Welcome to In The Club, a newsletter of resources to keep your book group well-met, well-read, and well-fed. Whew, so the last few days of August decided to keep up the raggedy standard with the hurricane that hit Louisiana and nearby states on the anniversary of hurricane Katrina. Now, one million people are without power with it possibly taking weeks before they have it back. I found my big sister mode switched fully on when I asked my little brother if he was prepared for the storm, as Nashville was in its path. Naturally, he asked me “what storm?” and I proceeded to turn into my father by stating all the things he needed to make sure he had (flashlights, toilet paper, drinking water, canned food, etc.) before making an annoyed point that he needed to watch the news more. For context, he’s about to be 25. I don’t know when I started transforming into my parents, but I suddenly feel attacked by these commercials, smh.
With all of that said, I hope everyone in the path of the storm is safe and that this nightmare ends soon.
Now on to the club!
Nibbles and Sips
I think we can all be real and say that we need a drink. Well, I can, in any case. This watermelon sorbet and Prosecco looks bomb and easy to assemble. It’s also a nice way to close out the summer, I think. Here’s a recipe for watermelon sorbet. *Pro Tip: If you throw extra fruit into it, it counts as healthy.
To the books!
The Cowboy Bebop live action series was announced and got me feeling some type of way. I just don’t think it’s giving what it’s supposed to give. One problem with it is that they’re debating whether they should have a key character in a show where the relationships between the main characters are a major part of the story. Now, how that would work is beyond me, but they need to stop trying to ruin my childhood memories of staying up past my bedtime and watching Adult Swim on Cartoon Network. Just throw it all away.
This got me thinking about some books being adapted into movies or shows that I am actually hype about. I also think reading a book and then watching its film or show adaption offers more opportunities for discussion, or, you know, just more fan-girling.
Fever Dream by Samantha Schweblin, translated by Megan McDowell
This is being adapted into a movie by Netflix called Distincia De Rescate. Amanda is dying in an Argentinian countryside hospital. A child, David, sits beside her, insisting that she tell the story of the trauma that led to her current condition. David is not her child. We’re led through an unsettling deathbed narrative, as we ponder the mystery concerning her hospital stay and just why this child David is there with her. It has been described as “a nightmare come true, a ghost story for the real word, an inquisitive tale and a love story” by its director.
Queenie by Candice Carty-Williams
The author herself has been commissioned to create a drama series for Channel 4. Queenie follows its namesake, a young British woman of Jamaican heritage, as she stumbles through her dating life. Emphasis on the stumbling part, because she seems to keep making some of the same mistakes, but at least has the support of her group of friends and some ultra traditional Jamaican parents. It has been dubbed a Black Bridget Jones, which was also adapted into a couple movies.
Passing by Nella Larsen
Passing will be on Netflix in November. It stars Ruth Negga and Tessa Thompson *lightly squeals*. Passing is the classic 1929 story that shows the very real practice that some lighter-skinned Black and mixed people did to pass as white back in the day. Irene is living it up in Harlem with her doctor husband when Clare comes back into her life. Light-skinned Clare had left the Black community years ago in order to “pass” and enjoy the benefits afforded to white people. Turns out Clare is a hot mess, and Irene is shook. Chaos ensues.
Both Passing and Queenie give plenty of opportunities to discuss the intersection of race, class, and gender for the female protagonists. There’s also the chance to discuss how those aforementioned things are influenced by location (i.e. The United States vs. England). How are things the same and how are they different? Fever Dream gives opportunities to talk about gender as well, especially as it relates to motherhood.
Side note: I love that all of these adaptions are being or were written by women, with the Fever Dream and Passing adaptions having also been directed by women. The girls are outchea adapting! We love to see it.
There’s still a little time to bid on some romance novels for Haitian earthquake relief if you’re able to.
Fellow Book Rioter Annika Barranti Klein lists more Netflix adaptions coming out.
Oprah Announces The Love Songs of W.E.B. Du Bois by Honorée Fanonne Jeffers as her new book club pick.
There is a Terry Pratchett book club going on over at Tor.com: Terry Pratchett Book Club: Witches Abroad, Part I
Dr. Imani Perry joins the Noname Book Club digital meetup to discuss August picks Looking for Lorraine by Imani Perry and The Autobiography of Malcolm by Alex Haley.
As always, thanks for hanging out! If you have any comments or just want to connect, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or holla at me on Twitter @erica_eze_ . You can also catch me choppin’ it up with Kelly Jensen on the Hey YA podcast every couple of weeks.
Until next week.