Chapter 1 - The Book Club
Happy New Year all and happy new year of more and better reading. I don't know about you but I do a lot of research online and in person to determine which books I will read each year. There are so many books out there and not all of them are to my taste or even well written. I rely on the reviews I read but mainly I rely on recommendations from friends and family members to help me decide. While I am retired I don't have all the time in the world to sift through a book I'm not enjoying.
I am lucky enough to be the coordinator of the Myrtle Beach Book Club. You can find it on Meetup. It is a group who love books. We read and discuss the book each month. Whoever recommended the book is also the facilitator and we meet in local restaurants. Through this book club I have not only met wonderful people up and down the Strand but also read things which otherwise might be out of my comfort zone. That last part is so very valuable to me as I have a tendency to gravitate to my usual genres and this way I get to experience books I might never have picked on my own. In addition (or as a bonus maybe) this group of diverse readers is always recommending books to each other.
Here are the first five books we are reading in 2024.
Behind Her Eyes by Sarah Pinsborough - I read this when it first came out in 2019 and am very happy for a reread. Louise, a single mom in London, is out one night and meets a fascinating man. While they only end up kissing, she discovers the next day that the man she met is her new boss AND he is married. Even worse, she ends up being friends with Adele, the wife. This is not your usual thriller but I can attest to the fact that one of them ends up dead.
Talking to Strangers: What We Should Know About the People We Don't Know by Malcolm Gladwell - How did Fidel Castro foo the CIA for a generation? Why did Neville Chamberlain think he could trust Adolf Hitler? Malcolm Gladwell uses incidents from history to try to understand how the tools and strategies we use to relate to others may be giving us wrong information.
Demon Copperhead by Barbara Kingsolver - This brilliant adaptation of Dickens' David Copperfield takes place in modern day Appalachia. This will be another reread for me but I enjoyed it so much the first time, I am sure I'll be happy to read it again. It was one of those books I wanted to talk about after I read it so now I'll have a chance.
The House in the Cerulean Sea by T.J. Klune - This is a story of a social worker from the Department in Charge of Magical Youth sent to investigate a home for "special" children in the Cerulean Sea. The children include, a gnome, a shape shifter, a wyvern, a forest sprite, a blob, and maybe (?) the son of Satan. It is a tale of love, understanding, and family. Klune will be at the Savannah Book Festival in February so I am excited about seeing him.
My Dream of You by Nuala O' Faolain - I have never read anything by O'Faolain, an acclaimed Irish author. My Dream of You is set in Ireland and spans a century. As travel writer Kathleen De Burca decides to change her life she sets about writing a book about a divorce which took place a century before. After a 30 year absence Kathleen goes back to Ireland and ends up dealing with the ghosts of her past.
What are you reading in book club this year? Please share.