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Book Club Thu Nov 05 2009

The 2010 Book List

The Gapers Block Book Club is ready for another year. For the 2010 book list, Veronica and I not only considered some of the most current reading suggestions from the group, but we also looked back at previous book suggestions that had not yet been selected. Once again, we thank everyone for their input.

And, the 11 finalists are:

The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen (Picador USA, 2002; 576 p.)
As she loses her husband to Parkinson's disease, Enid Lambert is determined to bring her adult children together for "one last Christmas." The Corrections is a winner of the National Book Award. (Born in Chicago.)

The Stone Diaries by Carol Shields (Penguin, 1995; 361 p.)
This epic novel details the life of Daisy Goodwill from her birth in Manitoba in 1905 to her death nearly a century later. Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. (Oak Park native.)

Red Azalea by Anchee Min (Anchor, 2006; 306 p.)
Red Azalea is Min's critically acclaimed memoir of growing up in the last years of Mao's China, ending with her emigration to the U.S. in 1984. (Earned MFA at the Art Institute of Chicago.)

Gang Leader for a Day by Sudhir Venkatesh (Penguin, 2009; 302 p.)
Gang Leader for a Day is the powerful story of how a graduate sociology student at the University of Chicago befriended a leader of the Black Kings and gained unprecedented access to the inner working of Chicago's street gang and drug-dealing operations.

The Order of Odd-Fish by James Kennedy (Laurel Leaf Library, 2010; 416 p.)
Thirteen-year-old Jo lives with her Aunt Lily in California, but Jo and her aunt are taken to the fantastic world of Eldritch City, where Jo must discover who she is and fulfill her destiny. (Chicago resident.)

Jimmy Corrigan: The Smartest Kid on Earth by Chris Ware (Pantheon, 2003; 380 p.)
At age 36, Jimmy Corrigan meets his father for the first time in this acclaimed first graphic novel by cartoonist Chris Ware. (Oak Park resident.)

The Wild Things by Dave Eggers (McSweeney's, 2009; 288 p.)
Novelization based on the children's book Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak and Spike Jonze's screenplay for the film based on the same. (Former Lake Forest resident.)

Loving Frank by Nancy Horan (Ballantine, 2008; 377 p.)
Fictional account of the true story of Mamah Borthwick Cheney and her love affair with architect Frank Lloyd Wright. (Oak Park native.)

Young Lonigan by James T. Farrell (Penguin, 2003; 224 p.)
Originally published in 1932, this is part one of the classic Studs Lonigan trilogy, which covers five months of Lonigan's life in 1916, when he is sixteen years old. (Chicago native.)

Chicago: A Novel by Alaa Al Aswany (Harper Perennial, 2009; 352 p.)
An ambitious story following a short period in the lives of several students and faculty at the University of Illinois in post-9/11 Chicago. (Former Chicago resident.)

The Cradle by Patrick Somerville (Little Brown, 2009; 203 p.)
Matthew Bishop leaves on an impossible quest to recover an antique cradle once belonging to his wife Marissa, who is pregnant with their first child, but his fool's errand becomes a journey of self-discovery as mysteries unfold and long-held secrets are revealed. (Chicago resident.)

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Book Club is the literary section of Gapers Block, covering Chicago's authors, poets and literary events. More...

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