Forthcoming books

Book for October 5, 2022
Gravel Heart
Review of Gravel Heart in The Guardian newspaper
Abdulrazak Gurnah
(born 20 December 1948) is a Tanzanian-born British novelist and academic. He was born in the Sultanate of Zanzibar and moved to the United Kingdom in the 1960s as a refugee during the Zanzibar Revolution. His novels include Paradise (1994), Desertion (2005), and By the Sea (2001).

Gurnah was awarded the 2021 Nobel Prize in Literature "for his uncompromising and compassionate penetration of the effects of colonialism and the fates of the refugee in the gulf between cultures and continents". He is Emeritus Professor of English and Postcolonial Literatures at the University of Kent.

Book for October 14, 2022
Black Cake
We can’t choose what we inherit. But can we choose who we become? In present-day California, Eleanor Bennett’s death leaves behind a puzzling inheritance for her two children, Byron and Benny: a black cake, made from a family recipe with a long history, and a voice recording. In her message, Eleanor shares a tumultuous story about a headstrong young swimmer who escapes her island home under suspicion of murder. The heartbreaking tale Eleanor unfolds, the secrets she still holds back, and the mystery of a long-lost child challenge everything the siblings thought they knew about their lineage and themselves. Can Byron and Benny reclaim their once-close relationship, piece together Eleanor’s true history, and fulfill her final request to “share the black cake when the time is right”? Will their mother’s revelations bring them back together or leave them feeling more lost than ever? Charmaine Wilkerson’s debut novel is a story of how the inheritance of betrayals, secrets, memories, and even names can shape relationships and history. Deeply evocative and beautifully written, Black Cake is an extraordinary journey through the life of a family changed forever by the choices of its matriarch.
Charmaine Wilkerson
Charmaine Wilkerson is from New York, has lived in Jamaica, and does much of her writing in Italy. Her debut novel Black Cake is a New York Times bestseller and a #ReadWithJenna book club pick. A screen series based on the novel is currently under development for Hulu. Charmaine is a former US news and communication professional whose award-winning short fiction has appeared in various anthologies and magazines.
Book for October 19, 2022
Very Cold People
For Ruthie, the frozen town of Waitsfield, Massachusetts, is all she has ever known. Once home to the country's oldest and most illustrious families--the Cabots, the Lowells: the "first, best people"--by the tail end of the twentieth century, it is an unforgiving place awash with secrets. Forged in this frigid landscape Ruthie has been dogged by feelings of inadequacy her whole life. Hers is no picturesque New England childhood but one of swap meets and factory seconds and powdered milk. Shame blankets her like the thick snow that regularly buries nearly everything in Waitsfield. As she grows older, Ruthie slowly learns how the town's prim facade conceals a deeper, darker history, and how silence often masks a legacy of harm--from the violence that runs down the family line to the horrors endured by her high school friends, each suffering a fate worse than the last. For Ruthie, Waitsfield is a place to be survived, and a girl like her would be lucky to get out alive.
Sarah Manguso
Sarah Manguso (born 1974) is an American writer and poet. In 2007, she was awarded the Joseph Brodsky Rome Prize Fellowship in literature by the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Her memoir The Two Kinds of Decay (2008), was named an "Editors’ Choice" title by the New York Times Sunday Book Review and a 2008 "Best Nonfiction Book of the Year" by the San Francisco Chronicle] Her book Ongoingness: The End of a Diary (2015) was also named a New York Times "Editors’ Choice." Her debut novel, Very Cold People, was published by Penguin in 2022.
Book for November 2, 2022
Mario and the Magician
was first published in 1930. The novella is a parable on the power of the demagogue before the background of rising fascism at the time of publication.

The narrator describes a trip by his family to the fictional seaside town of Torre di Venere, Italy (a fictional town based on the touristic city of Forte dei Marmi). It becomes unpleasant, partly because he finds the Italian people to be too nationalistic. The family attends a performance by a magician and hypnotist named Cipolla, who uses his mental powers in a fascist way to control his audience. Cipolla represents the mesmerizing power of authoritarian leaders in Europe at the time — he is autocratic, misuses power, and is able to subjugate the crowd, counterbalancing his inferiority complex by artificially boosting his self-confidence. Cipolla's assassination by Mario, a native of Torre di Venere, is not a tragedy but a liberation for the audience.

Thomas Mann

(6 June 1875 – 12 August 1955) was a German novelist, short story writer, social critic, philanthropist, essayist, and the 1929 Nobel Prize in Literature laureate. His highly symbolic and ironic epic novels and novellas are noted for their insight into the psychology of the artist and the intellectual. His analysis and critique of the European and German soul used modernized versions of German and Biblical stories, as well as the ideas of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Friedrich Nietzsche, and Arthur Schopenhauer.

Mann emigrated to Switzerland in 1933 and to the USA in 1939. From October 1940 onwards his monthly speeches condemning the Nazis were broadcast by the BBC in German. Mann returned to Europe in 1952 and lived in Switzerland until his death.

Book for November 11, 2022
Who Is Maud Dixon?
Florence Darrow has always felt she was destined for greatness, but after a disastrous affair with her married boss, she starts to doubt herself. All that changes when she sets off for Morocco with her new boss, the celebrated but reclusive author Maud Dixon. Amidst the colorful streets of Marrakesh and the wind-swept beaches of the coast, Florence begins to feel she’s leading the sort of interesting, cosmopolitan life she deserves. But when she wakes up in the hospital after a terrible car accident, with no memory of the previous night—and no sign of Maud—a dangerous idea begins to take form. . .
Alexandra Andrews
Alexandra Andrews has worked as a journalist, editor, and copywriter in New York and Paris. Her first book, Who Is Maud Dixon?, was named a best mystery novel of the year by The New York Times and a best book of the year by TIME, NPR, Publishers Weekly, and others. She lives with her husband and children in Brooklyn, where she is currently working on her second novel.