Carol Olson, who hosts the Pageturners Book Club at Peninsula Community Library, has released a list of the upcoming books we’ll be reading through September. Right now, we’re just finishing up “I’ll Be Your Blue Sky” by Marisa De Los Santos (I really like it), and we’ll be discussing this book on Thursday, April 18, 6:30 p.m. at the library.
Pageturners Book Club is a really fun, no-stress time to get together and talk books with other book-lovers. The library supplies the books, so you don’t need to buy them (although I’ve included Amazon affiliate links below in case you’d like to buy them – if you do, I get a small percentage of each sale).
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Also, Carol always has yummy snacks themed to whatever book we’re reading. I always look forward to seeing what she’ll come up with.
I joined the book club this year as a way to get myself reading more books, and mission accomplished! (Although I confess sometimes I finish the book the day OF book club, but it’s all good.)
Here are the upcoming books we’ll be reading through September, along with the descriptions from Amazon. Join us!
MAY: “Bleak Harbor” by Bryan Gruley
Summertime in Bleak Harbor means tourists, overpriced restaurants, and the Dragonfly Festival. One day before the much-awaited and equally chaotic celebration, Danny Peters, the youngest member of the family that founded the town five generations ago, disappears.
When Danny’s mother, Carey, and stepfather, Pete, receive a photo of their brilliant, autistic, and socially withdrawn son tied to a chair, they fear the worst. But there’s also more to the story. Someone is sending them ominous texts and emails filled with information no one else should have. Could the secrets they’ve kept hidden – even from one another – have led to Danny’s abduction?
As pressure from the kidnapper mounts, Carey and Pete must face their own ugly mistakes to find their son before he’s taken from them forever.
JUNE: “One Shot at Forever” by Chris Ballard
Buy “One Shot at Forever” on Amazon here.
In 1971, a small-town high school baseball team from rural Illinois playing with hand-me-down uniforms and peace signs on their hats defied convention and the odds. Led by an English teacher with no coaching experience, the Macon Ironmen emerged from a field of 370 teams to represent the smallest school in Illinois history to make the state final, a distinction that still stands.
There, sporting long hair and warming up to Jesus Christ Superstar, the Ironmen would play a dramatic game against a Chicago powerhouse that would change their lives forever.
In this gripping, cinematic narrative, Sports Illustrated writer Chris Ballard tells the story of the team and its coach, Lynn Sweet, a hippie, dreamer and intellectual who arrived in Macon in 1966, bringing progressive ideas to a town stuck in the Eisenhower era. Beloved by students but not administration, Sweet reluctantly took over the ragtag team, intent on teaching the boys as much about life as baseball.
JULY: “Sold on a Monday” by Kristina McMorris
Buy “Sold on a Monday” on Amazon here.
“2 CHILDREN FOR SALE”
The sign is a last resort. It sits on a farmhouse porch in 1931, but could be found anywhere in an era of breadlines, bank runs and broken dreams. It could have been written by any mother facing impossible choices.
For struggling reporter Ellis Reed, the gut-wrenching scene evokes memories of his family’s dark past. He snaps a photograph of the children, not meant for publication. But when it leads to his big break, the consequences are more devastating than he ever imagined.
At the paper, Lillian Palmer is haunted by her role in all that happened. She is far too familiar with the heartbreak of children deemed unwanted. As the bonds of motherhood are tested, she and Ellis must decide how much they are willing to risk to mend a fractured family.
Inspired by an actual newspaper photograph that stunned the nation, “Sold on a Monday” is a powerful novel of love, redemption, and the unexpected paths that bring us home.
AUGUST: “A Gentleman in Moscow” by Amor Towles
Buy “A Gentleman in Moscow” on Amazon here.
In 1922, Count Alexander Rostov is deemed an unrepentant aristocrat by a Bolshevik tribunal, and is sentenced to house arrest in the Metropol, a grand hotel across the street from the Kremlin.
Rostov, an indomitable man of erudition and wit, has never worked a day in his life, and must now live in an attic room while some of the most tumultuous decades in Russian history are unfolding outside the hotel’s doors. Unexpectedly, his reduced circumstances provide him entry into a much larger world of emotional discovery.
Brimming with humor, a glittering cast of characters, and one beautifully rendered scene after another, this singular novel casts a spell as it relates the count’s endeavor to gain a deeper understanding of what it means to be a man of purpose.
SEPTEMBER: “Hard Cider” by Barbara Stark-Nemone
Buy “Hard Cider” on Amazon here.
Abbie Rose Stone’s acquired wisdom runs deep, and so do her scars. She has successfully navigated the shoals of a long marriage, infertility, challenging children, and a career. Now it’s her turn to realize her dream: producing hard apple cider along the northern shores of Lake Michigan that she loves.
She manages to resist new versions of the old pull of family dynamics that threaten to derail her plan – but nothing can protect her from the shock a lovely young stranger delivers when she exposes a long-held secret.
In the wake of this revelation, Abbie must overcome circumstances that severely test her self-determination, her loyalties, and her understanding of what constitutes true family.
A NOTE FROM JANE: I started Old Mission Gazette in 2015 because I felt a calling to provide the Old Mission Peninsula community with local news. After decades of writing for newspapers like the New York Times and Los Angeles Times, and magazines like Family Circle and Ladies' Home Journal, I really just wanted to write about my own community where I grew up on a cherry farm and raised my own family. So of course, I started my own newspaper. Because the Gazette is mainly reader-supported, I hope you'll consider tossing a few bucks my way if I mention your event, your business, your organization or your news item, or if you simply love reading about what's happening on the Old Mission Peninsula. Check out the donation page here. Thank you so much for your support. -jb