MARTHA MERRELL’S BOOK CLUBS

Martha Merrell’s hosts a variety of book clubs and is pleased to offer the following services free-of-charge to area clubs.

We can:

  • Provide a meeting space for clubs
  • Provide a selection of books for your club to choose from
  • Special order club selections
  • Provide a 15% discount on club selections
  • Facilitate discussions
  • No-charge consulting on new books and current trends
  • Share what other clubs are reading

We invite you to stop by our location at 231 West Main Street in the Avalon Square Building.

Discover what we have to offer!

Contact us to set up your club meeting at the store on a regular monthly basis. If you are interested in using our space on a more occasional basis, feel free to schedule a time with us as well.  (New surroundings can be just what your book club needs to invigorate itself.)  We will gladly accommodate your group’s needs including light refreshments, lunch or dinner. 

UPCOMING BOOK CLUBS

Monday Morning Group meets at 10:30 AM

6/10/24    Hello Beautiful by Ann Napolitano  

William Waters grew up in a house silenced by tragedy, where his parents could hardly bear to look at him, much less love him–so when he meets the spirited and ambitious Julia Padavano in his freshman year of college, it’s as if the world has lit up around him. With Julia comes her family, as she and her three sisters are inseparable: Sylvie, the family’s dreamer, is happiest with her nose in a book; Cecelia is a free-spirited artist; and Emeline patiently takes care of them all. With the Padavanos, William experiences a newfound contentment; every moment in their house is filled with loving chaos.

But then darkness from William’s past surfaces, jeopardizing not only Julia’s carefully orchestrated plans for their future, but the sisters’ unshakeable devotion to one another. The result is a catastrophic family rift that changes their lives for generations. Will the loyalty that once rooted them be strong enough to draw them back together when it matters most?

Wednesday Evening Book Group meets at 5:45 PM

6/5/24    Someone Else’s Shoes by JoJo Moyes

Who are you when you are forced to walk in someone else’s shoes?  Nisha Cantor lives the globetrotting life of the seriously wealthy, until her husband announces a divorce and cuts her off. Nisha is determined to hang onto her glamorous life. But in the meantime, she must scramble to cope–she doesn’t even have the shoes she was, until a moment ago, standing in.

That’s because Sam Kemp – in the bleakest point of her life – has accidentally taken Nisha’s gym bag. Sam hardly has time to worry about a lost gym bag–she’s struggling to keep herself and her family afloat. When she tries on Nisha’s six-inch high Christian Louboutin red crocodile shoes, the resulting jolt of confidence that makes her realize something must change–and that thing is herself.

7/3/24      The World Played Chess by Robert Dugoni

In 1979, Vincent Bianco has just graduated high school. His only desire: collect a little beer money and enjoy his final summer before college. So he lands a job as a laborer on a construction crew. Working alongside two Vietnam vets, one suffering from PTSD, Vincent gets the education of a lifetime. Now forty years later, with his own son leaving for college, the lessons of that summer–Vincent’s last taste of innocence and first taste of real life–dramatically unfold in a novel about breaking away, shaping a life, and seeking one’s own destiny.

8/7/24      The Secret Book of Flora Lea by Patti Callahan Henry

In war-torn London of 1939, fourteen-year-old Hazel and five-year-old Flora are evacuated to a rural village to escape the horrors of the Second World War. Living with the kind Bridie Aberdeen and her teenage son, Harry, in a charming stone cottage along the River Thames, Hazel fills their days with walks and games to distract her young sister, including one that she creates for her sister and her sister alone–a fairy tale about a magical land, a secret place they can escape to that is all their own.  The unthinkable happens when young Flora suddenly vanishes while playing near the banks of the river. Shattered, Hazel blames herself for her sister’s disappearance, and carries that guilt into adulthood as a private burden she feels she deserves.

Twenty years later, Hazel is in London, ready to move on from her job at a cozy rare bookstore to a career at Sotheby’s. With a charming boyfriend and her elegantly timeworn Bloomsbury flat, Hazel’s future seems determined. But her tidy life is turned upside down when she unwraps a package containing an illustrated book called Whisperwood and the River of Stars. Hazel never told a soul about the imaginary world she created just for Flora. Could this book hold the secrets to Flora’s disappearance? Could it be a sign that her beloved sister is still alive after all these years?

 

9/4/24      Remarkably Bright Creatures by Shelby Van Pelt

After Tova Sullivan’s husband died, she began working the night shift at the Sowell Bay Aquarium, mopping floors and tidying up. Keeping busy has always helped her cope, which she’s been doing since her eighteen-year-old son Erik mysteriously vanished on a boat in Puget Sound over thirty years ago.  Tova becomes acquainted with curmudgeonly Marcellus, a giant Pacific octopus living at the aquarium. Marcellus knows more than anyone can imagine but wouldn’t dream of lifting one of his eight arms for his human captors–until he forms a remarkable friendship with Tova. Ever the detective, Marcellus deduces what happened the night Tova’s son disappeared and must use every trick his old invertebrate body can muster to unearth the truth for her before it’s too late.

Avalon Book Group meets at 2 PM

6/3/24    The Museum of Lost Quilts by Jennifer Chiaverini

Summer Sullivan, the youngest founding member of Elm Creek Quilts, has spent the last two years pursuing a master’s degree in history at the University of Chicago. Her unexpected return home to the celebrated quilter’s retreat is met with delight but also concern from her mother, Gwen; her best friend, Sarah; master quilter Sylvia; and her other colleagues–and rightly so. Stymied by writer’s block, Summer hasn’t finished her thesis, and she can’t graduate until she does.  Elm Creek Manor offers respite while Summer struggles to meet her extended deadline. She finds welcome distraction in organizing an exhibit of antique quilts as a fundraiser to renovate Union Hall, the 1863 Greek Revival headquarters of the Waterford Historical Society. But Summer’s research uncovers startling facts about Waterford’s past, prompting unsettling questions about racism, economic injustice, and political corruption within their community, past and present.  As Summer’s work progresses, quilt lovers and history buffs praise the growing collection, but affronted local leaders demand that she remove all references to Waterford’s troubled history. As controversy threatens the exhibit’s success, Summer fears that her pursuit of the truth might cost the Waterford Historical Society their last chance to save Union Hall. Her only hope is to rally the quilting community to her cause.

Monday Afternoon Book Group meets at 2:30 PM

6/10/24    Remarkably Bright Creatures by Shelby Van Pelt

After Tova Sullivan’s husband died, she began working the night shift at the Sowell Bay Aquarium, mopping floors and tidying up. Keeping busy has always helped her cope, which she’s been doing since her eighteen-year-old son Erik mysteriously vanished on a boat in Puget Sound over thirty years ago.  Tova becomes acquainted with curmudgeonly Marcellus, a giant Pacific octopus living at the aquarium. Marcellus knows more than anyone can imagine but wouldn’t dream of lifting one of his eight arms for his human captors–until he forms a remarkable friendship with Tova. Ever the detective, Marcellus deduces what happened the night Tova’s son disappeared and must use every trick his old invertebrate body can muster to unearth the truth for her before it’s too late.