Trinity Book Group

The Book Group meets 8 (or more) times a year for discussion and fellowship. The seven books selected in summer for the year include fiction, nonfiction, biography, and others.

Who are we? We are a random, self-selected gathering of avid readers and conversationalists, with no particular political, social or religious agenda.

All are welcome. Newcomers are especially welcome.

Since the early 1980s the Trinity Book Group has met regularly to talk about a wide variety of books. We meet at each other’s homes about once every six weeks, and read and discuss some seven books each year. In our busy lives, we don’t always get around to reading everything we have assigned to ourselves, but we sincerely try, and we inevitably have fun trying and have memorable discussions.

We are mostly parishioners of Trinity Episcopal Church on the Green in New Haven, Connecticut. Some of us are educators and librarians; others are lawyers, psychologists, social workers, architects, doctors, art historians and scientists …the list of professions is endless, but you definitely don’t have to be a professional to join our group – you only have to be especially interested in the good life of reading and talking – and, on occasion, of also sharing in good food and drink.

What kinds of books do we read? We read bestsellers (The Secret Life of Bees; The Poisonwood Bible; Cold Mountain); we read classics (Dinesen’s Out of Africa); we read detective novels and science fiction; we read biographies and histories; we read about the Bible (Elaine Pagels’ Beyond Belief); we read almost anything that we collectively find interesting.

How do we select the books we read each year? Once a year we meet as a group to propose and evaluate the next year’s selections. After an energetic hour or two of contemplation and debate, we vote on the next year’s list, and come up not only with a selection of books but also with a selection of meeting dates and book group hosts. It’s a somewhat unpredictable process, but we always manage to muddle through in good spirits. After all, what could be more – or less – serious than a book group’s selection of readings?

Nonetheless, each year we are further edified by our book group friends and colleagues. We will have read books that we neither knew about nor anticipated; we will have seen and learned more than we expected; we will have extended ourselves and enjoyed the experience.

All are welcome. Newcomers are especially welcome. Contact Jenny Briggs at 203-624-2488, email: Jenny Briggs, for information and directions.

Book Group Schedule and Selections 2019-2020

Sunday, August 25, 5 pm (Potluck: tapas & desserts)
Venue: Margie and Ed Pikaart
Book: Pastrix by Nadia Bolz-Webber

Monday, September 30, 7 pm
Venue: Carolyn Gould
Book: Half Earth by Edward O. Wilson

Monday, December 2, 7 pm
Venue: Deborah Desir
Book: Half Broke Horses by Jeannette Walls

Tuesday, January 21, 7 pm
Venue: Charlotte Rea
Book: My Beloved World by Sonia Sotomayor

Tuesday, March 3, 7 pm
Venue: Maria Brandriff
Book: Circling the Sun by Paula McLain

Tuesday, April 21, 7 pm
Venue: Peg Chambers and Helena Estes
Book: The Judge Hunter by Christopher Buckley

Sunday, June 7, 5 pm (Potluck: tapas & desserts)
Venue: Veronica Soell
Book: Educated by Tara Westover

Tuesday, June 23, 7 pm
Venue: Jenny Briggs
Book Browse (to select books for next year)

Reading Lists 2001-2019

Here is what the Trinity Book Group has read and discussed since 2001


The Gustav Sonata by Rose Tremain
White Teeth by Zadie Smith
Pachinko by Min Jin Lee
Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng
Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain
The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton
The Light Between Oceans by M. L. Stedman


Hillbilly Elegy by J D Vance
The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey
A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman
Between You and Me: Confessions of a Comma Queen by Mary Norris
Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult
The Relic Master by Christopher Buckley
A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles


Mr Mac and Me by Esther Freud
A Violet Season by Kathy Czepiel
Life After Life by Kate Atkinson
The Light of the World by Elizabeth Alexander
Tourmaline by Derek Stroup
Our Souls at Night by Kent Haruf
The Short and Tragic Life of Robert Peace by Jeff Hobbs
200 Years on the Green by Neil Olsen


All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
Journey from the Land of No by Roya Hakakian
The Daring Ladies of Lowell by Kate Alcott
10% Happier by Dan Harris
Dead Wake by Erik Larson
The Unknown Terrorist by Richard Flanagan
The Signature of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert


Mr. Churchill’s Secretary by Susan Elia Macneal
The Dove Keepers by Alice Hoffman
Gaudy Night by Dorothy L. Sayers
The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk-Kidd
Citizens of London by Lynne Olson
The Testament of Mary by Colm Toibin
Miss Buncle’s Book by D. D. Stevenson


The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
East is East by T.C. Boyle
The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh
Down the Santa Fé Trail and into Mexico by Susan Shelby Magoffin
Flight Behavior by Barbara Kingsolver
The Beautiful Mystery by Louise Penny


Cleopatra by Stacey Schiff
The Gift of Asher Lev by Chaim Potok
Caleb’s Crossing by Geraldine Brooks
State of Wonder by Ann Patchett
The Twentieth Wife by Indu Sundaresan
Their Eyes were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
The Paris Wife by Paula McLain


The Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford
The Sea, The Sea by Iris Murdoch
When Everything Changed: The Amazing Journey of American Women from 1860 to the Present by Gail Collins
The Madonnas of Leningrad by Deborah Dean
The Cellist of Sarajevo by Steven Galloway
Enough: Why the World’s Poorest Starve in an Age of Plenty by Roger Thurow and Scott Kilman
The Sunday Philosophy Club, by Alexander McCall Smith


A Game of Character by Craig Robinson
The Last Station by Jay Parini
The Piano Teacher by Janice Y K Lee
Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout
Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides
The Help by Kathryn Stockett
Thoreau Night, read one of his 3 books by Henry David Thoreau


Loving Frank by Nancy Horan
Christ the Lord, Out of Egypt by Anne Rice
Suite Francaise by Irene Némirovsky
Dreams from my Father by Barack Obama
Body and Soul by Frank Conroy
The Clothes on Their Backs by Linda Grant
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Schaffer and Annie Barrows


The Big Oyster by Mark Kurlansky
A Letter to America by David Boren
The Inheritance of Loss by Kiran Desai
A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini
Founding Brothers by Joseph J. Ellis
The Cossacks by Leo Tolstoy
Infidel by Ayaan Hirsi Ali


The Naturalist by Edward O. Wilson
The Memory Keeper’s Daughter by Kim Edwards
Miss Garnet’s Angel by Salley Vickers
A Year In the Life of William Shakespeare by James Shapiro
Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen
Speaking of Faith by Krista Tippett
A Judgement in Stone by Ruth Rendell


The Devil’s Highway by Luis Alberto Urrea
Beloved by Toni Morrison
Living Buddha, Living Christ by Thich Nhat Hanh
Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro
The Voyage of the Beagle by Charles Darwin
Saturday by Ian McEwan
The Human Stain by Philip Roth


It Takes a Village by Hillary Clinton
The Reader by Bernhard Schlink,
The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. Leguin
The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe by C. S. Lewis
The Spiral Staircase: My Climb Out of Darkness by Karen Armstrong
The Kite-Runner by Khaled Hosseini
Waiting for Snow in Havana: Confessions of a Cuban Boy by Carlos Eire
A Town Like Alice by Nevil Shute


Reading Lolita in Tehran, Azar Nafisi
The Poisonwood Bible, Barbara Kingsolver
The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency and Tears of the Giraffe, Alexander McCall Smith
Beyond Belief, Elaine Pagels
Out of Africa, Isak Dinesen
As I Sat on the Green, ed. Alice Mattison et al
The Secret Life of Bees, Sue Monk Kidd


The Piano on the Left Bank, Thad Carhart
The Crisis of Islam: Holy War and Unholy Terror, Bernard Lewis
Life of Pi, Yann Martel
Bel Canto, Ann Patchett
Prague, Arthur Philip
The Golden Compass, Philip Pullman
Mutant Message Down Under, Marlo Morgan


Firehouse, David Halberstam
Jim the Boy, Tony Earley
Lying Awake, Mark Salzman
The Blind Assassin, Margaret Atwood
Death in Holy Orders, P. D. James
Seabiscuit, Laura Hillenbrand
Quartet in Autumn, Barbara Pym


Girl with a Pearl Earring, Tracy Chevalier
The Gifts of the Jews, Thomas Cahill
A Month in the Country, J. L. Carr
My Garden Book, Jamaica Kincaid
Disgrace, J. M. Coetzee
Uncle Tom’s Cabin, Harriet Beecher Stowe
Plainsong, Kent Haruf