Hello Book Friends!
Though many of us are still bundled up, consuming our stacks of holiday books under down blankets with mugs of hot tea, there are glimmers of spring upon us! (Was that asparagus I spotted at the farmer’s market the other day?). And for book lovers spring isn’t just about flowers and warmth and . . . well . . . allergies, it also marks a turn in our reading habits. It’s a time to shed that blanket, emerge from the solo perch on the couch, and get out of the house. A time to commune with others. A time to converse. Time to get those book club meetings going again!
And lucky for us, a bounty of good reading awaits. While it’s hard to narrow down the many wonderful books publishing this spring, there are a few standouts that we think are particularly ripe for discussion:
A Woman is No Man by Etaf Rum (releases 3/5) – Rum, who grew up in a community very much like the one that populates her debut novel, writes of what she knows. She lifts the curtain on the nuances of gender in a rich family story about several generations of a Palestinian-American family in Brooklyn. Both searing and hopeful.
Leading Men by Christopher Castellani (released 2/12) – Castellani is a masterful novelist who turns his pen toward one of the most compelling figures in the literary imagination—Tennessee Williams. Leading Men provides a glimpse at Williams’ tumultuous love affairs, as well as an intimate look at the cost of fame. The perfect marriage of entertaining love story, historical romp (a star-studded party at Truman Capote’s Italian villa—any takers?), and deeply probing character study.
Queenie by Candice Carty-Williams (releases 3/19) – Like Castellani, Carty-Williams embeds a rich love story at the core of her debut about Queenie Jenkins, a young Jamaican-British woman living in London, but imbues it with a sharp look at race, politics, class, and culture. Billed as a cross between Bridget Jones’ Diary and Americanah—an intriguing combination.
The Care and Feeding of Ravenously Hungry Girls by Anissa Gray (released 2/19) – This novel follows the trajectory of three black sisters who grow up in a largely white Michigan town with an abusive clergyman father. Gray’s book is expansive, spanning decades of the girls’ lives and a dynamic rotating cast of narrators. With its beautiful writing, dark edges, and penetrating look at religion, eating disorders, and sisterly dynamics, there’s much to talk about in this debut.
A Good Enough Mother by Bev Thomas (releases 4/30) – If you’re a fan of suspense elements and incisive psychological analysis, A Good Enough Mother will be right up your alley. Ruth Hartland is a psychotherapist working with trauma survivors. She is also a mother who has recently experienced a traumatic loss of her own. She’s managed to hold herself together until a new patient upends her world and challenges her judgment with shocking consequences. Thomas is both a skilled writer and a seasoned clinical psychologist. Perfect for fans of literary suspense and family stories, as well as those interested in gaining an incisive view of psycho-therapeutic practices.
There are so many fabulous books publishing in the next few months, but these few are particularly primed for fruitful book club discussion. And if you’re interested in taking your book club on a field trip, consider hosting an Old Town Books “book club” in our shop. We’ll set the store up for a cozy get-together (candles and all!). We can even order books at a 15% discount for your group. Just shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’re interested.
Happy spring reading, and hope to see you in the shop soon!