WVTF Book Club

Meetings are held on the last Tuesday of each month at 6:30 pm unless noted.  

Where:  WVTF/RADIO IQ Broadcast Center at 3520 Kingbury Lane, Roanoke, Va 24014

Cost: Free

Contact: 540-989-8900 or Email 

WVTF Book Club Books - 2018:

January: The Once and Future King, T. H. White

“T. H. White’s masterful retelling of the saga of King Arthur is a fantasy classic as legendary as Excalibur and Camelot, and a poignant story of adventure, romance and magic that has enchanted readers for generations.”

“Once upon a time, a young boy called “Wart” was tutored by a magician named Merlyn in preparation for a future he couldn’t possibly imagine. A future in which he would ally himself with the greatest knights, love a legendary queen and unite a country dedicated to chivalrous values. A future that would see him crowned and known for all time as Arthur, King of the Britons.” Meeting date: 1/30/18

February: A Gentleman in Moscow, Amor Towles

In 1922 Count Rostov is deemed an unrepentant aristocrat by a Bolshevik tribunal. He is sentenced to house arrest in The Metropol, a grand hotel across the street from the Kremlin. Rostov, an indomitable man of erudition and wit, has never worked a day in his life, and must now live in an attic room while some of the most tumultuous decades in Russian history are unfolding outside the hotel’s doors. Unexpectedly, his reduced circumstances provide him a doorway into a much larger world of emotional discovery. Brimming with humour, a glittering cast of characters, and one beautifully rendered scene after another, this singular novel casts a spell as it relates the Count’s endeavour to gain a deeper understanding of what it means to be a man of purpose.  Meeting date: 2/27

March: Orie's Story, Gail Lambert

Orianna “Orie” Moon is a plantation princess. She grows up as the daughter of a wealthy Virginia tobacco planter, but her life of luxury never stops her from pursuing her dreams. Orie becomes Dr. Moon, a trained physician. She achieves her calling just in time for one of the bloodiest conflicts in American history. The Civil War begins, and Orie must draw upon all her intelligence and strength to help young Southern men damaged and broken by Union forces.  Meeting date: 3/27

April: The Handmaid's Tale, Margaret Atwood

After a staged terrorist attack kills the President and most of Congress, the government is deposed and taken over by the oppressive and all controlling Republic of Gilead. Offred, now a Handmaid serving in the household of the enigmatic Commander and his bitter wife, can remember a time when she lived with her husband and daughter and had a job, before she lost even her own name. Despite the danger, Offred learns to navigate the intimate secrets of those who control her every move, risking her life in breaking the rules in hopes of ending this oppression.  Meeting date: 4/24

May: Carrying Albert Home, Homer Hickam

Big Fish meets The Notebook in this emotionally evocative story about a man, a woman, and an alligator that is a moving tribute to love, from the New York Times bestselling author of the award-winning memoir Rocket Boys—the basis of the movie October Sky.

Carrying Albert Home is the funny, sweet, and sometimes tragic tale of a young couple and a special alligator on a crazy 1,000-mile adventure. Told with the warmth and down-home charm that made Rocket Boys a beloved bestseller, Homer Hickam’s rollicking tale is ultimately a testament to that strange and marvelous emotion we inadequately call love.  Meeting date: 5/22 (fourth Tuesday)

June: The Ninth Hour, Alice McDermott

On a dim winter afternoon, a young Irish immigrant opens a gas tap in his Brooklyn tenement. He is determined to prove—to the subway bosses who have recently fired him, to his badgering, pregnant wife—that “the hours of his life . . . belonged to himself alone.” In the aftermath of the fire that follows, Sister St. Saviour, an aging nun, a Little Nursing Sister of the Sick Poor, appears, unbidden, to direct the way forward for his widow and his unborn child.

In Catholic Brooklyn in the early part of the twentieth century, decorum, superstition, and shame collude to erase the man’s brief existence, and yet his suicide, though never spoken of, reverberates through many lives—testing the limits and the demands of love and sacrifice, of forgiveness and forgetfulness, even through multiple generations. Rendered with remarkable delicacy, heart, and intelligence, Alice McDermott’s The Ninth Hour is a crowning achievement of one of the finest American writers at work today.  Meeting: 6/26

July: The Bookman's Tale, Charlie Lovett

After the death of his wife, Peter Byerly, a young antiquarian bookseller, relocates from the States to the English countryside, where he hopes to rediscover the joys of life through his passion for collecting and restoring rare books. But when he opens an eighteenth-century study on Shakespeare forgeries, he is shocked to find a Victorian portrait strikingly similar to his wife tumble out of its pages, and becomes obsessed with tracking down its origins. As he follows the trail back to the nineteenth century and then to Shakespeare's time, Peter learns the truth about his own past and unearths a book that might prove that Shakespeare was indeed the author of all his plays.  Meeting date: 7/31

August: Walter Cronkite: A Reporter's Life, Walter Cronkite

He has been called the most trusted man in America. His 60-year-long journalistic career has spanned the Great Depression, several wars, and the extraordinary changes that have engulfed our nation over the last two-thirds of the 20th century. When Walter Cronkite advised his television audience in 1968 that the war in Vietnam could not be won, President Lyndon B. Johnson said: "If I've lost Cronkite, I've lost middle America." Now, at the age of eighty, Cronkite has written his life story-the personal and professional odyssey of the original "anchorman" for whom that very word was coined. As a witness to the crucial events of this century-first for the Houston Press, then for the United Press wire service, and finally for CBS in the fledgling medium of television-Cronkite set a standard for integrity, objectivity, enthusiasm, compassion, and insight that is difficult to surpass.   Meeting date: 8/28

September: Hillbilly Elegy, J.D. Vance

From a former Marine and Yale Law School Graduate, a poignant account of growing up in a poor Appalachian town, that offers a broader, probing look at the struggles of America’s white working class. Part memoir, part historical and social analysis, J. D. Vance’s Hillbilly Elegy is a fascinating consideration of class, culture, and the American dream.  Meeting date: 9/25

October Roanoke Reads selection: Your Heart is a Muscle the Size of a Fist, Sunil Yapa

On a rainy, cold day in November, young Victor--a nomadic, scrappy teenager who's run away from home--sets out to join the throng of WTO demonstrators determined to shut down the city. With the proceeds, he plans to buy a plane ticket and leave Seattle forever, but it quickly becomes clear that the history-making 50,000 anti-globalization protestors--from anarchists to environmentalists to teamsters--are testing the patience of the police, and what started out as a peaceful protest is threatening to erupt into violence.Over the course of one life-altering afternoon, the fates of seven people will change forever.  Meeting date: 10/30

November: Mozart's Starling, Lynda Lynn Haupt & Linda Henning

On May 27th, 1784, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart met a flirtatious little starling in a Viennese shop who sang an improvised version of the theme from his Piano Concerto no. 17 in G major. Sensing a kindred spirit in the plucky young bird, Mozart bought him and took him home to be a family pet. For three years, the starling lived with Mozart, influencing his work and serving as his companion, distraction, consolation, and muse.

In Mozart's Starling, Haupt explores the unlikely and remarkable bond between one of history's most cherished composers and one of earth's most common birds. The intertwined stories of Mozart's beloved pet and Haupt's own starling provide an unexpected window into human-animal friendships, music, the secret world of starlings, and the nature of creative inspiration. A blend of natural history, biography, and memoir, Mozart's Starling is a tour de force that awakens a surprising new awareness of our place in the world.

December: No official meeting  

January 2019: The Professor and the Madman, Simon Winchester

It is known as one of the greatest literary achievements in the history of English letters. The creation of the Oxford English Dictionary began in 1857, took seventy years to complete, drew from tens of thousands of brilliant minds, and organized the sprawling language into 414,825 precise definitions. But hidden within the rituals of its creation is a fascinating and mysterious story--a story of two remarkable men whose strange twenty-year relationship lies at the core of this historic undertaking.   Meeting date: 1/29/19

All meetings are open to the public, and are held at the radio station at 7 pm the last Tuesday of every month unless otherwise designated. 

For information about how our books are selected click here

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