The Club Shares The Books They Want to Read this Spring (But Probably Won’t)

If we’re gonna be a real book blog, we should seasonal roundups. Right? Maybe?

But life. It gets in the way. I went through the list of latest blog posts and cringed. Where is the original content? I’m sorry–we’ve let you down. I’ve let you down. I can’t promise it won’t happen again. But until then, here are a few titles catching our eye this spring. These will be read in the next 2-3 years (maybe).

Auntie Poldi and the Vineyards of Etna: You know how much I love Poldi. I aspire to have her quick wit and alcohol tolerance. She’s back with a new mystery involving wine bottles, psychics, and the FBI, which she solves with the help of her crack team (a priest and everyone’s favorite sad signora) and despite the best efforts of her detective boyfriend. I’ve read this, because I was at a work event and Mario Giordano was signing copies a few tables away. I obviously went to get one. And he obviously signed it “with love” because we have a special connection.


Lost Roses: The prequel to Martha Hall Kelly’s bestselling Lilac Girls is here. This time, we see Caroline’s mother Eliza in action as she rallies New York socialites around the White Russians fleeing the revolution. Reading about Russian aristocrats who did little to combat the unrest in their country may not seem like the most interesting read, but Kelly succeeds in making her three female protagonists sympathetic and infuriating. Their desires and fears propel the novel across oceans, and Long Island.


Trust Exercise: I’m obsessed with this cover and this title. Susan Choi introduces us to the “Brotherhood of the Arts,” a group of students at an ultra competitive performing arts high school in the 1980s. Two of its students fall in love, and what happens when a teacher intervenes serves as the jumping point for the novel that has everyone talking. Reviews abound for this book, which means we’ll probably see it on some Best Of lists come December. At which point we still will not have read it.


Normal People: According to Entertainment Weekly, “[a]mong the vast cohort of new millennial novelists, none are connecting with readers as intimately, or generating as much excitement, as Sally Rooney.” I feel like the last time someone made a statement like this, it was about Girls. And we know how well that went. That doesn’t make me any less eager to read Rooney’s novel about two Irish teens who orbit each other in high school and college, and what they’re compelled to do as their lives drastically diverge.


Gingerbread: Reading the never-ending blurbs for this book indicates just how beloved Helen Oyeyemi is. In her latest novel, teenager Perdita Lee sets out to find her mother Harriet’s mysterious best friend, and in the process rediscovers her mother’s story. The one thing that holds everything in their lives together: gingerbread. I’m here for the sickly sweetness of it all, and the talking plants.


Out East: Full disclosure–I read the manuscript for this book months ago, because I work with this publisher, and HOLY CRAP. This book will make you feel the feels. It will also make you want to stalk out Murray Hill sports bars looking for the people in this book. This memoir tells the story of the summer of 2013, when author John Glynn used his inheritance from his grandmother to buy into a Montauk share house for the summer. It’s Call Me By Your Name meets The Real World, and we’re here for it.


Stay Sexy and Don’t Get Murdered: Podcasters and comedians Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark bring their trademark honesty and wit to this memoir/humor book/self-help guide that reads like your older sister jotted down the secrets to life. They hold nothing back as they remind you to embrace your perfect imperfections, and to stay out of the forest (because the serial killers live there, duh).



The waitlist at the library for these is going to be a mother.




The Club Takes A Vow Of Silence

I have a newfound appreciation for the monks who take a vow of silence. They understand what is essential to spiritual well-being. Especially the ones that brew beer.

Let me back up a bit.

A few weeks ago, I was answering work emails in a bland New Mexico hotel room when the text below came in from AM:

“Can we also set up a date where we just read and make tea and hot chocolate and don’t even have to speak but just existing in reading in the same room? This is my dream.”

Same, AM. Same.

As any self-respecting millennial would do, we let the plan sit, like that pad thai from lunch two weeks ago that we thought we would eat later. Then we thought we would be fancy and rent one of those igloos planted in the winter wonderland of Bryant Park, until we realized we’re not fancy at all. Then we discovered the Silent Book Club. Two hours of reading in quiet companionship, with minimal socializing? How had we not heard of this before?

The next meetup would take place at Jadis, which you may recall from a previous post (we won’t remind you of what has happened on those wine bar couches). We met outside the bar shortly after the start of the event, afraid to enter the Den of the Introverts alone. After acquiring our Cotes du Rhone, we made our way to the back lounge, where a few groups were already congregated. Our only clue to which group we belonged were the stray paperbacks on the glass coffee table.

After standing behind them like two dopes, trying to make eye contact with someone, we awkwardly introduced ourselves and squeezed in on the wooden bench (not nearly as comfortable, but probably safer than the couch). And then: we read. For 60 uninterrupted minutes.

When was the last time you had 60 uninterrupted minutes to read? Where you weren’t drawn away from the page by the beguiling ding of a Snapchat notification, or the voice of your mother in your head, reminding you of all the responsibilities you’re avoiding by reading? This was bliss. We sat, enjoying our reads (AM with Catch-22, me with the next Martha Hall Kelly book), savoring our wine, embracing the time we had, knowing real life was but minutes away. I have to agree with AM–the bench was not the ideal reading spot–but the experience was emotionally restorative. Even if we were both momentarily distracted by the reader sitting next to us, arguing with the server about the bar’s credit card minimum.

We’re both eager to attend again, and we just might be on time to get a good seat.