We have a winner! Our latest poll had "The Immortalists" as the clear winner among those of us who voted. This must be a truly appealing story. Let's find out!
If you knew the date of your death, how would you live your life?
It's 1969 in New York City's Lower East Side, and word has spread of the arrival of a mystical woman, a traveling psychic who claims to be able to tell anyone the day they will die. The Gold children—four adolescents on the cusp of self-awareness—sneak out to hear their fortunes.
The prophecies inform their next five decades. Golden-boy Simon escapes to the West Coast, searching for love in '80s San Francisco; dreamy Klara becomes a Las Vegas magician, obsessed with blurring reality and fantasy; eldest son Daniel seeks security as an army doctor post-9/11; and bookish Varya throws herself into longevity research, where she tests the boundary between science and immortality.
A sweeping novel of remarkable ambition and depth, The Immortalists probes the line between destiny and choice, reality and illusion, this world and the next. It is a deeply moving testament to the power of story, the nature of belief, and the unrelenting pull of familial bonds.
We're meeting at our once-a-year alternate location since The Houndstooth gets all booked up for December.
This selection is the runner-up in our most recent poll, and it maintained a strong 2nd-place finish. You chose a thicker book, and that's not slowing us down.
Before giving you the Goodreads description, don't forget that the tale-end of this meeting will be our ever-popular Annual Holiday Grab-Bag, which you can learn more about in the next meeting's description!
Cyril Avery is not a real Avery or at least that’s what his adoptive parents tell him. And he never will be. But if he isn’t a real Avery, then who is he?
Born out of wedlock to a teenage girl cast out from her rural Irish community and adopted by a well-to-do if eccentric Dublin couple via the intervention of a hunchbacked Redemptorist nun, Cyril is adrift in the world, anchored only tenuously by his heartfelt friendship with the infinitely more glamourous and dangerous Julian Woodbead.
At the mercy of fortune and coincidence, he will spend a lifetime coming to know himself and where he came from – and over his three score years and ten, will struggle to discover an identity, a home, a country and much more.
In this, Boyne's most transcendent work to date, we are shown the story of Ireland from the 1940s to today through the eyes of one ordinary man. "The Heart's Invisible Furies" is a novel to make you laugh and cry while reminding us all of the redemptive power of the human spirit.
Our fourth annual book grab-bag is upon us! Here's how it works:
1. Bring a gift-wrapped book of fiction that is under 500 pages. New or well-used.
2. We'll put all the books in a big bag.
3. We'll all pick numbers, and then starting with 1, we'll each pull out a wrapped book.
4. We'll unwrap and, if trading is necessary (like you've already read the book you picked), we'll swap.
5. You'll read it and then bring your new book--it's yours--with you to our January meeting and let us know what you think of it!
This is our most popular meeting of the year, and everyone always has a lot of fun with this. Looking forward to seeing you out!
This is a follow-up to December's Holiday Book Grab Bag (the fourth annual)! It's a very popular meeting because it's so different. Bring with you whichever book you won and then read in December, and let us know what you thought of it. There's no right or wrong answers, and it's a great opportunity to increase our TBR stacks. And if you couldn't attend the Book Grab Bag, that's fine too; feel free to bring a book you've read over the past few months that you want to share with the group. The more the merrier!
This book is the 3rd-place finisher in our most recent poll! And a solid finish too. Let's see what all the long-standing hullabaloo for this shorter well-known selection has been about.
In a country teetering on the brink of civil war, two young people meet—sensual, fiercely independent Nadia and gentle, restrained Saeed. They embark on a furtive love affair and are soon cloistered in a premature intimacy by the unrest roiling their city. When it explodes, turning familiar streets into a patchwork of checkpoints and bomb blasts, they begin to hear whispers about doors—doors that can whisk people far away, if perilously and for a price. As the violence escalates, Nadia and Saeed decide that they no longer have a choice. Leaving their homeland and their old lives behind, they find a door and step through.
Exit West follows these characters as they emerge into an alien and uncertain future, struggling to hold on to each other, to their past, to the very sense of who they are. Profoundly intimate and powerfully inventive, it tells an unforgettable story of love, loyalty, and courage that is both completely of our time and for all time.
This title is our latest poll's 4th place finisher! This award-winner is on the thicker side, but that's fine with all of us. So, let's have at it!
Yeongdo, Korea 1911.
In a small fishing village on the banks of the East Sea, a club-footed, cleft-lipped man marries a fifteen-year-old girl. The couple have one child, their beloved daughter Sunja. When Sunja falls pregnant by a married yakuza, the family face ruin. But then Isak, a Christian minister, offers her a chance of salvation: a new life in Japan as his wife.
Following a man she barely knows to a hostile country in which she has no friends, no home, and whose language she cannot speak, Sunja’s salvation is just the beginning of her story.
Through eight decades and four generations, Pachinko is an epic tale of family, identity, love, death and survival.
From our last poll, this selection beat out 7 other titles. It's got a beautiful cover and has plenty of rave reviews. Looking forward to this discussion!
Follow a race of human-like machines that have been hiding among us for untold centuries.
Present day: When a young anthropologist specializing in ancient technology uncovers a terrible secret concealed in the workings of a three-hundred-year-old mechanical doll, she is thrown into a hidden world that lurks just under the surface of our own. With her career and her life at stake, June Stefanov will ally with a remarkable traveler who exposes her to a reality she never imagined, as they embark on an around-the-world adventure and discover breathtaking secrets of the past...
Russia, 1725: In the depths of the Kremlin, the tsar's loyal mechanician brings to life two astonishingly humanlike mechanical beings. Peter and Elena are a brother and sister fallen out of time, possessed with uncanny power, and destined to serve great empires. Struggling to blend into pre-Victorian society, they are pulled into a legendary war that has raged for centuries.
The Clockwork Dynasty interweaves past and present, exploring a race of beings designed to live by ironclad principles, yet constantly searching for meaning. As June plunges deeper into their world, her choices will ultimately determine their survival or extermination.