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.




Review – We Like Our Aperol Spritzes With A Dash Of Homicide

By now, dear reader, you’ve deduced that we’re not known for our follow through. Our book reading rate for any given meeting hovers around 30%, and that’s being generous. Which begs the question: what are we reading? And what are we enjoying?

As I write this, it’s raining in Brooklyn, and the first signs of crisp, fall air are sliding through the open window. While there are a couple weeks left of summer, I’m reminiscing on sweet summer nights and lazy, hazy afternoons (and ignoring the swampy city smells and unattractive but inevitable butt sweat that comes with any good NYC summer). And as I long for one more Aperol Spritz before the season ends, I’m reminded of an equally delicious read from a few months back: Auntie Poldi and the Sicilian Lions, by Mario Giordano.



Told from the perspective of Poldi’s nephew, a struggling writer who doesn’t have a whole lot going for him, it recounts Poldi’s first foray into the criminal underworld of Sicily. Upon her sixtieth birthday, Poldi leaves her beloved Bavaria behind and moves to Sicily (Torre Archirafi, to be exact). While the island is home to her recently deceased husband’s family, and collection of nosy but well-meaning brothers and sisters-in-law, what she really wants is to drink herself to death in relative peace. However, Poldi is forced to put her plans on hold when the young handyman helping repair her rundown seaside home goes missing, and she suspects something has gone terribly wrong. When she finds his body on the beach, she vows to bring his killer to justice. What ensues is a thriller as twisty as the Sicilian roads, with Poldi playing Miss Marple as she interrogates possible Mafia members, Bavarian officials, and down-on-their-luck aristocrats, all while throwing herself directly in the path of the police detective she can’t seem to forget. Poldi is not the most reliable of sleuths: she’s impulsive, and probably not the sharpest tack in the box (alcohol aside). What she does have is heart, and an intuition that (eventually) leads her on the correct path. Giordano has assembled an oddball supporting cast that add to the book’s charms and make Poldi’s madcap schemes to catch the killer endearing and entertaining. Don’t pass on Poldi: she’s the fierce aunt we not-so-secretly wish to have, and hope to be.


Verdict: A charming mystery that will have you longing for distant shores and adventure.

Pairs well with: Aperol Spritz, obviously.