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Re: [flyleafbooklovers] August and September Book Club Selections

From: Arlene
Sent on: Friday, June 29, 2012 8:59 PM
Sense of An Ending

--- On Thu, 6/28/12, vanessa <[address removed]> wrote:

From: vanessa <[address removed]>
Subject: [flyleafbooklovers] August and September Book Club Selections
To: [address removed]
Date: Thursday, June 28, 2012, 11:37 AM

hi all.
let's  VOTE for August (Fiction) and September (Nonfiction) titles! Please review and rank in order of preference the following titles. all are out on paperback. we are going facilitator-free for awhile to see how it goes...mixed feedback first time, so please let me know how everyone is being integrated and engaged in discussion. and have fun. also, while i really like the meetup format and findability of the group through this website. i am have been paying $144 a year to to maintain it. i currently manage another group through my account so i am getting more use than just 1 group (you can have 3 groups for the cost of $144/year). however, since i have a limited budget i am moving towards shifting that group to a free wordpress site and would like to think about alternative ways to publicize the Book Lovers group, as well, or to pass on the meetup page to someone more able to support financially or collect dues from members, etc. any thoughts? Fiction
1) Turn of Mind by Alice LaPlante New York Times Editor's Choice
An NPR, VogueMilwaukee Journal Sentinel, and Globe and Mail Summer Reading Pick "A brilliant, even audacious conceit . . . Pitch-perfect."—Chicago Sun-Times
A stunning first novel, both literary and thriller, about a retired orthopedic surgeon with dementia, Turn of Mind has already received worldwide attention. With unmatched patience and a pulsating intensity, Alice LaPlante brings us deep into a brilliant woman’s deteriorating mind, where the impossibility of recognizing reality can be both a blessing and a curse.
2) The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach
a routine throw goes disastrously off course, the fates of five people are upended.

Henry's fight against self-doubt threatens to ruin his future. College president Guert Affenlight, a longtime bachelor, has fallen unexpectedly and helplessly in love. Owen Dunne, Henry's gay roommate and teammate, becomes caught up in a dangerous affair. Mike Schwartz, the Harpooners' team captain and Henry's best friend, realizes he has guided Henry's career at the expense of his own. And Pella Affenlight, Guert's daughter, returns to Westish after escaping an ill-fated marriage, determined to start a new life.

As the season counts down to its climactic final game, these five are forced to confront their deepest hopes, anxieties, and secrets. In the process they forge new bonds, and help one another find their true paths. Written with boundless intelligence and filled with the tenderness of youth, The Art of Fielding is an expansive, warmhearted novel about ambition and its limits, about family and friendship and love, and about commitment--to oneself and to others.
"Not being a huge fan of the national pastime, I found it easy to resist the urge to pick up this novel, but once I did I gave myself over completely and scarcely paused for meals. Like all successful works of literature The Art of Fielding is an autonomous universe, much like the one we inhabit although somehow more vivid." (Jay McInerney, author of Bright Lights, Big City and How It Ended )
3) The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes
Winner of the 2011 Man Booker Prize

A novel so compelling that it begs to be read in a single setting, The Sense of an Ending has the psychological and emotional depth and sophistication of Henry James at his best, and is a stunning new chapter in Julian Barnes's oeuvre.

This intense novel follows Tony Webster, a middle-aged man, as he contends with a past he never thought much about—until his closest childhood friends return with a vengeance: one of them from the grave, another maddeningly present. Tony thought he left this all behind as he built a life for himself, and his career has provided him with a secure retirement and an amicable relationship with his ex-wife and daughter, who now has a family of her own. But when he is presented with a mysterious legacy, he is forced to revise his estimation of his own nature and place in the world.
“Elegant, playful, and remarkable.” —The New Yorker

“A page turner, and when you finish you will return immediately to the beginning . . . Who are you? How can you be sure? What if you’re not who you think you are? What if you never were? . . . At 163 pages, The Sense of an Ending is the longest book I have ever read, so prepare yourself for rereading. You won’t regret it.” —The San Francisco Chronicle
1) Island of Vice: Theodore Roosevelt's Doomed Quest to Clean Up Sin-Loving New York by Richard Zacks
In the 1890s, New York City was America’s financial, manufacturing, and entertainment capital, and also its preferred destination for sin, teeming with forty thousand prostitutes, glittery casinos, and all-night dives. Police cap­tains took hefty bribes to see nothing while reformers writhed in frustration.

In Island of Vice, Richard Zacks paints a vivid portrait of the lewd underbelly of 1890s New York, and of Theodore Roosevelt, the puritanical, cocksure police commissioner resolved to clean it up. Writing with great wit and zest, Zacks explores how young Roosevelt goes head to head with Tammany Hall, takes midnight rambles with muckraker Jacob Riis, and tries to convince two million New Yorkers to enjoy wholesome family fun. When Roosevelt’s crackdown succeeds too well, even his supporters turn on him, and TR discovers that New York loves its sin more than its salvation.
"A delicious municipal history, impeccably researched, excitingly told.”
--E. L. Doctorow, award-winning author of Ragtime
"A lively and often entertaining portrayal of urban life at the close of the 19th century."
--The Chrstian Science Monitor
2) Destiny of the Republic: A Tale of Madness, Medicine, and the Murder of a President by Candice Millard
For a man forced into the presidency, the legacy of James Garfield extended far beyond his lifetime, and Destiny of the Republic revisits his meteoric rise within the military and government with meticulous research and intimate focus. Garfield was a passionate advocate of freed slaves, a reformer at odds with Republican power brokers and machine politics, a devoted father, and a spellbinding speech-giver. Four months after taking office he was shot twice by an unhinged office-seeker, Charles Guiteau, and a nation already recently fractured by war shattered, leaving the wounded president at the center of a bitter, behind-the-scenes struggle for power. Examining the medical reform spurred by Garfield's unsanitary medical treatment, and reflecting on the surprising political reform brought on by his former political enemy Senator Roscoe Conkling, Destiny of the Republicpassionately brings President Garfield's unknown-but-widely-felt legacy into focus.
A New York Times Notable Book

"Crisp, concise and revealing history. . . . A fresh narrative that plumbs some of the most dramatic days in U.S. presidential history."
The Washington Post 

3) Banana: The Fate of the Fruit that Changed the World by Dan Koeppel
In this fascinating and surprising exploration of the banana’s history, cultural significance, and endangered future, award-winning journalist Dan Koeppel gives readers plenty of food for thought. Fast-paced and highly entertaining, Banana takes us from jungle to supermarket, from corporate boardrooms to kitchen tables around the world. We begin in the Garden of Eden—examining scholars’ belief that Eve’s “apple” was actually a banana— and travel to early-twentieth-century Central America, where aptly named “banana republics” rose and fell over the crop, while the companies now known as Chiquita and Dole conquered the marketplace. Koeppel then chronicles the banana’s path to the present, ultimately—and most alarmingly—taking us to banana plantations across the globe that are being destroyed by a fast-moving blight, with no cure in sight—and to the high-tech labs where new bananas are literally being built in test tubes, in a race to save the world’s most beloved fruit.
“Clear, engaging…admirable…part historical narrative and part pop-science adventure.”
San Francisco Chronicle

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