SJP Picks

Award-winning actor, producer, designer, library supporter and avid reader Sarah Jessica Parker is the honorary chair for Book Club Central. In this role, Ms. Parker will select books throughout the year to share her joy of reading and discussing good books with readers everywhere.

Sarah Jessica Parker and author Stephanie Powell Watts pose with the first Book Club Central selection, No One Is Coming to Save Us.
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14 Japanese Thrillers in Translation

July 14, 2017

Mysteries and thrillers make up a sizable portion of the Japanese literary market. Thanks to the international success of Keigo Higashino, Natsuo Kirino, and Miyuki Miyabe—and, just as importantly, their translators—contemporary Japanese crime fiction proliferates on Western shelves. To follow is a list of both novels and manga (because no one does graphic titles like…

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Confessions of a Book Club Addict

June 16, 2017

I’ve run three book clubs at one time. Sound like a foolish thing to do? Well, I’ve done it twice. And, trust me, you don’t do something that harebrained (twice) without help. The Book Clubs The first time I was in over my head, I was running my Romance Lovers Book Club, genteXt, a book…

Find A Book Club

Joining a book club can seem impossible if you don’t know where to look but you’ll find like-minded book lovers at the following tried-and-tested places. BOOK CLUBS IRL The Library Always the best place for aspiring book clubbers to start. Head to the reference desk and ask the person there about book clubs she’s sure…

Find Books for a Book Club

There’s a question I always ask whenever I visit a book club: “What’s the best book you’ve ever discussed?” This is a surefire way to start a lively discussion, one that always begins with the books the group has enjoyed and inevitably transitions to those they haven’t. Eventually, the group will conclude that the best…

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14 Japanese Thrillers in Translation

July 14, 2017

Mysteries and thrillers make up a sizable portion of the Japanese literary market. Thanks to the international success of Keigo Higashino, Natsuo Kirino, and Miyuki Miyabe—and, just as importantly, their translators—contemporary Japanese crime fiction proliferates on Western shelves. To follow is a list of both novels and manga (because no one does graphic titles like…

Stephen King's IT Parade: Claw coming through sewer grate.

Stephen King’s IT Parade, Week 1: Is That a Book or a Bible?

June 29, 2017

INTRODUCTION First thing’s first: I first read IT circa 1987. I was 12 years old, which might strike the uninitiated as a tad young to tackle King’s gruesome, relentless, complicated, and just plain unwieldy horror epic (the 1986 printing was 1,138 pages). Fans, of course, will know that it was the perfect time to read…

Book cover: Stars Are Fire

Book Club Choices: The Stars Are Fire

June 21, 2017

Based on a true story of a fire on the coast of Maine in 1947, this novel is about Grace, whose town was one of many that burned to the ground. As the fire rushes toward her home, Grace and her best friend grab their young children and head to the ocean, where they are…

Book cover: Swing Time

Book Club Choices: Swing Time

June 21, 2017

Through sweeping themes of race, friendship, family, and feminist politics, we enter the lives of Tracey, an accomplished dancer; Aimee, a superstar (think Madonna); a mother and wife, an ardent feminist; and others who make up the world of our unnamed narrator. Tracey and “unnamed narrator” meet in London as young girls taking dance. They…

The Carnegie Interview: Colson Whitehead

June 21, 2017

When Booklist reviewed Colson Whitehead’s historical novel, The Underground Railroad, back in June, we designated it as a major work. Ever since, we’ve been cheering along its rise: as Oprah selected it for her book club, as Whitehead received the National Book Award, as the New York Times named it one of “The 10 Best…

Author Matthew Desmond and book cover: Evicted

The Carnegie Interview: Matthew Desmond

June 19, 2017

In Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City, Matthew Desmond does a marvelous job exposing the heartbreaking stories of people who find themselves in bad situations, shining a light on how eviction sets people up to fail. Desmond, co-director of Harvard University’s Justice and Poverty Project and a 2015 MacArthur Fellow, recently spoke to us…

Screenshot: Travis Kalanick

Further Reading: Troublesome CEOs

June 22, 2017

After a 2013 memo about sexual harassment was leaked to the press, newspapers at home and abroad have been speculating on whether or not Uber CEO Travis Kalanik—no stranger to controversy—might lose his job. Kalanik has been accused of poisoning company culture with laddish (some might say horribly sexist) behavior. Fictional CEOs are no strangers to trouble.…

Screenshot from A Hanmaid's Tale television show

Aunt Lydia’s Forbidden Bookshelf: Three Books to Read After The Handmaid’s Tale

June 22, 2017

The first season of The Handmaid’s Tale wrapped up last night. If you’re already missing the object of your obsession, you can always read (or reread) Margaret Atwood’s book of the same name, since this dystopian nightmare fuel for feminists and anyone who appreciates not living in a totalitarian faith-based state has been keeping people up at night…

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