Book Club 2017

Can I get a Better Late Than Never high five please?  Sure we are almost done with January and the shortest month of the year is staring us in the face. (mocking us, probably.  Because February is SUCH a jerk!) Sure, we are basically living in The Hunger Games now.  So, really, we need book club more than ever.  I made a real big effort this year to pick cheerful, light-hearted reading.  Because we have PLENTY of anxiety causing shit to read in real life.  Let’s make our escape time leisure time more cheery, right?!  I personally, have taken to reading Harry Potter with my kids just to remember that happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.  SO! 2017 book club is ALL about light! And LAUGHTER! Because, MAN, do I need a good laugh!  Here are the reads we will be chatting about this year!  I hope you join us with some fun and joyful reading!


January/February : I’m Judging You by Luuvie AJayi

If you don’t read Luvvie’s blog (and you should be) at the very least you should follow her Twitter.  Jill and I have been lucky enough to see Luuvie speak a couple times and even had a lady date to her book signing in San Francisco.  What we are saying is SHE IS AWESOME!  She is funny, and relevant and saying the stuff that needs to be said.  If there was ever a time for us to have a do-better manual, the time is right freaking now.  You guys, this book has so much promise for entertainment, laughs, and the ability to make you think about stuff that even JILL might read this.  We have a reason for hope.  Or… as Amazon put it:

Comedian, activist, and hugely popular culture blogger at, Luvvie Ajayi, serves up necessary advice for the masses in this hilarious book of essays

With over 500,000 readers a month at her enormously popular blog,, Luvvie Ajayi is a go-to source for smart takes on pop culture. I’m Judging You is her debut book of humorous essays that dissects our cultural obsessions and calls out bad behavior in our increasingly digital, connected lives―from the importance of the newest Shonda Rhimes television drama to serious discussions of race and media representation to what to do about your fool cousin sharing casket pictures from Grandma’s wake on Facebook.

With a lighthearted, razor sharp wit and a unique perspective, I’m Judging You is the handbook the world needs, doling out the hard truths and a road map for bringing some “act right” into our lives, social media, and popular culture. It is the Do-Better Manual.


March/ April : The Portable Veblen by Elizabeth McKenzie

So, this book is described as weird.  And we like weird! (It says so right in our tagline!) I mean… there is communicating with a squirrel? A girl names after an economist? What is weirder than that?? Plus Here’s what Amazon says about it:

Longlisted for the 2016 National Book Award for Fiction

Finalist for the Baileys Prize for Women’s Fiction

An exuberant, one-of-a-kind novel about love and family, war and nature, new money and old values by a brilliant New Yorker contributor

The Portable Veblen is a dazzlingly original novel that’s as big-hearted as it is laugh-out-loud funny. Set in and around Palo Alto, amid the culture clash of new money and old (antiestablishment) values, and with the specter of our current wars looming across its pages, The Portable Veblen is an unforgettable look at the way we live now. A young couple on the brink of marriage—the charming Veblen and her fiancé Paul, a brilliant neurologist—find their engagement in danger of collapse. Along the way they weather everything from each other’s dysfunctional families, to the attentions of a seductive pharmaceutical heiress, to an intimate tête-à-tête with a very charismatic squirrel.


May/June : Scrappy Little Nobody – Anna Kendrick

GAWD we love Anna Kendrick!  She is hilarious, smart, witty and super down to earth.  I heart her!  WE heart her.  THERE IS A LOT OF HEARTING!  I kinda can’t wait to dive into her book… there is a whole chapter dedicated to the Twilight crazy.  Gah! It’s gonna be so good!  But don’t take my workd for it… here’s Amazon’s take:


An “honest, effortlessly funny, and alternatively relatable” (Harper’s Bazaar) collection of autobiographical essays by the Academy Award-nominated actress and star of Up in the Air, Pitch Perfect, and Trolls, “Scrappy Little Nobody lets readers feel like they have spent an afternoon chatting with their closest friend” (Booklist).

With her razor-sharp wit, Anna recounts the absurdities she’s experienced on her way to and from the heart of pop culture as only she can—from her unusual path to the performing arts (Vanilla Ice and baggy neon pants may have played a role) to her double life as a middle-school student who also starred on Broadway to her initial “dating experiments” (including only liking boys who didn’t like her back) to reviewing a binder full of butt doubles to her struggle to live like an adult woman instead of a perpetual “man-child.”

Enter Anna’s world and follow her rise from “scrappy little nobody” to somebody who dazzles on the stage, the screen, and now the page—with an electric, singular voice, at once familiar and surprising, sharp and sweet, funny and serious (well, not that serious).


July/August : A Man Called Ove -Fredrick Backman

So, can I tell you what’s really difficult? I can! Great!  It is REALLY difficult to find a funny book.  When you search humor books, it’s basically just all celebrity memoirs or some real weird shit.  I want a book that is funny, but not TRYING TO HARD to be funny.  We ALL went out with that guy in college… and guess what? NONE of us married him.  SO! When I saw this book I thought, A book about a curmudgeonly old guy and slightly annoying neighbors!? I AM IN!  I hope you will be too.  Here’s a little nibble of what’s to come:

Read the New York Times bestseller that has taken the world by storm!

Meet Ove. He’s a curmudgeon—the kind of man who points at people he dislikes as if they were burglars caught outside his bedroom window. He has staunch principles, strict routines, and a short fuse. People call him “the bitter neighbor from hell.” But must Ove be bitter just because he doesn’t walk around with a smile plastered to his face all the time?

Behind the cranky exterior there is a story and a sadness. So when one November morning a chatty young couple with two chatty young daughters move in next door and accidentally flatten Ove’s mailbox, it is the lead-in to a comical and heartwarming tale of unkempt cats, unexpected friendship, and the ancient art of backing up a U-Haul. All of which will change one cranky old man and a local residents’ association to their very foundations.

A feel-good story in the spirit of The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry and Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand, Fredrik Backman’s novel about the angry old man next door is a thoughtful exploration of the profound impact one life has on countless others. “If there was an award for ‘Most Charming Book of the Year,’ this first novel by a Swedish blogger-turned-overnight-sensation would win hands down” (Booklist, starred review).

September/October : Talking As Fast As I Can – Lauren Graham

Would it be weird if I told you I feel like Lauren Graham would fit RIGHT IN here?  Because, you guys, I DO feel that way.  I feel like she would totally be one of us.  And she would be WILDLY excited that we are reading her book.  I’m super stoked to read this (and may read it WELL before the months we are set to read it!)

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • In this collection of personal essays, the beloved star of Gilmore Girls and Parenthood reveals stories about life, love, and working as a woman in Hollywood—along with behind-the-scenes dispatches from the set of the new Gilmore Girls, where she plays the fast-talking Lorelai Gilmore once again.

In Talking as Fast as I Can, Lauren Graham hits pause for a moment and looks back on her life, sharing laugh-out-loud stories about growing up, starting out as an actress, and, years later, sitting in her trailer on the Parenthood set and asking herself, “Did you, um, make it?” She opens up about the challenges of being single in Hollywood (“Strangers were worried about me; that’s how long I was single!”), the time she was asked to audition her butt for a role, and her experience being a judge on Project Runway (“It’s like I had a fashion-induced blackout”).



November/December : Today Will Be Different – Maria Semple

This might be the book you all hate me for this year.  It’s not clear.  All I know is we LOVED Where’d You Go, Bernedette? so we kinda HAVE to.  It has mixed reviews, so perhaps some of us will love it and some of us will hate it.  But isn’t that the way it always goes?

A brilliant novel from the author of Where’d You Go, Bernadette, about a day in the life of Eleanor Flood, forced to abandon her small ambitions and awake to a strange, new future.

Eleanor knows she’s a mess. But today, she will tackle the little things. She will shower and get dressed. She will have her poetry and yoga lessons after dropping off her son, Timby. She won’t swear. She will initiate sex with her husband, Joe. But before she can put her modest plan into action-life happens. Today, it turns out, is the day Timby has decided to fake sick to weasel his way into his mother’s company. It’s also the day Joe has chosen to tell his office-but not Eleanor-that he’s on vacation. Just when it seems like things can’t go more awry, an encounter with a former colleague produces a graphic memoir whose dramatic tale threatens to reveal a buried family secret.

TODAY WILL BE DIFFERENT is a hilarious, heart-filled story about reinvention, sisterhood, and how sometimes it takes facing up to our former selves to truly begin living.

So welcome to Book Club 2017!!  We will be doing FB Live check-in’s and wrap ups.  So, make sure you’re liking us on the Facebook.  We can’t wait to hear what you think of this years reads! Happy reading friends!!!

A Wild Rumpus :: Spreading Joy & Getting Weird IG:@heywildrumpus

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