The Bell Jar Book Club

May 2020

The Best Laid Plans

by Terry Fallis

A burnt-out political aide quits just before an election — but is forced to run a hopeless campaign on the way out. He makes a deal with a crusty old Scot, Angus McLintock — an engineering professor who will do anything, anything, to avoid teaching English to engineers — to let his name stand in the election.

April 2020

My Sister, the Serial Killer

by Oyinkan Braithwaite

My Sister, the Serial Killer is a blackly comic novel about how blood is thicker - and more difficult to get out of the carpet - than water...

March 2020

The Splendid and the Vile: A Saga of Churchill, Family, and Defiance During the Blitz

by Erik Larson

Drawing on diaries, original archival documents, and once-secret intelligence reports--some released only recently--Larson provides a new lens on London's darkest year through the day-to-day experience of Churchill and his family.

February 2019

The Alice Network

by Kate Quinn

A female spy recruited to the real-life Alice Network in France during World War I and an unconventional American socialite searching for her cousin in 1947—are brought together in a mesmerizing story of courage and redemption.

January 2020

Why We Can't Sleep: Women's New Midlife Crisis

by Ada Calhoun

In Why We Can’t Sleep, Calhoun opens up the cultural and political contexts of Gen X’s predicament and offers solutions for how to pull oneself out of the abyss—and keep the next generation of women from falling in. The result is reassuring, empowering, and essential reading for all middle-aged women, and anyone who hopes to understand them.

December 2019

Girl, Woman, Other

by Bernardine Evaristo

Girl, Woman, Other follows the lives and struggles of twelve very different characters. Mostly women, black and British, they tell the stories of their families, friends and lovers, across the country and through the years.

October 2019

Watching You Without Me

by Lynn Coady

After her mother’s sudden death, Karen finds herself back in her childhood home in Nova Scotia for the first time in a decade, acting as full-time caregiver to Kelli, her older sister.

June 2019

Moon Over Soho

by Ben Aaronovitch

The song. That’s what London constable and sorcerer’s apprentice Peter Grant first notices when he examines the corpse of Cyrus Wilkins, part-time jazz drummer and full-time accountant, who dropped dead of a heart attack while playing a gig at Soho’s 606 Club. The notes of the old jazz standard are rising from the body—a sure sign that something about the man’s death was not at all natural but instead supernatural.

May 2019

The Valedictorian of Being Dead: The True Story of Dying Ten Times to Live

by Heather B. Armstrong

Author and blogger Heather B. Armstrong writes about her experience as one of only a few people to participate in an experimental treatment for depression involving ten rounds of a chemically induced coma approximating brain death.

April 2019

Midnight Riot

by Ben Aaronovitch

Probationary Constable Peter Grant dreams of being a detective in London’s Metropolitan Police. Too bad his superior plans to assign him to the Case Progression Unit, where the biggest threat he’ll face is a paper cut. But Peter’s prospects change in the aftermath of a puzzling murder, when he gains exclusive information from an eyewitness who happens to be a ghost.

March 2019

The Woo-Woo: How I Survived Ice Hockey, Drug Raids, Demons, and My Crazy Chinese Family

by Lindsay Wong

In this jaw-dropping, darkly comedic memoir, a young woman comes of age in a dysfunctional Asian family whose members blamed their woes on ghosts and demons when in fact they should have been on anti-psychotic meds.

February 2019

Women Talking

by Miriam Toews

One evening, eight Mennonite women climb into a hay loft to conduct a secret meeting. For the past two years, each of these women, and more than a hundred other girls in their colony, has been repeatedly violated in the night by demons coming to punish them for their sins. Now that the women have learned they were in fact drugged and attacked by a group of men from their own community, they are determined to protect themselves and their daughters from future harm.

January 2019

The Soul of a New Machine

by Tracy Kidder

The Soul of a New Machine, tells stories of 35-year-old "veteran" engineers hiring recent college graduates and encouraging them to work harder and faster on complex and difficult projects, exploiting the youngsters' ignorance of normal scheduling processes while engendering a new kind of work ethic.

December 2018

The Spy and the Traitor: The Greatest Espionage Story of the Cold War

by Ben Macintyre

The celebrated author of A Spy Among Friends and Rogue Heroes returns with his greatest spy story yet, a thrilling Cold War-era tale of Oleg Gordievsky, the Russian whose secret work helped hasten the collapse of the Soviet Union.

November 2018

The Bell Jar

by Sylvia Plath

Esther Greenwood is brilliant, beautiful, enormously talented, and successful, but slowly going under—maybe for the last time.