What we're about

Do you love fiction and want to join a fun-loving group to discuss a new book once a month? Want to keep up with interesting new authors gaining some buzz and acclaim?

We follow the theme of the group pretty loosely. For the most part we choose fiction works by new authors, usually a first or second novel that was released in the last two years. But sometimes we read the latest from a long established author like Haruki Murakami or Isabel Allende. We read books that we (Jessica and Martha) want to read and that we hope others will enjoy. And if you don't enjoy the book, we hope you enjoy telling us why not!

Finishing the book is not a requirement to attend (as long as you don't mind spoilers). We have an unstructured, informal discussion of the book and the themes that the book brings up.

Upcoming events (2)

Book 43: Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid

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Let's discuss Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid!

A Best Book of the Year:
The Washington Post • Chicago Tribune • NPR • Vogue • Elle • Real Simple • InStyle • Good Housekeeping • Parade • Slate • Vox • Kirkus Reviews • Library Journal • BookPage

Longlisted for the 2020 Booker Prize

An Instant New York Times Bestseller

"The most provocative page-turner of the year." --Entertainment Weekly

"I urge you to read Such a Fun Age." --NPR

A striking and surprising debut novel from an exhilarating new voice, Such a Fun Age is a page-turning and big-hearted story about race and privilege, set around a young black babysitter, her well-intentioned employer, and a surprising connection that threatens to undo them both.

Alix Chamberlain is a woman who gets what she wants and has made a living, with her confidence-driven brand, showing other women how to do the same. So she 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 two-year-old Briar. 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. At twenty-five, she is about to lose her health insurance and has no idea what to do with her life. 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.

With empathy and piercing social commentary, Such a Fun Age explores the stickiness of transactional relationships, what it means to make someone "family," and the complicated reality of being a grown up. It is a searing debut for our times.

Book 44: Nightcrawling by Leila Mottley

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Let's discuss Nightcrawling by Leila Mottley!

This book is based on the true story of a police scandal here in Oakland. The author is 19 years old, the youngest author we've read in this group. I've heard great things about this book. I think it will be a tough read but sounds like it will be worth it.

Interview with Trevor Noah on The Daily Show

Here's a quote from the Washington Post review:

  • My god — that voice. It’s sometimes too painful to keep reading, but always too urgent to stop. In page after page, you can hear Mottley’s precocious work as a poet, first recognized by the Oakland Public Library that named her Oakland’s youth poet laureate in 2018. She’s already perfected the delicate task of infusing these observations with a kind of raw poetry without doing violence to the natural cadence of her narrator’s speech.

BOOKER PRIZE NOMINEE • NEW YORK TIMES BEST SELLER • OPRAH’S BOOK CLUB PICK • A dazzling novel about a young Black woman who walks the streets of Oakland and stumbles headlong into the failure of its justice system—the debut of a blazingly original voice and "a soul-searching portrait of survival and hope" (Oprah Winfrey)

Nightcrawling bursts at the seams of every page and swallows you whole.” —Tommy Orange, author of There There

Kiara and her brother, Marcus, are scraping by in an East Oakland apartment complex optimistically called the Regal-Hi. Both have dropped out of high school, their family fractured by death and prison

But while Marcus clings to his dream of rap stardom, Kiara hunts for work to pay their rent—which has more than doubled—and to keep the nine-year-old boy next door, abandoned by his mother, safe and fed. One night, what begins as a drunken misunderstanding with a stranger turns into the job Kiara never imagined wanting but now desperately needs: nightcrawling. Her world breaks open even further when her name surfaces in an investigation that exposes her as a key witness in a massive scandal within the Oakland Police Department.

Rich with raw beauty, electrifying intensity, and piercing vulnerability, Nightcrawling marks the stunning arrival of a voice unlike any we have heard before.

Past events (42)

Book 42: Lucky Breaks by Yevgenia Belorusets

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Photos (32)