The Book Thieves 2024 Line-Up
Updated: Nov 13
Each October my book club, The Book Thieves, meets to choose our books for the following year. This is our list for 2024 (minus the Writers & Books Rochester Reads pick, which we add once it is announced). If anyone is interested in joining our group, please let me know. You're welcome to come for one book or for the whole season. We read eight books a year, and meet at Writers & Books on 740 University Avenue (Rochester, NY) at 6:30 p.m.
Feb. 1 - Babel
A historical fantasy epic about colonial resistance, and the use of language as the dominating tool of the British Empire. Orphan Robin Swift is brought to London, where he enrolls in Oxford University’s Royal Institute of Translation—aka Babel. Robin finds himself caught between Babel and the Hermes Society, an organization dedicated to stopping imperial expansion. When Britain pursues a war with China, Robin must decide - Can institutions be changed from within, or does revolution always require violence?
Mar. 7 - Sea of Tranquility
A strange event witnessed by three people over three hundred years becomes the focus of an organization exploring the meaning of life (or are they?). This is a novel of art, time travel, love, and plague that takes the reader from Vancouver Island in 1912 to a dark colony on the moon five hundred years later, unfurling a story of humanity across centuries and space. A virtuoso performance that is as human and tender as it is intellectually playful.
May 2 - The Second Life of Mirielle West
An intoxicating story of resilience, repulsion, and the Roaring 20’s - the glamorous world of a silent film star’s wife abruptly crumbles when she’s forcibly quarantined at a leper colony in Carville, Louisiana. Based on the little-known true story of America’s only leper colony, the novel brings to life the institution where thousands of people were stripped of their civil rights, and branded as lepers.
June 6 - Watchmen
One of the most influential graphic novels of all time and a perennial best-seller, the book chronicles the fall from grace of a group of super-heroes plagued by all-too-human failings. Along the way, the concept of the super-hero is dissected as they are stalked by an unknown assassin. Watchmen presents a world where the mere presence of American superheroes changed history--the U.S. won the Vietnam War, Nixon is still president, and the Cold War is in full effect.
Aug. 1 - In Every Mirror She's Black
Three Black women are linked in unexpected ways to the same influential white man in Stockholm as they build their new lives in the most open society, run by the most private people. Told through the perspectives of each woman, the book is a fast-paced, richly nuanced yet accessible contemporary novel that touches on racism, classism, fetishization, and tokenism, and what it means to be a Black woman navigating a white world.
Nov. 7 - If We Were Villains
Oliver has just served ten years in jail - for a murder he may or may not have committed. He's greeted by the man who put him in prison. Before retiring, Detective Colborne wants to know what really happened a decade ago. As one of seven young actors studying Shakespeare at an elite arts college, Oliver and his friends play the same roles onstage and off: hero, villain, tyrant, temptress, ingenue, extra. But when the casting changes, the plays spill dangerously over into life, and one of them is found dead.
Dec. 5 - Falling Back in Love with Being Human
Thom grew up a Chinese Canadian transgender girl in a hostile world. As an activist, psychotherapist, and conflict mediator, she’s always pursued a mission to embrace the belief that every human being, no matter how hateful or horrible, is sacred. When Thom found herself in a crisis of faith, rather than succumb to despair, she wrote. Whether prayers or spells or poems, she wrote to affirm the outcasts and runaways she calls her kin.
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