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Take A Bite

Read With Us

Some books are just . . . chewier . . . than others.

A little grittier.
Harder to swallow.
Stuff gets stuck in your teeth.

They're the kind of books you may not like, exactly. But you keep thinking about them. And you really want to talk about them with anyone else who's read them.

In short, they're perfect for a book group read! Because there's usually quite a bit to talk about with one of those chewy books. Ideas to work out. Blanks to fill in. Endings to ponder. That kind of thing.

Well. Have I got a book for you!

Leave the World Behind

Leave the World Behind, by Rumaan Alam, is our current Read With Us book selection. And it is definitely a chewy one!

A true "genre-bender" (NPR calls it a "slippery and duplicitous marvel of a novel"), it defies categorization. Thriller with dystopian overtones? Satirical comedy of manners? Coming of age/hero's journey tale? Check. Check. Check. The novel lulls us into thinking we're headed in one direction, when it suddenly veers in another. And pretty soon, we can feel the walls closing in. Or maybe it's the ground falling away under our feet.

However you categorize it, it's definitely unsettling.

Anyway. It's a book worth reading - and it's especially fitting, given The State Of The World.

You've got plenty of time to read the book. (I read it almost in one sitting - it's very compelling and not very long at 256 pages.) We'll be posting our blog book discussion questions on Tuesday, March 3 -- and we'll be hosting another Zoom book discussion later that same evening at 7:00 pm Eastern time. (I know that makes it early if you're in the Mountain or Pacific time zones, but Bonny, Carole, and I all live in Eastern time -- and we turn into pumpkins if it gets to be too late.) I hope you can make plans to join us for the Zoom. We had a great discussion last time - and it's fun to get together with blog friends, too. 

Because the book is still new and popular (given it's timely "buzz" AND as a finalist for the National Book Award), you might encounter a longer wait if you're on hold at the library. If you're interested in getting a copy for yourself, the book has recently come out in paperback, and it's currently available on Kindle for $12.99.

I do hope you'll join us.

Take a bite.
And chew!


PS - If you're wondering about the lower ratings for the book when you look at Amazon or Goodreads, I'm just going to say . . . a lot of people don't like the ending. At all. (Chewy, I tell you. And good for discussing with other readers.) If you'd like to check out some other reviews before reading, you can click into the NPR link in the post above. Here are a few others for you:

From The Guardian

From The Washington Post

From the LA Times




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The audio version of this book came up for me yesterday so I will listen while I walk. I think the ebook will be ready in a few weeks too.


This is definitely a chewy, slippery, and duplicitous novel! But that also makes it worthy (and I would argue necessary) of a great discussion. (And we could also discuss the whole rating system, but that's best left to another time.) I'm so looking forward to our Zoom discussion and thanks for a wonderful post.


Looking forward to it. It came in for me from the library but am pushing it a bit so I remember what I've read! To read or to listen...


Enjoy your read.

Sounds like you'll have a pretty interesting discussion group.


I finished it last night -- stayed up a little past my bedtime to finish because I couldn't put it down! And I agree with you completely. I found it unsettling and compelling, so I am really looking forward to discussing it with others who have read it.

kim in oregon

I think I saw that the Kindle edition was $3.99 right now (maybe just yesterday). Such an unsettling book, but so glad I read it. I have questions!

kathy b

Thanks for the tips! It sounds like you really loved it. I will ask my Al if she read it!


It just came up for me yesterday at my library! It is in my queue and I hope to start it soon! :)


It's going to be a GREAT DAY, the best, a great thing has already happened....trump left DC!
Im signing and clicking my heels! Now on to the inauguration of Biden!


I got on the hold list for this as soon as you spilled the beans last time. I'll head over and check where I am in the line! Sometimes I'm pleasantly surprised :) This one would definitely be a genre PUSH for me. So probably a wise move to do it in good company.


Ha, I went to request this from the library and it wouldn't let me -- because I'd already put a request in some time ago. About 4 weeks - that'll be tight. Maybe have to spend some birthday money ;-)

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