Ginger's Backlist Picks
The Jane Austen Book Club

The Jane Austen Book Club

I loved this when I read it, but it didn't get terribly great reviews (although as we all know, good reviews aren't always an indicator of a great reading experience). But I felt vindicated when author Karen Joy Fowler won the PEN award for a later work and everyone came rushing back to read this "chick lit" with heft. Why this would be great for book clubs: Come on, book club is in the title! But ok ok, the real reason this would be great for discussion is the various men and women in the story are all at such different places in their life—young and old, married and single, new to Jane Austen and life-long lovers of her works. There's bound to be a character everyone relates to, and that can make for a great starting point in any book club discussion--what makes a character tick, why they made the choices they did, where they mirror the classic Austen characters, and so on. Plus, there's a movie, so you can make it a two-parter book club night! More info →
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Machines Like Me

Machines Like Me

I'm on record as saying I'll read anything Ian McEwan writes. His stories are always thought-provoking and haunting. None more so than Machines Like Me. First of all, that cover. Second, you never quite know what's real and what's not with McEwan's narrators. The ambiguity always makes for a page-turner, and when one turns that final page, I always find myself wanting to start back at the beginning and read again to see what I missed. Why this would be great for book clubs: Talk about artificial intelligence. Need I say more? More info →
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With the Fire on High

With the Fire on High

I binge read everything Acevedo has written last year (seemingly with the rest of the world), but this is my favorite of hers. Good luck reading this and not being hungry the whole time, but the good news is those would make for great book club snacks. How Acevedo packed this much depth into a book that's this much fun, I'll never know. Why this would be great for book clubs: so much to talk about... teen pregnancy, the college vs. trade debate, intergenerational relationships, class and travel. More info →
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The Fire Next Time

The Fire Next Time

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 read this in May, right around the gut-wrenching death of George Floyd and 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. More info →
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