GOOD BOOKS

Book Club Best Bets

Pack your summer reading list with 15 recommendations from local book groups

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By Kathy Des Jardins Cioffi
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Nothing is more relaxing than a book with the power to transform beach chairs or even the same old couch into anywhere in – or out of – this world.
Here, six local book clubs list recent favorites to pack for that next trip, virtual or otherwise. These 15 titles, including one beloved by three different clubs, are sure to entertain till the leaves begin changing and flights of fancy require something toastier than a book jacket.

BOOK CLUB: Saddle Creek Reading Women
LOCATION: Roswell
SUBMITTED BY: Pam King
PICKS:

“A Man Called Ove,” by Fredrik Backman. This was a heartwarming story about a man who loved his wife so much that the idea of going on in life without her is unbearable to him. The story humorously balances the isolation of a man overcome by grief with the repetitive overtures and needs of neighbors who slowly become dear friends. We all really enjoyed the story.
“We Are All Completely Besides Ourselves,” by Karen Joy Fowler. This was the story of a family that participates in a kind of a scientific/social experiment and finds that they will never be the same again. As a group, we had read and loved “The Jane Austen Book Club” and the author was the same, but the story was astoundingly different.
“The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry,” by Gabrielle Zevin is a book lover's mystery. A theft, an abandoned child and a love story all intertwined around a book store.  What more can any book lover want?

BOOK CLUB: The Alphareaders
LOCATION: Alpharetta, Johns Creek
SUBMITTED BY: Robyn Kanner and Julie Scott
PICKS:

“Big Little Lies” by Liane Moriarty. Not your ordinary chick lit. A fun read for any summer vacation spot. Although set in Australia, the book is full of characters and settings we all know intimately: PTA moms, school events, working parents, kids and husbands, and a range of personalities and family dynamics. The recent HBO series brought the setting to California but remained extremely faithful to Moriarty’s original cinematic text.
“The Dirty Life: A Memoir of Farming, Food and Love,” by Kristin Kimball. A NYC career woman abandons her city life to live with the man she eventually marries on a start-up farm. With “farm to table” and “clean food” trending now, this is a compelling, well-written look at a small, family-run farm and a community that helped sustain it.
“The Kitchen House,” by Kathleen Grissom. A pre-Civil War story written about a slice of society not commonly covered in fiction features vividly drawn characters living on a tobacco plantation in Virginia. Engaging and absorbing.

BOOK CLUB: Between the Covers
LOCATION: Roswell, Alpharetta
SUBMITTED BY: Cheryl Rapaport
PICKS:

“Written in the Stars,” by Aisha Saeed. This book takes you into the world of arranged marriages and cultural differences.  Aisha is raised in the U.S. and when she comes of age, her parents take her to Pakistan to visit relatives, but their real mission is to arrange a marriage for her.
“A Man Called Ove,” by Fredrik Backman. A grumpy old man has his world turned upside down by a very boisterous family that moves in next door. It is a heartwarming story of compassion and love.
“The Bullet,” by Mary Louise Kelly. A surprising find when a young woman discovers that she has a bullet lodged near the base of her skull and does not know how it got there.  A thrilling suspense story.

BOOK CLUB: The Bards
Nest Book Club
LOCATION: Johns Creek
SUBMITTED BY: Barb Townsend
PICKS:

"The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto," by Mitch Albom. A wonderful story of a fictional character whose life crosses paths with musicians of our time.
"The Rosie Project," by Graeme Simsion.  A laugh-out-loud book that shines the light on a man with Asperger’s syndrome trying to find love. You will fall in love, too.
"A Man Called Ove," by Fredrik Backman. A heartwarming story of a curmudgeon trying to end his life, only to find life and love in his community.

BOOK CLUB: Northcliff Book Club
LOCATION: Roswell
SUBMITTED BY: Marilyn Baron and Debbie Weiss
PICKS:

“The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane” by Lisa See. “It is a wonderful mother-daughter story, a love story and it has a perfect ending,” Baron said. “I learned a lot about another culture.”
“A Gentleman in Moscow,” by Amor Towles. “At first I felt sorry for Count Rostov, sentenced to spending the rest of his life inside the Metropol Hotel in a small room, with no opportunity to experience life outside,” Weiss said. “However, as time passed and he made some amazing friends and established wonderful relationships inside the bubble of a community, it was a pleasure to see him not only survive, but thrive in his confined environment.”

BOOK CLUB: AAUW Monday
Night Book Club
LOCATION: North Fulton, Woodstock, Brookhaven
SUBMITTED BY: Louise Conti
PICKS:

“Sisters in Law: How Sandra Day O'Connor and Ruth Bader Ginsburg Went to the Supreme Court and Changed the World,” by Linda Hirshman. We enjoy reading about women and their achievements. These two women exemplified strong women of accomplishment.
“My Name Is Lucy Barton,” by Elizabeth Strout. This book is deceiving in its seemingly innocuous storyline, but as we discussed it, we realized the denseness of the story.
“Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End,” by Atul Gawande. We had quite an impassioned discussion of this book as it presents in a very readable fashion how end-of-life issues are handled in this country whether an elder or terminal patient is in assisted living, a nursing home or at home.  
The author offers examples of new ideas that are working and how the medical profession can adapt. ■

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Stella Dowling of Roswell, with her dog Honey, blends her love of animals and business savvy as the owner of three locally-based businesses.  Read more page 8.

 

 

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