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This Sunday marks the first official day of summer, and we’re already stacking a lot of books up on our to-read pile. Marilyn Herbert, founder of Bookclub-in-a-Box, has put together this list of books you should read — including Harper Lee’s long-awaited followup to To Kill a Mockingbird — either to be enjoyed on your own or for a discussion with your closest book-loving friends.
A God in Ruins (Kate Atkinson)
A God In Ruins picks up the life of Ursula Todd’s young brother Teddy. We met Ursula in the mesmerizing Life After Life where she lived through the turbulent events of the last century again and again. We meet Teddy as a would-be poet, RAF bomber pilot, husband and father and as he navigates the perils and progress of the 20th century. For all Teddy endures in battle, his greatest challenge will be to face living in a future he never expected to have.
The Truth According to Us (Annie Barrows)
Evoking the same small town charm with the same great eye for character, the co-author of Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Society finds her own voice in this debut novel about a young debutante working for the Federal Writer’s Project whose arrival in Macedonia, West Virginia changes the course of history for a prominent family who has been sitting on a secret for decades. The Romeyn family is a fixture in the town, their identity tied to its knotty history. Layla enters their lives and lights a match to the family veneer and a truth comes to light that will change each of their lives forever.
Summer has arrived, and it’s finally beginning to feel like it outside (here in Toronto, at least). As per tradition, Bookclub-in-a-Box’s Marilyn Herbert has put together a list of must-reads for this year. Whether you’re on the beach, on the subway, or at the cottage, you can’t go wrong with the following list, which spans enough genres to provide something for everybody. Have you read any of these books? What would you add to the list?
Rules of Civility (Amor Towles)
New York, 1937, is a place with a beat. War is not yet on the horizon, the jazz clubs are inviting, and it is still possible to be surprised by new people. Two young working women, Katey Kontent and Eve Ross, meet the enigmatic, charming, well-groomed, and seemingly wealthy Tinker Grey on the last night of 1937. The characters, fascinating and complex, sweep us along the streets and through the sites of New York.
Summer is here in full swing, and Marilyn Herbert has once again compiled the Bookclub-in-a-Box list to what we’re reading this season—most of these are already available in paperback, making it all the easier to pick it up for your book club selection. If you’re looking for a summer reading suggestion, you can’t go wrong with any of the following books!
Half-Blood Blues (Esi Edugyan)
Europe during the Second World War has generated a host of intriguingly sad and extraordinary stories, to which Esi Eduygan adds one more with Half-Blood Blues. A young jazz musician, Hiero, is taken by the Nazis before his career can take off. Ironically, he is a German-born citizen, but tragically, he is black. His story is told by his American friend Sid, whom he met while they were both playing music in Berlin and Paris during the early days of the war. Edugyan presents the themes of love, loyalty, and betrayal against the political backdrop of the times. The novel’s lyrical language and use of dialect mimics the power of jazz and shows how music can help combat oppression and racism.
One of our readers contacted us recently to let us know that not only did she have the rare opportunity to meet Cutting for Stone author Abraham Verghese this September, but she made great use of her Bookclub-in-a-Box guide to prepare for her one-on-one meeting. We couldn’t resist sharing her story with you.
By Judy Shuhendler
While I was packing my suitcase for my impending trip to visit my son, Adam, and my daughter-in-law, Karey, in Palo Alto, California, I received a totally unexpected and mind-boggling e-mail. I had to read it several times before the message registered with me: I was going to meet Abraham Verghese in person! (more…)