Book Club Corner: Recommendations

book club

Oh no, look out, there it is, that dreaded question: What should my book club read next????

Please, come, sit down, you’re safe here. Welcome to a new monthly series in which we highlight some favorite new paperback releases we believe are perfect for book club discussions.

Featured Books of the Month:

 

Benediction by Kent Haruf

This beautiful novel by the author of Plainsong will have you talking about family, forgiveness, aging and, of course, Haruf’s gorgeous writing. Julie fell in love with this novel:

“Haruf’s quiet writing style reveals the depth of a set of characters living in Holt, Colorado with plain tenderness and an honest, unflinching assessment of the human condition. Regret, loss, mortality, love; this book covers it all in chapters that move between characters, read like vignettes and come together in one smooth, beautiful song. It is a testament to his talent that he can begin the story with the inevitability of Dad Lewis’s terminal cancer and still have me mourning (in public, no less) as the illness progresses and he holds out hope that his estranged son will materialize. His wife, his daughter, Dad’s neighbors all came to feel like personal friends.”

 

The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker

A golem and a jinni meet on the streets of New York City in 1899. The story that ensues is a supernatural magical fantasy that will appeal to fans of The Night Circus. You’ll discuss New York history, Jewish and Arabic folkore, and what it means to belong. Consuelo highly recommends this novel:

“Wecker’s debut novel is about two supernatural creatures who both end up alone in 1899 New York City. She breathes new life into the mythologies of golems and jinn (or genies) by mixing them together…I’ve read tales of both golems and genies before, and none of them were quite like this. They are taken out of their usual contexts, but the history of each is respected and the Jewish and Arabic folklores woven together in a beautiful way. It’s a debut novel worth the praise and a fantasy story that leaves a big impression.”

 

A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki

This novel by bestselling author (and Zen Buddhist priest) Ruth Ozeki was shortlisted for the 2013 Man Booker Prize. When a Hello Kitty lunchbox washes up on an island in the Pacific Northwest, an American writer becomes obsessed with the diary inside and the story of its author, a teenage Japanese girl contemplating ending her own life. Moving back and forth between their two stories, this mesmerizing novel will draw you in and have you talking about Japanese culture, personal identity, the nature of time and what a magician Ruth Ozeki is with words.

 

Happier at Home by Gretchen Rubin

Nonfiction! Rubin’s first mega blockbuster bestseller, The Happiness Project, has launched Happiness Project clubs around the world that get together to discuss and test Rubin’s strategies for happier living. Her latest, Happier at Home, focuses on ways to make your home – you guessed it – a happier place. Rubin was here at the store just last week with advice on how to approach your home as a sanctuary, a safe and comfortable place to connect with family and a deeper sense of self. This book will have you talking about everything from your relationship with technology to the affects of such small changes as making the bed every day.

 

Life After Life by Jill McCorkle

Set in a retirement home in North Carolina, McCorkle’s Life After Life (not to be confused with Kate Atkinson’s mystery, Life After Life, another great pick for discussion) offers a unique cast of characters in the residents of Pine Haven Estates. Told with warmth and humor, McCorkle touches on their strengths and weaknesses, their rather different personalities, their histories and their secrets. She’ll have you talking about what it means to live life right up to its last moments, the role our pasts play in who we are, and the hope and wisdom of later life.

 

Featured Wine of the Month: Diseno Malbec

diseno

Because book clubs and wine go together like…books and wine….we’ll also make a monthly recommendation for a wine pairing here. It’s January, which means that in most parts of the country it’s cold, and we here in Texas are occasionally wrapping scarves around our necks and saying, “Hmm, seems a bit chilly.” A rich, luscious red wine definitely warms our souls and makes us happier at home this time of year. How about a nice affordable Malbec? Diseno’s Malbec is both easy on the wallet and the palette. It offers a nice, full flavor without hitting you over the head. Perfect for quaffing while chatting about what a national treasure Kent Haruf is. And you can find it at the flag store on Duval! 

Books + wine + supporting as many indie businesses in town as possible = Doin’ it right. 

 

Featured Book Club of the Month: Required Reading Revisited

We have many, many book clubs that meet here at the store. They’re run by our booksellers, are totally free and are totally unpretentious. These discussions are a labor of love on our part. We love books, we love talking about books, and we’d love to have you join us.

Abby and Consuelo run our Required Reading Revisited book club. This group meets to discuss those classics you were required to read in school but either never did or want to read again.

They’ll meet on Sunday, February 9 at 5pm here at BookPeople to discuss William Faulkner’s novel, As I Lay Dying. Book club selections are 10% off for those who attend the discussion!

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