Front Range Forum Reads!
Front Range Forum Reads events are free and open to the public.
Previously read books:
"The Boys in the Boat" by Daniel James Brown
The Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown celebrates the 1936 men’s Olympic eight-oar rowing team – nine working-class boys who stunned the rowing world, defeating the sons of bankers and senators, as they fought their way to a gold medal. This book has something for everyone.
It is an exciting sports novel reminding us of what can be accomplished when everyone literally pulls together.
It chronicles the Great Depression, focusing on one man, Joe Rantz, who was cast aside at an early age by his family and left to fend for himself.
And, it depicts the history of Germany as the country takes the first steps toward WWII, hoping to use the Olympic Games for propaganda purposes.
"The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman"
by Ernest Gaines
"This is a novel in the guise of the tape-recorded recollections of a black woman who has lived 110 years, who has been both a slave and a witness to the black militancy of the 1960s. Miss Jane Pittman has seen almost everything and foretold the rest, summarizing the American history of her race." Newsweek
"Stunning. I know of no black novel about the South that displays quite the same refreshing mix of wit and wrath, imagination and indignation, misery and poetry. . . A memorable female character . . ." Life Magazine
by Anand Giridharadas
The book we’ve chosen is The True American by Anand Giridharadas. It’s the story of Mark Stroman, who expressed his outrage about 9/11 by shooting three convenience store clerks, killing two and wounding one, and the victim who survives, Raisuddin Bhuiyan. While Mark Stroman waits on death row, his attitude about his crimes changes from defiance to remorse. Raisuddin, who almost dies in the attack, struggles with fear as he attempts to rebuild his life, eventually establishing a relationship with Mark Stroman and his children.
A few of the questions which came up for us were:
What makes the United States a land of opportunity for someone? Is it a land of opportunity for everyone?
What is the difference between being poor in Bangladesh and being poor in the United States?
Forgiveness is tough. How does it happen?
What makes us different and what makes us the same? Is it the color of our skin and our religious beliefs?
This is a haunting book, one that penetrates deep into the lives of two complex individuals and reveals the worlds that made them. It is a story which could only happen in America.
"The Ox-Bow Incident"
By Walter Van Tilburg Clark
Set in 1885, The Ox-Bow Incident is a searing and realistic portrait of frontier life and mob violence in the American West. Published in 1940, it focuses on the lynching of three innocent men and the tragedy that ensues when law and order are abandoned, a universal story about good and evil, individual and community, justice and human nature.
One reviewer called it a "mature, unpitying examination of what causes men to love violence and to transgress justice," and the novel was selected for One Book, One Chicago Spring 2005.
In 1943, the novel was adapted into a movie of the same name, directed by William A. Wellman and starring Henry Fonda and Harry Morgan. Fonda regarded this film as one of his favorites. The film was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture at the 16th Academy Awards, losing to Casablanca.
"Grandma Gatewood’s Walk"
One spring day, Emma Gatewood told her family she was going on a walk and left her small Ohio hometown with only one change of clothes and less than two hundred dollars. The next anybody heard from her, this 67 year-old great-grandmother had walked 800 miles along the 2,050-mile Appalachian Trail. And in September 1955, she stood atop Maine’s Mount Katahdin. There she sang the first verse of “America, the Beautiful” and proclaimed, “I said I’ll do it, and I’ve done it.” Gatewood was the first woman to hike the entire Appalachian Trail in one season.
Author Ben Montgomery used Gatewood’s own materials and interviews with family members and those she met along her hike to tell this story of triumph from pain, rebellion from brutality, and hope from suffering. The Grandma Gatewood’s story illustrates the full power of human spirit and determination and the amazing things seniors can accomplish.
By Mary Shelley
Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, was the summer reading selection of Front Range Forum Reads, and has endured for two centuries as a literary classic. This highly original story brings out themes that remain relevant today – alienation, isolation, and how far science can go before it goes too far.
This summer FRF Reads program builds on the success of our first program, when about 40 members read and discussed One Summer, 1927, by Bill Bryson.
Front Range Forum Reads is aimed at bringing our membership together over the discussion of two books each year, a nonfiction book in the winter and a work of fiction in the summer. Our Winter 2015 selection, our very first selection was . . .
“One Summer: America, 1927”
By Bill Bryson
This first offering of FRF Reads was a big success. We look forward to sharing another book with you this winter. Watch this space to learn about our winter non-fiction book program with key times and dates.
Thanks from the FRF Reads Committee,
Mac McNeill (Chair), Barbara Fleming, Janet Fritz, Dale Hein, Sidna Rachid