An Atmospheric Afternoon:
Five authors of must-read novels!
Saturday October 10, 2015
2:00 – 4:00 pm
Books, Inc., Opera Plaza
601 Van Ness Ave., SF 94107
FREE and Open to the Public
Come meet our authors as they discuss their captivating novels over wine and snacks catered by Max’s Opera Cafe. Giveaway raffle of all books presented. Free paperback and resources for Book Clubs, along with Great Group Reads featured titles. Moderated by Julia Park Tracey.
Co-sponsored by LITQUAKE!
Carolina De Robertis, The Gods of Tango (Knopf)
Seventeen-year-old, Leda, clutching her father’s cherished violin, leaves her small Italian village for a new home (and husband) in Argentina. Upon her arrival, Leda finds that her bridegroom has been killed. Unable to fathom the idea of returning home, she remains, living in a commune on the brink of destitution. She finally acts on a passion: mastering the violin. Leda is seduced by the music that underscores life in Buenos Aires: tango, born from lower-class immigrants, now the illicit dance of brothels and cabarets.
Knowing that she can never play in public as a woman, Leda cuts off her hair, binds her breasts, and as a man, joins musicians bent on bringing tango into the salons of high society. Eventually, the lines between Leda and her disguise will blur, and feelings that she has long kept suppressed will reveal themselves, jeopardizing not only her music career, but her life itself.
Kelli Estes, The Girl Who Wrote in Silk (Sourcebooks)
A scrap of silk will reach across a century to reveal a forgotten woman’s tragedy and threaten a powerful family.
In 1886, Mei Lien is washed up on Orcas Island, the lone survivor of a cruel purge of the Chinese from Seattle. She is determined to tell her heartbreaking story the only way she knows how: through needle and thread. A century later Inara Erickson, enlisting the help of a local professor, uncovers details in Mei Lien’s delicate stitching that could have far-reaching repercussions for her own life. Should she bring shame to her family and risk everything by telling the truth, or tell no one and dishonor Mei Lien’s memory? The Girl Who Wrote in Silk is a brilliant debut novel that is atmospheric and beautifully written, and serves as a poignant tale of the importance of our own stories.
Kathryn Ma, The Year She Left Us (HarperCollins)
The Kong women are in crisis. A trip to visit her “home” orphanage in China has plunged eighteen-year-old Ari into a self-destructive spiral. Her adoptive mother, Charlie, a lawyer with a great heart, works to keep her daughter safe. Meanwhile, Charlie must endure the prickly scrutiny of her beautiful, Bryn Mawr-educated mother, Gran—who, as the daughter of a Chinese doctor, came to America to survive Mao’s Revolution—and her sister, Les, a judge with a penchant for ruling over everyone’s lives.
As they cope with Ari’s journey of discovery and its aftermath, the women will come face-to-face with the truths of their lives—four powerful, intertwining stories of accomplishment, tenacity, secrets, loneliness, and love. Beautifully illuminating the bonds of family and blood, The Year She Left Us explores the promise and pain of adoption, the price of assimilation and achievement, the debt we owe to others, and to ourselves.
Janis Cooke Newman, A Master Plan for Rescue (Riverhead)
Set in 1942 New York and Berlin, A Master Plan for Rescue is the story of a child who loses his father to an accident and his mother to her resulting grief, and about a young man who stumbles into the romance of his life, then watches her decline, changing the arc of his future. Each is propelled by the belief that if he acts heroically, it will restore some part of what—or whom—he has lost.
When the boy and man meet, their combined grief and magical thinking inspires them to join forces and act in their memory, doing something that might actually bring their loved ones back, even if only in spirit. A beautiful tale, propelled by history and imagination, that suggests people’s impact upon the world doesn’t necessarily end with their lives, and that, to some degree, we are the sum of the stories we tell.
Lucy Sanna, The Cherry Harvest |(William Morrow)
The war has taken a toll on the Christiansens. With food rationed and money scarce, Charlotte struggles to keep her family fed. Her teenage daughter, Kate, raises rabbits to earn money for college and dreams of becoming a writer. Her husband, Thomas, struggles to keep the farm going while their son, Ben, fights in Europe.
When their cherry harvest is threatened, Charlotte persuades authorities to allow German war prisoners from a nearby camp to pick the fruit. Thomas befriends a prisoner, a teacher named Karl, and invites him to tutor Kate. Charlotte finds herself drawn to Karl, and both she and Thomas fail to see that Kate is becoming a young woman, with temptations of her own—including a secret romance with the son of a wealthy, war-profiteering senator. When their Ben returns home, bitter and injured, bearing an intense hatred of Germans, Charlotte’s secrets threaten to explode their world.
Moderator, Julia Park Tracey, WNBA Member, is an award-winning journalist, blogger and poet; she is the Poet Laureate of Alameda, CA. She has written for Salon, Paste, The Mid and Quill, and is a regular contributor to Sweatpants & Coffee, East Bay Monthly, and Oakland Magazine. www.juliaparktracey.com.
Hosted by Books, Inc., Opera Plaza, and National Reading Group Month!
National Reading Group Month 2015 Official Sponsors and Friends
2015 Silver Sponsors
Hogarth—An imprint of The Crown Publishing Group
Sourcebooks—An Independent Vision*
2015 Bronze Sponsors
2015 Friends of National Reading Group Month
Baker & Taylor—The Future Delivered
The Booklist Reader (Booklist, American Library Association)
Edelweiss (Above the Treeline, Inc.)
Net Galley — Feed Your Readers
Reading Group Choices — Selections for lively book discussion
Reading Group Guides — The online community for reading groups