Thursday, October 3, 2013

New Book Club Brochure--We Add Louise Erdrich, A.M. Homes, Alyson Hagy, Ayana Mathis, Paul Tough, Tom Reiss, Jennifer Chiaverini, Gail Tsukiyama, and Antoine Laurain,

It's time for a new book club brochure! I hedged my bets by making the previous brochure summer-fall, but there were several titles that came out that I just felt needed a place on the Book Club 24. And wouldn't you know it, I started out adjusting a couple of titles and before I knew it, a full third of our selections were updated. Here's our new additions.

1. The Round House, by Louise Erdrich. Winner of the National Book Award, a customer favorite, and a fellow bookseller, it's hard not to want to do everything we can to help this. Erdrich returns to the Ojibwe reservation and a terrible act which propels the plot along. All this and courtroom drama too. I'm not sure how I feel about the paperback jacket. Considering the sales track in cloth, I might have kept this one looking the same for paperback.

2. May We Be Forgiven, by A.M. Homes. This is also on the award winners page, having won the Women's Prize for Fiction, which is the former Orange Prize. The lowdown: two competitive brothers and the shocking act of violence that changes their lives.I'm hoping Homes will get a little more action with a double display in both awards and on our book club display. The novel is also in the running to be our December in-store lit group selection.

3. Boleto, by Alyson Hagy. Here's one that we've had multiple staff recs on, partly due to Hagy's visit in hardcover. I think it's Sharon, Stacie, and myself. It's a contemporary story of a cowboy and his horse, structured like a triptych. Stacie called Boleto "a quiet, lingering novel that will open more space inside you than the expanse of a spring Wyoming sky."

4. The Twelve Tribes of Hattie, by Ayana Mathis. This one is Oprah certified as book club worthy, but reviews were really great too. It's the story of the children of the Great Migration through the eyes of one family.  The Chicago Tribune called it "a remarkable page turner of a novel."

5. How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity, and the Hidden Power of Character, by Paul Tough. We've had great sales on this every since it came out, and Hannah's rec has given the paperback unusual staying power--she calls it a must read! I think there are a lot of clubs that would love to discuss this.

6. The Black Count, by Tom Reiss. Not on the awards page but still a Pulitzer winner, this is the story of Alex Dumas, the real Monte Cristo. Born to a slave in what is now Haiti, Dumas made his way to France where he made his mark as soldier and hero. And yes, it was his son Alexander Dumas who turned him into legend. Jason recommends this.

7. Mrs. Lincoln's Dressmaker, by Jennifer Chiaverini. The story of Elizabeth Hobbs Keckley, former slave turned seamstress and civil activist, is chronicled in Jennifer Chiaverini's break from the Elm Creek Quilts series. It seems like her new books could be called "overlooked women of the Civil War era." Her new novel, The Spymistress, is about Elizabeth Van Lew, a Confederate woman who spied for the Union. She's coming to Boswell on Thursday, October 10, 7 pm.

I should also note that Mrs. Lincolns's Dressmaker is our best non-event sale for Chiaverini at Boswell since we've opened.

8. A Hundred Flowers, by Gail Tsukiyama. Tsukiyama's newest follows a family caught up in Mao's China. When Mao asked the intellectuals to critique his policies, they had no idea he was trying to weed out the rabble rousers. Things go from bad to worse when the father's imprisonment leads to a bad fall for the son. Eugenia Zukeran called this "an inspiring work of dignity and love" and Jane Glaser of course recommends.

9. The President's Hat, by Antoine Laurain. How could we not include this beloved story in our book club round up? I just think it will be great for the holiday months when it's hard to get the group to finish their selection--short and captivating seems to be the answer.

Here's hoping you wind up having a great discussion with one of these titles. Pick up one (or several) of our pastel green fliers (formerly pastel blue) at Boswell.

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