Author: The Bookly Club

November Book

This November we’ve picked a family saga that’s been on our #tbr (to-be-read list) for quite awhile. Well, for about three years which is like a decade in book nerd years. Cameroon native Imbolo Mbue’s best-selling debut novel Behold the Dreamers was released in 2016. It won the coveted spot as Oprah’s Book Club selection for 2017. It won the 2017 Pen/Faulkner Award for Fiction, was named a New York Times Book Review notable book of the year, and was on numerous lists as one of the best books of 2017. The high praise seems endless. And the story is still just as relevant and topical as it was three years ago. Set during the 2008 financial crisis, Mbue’s novel follows two disparate families; the Edwards family and the Jonga family. Clark Edwards is a senior executive at Lehman Brothers, he and his family live a life of wealth and privilege in New York City (with a home in the Hamptons on the side). Jende Jonga, his wife Neni, and their six-year-old son have come …

October Book

Shirley Jackson was formerly a name most recognized for the short story The Lottery (published in The New Yorker in 1948). However, it’s likely she’s now more commonly associated with last year’s Netflix horror series The Haunting of Hill House that had us all “scrying.” Written by Jackson in 1959, the gothic horror novel The Haunting of Hill House is often considered one of the best ghost stories, ever. During her more than 20 year career Jackson published a total of six novels, hundreds of short stories and two memoirs. The last novel she ever published was in 1962 just three years before her death. And that novel was We Have Always Lived in the Castle, our October selection! The book begins six years after a deadly family tragedy at the Blackwood home. Eighteen-year-old “Merricat” Blackwood (our narrator), her elder sister Constance, and their uncle Julian were the only survivors. Now living on an isolated estate perched above a small town in Vermont, the local residents tell stories and build legends around this strange family. “…I would …

September Book

School’s back in session, and it has us craving new school supplies, pumpkin spice and a literary classic. September’s our favorite time to read something straight off the required reading lists. And this go around we’ve selected The Bell Jar. First published in 1963, it’s the only novel ever published by writer and poet Sylvia Plath. Born in Boston in 1932 and the daughter of academics, Plath’s story is one of great success and tragedy. She suffered the loss of her father when she was only eight years old. A strict authority figure, his life and death held a strong influence on Plath’s work. But Plath was an early writing talent. She kept journals starting at age eleven and was often published in regional publications. She achieved her first national publication when she was only eighteen. A graduate of Smith College, Fulbright scholar, and acclaimed poet, Plath reached high levels of success in her professional life, yet her personal life was conflicted. {trigger warning: depression and suicide} Plath suffered from clinical depression for most of …

August Book

We’ve picked our August beach read… The Simple Wild by K.A. Tucker … and we hope you’ll read with us! We’re definitely in the mood for a good summer read we can take along to the beach, the pool, or on those sweaty summer commutes. Whatever your plans, The Simple Wild seems like a great addition to the summer TBR (to-be-read list). And reading with us is pretty simple… pick up a copy of The Simple Wild and read along with us anytime before the end of August. keep in touch on social using #booklymark and tagging @thebooklyclub. stay tuned for our discussion post on Instagram and our reviews here on the blog at the end of the month so we can chat all about it! But enough of that, on to why we’re so excited about our latest pick. K.A. Tucker is a new author to us, but we’ve heard nothing but good things from other readers who’ve already picked up The Simple Wild (nominated for Goodreads Best Romance in 2018). Author of over …

July Book

Welcome, welcome! Hopefully you’re a return member, but if not, welcome to The Bookly Club  🙂 We hope you’ll read with us! Each month (or two) we select a book to read together based on a seasonal theme. Since we can’t all be in the same place, luckily we have the internet so we can all talk books, anytime, from wherever we are. In July our theme is The Patriot. With 4th of July right around the corner, we like to take this month to read something about Americana. And we don’t shy away from ugly truths. It’s important to push the boundaries of how we see our country, our patriotism, who we are, and who we should be as Americans. Who we are and who we should be is different for everyone. So we like to read as much as we can of what different people think that means. That’s why we’ve selected Rebecca Solnit’s most recent essay collection Call Them by Their True Names, American Crises (and Essays). If you don’t know of …

May & June Book

This school year has finally coming to a close, and we couldn’t be happier to welcome warmer weather and summer vacations! And as is tradition around here at The Bookly Club, in May & June we like to celebrate with a great YA read. Although none of us here at Bookly would likely self-profess as YA super-fans, we’ve enjoyed most of our the young adult selections in the past (Salt to the Sea and The Perks of Being a Wallflower among the favorites). Plus, what better time of year to revisit being young and oh so dramatic… signing yearbooks on the last day of school, looking forward to summer reading lists (just us?), and everything in between. This May & June (we like to combine these months for a little break during a busy time of year) we’ve selected Julie Buxbaum’s Tell Me Three Things. Now the author of five novels (her latest just released May 7th), Buxbaum started her career as a Harvard-educated lawyer. But like so many, her initial path took a welcome turn …

April Book

We’re so glad to finally have a taste of spring! This winter felt much too long, don’t you think? Now it’s time to bring a little life and laughter back into our reading lives for Spring. In April we like to read something with humor and wit to break down any remnants of that dreary winter mood. And this year we’ve selected Michael Arceneaux’s I Can’t Date Jesus: Love, Sex, Family, Race, and Other Reasons I’ve Put My Faith in Beyonce. Arceneaux is a Houston-born, Howard University-educated writer who started his career writing for various news media like The Guardian, Teen Vogue, Essence, The Washington Post, etc. And this collection of essays, published in July of 2018, is the first book published by Arceneaux (he’s currently writing his second, titled I Don’t Want to Die Poor addressing private student loan debt). “There are stories that simply demand to be told and Michael Arceneaux’s is one such story. Arceneaux writes from his life as a black gay man with an uncanny strength of conviction and such fine …

March Book

  Awards season is always one of our favorites, but the Emmy’s, Golden Globes, SAG awards, BAFTAs, and the Oscars have all come to a close. However in March we celebrate some of the nominees and winners by reading a book that was turned into one of last year’s acclaimed films. This year we’re reading James Baldwin’s classic If Beale Street Could Talk. Published in 1974, it’s the story of young love, family, injustice, and hope. Tish has fallen in love with Fonny, the father of her child, who’s falsely imprisoned and seeking the justice he deserves. Facing their uncertain futures, the lives of these two characters twist tragedy and joy in ways that make their stories unforgettable. Baldwin is a legendary American author whose writing is a beautiful as it is poignant (and if you haven’t read The Fire Next Time by Baldwin do so ASAP).   “A moving, painful story, so vividly human and so obviously based on reality that it strikes us as timeless”  –Joyce Carol Oates “If Van Gogh was our nineteenth …

February Book

It’s a new year full of new books! Since finishing our December & January book—Women, Race and Class by Angela Y. Davis—February marks Bookly’s official start to 2019. In fact, we’re currently finalizing our list of books for this year, and we’re so excited about all of them!! But anyway, we’re getting ahead of ourselves. February is the month of pre-fixed candlelit dinners, hallmark cards, chocolate, fuzzy hearts stitched to teddy bears, and romance. So, since we’re a book club that reads what’s fitting for the month we’re reading in, this month we read romance. This year’s love story is a debut novel published just last year. The Wedding Date by Jasmine Guillory. A graduate of Wellesley College and Stanford Law, Guillory sets this story in her hometown; the Bay Area. Her writing has made her a new favorite go-to romance author of many. And since The Wedding Date she’s published a sequel, and the third in the series comes out in July. So if we love this one we’ll have two more to add to our TBR (to-be-read) lists!   …

December + January Book

The new year calls for us to learn something new. Our selection this time of year is always a nonfiction book that encourages its readers to see things in a new light. That’s exactly why we’ve chosen Angela Y. Davis‘ early 1980’s classic Women, Race and Class. After watching Ava DuVernay’s award-winning Netflix documentary 13th (WATCH THIS if you haven’t already), which features a strong presence by Davis, we were inspired to add her keystone work to our list. Davis is a prominent activist who was thrust into the spotlight in 1970 when she was labeled a “terrorist” by President Reagan for a loose connection to the crimes of Jonathan Jackson.  Although one can assume her only “crime” was an association with the Communist Party, Black Panther Party, and Civil Rights Movement. Ultimately she was found not guilty by an all-white jury. Davis later went on to use her strength and intellect on speaking tours, further political activism, and professorships at esteemed universities. She’s led (and is leading) a critical and fascinating life with a deep …