Events Blog

August 19th Discussion: Furiously Happy by Jenny Lawson

Join Better Off Read GR to discuss a humor memoir tinged with just enough tragedy and pathos to make it worthwhile.

A hysterical, ridiculous book about crippling depression and anxiety? That sounds like a terrible idea. And terrible ideas are what Jenny does best.

According to Jenny: “Some people might think that being ‘furiously happy’ is just an excuse to be stupid and irresponsible and invite a herd of kangaroos over to your house without telling your husband first because you suspect he would say no since he’s never particularly liked kangaroos. And that would be ridiculous because no one would invite a herd of kangaroos into their house. Two is the limit. I speak from personal experience. My husband says that none is the new limit. I say he should have been clearer about that before I rented all those kangaroos.”

“I’ve often thought that people with severe depression have developed such a well for experiencing extreme emotion that they might be able to experience extreme joy in a way that ‘normal people’ also might never understand. And that’s what Furiously Happy is all about.”

At A Glance

  • 329 pages
  • 3.93 Goodreads rating
  • Nonfiction > Memoir > Humor
  • Publication Date: September 22, 2015

Event Details

  • August 19th, 2018
  • 1:00 PM EDT
  • Schuler Books and Music, 2660 28th St SE, Grand Rapids MI
  • We will meet in the studio directly at the back of Schuler’s, no purchase necessary
  • For discussion questions and additional information, view the Meetup event here
  • Better Off Read GR members receive a 20% discount on our picks when purchased from the Book Club table at Schuler’s Books.
  • This is a Books by the Stack book available at the GRPL Main Library for an extended checkout!
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May 20th Event: Foods Inspired by Literature, Literary Potluck

Turkish delight in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. Harry Potter’s Liquid Luck. Bubble and squeak in The Wind in the Willows. Paddington’s marmalade. Our favorite books are filled with treats we’ve dreamt about–so let’s fill our stomachs with them too!

To participate, simply create or purchase a food inspired by a book you’ve read or loved and bring it to share with BORGR Book Club. If there are any allergens in the recipe (nuts, dairy, gluten), please note that on a small index card to be placed next to the food.

Plates, silverware, cups, and napkins will be provided. Outlets will be available for crockpots and other devices. Please let us know what you are bringing!

Need some inspiration? Check out In Literature’s blog. Or this great listicle from FlavorWire. Still stumped? Try NPR’s food and literature tag.

Event Details

 

 

June 17th Discussion: Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty

Join Better Off Read GR to discuss the dangerous little lies we tell ourselves just to survive.

Madeline is a force to be reckoned with. She’s funny and biting, passionate, she remembers everything and forgives no one. Celeste is the kind of beautiful woman who makes the world stop and stare, but she is paying the price for an illusion of perfection. New-to-town single mom, Jane is so young that another mother mistakes her for a nanny. She comes with a mysterious past and a sadness beyond her years. These three women are at different crossroads but will all wind up in the same shocking place.

Big Little Lies is a brilliant take on ex-husbands and second wives, mothers and daughters, schoolyard scandal, and the little lies that can turn lethal.

At A Glance

  • 460 pages
  • 4.22 Goodreads rating
  • Contemporary Fiction
  • Publication Date: July 29, 2014

Event Details

  • June 17th, 2018
  • 1:00 PM EDT
  • Schuler Books and Music, 2660 28th St SE, Grand Rapids MI
  • We will meet in the studio directly at the back of Schuler’s, no purchase necessary
  • For discussion questions and additional information, view the Meetup event here
  • Better Off Read GR members receive a 20% discount on our picks when purchased from the Book Club table at Schuler’s Books.

April 15th Discussion: Annihilation by Jeff Vandermeer

Join Better Off Read GR to discuss an eerie discovery of self and the unknown.

Area X has been cut off from the rest of the continent for decades. Nature has reclaimed the last vestiges of human civilization. The first expedition returned with reports of a pristine, Edenic landscape; the second expedition ended in mass suicide; the third expedition in a hail of gunfire as its members turned on one another. The members of the eleventh expedition returned as shadows of their former selves, and within weeks, all had died of cancer.

This is the twelfth expedition.

Their group is made up of four women: the anthropologist, the surveyor, the psychologist (the de facto leader), and our narrator, the biologist. Their mission is to map the terrain, record all observations of their surroundings and of one another, and to avoid being contaminated by Area X itself.

At A Glance

  • 195 pages
  • 3.65 Goodreads rating
  • Science Fiction
  • Publication Date: February 4, 2014

Event Details

  • April 15th, 2018
  • 1:00 PM EDT
  • Schuler Books and Music, 2660 28th St SE, Grand Rapids MI
  • We will meet in the studio directly at the back of Schuler’s, no purchase necessary
  • For discussion questions and additional information, view the Meetup event here
  • Better Off Read GR members receive a 20% discount on our picks when purchased from the Book Club table at Schuler’s Books.

January 25th Event: “Blind Date with a Book” Wrapped Book Swap

Come out to meet new people and get a free book! Bring a wrapped book to exchange and get an exciting new one in return. Familiar with “Blind Date with a Book?” (If not, Google it, and we’ll pretend you always knew). Same concept!

*JAN 22nd UPDATE: We have a reservation for 10 people at GRBC under the names James and Jordan. If you are planning on attending this event, please shoot an email to betteroffreadgr@gmail.com and let us know so we can ensure you get a seat!*

Three easy steps to participate:
1. Purchase one book (new or like new condition, please) and wrap it.
2. Write the following on the wrapping paper (or a note attached to the wrapping paper)
-genre of book
-its Goodreads.com score
-brief summary or a couple characteristics (just enough to give an idea of what it’s      about without revealing what the book is)
3. Show up ready to swap! We’ll put all of the books on the table, and you’ll choose one you want based on the information written on the wrapping paper.

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Worried that you won’t find something you like/haven’t read already? Your Better Off Read cohosts Jordan and James will have at least TEN extra books from various genres!

 

Event Details

  • Thursday, January 25th, 2018
  • 7:00 PM EST
  • 1 Ionia Ave SW, Grand Rapids, MI 49503
  • We have a reservation under the names James and Jordan
  • There is street parking downtown or paid lots further down Ionia.
  • For additional information, view the Meetup event here