John Adams Family


Now in its fifth year, the monthly Book Club discussion focuses on one instance of the richness of American literature – fiction, non-fiction, poetry, old and new. Our objective is to explore American culture in its myriad aspects – literature, art, politics, history, race relations, landscape, economy, education, science, technology, society. Discussions are in English.

Glen Kendall, an American living in Amsterdam, coordinates the selection of books and the discussions based on recommendations from the members. We have assembled an excellent group of members with different backgrounds and life experiences. The discussions are always animated, very interesting and highly enjoyable. For a list of books the Club has read, click here.​

During Covid-19, meetings are virtual on Zoom, one Thursday evening a month, beginning at 19:00. There is a €10 annual membership fee to cover the Zoom license and incidental expenses. It is expected that members will participate in at least nine of the twelve monthly discussions. The size of each discussion group is limited. For more information about membership, contact Glen at

Book Club members can purchase tickets for John Adams Institute events at the reduced Members price.

January Book: Jack by Marilynne Robinson

Jack is not a novel that offers answers to the urgent moral question of American racism. Nor should it. Were Robinson to present a road map for overcoming racial inequality disguised as a love story, both the novel’s suggestions and its romance would almost certainly become suspect, at best. Instead, she traces a relationship from its complicated inception to its immensely troubled and moving maturity, and, in so doing, asks American readers to consider both the cruelties of our country’s racist recent history and the utter potential, for white Americans in particular, of accepting that we are intrinsically able to do harm. That acceptance brings Jack closer to both love and grace. For our country — who knows? — it could well do the same. Lily Meyer for NPR, October 2020

Virtual Discussion on Zoom, 7:00 pm, Thursday 21 January