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Thread: May 2012 Book Club Picks

  1. #1 May 2012 Book Club Picks 
    Elder gall's Avatar Black-private
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    * Only Book Club Members May Vote

    Here are This this month's choices:

    1. "The Imperfectionists"/Tom Rachman

    Set against the gorgeous backdrop of Rome, Tom Rachman’s wry, vibrant debut follows the topsy-turvy private lives of the reporters, editors, and executives of an international English language newspaper as they struggle to keep it—and themselves—afloat. Fifty years and many changes have ensued since the paper was founded by an enigmatic millionaire, and now, amid the stained carpeting and dingy office furniture, the staff’s personal dramas seem far more important than the daily headlines. Kathleen, the imperious editor in chief, is smarting from a betrayal in her open marriage; Arthur, the lazy obituary writer, is transformed by a personal tragedy; Abby, the embattled financial officer, discovers that her job cuts and her love life are intertwined in a most unexpected way. mercilessly manipulated by an outrageous war correspondent with an outsize ego. And in the shadows is the isolated young publisher who pays more attention to his prized basset hound, Schopenhauer, than to the fate of his family’s quirky newspaper.

    As the era of print news gives way to the Internet age and this imperfect crew stumbles toward an uncertain future, the paper’s rich history is revealed, including the surprising truth about its founder’s intentions."

    2. The Angel's Game / Carlos Ruiz Zafón

    an abandoned mansion at the heart of Barcelona, a young man, David Martín, makes his living by writing sensationalist novels under a pseudonym. The survivor of a troubled childhood, he has taken refuge in the world of books and spends his nights spinning baroque tales about the city’s underworld. But perhaps his dark imaginings are not as strange as they seem, for in a locked room deep within the house lie photographs and letters hinting at the mysterious death of the previous owner. Like a slow poison, the history of the place seeps into his bones as he struggles with an impossible love. Close to despair, David receives a letter from a reclusive French editor, Andreas Corelli, who makes him the offer of a lifetime. He is to write a book unlike anything that has ever existed--a book with the power to change hearts and minds. In return, he will receive a fortune, and perhaps more. But as David begins the work, he realizes that there is a connection between his haunting book and the shadows that surround his home."

    3. Catfish Alley by Lynne Bryant

    moving debut novel about female friendship, endurance, and hope in the South.

    Roxanne Reeves defines her life by the committees she heads and the social status she cultivates. But she is keeping secrets that make her an outsider in her own town, always in search of acceptance. And when she is given a job none of the other white women want-researching the town's African-American history for a tour of local sites-she feels she can't say no.

    Elderly Grace Clark, a retired black schoolteacher, reluctantly agrees to become Roxanne's guide. Grace takes Roxanne to Catfish Alley, whose undistinguished structures are nonetheless sacred places to the black community because of what happened there. As Roxanne listens to Grace's stories, and meets her friends, she begins to see differently.

    4. A Visit from the Goon Squad / Jennifer Egan

    Jennifer Egan’s spellbinding interlocking narratives circle the lives of Bennie Salazar, an aging former punk rocker and record executive, and Sasha, the passionate, troubled young woman he employs. Although Bennie and Sasha never discover each other’s pasts, the reader does, in intimate detail, along with the secret lives of a host of other characters whose paths intersect with theirs, over many years, in locales as varied as New York, San Francisco, Naples, and Africa.
    We first meet Sasha in her mid-thirties, on her therapist’s couch in New York City, confronting her long-standing compulsion to steal. Later, we learn the genesis of her turmoil when we see her as the child of a violent marriage, then as a runaway living in Naples, then as a college student trying to avert the suicidal impulses of her best friend.

    5. Taylor Stevens Informationist

    Vanessa Michael Munroe Novels

    “Stevens’s blazingly brilliant debut introduces a great new action heroine, Vanessa Michael Munroe, who doesn’t have to kick over a hornet’s nest to get attention, though her feral, take-no-prisoners attitude reflects the fire of Stieg Larsson’s Lisbeth Salander….Thriller fans will eagerly await the sequel to this high-octane page-turner.” —Publishers Weekly, starred, boxed review

    Vanessa “Michael” Munroe deals in information—expensive information—working for corporations, heads of state, private clients, and anyone else who can pay for her unique brand of expertise. Born to missionary parents in lawless central Africa, Munroe took up with an infamous gunrunner and his mercenary crew when she was just fourteen. As his protégé, she earned the respect of the jungle's most dangerous men, cultivating her own reputation for years until something sent her running. After almost a decade building a new life and lucrative career from her home base in Dallas, she's never looked back. Until now.

    A Texas oil billionaire has hired her to find his daughter who vanished in Africa four years ago. It’s not her usual line of work, but she can’t resist the challenge. Pulled deep into the mystery of the missing girl, Munroe finds herself back in the lands of her childhood, betrayed, cut off from civilization, and left for dead. If she has any hope of escaping the jungle and the demons that drive her, she must come face-to-face with the past that she’s tried for so long to forget.

    Gripping, ingenious, and impeccably paced, The Informationist marks the arrival or a thrilling new talent.

    6. David Baldacci

    America has enemies--ruthless people that the police, the FBI, even the military can't stop. That's when the U.S. government calls on Will Robie, a stone cold hitman who never questions orders and always nails his target.
    But Will Robie may have just made the first--and last--mistake of his career . . .
    THE INNOCENT
    It begins with a hit gone wrong. Robie is dispatched to eliminate a target unusually close to home in Washington, D.C. But something about this mission doesn't seem right to Robie, and he does the unthinkable. He refuses to kill. Now, Robie becomes a target himself and must escape from his own people. Fleeing the scene, Robie crosses paths with a wayward teenage girl, a fourteen-year-old runaway from a foster home. But she isn't an ordinary runaway-her parents were murdered, and her own life is in danger. Against all of his professional habits, Robie rescues her and finds he can't walk away. He needs to help her.
    Even worse, the more Robie learns about the girl, the more he's convinced she is at the center of a vast cover-up, one that may explain her parents' deaths and stretch to unimaginable levels of power.
    Now, Robie may have to step out of the shadows in order to save this girl's life . . . and perhaps his own.

    7. The Art of Fielding: A Novel by Chad Harbach

    The title is a reference to baseball, but Harbach's concern with sports is more than just a cheap metaphor. The Art of Fielding explores relationships--between friends, family, and lovers--and the unpredictable forces that complicate them. There's an unintended affair, a post-graduate plan derailed by rejection letters, a marriage dissolved by honesty, and at the center of the book, the single baseball error that sets all of these events into motion. The Art of Fielding is somehow both confident and intimate, simple yet deeply moving. Harbach has penned one of the year's finest works of fiction.

    Please pick a book and put your vote as a post!

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  2. #2  
    Member Mahsa_TB's Avatar Black-private
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    The Art of Fielding: A Novel by Chad Harbach, this has been voted the best book of 2011 by many critics.

    Thank you very much gall, you are great
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    Taylor Stevens Informationist
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    Junior Member blackcat1975's Avatar Australia
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    Some really good suggestions. I will defiantly have to check out 4. A Visit from the Goon Squad / Jennifer Egan first.
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    Elder stoobie's Avatar UK
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    2. The Angel's Game / Carlos Ruiz Zafón is my choice, it sounds very interesting, thankyou for the info.
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  6. #6  
    Member Mahsa_TB's Avatar Black-private
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    I see what happens when such great books are nominated, everyone chooses one!
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  7. #7  
    Elder gall's Avatar Black-private
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    I"ve started and quited the "The Imperfectionists"/Tom Rachman. It was Boring!!!!

    The book started fine and then, as the book proceeded, went downhill.

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    VIP Member traveltime's Avatar Black-private
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    Taylor Stevens Informationist is my choice. thanks.
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  9. #9  
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    Only Bolt book club members may vote!

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  10. #10  
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    I vote for Taylor Stevens /Informationist.

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  11. #11  
    Member Mahsa_TB's Avatar Black-private
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    My dearest Gall, imperfectionist is a great book, it tells the story of an international magazine in Rome-Italy in English, from birth to death through the life stories of its employees in different times. The story telling reminded me of Olive Kitteridge.

    Of course it's not a thriller or romance, but it does include the love and thrill in the reporters' life. The writer had worked for a magazine and captures that life greatly.
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  12. #12  
    Elder gall's Avatar Black-private
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    Mahsa dear, I've started the Imperfectionist and haven't like it. Each chapter was devoted to a single character and they didn't interact with each other. I found the parts about the history of the newspaper pretty boring and I felt that book was less than the sum of its parts. The setting was attractive, but something was missing.

    I"m glad you liked it though.

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    Member Mahsa_TB's Avatar Black-private
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    Of course books need a special mood, sometimes we lust for romance sometimes we thrill for mystery, and there are times we may even enjoy boring books. I guess I read it when I needed a lesson in history.

    Thank you for taking time to answer me.
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  14. #14  
    Elder gall's Avatar Black-private
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    You're welcome. I"m always happy to talk about books.

    I love historical novels, but it depends on the book. Different tastes etc.

    Have a great day!

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    VIP Member foxnoda's Avatar Canada
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    I'll go for Taylor Stevens' Informationist

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    VIP Member traveltime's Avatar Black-private
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    I agree with the thought that you have to be in the right mood to read certain books. Right now I'm in a science fiction mood.
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    Senior Member Brutuska's Avatar
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    The Imperfectionists"/Tom Rachma - Do we have any links to the book?
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    Elder gall's Avatar Black-private
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    It seems the winners is Taylor Stevens "Informationist".

    Does any one have a link? I couldn't find one in the novel section.

    If not, I"ll upload the book later on.

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  19. #19  
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    I"ve posted the Taylor Stevens' books in the novel section.

    Thank you all!

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    VIP Member foxnoda's Avatar Canada
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    Thanks Gall! Click here to enlarge I'll start reading it as soon as I have time.

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    Senior Member Brutuska's Avatar
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    Thanks Gall! - I will start reading it shortly.
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