“The Book Club is not hip, but on Monday evening, I felt the bibliophilic glamour of a place, which, despite its age and sometime pokiness, is founded on the fundamentally sound principal that if you have three glasses of wine in a plastic cup and listen to something beautiful or see it, it can change the whole complexion of the world.” On seeing two of Granta’s Best Young British Novelists.
“It is high time defenders of American literary fiction cut Oprah Winfrey a break. These days, even Oprah is no longer Oprah, and while Mathis’s novel has shot up into the bestseller lists, it is unlikely stay there for months the way books did in the Book Club’s 1990s heyday. Still, imagine what would have happened if Winfrey hadn’t picked it. It still would have garnered raves from reviewers in print and online, and over time booksellers would have begun quietly putting it in the hands of favored customers. In other words, it would have remained a well-kept secret among a bookish few.” Our own Michael Bourne defends the queen of American book clubs.