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Book Lists

Screenshot from HBO series The Deuce

Nonfiction Starter Pack: THE DEUCE

September 19, 2017

The Deuce premiered on HBO two weeks ahead of schedule. In its first episode, David Simon’s series-length paean to Times Square recreated 70s New York in all its grimy glory, with an ensemble of prostitutes, pimps, gamblers, cops, and James Franco, who plays twins. The show has done nothing to change my opinion that the 70s were…

Book covers: A Man Called Ove, Evicted, The Nest, To the Bright Edge of the World, Hidden Figures

Good Books for Book Groups: Bring Your Own Book

August 17, 2017

Every year, area clubs invariably ask us to suggest short books for holiday reading. There are many such titles, of course, but it can be hard, at this time of year, for members to get copies of holiday titles when they need them. But there are ways to work around the holiday crush. Some book clubs in our area have each…

Book covers: No One is Coming to Save Us; Saint Monkey;Li

SJP Read-Alikes: Stephanie Powell Watts’ No One is Coming to Save Us

August 11, 2017

Watts’ debut novel, No One is Coming to Save Us, set in Pinewood, North Carolina, a small town decimated by the closing of formerly thriving furniture factories, is a deep and involving inquiry into family and place, racism and ambition, sorrow and determination. Watts considers what home truly means in this powerfully evocative improvisation on…

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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…

Joe Louis Monument in Detroit(large fist punching

Making Sense of a New America: A Reading List

June 23, 2017

Books help us decipher our accelerated, ever-changing world, in which many aspects of American life are in flux. All of the titles below, whether they offer clarifying facts or imaginative interpretations, are sure to spark avid discussions. Nonfiction These thought-provoking works of narrative nonfiction, memoir, and a graphic novel in essays portray places in decline…

Ringling Brothers Circus Clowns

Twelve Circus Novels for the End of Ringling Bros

June 21, 2017

After 146 years of wowing audiences with rare animals and aerial stunts, The Greatest Show on Earth will hold its final performances this May. Ringing Bros. and Barnum & Bailey retired their elephants in May 2016 after an intense legal battle with activists, which led to a decrease in ticket sales. As they dazzle crowds in Rhode…

Book covers: The Assistants, I Almost Forgot About You, The Regulars, Every Wild Heart, The Book that Matters the Most.

Top 10 Women’s Fiction: 2017

June 19, 2017

The top 10 women’s fiction reviewed in Booklist between March 1, 2016, and February 15, 2017, showcase a variety of story types, from classic chick lit to romance to tearjerkers. These novels deliver something for just about every women’s-fiction fan. The Assistants by Camille Perri Perri’s debut is reminiscent of the golden era of early…

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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