Book-Clubs

Reader, Now a

A woman stopped me after our most recent library book club meeting: “I just wanted you to know that since I’ve been in this book club, my husband has started reading. In fifty years, I’ve never seen him with a book in his hand, but now, he always wants to read the book club selections when I’m through with them since I’m always laughing out loud or gasping. He’d never join us, but I wanted you to know that we got my husband reading!” 

And she hugged me.

[Our latest selection? A Man Called Ove: A Novel by Fredrik Backman. I highly recommend it and so does this lady’s husband!] 

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We’re happy to introduce the NWK Tumblr Book Club! (We asked, and you answered!)

After consulting with our brilliant books editor, we selected 5 titles from our “Best Summer Reads of 2012” list. Now it’s up to YOU to pick which of the 5 we read first. We’ll announce your pick later this week, and let’s plan to start reading next week (July 2nd)! 

Here are summaries of the 5 books you can vote for: 

Capital by John Lanchester

Trollopian, Dickensian, Balzacian—all should spring to mind when you pick up John Lanchester’s hefty new novel about near present-day London. Set on a typical (and dear reader, atypical in having a writer as gifted as Lanchester tell its story) London street (Pepys Road), he weaves a rich story about the financial collapse and its impact on financier and graffiti artist alike. We’re all connected by capital. 

Seating Arrangements by Maggie Shipstead

“Literary thinking relies upon literary memory, and the drama of recognition,” Harold Bloom once wrote. Shipstead’s first novel can be read as an unremarkable Harvard-tinted, golf-club obsessed WASP comedy about a—what else—wedding on a—where else—Cape Cod island. But read past that and it’s clear Shipstead is coming to terms with T.S. Eliot (quoted in the epigraph), Shakespeare, Arthurian legends (chapters include “The Castle of the Maidens” and “The Maimed King”), and other mythologies (“A Centaur” and “The Ouroboros”), and connecting it to the American Camelot. (Even the title “Seating Arrangements” brings to mind the round table.) This is ambitious, but if you grew up in New England, how many times have you sat on your beach chair with “The Once and Future King” and a biography of JFK, purling these mythologies in your sunned head?

The Red House by Mark Haddon

There’s a red house over yonder, and just as Jimi Hendrix splintered and exploded the blues while remaining exciting and accessible, Haddon, the author of “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time,” has the same tendency on narrative. So it is that the story of Richard, a doctor who invites his sister’s family to stay at his vacation home, is told through the perspectives of eight different people, with almost each paragraph beginning with “Daisy wants happiness…” “Melissa tries to ring…” “Benjamin was crying…” At its best, it resembles a game of “Clue.”

The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker

The rotation of the world begins to slow, and the end of days (at least, of 24-hour days) is written not only as the struggle for survival but also a terrible bummer when 11-year-old Julia tries to maintain her crush on hottie Seth Moreno. This debut novel might sound like a cross between The Lovely Bones and Lar von Trier’s film Melancholia, but the conceit is memorable and there are hilarious moments. “We were not required to squeeze our days into twenty-four little hours. No new law was passed or put into place. This was America.”

Gold by Chris Cleave

“Incendiary” and the mega-million bestseller “Little Bee” depended on the driving force of plot, and Gold is the same. But the story of three friends eyeing their last chance at a gold medal in track cycling at the 2012 Olympics (and a daughter battling leukemia) is told like one long episode of Law and Order, with each scene prefaced by a date and setting, even including the hilariously imagined “Death Star, 1:55 p.m.” and “Dagobah System, 12:55 p.m.” alternating with the heartbreakingly real “Pediatric intensive care unit, North Manchester General Hospital, 12:35 p.m.” Cleave is at last completely aware of his reliance of contrived events and emotions, just like in a television drama, and there need not be any shame in it.

To vote, fill out this quick form OR reblog this post with your pick! We’ll annouce your choice later this week and start reading next week (July 2nd)! Also, be sure to follow this Tumblr to be a part of our cool-kids-who-read club! So many exclamation points! 
Let’s Read About Feminism!

I’ve decided to start a Feminist Book Club!

(Although credit goes to my lovely friend Jamie for the idea!)

Each month, I will choose 5 options and you guys will vote on which one you want to read and discuss. 

Discussions will be the last Saturday of each month, right here at iwriteaboutfeminism

We’re going to start with non-fiction for awhile, but we may eventually have fiction books as well! 

I’ll always try to include books on a diverse range of feminist topics, by diverse authors. Please also send me any recommendations you have for future picks!

VOTE HERE ON WHICH BOOK WE SHOULD READ FIRST!

And please spread the word! I’d love to get as many people involved as possible to learn about and discuss feminist issues!

Voting ends August 1st!

The Timeless Book Club

a book club that focuses on classic titles. two books are selected at a time to be read in overlapping two month intervals. the hope is that having others to discuss the book with will give us incentive to read more classic title.

Through the months of June and July, The Timeless Book Club will be reading Lee Harper’s To Kill a Mockingbird in anticipation of the release of Go Set a Watchman due on July 14th. Readers are encouraged to utilize the #timelessbookclub tag to share and discuss the current selection.

Requests for the July and August book may be sent to my ask. The poll will be opened within the month.

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What was it like writing our book? We answer your Q’s! And get the book here.

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The Orphan Black clone club dance party of last season inspired one of the most ear-piercing squees of my television-watching year, and so I like to imagine what else the girls (and Felix) get up to on their off-days – you know, all those times when Dyad institute is being super chill, there are no horrific cults with which to contend, and Mrs. S is behaving in a completely normal and forthcoming manner. So I have created in my headcanon Clone Club Book Club, a place where various iterations of Tatiana Maslany can come, kick back, drink a glass of Chardonnay and dissect their latest read.

The following are the picks of the members of clone club book club, as I imagine them.

MUST READ:

The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan

Amy Tan’s modern masterpiece The Joy Luck Club tells the story of four mothers, who emigrated from China to San Francisco and their four daughters in 1949. They begin to meet each other to eat dim sum, play mahjong and talk, forming the Joy Luck Club. Instead of sulking into sadness and tragedy from their survival of the Second Sino-Japanese War, they gather together to cheer themselves up and raise money. Weaving a deep connection between mothers and daughters, Tan skillfully reveals the mothers’ secrets and their cultural awakening.

Told with a beautifully dream-like prose, Tan skillfully crafts a story of emigration, cultural sensitivity, cultural and generational, gaps, and organic tales. Although the novel was first in 1989, its authentic nature covers and fits in this contemporary world.

Get the book here!

Read excerpts from the book here!

College students with an .edu email address, click here!

Download the FREE Kindle reading app, no Kindle required!

[Book Cover Design by Chris Kwon]

The Effing Magic of Book Clubs

Twice a week all Spring, I’ve been in living rooms from Oregon to New York.

Sometimes I’m physically in the room with a dozen female strangers; sometimes I’m beamed in via Skype.

Most of them have read my book and all of us have a glass of something in our hands.

I break the ice by reading passages I hope their book club will enjoy.

Sometimes I read the right stories.

Sometimes I don’t.

But after talking love, loss, books and Pilates for an hour (or three), the definitions of reader and author become amorphous.

There’s nothing they’re afraid to ask.

Nothing I’m afraid to answer.

We take turns showing and telling.

Crying and laughing.

And by the end of every book club, I’ve met women I’d like to know better and others who it seems I already do.