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Summer is here, and there are still plenty of days left to spend reading a book at the cottage, on the beach, or even in your own backyard. Bookclub-in-a-Box’s Marilyn Herbert has put together a list of recommendations for your summer reading list.
Exit West (Mohsin Hamid)
In a country teetering on the brink of civil war, two young people meet—sensual, fiercely independent Nadia and gentle, restrained Saeed. They embark on a furtive love affair and are soon cloistered in a premature intimacy by the unrest roiling their city. When it explodes, turning familiar streets into a patchwork of checkpoints and bomb blasts, they begin to hear whispers about doors—doors that can whisk people far away, if perilously and for a price. As the violence escalates, Nadia and Saeed decide that they no longer have a choice. Leaving their homeland and their old lives behind, they find a door and step through. Exit West follows these characters as they emerge into an alien and uncertain future, struggling to hold on to each other, to their past, to the very sense of who they are. Profoundly intimate and powerfully inventive, it tells an unforgettable story of love, loyalty, and courage that is both completely of our time and for all time.
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 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.
We asked you to share with us what book you’re most looking forward to reading this summer, as well as the ideal spot for it and what you’d choose to eat or drink while relaxing and reading. And even though we’re still recovering from the last long weekend, your responses made us long for the next one already!
Here’s what our readers are planning to read! Share your own Summer Reading Paradise dream scenario in the comments below.
Book: The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton—it is required book club reading for our August meeting but after looking it up on Amazon, I cannot wait to dive in
Favourite spot: A hammock in the Grounds for Sculpture in Hamilton, NJ. It is my favorite place in NJ
Food/drink: French baguette, brie cheese, and a glass of Riesling. HEAVEN!