FICTION BOOK OF THE MONTH
The Music Shop by Rachel Joyce
1988. Frank owns a music shop. It is jam-packed with records of every speed, size, and genre. Classical, jazz, punk - as long as it's vinyl, he sells it. Day after day, Frank finds his customers the music they need.
Then into his life walks Ilse Brauchmann. Ilse asks Frank to teach her about music. His instinct is to turn and run. And yet, he is drawn to this strangely still, mysterious woman with her pea-green coat and her eyes as black as vinyl. But Ilse is not what she seems. And Frank has old wounds that threaten to reopen a past he will never leave behind.
From the author of the worldwide bestseller, The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, comes a new novel about learning how to listen and how to feel; about second chances and choosing to be brave despite the odds. Because in the end, music can save us all...
NON-FICTION BOOK OF THE MONTH
White Trash by Nancy Isenberg
Poor whites were central to the rise of the Republican Party in the early nineteenth century and the Civil War itself was fought over class issues nearly as much as it was fought over slavery. Reconstruction pitted white trash against newly freed slaves, which factored in the rise of eugenics - a widely popular movement embraced by Theodore Roosevelt that targeted poor whites for sterilisation. These poor were at the heart of New Deal reforms and Lyndon B. Johnson’s Great Society; they are now offered up as entertainment in reality TV shows, and the label is applied to celebrities ranging from Dolly Parton to Bill Clinton. Marginalised as a class, white trash have always been at or near the centre of major political debates over the character of the American identity. Surveying political rhetoric and policy, popular literature and scientific theories over four hundred years, Isenberg upends assumptions about America’s supposedly class-free society - where liberty and hard work were meant to ensure real social mobility - and forces a nation to face the truth about the enduring, malevolent nature of class.
In this landmark book, Nancy Isenberg argues that the voters who boosted Trump all the way to the White House have been a permanent part of the American fabric, and reveals how the wretched and landless poor have existed from the time of the earliest British colonial settlements to today's hillbillies.