Hi all, Mary here! I have a sad announcement about the book club so I thought it better if I did it myself. This was the first book club I started at the store & our first meeting was in a tiny, less-than 400 sq ft space. We had wine & talked about The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. The book club grew & became one of our most popular offerings. We expanded & added new book clubs, new folks decided to join us, and we even had authors come speak to us a few times! However, since the pandemic began, attendance at our virtual meetings has dwindled until, for the last few months, no one came at all.
We understand that things are crazy right now and, for many, spending another hour on a screen at the end of a day spent on screens isn't very enticing. We also understand that the virtual format isn't as much fun for some as meeting in person at the bookstore with drinks & snacks. Whatever your reasons are for no longer attending our book club or for not attending in the first place, please know that we don't hold it against you!
However, planning for an event takes prep time. I spend the month reading the book, developing discussion questions, creating these blog posts, and developing social media images & copy for marketing. It's a lot of work. I don't mind doing it, of course, if that means that the event goes well & we get to have a lovely discussion about that month's book. But, with folks not attending, I am going to have to put this book club on temporary hold.
I am spread very thin right now & spending time on an event that doesn't bring in any readers doesn't seem like the best use of my time. I hope y'all understand & know that we wouldn't do this unless it was necessary. I need to spend more time on things that offer a return on energy spent, in some way or another.
This doesn't mean that the Foggy Pine Book Club is canceled! We will be returning to our usual format when we are able to meet in person again. Of course, we have no idea when that will be but we expect that we will have no new meetings for the rest of 2020. We will post here & on our social media accounts when the book club is gearing up to start again. In the meantime, if you were hoping to join a book club, you can check out the Fantasy & Sci-Fi Book Club.
Thank you, everyone, for your continued support of the bookstore. Without you, we wouldn't be here & we are forever grateful that you've allowed us a space in your hearts.
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.
Summer has passed and we're finally headed into Fall. The weather up here has been cooperating on that front and the temperature has dropped more quickly than it has in previous years. In addition to getting chilly, we've also had a lot of rainy & foggy weather. In short, it's reading-under-a-blanket-with-a-mug-of-tea season!
For that reason, instead of wine, we're going to offer warm apple cider with rum at this month's book club meeting, and a sweet fall treat. Once everyone gets settled in, we'll be discussing The Keeper of Lost Things by Ruth Hogan.
Here is the book summary from the publisher:
A charming, clever, and quietly moving debut novel of of endless possibilities and joyful discoveries that explores the promises we make and break, losing and finding ourselves, the objects that hold magic and meaning for our lives, and the surprising connections that bind us
Lime green plastic flower-shaped hair bobbles--
Found, on the playing field, Derrywood Park, 2nd September.
Bone china cup and saucer--
Found, on a bench in Riveria Public Gardens, 31st October.
Anthony Peardew is the Keeper of Lost Things. Forty years ago, he carelessly lost a keepsake from his beloved fiancée, Therese. That very same day, she died unexpectedly. Brokenhearted, Anthony sought consolation in rescuing lost objects—the things others have dropped, misplaced, or accidently left behind—and writing stories about them. Now, in the twilight of his life, Anthony worries that he has not fully discharged his duty to reconcile all the lost things with their owners. As the end nears, he bequeaths his secret life's mission to his unsuspecting assistant, Laura, leaving her his house and and all its lost treasures, including an irritable ghost.
Recovering from a bad divorce, Laura, in some ways, is one of Anthony’s lost things. But when the lonely woman moves into his mansion, her life begins to change. She finds a new friend in the neighbor’s quirky daughter, Sunshine, and a welcome distraction in Freddy, the rugged gardener. As the dark cloud engulfing her lifts, Laura, accompanied by her new companions, sets out to realize Anthony’s last wish: reuniting his cherished lost objects with their owners.
As always, these monthly book club meetings are open to everyone. We also do book club a little differently. If you didn't finish the book or didn't like it, we won't hold it against you and we definitely still want you to come. The whole point of book club is to bring people together through a love of literature. So, come out and join us! We love new members!
Foggy Pine Books
Literary Gifts & Events for Boone's Bibliophiles