- June Book Club
The book for June will be The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah. Please note for June, July, and August, due to travel plans and summer we will meet on the 2nd Tuesday of each month. We will plan to go back to the 1st Tuesday of the month in September. Alaska, 1974. Unpredictable. Unforgiving. Untamed. For a family in crisis, the ultimate test of survival. Ernt Allbright, a former POW, comes home from the Vietnam war a changed and volatile man. When he loses yet another job, he makes an impulsive decision: he will move his family north, to Alaska, where they will live off the grid in America’s last true frontier. Thirteen-year-old Leni, a girl coming of age in a tumultuous time, caught in the riptide of her parents’ passionate, stormy relationship, dares to hope that a new land will lead to a better future for her family. She is desperate for a place to belong. Her mother, Cora, will do anything and go anywhere for the man she loves, even if it means following him into the unknown At first, Alaska seems to be the answer to their prayers. In a wild, remote corner of the state, they find a fiercely independent community of strong men and even stronger women. The long, sunlit days and the generosity of the locals make up for the Allbrights’ lack of preparation and dwindling resources. But as winter approaches and darkness descends on Alaska, Ernt’s fragile mental state deteriorates and the family begins to fracture. Soon the perils outside pale in comparison to threats from within. In their small cabin, covered in snow, blanketed in eighteen hours of night, Leni and her mother learn the terrible truth: they are on their own. In the wild, there is no one to save them but themselves. In this unforgettable portrait of human frailty and resilience, Kristin Hannah reveals the indomitable character of the modern American pioneer and the spirit of a vanishing Alaska―a place of incomparable beauty and danger. The Great Alone is a daring, beautiful, stay-up-all-night story about love and loss, the fight for survival, and the wildness that lives in both man and nature.
- May Book Club
Our book for May will be "Where the Crawdads Sing", by Delia Owens. For years, rumors of the “Marsh Girl” have haunted Barkley Cove, a quiet town on the North Carolina coast. So in late 1969, when handsome Chase Andrews is found dead, the locals immediately suspect Kya Clark, the so-called Marsh Girl. But Kya is not what they say. Sensitive and intelligent, she has survived for years alone in the marsh that she calls home, finding friends in the gulls and lessons in the sand. Then the time comes when she yearns to be touched and loved. When two young men from town become intrigued by her wild beauty, Kya opens herself to a new life–until the unthinkable happens. Perfect for fans of Barbara Kingsolver and Karen Russell, Where the Crawdads Sing is at once an exquisite ode to the natural world, a heartbreaking coming-of-age story, and a surprising tale of possible murder. Owens reminds us that we are forever shaped by the children we once were, and that we are all subject to the beautiful and violent secrets that nature keeps.
- April Book Club "True Places: A Novel" by Sonja Yoerg
The book for April will be ""True Places: A Novel" by Sonja Yoerg. Please note this book is not available at Samuel's library, so you may want to order it ASAP. A girl emerges from the woods, starved, ill, and alone…and collapses. Suzanne Blakemore hurtles along the Blue Ridge Parkway, away from her overscheduled and completely normal life, and encounters the girl. As Suzanne rushes her to the hospital, she never imagines how the encounter will change her—a change she both fears and desperately needs. Suzanne has the perfect house, a successful husband, and a thriving family. But beneath the veneer of an ideal life, her daughter is rebelling, her son is withdrawing, her husband is oblivious to it all, and Suzanne is increasingly unsure of her place in the world. After her discovery of the ethereal sixteen-year-old who has never experienced civilization, Suzanne is compelled to invite Iris into her family’s life and all its apparent privileges. But Iris has an independence, a love of solitude, and a discomfort with materialism that contrasts with everything the Blakemores stand for—qualities that awaken in Suzanne first a fascination, then a longing. Now Suzanne can’t help but wonder: Is she destined to save Iris, or is Iris the one who will save her?
- March Book Club- " An American Marriage"
The book for March will be "An American Marriage" by Tayari Jones. Please note that in March we will be meeting on the FIRST THURSDAY of the month, as FRB is closed for a Mardi Gras event on that Tuesday. If the Vinova wine bar is open by then, we will meet there, on Thursday the 7th. Stay tuned for the location as it gets closer! Newlyweds Celestial and Roy are the embodiment of both the American Dream and the New South. He is a young executive, and she is an artist on the brink of an exciting career. But as they settle into the routine of their life together, they are ripped apart by circumstances neither could have imagined. In this deft exploration of love, loyalty, race, justice, and both Black masculinity and Black womanhood in 21st century America, Jones achieves that most-elusive of all literary goals: the Great American Novel.
- February Book Club-Till We Have Faces
For February's meeting we will discuss "Till We Have Faces" by C.S. Lewis. In this timeless tale of two mortal princesses- one beautiful and one unattractive- C.S. Lewis reworks the classical myth of Cupid and Psyche into an enduring piece of contemporary fiction. This is the story of Orual, Psyche's embittered and ugly older sister, who posessively and harmfully loves Psyche. Much to Orual's frustration, Psyche is loved by Cupid, the god of love himself, setting the troubled Orual on a path of moral development. Set against the backdrop of Glome, a barbaric, pre-Christian world, the struggles between sacred and profane love are illuminated as Orual learns that we cannot understand the intent of the gods "till we have faces" and sincerity in our souls and selves.
- January Book Club-Nine Perfect Strangers
Our first book of 2019 will be Nine Perfect Strangers, by Liane Moriarty. Could ten days at a health resort really change you forever? In Liane Moriarty’s latest page-turner, nine perfect strangers are about to find out... Nine people gather at a remote health resort. Some are here to lose weight, some are here to get a reboot on life, some are here for reasons they can’t even admit to themselves. Amidst all of the luxury and pampering, the mindfulness and meditation, they know these ten days might involve some real work. But none of them could imagine just how challenging the next ten days are going to be. Frances Welty, the formerly best-selling romantic novelist, arrives at Tranquillum House nursing a bad back, a broken heart, and an exquisitely painful paper cut. She’s immediately intrigued by her fellow guests. Most of them don’t look to be in need of a health resort at all. But the person that intrigues her most is the strange and charismatic owner/director of Tranquillum House. Could this person really have the answers Frances didn’t even know she was seeking? Should Frances put aside her doubts and immerse herself in everything Tranquillum House has to offer – or should she run while she still can? It’s not long before every guest at Tranquillum House is asking exactly the same question. Combining all of the hallmarks that have made her writing a go-to for anyone looking for wickedly smart, page-turning fiction that will make you laugh and gasp, Liane Moriarty’s Nine Perfect Strangers once again shows why she is a master of her craft. Please note, since the first Tuesday of January is New Year's Day, we will be meeting the following Tuesday, Jan 8th. Happy Reading!
- December Book Club and Cookie Exchange
It's time for our annual Book Club Cookie Exchange! Here's how it works: Make or buy 6 dozen of your favorite holiday treat. Bring them to share and distribute Bring a large container to take home your treats in Enjoy! There are no specific "rules", if you don't have time to bake, feel free to buy something and bring it. For our discussion this month, a local author has reached out to me and asked if she could join us to discuss her book ""Riding the Waves of LIfe with Lavinia", by Jill Turner Darnell. If you are interested in the book, it is available on Amazon. https://www.amazon.com/Riding-Waves-Lavinia-Turner-Darnell/dp/0692875670/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1542053014&sr=8-2&keywords=riding+the+waves+of+life&dpID=41zJBB6MprL&preST=_SY291_BO1,204,203,200_QL40_&dpSrc=srch You can also feel free to just come for the cookies, drinks, and listen to the author speak about her book. I am sure she will bring some copies with her to purchase. If anyone has suggestions for our first book of 2019, please post them here.
- October Book Club
The book for October will be "This Must Be The Place" by Maggie O'Farrell. Please note, we are now meeting on the first TUESDAY of every month. Front Royal Brewing has live music on Thursday nights, which makes it a pretty loud environment. This change takes effect in October. A dazzling novel from bestselling writer Maggie O'Farrell, winner of the Costa Novel Award—an irresistible love story that crisscrosses continents and time zones as it captures an extraordinary marriage, and an unforgettable family, with wit, humor, and deep affection. Meet Daniel Sullivan, a man with a complicated life. A New Yorker living in the wilds of Ireland, he has children he never sees in California, a father he loathes in Brooklyn, and a wife, Claudette, who is a reclusive ex–film star given to pulling a gun on anyone who ventures up their driveway. Claudette was once the most glamorous and infamous woman in cinema before she staged her own disappearance and retreated to blissful seclusion in an Irish farmhouse. But the life Daniel and Claudette have so carefully constructed is about to be disrupted by an unexpected discovery about a woman Daniel lost touch with twenty years ago. This revelation will send him off-course, far away from wife, children and home. Will his love for Claudette be enough to bring him back? This Must be the Place is a novel about family, identity, and true love: an intimately drawn portrait of a marriage, both the forces that hold it together and the pressures that drive it apart. O'Farrell writes with complexity, insight, and laugh-out-loud humor in a narrative that hurtles forward with powerful velocity and emotion. This Must be the Place is a sophisticated, spellbinding summer read from one of the UK's most highly acclaimed and best-loved novelists. https://www.amazon.com/This-Must-Place-Vintage-Contemporaries/dp/0345804724/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1535739697&sr=8-1&keywords=this+must+be+the+place+maggie+o%27farrell&dpID=51IeDs9RVcL&preST=_SY291_BO1,204,203,200_QL40_&dpSrc=srch
- September Book Club
The book for September's meeting will be The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. Link to the book here. https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/40787340-the-guernsey-literary-and-potato-peel-pie-society?from_choice=false&from_home_module=false We will be meeting at Front Royal Brewing Company, on the patio, weather permitting. If it rains, we will be in the back to the left. #1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • SOON TO BE A NETFLIX FILM • A remarkable tale of the island of Guernsey during the German Occupation, and of a society as extraordinary as its name. January 1946: London is emerging from the shadow of the Second World War, and writer Juliet Ashton is looking for her next book subject. Who could imagine that she would find it in a letter from a man she’s never met, a native of the island of Guernsey, who has come across her name written inside a book by Charles Lamb. . . . As Juliet and her new correspondent exchange letters, Juliet is drawn into the world of this man and his friends—and what a wonderfully eccentric world it is. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society—born as a spur-of-the-moment alibi when its members were discovered breaking curfew by the Germans occupying their island—boasts a charming, funny, deeply human cast of characters, from pig farmers to phrenologists, literature lovers all. Juliet begins a remarkable correspondence with the society’s members, learning about their island, their taste in books, and the impact the recent German occupation has had on their lives. Captivated by their stories, she sets sail for Guernsey, and what she finds will change her forever. Written with warmth and humor as a series of letters, this novel is a celebration of the written word in all its guises and of finding connection in the most surprising ways.