I Need Your Advice!

Some of you may know that I’ve recently joined a book club. I love being part of this group and I’ve enthusiastically embraced the duties of membership (i.e., I have to be ready to discuss each book we read and I’ve agreed to host the club at my house at least once a year–where we discuss the book of my choosing).

So here’s where I need your help. It’ll be my turn to host the book club in March, and I need to be thinking about which book I’m going to choose. I’ve narrowed it down to five books, and I’d like you to vote on which one you think our book club should read (many thanks to blogger and author James J. Cudney for sharing this idea–click on his name to be redirected to his site, which I think you’ll love).

Whichever book you choose, we’ll read. I won’t tell you which one I hope you pick! Scroll down through the choices to the poll at the bottom of the page.

Here are the choices:

Mrs. Lincoln’s Dressmaker by Jennifer Chiaverini. Here’s the Amazon blurb:

“In a life that spanned nearly a century and witnessed some of the most momentous events in American history, Elizabeth Hobbs Keckley was born a slave. A gifted seamstress, she earned her freedom by the skill of her needle, and won the friendship of First Lady Mary Todd Lincoln by her devotion.

A sweeping historical novel, Mrs. Lincoln’s Dressmaker illuminates the extraordinary relationship the two women shared, beginning in the hallowed halls of the White House during the trials of the Civil War and enduring almost, but not quite, to the end of Mrs. Lincoln’s days.”

***

Woman Enters Left by Jessica Brockmole. Here’s the Amazon blurb:

“In the 1950s, movie star Louise Wilde is caught between an unfulfilling acting career and a shaky marriage when she receives an out-of-the-blue phone call: She has inherited the estate of Florence “Florrie” Daniels, a Hollywood screenwriter she barely recalls meeting. Among Florrie’s possessions are several unproduced screenplays, personal journals, and—inexplicably—old photographs of Louise’s mother, Ethel. On an impulse, Louise leaves a film shoot in Las Vegas and sets off for her father’s house on the East Coast, hoping for answers about the curious inheritance and, perhaps, about her own troubled marriage.

Nearly thirty years earlier, Florrie takes off on an adventure of her own, driving her Model T westward from New Jersey in pursuit of broader horizons. She has the promise of a Hollywood job and, in the passenger seat, Ethel, her best friend since childhood. Florrie will do anything for Ethel, who is desperate to reach Nevada in time to reconcile with her husband and reunite with her daughter. Ethel fears the loss of her marriage; Florrie, with long-held secrets confided only in her journal, fears its survival.

In parallel tales, the three women—Louise, Florrie, Ethel—discover that not all journeys follow a map. As they rediscover their carefree selves on the road, they learn that sometimes the paths we follow are shaped more by our traveling companions than by our destinations.”

***

Mystic River by Dennis Lehane. Here’s the Amazon blurb:

“When they were children, Sean Devine, Jimmy Marcus, and Dave Boyle were friends. But then a strange car pulled up to their street. One boy got into the car, two did not, and something terrible happened — something that ended their friendship and changed all three boys forever.

Twenty-five years later, Sean is a homicide detective. Jimmy is an ex-con who owns a corner store. And Dave is trying to hold his marriage together and keep his demons at bay — demons that urge him to do terrible things. When Jimmy’s daughter is found murdered, Sean is assigned to the case. His investigation brings him into conflict with Jimmy, who finds his old criminal impulses tempt him to solve the crime with brutal justice. And then there is Dave, who came home the night Jimmy’s daughter died covered in someone else’s blood.

A tense and unnerving psychological thriller, Mystic River is also an epic novel of love and loyalty, faith and family, in which people irrevocably marked by the past find themselves on a collision course with the darkest truths of their own hidden selves.”

***

Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates. Here’s the Amazon blurb:

“In a profound work that pivots from the biggest questions about American history and ideals to the most intimate concerns of a father for his son, Ta-Nehisi Coates offers a powerful new framework for understanding our nation’s history and current crisis. Americans have built an empire on the idea of “race,” a falsehood that damages us all but falls most heavily on the bodies of black women and men—bodies exploited through slavery and segregation, and, today, threatened, locked up, and murdered out of all proportion. What is it like to inhabit a black body and find a way to live within it? And how can we all honestly reckon with this fraught history and free ourselves from its burden?

Between the World and Me is Ta-Nehisi Coates’s attempt to answer these questions in a letter to his adolescent son. Coates shares with his son—and readers—the story of his awakening to the truth about his place in the world through a series of revelatory experiences, from Howard University to Civil War battlefields, from the South Side of Chicago to Paris, from his childhood home to the living rooms of mothers whose children’s lives were taken as American plunder. Beautifully woven from personal narrative, reimagined history, and fresh, emotionally charged reportage, Between the World and Me clearly illuminates the past, bracingly confronts our present, and offers a transcendent vision for a way forward.”

***

The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek by Kim Michele Richardson. Here’s the Amazon blurb:

“The hardscrabble folks of Troublesome Creek have to scrap for everything―everything except books, that is. Thanks to Roosevelt’s Kentucky Pack Horse Library Project, Troublesome’s got its very own traveling librarian, Cussy Mary Carter.

Cussy’s not only a book woman, however, she’s also the last of her kind, her skin a shade of blue unlike most anyone else. Not everyone is keen on Cussy’s family or the Library Project, and a Blue is often blamed for any whiff of trouble. If Cussy wants to bring the joy of books to the hill folks, she’s going to have to confront prejudice as old as the Appalachias and suspicion as deep as the holler.

Inspired by the true blue-skinned people of Kentucky and the brave and dedicated Kentucky Pack Horse library service of the 1930s, The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek is a story of raw courage, fierce strength, and one woman’s belief that books can carry us anywhere―even back home.”

The poll will close on Monday, January 20, 2020, at 11:59 p.m. EST.

Until next time,

Amy

 

29 comments on “I Need Your Advice!

  1. I voted for one–but you certainly didn’t make it easy!

    Like

  2. Can NOT wait to see which one you choose. If I lived closer, I’d love to be part of your Book Club. This is the best selection I’ve seen in a book club consideration since… forever. I won’t tell you which one I voted for except to say I like the idea that part of the book is set in the same state as the book club. 🙂 I read Mystic River – a dark edgy one that might put a bit of a damper on the evening? Three of these books here I’ve just added to my TBR list.

    Like

    • amreade says:

      I’m glad I could add to your TBR! 😉

      We have a winner–I’ll reveal it next week. And none too soon, because it turns out it’ll be my turn to host in February, not March! I would love it if you lived closer, too, for lots of reasons.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. ecellenb says:

    I’m intrigued by Woman Enters Left and am curious how the author will weave the story threads together.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. CarolCooks2 says:

    Voted…a difficult choice, Amy I can’t wait to see the outcome…<3

    Like

  5. Voted! I had no problem at all picking out the one that appealed most to me. I’m dying to know which one comes out on top. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. dgkaye says:

    Voted Amy. Women Enter Left, sounded a bit Thelma and Louise-ish to me. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I voted, Amy. I’ll be interested to know your choice. I am doing a classics challenge this year and have already picked my 9 books. I don’t like book clubs as I only read what I want to and not what others like. A bit selfish, but that is how it is.

    Like

    • amreade says:

      I was in a book club once that only read Pulitzer Prize winning novels, and I found the snobbery really too much. From what I can tell from this new book club, they read a wide variety of genres and they’re excited about all the books they read. I think I could use a push to get myself out of my comfort zone, so that’s a good thing for me. Thanks for voting, Robbie! I’m eager to see how the poll turns out.

      Like

  8. […] Head over to discover the other four books and make your selection, and I am sure you find it as difficult as I did: Amy Reade – Book Club Choices […]

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  9. Jane Risdon says:

    I voted and enjoy this author, so Mystic River is my choice.

    Like

  10. Voted! Now i want to read them all…

    Like

  11. Mae Clair says:

    Voted, but it was a rough decision. I had a hard time choosing between two. One title on your list I’ve already read and have definite opinions about it.

    Will be looking forward to seeing what you choose. Good luck with the book club, too!

    Like

  12. Darlene says:

    Voted. Let us know which one you will read.

    Like

  13. robsept5 says:

    https://amreade.files.wordpress.com/2020/01/the-troublesome-woman.jpg

    I am putting this on my list of reading and recommendations to the Avalon Romance Book club this Wednesday / looks like a good discussion. Where is this book club? Local? Check out Avalon’s/ Robin S

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    • amreade says:

      I had a hard time narrowing the list down to 5 books–there are so many great reads out there. Yes, the book club is local. Let me know if the Avalon book club chooses to read any of these! Glad you stopped by, Robin. 🙂

      Like

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