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Contemporary Fiction Book Club: Just your regular ol' fiction book club with discussion, opinions, and wine!
What we're reading: One Night Two Souls Went Walking, by Ellen Cooney
Next Meeting is Monday, October 17th at 7:30pm, here at RoscoeBooks. For the safety of our members, the book club is open only to fully-vaccinated individuals.
Classics in Brief Book Club: All the classics you meant to read...kept short!
What we're reading: The Quiet American by Graham Greene
Next Meeting is Thursday, October 27th at 7:00pm, here at RoscoeBooks. For the safety of our members, the book club is open only to fully-vaccinated individuals.
Fairy Tale, by Stephen King: Know this: The dog lives and there's a happy ending! Also know this: FAIRY TALE isn't King's best, but there's no doubt the man tell a (profanity-laced) story. His folklore remix is plenty enjoyable and integrates everything from Rumplestiltskin to Star Wars. A slow but engrossing read. (Side note: You'll probably love it more if you're a dog person.)
On Rotation, by Shirlene Obuobi: This was such a fun read! The main characters are so human; even when they frustrated me, I still loved them! Funny, witty, and at times devastating, I thoroughly enjoyed the tension between Ricky and Angie, the friendships, and the hard-learned lessons in this story. Also, Shirlene Obuobi being Ghanian makes it extra special for me (also Ghanian!).
The Displacements, by Bruce Holsinger: Part disaster story, part social observation, this is a deep dive into life at a post-hurricane FEMA mega-shelter. We follow a wealthy family who loses their phones/credit cards and enters the shelter with nothing. We see a FEMA employee set up this city-within-a-city and deal with daily needs of the clients. And we meet an insurance agent who takes advantage of a captive audience to sell drugs. What develops is a microcosm of society. We learn that often people uprooted from their lives adapt almost overnight and fractures along the lines of race, class, and politics always seem to surface.
Lessons In Chemistry, by Bonnie Garmus: Elizabeth Zott is a woman born before her time. A brilliant chemist who has always taken an unconventional path through life, she's seen it all -- sexism, hostility, and more than her share of tragedy. But when she reluctantly becomes the host of a smash-hit TV cooking show, it changes the game not just for her, but for women all over America too. The pages fly by with this one, and though parts of the story may require a suspension of disbelief, they're more than made up for by some very funny dialogue and a stellar cast of supporting characters. A truly, truly fun book!
More Than You'll Ever Know, by Katie Gutierrez: If you like your murder mysteries smart, sexy, and a bit unconventional, this is the novel for you. Here's the hook: A woman leads a secret double life with a secret second husband. Then, one secret husband kills the other. Or did he? Thirty years later, murder blogger Cassie sets out to find the truth. As intriguing as the plot is, Gutierrez also has some really interesting things to say about journalistic ethics, Kantian philosophy, and the limits of family loyalty. This would be an absolutely perfect book club pick. So much to discuss!
Take My Hand, by Dolen Perkins-Valdez: This is a heartbreaking reminder of the ways the world has failed our vulnerable members. Perkins-Valdez takes us to 1970s Alabama and government-funded women's health program that goes tragically awry. Based on a real federal court case, it explores racism, classism, and ultimately, the power of redemption.
Go Back To Where You Came From, by Wajahat Ali: This deep dive into America's relationship with Muslims is heartbreaking. It's also funny as hell. The ups and downs of Ali's life are ridiculous, horrifying, and hilarious. I loved every minute of this!
You Made a Fool of Death with Your Beauty, by Akwaeke Emezi: If Emezi published their grocery list, I'd read it. They set out to write a romance with complex relationships and succeeded spectactularly. Their writing continues to take my breath away. This isn't the kind of romance novel where you swoon and turn your brain off but rather one that takes on grief and loss and death and the life that can emerge from those cracks.
Banned Book Club, by Kim Hyun Sook, Ko Hyung-Ju, and Ryan Estrada: Banned Book Club is a memoir in graphic novel form, telling the true story of university students in South Korea in the 80's, and how their secret banned book club tied in with the widespread pro-democracy protests of the time. I wish there were more books like this!
Trust, by Hernan Diaz: Diaz's utterly brilliant novel is more than one thing: It's a fine piece of historical fiction. It's a book (multiple books, really) within a book. And it's a thoughtful examination of how money and power are related, and how they both affect what we're willing and able to believe. To say much more might spoil some of the wonderful surprise of this book, but I will say that this is some of the most thoughtful, elegant writing I've encountered in a long time. There is no way this book won't be among my favorites of the year.
One Italian Summer, by Rebecca Serle: Fans of Serle's Five Years Later will find themselvesonce again in very capable hands when it comes to explaining the nuances of great loves of lives -- and this time, instead of romantic love, Serle turns her lens toward the love between mothers and daughters. After Katy's mother dies, she goes on a pre-planned trip to Positano, Italy (one they'd planned to take together) and is shocked to run into a very alive version of her mother's younger self. A story about discovering the versions of our loved -- and ourself -- in and out of the binds of relationships. And a fantastic love letter to Italy!
Marrying the Ketchups, by Jennifer Close: Chicago, fall 2016: It was the best of times (Cubs win!), it was the worst of times (the election). These events are the backdrop for this exceptional novel about the Sullivans, a semi-dysfunctional restaurant-owning Oak Park family. And it's just terrific! You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll cringe, as each of these people struggle with love and life and the ever-shifting restaurant business. I really loved this!
The World Cannot Give, by Tara Isabella Burton: Dark academia fans, here's another boarding school novel for you! Welcome to St. Dunstan's, set in coastal Maine, where Evensong is mandatory and the chapel choir is the most elite clique. The choir is led by the icy and mysterious Virginia, but when a new girl transfers in and a new priest takes over, alliances shift and betrayals abound. How far will they go to get their "shipwreck of the soul?"
These Precious Days: Essays, by Ann Patchett: Ann Patchett writes with such warmth. It's her super power! And it's on full display here. This book is, no exaggeration, one of the best essay collections I've EVER read. All written during the pandemic, most of these are less than 10 pages, so you can read them as nice little literary treats throughout your day. But still, the few longer pieces are the highlights, especially the title essay. I can't recommend this more highly!
The Swimmers, by Julie Otsuka: This is that rare one- or two-sitting read that starts out as one thing, and then becomes something different about halfway through. Otsuka begins with a group of avid recreational swimmers who are puzzled and alarmed when they discover a crack at the bottom of their pool. But what is at first a meditation on how human beings deal with the unknown becomes even lovelier and more poignant as Otsuka narrows her focus to one swimmer in particular. This is a gem of a book, one to read and reread, and so easy to love.
Monday — Saturday: 10am - 7pm
Sunday: 11am - 6pm
Please Note: our website updates stock once per day, so the book quantities indicated on our site may not be an accurate representation of what we actually have in stock at the store. But please know we very much appreciate your order and will do everything we can to get you your books as quickly as humanly possible!
RoscoeBooks hosts a weekly Story Time at the store Tuesdays and Saturdays at 11:00 am. All are welcome! Story Time is currently on hold due to COVID-19. Thanks for understanding!