HLAA-SLC Book Club March 18th

Our January book group was canceled due to snow so we are discussing Mr. Penumbra’s 24 Hour Book Store by Robin Sloan March 18th instead.  We meet at the Sanderson Center at 10 – 11:30 AM in classroom B/C with the hearing loop and live captioning.  Please join us.  It’s a wonderful book and the discussion is sure to be a good one.


HLAA-SLC Book Club January 21st

HLAA-SLC alternates meetings and the book club and/or socials.  We’re starting off 2017 with the book club, January 21st from 10am-11:30.  It will be held at the Sanderson Center to the Deaf and Hard of Hearing in classroom B/C with the loop and captioning for the discussion.  This months book is Mr. Penumbra’s 24 Book Store by Robin Sloan.


Goodreads says: “The Great Recession has shuffled Clay Jannon away from life as a San Francisco web-design drone and into the aisles of Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore. But after a few days on the job, Clay discovers that the store is more curious than either its name or its gnomic owner might suggest. The bookstore’s secrets extend far beyond its walls.”

Grab the book and come visit us January 21st.  It’s totally accessible to those with hearing loss and of course family and friends are welcome to come too.

Book Club Nov 19: House Girl

Our next HLAA-SLC gathering will be our book club.  The book is House Girl by Tara Conklin.


The Goodreads review says:

     “Virginia, 1852. Seventeen-year-old Josephine Bell decides to run from the failing tobacco farm where she is a slave and nurse to her ailing mistress, the aspiring artist Lu Anne Bell. New York City, 2004. Lina Sparrow, an ambitious first-year associate in an elite law firm, is given a difficult, highly sensitive assignment that could make her career: she must find the “perfect plaintiff” to lead a historic class-action lawsuit worth trillions of dollars in reparations for descendants of American slaves.
It is through her father, the renowned artist Oscar Sparrow, that Lina discovers Josephine Bell and a controversy roiling the art world: are the iconic paintings long ascribed to Lu Anne Bell really the work of her house slave, Josephine? A descendant of Josephine’s would be the perfect face for the reparations lawsuit—if Lina can find one. While following the runaway girl’s faint trail through old letters and plantation records, Lina finds herself questioning her own family history and the secrets that her father has never revealed: How did Lina’s mother die? And why will he never speak about her?
Moving between antebellum Virginia and modern-day New York, this searing, suspenseful and heartbreaking tale of art and history, love and secrets, explores what it means to repair a wrong and asks whether truth is sometimes more important than justice.”

We will meet in the looped room, classroom B/C, at the Sanderson Center from 10 AM to 11:30.  CART will be available for the meeting, please join us!

March Book Club report

Some of the members from our chapter met last Saturday for the book club.  A local author was chosen for March, A Pebble in a Pond by Layne T. Oliver.  We were fully accommodated with the hearing loop and live captioning so everyone could participate.  Participate we did!  Discussion centered around the need for editing because this story was bogged down. We managed to have a lot of fun, laughter and smiling dominated the meeting.

Many suggestions were made for future book and narrowed down to four for the rest of the year.  The chosen books are:

  • May 21, 2016  All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr.
  • Sept 24, 2016  I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and was Shot By the Taliban by Malala Yousafzai and Christina Lamb
  • Nov 19, 2016  House Girl by Tara Conklin
  • Jan 21, 2017 Mr. Penumbra’s 24 Hour Book Store by Robin Sloan

Since we are all big readers a few wanted the whole list of suggestions. Here they are:

  • The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah
  • The Things We Keep by Sally Hepworth
  • The Last Time They Met by Anita Shreve
  • The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind by William Kamkwamba
  • The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
  • When Crickets Cry by Charles Martin

Anyone may join the book discussions!

We meet at 10:00 at the Sanderson Center for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. We are done by 11:30.  Join us in May for the next book.

all the light

HLAA-SLC Book Club meeting February 21st

The HLAA-SLC book club had a great time discussing What Dreams May Come by Richard Matheson earlier this month.  The discussion was rich and made us all think about life.  Thank you for the suggestions Cheri.

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We chose February’s book, Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Coast Trail by Cheryl Strayed, being shown in theaters now staring Reese Witherspoon.  The book was features in Oprah’s book club and the movie is now up for a few Academy Awards.


Anyone is welcome to come, even if you haven’t read the book, come join our discussion.  The meeting will be held at the Sanderson Center in classroom C with a hearing loop and CART as accommodations.  Here’s a list of questions we’ll be going over (gathered from Random House).

1. “The Pacific Crest Trail wasn’t a world to me then. It was an idea, vague and outlandish, full of promise and mystery. Something bloomed inside me as I traced its jagged line with my finger on a map” (p. 4). Why did the PCT capture Strayed’s imagination at that point in her life?

2. Each section of the book opens with a literary quote or two. What do they tell you about what’s to come in the pages that follow? How does Strayed’s pairing of, say, Adrienne Rich and Joni Mitchell (p. 45) provide insight into her way of thinking?

3. Strayed is quite forthright in her description of her own transgressions, and while she’s remorseful, she never seems ashamed. Is this a sign of strength or a character flaw?

4. “I knew that if I allowed fear to overtake me, my journey was doomed. Fear, to a great extent, is born of a story we tell ourselves, and so I chose to tell myself a different story from the one women are told” (p. 51). Fear is a major theme in the book. Do you think Strayed was too afraid, or not afraid enough? When were you most afraid for her?

5. Strayed chose her own last name: “Nothing fit until one day when the wordstrayed came into my mind. Immediately, I looked it up in the dictionary and knew it was mine . . . : to wander from the proper path, to deviate from the direct course, to be lost, to become wild, to be without a mother or father, to be without a home, to move about aimlessly in search of something, to diverge or digress” (p. 96). Did she choose well? What did you think when you learned she had assigned this word to herself—that it was no coincidence?

6. On the trail, Strayed encounters mostly men. How does this work in her favor? What role does gender play when removed from the usual structure of society?

7. What does the reader learn from the horrific episode in which Strayed and her brother put down their mother’s horse?

8. Strayed writes that the point of the PCT “had only to do with how it felt to be in the wild. With what it was like to walk for miles for no reason other than to witness the accumulation of trees and meadows, mountains and deserts, streams and rocks, rivers and grasses, sunrises and sunsets” (p. 207). How does this sensation help Strayed to find her way back into the world beyond the wilderness?

9. On her journey, Strayed carries several totems. What does the black feather mean to her? And the POW bracelet? Why does she find its loss (p. 238) symbolic?

10. Does the hike help Strayed to get over Paul? If so, how? And if not, why?

11. Strayed says her mother’s death “had obliterated me. . . . I was trapped by her but utterly alone. She would always be the empty bowl that no one could fill” (p 267). How did being on the PCT on her mother’s fiftieth birthday help Strayed to heal this wound?

12. What was it about Strayed that inspired the generosity of so many strangers on the PCT?

13. “There’s no way to know what makes one thing happen and not another. . . . But I was pretty certain as I sat there that night that if it hadn’t been for Eddie, I wouldn’t have found myself on the PCT” (p. 304). How does this realization change Strayed’s attitude towards her stepfather?

14. To lighten her load, Strayed burns each book as she reads it. Why doesn’t she burn the Adrienne Rich collection?

15. What role do books and reading play in this often solitary journey?