Happy Fourth of July, Bookies!
I hope you savor the barbecue and fireworks, and then it’s time to think about August—or, at least, what we’ll be reading in August. Our leader next month will be Claudia Bloom. A longtime research editor on the print side of Real Simple—she’s practically been with the magazine since its start—Claudia also led our club in July of last year. This summer, she offers up four novels for your consideration, including one 2011 near-winner. Read about them below, then vote for your favorite by 11:59 p.m. ET on Sunday, July 22.
My New American Life, by Francine Prose
Young Albanian Lula, working on an expiring visa in an undemanding au pair job in New Jersey, finds her dreams of securing a green card put in danger when three shady Albanian “brothers” show up to demand her help. A funny, bittersweet look at immigrant life in America from an acclaimed author.
Seven Years, by Peter Stamm
Swiss author Stamm offers an examination of a man whose desires for two very different women—his beautiful, talented wife, seemingly everything a husband would want; and his homely, taciturn mistress—threaten to destroy all three.
Stone Arabia, by Dana Spiotta
Nik is an almost-famous rock and roller, a legend only in his own mind, who has retreated into work he does not share with the world; Denise is his protective younger sister. Her daughter’s plans to do a documentary on Nik and his 30-year body of work—a narrative of a career that is mostly fictional—is the catalyst for a family in crisis.
The History of Love, by Nicole Krauss
Our first runner-up the last time Claudia led the book club, Krauss’s 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.