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
Five Days At Memorial: Life and Death in a Storm-Ravaged Hospital by Sheri Fink
Sheri Fink’s journalistic account of the events inside a New Orleans hospital while waiting for evacuation during Hurricane Katrina feels more pertinent than ever. Now that it’s just over ten years since the disaster, maybe enough time has passed that these stories won’t feel quite as raw as when Fink initially published the 2009 New York Times article that eventually led to this book. It was an article outlining the tough choices these medical professionals had to make in regards to patient care, sometimes deciding who was going to live and who wasn’t, during a massive catastrophe and a inadequate evacuation effort. Sadly, even after all the awards and accolades this book received, after the exposure of the weaknesses in a system that was just not ready to handle a disaster of this magnitude, we find that ten years later not much has changed in that regard. We as humans still aren’t prepared for what’s coming, and the institutions we’ve created are even less so. Five Days At Memorial is the beginning of this hard conversation that everyone needs to be having.
“Social reporting of the first rank.” —New York Times
Sheri Fink later won the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for International Reporting for her coverage of the 2014 Ebola outbreak in West Africa.
Five Days At Memorial: Life and Death in a Storm-Ravaged Hospital is available in paperback now!
After Birth by Elisa Albert
Sometimes the best way to deal with an uncomfortable subject is to make it humorous. In After Birth Elisa Albert uses her dark humor and unique voice to tackle the deeply uncomfortable topic of post-partum depression, or as she calls is “post-partum derangement.” Ari is a single mother of a one-year-old son in upstate New York. Then Mina moves to town. She’s an indie rock bassist and poet who is pregnant and alone. The two of them develop what becomes a transformative relationship for them both. Through their eyes Albert shows us how our culture fails to support new mothers, the damage the c-section industry can cause, and how ignoring these deeply uncomfortable topics effects women everywhere.
“Vicious, hilarious, and above all real.” —New York Times Book Review
After Birth comes out in paperback on February 2nd and is available for pre-order now.
She Weeps Each Time You’re Born by Quan Barry
Vietnam, 1972: under a full moon, a baby girl is pulled out of her dead mother’s grave next to the Song Ma River. This is Rabbit, who will flee from her destroyed village with a makeshift family of parents, grandparents, children, and refugees thrown together by war. Through Rabbit’s inexplicable but radiant intuition, we are given an intimate version of Vietnam’s history, from the days of French Indochina and the World War II rubber plantations to the chaos of postwar reunification. As Rabbit channels the voices of the dead, their chorus reconstructs the turbulent history of a nation. This is the moving story of one woman’s struggle to unearth the true history of Vietnam while also carving out a place for herself within it.
Fans of Salman Rushdie and Gabriel Garcia Marquez will fall in love with this novel.
“Beautiful, transporting…. A mesmerizing vista of Vietnam’s recent past…. pays resonant tribute to the uncounted dead below the surface of a convulsed nation.”—Kirkus Reviews
She Weeps Each Time You’re Born comes out in paperback February 23rd and is available for pre-order now.
The Hunger of the Wolf by Stephen Marche
The Hunger of the Wolf is a supernatural literary thriller about the pursuit of wealth through the twentieth century, the innate nature of violence, and the cost of the American dream.
A naked body is found in the snows of Northern Canada. He is Ben Wylie, the 2nd richest man in America. The Wylies built up their incredible wealth over three generations, but the men in this family have a secret: They are all werewolves.
Many authors attempt to transcend genre, but few succeed. The writing in The Hunger of the Wolf has been compared to Neil Gaiman and Colson Whitehead. Marche somehow takes a story about a dysfunctional family of billionaire werewolves and turns it into an treatise on morality, money and those who profit from the myth of the American dream.
The Hunger of the Wolf comes out in paperback on February 23rd and is available for pre-order now.
The Third Wife by Lisa Jewell
In the early hours of a summer morning, a young woman steps into the path of an oncoming bus. A tragic accident? Or suicide? At the center of this puzzle is Adrian Wolfe, a successful architect and grief-stricken widower, who, a year after his third wife’s death, begins to investigate the cause. As Adrian looks back on their brief but seemingly happy marriage, disturbing secrets begin to surface. The divorces from his two previous wives had been amicable, or so it seemed; his children, all five of them, were resilient as ever, or so he thought. But something, or someone, must have pushed Maya over the edge.
“Jewell excels at juggling multiple perspectives to slowly peel back the layers of supposed domestic bliss. Like Liane Moriarty, she manages the perfect blend of women’s fiction and nail-biting suspense, throwing enough red herrings in the reader’s path to keep the pages turning.”- Booklist
The Third Wife comes out in paperback on February 23rd and is available for pre-order now.
FEATURED EVENT OF THE MONTH
New York Times Bestselling Novelist
Speaking and Signing
Wednesday, February 3rd @ 7pm
Stephen Harrigan is perhaps best known for his historical fiction novel, The Gates of the Alamo. He’s won a number of awards including the TCU Texas Book Award, the Western Heritage Award from the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum, and the Spur Award for Best Novel of the West. He is a longtime writer for Texas Monthly and currently resides in Austin, Tx. We are all very excited about his new novel, A Friend of Mr. Lincoln, where we will get to know the 16th President of the United States through his fictional friend, Cage Weatherby.
FEATURED DRINK OF THE MONTH
In honor of A Friend of Mr. Lincoln, our February drink of the month is the cocktail that started them all…
THE OLD FASHIONED
At it’s very basic, the old fashioned is just 1.5 oz of a base spirit (vodka, whiskey, tequila, etc), one sugar cube and 2 dashes of bitters. However, if you make an old fashioned with anything besides bourbon, well, I don’t know if anything can be done for you. Mix all ingredients with ice and either serve on the rocks, or strain into a cocktail glass.
For a more modern take on the old fashioned, and the way you’ll find it served in many establishments here in Austin (whether you agree with it or not), add a maraschino cherry and slice of orange, muddle both with the sugar and a dash of water, fill glass with ice and top with 1.5 oz of a bourbon of your choice (these days I’m partial to Bulleit, but dealers choice on this one). Stir and enjoy!
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