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Book Club: August AND September Selections

I am so enjoying “Shanghai Girls,” this month’s DW book club selection, and I am excited to discuss it next week. Since “Wild,” the new memoir by fellow advice columnist, Cheryl Strayed (she’s “Dear Sugar” from The Rumpus, for those who don’t know), was a close second in our vote for July’s pick, I thought it would be a good selection for August. And since so many of you enjoyed reading Jonathan Tropper’s “This is Where I Leave You,” our book club selection in May, let’s read his newest novel, “One Last Thing Before I Go,” which will be published in a few weeks, for September.

Again, we’ll read “Wild” for August, which you can buy here (ebook) and here (hardback).

And, “One Last Thing Before I Go” for September, which you can pre-order here (ebook) and here (hardback).




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avatar rachel July 24, 2012, 3:11 pm

Yay! I’ve been meaning to read Wild, and I’ll actually have some free time in August to read!

avatar The_Yellow_Dart July 24, 2012, 3:12 pm

Woo hoo! I’m really looking forward to the new Tropper book! (Oh, and _Shanghai Girls_ ends on a cliffhanger – so I’m currently in the middle of reading _Dreams of Joy_, the sequel.)

katie katie July 24, 2012, 3:14 pm

ok. i really want to get back into reading. will you all pester me to read these books? which means i actually have to find the library where i live now, and go there and get a library card…

avatar painted_lady July 24, 2012, 4:06 pm

Katie, seriously, you MUST read Wild. It is amazing. You, specifically, will love it. Cheryl Strayed is amazing – she’s tough and funny and smart, but she also has such a warmth to her. And this memoir, wow, she lays it all out on the table, warts and all. She’s got such an amazing tale to tell.

katie katie July 24, 2012, 4:10 pm

ok, can you please nag me? and first nag me to just go and get the library card, and then nag me to read the book. ok, thanks. lol

iwannatalktosampson iwannatalktosampson July 24, 2012, 4:17 pm

Get a library card!!! I love mine – I go to the Arvada library in olde town. Nerdy huh? For some reason I can waste all the money in the world on lululemon and mani/pedis but the thought of spending money on a book I will only read once is just outrageous to me. Plus with a library card you’ll be more motivated to read books you normally wouldn’t because you don’t feel the pressure to only read a book you know you’ll love.

katie katie July 24, 2012, 4:22 pm

i know, i know… but, i just worked up the courage (like thats needed…) to go to my old library in aurora in like january, but now that ive moved, i have to go find out where a new library is, and go there, and then potentially have them yell at me because i have a colorado drivers license. ill have to take like a paycheck or something with me with my current address, because i decided im not getting an illinois ID. you have to take a freaking written test to switch over your license. come on. im not doing that.

avatar Clare July 24, 2012, 4:29 pm

An ID is an ID, so they shouldn’t bother you about it being from a different state. I live in Canada but use my California driver’s license (with a 10 year old photo of me as a smug 15 year old) and I’ve never been hassled.

avatar bethany July 25, 2012, 4:20 pm

My library makes you prove that you live in the township/town. So if you showed up with an out of state ID they wouldn’t give you a card.

iwannatalktosampson iwannatalktosampson July 24, 2012, 4:38 pm

Ummmmm not having an in state drivers license if you’re not a student is a crime. I used to prosecute those. But a written test is stupid.

End of lecture.

avatar Clare July 24, 2012, 4:40 pm

Yikes! I didn’t know that.

katie katie July 24, 2012, 4:53 pm

dont tell me that!!! ahhh dang it.

avatar d2 July 25, 2012, 7:10 am

Ahh Katie, look on the bright side. At least you won’t have to take a reading test to get a library card – it’ll be much easier!

avatar rachel July 24, 2012, 4:54 pm

What about plates? I love my Colorado plates. They’re adopt a shelter pet plates, and they say WUF!

iwannatalktosampson iwannatalktosampson July 24, 2012, 4:58 pm

Haha you’re a mess. Now go respond on my Update RR forum issue.

avatar painted_lady July 24, 2012, 4:24 pm

Yes! A thousand times this! I hadn’t been able to bring myself to buy another Tropper book, and I’d been meaning to read The Kite Runner for something like five years, plus get through more feminist literature, and also stupidly enough the most recent Janet Evanovich Stephanie Plum schlock because that shit is like chocolate covered bacon and the worst thing in the world for you but so awesome while you’re consuming it. I hadn’t done any of it because the last few books I bought weren’t very good, and thanks to my amazing library less than three blocks away, I have done ALL of this in about six weeks and haven’t spent a dime.

katie katie July 24, 2012, 4:27 pm

ahhh the kite runner is so good! we read that in high school. and then i also read the authors second novel a thousand splendid suns. also amazing. i think a thousand splendid suns could be maybe feminist. i mean its about girls. i dont think i actually know what feminist literature is about… but thats probably the closest ive ever come. lol

the essay i wrote from the kite runner got me into AP english, and then i won the AP english student of the year award. its a good book.

avatar painted_lady July 24, 2012, 4:43 pm

Margaret Atwood’s Cat’s Eye was my latest. The protagonist is an artist, and a lot of it was about her becoming a woman she wanted to be, and the bumps in the road along the way, and how dealing with different women at different stages in life can be so fraught but that sometimes it’s that way because we’re our own worst enemies. It’s a really interesting read. Actually, in a lot of ways it’s similar to Kite Runner in that the protagonist does some pretty awful things, partly as a reaction to being treated poorly, and has to deal with some prejudices (about her as a woman as opposed to being Afghani), and learns to make peace with as much of it as possible.

avatar Clare July 24, 2012, 4:26 pm

I read a ton, so I get most of my books from the library. Plus, my library has an online e-book system, so you can check them out and read them on your computer/ipad/kindle/nook/etc. It’s great! I generally only buy books that I’ve read before (I know that’s weird!) and know I’ll want to read again, so I get my money worth.

When you go to sign up for the card, you’ll probably need to bring something with you with your address on it (a bill, piece of mail, etc) to prove you actually live where you say you do. Just an fyi? Not sure why I’m adding that, but oh well!

katie katie July 24, 2012, 4:29 pm


omg if my new library doesnt have that ill die. you have the coolest library.

avatar Clare July 24, 2012, 4:30 pm

Yeah, it’s awesome! I’m actually living somewhere else this summer, but can still check books out and read them on my computer. It is amazing and the best invention ever. And you can get audiobooks for your ipod too!

iwannatalktosampson iwannatalktosampson July 24, 2012, 4:40 pm

Clare – I want to do this!!! I have an I-pad and a kindle fire so I should be able to use my library card with one of them right? Is it an app or should I call my library or how did you set that up??

avatar Clare July 24, 2012, 4:44 pm

Each library system is different, so you have to check if your library has it. The main system they use is called Overdrive — you access it through your library’s website (if they have it). You just need a username and password for mine, which is your library card number and the password is usually just part of your phone number or something at first. Check your library website and it should have something about ebooks or Overdrive or something. I hope you have it! It is seriously amazing. And you can put a hold on a book you want and they just email you when it’s ready and you download it, then the books magically disappear after 2 or 3 weeks, whatever checkout length you set.

iwannatalktosampson iwannatalktosampson July 24, 2012, 4:58 pm

Oh my gosh I’m calling mine now….at work. please hold. I’ll update you shortly.

avatar painted_lady July 24, 2012, 5:08 pm

If my tiny small-town lazy island library has them, I would bet a million bucks just about everyone has them.

iwannatalktosampson iwannatalktosampson July 24, 2012, 5:18 pm

Ladies. I figured it out. This is a great day in my personal history. The day I can get free books on my ipad. Holy balls. I need to go celebrate. This is the happiest I’ve been all week. (I hope that doesn’t make my life seem pathetic).

avatar Clare July 24, 2012, 5:21 pm


avatar painted_lady July 24, 2012, 4:11 pm

Apparently “amazing” is the only superlative I could muster. Good job, dork.

iwannatalktosampson iwannatalktosampson July 24, 2012, 3:40 pm

Oh man I’ve already read the tropper book because I had to after the last one of his that we read. Or maybe that was a different tropper book? Either way I’m pumped because that guy is an awesome writer right up my alley.

I love this book club Wendy. Even though I rarely actually read the books in the months I’m supposed to it really helps me branch out! Otherwise I just re-read harry potter and twilight any time I have free time. (I’m re-reading the 6th harry potter right now. For probably the 6th time.)

call-me-hobo call-me-hobo July 24, 2012, 3:51 pm

IWTTS- “The Book Thief” should be your next free-time read. UH-mah-zing.

avatar painted_lady July 24, 2012, 4:01 pm

Is it?! I have it sitting under my coffee table and haven’t been able to persuade myself to get past the first two chapters. I don’t know anyone else who’s even heard of it, so once I return my mess of books to the library, I’m going to have to get on it. I do have to say, the descriptions of everything – everything! – in color really spoke to me.

call-me-hobo call-me-hobo July 24, 2012, 4:58 pm

It’s such a beautiful book. Although- a disclaimer- I wept like a baby while reading. The descriptions and metaphors were so heart wrenching and beautiful. It’s such a touching story.

avatar Clare July 24, 2012, 4:28 pm

My sister gave that to me for my birthday like 4 years ago and I still haven’t read it. I started it but gave it up, which is weird because I NEVER do that. Even if I hate a book and think it’s terrible, I am compelled to finish it.

iwannatalktosampson iwannatalktosampson July 25, 2012, 3:31 pm

Thanks CMH! I’m on it.

Kristina Kristina July 24, 2012, 3:59 pm

I keep meaning to read “Wild”, and I think I will make myself do it this time!

avatar CattyGoLightly July 24, 2012, 4:01 pm

I want to get into the book club too! I keep meaning to read new books, but it’s so easy to go back to ones you know and love.
I’ll do it for August!

avatar bethany July 24, 2012, 4:02 pm

Yay!! I’mr eally excited to read the Trooper book. I really enjoyed THis is Where I leave You.

avatar Nadine July 24, 2012, 11:32 pm

Wild was so great! Best book I’ve read in a long time. Cant wait to hear everyones thoughts.

chicotia chicotia July 25, 2012, 3:19 pm

I’m excited about both of these selections and that I can borrow an e-book from the library! Yay!