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read with jenna Book Club Selections

I did the research so you won't have to!

Beginning March 2019, the former First Daughter announced her book club on the Today show.  Each month she shares a book she has enjoyed and is likely to spark discussion. Here's each selection, updated monthly. If I've read the book, the title will be BOLD; if I reviewed it, it will be BOLD PURPLE.

sam book cover.jpg

January 2023 - Sam by Allegra Goodman; 336 pages

What happens to a girl’s exuberance and wonder as she becomes a woman? This unforgettable portrait of coming-of-age offers a powerful reflection on class, addiction, parenthood, longing, and ambition.

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December 2022 - The Secret History by Donna Tartt; 559 pages

Under the influence of their charismatic classics professor, a group of clever, eccentric misfits at an elite New England college discover a way of thinking and living that is a world away from the humdrum existence of their contemporaries. But when they go beyond the boundaries of normal morality they slip gradually from obsession to corruption and betrayal, and at last—inexorably—into evil.

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November 2022 - The Cloisters by Katy Hays; 319 pages

A young woman moves to NYC to work for the Metropolitan Museum of Art and discovers a hidden magical tarot deck that might hold the key to knowing the future.  (on my TBR list)

October 2022 - The Whalebone Theatre by Joanna Quinn; 576 pages

A transporting, irresistible debut novel that takes its heroine, Cristabel Seagrave, from a theatre in the gargantuan cavity of a beached whale into undercover operations during World War II—a story of love, family, bravery, lost innocence, and self-transformation.

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September 2022 - Solito by Javier Zamora, 400 pages

A young poet tells the unforgettable story of his harrowing migration from El Salvador to the United States at the age of nine in this moving, page-turning memoir which provides an immediate and intimate account not only of a treacherous and near-impossible journey, but also of the miraculous kindness and love delivered at the most unexpected moments.    (added to my TBR)

the many daughters of afong moy book cover

August 2022 - The Many Daughters of Afong Moy by Jamie Ford, 384pages

A mom suffering from mental illness seeks experimental treatment to save her daughter from the same fate. A story about inherited trauma and how it follows for generations and mom discovers a stranger is searching for her in each time period.   (on my TBR)

dead romantics book cover

July 2022 - The Dead Romantics by Ashley Poston, 368pages

A ghost writer for a successful romance author has a terrible break up and gives up on love. When her dad dies suddenly and she returns to a town she hates, to a eccentric family she loves, and the family business of a funeral home, she meets - a ghost. And finds love.

transcendent kingdom book cover

August 2020 -  Transcendent Kingdom by Yaa Gyasi, 264 pages

Award winner, this book is a deeply moving portrait of a family of Ghanaian immigrants ravaged by depression and addiction and grief--a novel about faith, science, religion, love. Exquisitely written and emotionally searing.

here for it book cover

August 2020 -  Here For It by R. Eric Thomas, 264 pages

A Double Pick Month: a memoir in essays, this book explores the two worlds of his childhood: the barren urban landscape where his parents' house was an anomalous bright spot, and the verdant school they sent him to in white suburbia. He writes about struggling to reconcile his Christian identity with his sexuality and much more.

the comeback book cover

August 2020 -  The Comeback by Ella Berman, 378 pages

A Double Pick Month: This is a powerful and provocative story of justice in the #MeToo era—a true page-turner about a young woman actress finding the strength and power of her voice.

friends and strangers book cover

July 2020 -  Friends and Strangers by J Courtney Sullivan, 416 pages

An exploration of motherhood, power dynamics, and privilege in its many forms, this book reveals how a single year can shape the course of a life when a young college woman is hired to babysit for a new mom.

a burning book cover

June 2020 -  A Burning by Megha Majumdar, 304 pages

An electrifying debut novel about three unforgettable characters who seek to rise—to the middle class, to political power, to fame in the movies—and find their lives entangled in the wake of a catastrophe in contemporary India.

all adults here book cover

May 2020 - All Adults Here by Emma Straub, 356 pages

A deeply satisfying story about adult siblings, aging parents, high school boyfriends, middle school mean girls, the lifelong effects of birth order, and all the other things that follow us into adulthood

valentine book cover

April 2020 - Valentine by Elizabeth Wetmore, 320 pages

This debut novel explores the lingering effects of a brutal crime on the women of one small Texas oil town in the 1970s.

writers and lovers

March 2020 - Writers and Lovers by Lily King, 320 pages

A young woman is determined to succeed in living a creative life as works on a novel that's been in progress for six years. She's devasted by the loss of her mother and the end of a love affair. The challenges continue to come at her as she falls for two different men and find balance in her life.

girl with the louding voiced book cover

February 2020 - The Girl With the Louding Voice by Abi Dare`, 371 pages

The inspiring story of a teenage girl growing up in a rural Nigerian village who longs to get an education so she can speak for herself. She never loses sight of her goal and shows us how one courageous girl can motivate us all to reach for our dreams.  (on my TBR)

dear edward

January 2020 - Dear Edward by Ann Napolitano, 340 pages

A 12 year old boy and his family board a plane that then crashes killing everyone on board except Edward. As he tries to deal with the aftermath, he discovers something that may help him answer some of life's most profound questions.  (on my TBR list)

late migrations bbook cover

December 2019 - Late Migrations by Margaret Renkl, 231 pages

In brief essays, this autobiography chronicles the life of Margaret as she traces a tender and honest portrait of her complicated parents--her exuberant, creative mother; her steady, supportive father--and of the bittersweet moments that accompany a child's transition to caregiver.

nothing to see here

November 2019 - Nothing to See Here by Kevin Wilson, 228 pages

A humorous story about a young woman who finds meaning in her life when she's hired to care for two very unusual children - they happen to spontaneously combust when upset!

dutch house

October 2019 - The Dutch House by Ann Patchett, 337 pages

This is the story of wealthy siblings who lose their wealth and home when their stepmother exiles them from their family home. Their strong bond both helps and hinders them through the decades of this story.

dearly beloved book cover

Setpember 2019 - The Dearly Beloved by Cara Wall, 342 pages

Two very different couples come to the same church and the story follows them through the years of friendship, jealousy and understanding, forgiveness and commitment. A poignant reflection of faith and reason, marriage and children, and ways to find meaning in our lives.

patsy book cover

August 2019 - Patsy by Nicole Dennis-Benn, 419 pages

A Jamaican woman leaves her daughter behind to move to NYC in hopes of putting herself first and love who she wants. Back home, her daughter tries to forge a relationship with her dad and understand her mom's choice. Alternating chapters follow each journey and how they ultimately find their way back to each other.

evvie drake starts over book cover

July 2019 - Evvie Drake Starts Over by Linda Holmes, 289 pages

In this debut novel, a recently widowed woman surprises herself by befriending her renter, a baseball player trying to relocate his 'game', and the unlikely friendship starts to become something more. But ..... secrets.

searching for sylvie lee book cover

June 2019 - Searching for Sylvie Lee by Jean Kwok, 336 pages

A suspenseful drama that untangles the complicated ties binding three women—two sisters and their mother—in one Chinese immigrant family and explores what happens when the eldest daughter disappears.

a woman is no man book cover

May 2019 - A Woman is No Man by Etaf Rum, 339 pages

A debut novel set in Brooklyn is about the life of a conservative Arab young woman in America as her grandparents start looking for her a husband and secrets about her parentage come to light.  (on my TBR list)

the unwinding of the miracle book cover

April 2019 - The Unwinding of the Miracle by Julile Yip-Williams, 315 pages

A memoir by a woman who is diagnosed with terminal colon cancer reflecting on her immigrant experience, motherhood, ambition, love, grief, reincarnation, and so much more.

the last romantics book cover

March 2019 - The Last Romantics by Tara Conklin, 384 pages

An epic tale of siblings dealing with an family crisis that tests their once strong bonds and has them questioning their life choices.  (on my TBR list)

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