2021 Reading Challenge

2021 Reading Challenge
Jill Elizabeth has read 3 books toward her goal of 245 books.

Excerpt: A Good Mother by Lara Bazelon

About the Book

A gripping page turner about two young mothers, one grisly murder, and the lengths both women will go in the name of their children.

When young decorated combat veteran Travis Hollis is found stabbed through the heart at a U.S. Army base in Germany, there is no doubt that his wife, Luz, is to blame. But was it an act of self defense? A frenzied attempt to save her infant daughter from domestic abuse? Or the cold blood murder of an innocent man? Continue reading Excerpt: A Good Mother by Lara Bazelon

Interested in Author Events about New Titles?

Happy May! With warmer days ahead, it’s the perfect time to discover your next beach read—and what better way than hearing the author talk about their books themselves? Dutton & Plume offer the following information on several fun events coming up this month…


By John Green

May 17, 7:30pm ET

Presented by Brookline Booksmith, Community Bookstore, and Gibson’s Bookstore, in partnership with The Wilbur Theater—Zoom

Purchase tickets here.

May 18, 7pm ET

Presented by Bookshop Santa Cruz, Boulder Book Store, and Peregrine Book Company—Zoom

Purchase tickets here.

May 19, 7pm ET

Presented by Quail Ridge Books, Blue Willow Bookshop, Thank You Books, and Charis Books & More—Zoom 

Purchase tickets here

May 22, 2pm ET

Presented by Joseph-Beth Booksellers, Seminary Co-op Bookstore, and Left Bank Bookstore—Zoom

Purchase tickets here.

A deeply moving and insightful collection of personal essays from #1 bestselling author John Green. 
The Anthropocene is the current geologic age, in which humans have profoundly reshaped the planet and its biodiversity. In this remarkable symphony of essays adapted and expanded from his groundbreaking podcast, bestselling author John Green reviews different facets of the human-centered planet on a five-star scale—from the QWERTY keyboard and sunsets to Canada geese and Penguins of Madagascar. Funny, complex, and rich with detail, the reviews chart the contradictions of contemporary humanity.



by Travis M. Andrews

May 3, 5pm CT

At the Garden District Book Shop Happy Hour—Facebook Live

Attend here

An irreverent yet deeply researched biography about the always offbeat, suddenly meme-able, and wildly popular actor.
An irreverent yet deeply researched biography about the always offbeat, suddenly meme-able and wildly popular actor. Goldblum has become one of Hollywood’s most enduring actors, someone who only seems to grow more famous and more beloved through the decades, even though he’s always followed his own, strange muse. Actor, pianist, husband, father, style icon, meme. Goldblum contains multitudes, but why? What does he mean? The Washington Post’s Travis M. Andrews decided to find out…and then he took what he learned and he wrote this new semi-biography, semi-rumination, and semi-ridiculous look at the career of Goldblum.


GEORGE WASHINGTON: The Political Rise of America’s Founding Father

by David O. Stewart

May 3, 7pm ET

At the Gaithersburg Book Festival—YouTube 

Register here

May 17, 8pm ET

At the St. Louis County Library—FB Live

Register here.




A fascinating and illuminating account of how George Washington became the single most dominant force in the creation of the United States of America, from award-winning author David O. Stewart.


“An outstanding biography… [George Washington] has a narrative drive such a life deserves.”—The Wall Street Journal



by Eileen Garvin

May 4, 7pm ET

At the Northwest Passages Book Club—Zoom

Register here.

May 5, 1pm ET

On Good Housekeeping’s Instagram—IG Live

Attend here



Good Housekeeping’s Book Club Pick!
A heartwarming debut novel for readers of Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine, following three lonely strangers in a rural Oregon town, each working through grief and life’s curveballs, who are brought together by happenstance on a local honeybee. As an unexpected friendship blossoms among the three, a nefarious pesticide company moves to town, threatening the local honeybee population and illuminating deep-seated corruption in the community. The unlikely trio must unite for the sake of the bees–and in the process, they just might forge a new future for themselves.



Jessica Bacal

May 6, 9am ET

With Whitney Johnson—LinkedIn Live

Attend here

May 6, 1pm ET

Women + Work Culture—LinkedInLive

Attend here.

From the groundbreaking author of Mistakes I Made at Work, comes the perfect book for anyone who needs inspiration after dealing with rejection, failure, or is searching for a new beginning in the workplace. Featuring fascinating interviews with more than twenty-five women, including Keri Smith, Angela Duckworth, and Roz Chast, The Rejection That Changed My Life provides an exciting new way to think about career challenges, changes, and triumphs. 
“[Bacal’s] message of normalizing setbacks comes across most powerfully in a conclusion considering universal themes of struggle and renewal. This affirming compilation will make a good gift for early-career women seeking to find their footing.”—Publishers Weekly



by Jess McHugh

May 11, 1:30pm ET

At the American Library in Paris—Zoom

Register here.

Surprising and delightfully engrossing, Americanon explores the true history of thirteen of the nation’s most popular books. Overlooked for centuries, our simple dictionaries, spellers, almanacs, and how-to manuals are the unexamined touchstones for American cultures and customs. These books sold tens of millions of copies and set out specific archetypes for the ideal American, from the self-made entrepreneur to the humble farmer. Taken together, these books help us understand how their authors, most of them part of a powerful minority, attempted to construct meaning for the majority. Their beliefs and quirks—as well as personal interests, prejudices, and often strange personalities—informed the values and habits of millions of Americans, woven into our cultural DNA over generations of reading and dog-earing. Yet their influence remains uninvestigated. Until now.
“Journalist McHugh examines a long bookshelf of didactic books by which Americans have self-educated… A worthy, capably told look at a small canon of works demonstrating how to do well by doing good.”—Kirkus 



R.H. Herron

May 14, 7pm CT

At Murder by the Book—YouTube/FB Live

Register here.

From the author of Stolen Things comes a twisty thriller that asks how tightly we are bound to our pasts, how much we can trust those around us, and how far a mother will go to protect her child. 
Jillian Marsh is a survivor. She escaped her toxic upbringing at the hands of her religious zealot mother as a teenager, and after hitting rock bottom due to alcoholism in her twenties, she not only got sober and she built a successful marriage and medical career. But nearly a decade later, things are once again going downhill for Jillian: single, pregnant, and things are going missing in her house. As things in Jillian’s home begin to escalate, and the missing items turn into unambiguous threats, Jillian only knows one thing for sure: she will do anything to protect her baby.



Denise Kiernan

May 16, 5pm ET

At the Greensboro Bound Literary Festival—YouTube

Register here

From the New York Times bestselling author of The Last Castle and The Girls of Atomic City comes a new way to look at American history through the story of giving thanks.
From Ancient Rome through 21st-century America, bestselling author Denise Kiernan brings us a biography of an idea: gratitude, as a compelling human instinct and a global concept, more than just a mere holiday. Spanning centuries, We Gather Together is anchored amid the strife of the Civil War, and driven by the fascinating story of Sarah Josepha Hale, a widowed mother with no formal schooling who became one of the 19th century’s most influential tastemakers and who campaigned for decades to make real an annual day of thanks.



Kenneth Cukier, Viktor Mayer-Schonberger, and Francis de Vericourt

May 20, 1pm ET

At the Commonwealth Club—Zoom/YouTube

Register here

To frame is to make a mental model that enables us to see patterns, predict how things will unfold, and make sense of new situations. Frames guide the decisions we make and the results we attain. People have long focused on traits like memory and reasoning leaving framing all but ignored. But with computers becoming better at some of those cognitive tasks, framing stands out as a critical function—and only humans can do it. This book is the first guide to mastering this innate human ability.
“A great book filled with fresh perspectives to help us out during the rise of AI so we can usher in the Age of Humanity.”—will.i.am, musician and entrepreneur



Lauryn Chamberlain

May 20, 7pm ET

At Astoria Bookshop—Crowdcast

Register here

A timeless story about female friendship. Jules O’Brien and Michelle Davis have been best friends since third grade, when Jules and her single mother moved from Cleveland to the small Alabama town where Michelle’s family has lived for generations. Now in their midtwenties, the childhood friends live miles and worlds apart. When Jules agrees to be the maid of honor in Michelle’s wedding, she quickly realizes just how different the two have become, and they feel more like strangers than the sisters they once were. When their friendship reaches a breaking point, Jules will have to decide if the bond they once had as girls is strong enough to reunite the women they are now. 



Julie DiCaro

May 27, 7pm ET

At Porter Square Books—Crowdcast

Register here.

Shrill meets Brotopia in this personal and researched look at women’s rights and issues through the lens of sports, from an award-winning sports journalist and women’s advocate.
No one is better equipped to examine sports through this feminist lens than sports journalist Julie DiCaro. Throughout her experiences covering professional sports for more than a decade, DiCaro has been outspoken about the exploitation of the female body, the covert and overt sexism women face in the workplace, and the male-driven toxicity in sports fandom. Now through candid interviews, personal anecdotes, and deep research, she’s tackling these thorny issues and exploring what America can do to give women a fair and competitive playing field in sports and beyond.


Book Review: Fragile World by Kerby Rosanes

Oh. My. Goodness! This one is more art than coloring book…

Here’s the blurb: Fragile World is a coloring book to savor, exploring fifty-six endangered, vulnerable, and threatened animals and landscapes—from the Tapanuli orangutan to the hawksbill turtle, from Philippine bat caves to the Baltic Sea. Continue reading Book Review: Fragile World by Kerby Rosanes

Excerpt: Committed by Paolina Milana

About the Book

Los Angeles – May 2021 – Imagine keeping a family secret about your mother’s mental illness and growing up as one of the offspring charged with “caring for crazy.” Then, to compound the horror, witnessing another version of schizophrenia as it consumes your younger sister – who you practically raised yourself, thanks to your mother’s frailty. To see Paolina Milana as an example of resilience might be the understatement of all time.  Continue reading Excerpt: Committed by Paolina Milana

Book Review: The Ladies of the Secret Circus by Constance Sayers

This was such a brilliant tale! I love when an author comes up with a wholly original construct, and Constance Sayers is an expert at that.. She blends history, family, good vs. evil, murder, the circus, and mystery together into a seamless whole here that I found absolutely magical and enthralling from the first pages. It’s hard to say much about the plot without giving things away – and this was such a thoroughly enjoyable ride that I wouldn’t risk doing that for anything. Continue reading Book Review: The Ladies of the Secret Circus by Constance Sayers