Spinecrackers reads books of all types. Meetings are held the 1st Friday of the month at 10 am at our main library on Harnish Dr.

Spinecrackers (03/01/2024): Hang the Moon
Book Clubs

Spinecrackers (03/01/2024): Hang the Moon

Sallie Kincaid is the daughter of the biggest man in a small town, the charismatic Duke Kincaid. Born at the turn of the 20th century into a life of comfort and privilege, Sallie remembers little about her mother who died in a violent argument with the Duke. By the time she is just eight years old, the Duke has remarried and had a son, Eddie. While Sallie is her father’s daughter, sharp-witted and resourceful, Eddie is his mother’s son, timid and cerebral. When Sallie tries to teach young Eddie to be more like their father, her daredevil coaching leads to an accident, and Sallie is cast out.

Nine years later, she returns, determined to reclaim her place in the family. That’s a lot more complicated than Sallie expected, and she enters a world of conflict and lawlessness. Sallie confronts the secrets and scandals that hide in the shadows of the Big House, navigates the factions in the family and town, and finally comes into her own as a bold, sometimes reckless bootlegger.

“You’ll fall in love with Sallie on the very first page and keep rooting for her all the way through to the last” (Good Housekeeping) in this thrilling read that “goes down easy…like the forbidden whisky that defines the life of Sallie Kincaid” (Associated Press). […]

Spinecrackers (02/02/2024): The Collected Regrets of Clover
Book Clubs

Spinecrackers (02/02/2024): The Collected Regrets of Clover

What’s the point of giving someone a beautiful death if you can’t give yourself a beautiful life?
From the day she watched her kindergarten teacher drop dead during a dramatic telling of Peter Rabbit, Clover Brooks has felt a stronger connection with the dying than she has with the living. After the beloved grandfather who raised her dies alone while she is traveling, Clover becomes a death doula in New York City, dedicating her life to ushering people peacefully through their end-of-life process.
Clover spends so much time with the dying that she has no life of her own, until the final wishes of a feisty old woman send Clover on a trip across the country to uncover a forgotten love story––and perhaps, her own happy ending. As she finds herself struggling to navigate the uncharted roads of romance and friendship, Clover is forced to examine what she really wants, and whether she’ll have the courage to go after it.
Probing, clever, and hopeful, The Collected Regrets of Clover is perfect for readers of The Midnight Library and Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine as it turns the normally taboo subject of death into a reason to celebrate life. […]

Spinecrackers (01/05/2024): The Blackout Book Club
Book Clubs

Spinecrackers (01/05/2024): The Blackout Book Club

An impulsive promise to her brother before he goes off to the European Front puts Avis Montgomery in the unlikely position of head librarian in small-town Maine. Though she has never been much of a reader, when wartime needs threaten to close the library, she invents a book club to keep its doors open. The women she convinces to attend the first meeting couldn’t be more different–a wealthy spinster determined to aid the war effort, an exhausted mother looking for a fresh start, and a determined young war worker.

At first, the struggles of the home front are all the club members have in common, but over time, the books they choose become more than an escape from the hardships of life and the fear of the U-boat battles that rage just past their shores. As the women face personal challenges and band together in the face of danger, they find they share more in common with each other than they think. But when their growing friendships are tested by secrets of the past and present, they must decide whether depending on each other is worth the cost. […]

Spinecrackers (12/01/2023): The Catch
Book Clubs

Spinecrackers (12/01/2023): The Catch

Twentysomething Ellie thought she was her father’s favorite child; she was sure he would leave her his most prized possession, a baseball with which they played catch, and which sat on his desk, as a kind of inspiration: her poet father’s most famous poem was called “The Catch.” But when her father’s will is read, his children, including from other marriages, each receive a meaningful object, except Ellie, who receives a glow-in-the-dark tie rack that she has never seen before. The baseball that inspired her father’s work is left to someone with initials no one recognizes, L.M. In her grief, Ellie wonders: Who could have meant more to her father than Ellie? Determined to try to understand her father’s life and to overcome her sense of abandonment, Ellie sets out to track down L.M. In her quest she discovers many startling things about who her father really was and comes to realize the deeper meaning of that baseball, that poem “The Catch,” and the many ways life catches us unawares. […]

Spinecrackers (11/03/2023): Our Missing Hearts
Book Clubs

Spinecrackers (11/03/2023): Our Missing Hearts

Twelve-year-old Bird Gardner lives a quiet existence with his loving father, a former linguist who now shelves books in a university library. His mother Margaret, a Chinese American poet, left without a trace when he was nine years old. He doesn’t know what happened to her—only that her books have been banned—and he resents that she cared more about her work than about him.
Then one day, Bird receives a mysterious letter containing only a cryptic drawing, and soon he is pulled into a quest to find her. His journey will take him back to the many folktales she poured into his head as a child, through the ranks of an underground network of heroic librarians, and finally to New York City, where he will finally learn the truth about what happened to his mother, and what the future holds for them both.
Our Missing Hearts is an old story made new, of the ways supposedly civilized communities can ignore the most searing injustice. It’s about the lessons and legacies we pass on to our children, and the power of art to create change. […]

Spinecrackers (10/06/2023): Remarkably Bright Creatures
Book Clubs

Spinecrackers (10/06/2023): Remarkably Bright Creatures

For fans of A Man Called Ove, a charming, witty and compulsively readable exploration of friendship, reckoning, and hope that traces a widow’s unlikely connection with a giant Pacific octopus

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 now Marcellus must use every trick his old invertebrate body can muster to unearth the truth for her before it’s too late.

Shelby Van Pelt’s debut novel is a gentle reminder that sometimes taking a hard look at the past can help uncover a future that once felt impossible. […]

Spinecrackers (09/01/2023): Someday, Maybe
Book Clubs

Spinecrackers (09/01/2023): Someday, Maybe

“If you are someone who gravitates toward emotional gut punch reads, allow me to introduce you to this spectacular debut…”—BuzzFeed
Here are three things you should know about my husband:
He was the great love of my life despite his penchant for going incommunicado.
He was, as far as I and everyone else could tell, perfectly happy. Which is significant because…
On New Year’s Eve, he died.

And here is one thing you should know about me: I found him.

Bonus fact: No. I am not okay.

Someday, Maybe is a stunning, witty debut novel about a young woman’s emotional journey through unimaginable loss, pulled along by her tight-knit Nigerian family, a posse of friends, and the love and laughter she shared with her husband.

“Incisive and witty. I couldn’t put it down.”—Lolá Ákínmádé Åkerström, internationally bestselling author of In Every Mirror She’s Black
“A masterfully woven exposition on love and loss. Nwabineli is magic with words.”—Bolu Babalola, internationally bestselling author of Honey and Spice […]

Spinecrackers (08/04/2023): Hester
Book Clubs

Spinecrackers (08/04/2023): Hester

A vivid reimagining of the woman who inspired Hester Prynne, the tragic heroine of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter, and a journey into the enduring legacy of New England’s witchcraft trials.

Who is the real Hester Prynne?

Isobel Gamble is a young seamstress carrying generations of secrets when she sets sail from Scotland in the early 1800s with her husband, Edward. An apothecary who has fallen under the spell of opium, his pile of debts have forced them to flee Edinburgh for a fresh start in the New World. But only days after they’ve arrived in Salem, Edward abruptly joins a departing ship as a medic––leaving Isobel penniless and alone in a strange country, forced to make her way by any means possible.

When she meets a young Nathaniel Hawthorne, the two are instantly drawn to each other: he is a man haunted by his ancestors, who sent innocent women to the gallows––while she is an unusually gifted needleworker, troubled by her own strange talents. As the weeks pass and Edward’s safe return grows increasingly unlikely, Nathaniel and Isobel grow closer and closer. Together, they are a muse and a dark storyteller; the enchanter and the enchanted. But which is which?

In this sensuous and hypnotizing tale, a young immigrant woman grapples with our country’s complicated past, and learns that America’s ideas of freedom and liberty often fall short of their promise. Interwoven with Isobel and Nathaniel’s story is a vivid interrogation of who gets to be a “real” American in the first half of the 19th century, a depiction of the early days of the Underground Railroad in New England, and atmospheric interstitials that capture the long history of “unusual” women being accused of witchcraft. Meticulously researched yet evocatively imagined, Laurie Lico Albanese’s Hester is a timeless tale of art, ambition, and desire that examines the roots of female creative power and the men who try to shut it down. […]

Spinecrackers (07/07/2023): Carrie Soto Is Back
Book Clubs

Spinecrackers (07/07/2023): Carrie Soto Is Back

Carrie Soto is fierce, and her determination to win at any cost has not made her popular. But by the time she retires from tennis, she is the best player the world has ever seen. She has shattered every record and claimed twenty Grand Slam titles. And if you ask Carrie, she is entitled to every one. She sacrificed nearly everything to become the best, with her father, Javier, as her coach. A former champion himself, Javier has trained her since the age of two.

But six years after her retirement, Carrie finds herself sitting in the stands of the 1994 US Open, watching her record be taken from her by a brutal, stunning player named Nicki Chan.

At thirty-seven years old, Carrie makes the monumental decision to come out of retirement and be coached by her father for one last year in an attempt to reclaim her record. Even if the sports media says that they never liked “the Battle-Axe” anyway. Even if her body doesn’t move as fast as it did. And even if it means swallowing her pride to train with a man she once almost opened her heart to: Bowe Huntley. Like her, he has something to prove before he gives up the game forever.

In spite of it all, Carrie Soto is back, for one epic final season. In this riveting and unforgettable novel, Taylor Jenkins Reid tells her most vulnerable, emotional story yet. […]

Spinecrackers (06/02/2023): Killers of a Certain Age
Book Clubs

Spinecrackers (06/02/2023): Killers of a Certain Age

Older women often feel invisible, but sometimes that’s their secret weapon.

They’ve spent their lives as the deadliest assassins in a clandestine international organization, but now that they’re sixty years old, four women friends can’t just retire – it’s kill or be killed in this action-packed thriller by New York Times bestselling and Edgar Award-nominated author Deanna Raybourn.

Billie, Mary Alice, Helen, and Natalie have worked for the Museum, an elite network of assassins, for forty years. Now their talents are considered old-school and no one appreciates what they have to offer in an age that relies more on technology than people skills.

When the foursome is sent on an all-expenses paid vacation to mark their retirement, they are targeted by one of their own. Only the Board, the top-level members of the Museum, can order the termination of field agents, and the women realize they’ve been marked for death.

Now to get out alive they have to turn against their own organization, relying on experience and each other to get the job done, knowing that working together is the secret to their survival. They’re about to teach the Board what it really means to be a woman—and a killer—of a certain age. […]