Category Archives: Book Club

Book Review: A Man Called Ove

Book Review: A Man Called Ove

written by Hearth Ember, Amy Beth Harrison

Ove does not make a great first impression. He is someone who seems to care more about where the recycling goes than how someone is doing. He takes grumpiness to new heights and is seemingly without ability for spontaneity or compassion. However, as I got deeper into the book, I began to see there was a reason behind most of his words, no matter how grumpy they might seem. The more you understand Ove, the more you begin to understand what he is really saying behind his terse phrases—I’ve been labeled obsolete, I’m up against the constant tragedies of life, I’m going to control with exactness what I can control. Ove is also actually very principled. The memories of the expectations of the people who loved him create the boundaries of behavior he will not cross.

The book is a great reminder for all of us to reach beyond the boundaries of what we know about someone, to give them the benefit of the doubt, to try to find out some of their history to understand why they act the way they do. The book also shows that the feeling of being needed can be a strong deterrent to despair and that asking someone to help you may do more for them than trying to help them out.  It also shows how the power of caring for someone, no matter how long ago, can still leave an impression on a person in the present.

I’m excited to hear your impressions of the book at our next book club meeting on  May 24th at the Arts of the Armory Café.


The Hearth Book Club meets the fourth Wednesday of every month from 7:00-8:30 pm at Arts at the Armory Cafe. Check our book club list to see what we’re reading next and support your local bookstore by buying your copy at Porter Square Books!

Don’t have time to read an entire book each month? Join us for Hearth to Hearth: An article discussion group on Second Wednesdays at 8:00 pm!

Book Review: Letters to a Young Poet by Rainer Maria Rilke

Book Review: Letters to a Young Poet by Rainer Maria Rilke

written by Hearth Board Member, Nina Earley “Letters to a Young Poet” by Rainer Maria Rilke 90 pages, very quick read 4-6 hours total I gave this book to my brother as a gift when I first moved away from home; I think he must have been 15 or 16. I’d like to think itContinue Reading

Book Review: Commonwealth

Book Review: Commonwealth

– written by Hearth Ember, Amy Beth Harrison Ann Patchett was someone I already admired before starting Commonwealth. I knew her from Bel Canto, a very memorable read, and then heard the story of how she opened her own bookstore because the last bookstore in her hometown of Nashville closed. Despite being an author rather than aContinue Reading

Book Review: I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

Book Review: I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

written by Hearth Board Member, Nina Earley I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou is a book I had been meaning to read for a long time. It’s easy to put off, I think I might have been worried that I wouldn’t be able to relate to the story and characters, itContinue Reading

Book Review: The Creative Habit

Book Review: The Creative Habit

– written by Hearth Ember, Amy Beth Harrison A great teacher is able to inspire not just those who think and act similarly to themselves, but those who act completely differently. That’s what I keep thinking while reading Twyla Tharp’s The Creative Habit. Of the authors of the best books I’ve read on creative habitsContinue Reading

Crafting the Hearth Narrative

Crafting the Hearth Narrative

When we were kids, my older sister organized the books in her room in a personalized Dewey Decimal system. Three and a half years younger, my job was to cut all the bits of masking tape to go on the bottom of the book spine so that she could write the appropriate numbers on them.Continue Reading

Book Review: Half of a Yellow Sun

-written by Hearth Member, Marika McCoola A small group met at The Blue Shirt Cafe on Wednesday to discuss Half a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. We read Adichie’s novel Americanah last year and wanted to read another work by her, hence this month’s selection. Half a Yellow Sun is weighty in many ways:Continue Reading

Book Review: Dept. of Speculation

Book Review: Dept. of Speculation

-written by Hearth Member, Marika McCoola Eight readers gathered this past Wednesday to discuss Jenny Offill’s novel The Dept. of Speculation. This slim, poetic novel, is very much written as stream of consciousness, with the narrator looking at her life and reflecting on the changes to her identity as she tries to figure out herContinue Reading

Book Review: The Tenth of December

Book Review: The Tenth of December

-written by Hearth Member, Marika McCoola Seven people braved the rain last night to come out and discuss George Saunders’ book of short stories The Tenth of December. The book received rave reviews when first published, hence my decision to add it to the bookclub list. I’m also not a huge fan of short stories,Continue Reading

Review: Parable of the Sower

Review: Parable of the Sower

-written by Hearth Member, Marika McCoola On Wednesday, three of us met at The Blue Shirt Cafe to discuss Octavia Butler’s Parable of the Sower. I’d selected the book based on rave reviews I’d heard from others. I was also interested in the book from a historical viewpoint. It’s a post-apocalyptic novel written by aContinue Reading