It’s that time again, my turn to host our monthly book club meeting. We’re finally back to hosting the meetings in individual homes after the pandemic kept us meeting at the church or virtual for two years. It’s been a year since I hosted, but it doesn’t seem like it was that long ago.
The first step, and of course the most important step, is to choose the book. (Ok, well, maybe the wine is just as crucial, wink wink.) Our local library offers what they call a “book kit” that contains ten copies of a book along with a discussion sheet. It’s a really convenient (and inexpensive) way for the majority of our members to get a book to read.
Unfortunately, there’s no easy way to choose a book because they aren’t stored on shelves where you can just flip through, read the jacket cover and decide what sounds good and they aren’t indexed by genre; they’re strictly alphabetical. So I put the letter “A” in the search field and started there and found 675 titles containing the letter “a”.
Two days later after reading book synopses and seeing which kits are available, I’ve narrowed my choices down to four.
Here are my choices:
“Just as Bruce Cable’s Bay Books is preparing for the return of bestselling author Mercer Mann, Hurricane Leo veers from its predicted course and heads straight for Camino Island. Florida’s governor orders a mandatory evacuation and most residents board up their houses and flee to the mainland, but Bruce decides to stay and ride out the storm.
The hurricane is devastating: Homes and condos are leveled, hotels and storefronts ruined, streets flooded, and a dozen people lose their lives. One of the apparent victims is Nelson Kerr, a friend of Bruce’s and an author of thrillers. But the nature of Nels’s injuries suggests that the storm wasn’t the cause of his death: He had suffered several suspicious blows to the head….A cat and mouse caper…
Tess, an aspiring seamstress, thinks she’s had an incredibly lucky break when she is hired by famous designer Lady Lucile Duff Gordon to be her personal maid on the Titanic. Once onboard, Tess catches the eye of two men—a kind sailor and an enigmatic Chicago businessman—who offer differing views of what lies ahead for her in America. But on the fourth night, disaster strikes, and amidst the chaos, Tess is one of the last people allowed on a lifeboat. The survivors are rescued and taken to New York, but when rumors begin to circulate about the choices they made, Tess is forced to confront a serious question. Did Lady Duff Gordon save herself at the expense of others? Torn between loyalty to Lucile and her growing suspicion that the media’s charges might be true, Tess must decide whether to stay quiet and keep her fiery mentor’s goodwill or face what might be true and forever change her future.
For more than a decade, Jenna Metcalf has never stopped thinking about her mother, Alice, who mysteriously disappeared in the wake of a tragic accident when Jenna was only three years old. Refusing to believe that her mother would have abandoned her, Jenna pores over the pages of Alice’s old journals, which field few clues. Desperate to find the truth, Jenna enlists two allies in her quest: Serenity Jones, a psychic, and Virgil Standhope, the jaded private detective who originally investigated Alice’s case. As the unlikely threesome begin to piece together what happened to Alice, Jenna’s memories start to dovetail with the events in her mother’s journals, revealing a series of events far more shocking than any of them could have ever predicted.
Chris Brennan looks perfect, on paper. He’s applying for a job as a high school government teacher, he’s ready to step in as an assistant baseball coach, and his resume is impeccable. But everything about Chris Brennan is a lie. Susan Sematov is proud of her son Raz, a free-spirited pitcher who’s the star of the baseball team. But Raz’s father died only a few months ago, leaving Raz vulnerable to any new father figure, who might influence him for good, or evil. Heather Larkin is a struggling single mother who admires her son Jordan’s passion for baseball and feels guilty that she can’t be at his games, like the booster moms. But Jordan is shy, and Heather fears e’s being lured down a dark path by one of his teammates, a young man whose fun-loving manner might conceal a darker side. Mindy Kostis is a surgeon’s wife and who fills her days with benefit luncheons and cocktails. She has no idea that her husband and son Evan are keeping deadly secrets that could rip their family apart. At the center of all of them is Chris Brennan. Why is he pretending to be someone else? What does he want? And how far will he go to get it?
Which one would you chose?