January 8, February 12, March 12, April 9, May 14, June 11
January – June 2018
January 8th: Swimming Home by Deborah Levy
A subversively brilliant study of love, Swimming Home reveals how the most devastating secrets are the ones we keep from ourselves. This short but extraordinary novel takes place in the south of France, where two English couples and one’s teenage daughter are sharing a vacation home. One day a woman, Kitty Finch, emerges naked from the swimming pool and becomes the force field shaping the couples’ actions and those of the few secondary characters for the succeeding week.
February 12th: The Flamethrowers by Rachel Kushner
Reno, so-called because of the place of her birth, comes to New York intent on turning her fascination with motorcycles and speed into art. Her arrival coincides with an explosion of activity—artists colonize a deserted and industrial SoHo, stage actions in the East Village, blur the line between life and art. Reno is submitted to a sentimental education of sorts—by dreamers, poseurs, and raconteurs in New York and by radicals in Italy, where she goes with her lover to meet his estranged and formidable family.
March 12th: A Spool of Blue Thread by Anne Tyler
The Whitshanks are one of those families that radiate an indefinable kind of specialness, but like all families, their stories reveal only part of the picture: Abby and Red and their four grown children have accumulated not only tender moments, laughter, and celebrations, but also jealousies, disappointments, and carefully guarded secrets. From Red’s parents, newly arrived in Baltimore in the 1920s, to the grandchildren carrying the Whitshank legacy boisterously into the twenty-first century, here are four generations of lives unfolding in and around the sprawling, lovingly worn house that has always been their anchor.
April 9th: Mistress of Spices by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni
Tilo is an immigrant from India, and a shopkeeper. The spices which she gives to her customers help them to satisfy their needs and desires. Her life changes when she falls in love with an American man.
May 14th: Home by Marilynne Robinson
Reverend Boughton's hell-raising son has come home after twenty years away. Artful and devious in his youth, now an alcoholic carrying two decades worth of secrets, he is perpetually at odds with his traditionalist father. As Jack tries to make peace with his father, he begins to forge an intense bond with his sister, Glory, herself returning home with a broken heart and turbulent past.
June 11th: The Great Fire, by Shirley Hazard