The Sparrow book discussion + dinner

Hosted by Western MA Sci-Fi Meetup

Public group

This is a past event

4 people went

Location image of event venue


For our December science fiction book discussion we'll be reading The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell and we'll meet to talk about it on Thursday December 1.

CLICK HERE ( for a list of what we'll be reading for the book group through 2016!

Synopsis ( A visionary work that combines speculative fiction with deep philosophical inquiry, The Sparrow tells the story of a charismatic Jesuit priest and linguist, Emilio Sandoz, who leads a scientific mission entrusted with a profound task: to make first contact with intelligent extraterrestrial life. The mission begins in faith, hope, and beauty, but a series of small misunderstandings brings it to a catastrophic end.

Praise for The Sparrow ( “A startling, engrossing, and moral work of fiction.”—The New York Times Book Review

“Important novels leave deep cracks in our beliefs, our prejudices, and our blinders. The Sparrow is one of them.”—Entertainment Weekly

“Powerful . . . The Sparrow tackles a difficult subject with grace and intelligence.”—San Francisco Chronicle

“Provocative, challenging . . . recalls both Arthur C. Clarke and H. G. Wells, with a dash of Ray Bradbury for good measure.”—The Dallas Morning News

Author bio ( Mary Doria Russell is an American author. She was born in 1950 in the suburbs of Chicago. Her parents were both in the military; her father was a Marine Corps drill sergeant, and her mother was a Navy nurse.

She holds a Ph.D. in Paleoanthropology from the University of Michigan, and has also studied cultural anthropology at the University of Illinois, and social anthropology at Northeastern University in Boston. Russell lives in Cleveland, Ohio with her husband Don and their two dogs.


We'll be meeting at Pizzeria Paradiso, which is located at 12 Crafts Ave, Northampton, MA. Just ask any of the staff for the private dining room or let them know you are there for the book group. This room is free to reserve and is a great location for discussion. It is expected that those attending will order a meal. Their meals are moderately priced, generally in the $10-15 range. Here's their menu. (

*There is a limit of 14 attendees for this event, to make sure everyone has a chance to participate in the discussion. Please RSVP before it fills up! And if you have RSVPd but something has come up, please update your RSVP so someone else will have a chance.

I'll consider adding a 2nd meeting on another day if there is enough interest/are enough people on the waitlist.*

If you have suggestions for future discussion group selections you can send me suggestions by contacting me here (

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