Harvard Book Club --Thursday June 21

The next Harvard Club of Cincinnati Book Club meeting is set for Thursday, June 21, 2018 at 7:30 p.m. at the Bronte Cafe in the Joseph Beth Bookstore.  The selected book is "Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century," by Jessica Bruder.

On March 23 the members of the Harvard Book Club gathered to discuss The People’s House with its author David Pepper, Chair of the Ohio Democratic Party and a Yalie.   Over dinner he talked extensively about the inspiration for his book, his writing process and current politics.  We were pleased to welcome his dad, John Pepper, too, as well as new Book Club member Karen Yates.
The People’s House is a mystery thriller focused on a plot to steal a Congressional election for profit by placing crooked voting machines in “swing” districts.  There are murders and international intrigues aplenty, very exciting!  The discussion was lively and nonpartisan. We learned that the book's plot is plausible due to the extreme gerrymandering of Congressional districts present in most states, making all but a couple dozen seats "safe" for one party and that the vulnerability of our voting systems is real. [By passing Issue 1 in the recent election, Ohio voters approved a plan aimed at reducing gerrymandering in drawing Congressional districts.]
Although Pepper started the book years back, his plot presages Russian meddling in our elections, sexual harrassement in the workplace and allegiance to Party winning out over protecting our democracy.  Pepper has published a second book in the series with a third underway.  The Wingman involves dark money, drone technology, paramilitary government contractors, neglected veterans--all things in our daily news feed.
An enjoyable time was had by all and we all learned something.  Thank you David!

Reviews of Nomadland:

“Stunning and beautifully written. . . brilliant and haunting”
- Arlie Russell Hochschild, New York Times Book Review

“People who thought the 2008 financial collapse was over a long time ago need to meet the people Jessica Bruder got to know in this scorching, beautifully written, vivid, disturbing (and occasionally wryly funny) book. Nomadland is a testament both to the generosity and creativity of the victims of our modern-medieval economy, hidden in plain sight, and to the blunt-end brutality that put them there. Is this the best the wealthiest nation on earth can do for those who’ve already done so much?”
- Rebecca Solnit, author of A Paradise Built in Hell

“In the early twentieth century, men used to ride the rails in search of work, sharing camps at night. Today, as Bruder brilliantly reports, we have a new class of nomadic workers who travel in their RVs from one short-term job to another. There’s a lot to cringe at hereā€•from low pay and physically exhausting work to constant insecurity. But surprisingly, Nomadland also offers its residents much-needed camaraderie and adventure, which makes this book a joy to read.”
- Barbara Ehrenreich, author of Nickel and Dimed

“You will never forget the people whose stories Bruder tells. Proud, resourceful, screwed-over, funny and in so many ways admirable, the American nomads Bruder lived with and reports on have sometimes lost everything but their bravado . . . . [She] tells their stories with humanity and wit.”
- Louise Erdrich, author of Future Home of the Living God

““Bruder is a poised and graceful writer.””
- Parul Sehgal, New York Times

“[A] devastating, revelatory book.”
- Timothy R. Smith, Washington Post

About the Author:

Jessica Bruder is an award-winning journalist whose work focuses on subcultures and the dark corners of the economy.  She has written for Harper’s Magazine, the New York Times, and the Washington Post.
Bruder teaches at the Columbia School of Journalism.



Thursday, 06/21/18 at 7:30pm - 9:00pm | iCal


Bronte Cafe: Joseph Beth Booksellers
2692 Madison Rd.
Cincinnati, OH 45208

[ Get Directions ]


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July will be a fiction month.  If you have suggestions or other concerns, please contact Book Club Chair Steve Strauss, sdstrauss@earthlink.net or 321 0967.