Book Club

The Smith Club Book Club generally focuses on fiction and non-fiction books authored by or written about Smith women. Everyone is welcome, whether you’ve read the book or not. The conversations are always illuminating, convivial and wide-ranging. 

The Smith Club Book Club meets at 2:00 pm on Sunday of every other month. Starting in 2020, we began meeting over Zoom and continue to gather virtually to include Smithies from across Colorado and Wyoming. Contact to get on the book club email list.

The next book club meeting will be on Sunday, September 17 at 2:00 pm. We’ll be discussing Dinners with Ruth: A Memoir on the Power of Friendships by Nina Totenberg.

About Dinners with Ruth: A Memoir on the Power of Friendships by Nina Totenberg

Celebrated NPR correspondent Nina Totenberg delivers an extraordinary memoir of her personal successes, struggles, and life-affirming relationships, including her beautiful friendship of nearly fifty years with Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

Dinners with Ruth is an extraordinary account of two women who paved the way for future generations by tearing down professional and legal barriers. It is also an intimate memoir of the power of friendships as women began to pry open career doors and transform the workplace. At the story’s heart is one, special relationship: Ruth and Nina saw each other not only through personal joys, but also illness, loss, and widowhood. During the devastating illness and eventual death of Nina’s first husband, Ruth drew her out of grief; twelve years later, Nina would reciprocate when Ruth’s beloved husband died. They shared not only a love of opera, but also of shopping, as they instinctively understood that clothes were armor for women who wanted to be taken seriously in a workplace dominated by men. During Ruth’s last year, they shared so many small dinners that Saturdays were “reserved for Ruth” in Nina’s house.

Dinners with Ruth also weaves together compelling, personal portraits of other fascinating women and men from Nina’s life, including her cherished NPR colleagues Cokie Roberts and Linda Wertheimer; her beloved husbands; her friendships with multiple Supreme Court Justices, including Lewis Powell, William Brennan, and Antonin Scalia, and Nina’s own family—her father, the legendary violinist Roman Totenberg, and her “best friends,” her sisters. Inspiring and revelatory, Dinners with Ruth is a moving story of the joy and true meaning of friendship.

Let us know if you’re interested in joining the Smith Club Book Club. 

2023 Smith Club Book Club Dates and Selections

  • January 29: We are Never Meeting in Real Life: Essays by Samantha Irby
  • March 26: A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara ’95
  • May 21: The Only Woman in the Room: Golda Meir and Her Path to Power by Pnina Lahav
  • July 23: Remarkably Bright Creatures by Shelby Van Pelt
  • September 17: Dinners with Ruth: A Memoir on the Power of Friendships by Nina Totenberg
  • November 19: Coming of Age With Elephants: A Memoir by Joyce Poole ’79

2022 Smith Club Book Club Selections

  • The Book of Form and Emptiness by Ruth Ozeki ‘80
  • Ms. Adventure: My Wild Explorations in Science, Lava, and Life by Jess Phoenix ‘05
  • Call Us What We Carry by Amanda Gorman
  • Exit West by Mohsin Hamid
  • The Honeymoon by Dinitia Smith ’67
  • 48 Peaks, Hiking and Healing in the White Mountains by Cheryl Suchors ’72

2021 Smith Club Book Club Selections

  • Untamed by Glennon Doyle
  • America’s First Daughter by Stephanie Dray ’93 & Laura Kamoie
  • The Body is Not An Apology by Sonya Renee Taylor
  • The Barbizon: The Hotel That Set Women Free by Paulina Bren
  • Band of Sisters by Lauren Willig
  • Kindred by Octavia Butler

2020 Smith Club Book Club Selections

  • Nothing Daunted: The Unexpected Education of Two Society Girls in the West by Dorothy Wickenden
  • The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern ’00
  • Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay
  • American Spy by Lauren Wilkinson
  • Friends and Strangers by J. Courtney Sullivan ’03
  • Julia Child: The Last Interview and Other Conversations by Julia Child ’34,  Introduction by Helen Rosner ’04

2019 Smith Club Book Club Selections

  • The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer
  • Invisible: The Forgotten Story of the Black Woman Lawyer Who Took Down America’s Most Powerful Mobster by Stephen Carter
  • Kickdown: A Novel by Rebecca Clarren ’97
  • The Woman’s Hour: The Great Fight to Win the Vote by Elaine F. Weiss
  • Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens
  • Becoming by Michelle Obama

2018 Smith Club Book Club Selections

  • Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders
  • The Velveteen Daughter by Laurel Davis Huber ’73
  • Citizen Scientist: Searching for Heroes and Hope in an Age of Extinction by Mary Ellen Hannibal ’81
  • We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler
  • The Road from Coorain by Jill Ker Conway
  • My Own Words by Ruth Bader Ginsburg

2017 Smith Club Book Club Selections

  • A Spoonful of Sugar by Amanda Orr ’90
  • Bread, Wine, Chocolate: The Slow Loss of Foods We Love by Simran Sethi ’92
  • My Life on the Road by Gloria Steinem ’56
  • Word by Word: The Secret Life of Dictionaries by Kory Stamper ’96
  • Terrible Virtue by Ellen Feldman (Bryn Mawr College ’64, MA ’67).
  • The Book of Unknown Americans by Cristina Henríquez

2016 Smith Club Book Club Selections

  • Orange is the New Black by Piper Kerman ’92
  • The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern ’00
  • Becoming Nicole: The Transformation of an American Family by Amy Ellis Nutt ’77
  • The People in the Trees by Hanya Yanagihara ’95
  • Dreaming in French: The Paris Years of Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy, Susan Sontag, and Angela Davis by Alice Kaplan