What we're about

Women Who Read is a lively, fun, always welcoming book club-coffee klatch for Portland Metro women of all ages who want to read and discuss the most critically acclaimed (often award-winning) women novelists of all time--from historical past to current day. We meet at local coffee houses in Portland.

Book selections focus on what is commonly called classic or literary fiction and include such authors as Virginia Woolf, Jane Austen, George Eliot, Emily Bronte, Charlotte Bronte, Ursula K. Le Guin, Marilynne Robinson, Alice McDermott, Donna Tartt, Lucia Berlin, Annie Dillard, Harper Lee, Anita Brookner, Daphne du Maurier, Willa Cather, Alice Walker, Edith Wharton, Marilynn Robinson, Sue Monk Kidd, Iris Murdoch, Doris Lessing, Carson McCullers, Arundhati Roy, Eudora Welty, Elizabeth Strout, Joyce Carol Oates, Alice Munro, and Toni Morrison--to name a handful.

Our hope is to advance a broad understanding and appreciation of women writers writing in English across cultures and centuries, with varied backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives.

Participants are encouraged, but not required, to peruse one or more of the following tomes on the art of the novel: How Fiction Works, by James Wood, Aspects of the Novel by E.M. Forster, 13 Ways of Looking at the Novel, by Jane Smiley, How to Read Literature Like a Professor, by Thomas C. Foster, and How to Read a Book by Mortimer Adler and Charles Van Doren.

Led by Susan Bradley, avid reader and community engagement maven for the SkyBlue Portland Real Estate Team. Susan holds a degree in English Literature from the University of Washington.

Upcoming events (2)

TBD DATE! Bel Canto, Ann Patchett (2001)

Urban Grind Pearl

SCHEDULE CHANGE Due to the coronavirus epidemic and close quarters for this event, we're now moving this meetup to October (and that may change in alignment with safety requirements associated with C-19). Please check the meeting date as the months progress. Hopefully, we won't have to delay even further, but I will assess the situation as fall progresses. Thanks so much and do take care! THE NOVEL From Kirkus Review: "Combining an unerring instinct for telling detail with the broader brushstrokes you need to tackle issues of culture and politics, Patchett creates a remarkably compelling chronicle of a multinational group of the rich and powerful held hostage for months. Patchett weaves individual histories of the hostages and the not-so-terrifying terrorists within a tapestry of their present life together. The most minor character breathes with life. Each page is dense with incident, the smallest details magnified by the drama of the situation and by the intensity confinement always creates. The outside world recedes as time seems to stop; the boundaries between captive and captor blur. In pellucid prose, Patchett grapples with issues of complexity and moral ambiguity that arise as confinement becomes not only a way of life but also for some, both hostage and hostage-taker, a life preferable to their previous existence. Readers may intellectually reject the author’s willingness to embrace the terrorists’ humanity, but only the hardest heart will not succumb." REGISTRATION Space is limited to 16 participants, including meeting organizer. Two spots are reserved for new meetup members for 1 week and then open to all. NEW RULES: COURTESY, FAIRNESS & NO SHOWS To attend an event, you MUST be a member of PDX Women Who Read, register for the event, AND be on the Going List. If you register for a meetup and later discover that you are unable to attend, you MUST unregister AT LEAST 24 HOURS IN ADVANCE of the meetup. Failure to UNREGISTER AT LEAST 24 HOURS IN ADVANCE will result in a NO-SHOW, regardless of circumstance. After each instance of no-show, affected members will be moved to the Wait List for the following event to which they register, as it fills to capacity. And then moved back to the Going List if space becomes available. Membership in this group may be discontinued after multiple no-shows. Thank you for considering fairness to other participants and our time and effort in organizing these events. We sincerely appreciate your interest and participation. BRING Your annotated novel, any notes you may have taken, and two discussion questions written on separate slips of paper--plus whatever else you need to glide through an hour or two of far-ranging, engaging conversation-- open mind, adventurous spirit, sense of humor, etc.. DISCUSSION PARAMETERS I'll kick things off with a brief overview of the novel, emphasizing its key themes. Then your discussion questions will be folded up, thrown into a heap and selected at random for insightful rumination by the group. :-) FACEBOOK PAGE For ongoing discussion on novels we're reading and literature in general, check out our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pdxwomenreaders

To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee (1960 )

Urban Grind Pearl

THE NOVEL From Kirkus Review: "A first novel, this novel is also a first-person account of Scout's (Jean Louise) recall of the years that led to the ending of a mystery, the breaking of her brother Jem's elbow, the death of her father's enemy -- and the close of childhood years. A widower, Atticus raises his children with legal dispassion and paternal intelligence and is ably abetted by Calpurnia, the colored cook, while the Alabama town of Maycomb, in the 1930's, remains aloof to their divergence from its tribal patterns. Scout and Jem, with their summer-time companion, Dill, find their paths free from interference -- but not from dangers; their curiosity about the imprisoned Boo, whose miserable past is incorporated in their play, results in a tentative friendliness; their fears of Atticus' lack of distinction is dissipated when he shoots a mad dog; his defense of a Negro accused of raping a white girl, Mayella Ewell, is followed with avid interest and turns the rabble whites against him. Scout is the means of averting an attack on Atticus but when he loses the case it is Boo who saves Jem and Scout by killing Mayella's father when he attempts to murder them. The shadows of a beginning for black-white understanding, the persistent fight that Scout carries on against school, Jem's emergence into adulthood, Calpurnia's quiet power, and all the incidents touching on the children's "growing outward" keep this southern picture pert and provocative." REGISTRATION Registration opens 1 month prior to meetup. Space is limited to 16 participants, including meeting organizer. Two spots are reserved for new meetup members for 1 week and then open to all. NEW RULES: COURTESY, FAIRNESS & NO SHOWS To attend an event, you MUST be a member of PDX Women Who Read, register for the event, AND be on the Going List. If you register for a meetup and later discover that you are unable to attend, you MUST unregister AT LEAST 24 HOURS IN ADVANCE of the meetup. Failure to UNREGISTER AT LEAST 24 HOURS IN ADVANCE will result in a NO-SHOW, regardless of circumstance. After each instance of no-show, affected members will be moved to the Wait List for the following event to which they register, as it fills to capacity. And then moved back to the Going List if space becomes available. Membership in this group may be discontinued after multiple no-shows. Thank you for considering fairness to other participants and our time and effort in organizing these events. We sincerely appreciate your interest and participation. BRING Your annotated novel, any notes you may have taken, and two discussion questions written on separate slips of paper--plus whatever else you need to glide through an hour or two of far-ranging, engaging conversation-- open mind, adventurous spirit, sense of humor, etc.. DISCUSSION PARAMETERS I'll kick things off with a brief overview of the novel, emphasizing its key themes. Then your discussion questions will be folded up, thrown into a heap and selected at random for insightful rumination by the group. :-) FACEBOOK PAGE For ongoing discussion on novels we're reading and literature in general, check out our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pdxwomenreaders

Past events (18)

The Bell Jar, Sylvia Plath (1967)

Urban Grind Pearl

Photos (186)