• Kevin Broccoli

The Epic Book Club August Selection--And Your New Moderator!

We're so excited to announce the brand new book in Epic's Book Club, chosen by bestselling author Ann Hood.

And, we've heard your pleas, and we're happy to announce that Epic will be bringing Book Club meetings online this month with a moderator you're all familiar with and we're excited to do a literary level up.

While Ann will continue selecting books, Epic favorite Paula Glen will be hosting monthly meetings with guests to talk about the selections, and she'll be doing short, weekly check-ins about the chosen books and what else she's reading that week.

Paula had her Epic debut last year in "Paint" and since then has been featured in "Suddenly Last Summer" and "Carrie." She's an accomplished actress and performer with a fabulous personality, and we're so excited to have her joining the Epic digital team.

Now onto this month's selection!

Here's Ann with her latest choice--

"Do you know those writers who, after you’ve read one of their books, you absolutely must read everything they’ve written? Like Alice Hoffman, Anne Tyler, my beloved Elizabeth Taylor, Elizabeth Jane Howard, Anne Enright... The list goes on and on. I think you know exactly what I mean.

For me, Maggie O’Farrell is one of those writers.

I read The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox and I fell in love with her writing. I had to read all of her books. I even wrote her a fan letter through Facebook messenger. She didn’t reply. I choose to believe she never checks Facebook messenger.

Anyway, after I’d read all her novels, she surprised me by writing a memoir, I Am, I Am, I Am: Seventeen Brushes with Death, which is also wonderful. The chapters are organized by body parts! Then one day before the pandemic, I was knitting and listening to BBC 4, and who is being interviewed but Maggie O’Farrell. About her new novel, Hamnet.

It’s based on a little known fact that Shakespeare had a son named Hamnet, who died as a boy. Not much more is known, but O’Farrell imagines this boy’s life, and Shakespeare’s, and 1580 England as the Black Death arrives.

One of my favorite parts is when she traces the journey of the flea that ultimately brings the plague to Stratford-On-Avon. In the New York Times Book Review, Geraldine Brooks wrote:

Hamnet shows that even the greatest grief, most damaged marriage, and most shattered heart might find some solace...

I’m jealous that you all get to read this book for the first time. Such magic awaits you.


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