Title: Man in the Empty Suit
Author: Sean Ferrell. He is the author of a previous novel, Numb.
Genre: Sci-Fi, Mystery
Readers: Day care teacher EMarie, librarian Mary Liz, victim advocate MJ and lawyers Maratai and Cait.
Summary: Say you’re a time traveler and you’ve already toured the entirety of human history. After a while, the outside world might lose a little of its luster. That’s why this time traveler celebrates his birthday partying with himself. Every year, he travels to an abandoned hotel in New York City in 2071, the hundredth anniversary of his birth, and drinks twelve-year-old Scotch (lots of it) with all the other versions of who he has been and who he will be. Sure, the party is the same year after year, but at least it’s one party where he can really, well, be himself.
The year he turns 39, though, the party takes a stressful turn for the worse. Before he even makes it into the grand ballroom for a drink he encounters the body of his forty-year-old self, dead of a gunshot wound to the head.
Read If You Enjoy unusual, abstract and mind-bending reads.
Title: The Aviator’s Wife
Author: Melanie Benjamin. This is her 3rd novel after Alice I Have Been and The Autobiography of Mrs. Tom Thumb. All of her novels are historical and shine a light on well-known but little-understood women.
Genre: Historical Fiction
Readers: Stay at home moms Colleen B. and Julie J., research administrator Ann, librarian Zoë and art history professor JoLee.
Publisher Summary: For much of her life, Anne Morrow, the shy daughter of the U.S. ambassador to Mexico, has stood in the shadows of those around her, including her millionaire father and vibrant older sister, who often steals the spotlight. Then Anne, a college senior with hidden literary aspirations, travels to Mexico City to spend Christmas with her family. There she meets Colonel Charles Lindbergh, fresh off his celebrated 1927 solo flight across the Atlantic. Enthralled by Charles’s assurance and fame, Anne is certain the celebrated aviator has scarcely noticed her. But she is wrong.
Charles sees in Anne a kindred spirit, a fellow adventurer, and her world will be changed forever. The two marry in a headline-making wedding. Hounded by adoring crowds and hunted by an insatiable press, Charles shields himself and his new bride from prying eyes, leaving Anne to feel her life falling back into the shadows. In the years that follow, despite her own major achievements—she becomes the first licensed female glider pilot in the United States—Anne is viewed merely as the aviator’s wife. The fairy-tale life she once longed for will bring heartbreak and hardships, ultimately pushing her to reconcile her need for love and her desire for independence, and to embrace, at last, life’s infinite possibilities for change and happiness.
Book: What We Saw at Night
Author: Jacquelyn Mitchard, author of several bestsellers including The Deep End of the Ocean, one of Oprah’s first Book Club picks.
Genre: Young Adult, Mystery, Romance
Readers: Professors Michal and Irene Adler, policy wonk BakingSuit and freelance editor Allison.
Publisher Summary: Allie Kim suffers from Xeroderma Pigmentosum: a fatal allergy to sunlight that confines her and her two best friends, Rob and Juliet, to the night. When freewheeling Juliet takes up Parkour—the stunt-sport of scaling and leaping off tall buildings—Allie and Rob have no choice but to join her, if only to protect her. Though potentially deadly, Parkour after dark makes Allie feel truly alive, and for the first time equal to the “daytimers.”
On a random summer night, the trio catches a glimpse of what appears to be murder. Allie alone takes it upon herself to investigate, and the truth comes at an unthinkable price. Navigating the shadowy world of specialized XP care, extreme sports, and forbidden love, Allie ultimately uncovers a secret that upends everything she believes about the people she trusts the most.
Read It If You’re Looking For: A novel that has it all: romance, suspense and more.
Title: Little Wolves
Author: Thomas Maltman. He is the author of a previous book, the historical novel The Night Birds.
Genre: Mystery and maybe a little Horror
Readers: Project manager Andrea, administrative coordinator Cyn, retiree Sulyn and dispatcher Melanie.
Summary: Set on the Minnesota prairie in the late 1980s during a drought season that’s pushing family farms to the brink, Little Wolves features the intertwining stories of a father searching for answers after his son commits a heinous murder, and a pastor’s wife (and washed-out scholar of early Anglo-Saxon literature) who has returned to the town for mysterious reasons of her own. A penetrating look at small-town America, Little Wolves weaves together elements of folklore and Norse mythology while being driven by a powerful murder mystery; a page-turning literary triumph.
Book: The Anti-Romantic Child: A Memoir of Unexpected Joy
Author: Priscilla Gilman, her writing has been featured in The Daily Beast, The Huffington Post, and The New York Times. This is her first book.
Readers: University administrator Stacie, stay at home mom Colleen B., production coordinator Joanna and policy wonk BakingSuit.
Summary: Priscilla Gilman, a teacher of romantic poetry who embraced Wordsworth’s vision of childhood’s spontaneous wonder, eagerly anticipated the birth of her first child, certain that he would come “trailing clouds of glory.” But as Benjamin grew, his remarkable precocity was associated with a developmental disorder that would dramatically alter the course of Priscilla’s dreams.
In The Anti-Romantic Child, a memoir full of lyricism and light, Gilman explores our hopes and expectations for our children, our families, and ourselves—and the ways in which experience may lead us to re-imagine them. Using literature as a touchstone, Gilman reveals her journey through crisis to joy, illuminating the flourishing of life that occurs when we embrace the unexpected.The Anti-Romantic Child is a profoundly moving and compellingly universal book about family, parenthood, and love.
Read It If You Love: Romantic Poetry, Parenting Nonfiction, Confessional Memoir
Skip It If You Hate: Romantic Poetry, The Ivy League, Upper-Class Parents
For Book Clubs That Are Interested In: Memoir, Parenting, Special Needs (Check out the Reading Group Guide)