This month’s novel, An American Marriage by Tayari Jones, explores the marriage of a middle-class African-American couple and the aftermath of their lives as they are torn apart by wrongful conviction and imprisonment. An American Marriage was a 2018 Best of the Year selection of NPR, Time, and Bustle, a New York Times and Washington Post Notable Book, and a 2018 Oprah Book Club book. It won the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work, Fiction and the 2019 Women’s Prize for Fiction. Tayari Jones, a member of the Fellowship of Southern Writers, has been the recipient of the Hurston/Wright Legacy Award, Lifetime Achievement Award in Fine Arts from the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, United States Artist Fellowship, NEA Fellowship and Radcliffe Institute Bunting Fellowship. Her writing has appeared in Tin House, The Believer, The New York Times, and Callaloo.
Newlyweds Celestial and Roy are the embodiment of both the American Dream and the New South. He is a young executive, and she is an artist on the brink of an exciting career. But as they settle into the routine of their life together, they are ripped apart by circumstances neither could have imagined. Roy is arrested and sentenced to twelve years for a crime Celestial knows he didn’t commit. Though fiercely independent, Celestial finds herself bereft and unmoored, taking comfort in Andre, her childhood friend, and best man at their wedding. As Roy’s time in prison passes, she is unable to hold on to the love that has been her center. After five years, Roy’s conviction is suddenly overturned, and he returns to Atlanta ready to resume their life together.
This stirring love story is a profoundly insightful look into the hearts and minds of three people who are at once bound and separated by forces beyond their control. An American Marriage is a masterpiece of storytelling, an intimate look deep into the souls of people who must reckon with the past while moving forward—with hope and pain—into the future.
If this sounds like something you'd like to read, you can get your copy of the book from the store with a 15% discount until the end of September. You can also get the audiobook from our partner, Libro.fm! Click here to get yours!
Relevant Reviews & Interviews
"An American Marriage: Redefining the American Love Story" -- NPR
"You Have To Work With the Love You Are Given" -- Tin House
"The Epistolary Heat of An American Marriage" -- The Atlantic
"If I Can't Cry, Nobody Cries: An Interview with Tayari Jones" -- The Paris Review
We'll meet at Foggy Pine Books on September 28th at 7:30pm. There will be free wine and snacks for book club members to share. Bring a friend and come discuss the book with us, even if you weren't able to completely finish it or if you didn't like it. You can see the Facebook event & RSVP here.
Though National Poetry Month is in April, our book club has been wanting to read some poetry for a while. We wanted to read something that had recently won an award and that was accessible to non-poetry readers. We landed on The Poet X since it had just won the National Book Award and was written for younger readers. Elizabeth Acevedo is a New York Times best selling author. She is the winner of the 2018 National Book Award for Young People’s Literature, The Printz Award for Excellence in Young Adult Fiction, the Boston Globe-Hornbook Award Prize for Best Children’s Fiction, and the Pura Belpré Award for a work that best affirms the Latinx cultural experience.
Her books include, Beastgirl & Other Origin Myths (YesYes, 2016), The Poet X (HarperCollins, 2018), & her upcoming title--With The Fire On High (HarperCollins, 2019). We're so excited to discuss this critically acclaimed book together and to bring more poetry into our lives. What's it about, though? The summary given by the publisher says:
Xiomara Batista feels unheard and unable to hide in her Harlem neighborhood. Ever since her body grew into curves, she has learned to let her fists and her fierceness do the talking. But Xiomara has plenty she wants to say, and she pours all her frustration and passion onto the pages of a leather notebook, reciting the words to herself like prayers—especially after she catches feelings for a boy in her bio class named Aman, who her family can never know about.
With Mami’s determination to force her daughter to obey the laws of the church, Xiomara understands that her thoughts are best kept to herself. So when she is invited to join her school’s slam poetry club, she doesn’t know how she could ever attend without her mami finding out. But she still can’t stop thinking about performing her poems--because in the face of a world that may not want to hear her, Xiomara refuses to be silent.
If this sounds like something you'd like to read, you can get your copy of the book from the store with a 15% discount until the end of May. If you'd like to purchase online, we have the following the formats available:
We'll meet at Foggy Pine Books on May 25th at 7:30pm. We'll have free wine and snacks for book club members to share. Bring a friend and come discuss the book with us, even if you weren't able to completely finish it or if you didn't like it. You can see the Facebook event & RSVP here.
Relevant Reviews & Interviews
Starred Kirkus Review -- "The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo"
The New York Times Review -- "Speaking Truth, Beautifully, to Shattered Young People"
Publisher's Weekly Interview -- "Q & A with Elizabeth Acevedo"
Literary Hub Interview -- "Meet National Book Award Finalist Elizabeth Acevedo"
If one of your new year's resolutions was to read more, we encourage you to join the Foggy Pine Book Club and come discuss each month's selection with us. This month, we're reading The View from Saturday by E. L. Konigsburg. We're also excited to announce the first three books that the Foggy Pine Book Club is reading for 2019. So, read on to find out what we have coming up and what this month's book is about.
In an effort to read more diversely, our book club decided together to read more books by people of color. To that end, we chose to read The Good Son by South Korean author You-Jeong Jeong for the month of February. For the month of March, we are reading Heads of the Colored People by Nafissa Thompson-Spires, a Black American author and professor. You can view the events on our event calendar and Facebook page. You can also buy both books in advance at Foggy Pine Books, both in-store or online.
What about the book we're reading this month, though? We're excited to read a novel by Newberry Award-winning author, E. L. Konigsburg, especially since we haven't read a middle grade book together before. This book came highly recommended from one of our book club members and we're looking forward to discussing it's themes and scenes together. This is the summary the publisher gives on their website: Mrs. Olinski, returning to teaching after having been injured in an automobile accident, found that her Academic Bowl team became her answer to finding confidence and success. What she did not know, at least at first, was that her team knew more than she did the answer to why they had been chosen. This is a tale about a team, a class, a school, a series of contests and, set in the midst of this, four jewel-like short stories -- one for each of the team members -- that ask questions and demonstrate surprising answers.
If this sounds like something you'd like to read, you can get your copy of the book from the store with a 15% discount until the end of January. If you'd like to purchase online, we have the following the formats available:
We'll meet at Foggy Pine Books on January 26th at 7:30pm. We'll have free wine and snacks for book club members to share. Bring a friend and come discuss the book with us, even if you weren't able to completely finish it or if you didn't like it. You can see the Facebook event & RSVP here.
Relevant Reviews & Interviews
Since November is a busy month for many people, our group decided to read a novella, Binti by Nnedi Okorafor. We'll still have plenty to talk about but you won't have to spend a lot of time reading--the book is only 90 pages!
Nnedi Okorafor is an author we're quite fond of at Foggy Pine Books. Her Binti trilogy is an incredible science fiction story (it won the Hugo & Nebula awards for best novella) but she writes in other genres, as well. She has another scifi book, Lagoon, and several fantasy books: Akata Witch (a YA series), The Book of Phoenix, and Who Fears Death--which is being made into an HBO show produced by George R. R. Martin. Plus, she has written a children's picture book, Chicken in the Kitchen. You really can't go wrong with any of her works.
Let's learn a little more about Binti though. Here's the official summary:
Her name is Binti, and she is the first of the Himba people ever to be offered a place at Oomza University, the finest institution of higher learning in the galaxy. But to accept the offer will mean giving up her place in her family to travel between the stars among strangers who do not share her ways or respect her customs.
Knowledge comes at a cost, one that Binti is willing to pay, but her journey will not be easy. The world she seeks to enter has long warred with the Meduse, an alien race that has become the stuff of nightmares. Oomza University has wronged the Meduse, and Binti’s stellar travel will bring her within their deadly reach.
If Binti hopes to survive the legacy of a war not of her making, she will need both the the gifts of her people and the wisdom enshrined within the University, itself - but first she has to make it there, alive.
If you want to travel to an galactic university without leaving your favorite chair, we hope you'll join us for the November meeting. This book is a favorite of Mary's and she can't wait to share it with others.
If this sounds like something you'd like to read, you can get your copy of the book from the store with a 15% discount until the end of November. If you'd like to purchase online, we have the following the formats available:
We'll meet at Foggy Pine Books on November 24th at 7:30pm. We'll have free wine and snacks for book club members to share. Bring a friend and come discuss the book with us, even if you weren't able to completely finish it or if you didn't like it. You can see the Facebook event & RSVP here.
Relevant Reviews & Interviews
Tor.com Review-- "Of Jellyfish, Otjize, and Afrofuturism: Binti by Nnedi Okorafor"
Publisher's Weekly-- "Binti"
Nnedi’s Wahala Zone Blog-- “On That Rapid Puppies Thing and My Hugo Award-Winning Novella Binti”
Lightspeed Magazine-- “Interview: Nnedi Okorafor”
This month we wanted to read something both true and spooky. We decided on this memoir by Jen Waite about discovering that her husband was most likely a psychopath or sociopath after what had seemed like a perfect marriage. Definitely creepy and a little unnerving, this book has received good reviews from Publisher's Weekly and Kirkus Reviews so we thought we'd give it a chance.
Here's the official summary:
One night. One email. Two realities.
It all started with an email…
Before: Jen Waite has met the partner of her dreams. A handsome, loving man who becomes part of her family, evolving into her husband, her best friend, and the father of her infant daughter.
After: A disturbing email sparks suspicion, leading to an investigation of who this man really is and what was really happening in their marriage.
In alternating Before and After chapters, Waite obsessively analyzes her relationship, trying to find a single moment form the past five years that isn’t part of the long con of lies and manipulation. Instead, she finds more lies, infidelity, and betrayal than she could have imagined. With the pacing and twists of a psychological thriller, A Beautiful, Terrible Thing looks at how a fairy tale can become a nightmare and what happens when “it could never happen to me” actually does.
In addition to being disturbing as all hell, this book also address the topic of domestic violence and abuse. October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month and our hope is to tie in some of the events in the book to DV awareness and support of victims.
If this sounds like something you'd like to read, you can get your copy of the book from the store with a 15% discount until the end of the month. If you'd like to purchase online, we have the following the formats available:
We'll meet at Foggy Pine Books on October 27th at 7:30pm. We'll have free wine and snacks for book club members to share. Bring a friend and come discuss the book with us, even if you weren't able to completely finish it or if you didn't like it. You can see the Facebook event & RSVP here.
Relevant Reviews & Interviews
Today Show Interview--"Jen Waite on Megyn Kelly"
BookPage Review-- "Book Reviews: A Beautiful, Terrible Thing"
The New York Times Review--"New in Memoir: Lessons in Falling in Love and 2 accounts of its Horrors"
This month's choice for the Foggy Pine Book Club is Girl In Disguise by Greer Macallister. We so enjoyed The Alice Network and when we found another book about female detectives/spies, we couldn't resist giving it a chance.
Published last year, this historical fiction is set in Chicago in 1856 and has an ending inspired by true events. Kate Warne, widowed and penniless, manages to convince the great Allan Pinkerton to hire her as one of his detectives. From there, Kate fights her way to becoming one of Pinkerton's elite squad. Her talents lie in deception and manipulation, taking on the role of countless women, all in the name of getting the job done. Her work takes Kate from her former life of near-ruin to one of danger, deviousness, and trickery as she establishes herself in a man's world. From Chicago's mean streets to the battle lines of the Civil War, Kate's dangerous journey is a never-ending thrill ride. Macallister's masterly storytelling brings her characters to life, and the skillfully handled suspense never wavers.
The Pinkerton National Defense Agency, as it was founded, was created by Scotsman Allan Pinkerton in 1850. He became famous when he claimed to have prevented an assassination attempt on then-President Abraham Lincoln. Lincoln hired Pinkerton for personal security during the Civil War and, at the height of it's power, was the largest private law enforcement organization in the world. Due, in part, to this success the Pinkerton agency became the model for the Federal Bureau of Investigation in the United States.
Copies of the book are available for purchase at the bookstore for $15.99 but you'll always get 15% off our book club selections. You can also purchase it from us online in the following formats:
We will meet at Foggy Pine Books on Saturday, June 30th at 7:30pm. We'll share free wine and a snack together. Bring a friend and come discuss the book with us, even if you weren't able to completely finish it or if you didn't like it. You can see the Facebook event & RSVP here.
Relevant Book Reviews
We're so excited for November's book club choice, The Firebrand and The First Lady by Patricia Bell-Scott. You can get the book with a 15% discount at Foggy Pine or you can order online and have it shipped to your home or download the ebook. In addition to the discount, make your purchase in store to get a free bookmark signed by the author!
Because of the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday, we decided to change the day and time of this month's meeting. Instead of meeting on the last Saturday of the month, as usual, we're meeting on November 18th at 7:30pm. As usual, we're meeting at the bookstore and will share a bottle of wine while we discuss the book. However, we're going to take part of our meeting time to discuss the first six books we'll read together in 2018.
A finalist for the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Nonfiction, and longlisted for the National Book Award, The Firebrand and the First Lady is the riveting history of the unlikely friendship between First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt and Pauli Murray, a granddaughter of a mixed race slave and a lesbian, who became a lawyer and civil rights pioneer. The reader discovers the important work they each did, taking stands for justice and freedom, while learning more about each incredible woman.
In 1938, the twenty-eight-year-old Pauli Murray wrote a letter to the President and First Lady, Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt, protesting racial segregation in the South. Eleanor wrote back. So began a friendship that would last for a quarter of a century, as Pauli became a lawyer, principal strategist in the fight to protect Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act and a co-founder of the National Organization of Women, and Eleanor became a diplomat and first chair of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights.
A recipient of the Lillian Smith Book Award, nominated for the Zora Neale Hurston/Richard Wright Legacy Award, and a finalist for the Georgia Author of the Year--this novel has garnered much acclaim. We're honored to have it on this year's book club list.
It's been a while and I do apologize for the lack of upkeep in the book club blog. However, I've been working on a website improvement for everyone--you can now check out what's happening in the Hatchet Coffee Book Club and the new Young Adult Book Club at their digital homes on this site! You can see them in the drop down Programs menu.
The June meeting will take place on Saturday, June 24th at the bookstore at 7:30pm. Drinks and snacks will be provided. This month, we will be discussing The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot. If you plan on attending, please RSVP on our Facebook event so we can prepare properly for our guests.
Book Summary: Henrietta Lacks, as HeLa, is known to present-day scientists for her cells from cervical cancer. She was a poor Southern tobacco farmer who worked the same land as her slave ancestors, yet her cells were taken without her knowledge and still live decades after her death. Cells descended from her may weigh more than 50M metric tons.
HeLa cells were vital for developing the polio vaccine; uncovered secrets of cancer, viruses, and the atom bomb’s effects; helped lead to important advances like in vitro fertilization, cloning, and gene mapping; and have been bought and sold by the billions. Yet Henrietta Lacks was buried in an unmarked grave.
The journey starts in the “colored” ward of Johns Hopkins Hospital in the 1950s, her small, dying hometown of Clover, Virginia — wooden slave quarters, faith healings, and voodoo. Today are stark white laboratories with freezers full of HeLa cells, East Baltimore children and grandchildren live in obscurity, see no profits, and feel violated. The dark history of experimentation on African Americans helped lead to the birth of bioethics, and legal battles over whether we control the stuff we are made of.
You can pick up a copy at the bookstore for $16.00 & receive a 15% off discount.
You can get the ebook here for $10.60.
You can get the audiobook here for $20.00--if you sign up for a membership, you'll get your first audiobook for just $0.99!
Join us this month to discuss Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel. We will be meeting at the bookstore at 7:30pm, Saturday, February 25 to discuss the book and share wine & snacks.
This book was a finalist for the National Book Award (2014) and the PEN/Faulkner Award (2015). It won the Arthur C. Clarke Award for Best Novel (2015) and has been a nominee for the Sunburst Award (2015), John W. Campbell Memorial Award (2015), British Fantasy Award (2015), Toronto Book Award (2015), The Great Michigan Read (2015), Women's Prize for Fiction (2015), and Goodread's Choice Award for Fiction (2014).
Here's how the publisher describes it:
Kirsten Raymonde will never forget the night Arthur Leander, the famous Hollywood actor, had a heart attack on stage during a production of King Lear. That was the night when a devastating flu pandemic arrived in the city, and within weeks, civilization as we know it came to an end.
Twenty years later, Kirsten moves between the settlements of the altered world with a small troupe of actors and musicians. They call themselves The Traveling Symphony, and they have dedicated themselves to keeping the remnants of art and humanity alive. But when they arrive in St. Deborah by the Water, they encounter a violent prophet who will threaten the tiny band’s existence. And as the story takes off, moving back and forth in time, and vividly depicting life before and after the pandemic, the strange twist of fate that connects them all will be revealed.
It's also received some attention from these authors:
“Station Eleven is so compelling, so fearlessly imagined, that I wouldn’t have put it down for anything.”
— Ann Patchett
“Deeply melancholy, but beautifully written, and wonderfully elegiac . . . A book that I will long remember, and return to.”
— George R. R. Martin
“Absolutely extraordinary.” —Erin Morgenstern, author of The Night Circus
And from these publications:
“It’s hard to imagine a novel more perfectly suited, in both form and content, to this literary moment. Station Eleven, if we were to talk about it in our usual way, would seem like a book that combines high culture and low culture—“literary fiction” and “genre fiction.” But those categories aren’t really adequate to describe the book” —The New Yorker
“Possibly the most captivating and thought-provoking post-apocalyptic novel you will ever read.” —The Independent (London)
“Strange, poetic, thrilling, and grim all at once, Station Eleven is a prismatic tale about survival, unexpected coincidences, and the significance of art.” —Bustle, “Best Book of the Month”
We're beyond excited to read and discuss the book with our book club members. If you want to join, RSVP in the form below so Mary knows how much wine to bring ;) You can get the book at Foggy Pine for $15.95 + 15% off when you mention the book club! See you soon, book friends!
Foggy Pine Books
Literary Gifts & Events for Boone's Bibliophiles