Join us for a stimulating conversation about books!

The Westside Book Club

Our Book Club is meeting on Zoom! Read our newsletter to see how you can join our meeting!

The book club will not meet in December 2021. Instead, we will read two books over the holidays and meet again on

Saturday, January 22, 2022, at 10:00 a.m. via Zoom.

Our current selections:

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Nonfiction:

"Islands of Abandonment: Nature Rebounding in the Post-Human Landscape" 
by Cal Flyn

Some of the only truly feral cattle in the world wander a long-abandoned island off the northernmost tip of Scotland. A variety of wildlife not seen in many lifetimes has rebounded on the irradiated grounds of Chernobyl. A lush forest supports thousands of species that are extinct or endangered everywhere else on earth in the Korean peninsula's narrow DMZ.

Cal Flyn, an investigative journalist, exceptional nature writer, and promising new literary voice visits the eeriest and most desolate places on Earth that due to war, disaster, disease, or economic decay, have been abandoned by humans. What she finds every time is an "island" of teeming new life: nature has rushed in to fill the void faster and more thoroughly than even the most hopeful projections of scientists.

Islands of Abandonment is a tour through these new ecosystems, in all their glory, as sites of unexpected environmental significance, where the natural world has reasserted its wild power and promise. And while it doesn't let us off the hook for addressing environmental degradation and climate change, it is a case that hope is far from lost, and it is ultimately a story of redemption: the most polluted spots on Earth can be rehabilitated through ecological processes and, in fact, they already are.

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Fiction:   "The Shaman Sings"
by James D. Doss

The shocking death of a female physics student has shattered the peaceful community of Granite Creek, Colorado—and police chief Scott Parrish has a hunch he can't even begin to explain. He saw the killing…in his dreams.

Daisy Perika experienced the same visions. An aged Ute shaman who lives in a trailer on the lonesome highlands, hers is the realm of the Native American spirit. But Daisy doesn't need scientific proof to know that the student's breakthrough discovery was to kill for. And it isn't over yet.

Parrish wants to believe that Daisy can unleash the truth. But will her visions of Coyote and fire make for evidence in a court of law? Now it's up to Parrish and Daisy's nephew, Tribal Police investigator Charlie Moon, to summon the supernatural and seize the killer—before he strikes again…in James D. Doss's The Shaman Sings.