Sure, I’ll Join Your Cult by Maria Bamford, recommended by Meg

A comedic masterpiece that showcases Bamford’s unique talent for blending humor with introspection. From the outset, Bamford’s wit and insight shine through as she navigates the absurdities of life and the quirks of her own experiences. The book is a delightful rollercoaster of hilarity, offering readers a front-row seat to Bamford’s distinctive comedic perspective. Through her anecdotes and observations, Bamford finds humor in even the most mundane aspects of existence.

The Maid by Nita Prose, recommended by Tracie

“When all else fails, tidy up” is one of the phrases Molly the Maid has learned from her dear grandmother who tried to help Molly cope with the real world.  Molly knows she is different “because we don’t experience life in the same way”.  The attitude of “I don’t cut corners, I shine them” is how Molly becomes adept at her job and how she becomes a suspect in the murder of Mr. Black.

The Summer Book Club by Susan Mallery, recommended by Trish

The book club has become a very small group for the summer: longtime best friends Laurel and Paris. Cassie is new to Los Lobos and the three quickly become friends – now we have 3 book club members.  Each has her own relationship fears to address and they each find the courage through friendship to decide to take a chance on love – now the book club has 6 members.  This is a light and humorous summer read.

A Flicker in The Dark by Stacy Willingham, recommended by Debbie

Chloe Davis is a psychologist in Baton Rouge and is planning her wedding to Daniel. When she was 12, her father confessed to the murder of six girls who had gone missing.  Aaron Jensen, working for the New York Times, calls her requesting an interview for an article he is writing about the killings. Chloe tells Aaron that she hasn’t had any contact with her father. She hears that a teenager, Aubrey, is missing. This brings back memories.  When a second girl – a patient of hers, no less – goes missing within a week, she wonders if someone is trying to imitate her father. As she begins to discover her fiancé may be hiding something from her, a third girl with a connection to her goes missing. What is happening? Who can she trust to talk to? Plenty of clues, but who did it… and why?

Ghosts of the Orphanage: A Story of Mysterious Deaths, a Conspiracy of Silence, and a Search for Justice by Christine Kenneally, recommended by Megan S.

Christine Kenneally’s 2018 expose of St. Joseph’s Orphanage in Burlington, Vermont, brought eyes to a collective trauma endured by generations of children. Her new book expands on her article, while adding the experiences of other children who also grew up in orphanages and experienced similar punishments and abuse. Her book is meticulously researched, with documentation, interviews, photographs, recordings, and dogged old-fashioned journalism combining to create a distressing picture of these orphanages. Occasionally this book felt a bit scattered, but Kenneally always comes back to pick up pieces that might feel dropped along the way. While the survivors of these orphanages haven’t had a lot of justice in their lives, hopefully this book can help shine a light on their experiences and ultimately their truth.

Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng, recommended by Louise

Ng explores some big themes in her second book: the mother-daughter relationship in several of its myriad iterations, classism, racism. But it is the assumptions behind what makes a family that makes this book hum along.

Alone With You in the Ether by Olivie Blake, recommended by Megan C.

This book isn’t for everyone, but if you’re a fan of angsty characters that are flawed, raw, and incredibly human, you’ll like Alone With You in the Ether. Dripping with indie film energy, an artist and mathematician meet in an art museum. After 6 conversations their complicated lives become inexplicably intertwined. With lyrical prose, a dual protagonist structure, and stylistic writing that captures the characters’ thoughts and feelings, Blake creates a philosophical yet poetic love story. As well as a realistic look into living with mental illness in both main characters. For fans of Sally Rooney’s Normal People, this moody modern romance asks the question, “How do you love even when you’re broken?”

Staff Book Club Pick: The House At the End of the World by Dean Koontz

This month’s pick was a polarizing choice, inspiring reminisces about Koontz’s past work and reflections on the nature of good and evil. We found this book heavy on description and wished for more nuance in the portrayal of the characters. We did enjoy that the book features a strong female character.