Book Club Corner Picks – November

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:

The Marauders by Tom Cooper  Available November 3rd

Tom Cooper’s debut novel is a crime noir set in the Louisiana bayou. But this regional mystery stands out for it’s stylistic prose, and cast of nearly insane characters.  Gus Lindquist is a pill-addicted, one-armed treasure hunter obsessed with finding the lost treasure of pirate Jean Lafitte. His quest brings him into contact acouple of small-time criminal potheads prone to hysterical banter, the smooth-talking oil company middleman out to bamboozle his own mother, some drug-smuggling psychopath twins, and a young man estranged from his father since his mother died in Hurricane Katrina, to name a few. It’s both sad and darkly hilarious.

TOM COOPER has been published in dozens of literary magazines and journals, most recently in Oxford American, Mid-American Review, Gulf Coast, Boulevard, and Willow Springs. His stories have been nominated four times for the Pushcart Prize. He has a PhD from Florida State University and lives in New Orleans.

“With crisp, noir-inspired writing and a firmly believable setting, Cooper has written an engaging homage to classic crime writing that still finds things to say about the desperate days we live through now. Somewhere, Donald E. Westlake, John D. MacDonald and Elmore Leonard are smiling down on this nasty, funny piece of work.”Kirkus Reviews, *Starred* Review

Pre-Order Tom Cooper’s The Marauders now! The book will be available in paperback in our store on November 3rd.

History of the Rain  by Niall Williams  Available November 3rd

Bedbound in her attic room beneath the falling rain, in the margin between this world and the next, Plain Ruth Swain is in search of her father, Virgil. To find him, enfolded in the mystery of ancestors, Ruthie must first trace the jutting jaw lines, narrow faces, and gleamy skin of the Swains from the restless Reverend Swain, her great-grandfather, to her grandfather Abraham, and finally to Virgil, through wild, rain-sodden history, exploits in pole-vaulting and salmon-fishing, poetry, and the 3,958 books piled high beneath the skylights in her room. Her funny, meandering narrative sings, moves, and irrevocably inspires.

Niall Williams was born in Dublin. His work includes stage plays, screenplays, nonfiction (co-written with this wife, Christine Breen), and, to date, seven novels. His first, Four Letters of Love, was an international bestseller and a New York Times Notable Book of the Year. History of the Rain was longlisted for this year’s Man Booker Prize.

“Williams captures the awe and all of Ireland—its myths and mysteries, miseries and magic—through [Ruth’s] pitch-perfect voice.” —Booklist, starred review

Pre-Order Niall Williams’ History of the Rain now! The book will be available in paperback on our shelves November 3rd.

This Pynchon-esque saga, about rock music, art, politics, love, and other things, spans nearly 80’s years – from the 1940s to ever encroaching 2020s. Moses Teumer was just diagnosed with an aggressive form of Leukemia. In his search to find a marrow donor he discovers the woman who raised him is not his biological mother. He finds his biological family is populated with certifiably crazy artists and possess the apt surname of Savant. Bauman manages to weave these characters together in a narrative that is both unusual and yet compellingly readable.

Bruce Bauman is an instructor in the CalArts MFA Writing Program and Critical Studies Department and has been Senior Editor of Black Clock literary magazine since its inception in 2003. Born and raised in New York City, he lives in Los Angeles with his wife, the painter Suzan Woodruff.

“Bruce Bauman’s Broken Sleep is a rare bird: a sprawling, encyclopedic narrative, partly a meditation on the nature of art and storytelling, partly a family saga, and perhaps rarest of all an experimental novel that’s also very readable. A high-risk enterprise with a similarly high pay off.” —Geoff Nicholson, author of The City Under the Skin

Broken Sleep is available for pre-order now, and will be available in paperback on our shelves November 3rd.

Tomlinson Hill : The Remarkable Story of Two Families Who Share the Tomlinson Name – One White, One Black by Chris Tomlinson

Tomlinson Hill is the stunning story of two families one white, one black who trace their roots to a slave plantation that bears their name.

Internationally recognized for his work as a fearless war correspondent, award-winning journalist Chris Tomlinson grew up hearing stories about his family’s abandoned cotton plantation in Falls County, Texas. Most of the tales lionized his white ancestors for pioneering along the Brazos River. His grandfather often said the family’s slaves loved them so much that they also took Tomlinson as their last name.

LaDainian Tomlinson, football great and former running back for the San Diego Chargers, spent part of his childhood playing on the same land that his black ancestors had worked as slaves. As a child, LaDainian believed the Hill was named after his family. Not until he was old enough to read an historical plaque did he realize that the Hill was named for his ancestor’s slaveholders.

Chris Tomlinson spent 14 years as a foreign correspondent, based in Africa but covering wars and disasters across the Middle East and Asia. He is a fifth generation Texan. He now lives in Austin with his wife Shalini Ramanathan and writes for The Houston Chronicle.

Tomlinson Hill is available for pre-order now, and will be available in paperback on our shelves November 17th.

Not Dark Yet by Berit Ellingsen 

Brandon leaves his boyfriend in the city for a quiet life in the mountains, after an affair with a professor ends with Brandon being forced to kill a research animal. It is a violent, unfortunate episode that conjures memories from his military background.

In the mountains, his new neighbors are using the increased temperatures to stage an agricultural project in an effort to combat globally heightened food prices and shortages. Brandon gets swept along with their optimism, while simultaneously applying to a new astronaut training program. However, he learns that these changes internal, external are irreversible.

Berit Ellingsen is a Korean-Norwegian writer whose stories have appeared in Norton’s Flash Fiction International Anthology, SmokeLong Quarterly, and Unstuck. She is the author of the story collection Beneath the Liquid Skin, and the novel Une Ville Vide, and has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and the British Science Fiction Award.

“Ellingsen is just starting what promises to be a major career, but already giving readers a unique and fascinating perspective.” – Jeff VanderMeer

Not Dark Yet is available for pre-order now, and will be available in paperback on our shelves December 1st.

Thursday, November 12 at 7PM

BookPeople Presents

Bestselling Author

here at BookPeople!
with his new book, Avenue of Mysteries

Avenue of Mysteries
One of modern American literature’s most accomplished and celebrated writers, John Irving’s novels have endeared him as a master of his craft and in a league few authors have ventured.

Please note, all tickets for this event need to be purchased through Brown Paper Tickets. Tickets are $35.00 and include a copy of Avenue Of Mysteries.
Books will be distributed the evening of the event.
John Irving will speak about his new book and take questions. There will not be a public signing.

 Featured Drink of the Month:

paper planeI’m going to forgo the usual wine suggestion this month and go with something a bit stronger, and a bit more seasonal. Fall is the time for bourbon cocktails, my friends. And my favorite of all time is…

The Paper Plane.

It’s incredibly easy. It’s equal parts bourbon, Aperol, Amaro (an herbal liquor), and lemon juice. Shaken and poured into a cocktail glass with a twist of lemon to garnish. There are many different kinds of bourbon you can use, and equally as many types of Amaro. In fact, here is a primer on Amaro if you are interested.

cardamaroPersonally, I like Buffalo Trace Bourbon and Cardamaro. But you can customize this drink to your liking (I would avoid Amaro that is black and bitter as it might take over the flavors in this drink). In the warmer months I’ll even pour this cocktail over ice, and possibly adjust my proportions to have a touch more citrus.

So far, I’ve found two places in Austin where I can ask for a Paper Plane without further explanation: Whisler’s and Peche. If you are at either of these places, give it a try!

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