Book Club Reading List
The Nickel Boys: A Novel by Colson Whitehead
When Elwood Curtis, a black boy growing up in 1960s Tallahassee, is unfairly sentenced to a juvenile reformatory called the Nickel Academy, he finds himself trapped in a grotesque chamber of horrors. Elwood’s only salvation is his friendship with fellow “delinquent” Turner, which deepens despite Turner’s conviction that Elwood is hopelessly naive, that the world is crooked, and that the only way to survive is to scheme and avoid trouble. As life at the Academy becomes ever more perilous, the tension between Elwood’s ideals and Turner’s skepticism leads to a decision whose repercussions will echo down the decades.
Based on the real story of a reform school that operated for 111 years and warped the lives of thousands of children, The Nickel Boys is a devastating, driven narrative that showcases a great American novelist writing at the height of his powers and “should further cement Whitehead as one of his generation's best" (Entertainment Weekly).
Tuesday Aug 23 Chapter 5-8
Thursday Aug 25 Chapter 8-10
Tuesday Aug 30 Chapter 10-12
Thursday Sept 2 Chapter 12-15
Tuesday Sept 6 Finish Book and Discussion
A Harlem Renaissance Mystery Book 1
Dead Dead Girls by Nekesa Afia
Following a harrowing kidnapping ordeal when she was in her teens, Louise is doing everything she can to maintain a normal life. She’s succeeding, too. She spends her days working at Maggie’s Café and her nights at the Zodiac, Harlem’s hottest speakeasy. Louise’s friends, especially her girlfriend, Rosa Maria Moreno, might say she’s running from her past and the notoriety that still stalks her, but don’t tell her that.
When a girl turns up dead in front of the café, Louise is forced to confront something she’s been trying to ignore—two other local Black girls have been murdered in the past few weeks. After an altercation with a police officer gets her arrested, Louise is given an ultimatum: She can either help solve the case or wind up in a jail cell. Louise has no choice but to investigate and soon finds herself toe-to-toe with a murderous mastermind hell-bent on taking more lives, maybe even her own....
Tentative Reading/Listening Schedule:
Thursday Sept 8 Prologue- Chapter 4
Tuesday Sept 13 Chapter 4- Chapter 11
Thursday Sept 15 Chapter 12- Chapter 18
Tuesday Sept 20 Chapter 19-Chapter 24
Thursday Sept 22 Chapter 24- Chapter 32
Tuesday Sept 27Chapter 32- Chapter 42
Thursday Sept 29 Chapter 43- Chapter 49
Tuesday Oct. 4 Chapter 50- End of Book
Thursday Oct. 6 Book discussion and start next book
A Harlem Renaissance Mystery Book 2
Harlem Sunset by Nekesa Afia
Harlem, 1927. Twenty-seven-year-old Louise Lloyd has found the perfect job! She is the new manager of the Dove, a club owned by her close friend Rafael Moreno. There Louise meets Nora Davies, one of the girls she was kidnapped with a decade ago. The two women—along with Rafael and his sister, Louise’s girlfriend, Rosa Maria—spend the night at the Dove, drinking and talking. The next morning, Rosa Maria wakes up covered in blood, with no memory of the previous night. Nora is lying dead in the middle of the dance floor.
Louise knows Rosa Maria couldn’t have killed Nora, but the police have a hard time believing that no one can remember anything at all about what happened. When Louise and Rosa Maria return to their apartment after being questioned by the police, they find the word GUILTY written across the living room wall in paint that looks a lot like blood. Someone has gone to great lengths to frame and terrify Rosa Maria, and Louise will stop at nothing to clear the woman she loves.
Tentative Reading/Listening Schedule:
Thursday Oct. 6 Chapter 1-7
Tuesday Oct. 11 Chapter 8- Chapter 12
Thursday Oct. 13 Chapter 12- Chapter 18
Tuesday Oct. 18 Chapter 19- Chapter 23
Thursday Oct. 20 Chapter 23- Chapter 27
Tuesday Oct. 25 Chapter 28- Chapter 30
Thursday Oct. 27 Chapter 30- Chapter 36
Tuesday Nov. 1 Chapter 37- End of Book
Thursday Nov. 3 Book Discussion and start next book