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Alumnae Book Club

Alpha Chi Omega hosts an online book club just for alumnae! Each month, you will have the opportunity to make connections with alumnae all over the country about the books we’re reading through virtual discussion in our Facebook group. If you have questions about the book club, please contact October Davis, associate director of volunteer and alumnae engagement. We look forward to reading alongside you!

Join our Alumnae Book Club Facebook Group


We will read a new book and have a virtual discussion via the Facebook group each month!

Book of the month

February book cover

THE SECRET BOOK OF FLORA LEA BY PATTI CALLAHAN HENRY   

London, 1939. Hazel and her younger sister, Flora, escape to a rural village in the midst of WWII. While living in a quaint stone cottage along the River Thames, Hazel creates imaginary tales of a place where they can let their minds wander. When Flora disappears, Hazel is overcome with guilt at the loss of her sister. After 20 years, Hazel has rebuilt her life in London with a new boyfriend, a classy Bloomsbury flat and a career at a bookstore. Life as she knows it is turned upside down when she receives a book about the secret, imaginary world she created for Flora. Is this a sign that her beloved baby sister is still alive after all these years? A novel full of twists and turns explores the powerful bonds of sisterhood and the magic of storytelling. 

DISCUSSION DATES: FEBRUARY 26 – MARCH 1  

Coming Up...march 2024

book coverTHE HOUSEMAID BY FREIDA MCFADDEN  

Working for the Winchesters is Millie’s chance to start over … until she realizes that their secrets are far more perilous than her own. Millie spends her days cleaning their home, cooking and taking care of their daughter while Nina Winchester makes a show of making messes, telling lies and treating her husband, Andrew, poorly. As Millie gets to know Andrew, she can’t help but wonder what it would be like to live Nina’s perfect life. Nina discovers Millie’s desires, and it’s too late for Millie to learn that her bedroom door only locks from the outside. Millie reassures herself that the Winchesters don’t know her true identity and all she is really capable of.   


DISCUSSION DATES: MARCH 25-29

Suggest Books for our List


Is there a book that you would love to read alongside sisters? Please submit your recommendations for our upcoming book lists!

   

april

THE PERSONAL LIBRARIAN BY MARIE BENEDICT AND VICTORIA CHRISTOPHER MURRAY 

Belle da Costa Greene, an intellectual, stylish and witty woman in her 20s, is hired by J.P. Morgan to curate a collection of rare books and art for the newly constructed Pierpont Morgan Library. She quickly becomes one of the most famed and powerful people in the art and book world due to her impeccable taste and negotiating skills as she builds a world-class collection. While Belle gains recognition, she must protect one secret at all costs: she was born Belle Marion Greener, daughter of the first Black graduate of Harvard who is now an advocate for equality. The Personal Librarian tells the story of an incredible woman and the lengths she will go to protect her family and her legacy.  

DISCUSSION DATES: APRIL 22-26
   

May

BANYAN MOON BY THAO THAI  

After years building her perfect life, Ann Tran is still reeling from a positive pregnancy test when she learns that her beloved grandmother, Minh, has passed away. Meanwhile, Ann’s estranged mother, Huong, is mourning the loss of her mother while managing resentment toward Ann and Minh’s relationship. The two women must come together for the first time in years to face their past and their future as they become the new owners of the Banyan House, the home that Minh escaped to in the midst of the Vietnam War. Banyan Moon is a story about mothers and daughters, the things we inherit and how we choose to live when long-buried secrets come to light. 

DISCUSSION DATES: MAY 27-31
   

June

EVERY SUMMER AFTER BY CARLY FORTUNE  

Persephone and Sam spent six summers together reading books, spending afternoons on the water and working at a restaurant. Their friendship blossomed into something spectacular, before it all completely fell apart. Fast forward a decade to a chic apartment in the city, and Percy couldn’t feel farther from the girl she used to be ... until she gets a call that sends her right back to Barry’s Bay. As the two return to the lake, they learn their connection is as undeniable as it has always been. Every Summer After is a nostalgic look at love and the people and choices that change us forever.  

From the publisher: “Six summers to fall in love. One moment to fall apart. A weekend to get it right.”  

DISCUSSION DATES: JUNE 24-28

January 

Sally Milz, a sketch writer for a late-night comedy show, is done with love after her fair share of heartbreaks. She also can’t help but notice a phenomenon where average-looking men from the show are dating very accomplished and beautiful women, which she knows would never happen in the reverse – until Noah Brewster, a pop music star and heartthrob, is the host and musical guest of this week’s show. Their connection is instant, but Sally reminds herself that real life isn’t a romantic comedy …  
   

December

Remarkably Bright Creatures is the story of a women’s journey through grief as she reels with the loss of her husband and disappearance of her son more than 30 years ago. To keep her busy, Tova Sullivan works at the Sowell Bay aquarium where she befriends Marcellus, a giant Pacific octopus. Marcellus is incredibly intelligent albeit somewhat grumpy, but his friendship with Tova inspires him to find out the truth about her son’s disappearance before it is too late.  
   

November 

After 17-year-old Lakshmi makes her way through the 1950s streets of Jaipur to escape an abusive marriage, she becomes one of the city’s most popular henna artists. As an artist, she gains the trust of wealthy women who openly share their secrets with her. Even though she provides sage advice, Lakshmi must be careful to protect her reputation and her career. When her husband finds her years later with an unknown family member, she must balance her uncertainty and fear with her strength and perseverance.  

   

OCTOBER 

When semi-retired librarian Eva Traube Abrams sees a photo of The Book of Lost Names in a magazine, she remembers the horrors that the accompanying article recounts: libraries being looted by Nazis during World War II and the endless search to reunite people with the texts taken from them. The book, now housed in a Berlin library, seems to contain a code that researchers are unable to decipher. Eva is the only one who is able to answer, but is she ready to revisit old memories? The Book of Lost Names is a novel that captures the essence of human resilience and the power of love in the face of evil.  
   

September 

Sixty-five-year-old Bindu Desai’s decision to move to a sophisticated retirement community to hide a shameful mistake from her youth also affects her son’s ex-wife, Aly, who lives with her. As the two figure out their new normal, Aly’s daughter, Cullie, is fighting for her place in the tech world and is forced to move forward with her last-minute dating app idea, even though she’s never been on a first date. The Vibrant Years is a story about three generations of women who are empowering, laughing with and loving each other on the journey to self-discovery.  
   

August

Byron and Benny are left with an interesting inheritance when their mother, Eleanor Bennett, passes away: a voice recording, a family recipe and a black cake. While Byron and Benny listen to their mother’s story of a young girl who escapes her home under accusations of murder, they learn new things about themselves, their mother and where they came from. As the siblings work to find out more about their mother’s history, can they regrow their previously close relationship and fulfill Eleanor’s last request to “share the black cake when the time is right”?  
   

July

After fighting against 1960s standards of women and her all-male research team’s doubts of her abilities, chemist Elizabeth Zott unexpectedly finds herself as a single mother and the reluctant star of America’s favorite cooking show, Supper at Six. Elizabeth’s scientific approach to cooking (“combine one tablespoon acetic acid with a pinch of sodium chloride”) proves to be unique and crowd-pleasing. As her following grows, Elizabeth isn’t just teaching women to cook, she’s daring them to be different. The problem with changing the status quo? Not everyone is a fan. 
   

June

Six years after retiring from her tennis career, Carrie Soto watches her record slip away during the 1994 US Open. At 37 years old, Carrie decides to come out retirement for once final season with her father as her coach with hopes to reclaim her title. Carrie also has to set pride aside as she begins to train with a man who almost broke her heart, Bowe Huntley. Carrie Soto is back for one epic season in another unforgettable novel written by Taylor Jenkins Reid.  
   

May

Two best friends, Sam and Sadie, are on the road to success and riches as their first blockbuster game, Ichigo, takes off – but a sequel won’t be that easy. This novel takes us on a journey of a lifetime, following the two from their days at a pediatric hospital through college and adulthood navigating what their partnership looks like. Sam and Sadie’s story of friendship and love is powerful and unique as Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow examines the nature of identity, disability, failure, the redemptive power of play and our need to connect with each other.   

   

April

As guests gather to celebrate a wedding off the coast of Ireland, every detail is fit for a magazine. The cell phone service is spotty and the waves are rough, but that won’t stop the bridal party from popping Champagne and reminiscing on old memories, resentments and petty jealousies. And then someone turns up dead. Who didn’t wish the couple well? And more importantly, why?  

   

March

True biz (adj/exclamation; American Sign Language): really, seriously, definitely, real-talk 

River Valley School for the Deaf is packed with students who want to pass their tests, hook up with each other and stop having their parents and doctors tell them what to do with their bodies. We’ll follow Charlie and Austin, two students, and February, their headmistress, on a journey into the Deaf community that celebrates the human connection while telling a story of sign language, civil rights, first love and loss, joy and so much more.  
   

february

In a nod to Healthy Relationship Week during the month of February, we will embark on a tale of two friends, Ann and Miriam, who have been given the opportunity of a lifetime to create Princess Elizabeth’s wedding gown following a harsh winter in postwar Britain. As we fast forward almost 70 years, Heather finds a set of embroidered flowers from her late grandmother. When Heather notices the resemblance to the flowers on Queen Elizabeth II’s wedding gown, she wonders if her grandmother was connected to the textile artist and Holocaust survivor, Miriam Dassin? The Gown takes us from 1947 to 2016 by introducing us to three unforgettable heroines, whose lives are woven together by the pain of survival, the bonds of female friendship and the power of love.  
   

January

Nora Stephens’ life revolves around books, from the one she reads to the clients she lands deals for as a cutthroat literary agent – but she isn’t your typical heroine. When Nora agrees to go on a sisters’ trip to North Carolina, she hopes for a small-town vacation complete with picnics and a run-in with a handsome country doctor. Charlie Lastra, a bookish brooding editor, is the only thing standing in her way. Their meet-cute is anything but cute. As they find each other again and again, they discover that the stories they’ve written about themselves might be worth rewriting.

   

December

The Four Winds takes us to Texas in 1934 as a drought has broken the Great Plains and left millions out of work. The Dust Bowl era has arrived with a vengeance. Crops are failing and dust is threatening to bury everything as farmers fight to keep their livelihoods.  
Elsa Marinelli, like so many of her neighbors, is plagued with the choice to either fight for the land she loves or make the dangerous trip west to California. Elsa’s story captures her courage and sacrifice, as well as love and hope, set against the backdrop of one of America’s most defining eras – the Great Depression. 
   

November

Lori Gottlieb, bestselling author, psychotherapist and national advice columnist, takes us behind the scenes in a therapist’s world. One day, Lori is working with patients in her practice, and the next, she is reeling from a crisis that causes her world to come crashing down. As she finds herself meeting with Wendall, a quirky but seasoned therapist, she realizes he is much more than a balding head and cardigan sweater.  

   

OCTOBER

Noemí Taboada heads to High Place, a distant house in the Mexican countryside, to help her newlywed cousin after receiving a frantic letter. Noemí is a glamorous debutante who spends more time dressed up at cocktail parties than amateur sleuthing, but she is tough, smart and afraid of nothing, including her cousin’s new husband, his father who seems fascinated by Noemí and the house itself that brings about visions of doom. The walls of High Place are full of secrets, hiding dark knowledge of the family’s past.  

As Noemí digs deeper into the family’s former mining empire, she unearths stories that are both violent and maddening. Will Noemí be able to help her cousin – or ever leave High Place? 

Content warning: sexual assault and attempted rape

   

SEPTEMBER

On the evening of Melody’s coming-of-age ceremony in 2001, in her grandparent’s Brooklyn brownstone, surrounded by the sounds of Prince, she wears a special custom-made dress. That very same dress was sewn sixteen years earlier for Melody’s mother for a celebration that never took place.  

Taking a trip through Melody’s family history and how they arrived at this moment, Red at the Bone considers not just their ambitions and successes but also the challenges that arise when a family strives to overcome expectations and societal norms. As we pass through the past and present, Woodson explores how so many young people must make life-altering decisions about their lives before they even have a chance to figure out who they are.  

   

AUGUST

The Riva siblings’ end-of-summer party is the most desired place to be in Malibu. It’s August 1983, and all eyes are on the four siblings, thanks to their popularity and famous singer parent, Mick Riva. Nina, whose husband just very publicly left her, and Hud are not looking forward to this year’s party while Jay and Kit, with a few of their own secrets, are counting down the minutes until nightfall.  By the end of the night, the party is out of control and the Riva mansion is in flames. Taylor Jenkins Reid finds the perfect way to weave secrets and scandal into a storyline that connects you to each character. Malibu Rising is a story about how a family must choose between the secrets they keep and what must be left behind.

   

JULY

In People We Meet on Vacation, Alex and Poppy, two college best friends with nothing in common, vacation together each summer. They spend the rest of their year apart; she’s in New York City and he’s in their small hometown. Their vacations over the last 10 years have been perfect…until they weren’t. After two years of not speaking, Poppy knows this last vacation is her only chance to fix things with Alex. Seems easy enough, right?

   

JUNE

In this novel by Matt Haig, the author of our August 2021 pick, The Midnight Library, we meet Tom Hazard, who has recently moved back to London to become a high school history teacher. Tom has a secret…he may look like a normal 41-year-old man, but he has been alive for centuries. Tom has traveled throughout time for all of his life, but he may have just met the woman who can save him. Unfortunately, the Albatross Society, which protects people like Tom, only has one rule: never fall in love. Tom must decide if he will remain stuck in the past or finally begin living in the present.

   

MAY

Michelle Zauner’s memoir about growing up Korean American, losing her mother and discovering her own identity is a powerfully poignant recollection about family, food, grief and endurance. She tells stories of growing up in Oregon as one of the only Asian American kids at her school and months spent cooking in her grandmother’s Seoul kitchen. Michelle moves away to attend college, falls in love and becomes an indie rock musician, feeling more and more disconnected from her heritage until her mother’s terminal cancer diagnosis. Michelle’s voice comes alive on the page as she reckons with her identity, the power of good food and the gifts that her mother gave her.