Morning Book Group – Second Tuesdays

Everyone Is Welcome!

Summit Avenue Readers will reconvene in the fall.  Titles and dates for 2024 and 2025 books are listed below!  Haven’t joined us yet for a book discussion?  We would love to see you!  

For more information contact Julie Ditzler or Deb Varner (email addresses in your membership directory). Thank you!

2024-2025 Book List

NOTE: All book summaries are sourced from information on

September 10, 2024 @ 9:30 a.m.
The Women by Kristin Hannah
The Women is the story of one woman gone to war, but it shines a light on all women who put themselves in harm’s way and whose sacrifice and commitment to their country has too often been forgotten. A novel about deep friendships and bold patriotism, The Women is a richly drawn story with a memorable heroine whose idealism and courage under fire will come to define an era.
-Discussion led by Nancy Scanlan

October 8, 2024 @ 9:30 a.m.
The Dictionary of Lost Words by Pip Williams
Set during the height of the women’s suffrage movement and with the Great War looming, The Dictionary of Lost Words reveals a lost narrative, hidden between the lines of a history written by men. Inspired by actual events, author Pip Williams has delved into the archives of the Oxford English Dictionary to tell this highly original story. The Dictionary of Lost Words is a delightful, lyrical, and deeply thought-provoking celebration of words and the power of language to shape the world.
-Discussion led by Janet Kloepper

 November 12, 2024 @ 9:30 a.m.
Trust by Hernan Diaz
At once an immersive story and a brilliant literary puzzle, TRUST engages the reader in a quest for the truth while confronting the deceptions that often live at the heart of personal relationships, the reality-warping force of capital, and the ease with which power can manipulate facts.
-Discussion led by Gay Bartholic

January 14, 2025 @ 9:30 a.m.
James by Percival Everett
When the enslaved Jim overhears that he is about to be sold to a man in New Orleans, separated from his wife and daughter forever, he decides to hide on nearby Jackson Island until he can formulate a plan. Meanwhile, Huck Finn has faked his own death to escape his violent father, recently returned to town. As all readers of American literature know, thus begins the dangerous and transcendent journey by raft down the Mississippi River toward the elusive and too-often-unreliable promise of the Free States and beyond. While many narrative set pieces of Adventures of Huckleberry Finn remain in place (floods and storms, stumbling across both unexpected death and unexpected treasure in the myriad stopping points along the river’s banks, encountering the scam artists posing as the Duke and Dauphin…), Jim’s agency, intelligence and compassion are shown in a radically new light.
-Discussion led by Deb Varner

February 11, 2025 @ 9:30 a.m.
The Heaven and Earth Grocery Store by James McBride
In 1972, when workers in Pottstown, Pennsylvania, were digging the foundations for a new development, the last thing they expected to find was a skeleton at the bottom of a well. Who the skeleton was and how it got there were two of the long-held secrets kept by the residents of Chicken Hill, the dilapidated neighborhood where immigrant Jews and African Americans lived side by side and shared ambitions and sorrows. As these characters’ stories overlap and deepen, it becomes clear how much the people who live on the margins of white, Christian America struggle and what they must do to survive. When the truth is finally revealed about what happened on Chicken Hill and the part the town’s white establishment played in it, McBride shows us that even in dark times, it is love and community—heaven and earth—that sustain us.
-Discussion led by Shannon LeClair

March 11, 2025 @ 9:30 a.m.
Solito by Javier Zamora
Javier Zamora’s adventure is a three-thousand-mile journey from his small town in El Salvador, through Guatemala and Mexico, and across the U.S. border. He will leave behind his beloved aunt and grandparents to reunite with a mother who left four years ago and a father he barely remembers. Traveling alone amid a group of strangers and a “coyote” hired to lead them to safety, Javier expects his trip to last two short weeks. A memoir as gripping as it is moving, Solito provides an immediate and intimate account not only of a treacherous and near-impossible journey, but also of the miraculous kindness and love delivered at the most unexpected moments. Solito is Javier Zamora’s story, but it’s also the story of millions of others who had no choice but to leave home.
-Discussion led by Linda Woodstrom

April 8, 2025 @ 9:30 a.m.
An American Beauty by Shana Abe
1867, Richmond, Virginia: Though she wears the same low-cut purple gown that is the uniform of all the girls who work at Worsham’s gambling parlor, Arabella stands apart. It’s not merely her statuesque beauty and practiced charm. Even at seventeen, Arabella possesses an unyielding grit, and a resolve to escape her background of struggle and poverty.  Collis Huntington, railroad baron and self-made multimillionaire, is drawn to Arabella from their first meeting. Collis is married and thirty years her senior, yet they are well-matched in temperament, and flirtation rapidly escalates into an affair. With Collis’s help, Arabella eventually moves to New York, posing as a genteel, well-to-do Southern widow. Using Collis’s seed money and her own shrewd investing instincts, she begins to amass a fortune.  An American Beauty brings to vivid life the glitter and drama of a captivating chapter in history—and a remarkable woman who lived by her own rules.
-Discussion led by Barbara Waldschmidt

2022-2024 Book List

September 2022: The Whole Language: The Power of Extravagant Tenderness by Gregory Boyle
October 2022: The Diamond Eye by Kate Quinn
November 2022: The Book of Lost Names by Kristin Harmel
January 2023: The Seed Keeper by Diane Wilson
February 2023: Tender is the Night by F. Scott Fitzgerald
March 2023: Jefferson’s Daughters by Catherine Kerrison
April 2023: Behind the Beautiful Forevers by Katherine Boo
September 2023: West with the Night by Beryl Markham
October 2023: Finding Me, A Memoir by Viola Davis
November 2023: River of the Gods by Candice Millard
January 2024: Station 11 by Emily St. John Mandel
February 2024: Round House by Louise Erdrich
March 2024: The Personal Librarian by Marie Benedict and Victoria Christopher Murray
April 2024: Last Green Valley by Mark Sullivan

Updated: 6/1/24

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