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Let's Discuss: The Burgess Boys by Elizabeth Strout

Bring your ideas for the next book selections to this FIRST TUESDAY in September meeting.

15% off at Bookshop Santa Cruz--mention Ravenous Readers at the register, or take the book off the book club wall. (It has a little tag in it for the cashier.)

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

Elizabeth Strout “animates the ordinary with an astonishing force,” wrote The New Yorker on the publication of her Pulitzer Prize–winning Olive Kitteridge. The San Francisco Chronicle praised Strout’s “magnificent gift for humanizing characters.” Now the acclaimed author returns with a stunning novel as powerful and moving as any work in contemporary literature.

Haunted by the freak accident that killed their father when they were children, Jim and Bob Burgess escaped from their Maine hometown of Shirley Falls for New York City as soon as they possibly could. Jim, a sleek, successful corporate lawyer, has belittled his bighearted brother their whole lives, and Bob, a Legal Aid attorney who idolizes Jim, has always taken it in stride. But their long-standing dynamic is upended when their sister, Susan—the Burgess sibling who stayed behind—urgently calls them home. Her lonely teenage son, Zach, has gotten himself into a world of trouble, and Susan desperately needs their help. And so the Burgess brothers return to the landscape of their childhood, where the long-buried tensions that have shaped and shadowed their relationship begin to surface in unexpected ways that will change them forever.

With a rare combination of brilliant storytelling, exquisite prose, and remarkable insight into character, Elizabeth Strout has brought to life two deeply human protagonists whose struggles and triumphs will resonate with readers long after they turn the final page. Tender, tough-minded, loving, and deeply illuminating about the ties that bind us to family and home, The Burgess Boys is Elizabeth Strout’s newest and perhaps most astonishing work of literary art.

Praise for The Burgess Boys

“No one should be surprised by the poignancy and emotional vigor of Elizabeth Strout’s new novel. But the broad social and political range of The Burgess Boys shows just how impressively this extraordinary writer continues to develop.”The Washington Post

“Strout’s greatest gift as a writer, outside a diamond-sharp precision that packs 320 fast-paced pages full of insight, is her ability to let the reader in on all the rancor of her characters without making any of them truly detestable. . . . Strout creates a portrait of an American community in turmoil that’s as ambitious as Philip Roth’sAmerican Pastoral but more intimate in tone.”Time

“What truly makes Strout exceptional—and her latest supple and penetrating novel so profoundly affecting—is the perfect balance she achieves between the tides of story and depths of feeling. . . . Every element in Strout’s graceful, many-faceted novel is keenly observed, lustrously imagined and trenchantly interpreted.”—Chicago Tribune


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  • Meredith

    Bookshop Santa Cruz is having a book group mixer Tuesday, Sept 17th. I intend to go.

    September 11, 2013

  • Meredith

    I'm going to Billy Collins Nov 8th. Those who want can buy a ticket and we'll go together.

    September 11, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    FYI - Barbara and I will be at Bookshop SC to see Sherman Alexie Sept 30th if you'd like to join us
    http://www.bookshopsantacruz.com/event/sherman-alexie-0

    1 · September 11, 2013

    • Meredith

      Sorry that I can't go. Have fun!

      September 11, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Hi readers, did we pick a book for the next session? Sorry I missed the discussion. Any stellar insights you want to share?

    September 11, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Great discussion, especially with a small group.

    September 10, 2013

  • Meredith

    Really fun! A small group because it was the day after Labor Day, but a terrific book to read, meaty to discuss. Fun back-and-forth on all the psychological dynamics between the siblings, coupled with agreement on who we all hated and who was simpatico.

    September 4, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Oops - unable to attend. Will someone please let me know the next book chosen?

    September 3, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Hi all. Apologies, but I won't make Tuesday night's meeting. My school opens the next day and I was over optimistic about my schedule. I did read (and like) the book! Have a good meeting.

    September 2, 2013

    • Meredith

      OK, maybe next time!

      September 2, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    A message to all, whether you're coming to the Sept group discussion or not. Send recommended reading! I have been thinking about our next reads and would like to offer the following for consideration: The Novice by Thich Nhat Hanh
    http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/12091036-the-novice

    Blasphemy by Sherman Alexie (since I have tickets to hear him speak in Sept) Another book by Alexie would be lovely too
    http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/13590740-blasphemy

    Joy for Beginners or The Lost Art of Mixing by Erica Bauermeister
    because I loved her book the School of Essential Ingredients
    http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/15766789-the-lost-art-of-mixing

    Or I'll just go crazy and recommend some non-fiction. I just read
    Last Call: The rise and fall of prohibition by Daniel Okrent
    Suggested because I found myself itching to compare the social, political and economic dynamics from that era to this one.

    August 21, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Hello, I will be on a train 5am Sept. 3rd, til 4pm on the 4th, will miss my first book discussion on "The Burgess Boys" by the way I liked it. I wish I could get the next book read for my trip. I think I will pickup "The Novice" it feels like a good read, thank you Delise.

      August 24, 2013

    • Meredith

      Too bad--see you next time!

      August 25, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Dang, I just realized I'll be at a conference Tue night and will miss this group. Meredith, please add my next selection ideas to the list. Enjoy all, I'll miss you.

    August 25, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Has October book been selected?

    August 21, 2013

    • Meredith

      Not yet--got ideas?

      August 21, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Will be traveling Enjoy!

    August 21, 2013

4 went

  • Meredith
    Event Host
  • A former member
  • A former member
  • A former member
  • A former member
  • A former member

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