Loren Arnett Memorial Book Group

Format of the Book Group

We’re reading these books at the pace of our discussion about them, which is running between a third and half of each book per session. The leader of the session pledges to read the entire book and highlight the most important passages. Everyone else is welcome to do the same. For each session, we’ll take turns reading highlights and discussing them. If we do a good job, it’s possible for somebody to enjoy and understand everything even if they haven’t read the book!

Current Book List

Journal of a Plague Year – April 21, 2020

by Daniel DeFoe

Nickeled and Dimed – May 14, 2019

by Barbara Erhenreich

Strength To Love – June 11, July 9, August 13

by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Educated – September 10, October 8, November 12

by Tara Westover

Anger – December 10,  January 14 2020

by Thich Nhat Hanh

Time and Again – February 11, March 10(cancelled due to COVID-19)

by Jack Finney

On Talking Terms With Dogs – Calming Signals

by Turid Rugaas

The Bad Habits of Jesus: Showing Us the Way to Live Right in a World Gone Wrong

by Leonard Sweet

Selection of Books

We met at 7 pm on March 12 to decide what to read.
Each person brought a book or two that they thought we might want to read.
First we go around the room and each person says a little bit about the books they brought – why we should read them, what’s interesting about the book, etc.
Each person gets five votes. Write down your top five choices for books, and then the books receiving the most votes are the books we will read!

Who Was Loren Arnett?

Loren Arnett was an amazing post-modern retired pastor who started a book group at University Christian Church around 2002. It was called “Adventures In Faith”, and included a lot of interesting people. It turned out that the format of the book group brought out the personalities of the members of the group, who represented many different backgrounds:

  • a professor of biology
  • a sales clerk at the Bon Marche (now Macy’s)
  • a quality assurance software engineer at a startup company in downtown Seattle
  • a retiree who loved gardening and earth care
  • Loren’s wife, who had been an administrator at Lakeside School, and remembered Bill Gates and Paul Allen when they were teenagers
  • a Presbyterian pastor who, over the years, had walked gladly from a literalist interpretation of the Bible to a beautiful vision of a transcendent God without limits, without fear
  • a Daoist who installed solar water heaters
  • a professional musician who was a gay atheist
  • a professional counselor who had worked with sex offenders that had been incarcerated on McNeil Island

We really did love to read books, and we wanted to change the world for the better, each of us in our own way. One book at a time, one day at a time.