Author: The Bookly Club

March Book

The SAG awards, the Golden Globes, and the Academy Awards. It’s awards season! So much talk of the year’s best television series, movies, actors, screenplays, etc. And so many of the best movies started as books. Or at least we think so. So for March, we’re trying to get ahead of the game and read a new book that’s soon to be a new movie favorite. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas was published just last February. This is Thomas’s debut novel, and a huge success. It opened at number one the NYT young-adult bestseller list. Thomas was inspired to write this story after the shooting of Oscar Grant in 2009. What started as a short story quickly evolved into her first novel, and soon a major motion picture coming out this year or early next (directed by George Tillman Jr., written by Audrey Wells, starring Amandla Stenberg, Regina Hall, Anthony Mackie, Russell Hornsby, Algee Smith, Sabrina Carpenter, Issa Rae, Lamar Johnson, and Common). The Hate U Give tells the story of 16-year-old black student Starr Carter who witnesses …

February Book

Hello February, love is in the air! Or not. But either way, there’s some love in our next book. This month we’re reading Colleen Hoover‘s romance novel It Ends With Us. Until now Hoover hasn’t really been on our radar. But this seemed like a great February pick considering it won Best Romance in the 2016 Goodreads Choice Awards. Not to mention the reviews on Goodreads and Amazon are crazy good. But if you’re still not sold, here’s some more info… Hoover is an interesting story herself. She started writing in 2012 when she self-published her debut novel Slammed. From there everything  fell into place with all of her full-length novels since ending up on the NYT Bestseller List. It Ends With Us came out in 2016 and it’s been one of her most successful novels yet. Although Hoover describes it as, “the hardest book I’ve ever written.” And we can see why. This book tells the story of Lily Bloom, Ryle Kincaid and Atlas Corrigan; the owner of a flower shop, a neurosurgeon (Lily’s new love) and a …

December / January Book

It’s that time of year when your calendar starts to look really cluttered, your to do list grows longer, and you start to consider resolutions for the new year. Well, every year we resolve to read a book that teaches us something new. And something we all need to learn so much more about is our country’s healthcare system. So, the December/January book we’ve picked is T.R. Reid’s The Healing of America: A Global Quest for Better, Cheaper, and Fairer Health Care. It’s a brief 250 pages with chapters like “Different Models, Common Principles,” “Too Big to Change,” and five separate chapters examining the systems of different countries (France, Germany, Japan, Canada, the UK). Also, there’s an afterword titled “‘Obamacare’ Explained,” which we all need to read. Anyone else feeling like our healthcare system is intimidating and confusing?! We feel like reading this is a step in the right direction. The author Reid is a career journalist who, for this book, visited over half a dozen different countries to examine their health care and use …

November Book

We’re back again, as we are at the beginning of every month, to announce our book for this month! This is one we’re really looking forward to since it’s been high on our to-be-read list since its release early last year. Nominated as Best Book of the Year by several publications, critically (and publicly) acclaimed, and written by a legendary author, who wouldn’t be excited for our November pick; Ann Patchett’s Commonwealth ? Spanning the course of 50 years, Commonwealth shows us how one affair affects the lives of the four parents and six children in the Cousins and Keating families as they’re forced to become one blended, bi-coastal family. Spending summers in Virginia, the Keating and Cousins children forge a bond based on shared disillusionment and the strange but genuine affection that grows between them. But once they’ve grown, these children are ultimately forced to look at their story a different way when it becomes the plot of a best-selling novel authored by Franny Keating’s partner.   This is Patchett’s seventh novel, but her …

October Book

Happy Fall, everyone! As I write this the Midwest is sweating under 90 degree heat, even though leaves are starting to fall. Let’s hope while you’re reading this it’s more fall-like out there, and hopefully a more perfect setting for our spooky October book: The Night Bird by Brian Freeman. A Chicago native, Brian Freeman worked in Marketing and Public Relations before becoming an author. He made his debut with the crime thriller Immoral in 2005. Since then he’s written over a dozen thrillers following the stories of different investigators; Jonathan Stride, Cab Bolton, and Frost Easton. And the first (so far only) of the Frost Easton series is The Night Bird. As Freeman describes it: “Frost Easton is a Homicide Inspector in the dramatic locale of San Francisco. He’s young, with a sexy shock of swept-back brown hair, a neat beard, and laser-like blue eyes.  He’s unattached, except for his cat, Shack, who patrols the city with him. Think Justin Timberlake with a gun, and you’ve got Frost.” It seems like a bit of a stretch. …

September Book

September marks a change in pace. New weather (so glad fall is almost here!), and a new school year. So we’re changing it up, too. This month we’ve picked something that’s been on many schools’ required reading lists (and taken off many) since it’s publication in 2007: The Absolute True Diary of a Part-Time Indian. Written by Sherman Alexie and illustrated by Ellen Forney, this young adult novel follows the story of Arnold Spirit Jr., a unique protagonist. He’s a 14-year-old amateur cartoonist living on the Spokane Indian Reservation who goes by “Junior.” The story begins when he makes the controversial decision to venture off the reservation to go to an all-white high school in a border town. The son of two alcoholics, a victim of bullying, and the epitome of awkward; Junior’s story is endearing, brave, funny, and a coming of age story for the ages. This is the first YA novel by Alexie, who’s had careers in stand-up comedy, screenwriting, film production, songwriting, and other fiction genres. The Absolute True Diary of a …

August Book

Image © npr.org  August is a good time to enjoy the sun with a side of a good book, and maybe a cold drink, or two. So this month we’ve picked Brit Bennett’s The Mothers as our sunshine companion. The story is set in a contemporary black community of Southern California. It’s the story of love, ambition, community, and the secrets we keep. The protagonists—Nadia, Luke, and Aubrey—are young and living their lives. It is the last season of high school for Nadia Turner, a rebellious, grief-stricken, seventeen-year-old beauty mourning her own mother’s recent suicide. She takes up with the local pastor’s son, Luke Sheppard, and a pregnancy that results from this teen romance will have an impact that goes far beyond their youth. As Nadia hides her secret from everyone, including Aubrey, her God-fearing best friend, the years move quickly. Soon, Nadia, Luke, and Aubrey are adults and still living in debt to the choices they made. Caught in a love triangle they must carefully maneuver, they’re dogged by the constant, nagging question: What if they …

Amazon in Brick and Mortar

Since its beginning in July of 1994 people have said Amazon would put booksellers (and eventually printers) out of business. Well, against all odds, it hasn’t happened. And with people like us out there, we don’t expect it to happen anytime soon, or ever. In fact, did you know print book sales have been outpacing e-book sales over the past few years? And the next generation of readers is driving this trend. So there’s plenty of room for hope. But Katherine C. predicted a new trend that’s now here (check out her masters thesis from 2012 about how digital brands would do well to present their brands in physical space). Since 2015 Amazon has been experimenting in brick and mortar retail by opening physical stores. There are seven open locations (NYC, Seattle, San Diego, Portland, Chicago, and in Lynnfield and Dedham, Massachusetts) with six more opening in 2017. And last week Katherine C. visited the Chicago location. There are more than a few things that make this store very different from other bookstores… All books are rated …

July Book

Image © Foreignpolicy.com This month we read to learn more about our Nation’s heritage with a good nonfiction book. There are many, many stories that make up who we are as a country. And it’s a goal of ours to keep educating ourselves on where we come from and who we are by reading a new one of these stories every year. This year’s is one from Ta-Nehisi Coates in the form of his acclaimed National Book Award winner and finalist for the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for General Non-Fiction, Between the World and Me. This short, yet extremely powerful, 152-page book was published in July (fitting) of 2015. Coates was inspired to write the book after a meeting with President Obama in 2013 and reading James Baldwin’s 1963 The Fire Next Time. Between the World and Me is a series of letters from Coates to his son, Samori. In these letters Coates examines the notion of race in America and how it has shaped our history, most often at the cost of the bodies and lives of black men (and women). …