Join the Above + Beyond Cancer Book Club!

If you desire to grow in mind, body and spirit-– to read, connect, reflect and grow– then our book club is for you.

We will gather with the mighty fine company of survivors and caregivers to laugh, nibble and converse.  Currently, discussions are through Zoom.

Books may be purchased at Beaverdale Books with a 10% discount for all Above And Beyond Cancer Book Club Members.

9/13 Emma by Jane Austen

11/7 Bright Hour by Nina Riggs

1/2  Breath by James Nestor

TBD Atomic Habits by James Clear


For more information on the club or register for discussions, please email Mary Van Heukelom at

Carve reading time for your soul!

“Book Club has been a wonderful growth experience. It stretches your mind to read books you may not normally choose.  I have found a message in every book that I can bring into my every day life that helps me grow, be more accepting of life situations and above all be mindful and appreciative of the here and now. When we meet to discuss the book, it isn’t just about the discussion of the book but a little camaraderie with people with common interests. Mary does a phenomenal job of creating meaningful discussion about the book and investigating different opinions. It is a great experience!”  – Vicki Bott

“The Above and Beyond Cancer Book Club has been a vital part of my healing since my husband’s passing two years ago. The books are thoughtfully selected for survivors and caregivers.  Group discussions are meaningful with insightful perspectives. Mary is the best leader one could ask for — she provides thought-provoking questions, she listens and allows silence. I feel like everyone has a chance to express themselves (or not if they don’t feel like talking) in an accepting and understanding environment.” – Sally Sonnenburg

“The A+BC Book Club has opened my mind, heart and world to books that, literally, have changed my life in one aspect or another. We read books of how to find and cultivate joy in the midst of any situation by those who have suffered greatly, and learn how to project that joy to others to change the world for the better. Other books challenge me personally and intellectually to consider viewpoints and choices made by the authors or characters that I most likely would not have thought about, which broadens my perspective and gives me a greater compassion for others. As the Book Club members vary in background, life journey, and age, the discussions of the books are just as life-changing because of the perspective that each person thoughtfully and so generously shares with the group. I leave each Book Club meeting feeling inspired, more knowledgeable, and thankful for the  members who feed my soul and mind. Together, we will change the world from what we learn and share, all through a love of reading. Amazing!” – Lynn Wingert

“The club is varied, including the people who attend,  and the books we read to have an open conversation about. Most of the folks that attend have been touched by cancer in someway or another.  On occasion, there are tears  – sometimes from joys, both new and remembered, and sometimes from grief. Their is always a spirit of acceptance and support. And while we may not have Oprah as the group lead, Mary does a wonderful job at welcoming each and every one of us, leading us in meaningful discussion, and throwing in some thoughtful meditation at the end of each session.
The books we read, and discuss, cover a wide spectrum – fiction, biographies, spiritual insight, poetry and essays. Many of the authors are well known, others you probably, like me, have never heard of. Some books you will not be able to put down and will end up on your favorite book shelf. Some you may struggle to get through.  Good or difficult, they all lead to opened heart discussion about the good and difficult things in our lives. And as cancer survivors and caregivers, we talk about common themes and unique experiences as we all walk along our cancer journeys.
Cancer is not a “club” that anyone wishes to freely join, but it is a community of supportive and loving folks. Above and Beyond Book Club is a great part of that community.” – Mark Ponto
Covid Policy Update: The Above + Beyond Cancer Board of Directors, at their regular Board Meeting on Thursday, September 16, 2021, unanimously agreed that all individuals who teach or lead Above + Beyond Cancer directed Optimal Living Programs must be fully vaccinated for COVID-19. The Board of Directors also unanimously voted that all participants in Above + Beyond Cancer Optimal Living Programs, that are held in-person, also must be fully vaccinated from COVID-19. These vaccine requirements include all programs that are in-person, including inside and outside programs.
In accordance with the law of the state of Iowa, employees, contractors and program participants may seek a waiver from this policy for religious or health reasons.  If you desire to seek a waiver from Above + Beyond Cancer’s COVID-19 vaccination request, please send your confidential medical or religious waiver request to the Above + Beyond Cancer Executive Director Christopher Goodale at
Participants who are unvaccinated, we strongly suggest wearing a mask while attending in- person activities.

Watch and Talk Club

If you like to watch documentaries, ted talks, and other videos, then this group is a good fit for you!  A +BC will select mediums for friends to watch, and then we will gather to talk about the themes.  Watch and Talk will offer opportunities for growth and connection, with out reading 🙂  Our first selections for 2020 are:

April  “Call to Courage” Brene Brown on Netflix  Click here to watch Trailer

May “9 Attitudes for Mindfulness” with Jon Kabat- Zinn Click here to watch

May 27th “Fed Up” a documentary Click here to watch

Nov 9th “Social Dilemma” a documentary Click here to watch Trailer


Join Today!