From the publisher: "In California's central valley, five women and one man join to discuss Jane Austen's novels. Over the six months they get together, marriages are tested, unsuitable arrangements become suitable, and love happens. With her eye for the frailties of human behavior and her ear for the absurdities of social intercourse, Karen Joy Fowler has never been wittier nor her characters more appealing. The result is a delicious dissection of modern relationships. Dedicated Austenites will delight in unearthing the echoes of Austen that run through the novel, but most readers will simply enjoy the vision and voice that, despite two centuries of separation, unite two great writers of brilliant social comedy."
- by Ian McEwan
From the publisher: "Machines Like Me takes place in an alternative 1980s London. Britain has lost the Falklands War, Margaret Thatcher battles Tony Benn for power, and Alan Turing achieves a breakthrough in artificial intelligence. Charlie, drifting through life and dodging full-time employment, is in love with Miranda, a bright student who lives with a terrible secret. When Charlie comes into money, he buys Adam, one of the first synthetic humans and—with Miranda's help—he designs Adam's personality. The near-perfect human that emerges is beautiful, strong, and clever, and these three beings confront a profound moral dilemma. In his subversive new novel, Ian McEwan asks whether a machine can understand the human heart—or whether we are the ones who lack understanding."
Seventeen-year old single mother Emoni has always been told she has a magical touch in the kitchen. She dreams of a career as a chef but she doesn't have the time or money for her school's new culinary arts class, not if she's going to still be able to work part-time and provide for her child. She's torn in a lot of directions but her passion for food is clear. Told in stunning prose, this novel captured my heart—and made me want to bake! Acevedo creates fabulous characters to root for, and you'll be cheering for Emoni as you listen.
While reading this, I kept having to check and recheck myself to make sure this really was published in the 1960s. It's tragically timely. I was utterly stopped in my tracks to read this line: "It demands great spiritual resilience not to hate the hater whose foot is on your neck...” This book is slim, but don't let its length fool you. Its heft comes when you find yourself still thinking of it days and months later. Why this would be great for book clubs: If your book club isn't one to shy away from hard discussions, there's plenty to talk about here. First published in 1963, there is so much to break down about concerning what progress has been made when it comes to civil rights, and sadly, how much is still the same.