We continue to highlight Quail Ridge Books book clubs and their favorite books to read or discuss.
The Science Fiction & Fantasy Book Club reads science fiction and fantasy novels for adults and young adults, with a focus on various characters and authors, as well as award winners. All readers are welcome (over 15 please).
According to club moderator Amber Brown (who moonlights as assistant general manager of Quail Ridge Books), these are the five titles that created the most engaging discussions:
The fifth season by NK Jemisin
There’s a very real reason why Jemisin is the only person to win the Hugo Award for Best Novel three times in a row, for the only trilogy to win it for all three episodes. At the end of the world, a woman must hide her power to wield the earth as a weapon in order to find her kidnapped daughter. It is a complex novel of power, oppression and revolution that defies genres and expectations of left and right.
All Red Systems by Martha Wells
Sometimes even a funny piece of news can provide plenty of discussion. On a distant planet, a team of scientists conduct surface tests, cloaked by a self-aware SecUnit that has hacked into its own Governor Module and calls itself “Murderbot”. Despising humans, all he really wants is to be left alone long enough to figure out who he is (and also watch his programs). I’ve never been this close to a robot before.
The power by Naomi Alderman
In this dark feminist dystopia, teenage girls around the world inexplicably gain the power to cause physical pain and even death with the touch of their hand. With this twist of nature, the whole foundation of society is shaken, as the power dynamic between men and women shifts. Alderman explores an alternate reality where we cease to exist in a patriarchy, and what that means for the world as we know it.
Six of Ravens by Leigh Bardugo
An impossible heist, a fantasy world and a team of six very different people come together in their quest for a fortune that will change their lives. This crew may also be the only ones standing between the world they know and its total destruction.
Annihilation by Jeff Vandermeer
One of our spookiest picks for sure. Area X has been cut off from the rest of the continent for decades. There have been eleven expeditions, each with something unfathomable happening to its members; we join the twelfth expedition. The group is made up of four women whose mission is to map the terrain, record all sightings of their surroundings and each other, and above all to avoid being contaminated by Area X itself.
Bonus: anything signed Octavia Butler is guaranteed to get thoughts and conversation going! Listen to NPR’s Throughline podcast episode on Octavia Butler.
The Science Fiction & Fantasy Book Club currently meets in-store on the fourth Thursday of the month at 7 p.m. quailridgebooks.com) and I will forward your details to the moderator.