Back in December, when I led the book club, I told you that I was the voice of many of these posts. Now, with the relaunch of our blogs (have you noticed the new look?), I’ve sort of become the face too.
What does that mean for our club? Well. . .not much, really. We’ll still have guest editors leading each month, and you’ll still post your thoughts down in the comments section, just as you’ve always done. But no more anonymous polls and reminders! And you have a real person to whom you can direct your comments and suggestions about the book club in general.
So on to our true business today, which is to announce the July poll. (My ideal place for summer reading? Pictured above. What’s yours?) There are some very definite themes running through our choices this month, as you’ll see: women, the immigrant experience, the various guises that love takes. The four picks come by way of next month’s discussion leader, Claudia Bloom, a veteran researcher on the print side of Real Simple. Check them out, then cast your vote for your favorite by 11:59 p.m. ET on Sunday, June 26, using the poll below. Thanks, everyone!
A Short History of Women, by Kate Walbert
As it hopscotches across the 20th century and the Atlantic Ocean, Short History views the rise of feminism in Britain and the United States through several generations of women from the fictional Townsend family.
The History of Love, by Nicole Krauss
Another fictional History, this story inventively explores love and survival, and the connection that a novel (also titled The History of Love) forges between an elderly emigrant of Nazi-occupied Poland and a teenage girl who’s nursing her own deeply felt loss.
The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears, by Dinaw Mengestu
A similar plot device is at work in this debut novel, in which an Ethiopian grocery store owner bonds with a young neighbor over The Brothers Karamazov. But this is a sharply observed look at the America of immigrants, of terrors left behind in the flight to the land of dreams, and of the realities that await there.
The Space Between Us, Thrity Umrigar
The simultaneous distance and connection between an upper-middle-class housewife and her longtime servant are explored in a series of flashbacks in The Space Between Us, a poignant examination of class and culture set in modern-day India.