October Book Club

📣Novel Thoughts Book Club📣

Presenting our October title—
We Ride Upon Sticks by Quan Barry.

Save the date for our zoom chat on Sunday, October 17th at 730pm EST!

Nostalgic for the 80s? Curious about Salem witchcraft? Fond of field hockey? Read on, witches!

🏑In the town of Danvers, Massachusetts, home of the original 1692 witch trials, the 1989 Danvers Falcons will do anything to make it to the state finals—even if it means tapping into some devilishly dark powers. Against a background of irresistible 1980s iconography, Quan Barry expertly weaves together the individual and collective progress of this enchanted team as they storm their way through an unforgettable season.

🏑Helmed by good-girl captain Abby Putnam (a descendant of the infamous Salem accuser Ann Putnam) and her co-captain Jen Fiorenza (whose bleached blond “Claw” sees and knows all), the Falcons prove to be wily, original, and bold, flaunting society’s stale notions of femininity. Through the crucible of team sport and, more importantly, friendship, this comic tour de female force chronicles Barry’s glorious cast of characters as they charge past every obstacle on the path to finding their glorious true selves.

🏑 Want to read with us? Comment to make sure we get you the zoom link. @alanna_dreamingwithopeneyes and I can’t wait!

#werideuponsticks#novelthoughtsbookclub

September book club

📣Novel Thoughts Book Club📣

Presenting our September title, Better Luck Next Time by @juliaclaibornej

You are invited to join our book party on September 19th at 730pm est! We start celebrating
with a book club discussion, then at 8pm we welcome author Julia into the conversation.

I loved this book! Set in Reno, NV in the 1930s on a Dude ranch for women seeking divorce, BLNT is told in a unique interview format through the lens of a charming ranch hand now in his eighties; it is heartfelt, sexy and entertaining. I read it on the beach two weeks ago and I’m still smiling about it. It’s about marriage and divorce (and everything that comes in between,) friendships and flirtation, parenting, and found family. Follow your heart and read this one with us! Oh and I must mention that there’s an alternate ending (only in the B&N hardcover editions!)

@alanna_dreamingwithopeneyes and I hope you’ll save the date, secure your copy of Better Luck Next Time, and meet us on zoom next month.

August Book Club

Join us for some killer August fun! 🔪 #novelthoughtsbookclub

Our August book club pick is Finlay Donovan is Killing It by @ellecosimano and you’re invited to join us. There’s a #bookface contest too!

We meet on 8/24 at 730pm EST via zoom.

How to participate:
1️⃣Get the book
2️⃣ Start reading
3️⃣ Laugh while you get dolled up to look like Finlay and take a book selfie
4️⃣ Post your pic using our hashtag #NovelThoughtsBookClub (tag us too so we see it!)
5️⃣ Join our zoom chat on the 24th for a killer discussion and winner announcement

Sound fun? Want to read with us? Comment here so we make sure you get the zoom link! @alanna_dreamingwithopeneyes and I hope to see you and can’t wait for your selfies! (Check out her recent video post.)

Happy reading!

Novel Thoughts July Book Club

Announcing our July title and author talk–The Final Revival of Opal & Nev by Dawnie Walton.

Save the date for our brief zoom book club chat on July 28th at 730pm EST! Dawnie will join us in conversation at 8pm.

An electrifying novel about the meteoric rise of an iconic interracial rock duo in the 1970s, their sensational breakup, and the dark secrets unearthed when they try to reunite decades later for one last tour.

I just love this NYT book review because it expresses exactly how I felt after reading Opal’s story.

“This novel is so good, I want to rent a velvet-swagged amphitheater and gather a large audience to blare through a microphone just how much I like it…Befitting her name, Opal is a complex, shade-shifting idol, not so much sparkling as iridescent…[Dawnie Walton] has conjured an entire oeuvre of lyrics, licks and liner notes that is backdrop for some of the most pressing political issues of our era, or any era. The story Sunny “tells” using the tools of journalism is propulsive, often funny and thought-provoking. Like the best fiction, it feels truer and more mesmerizing than some true stories. It’s a packed time capsule that doubles as a stick of dynamite.”—NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW

Novel Thoughts Book Club June Pick

📣Novel Thoughts Book Club📣

Presenting our June selection—
The Firekeeper’s Daughter by @angelineboulley

Save the date for our zoom chat on June 30 at 730pm EST!

The Firekeeper’s Daughter

🔥🦋This is our first YA pick and the first Indigenous author we’ve read together. @alanna_dreamingwithopeneyes and I cannot be more excited to discuss it with you! I’m listening to the audiobook because I’ve seen rave reviews about the narration and pronunciation of the Ojibwe Native American language. Let’s be honest with a cover this stunning I’ll inevitably need a copy in hand too.

🔥🦋With four starred reviews, Angeline Boulley’s debut novel, Firekeeper’s Daughter, is a groundbreaking YA thriller about a Native teen who must root out the corruption in her community, perfect for readers of Angie Thomas and Tommy Orange. Best for grade 9 and up, so invite a teen to read it and join us too!

🔥🦋Along with the incredible bookstagrammer and literary critics reviews, The Firekeeper’s Daughter is soon to be adapted by Netflix with President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama’s production company, Higher Ground.

Read with us! Comment below to ensure I send you the zoom link. 🔥🦋

Novel Thoughts Book Club May title

Presenting our May title, Landslide by @susan_conleyy

You are invited to join our book party on May 27 at 730pm est. We are celebrating in two parts—
1️⃣first, the book discussion at 730pm
2️⃣second, we welcome the brilliantly talented author Susan in conversation at 8pm

I had the distinct pleasure of hosting Susan locally in 2019 for an event celebrating the release of her previous novel, Elsey Come Home. We agreed it was high time for a reunion and are thrilled to include all of you! What I love about her writing is that it is epic in its intimacy, spare and evocative and honest.

@alanna_dreamingwithopeneyes and I hope you’ll save the date, secure your copy of Landslide, and meet us on zoom next month. Send me a note to receive the zoom link!

A synopsis:

With remarkable poise and startling beauty, Landslide ushers us into a modern household where, for a family at odds, Instagram posts, sex-positivity talks, and old fishing tales mingle to become a kind of love language. It is a beautiful portrait of a family, as compelling as it is moving, and raises the question of how to remain devoted when the eye of the storm closes in.

Novel Thoughts Book Club April Pick

🐅 Novel Thoughts Book Club 🐅 April title is The Night Tiger by @yangszechoo

Please join us for our live discussion on Sunday, April 25 at 730p est.
Comment to make sure we send you the zoom link!

Synopsis: Set in 1930’s Malaysia, Yangsze Choo’s The Night Tiger pulls us into a world of servants and masters, age-old superstition and modern idealism, sibling rivalry and forbidden love. But anchoring this dazzling, propulsive novel is the intimate coming-of-age of a child and a young woman, each searching for their place in a society that would rather they stay invisible.

@alanna_dreamingwithopeneyes and I are so eager to connect with you on this immersive and transportive novel.

The Night Tiger

March Buddy Read + Author Talk

Announcing our March selection—The Yellow Wife by @sadeqasays . Save the date— March 31 at 730pm EST. It’s our pleasure to share that author Sadeqa Johnson will be joining us in conversation that evening. You’re all invited to our zoom book party! 🎉 @alanna_dreamingwithopeneyes and I hope to see you for our one year buddy read anniversary.

Yellow Wife

“Born on a plantation in Charles City, Virginia, Pheby Delores Brown has lived a relatively sheltered life. Shielded by her mother’s position as the estate’s medicine woman and cherished by the Master’s sister, she is set apart from the others on the plantation, belonging to neither world.

She’d been promised freedom on her eighteenth birthday, but instead of the idyllic life she imagined with her true love, Essex Henry, Pheby is forced to leave the only home she has ever known. She unexpectedly finds herself thrust into the bowels of slavery at the infamous Devil’s Half Acre, a jail in Richmond, Virginia, where the enslaved are broken, tortured, and sold every day. There, Pheby is exposed not just to her Jailer’s cruelty but also to his contradictions. To survive, Pheby will have to outwit him, and she soon faces the ultimate sacrifice.”

Sadeqa Johnson is the award-winning author of four novels. Her accolades include the National Book Club Award, the Phillis Wheatley Book Award, and the USA Best Book Award for Best Fiction. She is a Kimbilio Fellow, former board member of the James River Writers, and a Tall Poppy Writer. Originally from Philadelphia, she currently lives near Richmond, Virginia, with her family.

To make sure you receive the zoom link next month, please comment here. Historical fiction is my jam and I am eager to read this riveting story and honored to speak with Sadeqa.

February Buddy Read

I hope you’ll join the conversation for our 11th pandemic buddy read. Alanna and I have selected A Woman Is No Man by Etaf Rum. Our zoom meeting will be on February 24 at 730pm EST. Link will be provided the week before our discussion. The story of three generations of Palestinian-American women struggling to express their individual desires within the confines of their Arab culture in the wake of shocking intimate violence in their community. More story details below…

A GOODREADS CHOICE AWARDS FINALIST FOR BEST FICTION AND BEST DEBUT • BOOKBROWE’S BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR • A MARIE CLAIRE BEST WOMEN’S FICTION OF THE YEAR • A REAL SIMPLE BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR • A POPSUGAR BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR ALL WRITTEN BY FEMALES

New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice • A Washington Post 10 Books to Read in March • A Newsweek Best Book of the Summer • A USA Today Best Book of the Week • A Washington Book Review Difficult-To-Put-Down Novel • A Refinery 29 Best Books of the Month • A Buzzfeed News 4 Books We Couldn’t Put Down Last Month • A New Arab Best Books by Arab Authors • An Electric Lit 20 Best Debuts of the First Half of 2019 • A The Millions Most Anticipated Books of 2019

“Where I come from, we’ve learned to silence ourselves. We’ve been taught that silence will save us. Where I come from, we keep these stories to ourselves. To tell them to the outside world is unheard ofdangerous, the ultimate shame.”

Palestine, 1990. Seventeen-year-old Isra prefers reading books to entertaining the suitors her father has chosen for her. Over the course of a week, the naïve and dreamy girl finds herself quickly betrothed and married, and is soon living in Brooklyn. There Isra struggles to adapt to the expectations of her oppressive mother-in-law Fareeda and strange new husband Adam, a pressure that intensifies as she begins to have children—four daughters instead of the sons Fareeda tells Isra she must bear.

Brooklyn, 2008. Eighteen-year-old Deya, Isra’s oldest daughter, must meet with potential husbands at her grandmother Fareeda’s insistence, though her only desire is to go to college. Deya can’t help but wonder if her options would have been different had her parents survived the car crash that killed them when Deya was only eight. But her grandmother is firm on the matter: the only way to secure a worthy future for Deya is through marriage to the right man.

But fate has a will of its own, and soon Deya will find herself on an unexpected path that leads her to shocking truths about her family—knowledge that will force her to question everything she thought she knew about her parents, the past, and her own future.

January Buddy Read + Author Talk

Reading with my Gnomies! Who wants an invite to the buddy read on 1/28? Pssst, TJ Klune is coming, you should join our book party! 🎉  

If you set 2021 reading goals to:

✅ read with bookstagram friends

✅read outside your typical genres

✅read #lgtbq authors

✅read a feel good book

✅meet an author 

✅join a virtual book group 

then we’ve got you covered. 

@alanna_dreamingwithopeneyes  and I are cohosting our 10th buddy read and you’re invited!

Here’s my previous review of this gem…
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️Five star vibes. All the feels. This book is P E R F E C T. 

✨Charming. Witty. Brave. Heartfelt. Tender. Hilarious. 

✨This book is a hug! I dare you to not fall in love with these characters. They face prejudices, struggle to belong, and are misunderstood.  There is a love story here, one about humanity + found family + second chances. The House in the Cerulean Sea is a must read and moved instantly into my tops of 2020 list. It’s the greatest feel good story to ever involve the Antichrist. Read this one now!