America's Book Club

Every few months, online editor Tim Reidy sits down with a colleague or friend of the magazine to discuss a book that may hold a special interest for America readers. Usually a novel, the books are chosen based their artistry and the ways in which--implicitly or explicitly--they address Catholic themes.  

In the first installment, the America Book Club took up Andrew O'Hagan's Be Near Me, a novel about an Oxford-educated Catholic priest who settles down in a working class Scottish town.

Listen to Tim's discussion of Be Near Me with James Keane, S.J.

Next up was Brooklyn, Colm Toibin's story of a young Irish woman's journey to adulthood in an unfamiliar country. 

Listen to our conversation about Brooklyn.

The most recent edition of the book club considered the 2009 National Book Award Winner, Let the Great World Spin. Inspired by Philip Petit's famous tight-rope walk between the twin towers of the World Trade Center, Colum McCann's is told from multiple perpectives and explores themes of beauty, coincidence and grace.

Listen to Kevin Spinale, S.J., discuss Let the Great World Spin.

Have an idea for our next book? Email Tim Reidy.

Eileen Gould
6 years 11 months ago
This book did not resonate with me. Like Frank McCourt, the fifties were my time and I think McCourt caught the tenor of the times, particularly for the Irish immigrant. Not having lived in Brooklyn at the time, I think the author is at a disadvantage. I particularly did not like the heroine's treatment of a very decent suitor, Tony. It reeked of lack of intimate connection and responsibility.

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