Circle of Friends Book Club meeting summary for June 2016

June 8, 2016

theLemonTreeOur meeting included some new members, which expanded the discussion and added new context. The book selection was The Lemon Tree: an Arab, a Jew, and the Heart of Palestine by Sandy Tolan. This non-fiction book tells the history of Palestine, with emphasis on the period from 1948 to the present. At its center are two families, one Arab and one Palestinian, who both have histories with a house in what is now Israel. An unlikely friendship develops between a young Jewish woman who currently occupies the home built by the Arab father for his family, and the young Arab student revisiting the home his family was forced to leave. The author presents a comprehensive and balanced picture of the struggle history has given both Arabs and Jews in Palestine as he develops the story of the struggle of the two characters to understand each other and to become and remain friends.

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Circle of Friends Book Club meeting summary for May 2016

May 11, 2016

The May Circle of Friends Book Club meeting was held May 11, 2016, and included discussions of a variety of topics related to books presented by bookclub members. Monkeys, Myths, and Molecules by Dr. Joe Schwarcz, Fracture: Barack Obama, the Clintons, and the Racial Divide by Joy-Ann Reid, Race Amity: A Primer on America’s Other Tradition by W.H. Smith and Richard Thomas, and The Lemon Tree by Sandy Tolan, were all presented by individual club members. These selections engendered lively discussions on many topics including current television and internet personalities that may not be able to substantiate information they are disseminating, the role of our current President in the political climate of the upcoming presidential election, race amity as opposed to enmity in American history, and the Palestinian conflict. A club member also brought along some “Mummy’s Nummie Yummies” for us to sample (thank you Sandra!).

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