Now Read This

A BOOK CLUB FROM PBS NEWSHOUR AND THE NEW YORK TIMES

Join us each month as we choose a book, discuss it here and take your questions for the author.

Chapter 19

‘The House of Broken Angels’ by Luis Alberto Urrea

It’s the story of what happens when one Mexican American family living on the border comes together for a party — and a funeral. It’s a tender, joyous and intimate novel. And it’s especially timely as questions are being raised about how immigrant families are being treated in the U.S.

Earning the Rockies
Chapter 18

‘The Fifth Season’ by N.K. Jemisin

In “The Fifth Season,” the planet is menaced by environmental catastrophe, and its inhabitants struggle to survive. Jemisin’s fantasy novel follows the narratives of three “orogenes,” individuals who can draw power from the earth to subdue its violence. “The Fifth Season,” the first book in her “Broken Earth” trilogy, won the 2016 Hugo Award, science fiction’s highest honor.

Earning the Rockies

June 3

Discussion questions for ‘The Fifth Season’

Here are questions to help guide your discussions as you read the book over the next month. You can also submit your own questions for Jemisin on our Google form here. Jemisin will answer reader questions on the NewsHour broadcast at the end of the month.

Chapter 17

‘An Odyssey’ by Daniel Mendelsohn

“An Odyssey: A Father, A Son, And An Epic” is the story of what happened after Mendelsohn’s 81-year-old father, Jay, enrolled in his college course on Homer’s “Odyssey.” While the book is family memoir, it is also part literary criticism, as Mendelsohn’s narrative tells us much about — and even reflects — the Greek epic poem itself.

Earning the Rockies
Chapter 16

‘Brotopia’ by Emily Chang

“Brotopia” is an exposé of the dark, misogynistic side of Silicon Valley, and how that’s seeped in to the everyday tech we use. Chang, a journalist and the host of Bloomberg Technology, employs history, interview, data and anecdote to tell the story.

Earning the Rockies

April 1

Discussion questions for ‘Brotopia’

Here are questions to help guide your discussions as you read the book over the next month. You can also submit your own questions for Chang on our Google form here. Chang will answer reader questions on the NewsHour broadcast at the end of the month.

Chapter 15

‘The Power’ by Naomi Alderman

In “The Power,” Alderman imagines a future in which women have special (electrostatic) powers that flip the established gender dynamics and turn the world on its head.

Earning the Rockies

March 4

Discussion questions for ‘The Power’

Here are questions to help guide your discussions as you read the book over the next month. You can also submit your own questions. Alderman will answer reader questions on the NewsHour broadcast at the end of the month.

Chapter 14

‘The Wife’ by Meg Wolitzer

“The Wife” is a darkly funny, intelligent tale of what happens when you decide to stop sacrificing your own talents in service of your spouse’s success. Glenn Close, who plays the title character in last summer’s film adaptation, is up for an Academy Award for her performance.

Earning the Rockies

February 4

Discussion questions for ‘The Wife’

Here are questions to help guide your discussions as you read the book over the next month. You can also submit your own questions for Wolitzer on our Facebook page, some of which she will answer on the NewsHour broadcast at the end of the month.

Chapter 13

‘Heart’ by Sandeep Jauhar

“Heart: A History” is an exploration of our most vital organ and favored metaphor. Jauhar, a cardiologist, surveys the heart from all angles — the public and personal history, as inspiration for poets and scientists, what it means for doctor and patient alike.

Earning the Rockies

January 17

An annotated page from ‘Heart’

Jauhar explores more deeply the actions of C. Walton Lillehei, an American surgeon considered the father of open heart surgery and one the most innovative surgeons of the 20th century.

January 2

Discussion questions for ‘Heart’

Here are questions to help guide your discussions as you read the book over the next month. You can also submit your own questions for Jauhar on our Facebook page, which he will answer on the NewsHour broadcast at the end of the month.

Chapter 12

‘There Will Be No Miracles Here’ by Casey Gerald

“There Will Be No Miracles Here” is part memoir and part meditation, tracing Gerald’s journey from his childhood in a poor neighborhood in Dallas all the way to Yale and the halls of power. It also questions what that power means in America today, how it is attained and who it hurts. The New York Times named it a best book of 2018.

Earning the Rockies
Chapter 11

‘A Separation’ by Katie Kitamura

“A Separation” is a psychological thriller about a woman who learns that her estranged husband has gone missing in Greece, and tries to find him. It explores intimacy and infidelity, power and control. It was named a best book of the 2017 by The New York Times, NPR, Huffington Post, the San Francisco Chronicle, The Guardian, and many more.

Earning the Rockies

November 1

Discussion questions for ‘A Separation’

Here are questions to help guide your discussions as you read the book over the next month. You can also submit your own questions for Kitamura on our Facebook page, which she will answer on the NewsHour broadcast at the end of the month.

Chapter 10

‘American Wolf’ by Nate Blakeslee

“American Wolf” tells the tale of O-Six, a Yellowstone alpha female who was known as the “most famous wolf in the world“. As author and environmental activist Rick Bass writes in The New York Times Book Review, it also tells the story of the people who love and hate the wolves (which were reintroduced to the Rockies in recent decades), and the complex politics of the West surrounding them.

Earning the Rockies

October 15

An annotated page from ‘American Wolf’

Blakeslee explains more about how he reported the book, why he lingered on certain moments, and the decision to describe the wolves with both human-like and very canine qualities.

October 8

Listen to the opening of ‘American Wolf’

Haven’t yet received the book? Here’s an audio clip to get you started, narrated by Mark Bramhall, from the first few pages of Chapter 1. The passage describes O-Six and her pack hunting an elk, which is common prey for the wolves, and also one of the reasons hunters feel threatened by the wolves’ presence.

October 2

Discussion questions for ‘American Wolf

Here are questions to help guide your discussions as you read the book over the next month. You can also submit your own questions for Nate Blakeslee on our Facebook page, which he will answer on the NewsHour broadcast at the end of the month

Chapter 9

‘Earning the Rockies’ by Robert D. Kaplan

“Earning the Rockies: How Geography Shapes America’s Role in the World” is a mix of road trip, memoir, history and political analysis by Robert D. Kaplan, a geopolitical thinker and bestselling author of 17 books on foreign affairs and travel.

Earning the Rockies

September 19

5 forgotten books about geography and place to read now

Robert Kaplan said he knew the mixing of genres in “Earning the Rockies” ran the risk of alienating some readers. Parts of the book read like a travelogue, while others delve into foreign policy and geopolitics. But that was intentional.

September 4

Discussion questions for ‘Earning the Rockies’

Here are questions to help guide your discussions as you read the book over the next month. You can also submit your own questions for Robert Kaplan on our Facebook page, which he will answer on the NewsHour broadcast at the end of the month.

Chapter 8

‘What it Means When a Man Falls From the Sky’ by Lesley Nneka Arimah

“What it Means When a Man Falls From the Sky” is a debut short story collection from Nneka Arimah that ranges from realism to folk tale to sci-fi, telling tales of family and home. It won the 2017 Kirkus Prize and New York Public Library’s Young Lions Fiction Award.

Earning the Rockies
Chapter 7

‘Pachinko’ by Min Jin Lee

"Pachinko" is an epic family saga and historical novel about ethnic Koreans who migrate to Japan. It was a National Book Award finalist for fiction, and the New York Times named it one of the 10 best books of the year.

Earning the Rockies

July 2

Discussion questions for “Pachinko”

Here are questions to help guide your discussions as you read the book over the next month. You can also submit your own questions for Min Jin Lee on our Facebook page, which she will answer on the NewsHour broadcast at the end of the month.

Chapter 6

‘Less’ by Andrew Sean Greer

'Less' is a laugh-out-loud comedic novel about a failed writer named Arthur Less — referred to throughout the book only as “Less” — who sets out on a round-the-world trip to avoid attending his ex-boyfriend’s wedding.

Earning the Rockies

June 15

Andrew Sean Greer annotates a page of his novel ‘Less’

Greer annotates a page of “Less” that hinges on the narrator’s identity (spoiler alert) and the book’s central heartbreak. In his annotations, Greer also talks about how he established the novel’s unique voice and humor, and why he sometimes tries to disorient the reader.

June 4

Discussion questions for ‘Less’

Here are questions to help guide your discussions as you read the book over the next month. They go in chronological order of the book’s chapters, so you can match the questions to your pace as you read. Spoiler alert for some of the latter questions below.

Chapter 5

‘Educated’ by Tara Westover

'Educated' is a memoir of growing up in remote Idaho in a survivalist family who did not believe in formalized education, and how Westover ultimately made her way to Harvard and Cambridge.

Earning the Rockies

May 7

In education, you can choose to remake yourself — or be made by others

Because Tara Westover had never been allowed to go to school, the only history she had learned was the history her father taught her. "His perspective was my perspective," she says, and his fears became her fears. But when she discovered education -- different from school -- she began to construct her own mind from a diversity of ideas. Westover shares her humble opinion on remaking yourself.

May 4

Discussion questions for ‘Educated’

Here are questions to help guide your discussions as you read the book over the next month. The questions are broken into three parts, to match the three parts of the book. (Spoiler alert on questions further down, which mention specific scenes in the book.)

Chapter 4

‘The Death and Life of the Great Lakes’ by Dan Egan

Dan Egan's 'The Death and Life of the Great Lakes,' an epic and wonderfully told story of history, science and reportage, tells the story of the largest source of freshwater in the world, and the threats to America's waterways.

Earning the Rockies
Chapter 3

‘Exit West’ by Mohsin Hamid

Mohsin Hamid’s novel "Exit West," which blends the real and surreal, follows two people on the move from a country on the brink of civil war.

Earning the Rockies

March 30

‘Exit West’ author Mohsin Hamid answers your questions

Mohsin Hamid says he has been migrating his whole life, his own experience playing a part of the inspiration for his newest novel. Hamid, author of our March pick for the NewsHour-New York Times book club Now Read This, joins Jeffrey Brown to answer questions from readers, plus, Jeff announces April's book.

March 16

Magical novel ‘Exit West’ explores what makes refugees leave home

In 'Exit West,' a city in the Muslim world is plunged into violence and two lovers join the mass migration of our time. Mohsin Hamid's story about refugees is a novel, not journalism, but it combines the surreal with the very real. Hamid sits down with Jeffrey Brown to discuss what inspired him and why he says he’s seeing a "failure of imagination" around the world.

March 5

Discussion questions for ‘Exit West’

Mohsin Hamid's novel "Exit West," which follows two lovers on the move from a country on the brink of civil war, is our March pick for the new PBS NewsHour-New York Times book club, "Now Read This."

Chapter 2

‘Killers of the Flower Moon’ by David Grann

The true crime tale, set in the 1920s, is about the mysterious murders of wealthy members of the Osage Indian nation after oil was discovered on their land. It was nominated for this year's National Book Award for nonfiction.

Earning the Rockies

February 27

‘Killers of the Flower Moon’ author David Grann answers your questions

As part of the NewsHour and New York Times book club, Now Read This, author David Grann answers your questions about "Killers of the Flower Moon,"" his true crime book on the 20th century Osage murders. And Jeffrey Brown announces the March pick, a book that takes a surreal look at modern migration.

Chapter 1

‘Sing, Unburied, Sing’ by Jesmyn Ward

The novel, set in contemporary Mississippi, is about family, ghosts, and the legacies of violence and love. It won this year's National Book Award for fiction.

Earning the Rockies

February 15

Inside Mississippi’s notorious Parchman prison

Mississippi State Prison in Parchman, Mississippi, has a long history as a penitentiary. And it features as a haunted setting in Jesmyn Ward’s National Award-winning 2017 novel “Sing, Unburied, Sing.”

January 3

Join out Facebook Group

Join us each month as we choose a book, discuss it here and take your questions for the author.