Zoom Book Club     

The Zoom Book Club meets (online) on the second Monday of each month.   Click here to see the CURRENT SELECTION (meeting on Monday, October 12, 2020 at 7PM).  (Previous selections can be found below the Future Considerations).

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).  

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


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


June - The Invention of Wings 

Invention of Wings

"The Invention of Wings is voiced by two verbally powerful narrators: Sarah Grimké, who is inspired by the real-life abolitionist and feminist of the same name, and Hetty Handful, who is the child of your imagination. The Invention of Wings is about several simultaneous struggles for freedom."

"Are you looking to improve your knowledge of slavery in America within a non-academic setting? Sue Monk Kidd's latest novel, The Invention of Wings, offers just that with detailed depictions of the South and North during the early 19th century. Find out who would like this novel and why it is a worthwhile read with the help of this companion review. Kidd has selected two real women from America's history and fictionalized them as protagonists in her third novel.

Sarah Grimké comes from a wealthy white family and struggles with the justifications of slavery from the young age of 11. She befriends a slave named Handful who was presented to her as a gift, and together they form convictions and strive for freedom. Readers gain an insider's view of slavery, the abolitionist movement, and women's rights in The Invention of Wings. The New York Times bestselling author Sue Monk Kidd does not disappoint with her latest piece of historical fiction, and you can read what the critics have to say in this comprehensive review. The Invention of Wings offers an ideal balance of emotional moments and action to entice any reader, while offering educational appeal within an engaging story of two historical women." (Source:  GoodReads.com) 

About Sue Monk Kidd:  "Sue Monk Kidd's debut novel, The Secret Life of Bees, spent more than one hundred weeks on the New York Times bestseller list, has sold more than six million copies in the United States, was turned into both an award-winning major motion picture and a musical, and has been translated into thirty-six languages. Her second novel, The Mermaid Chair, was a number one New York Times bestseller and was adapted into a television movie. Her third novel, The Invention of Wings, an Oprah's Book Club 2.0 pick, was also a number one New York Times bestseller.

Her latest novel, The Book of Longings, will be available April 21, 2020.

She is the author of several acclaimed memoirs, including The Dance of the Dissident Daughter, her groundbreaking work on religion and feminism, as well as the New York Times bestseller Traveling with Pomegranates, written with her daughter, Ann Kidd Taylor. She lives in North Carolina."  (Source:  Amazon)


Susan Vorwerk, 6/21/2020

Susan Vorwerk, 8/28/2020