Congregational Church of Austin,
United Church of Christ
 Men’s Book Club

Club Coordinator: Rambie Briggs
  Phone 512 267-4832
Previous Coordinator: Dave Rossmailto:rbriggs@wildblue.netshapeimage_6_link_0

2016 Schedule of
Books and Hosts

see below

For Complete List of Recommended Books  go to History Page

The book “The Cloudsplitter” deals with the abolitionist efforts of John Brown.  Friends Omer & Zona Galle have done much reading and research on the Abolition Movement  For information they have generously provided, click on the book below. 

“The Cloudsplitter” by Russell Banks
Novel about Abolitionist John Brown.Omer_and_Zona_Galles_Reading_List.html

Click Inscriptions for Pictures

Back L-R: Michael Rotman, Carl Hehmsoth, Dave Ross, Don Brown, Matt Blackstock, Ben White, Jesse Binford, Paul Landry, Bill Briggs, Joe Dunst
Front: Mel Oakes, John Towery, Rambie Briggs
Missing: Al Lindsey, Dennis Murphy, Sam Sutherland, Tom Vandestadt, Don Miles-2008

Graphic by Brad Foster, 1984

Click for Church

Click for Map to Member’s Homes

Start Amazon order here & % goes to MBC charity

Click for U. of Texas Reading ListMens_Book_Club_files/UT%20Reading_1.pdf
Click for National Book AwardsMens_Book_Club_files/UT%20Reading_2.pdf


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Masterpieces of Short Fiction

by Professor Michael Krasny

San Francisco State University and The Great Courses’ Company

1. Poe's "The Cask of Amontillado"

2. Hawthorne's “Goodman Brown"

3. Gogol's "Overcoat"

4. Maupassant's "The Necklace"

5. Chekhov, "The Lady with the Dog"

6. James, "The Real Thing"

7. Joyce's “Araby"

8. Babel's "My First Goose"

9. Hemingway's "The Killers"

10. Kafka’s “A Hunger Artist"

11. Lawrence's “Rocking-Horse Winner"

12. Mansfield's "Party"

13. Jackson's "The Lottery"

14. O`Conner‘s “A Good Man Is Hard to Find“

15. Paley's "An Interest in Life"

16. Garcia Márquez's The “Enormous Wings"

17. Malamud's "The Jewbird"

18. Baldwin's "Sonny's Blues"

19. Updike's “A & P"

20. Kingston's "No Name Woman"

21. Atwood's "Happy Endings"

22. Gordimer's “Moment Before"

23. Carver's “Cathedral"

Free Books 
for Download

National Book Festival

Washington, DC, Sept 24-25, 2011

Pat and I attended the festival.  Thought I would include here a few items that may be of interest.

A most amazing display was by the University of Alabama & University of Wisconsin on book bindings.  An example is shown above this entry.  Their web site is an award winner and contains beautiful graphics and a wealth of information.  Here is the link.

States each had an exhibit and they were asked to recommend a few books written by authors from their state.  Here are a few:


Blood of the Prodigal: An Amish-Country Mystery, P. L. Gaus

The Lost Quilter, Jennifer Chiaverini

Coal Black Horse, Robert Olmstead


World and Town, Gish Jen

Belated Heaven(Poetry), Daniel Tobin


Tale of Halcyon Crane, Wendy Webb

Find the Girl (Poetry), Lightsey Darst


The Art's Students War, Brad Leithauser

Nothing But a Smile, Steve Amick

Stitches, A Memoir, David Small


Secrets of Eden(Mystery), Chris Bohjalian

All That I Have (Mystery), Castle Freeman

The Price of Malice (Mystery), Archer Mayor

O'Artful Death (Mystery), Sarah Stewart Taylor

Walking to Gatlinburg, Howard Mosher

What Love Comes To: New and Selected Poems, Ruth Stone

Poetry at the Lake Photos

June 9, 2012

Rambie Briggs and Cathy Hubbs

L to R: Bill Briggs, Frank Falkstein, Nance and Sam Sutherland, Lynne (hidden) and Katie Lemley  Mel Oakes, David Ross, Greg Futch , Bill Phillips , Geneva, (Betty Phillips behind Geneva) Sara Ross, Rambie Briggs, Fran in foreground.

L to R: Geneva Ross, Betty Phillips (hidden), Sara Ross,  Rambie Briggs, Cathy Hubbs, Al Lindsey, Ranae Beeker, Susan Lindsay, and Fran Briggs (foreground).

Lynne Lemley, Katie Lemley, Mel Oakes, and Dave Ross

A Day’s Read

by Professors Arnold Weinstein(Brown U), Grant L. Voth(Monterey Peninsula College and Emily Allen(Purdue U.)  Course Available from The Great Courses’ Company

Kafka, “A Country Doctor”

Prévost, "Manon Lescaut"

Flaubert, “A Simple Heart”

Faulkner, “Pantaloon in Black”

Borges, "The Garden of Forking Paths" & "Emma Zunz"

Hemingway, "The Old Man and the Sea"

O’Connor, "The River" & "Judgement Day"

Lagerkvist, "The Sybil"

Vesaas, "The Ice Palace"

Calvino, "Invisible Cities"

Duras, "The Lover"

Coetzee, "Disgrace"

Rhys, "Wide Sargasso Sea"

Austen, "Lady Susan"

Balzac, "The Girl with the Golden Eyes"

Meredith, "Modern Love"

Huysmans, "Against the Grain"

Stevenson, "The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde"

Wilde, "The Picture of Dorian Gray"

James, "The Beast in the Jungle"

Joyce, “The Dead”

Proust, "The Lemoine Affair"

Woolf, “Mrs. Dalloway in Bond Street”

McEwan, "On Chesil Beach"

Cather, "Alexander’s Bridge"

Lu Xun, "Diary of a Madam" & Upstairs in a Wineshop"

Chopin, "The Awakening"

Melville, "Billy Budd"

McCullers, "Ballad of the Sad Café"

Chekhov, "The Party" & "The Lady with the Dog"

Hersey, "Hiroshima"

Satrapi, "Persepolis"

Jataka Story Selections

Munro, "Walker Brothers Cowboy" & "The Peace of Utrecht"

Basho, "The Narrow Road of the Interior"

Sijie, "Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress"

Two List of Short Fiction

Recommended by Professors with The Great Courses’

Their courses are available in various format.

In 1874, the Public Library of Cincinnati opened in a small building originally intended to be an opera house. (Thanks to Dennis for sending the top photo.)

—A Library Then.—

—A Library Now.—

In Memoriam

John Chesley Towery (1925-2014)

Charter Member of Book Club

John was the minster of the Congregational Church of Austin, United Church of Christ, for 30 years. His impact on his congregation, his community and his family will long be felt in so many important ways. John, Ben, Matt and Jesse lived lives of service that most of us can only aspire to. However they left a well marked path for us to follow.  -Mel Oakes 

Link to Obit and Eulogies

Jesse Stone Binford (1928-2014)

Member of Book Club

Jesse and his wife Lolita came to Austin in 1955 to join the UT Chemistry Faculty, He was very active in the Congregational Church of Austin. He spent most of his career at the University of South Florida. In 2003, following retirement, they returned to Austin. Jesse was a principled and caring man who fought injustice all his life. His support of the less fortunate was a corner stone of his life of service.  -Mel Oakes 

Link to Obit and Eulogies

Mathis Wilholte Blackstock (1925-2012)

Charter Member of Book Club

How fortunate our book club was to have four of the finest men most of us have ever known.  To lose all over the past three years saddens us on many levels. What a privilege to have known them. Matt lived a life of dedication to his fellow man that stands tall. So many felt his healing touch. It continues. -Mel Oakes 

Link to Obit and Eulogies

Ben Henson White (1923-2011)

Charter Member of Book Club

When I received notes from the book club with the salutation Gentlemen I was never sure if I deserved the title, however there was never a doubt that Ben did.  I never knew a finer man.  To be in his presence was a pleasure and an honor.  His passion for justice and equality never flagged.  His passing diminishes us all, and yet his life inspires us to reach higher.  Ben accomplished much in his long life and kindness was his currency. -Mel Oakes 

Link to Obit and Eulogies

James Tomasek Jr. (1929-2005)

Charter Member of Book Club

Conversations with Jim always revealed some surprise about his life and career. From an early age he was concerned about racial justice and he chose pastoral appointments that gave him an opportunity to work toward equality. He was at the Martin Luther King “I Have a Dream” speech. He was disappointed that family responsibilities prevented him from participating in the Selma March. Jim and his wife Mary loved the theater and were involved since their school days. Jim’s dedication to justice and fairness is dearly missed.   -Mel Oakes 

Link to Obit and Eulogies

David Z. Lippmann (1925-2015)

In addition to a distinguished career as a research chemist at the forefront of the development of rocket engines, David was a professor of chemistry for 50 years. His resumé includes patents, many papers and service to professional organizations. He enjoyed reading and writing outside of his discipline. He was a published author. Behind his quiet demeanor was an insightful thinker and a sensitive and critical observer of the world around him.

Link to Obituary


EO Wilson book autographed for Jim Vick, Click Book

September    Meeting

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Red Sparrow

by Jason Matthews



Jim Vick

7702 Valley Dale Dr.

Austin, TX 78731

Phone: (512) 345-0403