Book Club Corner Picks: February Recommendations

book club 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:

9780062276742_e2669 THE FREE by Willy Vlautin

Leroy Kervin is a 31 year old Iraqi War veteran living with a traumatic brain injury. Freddie McCall, the night man at Leroy’s group home, is a middle aged father working two jobs. Pauline Hawkins, a nurse, cares for the sick and wounded, including Leroy, as well as her mentally ill elderly father. Willy Vlautin demonstrates his extraordinary talent for confronting issues facing modern America, illuminated through the lives of these three memorable characters who are looking for a way out of their financial, familial, and existential crises, in his heartbreaking and hopeful fourth novel.

“Willy speaks plainly about hard truths and you can always trust him to take you to the brink of humanity and reel you back in just in time.” –Carolyn (BP Book Seller)

9780812981872_dfce7 NEW LIFE, NO INSTRUCTIONS by Gail Caldwell

Pulitzer Prize winner Gail Caldwell contracted Polio at age six. She walked with a limp throughout her life and attributed it and the severe pain that went along with it, to Polio. Both she and the medical community she consulted viewed this condition as untreatable. But in her 50’s, as her condition became more pronounced, she was urged to get a new opinion. This doctor discovered that her hip was nearly gone and advised her that surgery could potentially help her. And help her it did. New Life, No Instructions is her memoir about changing her preconceptions about her life and literally learning to walk again. Listen to her talk about it on NPR’s Here & Now Caldwell was born and raised in my hometown of Amarillo, Tx and obtained two degrees in American Studies at UT Austin. “Gail Caldwell offers the kind of wisdom and grace you’d wish a friend, sister, or mother might deliver. . . . Fans and new readers alike will find comfort in Caldwell’s voice.”The Boston Globe

9780804139113_f61b5 RUBY by Cynthia Bond

Another debut novel to round out your February, Cynthia Bond’s Ruby has been compared to the hypnotic lyricism of earlyToni Morrison. Set in mid-20th century East Texas, Ruby escapes her home town of Liberty, Tx to the bright lights of New York City. But when she is thirty years old a telegram from her cousin brings her back and the violence of her childhood rears its ugly head again. This time she fears she might not be strong enough to escape it. “Pure magic. Every line gleams with vigor and sound and beauty. Ruby somehow manages to contain the darkness of racial conflict and cruelty, the persistence of memory, the physical darkness of the piney woods and strange elemental forces, and weld it together with bright seams of love, loyalty, friendship, laced with the petty comedies of small-town lives. Slow tragedies, sudden light. This stunning debut delivers and delivers and delivers.” —Janet Fitch, author of White Oleander

9780062286468_c5076 FOURTH OF JULY CREEK by Smith Henderson

Henderson’s debut novel follows social worker Pete Snow as he attempts to help a near feral eleven-year-old named Benjamin Pearl living in the Montana wilderness. The boy’s father is a profoundly disturbed survivalist whose activities spark the interest of the FBI, putting Pete in the center of a nationwide manhunt that will leave no involved party unscathed. Henderson has written an iconic American novel that has garnered praise from all corners, as well as comparisons to Philipp Meyer and Cormac McCarthy. Henderson won the 2011 PEN Emerging Writers Award in Fiction, was a Philip Roth Resident in Creative Writing at Bucknell University, a Pushcart Prize winner, and a fellow at the Michener Center for Writers in Austin, Texas. “In Henderson’s novel, the malady is contemporary—the rot of rural poverty, shot through with drugs, survivalism, and bastardized Christianity—and the story told through the eyes of Pete Snow, a Montana social worker trying to head off a Waco-size standoff.” —The New Yorker

HobNob Pinot NoirFeatured Wine of the Month:

HobNob Pinot Noir was the wine that converted me to a die hard Pinot lover. A choice vindicated by the film Sideways soon thereafter. It’s light with notes of cherry and violet, and pairs well with sausage, prime rib, or hard sheep’s milk cheeses! Hob Nob is out of California and the Pinot Noir typically retails around $12.99. Find a bottle near you!

Featured Event of the Month:

SOPHIA DEMBLING – Introverts in Love – February 12, 2015Introverts in Love

Join us as author Sophia Dembling shares her new guide for introverts seeking happily ever after with a new love.

The author of The Introvert’s Way offers a guide to romance that takes you through the frequently outgoing world of dating, courting, and relationships, helping you navigate issues that are particular to introverts, from making conversation at parties to the challenges of dating an extrovert.

The speaking portion is free and open to the public. To get a book signed, please purchase one at Book People before the event!

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