Laguna Beach Bookies

My Dearest Readers:

Laguna Beach Bookies is possibly the longest running book club in the world. We have been meeting once a month for over forty years. I have been a member for twenty-five years as have most all of us. We meet once a month in each other’s homes, until Covid-19 forced us on to zoom. 


Unlike most other book clubs, we actually discuss the book. (Hide your surprise.) I might also mention there is a spiritual aspect to our book club. Each member finds three things in our group:  Not just acceptance for who she is, but genuine admiration,  rare and deep intellectual stimulation which contrasts with the background noise of modern life, and… love and laughter. These last two go together and we have such a lot of laughter together. 

Allow me to present our current reading, followed by last years complete reading list.

​List of Selected Books 

January: Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward

The writing is incandescent and truly extraordinary. It is the story of a family told from the pov of a thirteen year old boy Jojo, his drug addicted mother Leonie and  two ghosts who stand in for the haunting and tragic history of so many black southerners.  The novel transpires over a few days on a trip to a prison where Leonie's husband and Jojo's father will be released.

FebruaryThe Heart's Invisible Furies: A Novel: John Boyne

While this novel was hilarious, generate big belly laughs the whole way, and it is a compelling, engaging novel, it is about a gay teenager growing up in Ireland. We are taken through his whole life. Is it worth reading? I suspect the answer varies a good deal between readers. My book club mostly love it.

March: Elizabeth Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman 

My book club mostly loved reading this book. I found it contrived and implausible in the extreme. The author presents us with a mystery at the beginning: What the heck happened to Elizabeth to make her so weird? She doesn't answer the question until the end and in this way managed to keep everyone turning the pages. I did admire the author's presentation of kindness and this is what ultimately saves our messed up heroine.  Please keep in mind that most people really love this book.

April: American Marriage by Tayari Jones

This is the heartbreaking story of, indeed an American marriage.

​More Selected Books   


by Cynthia D’Aprix

The Nest


by Ian McEwan



by Amor Towles

A Gentleman in Moscow


by Jennifer Egan

Manhattan Beach


by Elizabeth Mckenzie

The Portable Veblen


by Nathan Hill

The Nix


by Elizabeth Strout

Anything is Possible


by Celeste Ng

Little Fires Everywhere


by Ann Patchett



by Mohsin Hamid

Exit West


by George Saunders

Lincoln in the Bardo


by Cathleen Schine

They May Not Mean To, But They Do

Nora Webster by Colm Tolbin 

Safekeeping by Jessamyn Hope

Circling the Sun by Paula Mclain

And one of our all time favorites: The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt


Highly Recommended Books From  2016

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