We are thrilled to introduce our August/September 2019 HPB Book Club Selection, Things You Save in a Fire by Katherine Center. This book addresses the struggles of Cassie Hanwell, a woman born for emergencies who uproots her life to move from Texas to Boston, where she struggles to find her place as one of the only female firefighters in the state. This heartfelt, stirring novel touches on two of the most important things in life— love and the meaning of courage. In this installment of our Behind the Book blog series, Katherine Center gives us insight into her inspiration and decision to tell Cassie’s story. Read on to discover more!
Spring means warmer weather, cool breezes, flowers and sunshine. Thankfully for our bookloving friends, it also includes some seriously exciting new books. We’ll see the release of many books worthwhile to devour while sprawled out in the sunshine. If you’re looking forward to some spring reads, read on for 8 books to carry you from April showers to May flowers! Continue reading
Beautifully, exquisitely wrought, When We Left Cuba is everything you could ask for from a historical novel, and it’s our HPB Book Club pick for April and May 2019. Chanel Cleeton will break hearts with this tale of a privileged Cuban refugee and the powers and people that change her life. Full of love, revenge and deadly situations, When We Left Cuba will leave your heart racing and your mind transported. Chanel provided us with an in-depth look into her protagonist, Beatriz, for our Behind the Book series. Continue reading
If you are part of the HPB Book Club, you are currently reading (or perhaps just finished) Maid, by Stephanie Land, a beautiful and gritty exploration of poverty in America. Putting her dreams of college on hold to have a child, Land finds herself homeless and alone. Navigating government assistance and trying to find a way to provide for her daughter, she starts working for a cleaning service. As a maid, Land witnesses the lives of others while feeling invisible herself. This autobiography of Land’s struggle to provide a better life for her daughter, exposes the struggle of the working poor who long to find the American dream while living below the poverty line.
If you (like me) liked Maid, here are a few other books you may like: Continue reading
If you are part of the HPB Book Club, you are currently reading (or perhaps just finished) Good Luck With That, by Kristan Higgins, a wonderful, heartwarming story about learning how to love and respect yourself no matter what you look like. The main characters, Georgia, Marley and Emerson, are highly relatable to anyone who has ever had issues with their body image. After meeting at a weight-loss camp for teens, these three girls become life-long friends, but when Emerson passes away as a result of her weight, she challenges Georgia and Marley to do all the things they promised each other they would do when they lost their weight. Now, as adults, Georgia and Marley try to honor their friend’s last wish, by getting a piggy-back ride from a guy, getting a stranger to buy them a drink and telling off people who were mean to them when they were fat. Though Higgins weaves romance into her book, the main focus is how these two women learn to love themselves.
If you (like me) liked Good Luck With That, here are a few other books you may like:
If you are part of the HPB Book Club, you are currently reading (or perhaps just finished) A Place for Us, by Fatima Farheen Mirza, a heartbreaking story of family, identity and belonging. As all the members of an Indian-America Muslim family gather to celebrate the eldest daughter’s wedding, each family member looks back at crucial moments in their past as the three children have searched for the place they belong in the world, in their culture, in their faith and in their family. Mirza goes back and forth in time and from one perspective to another, letting the reader see the thoughts and feelings behind every circumstance and every consequence, showing how without understanding, even acts of love can turn into acts of betrayal. A Place for Us is the first title published under Sarah Jessica Parker’s new imprint, SJP for Hogarth.
If you liked A Place for Us, here are a few other books you might like:
Sing, Unburied, Sing, by Jesmyn Ward, Little Fires Everywhere, by Celeste Ng, What We Lose, by Zinzi Clemmons, Before We Were Yours, by Lisa Wingate, What We Were Promised, by Lucy Tan (coming out July 10, 2018)
So, what’s your next read?
Check out what we’re reading next. Join the HPB Book Club.
If you’re part of the HPB Book Club, you are currently reading (or perhaps just finished) Wonder by R.J. Palacio, a touching middle-grade novel about Auggie Pullman, a young boy with a rare medical facial deformity as he struggles through his first year at a mainstream school. The kids that are kind enough to look past Auggie’s strange appearance discover a smart, funny kid who is so much more than what he looks like. Palacio explores Auggie’s story from different points of view so that you learn not just how Auggie feels about a situation, but also his family and his friends. Through Wonder, Palacio weaves a tale of courage and kindness that sparked the Choose Kind Movement, where classrooms fight against bullying by signing a pledge to Choose Kind.
If you liked, Wonder, here are a few other books you might like.
Mockingbird, by Kathryn Erskine • Stargirl, by Jerry Spinelli • Out of My Mind, by Sharon M. Draper • Counting by 7s, by Holly Goldberg Sloan • Absolutely Almost, by Lisa Graff • Firegirl, by Tony Abbott • Fish in a Tree, by Lynda Mullaly Hunt • Joey Pigza Swallowed the Key, by Jack Gantos • Lost in the Sun, by Lisa Graff • A Dog Called Homeless, by Sarah Lean • Because of Mr. Terupt, by Rob Buyea
Since one of my favorite things about Wonder was how the story was told through different perspectives, I think I’ll head to my local HPB to pick up a copy of Because of Mr. Terupt, as its story is also told through varying points-of-view. What will be your next read?
What to get in on the conversation? Join the HPB Book Club at hpb.com/bookclub.
If you are part of the HPB Book Club, you are currently reading or perhaps just finished The Girls by Emma Cline, a clever, yet disturbing coming-of-age novel inspired by the murders committed by Charles Manson’s followers in 1969. In the novel, a strange encounter with an ex-boyfriend’s son leaves Evie Boyd looking back to the summer of 1969, the summer she met “the girls.” Told though multiple flashbacks, Cline describes how Evie obsession with one of “the girls” draws her into a cult and ultimately to one night of unthinkable violence. Cline’s spellbinding prose and psychological insight make this book hard to put down. If you also liked The Girls, here are a few other books you might like.
Survivor by Chuck Palahniuk • Another Brooklyn by Jacqueline Woodson • Girls on Fire by Robin Wasserman • How to Set a Fire and Why by Jesse Ball • All the Missing Girls by Megan Miranda • Modern Lovers by Emma Straub • Truly Madly Guilty by Liane Moriarty
So, what’s your next read? Join the HPB Book Club at hpb.com/bookclub.
Last year, the HPB Book Club read A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman, which I considered to be the best book I read last year. Needless to say, I was excited when I learned our April/May Book Club selection was Fredrik Backman’s Britt-Marie Was Here! While I don’t know yet if it will be the best book I read this year (as the year is far from over), I will say it’s the best book I’ve read so far this year. Backman’s ability to write a typically dislikable character into someone the reader not only likes but also can’t help but cheer for is masterful. When you meet Britt-Marie in the unemployment office, her judgmental, prudish attitude makes you sympathize with the clearly astonished employment office worker, but as the book progresses and you learn more about Britt-Marie and how she became the way she is—as well as immerse yourself in the community of Borg, “of which the kindest thing one can say is that it has a road going through it”—you can’t help but love Britt-Marie for all the things you disliked about her before.
If you, like me, loved Britt-Marie Was Here, here are a few other books you may also love: Continue reading
If you’re a part of the HPB Book Club, you are currently reading or perhaps just finished The Girl on the Train, by Paula Hawkins. This psychological thriller is told through the perspective of three different women who have one very dangerous thing in common—they are all living a lie. In the book, Megan Hipwell is found dead and Rachel, who has secretly watched Megan’s life from the safety of the passing commuter train, believes she can solve Megan’s murder. From the moment The Girl on the Train was released, people have compared it to Gone Girl, by Gillian Flynn, and with its suspenseful plot and surprise ending, they are not wrong. However, if you have already read Gone Girl and are looking for other books like The Girl on the Train, you may like some of these.
1. The Luckiest Girl Alive, by Jessica Knoll 2. The Good Girl, by Mary Kubica 3. Behind Closed Doors, by B.A. Paris 4. The Silent Wife, by A.S.A. Harrison 5. Big Little Lies, by Liane Moriarty 6. Before I Go To Sleep, by S.J. Watson 7. Truly, Madly, Guilty, by Liane Moriarty 8. The Woman in Cabin 10, by Ruth Ware 9. The Couple Next Door, by Shari Lapena 10. Elizabeth is Missing, by Emma Healey
I’ve already snapped up two of these books. What about you? What are you reading next?