Welcome to our Book Club Corner, where each month we highlight books new to paperback we think would make perfect picks for your next book club discussion.
If you’re looking to join a book club, we host a wide variety of free, bookseller-run book clubs right here at BookPeople. Join us! We love to talk books.
Featured Books of the Month:
Colm McCann has been writing highly acclaimed novels for years. Let the Great World Spin (another fantastic book club pick) earned a National Book Award a few years back. His latest novel, Transatlantic, spans two centuries and weaves the stories of two brother aviators in Newfoundland in 1919; the story of Frederick Douglass in Dublin in 1945; and a Senator in New York in 1998. At the heart of the novel is a series of women who connect their stories. You’ll discuss themes of freedom, identity, memory and history.
Consuelo highly recommends this novel: “The story explores the idea that time and place are fluid, that our collective history is not fixed. Our choices reverberate off one another in a way that go backward and forward, and this is true of our memories, as well. McCann has a range of emotional nuance that allows his characters to come to life. He so carefully chooses the moments in these characters’ lives that best tell us who they are and how they connect with each other, that a novel epic in scope has a beautiful simplicity that truly soars.”
Gruda makes her English language debut in this sharp, funny look at life in Poland during WWII through the eyes of a child. The weighty life of war is interpreted through young Jurek’s sense of wonder. Fans of Gary Shteyngart will find a lot to love in this novel’s humor. You’ll discuss the perspective of childhood, the effects of war, the impact of history, and the determination of the human spirit.
Mandy loved Revolution Baby: “Revolution Baby has an Amelie vibe. It’s succinct and sweet with moments of true wisdom that come from the mind of a child. Eloquent and snappy at the same time. I really like it.”
This riveting psychological thriller will appeal to fans of literary fiction, as well. The novel swirls around a young girl who studies abroad in Buenos Aires and may or may not have killed her roommate there. You will spend the entire discussion talking about whether or not Lily Hayes did it.
Julie recommends this read: “Jennifer duBois is a master at getting inside the heads of her characters, forging an intimacy that never feels contrived. In this case, those characters are a girl in her early twenties who may or may not have murdered her roommate; the potential murderer’s parents; her sister; and her sort-of boyfriend. At turns creepy, literary, and a smart look at the mysteries of family, Cartwheel works on you.”
Shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize, this has been a staff favorite here. A young girl from Zimbabwe journeys to America after her home has been torn apart. We Need New Names won many, many awards when it debuted in hardcover. It strikes up conversations about the immigrant experience here in America, the shock of a new culture, the power of tradition and obligation, and the purpose of hope.
Ben recommends this book: “NoViolet has created an impeccable account of an individual navigating the shifting nature of the systems that oppress us and of the way tradition and obligation haunt Darling as pushes forward for something new without knowing if it is for the better. This is a book overflowing with truth.”
Featured Wine of the Month:
This month’s recommended wine-to-read-by is a crisp Chilean Sauvignon Blanc you can find at Central Market for around ten bucks. Goes just as well with cheese and crackers as it does with something light off the grill (and, of course, a good almost-summer read).
Featured Book Club Event:
The Yonahlossee Riding Camp for Girls (fiction; paperback)
Wednesday, June 4 at 7pm
Join us at BookPeople for an evening with novelist Anton DiSclafani as she shares her latest book, now available in paperback, set at an equestrienne boarding school during the Great Depression. The Yonahlossee Riding Camp for Girls is a far remove from the free-roaming, dreamlike childhood Thea shared with her twin brother on their family’s citrus farm—a world now partially shattered. As Thea grapples with her responsibility for the events of the past year that led her here, she finds herself enmeshed in a new order. Invite your book club down to tonight’s discussion! We’re raffling off a basket of soon-to-be-released books that might be perfect picks for your club.