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Book Group

Book Groups sponsored by Left Bank Books

Novel Ideas - On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous

Wednesday, February 26, 12pm
Left Bank Books

Join Novel Ideas for a reading group discussion of On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong!

On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous is a letter from a son to a mother who cannot read. Written when the speaker, Little Dog, is in his late twenties, the letter unearths a family’s history that began before he was born — a history whose epicenter is rooted in Vietnam — and serves as a doorway into parts of his life his mother has never known, all of it leading to an unforgettable revelation. At once a witness to the fraught yet undeniable love between a single mother and her son, it is also a brutally honest exploration of race, class, and masculinity. Asking questions central to our American moment, immersed as we are in addiction, violence, and trauma, but undergirded by compassion and tenderness, On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous is as much about the power of telling one’s own story as it is about the obliterating silence of not being heard.

With stunning urgency and grace, Ocean Vuong writes of people caught between disparate worlds, and asks how we heal and rescue one another without forsaking who we are. The question of how to survive, and how to make of it a kind of joy, powers the most important debut novel of many years.

Get On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous for 20% off in store and online during the months of January and February!

Parking: Lot one block north; street parking (meters free after 7pm). For directions and public transportation information, click here.

Wednesday, February 26, 2020 - 12:00pm

Read the Resistance - The Devil's Highway

Wednesday, February 26, 7pm
Left Bank Books

Join Read the Resistance for a reading group discussion of The Devil's Highway by Luis Alberto Urrea!

In May 2001, a group of men attempted to cross the Mexican border into the desert of southern Arizona, through the deadliest region of the continent, the "Devil's Highway." Three years later, Luis Alberto Urrea wrote about what happened to them. The result was a national bestseller, a Pulitzer Prize finalist, a "book of the year" in multiple newspapers, and a work proclaimed as a modern American classic.

Get The Devil's Highway for 20% off in store and online during the months of January and February!

Parking: Lot one block north; street parking (meters free after 7pm). For directions and public transportation information, click here.

Wednesday, February 26, 2020 - 7:00pm

Well-Read Black Girl Book Club - American Spy

Monday, January 27, 7pm
Left Bank Books

Join Well-Read Black Girl Book Club! for a reading group discussion of American Spy by Lauren Wilkinson!

It’s 1986, the heart of the Cold War, and Marie Mitchell is an intelligence officer with the FBI. She’s brilliant, but she’s also a young black woman working in an old boys’ club. Her career has stalled out, she’s overlooked for every high-profile squad, and her days are filled with monotonous paperwork. So when she’s given the opportunity to join a shadowy task force aimed at undermining Thomas Sankara, the charismatic revolutionary president of Burkina Faso whose Communist ideology has made him a target for American intervention, she says yes. Yes, even though she secretly admires the work Sankara is doing for his country. Yes, even though she is still grieving the mysterious death of her sister, whose example led Marie to this career path in the first place. Yes, even though a furious part of her suspects she’s being offered the job because of her appearance and not her talent.

In the year that follows, Marie will observe Sankara, seduce him, and ultimately have a hand in the coup that will bring him down. But doing so will change everything she believes about what it means to be a spy, a lover, a sister, and a good American.

Inspired by true events—Thomas Sankara is known as “Africa’s Che Guevara”—American Spy knits together a gripping spy thriller, a heartbreaking family drama, and a passionate romance. This is a face of the Cold War you’ve never seen before, and it introduces a powerful new literary voice.

American Spy will be offered at 20% off the month before and the month of the reading group both online and in the store.

Parking: Lot one block north; street parking (meters free after 7pm). For directions and public transportation information, click here.

Monday, January 27, 2020 - 7:00pm

Shakespeare Festival Reads - Year of the King

Tuesday, February 18, 7pm
Left Bank Books

Join Shakespeare Festival Reads for a reading group discussion of Year of the King: An Actor's Diary and Sketchbook!

In 1984 Antony Sher, hailed as "the most exciting actor of his generation" by the Observer, made his debut - on homemade crutches - as the infamous Richard III in the Royal Shakespeare Company production of the play. He would go on to win the Laurence Olivier and Evening Standard Awards for best actor. In his own words and sketches, he chronicles his personal and professional journey to this award-winning performance, from the moment he was offered the role to opening night, in the critically acclaimed book Year of the King, now available in this special 20th anniversary edition. From his brainstorm to use crutches to bring the king's deformity to life, to his research for the role, which included watching interviews with psychopaths, reading about mass murderers, and speaking with doctors and physically challenged individuals, to his visit to his homeland of South Africa, to his experiences in working with the Royal Shakespeare Company, the reader is given a front-row seat to Sher's physical and mental preparation - or rather transformation - for his landmark performance as "the bottled spider.

Get Year of the King for 20% off in store and online during the months of January and February!

Parking: Lot one block north; street parking (meters free after 7pm). For directions and public transportation information, click here.

Tuesday, February 18, 2020 - 12:00pm

Shakespeare Festival Reads - Titus Andronicus & Timon of Athens (Modern Library Classics)

Tuesday, January 21, 7pm
Left Bank Books

Join Shakespeare Festival Reads for a reading group discussion of Titus Andronicus & Timon of Athens (Modern Library Classics)!

Eminent Shakespearean scholars Jonathan Bate and Eric Rasmussen provide fresh new editions of the two great tragedies: Titus Adronicus, a graphic story of revenge, and Timon of Athens, a cautionary tale about false friends and unearned loyalty.

Get Titus Andronicus & Timon of Athens (Modern Library Classics) for 20% off in store and online during the months of December and January!

Parking: Lot one block north; street parking (meters free after 7pm). For directions and public transportation information, click here.

Tuesday, January 21, 2020 - 7:00pm

Well-Read Black Girl Book Club - My Sister, the Serial Killer

Monday, December 30, 7pm
Left Bank Books

Join Well-Read Black Girl Book Club! for a reading group discussion of My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite!

Korede’s sister Ayoola is many things: the favorite child, the beautiful one, possibly sociopathic. And now Ayoola’s third boyfriend in a row is dead, stabbed through the heart with Ayoola’s knife. Korede’s practicality is the sisters’ saving grace. She knows the best solutions for cleaning blood (bleach, bleach, and more bleach), the best way to move a body (wrap it in sheets like a mummy), and she keeps Ayoola from posting pictures to Instagram when she should be mourning her “missing” boyfriend. Not that she gets any credit.

Korede has long been in love with a kind, handsome doctor at the hospital where she works. She dreams of the day when he will realize that she’s exactly what he needs. But when he asks Korede for Ayoola’s phone number, she must reckon with what her sister has become and how far she’s willing to go to protect her.

My Sister, the Serial Killer will be offered at 20% off the month before and the month of the reading group both online and in the store.

Parking: Lot one block north; street parking (meters free after 7pm). For directions and public transportation information, click here.

Monday, December 30, 2019 - 7:00pm

Reader Beware! - The Witches

Tuesday, March 10, 7pm
Left Bank Books

Join Reader Beware! for a reading group discussion of The Witches by Roald Dahl!

This is not a fairy tale. This is about real witches.

Grandmamma loves to tell about witches. Real witches are the most dangerous of all living creatures on earth. There's nothing they hate so much as children, and they work all kinds of terrifying spells to get rid of them. Her grandson listens closely to Grandmamma's stories—but nothing can prepare him for the day he comes face-to-face with The Grand High Witch herself!

Get The Witches for 20% off in store and online during the months of February and March!

Parking: Lot one block north; street parking (meters free after 7pm). For directions and public transportation information, click here.

Tuesday, March 10, 2020 - 7:00pm

Reader Beware! - The Bloody Chamber

Tuesday, February 11, 7pm
Left Bank Books

Join Reader Beware! for a reading group discussion of The Bloody Chamber by Angela Carter!

Angela Carter was a storytelling sorceress, the literary godmother of Neil Gaiman, David Mitchell, Audrey Niffenegger, J. K. Rowling, Kelly Link, and other contemporary masters of supernatural fiction. In her masterpiece, The Bloody Chamber—which includes the story that is the basis of Neil Jordan’s 1984 movie The Company of Wolves—she spins subversively dark and sensual versions of familiar fairy tales and legends like “Little Red Riding Hood,” “Bluebeard,” “Puss in Boots,” and “Beauty and the Beast,” giving them exhilarating new life in a style steeped in the romantic trappings of the gothic tradition.

Get The Bloody Chamber for 20% off in store and online during the months of January and February!

Parking: Lot one block north; street parking (meters free after 7pm). For directions and public transportation information, click here.

Tuesday, February 11, 2020 - 7:00pm

Reader Beware! - The Rats

Tuesday, January 14, 7pm
Left Bank Books

Join Reader Beware! for a reading group discussion of The Rats by James Herbert!

Out of the sewers and streets comes the biggest threat London has ever faced—rats, hungry for human flesh—in this 40th anniversary edition of the classic bestseller

It was only when the bones of the first devoured victims were discovered that the true nature and power of these swarming black creatures with their razor sharp teeth and the taste for human blood began to be realized by a panic-stricken city. For millions of years, man and rats had been natural enemies. But now, for the first time—suddenly, shockingly, horribly—the balance of power had shifted. . . This is a special 40th anniversary edition of the classic bestseller that launched horror writer James Herbert's career.

Get The Rats for 20% off in store and online during the months of December and January!

Parking: Lot one block north; street parking (meters free after 7pm). For directions and public transportation information, click here.

Tuesday, January 14, 2020 - 7:00pm

Read the Resistance - How to Be an Antiracist

Wednesday, January 22, 7pm
Left Bank Books

Join Read the Resistance for a reading group discussion of How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi!

Antiracism is a transformative concept that reorients and reenergizes the conversation about racism—and, even more fundamentally, points us toward liberating new ways of thinking about ourselves and each other. At it's core, racism is a powerful system that creates false hierarchies of human value; its warped logic extends beyond race, from the way we regard people of different ethnicities or skin colors to the way we treat people of different sexes, gender identities, and body types. Racism intersects with class and culture and geography and even changes the way we see and value ourselves. In How to Be an Antiracist, Kendi takes readers through a widening circle of antiracist ideas—from the most basic concepts to visionary possibilites—that will help readers see all forms of racism clearly, understand their posionous consequences, and work to oppose them in our systems and in ourselves.

Kendi weaves an electrifying combination of ethics, history, law, and science with his own personal story of awakening to antiracism. This is an essential work for anyone who wants to go beyond the awareness of racism to the next step: contributing to the formation of a just and equitable society.

Get How to Be an Antiracist for 20% off in store and online during the months of December and January!

Parking: Lot one block north; street parking (meters free after 7pm). For directions and public transportation information, click here.

Wednesday, January 22, 2020 - 7:00pm

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