Book Club

Bright Leaf Book Club is a chance to meet like-minded readers and critically analyze and discuss a text. We select texts democratically, and read novels, short stories, poetry, and creative non-fiction. We meet monthly. Pizza is provided. Join us!


Thursday, June 21  - 7:00 PM

The Changeling by Joy Williams

"Forty years after its first publication, 'The Changeling' feels at once unprecedented and eerily familiar. Readers who discover it in 2018 may be surprised to feel a primordial déjà vu; a tingling where their own antlers might have been, once upon a time. Every great book shape-shifts with its reader. “The Changeling” does something wilder still: it generates its own autonomous magic, one that feels wholly independent of the reader and her moment. Critics get a little nervous, I think, when their breath fails to fog up the glass. But 'The Changeling' is not a mirror: it’s a window. It is refreshingly, transgressively uninterested in reflecting the familiar dramas of human life, or in reproducing the conventional grammar of human thinking.

"The book is concerned, instead, with time’s tyranny—how we live under its sorcery, burdened by our substanceless memories while equidistant at every instant from an imaginary future."

-Karen Russell, The New Yorker


Thursday, July 19 - 7:00 PM

Pulphead by John Jeremiah Sullivan

"The essays in 'Pulphead' bounce around, like hail. Several are about music. There are meditations on Axl Rose, on Christian rock, on Michael Jackson, on Bunny Wailer and on the blues singer Geeshie Wiley. Some are about other forms of pop culture, like Mr. Sullivan’s weirdly moving appraisal of a former star of the MTV show “The Real World,” or his account of trying to live in his own coastal North Carolina house with his wife and family while the television show “One Tree Hill” pays them to film scenes in it regularly.

"Other essays in 'Pulphead' are personal, like Mr. Sullivan’s account of how his brother, a singer with a band called the Moviegoers — you’ve got to love a band named after a Walker Percy novel — nearly died after being shocked by a microphone. Yet others are more esoteric, in a John McPhee meets David Foster Wallace kind of way: a piece about caves in Tennessee; one about sharing a house with an old coot who was the last living member of the Southern Agrarian literary movement; one about an eccentric 19th-century naturalist who almost beat Darwin to the idea of evolution.

"What’s impressive about 'Pulphead' is the way these disparate essays cohere into a memoirlike whole. The putty that binds them together is Mr. Sullivan’s steady and unhurried voice."

-Dwight Garner, The New York Times



Previous Selections


June 2017 Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders

July 2017 Get in Trouble by Kelly Link

August 2017 10:04 by Ben Lerner

September 2017 Dear Cyborgs by Eugene Lim

October 2017 The Sellout by Paul Beatty

November 2017 Red Harvest by Dashiell Hammett

December 2017 Children with Enemies by Stuart Dischell

January 2018 Suttree by Cormac McCarthy

February 2018 Solaris by Stanislaw Lem

March 2018 The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. Le Guin

April 2018 The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison

May 2018 Train Dreams by Denis Johnson