BIC Book Reviews

A Sudden Light by Garth Stein

A Sudden Light, by Garth Stein

A Sudden Light, by Garth Stein

Looking for a book to bring readers of all ages together? Look no further than A Sudden Light, the long-awaited fourth novel from international bestseller, Garth Stein. His last novel, The Art of Racing in the Rain, remained on the New York Times bestseller list for several years, becoming a modern classic and one of the most popular Community Reads selections we’ve ever worked with.  In A Sudden Light, 14-year old Trevor Riddell accompanies his father on a mysterious trip to the family’s century-old crumbling and haunted mansion, where the Riddells’ long-buried secrets and tragedies come to light one by one.

Set in Seattle, A Sudden Light touches on the Northwest logging industry history, the gilded age of timber barons, the effect of naturalists such as John Muir on Americans’ love of nature, and the many ties that draw families together, even as their secrets and broken promises pull them apart.

Readers of all ages can come together over A Sudden Light. This novel includes dozens of opportunities for community activities and tie-in programs, with themes of nature, national parks, woodworking, family relations, genealogy research, LGBT, ghost hauntings, and – dare I say it? – the proper use of library microfiche collections to be explored.

“Perhaps that’s what life is about–the search for such a connection.  The search for magic.  The search for the inexplicable.  Not in order to explain it, or contain it.  Simply in order to feel it.” ~ Garth Stein, A Sudden Light

We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler

We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler

Looking for a thought-provoking read to get your community talking? We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves takes readers through the family rifts, broken relationships, and confusion left in the wake of raising a chimpanzee and human children as siblings. As Rosemary Cooke tries to make sense of the past and her adopted sister’s abrupt disappearance, she encounters age-old questions about family, coming of age, and fitting in to a community.

Full of discussion starters and topics open for exploration, We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves will have your community talking for months. The story delves into the meaning of diversity and community, the desperate need to belong, the trauma of being torn away from family, and the difficulty of fitting into new communities. Fowler draws parallels with questions of violence, animal welfare, the human mind, psychology, self-awareness, and what it means to be a humane society. Both a thoughtful coming-of-age story and a mature exploration of life’s many tangles, We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves will grip your community’s readers and bring them together over a story that never lets go its hold on readers’ hearts.

We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves won the 2014 PEN/Faulkner Book Award for fiction and the 2014 California Book Award, two of the most prestigious literary awards in the US and the West, and was nominated for a Nebula Award.

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  • Garth Stein: A SUDDEN LIGHT