Village Books & Paper Dreams - Fairhaven
Mon-Sat: 9am-8pm
Sun: 10am-8pm
masks required
 
Village Books - Lynden
Mon-Sat: 10am-6pm
Sun: 12-4pm
masks required

Book Groups

VB Reads...Virtual General Lit Book Group

Mon, 08/02/2021 - 7:00pm to 8:00pm

Monday, August 2, 7pm   

Register here to access the meeting!

The Intuitionist by Colson Whitehead

This debut novel by the two time Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Underground Railroad and Nickel Boys wowed critics and readers everywhere and marked the debut of an important American writer.

Nominated as one of America’s best-loved novels by PBS’s The Great American Read.

It is a time of calamity in a major metropolitan city's Department of Elevator Inspectors, and Lila Mae Watson, the first black female elevator inspector in the history of the department, is at the center of it.  There are two warring factions within the department:  the Empiricists, who work by the book and dutifully check for striations on the winch cable and such; and the Intuitionists, who are simply able to enter the elevator cab in question, meditate, and intuit any defects.  

Lila Mae is an Intuitionist and, it just so happens, has the highest accuracy rate in the entire department.  But when an elevator in a new city building goes into total freefall on Lila Mae's watch, chaos ensues.  It's an election year in the Elevator Guild, and the good-old-boy Empiricists would love nothing more than to assign the blame to an Intuitionist.  But Lila Mae is never wrong.

The sudden appearance of excerpts from the lost notebooks of Intuitionism's founder, James Fulton, has also caused quite a stir.  The notebooks describe Fulton's work on the "black box," a perfect elevator that could reinvent the city as radically as the first passenger elevator did when patented by Elisha Otis in the nineteenth century.  When Lila Mae goes underground to investigate the crash, she becomes involved in the search for the portions of the notebooks that are still missing and uncovers a secret that will change her life forever.

Colson Whitehead is the Pulitzer-Prize winning author of The Underground Railroad. His other works include Nickel Boys,The Noble Hustle, Zone One, Sag Harbor, The Intuitionist, John Henry Days, Apex Hides the Hurt, and one collection of essays, The Colossus of New York. A National Book Award winner and a recipient of MacArthur and Guggenheim fellowships, he lives in New York City.

VB Reads...Motherhood By the Book

Sun, 08/08/2021 - 2:00pm to 3:00pm

Sunday, August 8, 2pm in Evolve Chocolate + Cafe!

This meeting will be IN PERSON in Evolve Cafe on the mezzanine level of the bookstore! Join us for our first meeting back together since March of 2020. Drinks and a special treat crafted by Chef Christy will be provided for a small price. Details to come.

The Bone People by Keri Hulme

The powerful, visionary, Booker Award–winning novel about the complicated relationships between three outcasts of mixed European and Maori heritage

“This book is just amazingly, wondrously great.” —Alice Walker

In a tower on the New Zealand sea lives Kerewin Holmes: part Maori, part European, asexual and aromantic, an artist estranged from her art, a woman in exile from her family. One night her solitude is disrupted by a visitor—a speechless, mercurial boy named Simon, who tries to steal from her and then repays her with his most precious possession. As Kerewin succumbs to Simon’s feral charm, she also falls under the spell of his Maori foster father Joe, who rescued the boy from a shipwreck and now treats him with an unsettling mixture of tenderness and brutality. Out of this unorthodox trinity Keri Hulme has created what is at once a mystery, a love story, and an ambitious exploration of the zone where indigenous and European New Zealand meet, clash, and sometimes merge.
Winner of both a Booker Prize and Pegasus Prize for Literature, The Bone People is a work of unfettered wordplay and mesmerizing emotional complexity.

Keri Hulme, a Maori, grew up in Christchurch and Moeraki, New Zealand. She writes, paints, and whitebaits in Okarito, Westland. Hulme has written poems and short stories; The Bone People, originally published by Spiral, a New Zealand feminist collective, is her first novel. She has also written Te Zaihau: The Windeater.

VB Reads...Armchair Historians IN PERSON!

Mon, 08/09/2021 - 7:00pm to 8:30pm
1200 11th St
Bellingham, WA 98225-7015

Monday, August 9, 7:00pm   

Chaucer: A European Life by Marion Turner           *We will be discussing this book at our August AND September meetings!

An acclaimed biography that recreates the cosmopolitan world in which a wine merchant's son became one of the most celebrated of all English writers.

Geoffrey Chaucer is often called the father of English literature, but this acclaimed biography reveals him as a great European writer and thinker. Uncovering important new information about Chaucer's travels, private life, and the circulation of his writings, Marion Turner reconstructs in unprecedented detail the cosmopolitan world of Chaucer's adventurous life, focusing on the places and spaces that fired his imagination. From the wharves of London to the frescoed chapels of Florence, the book recounts Chaucer's experiences as a prisoner of war in France, as a father visiting his daughter's nunnery, as a member of a chaotic Parliament, and as a diplomat in Milan. At the same time, the book offers a comprehensive exploration of Chaucer's writings. The result is a landmark biography and a fresh account of the extraordinary story of how a wine merchant's son became the poet of The Canterbury Tales.

Marion Turner is professor of English at Jesus College, University of Oxford.

VB Reads...Afternoon Book Chat IN PERSON!

Wed, 08/11/2021 - 1:00pm
1200 11th St
Bellingham, WA 98225-7015

Join Sittrea in the Readings Gallery on the second Wednesday of each month at 1:00 for an OPEN Book Chat. Authors DO NOT attend. Bring a latte and enjoy! Everyone welcome.

Our August meeting will be a "welcome back, check-in, and what are you reading?" theme. We will not discuss a specific book but instead, we'll chat about the coming months for the group and what we might like to read.

VB Reads...Lynden Front Streeters

Wed, 08/18/2021 - 7:00pm to 8:00pm

Wednesday, August 18, 7:00pm

Register here to access the meeting!

Boy, Snow, Bird by Helen Oyeyemi

From the prizewinning author of What Is Not Yours Is Not Yours, Gingerbread, and Peaces comes a brilliant recasting of the Snow White fairy tale as a story of family secrets, race, beauty, and vanity.

In the winter of 1953, Boy Novak arrives by chance in a small town in Massachusetts looking, she believes, for beauty—the opposite of the life she’s left behind in New York. She marries Arturo Whitman, a local widower, and becomes stepmother to his winsome daughter, Snow.

A wicked stepmother is a creature Boy never imagined she’d become, but elements of the familiar tale of aesthetic obsession begin to play themselves out when the birth of Boy’s daughter, Bird, who is dark-skinned, exposes the Whitmans as light-skinned African-Americans passing for white. And even as Boy, Snow, and Bird are divided, their estrangement is complicated by an insistent curiosity about one another. In seeking an understanding that is separate from the image each presents to the world, Boy, Snow, and Bird confront the tyranny of the mirror to ask how much power surfaces really hold. 

Dazzlingly inventive and powerfully moving, Boy, Snow, Bird is an astonishing and enchanting novel. With breathtaking feats of imagination, Helen Oyeyemi confirms her place as one of the most original and dynamic literary voices of our time.

“Gloriously unsettling…the greatest joy of reading Oyeyemi will always be style: jagged and capricious at moments, lush and rippled at others, always singular, like the voice-over of a fever dream.”
The New York Times Book Review 

Helen Oyeyemi is the author of five novels, most recently White Is for Witching, which won a 2010 Somerset Maugham Award, Mr. Fox, which won a 2012 Hurston/Wright Legacy Award, and Boy, Snow, Bird. In 2013, she was named one of Granta’s Best Young British Novelists. She lives in Prague.

 

VB Reads...General Lit Book Group IN PERSON

Mon, 09/06/2021 - 7:00pm to 8:00pm
1200 11th St.
Bellingham, WA 98225

Monday, September 6, 7:00pm    *Note: this is subject to change. Please check back for details.

The Living by Annie Dillard

“Remarkable. . . . A deftly woven narrative saturated with violence, hardship, and triumph. Readers will be richly rewarded, for by the end of this deeply felt novel it is hard to let the frontier town and its people go.”  — San Francisco Chronicle

This New York Times bestselling novel by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Annie Dillard is a mesmerizing evocation of pioneer life navigated by European settlers and Lummi natives in the Pacific Northwest during the last decades of the 19th century.

The Living is a tale full of gold minors, friendly railroad speculators, doe-eyed sweethearts, shifty card players, and 19th century adventures that will stay with you long after you close the book.

Annie Dillard is the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Pilgrim at Tinker Creek, An American Childhood, The Writing Life, The Living, and The Maytrees. She is a member of the Academy of Arts and Letters and has received fellowship grants from the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts.

VB Reads...Motherhood By the Book

Sun, 09/12/2021 - 2:00pm to 3:00pm
1200 11th St
Bellingham, WA 98225

Sunday, September 12, 2pm

The Yellow House: A Memoir by Sarah M. Broom

Winner of the 2019 National Book Award in Nonfiction

A brilliant, haunting and unforgettable memoir from a stunning new talent about the inexorable pull of home and family, set in a shotgun house in New Orleans East.

In 1961, Sarah M. Broom's mother Ivory Mae bought a shotgun house in the then-promising neighborhood of New Orleans East and built her world inside of it. It was the height of the Space Race and the neighborhood was home to a major NASA plant--the postwar optimism seemed assured. Widowed, Ivory Mae remarried Sarah's father Simon Broom; their combined family would eventually number twelve children. But after Simon died, six months after Sarah's birth, the Yellow House would become Ivory Mae's thirteenth and most unruly child.

A book of great ambition, Sarah M. Broom's The Yellow House tells a hundred years of her family and their relationship to home in a neglected area of one of America's most mythologized cities. This is the story of a mother's struggle against a house's entropy, and that of a prodigal daughter who left home only to reckon with the pull that home exerts, even after the Yellow House was wiped off the map after Hurricane Katrina. The Yellow House expands the map of New Orleans to include the stories of its lesser known natives, guided deftly by one of its native daughters, to demonstrate how enduring drives of clan, pride, and familial love resist and defy erasure. Located in the gap between the "Big Easy" of tourist guides and the New Orleans in which Broom was raised, The Yellow House is a brilliant memoir of place, class, race, the seeping rot of inequality, and the internalized shame that often follows. It is a transformative, deeply moving story from an unparalleled new voice of startling clarity, authority, and power.

Sarah M. Broom is a writer whose work has appeared in the New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, The Oxford American, and O, The Oprah Magazine among others. A native New Orleanian, she received her Masters in Journalism from the University of California, Berkeley in 2004. She was awarded a Whiting Foundation Creative Nonfiction Grant in 2016 and was a finalist for the New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship in Creative Nonfiction in 2011. She has also been awarded fellowships at Djerassi Resident Artists Program and The MacDowell Colony. She lives in New York state.

VB Reads...Armchair Historians IN PERSON!

Mon, 09/13/2021 - 7:00pm to 8:30pm
1200 11th St
Bellingham, WA 98225-7015

Monday, September 13, 7:00pm   

Chaucer: A European Life by Marion Turner           *We will be discussing this book at our August AND September meetings!

An acclaimed biography that recreates the cosmopolitan world in which a wine merchant's son became one of the most celebrated of all English writers.

Geoffrey Chaucer is often called the father of English literature, but this acclaimed biography reveals him as a great European writer and thinker. Uncovering important new information about Chaucer's travels, private life, and the circulation of his writings, Marion Turner reconstructs in unprecedented detail the cosmopolitan world of Chaucer's adventurous life, focusing on the places and spaces that fired his imagination. From the wharves of London to the frescoed chapels of Florence, the book recounts Chaucer's experiences as a prisoner of war in France, as a father visiting his daughter's nunnery, as a member of a chaotic Parliament, and as a diplomat in Milan. At the same time, the book offers a comprehensive exploration of Chaucer's writings. The result is a landmark biography and a fresh account of the extraordinary story of how a wine merchant's son became the poet of The Canterbury Tales.

Marion Turner is professor of English at Jesus College, University of Oxford.

VB Reads...Lynden Front Streeters

Wed, 09/15/2021 - 7:00pm to 8:00pm

Wednesday, September 15, 7:00pm

Register here to access the meeting!

On Beauty: A Novel by Zadie Smith

Winner of the 2006 Orange Prize for fiction, another bestselling masterwork from the celebrated author of Swing Time and White Teeth

"In this sharp, engaging satire, beauty's only skin-deep, but funny cuts to the bone." —Kirkus Reviews

Having hit bestseller lists from the New York Times to the San Francisco Chronicle, this wise, hilarious novel reminds us why Zadie Smith has rocketed to literary stardom. On Beauty is the story of an interracial family living in the university town of Wellington, Massachusetts, whose misadventures in the culture wars—on both sides of the Atlantic—serve to skewer everything from family life to political correctness to the combustive collision between the personal and the political. Full of dead-on wit and relentlessly funny, this tour de force confirms Zadie Smith's reputation as a major literary talent.

Named one of the Ten Best Books of the Year by the New York Times Book Review, Entertainment Weekly, Time, and Publishers Weekly, A New York Times, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, San Francisco Chronicle, Los Angeles Times, Boston Globe, Denver Post, and Publishers Weeklybestseller, A Los Angeles Times, Boston Globe, Chicago Tribune, San Francisco Chronicle, Atlantic Monthly, Newsday, Christian Science Monitor, and Minneapolis Star Tribune Best Book of the Year, and Short-listed for the Man Booker Prize 

Zadie Smith was born in Northwest London in 1975 and still lives in the area. She is the author of White Teeth, The Autograph Man, On Beauty, Changing My Mind, NW, Swing Time, Grand Union, and Intimations.

VB Reads...Motherhood By the Book

Sun, 10/10/2021 - 2:00pm to 3:00pm
1200 11th St
Bellingham, WA 98225

Sunday, October 10, 2pm

Look How Happy I'm Making You: Stories by Polly Rosenwaike

The women in Polly Rosenwaike’s Look How Happy I'm Making You want to be mothers, or aren’t sure they want to be mothers, or—having recently given birth—are overwhelmed by what they’ve wrought. One woman struggling with infertility deals with the news that her sister is pregnant. Another, nervous about her biological clock, “forgets” to take her birth control while dating a younger man and must confront the possibility of becoming a single parent. Four motherless women who meet in a bar every Mother’s Day contend with their losses and what it would mean for one of them to have a child.

Clever, empathetic, and precisely observed, these stories offer rare, honest portrayals of pregnancy and new motherhood in a culture obsessed with women’s most intimate choices.

Polly Rosenwaike has published stories, essays, and reviews in The O. Henry Prize Stories 2013, The New York Times Book Review, Glimmer Train, New England Review, The Millions, and the San Francisco Chronicle. The fiction editor for Michigan Quarterly Review, she lives in Ann Arbor with the poet Cody Walker and their two daughters.

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