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Book Group

Book Groups sponsored by Left Bank Books

Well-Read Black Girl Book Club - Red At The Bone

Monday, October 28, 7pm
Left Bank Books

Join Well-Read Black Girl Book Club! for a reading group discussion of Red At The Bone by Jacqueline Woodson!

Moving forward and backward in time, Jacqueline Woodson's taut and powerful new novel uncovers the role that history and community have played in the experiences, decisions, and relationships of these families, and in the life of the new child.

As the book opens in 2001, it is the evening of sixteen-year-old Melody's coming of age ceremony in her grandparents' Brooklyn brownstone. Watched lovingly by her relatives and friends, making her entrance to the music of Prince, she wears a special custom-made dress. But the event is not without poignancy. Sixteen years earlier, that very dress was measured and sewn for a different wearer: Melody's mother, for her own ceremony-- a celebration that ultimately never took place.

Unfurling the history of Melody's parents and grandparents to show how they all arrived at this moment, Woodson considers not just their ambitions and successes but also the costs, the tolls they've paid for striving to overcome expectations and escape the pull of history. As it explores sexual desire and identity, ambition, gentrification, education, class and status, and the life-altering facts of parenthood, Red at the Bone most strikingly looks at the ways in which young people must so often make long-lasting decisions about their lives--even before they have begun to figure out who they are and what they want to be.

Red At The Bone 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, October 28, 2019 - 7:00pm

Gay Men's Reading Group - Great Believers

Thursday, October 24, 7:30pm
Left Bank Books

Join the Gay Men's Reading Group for a discussion of Great Believers by Rebecca Makkai!

In 1985, Yale Tishman, the development director for an art gallery in Chicago, is about to pull off an amazing coup, bringing in an extraordinary collection of 1920s paintings as a gift to the gallery. Yet as his career begins to flourish, the carnage of the AIDS epidemic grows around him. One by one, his friends are dying and after his friend Nico’s funeral, the virus circles closer and closer to Yale himself. Soon the only person he has left is Fiona, Nico’s little sister.

Thirty years later, Fiona is in Paris tracking down her estranged daughter who disappeared into a cult. While staying with an old friend, a famous photographer who documented the Chicago crisis, she finds herself finally grappling with the devastating ways AIDS affected her life and her relationship with her daughter. The two intertwining stories take us through the heartbreak of the eighties and the chaos of the modern world, as both Yale and Fiona struggle to find goodness in the midst of disaster.

Get Great Believers for 20% off in store and online during the months of September and October!

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

Thursday, October 24, 2019 - 7:30pm

Novel Ideas - There There

Wednesday, October 23, 12pm
Left Bank Books

Join Novel Ideas for a reading group discussion of There There by Tommy Orange!

Tommy Orange’s shattering novel follows twelve characters from Native communities: all traveling to the Big Oakland Powwow, all connected to each other in ways they may not yet realize. There is Jacquie Red Feather, newly sober and working to make it back to the family she left behind. Dene Oxendene, who is pulling his life back together after his uncle’s death, has come to work at the powwow to honor his memory. Fourteen-year-old Orvil has come to perform traditional dance for the very first time. Together, this chorus of voices tells of the plight of the urban Native American—grappling with a complex and painful history, with an inheritance of beauty and spirituality, with communion and sacrifice and heroism. Hailed as an instant classic, There There is at once poignant, utterly contemporary and always unforgettable.

Get There There for 20% off in store and online during the months of September and October!

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

Wednesday, October 23, 2019 - 12:00pm

Lesbian Reading Group - Chelsea Girls

Thursday, October 17, 7:15pm
Left Bank Books

Join the Lesbian Reading Group for a discussion of Chelsea Girls by Eileen Myles!

In this breathtakingly inventive autobiographical novel, Eileen Myles transforms life into a work of art. Told in her audacious voice, made vivid and immediate in her lyrical language, Chelsea Girls cobbles together memories of Myles’ 1960s Catholic upbringing with an alcoholic father, her volatile adolescence, her unabashed “lesbianity,” and her riotous pursuit of survival as a poet in 1970s New York.

Suffused with alcohol, drugs, and sex; evocative in its depictions of the hardscrabble realities of a young artist’s life; and poignant with stories of love, humor, and discovery, Chelsea Girls is a funny, cool, and intimate account of a writer’s education, and a modern chronicle of how a young female writer shrugged off the chains of a rigid cultural identity meant to define her.

Get Chelsea Girls for 20% off in store and online during the months of September and October!

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

Thursday, October 17, 2019 - 7:15pm

Reader Beware! - The House Next Door

Tuesday, October 8, 7pm
Left Bank Books

Join Reader Beware! for a reading group discussion of The House Next Door by Anne Rivers Siddons!

An unparalleled picture of that vibrant but dark intersection where the Old and the New South collide.

Thirtysomething Colquitt and Walter Kennedy live in a charming, peaceful suburb of newly bustling Atlanta, Georgia. Life is made up of enjoyable work, long, lazy weekends, and the company of good neighbors. Then, to their shock, construction starts on the vacant lot next door, a wooded hillside they'd believed would always remain undeveloped. Disappointed by their diminished privacy, Colquitt and Walter soon realize something more is wrong with the house next door. Surely the house can’t be haunted, yet it seems to destroy the goodness of every person who comes to live in it, until the entire heart of this friendly neighborhood threatens to be torn apart.

Get The House Next Door for 20% off in store and online during the months of September and October!

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

Tuesday, October 8, 2019 - 7:00pm

Well-Read Black Girl Book Club - Everything Inside

Monday, September 30, 7pm
Left Bank Books

Join Well-Read Black Girl Book Club! for a reading group discussion of Everything Inside by Edwidge Danticat!

Rich with hard-won wisdom and humanity, set in locales from Miami and Port-au-Prince to a small unnamed country in the Caribbean and beyond, Everything Inside is at once wide in scope and intimate, as it explores the forces that pull us together, or drive us apart, sometimes in the same searing instant. In these eight powerful, emotionally absorbing stories, a romance unexpectedly sparks between two wounded friends; a marriage ends for what seem like noble reasons, but with irreparable consequences; a young woman holds on to an impossible dream even as she fights for her survival; two lovers reunite after unimaginable tragedy, both for their country and in their lives; a baby's christening brings three generations of a family to a precarious dance between old and new; a man falls to his death in slow motion, reliving the defining moments of the life he is about to lose.

Everything Inside 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, September 30, 2019 - 7:00pm

Gay Men's Reading Group - Velvet Rage

Thursday, September 26, 7:30pm
Left Bank Books

Join the Gay Men's Reading Group for a discussion of Velvet Rage by Alan Downs!

In The Velvet Rage, psychologist Alan Downs draws on his own struggle with shame and anger, contemporary research, and stories from his patients to passionately describe the stages of a gay man's journey out of shame and offers practical and inspired strategies to stop the cycle of avoidance and self-defeating behavior. The Velvet Rage is an empowering book that has already changed the public discourse on gay culture and helped shape the identity of an entire generation of gay men.

Get Velvet Rage for 20% off in store and online during the months of August and September!

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

Thursday, September 26, 2019 - 7:30pm

Novel Ideas - Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows

Wednesday, September 25, 12pm
Left Bank Books

Join Novel Ideas for a reading group discussion of Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows by Balli Kaur Jaswal!

Nikki lives in cosmopolitan West London, where she tends bar at the local pub. The daughter of Indian immigrants, she’s spent most of her twenty-odd years distancing herself from the traditional Sikh community of her childhood, preferring a more independent (that is, Western) life. When her father’s death leaves the family financially strapped, Nikki, a law school dropout, impulsively takes a job teaching a "creative writing" course at the community center in the beating heart of London’s close-knit Punjabi community. Because of a miscommunication, the proper Sikh widows who show up are expecting to learn basic English literacy, not the art of short-story writing. When one of the widows finds a book of sexy stories in English and shares it with the class, Nikki realizes that beneath their white dupattas, her students have a wealth of fantasies and memories. Eager to liberate these modest women, she teaches them how to express their untold stories, unleashing creativity of the most unexpected—and exciting—kind.

Get Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows for 20% off in store and online during the months of August and September!

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

Wednesday, September 25, 2019 - 12:00pm

Lesbian Reading Group - Stray City

Thursday, September 19, 7:15pm
Left Bank Books

Join the Lesbian Reading Group for a discussion of Stray City by Chelsey Johnson!

Twenty-three-year-old artist Andrea Morales escaped her Midwestern Catholic childhood—and the closet—to create a home and life for herself within the thriving but insular lesbian underground of Portland, Oregon. But one drunken night, reeling from a bad breakup and a friend’s betrayal, she recklessly crosses enemy lines and hooks up with a man. To her utter shock, Andrea soon discovers she’s pregnant—and despite the concerns of her astonished circle of gay friends, she decides to have the baby. A decade later, when her precocious daughter Lucia starts asking questions about the father she’s never known, Andrea is forced to reconcile the past she hoped to leave behind with the life she’s worked so hard to build. A thoroughly modern and original anti-romantic comedy, Stray City is an unabashedly entertaining literary debut about the families we’re born into and the families we choose, about finding yourself by breaking the rules, and making bad decisions for all the right reasons.

Get Stray City for 20% off in store and online during the months of August and September!

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

Thursday, September 19, 2019 - 7:15pm

Well-Read Black Girl Book Club - Dear Martin

Monday, August 26, 7pm
Left Bank Books

The Well-Read Black Girl Book Club is focused on empowering Black and Latinx writers. We encourage book club ambassadors to highlight classic novels written by  Black women (i.e. The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison) and bring visibility to debut authors like Elizabeth Acevedo, Brit Bennett, and Tomi Adeyemi. Our curated reading list celebrates the work of underrepresented writers and encourages readers who feel inspired by what we’re doing to be a part of our community.

While the Well-Read Black Girl Book Club is focused on empowering Black women writers, we encourage readers who identify as genderqueer, non-binary, or others who feel inspired by what we're doing to join us and be a part of our community.

Justyce McAllister is a good kid, an honor student, and always there to help a friend—but none of that matters to the police officer who just put him in handcuffs. Despite leaving his rough neighborhood behind, he can't escape the scorn of his former peers or the ridicule of his new classmates.

Justyce looks to the teachings of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. for answers. But do they hold up anymore? He starts a journal to Dr. King to find out.

Then comes the day Justyce goes driving with his best friend, Manny, windows rolled down, music turned up—way up, sparking the fury of a white off-duty cop beside them. Words fly. Shots are fired. Justyce and Manny are caught in the crosshairs. In the media fallout, it's Justyce who is under attack.

Dear Martin 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, August 26, 2019 - 7:00pm

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