Circle Book Group

The Circle Book Group reads both fiction and non-fiction, and meets monthly on Sunday mornings for collegial and provocative discussion. Book selections are chosen by participants at least one month in advance of meetings.

Meetings are at Betsy’s and Marie’s (near Inman Sq. in Cambridge). We meet from 10:15am-12:15pm. Bagels, coffee, and socializing at 10:15 (suggested $2 donation). At Marie's there's one cat who is out of the way during the meeting.

Email Marie to get on the Book Group mailing list.

Marie Ariel  (617) 492-2765  41 Amory St., Cambridge
Betsy Groban (617) 492-8634 Contact Betsy for the address.


Next Meetings:

Sunday, September 14 --  Betsy Groban’s --  (617) 492-8634 -- -- Contact Betsy for the address.

BOOK: Hollywood and Hitler, 1933-1939(Film and Culture Series) by Thomas Doherty 

Traces the rise of Nazism in the 1930s and describes how Hollywood filmmakers dealt with the Reich. Chapters: Prologue: Judenfilm! -- Hollywood-Berlin-Hollywood -- Hitler, a "blah show subject" -- The Nazis in the newsreels -- The Hollywood anti-Nazi league -- Mussolini Jr. goes Hollywood -- The Spanish Civil War in Hollywood -- Foreign imports -- "The blight of radical propaganda" -- Inside Nazi Germany with the March of Time -- "Grim reaper material" -- There is no room for Leni Riefenstahl in Hollywood -- "The only studio with any guts" -- Hollywood goes to war -- Epilogue: the motion picture memory of Nazism.

Sunday, October 19 --  Marie Ariel’s --  (617) 492-2765 -- – 41 Amory St., Cambridge.

BOOK: Boogaloo on 2nd Avenue: A Novel of Pastry, Guilt, and Music by Mark Kurlansky.

This novel covers very little territory geographically, but its human characters stretch from the shtetl to Caribbean isles and beyond. These denizens of New York's Lower East Side come from Germany, Italy, Poland, Puerto Rico, and the Dominican Republic. Mashed together on very little land, lives collide and combine in a maelstrom of languages, customs, foods, addictions, and violence. The beginnings of neighborhood gentrification foreshadow imminent change. Kurlansky's apt description of all this is meshugaloo, a combination of Yiddish and Spanish words that points to a sort of radical craziness. (Booklist review)

Past Circle Book Group reading selections have included:

The Family : three journeys into the heart of the twentieth century
The Maurice Sendak you may not know
The Jew in the lotus : a poet’s rediscovery of Jewish identity in Buddhist India by Rodger Kamenetz.
Portnoy’s Complaint by Philip Roth
Scenes From Village Life by Amos Oz
The Bookie’s Son by Andrew Goldstein
Bech, a book by John Updike
Einstein : his life and universe by Walter Isaacson
Not the Israel my parents promised me by Harvey Pekar and JT Waldman; epilogue written by Joyce Brabner; lettering by Charles Pritchett.
Amerika : the missing person : a new translation, based on the restored text by Franz Kafka; translated and with a preface by Mark Hofmann, 2002.
Berlin Stories by Christopher Isherwood
The Difficult Saint by Sharan Newman.
In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler's Berlin by Eric Larson.
The Cross and the Pear Tree : a Sephardic Journey by Victor Perera
The Sacrifice of Isaac by Noah Gordon
The adventures of Mottel: the cantor’s son by Sholem Aleichem
My father's paradise : a son's search for his Jewish past in Kurdish Iraq by Ariel Sabar
The end of the Jews : a novel by Adam Mansbach
The story of Yiddish : how a mish-mosh of languages saved the Jews by Neal Karlen
Beyond the Pale : a novel by Elana Dykewomon (also known as Nachman/Dykewomon)
The Merchant of Venice: modern version side-by-side with full original text, edited and rendered into modern English by Alan Durband
Escape to Shanghai: a Jewish Community in China by James R. Ross
The Assistant by Bernard Malamud
Scoundrel Time by Lillian Hellman
Heading South, Looking North by Ariel Dorfman
The Invisible Wall: A Love Story That Broke Barriers by Harry Bernstein
He, She and It by Marge Piercy
Loyalties: A Son’s Memoir by Carl Bernstein
Seize the Day by Saul Bellow
Foreskin’s Lament by Shalom Auslander
The Harlot by the Side of the Road by Jonathan Kirsch
Rashi’s Daughters, Book I: Joheved by Maggie Anton
The life of Gl├╝ckel of Hameln, 1646-1724, written by herself / Translated from the original Yiddish
A Tale of Love and Darkness by Amos Oz
Septembers of Shiraz by Dalia Sofer