I’m Mallory Barnes, a fiction writer living in West Texas.
My hope here is to encourage reading and discussion. In the digital age, we often live together so separately. Community and intellectual discussion are harder and harder to come by. I hope that Book Club Bites can help alleviate that by encouraging the birth and growth of book clubs.
While they never saw combat, they paved the way for women in the Airforce and female pilots everywhere. I’m lucky enough to live near the National WASP museum and have visited and studied these courageous women.
Their story is fascinating and in Noelle Salazar’s debut, The Flight Girls, we get a picture of all they endured and accomplished. The novel follows one fictional WASP, Audrey Coltrane, as she experiences Pearl Harbor, signs up for service, and flies (literally) through the years of the war.
*If you are new here, WELCOME! For The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry, I provide your book club with a brief summary, food ideas, activity idea, and discussion questions in that order!
Are you a fan of indie bookstores? Do you love short story collections? How about novels about found families? If so, then Gabrielle Zevin’s hit, The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry, should be on your list.
The novel’s central character, A.J. Fikry, is an independent book store owner and widower living on remote Alice Island. When a young girl shows up in his bookstore with no family left to claim her, A.J.’s life takes an unexpected turn.
Rife with literary references, especially short story ties, the novel will delight readers who can’t resist a good book about books.
*If you are new here, WELCOME! For Klara and the Sun, I provide your book club with a brief summary, food ideas, and discussion questions in that order!
If you haven’t heard of Kazuo Ishiguro, he is a Nobel Prize winner whose works, such as Never Let Me Go and The Remains of the Day, captivate readers. In his latest work, Klara and the Sun, Ishiguro tackles an A.I. infiltrated future society where Artificial Friends become the norm.
Unlike many A.I. centered tales, here the A.I. is friend not foe. In fact, the novel is told by an Artificial Friend, Klara, who longs for and is finally chosen by a child.
Klara is an unforgettable narrator who operates on reason and data, but prides herself in being more emotionally astute than her peers. In the novel, Ishiguro explores the depth of Klara’s emotional intelligence and its limits in a moving story of grief and hope.
You can definitely tell that you are in the hands of a master and, unlike many literary winners, the reading was anything but a slog. I was captivated from the moment I opened the book until the end.
Redfin, a revolutionary company in the real estate market, reached out to me recently because they were featuring an article titled “Coping with Winter Blues at Home: Hacks, Habits, and Routines to Start Today.”
If you haven’t heard of Redfin, you can check out what they are doing in the real estate space at their website www.redfin.com.
I was happy to collaborate with them, especially when they reached out for ideas on “how cozying up with a spellbinding book can help improve someone’s mood through the dreary winter months.”
Yes. Absolutely. I agree.
I’d love for you to check out the entire post and hopefully find a way or two to lift your spirit during the winter months!
Here’s a brief snippet:
Coping with Winter Blues at Home: Hacks, Habits, and Routines to Start Today
“There are so many lovable aspects of winter – from the first magical snowfall and snuggling up by the fire, to scented candles and winter sports like skiing, snowboarding, and sledding. But, even if you live somewhere like Toronto, ON, and aren’t a stranger to cold weather, the short, chilly, and gloomy days of winter can make you want to disappear until the first signs of spring. This time of year, we don’t see the sun as much as we’d like and miss out on the much-needed serotonin boost and vitamin D. And, unless you live someplace like Tucson, AZ, these dark days are just a part of life. So, you may be wondering what you can do to cope with the winter blues.
Redfin asked us to share our best tip on how to boost spirits during the winter and ease that seasonal slump.”
*If you are new here, WELCOME! For The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, I provide your book club with a brief summary, food ideas, and discussion questions in that order!
Have you ever read an epistolary novel? Epistolary novels are stories told entirely through a series of letters. The form originated in 1740 when Samuel Richardson revolutionized story telling with Pamela.
Considered to be one of the first novel-type works, Pamela led a long trend of epistolary novels. But today the form is rare. You might recall that The Color Purple was an epistolary novel.
Other novels follow a similar format and use journal entries or other forms of correspondence to tell the story, but the use of letters alone is unusual these days.
I’m amazed that Shaffer and Barrows were able to include so many voices and still create a seamless story. The cast of characters is what really makes the novel an unforgettable and thoroughly enjoyable work.
The novel’s central character is a young writer, Juliet Ashton, who is searching for her next story in post-WWII England. When she receives a letter from the isolated island of Guernsey asking her to send a book, that simple request changes the course of her life and ultimately brings her to the island. There she finds a group of diverse literary lovers and the community she’s always longed for.