Caymanian Sara Collins’ debut novel, “The Confessions of Frannie Langton” is one of the Bookends Book Club reading selections for 2020.
By Alan Markoff
The votes are in and Bookends Book Club has announced its reading list for 2020.
The club meets to discuss selected books on the second Wednesday of each month at Books & Books in Camana Bay from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. After a discussion of the selection of the month, each attending reader rates it on a scale of 1 to 10. Shortly after the night of the meeting, club organiser Tony Walton emails members a summary of comments along with the average score by readers. The summary is also posted on the club’s Facebook page.
Walton says members enjoy discussing the books in a group setting.
“E-readers may be replacing hard copy books, but thankfully some things never change,” he says. “Book clubs are a great way to get together with others and discuss a favourite novel.”
After the book discussion, many of the members move over to Abacus for socialising over dinner and drinks.
The Bookends Book Club has no formal membership requirements and new members are always welcome, Walton says. Interested readers need only to show up to a meeting and Walton will add them to the email distribution list if they would like.
The 2020 book list was chosen by members in the latter part of last year.
“Each member selects a shortlist of their favourite literary fiction and non-fiction books,” says Walton. “We try to select books that invite vibrant discussion and endeavour to choose international writers representing the cultural diversity found in the Cayman Islands.”
A list of suggested books is compiled and then members vote on the book selections for the next year. The 12 books with the most votes form the book list for the next year.
“The books selected are mainly fiction, with some non-fiction thrown in for good measure,” says Walton.
Walton says one of the most anticipated books on the 2020 list is the December selection, “The Confessions of Frannie Langton.”
“With echoes of Jean Rhys’ ‘Wide Sargasso Sea,’ this accomplished debut novel by Sara Collins captures the atmosphere of Georgian London, giving voice to a singular and unforgettable heroine,” Walton says. “Sara grew up in the Cayman Islands and her premiere novel is a haunting work of historical fiction.”
Other highlights on the 2020 list include the critically acclaimed “Rules of Civility” by Amor Towles, which Walton says offers “a spot-on depiction of New York in the 1930s,” and “Macbeth” by Jo Nesbo, about a 1970s industrial city police force struggling to shed an incessant drug problem.
The schedule of books through January 2021 includes:
- February: “Becoming” by Michelle Obama
- March: “Beloved” by Toni Morrison
- April: “Macbeth” by Jo Nesbo
- May: “A First-Rate Madness: Uncovering the Links Between Leadership and Mental Illness” (non-fiction) by Nassir Ghaemi
- June: “The Secret Life of Bees” by Sue Monk Kidd
- July: “Rules of Civility” by Amor Towles
- August: “All the President’s Men” (non-fiction) by Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward
- September: “Submission” by Michel Houellebecq
- October: “Where the Crawdads Sing” by Delia Owens
- November: “The Language of Flowers” by Vanessa Diffenbaugh
- December: “The Confessions of Frannie Langton” by Sara Collins
- January 2021: “Beneath the Tamarind Tree” by Isha Seshay
The hard copy book selections are generally available at Books & Books the month before. For more information about the Bookends Book Club, visit its Facebook page.
This article originally appeared in the February 2020 print edition of Camana Bay Times with the headline “Bookends Club announces 2020 reading list.”