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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 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!
Bookclub-in-a-Box wants to hear summer reading suggestions from all of our readers—and what’s more, we want to give a $5.00 coupon to every single person who shares with us!
Send answers to all three of these questions to firstname.lastname@example.org by Tuesday, May 22 to enter:
• Which book are you most looking forward to reading this summer?
• Where in the world (your back porch? a desert island? anywhere!) would you most like to read your book?
• What would you like to eat and/or drink while reading your book?
The Bookclub-in-a-Box Readers’ Reading List will be posted on our blog on May 23, along with the first name and last initial of each entrant.