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Recommendations For Fall Book Clubs

with Carole Barrowman
Posted at 11:12 AM, Sep 20, 2022

Carole Barrowman joins us to discuss her annual book club pictures. She is an English professor at Alverno College, author of Hollow Earth series, reviewer for Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, and Minneapolis Star Tribune. For more information, visit her on Facebook.

Today Carole discusses tips for having a book club and some recommendations for books to read.

Have a “no-obligation-no apologies rule.” Our lives are busy. In the case of book clubs, reward good intentions. Join the group whether you’ve finished the book or not. Bring wine or chocolate and no one will care.

1. Assign a moderator to kick-off the conversation with a wide-open question (ask me for an example)

2. Choose books that raise BIG IDEAS

3. Invite the author.

4. And it isn’t cheating to listen to the audiobook.

Here are this month's recommendations:

Mother, Daughter, Traitor, Spy by Susan Elia MacNeal (Bantam)

This book has an enthusiastic stamp of approval from all the Barrowman readers.

This captivating novel is inspired by true events during WWII about a real mother and daughter who spied for the US, infiltrating Nazi organizations in and around Hollywood. This thriller takes readers deep inside the active Nazi movement during this period. MacNeal is a highly accomplished writer of historical fiction and this novel is atmospheric, suspenseful, and rich in details about Hollywood in the 40s.

People Person by Candice Carty-Williams (Scout Press)

This novel is set in England and I think it has everything you could ask for in a book club choice. Lots of family drama infused with compassion and humor, intriguing characters you’ll adore, and a bit of a mystery. The Pennington family is made up of one distant father, four mothers, and five half-siblings who know very little about each other … until, well, something shattering brings them together. This novel is a wonderfully compulsive read. Your book club will find lots to talk and laugh about.

Crying in the Bathroom by Erika Sanchez (Viking)

This is Sanchez’s second memoir after the best-selling I’m Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter. This is one feels as if the author is chatting with you over coffee. It’s funny and at the same time deeply personal, provocative, and poignant. In a series of short vignettes, Sanchez explores issues of identity, mental illness, reproductive rights and so much more. I think your book club with cry and laugh with her. Several of my creative writing students are reading this. It comes with theirs and my enthusiastic approval too