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Book Group meetings occur every two months usually on site here at the Episcopal Day School conference room. Masks and vaccines are encouraged.

Dear Reader,

The ECSM Book Group has selected Dinnerswith Ruth by Nina Totenberg for our next book. You may know Nina Totenberg from her long-time role as Legal Affairs Correspondent on National Public Radio. Her new book is a memoir that focuses on the friendships that have helped to shape Totenberg’s life—including her long-time friendship with Ruth Bader Ginsberg. Her book also discusses the value of close and long-lasting friendships and considers what it takes to form and maintain (perhaps even rebuild) personal relationships. This topic seems timely as we emerge from a period of isolation, during which we relied on computers, tablets, and cell phones for communication with colleagues, friends, and even family members.

Dinners with Ruth is available in hardcover and audio formats. As a long-time public radio listener, I have been listening to Nina Totenberg tell her own story on We will meet on Wednesday, November 9 in the Conference Room at St. Matthew’s Hall to discuss Dinners with Ruth.  Our meeting will start at 7:00 pm.  Meetings usually conclude between 8:30 and 9:00.  We will also choose another book to read for January.

Five of us met in September to discuss True Grit by Charles Portis.  We were delighted to welcome Father Eric—who founded the Book Group more than ten years ago—back to our band of readers. True Grit has the look and feel of a classic western, but it deviates from the traditions in several ways.  First, the narrator is a woman named Mattie Ross, who recounts the story of how she sought to avenge her father’s death as a 14-year old girl in 1878 Arkansas. Mattie hires Rooster Cogburn, an aging US Marshall with a reputation for hard drinking,  ruthlessness, and success in bringing outlaws to justice—not exactly the classic western hero that I recall from TV and the movies in my youth.  Both Mattie and Rooster are strong-willed and stern, but they eventually come to respect each other as their pursuit heats up.  True Grit is both praised and loved by many American writers—for its characters, its story, its wry humor, its scenery and confrontations, and especially for its language. It was made into two movies—the first starring John Wayne in 1969  and the second featuring Jeff Bridges in 2010.

Our group also discussed the term “grit” and what it means.  Determination? Resilience? Self-confidence? Self-reliance?  Something else?  Read the book or watch one of the movies, and see what you think!

Hope to see you on Wednesday evening, November 9, when we gather in the Conference Room of St. Matthew’s Hall to discuss Dinners with Ruth.