Ellen: Barracoon : The Story of the Last "Black Cargo" by Zora Neale Hurston - "Less than 100 years ago, which is incredible in itself, Zora Neale Hurston interviewed the last person alive to tell about being captured in Africa and brought in bondage across the Atlantic. First person histories are invaluable and this one is a must read."
Julie: The Four Horsemen: the conversation that sparked an atheist revolution by Christopher Hitchens, Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, and Daniel Dennet. - "In this compact little masterpiece, the authors discuss religion, culture, spirituality, and what it means to live an ethical life."
Philip: Living Sunlight:How Plants Bring the Earth to Life by Molly Bang - "It is a children's book that everyone should read. It is about how earth, and all living things on it, exist. Awesome."
Becca: Magic For Liars by Sarah Gailey - "A detective is hired to investigate a murder at her twin sister's campus--a boarding school for the magically gifted. Otherworldly, atmospheric, and unputdownable. "
Philip: A Walk Through the Year by Edwin Way Teale. "He walks through Nature each day of the year. Beautifully, poetically written, it is my single most favorite book."
Ery: Entangled Life by Merlin Sheldrake - "A fascinating look at recent science studying interactions between fungi and other life forms that show a still mysterious world of inter-species communication and cooperation."
Chris: Trust by Hernan Diaz - "2022 Pulitzer prize winning novel by Hernan Diaz set in New York of the twenties and thirties amid the trappings of the social and financial elites."
Margaret: Black Sheep Rachel Harrison - "Vesper Wright thought she left her devoutly religious family behind her, until a wedding invitation draws her back in... Soon, secrets are revealed that leave Vesper questioning her faith, family, and everything she knows about herself. "
Katie: Stay True by Hua Hsu - "A beautiful reflection on friendship and grief centered around coming-of-age in the Bay Area. This memoir just won the Pulitzer Prize in Non-Fiction."
Chris: Remarkably Bright Creatures by Shelby Van Pelt - "The story of a widow's unlikely connection with a giant Pacific octopus."
Margaret: The Blonde Identity by Ally Carter - "This action packed rom-com about a woman with amnesia mistaken for her spy twin sister and is forced to team up with a stoic operative in order to stay alive is equal parts hilarious and heartwarming." Margaret
Parker: Home Before Dark by Riley Sager - "It's super suspenseful and keeps you turning the page! Get ready for a lot of twists and turns at the end too!"
Julie: The Strangler Vine by M.J. Carter "Calcutta 1837. Young British officer William Avery joins the mysterious Jeremiah Blake to search the jungles of central India for disgraced poet/spy Xavier Mountstuart, where they encounter death, danger, and treachery on all sides."
Ellen: The Lying Life of Adults by Elena Ferrante - "Written by the author of the "Neapolitan Novels', which developed a cult following, Ferrante's writing is cherished for good reason. The immediacy and tremors of youth and love come rippling through the pages for me, taking us right into the life of the narrator, who is navigating family and growin up in Italy."
Philip: Ghostland: An American History in Haunted Places, by Colin Dickey - "We can travel throughout the states with him. And we don't even have to leave our chairs to spook ourselves."
Becca: The Southern Book Club's Guide to Slaying Vampires by Grady Hendrix - "An addictive horror novel set in the 90s that follows the lives of five suburbanite, true-crime loving, housewives determined to expose a predatory vampire"
Katie: Tom Lake: A Novel by Ann Patchett - "A story about family, love and theater set on a cherry orchard in Northern Michigan. This story is cozy and familiar and the audiobook is read by Meryl Streep."
Julie: A Year in the Life of William Shakespeare, 1599, by James Shapiro - "It discusses the cultural and political forces at work during the year that Shakespeare was writing Henry V, Julius Caesar, As You Like It, and Hamlet."
Parker: Remarkably Bright Creatures by Shelby Van Pelt - "Remarkably Bright Creatures is a sweet story about forming the most unlikely of friendships and navigating through grief. It even includes some personal accounts from an octopus named Marcellus living in an aquarium. There's a true smorgasbord of personalities in this lovely read!"
Leslie: Planting : a new perspective on combining plants using design and ecological principles - "Piet Oudolf is a Dutch garden designer, nurseryman and author. He is a leading figure of the "New Perennial" movement – his designs and plant compositions using bold drifts of herbaceous perennials and grasses which are chosen at least as much for their structure as for their flower color. His landscape design is very similar to my own and has brought me more confidence in my perspective on garden design. His gardens appear free flowing and meadow inspired however each plant has been purposefully placed to achieve a certain balance."
Katie: Love in the Big City by Sang Young Park - "Recently translated from Korean, this is a sharp and glittering story about love, friendship and coming of age in modern day Seoul."
Chris: What the Eyes Don’t See by Mona Hanna-Attisha - "What the Eyes Don’t See by Mona Hanna-Attisha is the twenty first One Book One Region Pick, about the water crisis in Flint, MI."
Ellen: A Room of One’s Own by Virginia Woolf - "A lyrical study on feminism, how far we have come and how far yet to go."
Chris: Tender Mercies by Dennis Lehane - "His latest ode to working class Boston is set during the school bussing of the early Seventies, and peopled with memorable characters from the Southie projects."
Katie: Fight Night by Miriam Toews - "An incredibly funny story narrated by 9 year old Swiv as she navigates the world alongside her spunky grandma. Both reflective and adventurous, you'll love every second!"
Ellen: The Magic Kingdom by Russell Banks - "Hard to believe but true that where DisneyLand sits in Florida was once a Shaker community. This book is a languorous blending of history and fiction into a tale of religious fervor and romance that could only happen in America."
We are all about atoms and void, and nothing else.
We are here by chance. So we must make the most of it.
"Swerve" is a wonderful explication of the ancient Roman Lucretius's poem, "On the Nature of Things."
It should be the bible we should all read as youngsters.
Philip: Sargent's Women: Four Lives Behind the Canvas by Donna M. Lucey - “My!, what art does conceal. The lives of these four women were just the opposite of my idea of art. Just to survive, they had to be strong characters, strong personalities. And they were. Each one embodied an individual independence throughout their imprisoned lives of suffering. Anyone who thinks being born to the wealthy is a pretty piece of cake should read this book. And a readable book it is. The narrative flows smoothly. It draws one's mind along with interest and anticipation. It is also an astute portrait of the artist John Singer Sargent, and how he worked professionally.”
Parker: Before the Coffee Gets Cold by Toshikazu Kawaguchi - It's a short, fun, and heartwarming read about a time traveling café in Japan!"
Philip: Papyrus: the Invention of Books in the Ancient World by Irene Vallejo "[This book] reveals how writing came about, and how the papyrus plant was harvested, and prepared for use to write on. And I learned that, today, in our present world, a new book is published every half-minute!"
Chris: Counterfeit by Kirstin Chen - "Entertaining contemporary story of a woman who gets caught up in a knockoff scam."
Julie: The Mandelbaum Gate by Muriel Spark - " In her lovely prose, Spark details the intrigues and adventures of Barbara Vaughan, an English schoolteacher, and a cast of archaeologists, diplomats, spies, and scallywags."
Philip: The World Broke in Two by Bill Goldstein. - "This takes off from a remark that the American novelist Willa Cather made about the year 1922 when both Joyce's "Ulysses," and Eliot's, "The Wasteland," were published."
Leslie: The Almost Nearly Perfect People by Michael Booth
Chris: Properties of Thirst by Marianne Wiggins