What we're about

This is a group for all those who miss the pleasure of digging into a new book with the knowledge that on the other side of the cover they will have the opportunity for engaging conversation! Prepare yourself for some mid-brow chatter, snacks, and reading. We're aiming for one book a month, democratic voting selection, and wide array of subject matters probably heavily leaning towards fiction. Did I mention the snacks?

Here are a few useful tips for joining our discussions:

- You're welcome to join even if you haven't finished the book! Often people who haven't finished find the discussion a helpful motivator to finish things up. The one caveat is, be prepared for spoilers.

- You're welcome to join even if you're on the wait list. We certainly wouldn't want to turn anyone away.

- Newcomers are always welcome! We enjoy hearing new points of view and fresh perspectives.

- Typically we meet at the Democracy Center (45 Mt Auburn St., Cambridge MA) in the Rosa Parks room. The Rosa Parks room is on your right after you walk through the front door on Mt. Auburn St. The Democracy Center is a free, non-profit space that is very generously offering us its space, but doesn't have any food service. So you won't be able to order food or drinks, but feel free to bring your own! We'll also pass the hat for donations to the Democracy Center at the end - so if you could chip in a few bucks, that would be lovely.

- The group is volunteer-run and we definitely encourage members to step up and help out. If you are interested in leading a discussion, joining the organizers group, or organizing a one-off event (like a movie outing, trivia night, author event at a local bookstore, etc.) please get in touch! The more the merrier.

Upcoming events (4)

"The Promise," by Damon Galgut

Online event

For February 2022, we will read Booker Prize winner for 2021, THE PROMISE, by Damon Galgut.

We will meet on ZOOM, and the link will be visible here to those who have RSVP'd yes.

Here's a little about THE PROMISE:

A modern family saga written in gorgeous prose by three-time Booker Prize-shortlisted author Damon Galgut.

Haunted by an unmet promise, the Swart family loses touch after the death of their matriarch. Adrift, the lives of the three siblings move separately through the uncharted waters of South Africa; Anton, the golden boy who bitterly resents his life’s unfulfilled potential; Astrid, whose beauty is her power; and the youngest, Amor, whose life is shaped by a nebulous feeling of guilt.

Reunited by four funerals over three decades, the dwindling family reflects the atmosphere of its country—one of resentment, renewal, and, ultimately, hope. The Promise is an epic drama that unfurls against the unrelenting march of national history, sure to please current fans and attract many new ones.

“Simply: you must read it.”—Claire Messud, Harper’s Magazine

WINNER OF THE 2021 BOOKER PRIZE

A NEW YORK TIMES EDITORS’ CHOICE

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Hope to see you there!
Diane

"Hell of a Book," by Jason Mott

Online event

For March 2022, we're reading the 2021 National Book Award winner HELL OF A BOOK, by Jason Mott.

We will meet on ZOOM, and the link will be visible here to those who have RSVP'd yes.

Here's the short summary:

An astounding work of fiction from a New York Times bestselling author Jason Mott, always deeply honest, at times electrically funny, that goes to the heart of racism, police violence, and the hidden costs exacted upon Black Americans, and America as a whole

In Jason Mott’s Hell of a Book, a Black author sets out on a cross-country publicity tour to promote his bestselling novel. That storyline drives Hell of a Book and is the scaffolding of something much larger and urgent: since Mott’s novel also tells the story of Soot, a young Black boy living in a rural town in the recent past, and The Kid, a possibly imaginary child who appears to the author on his tour.

As these characters’ stories build and build and converge, they astonish. For while this heartbreaking and magical book entertains and is at once about family, love of parents and children, art and money, it’s also about the nation’s reckoning with a tragic police shooting playing over and over again on the news. And with what it can mean to be Black in America.

Who has been killed? Who is The Kid? Will the author finish his book tour, and what kind of world will he leave behind? Unforgettably told, with characters who burn into your mind and an electrifying plot ideal for book club discussion, Hell of a Book is the novel Mott has been writing in his head for the last ten years. And in its final twists it truly becomes its title.

***2021 NATIONAL BOOK AWARD WINNER***

***THE NATIONAL BESTSELLER***

Winner of the 2021 Sir Walter Raleigh Award for Fiction

Longlisted for the 2022 Carnegie Medal Fiction, the 2021 Joyce Carol Oates Prize and the 2021 Aspen Words Literary Prize

A Read With Jenna Today Show Book Club Pick!

One of Washington Post's 50 Notable Works of Fiction | One of Philadelphia Inquirer's Best Books of 2021 | One of Shelf Awareness's Top Ten Fiction Titles of the Year | One of TIME Magazine’s 100 Must-Read Books | One of NPR.org's "Books We Love" | EW’s "Guide to the Biggest and Buzziest Books of 2021" | One of the New York Public Library's Best Books for Adults | One of Entertainment Weekly's 15 Books you Need to Read This June | On Entertainment Weekly's "Must List" | One of The NY Post's Best Summer Reading books | One of GMA's 27 Books for June | One of USA Today's 5 Books Not to Miss | One of Fortune's 21 Most Anticipated Books Coming out in the Second Half of 2021 | One of The Root's PageTurners: It’s Getting Hot in Here | One of Real Simple's Best New Books to Read in 2021 |One of The Philadelphia Inquirer's Best of 2021
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Hope to see you there!
Diane

"Project Hail Mary," by Andy Weir

Online event

We're doing some sci-fi for April 2022, PROJECT HAIL MARY, by Andy Weir, author of THE MARTIAN.

We will meet on ZOOM, and the link will be visible here to those who have RSVP'd yes.

Here's the short summary:

A lone astronaut must save the earth from disaster in this incredible new science-based thriller from the number-one New York Times best-selling author of The Martian.

Ryland Grace is the sole survivor on a desperate, last-chance mission - and if he fails, humanity and the Earth itself will perish.

Except that right now, he doesn't know that. He can't even remember his own name, let alone the nature of his assignment or how to complete it.

All he knows is that he's been asleep for a very, very long time. And he's just been awakened to find himself millions of miles from home, with nothing but two corpses for company.

His crewmates dead, his memories fuzzily returning, he realizes that an impossible task now confronts him. Alone on this tiny ship that's been cobbled together by every government and space agency on the planet and hurled into the depths of space, it's up to him to conquer an extinction-level threat to our species.

And thanks to an unexpected ally, he just might have a chance.

Part scientific mystery, part dazzling interstellar journey, Project Hail Mary is a tale of discovery, speculation, and survival to rival The Martian - while taking us to places it never dreamed of going.
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Hope to see you there!
Diane

"The Lincoln Highway," by Amor Towles

Online event

I am ecstatic to announce our book for May 2022: THE LINCOLN HIGHWAY, by Amor Towles. It's getting so much good, and I'm a huge fan of his last book, A Gentleman in Moscow.

We will meet on ZOOM, and the link will be visible here to those who have RSVP'd yes.

Here's the short summary:

“Wise and wildly entertaining . . . permeated with light, wit, youth.” —The New York Times Book Review

“A classic that we will read for years to come.” —Jenna Bush Hager, Read with Jenna book club

“A real joyride . . . elegantly constructed and compulsively readable.” – NPR

The bestselling author of A Gentleman in Moscow and Rules of Civility and master of absorbing, sophisticated fiction returns with a stylish and propulsive novel set in 1950s America

In June, 1954, eighteen-year-old Emmett Watson is driven home to Nebraska by the warden of the juvenile work farm where he has just served fifteen months for involuntary manslaughter. His mother long gone, his father recently deceased, and the family farm foreclosed upon by the bank, Emmett's intention is to pick up his eight-year-old brother, Billy, and head to California where they can start their lives anew. But when the warden drives away, Emmett discovers that two friends from the work farm have hidden themselves in the trunk of the warden's car. Together, they have hatched an altogether different plan for Emmett's future, one that will take them all on a fateful journey in the opposite direction—to the City of New York.

Spanning just ten days and told from multiple points of view, Towles's third novel will satisfy fans of his multi-layered literary styling while providing them an array of new and richly imagined settings, characters, and themes.

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

A TODAY Show Read with Jenna Book Club Pick

A New York Times Notable Book, and Chosen by Oprah Daily, Time, NPR, The Washington Post and Barack Obama as a Best Book of the Year
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Hope to see you there!
Diane

Past events (151)

"The Sea," by John Banville

Online event

Photos (104)