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Welcome to the Free Press Book Club!
To help ease some of the isolation-related boredom, we’ve started a monthly book club which will run completely online and is open to anyone and everyone to join.
Each month, we will choose a novel and share it on this page, as well as in an email to those who have registered to participate. We’ll send a couple of follow up notes to check in on your progress and suggest a few discussion topics and questions to think about as you go.
At the end of the month, we’ll all gather to participate in a livestream book club meeting, hosted by our books editor, Ben Sigurdson, or one of our pals from McNally Robinson Booksellers, as well as the author of the book.
You’ll be able to submit questions ahead of time, or drop them into one of the live chat boxes during the meeting. (And don’t worry, we’ll provide an easy-to-access link to the stream, so all you have to do is click.)
Right now, our focus is on local authors of varying genres and backgrounds, so we hope you’re excited to dive in.
Songs for the End of the World
By: Saleema Nawaz
From Penguin Random House:
This is the story of a handful of people who find themselves living through an unfolding catastrophe.
Elliot is a first responder in New York, a man running from past failures and struggling to do the right thing. Emma is a pregnant singer preparing to headline a benefit concert for victims of the outbreak--all while questioning what kind of world her child is coming into. Owen is the author of a bestselling plague novel with eerie similarities to the real-life pandemic. As fact and fiction begin to blur, he must decide whether his lifelong instinct for self-preservation has been worth the cost.
As the novel moves back and forth in time, we discover these characters' ties to one another--and to those whose lives intersect with theirs--in an extraordinary web of connection and community that reveals none of us is ever truly alone. Linking them all is the mystery of the so-called ARAMIS Girl, a woman at the first infection site whose unknown identity and whereabouts cause a furor.
Written and revised between 2013 and 2019, and brilliantly told by an unforgettable chorus of voices, Saleema Nawaz's glittering novel is a moving and hopeful meditation on what we owe to ourselves and to each other. It reminds us that disaster can bring out the best in people--and that coming together may be what saves us in the end.
Free Press Book Club pick annoucement
Songs for the End of the World, by Saleema Nawaz
Expect an email from us to check in on your progress. We’ll offer up some discussion questions and other things to think about as you continue reading.
Livestream information email
This email will provide all the information you need for our livestream book club event, including the access link, some information about your viewing options and how you can submit your questions for the author ahead of time. This information will also be posted to our Free Press Book Club Facebook group.
Free Press Book Club meeting
Join our live chat starting at 7 p.m. CST with special guest, author Saleema Nawaz. We’ll also announce the March book club pick at the end of the meeting.
If you have any questions, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
By: Katherena Vermette
Don’t Try This at Home
By: Rob Krause and Daria Salamon
Older Sister. Not Necessarily Related.: a memoir
By: Jenny Heijun Wills
Here the Dark
By: David Bergen
All Our Relations
By: Tanya Talaga
This Has Nothing to Do With You
By: Lauren Carter
Black Water: Family, Legacy and Blood Memory
By: David A. Robertson
By: Joan Thomas
December 2020/January 2021