Zoom Book Club     

The Zoom Book Club meets (online) on the second Monday of each month.   Click here to see the FUTURE SELECTION CONSIDERATIONS (or scroll down to see). 
Our next meeting is Monday, February 14th, 2022 at 7PM. 

2-2022 (Red by 60) - Sarah's S


Join us as we explore novels, historical fiction and related storylines (not all fictional) that include a Quaker component (and / or a social change movement (abolition/suffrage). 
Future selections and considerations c
an be found here.

All are welcome, just send an email to ByberryQuakers@gmail(dot)com requesting the log-in to the bookclub.


February 2022 Zoom Book Club

In Honor of Black History Month, we are reading
"Sarah's Song"

Monday, February 14th at 7PM in Zoom

2-2022 (Red by 60) - Sarah's S

Email ByberryQuakers@gmail.com for Mtg ID and Password




January 2022 Zoom Book Club

"The Light:  Tales from a Revolution - New Jersey"

Monday, January 10th at 7PM in Zoom

1-2022 - The Light by Lars Hed

Email ByberryQuakers@gmail.com for Mtg ID and Password




December Zoom Book Club


with Janet Benton

"Lilli de Jong"
Monday, December 13th at 7PM in Zoom

12 21 Lilli de Job - Book Club

We would love for you to visit the link for more information about Janet,
the storyline, and for ways to purchase Janet's book.

Email ByberryQuakers@gmail.com for Mtg ID and Password




November Zoom Book Club -


"The Secrets of Mary Bowser"
Monday, November 8th at 7PM in Zoom

11 2021 Wide JPG Mary Bowser
Email ByberryQuakers@gmail.com for Mtg ID and Password




August Zoom Book Club -


"The Back Bench" by Margaret Hope Bacon 

Monday, August 9th at 7PM in Zoom

08 2021 - Brown-Wide Back Benc
Email ByberryQuakers@gmail.com for Mtg ID and Password




September Zoom Book Club -


"Chesapeake"  (First Half - thru "The Duel")
by James Michener 

Monday, September 13th at 7PM in Zoom
(Second Half in Oct)

09 2021 - Chesapeake - 1st Hal
Email ByberryQuakers@gmail.com for Mtg ID and Password




July Zoom Book Club -


"Silent Friends: A Quaker Quilt" by Margaret Lacey 

Monday, July 12th at 7PM in Zoom

07 2021 - FB SilentFriends Qua
Email ByberryQuakers@gmail.com for Mtg ID and Password




June Zoom Book Club -


"Phoebe's Light"

Monday, June 14th at 7PM in Zoom

06 2021 - FB Phoebe's Light
Email ByberryQuakers@gmail.com for Mtg ID and Password




May Zoom Book Club -


"In the Heart of the Sea - The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex"

Monday, May 10th at 7PM in Zoom

In the Heart of the Sea
Email ByberryQuakers@gmail.com for Mtg ID and Password


National Bestseller and Winner of the 2000 National Book Award for Nonfiction

"The epic true-life story of one of the most notorious maritime disasters of the nineteenth century – and inspiration for ‘Moby-Dick’.  (Basis for the Ron Howard movie of the same title, starring Chris Hemsworth, Benjamin Walker and Cillian Murphy).

When the whaleship Essex set sail from Nantucket in 1819, the unthinkable happened. A mere speck in the vast Pacific ocean – and powerless against the forces of nature – Essex was rammed and sunk by an enraged sperm whale, and her twenty crewmen were forced to take to the open sea in three small boats. Ninety days later only a handful of survivors were rescued – and a terrifying story of desperation, cannibalism and courage was revealed…

One of the greatest sea yarns ever spun, ‘In the Heart of the Sea’ is the true story of the extraordinary events that inspired Herman Melville’s masterpiece ‘Moby-Dick’".

This book is available from many local libraries, both as printed matter, as well as for download to Kindle or ebook, an audio book and a streaming/dvd movie.


April Zoom Book Club -


"The Monopolists:  Obsession, Fury, and the Scandal Behind the World's Favorite Board Game" by Mary Pilon.

Monday, April 12th at 7PM in Zoom

Email ByberryQuakers@gmail.com for Mtg ID and Password

 04 2021 Zoom Book Club - Insta


National Bestseller 

The Monopolists reveals the unknown story of how Monopoly came into existence, the reinvention of its history by Parker Brothers and multiple media outlets, the lost female originator of the game, and one man's lifelong obsession to tell the true story about the game's questionable origins.

Most think it was invented by an unemployed Pennsylvanian who sold his game to Parker Brothers during the Great Depression in 1935 and lived happily--and richly--ever after. That story, however, is not exactly true. Ralph Anspach, a professor fighting to sell his Anti-Monopoly board game decades later, unearthed the real story, which traces back to Abraham Lincoln, the Quakers, and a forgotten feminist named Lizzie Magie who invented her nearly identical Landlord's Game more than thirty years before Parker Brothers sold their version of Monopoly. Her game--underpinned by morals that were the exact opposite of what Monopoly represents today--was embraced by a constellation of left-wingers from the Progressive Era through the Great Depression, including members of Franklin Roosevelt's famed Brain Trust.

A gripping social history of corporate greed that illuminates the cutthroat nature of American business over the last century, The Monopolists reads like the best detective fiction, told through Monopoly's real-life winners and losers.

This book is available from many local libraries, both as printed matter, as well as for download to Kindle or ebook, and as an audio book.


MARCH Book Club -


"The Woman Who Smashed Codes: A True Story of Love, Spies, and the Unlikely Heroine Who Outwitted America's Enemies" by Jason Fagone


Monday, March 8th at 7PM in Zoom
Email ByberryQuakers@gmail.com for Mtg ID and Password



National Bestseller and NPR Best Book of the Year

“Not all superheroes wear capes, and Elizebeth Smith Friedman should be the subject of a future Wonder Woman movie.” —The New York Times

Joining the ranks of Hidden Figures and In the Garden of Beasts, the incredible true story of the greatest codebreaking duo that ever lived, an American woman and her husband who invented the modern science of cryptology together and used it to confront the evils of their time, solving puzzles that unmasked Nazi spies and helped win World War II.

In 1916, at the height of World War I, brilliant Shakespeare expert Elizebeth Smith went to work for an eccentric tycoon on his estate outside Chicago. The tycoon had close ties to the U.S. government, and he soon asked Elizebeth to apply her language skills to an exciting new venture: code-breaking. There she met the man who would become her husband, groundbreaking cryptologist William Friedman. Though she and Friedman are in many ways the "Adam and Eve" of the NSA, Elizebeth’s story, incredibly, has never been told.

In "The Woman Who Smashed Codes", Jason Fagone chronicles the life of this extraordinary woman, who played an integral role in our nation’s history for forty years. After World War I, Smith used her talents to catch gangsters and smugglers during Prohibition, then accepted a covert mission to discover and expose Nazi spy rings that were spreading like wildfire across South America, advancing ever closer to the United States. As World War II raged, Elizebeth fought a highly classified battle of wits against Hitler’s Reich, cracking multiple versions of the Enigma machine used by German spies. Meanwhile, inside an Army vault in Washington, William worked furiously to break Purple, the Japanese version of Enigma—and eventually succeeded, at a terrible cost to his personal life.

Fagone unveils America’s code-breaking history through the prism of Smith’s life, bringing into focus the unforgettable events and colorful personalities that would help shape modern intelligence. Blending the lively pace and compelling detail that are the hallmarks of Erik Larson’s bestsellers with the atmosphere and intensity of The Imitation Game, The Woman Who Smashed Codes is page-turning popular history at its finest.

This book is available from many local libraries, both as printed matter, as well as for download to Kindle or ebook, and as an audio book.


February Book Club -

In recognition of African American (Black) History Month

"Bound for Canaan, The Epic Story of the Underground Railroad, America's First Civil Rights Movement" by Fergus M. Bordewich

Monday, February 8th at 7PM in Zoom
Email ByberryQuakers@gmail.com for Mtg ID and Password

 Bound for Canaan

Monday, February 8th at 7PM in Zoom
Email us at ByberryQuakers@gmail.com to get the Meeting ID and Password

An important book of epic scope on America’s first racially integrated, religiously-inspired political movement for change—The Underground Railroad, a movement peopled by daring heroes and heroines, and everyday folk

For most, the mention of the Underground Railroad evokes images of hidden tunnels, midnight rides, and hairsbreadth escapes. Yet the Underground Railroad’s epic story is much more morally complex and politically divisive than even the myths suggest. Against a backdrop of the country’s westward expansion, which brought together Easterners who had engaged in slavery primarily in the abstract alongside slaveholding Southerners and their slaves, arose a clash of values that evolved into a fierce fight for nothing less than the country’s soul. Beginning six decades before the Civil War, freedom-seeking blacks and pious whites worked together to save tens of thousands of lives, often at the risk of great physical danger to themselves. Not since the American Revolution had the country engaged in an act of such vast and profound civil disobedience that not only subverted federal law but also went against prevailing mores.

Flawlessly researched and uncommonly engaging, Bound for Canaan, shows why it was the Underground Railroad and not the Civil Rights movement that gave birth to this country’s first racially-integrated, religiously-inspired movement for social change.


This book is available from many local libraries, both as printed matter, as well as for download to Kindle or ebook, and as an audio book.


January Book Club

"Hiking Naked - A Quaker Woman's Search for Balance"
by Iris Graville


Monday, January 11th at 7PM in Zoom
Email ByberryQuakers@gmail.com for Mtg ID and Password

 Hiking Naked

Monday, January 11th at 7PM in Zoom
Email us at ByberryQuakers@gmail.com to get the Meeting ID and Password

Nautilus Book Award Winner

"Knocked off her feet after twenty years in public health nursing, Iris Graville quit her job and convinced her husband and their thirteen-year-old twin son and daughter to move to Stehekin, a remote mountain village in Washington State’s North Cascades. They sought adventure; she yearned for the quiet and respite of this community of eighty-five residents accessible only by boat, float plane, or hiking.

Hiking Naked chronicles Graville’s journey through questions about work and calling as well as how she coped with ordering groceries by mail, black bears outside her kitchen window, a forest fire that threatened the valley, and a flood that left her and her family stranded for three days".



December Book Club & Author Discussion:
"A Lenape among the Quakers: 
The Life of Hannah Freeman" 

 A Lenape Among the Quakers

Email us at ByberryQuakers@gmail.com to get the Meeting ID and Password

We are excited to have the author, Dawn Marsh, joining us for this interesting (and equally unsettling) story of Hannah Freeman, a Lenape woman who "on July 28, 1797... stood before the newly appointed almsman of Pennsylvania’s Chester County and delivered a brief account of her life. In a sad irony, Hannah Freeman was establishing her residency—a claim that paved the way for her removal to the poorhouse. Ultimately, however, it meant the final removal from the ancestral land she had so tenaciously maintained. Thus was William Penn’s “peaceable kingdom” preserved. 

A Lenape among the Quakers reconstructs Hannah Freeman’s history, traveling from the days of her grandmothers before European settlement to the beginning of the nineteenth century. The story that emerges is one of persistence and resilience, as “Indian Hannah” negotiates life with the Quaker neighbors who employ her, entrust their children to her, seek out her healing skills, and, when she is weakened by sickness and age, care for her. And yet these are the same neighbors whose families have dispossessed hers. Fascinating in its own right, Hannah Freeman’s life is also remarkable for its unique view of a Native American woman in a colonial community during a time of dramatic transformation and upheaval. In particular it expands our understanding of colonial history and the Native experience that history often renders silent.


Susan Vorwerk, 11/10/2020


November Book Club
"The Witch's Advocate" 

Instagram 1k x 1k 

Email us at ByberryQuakers@gmail.com to get the Meeting ID and Password

Join us for an interesting (and equally disturbing) journey back to the life of Thomas Maule.

Whipped and imprisoned multiple times, Maule was tried in 1696, and his acquittal is considered a pivotal event leading to the adoption of the First Amendment.

From GoodReads:   "The Amazing True Story of the Quaker Who Stood With Salem's Witches.

The Puritans said the witch madness was over. Salem was once again the City of Peace. But everyone knew nothing had changed. The hangings may have stopped, but the town still trembled under a cloud of suspicion, oppression, and fear. Just when it seemed no one would be bold enough to challenge Salem’s leaders, Thomas Maule raised his voice.

The angry Puritans took him to trial, certain that the loudmouth Quaker would be easily suppressed. What they didn’t know was they were taking on an extraordinary man at an extraordinary time. Maule bravely stood up for the rights of the witches and all the others who could not speak for themselves. In a trial meant to vindicate the Puritan Theocracy, one man spoke up for the freedoms America would come to cherish. In The Witch’s Advocate, acclaimed author Richard Maule, brings this true but untold story to life. Maule’s previous novel, Moonlight Helmsman, has received eight national awards for historical fiction, with Kirkus Reviews calling it “a seamless weave of historical investigation and fictional drama.” The Witch’s Advocate takes us back to another tumultuous period in our history in a spellbinding tale of danger and suspense that draws the reader towards one of the best courtroom climaxes ever."

About Richard Maule:
Richard Maule was born in Miami, Florida. After a 40+ year career in Christian ministry, counseling, and public speaking, he retired to New London, CT to write historical novels. His first book, Moonlight Helmsman (2017), received critical praise and 8 national awards for historical fiction. His most recent book, The Witch’s Advocate (2019) has already received 4 national honors, including the 2020 Beverly Hills Book Award. Richard is enjoying his new life as an author. He especially likes doing historical research, meeting interesting people, and raising money for good causes. His novels have generated profits of over $70,000, all of which has been donated to worthwhile charities in New England.


October Book Club (and Author Discussion)      


We are especially excited about the upcoming Zoom Book Club Discussion on Monday, October 12th when we will be discussing "The Movement of Stars" by, and with, Amy Brill, the author.  

The Movement of Stars        Amy Brill        51jQDuZwD5L. SX318 BO1,204,203

“Gorgeous . . . Sings with insights about love, work and how we create our own families”—Oprah.com

Email us to get the login Zoom Room ID/Password.  We will respond with the link on the 12th.


The book club selection for October is "The Movement of Stars" by Amy Brill.

"It is 1845, and Hannah Gardner Price has lived all twenty-four years of her life according to the principles of the Nantucket Quaker community in which she was raised, where simplicity and restraint are valued above all, and a woman’s path is expected to lead to marriage and motherhood. But up on the rooftop each night, Hannah pursues a very different—and elusive—goal: discovering a comet and thereby winning a gold medal awarded by the King of Denmark, something unheard of for a woman.

And then she meets Isaac Martin, a young, dark-skinned whaler from the Azores who, like herself, has ambitions beyond his expected station in life. Drawn to his intellectual curiosity and honest manner, Hannah agrees to take Isaac on as a student. But when their shared interest in the stars develops into something deeper, Hannah’s standing in the community begins to unravel, challenging her most fundamental beliefs about work and love, and ultimately changing the course of her life forever.

Inspired by the work of Maria Mitchell, the first professional female astronomer in America, The Movement of Stars is a richly drawn portrait of desire and ambition in the face of adversity."


Susan Vorwerk, 9/17/2020


September Book Club         


We are especially excited about the upcoming Zoom Book Club Discussion on Monday, September 14th when we will be discussing Quakerism; Horsham Friends Meeting; the French-Indian War; and many other topics about life in greater Philadelphia in the 1750s, all with Christy Distler, the author of "A Cord of Three Strands".

author headshot

Email us to get the login Zoom Room ID/Password.  We will respond with the link on the 14th.


The book club selection for September is "A Cord of Three Strands" by Christy Distler (a local Warrington author).


"As the French and Indian War rages, one man strives for peace - between Pennsylvania and its Indian tribes, and between his own heart and mind."

A Cord of Three Strands

Born to a French trader and a Lenape woman. Reared by Quakers. As the French & Indian War rages, one man strives for peace—between Pennsylvania and its Indian tribes, and between his own heart and mind.

As 1756 dawns, Isaac Lukens leaves the Pennsylvania wilderness after two years with the Lenape people. He’s failed to find the families of his birth parents, a French trader and a Lenape woman. Worse, the tribe he’s lived with, having rejected his peacemaking efforts, now ravages frontier settlements in retaliation. When he arrives in the Quaker community where he was reared, questions taunt him: Who is he—white man or Lenape? And where does he belong?

Elisabeth Alden, Isaac’s dearest childhood friend, is left to tend her young siblings alone upon her father’s death. Despite Isaac’s promise to care for her and the children, she battles resentment toward him for having left, while an unspeakable tragedy and her discordant courtship with a prominent Philadelphian weigh on her as well.

Elisabeth must marry or lose guardianship of her siblings, and her options threaten the life with her and the children that Isaac has come to love. Faced with Elisabeth’s hesitancy to marry, the prospect of finding his family at last, and the opportunity to assist in the peace process between Pennsylvania and its Indian tribes, Isaac must determine where—and to whom—the Almighty has called him.

A Cord of Three Strands weaves fact and fiction into a captivating portrayal of Colonial-era Quaker life, including Friends’ roles in Pennsylvania Indian relations and in refuting slavery.

Susan Vorwerk, 8/12/2020



Considerations are:
        Someone Knows My Name (aka The Book of Negroes) - Lawrence Hill 
        Silent Friends - A Quaker Quilt - Margaret Lacey
        Hannah Coulter - Wendell Berry  (Rec by Parker Palmer - not sure if there's a Quaker theme)
        Falling to Heaven - Jeanne Peterson  (2 Quaker Americans trek into Tibet)
        The Witch's Advocate - Richard Maule  (Quaker who advocates for Salem witches)
        Mary Dyer Illuminated - (One of the four Quaker Martyrs hanged in Boston in mid-1600s)
        World of Trouble: A Philadelphia Quaker Family's Journey Through the American Revolution 
                    (Story of Drinker Family in Phila)
        Kendall Sparrow - Barbara Leutke  (1650 - Fictionalized telling of Elizabeth Fletcher and her
                    convincement by George Fox)
        Seneca Falls Inheritance  (One in a series of murder mysteries - this one takes place
                    during the SF Convention).
        Through Gold Eagle (Part of the Seneca Falls Series - Story of John Brown, his funders,
                    attack on Harper's Ferry).
        The Kitchen House ( In this gripping novel, a dark secret threatens to expose the best
                    and worst in everyone tied to the estate at a thriving plantation in
                    Virginia in the decades before the Civil War).
        Glory Over Everything (A heart racing story about a man’s treacherous journey through
                    the twists and turns of the Underground Railroad on a mission to
                    save the boy he swore to protect).
Future books may just come from this 2019 article

Most of the books should be available from a public library or other online source.  Should you wish to purchase, please consider FGC Quaker Books and then some of the online used books stores, such as:

Pendle Hill Books
FGC Quaker Books

Susan Vorwerk, 8/5/2020


August - The Cure for Dreaming

"The Cure for Dreaming" by Cat Winters 


"Olivia Mead is a headstrong, independent girl—a suffragist—in an age that prefers its girls to be docile. It’s 1900 in Oregon, and Olivia’s father, concerned that she’s headed for trouble, convinces a stage mesmerist to try to hypnotize the rebellion out of her. But the hypnotist, an intriguing young man named Henri Reverie, gives her a terrible gift instead: she’s able to see people’s true natures, manifesting as visions of darkness and goodness, while also unable to speak her true thoughts out loud. These supernatural challenges only make Olivia more determined to speak her mind, and so she’s drawn into a dangerous relationship with the hypnotist and his mysterious motives, all while secretly fighting for the rights of women. Winters breathes new life into history once again with an atmospheric, vividly real story, including archival photos and art from the period throughout."

Abe Books:  The Cure for Dreaming

Susan Vorwerk, 7/13/2020


July - The Friendly Persuasion

"The Friendly Persuasion" - by Jessamyn West

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"A quintessential American heroine, Eliza Birdwell is a wonderful blend of would-be austerity, practicality, and gentle humor when it comes to keeping her faith and caring for her family and community. Her husband, Jess, shares Eliza's love of people and peaceful ways but, unlike Eliza, also displays a fondness for a fast horse and a lively tune. With their children, they must negotiate their way through a world that constantly confronts them-sometimes with candor, sometimes with violence-and tests the strength of their beliefs. Whether it's a gift parcel arriving on their doorstep or Confederate soldiers approaching their land, the Birdwells embrace life with emotion, conviction, and a love for one another that seems to conquer all.
The Friendly Persuasion has charmed generations of readers as one of our classic tales of the American Midwest."  (Source:  GoodReads)


Susan Vorwerk, 6/25/2020