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READING GROUP CHOICES 2021

Reading Group Choices 2021 annual print guide

The Reading Group Choices 2021 guide is filled with over 50 book recommendations in 3 sections (fiction, nonfiction, and young adult). Each title has been carefully selected for reading groups, and includes discussion questions to facilitate lively group discussions.

 

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KANT’S LITTLE PRUSSIAN HEAD AND OTHER REASONS WHY I WRITE

One of our recommended books is Kant's Little Prussian Head by Claire Messud

A glimpse into a beloved novelist’s inner world, shaped by family, art, and literature.

In her fiction, Claire Messud “has specialized in creating unusual female characters with ferocious, imaginative inner lives” (Ruth Franklin, New York Times Magazine). Kant’s Little Prussian Head and Other Reasons Why I Write opens a window on Messud’s own life: a peripatetic upbringing; a warm, complicated family; and, throughout it all, her devotion to art and literature.

In twenty-six intimate, brilliant, and funny essays, Messud reflects on a childhood move from her Connecticut home to Australia; the complex relationship between her modern Canadian mother and a fiercely single French Catholic aunt;

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HAVING AND BEING HAD

One of our recommended books is Having and Being Had by Eula Biss

A timely and arresting new look at affluence by the New York Times bestselling author.

“My adult life can be divided into two distinct parts,” Eula Biss writes, “the time before I owned a washing machine and the time after.” Having just purchased her first home, the poet and essayist now embarks on a provocative exploration of the value system she has bought into. Through a series of engaging exchanges— in libraries and laundromats, over barstools and backyard fences— she examines our assumptions about class and property and the ways we internalize the demands of capitalism.

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SITTING PRETTY

One of our recommended books is Sitting Pretty by Rebekah Taussig

A memoir-in-essays from disability advocate and creator of the Instagram account @sitting_pretty Rebekah Taussig, processing a lifetime of memories to paint a beautiful, nuanced portrait of a body that looks and moves differently than most.

Growing up as a paralyzed girl during the 90s and early 2000s, Rebekah Taussig only saw disability depicted as something monstrous (The Hunchback of Notre Dame), inspirational (Helen Keller), or angelic (Forrest Gump). None of this felt right; and as she got older, she longed for more stories that allowed disability to be complex and ordinary, uncomfortable and fine, painful and fulfilling.

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DOWN ALONG WITH THAT DEVIL’S BONES

One of our recommended books is Down Along with That Devil's Bones by Connor Towne O'Neill

In Down Along with That Devil’s Bones, journalist Connor Towne O’Neill takes a deep dive into American history, exposing the still-raging battles over monuments dedicated to one of the most notorious Confederate generals, Nathan Bedford Forrest. Through the lens of these conflicts, O’Neill examines the legacy of white supremacy in America, in a sobering and fascinating work sure to resonate with readers of Tony Horwitz, Timothy B. Tyson, and Robin DiAngelo.

When O’Neill first moved to Alabama, as a white Northerner, he felt somewhat removed from the racism Confederate monuments represented. Then one day in Selma,

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UNFOLLOW

One of our recommended books is Unfollow by Megan Phelps-Roper

The activist and TED speaker Megan Phelps-Roper reveals her life growing up in the most hated family in America.

At the age of five, Megan Phelps-Roper began protesting homosexuality and other alleged vices alongside fellow members of the Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, Kansas. Founded by her grandfather and consisting almost entirely of her extended family, the tiny group would gain worldwide notoriety for its pickets at military funerals and celebrations of death and tragedy. As Phelps-Roper grew up, she saw that church members were close companions and accomplished debaters, applying the logic of predestination and the language of the King James Bible to everyday life with aplomb—which,

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