Current Fiction Book Group Reading Listadmin2022-07-29T16:45:13-04:00
2022-2023 Current Fiction Book Group Reading List
We are an informal group, open to all, and meet monthly from September to June on the 2nd Saturday at 4:00.
September 10 – 4:00 – Oak Room, Main Floor or Zoom
“Infinite Country” by Patricia Engel
Talia is being held at a correctional facility for adolescent girls in the forested mountains of Colombia after committing an impulsive act of violence. She urgently needs to get out and get back home to Bogotá, where her father and a plane ticket to the United States are waiting for her. If she misses her flight, she might also miss her chance to finally be reunited with her family in the north. How this family came to occupy two different countries, two different worlds, comes into focus like twists of a kaleidoscope.
October 15 – 4:00 – Oak Room, Main Floor or Zoom
“Promise” by Damon Galgut
Haunted by an unmet promise, the Swart family loses touch after the death of their matriarch. Adrift, the lives of the three siblings move separately through the uncharted waters of South Africa. Reunited by four funerals over three decades, the dwindling family reflects the atmosphere of its country—one of resentment, renewal, and, ultimately, hope.
November 12 – 4:00 – Oak Room, Main Floor or Zoom
“Detransition Baby” by Torrey Peters
Reese almost had it all: a loving relationship with Amy, an apartment in New York City, a job she didn’t hate. The only thing missing was a child. But then her girlfriend, Amy, detransitioned and became Ames, and everything fell apart. Could the three of them form some kind of unconventional family—and raise the baby together?
December 10 – 4:00 – Oak Room, Main Floor or Zoom
“What Strange Paradise” by Omar El Akkad
A beautifully written, dramatic and moving novel that brings the global refugee crisis down to the level of a child’s eyes. Amir, a 9-year-old Syrian boy who survived the sinking of the ship carrying refugees, washes up on a small island. He has the good fortune to fall into the hands not of the officials, but of Vänna: a teenage girl, who lives inside her own sense of homelessness. And though Vänna and Amir are strangers and don’t speak a common language, Vänna determines to do whatever it takes to save him. In alternating chapters, we learn the story of Amir’s life and of how he came to be on the boat; and we follow the duo as they make their way towards a vision of safety.
January 14 – 4:00 – Oak Room, Main Floor or Zoom
“Bewilderment” by Richard Powers
Astrobiologist Theo Byrne searches for life throughout the cosmos while single-handedly raising his unusual nine-year-old, Robin, following the death of his wife. Robin is a warm, kind boy who spends hours painting elaborate pictures of endangered animals. He’s also about to be expelled from third grade for smashing his friend in the face. As his son grows more troubled, Theo hopes to keep him off psychoactive drugs. He learns of an experimental neurofeedback treatment to bolster Robin’s emotional control, one that involves training the boy on the recorded patterns of his mother’s brain…
February 11 – 4:00 – Oak Room, Main Floor or Zoom
What’s Mine and Yours” by Naima Coster
A community in the Piedmont of North Carolina rises in outrage as a county initiative draws students from the largely Black east side of town into predominantly white high schools on the west. For two students, Gee and Noelle, the integration sets off a chain of events that will tie their two families together in unexpected ways over the next twenty years. Their mothers—each determined to see her child inherit a better life—will make choices that will haunt them for decades to come.
March 11 – 4:00 – Oak Room, Main Floor or Zoom
“Sankofa” by Chinumdo Obuzu
Anna is at a stage of her life when she’s beginning to wonder who she really is. In her 40s, she has separated from her husband, her daughter is all grown up, and her mother—the only parent who raised her—is dead. Searching through her mother’s belongings one day, Anna finds clues about the African father she never knew. When Anna decides to track her father down, a journey begins that is disarmingly moving, funny, and fascinating.
April 15 – 4:00 – Oak Room, Main Floor or Zoom
“What Storm, What Thunder” by Myriam J.A. Chancy
At the end of a long, sweltering day, as markets and businesses begin to close for the evening, an earthquake of 7.0 magnitude shakes the capital of Haiti, Port-au-Prince. Award-winning author Chancy masterfully charts the inner lives of the characters affected by the disaster Artfully weaving together these lives, witness is given to the desolation wreaked by nature and by man.
May 13 – 4:00 – Oak Room, Main Floor or Zoom
“No Land to Light On“ by Yara Zgheib
Sama and Hadi are a young Syrian couple in love, dreaming of their future in the US, a country that brought them together. When Sama is five months pregnant, Hadi’s father dies suddenly, and Hadi decides to fly back to Jordan for the funeral. On the date of his return, Sama waits for him at the arrivals gate, but he doesn’t appear. As the minutes and then hours pass, she becomes increasingly alarmed, unaware that Hadi has been stopped by US Customs and Border Protection, detained for questioning, and deported.
June 10 – 4:00 – Oak Room, Main Floor or Zoom
“Joan is Okay” by Weike Wang
Joan is a thirty-something ICU doctor at a busy New York City hospital. She is intensely devoted to her work and happily solitary, but she sometimes wonders where her true roots lie. After moving to the United States to secure the American dream for their children, Joan’s parents have returned to China. When her father suddenly dies, a series of events sends Joan spiraling out of her comfort zone, forcing her to consider her life anew.