BOOKS

THE ZEG BOOKCLUB PICKS 2023

“A Spell of Good Things” by Ayọ̀bámi Adébáyọ̀
This novel follows the story of Eniola, a tall boy who appears older than his age. With his father out of work, Eniola spends his days doing odd jobs for the local tailor, such as collecting newspapers, begging when necessary, and dreaming of a better future. On the other hand, Wuraola is a successful young doctor, exhausted from her first year of practice, and is in a relationship with Kunle, the son of a rising politician. Their lives become intertwined when a local politician takes an interest in Eniola, and a sudden act of violence disrupts a family gathering.

“Crossroads” by Jonathan Franzen
It’s December 23, 1971, and Chicago is expecting heavy weather. Russ Hildebrandt, an associate pastor of a liberal suburban church, is on the verge of ending his joyless marriage unless his wife, Marion, who has her own secrets, beats him to it. Their eldest child, Clem, is returning home from college with strong moral convictions, ready to shatter his father with his recent actions. Meanwhile, Clem’s sister, Becky, once the popular socialite of her high school, has taken a sharp turn towards the counterculture. Their brilliant younger brother Perry, who has been selling drugs to seventh graders, is determined to turn over a new leaf. Each member of the Hildebrandt family seeks freedom, but each threatens to complicate the others’ pursuit of it.

“Mouth to Mouth by Antoine Wilson
In the first-class lounge at JFK airport, our narrator is approached by Jeff Cook, a former classmate he barely remembers. Jeff shares an incredible story about how his life took a dramatic turn after he saved a drowning man.
After the life-changing incident on the beach, Jeff becomes obsessed with the man he rescued, convinced that their destinies are intertwined. The man turns out to be the famous art dealer Francis Arsenault, and Jeff begins to secretly visit his gallery in Beverly Hills. Although Francis doesn’t recognize Jeff as his savior, he sees potential in him and takes Jeff under his wing, introducing him to a world where knowledge, taste, and access hold great value.
As the two men’s paths intertwine and diverge, the novel leads to a staggering conclusion, questioning the nature of reality and what truly matters in their complex and intertwined lives.

“Stoner” by John Williams
William Stoner, a young man from a farm in Missouri who initially enrolls in college to study agriculture but discovers a deep passion for literature. Throughout his academic journey, Stoner encounters various challenges, including a troubled marriage and setbacks in his career. The novel offers a poignant and touching portrayal of a man’s quest to find his purpose in life while dealing with the intricate emotions of love, grief, and the human experience.

My Life as a Russian Novel
This memoir is a fascinating exploration of the author’s own life and the lives of those around him, set against the backdrop of Russia’s tumultuous history. Carrère’s writing is both lyrical and deeply personal, drawing the reader in and immersing them in his world. He explores themes of love, loss, and identity with a raw, refreshing, and challenging honesty.

 

 

 

John Waites
A veteran who is passionate about inspiring others through travel and art, sharing ideas for personal growth and fulfilment.

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