BOOK CLUB: Seven for a Secret by Lyndsay Faye

Book Club LogoWelcome to BOOK CLUB, a joint venture between me and Jen from Devourer of Books.  Today we are discussing Seven For A Secret by Lyndsay Faye, the second book in her series about New York “copper stars” Timothy and Valentine Wilde.

 From The Publisher: Six months after the formation of the NYPD, its most reluctant and talented officer, Timothy Seven for A Secret by Lyndsay FayWilde, thinks himself well versed in his city’s dark practices—until he learns of the gruesome underworld of lies and corruption ruled by the “blackbirders,” who snatch free Northerners of color from their homes, masquerade them as slaves, and sell them South to toil as plantation property.

The abolitionist Timothy is horrified by these traders in human flesh. But in 1846, slave catching isn’t just legal—it’s law enforcement.

When the beautiful and terrified Lucy Adams staggers into Timothy’s office to report a robbery and is asked what was stolen, her reply is, “My family.” Their search for her mixed-race sister and son will plunge Timothy and his feral brother, Valentine, into a world where police are complicit and politics savage, and corpses appear in the most shocking of places. Timothy finds himself caught between power and principles, desperate to protect his only brother and to unravel the puzzle before all he cares for is lost.

If you plan on participating in today’s BOOK CLUB, please consider subscribing to comments at the bottom of the page, and check back throughout the day as more questions are added to the post.

  • What were your general impressions of the book, and how did your thoughts and opinions evolve as the story unfolded?
  • Show of hands, how many of you read The Gods of Gotham? Was the continuation of this story satisfying for you? How did the books compare?
  • If this is your first time reading about the Wilde brothers, what did you think of them? Will you go back to read The Gods of Gotham? Is this a series that interests you?
  • Timothy and Val are involved in Copper Stars and politics to varying degrees. How do their personal ideals and politics affect their choices? Their relationship? Do you think either of them walks an easier path than the other?
  • Early on Jean-Baptiste (the chimney sweep) signals the importance of identity in Seven for a Secret. What are your thoughts on the way it presents itself to different characters throughout the novel? Did anyone’s identity hold surprises for you?
  • Each of Faye’s novels in the Wilde series has approached important issues permeating 19th century  New York City. How familiar were you with “blackbirding” and Vigilance committees before this novel? Why is some history more widely known?

12 copies of Seven for a Secret were provided by Amy Einhorn/Putnam Books in order to facilitate this discussion. Thank you so much!

1DA652C2516038AE4D02F55645591F39 BOOK CLUB   Forgotten Country by Catherine Chung

BOOK CLUB: Gods and Beasts by Denise Mina

bookclubreads_Alex MorrowWelcome to BOOK CLUB, a joint venture between me and Jen from Devourer of Books.  Today we are discussing Gods and Beasts by Denise Mina,  published by Reagan Arthur Books. It’s the final book in our exploration of Alex Morrow and “tartan noir”.

 From The Publisher: It’s the week before Christmas when a lone robber bursts into a busy Glasgow post office carrying an AK-47. An elderly man suddenly hands his young grandson to a stranger and wordlessly helps the gunman fill bags with cash, then carries them to the door. He opens the door and bows his head; the robber fires off the AK-47, tearing the grandfather in two.

DS Alex Morrow arrives on the scene and finds that the alarm system had been disabled before the robbery. Gods and BeastsYet upon investigation, none of the employees can be linked to the gunman. And the grandfather-a life-long campaigner for social justice-is above reproach. As Morrow searches for the killer, she discovers a hidden, sinister political network. Soon it is chillingly clear: no corner of the city is safe, and her involvement will go deeper than she could ever have imagined.

If you plan on participating in today’s BOOK CLUB, please consider subscribing to comments at the bottom of the page, and check back throughout the day as more questions are added to the post.

  • What were your general impressions of the book, and how did your thoughts and opinions evolve as the story unfolded?
  • We’ve now followed Alex over the course of three novels. How did your thoughts about her change over the course of the series? Were your expectations justified? Were there other things you wanted for this character?
  • After reading these novels over the course of the summer what do you think of Mina’s writing and choice of topics? What kind of picture do you get of Scotland, their police force and women in that industry?I think all of us have been interested in her relationship with Danny. Their background and upbringing have led them down different paths, and their relationship has been tenuous at best. What did you think of the latest developments? Were you surprised?
  • Mina and Morrow explore different types of crimes and family dynamics in each novel, which of the stories resonated the most with you? How would you compare Scottish and
  • What’s next for Alex? Is this a series you will continue to read?

12 copies of Gods and Beasts were provided by Reagan Arthur Books in order to facilitate this discussion. Thank you so much!

1DA652C2516038AE4D02F55645591F39 BOOK CLUB   Forgotten Country by Catherine Chung

BOOK CLUB Giveaway – The End of the Wasp Season by Denise Mina

bookclubreads_Alex MorrowToday was our first of three discussions on Denise Mina’s Alex Morrow series. We started with the fascinating Still Midnight and we will be continuing with The End of the Wasp Season. Jen and I are super excited about these books, and we both had to restrain ourselves when it came to not going ahead and reading the next book in the series. They are that good!

The End of Wasp SeasonFrom The Publisher: When a notorious millionaire banker hangs himself, his death 

attracts no sympathy. But the legacy of a lifetime of selfishness is widespread, and the carnage most acute among those he ought to be protecting: his family. 

Meanwhile, in a wealthy suburb of Glasgow, a young woman is found savagely murdered. The community is stunned by what appears to be a vicious, random attack. When Detective Inspector Alex Morrow, heavily pregnant with twins, is called in to investigate, she soon discovers that a tangled web of lies lurks behind the murder. It’s a web that will spiral through Alex’s own home, the local community, and ultimately right back to a swinging rope, hundreds of miles away.

The End of the Wasp Season is an accomplished, compelling and multi-layered novel about family’s power of damage-and redemption.

The publisher providing these books with the understanding that we (and you!) will have a readerly discussion. There are no further requirements. If you are a blogger and review the book, great! If you are not a blogger, but review the book on LibraryThing or GoodReads, or talk it up on Twitter, and tell all your friends, wonderful! The main thing is for you to have fun and come discuss these books with us over the summer.

If you would like to participate in The End of Wasp Season  BOOK CLUB, please fill out this form by Noon EST on Thursday, June 13. Your mailing address will be discarded if you aren’t selected to participate, and used to mail you the book if you are. I do not share or retain any personal information. Only those selected will be contacted by email with further book club details. No purchase necessary and void where prohibited. Thanks and good luck!

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BOOK CLUB: Still Midnight by Denise Mina

bookclubreads_Alex MorrowWelcome to BOOK CLUB, a joint venture between me and Jen from Devourer of Books.  Today we are discussing still Midnight by Denise Mina,  published by Reagan Arthur Books.

 From The Publisher: Life ought to be simple for Detective Inspector Alex Morrow. She’s not new to the police force–or to crime–but none of that matters as she’s assigned to the case that could make her career.

The case involves a seemingly random attack on a family in a quiet suburb of Glasgow, Scotland. Three armed men slipped Still Midnight by Denise Minafrom a van into a house, demanding a man who is not, and has never been, inside the front door. In the confusion that ensues, one family member is shot and another kidnapped, the assailants demanding an impossible ransom. Is this an amateur crime gone horribly wrong, or something much more unexpected?

As Alex falls further into the most challenging case of her career, she must manage the complications of police force politics, and a marriage every bit as tangled as the case she’s trying to solve. Rich with dark humor and powerful storytelling, Still Midnight shows again why Denise Mina’s mysteries have earned praise as among the best in the world,

If you plan on participating in today’s BOOK CLUB, please consider subscribing to comments at the bottom of the page, and check back throughout the day as more questions are added to the post.

  • What were your general impressions of the book, and how did your thoughts and opinions evolve as the story unfolded?
  • Based on Alex’s first appearance in the novel, what were you expecting from her as a character? How did your thoughts about her change over the course of the novel?
  • Bannerman makes statements about certain people not having that killer instinct, what do you think he means by that? Does it have any bearing on how the police force operates? In how Alex does her job? Does she have a killer instinct? What evidence did you find to support your claim?
  • How do issues of race and ethnicity affect the case? Was the family justified in concealing Bob’s identity? Did who he was surprise you?
  • Mina spends as much time with Eddy and Pat as she does with the detectives. What did you think of that technique? How did it make you feel about them as they were in the midst of carrying out their crime? How did you feel about the circumstances in which they find themselves in the end?
  • What’s next for Alex? I want predictions on her, her family life and career before we jump into the next book!

12 copies of Still Midnight were provided by Reagan Arthur Books in order to facilitate this discussion. Thank you so much!

1DA652C2516038AE4D02F55645591F39 BOOK CLUB   Forgotten Country by Catherine Chung

BOOK CLUB Reads Alex Morrow

bookclubreads_Alex Morrow

Here at BOOK CLUB, we love and honor the summer. Each year we have taken a break and turned toward “lighter” reading fare. Something easy to get into, and easy to return to after you take that dip into the pool, or chase a child down the beach, or…well, you know, whatever. This year we are reading some “Tartan Noir”, as Scottish detective series are sometimes called. Denise Mina’s Alex Morrow series will be our reading companions for the summer. “Light”, may not be quite the word, but they are definitely a change from our usual reading fare!

 

 

 

Still MidnightDenise Mina Series

Gods and Beasts

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here is our summer reading schedule:

Still Midnight – June 11th – Linus’s Blanket

The End of the Wasp Season – July 9th – Devourer of Books

Gods and Beasts – August 13th – Linus’s Blanket

Twitter chat: TBD

Hachette Book Group has provided 10 copies of  Still Midnight to give away for participation in our summer reading series. The books have all been published, so please pick up a copy at your book store of choice  and or  local library to join us. Winners of the second book will be drawn first from among those who participate in the first book discussion (whether you’ve won the book from us or picked it up on your own).

From the publisher:

Armed men invade a family home, shouting for a man nobody’s heard of. As DS Morrow tries to uncover one family’s secrets, she must protect her own.

The publisher providing these books with the understanding that we (and you!) will have a readerly discussion. There are no further requirements. If you are a blogger and review the book, great! If you are not a blogger, but review the book on LibraryThing or GoodReads, or talk it up on Twitter, and tell all your friends, wonderful! The main thing is for you to have fun and come discuss these books with us over the summer. If you would like to participate in Still Midnight BOOK CLUB, please fill out this form by Noon EST on Monday, May 20. Your mailing address will be discarded if you aren’t selected to participate, and used to mail you the book if you are. I do not share or retain any personal information. Only those selected will be contacted by email with further book club details.No purchase necessary and void where prohibited. Thanks and good luck!

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BOOK CLUB Giveaway: The Golem and The Jinni by Helene Wecker

BOOK CLUB is all about finding those books that Jen and I can’t wait to read and then inviting all of you to read them with us. We want to chat about the books we love! Our next discussion is going to be centered around Helene Wecker’s The Golem and The Jinni from Harper.

The Golem and The Jinni by Helene Wecker

From the publisher:

An immigrant tale that combines elements of Jewish and Arab folk mythology, Helene Wecker’s dazzling debut novel tells the story of two supernatural creatures who arrive separately in New York in 1899.

Chava is a golem, a creature made of clay, brought to life to by a disgraced rabbi who dabbles in dark Kabbalistic magic. When her master-the husband who commissioned her-dies at sea on the voyage from Poland, she is unmoored and adrift as the ship arrives in New York harbor in 1899. Ahmad is a jinni, a being of fire, born in the ancient Syrian desert. Trapped in an old copper flask by a Bedouin wizard centuries ago, he is released accidentally by a tinsmith in a Lower Manhattan shop. Though he is no longer imprisoned, Ahmad is not entirely free-an unbreakable band of iron around his wrist binds him to the physical world.

Overwhelmed by the incessant longing and fears of the humans around her, the cautious and tentative Chava – imbued with extraordinary physical strength-fears losing control and inflicting harm. Baptized by the tinsmith who makes him his apprentice, the handsome and capricious Ahmad-an entity of inquisitive intelligence and carefree pleasure-chafes at monotony and human dullness. Liketheir immigrant neighbors, the Golem and the Jinni struggle to make their way in this strange new place while masking the supernatural origins that could destroy them.

Callie and The Golem and The Jinni
Callie is my little Golem.

The publisher providing these books with the understanding that we (and you!) will have a readerly discussion. There are no further requirements.

If you are a blogger and review the book, great! If you are not a blogger, but review the book on LibraryThing or GoodReads, or talk it up on Twitter, and tell all your friends, wonderful! The main thing is for you to come and discuss it with us on Tuesday, May 21 at Devourer of Books. If you would like to participate in The Golem and the Jinni BOOK CLUB, please fill out this form by 11:59 p.m. EST on Monday, April 29. Your mailing address will be discarded if you aren’t selected to participate, and used to mail you the book if you are. I do not share or retain any personal information. Only those selected will be contacted by email with further book club details.

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BOOK CLUB Giveaway – The Liars’ Gospel by Naomi Alderman

Book Club LogoAt the end of last year, Jen and I introduced a kinder, gentler book club – one where we bring you books that we have read and loved and can’t wait to discuss, without blog or review requirements. We just want to chat about the books we love! Our next discussion is going to be centered around Naomi Alderman’s The Liars’ Gospel from Little, Brown and Company.

The Liars' Gospel by Naomi Alderman

From the publisher:

This is the story of Yehoshuah, who wandered Roman-occupied Judea giving sermons and healing the sick. Now, a year after his death, four people tell their stories. His mother grieves, his friend Iehuda loses his faith, the High Priest of the Temple tries to keep the peace, and a rebel named Bar-Avo strives to bring that peace tumbling down.

It was a time of political power-play and brutal tyranny. Men and women took to the streets to protest. Dictators put them down with iron force. In the midst of it all, one inconsequential preacher died. And either something miraculous happened, or someone lied.

Viscerally powerful in its depictions of the period – massacres and riots, animal sacrifice and human betrayal – The Liars’ Gospel makes the oldest story entirely new.

The publisher providing these books with the understanding that we (and you!) will have a readerly discussion. There are no further requirements. If you are a blogger and review the book, great! If you are not a blogger, but review the book on LibraryThing or GoodReads, or talk it up on Twitter, and tell all your friends, wonderful! The main thing is for you to commit to come and discuss it with us on Tuesday, April 9th at Devourer of Books. If you would like to participate in The Liar’s Gospel BOOK CLUB, please fill out this form by 11:59 p.m. EST on Tuesday, March 5. Your mailing address will be discarded if you aren’t selected to participate, and used to mail you the book if you are. I do not share or retain any personal information. Only those selected will be contacted by email with further book club details.

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BOOK CLUB – The Promise of Stardust by Priscille Sibley

Welcome to BOOK CLUB, a joint venture between me and Jen from Devourer of Books.  Today we are discussing [[[The Promise of Stardust by Priscille Sibley]]] which is being  published by William Morrow Paperbacks.

 The Promise of Stardust by Priscille Sibley

From the Publisher:

Matt Beaulieu was two years old the first time he held Elle McClure in his arms, seventeen when he first kissed her under a sky filled with shooting stars, and thirty-three when they wed. Now in their late thirties, the deeply devoted couple has everything—except the baby they’ve always wanted.

When a tragic accident leaves Elle brain-dead, Matt is devastated. Though he cannot bear losing her, he knows his wife, a thoughtful and adventurous scientist, feared only one thing—a slow death. Just before Matt agrees to remove Elle from life support, the doctors discover that she is pregnant. Now what was once a clear-cut decision becomes an impossible choice. Matt knows how much this child would have meant to Elle. While there is no certainty her body can sustain the pregnancy, he is sure Elle would want the baby to have a chance. Linney, Matt’s mother, believes her son is blind with denial. She loves Elle, too, and insists that Elle would never want to be kept alive by artificial means, no matter what the situation.

Divided by the love they share, driven by principle, Matt and Linney fight for what each believes is right, and the result is a disagreement that escalates into a controversial legal battle, ultimately going beyond one family and one single life.

If you plan on participating in today’s BOOK CLUB, please consider subscribing to comments at the bottom of the page, and check back throughout the day as more questions are added to the post.

Let’s go!

I am going to go light on the questions initially because I am really curious to see what arises naturally out of the discussion.

  • What were your general impressions of the book, and how did your thoughts and opinions evolve as the story unfolded?
  • The Promise of Stardust examines the idea of responsibility for loved ones, and several people step up to have a say in what Elle would have wanted (Matt, his mother, Elle’s father and brothers, her ex-boyfriend, both their colleagues), who do you think had the right to speak for her?
  • Ellie and Matt grew up intertwined with each other as their families were neighbors and very close. Linney is like a mother to Ellie. How did you feel about the role she played in the court case with Matt? Were her actions justified? Did you feel she have more of a responsibility to her son? In what ways did she support him?
  • How would you have decided this case?
  • We get to know who Elle was through other people, but we do have her direct voice in the journals. What did you think about Elle and how she chose to communicate her directives? Why didn’t she leave any clear information for Matt?

1DA652C2516038AE4D02F55645591F39 BOOK CLUB   Forgotten Country by Catherine Chung

12 copies of The Promise of Stardust were provided by William Morrow Paperbacks in order to facilitate this discussion. Thank you so much!

BOOK CLUB Giveaway – The Promise of Stardust by Pricille Sibley

Book Club LogoAt the end of last year, Jen and I introduced a kinder, gentler book club – one where we bring you books that we have read and loved and can’t wait to discuss, without blog or review requirements. We just want to chat about the books we love! In that vein, on Tuesday February 12, BOOK CLUB will be discussing  The Promise of Stardust by Priscille Sibley.

The Promise of Stardust  BOOK CLUB

From the publisher:

Matt Beaulieu was two years old the first time he held Elle McClure in his arms, seventeen when he first kissed her under a sky filled with shooting stars, and thirty-three when he convinced her to marry him. Now in their late 30s, the deeply devoted couple has everything—except the baby they’ve always wanted.

When an accident leaves Elle brain dead, Matt is devastated. Though he cannot bear the thought of life without her, he knows Elle was afraid of only one thing—a slow death. And so, Matt resolves to take her off life support.

But Matt changes his mind when they discover Elle’s pregnant. While there are no certainties, the baby might survive if Elle remains on life support. Matt’s mother, Linney, disagrees with his decision. She loves Elle, too, and insists that Elle would never want to be kept alive on machines. Linney is prepared to fight her son in court—armed with Elle’s living will.

Divided by the love they share, Matt and Linney will be pitted against each other, fighting for what they believe is right, and what they think Elle would have wanted resulting in a controversial legal battle that will ultimately go beyond one family . . . and one single life.

If you would like to participate in The Promise of Stardust  BOOK CLUB, please fill out this form by11:59 p.m. EST on Thursday, January 10th. Your mailing address will be discarded if you aren’t selected to participate and used to mail you the book if you are. I do not share or retain any personal information. Only those selected will be contacted by email.

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September BOOK CLUB – Breed by Chase Novak (Giveaway)

On Tuesday August 7th, BOOK CLUB will be discussing  Dare Me by Megan Abbott. The discussion will be at Devourer of Books. In September we will be reading Breed by Chase Novak (Mulholland Books).

Breed book cover

From the publisher:

Alex and Leslie Twisden lead charmed lives-fabulous jobs, a luxurious town house on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, a passionate marriage. What they don’t have is a child, and as they try one infertility treatment after the next, yearning turns into obsession. As a last-ditch attempt to make their dream of parenthood come true, Alex and Leslie travel deep into Slovenia, where they submit to a painful and terrifying procedure that finally gives them what they so fervently desire . . . but with awful consequences.

Ten years later, cosseted and adored but living in a house of secrets, the twins Adam and Alice find themselves locked into their rooms every night, with sounds coming from their parents’ bedroom getting progressively louder, more violent, and more disturbing.

Driven to a desperate search for answers, Adam and Alice set out on a quest to learn the true nature of the man and woman who raised them. Their discovery will upend everything they thought they knew about their parents and will reveal a threat so horrible that it must be escaped, at any cost.

You can start reading Breed at Mulholland’s blog.

If you would like to participate in Breed BOOK CLUB in September, please fill out this form by noon tomorrow. Your mailing address will be discarded if you aren’t selected to participate and used to mail you the book if you are. I do not share or retain any personal information. Only those selected will be contacted by email.

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