All posts tagged: Random House

October Book

At The Bookly Club we read according to the season (more on that here). And what does fall put you in the mood for? For us it’s the perfect time to read something good and scary. We know, we know this year’s been scary enough! We’re definitely not in the mood for anything apocalyptic right now. BUT this October we’ve picked a book that’s a play on the classic haunted house story. And we think it’s just right time for curling up with a good book as the leaves change and the temperatures fall. The Invited by Jennifer McMahon is a story about Nate and Helen; a young couple who decide to leave suburban life for a more rural setting on forty acres of land in the country. They plan to build their dream home together. As Helen finds inspiration through found objects in the local area—a beam from an old schoolroom, bricks from a mill, a mantel from a farmhouse—she becomes infatuated with the area’s dark history. The stories of Hattie Breckenridge, a local …

September Book

Pictured above: Puffin in Bloom edition of Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery Here at The Bookly Club September is the season when we visit (or revisit) a scholastic classic. Normally this is when we’re heading back to school and dreaming of school supplies. But again, this school year will be looking very different. However, we still have the books we love! So for September we’ve picked a beloved classic. And what is there really to say about our September book? First published on June 13th, 1908, this book and its characters have taken on a life of their own. Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery has been translated into 36 languages, sold over 50 million copies, and is one of the best-selling books of all time. And yet, I’ve never read it! I’ve watched the 1980’s series, and the latest adaptation Anne with an E on Netflix, but I’ve never read the book. So for many of us this will be a re-read, but for some of us this will be a long overdue …

Sorry, Not Sorry

Years before she published Dear Girls, Ali Wong aired a stand-up special on Netflix called Baby Cobra. She was pregnant with her first during filming, and I was just barely coming out of the fog of having two babies within about a year of each other. I couldn’t have been more primed to find everything she referenced all too familiar and laugh-out-loud hilarious. And I don’t take issue with her raw and crude brand of humor. Parenting is raw and crude, so it fits. Needless-to-say, when I heard about Dear Girls I was all in. Each chapter is a letter to her daughters Mari and Nikki where she shares different embarrassing, challenging, rewarding, gross, triumphant stories. I love that she is completely unfiltered in sharing the lessons she’s learned the hard way, and trying to share more of herself. Parents often project onto children so much of what we hope for them and how we see them, but we rarely share much of our own histories, vulnerabilities or mistakes. But Wong is completely unafraid of …

I Should Write More Letters…

Full disclosure: I finished Ali Wong’s Dear Girls about three weeks ago. I have also had a few glasses of wine tonight. Finally, the world is crazy and I can barely string two coherent thoughts together, let along write a poignant and thoughtful book review (my husband and I regularly have conversations that go like this: Me: “Did you, um, wait, when, um, did they, um, what’s the, um… do you know what I mean?” Him: “Yeah, but, if we, well.” and so on) . But here goes! I loved Dear Girls. It was a perfect and much-needed break from the reality we are living right now. At times it was touching, at times it was thoughtful, but mostly, it was just true and relatable, and hilarious. Even when the stories were so far from my own personal experience that I couldn’t even fathom their reality, it was relatable. And that’s a feat. At times I thought there is definitely a specific audience for this book. Like, maybe you need to be a mother, or a wife, or Asian, …

A Gross Argument for Living Your Best Life

Here’s the thing – Ali Wong is hilarious. No one needs to argue that. Her specials are the end result of a person who has been working their craft for some time and it shows because they are laugh out loud hilarious. I appreciate that her unabashedly raunchy humor is not always everyone’s cup of tea, but it is not put upon. I have a friend who went to high school with her and he says she was the same even back then – unapologetically filthy. What I think we can all appreciate about Ali Wong is that she has stepped into the limelight as a woman, Asian, American, sexual, and self-made. She has done so without letting any one of those factoids define her but also has never lost a sense of self. All of those things are part of who she is and where she is going – flaws and all. The stories she tells for her girls are at times not things I think any parent would honestly admit to their children …

April Book

Spring is on it’s way! Thankfully, right? It’s been a long, dark winter and we’re really in the mood for something light and shiny. And April at The Bookly Club means we pick a book that can make us laugh and shed that winter mood. This year we’ve chose Ali Wong’s Dear Girls as our comedy relief for April. Following her hysterical, runaway-hit of a standup special on Netflix (Baby Cobra) Wong released Dear Girls in October of 2019.   The book is written as a series of 14 letters (aka chapters) to her two daughters. From her perspective, it’s everything they’ll need to know in life. As the subtitle reads, “Intimate Tales, Untold Secrets & Advice for Living Your Best Life.” Chapters include, “How I Trapped Your Father,” “Tips on Giving Birth,” and “A Guide to Asian Restaurants.” But fair warning: if you haven’t watched her stand-up you should. If for no other reason than to know what to expect with her humor and her raw, brutal, descriptive honesty about sex, relationships, womanhood, etc. …

February Book

We’re back to announce our official selection for February! We’ll be reading The Giver of Stars by Jojo Moyes, and we hope you’ll read along with us! But more on that later… Jojo Moyes, most notable for Me Before You (her tragic romance novel turned movie starring Emilia Clarke), recently published a historical fiction novel that’s getting a lot of attention. Including ours! Released in October of 2019, it was selected for Reese Witherspoon’s Hello Sunshine bookclub in November. And we can’t seem to open Instagram without seeing another book lover rave about it. It’s based on the true story of a New Deal initiative backed by Eleanor Roosevelt called the Traveling Library. The Depression left much of America in poverty, but none were hit quite like the coal-mining counties of Kentucky. Without access to public libraries, and many illiterate, women were called upon to travel the counties and deliver books to those most in need. From 1935 to 1943 these women rode on horseback delivering books to homes and schoolhouses, earning names like packhorse …

Happiness and Hope

I can safely say this is one of my leading favorites for any of our November selections. It’s a month when we pick a book that circles around family; the drama, the trials, the love, and everything in between. Behold the Dreamers by Imbolo Mbue was no different. A top book of 2017, Mbue’s debut novel, Oprah’s Book Club 2017 selection, and a New York Times bestseller. It’d been on my list since its debut, and I had high hopes! It’s the story of the Jonga family, and their journey to a happy life. Jende Jonga moves to New York City from Cameroon to find a job, provide for his family, and dutifully walk the path to citizenship in the land of opportunity. The book begins when he gets a stable, well-paying job as a chauffeur for Mr. Clark; a top executive at Lehman Brothers. The catch? It’s 2007. You may think you’re witnessing an American dream about to come true, but it’s much more complicated. The characters are powerfully written. I was deeply invested in each …

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 …

November Book

Image © Our City Lights And so the holiday season officially begins (or at least for those of you who don’t count Halloween)! This month the family events begin starting with the loud, turkey-roasting, over-served event that is Thanksgiving dinner. Along with this deliciously gluttonous meal comes a fair amount of family dramatics (good, bad and ugly alike). So it only seemed fair that our theme for November should be {Family Feud}. A great story about a lovable (or not) dysfunctional family. And so, we’ve selected Tell The Wolves I’m Home by Carol Rifka Brunt; “a tender story of love lost and found, an unforgettable portrait of the way compassion can make us whole again.” This debut novel was published in 2012 to rave reviews and quickly became a New York Times Bestseller. Set in 1987, the story follows the life of 14-year-old June Elbus. She lives in Westchester and struggles with feelings for her gay uncle who is dying of AIDS. Brunt says the inspiration for this novel came from the idea of an uncle painting a portrait of …