Ocean Reef Art League

Book and Lecture Club 

Season 2023-24

Join us this season for our Book & Lecture Club! We feature one book each month (except Dec.) with a moderator who gives a background, interesting facts and directs and encourages discussion. Even if you find you didn’t get the book finished come and hear from your fellow members! We’ve even had people come to hear about a book they haven’t read yet! Open to all!  - Deborah Gellar

Book and Lecture Club Meetings are hosted at the Art League on Wednesdays from 4:00 – 5:00pm. 

November 15

The Art Thief: A True Story of Love, Crime, and a Dangerous Obsession  - by Michael Finkel 

The true story of the world’s most prolific art thief, who accumulated a collection worth over $1.4 billion. A spellbinding portrait of obsession and flawed genius, from the bestselling author of The Stranger in the Wood.

Facilitated by Deborah Geller

January 17

The Queen of Dirt Island: A Novel - by Donal Ryan 

It involves wives and widows, gunrunners and gougers, sinners and saints. It's a story of terrible betrayals and fierce loyalties, of isolation and togetherness, of transgression, forgiveness, desire, and love. Of all the things family can be and all the things it sometimes isn't.

Facilitated by Max Brown

Lecture - Dr. Paul George 

Tuesday, February 20th  / 4:00pm at the Cultural Center Theater / Complimentary 

  • Delve into the history of South Florida with History Miami Museum’s Resident Historian, Dr. Paul George. For three decades, Historian Dr. Paul S. George has toured his way to local, national, and international acclaim with his continuing series of historic tours. As a Miami native, author, and former college professor, Dr. George has gained fame for his uncanny ability to recall the most impressive details about the people and places that make South Florida so unique.

  • A native Miamian, Dr. George is a graduate of Miami Dade Community College and the University of Miami. He holds a Master’s and a Doctorate degree in history from Florida State University. A former college professor, Dr. George has taught at several universities and colleges, including Florida State University, Florida A & M University, Florida Atlantic University, and the University of Miami. From 1991 to 2016 he was a history professor at Miami-Dade College.

  • Dr. George has authored fifteen books, nearly two hundred articles, book reviews, columns, and numerous unpublished manuscripts. Two of the books have won awards. He also served as editor of three books. He has served as President of the Florida Historical Society, Vice Chairman of the City of Miami’s Heritage Conservation Board (1984-1987), Director of the Historic Broward County Preservation Board, President of the Louis Wolfson II Florida Moving Image Archive, and currently serves as a member of Metro Dade County’s Preservation Board (1997-present). Since 2011, he has written a monthly photo essay column for Biscayne Times. Since 2019, he has penned a monthly history column for Miami Community Newspapers. He has been editor of Tequesta, the scholarly journal of the History Miami Museum, since 1995.

  • Dr. George has curated several historical exhibits at the History Miami Museum (formerly known as Historical Association of Southern Florida), and at the Jewish Museum of Florida. He also conducts a wide variety of more than thirty history tours of Dade, Broward, and Monroe Counties. His Crime tour and boat tour the waters along Key Biscayne and Stiltsville were feted by Miami New Times, as the “Best Tours” in recent years.

  • Dr. George was also the narrator and a principal in a historical documentary on the Miami News/Freedom Tower created by WLRN Television. The documentary was selected as the top film in its category by the Louis Wolfson II Florida Moving Image Archives in 2004. He was the recipient in 2003 of an award from Miami-Dade County School’s Social Science Division for Excellence in that field. The University of Notre Dame Club of South Florida has feted Dr. George as its Person of the Year in 1997 with its Exemplar Award. He was recognized in 1995 as Teacher of the Year for Miami-Dade Community College, Wolfson and Inter-American campuses. Between 1997 and 2000, he held the Arthur Hertz Endowed Chair at Miami-Dade College. In 2011, he was presented the Excellence in Teaching Award for Social Science by Miami-Dade College. In 2013, MDC, Wolfson’s National Society of Leadership and Success honored Paul George as its teacher of the year for 2012-2013. In 2016, he received the Silverman Award for his work in legal and judicial history from the 11th Judicial Circuit Historical Society. In 2018, he received from the Dade Heritage Trust the Henriette Harris award for his educational contributions to South Florida. The 2018 Synergy Summit for Cultural & Heritage Tourism (Fort Lauderdale) feted Dr. George as Best Tour Guide in Southeast Florida for 2018. The Florida Association of Museum’s selected him as the recipient for its Exceptional Leadership Award for 2018. In 2019, Dr. George received the Tourism Professional of the Year Award from the Academy of Hospitality & Tourism. Also in 2019, The Coral Gables Community Foundation presented him with its Education Award. He is a member of the Archbishop Curley/Notre Dame High School Hall of Fame, as well as the Boys and Girls Clubs of Miami Hall of Fame.

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February 21

Book TBD 

Facilitated by Rev. Bob Henley

March 20

Demon Copperhead Intl: A Pulitzer Prize Winner - by Barbara Kingsolver

Set in the mountains of southern Appalachia, Demon Copperhead is the story of a boy born to a teenaged single mother in a single-wide trailer, with no assets beyond his dead father's good looks and copper-colored hair, a caustic wit, and a fierce talent for survival.

Facilitated by Linda Salisbury

April 17

Who is Maud Dixon?: A Novel - by Alexandra Andrews 

Florence Darrow is a low-level publishing employee who believes that she's destined to be a famous writer. When she stumbles into a job as the assistant to the brilliant