National Poetry Month 2020: Los Angeles 2025 by Sarah Archer

For National Poetry Month 2020, we present the Poetry and prose from our Members.

Los Angeles, 2025
by Sarah Archer 

The car door parts for you like lips.
All night this vessel has sketched a silver web
over the contained chaos of L.A., taking fares like lovers.
You are not the only one this hour, or on this corner;
a queue of feet bisects the block,
each pair’s face lit by its hand’s cool, compartmentalized glow.

Each man to machine neatly assigned,
algorithmic fate, calculated invisibly in the emptiness above your heads,
triangulated in the stars.
Yours murmurs you down the street on a current and a spell.

The city is gussied up tonight:
the street signs slick and skinny, the all-night
donuts awning hot, tawdry pink. Bars wink
from the strings of unlit storefronts like gold
in a fortune teller’s bow of teeth.
A rare recent rain has slicked motor oil to the skin
of the asphalt.  It glimmers off the curves
of Melrose like the tips of cigarettes.
Each scene flames out in a frame.

And everywhere the cars are streaming, gliding,
they zip perfectly around parabolas as if magnetized to a track,
they are clean as needles, dazzling in their voltaic wills,
they are everyone’s and no one’s,
they conceal us.

It feels good to own nothing,
you are pure, sanitary, as empty as a reflection.
You leave nothing but air.

Sarah Archer’s first novel, The Plus One was published in July 2019, by G.P. Putnam’s Sons. Follow Sarah on Twitter @SarahArcherM

 

National Poetry Month 2020: Trolls by Sarah Thompson

For National Poetry Month 2020, we present the Poetry and prose from our Members.

TROLLS
by Sarah Thompson

A troll controls my backpack
So that he can hitch a ride.
He should be guarding bridges,
But he says he’s occupied.


My troll demands a pittance
Every time I crack the top.
My back will break from pennies
If this troll won’t ever stop.


He eats my pens and pencils
Like my school supplies are snacks.
He dines on work for math class;
All that work I won’t get back!


He tears the strings from string cheese
When he breaks into my lunch.
He likes to drain my thermos
Of hot soup or icy punch.


He’s got to leave my book bag;
I won’t change my mind a smidge.
Rude trolls are not for backpacks . . .


Do you maybe have a bridge?

–from Sarah Thompson’s book Yard Art, A Collection of Children’s Poetry (Missing Goat Press, January 2020). Illustrated by Bree Stallings.
Follow Sarah Thompson on Twitter @authorFT

Join us March 9th for our Spring “Meet the Authors” Evening

park road books picJoin us for our
Spring Meet the Authors Evening
Monday, March 9th, 7:00 – 8:30 PM
at 
Park Road Books
4139 Park Rd, Charlotte

Join us for an evening of conversation with three prominent, southern-based authors, invited by the chapter.

(Author Bios & Book Summaries, click here)

 

Abigail DeWitt, author of News of Our Loved Ones (Harper Perennial TP)

 

 

 

 

 

Donna Everhart, author of The Moonshiners Daughter (Kensington, TP)

 

 

 

 

 

 Susan Beckham Zurenda, author of Bells for Eli (Mercer University Press HC)

 

 

Each will speak briefly about their new novels, then give opportunity for one-on-one questions and discussion.

We’ll have wine, refreshments, and a chance to mingle with the authors as well! For more info or questions, contact Susan Walker, susan.walker.books@gmail.com 

 

Book Club Meetup, Tuesday, February 4th

E43301A3-1323-474B-BC4E-336EBA2E21E9Come and discuss Southernmost by Silas House (Algonquin, TP) 
Tuesday, February 4, 7:00pm
AMELIE’S BAKERY (updated!) 4321 Park Road., Charlotte, NC.

Synopsis: An evangelical minister in Tennessee reexamining his beliefs and teachings finds himself at odds with his congregation and his wife over the issue of homosexuality in this soul-searching novel about tolerance, family, right versus wrong, and forgiveness.

All are welcome to attend, to give your input or learn about a new book to read!

😊 📚 All titles for our bookclub are selected from WNBA’s Great Group Reads List.
Interested in knowing more about that committee? Contact Kristen Knox, KKnox.NatlReadingGrpMonth@gmail.com

Book Club Meetup: Tuesday, January 7th

C2638D58-0314-4BCD-A8EB-38DBFD093096Come and discuss Mrs. Everything by Jennifer Weiner (Atria) 
Tuesday, January 7th, 7:00pm
Panera Bread, 5940 Fairview Rd., Charlotte, NC.

Synopsis: Growing up in 1950s Detroit, they live in a perfect “Dick and Jane” house, where their roles in the family are clearly defined. Jo is the tomboy, the bookish rebel with a passion to make the world more fair; Bethie is the pretty, feminine good girl, a would-be star who enjoys the power her beauty confers and dreams of a traditional life. But the truth ends up looking different from what the girls imagined. Jo and Bethie survive traumas and tragedies, and neither sister inhabit the world she dreams of, or a life that feels authentic or joyful. Is it too late for the women to finally stake a claim on happily ever after?

All are welcome to attend, to give your input or learn about a new book to read!

 

😊 📚 All titles for our bookclub are selected from WNBA’s Great Group Reads List.
Interested in knowing more about that committee? Contact Kristen Knox, KKnox.NatlReadingGrpMonth@gmail.com

Book Club Meetup: Tuesday, December 3rd

laurentian divideCome and discuss Laurentian Divide by Sarah Stonich (Univ. of Minnesota Press, TP) 
Tuesday, December 3rd, 7:00pm
Panera Bread, 5940 Fairview Rd., Charlotte, NC

Synopsis: A small, northern Minnesota community waits for semi-hermit Rauri Paar to reappear in their midst, signaling the end of winter. As the residents wait, their own lives move forward even without Rauri. This is a warm, wise, and wonderful look at the inhabitants of a small town, at connection, and support in good times and bad.

Please come, whether you’ve read / liked the book or not!

All titles for our bookclub are selected from WNBA’s Great Group Reads List. Interested in knowing more about that committee? Contact Kristen Knox, KKnox.NatlReadingGrpMonth@gmail.com

Book Club Meetup: Tuesday, November 5th

Tomorrow'sBread MayhewCome and discuss Tomorrow’s Bread by Anna Jean Mayhew (Kensington Books)
Tuesday, November 5th, 7:00pm
Panera Bread, 5940 Fairview Rd., Charlotte, NC

ABOUT CHARLOTTE HISTORY, Y’ALL!
In 1961 Charlotte, North Carolina, the predominantly black neighborhood of Brooklyn is a bustling city within a city. Self-contained and vibrant, it has its own restaurants, schools, theaters, churches, and night clubs. There are shotgun shacks and poverty, along with well-maintained houses like the one Loraylee Hawkins shares with her young son, Hawk, her Uncle Ray, and her grandmother, Bibi. Loraylee’s love for Archibald Griffin, Hawk’s white father and manager of the cafeteria where she works, must be kept secret in the segregated South.

Loraylee has heard rumors that the city plans to bulldoze her neighborhood, claiming it’s dilapidated and dangerous. The government promises to provide new housing and relocate businesses. But locals like Pastor Ebenezer Polk, who’s facing the demolition of his church, know the value of Brooklyn does not lie in bricks and mortar.

 Please come, whether you’ve read / liked the book or not!

All titles for our bookclub are selected from WNBA’s Great Group Reads List. Interested in knowing more about that committee? Contact Kristen Knox, KKnox.NatlReadingGrpMonth@gmail.com

 

Great Group Reads / Ideal for Book Club Picks

Announcing

GREAT GROUP READS SELECTIONS 2019-20

Every WNBA-Charlotte’s October Book Club, we vote on the booklist for the next 12 months. Books are selected from the newest Great Group Reads List. Part of the National Reading Group Month Initiative, Great Group Reads titles especially appeal to reading groups. They represent timely and provocative topics, from the intimate dynamics of family and personal to major cultural / global issues.

The Affairs of the Falcóns: A Novel by Melissa Rivero (Ecco)
Women’s Fiction, Hispanic & Latino

All You Can Ever Know: A Memoir  by Nicole Chung (Catapult)
Adoption & Fostering, Personal Memoi, Cultural/Ethnic

The Bookwoman of Troublesome Creek  by Kim Michele Richardson (Sourcebooks)
Southern Fiction, Small Town & Rural, Women’s Fiction

Death of A Rainmaker by Laurie Loewenstein (Kaylie Jones Books)
Mystery & Detective Series, Historical Fiction

The Girls at 17 Swann Street by Yara Zgheib (St. Martins Press)
Women’s Fiction, Family Life, Psychological/Eating Disorders

Haben: The Deafblind Woman Who Took On Harvard by Haben Girma (Twelve)
Personal Memoir, Social Activism,

The Honey Bus: A Memoir of Loss, Courage, and a Girl Saved by Bees by Meredith May (Park Row)
Personal Memoir, Agriculture/Bee Keeping

The Last Year of the War by Susan Meissner (Berkeley)
Historical/WWII, Women’s Fiction

Laurentian Divide by Sarah Stonich (Univ. of Minnesota Press)
Women’s Fiction, Small Town & Rural Fiction,

The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart by Holly Ringland (Anasi International)
Literary Fiction

Love You Hard: A Memoir of Marriage, Brain Injury, and Reinventing Love by Abby Maslin (Dutton)
Memoir, Marriage & Long-Term Relationship, Medical

Moon of the Crusted Snow by Waubgeshig Rice (ECW Press)
Dystopian Fiction, Native American & Aboriginal

Mrs. Everything by Jennifer Weiner (Atria)
Family Life, Women’s Fiction

No Good Asking by Fran Kimmel (ECW Press) Contemporary Women, Small Town & Rural, Literary Fiction

Retablos: Stories from a Life Lived Along the Border by Octavio Solis (City Lights)
Hispanic & Latino, Memoir, Entertainment/Performing Arts

Southernmost by Silas House (Algonquin Books)
Family Life, LGBTQ, Southern History

Tomorrow’s Bread by Anna Jean Mayhew (Kensington)
Historical Fiction, African-American History

Tonic and Balm by Stephanie Allen (Shade Mountain Press)
Fiction, African American Studies, Early 20th Century Fiction

The Tubman Command: A Novel by Elizabeth Cobbs (Arcade)
Civil War, Women’s Fiction, Historical Fiction

Unfurled by Michelle Bailat-Jones (Ig Publishing) Women’s Fiction, Sea Stories

ON OCTOBER 1, Vote on the Books We Read This Year at WNBA-Charlotte’s Book Club Picks Night

Tuesday, October 1st, 7:00-8:30pm
Panera Bread, 5940 Fairview Rd., Charlotte

With summaries given by GGR Selection Committee Manager Kristen Knox, we will vote on what 12 of the 20 titles [below] to read this year—and when.Be a voice at the book table and join us!

More about Great Group Reads at nationalreadinggroupmonth.org

Great Group Reads Bookclub meeting, Tuesday, June 4th at 7:00pm


BONFIRE BY CELTCome and discuss Invitation to a Bonfire by by Adrienne Celt (Bloomsbury)

Tuesday, June 4th, 7:00-8:15pm
Panera Bread, 5940 Fairview Rd., Charlotte, NC

A selection from the 2018 National Reading Group Month’s Great Group Reads (list)

In the 1920s, Zoya Andropova, a young Soviet Union refugee, finds herself in the alien landscape of an all-girls New Jersey boarding school. Having lost her family, and home, Zoya struggles to belong, a task made more difficult by the malice her peers heap on scholarship students and her new country’s paranoia about Russian spies. When she meets the visiting writer and fellow Russian émigré Leo Orlov–whose books Zoya has privately obsessed over for years–her luck seems to have taken a turn for the better. But she soon discovers that Leo is not the solution to her loneliness: he’s committed to his art and bound by the sinister orchestrations of his brilliant wife, Vera.As the reader unravels the mystery of Zoya, Lev, and Vera’s fate, Zoya is faced with mounting pressure to figure out who she is and what kind of life she wants to build. Grappling with class distinctions, national allegiance, and ethical fidelity–not to mention the powerful magnetism of sex–Invitation to a Bonfire investigates how one’s identity is formed, irrevocably, through a series of momentary decisions, including how to survive, who to love, and whether to pay the complicated price of happiness.

Great Group Reads Bookclub meeting, Tuesday, May 7 at 7:00pm

widows of malabar hillCome and discuss The Widows of Malabar Hill by Sujata Masey (Soho Press).
From the publisher’s website summary: 
1920s India: Perveen Mistry, Bombay’s first female lawyer, is investigating a suspicious will on behalf of three Muslim widows living in full purdah when the case takes a turn toward the murderous. The author of the Agatha and Macavity Award-winning Rei Shimura novels brings us an atmospheric new historical mystery with a captivating heroine.

Inspired in part by the woman who made history as India’s first female attorney, The Widows of Malabar Hill is a richly wrought story of multicultural 1920s Bombay as well as the debut of a sharp and promising new sleuth.

Tuesday, May 7th, 7:00-8:15pm
Panera Bread, 5940 Fairview Rd., Charlotte, NC

A selection from the 2018 National Reading Group Month’s Great Group Reads (list)

*Then, join us again Tuesday, June 4, as we discuss Invitation to a Bonfire by Adrienne Celt (Bloomsbury). Same time, same location.