We’re kicking off the summer with an addition to our book club line up! Tell Me How It Ends will be a reading group for nonfiction titles focusing on current events and social justice, hosted by our bookseller Jordan. Appropriately, the first book for this club is Tell Me How It Ends: An Essay in 40 Questions by Valeria Luiselli, ‘a damning confrontation between the American dream and the reality of undocumented children seeking a new life in the U.S.’
Structured around the forty questions Luiselli translates and asks undocumented Latin American children facing deportation, Tell Me How It Ends (an expansion of her 2016 Freeman’s essay of the same name) humanizes these young migrants and highlights the contradiction between the idea of America as a fiction for immigrants and the reality of racism and fear—both here and back home.
Valeria Luiselli was born Mexico City in 1983 and grew up in South Africa. A novelist (The Story of My Teeth and Faces in the Crowd) and essayist (Sidewalks), her work has been translated into many languages and has appeared in publications including the New York Times, the New Yorker, Granta, and McSweeney’s.
Tell Me How It Ends will have its first meeting on Monday, June 26th at 6:30 pm!
This month Wilde Readers, our book club for classic and contemporary LGBTQ+ lit, reads a new short story collection: Daydreamers by Jonathan Harper.
Ne'er-do-wells, prodigal sons, and young men without so much as a clue to their present state of mind let alone their futures are waiting to be met in the stories within Daydreamers, Jonathan Harper's debut collection. But these men are not Walter Mittys-everyday life refuses to allow them languor. Whether it be the roll of the dice in a Dungeons & Dragons game played in a hostile, rural bar, the lure of body modification and being suspended in front of a crowd, or discovering a body on the beach, the rough edges of each young man cannot help but be noticed, even admired. And once a young man is admired, he needs to decide whether or not to awaken from his daydreams.
Wilde Readers will meet Tuesday, June 13th at 6:30 pm.
Next for Found in Translation, the book club where each month we dive into a fresh English translation of stand-out fiction from around the world, is Camanchaca by Diego Zúñiga, translated from the Spanish by Megan McDowell.
A long drive across Chile’s Atacama desert, traversing “the worn-out puzzle” of a broken family—a young man’s corrosive intimacy with his mother, the obtrusive cheer of his absentee father, his uncle’s unexplained death. Camanchaca is a low fog pushing in from the sea, its moisture sustaining near-barren landscape. Sometimes, the silences are what bind us.
Join the Found in Translation book club on Thursday, June 15th at 6:30 pm.
In Brief, our club to explore a collection of short stories from writers new and established, takes on another contemporary pick this month: Hall of Small Mammals by Thomas Pierce.
The stories in Thomas Pierce’s Hall of Small Mammals take place at the confluence of the commonplace and the cosmic, the intimate and the infinite. A fossil-hunter, a comedian, a hot- air balloon pilot, parents and children, believers and nonbelievers, the people in these stories are struggling to understand the absurdity and the magnitude of what it means to exist in a family, to exist in the world. From this enchanting primordial soup, Pierce’s voice emerges—a distinct and charming testament of the New South, melding contemporary concerns with their prehistoric roots to create a hilarious, deeply moving symphony of stories.
Stop by Tuesday June 27th at 6:30 pm.
Weird and Wonderful, the club for science fiction, speculative fiction, fantasy, magical realism, or any genre otherwise strange, is reading Altered Carbon by Richard K. Morgan in June.
In the twenty-fifth century, humankind has spread throughout the galaxy, monitored by the watchful eye of the U.N. While divisions in race, religion, and class still exist, advances in technology have redefined life itself. Now, assuming one can afford the expensive procedure, a person’s consciousness can be stored in a cortical stack at the base of the brain and easily downloaded into a new body (or “sleeve”) making death nothing more than a minor blip on a screen.Ex-U.N. envoy Takeshi Kovacs has been killed before, but his last death was particularly painful. Dispatched one hundred eighty light-years from home, re-sleeved into a body in Bay City (formerly San Francisco, now with a rusted, dilapidated Golden Gate Bridge), Kovacs is thrown into the dark heart of a shady, far-reaching conspiracy that is vicious even by the standards of a society that treats “existence” as something that can be bought and sold. For Kovacs, the shell that blew a hole in his chest was only the beginning. . . .
Join our monthly celebration of the weird on Wednesday, June 28th at 6:30 pm.
As always, don’t forget our book club discount and check back soon to see what our book clubs will be reading later this summer!