Our Book Club is celebrating its third year! We are 130 women-strong and I am thrilled with how we’ve pivoted to still meet through a virtual experience. I hope you will join us this summer as we read three fabulous new releases. You can find all three selections as well as how to join our book club here.
First, The Herd by Andrea Bartz. We are working with Andrea to see if her summer travel schedule works with our book club virtual gathering on Thursday, June 25 at 7 p.m. CST.
NAMED ONE OF THE MOST ANTICIPATED THRILLERS OF 2020 BY Marie Claire · Newsweek · The Boston Globe · HelloGiggles · Book Riot · PopSugar · CrimeReads · Bustle · She Reads
The name of the elite, women-only coworking space stretches across the wall behind the check-in desk: THE HERD, the H-E-R always in purple. In-the-know New Yorkers crawl over one another to apply for membership to this community that prides itself on mentorship and empowerment. Among the hopefuls is Katie Bradley, who’s just returned from the Midwest after a stint of book research blew up in her face. Luckily, Katie has an in, thanks to her sister, Hana, an original Herder and the best friend of Eleanor Walsh, the Herd’s charismatic founder.
Eleanor is a queen among the Herd’s sun-filled rooms, admired and quietly feared even as she strives to be warm and approachable. As head of PR, Hana is working around the clock to prepare for a huge announcement from Eleanor—one that will change the trajectory of the Herd forever. Though Katie loves her sister’s crew, she secretly hopes that she’s found her next book subject in Eleanor, who’s brilliant, trailblazing—and extremely private.
Then, on the night of the glitzy Herd news conference, Eleanor vanishes without a trace. Everybody has a theory about what made Eleanor run, but when the police suggest foul play, everyone is a suspect: Eleanor’s husband, other Herders, the men’s rights groups that have had it out for the Herd since its launch—even Eleanor’s closest friends. As Hana struggles to figure out what her friend was hiding and Katie chases the story of her life, the sisters must face the secrets they’ve been keeping from each other—and confront just how dangerous it can be when women’s perfect veneers start to crack, crumble, and then fall away altogether.
For July, we are reading a brand new release from Sue Monk Kidd titled The Book of Longings: A Novel. We will meet virtually on Thursday, July 30, 7 p.m. CST.
An extraordinary story set in the first century about a woman who finds her voice and her destiny, from the celebrated number-one New York Times bestselling author of The Secret Life of Bees and The Invention of Wings
In her mesmerizing fourth work of fiction, Sue Monk Kidd takes an audacious approach to history and brings her acclaimed narrative gifts to imagine the story of a young woman named Ana. Raised in a wealthy family with ties to the ruler of Galilee, she is rebellious and ambitious, with a brilliant mind and a daring spirit. She engages in furtive scholarly pursuits and writes narratives about neglected and silenced women. Ana is expected to marry an older widower, a prospect that horrifies her. An encounter with eighteen-year-old Jesus changes everything.
Their marriage evolves with love and conflict, humor and pathos in Nazareth, where Ana makes a home with Jesus, his brothers, and their mother, Mary. Ana’s pent-up longings intensify amid the turbulent resistance to Rome’s occupation of Israel, partially led by her brother, Judas. She is sustained by her fearless aunt Yaltha, who harbors a compelling secret. When Ana commits a brazen act that puts her in peril, she flees to Alexandria, where startling revelations and greater dangers unfold, and she finds refuge in unexpected surroundings. Ana determines her fate during a stunning convergence of events considered among the most impactful in human history.
Grounded in meticulous research and written with a reverential approach to Jesus’s life that focuses on his humanity, The Book of Longings is an inspiring, unforgettable account of one woman’s bold struggle to realize the passion and potential inside her, while living in a time, place and culture devised to silence her. It is a triumph of storytelling both timely and timeless, from a masterful writer at the height of her powers.
And we will wrap up summer with reading American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins. This virtual gathering will be on Thursday, August 27, 7 p.m. CST.
También de este lado hay sueños. On this side, too, there are dreams.
Lydia Quixano Pérez lives in the Mexican city of Acapulco. She runs a bookstore. She has a son, Luca, the love of her life, and a wonderful husband who is a journalist. And while there are cracks beginning to show in Acapulco because of the drug cartels, her life is, by and large, fairly comfortable.
Even though she knows they’ll never sell, Lydia stocks some of her all-time favorite books in her store. And then one day a man enters the shop to browse and comes up to the register with a few books he would like to buy—two of them her favorites. Javier is erudite. He is charming. And, unbeknownst to Lydia, he is the jefe of the newest drug cartel that has gruesomely taken over the city. When Lydia’s husband’s tell-all profile of Javier is published, none of their lives will ever be the same.
Forced to flee, Lydia and eight-year-old Luca soon find themselves miles and worlds away from their comfortable middle-class existence. Instantly transformed into migrants, Lydia and Luca ride la bestia—trains that make their way north toward the United States, which is the only place Javier’s reach doesn’t extend. As they join the countless people trying to reach el norte, Lydia soon sees that everyone is running from something. But what exactly are they running to?
American Dirt will leave readers utterly changed. It is a literary achievement filled with poignancy, drama, and humanity on every page. It is one of the most important books for our times.
Already being hailed as “a Grapes of Wrath for our times” and “a new American classic,” Jeanine Cummins’s American Dirt is a rare exploration into the inner hearts of people willing to sacrifice everything for a glimmer of hope.
To stay well we will continue our successful virtual format gathering via Zoom through the summer. Go ahead and download the free Zoom app on your personal computer or phone, create an account and join from your PC, Mac, iPhone or Android with this link:
New to Zoom and not quite sure how to use it? Here is a helpful printable walking you through the steps to create and use Zoom like a pro. Be sure to remember to practice Zoom “netiquette” during our meeting.
Even if you aren’t local to my area, you can join our book club, membership is free, through Bookmovement. By signing up you will receive notifications on our upcoming meetings and the books we will be reading. Plus, you can create your personal queue of books you want to read outside of our group and find out new releases and trends in all genres of books. Friends are always welcome. Be sure to visit our Bookmovement page to see the books we are reading for the summer.
No matter where you live, we’d love to have you join our community of women nationwide spending more time reading and less time using technology. Join our movement! Stay well.