Book Group

Book Groups sponsored by Left Bank Books

LBB Book Club: Gay Men's Reading Group discusses Real Life

Thursday, May 27, 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 Real Life by Brandon Taylor.

Get Real Life for 20% off by phone and online during the months of April and May!

 

 

A FINALIST FOR THE 2020 BOOKER PRIZE

AND THE NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE JOHN LEONARD PRIZE

NEW YORK TIMES EDITORS' CHOICE

"A blistering coming of age story" --O: The Oprah Magazine

Named a Best Book of the Year by The New York TimesThe Washington Post, New York Public Library, Vanity Fair, Elle, NPR, The GuardianThe Paris Review, Harper's BazaarFinancial Times, Huffington Post, BBC, Shondaland, Barnes & Noble, VultureThrillist, VICE, SELF, Electric Literature, and Shelf Awareness

A novel of startling intimacy, violence, and mercy among friends in a Midwestern university town, from an electric new voice.

Almost everything about Wallace is at odds with the Midwestern university town where he is working uneasily toward a biochem degree. An introverted young man from Alabama, black and queer, he has left behind his family without escaping the long shadows of his childhood. For reasons of self-preservation, Wallace has enforced a wary distance even within his own circle of friends--some dating each other, some dating women, some feigning straightness. But over the course of a late-summer weekend, a series of confrontations with colleagues, and an unexpected encounter with an ostensibly straight, white classmate, conspire to fracture his defenses while exposing long-hidden currents of hostility and desire within their community.

Real Life is a novel of profound and lacerating power, a story that asks if it's ever really possible to overcome our private wounds, and at what cost.

 

Thursday, May 27, 2021 - 7:30pm

LBB Book Club in Partnership with CAM: Read the Resistance discusses The Purpose of Power

Wednesday, May 26, 7pm
Left Bank Books Online Meeting - Registration is required

Left Bank Books is pleased to relaunch its reading group Read the Resistance in collaboration with The Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis and its exhibition Stories of Resistance

Book discussions will take place monthly virtually, rsvp sign up is hereParticipation is free, but registration is required. Participants can register for any or all of the meetings at this link. Each month, the discussion group will unpack the selected book through prompts and visual cues from artworks in the exhibition that inspired the book selection.

The third meeting is May 26 at 7pm and will be discussing Purpose of Power: How We Come Together When We Fall Apart by Alicia Garza. The book was selected in response to the animations made by the Wide Awakes featured as part of Street Views in the exhibition Stories of Resistance. A discussion of the book and artwork invites participants to heed the call to action for racial justice and movement building. The event is accompanied by the release of the Radio Resistance episode “Political Action,” featuring Congresswoman Cori Bush and Wide Awakes co-founder Hank Willis Thomas.

It is recommended that participants read the books before the discussion, but not required.

Books are available for purchase through Left Bank Books at our discounted reading group 20% off rate. Please email Shane at Shane.m@left-bank.com with any questions. 

To see the full Read the Resistance schedule visit the Read the Resistance Book Club page.

 

About The Purpose of Power

An essential guide to building transformative movements to address the challenges of our time, from one of the country’s leading organizers and a co-creator of Black Lives Matter 
 
“Excellent and provocative . . . a gateway to . . . urgent debates.” —Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor, The New Yorker

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR BY Time • Marie Claire • Kirkus Reviews

In 2013, Alicia Garza wrote what she called “a love letter to Black people” on Facebook, in the aftermath of the acquittal of the man who murdered seventeen-year-old Trayvon Martin. Garza wrote: 
 
Black people. I love you. I love us. Our lives matter. 
 
With the speed and networking capacities of social media, #BlackLivesMatter became the hashtag heard ’round the world. But Garza knew even then that hashtags don’t start movements—people do. 
 
Long before #BlackLivesMatter became a rallying cry for this generation, Garza had spent the better part of two decades learning and unlearning some hard lessons about organizing. The lessons she offers are different from the “rules for radicals” that animated earlier generations of activists, and diverge from the charismatic, patriarchal model of the American civil rights movement. She reflects instead on how making room amongst the woke for those who are still awakening can inspire and activate more people to fight for the world we all deserve. 
 
This is the story of one woman’s lessons through years of bringing people together to create change. Most of all, it is a new paradigm for change for a new generation of changemakers, from the mind and heart behind one of the most important movements of our time.

About the Author

Alicia Garza is an organizer, political strategist, and cheeseburger enthusiast. She is the principal at the Black Futures Lab and the Black to the Future Action Fund, co-creator of #BlackLivesMatter and the Black Lives Matter Global Network, director of strategy and partnerships at the National Domestic Workers Alliance, and host of the Lady Don’t Take No podcast.

 

Wednesday, May 26, 2021 - 7:00pm

LBB Book Club: Novel Ideas discusses American Dirt

Wednesday, May 26, 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 American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins.

Get American Dirt for 20% off by phone and online during the months of April and May!

 

 

#1 New York Times Bestseller
OPRAH’S BOOK CLUB PICK

Extraordinary.”
Stephen King

“This book is not simply the great American novel; it’s the great novel of las Americas. It’s the great world novel! This is the international story of our times. Masterful.”
—Sandra Cisneros


También de este lado hay sueños. On this side, too, there are dreams.

Lydia Quixano Pérez lives in the Mexican city of Acapulco. She runs a bookstore. She has a son, Luca, the love of her life, and a wonderful husband who is a journalist. And while there are cracks beginning to show in Acapulco because of the drug cartels, her life is, by and large, fairly comfortable.

Even though she knows they’ll never sell, Lydia stocks some of her all-time favorite books in her store. And then one day a man enters the shop to browse and comes up to the register with a few books he would like to buy—two of them her favorites. Javier is erudite. He is charming. And, unbeknownst to Lydia, he is the jefe of the newest drug cartel that has gruesomely taken over the city. When Lydia’s husband’s tell-all profile of Javier is published, none of their lives will ever be the same.

Forced to flee, Lydia and eight-year-old Luca soon find themselves miles and worlds away from their comfortable middle-class existence. Instantly transformed into migrants, Lydia and Luca ride la bestia—trains that make their way north toward the United States, which is the only place Javier’s reach doesn’t extend. As they join the countless people trying to reach el norte, Lydia soon sees that everyone is running from something. But what exactly are they running to?

American Dirt will leave readers utterly changed. It is a literary achievement filled with poignancy, drama, and humanity on every page. It is one of the most important books for our times.

Already being hailed as "a Grapes of Wrath for our times" and "a new American classic," Jeanine Cummins's American Dirt is a rare exploration into the inner hearts of people willing to sacrifice everything for a glimmer of hope.

 

Wednesday, May 26, 2021 - 11:00am

LBB Book Club: Well-Read Black Girl discusses The Warmth of Other Suns

Monday, May 24, 7pm
Left Bank Books Online Meeting

THIS WILL BE AN ONLINE MEETING. Email shane.m@left-bank.com for info to join.

Join Well-Read Black Girl Book Club! for a reading group discussion of Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson (first half).

Warmth of Other Suns will be offered at 20% off the month before and the month of the reading group both online and by phone.

 

 

In this bestselling, beautifully written masterwork, Pulitzer Prize–winning author Isabel Wilkerson chronicles one of the great untold stories of American history: the decades-long migration of black citizens who fled the South for northern and western cities, in search of a better life.

NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE AWARD WINNER

      
From 1915 to 1970, this exodus of almost six million people changed the face of America. Wilkerson compares this epic migration to the migrations of other peoples in history. She interviewed more than a thousand people, and gained access to new data and official records, to write this definitive and vividly dramatic account of how these American journeys unfolded, altering our cities, our country, and ourselves.
 
With stunning historical detail, Wilkerson tells this story through the lives of three unique individuals: Ida Mae Gladney, who in 1937 left sharecropping and prejudice in Mississippi for Chicago, where she achieved quiet blue-collar success and, in old age, voted for Barack Obama when he ran for an Illinois Senate seat; sharp and quick-tempered George Starling, who in 1945 fled Florida for Harlem, where he endangered his job fighting for civil rights, saw his family fall, and finally found peace in God; and Robert Foster, who left Louisiana in 1953 to pursue a medical career, the personal physician to Ray Charles as part of a glitteringly successful medical career, which allowed him to purchase a grand home where he often threw exuberant parties.

Wilkerson brilliantly captures their first treacherous and exhausting cross-country trips by car and train and their new lives in colonies that grew into ghettos, as well as how they changed these cities with southern food, faith, and culture and improved them with discipline, drive, and hard work. Both a riveting microcosm and a major assessment, The Warmth of Other Suns is a bold, remarkable, and riveting work, a superb account of an “unrecognized immigration” within our own land. Through the breadth of its narrative, the beauty of the writing, the depth of its research, and the fullness of the people and lives portrayed herein, this book is destined to become a classic.

MARK LYNTON HISTORY PRIZE WINNER
HEARTLAND AWARD WINNER 
DAYTON LITERARY PEACE PRIZE FINALIST

NAMED ONE OF THE TEN BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY
The New York Times  • USA Today • O: The Oprah Magazine • Amazon • Publishers Weekly •  Salon • Newsday  • The Daily Beast

 
NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY
The New Yorker •  The Washington Post • The Economist • Boston Globe • San Francisco Chronicle •  Chicago Tribune • Entertainment Weekly • Philadelphia Inquirer • The Guardian • The Seattle Times • St. Louis Post-Dispatch  • The Christian Science Monitor 

 

Monday, May 24, 2021 - 7:00pm

LBB Book Club: Lesbian Reading Group discusses Sometimes You Have to Lie

Thursday, May 20, 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 Sometimes You Have To Lie by Leslie Brody.

Get Sometimes You Have To Lie for 20% off by phone and online during the months of April and May!

 

 

In this inspiring biography, discover the true story of Harriet the Spy author Louise Fitzhugh -- and learn about the woman behind one of literature's most beloved heroines.Harriet the Spy, first published in 1964, has mesmerized generations of readers and launched a million diarists. Its beloved antiheroine, Harriet, is erratic, unsentimental, and endearing -- very much like the woman who created her, Louise Fitzhugh.Born in 1928, Fitzhugh was raised in segregated Memphis, but she soon escaped her cloistered world and headed for New York, where her expanded milieu stretched from the lesbian bars of Greenwich Village to the art world of postwar Europe, and her circle of friends included members of the avant-garde like Maurice Sendak and Lorraine Hansberry. Fitzhugh's novels, written in an era of political defiance, are full of resistance: to authority, to conformity, and even -- radically, for a children's author -- to make-believe.As a children's author and a lesbian, Fitzhugh was often pressured to disguise her true nature. Sometimes You Have to Lie tells the story of her hidden life and of the creation of her masterpiece, which remains long after her death as a testament to the complicated relationship between truth, secrecy, and individualism.

 

 

 

Thursday, May 20, 2021 - 7:15pm

LBB Book Club: Shakespeare Festival Reads discusses King Lear

Tuesday, May 18, 7pm
Left Bank Books Online Meeting

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

Join Shakespeare Festival Reads for a reading group discussion of King Lear.

Get King Lear for 20% off by phone and online during the months of April and May!

 

 

King Lear is Shakespeare’s bleakest and profoundest tragedy, a searing dramatization of humankind at the edge of apocalypse that explores the family and the nature of being with passion, poetry, and dark humor.

Under the editorial supervision of Jonathan Bate and Eric Rasmussen, two of today’s most accomplished Shakespearean scholars, this Modern Library series incorporates definitive texts and authoritative notes from William Shakespeare: Complete Works. Each play includes an Introduction as well as an overview of Shakespeare’s theatrical career; commentary on past and current productions based on interviews with leading directors, actors, and designers; scene-by-scene analysis; key facts about the work; a chronology of Shakespeare’s life and times; and black-and-white illustrations.

Ideal for students, theater professionals, and general readers, these modern and accessible editions set a new standard in Shakespearean literature for the twenty-first century.

 

 

Tuesday, May 18, 2021 - 7:00pm

LBB Book Club: Reader Beware! discusses The Rust Maidens

Tuesday, May 11, 7pm
Left Bank Books Online Meeting

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

Join Reader Beware! for a reading group discussion of Rust Maidens by Gwendolyn Kiste.

 

 

Something's happening to the girls on Denton Street.

It's the summer of 1980 in Cleveland, Ohio, and Phoebe Shaw and her best friend Jacqueline have just graduated high school, only to confront an ugly, uncertain future. Across the city, abandoned factories populate the skyline; meanwhile at the shore, one strong spark, and the Cuyahoga River might catch fire. But none of that compares to what's happening in their own west side neighborhood. The girls Phoebe and Jacqueline have grown up with are changing. It starts with footprints of dark water on the sidewalk. Then, one by one, the girls' bodies wither away, their fingernails turning to broken glass, and their bones exposed like corroded metal beneath their flesh.

As rumors spread about the grotesque transformations, soon everyone from nosy tourists to clinic doctors and government men start arriving on Denton Street, eager to catch sight of "the Rust Maidens" in metamorphosis. But even with all the onlookers, nobody can explain what's happening or why--except perhaps the Rust Maidens themselves. Whispering in secret, they know more than they're telling, and Phoebe realizes her former friends are quietly preparing for something that will tear their neighborhood apart.

Alternating between past and present, Phoebe struggles to unravel the mystery of the Rust Maidens--and her own unwitting role in the transformations--before she loses everything she's held dear: her home, her best friend, and even perhaps her own body.

 

Tuesday, May 11, 2021 - 7:00pm

LBB Book Club: Great Novels of the 22nd Century discusses The Murderbot Diaries

Wednesday, May 5, 7pm
Left Bank Books Online Meeting

THIS MEETING WILL BE ONLINE VIA SKYPE. CHECK THE GREAT NOVELS OF THE 22ND CENTURY FACEBOOK GROUP FOR THE MEETING INSTRUCTIONS.

Join  Great Novels of the 22nd Century for a reading group discussion of  Murderbot (first four novellas for discussion) by Martha Wells.

Get Murderbot for 20% off online or over the phone during April and May!

 

MARTHA WELLS has written many fantasy novels, including The Wizard HuntersWheel of the Infinite, the Books of the Raksura series (beginning with The Cloud Roads and ending with The Harbors of the Sun), and the Nebula-nominated The Death of the Necromancer, as well as YA fantasy novels, short stories, and nonfiction. Her New York Times and USA Today-bestselling Murderbot Diaries series has won the Hugo, Nebula, Locus, and Alex Awards.

Wednesday, May 5, 2021 - 7:00pm

Shakespeare Festival Reads discusses Shakespearean Tragedy by A.C. Bradley

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

Join Shakespeare Festival Reads for a reading group discussion of Shakespearean Tragedy by A.C. Bradley.

Get  Shakespearean Tragedy for 20% off by phone and online during the months of March and April!

"A.C. Bradley put Shakespeare on the map for generations of readers and students for whom the plays might not otherwise have become 'real' at all" writes John Bayley in his foreword to this edition of Shakespearean Tragedy: Lectures on Hamlet, Othello, King Lear and Macbeth.

Approaching the tragedies as drama, wondering about their characters as he might have wondered about people in novels or in life, Bradley is one of the most liberating in the line of distinguished Shakespeare critics. His acute yet undogmatic and almost conversational critical method has—despite fluctuations in fashion—remained enduringly popular and influential. For, as John Bayley observes, these lectures give us a true and exhilarating sense of "the tragedies joining up with life, with all our lives; leading us into a perspective of possibilities that stretch forward and back in time, and in our total awareness of things."

For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.

Tuesday, April 20, 2021 - 7:00pm

Reader Beware! discusses Doll Master by Joyce Carol Oates

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

Join Reader Beware! for a reading group discussion of Doll Master by Joyce Carol Oates.

Bold and haunting, The Doll-Master and Other Tales is a collection of six psychologically daring stories from Joyce Carol Oates. In the title story, a boy becomes obsessed with his cousin's doll after she tragically passes away, and as he grows older, he begins to collect "found dolls" from surrounding neighborhoods. But just what kind of dolls are they? In "Gun Accident," a teenage girl is delighted to house-sit for her favorite teacher, until an intruder forces his way inside the old Colonial--changing more than one life forever. The Doll-Master closes with a taut bibliomystery, about the owner of a middling chain of mystery bookstores whose plan to take over a rare bookshop in scenic New Hampshire derails into a game of verbal cat-and-mouse that threatens to have real-life consequences. Throughout the collection, Oates evokes "the fascination of the abomination" that is at the core of the most profound, the most unsettling, and the most memorable of dark mystery fiction.

Tuesday, April 13, 2021 - 7:00pm

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