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The Connect Book Club
  Forthcoming books
Book for September 01, 2017
Group 1
Meeting at Savannah's place
A Visit From the Goon Squad
A Visit From the Goon Squad
Bennie is an aging former punk rocker and record executive. Sasha is the passionate, troubled young woman he employs. Here Jennifer Egan brilliantly reveals their pasts, along with the inner lives of a host of other characters whose paths intersect with theirs. With music pulsing on every page, A Visit from the Goon Squad is a startling, exhilarating novel of self-destruction and redemption.

Author: Jennifer Egan
Jennifer Egan, born in Chicago and raised in San Francisco, is the author of several novels and a short story collection. Her most recent book, A Visit From the Goon Squad, won the 2011 Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Critics Circle Award, and the Los Angeles Times book prize. Also a journalist, she has written frequently in the New York Times Magazine.
Book for September 06, 2017
Group 3
Meeting at Ingrid's place
Waiting for the Barbarians
Waiting for the Barbarians

Waiting for the Barbarians was first published in 1980. An opera based on the book by American composer Philip Glass premiered at Theater Erfurt, Germany, in 2005.

The story is narrated by the unnamed magistrate of a small town on the border of "the Empire". The magistrate's peaceful existence ends when the capital sends an envoy, Colonel Joll, who has come on instructions that "the Barbarians" beyond the border are preparing an attack on the empire. While the magistrate has every reason to doubt that assumption he is powerless to prevent the Colonel from leading an incursion into Barbarian lands. Joll on his expedition captures a number of peaceful people, returns with his prisoners, tortures some of them to death and through coerced confessions provides "proof" for the agressive intentions of the Barbarians. Satisfied, he then returns to the capital, leaving the Magistate to deal with the victims. One of them, the daughter of a man murdered by Joll and herself crippled from the torture is now begging in the town. Motivated by a mixture of compassion and his duty to keep the streets 'clean', the magistrate takes her into his home. As he nurses the girl, he crosses the line to a sexual relationship which she neither encourages nor rejects. But eventually he takes her back to her own people. As he returns to the town soldiers from the capital arrest him for deserting his post and colluding with the enemy. As winter approaches the soldiers desert and most of the townspeople flee believing in an imminent attack from beyond the border. However, there is no sign of the Barbarians as the season's first snow falls.


Author: J.M. Coetzee

John Maxwell Coetzee, born 1940, received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2003. The reality of South Africa appears repeatedly in Coetzee’s work. He has said that apartheid values and behavior could arise anywhere. According to the Nobel Comittee his novels focus on the cruel rationalism and cosmetic morality of western civilization while capturing man's divine spark in moments of defeat and weakness. Coetzee venerates Franz Kafka and Samuel Beckett as literary examples.

Book for September 13, 2017
Group 2
Girl at War
Girl at War
Zagreb, 1991. Ana Jurić is a carefree ten-year-old, living with her family in a small apartment in Croatia’s capital. But that year, civil war breaks out across Yugoslavia, splintering Ana’s idyllic childhood. Daily life is altered by food rations and air raid drills, and soccer matches are replaced by sniper fire. Neighbors grow suspicious of one another, and Ana’s sense of safety starts to fray. When the war arrives at her doorstep, Ana must find her way in a dangerous world.

New York, 2001. Ana is now a college student in Manhattan. Though she’s tried to move on from her past, she can’t escape her memories of war—secrets she keeps even from those closest to her. Haunted by the events that forever changed her family, Ana returns to Croatia after a decade away, hoping to make peace with the place she once called home. As she faces her ghosts, she must come to terms with her country’s difficult history and the events that interrupted her childhood years before.

Moving back and forth through time, Girl at War is an honest, generous, brilliantly written novel that illuminates how history shapes the individual. Sara Nović fearlessly shows the impact of war on one young girl—and its legacy on all of us. It’s a precocious debut by a writer who has stared into recent history to find a story that continues to resonate today.

Author: Sara Nović
Sara is the fiction editor at Blunderbuss Magazine and teaches at Columbia University, the New School's Eugene Lang College, and with the Words After War writing workshop. She holds an MFA from Columbia, where she studied fiction and literary translation, and lives in Brooklyn. Girl at War, her first novel, is out from Random House and Little, Brown UK, and is forthcoming in thirteen more languages.
Book for October 04, 2017
Group 3
The Master and Margarita
The Master and Margarita

The Master and Margarita is a satire of the Stalin period in the Soviet Union. The novel is by turns a searing satire of Soviet life, a religious allegory to rival Goethe’s Faust, and a carnivalesque fantasy. It is considered a 20th-century masterpiece.

The story juxtaposes two planes of action—one set in Moscow in the 1930s and the other in Jerusalem at the time of Christ. The three central characters of the contemporary plot are the Devil, disguised as one Professor Woland; the “Master,” a repressed novelist; and Margarita, who, though married to a bureaucrat, loves the Master. The Master, a Christ symbol, burns his manuscript and goes willingly into a psychiatric ward when critics attack his work. Margarita sells her soul to the Devil and becomes a witch in order to obtain the Master’s release. A parallel plot presents the action of the Master’s destroyed novel, the condemnation of Yeshua (Jesus) in Jerusalem.

Bulgakov worked on The Master and Margarita continuously from 1928 until his death in 1940. The Master and Margarita was published in a censored form in the Soviet Union in 1966–67. In 1966 the magazine Moskva published the first part of this book in its November issue. The story had circulated underground before. The unexpurgated version was published in the Soviet Union in 1973.


Author: Mikhail Bulgakov

Mikhail Afanasyevich Bulgakov (15 May 1891 – 10 March 1940) was a Russian writer, physician and playwright. His father and both of his grandfathers were clergymen. Bulgakov studied medicine and became a noted venerologist. During the First World War he was drafted into the Russion army and later into the Ukrainian People's Army as a doctor. He was a successful writer and especially playwright in the 1920ies but ran into increasing problems with the Soviet authorities until in 1929 the publication of his works and staging of his plays was prohibited. At the same time, because Stalin liked him, he avoided further prosecution. Except for The White Guard (1926) all of his major novels were published posthumously, beginning with the Master and Margarita in 1967.

Book for October 13, 2017
Group 1
The Hound of the Baskervilles
The Hound of the Baskervilles
The terrible spectacle of the beast, the fog of the moor, the discovery of a body: this classic horror story pits detective against dog, rationalism against the supernatural, good against evil. When Sir Charles Baskerville is found dead on the wild Devon moorland with the footprints of a giant hound nearby, the blame is placed on a family curse. It is left to Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson to solve the mystery of the legend of the phantom hound before Sir Charles' heir comes to an equally gruesome end. The Hound of the Baskervilles gripped readers when it was first serialised and has continued to hold its place in the popular imagination.

Author: Arthur Conan Doyle
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (1859 – 1930) was a British writer best known for his detective fiction featuring the character Sherlock Holmes. Originally a physician, in 1887 he published A Study in Scarlet, the first of four novels about Holmes and Dr. Watson. In addition, Doyle wrote over fifty short stories featuring the famous detective.