FPL Book Group — February Meeting

Tuesday, February 4, 2020, 6:30-8pm  | Stearns Room
Founding Gardeners: The Revolutionary Generation, Nature, and the Shaping of the American Nation, by Andrea Wulf

From the bestselling author of The Invention of Nature, a fascinating look at the Founding Fathers like none you’ve seen before.

For the Founding Fathers, gardening, agriculture, and botany were elemental passions: a conjoined interest as deeply ingrained in their characters as the battle for liberty and a belief in the greatness of their new nation. 

Founding Gardeners is an exploration of that obsession, telling the story of the revolutionary generation from the unique perspective of their lives as gardeners, plant hobbyists, and farmers. Acclaimed historian Andrea Wulf describes how George Washington wrote letters to his estate manager even as British warships gathered off Staten Island; how a tour of English gardens renewed Thomas Jefferson’s and John Adams’s faith in their fledgling nation; and why James Madison is the forgotten father of environmentalism. Through these and other stories, Wulf reveals a fresh, nuanced portrait of the men who created our nation.

Click here to order the book.

FPL Book Group Discussion

Tuesday, December 3, 2019, 6:30pm – 7:30pm | Stearns Room
Please join us to discuss the biography of Alexander von Humboldt, the visionary German naturalist whose ideas changed the way we see the natural world – and in the process created modern environmentalism. And come with your ideas about the next book we might read. 
The Invention of Nature: Alexander von Humboldt’s New World, by Andrea Wulf.

Adult Learning: 2019 Church-wide Summer “Read”

When we talk about diversity, what exactly do we mean? Diversity based on religion? On race? On gender? On national background? On culture? On socio-economic class? On age? Other attributes? How do we think and talk about diversity and what it means in our lives and in the lives of other Americans in our increasingly diverse nation? These are questions people across our country are asking, including those of us at Lincoln’s First Parish.

The Adult Learning Committee is recommending a church community summer read on the topic of racism and white privilege. The book we recommend is Waking Up White and Finding Myself in the Story of Race by Debbie Irving. On Sunday September 22 at 4 pm, we will hold a discussion about the racism and white privilege issues raised by the book.

Waking Up White and Finding Myself in the Story of Race by Debby Irving. (2014). Growing up in Winchester, a community much like Lincoln, the author starts with her experience as a white woman, and then moves on to grapple with the complexity of racism in the United States at both an individual and an institutional level. Her story is not only personal and readable, but it is also timely for our church, for Lincoln and for our country.

Copies are available at Lincoln Library and 3 copies are available in the FPL Library.

If you have already read Waking Up White and want another perspective or angle on the topic of race and white privilege, consider reading one of the following:

White Fragility, Why it is so hard for White People to talk about Race by Robin Diangelo (2018). A New York Times best seller, this book offers a sociological and psychological study of white privilege in the United States, exploring the dynamics of white fragility and how we might overcome it.

White Like Me: Reflections on Race from a Privileged Son by Tim Wise (2004). Growing up in Nashville and educated at Tulane University, Wise’s experiences present a male perspective, a counterpoint to Irving’s Growing Up White,, as well as a regional difference, the South, as opposed to New England. The book is part memoir and part essay, lively and compelling

Uncensored: My life and Uncomfortable Conversations at the Intersection of Black and White America by Zachary Wood ( 2019). Wood offers a personal account of overcoming a difficult upbringing , as well as complexities of systemic discrimination experienced as a high school scholarship student from a poor black neighborhood in Washington, DC and as a leader of the free speech movement at Williams College.

From the Summer Reading Team: Janet Boynton, Ken Hurd, Mary Helen Lorenz, Jessica Packineau, Barbara Slayter, Mary Jo Veling

Adult Learning: Fall Book Club Preview

“The Hidden Life of Trees” : FPL Book Group Next Meeting Tuesday September 17,  6:30 pm. Stearns Room:
The FPL Book Group will be discussing “The Hidden Life of Trees: What They Feel, How They Communicate- Discoveries from a Secret World” by Peter Wohlleben. Summer and fall are great times for long walks to look at trees, so Please join us in reading and discussing this fascinating book on September 17!

Are trees social beings? ….. forester and author Peter Wohlleben convincingly makes the case that, yes, the forest is a social network. He draws on groundbreaking scientific discoveries to describe how trees are like human families: tree parents live together with their children, communicate with them, support them as they grow, share nutrients with those who are sick or struggling, and even warn each other of impending dangers. Wohlleben also shares his deep love of woods and forests, explaining the amazing processes of life, death, and regeneration he has observed in his woodland.
After learning about the complex life of trees, a walk in the woods will never be the same again.” — Amazon.

The book is available new and used in paperback, hardback and an illustrated addition, and through the Lincoln Library Minuteman Network.

Mary Helen Lorenz for
FPL Book Group