Book Club 

May 9, 2023 Book Club: Atul Gawande, "The Heroism of Incremental Care"

(not required) Reading this week by Atul Gawande, "The Heroism of Incremental Care"

Check out this impactful reading by a Atul Gawande, who argues that  careful listening to a person's whole story is crucial to medical care for long-term and chronic conditions.

First Book Club meeting: What some of us are reading


 by Isaac Asimov

"This book inspired me to pursue a STEM degree"

The Souls of Black Folk

by W.E.B. DuBois

"His writing paints a picture of historical events"

38 Letters from J.D. Rockefeller to His Son

"Successful people are just ordinary people who believe in themselves and affirm what they do. Never, never sell yourself cheaply."

What It Is Like To Go To War

 by K. Marlantes

"But all warriors or erstwhile warriors will need to understand that, just like rucksack, ammunition, water, and food, guilt and mourning will be among the things they carry. They will shoulder it all for the society they fought for. "

April 25th Book Club

April 25, 2023 Book Club

This poem by Rudyard Kipling was offered to our club by Dante Kari. Kipling, one of the most widely recognized and admired writers of the 19th century, is the author of the inspirational "If." 

Dante has shared this poem with us on the theme of the Civilian/Military Divide, and it is surprising that even in Kipling's time, the heyday of the British Empire, the visibility of the veteran was a problem. Dante, as a literature major in college, noted that the military often makes an appearance in literature through the ages, but also how it is also sometimes strangely absent. Kipling brings the reader back to awareness.


by Rudyard Kipling 

I went into a public 'ouse to get a pint o' beer, The publican 'e up an' sez, " We serve no red-coats here." The girls be'ind the bar they laughed an' giggled fit to die, I outs into the street again an' to myself sez I: O it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' " Tommy, go away " ; But it's " Thank you, Mister Atkins," when the band begins to playThe band begins to play, my boys, the band begins to play, O it's " Thank you, Mister Atkins," when the band begins to play.  
I went into a theatre as sober as could be, They gave a drunk civilian room, but 'adn't none for me; They sent me to the gallery or round the music-'alls, But when it comes to fightin', Lord! they'll shove me in the stalls! For it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' " Tommy, wait outside ";But it's " Special train for Atkins " when the trooper's on the tideThe troopship's on the tide, my boys, the troopship's on the tide, O it's " Special train for Atkins " when the trooper's on the tide.  
Yes, makin' mock o' uniforms that guard you while you sleepIs cheaper than them uniforms, an' they're starvation cheap. An' hustlin' drunken soldiers when they're goin' large a bitIs five times better business than paradin' in full kit. Then it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an` Tommy, 'ow's yer soul? "But it's " Thin red line of 'eroes " when the drums begin to rollThe drums begin to roll, my boys, the drums begin to roll, O it's " Thin red line of 'eroes, " when the drums begin to roll. 
We aren't no thin red 'eroes, nor we aren't no blackguards too, But single men in barricks, most remarkable like you; An' if sometimes our conduck isn't all your fancy paints, Why, single men in barricks don't grow into plaster saints; While it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an` Tommy, fall be'ind," But it's " Please to walk in front, sir," when there's trouble in the windThere's trouble in the wind, my boys, there's trouble in the wind, O it's " Please to walk in front, sir," when there's trouble in the wind. 
You talk o' better food for us, an' schools, an' fires, an' all: We'll wait for extry rations if you treat us rational. Don't mess about the cook-room slops, but prove it to our faceThe Widow's Uniform is not the soldier-man's disgrace. For it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an` Chuck him out, the brute! "But it's " Saviour of 'is country " when the guns begin to shoot; An' it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' anything you please; An 'Tommy ain't a bloomin' fool - you bet that Tommy sees!

April 18th Book Club

At our April 18th Book Club, we discussed the challenge in reading older texts, not just Voltaire, but a so-called classic like Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen. Dante Kari made some observations on how there is often a military/civilian divide in literature. In the case of Jane Austen, the book is primarily about the courtship and marriage games of the early 19th century in England, but at the same time Napoleon is taking over nearly every country in Western Europe (not to mention a major invasion of Russia). The war, the conscripted soldiers, the possibility of England itself in imminent danger of invasion - none of this shows up in Jane Austen's books. Why not? 

March 28th Book Club

At our March 28 book club, Isabelle talked about a book that is soothing and affirming of the important things in life, in this case the unlikely, mismatched friendships between animals As an avid reader who is now tackling the 1000+-page Les Miserables, Isabelle finds that this is a good book to travel with

The quotation from the title page is Biblical:

"If two lie together, then they have warmth; but how can one be warm alone?" (Ecclesiastes, 4:11)

Fiore talked about this troubled, fierce essayist from the generation that saw the American Revolution (opposed!), and probably the first British person to make a living of reviewing books. Samuel Johnson had been a teenage prodigy who could memorize hours of Parliamentary debates after a whole afternoon in the chamber. He also singlehandedly created one of the first dictionaries of the English language before Webster (and was so upset he didn't get paid, he published a sarcastic column about his "benefactor"). 

Great quote from SJ: "No man but a blockhead ever wrote, except for money." AKA, why would you torture yourself to write unless you get paid? AKA writing is hard, even for the prolific Samuel Johnson.