QCL Book Club June Wrap-up and July Pick!

In June, Morgan and I read The Celebrants by Steven Rowley to celebrate Best Friends Day on June 8th. Below is a short synopsis of the book and what I thought of it! 

After the tragic death of their friend, 5 recent college grads make a pact to gather during tumultuous events in their lives. The goal of the gatherings is to hold a funeral for the living person to ensure that they know how important they are. Over several years, each friend takes their turn until they are down to two. Now, they are gathered in Big Sur and recount the past few decades as they plan another funeral. 

This book was beautiful and sad! The characters were so complex and lovable in their own ways. I loved it very much and can’t wait to read more by Steven Rowley! – Brittany

Morgan and I have a very exciting lineup of book options for July, below are our four options including our winning title! Feel free to check them out from Davenport Public Library! 

*** QCL Book Club July Pick!  

The Echo of Old Books by Barbara Davis (In Honor of Cheer Up the Lonely Day on July 11th) 

Rare-book dealer Ashlyn Greer’s affinity for books extends beyond the intoxicating scent of old paper, ink, and leather. She can feel the echoes of the books’ previous owners–an emotional fingerprint only she can read. When Ashlyn discovers a pair of beautifully bound volumes that appear to have never been published, her gift quickly becomes an obsession. Not only is each inscribed with a startling incrimination, but the authors, Hemi and Belle, tell conflicting sides of a tragic romance. With no trace of how these mysterious books came into the world, Ashlyn is caught up in a decades-old literary mystery, beckoned by two hearts in ruins, whoever they were, wherever they are. Determined to learn the truth behind the doomed lovers’ tale, she reads on, following a trail of broken promises and seemingly unforgivable betrayals. The more Ashlyn learns about Hemi and Belle, the nearer she comes to bringing closure to their love story–and to the unfinished chapters of her own life — adapted from back cover   


Everything Must Go by Camille Pagán (In Honor of Give Something Away Day on July 15th) 

Laine Francis believes there’s a place for everything-and New York, where her family lives, isn’t her place. But no sooner does the professional organizer’s marriage begin to unravel than her sisters drop another bomb on her: their mother, Sally, may have dementia, and they need Laine to come home. Laine agrees to briefly return to Brooklyn. After all, bringing order to chaos is what she does best. To Laine’s relief, Sally seems no more absentminded than usual. So, Laine vows to help her mother maintain her independence, then hightail it back to Michigan. Except, Laine’s plans go awry when she runs into her former best friend, Ben, and realizes she finally has a chance to repair their fractured relationship. Then she discovers that memory loss isn’t the only thing Sally’s been hiding, forcing Laine to decide whether to reveal a devastating truth to her sisters-and whether to follow her heart when it means breaking her mother’s — adapted from back cover 


Flying Solo by Linda Holmes (In Honor of Aunts and Uncles Day on July 26th) 

A woman returns to her small Maine hometown, uncovering family secrets that take her on a journey of self-discovery and new love, in this warm and charming novel from the New York Times bestselling author of Evvie Drake Starts Over. Smarting from her recently cancelled wedding and about to turn forty, Laurie Sassalyn returns to her Maine hometown of Calcasset to handle the estate of her great-aunt Dot, a spirited adventurer who lived to be ninety. Along with boxes of Polaroids and pottery, a mysterious wooden duck shows up at the bottom of a cedar chest. Laurie’s curiosity is piqued, especially after she finds a love letter to the never-married Dot that ends with the line, “And anyway, if you’re ever desperate, there are always ducks, darling.” Laurie is told that the duck has no financial value. But after it disappears under suspicious circumstances, she feels compelled to figure out why anyone would steal a wooden duck-and why Dot kept it hidden away in the first place. Suddenly Laurie finds herself swept up in a righteous caper that has her negotiating with antiques dealers and con artists, going on after-hours dates at the local library, and reconnecting with her oldest friend and first love. Desperate to uncover her great-aunt’s secrets, Laurie must reckon with her past, her future, and ultimately embrace her own vision of flying solo — adapted from back cover 

Conversations with Friends by Sally Rooney (In Honor of Day of Friendship on July 30th)  

Frances is a cool-headed and darkly observant young woman, vaguely pursuing a career in writing while studying in Dublin. Her best friend and comrade-in-arms is the beautiful and endlessly self-possessed Bobbi. At a local poetry performance one night, Frances and Bobbi catch the eye of Melissa, a well-known photographer, and as the girls are then gradually drawn into Melissa’s world, Frances is reluctantly impressed by the older woman’s sophisticated home and tall, handsome husband, Nick. However amusing and ironic Frances and Nick’s flirtation seems at first, it gives way to a strange intimacy, and Frances’s friendship with Bobbi begins to fracture. As Frances tries to keep her life in check, her relationships increasingly resist her control: with Nick, with her difficult and unhappy father, and finally, terribly, with Bobbi. Desperate to reconcile her inner life to the desires and vulnerabilities of her body, Frances’s intellectual certainties begin to yield to something new: a painful and disorienting way of living from moment to moment. Written with gem-like precision and marked by a sly sense of humor, Conversations with Friends is wonderfully alive to the pleasures and dangers of youth, and the messy edges of female friendship. — provided by Amazon  

If you are interested in any of these titles, or have read them, we want to talk about them! Please consider leaving a comment! Want to converse with other QCL Book Club followers? Consider joining our Goodreads Group! You can also access our recorded interviews by visiting the QCL Book Club Page!