Now Read This is a digital book club collaboration between PBS Newshour and The New York Times. Now Read This Portland is a space for readers who want to engage on the selected titles in person with other interested people from their own community. Together, we will join along every month as a book is chosen and discussed on social media before holding our own dynamic group discussion. All participants must be respectful and civil in the discussion.
September’s Pick: Conversations with Friends by Sally Rooney
Sally Rooney has been called the first great millennial writer – if you haven’t read her yet, you’re about to find out if you agree! Her second book, Normal People, made the longlist for the Man Booker this year and has been a popular summer read.
Conversations with Friends is her debut novel, a story about a 21-year old woman navigating her relationships as they spiral out of her control. I saw it on the Staff Picks shelf recently at The Owl and Turtle Bookshop in Camden, and the recommender described a book about repellent people that she nonetheless couldn’t put down. It’s a novel about belonging and growing up, about bad decisions and human nature, and about how the world doesn’t always fit into the archetypes we’ve seen or read.
Rooney has said that she likes intertwining the personal and political and exploring how relationships play out in that space. She told The New York Times she hopes to reach readers like herself, “people who…have a similarly jaundiced view of social systems.”
I hope to see you later this month to talk all about it – whether you have a jaundiced view of social systems or not.