The Mile Square City Readers Book Club Half-Year Review, Part 2

1 Apr

The Mile Square City Readers Book Club has officially been around for one year! We celebrated this momentous occasion with book discussion (of course!) and cupcakes.

Here is roundup of the books we’ve read in the past six months. Click here to read about what we read in the club’s first six months. If you would like to keep up with the Mile Square City Readers Book Club, send an email to reference AT hoboken DOT bccls DOT org to join our mailing list.

A Head Full of Ghosts by Paul Tremblay

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For Halloween, we chose a spooky book, and A Head Full of Ghosts did not disappoint! When the Barrett family’s oldest daughter Marjorie show symptoms of schizophrenia (or demonic possession) it dramatically affects the family, who become reluctant reality TV stars by selling their trauma to ease financial burdens. In addition to scares, this book brought ripe discussion about whether Marjorie was truly mentally ill or faking it, or if she was actually possessed by an evil entity. You can borrow this title through eLibraryNJ as an eBook, or as an audiobook from eBCCLS.

The Diver’s Clothes Lie Empty by Vendela Vida

diver-clothes

The group agreed that what the narrator of The Diver’s Clothes Lie Empty, the November book, experiences is the ultimate traveler’s nightmare: losing their passport while abroad. After the narrator (whose name we never learn) reports her missing passport, the police in Casablanca give her one that belongs to someone else, whose identity she takes on. As the book unfolds, we learn why the narrator is quick to take on a new persona. This book is also available as an eBook in eLibraryNJ and eBCCLS and as an audiobook in Hoopla Digital.

Humans of New York: Stories by Brandon Stanton

hony-stories

For December we chose to read the newest book by the creator of the popular Humans of New York blog. Humans of New York: Stories includes the trademark pictures of average folks in NYC that are published daily on the blog and social media, with the addition of stories from the photo subjects. Brandon Stanton realized the interviews were as important as the pictures and included more in this volume. In the discussion, we talked about the stories in the book that moved us the most. You can borrow this book as an eBook in eLibraryNJ and eBCCLS.

Walden by Henry David Thoreau

walden

Several book club members suggested Walden, which chronicled Henry David Thoreau’s choice to live self sufficiently near Walden Pond, as a way to start 2016 on an insightful note and decompress from the madness of the holidays. Thoreau built his home, planted crops to grow his own food, spent time outside of “society”, and learned about his natural surroundings. Listening to an audiobook adaptation makes the section where Thoreau discussed various animal noises extra entertaining. Walden can be borrowed as an eBook and audiobook from eLibraryNJ and Hoopla Digital.

Drinking Coffee Elsewhere by Z.Z. Packer

drinking-coffee

In February the group read Drinking Coffee Elsewhere, a collection of short stories by Z.Z. Packer. It was consensus that the stories were beautifully written. The stories had connecting themes that tied them all together, and the characters were interesting to follow. The title story “Drinking Coffee Elsewhere” was the favorite. This book is also available as an audiobook through Hoopla Digital and as an eBook through the 3M Cloud Library.

Opening Belle by Maureen Sherry

opening-belle

The group found Opening Belle, a fictionalized account of a female managing director of a Wall Street bank leading up to the 2008 financial crisis, to be a quick and enjoyable read. While some found the character development lacking, it was agreed that the protagonist Belle definitely evolved throughout the story. The book also brought forth discussion on issues working mothers face, and the pressure to have a balanced home and professional life. In addition to print copies, you can read an eBook on one of the library’s lendable eReaders.

Thank you to our members who have joined our discussions and shared their opinions and stories for making our first year so wonderful!

We always welcome new members to the Mile Square City Readers book club, so grab a copy of The Widow by Fiona Barton from the second floor reference desk (or borrow one of our Kindles and iPads if you prefer digital books) and join our discussion of the book on Thursday April 28, 2016 at 7:30 PM.

-Written by Kerry Weinstein, Reference Librarian

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