Martha Merrell’s hosts a variety of book clubs and is pleased to offer the following services free-of-charge to area clubs. We can:

  • Provide a meeting space for clubs
  • Provide a selection of books for your club to choose from
  • Special order club selections
  • Provide a 15% discount on club selections
  • Facilitate discussions
  • No-charge consulting on new books and current trends
  • Share what other clubs are reading

We invite you to stop by our location at 231 West Main Street in the Avalon Square Building.

Discover what we have to offer!

Contact us to set up your club meeting at the store on a regular monthly basis. If you are interested in using our space on a more occasional basis, feel free to schedule a time with us as well.  (New surroundings can be just what your book club needs to invigorate itself.)  We will gladly accommodate your group’s needs including light refreshments, lunch or dinner. 


Monday Morning Group meets at 10:30 AM

5/13          Paddle for a Purpose by Barb Geiger

“The author was incredulous when her husband suggests that they paddle down the entire length of the Mississippi River in their recently completed tandem kayak. Paddle for a Purpose sweeps the reader into a journey of faith and personal discovery, as Barb and Gene feel called to volunteer with charity organizations in quaint river towns along one of the most scenic and powerful river systems in America. Against a backdrop of picturesque settings and the river’s changing moods, exciting and often humorous accounts of adventure and mishap intermingle with inspiring stories of healing, renewal, beauty, compassion and trust in God.”

NOTE: The author and her husband will join the book club to talk about their adventures.

6/10          Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Olson

“Fans of Barbara Kingsolver will love this stunning debut novel from a New York Times bestselling nature writer. This is a story about an unforgettable young woman determined to make her way in the wilds of North Carolina and the two young men that enter her isolated world open. For years, rumors of the “Marsh Girl” have haunted Barkley Cove, a quiet town on the North Carolina coast. She’s barefoot and wild; unfit for polite society. When Chase Andrews is found dead, the locals immediately suspect Kya Clark. But Kya is not what they say. Abandoned at age ten, she has survived on her own in the marsh that she calls home. A born naturalist, she takes life lessons from the land, learning from the false signals of fireflies the real way of this world. While she could have lived in solitude forever, the time comes when she yearns for human contact. Drawn to two young men from town, who are each intrigued by her wild beauty, Kya opens herself to a new and startling world–until the unthinkable happens. The author juxtaposes an exquisite ode to the natural world against a heartbreaking coming of age story and a surprising murder investigation. Thought-provoking and deeply moving, Owens’s novel reminds us that we are forever shaped by the children we once were and that we are all subject to the beautiful and violent secrets that nature keeps.”

Wednesday Evening Group meets at 5:45 PM

5/1             Eggshells by Caitriona Lally

“Vivian doesn’t feel like she fits in and never has. As a child, she was so whimsical that her parents told her she was ‘left by fairies’. Now, living alone in Dublin, the neighbors treat her like she’s crazy, her older sister condescends to her, social workers seem to have registered her as troubled and she hasn’t a friend in the world. So, she decides it’s time to change her life. She begins by advertising for a friend; not just any friend, one named Penelope. Meanwhile, she roams the city, mapping out a new neighborhood every day while seeking her escape route to a better world, the one her parents told her she came from. Then one day someone named Penelope answers her ad for a friend. From that moment on, Vivian’s life begins to change.”

6/5            Wishtree by Katherine Applegate

“Red is an oak tree who is many rings old. Red is the neighborhood “wishtree”–people write their wishes on pieces of cloth and tie them to Red’s branches. Along with a crow named Bongo and other animals who seek refuge in Red’s hollows, this wishtree watches over the neighborhood. However, when a new family moves in, not everyone is welcoming, and Red’s experience as a wishtree is more important than ever. With a message of inclusion for dreamers and welcomers, this is a book for our lives and times. “

NOTE: This is a special edition for adults of the author’s novel for children.

7/3            Beartown by Fredrik Backman

The bestselling author of A Man Called Ove has written a profound novel about a small town with a big dream–and the price required to make it come true. People say Beartown is finished; it’s a tiny community slowly losing ground to the ever-encroaching trees. Down by the lake stands an old ice rink, built generations ago by the working men who founded the town. That ice rink is the reason people in Beartown believe tomorrow will be better than today. Their junior ice hockey team is about to compete in the national semi-finals which they actually have a shot at winning. All the hopes and dreams of the town now rest on the shoulders of a handful of teenage boys. Being responsible for the hopes of an entire town is a heavy burden with the semi-final match becoming the catalyst for a violent act that will leave a young girl traumatized and a town in turmoil. Accusations are made and travel through all of Beartown, leaving no resident unaffected. Beartown explores the hopes that bring a small community together, the secrets that tear it apart, and the courage it takes for an individual to go against the grain.”

NOTE: The author has written a sequel entitled US AGAINST YOU.

8/7            The Woman in the Window by A. J. Finn

“Anna Fox lives alone–a recluse in her New York City home, unable to venture outside. She spends her day drinking wine (maybe too much), watching old movies, recalling happier times . . . and spying on her neighbors. Then the Russells move into the house across the way: a father, mother and their teenaged son. When Anna sees something she shouldn’t, her world begins to crumble and its shocking secrets are laid bare. What is real? What is imagined? Who is in danger? Who is in control? In this diabolically gripping thriller, no one–and nothing–is what it seems. Twisty and powerful, ingenious and moving, The Woman in the Window is a smart, sophisticated novel of psychological suspense that recalls the best of Hitchcock.”

Avalon Book Group meets at 2 PM (at Avalon Square)

5/6          The Day the World Came to Town: 9/11 in Gander, Newfoundland         by Jim DeFede

“After thirty-eight jetliners were rerouted to Newfoundland on September 11, 2001 because the United States’ airspace was closing, the townspeople of Gander came to the aid of six thousand travelers, offering food, lodging, and other comforts. For the better part of a week, nearly every man, woman, and child in Gander and the surrounding smaller towns stopped what they were doing so they could help. They placed their lives on hold for a group of strangers and asked for nothing in return. They affirmed the basic goodness of man at a time when it was easy to doubt such humanity still existed.”


No Tears, No Fears Book Group meets on Thursday at 1:30 PM

5/16          Paris By the Book by Liam Callanan  


“When eccentric novelist Robert Eady abruptly vanishes, he leaves behind his wife Leah, their daughters, and hidden in an unexpected spot, plane tickets to Paris. Hoping to uncover clues–and her husband–Leah sets off for France with her girls. Upon their arrival, she discovers an unfinished manuscript, one Robert had been writing without her knowledge that was set in Paris. The Eady girls follow the path of the manuscript to a small, floundering English-language bookstore whose weary proprietor is eager to sell. Leah finds herself accepting the offer on the spot. As the family settles into their new Parisian life, they trace the literary paths of some beloved Parisian classics, including Madeline and The Red Balloon, hoping more clues arise. But a series of startling discoveries forces Leah to consider that she may not be ready for what solving this mystery might do to her family–and the Paris she thought she knew.”

6/20          Varina by Charles Frazier

“Her marriage prospects limited, teenage Varina Howell agrees to wed the much-older widower Jefferson Davis, with whom she expects the secure life of a Mississippi landowner. Davis instead pursues a career in politics and is eventually appointed president of the Confederacy, placing Varina at the white-hot center of one of the darkest moments in American history-culpable regardless of her intentions. The Confederacy falling, her marriage in tatters, and the country divided, Varina and her children escape Richmond, Virginia, and travel south on their own as fugitives with ‘bounties on their heads and an entire nation in pursuit’.”

DeMensa Book Club meets on the 2nd Tuesday of the month at 1 PM


Lost Faculties Book Club meets on the 2nd Thursday of the month at 12:30 PM