August in Texas is hot. How hot?
So hot the hens are laying hard-boiled eggs.
Hot as a billy goat in a pepper patch.
Hotter than a fur coat in Marfa.
That’s how hot, and I’m not even talking about the heat index. But don’t let your book club wilt in the summer sun! There are books to be read, characters to inhabit, authors to laud! So grab a glass of iced tea, with or without the requisite amount of sugar, and get reading.
Hot New Paperback Releases
A Bollywood Affair, by Sonali Dev (304 pages)
Indulge the romantics in your group with this intricate love story, which earned a well-deserved Starred Kirkus Review.
Mili Rathod hasn’t seen her husband in twenty years-not since she was promised to him at the age of four. Yet marriage has allowed Mili a freedom rarely given to girls in her village. Her grandmother has even allowed her to leave India and study in America. Bollywood’s favorite director, Samir Rathod, has come to Michigan to secure a divorce for his older brother. But Mili is neither a fool nor a gold-digger. And before he can stop himself, Samir is immersed in Mili’s life-cooking her dal and rotis, escorting her to her roommate’s elaborate Indian wedding, and wondering where his loyalties and happiness lie.
Infinite Home, by Kathleen Alcott (336 pages)
This novel introduces a cast of incredible characters, who create a profound and unique definition of family and home.
A beautifully wrought story of an ad hoc family and the crisis they must overcome together. Edith is a widowed landlady who rents apartments in her Brooklyn brownstone to an unlikely collection of humans, all deeply in need of shelter. Crippled in various ways—in spirit, in mind, in body, in heart—the renters struggle to navigate daily existence, and soon come to realize that Edith’s deteriorating mind, and the menacing presence of her estranged, unscrupulous son, Owen, is the greatest challenge they must confront together.
Negroland: A Memoir, by Margo Jefferson (272 pages)
2015 Festival author Margo Jefferson beautifully and poignantly reminds us of the multiplicity of experiences within privilege, memoir, and race in America.
Pulitzer Prize–winning cultural critic Margo Jefferson was born in 1947 into upper-crust black Chicago. Her father was head of pediatrics at Provident Hospital, while her mother was a socialite. Negroland’s pedigree dates back generations, having originated with antebellum free blacks who made their fortunes among the plantations of the South. At once incendiary and icy, mischievous and provocative, celebratory and elegiac, Negroland is a landmark work on privilege, discrimination, and the fallacy of post-racial America.
Texas author Dagoberto Gilb won the Texas Book Festival’s Bookend Award in 2007, and for this month’s favorite, we are pulling out these exquisite short stories by Gilb.
The pieces come in the wake of a stroke Gilb suffered at his home in Austin, Texas, in 2009, and a majority of the stories were written over his many months of recovery. The result is a powerful and triumphant book that tackles common themes of existence and identity and describes the American experience in a raw, authentic vernacular unique to Gilb.
Thank you to everyone who shared what their book clubs are reading, including Adam by Ariel Schrag, Ready Player One by Ernest Cline, and The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. We would love to hear what you think about these books, and what you’re reading! Find us on Facebook and Instagram and tell us about your book club.