What we're about

Novel Lovers of Sonoma County, CA (originally Novel Lovers of Sebastopol) is a book discussion group where we talk in depth about contemporary literary fiction. Yes, we really discuss the book for two hours! We assume that you’ve read the book and are eager to talk about it. We’re friendly and welcoming – not stodgy at all -- but we do take our book discussions seriously!

We read contemporary novels, almost exclusively those that have received critical acclaim and/or won literary awards. We try to schedule a few books ahead so you can get the book and plan your time. To participate in this process, comment on our message board (https://www.meetup.com/Novel-Lovers-of-Sebastopol/messages/boards/), especially the current Book Recommendations thread.

Please RSVP “yes” when you know for sure that you’ll be there, and please change your RSVP if your plans change. Don’t RSVP “yes” if you mean “maybe,” and please don’t be a no-show. As a courtesy to the wait list, our host, and me, please change your RSVP if you can't attend, even at the last minute.

Each time I announce a book, the RSVP list fills quickly, and we often have large wait lists. Almost everyone does get in (people's plans change, emergencies and illnesses happen, etc.), so if you're on the wait list, read the book. If you get in, even as late as the day of the meeting, you'll be ready.

Bring a snack to share if it's convenient, and a couple of dollars towards the organizer dues.

We look forward to talking books with you!

Questions? Email Joan Price (joan@joanprice.com), organizer.

8/16/20: I realize I haven't updated our group description since we moved our meetings online in March 2020. Here's what we're doing now:

* Novels: During the pandemic, we're still reading one novel a month, meeting online for 1.5 hours.

* Short Story Group: Our book club has been reading contemporary novels, and we also created a short story spin-off group that met monthly before the pandemic. After we started taking our meetings online, we switched the short story group from monthly to weekly, one story, one hour. We have a core group that meets each week. We're open to new members who want to discuss short stories in depth.

Upcoming events (5)

Deacon King Kong by James McBride [ONLINE]

Online event

"... a feverish love letter to New York City, people, and writing. The prose is relentless and McBride's storytelling skills shine as he drags readers at breakneck speed trough a plethora of lives, times, events, and conversations ... McBride's prose is shimmering and moving, a living thing that has its own rhythm, pulls you in from the first page and never lets go. His story focuses on the people that make the Big Apple what it is: the strange, the poor, the insane, the mobsters. He also showcases the city's wonderful diversity, filling his pages with Puerto Ricans, African Americans, Italians, and Irish folks. And all these many people get a turn in the spotlight." -NPR, https://www.npr.org/2020/03/07/809759063/fast-complex-and-funny-deacon-king-kong-is-a-love-letter-to-new-york-city

"Sportcoat is the vexatious heart of James McBride’s cracking new novel...like something out of Zora Neale Hurston updated by Paul Beatty ... Deacon King Kong is many things: a mystery novel, a crime novel, an urban farce, a portrait of a project community...Fortunately, it is also deeply felt, beautifully written and profoundly humane; McBride’s ability to inhabit his characters’ foibled, all-too-human interiority helps transform a fine book into a great one." -Junot Diaz, NYT, https://www.nytimes.com/2020/02/29/books/review/deacon-king-kong-james-mcbride.html

"James McBride’s vision of New York is one of overwhelming human profusion. His new novel, Deacon King Kong (Riverhead), set in what appears to be a fictionalized version of the Brooklyn housing project where McBride grew up, is crowded with characters whose backstories are crowded with more characters, all of their fates connected, in ways they know about and in ways they don’t. It’s a world where isolation seems like vanity; where one’s intimate business is usually, somehow, everyone else’s business, too; where even the attempted murder that begins the novel takes place in front of sixteen witnesses, many of whom know both shooter and victim personally." - New Yorker, https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2020/03/02/fate-and-fury-in-deacon-king-kong

* Winner of the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award for Fiction
* Winner of the Gotham Book Prize
* One of Barack Obama's "Favorite Books of the Year"
* Named one of the Top Ten Books of the Year by the New York Times, Entertainment Weekly. and TIME Magazine

(Link will be emailed to attendees a few days before the event.)

[ONLINE] short story discussion: "Liberté"

Online event

Our contemporary short story discussion group is reading Best American Short Stories 2020, ed. Curtis Sittenfeld, one story every other Sunday. This week's story is "Liberté" by Scott Nadelson.

[ONLINE] short story discussion: "Howl Palace"

Online event

Our contemporary short story discussion group is reading Best American Short Stories 2020, ed. Curtis Sittenfeld, one story every other Sunday. This week's story is "Howl Palace" by Leigh Newman.

[ONLINE] short story discussion: "The Nine-Tailed Fox Explains"

Our contemporary short story discussion group is reading Best American Short Stories 2020, ed. Curtis Sittenfeld, one story every other Sunday. This week's story is "The Nine-Tailed Fox Explains" by Jane Pek.

Past events (214)

[ONLINE] short story discussion: "It's Not You"

Online event

Photos (38)