Free-For-All Newsletter #9

In case you missed the meeting last night, here is a list of some of the books, fun facts, and movies that we discussed.

Enjoy! :) 

(Side Note: all of the links now lead to, instead of, so you can learn more about the book and read reviews, before deciding whether or not to buy.)

How to Be an Antiracist

In this book, Kendi weaves together an electrifying combination of ethics, history, law, and science, bringing it all together with an engaging personal narrative of his own awakening to antiracism. How to Be an Antiracist is an essential work for anyone who wants to go beyond an awareness of racism to the next step: contributing to the formation of a truly just and equitable society.

The Highway

When two sisters set out across a remote stretch of Montana road to visit their friend, little do they know it will be the last time anyone might ever hear from them again. The girls—and their car—simply vanish. Former police investigator Cody Hoyt has just lost his job and has fallen off the wagon after a long stretch of sobriety. Convinced by his son and his former rookie partner, Cassie Dewell, he begins the drive south to the girls' last known location.

The Crossing Places

Forensic archaeologist Dr. Ruth Galloway is in her late thirties and lives happily alone with her two cats in a bleak, remote area near Norfolk, land that was sacred to its Iron Age inhabitants — not quite earth, not quite sea. But her routine days of digging up bones and other ancient objects are harshly upended when a child’s bones are found on a desolate beach.

The Sun Down Motel

Every small town like Fell, New York, has a place like the Sun Down Motel. Some customers are from out of town, passing through on their way to someplace better. Some are locals, trying to hide their secrets. Viv Delaney works as the night clerk to pay for her move to New York City. But something isn't right at the Sun Down, and before long she's determined to uncover all of the secrets hidden within its walls...

The Long Walk

On the first day of May, 100 teenage boys meet for a race known as "The Long Walk." If you break the rules, you get three warnings. If you exceed your limit, what happens is absolutely terrifying.

The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks & Win Your Inner Creative Battles

Internationally bestselling author of Last of the Amazons, Gates of Fire, and Tides of War, Steven Pressfield delivers a guide to inspire and support those who struggle to express their creativity. Pressfield believes that “resistance” is the greatest enemy, and he offers many unique and helpful ways to overcome it.

The Mother

Inspired by real events and centering on the figure of Pelageya Vlasova – the “mother” of the title – and her son Pavel, Gorky’s masterpiece describes the brutal life of ordinary Russian factory workers in the years leading to the 1905 Revolution and explores the rise of the proletariat, the role of women in society and the lower classes’ struggle for self-affirmation.

Time of White Horses

Ibrahim Nasrallah paints a vivid picture of Palestinian villagers' preoccupations and aspirations — their ties to their land, to their animals, and to one another. 

Through the experiences of Hajj Mahmud, chief elder of al-Hadiya, his son Khalid, and his beloved steed al-Hamama, we relive the realities of the Palestinian village in the early twentieth century.

Maid: Hard Work, Low Pay, and a Mother's Will to Survive

While the gap between upper-middle-class Americans and the working poor widens, grueling low-wage domestic and service work — primarily done by women — fuels the economic success of the wealthy. Stephanie Land worked for years as a maid, pulling long hours while struggling as a single mom to keep a roof over her daughter's head. In Maid, she reveals the dark truth of what it takes to survive and thrive in today's inequitable society.

Heart Berries

Heart Berries is a powerful, poetic memoir of a woman's coming of age on the Seabird Island Indian Reservation in the Pacific Northwest. Having survived a profoundly dysfunctional upbringing only to find herself hospitalized and facing a dual diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder and bipolar II disorder; Terese Marie Mailhot is given a notebook and begins to write her way out of trauma.

Sarah's Key

Ten-year-old Sarah is arrested with her family in the Vel' d'Hiv' roundup, the most notorious act of French collaboration with the Nazis. Before the police come to take them, Sarah locks her younger brother, Michel, in their favorite hiding place — a cupboard in the family's apartment. She keeps the key, thinking that she will be back within a few hours, but she couldn't have been more wrong.

The Good Daughter

An attack on Charlotte and Samantha Quinn's home left their mother dead and their father devastated. Twenty-eight years later, Charlotte has followed in her father's footsteps to become a defense attorney. But when violence comes to Pikeville again, and a shocking tragedy leaves the whole town traumatized, Charlotte is plunged into yet another nightmare.

Phantom Limb

Emily and Elizabeth spend their childhood locked in a bedroom and terrorized by a mother who drinks too much and disappears for days. The identical twins are rescued by a family determined to be their saviors. But there are some horrors that love can’t erase…

The Grown Up

A young woman, who doesn't believe in the supernatural, is making a living as a psychic. But her views change when she meets Susan Burke. Susan has become convinced that some malevolent spirit is inhabiting their home, and when the young woman enters Susan's house for the first time, she begins to feel as if the very house is watching her, waiting, biding its time...

The Goldfinch

Theo Decker, a thirteen-year-old New Yorker, miraculously survives an accident that kills his mother. Abandoned by his father, Theo is taken in by the family of a wealthy friend. Bewildered by his strange new home on Park Avenue, disturbed by schoolmates who don't know how to talk to him, and tormented above all by his unbearable longing for his mother, he clings to one thing that reminds him of her: a small, mysteriously captivating painting that ultimately draws Theo into the underworld of art.

Writing Down the Bones

In her groundbreaking first book, Natalie Goldberg brings together Zen meditation and writing in a new way. Writing practice, as she calls it, is no different from other forms of Zen practice--"it is backed by two thousand years of studying the mind."

The Left-Handed Booksellers of London

A girl’s quest to find her father leads her to an extended family of magical fighting booksellers who police the mythical Old World of England when it intrudes on the modern world.

Fun Facts:

Buying a car and then seeing that car everywhere is one example of the Baader-Meinhof Effect, more commonly known as the Frequency Illusion or the Frequency Bias.

Other Recommendations:
The Hustler

The Hustler is a film based on Walter Tevis's novel of the same name. It tells the story of small-time pool hustler "Fast” Eddie Felson and his desire to break into the "major league" of professional hustling and high-stakes wagering by high-rollers that follows it. He goes up against the best player in the country, seeking to best the legendary pool player "Minnesota Fats". After initially losing to Fats and getting involved with unscrupulous manager Bert Gordon, Eddie returns to try again, but only after paying a terrible personal price.

That's all, folks! 

To everyone who came to the meeting last night, thanks for coming, and we hope to see you again next week!

To everyone who didn't show up, you are dead to us now. Lol, jk. Excited to connect with you soon! :)

Hakuna Matata,

May the Force be with you,

To infinity and beyond,

Live long and prosper,

May the odds be ever in your favor,

Roll credits,


Trace & Caitlyn

The Free-For-All Book Club

921 N Woodbridge Drive

Bloomington, IN, 47408

United States