What’s better than a book and coffee? Reading it with your friends in the NU Café, that’s what! Starting the week of July 19th, grab your hard copy or digital copy of My Year Abroad by Chang-rae Lee and start reading. In September we will meet virtually to chat about the book. Every eight weeks a new book will be announced. Best of all you get to help choose what we read and we have chosen a wide range of books to vote on for every type of reader. We look forward to connecting with you to read this instant best-seller.
How do I join?
Sign up for the Book Club here and start reading the latest selection. Each round you get to select the book we read. To vote on which book to read in September click the poll we have created here. It only takes a few moments to cast your vote for our next selection.
Does it cost anything?
The book club is free; all you will need to do is provide your own copy of the chosen selection. Check your local public library for a copy or if you are living in North Bay, the Harris Learning Library may have a copy so be sure to check their website here.
How often will you meet?
A new book will be chosen every eight weeks at our Book Club chat and an email will go out to let you know what was chosen. You have two months to read the selection. Book Club chats will happen through the NU Café, so check the Office Hours tab for meeting times and dates.
What book should I be reading now?
My Year Abroad by Chang-rae Lee.
What is the book about?
Tiller is an average American college student with a good heart but minimal aspirations. Pong Lou is a larger-than-life, wildly creative Chinese American entrepreneur who sees something intriguing in Tiller beyond his bored exterior and takes him under his wing. When Pong brings him along on a boisterous trip across Asia, Tiller is catapulted from ordinary young man to talented protégé, and pulled into a series of ever more extreme and eye-opening experiences that transform his view of the world, of Pong, and of himself.
In the breathtaking, “precise, elliptical prose” that Chang-rae Lee is known for (The New York Times), the narrative alternates between Tiller’s outlandish, mind-boggling year with Pong and the strange, riveting, emotionally complex domestic life that follows it, as Tiller processes what happened to him abroad and what it means for his future. Rich with commentary on Western attitudes, Eastern stereotypes, capitalism, global trade, mental health, parenthood, mentorship, and more, My Year Abroad is also an exploration of the surprising effects of cultural immersion—on a young American in Asia, on a Chinese man in America, and on an unlikely couple hiding out in the suburbs. Tinged at once with humor and darkness, electric with its accumulating surprises and suspense, My Year Abroad is a novel that only Chang-rae Lee could have written, and one that will be read and discussed for years to come.