January Book Club Update!

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Happy New Year from City Lit Books! Thanks to all who joined our book club discussions over the last year, we hope you’ll come back for more great books and conversations as we start 2018!

So you’ve survived the holidays, said goodbye to 2017, and now you’re wondering how to start on those reading resolutions for the New Year. It’s the perfect time to join one of our book clubs! We’re starting the year off with our usual mix of great reads; from bestsellers to the newly translated, from books with award-winning film adaptions to local interest stories in beautiful graphic renderings, and even a new club – join us!

First up is our book club for graphic novel lovers – Graphic Content! This month Jordan has picked a local sensation, The Hunting Accident by David Carlson and Landis Blair.

It was a hunting accident--that much Charlie is sure of. That's how his father, Matt Rizzo—a  gentle intellectual who writes epic poems in Braille--had lost his vision. It's not until Charlie's troubled teenage years, when he's facing time for his petty crimes, that he learns the truth. Matt Rizzo was blinded by a shotgun blast to the face--but it was while participating in an armed robbery. Newly blind and without hope, Matt began his bleak new life at Stateville Prison. But in this unlikely place, Matt's life and very soul were saved by one of America's most notorious killers: Nathan Leopold Jr., of the infamous Leopold and Loeb. From David L. Carlson and Landis Blair comes the unbelievable true story of a father, a son, and remarkable journey from despair to enlightenment.

The Hunting Accident has been super popular since its release in September, and is one of our favorite graphic novels of recent months. Be here Monday, January 8th at 6:30 to talk about it! For more info, email jordan@citylitbooks.com.

If you haven’t heard of the movie Call Me by Your Name by now, I can’t begin to guess where you’ve been recently. One of the biggest movies of 2017, it has been critically acclaimed, nominated for awards from Sundance to the Golden Globes, and I personally have not heard a bad thing about it. So this month, Wilde Readers is jumping on the bandwagon and reading the novel by Andre Aciman.

Andre Aciman's Call Me by Your Name is the story of a sudden and powerful romance that blossoms between an adolescent boy and a summer guest at his parents' cliffside mansion on the Italian Riviera. Each is unprepared for the consequences of their attraction, when, during the restless summer weeks, unrelenting currents of obsession, fascination, and desire intensify their passion and test the charged ground between them. Recklessly, the two verge toward the one thing both fear they may never truly find again: total intimacy. It is an instant classic and one of the great love stories of our time.

Come out on Tuesday, January 9th at 6:30 to chat about Call Me by Your Name with Wilde Readers! For more info, email matt@citylitbooks.com.

New Year, New Me – New Book Club! Bookseller Maddie is kicking of 2018 with Instant Classics, a club devoted to recent fiction that's destined for classic status. These are the books that end up on bestseller lists, best-of-the-year lists, and wish lists alike. First up is Beloved by Toni Morrison!

Staring unflinchingly into the abyss of slavery, this spellbinding novel transforms history into a story as powerful as Exodus and as intimate as a lullaby. Sethe, its protagonist, was born a slave and escaped to Ohio, but eighteen years later she is still not free. She has too many memories of Sweet Home, the beautiful farm where so many hideous things happened. And Sethe's new home is haunted by the ghost of her baby, who died nameless and whose tombstone is engraved with a single word: Beloved. Filled with bitter poetry and suspense as taut as a rope, Beloved is a towering achievement.

What better way to stick to those reading resolutions than to join a group for books that’ll be talked about for years to come? Our Instant Classics book club meets for the first time on Wednesday, January 10th at 6:30 pm! For more info, email maddie@citylitbooks.com.

Our club for fresh English translations of standout fiction from around the world, Found in Translation is beginning the year with “a celebrated debut that animates the strange wonders of childhood in rural Poland, longlisted for the Man Booker International Prize.” Swallowing Mercury by Wioletta Greg and translated by Eliza Marciniak is our January book!

In this novel, Wiola looks back on her youth in a close-knit, agricultural community in 1980s Poland. Her memories are precise, intense, distinctive, sensual: a playfulness and whimsy rise up in the gossip of the village women, rumored visits from the Pope, and the locked room in the dressmaker's house, while political unrest and predatory men cast shadows across this bright portrait.

Found in Translation will have its first meeting of the year on Thursday, January 18th at 6:30pm! For more info, email devon@citylitbooks.com.

If one of your resolutions is to be a more informed and well-read citizen of the world, we’ve got the perfect book club to start you off. Tell Me How It Ends is our reading group for nonfiction titles focusing on current events and social justice, and this month we’re reading Being Mortal by Atul Gawande.

Medicine has triumphed in modern times, transforming the dangers of childbirth, injury, and disease from harrowing to manageable. But when it comes to the inescapable realities of aging and death, what medicine can do often runs counter to what it should. Through eye-opening research and gripping stories of his own patients and family, Gawande reveals the suffering this dynamic has produced. Nursing homes, devoted above all to safety, battle with residents over the food they are allowed to eat and the choices they are allowed to make. Doctors, uncomfortable discussing patients' anxieties about death, fall back on false hopes and treatments that are actually shortening lives instead of improving them. In his bestselling books, Atul Gawande, a practicing surgeon, has fearlessly revealed the struggles of his profession. Now he examines its ultimate limitations and failures-in his own practices as well as others'-as life draws to a close. Riveting, honest, and humane, Being Mortal shows how the ultimate goal is not a good death but a good life-all the way to the very end.

Tell Me How It Ends book club will meet Monday, January 29th at 6:30 pm! For more info, email jordan@citylitbooks.com.

For fans of all things strange, our Weird & Wonderful book club returns for Islanders by Christopher Priest!

A tale of murder, artistic rivalry and literary trickery; a Chinese puzzle of a novel where nothing is quite what it seems; a narrator whose agenda is artful and subtle; a narrative that pulls you in and plays an elegant game with you. The Dream Archipelago is a vast network of islands. The names of the islands are different depending on who you talk to, their very locations seem to twist and shift. Some islands have been sculpted into vast musical instruments, others are home to lethal creatures, others the playground for high society. Hot winds blow across the archipelago and a war fought between two distant continents is played out across its waters. THE ISLANDERS serves both as an untrustworthy but enticing guide to the islands, an intriguing, multi-layered tale of a murder and the suspect legacy of its appealing but definitely untrustworthy narrator.

Join our monthly celebration of the weird on Wednesday, January 24th at 6:30 pm!

Last but not least – our exploration of short stories from writers new and established, the In Brief book club, kicks of the New Year with an anthology of some of the best fiction of the last year: The Best American Short Stories 2017 edited by meg Wolitzer.

"If you know exactly what you are going to get from the experience of reading a story, you probably wouldn't go looking for it; you need, in order to be an open reader of fiction, to be willing. To cast a vote for what you love and then wait for the outcome," writes Meg Wolitzer in her introduction. The Best American Short Stories 2017 casts a vote for and celebrates all that is our country. Here you'll find a man with a boyfriend and a girlfriend, naval officers trapped on a submarine, a contestant on America's Funniest Home Videos, and a gay man desperate to be a father--unforgettable characters waiting for an outcome, burning with stories to tell. The Best American Short Stories 2017 includes T.C. Boyle, Jai Chakrabarti, Emma Cline, Danielle Evans, Lauren Groff, Eric Puchner, Jim Shepard, Curtis Sittenfeld, Jess Walter, and others.

Come chat about some new short stories with In Brief on Tuesday, January 30th at 6:30 pm. For more info, email matt@citylitbooks.com.

Don’t forget, all our book club choices are discounted when you buy them in the store, and there’s no sign up to get involved – just read the book and show up to talk about it!

Already part of a book club or starting your own for the new year? Be a Book Club Partner here at City Lit Books! We can help you find your book club’s next read, and make sure we have plenty in stock for all your members. Our Book Club Partners receive the same discount on books as those hosted by our booksellers, and if you need a place to meet we can host you in our bookstore, too! To get started, email matt@citylitbooks.com. Happy reading!