John Adams Family


We are pleased to celebrate the fourth anniversary of the founding of our Book Club. The John Adams Book Club meets monthly to discuss a book from the rich range of American literature, fiction and non-fiction, from classics to current bestsellers. Our objective is to explore American culture in its myriad aspects – literature, art, politics, history, race relations, landscape, economy, education, science, technology, society.

Coordinator of the John Adams Book Club is Glen Kendall, an Amsterdam-based American with a life-long passion for books. As a veteran of the Vietnam War, he is also one of the authors in The War We Would Forget: Dartmouth Veterans and the Vietnam War.

Glen coordinates the selection of books and the discussions based on recommendations from the Club members. The discussions are always animated, very interesting and highly enjoyable. We have assembled an excellent group of members with different backgrounds and life experiences. And the refreshments after the discussion allow for more informal conversation.

We discuss one book a month. Members can choose either a Wednesday or Thursday evening. Meetings are at Athenaeum Boekhandel, Spui 14-16, Amsterdam, 19:00 – 20:30, informal discussion and drinks afterwards. In July and August there is only one meeting at a different venue. There is a €50 annual dues for each member. Anyone who is interested in joining can attend a discussion without paying the annual fee.

Until further notice meetings will be held via Zoom on Thursday evening at 19:00.

Book Club Members receive a 10% discount on any books purchased at Athenaeum. And Book Club members can purchase tickets for John Adams Institute events at the reduced Members price.

The size of each discussion group is limited to 15 persons to facilitate discussion. There are currently a few openings for new members. For more information about membership, contact Glen at

June Book and Discussion: Thursday 14 June 19:00 – 20:30 via Zoom

The Hungary Tide by Amitav Ghosh

On May 20 Typhoon Amphan ravaged Kolkata and the Sunderbans in northeast India and Bangladesh. A very similar event in the same place is at the core of our June book.

The Hungry Tide is the work of a novelist at the peak of his powers… Ghosh has managed to turn The Hungry Tide into a veritable page-turner – beautifully controlled and plotted – while sacrificing none his trademark historical sweep.” Amardeep Singh, Lehigh University

“Off the easternmost corner of India, in the Bay of Bengal, lies the immense labyrinth of tiny islands known as the Sundarbans, where settlers live in fear of drowning tides and man-eating tigers. Piya Roy, a young American marine biologist of Indian descent, arrives in this lush, treacherous landscape in search of a rare species of river dolphin and enlists the aid of a local fisherman and a translator. Together the three of them launch into the elaborate backwaters, drawn unawares into the powerful political undercurrents of this isolated corner of the world that exact a personal toll as fierce as the tides.” Goodreads

In July we will read and discuss the short stories and poetry of Edgar Alan Poe.

For a list of books we have previously read click here.