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Senior Planet Book Club: Vote For Our Next Books!

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Thank you to everyone who participated in our discussion in the comments section of the articles on the website and at our meeting over Zoom about The Violin Conspiracy by Brendan Slocumb.

Now, it is time to select our next two readings!

Each Tuesday, we’ll post a thread here on seniorplanet.org inviting you to comment on each section of the book. Then, during our final week of reading, we’ll host a group discussion over Zoom.

But first! We’ve put together a shortlist of engaging books suggested by our participants, Supporters, and staff. Now it’s up to you to pick the books we’ll read in April and May! Read on for details about each book, then take the poll at the end and tell us: What should the Senior Planet Book Club read next?

The book with the highest number of votes will be the April read, and the book with the second highest number of votes will be the May read. We’ll announce the result of the poll next Tuesday, April 4th!

Have any feedback on the book club? Tell us what you think in the comments below!

The Books:

The Street by Ann Petry

The Street tells the poignant, often heartbreaking story of Lutie Johnson, a young black woman, and her spirited struggle to raise her son amid the violence, poverty, and racial dissonance of Harlem in the late 1940s. Originally published in 1946 and hailed by critics as a masterwork, The Street was Ann Petry’s first novel, a beloved bestseller with more than a million copies in print. Its haunting tale still resonates today.” – GoodReads.com

The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead

“Elwood Curtis has taken the words of Dr Martin Luther King to heart: he is as good as anyone. Abandoned by his parents, brought up by his loving, strict and clear-sighted grandmother, Elwood is about to enroll in the local black college. But given the time and the place, one innocent mistake is enough to destroy his future, and so Elwood arrives at The Nickel Academy, which claims to provide ‘physical, intellectual and moral training’ which will equip its inmates to become ‘honorable and honest men’. In reality, the Nickel Academy is a chamber of horrors, where physical, emotional and sexual abuse is rife, where corrupt officials and tradesmen do a brisk trade in supplies intended for the school, and where any boy who resists is likely to disappear ‘out back’. Stunned to find himself in this vicious environment, Elwood tries to hold on to Dr King’s ringing assertion, ‘Throw us in jail, and we will still love you.’ But Elwood’s fellow inmate and new friend Turner thinks Elwood is naive and worse; the world is crooked, and the only way to survive is to emulate the cruelty and cynicism of their oppressors. The tension between Elwood’s idealism and Turner’s skepticism leads to a decision which will have decades-long repercussions. Based on the history of a real reform school in Florida that operated for one hundred and eleven years and warped and destroyed the lives of thousands of children, The Nickel Boys is a devastating, driven narrative by a great American novelist whose work is essential to understanding the current reality of the United States.” – GoodReads.com

Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

“In their youth, Florentino Ariza and Fermina Daza fall passionately in love. When Fermina eventually chooses to marry a wealthy, well-born doctor, Florentino is heartbroken, but he is a romantic. As he rises in his business career he whiles away the years in 622 affairs—yet he reserves his heart for Fermina. Her husband dies at last, and Florentino purposefully attends the funeral. Fifty years, nine months, and four days after he first declared his love for Fermina, he will do so again.” – GoodReads.com

Parable of the Sower by Octavia E. Butler

“In 2025, with the world descending into madness and anarchy, one woman begins a fateful journey toward a better future. Lauren Olamina and her family live in one of the only safe neighborhoods remaining on the outskirts of Los Angeles. Behind the walls of their defended enclave, Lauren’s father, a preacher, and a handful of other citizens try to salvage what remains of a culture that has been destroyed by drugs, disease, war, and chronic water shortages. While her father tries to lead people on the righteous path, Lauren struggles with hyperempathy, a condition that makes her extraordinarily sensitive to the pain of others. When fire destroys their compound, Lauren’s family is killed and she is forced out into a world that is fraught with danger. With a handful of other refugees, Lauren must make her way north to safety, along the way conceiving a revolutionary idea that may mean salvation for all mankind.” – GoodReads.com

Take the poll!

Photo by Paul Schafer on Unsplash

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