Book Club

Typically meeting the second Tuesday of each month from 1:30 - 3:00 PM at the Uptown JCC, the JCC Book Club offers engaging and insightful discussions in a laid back environment. Free and open to the community - all are welcome. Books are available for purchase at our neighborhood partner bookstore, Octavia Books.

All JCC Book Club discussion are now held virtually. For more information, please contact Judy Yaillen. If you would like to be placed on our Book Club email list, send a message to Beth Orgeron with your request.

Join BOOK CLUB on Zoom
Meeting ID: 830 3636 4106
Zoom Password: jccbooks

what we're reading

March 16

The Imperfects by Amy Meyerson

From the bestselling author of The Bookshop of Yesterdays comes a captivating new novel about a priceless inheritance that leads one family on a life-altering pursuit of the truth.
The Millers are far from perfect. Estranged siblings Beck, Ashley and Jake find themselves under one roof for the first time in years, forced to confront old resentments and betrayals, when their mysterious, eccentric matriarch, Helen, passes away. But their lives are about to change when they find a secret inheritance hidden among her possessions—the Florentine Diamond, a 137-carat yellow gemstone that went missing from the Austrian Empire a century ago.
Desperate to learn how one of the world’s most elusive diamonds ended up in Helen’s bedroom, they begin investigating her past only to realize how little they know about their brave, resilient grandmother. As the Millers race to determine whether they are the rightful heirs to the diamond and the fortune it promises, they uncover a past more tragic and powerful than they ever could have imagined, forever changing their connection to their heritage and to each other.
Inspired by the true story of the real, still-missing Florentine Diamond, The Imperfects illuminates the sacrifices we make for family and how discovering the truth of the past is sometimes the only way to better the future.

Reviewed by Omri Einav, Adjunct Hebrew Professor at Tulane University

April 20

Mistress of the Ritz by Melanie Benjamin

From the New York Times bestselling author of The Aviator's Wife and The Swans of Fifth Avenue comes Mistress of the Ritz, a captivating novel based on the story of the extraordinary real-life American woman who secretly worked for the French Resistance during World War II—while playing hostess to the invading Germans at the iconic Hôtel Ritz in Paris.

Nothing bad can happen at the Ritz; inside its gilded walls every woman looks beautiful, every man appears witty. Favored guests like Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Coco Chanel, and the Duke and Duchess of Windsor walk through its famous doors to be welcomed and pampered by Blanche Auzello and her husband, Claude, the hotel’s director. The Auzellos are the mistress and master of the Ritz, allowing the glamour and glitz to take their minds off their troubled marriage, and off the secrets that they keep from their guests—and each other.

Until June 1940, when the German army sweeps into Paris, setting up headquarters at the Ritz. Suddenly, with the likes of Hermann Goëring moving into suites once occupied by royalty, Blanche and Claude must navigate a terrifying new reality. One that entails even more secrets and lies. One that may destroy the tempestuous marriage between this beautiful, reckless American and her very proper Frenchman. For in order to survive—and strike a blow against their Nazi “guests”—Blanche and Claude must spin a web of deceit that ensnares everything and everyone they cherish.

But one secret is shared between Blanche and Claude alone—the secret that, in the end, threatens to imperil both of their lives, and to bring down the legendary Ritz itself.

Based on true events, Mistress of the Ritz is a taut tale of suspense wrapped up in a love story for the ages, the inspiring story of a woman and a man who discover the best in each other amid the turbulence of war.

Reviewed by Kathy Rush, retired cultural anthropologist and one of the founders of the Oral History Library of the University Women's Club of Buenos Aires

what we've read

February 2021 - The Book of V. by Anna Solomon
January 2021 - Only Yesterday  by S. Y. Agnon

December 2020 - An Undisturbed Peace by Mary Glickman
October 2020 - The Flight Portfolio by Julie Orringer
September 2020 - The First Mrs. Rothschild by Sara Aharoni
August 2020 -The Convert by Stefan Hertmans
February 2020 - The Other Hand by Andrew Kane
January 2020 - The Collector's Apprentice by B. A. Shapiro
December 2019 - The Only Woman in the Room by Marie Benedict
November 2019 - by Nathan Englander
October 2019 - The Guest Book by Sarah Blake
September 2019 - Lone Wolf in Jerusalem by Ehud Diskin
August 2019 - My Mother's Son by David Hirshberg
April 2019 - Asymmetry by Lisa Halliday
March 2019 - The Weight of Ink by Rachel Kadish
February 2019 - The Last Watchman of Old Cairo by Michael David Lukas
January 2019 - We are Gathered by Jamie Weisman
December 2018 - The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows
October 2018 - Famous Father Girl by Jamie Bernstein
April 2019 - Gateway to the Moon by Mary Morris

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