Apr / May / June ’23 Voting (MEMBERS ONLY)

  • Listed in alphabetical order by author last name.
  • Descriptions are (mostly) pulled from Goodreads, which is where the links go.
  • Voting form is at the bottom!

Anxious People by Fredrik Backman

Goodreads Rating: 4.19 (519K ratings)

A poignant comedy about a crime that never took place, a would-be bank robber who disappears into thin air, and eight extremely anxious strangers who find they have more in common than they ever imagined.

Viewing an apartment normally doesn’t turn into a life-or-death situation, but this particular open house becomes just that when a failed bank robber bursts in and takes everyone in the apartment hostage. As the pressure mounts, the eight strangers begin slowly opening up to one another and reveal long-hidden truths.

Published: 2019 | Pages: 336 | Genre: Fiction

The Personal Librarian by Marie Benedict

Goodreads Rating: 4.07 (113K ratings)

The remarkable, little-known story of Belle da Costa Greene, J. P. Morgan’s personal librarian—who became one of the most powerful women in New York despite the dangerous secret she kept in order to make her dreams come true.

Published: 2021 | Pages: 341 | Genre: Historical Fiction

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

Goodreads Rating: 4.32 (1.4M ratings)

From the highly acclaimed, multiple award-winning Anthony Doerr, the stunningly beautiful instant New York Times bestseller about a blind French girl and a German boy whose paths collide in occupied France as both try to survive the devastation of World War II.

Published: 2014 | Pages: 531 | Genre: Historical Fiction

I Didn’t Do the Thing Today by Madeleine Dore

Goodreads Rating: 3.64 (1.3K ratings)

Madeleine Dore has long felt a pressure to be productive. In the pursuit of getting things done, she tried every way to optimize her day, only to keep falling short and feeling behind. She turned to interviewing hundreds of creative thinkers and experts to find the secret to productivity. What she discovered instead was far more enriching: There is more to value in each day than what we did or didn’t do. This book is reprieve from our doing obsession.

From the submitter: I think it would be fun to talk about attention economy and productivity and how each member of the club manages that.

Published: 2022 | Pages: 288 | Genre: Non-Fic

Wait Till Next Year by Doris Kearns Goodwin

Goodreads Rating: 4.01 (9K ratings)

Set in the suburbs of New York in the 1950s, Wait Till Next Year re-creates the postwar era, when the corner store was a place to share stories and neighborhoods were equally divided between Dodger, Giant, and Yankee fans. We meet the people who most influenced Goodwin’s early life: her mother, who taught her the joy of books but whose debilitating illness left her housebound: and her father, who taught her the joy of baseball and to root for the Dodgers of Jackie Robinson, Roy Campanella, Pee Wee Reese, Duke Snider, and Gil Hodges.

Published: 1997 | Pages: 272 | Genre: Memoir

Transcendent Kingdom by Yaa Gyasi

Goodreads Rating: 4.13 (130K ratings)

Gifty is a fifth-year candidate in neuroscience at Stanford School of Medicine studying reward-seeking behavior in mice and the neural circuits of depression and addiction. Her brother, Nana, was a gifted high school athlete who died of a heroin overdose after a knee injury left him hooked on OxyContin. Her suicidal mother is living in her bed. Gifty is determined to discover the scientific basis for the suffering she sees all around her. But even as she turns to the hard sciences to unlock the mystery of her family’s loss, she finds herself hungering for her childhood faith and grappling with the evangelical church in which she was raised, whose promise of salvation remains as tantalizing as it is elusive.

Published: 2020 | Pages: 264 | Genre: Contemporary Fiction

The Dog Stars by Peter Heller

Goodreads Rating: 3.94 (60K ratings)

From the submitter: A man and his dog live a lonesome and hardscrabble life amid the ruins of an airport hangar in northern Colorado after a flu bug wipes out most of humanity. Then, one day, he receives a mysterious signal on the radio of his Cessna, prompting a journey to find its source. A propulsive novel about hope and resilience by Colorado author Peter Heller. 

Published: 2012 | Pages: 336 | Genre: Fiction / Post-Apocalyptic

Do They Hear You When You Cry by Fauziya Kassindja

Goodreads Rating: 4.11 (4.4K ratings)

From the submitter: About a woman in Togo who fled an arranged marriage to avoid genital mutilation, followed by her struggles to obtain refugee protection status. I read this in college for my sociology class and it was amazing!

Published: 1998 | Pages: 544 | Genre: Memoir

Dear Edward by Ann Napolitano

Goodreads Rating: 4.08 (143K ratings)

From the submitter: A 12-year-old boy is the lone survivor of a plane crash that kills all 190 other passengers, including his family. In the aftermath, trying to make sense of the tragedy, Edward and his aunt journey through a web of new relationships, friendships, and the lives of other victims of tragedy. Recently adapted as a series on Apple TV+.

Published: 2020 | Pages: 340 | Genre: Fiction

How to Do Nothing: Resisting the Attention Economy by Jenny Odell

Goodreads Rating: 3.72 (41K ratings)

When the technologies we use every day collapse our experiences into 24/7 availability, platforms for personal branding, and products to be monetized, nothing can be quite so radical as . . . doing nothing. Here, Jenny Odell sends up a flare from the heart of Silicon Valley, delivering an action plan to resist capitalist narratives of productivity and techno-determinism, and to become more meaningfully connected in the process.

Published: 2019 | Pages: 232 | Genre: Non-Fic

The Violin Conspiracy by Brendan Slocumb

Goodreads Rating: 4.16 (27K ratings)

A mystery about a Black classical musician whose family heirloom violin is stolen on the eve of the most prestigious classical music competition in the world.

Published: 2022 | Pages: 345 | Genre: Mystery / Art

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith

Goodreads Rating: 4.29 (438K ratings)

The beloved American classic about a young girl’s coming-of-age at the turn of the century, Betty Smith’s A Tree Grows in Brooklyn is a poignant and moving tale filled with compassion and cruelty, laughter and heartache, crowded with life and people and incident. The story of young, sensitive, and idealistic Francie Nolan and her bittersweet formative years in the slums of Williamsburg has enchanted and inspired millions of readers for more than sixty years. By turns overwhelming, sublime, heartbreaking, and uplifting, the daily experiences of the unforgettable Nolans are raw with honesty and tenderly threaded with family connectedness — in a work of literary art that brilliantly captures a unique time and place as well as incredibly rich moments of universal experience.

Published: 1943 | Pages: 496 | Genre: Classic / Coming-of-Age

Taste: My Life Through Food by Stanley Tucci

Goodreads Rating: 4.23 (50K ratings)

Taste is a reflection on the intersection of food and life, filled with anecdotes about growing up in Westchester, New York, preparing for and filming the foodie films Big Night and Julie & Julia, falling in love over dinner, and teaming up with his wife to create conversation-starting meals for their children. Each morsel of this gastronomic journey through good times and bad, five-star meals and burnt dishes, is as heartfelt and delicious as the last.

Published: 2021 | Pages: 291 | Genre: Memoir / Food

Stoner by John Williams

Goodreads Rating: 4.32 (140K ratings)

William Stoner is born at the end of the nineteenth century into a dirt-poor Missouri farming family. Sent to the state university to study agronomy, he instead falls in love with English literature and embraces a scholar’s life, so different from the hardscrabble existence he has known. And yet as the years pass, Stoner encounters a succession of disappointments: marriage into a “proper” family estranges him from his parents; his career is stymied; his wife and daughter turn coldly away from him; a transforming experience of new love ends under threat of scandal. Driven ever deeper within himself, Stoner rediscovers the stoic silence of his forebears and confronts an essential solitude.

Published: 1965 | Pages: 288 | Genre: Classic Fiction

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