Left-Bank

Book Group

Book Groups sponsored by Left Bank Books

LBB Book Club: Gay Men's Reading Group discusses The Prettiest Star

Monday, November 15, 7:30pm
Left Bank Books Online Meeting

THIS BOOK GROUP MEETING IS BEING MOVED ONLINE. EMAIL shane.m@left-bank.com FOR MEETING LINK.

Join the Gay Men's Reading Group for a discussion of The Prettiest Star by Carter Sickels.

Get The Prettiest Star for 20% off by phone and online during the months of October and November!

 

 

One of 2020's most acclaimed books. Winner of the Southern Book Prize - Winner of the Weatherford Award - A Kirkus Best Fiction Book of 2020 - One of O Magazine's Best LGBT Books of 2020 - - One of the Women's National Book Association's 2020 Great Group Reads Selections - EW's 50 Most Anticipated Books of 2020 - BookRiot - Lambda Literary's - Salon - BookPage's - Garden & Gun's - Logo NewNowNext's

In this "brutally fresh kind of homecoming novel," (Entertainment Weekly) Brian Jackson returns to his small Appalachian hometown and the family who rejected him. Carter Sickels's stunning literary achievement "deserves a place in the canon of AIDS literature alongside the likes of Larry Kramer and Rebecca Makkai" (Los Angeles Review of Books).

The story of Brian's return to small-town Ohio is told in a chorus of voices: Brian's mother Sharon; his fourteen-year-old sister, Jess, as she grapples with her brother's mysterious return; and the video diaries Brian makes to document his final summer. Written in prose that seeks "to answer without flinching away from ugliness and without demonizing the ignorant" (Salon), The Prettiest Star offers an urgent portrait of a family in the center of a national crisis, in order to tell a unique story about the politics and fragility of the body, and to explore the bounds of family and redemption.

Monday, November 15, 2021 - 7:30pm

LBB Book Club: Novel Ideas discusses Daisy Jones and the Six

Wednesday, December 15th, 11am
Left Bank Books Online Meeting

THIS BOOK GROUP MEETING IS ONLINE. EMAIL shane.m@left-bank.com FOR MEETING LINK.

Join Novel Ideas for a reading group discussion of Daisy Jones and The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid.

Get Daisy Jones and the Six for 20% off by phone and online during the months of November and December!

 

 

 

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • A gripping novel about the whirlwind rise of an iconic 1970s rock group and their beautiful lead singer, revealing the mystery behind their infamous breakup—from the author of The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo and the new novel Malibu Rising, available now!

REESE’S BOOK CLUB X HELLO SUNSHINE BOOK PICK • IN DEVELOPMENT AS AN ORIGINAL STREAMING SERIES EXECUTIVE PRODUCED BY REESE WITHERSPOON
 
“An explosive, dynamite, down-and-dirty look at a fictional rock band told in an interview style that gives it irresistible surface energy.”—Elin Hilderbrand


NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY NPR • The Washington Post Esquire GlamourReal SimpleGood Housekeeping Marie ClaireParadePasteShelf AwarenessBookRiot

Everyone knows DAISY JONES & THE SIX, but nobody knows the reason behind their split at the absolute height of their popularity . . . until now.

Daisy is a girl coming of age in L.A. in the late sixties, sneaking into clubs on the Sunset Strip, sleeping with rock stars, and dreaming of singing at the Whisky a Go Go. The sex and drugs are thrilling, but it’s the rock ’n’ roll she loves most. By the time she’s twenty, her voice is getting noticed, and she has the kind of heedless beauty that makes people do crazy things.

Also getting noticed is The Six, a band led by the brooding Billy Dunne. On the eve of their first tour, his girlfriend Camila finds out she’s pregnant, and with the pressure of impending fatherhood and fame, Billy goes a little wild on the road.

Daisy and Billy cross paths when a producer realizes that the key to supercharged success is to put the two together. What happens next will become the stuff of legend.

The making of that legend is chronicled in this riveting and unforgettable novel, written as an oral history of one of the biggest bands of the seventies. Taylor Jenkins Reid is a talented writer who takes her work to a new level with Daisy Jones & The Six, brilliantly capturing a place and time in an utterly distinctive voice.

Wednesday, December 15, 2021 - 11:00am

LBB Book Club: Novel Ideas discusses In the Company of Men

Wednesday, October 27th, 11am
Left Bank Books Online Meeting

THIS BOOK GROUP MEETING IS ONLINE. EMAIL shane.m@left-bank.com FOR MEETING LINK.

Join Novel Ideas for a reading group discussion of In the Company of Men by Véronique Tadjo.

Get In the Company of Men for 20% off by phone and online during the months of September and October!

 

 

 

BOSTON GLOBE SUMMER READING PICK
NAMED A MOST ANTICIPATED READ OF THE YEAR BY MS. MAGAZINE


Drawing on real accounts of the Ebola outbreak that devastated West Africa, this poignant, timely fable reflects on both the strength and the fragility of life and humanity’s place in the world.


Two boys venture from their village to hunt in a nearby forest, where they shoot down bats with glee, and cook their prey over an open fire. Within a month, they are dead, bodies ravaged by an insidious disease that neither the local healer’s potions nor the medical team’s treatments could cure. Compounding the family’s grief, experts warn against touching the sick. But this caution comes too late: the virus spreads rapidly, and the boys’ father is barely able to send his eldest daughter away for a chance at survival.
 
In a series of moving snapshots, Véronique Tadjo illustrates the terrible extent of the Ebola epidemic, through the eyes of those affected in myriad ways: the doctor who tirelessly treats patients day after day in a sweltering tent, protected from the virus only by a plastic suit; the student who volunteers to work as a gravedigger while universities are closed, helping the teams overwhelmed by the sheer number of bodies; the grandmother who agrees to take in an orphaned boy cast out of his village for fear of infection. And watching over them all is the ancient and wise Baobab tree, mourning the dire state of the earth yet providing a sense of hope for the future.
 
Acutely relevant to our times in light of the coronavirus pandemic, In the Company of Men explores critical questions about how we cope with a global crisis and how we can combat fear and prejudice.

Wednesday, October 27, 2021 - 11:00am

LBB Book Club: Novel Ideas discusses Homegoing

Wednesday, September 22nd, 11am
Left Bank Books Online Meeting

THIS BOOK GROUP MEETING IS ONLINE. EMAIL shane.m@left-bank.com FOR MEETING LINK.

Join Novel Ideas for a reading group discussion of Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi.

Get Homegoing for 20% off by phone and online during the months of August and September!

 

 

 

Ghana, eighteenth century: two half sisters are born into different villages, each unaware of the other. One will marry an Englishman and lead a life of comfort in the palatial rooms of the Cape Coast Castle. The other will be captured in a raid on her village, imprisoned in the very same castle, and sold into slavery.
 
One of Oprah’s Best Books of the Year and a PEN/Hemingway award winner, Homegoing follows the parallel paths of these sisters and their descendants through eight generations: from the Gold Coast to the plantations of Mississippi, from the American Civil War to Jazz Age Harlem. Yaa Gyasi’s extraordinary novel illuminates slavery’s troubled legacy both for those who were taken and those who stayed—and shows how the memory of captivity has been inscribed on the soul of our nation.
 
New York Times Notable Book

Wednesday, September 22, 2021 - 11:00am

LBB Book Club: Lesbian Reading Group discusses The Care and Feeding of Waspish Widows

Thursday, January 20th, 7:15pm
Left Bank Books Online Meeting

THIS BOOK GROUP MEETING IS ONLINE. EMAIL shane.m@left-bank.com FOR MEETING LINK.

Join the Lesbian Reading Group for a discussion of The Care and Feeding of Waspish Widows by Olivia Waite.

Get The Care and Feeding of Waspish Widows for 20% off by phone and online during the months of December and January!

 

 

When Agatha Griffin finds a colony of bees in her warehouse, it’s the not-so-perfect ending to a not-so-perfect week. Busy trying to keep her printing business afloat amidst rising taxes and the suppression of radical printers like her son, the last thing the widow wants is to be the victim of a thousand bees. But when a beautiful beekeeper arrives to take care of the pests, Agatha may be in danger of being stung by something far more dangerous…

 

Penelope Flood exists between two worlds in her small seaside town, the society of rich landowners and the tradesfolk.  Soon, tensions boil over when the formerly exiled Queen arrives on England’s shores—and when Penelope’s long-absent husband returns to Melliton, she once again finds herself torn, between her burgeoning love for Agatha and her loyalty to the man who once gave her refuge.

 

As Penelope finally discovers her true place, Agatha must learn to accept the changing world in front of her. But will these longing hearts settle for a safe but stale existence or will they learn to fight for the future they most desire?

Thursday, January 20, 2022 - 7:15pm

LBB Book Club: Lesbian Reading Group discusses Queen of Coin and Whispers

Thursday, December 16th, 7:15pm
Left Bank Books Online Meeting

THIS BOOK GROUP MEETING IS ONLINE. EMAIL shane.m@left-bank.com FOR MEETING LINK.

Join the Lesbian Reading Group for a discussion of Queen of Coin and Whispers by Helen Corcoran.

Get Queen of Coin and Whispers for 20% off by phone and online during the months of November and December!

 

 

 

'She loved me as I loved her, fierce as a bloodied blade'

When Lia, an idealistic queen, falls for Xania, her new spymaster--who took the job to avenge her murdered father--they realise all isn't fair in love and treason.

Lia won't mourn her uncle: he's left her a bankrupt kingdom considered easy pickings by its neighbours. She's sworn to be a better ruler, but if she wants to push through her reforms, she needs to beat the Court at its own games. For years, Xania's been determined to uncover her father's murderer. She finally gets a chance when Lia gives her a choice: become her new spymaster, or take a one way trip to the executioner's axe. It's an easy decision.

When they fall for each other, their love complicates Lia's responsibilities and Xania's plans for vengeance. As they're drawn together amid royal suitors and new diplomats, they uncover treason that could not only end Lia's reign, but ruin their weakened country. They must decide not only what to sacrifice for duty, but also for each other.

Thursday, December 16, 2021 - 7:15pm

LBB Book Club: Lesbian Reading Group discusses You Exist Too Much

Thursday, November 18th, 7:15pm
Left Bank Books Online Meeting

THIS BOOK GROUP MEETING IS ONLINE. EMAIL shane.m@left-bank.com FOR MEETING LINK.

Join the Lesbian Reading Group for a discussion of You Exist Too Much by Zaina Arafat.

Get You Exist Too Much for 20% off by phone and online during the months of October and November!

 

 

 

A “provocative and seductive debut” of desire and doubleness that follows the life of a young Palestinian American woman caught between cultural, religious, and sexual identities as she endeavors to lead an authentic life (O, The Oprah Magazine).

On a hot day in Bethlehem, a 12–year–old Palestinian–American girl is yelled at by a group of men outside the Church of the Nativity. She has exposed her legs in a biblical city, an act they deem forbidden, and their judgement will echo on through her adolescence. When our narrator finally admits to her mother that she is queer, her mother’s response only intensifies a sense of shame: “You exist too much,” she tells her daughter.

Told in vignettes that flash between the U.S. and the Middle East—from New York to Jordan, Lebanon, and Palestine—Zaina Arafat’s debut novel traces her protagonist’s progress from blushing teen to sought–after DJ and aspiring writer. In Brooklyn, she moves into an apartment with her first serious girlfriend and tries to content herself with their comfortable relationship. But soon her longings, so closely hidden during her teenage years, explode out into reckless romantic encounters and obsessions with other people. Her desire to thwart her own destructive impulses will eventually lead her to The Ledge, an unconventional treatment center that identifies her affliction as “love addiction.” In this strange, enclosed society she will start to consider the unnerving similarities between her own internal traumas and divisions and those of the places that have formed her.

Opening up the fantasies and desires of one young woman caught between cultural, religious, and sexual identities, You Exist Too Much is a captivating story charting two of our most intense longings—for love, and a place to call home.

Thursday, November 18, 2021 - 7:15pm

LBB Book Club: Lesbian Reading Group discusses The Stars at Night

Thursday, October 21st, 7:15pm
Left Bank Books Online Meeting

THIS BOOK GROUP MEETING IS ONLINE. EMAIL shane.m@left-bank.com FOR MEETING LINK.

Join the Lesbian Reading Group for a discussion of The Stars at Night by Gerri Hill.

Get The Stars at Night for 20% off by phone and online during the months of September and October!

 

 

 

Self-described city girl Lexie Walton is a million miles from nowhere and completely out of her element.


Park ranger Kyler Clemons had loved the vibe and the beach of Mustang Island. Getting caught with her boss's wife, however, got her transferred to the wild and remote Davis Mountains State Park--literally in the middle of nowhere. Now after four years, she's forgotten about the beach and has embraced the mountain life, feeling like a local. She hangs out at the Cottonwood Creek Bar and Grill. She watches football with Mark Walton. She's taken up birdwatching and stargazing as hobbies. She is perfectly content. No stress. No drama. And no desire to date.


Then Lexie Walton waltzes into her life.


After losing her cushy job in Austin―and unable to find another one―Lexie accepts her parents' offer to join them and her brother in running a rustic lodge and restaurant in the remote Davis Mountains of West Texas. Hesitant to commit to such a drastic move, she agrees to a trial run―two months. Two months would get her through Christmas and the New Year. Her friends thought she was foolish to make such a move. There was no nightlife, no parties, no spin class, and no green smoothies. And no chance of dating. That was a plus, however. After her breakup with Crazy Cathy, she wanted no part of the dating game. This remote area would do nicely.
But then she meets this cute, tree-hugging park ranger who turns her world completely upside down.

Thursday, October 21, 2021 - 7:15pm

LBB Book Club: Lesbian Reading Group discusses The Lady's Guide to Celestial Mechanics

Thursday, September 16th, 7:15pm
Left Bank Books Online Meeting

THIS BOOK GROUP MEETING IS ONLINE. EMAIL shane.m@left-bank.com FOR MEETING LINK.

Join the Lesbian Reading Group for a discussion of The Lady's Guide to Celestial Mechanics by Olivia Waite.

Get The Lady's Guide to Celestial Mechanics for 20% off by phone and online during the months of August and September!

 

 

 

As Lucy Muchelney watches her ex-lover’s sham of a wedding, she wishes herself anywhere else. It isn’t until she finds a letter from the Countess of Moth, looking for someone to translate a groundbreaking French astronomy text, that she knows where to go. Showing up at the Countess’ London home, she hoped to find a challenge, not a woman who takes her breath away.

Catherine St Day looks forward to a quiet widowhood once her late husband’s scientific legacy is fulfilled. She expected to hand off the translation and wash her hands of the project—instead, she is intrigued by the young woman who turns up at her door, begging to be allowed to do the work, and she agrees to let Lucy stay. But as Catherine finds herself longing for Lucy, everything she believes about herself and her life is tested.

While Lucy spends her days interpreting the complicated French text, she spends her nights falling in love with the alluring Catherine. But sabotage and old wounds threaten to sever the threads that bind them. Can Lucy and Catherine find the strength to stay together or are they doomed to be star-crossed lovers?

Thursday, September 16, 2021 - 7:15pm

Adrian Matejka with Aimee Nezhukumatathil & Paul Tran - Somebody Else Sold the World

Tuesday, July 6, 7pm CT
Left Bank Books' Facebook Live Page or YouTube Page

Left Bank Books and Saint Louis Poetry Center welcome National Book Award and Pulitzer Finalist
Adrian Matejka,
who will discuss his new poetry collection, 
Somebody Else Sold the World,
on our Facebook Live Page at 7pm CT on July 6th
for the LAUNCH EVENT.
Matejka will be in conversation with award winning poet
Aimee Nezhukumatathil
and award winning Washington University alum and Slam Poet
Paul Tran.
Join us on our Facebook Live Page and order a copy of
from Left Bank Books to support authors and independent bookstores!
 
About Somebody Else Sold the World
 
A resonant new collection on love and persistence from the author of The Big Smoke, a finalist for the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize

The poems in Adrian Matejka's newest and fifth collection, Somebody Else Sold the World, meditate on the ways we exist in an uncontrollable world: in love and its aftermaths, in families that divide themselves, in protest-filled streets, in isolation as routines become obsolete because of lockdown orders and curfews. Somebody Else uses past and future touchstones like pop songs, love notes, and imaginary gossip to illuminate those moments of splendor that persist even in exhaustion. These poems show that there are many possibilities of brightness and hope, even in the middle of pandemics and revolutions.

"No poem exists in a vacuum, just like no person does. This collection uses elements like love notes, gossip, even pop music to illuminate the ways we remain connected, even amidst revolution and isolation." --Good Housekeeping

"With blazing virtuosity, Matejka returns in prime form for a wildly syncopated romp--ballasted with earth and music and bombast--serving all the right notes. These poems slyly sit at the intersection of revelation and delicious formal audacity, 'magnificent & stark inside the addendum, like a big breath exhaled through the best part of a question mark.'" --Aimee Nezhukumatathil, author of World of Wonders

"Adrian Matejka's muscular and mellifluous soundtrack is a savvy directive that reminds us that even chaos has a rhythm you can dance to. With a masterful ear for lyric and eye for the detail that jolts and surprises, the poet adroitly reintroduces us to a world where a simple breath was never too much--here are reminders of love's fractured mechanics, the heart-rending frailty of fathers, that twinge in the belly at the first downbeat of that song. Matejka even manages to dismantle that wee icon of violence--the bullet--until it is bared of its sin, its ability to end every story it enters. In Somebody Else Sold the World, we revisit the life we were living before the life we're scarcely living now." --Patricia Smith, author of Incendiary Art

 

About our Speakers

Adrian Matejka's most recent collection of poetry is Map to the Stars. His other books are The Big Smoke, which was the winner of the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award and a finalist for both the National Book Award and Pulitzer Prize; Mixology, which was selected for the National Poetry Series; and The Devil's Garden (Alice James Books, 2003), winner of the New York / New England Award. Among Matejka's other honors are fellowships from the Academy of American Poets, the Guggenheim Foundation, the Lannan Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and United States Artists. He served as Poet Laureate of the state of Indiana in 2018-19 and lives in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Aimee Nezhukumatathil is the author of four collections of poems, including, most recently, Oceanic, winner of the Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters Award. Other awards for her writing include fellowships and grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, Mississippi Arts Council, and MacDowell. Her writing appears in Poetry, the New York Times MagazineESPN, and Tin House. She serves as poetry faculty for the Writing Workshops in Greece and is professor of English and creative writing in the University of Mississippi's MFA program.

Paul Tran is the author of the debut poetry collection, All the Flowers Kneeling, forthcoming from Penguin Poets in February 2022. Their work appears in The New Yorker, The Nation, Best American Poetry, and elsewhere, including the Lionsgate movie Love Beats Rhymes. A recipient of the Discovery/Boston Review Poetry Prize, as well as fellowships from the Poetry Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts, Paul is currently a Visiting Faculty in Poetry at Pacific University MFA in Writing and a Wallace Stegner Fellow in Poetry at Stanford University.

 

All you need to do to participate is log in to your personal Facebook account, go to Left Bank Books' Facebook Live Page, and wait for the livestream to begin on the page (you may need to refresh the page periodically until the stream begins). You may also watch the simulcast on Left Bank's YouTube channel.

Tuesday, July 6, 2021 - 7:00pm

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - Book Group