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Book Club Choices

Book Club Choices: Dear Amy by Helen Callaghan

November 21, 2017

Margo Lewis is a teacher at a local academy as well as an advice columnist for the Cambridge Examiner in England. When a young girl from the academy is kidnapped, Margo (“Dear Amy”) begins to receive what appear to be notes from Bethan Avery, who was also kidnapped — but 20 years ago. Can this…

Book Club Choices: Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng

November 16, 2017

Shaker Heights, Ohio, is a planned com­munity, and proud residents Mr. and Mrs. Richard­son have strictly planned their lives as well, from their careers to their perfectly mani­cured home. However, their four teenage chil­dren—Moody, who lives up to his name; Trip, a self-involved jock; smart but impulsive Lexie, and troubled Izzy—don’t always do what is…

Book Club Choices: Anything Is Possible by Elizabeth Strout

November 9, 2017

This wonderful collection of loosely connected stories shines a spotlight on a small, rural, and mostly poor county in upstate Illinois. Lives are led below the attention of anyone other than those who live there, and then the scrutiny and judgement is intense. What else to focus on besides your neighbors, who have lived in…

Book Club Choices: The Mothers by Brit Bennett

November 2, 2017

This beautiful debut novel follows three young characters in an African-American community in Oceanside, Calif. They come together through a church that is ostensibly run by the church mothers, but who, in truth, represent the end of an era when manners and protocol shape behavior and choices. The new generation is represented by the beautiful…

Book Club Choices: To the Stars Through Difficulties by Romalyn Tilghman

October 27, 2017

This novel, named for the Kansas state motto, reflects well what wom­en at the turn of the 20th century experienced in bringing Carn­egie libraries to their hometowns. The story is told in three voices—that of a re­searcher working on a Ph.D in library science and focusing on Carnegie li­braries, a troubled young woman who leaves…

Book Club Choices: Only Daughter

October 19, 2017

When a runaway living in fairly dire conditions sees a picture of a missing girl on television, she is stunned; the girl, Rebecca Winter, looks almost exactly like her. So, when she is later caught stealing food and is asked her name, she claims to be Rebecca. Amazingly, she gets away with it—it is, after…

Book cover: The Book of Polly

Book Club Choices: The Book of Polly

June 21, 2017

Polly is just the type of character to bring a falcon on her shoulder to a meeting with her daughter’s school principal. Willow has been lying and the administration is concerned. Polly, determined to show that her daughter’s outrageous stories are true, borrows a falcon to convince the principal that she is, indeed, an experienced…

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…

Book cover: Sycamore

Book Club Choices: Sycamore

June 21, 2017

Small towns all have their stories, and for two decades, in Sycamore, Ariz., Jess Winters was theirs. Jess and her mother moved into town after her father fell in love with someone new and left them to start a new family. The hope is that a fresh town might provide a fresh start. Jess has…

HOW TO BOOK CLUB

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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