Rules on book selection are not intended to be strictly limited to the current year's shortlist, but can draw from longlists and the past 15 years of ToBs. However, one month will be dedicated to the winner.
Why the ToB? Well, it's fun, and the pre-existing online discussion provides a nice jumping-off point for discussion. In general, the ToB provides a nice selection of the past 15 years of popular literary fiction.
**Note that this group has a membership cap of 50. Inactive members will be removed periodically to make room for waitlisted members.**.
Synopsis: In the 1680s the slave trade in the Americas is still in its infancy. Jacob Vaark is an Anglo-Dutch trader and adventurer, with a small holding in the harsh North. Despite his distaste for dealing in "flesh," he takes a small slave girl in part payment for a bad debt from a plantation owner in Catholic Maryland. This is Florens, who can read and write and might be useful on his farm. Rejected by her mother, Florens looks for love, first from Lina, an older servant woman at her new master’s house, and later from the handsome blacksmith, an African, never enslaved, who comes riding into their lives.
synopsis: Alix Chamberlain is shocked when her babysitter, Emira Tucker, is confronted while watching the Chamberlains’ toddler one night, walking the aisles of their local high-end supermarket. The store’s security guard, seeing a young black woman out late with a white child, accuses Emira of kidnapping the child. A small crowd gathers, a bystander films everything, and Emira is furious and humiliated. Alix resolves to make things right. But Emira herself is aimless, broke, and wary of Alix’s desire to help. When the video of Emira unearths someone from Alix’s past, both women find themselves on a crash course that will upend everything they think they know about themselves, and each other.
Synopsis: In the fields of western New York State in the 1970s, a few dozen idealists set out to live off the land, founding a commune on the grounds of a decaying mansion called Arcadia House. They include Abe, a master carpenter; Hannah, a baker and historian; and Abe and Hannah's only child, Bit, born soon after the commune. Through Bit, Arcadia follows this romantic, rollicking, and tragic utopian dream from its hopeful start through its heyday and beyond.