Introducing: Mom's Summer Book Club
Vote for the book we'll read during MetroKids magazine's first summer book club for moms.
OK, MK moms, you wanted a summer book club, you're getting a summer book club! Let's choose our first title from the list below, which reflects a variety of genres (including new nonfiction, YA hits, buzzworthy memoirs, plus a few staff faves). The choices are all available as a traditional print book, an ebook and an audiobook, so you can pick your preferred format and stay current with the group
After you peruse the list, vote for your choice by leaving a comment.
Voting will stay open until June 14, which will give us all plenty of time to get the selected book and start reading before the club starts in earnest in July. Happy voting!
The Burgess Boys, by Elizabeth Strout (staff fave)
Haunted by the freak accident that killed their father when they were children, Jim and Bob Burgess escaped from their Maine hometown of Shirley Falls for New York City as soon as they possibly could. Jim, a sleek, successful corporate lawyer, has belittled his bighearted brother their whole lives, and Bob, a Legal Aid attorney who idolizes Jim, has always taken it in stride. But their long-standing dynamic is upended when their sister, Susan — the Burgess sibling who stayed behind — urgently calls them home. Her lonely teenage son, Zach, has gotten himself into a world of trouble, and Susan desperately needs their help. And so the Burgess brothers return to the landscape of their childhood, where the long-buried tensions that have shaped and shadowed their relationship begin to surface in unexpected ways that will change them forever. (Promotional blurb)
The Chaperone, by Laura Moriarty (staff fave)
Only a few years before becoming a famous silent-film star and an icon of her generation, a 15-year-old Louise Brooks leaves Wichita, Kansas, to study with the prestigious Denishawn School of Dancing in New York. Much to her annoyance, she is accompanied by a 36-year-old chaperone, who is neither mother nor friend. Cora Carlisle, a complicated but traditional woman with her own reasons for making the trip, has no idea what she’s in for. Young Louise, already stunningly beautiful and sporting her famous black bob with blunt bangs, is known for her arrogance and her lack of respect for convention. Ultimately, the five weeks they spend together will transform their lives forever. (Promotional blurb)
The Diviners, by Libba Bray (YA hit)
In this lavish supernatural thriller set amidst the grit and gaiety of 1920s New York, wisecracking diviner Evie must use her special connection to the spirit world to solve a macabre series of occult murders. (Blurb provided by The Horn Book literary review)
The Fault in Our Stars, by John Green (YA hit)
Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel’s story is about to be completely rewritten. (Promotional blurb)
Mermaid of Brooklyn, by Amy Shearn (new nonfiction)
Jenny Lipkin is an average, stretched-too-thin Brooklyn mom, tackling the challenges of raising two children in a cramped Park Slope walk-up and bonding with other moms about breastfeeding while spending endless hours in Prospect Park. All she really wants is to survive the sweltering New York summer with a shred of sanity intact. But when her husband Harry, a compulsive gambler, vanishes one evening without a word, Jenny finally reaches her breaking point. And in a moment of despair, a split-second decision changes her life forever. (Promotional blurb)
Rules of Civility, by Amor Towles (staff fave)
This sophisticated and entertaining first novel presents the story of a young woman whose life is on the brink of transformation. On the last night of 1937, t25-year-old Katey Kontent is in a second-rate Greenwich Village jazz bar when Tinker Grey, a handsome banker, happens to sit down at the neighboring table. This chance encounter and its startling consequences propel Katey on a year-long journey into the upper echelons of New York society — where she will have little to rely upon other than a bracing wit and her own brand of cool nerve. With its sparkling depiction of New York’s social strata, its intricate imagery and themes, and its immensely appealing characters, Rules of Civility won the hearts of readers and critics alike. (Promotional blurb)
She Matters: A Life in Friendships, by Susanna Sonnenberg (memoir)
The best friend who broke up with you. The older girl at school you worshipped. The beloved college friend who changed. The friend who betrayed you. The friend you betrayed. Companions in travel, in discovery, in motherhood, in grief; the mentor, the model, the rescuer, the guide, the little sister. Searing and superbly written, Sonnenberg's She Matters illuminates the friendships that have influenced, nourished, inspired and haunted her – and sometimes torn her apart. This electric book is testimony to the emotional significance of the intense bonds between women, whether shattered, shaky or unbreakable. (Promotional blurb)
Sisterland, by Curtis Sittenfeld (new nonfiction)
From an early age, Kate and her identical twin sister, Violet, knew that they were unlike everyone else. Kate and Vi were born with peculiar “senses” — innate psychic abilities concerning future events and other people’s secrets. Though Vi embraced her visions, Kate did her best to hide them. Now, years later, their different paths have led them both back to their hometown of St. Louis. Vi has pursued an eccentric career as a psychic medium, while Kate, a devoted wife and mother, has settled down in the suburbs to raise her two young children. But when a minor earthquake hits in the middle of the night, the normal life Kate has always wished for begins to shift. After Vi goes on television to share a premonition that another, more devastating earthquake will soon hit the St. Louis area, Kate is mortified. Equally troubling, however, is her fear that Vi may be right. As the date of the predicted earthquake quickly approaches, Kate is forced to reconcile her fraught relationship with her sister and to face truths about herself she’s long tried to deny. (Promotional blurb)
Someone Could Get Hurt: A Memoir of Twenty-First-Century Parenthood,
by Drew Magary (memoir)
In brutally honest and funny stories, Magary reveals how American mothers and fathers cope with being in over their heads (getting drunk while trick-or-treating, watching helplessly as a child defiantly pees in a hotel pool, engaging in role-play with a princess-crazed daughter), and how stepping back can sometimes make all the difference (talking a toddler down from the third story of a netted-in playhouse, allowing children to make little mistakes in the kitchen to keep them from making the bigger ones in life). It's a celebration of all the surprises – joyful and otherwise – that come with being part of a real family. (Promotional blurb)
Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald, by Therese Anne Fowler (new nonfiction)
When beautiful, reckless Southern belle Zelda Sayre meets F. Scott Fitzgerald at a country club dance in 1918, she is 17 years old and he is a young army lieutenant stationed in Alabama. Before long, the “ungettable” Zelda has fallen for him despite his unsuitability: Scott isn’t wealthy or prominent or even a Southerner, and keeps insisting, absurdly, that his writing will bring him both fortune and fame. Her father is deeply unimpressed. But after Scott sells his first novel, This Side of Paradise, to Scribner’s, Zelda optimistically boards a train north, to marry him in the vestry of St. Patrick’s Cathedral and take the rest as it comes. Everything seems new and possible. Troubles, at first, seem to fade like morning mist. But not even Jay Gatsby’s parties go on forever. Who is Zelda, other than the wife of a famous — sometimes infamous — husband? How can she forge her own identity while fighting her demons and Scott’s, too? (Promotional blurb)
Cast your vote in the comments below!