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|A former member||
Here is a little bit about each book that is on the poll for next months book selection, hope this helps!
You Don't Sweat Much for a Fat Girl: Observations on Life from the Shallow End of the Pool
by Celia Rivenbark
Rivenbark (You Can't Drink All Day If You Don't Start in the Morning) naps in yoga class, supports airport profiling by the TSA, and is delighted that her Twitter antics ticked off model Kathy Ireland. In this new addition to her essay collection catalogue, she's as rebellious, irreverent, and comical as ever. The author's signature blend of social satire, quizzical musings on human nature, and over-the-top down-home humor are directed at everything from Bernie Madoff to Snuggies to people who (slowly) write (Disney character embellished) checks even when they're in an exceptionally long line at Wal-Mart. In and among the wackiness, she tempers the snark with some sweet, like her belief that President Obama's version of date night is making men everywhere look bad by comparison, her appreciation and envy of David Sedaris, and her simple yet romantic 20th wedding anniversary. Recipes and Southernisms like "crazier 'n a sprayed roach" round out the fun.
It Looked Different on the Model: Epic Tales of Impending Shame and Infamy
by Laurie Notaro
Trying to fit in—sometimes literally—can be daunting, but Notaro's attempts are hilariously captured in this collection. In "Let It Bleed," Notaro (Spooky Little Girl) takes on the bane of women everywhere: trying on clothes in a dressing room, with lighting ranges from "cruel" to "barbaric." In "She's a Pill," it's not a physical hurdle Notaro must overcome but a mental one: her alter ago, "Ambien Laurie," who emerges when Notaro takes the sleeping pill that can cause people to act strangely in their sleep—Notaro binges on junk food like a zombie and watches dreadful movies. Her relationship with her staunchly Republican parents, who live in Phoenix, Ariz., and are still dismayed that Notaro moved to Eugene, Ore., is most notably described in "It's a Bomb," when she flies in for her mother's birthday. Notaro regresses to rebellious daughter and her parents to their old overbearing selves, complete with Notaro's obsessively clean mother telling her, "f you're going to shed , pick it up. Hair makes me gag." Notaro's humor is self-deprecating without ever swaying into self-pity, and her situations are both specific and universal.
by Kathryn Stockett
Four peerless actors render an array of sharply defined black and white characters in the nascent years of the civil rights movement. They each handle a variety of Southern accents with aplomb and draw out the daily humiliation and pain the maids are subject to, as well as their abiding affection for their white charges. The actors handle the narration and dialogue so well that no character is ever stereotyped, the humor is always delightful, and the listener is led through the multilayered stories of maids and mistresses. The novel is a superb intertwining of personal and political history in Jackson, Miss., in the early 1960s, but this reading gives it a deeper and fuller power.
The Secret Life of Beesby Sue Monk Kidd
Sue Monk Kidd's ravishing debut novel has stolen the hearts of reviewers and readers alike with its strong, assured voice. Set in South Carolina in 1964, The Secret Life of Bees tells the story of Lily Owens, whose life has been shaped around the blurred memory of the afternoon her mother was killed. When Lily's fierce-hearted "stand-in mother," Rosaleen, insults three of the town's fiercest racists, Lily decides they should both escape to Tiburon, South Carolina--a town that holds the secret to her mother's past. There they are taken in by an eccentric trio of black beekeeping sisters who introduce Lily to a mesmerizing world of bees, honey, and the Black Madonna who presides over their household. This is a remarkable story about divine female power and the transforming power of love--a story that women will share and pass on to their daughters for years to come.
The Invisible Bridge
by Julie Orringer
Paris, 1937. Andras Lévi, a Hungarian-Jewish architecture student, arrives from Budapest with a scholarship, a single suitcase, and a mysterious letter he promised to deliver. But when he falls into a complicated relationship with the letter's recipient, he becomes privy to a secret that will alter the course of his—and his family's—history. From the small Hungarian town of Konyár to the grand opera houses of Budapest and Paris, from the despair of Carpathian winter to an unimaginable life in labor camps, The Invisible Bridge tells the story of a family shattered and remade in history's darkest hour.
by Emma Donoghue
To five-year-old-Jack, Room is the world. . . . It's where he was born, it's where he and his Ma eat and sleep and play and learn. At night, his Ma shuts him safely in the wardrobe, where he is meant to be asleep when Old Nick visits. Room is home to Jack, but to Ma it's the prison where she has been held for seven years. Through her fierce love for her son, she has created a life for him in this eleven-by-eleven-foot space. But with Jack's curiosity building alongside her own desperation, she knows that Room cannot contain either much longer. Room is a tale at once shocking, riveting, exhilarating--a story of unconquerable love in harrowing circumstances, and of the diamond-hard bond between a mother and her child.
Let's Take the Long Way Home: A Memoir of Friendship
by Gail Caldwell
Caldwell (A Strong West Wind) has managed to do the inexpressible in this quiet, fierce work: create a memorable offering of love to her best friend, Caroline Knapp, the writer (Drinking: A Love Story) who died of lung cancer at age 42 in 2002. The two met in the mid-1990s: "Finding Caroline was like placing a personal ad for an imaginary friend, then having her show up at your door funnier and better than you had conceived." Both single, writers (Caldwell was then book critic for the Boston Globe), and living alone in the Cambridge area, the two women bonded over their dog runs in Fresh Pond Reservoir, traded lessons in rowing (Knapp's sport) and swimming (Caldwell's), and shared stories, clothes, and general life support as best friends. Moreover, both had stopped drinking at age 33 (Caldwell was eight years older than her friend); both had survived early traumas (Caldwell had had polio as a child; Knapp had suffered anorexia). Their attachment to each other was deeply, mutually satisfying, as Caldwell describes: "Caroline and I coaxed each other into the light." Yet Knapp's health began to falter in March 2002, with stagefour lung cancer diagnosed; by June she had died. Caldwell is unflinching in depicting her friend's last days, although her own grief nearly undid her; she writes of this desolating time with tremendously moving grace.
God Is Dead
by Ron Currie Jr.
When God descends to Earth as a Dinka woman from Sudan and subsequently dies in the Darfur desert, the result is a world both bizarrely new yet eerily familiar. In Ron Currie's provocative, wise, and emotionally resonant novel we meet God himself; the Dinka woman whose mortality He must suffer when He inhabits her body; people all over the world coping with the devastating news of God's demise; a group of young men who, fearing the end of the world, take fate into their own hands; mental patients who insist that a god still exists; armies taking up the eternal war between fate and free will; and parents who, in the absence of a deity and the "lack of anything to do on Sundays," worship their children. On the surface, this is a world utterly transformed—yet certain things remain unchanged: protective parents clash with willful, idealistic teenagers; idols are exalted; small-town rumor mills run unabated; and children often don't realize how to forgive their parents until it's too late.In God Is Dead, Currie brings together a prescient satirical gift worthy of Jonathan Swift, the raw appeal of Chuck Palahniuk's blackest comedy, and the thought-provoking ethical questions of Kurt Vonnegut, all with a light touch, empathy, and wisdom that make for an exhilarating reading experience. Offbeat yet accessible, God Is Dead is an exciting debut from a fresh new voice in contemporary fiction.