Institution Books II: Institutions Freely Entered


In my post of Institutional Books I, I listed books discussing institutions to which people are sent and cannot leave. This time I’m listing institutions people enter and exit freely.

The Invitation-Only Retirement Home


A specialized retirement home catering to aging writers sounds like a great place to retire to me! My review is here.

The Exclusive Health Spa


All kinds of women–men, too, by now I imagine, enjoy a spa vacation. This book kept my attention from start to finish back when it came out–the different character’s stories were so varied. Five Fortunes: A Novel by Beth Gutcheon.


The Anchor Baby Mother’s Home



Too many people associate “Anchor Babies,” i.e. children born in the USA to have American citizenship and provide an “anchor” to bring in rest of the family, with illegals coming across the southern U.S. border. In fact, Chinese women are doing this often today–and they may even do it in luxurious style at a hotel. Or, like the women in this book, they may stay at a modern-day home for expectant mothers.  My review is here.


The Employee-Owned Business


Kind of a spoiler, but you’ll read the book wondering if I was crazy. A woman-masterminded brewery? You bet! An NPR book of the year in 2019, Lager Queen of Minnesota will have you cheering the ladies on! My review is here.


The Church Women’s Conference


Church Women often attend the same yearly conference. They are often involved in a Bible Study Group, Small Group, or other church-centered groups, too. Just as there are all kinds of churches in America–most cater to one race, a fairly consistent political slant, and often either blue or white-collar workers. The fictional Chicago Women’s Conference creates groups that cross all normal church divides. The Yada Yada Prayer Group is one of those groups. I enjoyed this series but wasn’t as happy with the Souled Out Sisters series that followed it.

The Local Government


A British Council [local government] experiences a “casual vacancy” when a member dies suddenly. While Potter fans loathed this book, I thought it was great! A well-told story of normal, everyday life. The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling.

The Elementary School Classroom


I haven’t read this yet (it’s Book I by the way) but it sounds wonderful. Maria Semple’s Are You There Bernadette is mentioned for comparison and I howled at the stuff she said in the pick-up line at school! While Moms everywhere are trapped working at home in isolation with their children, this book should give you a laugh over all the drama-llama crap you really aren’t missing about school. Class Mom: A Novel by Laurie Gelman.


Do you have other titles that should be on this list? Leave me a comment or a link to your own post!

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