The Newberry currently offers two member-led virtual book groups that meet on the third Thursday of every month--one during the day and one in the evenings. The groups are open to Annual Fund donors who contribute $100 or more. For more information about virtual book groups, please contact Vince Firpo at firpov@newberry.org.

Associates Book Group

CLARK AND DIVISION

CLARK AND DIVISION

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A New York Times Best Mystery Novel of 2021

Set in 1944 Chicago, Edgar Award-winner Naomi Hirahara's eye-opening and poignant new mystery, the story of a young woman searching for the truth about her revered older sister's death, brings to focus the struggles of one Japanese American family released from mass incarceration at Manzanar during World War II.

Chicago, 1944: Twenty-year-old Aki Ito and her parents have just been released from Manzanar, where they have been detained by the US government since the aftermath of Pearl Harbor, together with thousands of other Japanese Americans. The life in California the Itos were forced to leave behind is gone; instead, they are being resettled two thousand miles away in Chicago, where Aki's older sister, Rose, was sent months earlier and moved to the new Japanese American neighborhood near Clark and Division streets. But on the eve of the Ito family's reunion, Rose is killed by a subway train.

Aki, who worshipped her sister, is stunned. Officials are ruling Rose's death a suicide. Aki cannot believe her perfect, polished, and optimistic sister would end her life. Her instinct tells her there is much more to the story, and she knows she is the only person who could ever learn the truth.

Inspired by historical events, Clark and Division infuses an atmospheric and heartbreakingly real crime with rich period details and delicately wrought personal stories Naomi Hirahara has gleaned from thirty years of research and archival work in Japanese American history.

Clark and Division

Clark and Division

$27.95
More Info
A New York Times Best Mystery Novel of 2021

Set in 1944 Chicago, Edgar Award-winner Naomi Hirahara's eye-opening and poignant new mystery, the story of a young woman searching for the truth about her revered older sister's death, brings to focus the struggles of one Japanese American family released from mass incarceration at Manzanar during World War II.

Chicago, 1944: Twenty-year-old Aki Ito and her parents have just been released from Manzanar, where they have been detained by the US government since the aftermath of Pearl Harbor, together with thousands of other Japanese Americans. The life in California the Itos were forced to leave behind is gone; instead, they are being resettled two thousand miles away in Chicago, where Aki's older sister, Rose, was sent months earlier and moved to the new Japanese American neighborhood near Clark and Division streets. But on the eve of the Ito family's reunion, Rose is killed by a subway train.

Aki, who worshipped her sister, is stunned. Officials are ruling Rose's death a suicide. Aki cannot believe her perfect, polished, and optimistic sister would end her life. Her instinct tells her there is much more to the story, and she knows she is the only person who could ever learn the truth.

Inspired by historical events, Clark and Division infuses an atmospheric and heartbreakingly real crime with rich period details and delicately wrought personal stories Naomi Hirahara has gleaned from thirty years of research and archival work in Japanese American history.

Honor

Honor

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THE JANUARY 2022 REESE'S BOOK CLUB PICK

"In the way A Thousand Splendid Suns told of Afghanistan's women, Thrity Umrigar tells a story of India with the intimacy of one who knows the many facets of a land both modern and ancient, awash in contradictions." --Lisa Wingate, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Before We Were Yours

In this riveting and immersive novel, bestselling author Thrity Umrigar tells the story of two couples and the sometimes dangerous and heartbreaking challenges of love across a cultural divide.

Indian American journalist Smita has returned to India to cover a story, but reluctantly: long ago she and her family left the country with no intention of ever coming back. As she follows the case of Meena--a Hindu woman attacked by members of her own village and her own family for marrying a Muslim man--Smita comes face to face with a society where tradition carries more weight than one's own heart, and a story that threatens to unearth the painful secrets of Smita's own past. While Meena's fate hangs in the balance, Smita tries in every way she can to right the scales. She also finds herself increasingly drawn to Mohan, an Indian man she meets while on assignment. But the dual love stories of Honor are as different as the cultures of Meena and Smita themselves: Smita realizes she has the freedom to enter into a casual affair, knowing she can decide later how much it means to her.

In this tender and evocative novel about love, hope, familial devotion, betrayal, and sacrifice, Thrity Umrigar shows us two courageous women trying to navigate how to be true to their homelands and themselves at the same time.

Japanese Lover

Japanese Lover

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From New York Times bestselling author Isabel Allende, "a magical and sweeping" (Publishers Weekly, starred review) love story and multigenerational epic that stretches from San Francisco in the present-day to Poland and the United States during World War II.In 1939, as Poland falls under the shadow of the Nazis, young Alma Belasco's parents send her away to live in safety with an aunt and uncle in their opulent mansion in San Francisco. There, as the rest of the world goes to war, she encounters Ichimei Fukuda, the quiet and gentle son of the family's Japanese gardener. Unnoticed by those around them, a tender love affair begins to blossom. Following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, the two are cruelly pulled apart as Ichimei and his family--like thousands of other Japanese Americans--are declared enemies and forcibly relocated to internment camps run by the United States government. Throughout their lifetimes, Alma and Ichimei reunite again and again, but theirs is a love that they are forever forced to hide from the world. Decades later, Alma is nearing the end of her long and eventful life. Irina Bazili, a care worker struggling to come to terms with her own troubled past, meets the elderly woman and her grandson, Seth, at San Francisco's charmingly eccentric Lark House nursing home. As Irina and Seth forge a friendship, they become intrigued by a series of mysterious gifts and letters sent to Alma, eventually learning about Ichimei and this extraordinary secret passion that has endured for nearly seventy years. Sweeping through time and spanning generations and continents, The Japanese Lover is written with the same keen understanding of her characters that Isabel Allende has been known for since her landmark first novel The House of the Spirits. The Japanese Lover is a moving tribute to the constancy of the human heart in a world of unceasing change.
Like a Mule Bringing Ice Cream to the Sun

Like a Mule Bringing Ice Cream to the Sun

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Dr. Morayo Da Silva is one of the most memorable characters you are likely to encounter on the page - intelligent, indomitable, author and survivor of a large life. In dreamlike prose, Manyika dips in and out of her present, her past, in a story that argues always for generosity, for connection, for a vigorous and joyful endurance. --Karen Joy Fowler, author of We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves, shortlisted for 2014 Man Booker Prize

If aging be a lamp, then Morayo, the protagonist in Like a Mule Bringing Ice Cream to the Sun is a mesmerising glow. Astute, sensual, funny, and moving. --NoViolet Bulawayo, author of We Need New Names, shortlisted for 2013 Man Booker Prize

From the instant you pick it up, you know that you will privy to the most intimate secrets. A beautiful, important new novel. --Peter Orner, author of Love and Shame and Love

Morayo Da Silva, a cosmopolitan Nigerian woman, lives in San Francisco. Almost seventy-five, she has a zest for life and enjoys road trips in her vintage Porsche. But when Morayo has an accident, crushing her independence, she is prompted to reassess her relationships and recollect her past life and loves. A humorous, joyful read.

Sarah Ladipo Manyika teaches literature at San Francisco State University. Her first novel, In Dependence, has sold over 1.5 million copies in Nigeria. Sarah sits on the boards of Hedgebrook and San Francisco's Museum of the African Diaspora and was the Chair of Judges for the Etisalat Prize for Literature in 2015.

Lincoln Highway

Lincoln Highway

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#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

More than ONE MILLION copies sold

A TODAY Show Read with Jenna Book Club Pick

A New York Times Notable Book, and Chosen by Oprah Daily, Time, NPR, The Washington Post and Barack Obama as a Best Book of the Year

"Wise and wildly entertaining . . . permeated with light, wit, youth." --The New York Times Book Review

"A classic that we will read for years to come." --Jenna Bush Hager, Read with Jenna book club

"A real joyride . . . elegantly constructed and compulsively readable." - NPR


The bestselling author of A Gentleman in Moscow and Rules of Civility and master of absorbing, sophisticated fiction returns with a stylish and propulsive novel set in 1950s America

In June, 1954, eighteen-year-old Emmett Watson is driven home to Nebraska by the warden of the juvenile work farm where he has just served fifteen months for involuntary manslaughter. His mother long gone, his father recently deceased, and the family farm foreclosed upon by the bank, Emmett's intention is to pick up his eight-year-old brother, Billy, and head to California where they can start their lives anew. But when the warden drives away, Emmett discovers that two friends from the work farm have hidden themselves in the trunk of the warden's car. Together, they have hatched an altogether different plan for Emmett's future, one that will take them all on a fateful journey in the opposite direction--to the City of New York.

Spanning just ten days and told from multiple points of view, Towles's third novel will satisfy fans of his multi-layered literary styling while providing them an array of new and richly imagined settings, characters, and themes.

Recitatif: A Story

Recitatif: A Story

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NEW YORK TIMES BEST SELLER - A beautiful, arresting story about race and the relationships that shape us through life by the legendary Nobel Prize winner--for the first time in a beautifully produced stand-alone edition, with an introduction by Zadie Smith

"A puzzle of a story, then--a game.... When [Morrison] called Recitatif an 'experiment' she meant it. The subject of the experiment is the reader." --Zadie Smith, award-winning, best-selling author of White Teeth

In this 1983 short story--the only short story Morrison ever wrote--we meet Twyla and Roberta, who have known each other since they were eight years old and spent four months together as roommates in St. Bonaventure shelter. Inseparable then, they lose touch as they grow older, only later to find each other again at a diner, a grocery store, and again at a protest. Seemingly at opposite ends of every problem, and at each other's throats each time they meet, the two women still cannot deny the deep bond their shared experience has forged between them.

Another work of genius by this masterly writer, Recitatif keeps Twyla's and Roberta's races ambiguous throughout the story. Morrison herself described Recitatif, a story which will keep readers thinking and discussing for years to come, as an experiment in the removal of all racial codes from a narrative about two characters of different races for whom racial identity is crucial. We know that one is white and one is Black, but which is which? And who is right about the race of the woman the girls tormented at the orphanage?

A remarkable look into what keeps us together and what keeps us apart, and how perceptions are made tangible by reality, Recitatif is a gift to readers in these changing times.

SO LONG, SEE YOU TOMORROW

SO LONG, SEE YOU TOMORROW

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In this magically evocative novel, William Maxwell explores the enigmatic gravity of the past, which compels us to keep explaining it even as it makes liars out of us every time we try. On a winter morning in the 1920s, a shot rings out on a farm in rural Illinois. A man named Lloyd Wilson has been killed. And the tenuous friendship between two lonely teenagers--one privileged yet neglected, the other a troubled farm boy--has been shattered. Fifty years later, one of those boys--now a grown man--tries to reconstruct the events that led up to the murder. In doing so, he is inevitably drawn back to his lost friend Cletus, who has the misfortune of being the son of Wilson's killer and who in the months before witnessed things that Maxwell's narrator can only guess at. Out of memory and imagination, the surmises of children and the destructive passions of their parents, Maxwell creates a luminous American classic of youth and loss.

Still Life: A Chief Inspector Gamache Novel

Still Life: A Chief Inspector Gamache Novel

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In Still Life, bestselling author Louise Penny introduces Monsieur L'Inspecteur Armand Gamache of the Surete du Quebec, a modern Poirot who anchors this beloved traditional mystery series

Winner of the New Blood Dagger, Arthur Ellis, Barry, Anthony, and Dilys awards.

Chief Inspector Armand Gamache of the Surêté du Québec and his team of investigators are called in to the scene of a suspicious death in a rural village south of Montreal. Jane Neal, a local fixture in the tiny hamlet of Three Pines, just north of the U.S. border, has been found dead in the woods. The locals are certain it's a tragic hunting accident and nothing more, but Gamache smells something foul in these remote woods, and is soon certain that Jane Neal died at the hands of someone much more sinister than a careless bowhunter.

Still Life introduces not only an engaging series hero in Inspector Gamache, who commands his forces---and this series---with integrity and quiet courage, but also a winning and talented new writer of traditional mysteries in the person of Louise Penny.

The Grapes of Wrath

The Grapes of Wrath

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The Pulitzer Prize-winning epic of the Great Depression, a book that galvanized--and sometimes outraged--millions of readers. Nominated as one of America's best-loved novels by PBS's The Great American Read

A Penguin Classic

First published in 1939, Steinbeck's Pulitzer Prize-winning epic of the Great Depression chronicles the Dust Bowl migration of the 1930s and tells the story of one Oklahoma farm family, the Joads--driven from their homestead and forced to travel west to the promised land of California. Out of their trials and their repeated collisions against the hard realities of an America divided into Haves and Have-Nots evolves a drama that is intensely human yet majestic in its scale and moral vision, elemental yet plainspoken, tragic but ultimately stirring in its human dignity. A portrait of the conflict between the powerful and the powerless, of one man's fierce reaction to injustice, and of one woman's stoical strength, the novel captures the horrors of the Great Depression and probes into the very nature of equality and justice in America. At once a naturalistic epic, captivity narrative, road novel, and transcendental gospel, Steinbeck's powerful landmark novel is perhaps the most American of American Classics.

This Penguin Classics edition contains an introduction and notes by Steinbeck scholar Robert Demott.

For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,800 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.