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Books That Will Make You Want to Start a Book Club

5 Books | by goop

West Wingers

West Wingers

Books

The Obama White House staff invites us behind-the-scenes of history for a deeply personal and moving look at the presidency and how the president’s staff can change the nation“West Wingers is exceptional. . . . We have so much to learn from these stories.” —Joe BidenWhen we elect a president, we elect with them an entire team that will join them in the West Wing to help run the country. Each of these staffers has a story to tell, and in West Wingers, Barack Obama’s White House staff reveals how these extraordinary citizens shape the presidency and the nation.In these moving and revealing personal stories, eighteen Obama staffers bring us deep inside the presidency, offering intimate accounts of how they made it to the White House, what they witnessed, and what they accomplished there.  We hear from a married gay staffer pushing the president towards marriage equality; a senior aide working to implement the Affordable Care Act while battling Stage IV cancer; a hijab-wearing Muslim adviser accompanying the President to a mosque. In each one we see the human face of government, staffers devoting themselves to the issues that have defined their lives. From the triumphs of Obamacare and marriage equality to the tragedy of the Charleston shooting, this book tells the history of the Obama presidency through the men and women who worked tirelessly to support his vision for America. More than just a history though, West Wingers is an inspiring call to arms for public service, a testament to the possibility of real social change, and a powerful demonstration of what true diversity, inclusivity, and progress can look like in America.“These deeply moving stories offer more than a fascinating view into the window of history: they show us how hope becomes real, sustainable change.” —Valerie Jarrett, former senior advisor to President Obama

Bitter Orange

Bitter Orange

Books

An NPR Best Book of the Year "Unsettling and eerie, Bitter Orange is an ideal chiller." —Time Magazine  From the author of Our Endless Numbered Days and Swimming Lessons, Bitter Orange is a seductive psychological portrait, a keyhole into the dangers of longing and how far a woman might go to escape her past.   From the attic of Lyntons, a dilapidated English country mansion, Frances Jellico sees them—Cara first: dark and beautiful, then Peter: striking and serious. The couple is spending the summer of 1969 in the rooms below hers while Frances is researching the architecture in the surrounding gardens. But she’s distracted. Beneath a floorboard in her bathroom, she finds a peephole that gives her access to her neighbors' private lives. To Frances’s surprise, Cara and Peter are keen to get to know her. It is the first occasion she has had anybody to call a friend, and before long they are spending every day together: eating lavish dinners, drinking bottle after bottle of wine, and smoking cigarettes until the ash piles up on the crumbling furniture. Frances is dazzled. But as the hot summer rolls lazily on, it becomes clear that not everything is right between Cara and Peter. The stories that Cara tells don’t quite add up, and as Frances becomes increasingly entangled in the lives of the glamorous, hedonistic couple, the boundaries between truth and lies, right and wrong, begin to blur. Amid the decadence, a small crime brings on a bigger one: a crime so terrible that it will brand their lives forever.

The Flame

The Flame

Books

NEW YORK TIMES BEST SELLERNamed a Fall Read by Vogue, Esquire, The Washington Post, TIME, Vanity Fair and O, the Oprah Magazine. One of Daily Mail and Financial Times's Best Books of 2018.“There are very, very few people who occupy the ground that Leonard Cohen walks on.” —BONOThe Flame is the final work from Leonard Cohen, the revered poet and musician whose fans span generations and whose work is celebrated throughout the world. Featuring poems, excerpts from his private notebooks, lyrics, and hand-drawn self-portraits, The Flame offers an unprecedentedly intimate look inside the life and mind of a singular artist.A reckoning with a life lived deeply and passionately, with wit and panache, The Flame is a valedictory work.“This volume contains my father’s final efforts as a poet,” writes Cohen’s son, Adam Cohen, in his foreword. “It was what he was staying alive to do, his sole breathing purpose at the end.”Leonard Cohen died in late 2016. But “each page of paper that he blackened,” in the words of his son, “was lasting evidence of a burning soul.”

Heartbreaker

Heartbreaker

Books

The love between a daughter and her mother—and the dark secrets they keep from each other—are at the heart of this wildly imaginative novel that combines elements of The Handmaid’s Tale, Stranger Things, and Twin Peaks. “I love Heartbreaker’s outlandishness, its sizzling energy—the bright, fierce music in every sentence.”—Leni Zumas, author of Red Clocks It’s 1985. Pony Darlene Fontaine has lived all her fifteen years in “the territory,” a settlement founded decades ago by a charismatic cult leader. In this strange town run on a sinister economic resource, the women crimp their hair and wear shoulder pads, and the teenagers listen to Nazareth and Whitesnake on their Walkmans. Pony’s family lives in the bungalow at the farthest edge of town, where the territory borders the rest of the wider world—a place none of the townspeople have ever been. Except for Billie Jean Fontaine, Pony’s mother. When Billie Jean arrived in the territory seventeen years prior—falling from the open door of a stolen car—the residents took her in and made her one of their own. She was the first outsider they had ever laid eyes on. Pony adores and idolizes her mother, but like everyone else in the territory she is mystified by her. Billie Jean refuses to describe the world she came from. One night, Billie Jean grabs her truck keys, bolts barefoot into the cold October darkness—and vanishes. Beautiful, beloved, and secretive, Billie Jean was the first person to be welcomed into the territory. Now, with a frantic search under way for her missing mother, Pony fears: Will she be the first person to leave it too? Told from the three unforgettable perspectives of a daughter, a killer dog, and a teenage boy named Supernatural, this novel is startling in its humor and wrenching in its wisdom about the powers, limits, and dangers of love. Heartbreaker is an electrifying page-turner about a woman reinventing herself in order to survive—and a daughter who must race against the clock to untangle the mysteries left in her mother’s wake.Praise for Heartbreaker“A fierce exploration of memory and zeitgeist . . . Heartbreaker is a darkly comedic weirdo of a book that pulls the string of nostalgia from one side while unraveling it from the other.”—The Paris Review   “This is a book like no other. It’s eerie, it's cult-y, it's so very exciting, and I never wanted it to end.”—Buzzfeed, Best Books of Fall 2018   “Claudia Dey renders 1985 in perfectly crimped, shoulder-padded detail. . . . Come for the Shyamalanian premise. Stay for the hard-rock soundtrack.”—Chicago Tribune

The Third Hotel

The Third Hotel

Books

"[A] future cult classic." —The New York Times Book Review"There’s Borges and Bolaño, Kafka and Cortázar, Modiano and Murakami, and now Laura van den Berg." —The Washington PostFinalist for the NYPL Young Lions Award. Named a Best Book of 2018 by The Boston Globe, Huffington Post, Electric Literature and Lit Hub. An August 2018 IndieNext Selection. Named a Summer 2018 Read by The Washington Post, Vulture, Nylon, Elle, BBC, InStyle, Refinery29, Bustle, O, the Oprah Magazine, Entertainment Weekly, Harper's Bazaar, Conde Nast Traveler, Southern Living, Lit Hub, and Vol. 1 Brooklyn.In Havana, Cuba, a widow tries to come to terms with her husband’s death—and the truth about their marriage—in Laura van den Berg’s surreal, mystifying story of psychological reflection and metaphysical mystery.Shortly after Clare arrives in Havana, Cuba, to attend the annual Festival of New Latin American Cinema, she finds her husband, Richard, standing outside a museum. He’s wearing a white linen suit she’s never seen before, and he’s supposed to be dead. Grief-stricken and baffled, Clare tails Richard, a horror film scholar, through the newly tourist-filled streets of Havana, clocking his every move. As the distinction between reality and fantasy blurs, Clare finds grounding in memories of her childhood in Florida and of her marriage to Richard, revealing her role in his death and reappearance along the way. The Third Hotel is a propulsive, brilliantly shape-shifting novel from an inventive author at the height of her narrative powers.

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