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The Connect Book Club
  Forthcoming books
Book for January 03, 2018
Group 3
Meeting at Jutta's place
Too Much Happiness
Too Much Happiness

Jonathan Franzen about Munro (2004): "More than any writer since Chekhov, Munro strives for and achieves, in each of her stories, a gestalt-like completeness in the representation of life. She always had a genius for developing and unpacking moments of epiphany. But it's in the three collections since Selected Stories (1996) that she's taken the really big, world-class leap and became a master of suspense. The moments she's pursuing now aren't moments of realization; they're moments of fateful, irrevocable, dramatic action. And what this means for the reader is you can't even begin to guess at a story's meaning until you've followed every twist; it's always the last page or two that switches all the lights on. ... Reading Munro puts me in that state of quiet reflection in which I think about myown life: about the decisions I've made, the things I've done and haven't done, the kind of person I am, the prospect of death."


Author: Alice Munro

Alice Munro was born in Canada in 1931. She grew up in Wingham, Ontario, the kind of small town that often provides the backdrop for her writing. She has dedicated her career to the short story genre. According to the Nobel Prize website Munro's short stories accommodate the entire epic complexity of the novel in just a few pages. She won the Man Booker International Prize in 2009 and the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2013.

Book for January 10, 2018
Group 2
The Radium Girls: The Dark Story of America's Shining Women
The Radium Girls: The Dark Story of America's Shining Women
The incredible true story of the women who fought America's Undark danger

The Curies' newly discovered element of radium makes gleaming headlines across the nation as the fresh face of beauty, and wonder drug of the medical community. From body lotion to tonic water, the popular new element shines bright in the otherwise dark years of the First World War.

Meanwhile, hundreds of girls toil amidst the glowing dust of the radium-dial factories. The glittering chemical covers their bodies from head to toe; they light up the night like industrious fireflies. With such a coveted job, these "shining girls" are the luckiest alive ― until they begin to fall mysteriously ill.

But the factories that once offered golden opportunities are now ignoring all claims of the gruesome side effects, and the women's cries of corruption. And as the fatal poison of the radium takes hold, the brave shining girls find themselves embroiled in one of the biggest scandals of America's early 20th century, and in a groundbreaking battle for workers' rights that will echo for centuries to come.

Written with a sparkling voice and breakneck pace, The Radium Girls fully illuminates the inspiring young women exposed to the "wonder" substance of radium, and their awe-inspiring strength in the face of almost impossible circumstances. Their courage and tenacity led to life-changing regulations, research into nuclear bombing, and ultimately saved hundreds of thousands of lives...

Author: Kate Moore
Kate Moore is the author of more than fifteen books across the genres of gift, humour, biography, history and children’s brand publishing. A multiple Sunday Times bestselling author, she is extremely versatile, equally adept at creating projects to clients’ briefs, ghostwriting memoirs and innovating her own ideas. Her work has been published in national newspapers, translated into more than twelve languages, used in national advertising campaigns and performed at the South Bank Centre, London.
Book for January 12, 2018
Group 1
Meeting at Katharina's place
Swing Time
Swing Time

Two girls, 7 years old, grow up on a London housing estate. Both are mixed race, 'brown' of the same shade, brown meaning not knowing where they belong. By the same logic the same shade of brown means that they belong to one another. As it turns out one of them, the narrator, becomes assistant to a white pop star, Aimee, in a slave-like relationship. While the other, Tracey, a great dancer, fails in her career, sinking finally into a psychopathic state where she harasses the narrator's sick mother, a proud black woman, who had been looking down on Tracey back in the day when she was the narrator's childhood best friend ...

The novel was first published in November 2016.


Author: Zadie Smith

Zadie Smith (born on 25 October 1975) is a British novelist, essayist and short story writer. As of 2016, she has published five novels, all of which have received substantial critical praise. In 2003, she was included on Granta's list of 20 best young authors. Smith has won the Orange Prize for Fiction in 2006 and her novel White Teeth was included in Time magazines TIME 100 Best English-language Novels from 1923 to 2005 list. She joined New York University's Creative Writing Program as a tenured professor in 2010.

Book for February 07, 2018
Group 3
Gilead
Gilead

is the fictional memoir of the Reverend John Ames of 'Gilead', Iowa. Ames, who is dying, writes his memories down for his seven year old son, beginning with stories about his grandfather, a firebrand preacher in the American civil war.


Author: Marilynne Robinson

(born November 26, 1943) is an American novelist and essayist. Her four major works are the novels Housekeeping (1980), Gilead (2004), Home (2008) and Lila (2014). Her novels depict rural life and faith. In her essays she has written about the relationship between religion and science, nuclear pollution, John Calvin, and contemporary American politics.

During her writing career Robinson has received the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 2005, the 2012 National Humanities Medal, and the 2016 Library of Congress Prize for American Fiction. In 2016 Robinson was named in Time Magazine's list of 100 most influential people. Former US President Barack Obama counts her among his friends.

Book for February 09, 2018
Group 1
Brave New World
Brave New World
Aldous Huxley's profoundly important classic of world literature, Brave New World is a searching vision of an unequal, technologically-advanced future where humans are genetically bred, socially indoctrinated, and pharmaceutically anesthetized to passively uphold an authoritarian ruling order--all at the cost of our freedom, full humanity, and perhaps also our souls. Written in the shadow of the rise of fascism during the 1930s, Brave New World likewise speaks to a 21st-century world dominated by mass-entertainment, technology, medicine and pharmaceuticals, the arts of persuasion, and the hidden influence of elites.

Author: Aldous Huxley
Aldous Leonard Huxley (1894 – 1963), was an English writer, novelist, and philosopher. He graduated from Balliol College at the University of Oxford with a first-class honours in English literature. The author of nearly fifty books, he is best known for his novel Brave New World.
Book for February 14, 2018
Group 2
Open City
Open City
A haunting novel about identity, dislocation, and history, Teju Cole’s Open City is a profound work by an important new author who has much to say about our country and our world.

Along the streets of Manhattan, a young Nigerian doctor named Julius wanders, reflecting on his relationships, his recent breakup with his girlfriend, his present, his past. He encounters people from different cultures and classes who will provide insight on his journey—which takes him to Brussels, to the Nigeria of his youth, and into the most unrecognizable facets of his own soul.

Author: Teju Cole
was born in Kalamazoo, Michigan to Nigerian parents, and is the oldest of four children. Cole and his mother returned to Lagos, Nigeria shortly after his birth, where his father joined them after receiving his MBA from Western Michigan University. Cole moved back to the United States at the age of 17 to attend Western Michigan University for one year, then transferred to Kalamazoo College, where he received his bachelor's degree in 1996. After dropping out of medical school at the University of Michigan, Cole enrolled in an African art history program at the University of London, then pursued a doctorate in art history at Columbia University.
Book for March 09, 2018
Group 1
Meeting at Amy and Daniel's place
Mrs. Dalloway
Mrs. Dalloway
On a perfect June morning, Clarissa Dalloway – fashionable, worldly, wealthy, an accomplished hostess – sets off to buy flowers for the party she will host that evening. She is preoccupied with thoughts of the present and memories of the past, and from her interior monologue emerge the people who have touched her life. On the same day, Septimus Warren Smith, a shell-shocked survivor of the Great War, commits suicide, and casual mention of his death at the party provokes in Clarissa thoughts of her own isolation and loneliness.

Bold and experimental, Virginia Woolf's Mrs Dalloway is a landmark in twentieth-century fiction and a book that gets better and better with every reading.

Author: Virginia Woolf
Adeline Virginia Woolf (1882 – 1941) was an English writer who is considered one of the foremost modernists of the twentieth century, and a pioneer in the use of stream of consciousness as a narrative device. Born in an affluent household in Kensington, London, she attended the King's College London and was acquainted with the early reformers of women's higher education. Woolf began writing professionally in 1900.

During the interwar period, Woolf was a significant figure in London literary society and a central figure in the influential Bloomsbury Group of intellectuals. She published her first novel The Voyage Out in 1915, through the Hogarth Press, a publishing house that she established with her husband, Leonard Woolf. Her best-known works include the novels Mrs Dalloway (1925), To the Lighthouse (1927) and Orlando (1928), and the book-length essay "A Room of One's Own" (1929).
Book for March 14, 2018
Group 2
My Absolute Darling
My Absolute Darling
Turtle Alveston is a survivor. At fourteen, she roams the woods along the northern California coast. The creeks, tide pools, and rocky islands are her haunts and her hiding grounds, and she is known to wander for miles. But while her physical world is expansive, her personal one is small and treacherous: Turtle has grown up isolated since the death of her mother, in the thrall of her tortured and charismatic father, Martin. Her social existence is confined to the middle school (where she fends off the interest of anyone, student or teacher, who might penetrate her shell) and to her life with her father.

Then Turtle meets Jacob, a high-school boy who tells jokes, lives in a big clean house, and looks at Turtle as if she is the sunrise. And for the first time, the larger world begins to come into focus: her life with Martin is neither safe nor sustainable. Motivated by her first experience with real friendship and a teenage crush, Turtle starts to imagine escape, using the very survival skills her father devoted himself to teaching her. What follows is a harrowing story of bravery and redemption. With Turtle's escalating acts of physical and emotional courage, the reader watches, heart in throat, as this teenage girl struggles to become her own hero—and in the process, becomes ours as well.

Shot through with striking language in a fierce natural setting, My Absolute Darling is an urgently told, profoundly moving read that marks the debut of an extraordinary new writer.

Author: Gabriel Tallent
Gabriel Tallent grew up in Mendocino, California, thrashing through the underbrush in search of anything awesome. He attended the Mendocino Community High School and spent a lot of time backpacking, re-reading Greek tragedies, and trying to figure out Moby Dick. Tallent received his BA from Willamette University and wrote his thesis on the discursive construction of pleasure in Samuel Richardson’s Pamela, which is more interesting than it sounds. He has worked as a crew leader for Northwest Youth Corps, as an extremely bored and distracted checker at Target, as dining room staff at the Alta Lodge, and as a food runner and server at The Copper Onion. He lives in Salt Lake City, where he can be found climbing or futilely trying to identify plants in Little Cottonwood Canyon. His stories have been published in Narrative and in the St Petersburg Review. His debut novel, My Absolute Darling, was published in August 2017 by Riverhead Books.