The Alameda LIbrary Book Club meets every 2nd Monday at the Alameda Free Library. Everyone is welcome to participate.
December 10, 2018
Outline by Rachel Cusk
This is the first of a trilogy, followed by Transit and Kudos (just published in hardback). It's the story of an English woman writer who goes to Athens to teach a summer writing course. But it's not really. It's a series of encounters she has on her trip, largely conversations with the people she meets or knows or teaches. And the main character is clearly based on (or is) the author. The book is part story and part autobiography, but uniformly insightful and brilliant. Cusk's trilogy is an experiment in a new way to tell stories (which other recent works by W.E. Sebald and Karl Ove Knausgard also explore). Read 1, 2, or 3 works of the trilogy.
January 14, 2019
Imagine Me Gone by Adam Haslett
"Ambitious and stirring . . . With Imagine Me Gone, Haslett has reached another level, affording readers a full and luminous depiction of a mind under siege . . . By putting the readers in the same position as [oldest son] Michael's family members, Haslett has pulled off something of a brilliant trick: We feel precisely what they feel-the frustration, the protectiveness, the hope and fear and, yes, the obligation. If Michael is on the page, if his thoughts or actions are laid bare, there's a grueling sense of dread. If he's out of sight, if his thinking and whereabouts are unknown, the dread becomes all but unbearable . . . This is a book refreshingly replete with surprise. It sneaks up on you with dark and winning humor, poignant tenderness, and sentences so astute that they lift the spirit even when they're awfully, awfully sad . . . But make no mistake, the novel's most rewarding surprise is its heart. Again and again, the characters subtly assert that despite the expense of empathy and the predictable disappointment of love, our tendency to care for one another is warranted . . . Even when it's difficult or terrifying or impossible, especially when it's impossible, the impulse to calm those we hold dear is an absolute privilege.” ―Bret Anthony Johnston, New York Times Book Review
February 11, 2019
Sing Unburied Sing by Jesmyne Ward
Sing, Unburied, Sing is many things: a road novel, a slender epic of three generations and the ghosts that haunt them, and a portrait of what ordinary folk in dire circumstances cleave to as well as what they — and perhaps we all — are trying to outrun.” —New York Times Book Review
Other books suggested but not assigned
HAPPINESS by Aminatta Forna
EXIT WEST by Moshin Hamid
HOMEGOING by Yaa Gyasi