Book Club

Book Club

The Columbine UU Book Club meets on the 4th Wednesday of each month, 7:30 – 9:00 pm.  Every month, a member proposes three to five books that the book club may want to read and discuss at the meeting two months in the future, and members vote on which book they want. The member who proposed the book facilitates the meeting on the night that book is discussed, providing refreshments to fuel the discussion. There are always free-ranging discussions at Columbine’s book club in which everyone is encouraged and allowed time to participate. There is a combined November/December meeting due to holiday activities.

You need not have read the book to participate, and visitors are welcome to attend Book Club meetings.


The Book selected for February 26th, 2020 is
The Bonobo and the Atheist
by Frans De Waal

Esteemed primatologist Frans de Waal argues that human morality is not imposed from above but instead comes from within. Moral behavior does not begin and end with religion but is in fact a product of evolution.

For many years, de Waal has observed chimpanzees soothe distressed neighbors and bonobos share their food. Now he delivers fascinating fresh evidence for the seeds of ethical behavior in primate societies that further cements the case for the biological origins of human fairness. Interweaving vivid tales from the animal kingdom with thoughtful philosophical analysis, de Waal seeks a bottom-up explanation of morality that emphasizes our connection with animals. In doing so, de Waal explores for the first time the implications of his work for our understanding of modern religion. Whatever the role of religious moral imperatives, he sees it as a “Johnny-come-lately” role that emerged only as an addition to our natural instincts for cooperation and empathy.

But unlike the dogmatic neo-atheist of his book’s title, de Waal does not scorn religion per se. Instead, he draws on the long tradition of humanism exemplified by the painter Hieronymus Bosch and asks reflective readers to consider these issues from a positive perspective: What role, if any, does religion play for a well-functioning society today? And where can believers and nonbelievers alike find the inspiration to lead a good life?

Rich with cultural references and anecdotes of primate behavior, The Bonobo and the Atheist engagingly builds a unique argument grounded in evolutionary biology and moral philosophy. (From Amazon)


The Book Selected for March 25th, 2020 is
The Library of Lost and Found,
by Phaedra Patrick

“Librarian Martha Storm has always found it easier to connect with books than people–though not for lack of trying. She keeps careful lists of how to help others in her superhero-themed notebook. And yet, sometimes it feels like she’s invisible.

“All of that changes when a book of fairy tales arrives on her doorstep. Inside, Martha finds a dedication written to her by her best friend–her grandmother Zelda–who died under mysterious circumstances years earlier. When Martha discovers a clue within the book that her grandmother may still be alive, she becomes determined to discover the truth. As she delves deeper into Zelda’s past, she unwittingly reveals a family secret that will change her life forever.

“Filled with Phaedra Patrick’s signature charm and vivid characters, The Library of Lost and Found is a heartwarming and poignant tale of how one woman must take control of her destiny to write her own happy ending.”

From GoodBooks
Books Previously Read and Discussed by the CUUC Book Group Since January 2004
2020JanuaryIn the Garden of BeastsEric Larson178
2019November/DecemberThe Lager Queen of MinnesotaJ. Ryan Stradel177
2019OctoberGrandma Gatewood's WalkBen Montgomery176
2019SeptemberCelinePeter Heller175
2019AugustThe Sea of TranquilityKatja Millay174
2019JulyThere There, a NovelTommy Orange173
2019JuneBehind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai UndercityKatherine Boo172
2019MayBeartownFredrick Bachman171
2019AprilOhioStephen Markley170
2019MarchThe OverstoryRichard Powers169
2019FebruaryThe Line Becomes a RiverFrancisco Cantu168
2019JanuaryThe Hummingbird's
Luis Alberto Urrea167
2018NovemberLook at MeJennifer Egan166
2018OctoberTallgrassSandra Dallas165
2018SeptemberThe Radium GirlsKate Moore164
2018AugustOne Thousand White Women: The Journals of May DoddJim Fergus163
2018JulyThe Seven Husbands of Evelyn HugoTaylor Jenkins Reid162
2018JuneThe Secret ChordGeraldine Brooks161
2018MayDestiny of the RepublicCandace Millard160
2018AprilThe Newcomers, Finding Refuge, Friendship, and Hope in an American ClassroomHelen Thorpe159
2018MarchThe NightingaleKristin Hannah158
2018FebruaryThe Ends of the WorldPeter Brannen157
2018JanFollow the RiverJames Alexander Thom156
2017Nov-DecSalt to the SeaRuta Sepetys155
2017OctOur Souls at NightKen Haruf154
2017SepThe Handmaid's TaleMargaret Atwood153
2017AugNews of the WorldPaulette Jiles152
2017JulComing of the StormMichael & Kathleen Geer151
2017JuneHomegoingYaa Gyasi 150
2017MayThe Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time IndianSherman Alexie149
2017AprRules of Civility (2011)Amor Towles148
2017MarHillbilly Elegy (2016)J.D. Vance147
2017FebThis Above AllMike F. Foster146
2017JanA Man Called OveFredrik Backman145
2016Nov-DecDollbabyLaura Lane McNeal144
2016OctBeing MortalAtul Gawande143
2016SeptThe Little Paris BookshopNina George142
2016AugustMistress of the Art of DeathAriana Franklin141
2016JulyPreparation for the Next Life (2014)Atticus Lish140
2016MayGulp, Adventures in the Alimentary CanalMary Roach139
2016AprCarnality: Dancing on Red LakeJosiah Hesse138
2016MarRemarkable CreaturesTracy Chevalier137
2016FebCrowBarbara Wright136
2016JanCloud AtlasDavid Mitchell135
2015Nov-DecThe MartianAndy Weir134
2015OctSoldier GirlsHelen Thorp133
2015SeptLife After LifeKate Atkinson132
2015AugGirl on the TrainPaula Hawkins131
2015JulyStation 11Emily St. John Mandel130
2015JuneWe Are All Completely Beside OurselvesKaren Joy Fowler129
2015MayGilead: A NovelMarilynne Robinson128
2015AprilNothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North KoreaBarbara Demick127
2015MarchBoy, Snow, BirdHelen Oyeyemi126
2015FebCaleb's CrossingGeraldine Brooks125
2015JanThe Night CircusErin Morgenstern124
2014Nov-DecThe Crow RoadIain Banks123
2014OctSnow Falling on CedarsDavid Guterson122
2014SeptThe Particular Sadness of Lemon CakeAimee Bender121
2014AugEmpire of the Summer MoonS.C. Gwynne120
2014JulyWhistling Past the GraveyardSusan Crandall119
2014June100 Years of SolitudeGabriel Garcia Marquez118
2014MayRiver of DoubtCandace Milard117
2014AprilClay's QuiltSilas House116
2014MarchWildCheryl Strayed115
2014FebThe Death of SantiniPay Conroy114
2014JanThe TechnologistsMathew Pearl113
2013Nov-DecA Tale for the Time BeingRuth Ozeki112
2013OctWillful BlindnessMargaret Hefferman111
2013SeptThe Orphan Master's SonAdam Johnson110
2013AugThe Samaritan's SecretMatt Rees109
2013JulyThe Immortal Life of Henrietta LacksRebecca Skloot108
2013JuneAnnabelKathleen Winter107
2013MayThe Geography of BlissEric Weiner106
2013AprilThe Paris WifePaula McLaine105
2013MarchThe SparrowMary Doria Russell104
2013FebAn Artist of the Floating WorldKazuo Ishiguro103
2013JanThe Education of Little TreeForrest Carter102
2012Nov-DecYear of the FloodMargaret Atwood101
2012OctThe Hiding PlaceTrezza Azzopardi100
2012SeptPeople of the BookGeraldine Brooks99
2012AugAmerican RustPhilipp Meyer98
2012JulyOnce Upon a RiverBobbie Jo Campbell97
2012JuneThe Big BurnTimothy Egan96
2012MayThe SojournAndrew Krivak95
2012AprilTruth and BeautyAnn Patchett94
2012MarchPostville: A Clash of Cultures in Heartland AmericaStephen Bloom93
2012FebEye ContactCarrie McGovern92
2012JanEmpire FallsRichard Russo91
2011Nov-DecSolarIan McEwan90
2011OctLittle BeeChris Cleve89
2011SeptOlive KitteredgeElizabeth Strout88
2011AugUnaccustomed EarthJhumpa Lahiri85
2011JulyDaemonDaniel Suarez84
2011JuneCutting for StoneAbraham Verghese83
2011MayA Thief of TimeTony Hillerman82
2011AprilBreakfast with BuddhaRoland Merullo81
2011MarchAbout AliceCalvin Trilling80
2011FebOuliers: The Story of SuccessMalcolm Gladwell79
2011JanInfidelAyaan Hirsi Ali78
2010Nov-DecLove and SummerWilliam Trevor77
2010OctPope JoanDonna Woolfolk Cross76
2010SeptThe Art of Racing in the RainGarth Stein75
2010AugSarah's KeyTatiana de Rosnay74
2010JulyThe HelpKathryn Stockett73
2010JuneThe Godfather of KatmanduJohn Burdett72
2010MayWill the Circle be UnbrokenStuds Terkel71
2010AprilGhostwrittenDavid Mitchell70
2010MarchWhat is the What?Dave Eggers69
2010FebHalf Way to HeavenDave Obmasik68
2010JanThe God of Small ThingsArundhati Roy67
2009Nov-DecThe Happiness HypothesisJonathan Haidt66
2009OctThe OutlanderGil Adamson65
2009SeptThe Work of WolvesKent Meyers64
2009AugPaths of GloryJeffrey Archer63
2009JulyThe Book ThiefMarcus Zusak62
2009JuneTo SiberiaPer Pettersen61
2009MayLooking for SpinozaAntonio Damasio60
2009AprilAnimal, Vegetable, MineralBarbara Kingsolving59
2009MarchAngle of ReposeWallace Stegner58
2009FebOut Stealing HorsesPer Pettersen57
2009JanThe Nine: Inside the Secret World of the Supreme CourtJeffrey Toobin56
2008Nov-DecA New EarthEdgar Tolle55
2008OctThe SoloistSteve Lopez54
2008SeptPeace Like a RiverLeif Engar53
2008AugZen and the Art of Motorcycle MaintenanceRobert Pirsig52
2008JulyThirteen MoonsCharles Frazier51
2008JuneThe Plot Against AmericaPhilip Roth50
2008MayLongitudeDava Sobel49
2008AprilBlack Swan GreenDavid Mitchell48
2008MarchDog YearsMark Doty47
2008FebThe Street of a Thousand BlossomsGail Tsukiyama46
2008JanAtonementIan McEwan45
2007Nov-DecThe Great Railway BazaarPaul Theroux44
2007OctExtremely Loud and Incredibly CloseJonathan Safran Foer43
2007SeptThe Bookseller of KabulAsne Sierstad42
2007AugAssassination VacationSarah Vowell41
2007JulyThe Friar and The CipherLawrence Goldstone & Nancy Goldstone40
2007JuneThe AlchemistPaul Coelho39
2007MayThunderstruckEric Larsen38
2007AprilThe Milagro Beanfield WarJohn Nichols37
2007MarchThe Professor and the MadmanSimon Winchester36
2007FebA Primate's MemoirRobert Sapolsky35
2007JanThe Right NationJohn Micklethwait & Adrian Wooldridge34
2006Nov-DecSweet ThursdayJohn Steinbeck33
2006OctRising from the PlainsJohn McPhee32
2006SeptA Walk in the WoodsBill Bryson31
2006AugSaturdayIan McEwan30
2006JulyThe IntuitionistColson Whitehead29
2006JuneThe Bean TreesBarbara Kinsolver28
2006MayIn Cold BloodTruman Capote27
2006AprilHuckleberry FinnMark Twain26
2006MarchThe Kite RunnerKhaled Hosseini25
2006FebUnder the Banner of HeavenJon Krakauer24
2006JanDeep SurvivalLaurence Gonzales23
2005Nov-DecShadow DiversRobert Kurson22
2005OctJob: A Comedy of JusticeRobert Heinlein21
2005SeptHarborLorraine Adams20
2005AugWhen Bad Things Happen to Other People/ or Moo John Portmann/ Jane Smiley19
2005JulyThe Hundred Secret SensesAmy Tan18
2005JuneBalzac and the Little Chinese SeamstressDai Sijie17
2005MayWest with the NightBeryl Markham16
2005AprilSnow in AugustPete Hamill15
2005MarchReading Lolita in TehranAzar Nafisi14
2005FebThe Killer AngelsMichael Shaara13
2005JanNickel and DimedBarbara Ehrenreich12
2004Nov-DecThe GiverLois Lowr11
2004OctThe Devil and the White CityEric Larsen10
2004SeptThe Shadow of the WindCarlos Ruiz Zafon09
2004AugTraveling MerciesAnne Lamott08
2004JulyEventideKent Haruf07
2004JuneDutyBob Green06
2004MayLittle Altars EverywhereRebecca Wells05
2004AprilDark Star SafariPaul Theroux04
2004MarchCry, The Beloved CountryAlan Paton03
2004FebThe Human StainPhilip Roth02
2004JanThe DaVinci CodeDan Brown01