JCPL Director Julia Turpin leads a lunch-hour book club called Booked for Lunch that meets every three months. You bring your own lunch and discuss the title for that month.
The next meeting is Tuesday, Feb. 6 from 12-1 p.m. in the Library’s Jones Meeting Center. We’ll discuss James McBride’s newest novel, The Heaven & Earth Grocery Store.
In The New York Times Book Review, Danez Smith calls The Heaven & Earth Grocery Store “a murder mystery locked inside a Great American Novel…charming, smart, heart-blistering and heart-healing.”
According to Smith, McBride’s novel “opens with the discovery of a skeleton in a well, and then flashes back to explore its connection to a town’s Black, Jewish and immigrant history.” The story begins in Pottstown, Pennsylvania in 1972, then swings back to the Pottstown neighborhood of Chicken Hill in the 1920s and 30s.
Director Turpin chooses the featured book for every meeting. She says, “I selected The Heaven & Earth Grocery Store largely because I was excited to read a story that takes place in a location and time period with which I was largely unfamiliar. It’s always fun to explore new experiences through fiction.”
“While I wouldn’t classify this as historical fiction,” Director Turpin explains, “I think it’s likely that most readers will be left feeling that they learned a little something.”
“The Heaven & Earth Grocery Store is one of those great books that you just want to talk about after you’ve read it,” says Director Turpin. “My hope is that Booked for Lunch attendees leave our discussion with a new appreciation for this work and a curiosity about McBride’s other books.”
Registration is encouraged for Booked for Lunch; click here to sign up. Call User Services at (423) 434-4454 if you need help finding a copy of The Heaven & Earth Grocery Store.
Check out our calendar of events for adults to find more upcoming opportunities. Follow Johnson City Public Library on Facebook and Instagram to receive updates about Library programs, collections, and services.