John Adams Family


Now in its sixth 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 transition out of Covid, the Club meets one Wednesday a month on Zoom and the following Thursday in-person at Athenaeum Boekhandel on the Spui (fully vaccinated members only). There is an annual membership fee to cover the cost of the Zoom license and to reimburse expenses for the in-person meetings. 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.


Thursday, December 9 at 7:00 PM on Zoom 

The December version of our periodic, in-person poetry reading and discussion is cancelled due to Covid rules. Instead, we will watch a PBS documentary series on Walt Whitman and discuss a selection of his poems on-line.  Contact Glen (see above) for more information. Many think that Whitman is the “first great American poet”. He wrote, “To have great poets, there must be great audiences.” We aspire to that goal.

Thursday, December 16 at 7:00 PM on Zoom Amor Towles, The Lincoln Highway

At nearly 600 pages, The Lincoln Highway is remarkably brisk, remarkably buoyant. Though dark shadows fall across its final chapters, the book is permeated with light, wit, youth. Many novels this size are telescopes, but this big book is a microscope, focused on a small sample of a vast whole. Towles has snipped off a minuscule strand of existence — 10 wayward days — and when we look through his lens we see that this brief interstice teems with stories, grand as legends.” New York Times