Our next meeting is on Wednesday 3 November at 2pm on Teams, where we will be discussing Harlem Shuffle, the new book by the two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning author Colson Whitehead.
From the two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Underground Railroad and The Nickel Boys, a gloriously entertaining novel of heists, shakedowns, and rip-offs set in Harlem in the 1960s.
“Ray Carney was only slightly bent when it came to being crooked…” To his customers and neighbors on 125th street, Carney is an upstanding salesman of reasonably priced furniture, making a decent life for himself and his family. He and his wife Elizabeth are expecting their second child, and if her parents on Striver’s Row don’t approve of him or their cramped apartment across from the subway tracks, it’s still home.
Few people know he descends from a line of uptown hoods and crooks, and that his façade of normalcy has more than a few cracks in it. Cracks that are getting bigger all the time. Cash is tight, especially with all those installment-plan sofas, so if his cousin Freddie occasionally drops off the odd ring or necklace, Ray doesn’t ask where it comes from. He knows a discreet jeweler downtown who doesn’t ask questions, either.
Then Freddie falls in with a crew who plan to rob the Hotel Theresa—the “Waldorf of Harlem”—and volunteers Ray’s services as the fence. The heist doesn’t go as planned; they rarely do. Now Ray has a new clientele, one made up of shady cops, vicious local gangsters, two-bit pornographers, and other assorted Harlem lowlifes. Thus begins the internal tussle between Ray the striver and Ray the crook. As Ray navigates this double life, he begins to see who actually pulls the strings in Harlem. Can Ray avoid getting killed, save his cousin, and grab his share of the big score, all while maintaining his reputation as the go-to source for all your quality home furniture needs?
Harlem Shuffle’s ingenious story plays out in a beautifully recreated New York City of the early 1960s. It’s a family saga masquerading as a crime novel, a hilarious morality play, a social novel about race and power, and ultimately a love letter to Harlem. But mostly, it’s a joy to read, another dazzling novel from the Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award-winning Colson Whitehead. (Good Reads Review)
All staff and students welcome!
To get involved you can join using the link below. We look forward to seeing you there!
Once you have clicked on the link you will be able to join the meeting from there. Alternatively you can request to join the team by emailing Fran Porritt on email@example.com
Reading for pleasure and meeting new people is a great way to support your wellbeing. Reading for pleasure is reading for enjoyment, learning, and for personal development. Benefits include:
(Duncan, S. (2013) Understanding Reading for Pleasure for emerging adult readers. National Research and Development Centre for Adult Literacy and Numeracy (NRDC). Available at: Understanding Reading for Pleasure for emerging adult readers - UCL Discovery. (Accessed: 24 May 2021).
These benefits are reflective of the 5 ways to wellbeing, an evidence-based approach identifying 5 ways to improving our overall wellbeing.
We read books from all genres and decide on what we read as a group. We currently meet virtually on MS Teams for fortnightly meetings and we read 1 book per month. There is no obligation to come to every session- just pop in when you can. The book group is open to all students and staff.
Madeline Miller - Circe
Evelyn Skye - Circle of Shadows
Nadine Brandes - Romanov
Neal Shusterman - Scythe
Beth O'Leary - The Flatshare
Taylor Jenkins Reid - Daisy Jones and the Six
Nicole Yoon - The sun is also a star
Stephen Fry - Mythos
Pat Barker - Regeneration
Margaret Atwood - Alias Grace
Margaret Atwood - Surfacing
To kill a mockingbird: Harper Lee
Can you see me?: Libby Scott and Rebecca Westcott
Big Sky: Kate Atkinson
A thousand splendid suns: Khaled Hosseini
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