Bookclubs

NO PRE-REGISTRATION REQUIRED FOR BOOKCLUBS

 

FEBRUARY

++Tue, Feb 27, 7PM – Celebrity Bookclub meets to discuss OPEN SECRETS: STORIES by Alice Munro, hosted by Rachel Kadish, author of THE WEIGHT OF INK: A NOVEL.

WINNER OF THE NOBEL PRIZE® IN LITERATURE 2013 – In these eight tales, Munro evokes the devastating power of old love suddenly recollected. She tells of vanished schoolgirls and indentured frontier brides and an eccentric recluse who, in the course of one surpassingly odd dinner party, inadvertently lands herself a wealthy suitor from exotic Australia. And Munro shows us how one woman’s romantic tale of capture and escape in the high Balkans may end up inspiring another woman who is fleeing a husband and lover in present-day Canada.

MARCH

++Fri, Mar 9, 7PM — Friday Night Bookclub meets to discuss THE PERFECT NANNY: A NOVEL by Leila Slimani.

When Myriam, a French-Moroccan lawyer, decides to return to work after having children, she and her husband look for the perfect nanny for their two young children. They never dreamed they would find Louise: a quiet, polite, devoted woman who sings to the children, cleans the family’s chic apartment in Paris’s upscale tenth arrondissement, stays late without complaint, and hosts enviable kiddie parties. But as the couple and the nanny become more dependent on one another, jealousy, resentment, and suspicions mount, shattering the idyllic tableau. Building tension with every page, The Perfect Nanny is a compulsive, riveting, bravely observed exploration of power, class, race, domesticity, and motherhood.

++Sun, Mar 11, 2PM — Sunday Salon meets to discuss DIFFICULT WOMEN by Roxane Gay.

Difficult Women tells of hardscrabble lives, passionate loves, and quirky and vexed human connection. The women in these stories live lives of privilege and of poverty, are in marriages both loving and haunted by past crimes or emotional blackmail. A pair of sisters have been inseparable ever since they were abducted together as children, and, grown now, must negotiate the elder sister’s marriage. A woman married to a twin pretends not to realize when her husband and his brother impersonate each other. A stripper putting herself through college fends off the advances of an overzealous customer. A black engineer moves to Upper Michigan for a job and faces the malign curiosity of her colleagues and the difficulty of leaving her past behind. From a girls’ fight club to a wealthy subdivision in Florida where neighbors conform, compete, and spy on each other, Gay gives voice to a chorus of unforgettable women in a scintillating collection

++Tue, Mar 27, 7PM – Celebrity Bookclub meets to discuss THE FORTUNATE PILGRIM by Mario Puzo, hosted by Marianne Leone, author of MA SPEAKS UP: AND A FIRST-GENERATION DAUGHTER TALKS BACK.

Puzo’s classic story about the loves, crimes and struggles confronted by one family of New York City immigrants living in Hell’s Kitchen. Fresh from the farms in Italy, Lucia Santa struggles to hold her family together in a strange land. At turns poignant, comic and violent, The Fortunate Pilgrim is Italian-American fiction at its very best.

The book’s hero, Lucia Santa, is an incredibly captivating character and based on Puzo’s very own mother – he describes, “her wisdom, her ruthlessness, and her unconquerable love for her family and for life itself, qualities not valued in women at the time.”

APRIL

++Fri, Apr 6, 7PM — Friday Night Bookclub meets to discuss WHITE TEARS: A NOVEL by Hari Kunzru

Ghost story, murder mystery, love letter to American music–White Tears is all of this and more, a thrilling investigation of race and appropriation in society today.

Seth is a shy, awkward twentysomething. Carter is more glamorous, the heir to a great American fortune. But they share an obsession with music–especially the blues. One day, Seth discovers that he’s accidentally recorded an unknown blues singer in a park. Carter puts the file online, claiming it’s a 1920s recording by a made-up musician named Charlie Shaw. But when a music collector tells them that their recording is genuine–that there really was a singer named Charlie Shaw–the two white boys, along with Carter’s sister, find themselves in over their heads, delving deeper and deeper into America’s dark, vengeful heart. White Tears is a literary thriller and a meditation on art–who owns it, who can consume it, and who profits from it.

++Sun, Apr 8, 2PM — Sunday Salon meets to discuss AMERICAN WAR: A NOVEL by Omar El Akkad

An audacious and powerful debut novel: a second American Civil War, a devastating plague, and one family caught deep in the middle—a story that asks what might happen if America were to turn its most devastating policies and deadly weapons upon itself.

Sarat Chestnut, born in Louisiana, is only six when the Second American Civil War breaks out in 2074. But even she knows that oil is outlawed, that Louisiana is half underwater, and that unmanned drones fill the sky. When her father is killed and her family is forced into Camp Patience for displaced persons, she begins to grow up shaped by her particular time and place. But not everyone at Camp Patience is who they claim to be. Eventually Sarat is befriended by a mysterious functionary, under whose influence she is turned into a deadly instrument of war. The decisions that she makes will have tremendous consequences not just for Sarat but for her family and her country, rippling through generations of strangers and kin alike.

++Wed, Apr 25, 7PM — Celebrity Bookclub meets to discuss GEOGRAPHY III by Elizabeth Bishop.  Hosted by Megan Marshall, author of ELIZABETH BISHOP: A MIRACLE FOR BREAKFAST.

Whether writing about waiting as a child in a dentist’s office, viewing a city from a plane high above, or losing items ranging from door keys to one’s lover in the masterfully restrained “One Art,” Elizabeth Bishop somehow conveyed both large and small emotional truths in language of stunning exactitude and even more astonishing resonance. As John Ashbery has written, “The private self . . . melts imperceptibly into the large utterance, the grandeur of poetry, which, because it remains rooted in everyday particulars, never sounds ‘grand,’ but is as quietly convincing as everyday speech.”

 

Our current bookclub selections are available for purchase at 10% off the cover price and earn a stamp card stamp.

For those in your own bookclub, we offer 20% off your bookclub’s title. Books must be ordered all at once and paid for by a bookclub designee.

Contact Mary at mary (at) newtonvillebooks.com for more information.