Tuesday, October 13, 2020

The book club recommendation table is updated. It only took a year.

Well, I'm only a year late with my updated book club recommendation brochure. I had one due to come out in March, and I actually changed our website, but wound up never laying out or printing something, being that we didn't have anyone coming into the store, and hadn't had many book clubs asking for suggestions. And though I changed the website, I didn't update our inventory system, so the old books were still on display. Not that they weren't wonderful books, or anything.

Unlike all the big book clubs nowadays, we're still focusing on paperbacks, with at three paperback originals and the rest reprints. I've read all but two of the books - one is our December In-Store Lit Group selection that will be followed by an interview with the author the next day, while another is a Jane special. I'm hoping to one day read Becoming Mrs. Lewis because the book has been a pick of hers for several years - it was so successful that the paperback was delayed.

Speaking of delays, publishers are delaying paperbacks fairly aggressively, being that coronavirus has hurt bookstore browsing and paperbacks don't work as well in web orders. The trend mentioned above that almost all the high-profile book clubs pick hardcovers hasn't helped either. 

I tend to like picking books that have been vetted by the book club I run. I don't mind when a book is polarizing (Trust Exercise fit that bill) but I did leave out one recent selection where a lot of us seemed bored (title redacted). 

The recommendations (in alphabetical order)

Ask Again, Yes, by Mary Beth Keane
Becoming Mrs. Lewis, by Patti Callahan
Cher Ami and Major Whittlesey
, by Kathleen Rooney
An Elegant Defense, by Matt Richtel
Family Trust, by Kathy Wang
Furious Hours, by Casey Cep
Girl, Woman, Other, by Bernardine Evaristo
Inheritance, by Dani Shapiro
The Lager Queen of Minnesota, by J. Ryan Stradal
The Library Book, by Susan Orlean
Miracle Creek, by Angie Kim 
The Need, by Helen Phillips
The Nickel Boys, by Colson Whitehead
The Overstory, by Richard Powers
Red at the Bone
, by Jacqueline Woodson
Resistance Women, by Jennifer Chiaverini
Save Me the Plums, by Ruth Reichl
Say Nothing, By Patrick Radden Keefe
The Story of a Goat, by Perumal Murugan
Trust Exercise, by Susan Choi
Virgil Wander, by Leif Enger
Where We Come From, by Oscar Cásares (event coming soon!)
The Yellow House, by Sarah M. Broom

Some nonfiction, some historical fiction, some challenging titles, and some where you just want the group to finish the book - I think we call that compelling. Here's a link to purchase the titles. I guess I'm hedging my bets - I only printed 10 copies. But I'm not just hoping to reprint - I'm also hoping to see better sales on these titles.

I guess my pick of all these is The Story of a Goat. It's sort of an offbeat story that is way more interesting than you expect. Even with it's recent longlist nod for the National Book Award Books in Translation longlist, I don't think it's found its potential. It might even make my best-of-the-year list. Yes, I know it released in December 2019, but in the old days, a December on-sale meant it was a January publication.

We're hosting Angie Kim for Miracle Creek this Friday, October 16, 2 pm. It's gonna have spoilers, but if you don't mind hearing a few, join us even if you haven't read it yet. Register here.

View the list with purchase links here. It also has our staff recommendations for each title. Now I just have to do some virtual talks about them.

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