In 2016, JVC Northwest launched a world-wide book club as part of the 60th Anniversary celebrations, thanks to great feedback from the 2015 Former JV Survey. We are offering both in-person meetings across the country and a self reflection guide format throughout the year, each round focusing on a different value of JVC Northwest.
Registration for our Spirituality round is now open. Click here to register for a group in your area, start a new club, or to receive the self-guided reflection guide!
Click the values below to learn more about each of the values and book selected or visit our Goodreads profile to see all of the books nominated for our Ruined Readers gatherings!Social Justice (February- April 2017)
As she gets to know people who strongly oppose many of the ideas she champions, Hochschild nevertheless finds common ground with the people she meets—among them a Tea Party activist whose town has been swallowed by a sinkhole caused by a drilling accident—people whose concerns are ones that all Americans share: the desire for community, the embrace of family, and hopes for their children.”
The Spirituality selection is Learning to Walk in the Dark by Barbara Brown Taylor. Taylor has become increasingly uncomfortable with our tendency to associate all that is good with lightness and all that is evil and dangerous with darkness. Doesn’t God work in the nighttime as well? In Learning to Walk in the Dark, Taylor asks us to put aside our fears and anxieties and to explore all that God has to teach us “in the dark.” She argues that we need to move away from our “solar spirituality” and ease our way into appreciating “lunar spirituality” (since, like the moon, our experience of the light waxes and wanes). Through darkness we find courage, we understand the world in new ways, and we feel God’s presence around us, guiding us through things seen and unseen. Often, it is while we are in the dark that we grow the most.
Our first club focused on Simple Living featured Richard Rohr’s Simplicity: the Freedom of Letting Go. From the Center for Action and Contemplation: ‘” ‘Less is more,’ Richard Rohr tells us, and those who have nothing to protect or prove have a soul that can embrace both the shadow self and the good to receive Christ. This book has continued to resonate with seekers since its original publication.” This book explores St. Francis’s ancient call to the simple life, where joy, not dry theology, helps us build relationships and find peace in ourselves.”
Community (May-June 2016)
Our second club meeting focused on the value of Community. Our Community book, nominated by former Jesuit Volunteer Christy Foltz-Ahlrichs (Richmond, VA ‘96-97) who currently lives in Boise, ID, is In the Neighborhood by Peter Lovenheim. Here is a brief synopsis about the book from Peter’s website: “Peter Lovenheim had lived on the same street in suburban Rochester, New York much of his life. But it was only after a brutal murder-suicide rocked the neighborhood that he was struck by a fact of modern life in contemporary American communities: No one really knew anyone else. Thus began Peter’s search to meet and get to know his neighbors. Being inquisitive, he did more than just introduce himself. He asked, ever so politely, if he could sleep over.”
Social and Ecological Justice (August-September 2016)
Our third club meeting focused on the value of Social and Ecological Justice. Clubs met and discussed “The Book of Unknown Americans” by Cristina Henriquez. Here is a brief synopsis of the book from the author’s website: “Arturo Rivera was the owner of a construction company in Pátzcuaro, México. One day, as his beautiful fifteen-year-old daughter, Maribel, is helping him at a work site, she sustains an injury that casts doubt on whether she’ll ever be the same again. And so, leaving all they have behind, the Riveras come to America with a single dream: that in this country of great opportunity and resources, Maribel can get better. When Mayor Toro, whose family is from Panamà, sees Maribel in a Dollar Tree store, it is love at first sight. It’s also the beginning of a friendship between the Rivera and Toro families, whose web of guilt and love and responsibility is at this novel’s core. Woven into their stories are the testimonials of men and women who have come to the United States from all over Central and Latin America. Their journeys and their voices will inspire you, surprise you, and break your heart.”
Our final selection of 2016 is Accidental Saints by Nadia Bolz Weber. Here is a brief synopsis of the book from the author’s website: “In a time when many have rightly become disillusioned with Christianity, Accidental Saints demonstrates what happens when ordinary people share bread and wine, struggle with scripture together, and tell each other the truth about their real lives. This unforgettable account of their faltering steps toward wholeness will ring true for believer and skeptic alike.”