Each year the New Westminster Public Library chooses titles to purchase in book club sets – multiple copies of the same title so all book club members can read it at the same time. The library runs its own monthly book club and also makes sets available to any book club that wishes to use them.
For 2020/2021, we want your input to help us choose titles we purchase as book club sets. You can join us at New West City Reads, or read the books with your own book club. After reading about the choices below, (links take you to NWPL catalogue descriptions), cast your vote in our online survey for your 6 favourites.
(open until July 15 only)
- Circling the Sun by Paula McLain: “Set against the majestic landscape of early-twentieth-century Africa, this powerful tale reveals the extraordinary adventures of a woman before her time, the exhilaration of freedom and its cost, and the tenacity of the human spirit.”
- Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead: “As Whitehead brilliantly re-creates the unique terrors for black people in the pre-Civil War era, his narrative seamlessly weaves the saga of America from the brutal importation of Africans to the unfulfilled promises of the present day.”
- Hillbilly Elegy by JD Vance: Hillbilly Elegy “tells the true story of what a social, regional, and class decline feels like when you were born with it hung around your neck.”
- Loving Frank by Nancy Horan: In this historical fiction about Frank Lloyd Wright’s affair, the author “weaves little-known facts into a compelling narrative, vividly portraying the conflicts and struggles of a woman forced to choose between the roles of mother, wife, lover, and intellectual.”
- Our Endless Numbered Days by Claire Fuller: A survivalist father kidnaps his daughter and convinces her they are the only two people left on earth.
- Moccasin Square Gardens by Richard Van Camp: “These stories are filled with in-laws, outlaws and common-laws. Get ready for illegal wrestling moves, pinky promises, a doctored casino, extraterrestrials, love, lust and prayers for peace.”
- Crow Winter by Karen McBride: “What would you do if you found yourself in contact with the trickster demigod that you heard stories about growing up? What would you do if you found out that you could contact the Spiritual world, and cross between through memories and dreams?”
- Small Game Hunting at the Local Coward Gun Club by Megan Coles: “A blistering Newfoundland Gothic for the twenty-first century, a wholly original, bracing, and timely portrait of a place in the throes of enormous change, where two women confront the traumas of their past in an attempt to overcome the present and to pick up a future.”
- Frying Plantain by Zalika Reid-Benta: “A rich and unforgettable portrait of growing up between worlds, Frying Plantain shows how, in one charged moment, friendship and love can turn to enmity and hate, well-meaning protection can become control, and teasing play can turn to something much darker.”
- Educated by Tara Westover: “Tara Westover was seventeen the first time she set foot in a classroom. Born to survivalists in the mountains of Idaho, she prepared for the end of the world by stockpiling home-canned peaches and sleeping with her “head-for-the-hills bag.”
- Aria by Nazanine Hozar: “This extraordinary, gripping debut is a rags-to-riches-to-revolution tale about an orphan girl’s coming-of-age in Iran – an Iranian Doctor Zhivago.”
- Bina by Anakana Schofield: “My name is Bina and I’m a very busy woman. That’s Bye-na, not Beena. I don’t know who Beena is but I expect she’s having a happy life. And I don’t know who you are, or the state of your life. But if you’ve come this way to listen to me, your life will undoubtedly get worse. I’m here to warn you …”
- Dead Wake by Erik Larson: The sinking of the Lusitania “is a story that many of us think we know but don’t, and Erik Larson tells it thrillingly, switching between hunter and hunted while painting a larger portrait of America at the height of the Progressive Era.”
- Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows by Balli Kaur Jaswell: ” A lively, sexy, and thought-provoking East-meets-West story about community, friendship, and women’s lives at all ages.”
- Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller: “A thrilling, profoundly moving, and utterly unique retelling of the legend of Achilles and the Trojan War. A tale of gods, kings, immortal fame, and the human heart, The Song of Achilles is a dazzling literary feat that brilliantly reimagines Homer’s enduring masterwork, The Iliad.”
- Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer: “Drawing on her life as an Indigenous scientist, and as a woman, Kimmerer shows how other living beings–asters and goldenrod, strawberries and squash, salamanders, algae, and sweetgrass–offer us gifts and lessons, even if we’ve forgotten how to hear their voices.”
- This Place: 150 Years Retold: A graphic novel anthology, “beautifully illustrated, these stories are an emotional and enlightening journey through magic realism, serial killings, psychic battles, and time travel. See how Indigenous peoples have survived a post-apocalyptic world since Contact.”
- Recursion by Blake Crouch: “Investigating a suicide, New York City police officer Barry Sutton finds a connection to the outbreak of a memory-altering disease and a controversial neuroscientist working to preserve precious memories.”
- Killers of the Flower Moon by David Grann: “1920s Oklahoma. The richest people per capita in the world were members of the Osage Indian nation in Oklahoma after oil was discovered beneath their land. Then, one by one, the Osage began to be killed off.”
- The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. Le Guin: “A lone human ambassador is sent to the icebound planet of Winter, a world without sexual prejudice, where the inhabitants’ gender is fluid. His goal is to facilitate Winter’s inclusion in a growing intergalactic civilization. But to do so he must bridge the gulf between his own views and those of the strange, intriguing culture he encounters…”