In continuation of its mission to support American culture in Amsterdam, the John Adams Institute has its very own book club. 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 objective is to explore the rich range of American literature, fiction and non-fiction, from classics to current best sellers. The discussions at the Book Club 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.
The John Adams Book Club meets once a month. Members can choose either the Wednesday or the Thursday meeting. We only have a limited number of places for new members. For full details, and to join, send an email to Glen at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Book Club Members receive a 10% discount on any books purchased at Athenaeum.
Where: Athenaeum Boekhandel, Spui 14 – 16, Amsterdam
When: Wednesday 7 June & Thursday 8 June
Our book for June is Exit West by Mohsin Hamid. In a country teetering on the brink of civil war, two young people meet—sensual, fiercely independent Nadia and gentle, restrained Saeed. They embark on a furtive love affair and are soon cloistered in a premature intimacy by the unrest roiling their city. When it explodes, turning familiar streets into a patchwork of checkpoints and bomb blasts, they begin to hear whispers about doors—doors that can whisk people far away, if perilously and for a price. As the violence escalates, Nadia and Saeed decide that they no longer have a choice. Leaving their homeland and their old lives behind, they find a door and step through.
Exit West follows these characters as they emerge into an alien and uncertain future, struggling to hold on to each other, to their past, to the very sense of who they are. Profoundly intimate and powerfully inventive, it tells an unforgettable story of love, loyalty, and courage that is both completely of our time and for all time.
Ayelet Waldman, from The New York Times Book Review, writes: “It was as if Hamid knew what was going to happen to America and the world, and gave us a road map to our future … At once terrifying and … At once terrifying and … oddly hopeful.”
For a list of the books we’ve read previously, click here.