The Drinking Club Reads from Quarantine

After reading multiple articles about all the things we could be reading during this time (some of which I shared here), we figured it was time the Drinking Club compiled its own recommendations, on this the 37th week of quarantine. Recent reports, however, indicate that people no longer have the attention or desire to read due to our collective hell. To which we say: fair.

However, if you do feel inclined to spend an evening absorbed in a reality that is not…(gestures to all this), below are some books you can’t go wrong with. And because it’s us, there are a few we recommend you steer clear of. This list is provided by DD, quite possibly the most well-read member of the Drinking Club (AM is also in this category, but is occupied at the moment with her own consumer research project). So, without further ado, here are the books keeping us on the brink of sanity, and a few we’re regifting once this is all over:

  • Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston
    • DD says: A perfect romantic comedy escape from the sad state of single quarantine life.
  • Circe by Madeline Miller
    • DD says: Another wonderful escape, this one set in the world and lore of Greek mythology. It’s told SO well and I flew through it… and am now very invested in learning more about the Greek gods.
  • Ayesha At Last by Uzma Jalaluddin
    • DD says: A modern retelling of Pride and Prejudice set in a Muslim community in Canada! It’s wonderful, quick, and fun!
  • The Lord of the Rings trilogy by J.R.R. Tolkien
    • DD says: I’ve never read the books OR seen the movies so I am very excited to finally check this off my bucket list!! Fully expecting these to take me through at least the next 2-3 weeks!
  • Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
    • DD says: I KNOW THIS IS ON YOUR BOOKSHELF AND I PROMISE NOW IS THE TIME. I LOVE IT SO MUCH. It’s great.
    • Editor’s note: it’s moving over to the bedside reading stack.
  • Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
    • DD says: After reading Ayesha at Last I couldn’t stop thinking about this OG Austen novel so here I am, having reread it for the zillionth time (the limit does not exist).
  • The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss
    • DD says: If you are a fan of fantasy this is a MUST. It’s a long read, perfect for a quarantine project, and has all the elements of a great fantasy novel (magic, love, revenge, mystery).
  • Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout
    • DD says: For all the acclaim it just did NOT do it for me. Maybe I’m not in the right mindset for it but I really had to force myself to get through each chapter and when I finished the book I just kind of felt “meh.”
  • A River of Stars by Vanessa Hua
    • DD says: I tried to read A River of Stars and got through maybe 60 pages and gave up.

 

Until next time,

EV

The Librarians Have Spoken: The Club Gets The Results

Last month, we told you how we prayed to the Library Gods for recommendations for The Drinking Club. They replied, voice booming from the heavens, promising to answer us in two weeks. Which they did. And now I’m sharing the results…one month later. I have no defense.

The Almighty Alex, librarian extraordinaire, has suggested the titles below for our group. It’s a mix of literary fiction, nonfiction, and memoir. We’ve read one of them already, so we’re off to a great start.

  • The Death and Life of Aida Hernandez by Aaron Bobrow-Strain
  • Evicted by Matthew Desmond
  • Another Brooklyn by Jacqueline Woodson
  • When I Was Puerto Rican by Esmeralda Santiago
  • H is for Hawk by Helen Macdonald
  • Free Food for Millionaires by Min-Jin Lee
  • Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman
  • In the Woods by Tana French
  • Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler
  • Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
  • The Power by Naomi Alderman

This list is comprehensive. We got sci-fi, mystery, dystopian, coming-of-age stories, nature writing. It’s also fairly diverse–knowing full well publishing is primarily pale, male, and stale, and there are a plethora of experiences not captured on this list. Still, there are only two dudes. We’ll take it as a sign of progress.

As you will have noticed, Almighty Alex included The Power, which we read last fall. Alex clearly saw into our collective soul to make these recommendations, so I feel confident in saying that if we read one of these, a third of us would like it. Several of these have been on my TBR for a while. I feel I should hand in my bibliophile card for not having read Americanah yet. It reminds me of my inadequacy every time I find it on my bookshelf.

This just means we have to read one of these. The Library Gods have been magnanimous–all of these books are book discussion sets, meaning they have longer check-out lengths and multiple copies available. They also created a collection for these titles on their website that we can save to our library account. They’ve even named it: Books for a Savvy Book Club. They’re being very generous with that moniker. It would be rude not to read one of their suggestions.

So, what should we read next? Is there a title missing that you think jives with the rest of this list? Let us know!

 

EV