun is reading a book whose main character travels the globe in search of clues to a mystery of world-altering proportions, deciphering symbols taken from objects of art, and this time from the literature of Dante's famous poem?  Dan Brown's books also have beautiful back drops such as Florence, exciting plots that keep you up to all hours, and provide a wonderful escape from the day to day.  As of Chapter 7, I give it 4 paws."



 Alicia Boemi,Director of External Relations

The Art of Racing in the Rain  by Garth Stein

"I am actually re-reading this book because I love it so much. As a dog owner and lover it is definitely a must read. The story does have tear jerker moments, but in the end it's a really touching and beautiful tale of two good friends. "


rating - 4 paws

Melissa McBride,Volunteer Coordinator

Shocked: My Mother, Schiaparelli, and Me by Patricia Volk

 "This month I'm reading "Shocked: My Mother, Schiaparelli, and Me" by Patricia Volk. It is a memoir in which Volk explores her interpretations of womanhood by juxtaposing the lives of her own mother, an upper-middle-class New Yorker, and Elsa Schiaparelli, a European couture designer whose autobiography transformed Volk at a young age. I just started reading Shocked for an all-female book club, and think it was a great pick for our group. Volk's style of prose is engaging, and I feel like I can relate to her, particularly as she explores the mother-daughter bond between herself and her mother, Audrey, and the indirect maternal influences of Schiaparelli as well. I would give this book 3 paws!"

rating - 3 paws

  Victoria Luisi,External Relations Intern

 The Happiness Project  by Gretchen Rubin

  "My current book genre obsession is memoirs lately, so I picked up this book after a friend suggested it. Since being in your early twenties always brings up the questionable future and the position of happiness in it, I bought this book per her suggestion and I liked it. I found Rubin to be moderately funny, and her goals for her project of happiness attainable. I think I might start applying some of them in my own life! It's not so much a self-help book as it is just a memoir about Rubin's quest for happiness, and I found it a good read for a minute or two. I give it three paws!

rating - 3 paws