January Book Club

Welcome to 2017! Maybe your reading resolutions sound something like. . .

  • Read more.
  • Read more nonfiction.
  • Read more local authors.
  • Read more women.
  • Read more authors of color.
  • Read the classics I never read but say I did (Moby Dick)
  • Actually read every book for my book club, and go prepared ready to discuss with thoughtful and provoking questions.

If you have any book-related resolutions, share them with us on Facebook and Instagram! Maybe it’s to finish writing your own book! Whatever it is, good luck, and here are a few selections to start your year out.


New Paperback Releases!


Good as Gone by Amy Gentry (288 pages)

2016 Festival author Amy Gentry’s thriller will keep you on the edge january-book-club-collageof your seat, plus this debut novelist is based right here in Austin, Texas! If you liked Gone Girl and The Girl on the Train, this is an excellent next choice.

Thirteen-year-old Julie Whitaker was kidnapped from her bedroom in the middle of the night, witnessed only by her younger sister. Her family was shattered, but managed to stick together, hoping against hope that Julie is still alive. And then one night: the doorbell rings. A young woman who appears to be Julie is finally, miraculously, home safe. The family is ecstatic—but Anna, Julie’s mother, has whispers of doubts.



Quicksand by Henning Mankell (320 pages)

Prolific and celebrated author Henning Mankell is well-known for his Kurt Wallander series, which were adapted into a PBS series starring Kenneth Branagh. Mankell died in 2015, but leaves behind a rich oeuvre of novels including this introspective memoir.



We Love You, Charlie Freeman by Kaitlyn Greenidge (352 pages)

In case you missed it, 2016 Festival author Kaitlyn Greenidge shared a panel with Jacqueline Woodson as they discussed cultural unity and overcoming institutionalized racism. It’s not too late to read Greenidge’s debut novel!

This shattering novel is filled with storytelling sleight of hand. What appears to be a story of mothers and daughters, of sisterhood put to the test, of adolescent love and grown-up misconduct, and of history’s long reach, becomes a provocative and compelling exploration of America’s failure to find a language to talk about race.


TBF Favorite

Jacob the Mutant by Mario Bellatin (156 pages)

Mario Bellatin is a prolific Mexican writer, and this novella translated by Jacob Sternberg is an excellent introduction to Bellatin’s work, complete with illustrated maps by Zsu Szkurka.

Conceived of as a set of fragmentary manuscripts from an unpublished Joseph Roth novel, Mario Bellatin’s Jacob the Mutant is a novella in a perpetual state of transformation—a story about a man named Jacob, an ersatz rabbi and the owner of a roadside tavern. But when reality shifts, so does Jacob, mutating into another person entirely, while the novella mutates into another story.


Share what your book club is reading on Facebook and Instagram!