Battle of the Book Club Titles

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We invite YOU to participate in the Battle of the Book Club Titles to determine which books will be in the 2018 reading schedule. Third round closes September 5th. Click here to read the book synopsis.

Voting is easy!

  1. Select ALL of the books you’d like to see in our 2018 reading schedule
  2. Click VOTE at the bottom of the poll
  3. Come back daily to keep voting

Book Synopsis

Book of love – Kathleen McGowan

Journalist Maureen Pascal receives a mysterious package from an anonymous source. It appears to be an ancient document written in Latin and signed in code by a famous woman in the eleventh century, Matilda of Tuscany. .

History has overlooked—or covered up—Matilda, but Maureen realizes the significance of the document and a new search begins. Maureen plunges into the search for the Book of Love, the gospel written in Jesus’ own hand, and begins to see the eerie connections between herself and Matilda.

Not forgetting the whale – John Ironmonger

When a young man washes up, naked, on the sands of St Piran, he is quickly rescued by the villagers. But what the villagers don’t know is that Joe Haak worked as an analyst and has fled the City amid fears of a worldwide banking collapse caused by a computer program he invented. But is the end of the world really nigh? And what of the whale that lurks in the bay?

The German girl – Armando Lucas Correa

A stunningly ambitious and beautiful novel, about twelve-year-old Hannah Rosenthal’s harrowing experience fleeing Nazi-occupied Germany with her family and best friend, only to discover that the overseas asylum they had been promised is an illusion. Based on a true story, this masterful novel gives voice to the joys and sorrows of generations of exiles, forever seeking a place called home.

The piano shop on the left bank – Thad Carhart

Walking his two young children to school every morning, Thad Carhart passes an unassuming little storefront in his Paris neighborhood. Intrigued by its simple sign — Desforges Pianos — he enters, only to have his way barred by the shop’s imperious owner. Intertwined with the story of a musical friendship are reflections on how pianos work, their glorious history, and stories of the people who care for them, from amateur pianists to the craftsmen who make the mechanism sing.

Massey murder – Charlotte Gray

A scandalous crime, a sensational trial, a surprise verdict—the true story of Carrie Davies, the maid who shot a Massey.

Sweetland – Michael Crummey

The epic tale of an endangered Newfoundland community and the struggles of one man determined to resist its extinction.

The silent sister  – Diane Chamberlain

Riley MacPherson has spent her entire life believing that her older sister Lisa committed suicide as a teenager. Now, over twenty years later, her father has passed away and she’s in New Bern, North Carolina, cleaning out his house when she finds evidence to the contrary.  Lisa is alive. Alive and living under a new identity. But why exactly was she on the run all those years ago, and what secrets are being kept now?

Bury your dead – Louise Penny

It is Winter Carnival in Quebec City, bitterly cold and surpassingly beautiful. Chief Inspector Armand Gamache has come not to join the revels but to recover from an investigation gone hauntingly wrong.

As past and present collide in this astonishing novel, Gamache must relive a terrible event from his own past before he can begin to bury his dead.

They left us everything  – Plum Johnson

A funny, touching memoir about the importance of preserving family history to make sense of the past and nurturing family bonds to safeguard the future.

Did you just call me old lady – Lillian Zimmerman

An upbeat look at aging and the impacts of Canada s increasingly aged population through the eyes of a ninety-year-old woman.

Life after life – Kate Atkinson

On a cold and snowy night in 1910, Ursula Todd is born, the third child of a wealthy English banker and his wife. Sadly, she dies before she can draw her first breath. On that same cold and snowy night, Ursula Todd is born, lets out a lusty wail, and embarks upon a life that will be, to say the least, unusual.

Everybody’s son – Thrity Umrigar

The bestselling, critically acclaimed author of The Space Between Us and The World We Found deftly explores issues of race, class, privilege, and power and asks us to consider uncomfortable moral questions in this probing, ambitious, emotionally wrenching novel of two families—one black, one white.

Born a crime – Trevor Noah

Born a Crime is the story of a mischievous young boy who grows into a restless young man as he struggles to find himself in a world where he was never supposed to exist. It is also the story of that young man’s relationship with his fearless, rebellious, and fervently religious mother: his teammate, a woman determined to save her son from the cycle of poverty, violence, and abuse that would ultimately threaten her own life.

Pillars of light – Jane Johnson

In the Syrian city of Akka, Nathanael, a young Jewish doctor, and a Muslim girl called Zohra are about to fall in love, unaware that Jerusalem has just been taken by Saladin’s army and that their city will soon be engulfed by war.   Pillars of Light is a powerful and moving novel about the triumph of the human spirit against all the odds.

The narrow road to the deep north – Richard Flanagan

A novel of the cruelty of war, and tenuousness of life and the impossibility of love.

H is for Hawk – Helen MacDonald

When Helen Macdonald’s father died suddenly on a London street, she was devastated. An experienced falconer—Helen had been captivated by hawks since childhood—she’d never before been tempted to train one of the most vicious predators, the goshawk. But in her grief, she saw that the goshawk’s fierce and feral temperament mirrored her own. Resolving to purchase and raise the deadly creature as a means to cope with her loss, she adopted Mabel, and turned to the guidance of The Once and Future King author T.H. White’s chronicle The Goshawk to begin her challenging endeavor. Projecting herself “in the hawk’s wild mind to tame her” tested the limits of Macdonald’s humanity and changed her life.

Women in the castle – Jessica Shattuck

Set at the end of World War II, in a crumbling Bavarian castle that once played host to all of German high society, a powerful and propulsive story of three widows whose lives and fates become intertwined—an affecting, shocking, and ultimately redemptive novel from the author of the New York Times Notable Book The Hazards of Good Breeding.

The circle – Dave Eggers

When Mae Holland is hired to work for the Circle, the world’s most powerful internet company, she feels she’s been given the opportunity of a lifetime. What begins as the captivating story of one woman’s ambition and idealism soon becomes a heart-racing novel of suspense, raising questions about memory, history, privacy, democracy, and the limits of human knowledge.

Man called Ove – Frederik Backman

In this bestselling and delightfully quirky debut novel from Sweden, a grumpy yet loveable man finds his solitary world turned on its head when a boisterous young family moves in next door. Fredrik Backman’s novel about the angry old man next door is a thoughtful and charming exploration of the profound impact one life has on countless others.

Indian horse – Richard Wagamese

With compassion and insight, author Richard Wagamese traces through his fictional characters the decline of a culture and a cultural way. For Saul, taken forcibly from the land and his family when he’s sent to residential school, salvation comes for a while through his incredible gifts as a hockey player. But in the harsh realities of 1960s Canada, he battles obdurate racism and the spirit-destroying effects of cultural alienation and displacement.

The piano maker – Kurt Palka

Helene Giroux arrives alone in St. Homais on a winter day. She wears good city clothes and drives an elegant car, and everything she owns is in a small trunk in the back seat. In the local church she finds a fine old piano, a Molnar, and she knows just how fine it is, for her family had manufactured these pianos before the Great War. Then her mother’s death and war forces her to abandon her former life. The story moves back and forth in time as Helene, settling into a simple life, playing the piano for church choir, recalls the extraordinary events that brought her to this place. When the town policeman confronts her, past and present suddenly converge and she must face an episode that she had thought had been left behind forever.

The perfect girl – Gilly MacMillan

Zoe Maisey is a seventeen-year-old musical prodigy with a genius IQ. Three years ago, she was involved in a tragic incident that left three classmates dead. She served her time, and now her mother, Maria, is resolved to keep that devastating fact tucked far away from their new beginning, hiding the past even from her new husband and demanding Zoe do the same.

Tonight Zoe is giving a recital that Maria has been planning for months. It needs to be the performance of her life. But instead, by the end of the evening, Maria is dead. In the aftermath, everyone—police, family, Zoe’s former solicitor, and Zoe herself—tries to piece together what happened. But as Zoe knows all too well, the truth is rarely straightforward, and the closer we are to someone, the less we may see.

The girl you left behind – Jojo Moyes

In 1916, French artist Edouard Lefevre leaves his wife Sophie to fight at the Front. When her town falls into German hands, his portrait of Sophie stirs the heart of the local Kommandant and causes her to risk everything – her family, reputation and life—in the hope of seeing her true love one last time.

Nearly a century later and Sophie’s portrait is given to Liv by her young husband shortly before his sudden death. Its beauty speaks of their short life together, but when the painting’s dark and passion-torn history is revealed, Liv discovers that the first spark of love she has felt since she lost him is threatened…

 

Did you ever have a family – Bill Clegg

On the eve of her daughter’s wedding, June Reid’s life is upended when a shocking disaster takes the lives of her daughter, her daughter’s fiancé, her ex-husband, and her boyfriend, Luke—her entire family, all gone in a moment. June is the only survivor.

Alone and directionless, June drives across the country, away from her small Connecticut town. In her wake, a community emerges, weaving a beautiful and surprising web of connections through shared heartbreak.