Content Book Club: Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine
Monday February 11 | 7:00PM - 8:00PM
Content's in-house book club is open to all, and features a diverse selection of great reads. It meets at 7pm on the second Monday of the month at Content. This month's selection is a smart, warm, and uplifting story of an out-of-the-ordinary heroine whose deadpan weirdness and unconscious wit make for an irresistible journey as she realizes the only way to survive is to open her heart.
"Beautifully written and incredibly funny, Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine is about the importance of friendship and human connection. I fell in love with Eleanor, an eccentric and regimented loner whose life beautifully unfolds after a chance encounter with a stranger; I think you will fall in love, too!" –Reese Witherspoon
No one's ever told Eleanor that life should be better than fine. She struggles with appropriate social skills and tends to say exactly what she's thinking. Nothing is missing in her carefully timetabled life of avoiding social interactions, where weekends are punctuated by frozen pizza, vodka, and phone chats with Mummy.
But everything changes when Eleanor meets Raymond, the bumbling and deeply unhygienic IT guy from her office. When she and Raymond together save Sammy, an elderly gentleman who has fallen on the sidewalk, the three become the kinds of friends who rescue one another from the lives of isolation they have each been living. And it is Raymond's big heart that will ultimately help Eleanor find the way to repair her own profoundly damaged one.
GAIL HONEYMAN is a graduate of the universities of Glasgow and Oxford. Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine is a #1 New York Times bestseller, and has won awards around the globe, including the Costa First Novel Award, the British Book Awards Book of the Year, and the BAMB Reader's Choice Award. This is Honeyman's debut novel and she lives in Glasgow, Scotland.
Graphic Novel Book Club: Local
Tuesday February 19 | 7:00PM - 8:00PM
From Brian Wood (Demo, DMZ, Northlanders) and Ryan Kelly (Lucifer, American Virgin) comes Local, a collection of twelve interconnected short stories. Crossing genres as it crosses the country, this month's pick examines a young woman who sets off from Portland, OR, with nothing but a backpack and a bad case of wanderlust.
"This graphic novel in 12 short stories follows punky dreamer Megan McKeenan as she roams America. Each short represents a different year in a different city, as she takes odd jobs, gets into creepy relationships and lives the extended childhood of many 20-somethings. Though she often lies and gets into dodgy situations, Megan approaches people with the instinctive wisdom that only young wanderers have. Wood, author of the hugely popular comic DMZ, has created a contemporary ballad to the idea of the open road. It's both frightening and freeing to see how identity can be as fluid as location. Megan moves from state to state, dealing with roommates and dead-end jobs and looking for an existence that befits her intelligence and desire for authenticity. She's not a lost cause; she simply chooses, for personal reasons, to drift a while."
Hosted by comics über-geek David Wolff, this group is fun and accessible for adventurous readers who are curious about the medium, and interesting for even the most die-hard fans. Since graphic novels are quick and engrossing, this could be a great book club for you if your reading time is limited, or are looking to expand your horizons. We read a diversity of titles that show the range of the art form while giving us plenty to talk about. Selections are generally for mature readers, and are available at our usual 10% book club discount. No need to sign up, just show up!
Content Book Club: The Keeper of Lost Things
Monday March 11 | 7:00PM - 8:00PM
Content's in-house book club is open to all, and features a diverse selection of great reads. It meets at 7pm on the second Monday of the month at Content. This month's pick is a charming, clever, and quietly moving debut novel of of endless possibilities and joyful discoveries that explores the promises we make and break, losing and finding ourselves, the objects that hold magic and meaning for our lives, and the surprising connections that bind us.
"From the attention-grabbing opening paragraph, to the joyful conclusion, Ruth Hogan has stirred together a charming fairytale in which the people may be more lost than the things; and generosity and compassion may be the key to finding a way home. Also there are dogs. Delightful." —Helen Simonson, author of The Summer Before the War and Major Pettigrew's Last Stand
Anthony Peardew is the Keeper of Lost Things. Once a celebrated author of short stories, now in his twilight years, Anthony has sought consolation from the long-ago loss of his fiancée by lovingly rescuing lost objects--the things others have dropped, misplaced, or accidently left behind. Realizing that he's running out of time, he leaves his beautiful house and all the collected treasures to his unsuspecting assistant, Laura, the one person he trusts to fulfill his legacy.
Recovering from a bad divorce, Laura is in some ways one of Anthony's lost things. But when she moves into his lovely old Victorian mansion, her life suddenly begins to change. Anthony's final wishes set in motion a most serendipitous series of encounters as Laura sets out to realize Anthony's last wish: reuniting his cherished lost objects with their owners.
With an unforgettable cast of characters that includes a teenage girl with special powers, a handsome gardener, a fussy ghost, and an array of irresistible four-legged friends, The Keeper of Lost Things is a heartwarming read about second chances, endless possibilities, and joyful discoveries.
RUTH HOGAN describes herself as a "rapacious reader, writer, and incorrigible magpie" whose own love of small treasures and curiosities and the people around her inspired her first novel. She lives north of London.
CONTINENTAL BREAKFAST poetry reading with Danny Caine
Tuesday March 26 | 7:00PM - 8:30PM
“Danny Caine’s Continental Breakfast portrays suburban life in the Midwest with humor, pathos, and tender care. Populating chain restaurants, deserted shopping malls, and family Passover dinners, the characters of the poems narrate an experience that, while familiar to many, doesn’t often make it into the pages of poetry collections. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll raise your can of Bud Lite.”
– Megan Kaminski, Author of Deep City
Continental Breakfast, an often-humorous book, explores the effect of mass commercialism on identity, love, religion, and the American landscape. From Kanye West at Waffle House to dead malls to Passover candy, the book questions how branding and celebrity function as filters through which we see the world.
DANNY CAINE is the author of the forthcoming poetry collections Continental Breakfast (Mason Jar Press, 2019) and El Dorado Freddy's (Belt Publishing, 2020). His chapbook Uncle Harold's Maxwell House Haggadah is available now from Etchings Press. He's been published (or has work forthcoming) in Barrelhouse, DIAGRAM, Mid-American Review, New Ohio Review, Hobart, The Minnesota Review, Queen Mob's Teahouse, Atticus Review, Dressing Room Poetry Journal, TL;DR, More Than Sports Talk, Off the Coast, The Legendary, Aethlon: The Journal of Sport Literature, RipRap, The Cafe Review, and Flyover Country Review, where he was a featured author in November 2014. Caine holds an MA in English from John Carroll University, and an MFA from the University of Kansas. He owns the Raven Bookstore in Lawrence, Kansas, and was the masters-level recipient of the 2014 Midwest Association of Graduate Schools "Excellence in Teaching" award. He's also part of Humanities Kansas's Movement of Ideas campaign.
Anders Carlson-Wee with his debut collection THE LOW PASSIONS
Wednesday May 08 | 7:00PM - 8:30PM
In a knockout debut collection haunted by shame, violence, and the darkest of our human origins, Anders Carlson-Wee mines nourishment and holiness from our depths.
Explosive and incantatory, The Low Passions traces the fringes of the American experiment through the eyes of a young drifter. Pathologically frugal, reckless, and vulnerable, the narrator of these viscerally compelling poems hops freight trains, hitchhikes, dumpster dives, and sleeps in the homes of total strangers, scavenging forgotten and hardscrabble places for tangible forms of faith. A range of strong-willed characters takes shape, amplified by a chorus of monologues from the strangers who shelter him and the family he’s left behind—each made manifest by the poet’s devoted ear and sensitive eye.
Advance Praise for The Low Passions
“The Low Passions is an ode to America, the distances between place and people, the desire to quiet the self in order to better hear the world. Shaped through glimpses of a life in motion, these poems rattle along with energy and awe like the trains that fill these pages. If the work feels wild, there is also a feeling of tenderness as Anders Carlson-Wee reflects on childhood and brotherhood, what family means, and how a stranger can feel like family. The Low Passions reminds us to go out each day in wonder ready for the unknown to call to us.” —Dorianne Laux, Author of Only As the Day is Long
“‘If you don’t live it,’ Charlie Parker said of his own music, ‘it won’t come out of your horn.’ Anders Carlson-Wee is a balladeer who has certainly lived his song. The Low Passions makes a Walden Pond of the railyard and cornucopias of every dumpster behind a strip mall. It paints portraits akin to those of James Agee, but to be captivated by them solely is to risk overlooking the urgency of experience in this debut collection. As terror drives the sublime and duende keeps one cold foot in the grave, these poems are as chilling as they are electrifying. Yet the perils of life off the grid are relieved by the light of inexplicable kindnesses discovered along the way. Through it all is the ever-loving American landscape, divine and brutal as Dillard’s Tinker Creek.” —Gregory Pardlo, Pulitzer-Prize Winning Author of Digest
ANDERS CARLSON-WEE is the author of The Low Passions (W.W. Norton, 2019). His work has appeared in BuzzFeed, Ploughshares, Virginia Quarterly Review, New England Review, Poetry Daily, The Sun, Best New Poets, and The Best American Nonrequired Reading. His debut chapbook, Dynamite, won the Frost Place Chapbook Prize. The recipient of fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the McKnight Foundation, Bread Loaf, Sewanee, and the Napa Valley Writers’ Conference, he is the winner of Ninth Letter’s Poetry Award as well as the 2017 Poetry International Prize. His work has been translated into Chinese. Anders holds an MFA from Vanderbilt University and lives in Minneapolis.