Check It Out Category: Book Groups

New for Book Clubs: When We Left Cuba, The Friend, and My Year of Rest and Relaxation

Attention ambitious book groups: Allow us to introduce three titles that aren’t afraid to test the boundaries of character, theme, and style. Ideal for those who crave thought-provoking dialogue, these new additions to the Book Discussion collection pose moral dilemmas that will invite strong opinion. Whether you read on your own or with a book club, you won’t miss earlier announcements one, two, three, and four, and more are yet to come!

When We Left Cuba When We Left Cuba book cover by Chanel Cleeton

spirited, melodramatic, engaging
for fans of Isabel Allende, Elizabeth Kostova, and Janice Y.K. Lee

The Cuban Revolution took everything from sugar heiress Beatriz Perez: her family, her people, her country. Recruited by the CIA to infiltrate Fidel Castro’s inner circle, Beatriz is caught between the clash of Cuban American politics and the perils of a forbidden affair with a powerful man driven by ambitions of his own. She must make a choice between her past and future… but the wrong move could cost Beatriz everything.

New York Times bestseller

The Friend book coverThe Friend by Sigrid Nunez

introspective, leisurely paced, stylistically complex
for fans of Steven Rowley, Teju Cole, and Kent Haruf

Becoming the guardian of her late best friend’s enormous Great Dane, a grieving woman is evicted from her no-pets apartment and forges a deep bond with the equally distraught animal in ways that initially disturb her friends.

National Book Award Winner for Fiction
New York Times Notable Book
Kirkus Starred Review

My Year of Rest and Relaxation book coverMy Year of Rest and Relaxation by Ottessa Moshfegh

subversive, propulsive, darkly humorous
for fans of Alexandra Kleeman, Jennifer Egan, and Bret Easton Ellis

After losing her parents, a young college graduate in New York City spends a year alienating the world under the influence of a crazy combination of drugs.

New York Times Best Book of the Year
Time Magazine Best Book of the Year
Goodreads Choice Nominee for Best Fiction

New for Book Clubs: Dark Matter, The Name of the Wind, and Redeployment

Book groups come in all sizes and flavors. If you are part of a group that specializes in speculative or gritty stories, or if your ‘traditional’ group is ready for something not quite as traditional, you may be ready to meet one of our newest additions to the Book Discussion collection. These are hand-picked reads ideal for personal enrichment or for group conversation. Check out earlier announcements one, two, and three, and watch for additional announcements each week!

Dark Matter Dark Matter book cover by Blake Crouch

suspenseful, intricately plotted, fast-paced
for fans of Peter Clines, R.J. Pineiro, and Harlan Coben

A mind-bending, relentlessly paced science-fiction thriller, in which an ordinary man is kidnapped, knocked unconscious–and awakens in a world inexplicably different from the reality he thought he knew.

Goodreads Choice Award Runner-up: Best Science Fiction
LibraryReads Favorite
Loan Stars Favourite

Name of the Wind book coverThe Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss

atmospheric, rich world-building, leisurely paced
for fans of Robin Hobb, Brent Weeks, and Terry Goodkind

A hero named Kvothe, now living under an assumed name as the humble proprietor of an inn, recounts his transformation from a magically gifted young man into the most notorious wizard, musician, thief, and assassin in his world.

Publishers Weekly: Best Book of the Year
Alex Award
Reading List Award

Redeployment book coverRedeployment by Phil Klay

candid, haunting, darkly humorous
for fans of Tim O’Brien, Karl Marlantes, and Joseph Heller

A collection of short stories by a former Marine captain and Iraq veteran focuses on the complexities of life for soldiers on the front lines and after, exploring themes ranging from brutality and faith to guilt and survival.

National Book Award: Best Fiction
National Book Critics Circle Award
Time Magazine: Best Book of the Year

New for Book Clubs: A Kind of Freedom, My Sister the Serial Killer, and Halsey Street

The most fascinating book discussions are often sparked by storytelling from fresh voices. Meet three thought-provoking titles newly added to the 2020 Book Discussion collection. These are hand-picked reads ideal for personal enrichment or for group conversation. Check out part one and part two and watch for additional announcements each week!

A Kind of Freedom Kind of Freedom book cover by Margaret Wilkerson Sexton

issue-oriented, heartwrenching, hopeful
for fans of Yaa Gyasi, Jesmyn Ward, and Tayari Jones

From Evelyn, who falls in love beneath her station during WWII, to Jackie, a young mother grappling with her absentee husband’s addiction, to T.C., who makes heartbreaking choices in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, three generations of a single family explore the legacy of racial disparity in New Orleans. 

National Book Award Longlist
New York Times Notable Book
BCALA First Novelist Award

My Sister the Serial Killer book coverMy Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite

darkly humorous, tense, exquisitely crafted
for fans of Mona Awad, Lauren Groff, and Don DeLillo

Realizing that her beautiful, beloved younger sister has murdered yet another boyfriend, an embittered Nigerian woman works to direct suspicion away from the family, until a handsome doctor she fancies asks for her sister’s number.

LibraryReads Favorite
Anthony Award: Best First Novel
Winner of the 2019 Tournament of Books

Halsey Street book coverHalsey Street by Naima Coster

family saga, candid, complex characters, strong sense of place 
for fans of Angela Flournoy, Jacqueline Woodson, and Brit Bennett

When Penelope, who has given up her dream of being an artist, moves into the attic apartment of the affluent Harpers, she thinks she’s found a semblance of family—and maybe even love. But her world is upended again when she receives a postcard from her estranged mother asking for reconciliation.

Library Journal Best Books
Kirkus Prize for Fiction Finalist
VCU Cabell First Novelist Award Longlist

New for Book Clubs: There There, The Mars Room, and The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane

Meet three more thought-provoking titles newly added to the 2020 Book Discussion collection. These are hand-picked reads ideal for personal enrichment or for group conversation. Don’t miss part one, and watch for additional announcments each week!

There There there there book cover by Tommy Orange

dramatic, engrossing, multiple perspectives, strong sense of place
for fans of Louise Erdrich, Leslie Marmon Silko, and Sherman Alexie

In a wondrous and shattering portrait of an America not many know, twelve Native Americans attend the Big Oakland Powwow for different and very personal reasons. A multi-generational story that grapples with the plight of the urban Native American including violence and recovery, hope and loss, identity and power, dislocation and communion, and the beauty and despair woven into the history of a nation and its people.

PEN/Hemingway Award
Indie’s Choice Book Award for Best Adult Debut Fiction
New York Times Notable Book

mars room book coverThe Mars Room by Rachel Kushner

unflinching, stylistically complex, compelling, heartbreaking
for fans of Just Mercy, An American Marriage, and Alias Grace

A woman begins serving two life sentences at Stanville Women’s Correctional Facility deep in 2003 California’s Central Valley, reflecting on the San Francisco of her youth and her relationship with her young son while navigating the harsh realities of a bare-essentials life of casual violence at the hands of the guards and her fellow inmates.

New York Times Notable Book
Booklist Editors’ Choice for Best Fiction
Goodreads Choice Nominee Best Fiction

tea girl of hummingbird lane book coverThe Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane by Lisa See

sweeping, character-driven, evocative details
for fans of Amy Tan, Jean Kwok, and Secret Daughter

Explores the lives of a Chinese mother and her daughter, who has been adopted by an American couple, tracing the very different cultural factors that compel them to consume a rare native tea that has shaped their family’s destiny for generations.

LibraryReads Favorite
Goodreads Choice Nominee Best Historical Fiction

New for Book Clubs: Washington Black, The Bookish Life of Nina Hill, and The House of Broken Angels

We are excited to introduce a wealth of new titles to the 2020 Book Discussion collection. These are hand-picked reads ideal for personal enjoyment or for group conversation. Watch for new titles to be announced each week!

Washington Black book cover

Washington Black by Esi Edugyan

imaginative, lyrical, thought-provoking, dramatic
for fans of Colson Whitehead, Toni Morrison, and Ta-Nehisi Coates

Unexpectedly chosen to be a family manservant, an 11-year-old Barbados sugar-plantation slave is initiated into a world of technology and dignity before a devastating betrayal propels him throughout the world in search of his true self.

New York Times Best Books of the Year
Booker Prize shortlist
TIME Magazine’s Best Books of the Year

Bookish Life of Nina Hill book cover

The Bookish Life of Nina Hill by Abbi Waxman

snarky, sympathetic, heartwarming, quirky
for fans of Gabrielle Zevin, Jojo Moyes, and Helen Fielding

A confirmed introvert finds her simple life upended when the father she never knew passes away, revealing an enormous extended family that overwhelms her budding relationship with a fellow trivia buff.

Goodreads Choice nominee for Best Fiction

House of Broken Angels book cover

The House of Broken Angels by Luis Alberto Urrea

exuberant, bittersweet, relatable, moving
for fans of Sandra Cisneros, Tommy Orange, and Celeste Ng

Across one bittersweet weekend in their San Diego neighborhood, revelers mingle among the palm trees and cacti, celebrating the lives of family patriarch Miguel “Big Angel” De La Cruz and his mother, and recounting the many tales that have passed into family lore.

National Book Critics Circle Award finalist
ALA Notable Books for Adults
Chicago Public Library Best of the Best