EVENT SUMMARY: | BOOK CLUB I
The following article summarizes the original event which is listed below the summary.

Book Notes | ‘Lessons in Chemistry’

September 15, 2023, at 2pm
 

Our book group broke a record: all 14 members enjoyed reading this month’s selection, Lessons in Chemistry, a story set in the late 1950s and 1960s. We liked the characters, especially the intrepid chemist Elizabeth Zott who stayed strong in spite of attempts to quash (and steal) her pioneering work and fought unwanted sexual advances. 

When she landed work at the Hastings Research Institute, she and Nobel Prize winner Calvin Evans fell in love and lived together for two years. Mad, their daughter, was born after Calvin's quirky, accidental death. 

Fired from Hastings, Elizabeth developed a lab in her kitchen. When offered a chance to host a TV show, "Supper at Six, " she did it her own way—teaching women chemistry as she cooked and raising her viewers' sense of self-worth. The show became wildly popular. 

Some elements of the book felt implausible, but, as one member commented, "It's like opera, you just go with it." Our group liked Elizabeth's precocious daughter Mad, their thoughtful dog Six-Thirty, who learned hundreds of words, and the men who cared for Elizabeth. 

One book club member said the novel reminds us of where we were; another said we must tell our stories to the next generation. We shared some real-life examples, remembering when women were excluded from the University of Minnesota Marching Band and the U's Campus Club. Other restrictions on women raised in our discussion included a married woman not being able to attend nursing school in 1957; a wife not able to buy a car without a signature from her husband or father. 

One member was part of the Shyamala Rajender sexual discrimination case against the University of Minnesota 50 years ago and reminded us how that landmark lawsuit affected departments throughout the University. 

I'd say Lessons in Chemistry is a “must read” book. 

— Judy Helgen, UMRA Book Club I

 


 


BOOK CLUB I

Book Club I in September

Fri, Sep 15 2023, 2pm

Location
Event to be held via Zoom.
 

Judy Helgen will lead the discussion of Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus when the UMRA Book Club meets via Zoom at 2 p.m. on Friday, September 15.

Email Pat Tollefson for more information, including suggestions for starting a new book club. 

Go to Book Notes to read summaries of the book club members' discussions.



Upcoming Events

Event Date: July 26, 2024, at 2pm

Erik Larson’s non-fiction narrative recounts the struggles of middle-class University of Chicago, Professor William Dodd, was appointed as U.S. ambassador to Germany during the rise of Hitler and the Third Reich. Dodd not only had to deal with the threats to democracy, but his thriftiness was criticized by State Department officials who mainly came from wealthy elite families. In addition, Dodd’s daughter began dating Nazi officials.


Event Date: August 5, 2024, at 9:30am

Our August 5 hike will be a reprise of our hike last summer at William O'Brien State Park.  This is a beautiful park with a winding trail and a great view of the countryside.  The hike is about 5.5 to 6 miles and we'll go at a moderate pace with frequent water breaks.  After the hike, we will eat lunch at Rustic Roots Winery, a half mile north of the park. 


Event Date: August 16, 2024, at 2pm

Kathy Cramer will lead the discussion of The Bookbinder by Pip Williams, a book set in 1914 Oxford chronicling the life of Peggy who works in the University bindery, but craves a life beyond binding books but to being a scholar herself.


Event Date: August 28, 2024, at 5:30pm

Enjoy a two-hour cruise on the Jonathan Padelford, leaving from the Harriet Island dock in St. Paul, boarding time at 5:30 p.m. We will have a brief program on board by Patrick Nunnally from the River Life Program of the Institute on the Environment.


Event Date: August 31, 2024, at 11:59pm

August 31 is the due date for annual reports and updates.  Annual Reports, Toolkits, web page updates, operating document updates and archives collections are all due each year on this date.


Event Date: September 10, 2024, at 10:30am

Autumn is a wonderful season in Minnesota so plan to join UMRA at the Andersen Horticultural Library at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum. Kristen Mastel, head librarian and curator, will reveal its treasure trove of publications and artifacts relating to plant history, horticulture, and natural history. After the tour, those who are interested may stay to eat lunch together, sitting outside if the weather is nice. Later, you are invited to a one-hour tram tour of the entire Arboretum that includes natural areas of flowering shrubs, bogs, and forests, family garden and landscaping showpieces, and the red barn farm


Event Date: September 10, 2024, at 12:30pm

After a summer break the UMRA Photo Club will next meet September 10, 2024 in the meeting room of the Hennepin County St. Anthony Branch Library. For those interested in lunch, meet at the Great Dragon at 11:30 am. For September the THEME will be Curves


Event Date: September 16, 2024, at 10am

We will continue to discuss the pros and cons of Medicare Advantage.  You will also hear about notable non-health plan and non-broker resources.


Event Date: September 30, 2024, at 10am

Topics relevant to managing investments in retirement.  By David Foster, CFP©, CRPC©, CRPS©


Event Date: October 13, 2024, at 9am

This trip begins in Madrid and ends in Barcelona with stops 3 cities in between. International round trip airfare from NYC is included in the quoted price. See the attached a copy of the e-brochure with highlights and complete itinerary.  Register by May 1.