Discussing favorite books is a great way to make new friends, but so many book clubs are not crazy about adding new people to their group. Join discussion leader Lynn Randle in a monthly exploration of a favorite book, sharing among a more inclusive group of any Chesapeake Forum friends who care to join in.

In our first meeting, we will discuss the nuanced threads of Pulitzer-prize winning author Geraldine Brooks and her best-selling novel, Horse: A Novel.

A discarded painting in a junk pile, a skeleton in an attic, and the greatest racehorse in American history: from these strands, a Pulitzer Prize winner braids a sweeping story of spirit, obsession, and injustice across American history.

Kentucky, 1850. An enslaved groom named Jarret and a bay foal forge a bond of understanding that will carry the horse to record-setting victories across the South. When the nation erupts in civil war, an itinerant young artist who has made his name on paintings of the racehorse takes up arms for the Union. On a perilous night, he reunites with the stallion and his groom, very far from the glamor of any racetrack.

New York City, 1954. Martha Jackson, a gallery owner celebrated for taking risks on edgy contemporary painters, becomes obsessed with a nineteenth-century equestrian oil painting of mysterious provenance.

Washington, DC, 2019. Jess, a Smithsonian scientist from Australia, and Theo, a Nigerian-American art historian, find themselves unexpectedly connected through their shared interest in the horse, one studying the stallion’s bones for clues to his power and endurance, the other uncovering the lost history of the unsung Black horsemen who were critical to his racing success.

Based on the remarkable true story of the record-breaking thoroughbred Lexington, Horse is a novel of art and science, love and obsession, and our unfinished reckoning with racism.

Participants will be asked in April to suggest books at the second meeting at the end of May – books to discuss that have left a lasting impression. But never fear, should there be a dearth of suggestions, Lynn has several options in the wings!

What to Expect:  Course leader Lynn Randle will lead each session of “Books with Friends” in an in-depth exploration of the insights developed in each book. Advanced reading of the books by participants is strongly recommended in order to ensure that the most meaningful discussion.  Should demand suggest, Lynn is willing to continue through the Summer with informal gatherings on Zoom.  Please note:  Due to the nature of this discussion, it will not be recorded.

Zoom course (no recording)

2 sessions | Thursdays | April 20, May 25 / 1–2:30 pm / Donations accepted

Feedback from past discussion courses with Lynn:

“Outstanding research and great discussion from everyone. It couldn’t have been better!”

“The discussion was organized, thorough, even-handed, and civil. Very informative and helpful. The participants aided the process and, I think, its productive results.”

“Well done to the instructor whose effort to provide a fair balanced study workbook should be recognized. This on a wide-ranging subject that should be readdressed in the future by Chesapeake Forum.”

Lynn Randle

Lynn Randle

Lynn Randle spent much of her career moderating discussions among her clients’ key constituents on a number of topics and covering a number of industries. An avid reader of fiction, Lynn loves losing herself in a well-written book of substance and welcomes the opportunity to share books of the sort that stick with you over time.

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