Virtual Book Clubs
How It Works
#APStogether is a series of virtual book clubs that take place on social media. They are free, and open to all. Each session is hosted by a different writer, who selects a book to read together. The selected titles can be ordered here
, or at your local independent bookstore.
#APStogether is a sequel to #TolstoyTogether
, a virtual book club hosted by Yiyun Li to read War and Peace. This summer, the book clubs will be shorter journeys—short novels, and even some poetry. We will read slowly, at a pace of about 15 pages each day, and finish each book within two weeks. The schedule for each book club will be listed below. Every morning, we will share observations from the writer hosting the current book club on our Twitter
accounts. Readers will take the conversation from there—offering their insights, sharing research, asking questions. The ongoing conversation will be organized using #APStogether. An archive of the writer-host's daily observations and highlights from the book club will be available on our website here
and shared in a newsletter. If you aren't already on our mailing list, you can join here
. Please email us with any questions.
Begins July 9, 2020
Garth Greenwell | Henry James, The Turn of the Screw
The Turn of the Screw is a story about ghosts (or is it?), madness, the vulnerability of children, the lure of desire. It's one of the most disquieting books I know, and genuinely shocking—but all of its horror is conveyed through suggestion, implication, gesture. It's a profound interrogation of the nature of evil; it's also immensely fun. For my money James is the greatest stylist in English; his sentences are exquisite instruments for hyper-fine articulation of emotion and headlong plummets into the abyss.
The Turn of the Screw is one of his most enduring and beloved stories, and it's an excellent entry point for readers new to James.
is the author of What Belongs to You
, which won the British Book Award for Debut of the Year, was longlisted for the National Book Award, and was a finalist for six other awards, including the PEN/Faulkner Award, the James Tait Black Memorial Prize, and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. His new book of fiction, Cleanness
, was published in January. A 2020 Guggenheim Fellow, he lives in Iowa City with his partner, the poet Luis Muñoz.
Day 1 | July 9: Prologue–Chapter 1.
Day 2 | July 10: Chapter 2–Chapter 3.
Day 3 | July 11: Chapter 4–Chapter 5.
Day 4 | July 12: Chapter 6–Chapter 7.
Day 5 | July 13: Chapter 8–Chapter 9.
Day 6 | July 14: Chapter 10–Chapter 11.
Day 7 | July 15: Chapter 12–Chapter 13.
Day 8 | July 16: Chapter 14–Chapter 16.
Day 9 | July 17: Chapter 17–Chapter 19.
Day 10 | July 18: Chapter 20–Chapter 21.
Day 11 | July 19: Chapter 22–Chapter 24 (The End).
Begins July 23, 2020
Elizabeth McCracken | Annie Dillard, The Maytrees
Like all of my favorite books,
The Maytrees is hard to describe: its plot is time, really, but it's about empathy and marriage and divorce and love and the consolations of art. It begins with the courtship of Lou Bigelow and Toby Maytree, who marry and move to Provincetown and become the eponymous Maytrees (other Maytrees follow) and it's full of remarkable characters and remarkable sentences. Some slim novels are spare and clean (I love those, too) but
The Maytrees is crammed full, like an old New England house filled with geegaws and books and bricabrac. Above all, it is an intensely beautiful book.
is the author of six books. Her seventh, The Souvenir Museum
, a collection of stories, will be published in April 2021.
Begins August 6, 2020
Ilya Kaminsky | Wislawa Szymborska, Map
is the author of the poetry collections Dancing in Odessa
(Tupelo) and Deaf Republic
(Graywolf), which was a finalist for the National Book Award; and the editor, with Susan Harris, of the Ecco Anthology of International Poetry
. His honors include a Whiting Award and a Lannan Literary Fellowship.
Begins August 20, 2020
Elliott Holt | Mavis Gallant, Green Water, Green Sky
Mavis Gallant is one of my favorite writers, and although she is primarily known for her short stories—she published 116 of them in the
New Yorker—I love her two novels as well.
Green Water, Green Sky, Gallant's debut, is about a young Canadian woman named Flor's nervous breakdown. Set in Venice and Paris, where Flor and her mother Bonnie live,
Green Water, Green Sky is an episodic novel in four sections (interconnected stories, if you will), which display Gallant's masterful shifts in narrative perspective and her visceral exploration of displacement and exile.
is the author of the novel You Are One of Them
(Penguin), a New York Times Book Review
Editors' Choice and finalist for the National Book Critics Circle’s John Leonard Award. Her essays, book reviews, and short stories have appeared in the New York Times
, Virginia Quarterly Review
, and elsewhere. Her fiction has been awarded a Pushcart Prize, as well as fellowships from Yaddo and the MacDowell Colony. She was born and raised in Washington, D.C., and has lived in Moscow, London, Amsterdam, Paris, and New York.
Begins September 3, 2020
Ed Park | Charles Portis, True Grit
is the author of the novel Personal Days
(Random House) and is a founding editor of the Believer
Begins September 17, 2020
Carl Phillips | James Baldwin, Giovanni's Room
Giovanni's Room is a fever dream of language, desire, tenderness, those brief moments in which we think we know ourselves and others, the larger moments when we realize the quest to know anything for sure may be unresolvable—yet we keep questing, anyway. It's a meditation, too, on otherness—in terms of class, sex, race, and of intimacy maybe most of all.
is the author of fifteen books of poems, most recently Pale Colors in a Tall Field
(FSG). He teaches at Washington University in Saint Louis.