Hello Neighbors & Newcomers,
We hope your summer is off to a fabulous start! Though we said there would be no further newsletters this season, we did want to bring you this shortened special edition to call attention to a bonus book club event with a local author this month! We also have a sneak peek at next season’s books, as well as some additional reading suggestions from members that might make your summer reading list. Finally, please save the date for our LNN Party in September! You can also always check the Lexington Neighbors & Newcomers Members Facebook group to get the latest updates.
Rachel Brownell, LNN Secretary
Thursday, July 21 at 7pm
Happy Summer, LNN Members!
We are excited to announce that we are having an extra summer Book Club meeting this month on July 21st! This evening will be particularly fun as we have arranged for our local Lexington author to come who is also an LNN member!! Some of you may know Weina Dai Randel from the walking group or other events. She will be discussing her most recent book, The Last Rose of Shanghai: A Novel.
In Japanese-occupied Shanghai, two people from different cultures are drawn together by fate and the freedom of music…
1940. Aiyi Shao is a young heiress and the owner of a formerly popular and glamorous Shanghai nightclub. Ernest Reismann is a penniless Jewish refugee driven out of Germany, an outsider searching for shelter in a city wary of strangers. He loses nearly all hope until he crosses paths with Aiyi. When she hires Ernest to play piano at her club, her defiance of custom causes a sensation. His instant fame makes Aiyi’s club once again the hottest spot in Shanghai. Soon they realize they share more than a passion for jazz―but their differences seem insurmountable, and Aiyi is engaged to another man.
As the war escalates, Aiyi and Ernest find themselves torn apart, and their choices between love and survival grow more desperate. In the face of overwhelming odds, a chain of events is set in motion that will change both their lives forever.
From the electrifying jazz clubs to the impoverished streets of a city under siege, The Last Rose of Shanghai is a timeless, sweeping story of love and redemption.
About the Author
Weina Dai Randel is the award-winning author of three novels, The Last Rose of Shanghai, The Moon in the Palace and The Empress of Bright Moon, a historical duology about Wu Zetian. Weina is the winner of the RWA RITA Award, a National Jewish Book Awards finalist, a Goodreads Choice Award semifinalist, and an RT Book Reviewers Choice Award nominee. Her books have been translated into eleven languages.
Born in China, Weina came to the United States at twenty-four, when she switched to English and began to speak, write and dream in her second language. She holds an MA in English from Texas Woman’s University in Denton, Texas. She has worked as the subject-matter expert for Southern New Hampshire University’s MFA program and as an adjunct professor for Eastfield College. Interviews with Weina have appeared on WFAA’s Good Morning Texas and in such publications as World Literature Today, China Daily, The Wall Street Journal, Huffington Post, Los Angeles Review of Books, and RT Book Reviews. After living in Texas for years, Weina now resides in Boston with her loving husband, two children, and a family of chipmunks in the backyard.
If you are interested in joining us for this event, please RSVP to email@example.com by July 18th. On the morning of July 21th, we will email the address of our host to all attendees. Please bring a drink of your choice and/or snacks to share.
Sneak Peek: Next Season’s Book List
Based on your suggestions and votes, here is our book list for next season (in no particular order):
- “Lessons in Chemistry” by Bonnie Garmus
- “The Dictionary of Lost Words” by Pip Williams
- “Pachinko” by Min Jin Lee
- “Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents” by Isabel Wilkerson
- “Violeta” by Isabel Allende
- “The Girl with Seven Names: A North Korean Defector’s Story” by Hyeonseo Lee
- “The Reading List” by Sara Nisha Adams
- “The Invention of Wings” by Sue Monk Kidd
- “The Paris Apartment” by Lucy Foley
- “All My Rage” by Sabaa Tahir
Additional Book Suggestions
In case you are looking for some summer reading, we thought we would also share some of the suggested books from our book club survey that didn’t quite make the top 10 for next season.
- “The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration” by Isabel Wilkerson
- “The Orientalist” by Tom Reiss
- “Last Boat Out of Shanghai” by Helen Zia
- “The Guncle” by Steven Rowley
- “The Paris Library” by Janet Skeslien Charles
- “How the Word Is Passed” by Clint Smith
- “The Art Forger” by Barbara A. Shapiro
- “The Lincoln Highway” by Amor Towles
- “Breath from Salt” by Bijal P. Trivedi
- “The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue” by V. E. Schwab
- “The Rent Collector” by Camron Wright
- “Nine Perfect Strangers” by Liane Moriarty
- “The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek” by Kim Michele Richardson
- “The Things We Cannot Say” by Kelly Rimmer
- “The Candy House” by Jennifer Egan
- “By The Lake” by John McGahern
- “The Plot” by Jean Hanff Korelitz
- “The Fifth Season” by N.K. Jemisin
- “Beautiful World, Where Are You” by Sally Rooney
- “The Great CEO Within: The Tactical Guide to Company Building” by Matt Mochary
- “My Name is Red” by Orhan Pamuk
- “Fates and Furies” by Lauren Groff
- “Free Love” by Tessa Hadley
Save the Date: LNN Party
Mark your calendar and plan to join us at our LNN Party on Saturday, September 17th 6:30 – 9:30pm. (Rain date: Sunday, September 18th 5-7pm)
We are finalizing the details and will communicate more at a later date, but we wanted to ensure you could plan accordingly, as this is sure to be a great event!