Saturday, January 23, 2016

New Book Club Brochure: Bettyville and 12 other new titles featured, Jennifer Morales offers Skype meetings, Jane has an official "Readers of Broken Wheel" recommendation.

My goal is to update the book club display three times a year, in January, May, and September. If we have late editions, or schedule paperback events that would make a good book club discussion, the idea is to do an insert. But when I updated the list just now, a clever bookseller asked, didn't you just update this in November. The answer is yes, to the second practical answer is that when we run out of fliers, sometimes it makes more sense to add fresh titles and take away the things that aren't working instead of waiting. But we had so many good books featire that we decided to create an insert of six title right away, giving us an assortment of thirty books. The idea is that the insert titles come out in March.

I also wanted to update the selection because I wanted to start spreading the word about Bettyville, the beloved memoir by George Hodgman that comes out in paperback on February 2. He's visiting Boswell on February 10 (7 pm), and while I knew much about the book, all the great reviews, and that it was a New York Times bestseller, I really didn't know how passionate folks were about Bettyville until I read the book and started bringing the book and event up in conversation. I am always looking for a nonfiction book that is both readable and discussable and I'm thinking that book clubs will really gravitate to this, particularly ones where folks of the age where they are caring for their parents.

One book that is not so new that we've added to our book club table is Meet Me Halfway, by Jennifer Morales. This story collection has been out since last spring and while we generally do not feature more than one collection of stories, I think these tales have enough of a through line and interconnection that folks will appreciate them as a continuous narrative. Racial understanding and misunderstanding is at the heart of her stories, and the book would be an interesting book to read in a series with say, Between the World and Me, Ghettoside, or our featured Just Mercy, Bryan Stevenson's book about his attempt to exonerate a black man on death row.

Please note that Jennifer Morales can meet with your club via Skype, Google, or Face Time. Our in-store lit group has found this very enjoyable. We had a particularly enlightening visit with Rebecca Makkai. The key is to schedule time without the author to hash things out first, and it's always important to be polite and not criticize. That's for your alone time. To schedule your virtual visit from Jennifer Morales, please email by January 31.

All the new selections:
--Bettyville, by George Hodgman
--The Daylight Marriage, by Heidi Pitlor
--Just Mercy, by Bryan Stevenson
--Meet Me Halfway, by Jennifer Morales
--The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend, by Katarina Bivald
--A Man Called Ove, by Fredrik Backman
--Jam on the Vine, by LaShonda Katrice Barnett

Out in March:
--H is For Hawk, by Helen MacDonald
--Paris, He Said, by Christine Sneed
--Epitaph, by Mary Doria Russell
--The Love Song of Miss Queenie Hennessy, by Rachel Joyce
--The Residence by Kate Anderson Brower
--A Reunion of Ghosts, by Judith Claire Mitchell

Carried over from the previous collection:
--All My Puny Sorrows, by Miriam Toews
--At the Water's Edge, by Sara Gruen
--A Brief History of Seven Killings, by Marlon James
--Dear Committee Members, by Julie Schumacher
--Etta and Otto and Russell and James, by Emma Hooper
--Euphoria, by Lily King
--Everything I Never Told You, by Celeste Ng
--Florence Gordon, by Brian Morton
--A Kim Jong-Il Production, by Paul Fischer
--Lila, by Marilynne Robinson
--My Brilliant Friend, by Elena Ferrante
--Nora Webster, by Colm Tóibín
--The Paying Guests, by Sarah Waters
--The Red Notebook, by Antoine Laurain
--Shady Hollow, by Juneau Black
--Station Eleven, by Emily St. John Mandel
--When Books Went to War, by Molly Guptill Manning

I should also note we have our third printed recommendation on The Readers of the Broken Wheel Recommend. Jane has been spearheading our promotion of this book, and is a core member of Team Broken Wheel. I have passed my copy on to Sharon, who will then give it to Anne. We'll see how this continues.

Jane Glaser's recommendation: "I love books about books and this beautiful story is about how a small dying Midwestern town is regenerated with the arrival of Swedish bookseller, Sara Lindqvist, who has come to meet her bookloving pen pal, Amy Harris, only to find out that she has died. The townspeople of Broken Wheel, Iowa, in mourning for their beloved Amy, invite Sara to live in Amy's house. Rewarding this hospitality and honoring Amy's memory, Sara opens a bookshop, inventoried with Amy's vast collection of books. As Sara is determined that everyone who lives in Broken Wheel will be matched with just the right book, this community of diverse and engaging characters come to know the transformative power of living between the pages of books...and beyond! This is an inspiringly perceptive and heartwarming ode to reading that booklovers and book clubs will want to add to their list of favorites."

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