Vegetarian Society of DC

 

 
VSDC Book Club

The Vegetarian Society of DC (VSDC) Book Club meets once each month, usually the last Wednesday at 7:30pm at a vegetarian restaurant. See VSDC's events calendar for our upcoming meeting dates! VSDC Book Club meetings are also posted on the DC Area Vegan Meetup site.

We alternate between fiction and nonfiction. VSDC members and friends who have read at least half the book are welcome. For the location, at least one week before the meeting, leave a message for Beth on the Veg Line (202-362-VEGY, box 2), or by email to bookclub [at] vsdc dot org, or via DC Area Vegan Meetup site. An RSVP is required to attend.

In 2014, the VSDC Book Club celebrates 22 years of great reading! Scroll down for book selections.

Choosing Books

Book Club participants vote for two upcoming books at every other meeting: one fiction and one nonfiction. Any Book Club member can nominate a book — be prepared to participate in the discussion if it wins! We read books that are in paperback, in print, and under 400 pages. Plus, we read authors we haven't read in the past five years (or ever).

Popular meeting places

Recommend?

At the end of each meeting, participants vote on whether they would recommend the book — yes, no, or "other." We started asking this question at the April 1993 meeting. Votes before then do not include everyone who participated in the discussion, and may include some who didn't. Note the self-selection: People who do not like a book may be less likely to come to the meeting.

Book Selections

2015

  Recommend?
Month Title   Author Yes No ?
January The Rosie Project: A Novel   Graeme Simsion
Febraury Defiant Daughters: 21 Women on Art, Activism, Animals, and the Sexual Politics of Meat   edited by Kara Davis and Wendy Lee
 

2014

  Recommend?
Month Title   Author Yes No ?
January Where'd You Go, Bernadette   Maria Semple 7 0 3
February My Beloved World   Sonia Sotomayor 9 0 1
March Tell the Wolves I'm Home   Carol Rifka Brunt 6 0 0
April Veganomics: The Surprising Science on What Motivates Vegetarians, from the Breakfast Table to the Bedroom   Nick Cooney 15 0 0
May The Chain   Robin Lamont 2 2 1
June The Genius of Dogs   Brian Hare and Vanessa Woods 1 0 3
July The Odds: A Love Story   Stewart O’Nan 6 1 1
August Prosperity without Growth: Economics for a Finite Planet   Tim Jackson 6 0 4
September The Awareness   Gene Stone and Jon Doyle 1 2 2
October Animal Wise: How We Know Animals Think and Feel   Virginia Morell
November We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves   Karen Joy Fowler
 

2013

  Recommend?
Month Title   Author Yes No ?
January The Bond   Wayne Pacelle 6 0 0
February Gilead   Marilynne Robinson 1 0 3
March Rin Tin Tin   Susan Orlean 8 0 2
April Dandelion Wine   Ray Bradbury 5 0 2
May Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can't Stop Talking   Susan Cain 13 0 1
June Three Bags Full   Leonie Swann 3 0 1
July Wild   Cheryl Strayed 15 0 0
August The Weird Sisters   Eleanor Brown 3 1 3
September Infidel   Ayaan Hirsi Ali 3 1 1
October How It All Began   Penelope Lively 5 0 0
November Finding Ultra: Rejecting Middle Age, Becoming One of the World's Fittest Men, and Discovering Myself   Rich Roll 16 1 1
 

2012

  Recommend?
Month Title   Author Yes No ?
January The Straight Man   Richard Russo 2 0 1
February The Tiger: A True Story of Vengeance and Survival   John Vailllant 12 0 0
March When the Killing's Done   T.C. Boyle 2 6 2
April Moonwalking with Einstein: The Art and Science of Remembering Everything   Joshua Foer 9 0 1
May Netherland   Joseph O'Neill 2 2 1
June Animal Impact: Secrets Proven to Achieve Results and Move the World   Caryn Ginsberg 11 0 0
July Lolly Willowes   Sylvia Townsend Warner 3 0 1
August Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen   Christopher McDougall 13 0 1
September The Submission   Amy Waldman 4 1 0
October Transition   Chaz Bono 5 0 0
November The Marriage Plot   Jeffrey Eugenides 2 0 0
 

2011

  Recommend?
Month Title   Author Yes No ?
January Eating Animals   Jonathan Safran Foer 15 0 1
February Sag Harbor   Colson Whitehead 6 0 1
March No One Would Listen: A True Financial Thriller   Harry Markopolos 11 0 0
April The Vampire and The Vegan   Merlene Alicia Vassall 10 0 2
May Farm Sanctuary: Changing Hearts and Minds About Animals and Food   Gene Baur 7 0 0
June Let the Great World Spin   Colum McCann 2 0 2
July The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks   Rebecca Skloot 8 0 0
August The Imperfectionists   Tom Rachman 6 3 0
September Just Kids   Patti Smith 7 0 1
October Anthill   E.O. Wilson 4 0 1
November The World Peace Diet   Will Tuttle 4 1 3
 

2010

  Recommend?
Month Title   Author Yes No ?
January The Great Man   Kate Christensen 10 0 3
February A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier   Ishmael Beah 9 0 0
March Stoner   John Williams 5 0 1
April Animals Make Us Human   Temple Grandin 7 1 3
May

The Elegance of the Hedgehog

  Muriel Barbery 5 1 2
June The Geography of Bliss   Eric Weiner 11 1 3
July The Heart is a Lonely Hunter   Carson McCullers 5 0 1
August Your Inner Fish: A Journet into the 3.5 Billion Year History of the Human Body  

Neil Shubin

4 0 1
September The Art of Racing in the Rain   Garth Stein 2 2 2
October A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail   Bill Bryson 9 0 0
November The Lovely Bones   Alice Sebold 6 2 1
 
2009
 

Recommend?

Month Title   Author Yes No ?
January Nim Chimpsky: The Chimp Who Would Be Human   Elizabeth Hess 5 0 0
February The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears   Dinaw Mengestu 9 0 1
March In Praise of Slowness: Challenging the Cult of Speed   Carl Honore 7 3 1
April The Dogs of Babel   Carolyn Parkhurst 4 1 2
May Around the World on Two Wheels: Annie Londonderry's Extraordinary Ride   Peter Zheutlin 5 0 0
June Flowers for Algernon   Daniel Keyes 4 1 0
July Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth, and Happiness   Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein 5 0 1
August Rabbit, Run   John Updike 2 1 3
September Three Cups of Tea: One Man's Mission to Promote Peace... One School at a Time   Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin 14 1 0
October Olive Kitteridge   Elizabeth Strout 5 0 3
November The Vegan Monologues   Ben Shaberman 16 0 3
             
2008
  Recommend?
Month Title   Author Yes No ?
January Pleasurable Kingdom   Jonathan Balcombe 9 0 0
February Water for Elephants   Sara Gruen 3 0 0
March Never Cry Wolf: Amazing True Story of Life Among Arctic Wolves   Farley Mowat 9 0 0
April The Tempest   William Shakespeare 7 0 2
May Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life   Barbara Kingsolver 5 1 0
June A Long Fatal Love Chase   Louisa May Alcott 3 1 1
July The Travels of a T-Shirt in the Global Economy: An Economist Examines the Markets, Power, and Politics of World Trade   Pietra Rivoli 10 0 0
August Tales of the City   Armistead Maupin 7 0 0
September How Starbucks Saved My Life   Michael Gates Gill 10 0 0
October Caucasia   Danzy Senna 5 1 1
November The World Without Us   Alan Weisman 8 0 0
 
2007
  Recommend?
Month Title   Author Yes No ?
January The Jane Austen Book Club   Karen Jay Fowler 2 1 3
February For the Prevention of Cruelty: the history and legacy of animal rights activism in the United States   Diane L. Beers 3 0 1
March The Heidi Chronicles, Uncommon Women and Others, and Isn't It Romantic   Wendy Wasserstein 8 0 1
April Harvest for Hope: A Guide to Mindful Eating   Jane Goodall 3 0 0
May Slaughterhouse-Five   Kurt Vonnegut 9 0 1
June Night   Elie Wiesel 7 0 0
July Timbuktu   Paul Auster 5 0 1
August The Mating Mind: How Sexual Choice Shaped the Evolution of Human Nature   Geoffrey Miller 2 1 0
September Black Beauty   Anna Sewell 4 0 1
October Voodoo Science: The Road from Foolishness to Fraud   Robert Park 5 0 0
November Unsafe Harbor: A Rachel Porter Mystery   Jessica Speart 2 5 3
             
2006
  Recommend?
Month Title   Author Yes No ?
January Confessions of an Economic Hit Man   John Perkins 10 0 2
February Rubyfruit Jungle   Rita Mae Brown 12 1 1
March The Beak of the Finch: A Story of Evolution in Our Time   Jonathan Weiner 5 0 2
April Lost in the City   Edward P. Jones 8 1 1
May Bayou Farewell: the rich life and tragic death of Louisiana's cajun coast   Mike Tidwell 6 0 0
June The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time   Mark Haddon 10 0 1
July Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood   Marjane Satrapi 7 0 0
August Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close   Jonathan Safran Foer 7 0 0
September Banker to the Poor: micro-lending and the battle against world poverty   Muhammad Yunus 5 0 0
October Sammy's Hill   Kristin Gore 2 0 2
November Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books   Azar Nafisi 4 1 3
December VSDC Holiday Event          
 
2005
  Recommend?
Month Title   Author Yes No ?
January The Awakening   Kate Chopin 2 1 2
February Silent Spring   Rachel Carson 7 0 0
March West of the Jordan   Laila Halaby 2 2 1
April Dominion   Matthew Scully 4 0 0
May Nathan Coulter   Wendell Berry 0 2 0
June Red Tails in Love: A Wildlife Drama in Central Park   Marie Winn 5 0 0
July The Kite Runner   Khaled Hosseini 8 0 0
August Among the Bears: Raising Orphaned Cubs in the Wild   Benjamin Kilham 1 2 0
September Like Life: Stories   Lorrie Moore 0 2 2
October The Tipping Point: how little things can make a big difference   Malcolm Gladwell 8 2 2
November The Inn at Lake Devine   Elinor Lipman 8 0 1
December VSDC Holiday Event          
             
2004
  Recommend?
Month Title   Author Yes No ?
January Old Books, Rare Friends: two literary sleuths and their shared passion   Leona Rostenberg, Madeleine Stern 4 1 0
February River, Cross My Heart   Breena Clarke 5 1 1
March Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America   Barbara Ehrenreich 8 0 1
April The Red Pony   John Steinbeck 3 0 2
May Globalization and Its Discontents   Joseph E. Stiglitz 7 2 1
June How to be Good   Nick Hornby 9 1 1
July Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things   William McDonough, Michael Braungart 4 0 0
August Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress   Sijie Dai 5 1 0
September Strange Fruit: The Biography of a Song   David Margolick 5 2 2
October Tell Me a Riddle   Tillie Olsen 0 2 2
November Wild Health: how animals keep themselves well and what we can learn from them   Cindy Engel 4 0 1
December VSDC Holiday Party          
             
2003            
  Recommend?
Month Title   Author Yes No ?
January Ethics into Action: Henry Spira and the Animal Rights Movement   Peter Singer 6 0 0
February Headlong: A Novel   Michael Frayn 1 0 1
March The Botany of Desire: A Plant's-Eye View of the World   Michael Pollan 5 0 0
April Disgrace   J.M. Coetzee 7 1 0
May The Tao of Pooh   Benjamin Hoff 11 0 0
June Mrs. Dalloway   Virginia Woolf 5 1 1
July The Wilderness World of John Muir   John Muir 6 0 0
August The Nanny Diaries   Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus 4 1 1
September All of One Peace, Essays on Nonviolence   Colman McCarthy 8 0 0
October Interpreter of Maladies   Jhumpa Lahiri 8 0 0
November Pilgrim at Tinker Creek   Annie Dillard 1 0 2
December Readings by group: Share something up to 3 minutes long          
             
2002
  Recommend?
Month Title   Author Yes No ?
January I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings   Maya Angelou 3 0 1
February Me Talk Pretty One Day   David Sedaris 4 1 0
March Girl with a Pearl Earring   Tracy Chavalier 1 0 1
April Living Among Meat Eaters: The Vegetarian's Survival Handbook   Carol J. Adams 2 0 2
May The Edible Woman   Margaret Atwood 2 2 1
June The Parrot's Lament: and other true tales of animal intrigue, intelligence, and ingenuity   Eugene Linden 2 2 0
July Blitzcat   Robert Westall 5 0 1
August Fast Food Nation   Eric Schlosser 7 0 0
September The Jungle   Upton Sinclair 3 0 0
October The Battle for God   Karen Armstrong 0 0 3
November Ishmael   Daniel Quinn 4 3 0
December Readings by group: Share something up to 3 minutes long  
             
2001
  Recommend?
Month Title   Author Yes No ?
January The Chosen   Chaim Potok 12 1 0
February Through a Window   Jane Goodall 6 0 0
March After the Blue   Russel Like 1 2 2
April Sex on the Brain: the biological differences between men and women   Deborah Blum 1 1 1
May Regeneration   Pat Barker 3 0 1
June Rattling the Cage: Toward Legal Rights for Animals   Steven Wise 0 0 3
July Waiting   Ha Jin 4 0 1
August Into the Wild   Jon Krakauer 6 1 3
September A Home at the End of the World   Michael Cunningham 4 0 0
October How I Became Hettie Jones   Hettie Jones 5 0 0
November Sunshine Rider: The First Vegetarian Western   Ric Lynden Hardman
December Readings by group: Share something up to 3 minutes long  
             
2000
  Recommend?
Month Title   Author Yes No ?
January The Rarest of the Rare   Diane Ackerman 5 0 0
February Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone   J. K. Rowling 3 0 0
March Thoughts Without a Thinker: psychotherapy from a Buddhist perspective   Mark Epstein 10 2 1
April Women of Sand and Myrrh   Hanan Al-Shaykh 1 1 1
May Stonewall   Martin Duberman 3 0 0
June My Year of Meats   Ruth Ozeki 3 0 1
July A Tribe Apart: A Journey into the Heart of American Adolescence   Patricia Hersch 6 0 1
August The Hundred Secret Senses   Amy Tan 6 0 0
September Waiting to Forget   Margaret Moorman 4 0 0
October To Kill a Mockingbird   Harper Lee 9 0 0
November The Orchid Thief   Susan Orlean 4 1 0
December Readings by group: Share something up to 3 minutes long  
             
1999
  Recommend?
Month Title   Author Yes No ?
January The God of Small Things   Arundhati Roy 2 1 3
February Toxic Sludge is Good for You! Lies, Damn Lies and the Public Relations Industry   John Stauber, Sheldon Rampton 11 0 0
March Animal Husbandry   Laura Zigman 6 0 0
April Cultivating the Mind of Love   Thich Nhat Hanh 3 2 3
May Animal Farm   George Orwell 13 0 0
June Desert Solitaire   Edward Abbey 4 2 4
July The Dispossessed   Ursula LeGuin 5 2 1
August The Call of Service: A Witness to Idealism   Robert Coles 3 2 2
September How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents   Julia Alvarez 0 3 1
October The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down: a Hmong child, her American doctors, and the collision of two cultures   Anne Fadiman 5 2 1
November A Cry for Self-Help   Jaqueline Girdner 0 3 2
December Readings by group: Share something up to 3 minutes long  
             
1998
  Recommend?
Month Title   Author Yes No ?
January None to Accompany Me   Gordimer 2 0 4
February The Snow Leopard   Matthiessen 1 4 2
March True Story: A Comedy Novel   Maher 4 3 0
April Spontaneous Healing   Weil 7 1 0
May On the Road   Kerouac 8 0 0
June Long Quiet Highway: Waking Up America   Goldberg 5 0 0
July Martha Quest   Lessing 2 0 1
August The Dreaded Comparison: Human and Animal Slavery   Spiegel 7 0 2
September Enormous Changes at the Last Minute   Paley 1 3 1
October The Starship and the Canoe   Brower 7 0 0
November Food for the Gods   Berry 6 0 2
December Readings by group: Share something up to 3 minutes long  
             
1997
  Recommend?
Month Title   Author Yes No ?
January The Wedding   Dorothy West 9 0 2
February Paula   Isabel Allende 5 0 0
March Paddy Clark Ha Ha Ha   Doyle 2 0 2
April The Saturated Self: Dilemmas of Identity in Contemporary Life   Gergen 0 4 1
May The Here and Now   Cohen 2 2 1
June The Jew in the Lotus: A Poet's Rediscovery of Jewish Identity in Buddhist India   Kamenetz 3 2 2
July Open Secrets   Munro 2 2 0
August Amazing Grace: The Lives of Children and the Conscience of a Nation   Kozol 6 0 0
September Candida   Shaw 4 0 1
October The Invisible Partners: how the male and female in each of us affects our relationships   Sanford 2 5 0
November I Should Have Stayed Home: The Worst Trips of the Great American Writers   Rapoport & Castanera, editors 4 0 0
December Readings by group: Share something up to 3 minutes long  
             
1996
  Recommend?
Month Title   Author Yes No ?
January My Own Country   Verghese 4 0 2
February The Garden of Eden   Hemingway 5 1 1
March Making Movies   Lumet 5 0 0
April The Love Letter   Schine 2 0 0
May Emotional Intelligence   Goleman 1 1 1
June Animal Dreams   Kingsolver 5 0 0
July Between Heaven and Earth: A Guide to Chinese Medicine   Beinfield & Korngold 0 0 3
August Pride and Prejudice   Austen 6 1 0
September Jaguar: one man's battle to establish the world's first jaguar preserve   Rabinowitz 5 0 0
October Tracks   Erdrich 0 0 3
November Animal Liberation   Singer 6 0 0
December Readings by group: Share something up to 3 minutes long  
             
1995
  Recommend?
Month Title   Author Yes No ?
January Midnight's Children   Rushdie 0 1 3
February The Things They Carried   O'Brien 9 0 0
March The Shipping News   Proulx 6 2 2
April The Myth of Male Power   Farrell 2 5 4
May The Catcher in the Rye   Salinger 8 0 0
June The Autobiography of a Face   Grealey 8 0 0
July Monsignor Quixote   Green 2 3 2
August Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil: A Savannah Story   Berendt 4 1 3
September Crossing to Safety   Stegner 3 0 2
October In an Antique Land   Ghosh 2 0 2
November Ladder of Years   Tyler 2 3 1
December Readings by Group: Share something up to 3 minutes long  
             
1994
  Recommend?
Month Title   Author Yes No ?
January Riding the Iron Rooster   Theroux 5 1 0
February Love in the Time of Cholera   Garcia Marquez 4 0 0
March Powershift   Toffler 2 2 1
April Beloved   Morrison 6 0 0
May Enzyme Nutrition   Howell 6 2 2
June The Easy Way Out   McCauley 4 1 0
July Ageless Body, Timeless Mind   Chopra 3 1 1
August The Education of Little Tree   Carter 4 0 2
September Defending the Devil   Nelson 8 0 0
October The Great Gatsby   Fitzgerald 12 0 0
November Animal Happiness   Hearne 0 8 0
December The Measure of Our Success   Edelman 5 1 6
             
1993
  Recommend?
Month Title   Author Yes No ?
January How Can I Help?   Dass 3 4 0
February A Thousand Acres   Smiley 6 0 0
March A Return to Love   Williamson 0 5 1
April Nice Work   Lodge 3 3 1
May The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People   Covey 5 3 2
June Damage   Hart 7 4 2
July Healing and the Mind   Moyers 3 1 0
August Like Water for Chocolate   Esquival 6 1 1
September Earth in the Balance   Gore 4 1 0
October Postcards   Proulx 2 1 0
November Your Money or Your Life   Dominquez & Robin 4 2 0
December Readings by Group  
             
1992
  Recommend?
Month Title   Author Yes No ?
February Organizational Meeting  
March The State of the World   Brown 2 3 0
April Watership Down   Adams 5 1 0
May Beyond Beef   Rifkin 2 3 0
June Vox   Baker 0 6 0
July You Just Don't Understand: conversations between women and men   Tannen 4 1 1
August Halfway Home   Monette 4 1 1
September The Revolution Within   Steinem 0 3 1
October Waiting to Exhale   McMillan 2 5 0
November A Turn in the South   Naipaul 2 3 1
December Scum   Singer 2 2 2
             
             
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Last modified: March 28, 2014 11:51 AM