If I can play in the NBA and still find time to read — so can you!
We’re just a group of ordinary people that have come together to make reading fun while building relationships and getting to know each other. It’s so simple, you don’t even have to leave your house to participate.
I’ll get on Twitter and announce what book the club will be reading.
The first 25 people to respond and sign-up, I’ll send you a free copy of our current book. Everyone else can still participate!
Each member will receive an e-mail with a schedule of how much to read in a given week and when the discussions will take place.
All discussions will take place on Twitter using the hashtag #EkpesBookClub
Ifemelu and Obinze are young and in love when they depart military-ruled Nigeria for the West. Beautiful, self-assured Ifemelu heads for America, where despite her academic success, she is forced to grapple with what it means to be black for the first time. Quiet, thoughtful Obinze had hoped to join her, but with post-9/11 America…Read More
If I can play in the NBA and still find
time to read — so can you!
Ifemelu and Obinze are young and in love when they depart military-ruled Nigeria for the West. Beautiful, self-assured Ifemelu heads for America, where despite her academic success, she is forced to grapple with what it means to be black for the first time. Quiet, thoughtful Obinze had hoped to join her, but with post-9/11 America closed to him, he instead plunges into a dangerous, undocumented life in London. Fifteen years later, they reunite in a newly democratic Nigeria, and reignite their passion—for each other and for their homeland.
The stories in Elegy on Kinderklavier explore the profound loss and intricate effects of war on lives that have been suddenly misaligned. A diplomat navigates a hostile political climate and an arranged marriage in an Israeli settlement on a newly discovered planet; a small town in Kansas shuns the army recruiter who signed up its boys as troops are deployed to Iraq, falling in helicopters and on grenades; a family dissolves around mental illness and a child’s body overtaken by cancer. The moment a soldier steps on an explosive device is painfully reproduced, nanosecond by nanosecond. Arna Bontemps Hemenway’s stories feel pulled out of time and place, and the suffering of his characters seem at once otherworldly and stunningly familiar. Elegy on Kinderklavier is a disquieting exploration of what it is to lose and be lost.
Marie Laure lives with her father in Paris within walking distance of the Museum of Natural History where he works as the master of the locks (there are thousands of locks in the museum). When she is six, she goes blind, and her father builds her a model of their neighborhood, every house, every manhole, so she can memorize it with her fingers and navigate the real streets with her feet and cane. When the Germans occupy Paris, father and daughter flee to Saint-Malo on the Brittany coast, where Marie-Laure’s agoraphobic great uncle lives in a tall, narrow house by the sea wall.
In another world in Germany, an orphan boy, Werner, grows up with his younger sister, Jutta, both enchanted by a crude radio Werner finds. He becomes a master at building and fixing radios, a talent that wins him a place at an elite and brutal military academy and, ultimately, makes him a highly specialized tracker of the Resistance. Werner travels through the heart of Hitler Youth to the far-flung outskirts of Russia, and finally into Saint-Malo, where his path converges with Marie-Laure.
Doerr’s gorgeous combination of soaring imagination with observation is electric. Deftly interweaving the lives of Marie-Laure and Werner, Doerr illuminates the ways, against all odds, people try to be good to one another. Ten years in the writing, All the Light We Cannot See is his most ambitious and dazzling work.
Serial is a podcast where we unfold one nonfiction story, week by week, over the course of a season. We’ll stay with each story for as long as it takes to get to the bottom of it.
We’ll release new episodes every Thursday morning. Listeners can subscribe for free to the Serial podcast on iTunes and other audio platforms, and can also listen here on this site.
It begins with a boy. Theo Decker, a thirteen-year-old New Yorker, miraculously survives an accident that kills his mother. Abandoned by his father, Theo is taken in by the family of a wealthy friend. Bewildered by his strange new home on Park Avenue, disturbed by schoolmates who don’t know how to talk to him, and tormented above all by his unbearable longing for his mother, he clings to one thing that reminds him of her: a small, mysteriously captivating painting that ultimately draws Theo into the underworld of art.
As an adult, Theo moves silkily between the drawing rooms of the rich and the dusty labyrinth of an antiques store where he works. He is alienated and in love-and at the center of a narrowing, ever more dangerous circle.
The Goldfinch is a novel of shocking narrative energy and power. It combines unforgettably vivid characters, mesmerizing language, and breathtaking suspense, while plumbing with a philosopher’s calm the deepest mysteries of love, identity, and art. It is a beautiful, stay-up-all-night and tell-all-your-friends triumph, an old-fashioned story of loss and obsession, survival and self-invention, and the ruthless machinations of fate.
On a warm summer morning in North Carthage, Missouri, it is Nick and Amy Dunne’s fifth wedding anniversary. Presents are being wrapped and reservations are being made when Nick’s clever and beautiful wife disappears. Husband-of-the-Year Nick isn’t doing himself any favors with cringe-worthy daydreams about the slope and shape of his wife’s head, but passages from Amy’s diary reveal the alpha-girl perfectionist could have put anyone dangerously on edge. Under mounting pressure from the police and the media—as well as Amy’s fiercely doting parents—the town golden boy parades an endless series of lies, deceits, and inappropriate behavior. Nick is oddly evasive, and he’s definitely bitter—but is he really a killer?
New York Times bestselling and Edgar Award winning author Lisa Scottoline is loved by millions of readers for her suspenseful novels about family and justice. Scottoline delivers once again with Keep Quiet, an emotionally gripping and complex story about one man’s split-second decision to protect his son – and the devastating consequences that follow.Jake Buckman’s relationship with his sixteen-year-old son Ryan is not an easy one, so at the urging of his loving wife, Pam, Jake goes alone to pick up Ryan at their suburban movie theater. On the way home, Ryan asks to drive on a deserted road, and Jake sees it as a chance to make a connection. However, what starts as a father-son bonding opportunity instantly turns into a nightmare. Tragedy strikes, and with Ryan’s entire future hanging in the balance, Jake is forced to make a split-second decision that plunges them both into a world of guilt and lies. Without ever meaning to, Jake and Ryan find themselves living under the crushing weight of their secret, which threatens to tear their family to shreds and ruin them all. Powerful and dramatic, Keep Quiet will have readers and book clubs debating what it means to be a parent and how far you can, and should, go to protect those you love.
Life can turn on a dime—or stumble into the extraordinary, as it does for Jake Epping, a high school English teacher in Lisbon Falls, Maine. While grading essays by his GED students, Jake reads a gruesome, enthralling piece penned by janitor Harry Dunning: fifty years ago, Harry somehow survived his father’s sledgehammer slaughter of his entire family. Jake is blown away…but an even more bizarre secret comes to light when Jake’s friend Al, owner of the local diner, enlists Jake to take over the mission that has become his obsession—to prevent the Kennedy assassination. How? By stepping through a portal in the diner’s storeroom, and into the era of Ike and Elvis, of big American cars, sock hops, and cigarette smoke… Finding himself in warmhearted Jodie, Texas, Jake begins a new life. But all turns in the road lead to a troubled loner named Lee Harvey Oswald. The course of history is about to be rewritten…and become heart-stoppingly suspenseful.
Do you ever wish you could go back in time and change an event in your life or in history? Do you wonder how changing that event could alter the future? The novel 11/22/63 by Stephen King looks at these questions in context of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.
The book is a page turner and in effort to not give away too many details, here is a general overview of the book.
Small town, high school English teacher, Jake Epping gets entrusted with a time travel portal by his friend Al Templeton. Al explains to Jake his quest to stop Lee Harvey Oswald from assassinating JFK and that he needs Jake to complete this task for him. The portal is a tricky thing though, whenever someone travels through it, no matter how long they stay in the past only two minutes elapses in the present day. The traveler also starts out at 11:58am on 9/9/1958 every time they go back to the past. The past can be altered BUT each time the portal is used a reset occurs and the changes are “undone”. Finally the obdurate past creates obstacles for the traveler to try and prevent history from being changed.
Once Jake starts to embrace the idea of helping complete Al’s quest for him he does a “test” run through the portal in which he tries to prevent a tragedy from occurring in the life of one of his present day GED students, Harry Dunning. After testing the theory of altering the events in the past on the Dunning family, Jake travels back to 2011 through the portal and discovers what happened to the Dunning family as a result of him altering the events that actually took place in history.
After his test run Jake ultimately decides to go back to 1958 to attempt to complete the task of preventing Oswald from assassinating JFK that Al started. Jake a.k.a George Amberson(his name when in the past), tries to fit in the past the best he can by getting a teaching degree and becoming an English teacher at a high school in a small Texas town. While at the school he falls hard for the schools new librarian Sadie. His love for Sadie and his quest to stop Oswald from killing Kennedy creates a struggle for Jake, complete the task and return to 2011 or stay in the past and spend the rest of his life with Sadie. To find out what whether Jake picks his mission over Sadie and what happens I recommend picking up a copy, or downloading 11/22/63 by Stephen King, you will not be bored with it.
For people from Texas as well as general history buffs, be warned, there are historical inaccuracies in names, places, etc. that you will notice throughout the novel that many book club members picked up on while we read our way through. Have some Advil© handy when you read this novel as King not only keeps you guessing but also constantly questioning symbolization that appears throughout the book. Watch out for the Yellow Card Man and “guests”/references to some of King’s other famous works. The book induced in dept conversations among many members of Ekpe’s book club and it was a page turner that you did not want to put down. Many of the members could not wait until the next book club meeting to discuss.
Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel’s story is about to be completely rewritten.
An absolutely amazing novel, with a different take on star-crossed lovers. John Green has taken the serious topic of cancer and turned it into a witty love story, which ended up being surprisingly funny and extremely entertaining.
Hazel Grace Lancaster, the heroine and narrator, and Augustus Waters (Gus) first meet “in the literal heart of Jesus,” also known as the cancer support group. Hazel’s parents insist she try and resume a normal teenage life, which entails she start attending the support group. What starts as an instant friendship between Hazel and Gus, quickly blooms into a beautiful romance. With the common thread of having cancer and being in remission, the two teenagers quickly bond.
Green’s intelligence and humor shine through in this novel, making this my favorite novel by Green yet. Delivering a fast paced plot that will keep readers hooked to their books. “The Fault in Our Stars” is tastefully plotted, with a true look at love. Be prepared to cry and then laugh out loud, possibly all within the same page.
“Some infinities are bigger than other infinities,” John Green.
On a May afternoon in 1943, an Army Air Forces bomber crashed into the Pacific Ocean and disappeared, leaving only a spray of debris and a slick of oil, gasoline, and blood. Then, on the ocean surface, a face appeared. It was that of a young lieutenant, the plane’s bombardier, who was struggling to a life raft and pulling himself aboard. So began one of the most extraordinary odysseys of the Second World War.
The lieutenant’s name was Louis Zamperini. In boyhood, he’d been a cunning and incorrigible delinquent, breaking into houses, brawling, and fleeing his home to ride the rails. As a teenager, he had channeled his defiance into running, discovering a prodigious talent that had carried him to the Berlin Olympics and within sight of the four-minute mile. But when war had come, the athlete had become an airman, embarking on a journey that led to his doomed flight, a tiny raft, and a drift into the unknown.
Ahead of Zamperini lay thousands of miles of open ocean, leaping sharks, a foundering raft, thirst and starvation, enemy aircraft, and, beyond, a trial even greater. Driven to the limits of endurance, Zamperini would answer desperation with ingenuity; suffering with hope, resolve, and humor; brutality with rebellion. His fate, whether triumph or tragedy, would be suspended on the fraying wire of his will.
In her long-awaited new book, Laura Hillenbrand writes with the same rich and vivid narrative voice she displayed in Seabiscuit. Telling an unforgettable story of a man’s journey into extremity, Unbroken is a testament to the resilience of the human mind, body, and spirit.
Unbroken is the story of Olympian and World War II POW Louis Zamperini. It tells the story of the incredible heights that few athletes attain and the horrific lows that few humans survive.
Hillenbrand begins the book telling of the mischievous troublemaker who becomes a track star and eventual Olympian. Zamperini goes from running from people he robbed to running the fastest mile of any high schooler in America. His experiences taught him to be fearless and filled him with confidence.
The outbreak of World War II took Zamperini in a different direction. Although afraid of flying, he became a bombardier in the Air Corps. You are given so many examples of service that the reader easily understands why his generation is known as the Greatest Generation. Surviving many close calls earned Louie awards but his luck came to an end when his crew was sent on a search mission and his plane went down.
What followed was a desperate 47 days aboard a life raft with first two and then only one fellow survivor. They battled the elements and sharks before being picked up by the Japanese. Hillenbrand’s detailed descriptions make you feel the hopelessness of those on the raft along with their determination to survive.
Their rescue by the Japanese gives only a slight glimmer of hope before it is dashed when Louie is sent to an interrogation center, POW camp and slave camp. The physical and mental torture Zamperini is forced to endure is so difficult to read. You are forced to question how one human can be so cruel to another. You are also left to wonder how one possibly survives such inhumanity.
Louie’s freedom at the end of the war is a relief until the difficulties that veterans returning from war endure is detailed. Zamperini struggles with alcoholism and has nightmares of those who tortured him in the POW camp. It begs the question why haven’t we learned to care for our soldiers returning from war better? Problems these soldiers faced are still faced by soldiers today.
So survival and resilience have been heavily emphasized time and again but the redemption that comes next is the best part. Zamperini begrudgingly makes two visits to a Billy Graham revival and remembers a promise he made to God while on the life raft. He accepts Christ and sets out on a mission of forgiveness. He journeys to Japan to forgive his captors in person. His chief tormentor is nowhere to be seen. He eventually writes this tormentor a letter, forgiving him for mistreating him.
Zamperini’s story is so remarkable. It is amazing to know that he survived everything that he went through out of sheer determination. It also makes you question your own inner toughness. Louie’s will to survive is only surpassed by the grace that he shows at the end of the story. Some might think that such grace might be harder than the survival. Louie Zamperini makes it all look so easy.
Khaled Hosseini, the #1 New York Times–bestselling author of The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns, has written a new novel about how we love, how we take care of one another, and how the choices we make resonate through generations.
In this tale revolving around not just parents and children but brothers and sisters, cousins and caretakers, Hosseini explores the many ways in which families nurture, wound, betray, honor, and sacrifice for one another; and how often we are surprised by the actions of those closest to us, at the times that matter most.
Following its characters and the ramifications of their lives and choices and loves around the globe—from Kabul to Paris to San Francisco to the Greek island of Tinos—the story expands gradually outward, becoming more emotionally complex and powerful with each turning page
A lot of professors give talks titled “The Last Lecture.” Professors are asked to consider their demise and to ruminate on what matters most to them. And while they speak, audiences can’t help but mull the same question: What wisdom would we impart to the world if we knew it was our last chance? If we had to vanish tomorrow, what would we want as our legacy?
When Randy Pausch, a computer science professor at Carnegie Mellon, was asked to give such a lecture, he didn’t have to imagine it as his last, since he had recently been diagnosed with terminal cancer. But the lecture he gave–“Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams”–wasn’t about dying. It was about the importance of overcoming obstacles, of enabling the dreams of others, of seizing every moment (because “time is all you have…and you may find one day that you have less than you think”). It was a summation of everything Randy had come to believe. It was about living.
In this book, Randy Pausch has combined the humor, inspiration and intelligence that made his lecture such a phenomenon and given it an indelible form. It is a book that will be shared for generations to come!!