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The Connect Book Club
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Book for April 04, 2018
Group 3
Meeting at Jutta's place
The Golden House
The Golden House

Salman Rushdie’s latest novel (published 2017) is a modern American epic set against the strange and disconcerting panorama of contemporary US politics and culture.

On the day of Barack Obama’s inauguration, an enigmatic billionaire from foreign shores takes up residence in the architectural jewel of “the Gardens,” a sheltered community in New York’s Greenwich Village. The neighborhood is a bubble within a bubble, and the residents are immediately intrigued by the eccentric newcomer and his family. Along with his improbable name, untraceable accent, and unmistakable whiff of danger, Nero Golden has brought along his three adult sons: agoraphobic, alcoholic Petya, a brilliant recluse with a tortured mind; Apu, the flamboyant artist, sexually and spiritually omnivorous; and D, at twenty-two the baby of the family, keeping an explosive secret even from himself.

Our guide to the Goldens’ world is their neighbor René, an ambitious young filmmaker. Initially the peripheral narrator researching a film about the Goldens, he gradually insinuates himself into the centre of the unfolding drama. Meanwhile, like a bad joke, a certain comic-book villain embarks upon a crass presidential election that turns New York upside-down.

Author: Salman Rushdie
Sir Ahmad Salman Rushdie was born in Bombay (then British) India into a Muslim family of Kashmiri descent. His father adopted the name Rushdie in honour of Averroes. His first career was as a copywriter for an advertising agency. His second novel, Midnight's Children won the 1981 Booker Prize. His fourth novel, The Satanic Verses was the center of a major controversy provoking protests from Muslims in several countries. Death threats were made against him, including a fatwā calling for his assassination. Since 2000, Rushdie has lived in the United States where he has worked for Emory University.
Book for April 11, 2018
Group 2
Born a Crime
Born a Crime
Trevor Noah’s unlikely path from apartheid South Africa to the desk of The Daily Show began with a criminal act: his birth. Trevor was born to a white Swiss father and a black Xhosa mother at a time when such a union was punishable by five years in prison. Living proof of his parents’ indiscretion, Trevor was kept mostly indoors for the earliest years of his life, bound by the extreme and often absurd measures his mother took to hide him from a government that could, at any moment, steal him away. Finally liberated by the end of South Africa’s tyrannical white rule, Trevor and his mother set forth on a grand adventure, living openly and freely and embracing the opportunities won by a centuries-long struggle.

Born a Crime is the story of a mischievous young boy who grows into a restless young man as he struggles to find himself in a world where he was never supposed to exist. It is also the story of that young man’s relationship with his fearless, rebellious, and fervently religious mother—his teammate, a woman determined to save her son from the cycle of poverty, violence, and abuse that would ultimately threaten her own life.

The stories collected here are by turns hilarious, dramatic, and deeply affecting. Whether subsisting on caterpillars for dinner during hard times, being thrown from a moving car during an attempted kidnapping, or just trying to survive the life-and-death pitfalls of dating in high school, Trevor illuminates his curious world with an incisive wit and unflinching honesty. His stories weave together to form a moving and searingly funny portrait of a boy making his way through a damaged world in a dangerous time, armed only with a keen sense of humor and a mother’s unconventional, unconditional love.

Author: Trevor Noah
Trevor Noah (born 20 February 1984) is a South African comedian, writer, producer, political commentator, actor, and television host. He is best known for being the host of The Daily Show on Comedy Central since September 2015.

Noah began his career as an actor, presenter, and comedian in his native South Africa. He held several television hosting roles with the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC), and was the runner-up in their fourth season of Strictly Come Dancing in 2008. From 2010 to 2011, Noah was the creator and host of Tonight with Trevor Noah on M-Net and DStv. His stand-up comedy career attained international success, leading to appearances on American late-night talk shows and British panel shows.

In 2014, Noah became the Senior International Correspondent for The Daily Show, an American satirical news program. The following year, he was announced as the successor of long-time host Jon Stewart. Although ratings for the show declined following Stewart's departure, Noah's tenure has been generally favourably reviewed, attracting particular attention for his interview with young conservative personality Tomi Lahren in late 2016.

On January 2016, it was announced that Noah signed a book deal with Spiegel & Grau. His book, Born a Crime was published on November 15, 2016 and was received favorably by major U.S. book reviewers. It became a #1 New York Times Bestseller and was named one of the best books of the year by The New York Times, Newsday, Esquire, NPR, and Booklist. It was announced that a film adaptation based on the book will star Lupita Nyong'o as Trevor's mother Patricia. She will also serve as the film's co-producer alongside Noah. In February 2018, it was announced that Noah would write a second book.
Book for April 13, 2018
Group 1
Meeting at Savannah's place
The Sound and the Fury
The Sound and the Fury
The Sound and the Fury, first published in 1929, is perhaps William Faulkner’s greatest book and is widely considered one of the greatest English-language novels of the twentieth century. Evocative and enigmatic, The Sound and the Fury was immediately praised for its innovative narrative technique, and comparisons were made with Joyce and Dostoyevsky, but it did not receive popular acclaim until the late forties, shortly before Faulkner received the Nobel Prize for Literature.

The novel reveals the story of the disintegration of the Compson family, doomed inhabitants of Faulkner’s mythical Yoknapatawpha County, through the interior monologues of the idiot Benjy and his brothers, Quentin and Jason.

Author: William Faulkner
William Cuthbert Faulkner (1897 – 1962) was an American writer and Nobel Prize laureate from Oxford, Mississippi. Faulkner wrote novels, short stories, a play, poetry, essays, and screenplays. He is primarily known for his novels and short stories set in the fictional Yoknapatawpha County, based on Lafayette County, Mississippi, where he spent most of his life.

Faulkner is one of the most celebrated writers in American literature generally and Southern literature specifically. Though his work was published as early as 1919, and largely during the 1920s and 1930s, Faulkner was relatively unknown until receiving the 1949 Nobel Prize in Literature, for which he became the only Mississippi-born Nobel winner. Two of his works, A Fable (1954) and his last novel The Reivers (1962), won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. In 1998, the Modern Library ranked his 1929 novel The Sound and the Fury sixth on its list of the 100 best English-language novels of the 20th century; also on the list were As I Lay Dying (1930) and Light in August (1932).
Book for May 09, 2018
Group 2
It Can't Happen Here
It Can't Happen Here
It Can't Happen Here is a semi-satirical 1935 political novel by American author Sinclair Lewis, and a 1936 play adapted from the novel by Lewis and John C. Moffitt.

Published during the rise of fascism in Europe, the novel describes the rise of Berzelius "Buzz" Windrip, a politician who defeats Franklin Delano Roosevelt (FDR) and is elected President of the United States, after fomenting fear and promising drastic economic and social reforms while promoting a return to patriotism and "traditional" values. After his election, Windrip takes complete control of the government and imposes a plutocratic/totalitarian rule with the help of a ruthless paramilitary force, in the manner of Adolf Hitler and the SS. The novel's plot centers on journalist Doremus Jessup's opposition to the new regime and his subsequent struggle against it as part of a liberal rebellion.

Reviewers at the time, and literary critics ever since, have emphasized the connection with Louisiana politician Huey Long, who was preparing to run for president in the 1936 election when he was assassinated in 1935 just prior to the novel's publication.

Author: Sinclair Lewis
Harry Sinclair Lewis (February 7, 1885 – January 10, 1951) was an American novelist, short-story writer, and playwright. In 1930, he became the first writer from the United States to receive the Nobel Prize in Literature, which was awarded "for his vigorous and graphic art of description and his ability to create, with wit and humor, new types of characters." His works are known for their insightful and critical views of American capitalism and materialism between the wars. He is also respected for his strong characterizations of modern working women. H. L. Mencken wrote of him, "[If] there was ever a novelist among us with an authentic call to the trade ... it is this red-haired tornado from the Minnesota wilds." He has been honored by the U.S. Postal Service with a postage stamp in the Great Americans series.
Book for June 13, 2018
Group 2
Artemis is a 2017 science fiction novel written by Andy Weir. The novel takes place in the late 2080s and is set in Artemis, the first and only city on the moon. It follows the life of porter and smuggler Jasmine "Jazz" Bashara as she gets caught up in a conspiracy for control of the city. The novel's audiobook is narrated by Rosario Dawson. Artemis is named after the Greek goddess of the moon, the sister of Apollo (namesake of the Apollo moon program).

Author: Andy Weir
Andrew Taylor Weir (born June 16, 1972)is an American novelist whose debut novel, The Martian, was later adapted into a film of the same name directed by Ridley Scott in 2015. He also worked as a computer programmer for much of his life. He received the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer in 2016.
Book for July 11, 2018
Group 2
Manhattan Beach
Manhattan Beach
The long-awaited novel from the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of A Visit from the Goon Squad, Manhattan Beach opens in Brooklyn during the Great Depression. Anna Kerrigan, nearly twelve years old, accompanies her father to the house of a man who, she gleans, is crucial to the survival of her father and her family. Anna observes the uniformed servants, the lavishing of toys on the children, and some secret pact between her father and Dexter Styles.

Years later, her father has disappeared and the country is at war. Anna works at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, where women are allowed to hold jobs that had always belonged to men. She becomes the first female diver, the most dangerous and exclusive of occupations, repairing the ships that will help America win the war. She is the sole provider for her mother, a farm girl who had a brief and glamorous career as a Ziegfield folly, and her lovely, severely disabled sister. At a night club, she chances to meet Styles, the man she visited with her father before he vanished, and she begins to understand the complexity of her father’s life, the reasons he might have been murdered.

Mesmerizing, hauntingly beautiful, with the pace and atmosphere of a noir thriller and a wealth of detail about organized crime, the merchant marine and the clash of classes in New York, Egan’s first historical novel is a masterpiece, a deft, startling, intimate exploration of a transformative moment in the lives of women and men, America and the world. Manhattan Beach is a magnificent novel by one of the greatest writers of our time.

Author: Jennifer Egan
Jennifer Egan (born September 7, 1962) is an American novelist and short story writer who lives in Clinton Hill, Brooklyn. Egan's novel A Visit from the Goon Squad won the 2011 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and National Book Critics Circle Award for fiction. As of 28 February 2018, she is the President of the PEN America Center.
Book for September 12, 2018
Group 2
Conversations with Friends
Conversations with Friends
by Sally Rooney
A sharply intelligent novel about friendship, lust, jealousy, and the unexpected complications of adulthood in the 21st century. Frances is a cool-headed and darkly observant young woman, vaguely pursuing a career in writing while studying in Dublin. Her best friend and comrade-in-arms is the beautiful and endlessly self-possessed Bobbi. At a local poetry performance one night, Frances and Bobbi catch the eye of Melissa, a well-known photographer, and as the girls are then gradually drawn into Melissa's world, Frances is reluctantly impressed by the older woman's sophisticated home and tall, handsome husband, Nick. However amusing and ironic Frances and Nick¿s flirtation seems at first, it gives way to a strange intimacy, and Frances¿s friendship with Bobbi begins to fracture. As Frances tries to keep her life in check, her relationships increasingly resist her control: with Nick, with her difficult and unhappy father, and finally, terribly, with Bobbi. Desperate to reconcile her inner life to the desires and vulnerabilities of her body, Frances's intellectual certainties begin to yield to something new: a painful and disorienting way of living from moment to moment. Written with gem-like precision and marked by a sly sense of humor, Conversations with Friends is wonderfully alive to the pleasures and dangers of youth, and the messy edges of female friendship

Author: Sally Rooney
Sally Rooney was born in 1991 and lives in Dublin, where she graduated from Trinity College. Her work has appeared in Granta, The Dublin Review, The White Review, The Stinging Fly, and the Winter Pages anthology.