We've suspended this book group for the time being, I'm afraid. Should we restart – or start anew – we will let you know via our Shelf Awareness for Readers newsletter and post details here. Thank you for reading! -- Becky
PAST MONTHS' SELECTIONS
JULY Diametrically opposed arguments: Why I Am Not A Feminist by Jessa Crispin is a radical, fearless call for revolution. It accuses the feminist movement of obliviousness, irrelevance, and cowardice--and demands nothing less than the total dismantling of a system of oppression and We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, a personal, eloquently-argued essay that offers readers a unique definition of feminism for the twenty-first century, one rooted in inclusion and awareness
AUGUST Yaa Gyasi's extraordinary novel Homegoing illuminates slavery's troubled legacy both for those who were taken and those who stayed--and shows how the memory of captivity has been inscribed on the soul of our nation.
SEPTEMBER The Solace of the Trees is a piercing and resonant debut novel about war and the endurance of the human spirit, and a cautionary tale about the damage that can be inflicted upon war victims when wealthy nations become obsessed with self-protection and retribution. Meet the author at the bookstore event, Wed, October 11 at 7 pm.
OCTOBER Field Notes from a Catastrophe: Man, Nature, and Climate Change is the book that launched Elizabeth Kolbert's career as an environmental writer. It developed out of a three part series in the New Yorker, where Kolbert is a regular contributor. Bill McKibben says it's, "among the few irreplaceable volumes yet written about climate change."
NOVEMBER A dazzling debut novel from Brit Bennett, an exciting new voice and National Book Foundation's 2016 Under 35 honoree, The Mothers is a surprising story about young love, a big secret in a small community--and the things that ultimately haunt us most.
FEBRUARY Richly told and profoundly moving, Pachinko is a story of love, sacrifice, ambition, and loyalty. From bustling street markets to the halls of Japan's finest universities to the pachinko parlors of the criminal underworld, Lee's complex and passionate characters--strong, stubborn women, devoted sisters and sons, fathers shaken by moral crisis--survive and thrive against the indifferent arc of history.
MARCH The Idiot is a heroic yet self-effacing reckoning with the terror and joy of becoming a person in a world that is as intoxicating as it is disquieting. Batuman's fiction is unguarded against both life's affronts and its beauty--and has at its command the complete range of thinking and feeling which they entail.
APRIL 2018 Geobiologist Hope Jahren has spent her life studying trees, flowers, seeds, and soil. Lab Girl is her revelatory treatise on plant life--but it is also a celebration of the lifelong curiosity, humility, and passion that drive every scientist. In these pages, Hope takes us back to her Minnesota childhood, where she spent hours in unfettered play in her father's college laboratory. She tells us how she found a sanctuary in science, learning to perform lab work "with both the heart and the hands." She introduces us to Bill, her brilliant, eccentric lab manager. And she extends the mantle of scientist to each one of her readers, inviting us to join her in observing and protecting our environment. Warm, luminous, compulsively readable, Lab Girl vividly demonstrates the mountains that we can move when love and work come together.
MAY 2018 As rich, wild, dark, and beautiful as its Yorkshire setting, Elmet by Fiona Mozley is a gripping debut about life on the margins and the power--and limits--of family loyalty. The family thought the little house they had made themselves in Elmet, a corner of Yorkshire, was theirs, that their peaceful, self-sufficient life was safe. Cathy and Daniel roamed the woods freely, occasionally visiting a local woman for some schooling, living outside all conventions. Their father built things and hunted, working with his hands; sometimes he would disappear, forced to do secret, brutal work for money, but to them he was a gentle protector. Narrated by Daniel after a catastrophic event has occurred, Elmet mesmerizes even as it becomes clear the family's solitary idyll will not last. When a local landowner shows up on their doorstep, their precarious existence is threatened, their innocence lost. Daddy and Cathy, both of them fierce, strong, and unyielding, set out to protect themselves and their neighbors, putting into motion a chain of events that can only end in violence.