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BookBalloon's Best Reads of 2013

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Many thanks to BookBalloon member Julie for compiling this year's list of favorite reads. These are books that our members read in 2013, although they weren't necessarily published in 2013.

The big winner is We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves, by Karen Joy Fowler.

Tied for second place were The Interestings, by Meg Wolitzer, and Life After Life, by Kate Atkinson.

Happy reading in 2014!


 
The Forum is where it's at.
 

One Story at a Time: "The Bus-Conductor" by E. F. Benson

Written by Katharine Weber Monday, 14 October 2013 00:00

The Bus-ConductorHow about a spooky story, just in time for All Hallow's Eve? Join us in the One Story at a Time thread for a discussion of "The Bus-Conductor" by E. F. Benson. Discussion starts Monday, October 21st.

If you're already a registered member of BookBalloon, click this link to go straight to the discussion. If you're not already a BookBalloon member (and why not? It's free!), click here to begin.

 

Ulysses Group Read Starts on Bloomsday

Written by Nicki Leone Monday, 28 May 2012 13:48

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Beginning June 16th, the BookBalloon forum will embark on an odyssey of its own when it begins an extended group read of James Joyce's Ulysses—the one book in the English language that no one wants to read on their own. We'll cover a new chapter every couple of weeks until we reach the end of our journey—which may take the rest of the year. If your copy has been languishing unread on your shelf, now is the time to take it down, dust it off, and take the plunge into what we often call the greatest novel in the English language, although we are often hard put to explain precisely why.

Join us in the forum June 16. Yes we say yes you will yes.

 

Wiley Cash visits June 26-28

Written by Nicki Leone Monday, 28 May 2012 13:47

Wiley Cash

Wiley Cash, whose debut novel A Land More Kind Than Home has become a break-away bestseller, will be visiting BookBalloon from June 26 - 28. He'll be on hand to talk about his new book, answer questions, respond to criticisms and generally put himself in the line of fire.  A normal reading in a bookstore might last two hours. A radio interview, thirty minutes. But Wiley will be at BookBalloon for three days, brave soul.

"I didn’t sleep well after I finished A Land More Kind Than Home because I kept thinking, All childhoods are not the same. Cruelty and innocence dwell together and always will. I can just imagine the intense work -- and the love -- that has gone into this." —Gail Godwin

About the book:

Faith is supposed to shield children from the horrors of the world, but one Sunday nine-year-old Jess Hall watches as his autistic brother is called into a little church in the mountains of North Carolina. What happens next forces Jess to question everything he once believed about his family and his faith. Clem Barefield, the local sheriff, arrives to find a group of charismatic believers who are unwilling to utter a word about the things Jess has seen. At the center of the mystery is Carson Chambliss, a snake handling ex-convict turned preacher whose past is just as mysterious as the power he claims to possess.

A Land More Kind Than Home has been compared to the works of John Hart and Tom Franklin, and is a literary thriller steeped in Southern small-town tradition that explores the ties that knit a community together, and the secrets that can break it apart.  "I deeply love my native state of North Carolina," says the author, "especially its mountains. I hope my love for this region is evident in A Land More Kind than Home's portrayal of western North Carolina's people, culture, and religious faith."

Decide for yourself. Join us for a discussion with Wiley Cash June 26 - 28.  

 

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The NYRB Reading Club

Speedboat by Renata Adler

Speedboat

"When Speedboat burst on the scene in the late ’70s it was like nothing readers had encountered before. It seemed to disregard the rules of the novel, but it wore its unconventionality with ease. Reading it was a pleasure of a new, unexpected kind." -- New York Review Books

John Leonard said, "Nobody writes better prose than Renata Adler." What do you think? The discussion begins May 15 in the Forum.

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