The Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving
By Jonathan Evison
$14.36 hardcover, $11.99 e-book
Ben Benjamin is a guy in crisis — he has tragically lost his family and home, though we don't discover how and why until later in the book. Near unemployable, Ben becomes the paid caregiver of a frustrated 19-year-old with a debilitating disease, and their journey together (literally: They take a road trip) is at the heart of the book. Though members of your club may nix this as a downer before giving it a read, it's full of enough humor — the story is told from Ben's wry, self-deprecating perspective — to make you far more likely to laugh than cry.
The Barbarian Nurseries
By Héctor Tobar
$10.88 paperback, $9.99 e-book
A Mexican nanny for a wealthy Orange County, Calif., family is left in charge of the two children in her care when their parents' marriage falls apart. She seeks out their estranged grandfather in Los Angeles, where she finds herself mired in the judicial system, and in a situation that grows progressively more disastrous. The novel explores the problems of ethnic prejudice, class conflict and media irresponsibility — all rich fodder for debate. And it's a satisfying read to boot.
John Saturnall's Feast
By Lawrence Norfolk
$16.90 hardcover, $11.99 e-book
A compelling historical novel set in 17th-century England, this book sucks the reader in emotionally — and almost viscerally. John Saturnall is just a boy when his mother dies and he's sent to work in the kitchen of a wealthy estate. Through the years, secrets come to light, a love story unfolds and John's uncanny culinary skills blossom — all described with gorgeous language so evocative you can just about taste his magical sauces and sweets.
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