Beta Beta Nursing Book Club


Book Club News

Our First Visiting Author!

The Nursing Book Club was pleased to host its first in person (via Zoom) author visit in October, 2022. Martha (Marty) Highfield joined the group to discuss her book A Time to Heal: Missionary Nurses in Churches of Christ Southeastern Nigeria (1953 1967). A lively conversation developed about her family’s history as well as wide reaching concepts of Western health care origins in developing countries. Attendees who have worked in developing countries enjoyed hearing and discussing the similarities and challenges commonly encountered in people groups all over the world.

Some Beta Beta (Houston) members may know Marty from her days in Houston when she worked at the VA, M D Anderson, or Prairie View. She also received her PhD from TWU in Houston in 1989! She has been invited to attend our book club when her schedule allows.

Martha Highfield, PhD, RN

Turning the Page: A Brief History of the Beta Beta Book Club

Following a suggestion by Dr. Ann Malecha at a Beta Beta Board meeting, the initial meeting of the Book Club was held in January 2015. The first book selected was Duty to the Dead by Charles Todd, a mystery featuring a World War I nurse. Readers met at the Raven Grill on Bissonnet for dinner and to discuss the book and then ventured down the street to Murder by the Book where the author (actually a mother-son duo) were appearing to discuss a newly published book.

We have continued to meet monthly at the Raven Grill and select both fiction and non-fiction books for discussion. Topics have included current events, nursing history, nursing in wartime, mysteries, classics, and other topics that either feature nursing or are of interest to the registered nurse.

Zeta Pi at UTHealth joined us in April 2016 and Psi Iota at the University of St. Thomas joined in May 2016. Psi Iota actually joined while still an honor society. Eta Delta at Prairie View joined us in May 2017. We look forward to inviting other local STTI chapters to join us.

Please come to the Beta Beta Book Club to meet new friends from different disciplines and with various experiences that contribute to lively discussions. Come even if you haven’t read the book - you probably have something to add to the conversation!

Houston Book Club Reading List

2024 2023 2022 2021 2020 2019 2018 2017


January: January: January: January: January: January: January:
An Exact Replica of a Figment of my Imagination by Elizabeth McCracken Fever by Mary Beth Keane
How to Treat People by Molly Case
97 Orchard by Jane Zeigelman When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanith No Meeting First, Do No Harm by Lisa Belkin Get Me Out by Randi Hutter Epstein
February: February: February: February: February: February: February: February:
Healing Wounds by Diane Evans Evicted by Mathew Desmond Incendiary by Michael Cannell If Our Bodies Could Talk by James Hamblin A Fall of Marigolds by Susan Meissner The Nurses By Alexandra Robbins What She Left Behind by Ellen Marie Wiseman Life Support by Suzanne Gordon
March: March: March: March: March: March: March: March:
What the Eyes Don't See by Mona Hanna-Attisha Louisa on the Front Lines by
Samantha May Alcott

Between Two Kingdoms by Suleika Jaouad
Doc by Mary Doria Russell Gulp By Mary Roach Ticker By Mimi Swartz
Autobiography of a Face by Lucy Grealy
Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult
April: April: April: April: April: April: April: April:
The Secret Life of Groceries by Benjamin Lorr The Pull of the Stars by Emma Donoghue
Five Feet Apart by Rachael Lippincott

Sweet Bean Paste by Durian Sukegawa
Coronary By Stephen Klaidman
Vaccines Did Not Cause Rachel's Autism by Peter Hotez
Death in the Air by Kate Winkler Dawson
Mountains Beyond Mountains by Tracy Kidder
May: May: May: May: May: May: May: May:
Cradles of the Reich by Jennifer Coburn Chasing My Cure by David Fajgenbaum
The Doctors Blackwell by Janice Nimura

The Real Triumph of Japan by Louis Seaman

The Girls at 17 Swann Street by Yara Zgheib
Look For Me by Janet Shawgo
Woman in the Photo by Mary Hogan
Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly
June: June: June: June: June: June: June: June:

Moloka'i by

Alan Brennert

No Meeting Disability Visibility by Alice Wong The Poison Squad by Deborah Blum
The Strange Case of Dr. Couney: How a Mysterious European Showman Saved Thousands of American Babies by Dawn Raffel
As Nature Made Him by John Colapinto Brain on Fire by Susannah Cahalan
July July July: July: July: July: July: July:
The People's Hospital by Ricardo Nuila The Midwife by Jennifer Worth Delivering the Truth by Edith Maxwell Educated by Tara Westover Making Rounds with Oscar By David Dosa His Bright Light By Danielle Steel
A Life Everlasting: The Extraordinary Story... by Sarah Gray
August: August August: August: August: August: August: August:

The Perfect Predator by Steffanie Strathdee

and Thomas Patterson

Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup by John Carreyrou
A Stitch of Time by Lauren Marks The Quintland Sisters by Shelley Wood A Spark of Light by Jodi Picoult The Radium Girls by Kate Moore Reaching Past the Wire... by Deana Germain
September: September September: September: September: September: September: September:
Handle with Care by Jodi Picoult A Time to Heal by Martha Highfield The White House Doctor by Connie Mariano The Moment of Lift by Melinda Gates The Language of Kindness by Christie Watson Ellis Angels by Carole Lee Limata
Poisoned: The True Story... by Jeff Benedict



October: October: October: October: October: October:
Saving Sarah by Janet Murnaghan Soul Full of Coal Dust by Chris Hamby The Speckled Monster by Jennifer Lee Carrell
The Autobiography of Mrs. Tom Thumb by Melanie Benjamin
The Cry and the Covenant by Morton Thompson Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers by Mary Roach Dead Men Do Tell Tales by William Maples
November: November: November: November: November: November: November: November:
The Facemaker by Lindsay Fitzharris Warm Springs: Traces of a Childhood at FDR's Polio Haven by Susan Shreve How to Walk Away by Katherine Center
The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek by Kim Michele Richardson
Being Mortal by Atul Gawando My Own Country by Abraham Verhese The Wonder by Emma Donoghue
December: December: December: December: December: December: December: December:
Falling through the Clouds by Damian Fowler The Ghost Map by Steven Johnson Nomadland by Jessica Bruder
Miss Pinkerton by Mary Roberts Rinehart
Swabbed and Found by Frank Billingsley The Encore By Charity Tillemann-Dick Daughters of Mars by Thomas Keneally

May 2019 Meeting

May 2020 Meeting

June 2017 Meeting

June 20, 2017 - The Beta Beta Book Club attended an author appearance and book signing at Brazos Bookstore. The book was The Boy Who Loved Too Much: A True Story of Pathological Friendliness by Jennifer Latson. The author is pictured above with attendees Adrian Melissinos (Beta Beta Houston) and Audrey Barnett (Zeta Pi).Photo courtesy of Judy Fred.

July 11, 2017 - The Beta Beta Book Club met for dinner at Lucille's and then met author and forensic anthropologist Kathy Reichs at a book signing at the Houston Museum of Natural Science. This event will be coordinated with a reading of Dead Men Do Tell Tales in the coming months. member Rebecca Aulbach is arranging a tour of the forensic anthropology lab at Sam Houston State University in conjunction with our reading.

July 2017 Meeting

From left: Judy McFarlane, Adrian Melissinos, Cynthia Hickman, and Melissa Gilhart

Sep 2018 Meeting

Oct 2018 Meeting