Book Group Crystal Ball #PLA12 (part two)

PLA looms on my horizon and I know that I will come home with more books destined to be book group favorites later this year or next. Here are three that I felt had plenty of potential.

A Lady Cyclist’s Guide to Kashgar is the debut novel from Suzanne Joinson. It’s a story told in two parts, the first in present day London, the second almost one hundred years previous. Frieda returns home one evening to find a man sleeping outside her door. He is Tayeb, an artist from Yemen and the two become friends and caretakers of a rescued owl. In 1923, Lizzie and Eva travel China’s ancient Silk Road to the city of Kashgar. Both are missionaries, but Eva is also taking notes for a book she plans to write. Eva gets to observe more of the Eastern culture than she expected when she and her sister are charged with the murder of a mother who died in childbirth. The setting and time period will fascinate fans of historical fiction. This book is being compared to Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand and The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, two other recent book group favorites.

Readers who enjoy tensely plotted literary fiction with realistic and flawed characters facing extraordinary circumstances will find The Good Father by Noah Hawley a good match for their book group. A content and comfortable doctor turns on the television news one evening to learn that his oldest son from his first marriage has been arrested for shooting a Democratic presidential hopeful. Dr. Paul Allen is now on an anguished journey to learn how his son, Daniel, could do such a thing. Fans of psychological domestic dramas by Lionel Shriver, Jodi Picoult, or Chris Bohjalian should give this novel a try.

How about a classic like Treasure Island!!! by Sara Levine? Not quite the swashbuckling story as that of Long John Silver and Jim Hawkins, but adventuresome just the same. An aimless college graduate decides to reshape her life based on the tenets of Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic. She is courageous, resolute, and she will learn to blow a horn. And she hopes no one minds if her mother, sister, and a balky parrot join her on this quirky life journey. Don’t be fooled into thinking this debut is a memoir. It’s fiction. Consider pairing with the children’s classic of the same name and see what happens.




About the Author:

Kaite Mediatore Stover refuses to give up her day job as director of readers' services for The Kansas City Public Library to read tarot cards professionally or be the merch girl/roadie for her husband's numerous bands. Follow her on Twitter at @MarianLiberryan.

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