Revving Up . . . for October
What Are the Chances

Read With Us . . . Right On Through the Holidays

Read With Us Fall

It's a Big Day!

The Read With Us "reveal!"
(Drumroll, please!)

After MUCH discussion and a lot of back-and-forth, Bonny and Carole and I finally settled on Matrix by Lauren Groff for our next Read With Us book selection.

Matrix

For the first time in Read With Us history, I've already read the book we chose . . . so I am confident it'll make for a GREAT book group discussion. (In fact, I can't wait to talk about this one with you.) 

First of all, separate this title from the movie franchise with the same name (almost - the book title does not include "the"). You won't find Neo, Trinity, or Morpheus in these pages. But you will find . . . witchy feminist medieval nuns! When you first read the description of this quite marvelous book, you may be turned off by phrases like . . . "12th century," "impoverished abbey," "convent," and "French poetry." But I encourage you to Read On! 

I wasn't sold on this book myself when I first heard about it, but my ears perked right up when it made the National Book Award long list. And then I read a reader-review on Goodreads that described Matrix as “medieval girlboss fantasia” -- and I couldn't resist. In fact, now that I've read the book, I can’t get that phrase out of my head. Because, yeah. That’s it exactly. Author Lauren Groff creates a fictional history for Marie de France (a real-life figure) that treats her as a superhero (as much as 12th century nuns can be superheroes ), able to battle hunger, poverty, and disease in male-dominated medieval society. And - let me tell you - it totally works.

There is no doubt that Groff’s imaginative and creative invention of a history -- for an actual woman-of-history with no history -- makes for an excellent read. Beautiful prose, a brilliant sense of place and time, and fascinating characters put this novel in the well-worth-reading category. It’s original and thought-provoking with layers of complexity -- and it will make an excellent book group selection.

We'll be talking more about the book and providing some background information throughout November. Then . . . mark your calendars now for our blog book discussions AND a Zoom discussion on Tuesday, January 11 (7:00 pm Eastern time; Same Bat Time, Same Bat Channel). That gives you plenty of time to get your hands on the book -- and Read With Us . . . right on through the holidays!

(Besides, who doesn’t like to imagine a small society of like-minded individuals walling themselves off from the flames of the world outside? "Medieval girlboss fantasia" indeed!)

==

Previous Read With Us book selections:

Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson

Fever by Mary Beth Keane

I'm Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter by Erika L. Sánchez

Wild Game by Adrienne Brodeur

The Women of Brewster Place by Gloria Naylor

Leave the World Behind by Rumaan Alam

Shuggie Bain by Douglas Stuart

Unsettled Ground by Claire Fuller

 

Comments

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Bonny

It's a rainy day here, so perfect for listening to medieval girlboss fantasia and being transported to a 12th century convent while doing laundry and chores all day!

Vera

12th Century Convent sounds like perfect Fall/Winter reading!

Juliann

After saying that I wasn’t going to place any more holds, I went ahead and pushed the button! It will be awhile but better to be on the list than not.

Carole

I just started it and I am really enjoying it so far. Great promo!

kim in oregon

I have this on my Kindle and keep looking at it and going "well, maybe not yet." Glad to hear you liked it and that will push me to read it.

Debbie

I'm on the hold list at my library and look forward to reading this book. It should lead to a good discussion!

Sarah

I was intrigued by this one when you mentioned it in our last Read With Us Zoom, so I'm glad to have more motivation to read it now! I'm on the wait list for both the ebook and the audiobook at the library (there's only one copy of each at the moment, so quite a wait), but if it doesn't look like either list is moving, I'm not opposed to buying a copy. Really looking forward to it!

Carolyn

My eyes were all ablur--Yes! Yes! 12th century nuns CAN be superheroes! I'm in!

Mary

Going to pick it up at our Indie bookstore this weekend. Lauren lives here in town and so this makes it more intriguing to me.

Patty

Sooooo should I listen or read??? I think I'll read as I'll have plenty of time to curl up with a pup, a good book and a cup of tea! Looking forward to this Kym and I think I'll go the same route as Unsettled Ground and support an Indie again too!

Suzanne

I put in hold on Overdrive. Thanks for listing the books we read, I made a new shelf on Goodreads to add all the ones I've read with all of you.

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