Better Off Read is a book club collaboration between The Bookshop and The Porch, focusing on books that you'll definitely be better off having read.
Reyna knows her relationship with Boyd isn’t perfect, yet as she visits him throughout his three-month stint at Rikers Island, their bond grows tighter. Kiki, now settled in the East Village after a journey that took her to Turkey and around the world, admires her niece’s spirit but worries that she always picks the wrong man. Little does she know that the otherwise honorable Boyd is pulling Reyna into a cigarette-smuggling scheme, across state lines, where he could risk violating probation. When Reyna ultimately decides to remove herself for the sake of her four-year-old child, her small act of resistance sets into motion events that affect the lives of loved ones and strangers around them.
A novel that examines conviction, connection, and the possibility of generosity in the face of loss, Improvement is as intricately woven together as Kiki’s beloved Turkish rugs, as colorful as the tattoos decorating Reyna’s body, with narrative twists and turns as surprising and unexpected as the lives all around us.
PRAISE FOR THE BOOK
• A New York Times Book Review Notable Book of the Year + Editors’ Choice
• National Book Critics Circle Award winner
• PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction winner
• One of the Best Books of 2017: The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, Newsday, The Seattle Times, and BBC Culture
“Some books make evangelists of critics, and Silber’s eighth is one of them. . . . Explores big questions with subtlety, humor, and compassion. Improvement is an everyday masterpiece.”--Newsday
“There is something so refreshing and genuine about this book, coming partly from the bumpy weave of its unpredictable story and partly from its sharply turned yet refreshingly unmannered prose. A winner.”--Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“Improvement is a marvel of dimensionality, an astute, lyrical portrait of characters linked by their limits and their truths, by the choices that have shaped their lives, and by the destinies they have tried so hard to construct.”--Los Angeles Review of Books
“The prose serenely glides over irreversible, defining moments and how differently characters deal with the curveballs life throws at them. . . . Exquisitely woven, this is a rich tapestry of human conditions.”--Chicago Review of Books
Better Off Read is a book club with an added twist: an optional writing exercise for interested participants to complete before the event. The writing prompt for Improvement is: Write about a time when you got mixed up with the wrong individual. Could be in a very small, brief fashion; could be a drawn-out experience that left you reeling. What were the consequences, and how did you emerge a different person? Again, this part is completely optional, and those who wish may share what they’ve written at the end of the meeting.
When: Sunday, January 20, 2019, 4:30 to 6:00 pm
Where: The Bookshop (1043 West Eastland Ave.)
How Much: $18 + tax. Each participant will receive one paperback copy of Improvement, available for pickup at the shop. Wine and treats will be served, and participants will also receive 10% off purchases at The Bookshop the day of the event.
All book club spots have been claimed—this one filled quickly! If you’re still interested in reading the book, we have plenty of copies available for purchase at the shop.
Previous BETTER OFF READ Books
Stay with Me by Ayọ̀bámi Adébáyọ̀ (November 18, 2018)
The Sisters Brothers by Patrick deWitt (September 16, 2018)
Exit West by Mohsin Hamid (July 22, 2018)
Sorry to Disrupt the Peace by Patty Yumi Cottrell (May 20, 2018)
Eileen by Ottessa Moshfegh (March 18 & 25, 2018)
Rabbit Cake by Annie Hartnett (January 7 & 14, 2018)
Broken River by J. Robert Lennon (October 22, 2017)
The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P. by Adelle Waldman (August 6, 2017)
Stoner by John Williams (May 21, 2017)
Our Endless Numbered Days by Claire Fuller (March 19, 2017)
Margaret the First by Danielle Dutton (January 22, 2017)
My Salinger Year by Joanna Rakoff (October 30, 2016)About Ayọ̀bámi
Better Off Read is a collaboration between The Bookshop and The Porch, Nashville’s independent center for writing.