Book Club


 2015 One Maryland One Book discussion at Bladensburg Waterfront Park, Oct 4th

Read “The Boys in the Boat” by Daniel James Brown, and on Sunday October 4th from 2-4  PM we’ll discuss it at nearby Bladensburg Waterfront Park where we’ll have a river view, light refreshment and possibly a university-led crew demonstration.  The storyline: How nine working class boys of the University of Washington crew team challenged the elite, 8-oar Varsity Crew competition in the 1936 Olympics.  All who are interested are welcome.    Do join us.



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Please consider reading the 2014 book The Distance Between Us: A Memoir  by Reyna Grande about her immigrant experience.  


September 29, 2014


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On Wednesday, February 5th, the Book Club at RPC presents an author-led discussion and presentation of The Welcoming Congregation: Roots and Fruits of Christian Hospitality by Henry Brinton.  The book is available on Amazon if you want to read ahead, or you can come and enjoy the discussion (be welcomed!).  All are welcome to share a simple meal from 6-7PM and enjoy meeting Rev. Brinton (well-known writer of wise religious commentary for the Washington Post and other outlets, copies of the book will be available at the meeting,  for more information, and son of our own Mary Lorraine Brinton)  who will lead an hour of consideration of this topic important to churches and communities - how to be more welcoming.





The Story of a Marylander's Ascension to African King Has Been Selected for One Maryland One Book 2013 - This is our book for October 2013.

The Maryland Humanities Council is pleased to share that King Peggy: An American Secretary, Her Royal Destiny, and the Inspiring Story of How She Changed an African Village (nonfiction) by Peggielene Bartels and Eleanor Herman is the 2013 selection for One Maryland One Book (OMOB). The book was chosen by a committee of librarians, educators, authors, journalists, and bibliophiles in January from a list of approximately 140 titles suggested last fall by readers across the state under the theme, “a pivotal moment in time.”  Here’s a link to more information on our website:


 Nana Peggy’s story is most certainly one of a single moment changing the course of her life. She was startled awake one night by a phone call to inform her that she had been chosen as the next king of Otuam, a villiage of 7,000 on the central coast of Ghana.  While the story is of an African king, there are Maryland ties to this year’s book.  King Peggy moved to the U.S. in her early 20s, is an American citizen, has lived in Silver Spring for the past 30 years—and she still does.  Her responsibilities as king require her to be in Otuam for several weeks each year, but she lives in Maryland and works in Washington, D.C., at the Ghanaian Embassy.  Also, her co-author, Eleanor Herman, was born and raised in Baltimore and attended Towson University.





An interesting and fun night was had by all at last Wednesday night's Book Club event with Dee Brown’s seminal 1970 book, Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee. Thank you to David Harrington, retired from the National Park Service, for his discussion of the the origins and outcomes of the Great Sioux War of 1876 and the great chief of the Lakota Sioux, Sitting Bull. A simple supper of buffalo chili and cornbread was served, followed by Mr. Harrington's presentation.


April 17 is the next date for 'Bury my Head at Wounded  Knee' by Dee Brown. Book discussion and background  on Native American culture led by David Harrington.


At the April 17, 2013, “Wednesday Night Live” event at Riverdale Presbyterian Church, David Harrington, retired Deputy Assistant Director/Budget Officer of the U.S. National Park Service, will present a talk on the conflict among Indian Tribes, western pioneers, and, thus, the United States Army in the settlement of the American West. This conflict, often referred to as a clash of cultures, brought “civilization,” as defined by Anglo-Saxon values, to the West, and resulted in the establishment of a system of Tribal Reservations. Focusing on 1876, the Centennial year of the United States and the date of one of the most famous battles in history, the Battle of the Little Bighorn, the talk will discuss not military maneuvers but the origins and outcomes of the Great Sioux War of 1876.  The talk will also center on the great chief of the Lakota Sioux, Sitting Bull, and his steadfast resistance to relentless U.S. expansion as he fought to protect the traditional ways of his tribe. David recommends Dee Brown’s seminal book Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee to provide essential background on the story.  The book was published in 1970 to little fanfare.  Mr. Brown, a librarian at the University of Illinois, had previously written a number of novels and history books, most on the American West, but none had the effect of this book. A historian would later comment that Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee was “not so much a book, but an event.”  The book told the well-known story of American western expansion and settlement, but from the Indian perspective. It was a story of false promises and broken treaties, mistreatment, racism, tragedy, and, above all, the end of the traditional Indian way of life.  It was criticized for lacking credible research sources and suitable context by many scholars of the time, who judged the book to be biased and unbalanced. The verdict was given by readers, however, who made it a runaway bestseller.  It is still in print, has sold over five million copies and been translated into 17 languages. David Harrington served as acting Superintendent of Little Bighorn Battlefield during the summer of 2012. The publication of Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee would ultimately play a key role in changing how history is interpreted and presented at that park.  In June 2012, Mr. Harrington represented the United States government at the National Historic Landmark Dedication of Deer Medicine Rocks,  Montana, the site of Sitting Bull’s 1876 Sun Dance Ceremony and a pivotal moment in Lakota history.





Next book for January 16, 2013 - Last Report on the Miracles at Little No Horse by Louise Erdrich

"For more than a half century, Father Damien Modeste has served his beloved people, the Ojibwe, on the remote reservation of Little No Horse. Now, nearing the end of his life, Father Damien dreads the discovery of his physical identity, for he is a woman who has lived as a man. To further complicate his quiet existence, a troubled colleague comes to the reservation to investigate the life of the perplexing, possibly false saint Sister Leopolda. Father Damien alone knows the strange truth of Leopolda's piety and is faced with the most difficult decision: Should he tell all and risk everything . . . or manufacture a protective history though he believes Leopolda's wonder-working is motivated solely by evil?"
April 17 - A Hope in the Unseen by Ron Suskind - OMOB 2008

The book focuses on the odyssey of Cedric Jennings and his personal and academic struggles as he journeys from Washington DC's worst public high school to Brown University. It was selected not only because it offered the opportunity to discuss important and highly relevant topics such as education and socioeconomics, but also because it presented the opportunity to talk about race relations in Maryland and in America.


History of the group:

In the fall of 2011, RPC sponsored 'One Maryland, One Book', a program of the Maryland Humanities Council - discussion for 10th grade and older, of Absolutely True Diary of a Part-time Indian by Sherman Alexie, preceded by a free Maryland dinner from 6-7 pm (crab soup, salad, cornbread). From 7-8 pm was the discussion plus a Lacrosse clinic for youth and childcare. It was successful - Thus the One RPC, Four Books group was born!


From there the following books were read:

April 2012 - Outcasts United by Warren St John (OMOB of 2010)

July 2012 - Song yet Sung by James McBride (OMOB of 2009)

October 2012 - The Cellist of Sarajeva by Steven Galloway (OMOB of 2012)


Keeping with One Maryland, One Book mission (, we will choose books using their criterion:

The book should:

  • be able to generate sustained discussion on the year's theme. The 2011 theme is "How do people struggle with conflicting beliefs and negotiate opposition to those beliefs?"
  • be of interest to people in the state of Maryland
  • appeal to a wide range of readers of different backgrounds/reading levels
  • be able to connect to high school age readers as well as adults
  • be of manageable length (under 400 pages)
  • be available in paperback and priced affordably
  • be in print and audio, and if possible, in large print, Braille, film and translation
  • a living author is a consideration, but not a criterion
  • a Maryland author is a consideration, but not a criterion