Book Club

Welcome to The Read Well Book Club! I’m so glad that you’re here. I host a book club online with the intent of exploring books that will make you think. If you’re interested in attending, it’s just $9 a month. Here’s what you need to know:

Location: Online (meetings are recorded for members to watch later if they can’t attend live)

Time: Tuesday evenings at 6:30 MST / 8:30 EST

Membership Fees: $9 / month


Reading Calendar (With Quick Links)

4/30/2024 to 6/18/2024The Idiot by Fyodor Dostoyevsky

6/18/2024 to 6/25/2024Recommendations Week

Read Well Book Club (Season 2)

6/25/2024 to 7/2/2024Walking (An Essay) by Henry David Thoreau

7/2/2024 to 7/9/2024Recommendations Week

7/9/2024 to 8/6/2024Meditations by Marcus Aurelius

8/6/2024 to 8/13/2024Recommendations Week

8/13/2024 to 8/27/2024Song of Myself by Walt Whitman

8/27/2024 to 9/3/2024Recommendations Week

9/3/2024 to 9/24/2024Flow by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

9/24/2024 to 10/1/2024Recommendations Week

10/1/2024 to 10/29/2024Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky

10/29/2024 to 11/5/2024Recommendations Week

11/5/2024 to 11/19/2024The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom

11/19/2024 to 11/26/2024Recommendations Week

11/26/2024 to 1/7/2025Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy

1/7/2025 to 1/14/2025Recommendations Week

1/14/2025 to 2/4/2025Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert Pirsig

2/4/2025 to 2/11/2025Recommendations Week

2/11/2025 to 3/11/2025Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë

3/11/2025 to 3/18/2025Recommendations Week

3/18/2025 to 5/27/2025Behave by Robert Sapolsky


Detailed Reading Schedule


The Idiot by Fyodor Dostoyevsky

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Edition: Dostoyevsky, Fyodor. The Idiot. Penguin Books, 2004.

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Reading Pace: 15 pages a day

Dates: April 30, 2024 to June 18, 2024

Online Meetings Held: Tuesday at 8:30 EST –Click here to join

Dostoyevsky is my favorite author and for good reason. His works are rich in the psychology we struggle with daily, and every story is wrapped up in the lives of unforgettable characters. In The Idiot, we will travel with Prince Myshkin as he navigates the world of Russian aristocracy. He’s the eternal optimist, and his story will make you laugh, cry, and think deeply about the nature of humanity. It’s the perfect read to get you ready for summer!

I think the world could use a little optimism, and Prince Myshkin is just right for the job. We will learn to see the good in others and how to live a life of virtue.


Recommendations Week

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Dates: 6/18/2024 to 6/25/2024

Join us for an evening of discussion where members talk about books they’re reading, updates to life, and announcements for the club. This is an opportunity to connect with friends, enjoy your favorite beverage, and relax.

Online meeting held: 6/25/2024 at 8:30 EST – click here to join


Walking (an Essay) by Henry David Thoreau

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Edition: Thoreau, Henry David, and Lewis Hyde. The Essays of Henry D. Thoreau. 1. ed, North Point Press, 2002.

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Reading Pace: 5 pages / day

Dates: 6/25/2024 to 7/2/2024

Online Meetings Held: Tuesday at 8:30 EST –Click here to join

“Walking” is an essay by Henry David Thoreau on the relationship between nature and the human spirit. Thoreau reflects on walking as not merely physical exercise, but as a spiritual experience.

The essay encourages us to consider the pace of our lives and the often overlooked beauty of the natural world. Thoreau offers a unique perspective on personal freedom and the ways in which our surroundings can shape our thoughts and actions.

Three questions to consider while you read:

  1. How does Thoreau connect the act of walking with being fully awake or alive?
  2. Thoreau discusses the idea of freedom extensively in the essay. According to him, what does it mean to be truly free?
  3. Reflect on Thoreau’s belief that we need “the tonic of wildness.” Do you agree that a connection with nature is necessary for human health and happiness?

Recommendations Week

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Dates: 7/2/2024 to 7/9/2024

Join us for an evening of discussion where members talk about books they’re reading, updates to life, and announcements for the club. This is an opportunity to connect with friends, enjoy your favorite beverage, and relax.

Online meeting held: 7/9/2024 at 8:30 EST – click here to join


Meditations by Marcus Aurelius

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Edition: Aurelius, Marcus. Meditations. Translated by Robin Waterfield (Annotated edition), Basic Books, 2021.

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Reading Pace: 10 pages / day

Dates: 7/2/2024 to 8/6/2024

Online Meetings Held: Tuesday at 8:30 EST –Click here to join

“Meditations” by Marcus Aurelius is a series of personal writings by the Roman Emperor, composed as a source for his own guidance and self-improvement. This collection of thoughts is grounded in Stoic philosophy, focusing on finding inner peace and understanding the universe by controlling one’s reactions to external events. The text reveals his internal struggles and his attempts to develop his character in the face of duty, power, and his own mortality.

This classic work is worth reading for its timeless wisdom and practical advice on handling the challenges of life. Aurelius’s reflections encourage self-discipline, ethical living, and the importance of understanding one’s place in the cosmos. His ideas on leadership and responsibility also offer valuable insights for personal growth and the management of complex responsibilities in any era.

Three questions to consider while you read:

  1. Marcus Aurelius repeatedly emphasizes the importance of viewing life’s events with indifference and focusing only on one’s own actions. How does this perspective align with or challenge the way you handle difficult or unexpected situations?
  2. Consider Aurelius’s views on the impermanence of life and the concept of legacy. How do his writings on mortality influence your understanding of what is truly valuable or meaningful in life?
  3. Reflection is a key theme in “Meditations.” Marcus uses writing as a way to converse with himself and reflect on his virtues and flaws. How might the practice of self-reflection be beneficial in our own lives? What methods or practices might we adopt to better understand and improve ourselves?

Recommendations Week

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Dates: 8/6/2024 to 8/13/2024

Join us for an evening of discussion where members talk about books they’re reading, updates to life, and announcements for the club. This is an opportunity to connect with friends, enjoy your favorite beverage, and relax.

Online meeting held: 8/13/2024 at 8:30 EST – Click here to join


Song of Myself by Walt Whitman

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Edition: Whitman, Walt. Leaves of Grass. “Death-Bed” ed, Modern Library, 1993.

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Reading Pace: 6 pages / day

Dates: 8/13/2024 to 8/27/2024

Online Meetings Held: Tuesday at 8:30 EST –Click here to join

“Song of Myself” is a poem from Walt Whitman’s collection “Leaves of Grass,” first published in 1855. This lengthy and vibrant poem stands as one of the cornerstones of American literature, capturing Whitman’s philosophy of life and humanity. It’s an exploration of the self, a celebration of individuality, and a unification of the universal and the specific. Through a free verse structure and a candid, conversational tone, Whitman breaks from traditional poetic forms to embrace a more democratic vision of literature.

Reading “Song of Myself” challenges you to think about identity and the interconnectedness of all beings. The poem also demonstrates the power of the human spirit and the deep connection between the individual and the collective. Whitman’s reflections on nature, society, and mortality offer insight into the human condition that is as relevant today as it was in the 19th century.

Three questions to consider while you read:

  1. Whitman opens “Song of Myself” by saying, “I celebrate myself, and sing myself.” How does this proclamation set the tone for the themes of identity and self-perception throughout the poem?
  2. The poem weaves together a vast array of voices and perspectives. How does Whitman’s use of the first-person plural (“we”) affect your understanding of the poem’s themes? What does it say about his view of community and individuality?
  3. Consider the ways in which Whitman addresses the themes of death and immortality. How does his portrayal challenge or reinforce your own views on mortality and the afterlife?

Recommendations Week

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Dates: 8/27/2024 to 9/3/2024

Join us for an evening of discussion where members talk about books they’re reading, updates to life, and announcements for the club. This is an opportunity to connect with friends, enjoy your favorite beverage, and relax.

Online meeting held: 9/3/2024 at 8:30 EST – Click here to join


Flow by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

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Edition: Csikszentmihalyi, Mihaly. Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience. Nachdr., Harper and Row, 2009.

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Reading Pace: 10 pages / day

Dates: 9/3/2024 to 9/24/2024

Online Meetings Held: Tuesday at 8:30 EST –Click here to join

“Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience” is a seminal work by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi that explores the concept of achieving deep, fulfilling engagement in life’s activities. The central thesis of the book is the identification and examination of the state of “flow”—a state of concentration so focused that it amounts to absolute absorption in an activity. Csikszentmihalyi argues that this state of flow is the key to finding true satisfaction in various aspects of life, from work to hobbies to interpersonal relationships.

Flow presents a clear and accessible way to understand how and why certain experiences are deeply engaging and satisfying. Moreover, it challenges readers to rethink their daily activities in terms of intrinsic motivation and offers practical advice on cultivating a life filled with optimal experiences.

Three questions to consider while you read:

  1. Csikszentmihalyi describes flow as being a state where one is fully immersed and enjoying the present activity. Can you identify activities in your own life that consistently induce this state? How might you increase the frequency or duration of these experiences?
  2. The author argues that the control of consciousness determines the quality of life. How do you interpret this assertion in the context of modern distractions, such as technology and media? How can we better control our consciousness in a world full of interruptions?
  3. Flow is achieved when there is a balance between challenge and skill. Discuss how this balance affects personal growth and satisfaction. Are there areas in your life where you could adjust this balance to create more flow experiences?

Recommendations Week

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Dates: 9/24/2024 to 10/1/2024

Join us for an evening of discussion where members talk about books they’re reading, updates to life, and announcements for the club. This is an opportunity to connect with friends, enjoy your favorite beverage, and relax.

Online meeting held: 10/1/2024 at 8:30 EST – Click here to join


Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky

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Edition: Dostoyevsky, Fyodor. Crime and Punishment. Vintage, 1993.

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Reading Pace: 20 pages / day

Dates: 10/1/2024 to 10/29/2024

Online Meetings Held: Tuesday at 8:30 EST –Click here to join

“Crime and Punishment” by Fyodor Dostoyevsky is a psychological drama (and my favorite work of fiction) that delves into the moral dilemmas of Raskolnikov, a destitute and desperate former student in St. Petersburg. This intense novel weaves a tale of crime, guilt, and redemption, exploring the distressing psychological journey of its main character, who contemplates and executes the murder of a pawnbroker. Throughout the narrative, Dostoyevsky masterfully examines the complexities of human consciousness, ethics, and societal expectations.

Reading “Crime and Punishment” challenges readers to think critically about justice, morality, and the capacity for redemption. Dostoyevsky’s exploration of philosophical and religious questions presents a layered and compelling look at the struggle between good and evil within the human soul.

Three questions to consider while you read:

  1. Raskolnikov’s theory suggests that certain extraordinary people have the right to commit crimes if their actions contribute to the greater good. How does the novel critique or support this theory through the unfolding events and the fate of its protagonist?
  2. Consider the role of urban setting in the novel. How does Dostoyevsky use the city of St. Petersburg to enhance the psychological and thematic depth of the story? How might the setting influence Raskolnikov’s state of mind and actions?
  3. Examine the theme of redemption and suffering in “Crime and Punishment.” How does suffering function as a mechanism for the moral and spiritual redemption of characters, particularly Raskolnikov?

Recommendations Week

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Dates: 10/29/2024 to 11/5/2024

Join us for an evening of discussion where members talk about books they’re reading, updates to life, and announcements for the club. This is an opportunity to connect with friends, enjoy your favorite beverage, and relax.

Online meeting held: 11/5/2024 at 8:30 EST – Click here to join


The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom

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Edition: Ten Boom, Corrie, et al. The Hiding Place. 35th anniversary ed, Chosen Books, 2006.

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Reading Pace: 20 pages / day

Dates: 11/5/2024 to 11/19/2024

Online Meetings Held: Tuesday at 8:30 EST –Click here to join

“The Hiding Place” by Corrie ten Boom, is a memoir of faith, resilience, and survival. Set during World War II, it tells the true story of the ten Boom family who, led by their deep Christian faith, turned their home into a refuge, a “hiding place” for Jews fleeing the horrors of the Nazi regime. The narrative chronicles Corrie’s journey from a peaceful life in Haarlem, the Netherlands, to the grim realities of concentration camps, including Ravensbruck, following her family’s arrest in 1944.

Reading “The Hiding Place” is a testament to the impact of compassion and courage against systemic evil. The book not only recounts historical events but also explores themes of forgiveness, the moral complexities of wartime, and the enduring human capacity for hope and renewal.

Three questions to consider while you read:

  1. Reflect on the concept of forgiveness as presented in “The Hiding Place.” How does Corrie’s perspective on forgiveness towards her persecutors challenge conventional views? What might this suggest about the nature and power of forgiveness
  2. The title “The Hiding Place” is a literal reference to the secret room in the ten Boom home, but it can also be seen as a metaphor. What are other ‘hiding places’ mentioned in the book, either physical or metaphorical, and what do they represent?
  3. Consider the role of women in the book, particularly Corrie, her sister Betsie, and their mother. How do these characters defy or conform to the expected roles of women during the 1940s? What might their stories contribute to the understanding of gender during times of conflict?

Recommendations Week

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Dates: 11/19/2024 to 11/26/2024

Join us for an evening of discussion where members talk about books they’re reading, updates to life, and announcements for the club. This is an opportunity to connect with friends, enjoy your favorite beverage, and relax.

Online meeting held: 11/26/2024 at 8:30 EST – Click here to join


Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy

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Edition: Tolstoy, Leo. Anna Karenina. Oxford University Press, 2014.

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Reading Pace: 20 pages / day

Dates: 11/26/2024 to 1/7/2025

Online Meetings Held: Tuesday at 8:30 EST –Click here to join

“Anna Karenina” by Leo Tolstoy is a masterpiece of Russian literature, often hailed for its complex narrative and deep exploration of human emotion and society. The novel unfolds in the aristocratic circles of 19th-century Russia and follows the tragic love story of Anna Karenina and Count Vronsky. Parallel to their story runs the tale of Konstantin Levin, a landowner grappling with his own philosophical and existential questions. Tolstoy’s work is renowned for its rich character development and thoughtful commentary on issues ranging from politics and religion to family and fidelity.

Reading “Anna Karenina” is a deeply rewarding experience due to its intricate narrative structure and its exploration of timeless themes such as love, jealousy, faith, and social change. Tolstoy’s ability to dissect his characters’ motivations, coupled with his insights into human nature, makes this novel an essential exploration of the moral struggles that define the human condition.

Three questions to consider while you read:

  1. The famous opening line of the novel states, “All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” How does this proclamation set the stage for the family dynamics explored in the novel? Do you agree with Tolstoy’s assertion?
  2. Consider the contrasting characters of Anna and Levin. What do their different life choices and outcomes say about the moral and social codes of their time? How do these two characters embody the central concerns of the novel?
  3. Discuss the role of fate and free will throughout the novel. How do characters’ perceptions of fate influence their decisions and the course of their lives? Is Tolstoy suggesting that fate is a force beyond their control, or do they have agency over their destinies?

Recommendations Week

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Dates: 1/7/2025 to 1/14/2025

Join us for an evening of discussion where members talk about books they’re reading, updates to life, and announcements for the club. This is an opportunity to connect with friends, enjoy your favorite beverage, and relax.

Online meeting held: 1/14/2025 at 8:30 EST – Click here to join


Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert Pirsig

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Edition: Pirsig, Robert. Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. Mariner Books, 2005.

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Reading Pace: 20 pages / day

Dates: 1/14/2025 to 2/4/2025

Online Meetings Held: Tuesday at 8:30 EST –Click here to join

“Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance” by Robert M. Pirsig is a blend of a philosophical text and a narrative journey. It recounts a summer motorcycle trip undertaken by the author and his son across the United States, which becomes a profound personal and philosophical odyssey into fundamental questions of how to live. The book explores the concept of “Quality,” a term Pirsig uses to denote excellence and deep value, through a series of philosophical discussions framed by the trip and maintenance of the motorcycle itself.

The book is worth reading not only for its innovative approach to philosophy—making complex ideas accessible and relevant through everyday activities—but also for its exploration of how we can create meaningful lives through the pursuit of Quality. Pirsig’s narrative encourages readers to think about the relationship between technology and quality of life, the meaning of knowledge, and the importance of mindfulness.

Three questions to consider while you read:

  1. Pirsig introduces the idea of “Quality” as something central to human experience but difficult to define. How do you understand Quality in the context of the book, and how do you perceive it in your own life?
  2. Pirsig discusses the concept of being “stuck” as a moment of opportunity in problem-solving and life. Can you think of a moment when being stuck led to a breakthrough or deeper understanding in your own experience?
  3. The journey in the book is both a physical and metaphysical one. How does the motorcycle trip facilitate the philosophical explorations in the book? Do you think the journey would have impacted the father and son differently if it were undertaken by different means?

Recommendations Week

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Dates: 2/4/2025 to 2/11/2025

Join us for an evening of discussion where members talk about books they’re reading, updates to life, and announcements for the club. This is an opportunity to connect with friends, enjoy your favorite beverage, and relax.

Online meeting held: 2/11/2025 at 8:30 EST – Click here to join


Jane Eyre by Charlote Brontë

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Edition: Brontë, Charlotte, and Stevie Davies. Jane Eyre. Penguin Classics, 2008.

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Reading Pace: 20 pages / day

Dates: 2/11/2025 to 3/11/2025

Online Meetings Held: Tuesday at 8:30 EST –Click here to join

“Jane Eyre” by Charlotte Brontë is a classic novel that remains a significant work in the canon of English literature. This story follows the experiences of its heroine, Jane Eyre, from her painful childhood through to her adulthood as a governess at Thornfield Hall, where she meets the mysterious Mr. Rochester. As a novel, it is celebrated not only for its depth of character development and emotional power but also for its exploration of themes such as social criticism, morality, and the struggles for gender and social equality.

“Jane Eyre” is worth reading for its rich narrative voice, compelling plot, and its early feminist themes, which challenge the status quo of Victorian society. The psychological and moral growth of Jane provides a powerful model of integrity and complex humanity. The novel also offers a sharp critique of the classist, patriarchal values of the 19th century, making it both a captivating story and a thoughtful examination of historical social issues.

Three questions to consider while you read:

  1. Jane Eyre struggles with her need for both autonomy and love throughout the novel. How does Brontë reconcile or complicate these desires in Jane’s character and life choices?
  2. “Jane Eyre” is often described as a Gothic novel. What elements of the Gothic genre are present in the story, and how do they enhance the themes or emotional impact of the narrative?
  3. The relationship between Jane and Mr. Rochester is central to the story. How does their relationship evolve, and what does it reveal about the social and moral values of the era? In what ways is their relationship progressive, and in what ways is it problematic?

Recommendations Week

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Dates: 3/11/2025 to 3/18/2025

Join us for an evening of discussion where members talk about books they’re reading, updates to life, and announcements for the club. This is an opportunity to connect with friends, enjoy your favorite beverage, and relax.

Online meeting held: 3/18/2025 at 8:30 EST – Click here to join


Behave by Robert Sapolsky

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Edition: Sapolsky, Robert M. Behave: The Biology of Humans at Our Best and Worst. Penguin Books, 2018.

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Reading Pace: 10 pages / day

Dates: 3/18/2025 to 5/27/2025

Online Meetings Held: Tuesday at 8:30 EST –Click here to join

“Behave: The Biology of Humans at Our Best and Worst” by Robert Sapolsky is a comprehensive exploration of human behavior. This work is about the biological roots of our actions, examining how neurons, hormones, genes, and evolution contribute to the complexities of human behavior. Sapolsky, a professor of biology and neurology, integrates research from various scientific fields to explain why humans do what they do, from moments before an action takes place back to the evolutionary forces that shaped our species.

“Behave” is worth reading for its multidisciplinary approach that offers insights into the biological underpinnings of behavior that are often overlooked in more psychological or sociological discussions.

Three questions to consider while you read:

  1. Sapolsky discusses how the brain’s frontal cortex influences our decision-making and social behavior. How does this information affect your understanding of personal responsibility and free will?
  2. The book explores the role of genetics and environment on behavior. Discuss some examples Sapolsky uses to illustrate this interaction. How does this complex relationship shape our understanding of human nature?
  3. Sapolsky integrates the study of hormones like testosterone and cortisol in explaining behaviors such as aggression and stress responses. What are some surprising or notable effects of these hormones that the book discusses? How do these insights affect your view of such behaviors?

Stay tuned for future book announcements on this page!