Novel Circle

If you enjoy reading and discussing books, we invite you to the Novel Circle!


Literature is one of the shaping influences of life. It is what truly makes us human. Based on the belief that engaging discussions about good literature help us grow, both personally and intellectually, the Novel Circle operates as an affinity group within the UUFC community. All members and/or friends of UUFC who enjoy reading books and discussing their relevance to our lives are invited to participate.

The Novel Circle meets the 1st Wednesday of each month from 7:30pm to 8:30pm at the Founders' House. Coffee is provided. Participants often contribute a dessert or snack of some kind, although this is not required for taking part in the group.

For more information, email

Upcoming books, with descriptions mostly excerpted from


February 5, 2020. The Good Pilot Peter Woodhouse by Alexander McCall Smith. Val Eliot, a young woman working on an English farm during World War II, meets Mike, a U.S. Air Force pilot stationed nearby. When Val rescues a dog named Peter Woodhouse, she realizes the dog would actually be safer with Mike. And so Peter Woodhouse finds a new home on the air force base, and Val finds herself falling in love. Peter Woodhouse becomes a canine mascot who boldly accompanies the officers on their missions, while Val becomes Mike’s fiancée. Disaster threatens, but this is an uplifting story of love and the power of friendship. 258 pages, 2018.


March 4, 2020. There, There by Tommy Orange. This wondrous and shattering novel follows twelve characters from Native communities: all traveling to the Big Oakland Powwow, all connected to one another in ways they may not yet realize. Among them is Jacquie Red Feather, newly sober and trying to make it back to the family she left behind. Dene Oxendene, pulling his life together after his uncle’s death and working at the powwow to honor his memory. Fourteen-year-old Orvil, coming to perform traditional dance for the very first time. Together, this chorus of voices tells of the plight of the urban Native American—grappling with a complex and painful history, with an inheritance of beauty and spirituality, with communion and sacrifice and heroism. 304 pages, 2019.


April 1, 2020.  Origin by Dan Brown. Robert Langdon, Harvard professor of symbology, arrives at the ultramodern Guggenheim Museum Bilbao to attend the unveiling of a discovery that “will change the face of science forever.” The evening’s host is futurist Edmond Kirsch. But the meticulously orchestrated evening suddenly erupts into chaos, and Kirsch’s precious discovery teeters on the brink of being lost forever. Facing an imminent threat, Langdon is forced to flee and embarks on a perilous quest to unlock Kirsch’s secret. Navigating the dark corridors of hidden history and extreme re­ligion, Langdon and Vidal must evade an enemy whose all-knowing power seems to emanate from Spain’s Royal Palace. They uncover clues that ultimately bring them face-to-face with Kirsch’s shocking discovery…and the breathtaking truth that has long eluded us. 656 pages. 2018.

May 6, 2020. Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens. “The story is set in the 1950s and revolves around a young woman named Kya Clark, who is from extremely rural North Carolina. Known by others as the Marsh Girl, she lives alone in nature—but the draw of other people, and specifically love, brings her into contact with the greater world. This novel has a mystery at its core, but it can be read on a variety of levels. There is great nature writing; there is coming of age; and there is literature. Crawdads is a story lovingly told—one that takes its time in developing its characters and setting, and in developing the story. You’ll want to relax and take your time as well, and when you’re done you will want to talk about it with another reader.” 379 pages. 2018.


June 3, 2020.  Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate. Memphis, 1939. Twelve-year-old Rill Foss and her four younger siblings live a magical life aboard their family’s Mississippi River shanty boat. But one stormy night, the children are wrenched from all that is familiar and thrown into a Tennessee Children’s Home Society orphanage. At the mercy of the facility’s cruel director, Rill must fight to keep the family together in a world of danger and uncertainty. Based on one of America’s most notorious real-life scandals—in which Georgia Tann, director of a Memphis-based adoption organization, kidnapped and sold poor children to wealthy families all over the country—this riveting, wrenching, and ultimately uplifting tale reminds us how, even though the paths we take can lead to many places, the heart never forgets where we belong. 352 pages. 2017.


August 5, 2020. The Woman’s Hour by Elaine Weiss. Celebrate the 100th anniversary of American women’s enfranchisement with this gripping book. In August, 1920 thirty-five states have approved the Nineteenth Amendment, granting women the right to vote. One last state--Tennessee—is needed for women's voting rights to be the law of the land. The suffragists face vicious opposition from politicians, clergy, corporations, and racists who don't want black women voting. And then there are the "Antis"--women who oppose their own enfranchisement, fearing suffrage will bring about the nation's moral collapse. And in one hot summer, they all converge for a confrontation. This book follows a handful of remarkable women who led their respective forces into battle. 432 pages. 2019.

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Clemson, SC  29631


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