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. 

UPCOMING MARTHA MERRELL'S BOOK CLUBS

Monday Morning Group meets at 10:30 AM

11/11  The Gown: A Novel of the Royal Wedding by Jennifer Robson

 

“London, 1947: Between the harshest winter in living memory and shortages and rationing, the people of postwar Britain are enduring lives of quiet desperation despite their nation’s recent victory. Among them are Ann Hughes and Miriam Dassin, embroiderers at the famed Mayfair fashion house of Norman Hartnell. Together they forge an unlikely friendship, but their nascent hopes for a brighter future are tested when they are chosen for a once-in-a-lifetime honor: taking part in the creation of Princess Elizabeth’s wedding gown.

Toronto, 2016: More than half a century later, Heather Mackenzie seeks to unravel the mystery of a set of embroidered flowers, a legacy from her late grandmother. How did her beloved Nan, a woman who never spoke of her old life in Britain, come to possess the priceless embroideries that so closely resemble the motifs on the stunning gown worn by Queen Elizabeth II at her wedding almost seventy years before? What was Nan’s connection to the celebrated textile artist and Holocaust survivor Miriam Dassin?

The author takes readers inside the workrooms where one of the most famous wedding gowns in history was created. She introduces  three unforgettable heroines with their points of view alternating and intersecting throughout its pages, whose lives are woven together by the pain of survival, the bonds of friendship, and the redemptive power of love.”

 

 

Wednesday Evening Group meets at 5:45 PM

11/6  The Lemon Sisters by Jill Shalvis

“Brooke Lemon has always led the life she wanted: wild adventures–and mistakes—included.   When her “perfect” sister Mindy shows up on Brooke’s doorstep in the throes of a break-down, Brooke is shocked.  Wanting to make amends, Brooke agrees to take her sister’s three kids back home for a few days so Mindy can pick up the pieces and put herself back together.  What Brooke doesn’t admit is that she’s just as broken as her sister.  How does one go home after seven years away? It doesn’t take long for Brooke to come face-to-face with her past in the form of one tall, dark, sexy mistake named Garrett.  He says he’s no longer interested, but his words don’t match his actions which leaves Brooke feeling things she’d shoved deep down deep inside.  Both sisters begin to wonder: Are they lemons in life and in love? All they know is that neither seems to be able to run far enough to outpace her demons.  When secrets surface, they’ll have to learn that sometimes the one person who can help you the most is the one you never thought to ask.”

 “For the first time in years, the entire Birch family will be under one roof for Christmas at Weyfield Hall, their aging country estate.  However, Olivia, a doctor, is only coming home because she has to. Having just returned from treating an epidemic abroad, she’s been told she must stay in quarantine for a week…and so too should her family.

For the next seven days, the Birches are locked down, cut off from the rest of humanity, including even Wi-F, and are forced into each other’s orbits. Younger, unabashedly frivolous daughter Phoebe is fixated on her upcoming wedding, while Olivia deals with the culture shock of being immersed in first-world problems.

As Andrew sequesters himself in his study writing scathing restaurant reviews and remembering his glory days as a war correspondent, Emma hides a secret that will turn the whole family upside down.  Not much can stay hidden for long and as revelations and long-held tensions come to light, nothing is more shocking than the unexpected guest who’s about to arrive.”

 

12/4  Seven Days of Us by Francesca Hornak

“For the first time in years the entire Birch family will be under one roof at Christmastime. While Emma and Andrew’s elder daughter (who is usually off saving the world) will be joining them at Weyfield Hall, their aging country estate, their other daughter Olivia (a doctor) is only coming home because she has to.  She has just returned from treating an epidemic abroad and has been told she must stay in quarantine for a week…and so too should her family.

For the next seven days, the Birches are locked down, cut off from the rest of humanity, and forced into each other’s orbits. Younger (unabashedly frivolous) daughter Phoebe is fixated on her upcoming wedding, while Olivia deals with the culture shock of being immersed in first-world problems.

Andrew sequesters himself in his study, writing scathing restaurant reviews and remembering his glory days as a war correspondent while Emma hides a secret that will turn the whole family upside down.

In close proximity, not much can stay hidden for long. As revelations and long-held tensions come to light, nothing is more shocking than the unexpected guest who arrives.”

 

 

 

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

11/4  The Gown: A Novel of the Royal Wedding by Jennifer Robson

“London, 1947: Between the harshest winter in living memory and shortages and rationing, the people of postwar Britain are enduring lives of quiet desperation despite their nation’s recent victory. Among them are Ann Hughes and Miriam Dassin, embroiderers at the famed Mayfair fashion house of Norman Hartnell. Together they forge an unlikely friendship, but their nascent hopes for a brighter future are tested when they are chosen for a once-in-a-lifetime honor: taking part in the creation of Princess Elizabeth’s wedding gown.

Toronto, 2016: More than half a century later, Heather Mackenzie seeks to unravel the mystery of a set of embroidered flowers, a legacy from her late grandmother. How did her beloved Nan, a woman who never spoke of her old life in Britain, come to possess the priceless embroideries that so closely resemble the motifs on the stunning gown worn by Queen Elizabeth II at her wedding almost seventy years before? What was Nan’s connection to the celebrated textile artist and Holocaust survivor Miriam Dassin?

The author takes readers inside the workrooms where one of the most famous wedding gowns in history was created. She introduces  three unforgettable heroines with their points of view alternating and intersecting throughout its pages, whose lives are woven together by the pain of survival, the bonds of friendship, and the redemptive power of love.”

 

 

 

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

11/21 The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah

 

France, 1939 – In the quiet village of Carriveau, Vianne Mauriac says goodbye to her husband, Antoine, as he heads for the Front.  She doesn’t believe that the Nazis will invade France … but invade they do, in droves of marching soldiers, in caravans of trucks and tanks, in planes that fill the skies and drop bombs upon the innocent.  When a German captain requisitions Vianne’s home, she and her daughter must live with the enemy or lose everything.  Without food or money or hope, as danger escalates all around them, she is forced to make one impossible choice after another to keep her family alive. 

Vianne’s sister, Isabelle, is a rebellious eighteen-year-old girl, searching for purpose with all the reckless passion of youth. While thousands of Parisians march into the unknown terrors of war, she meets Gäetan, a partisan who believes the French can fight the Nazis from within France, and she falls in love as only the young can … completely. But when he betrays her, Isabelle joins the Resistance and never looks back, risking her life time and again to save others.

Viann and Isabelle have always been close despite their differences.  As the war progresses, it’s not only the sisters’ relationship that is tested, but also their strength and their individual senses of right and wrong.  With life as they know it changing in unbelievably horrific ways, Viann and Isabelle find themselves facing frightening situations and responding in ways they never thought possible as bravery and resistance take different forms in each of their actions.

 

 

12/19  The Library Book by Susan Orlean

 

“On the morning of April 29, 1986, a fire alarm sounded in the Los Angeles Public Library. As the moments passed, the patrons and staff who had been cleared out of the building realized this was not the usual fire alarm. The fire was disastrous: it reached 2000 degrees and burned for more than seven hours. By the time it was extinguished, it had consumed four hundred thousand books and damaged seven hundred thousand more. Investigators descended on the scene, but more than thirty years later, the mystery remains: Did someone purposefully set fire to the library–and if so, who?

The author chronicles the LAPL fire and its aftermath to showcase the larger, crucial role that libraries play in our lives; delves into the evolution of libraries across the country and around the world, from their humble beginnings as a metropolitan charitable initiative to their current status as a cornerstone of national identity.in libraries; and reexamines the case of Harry Peak, the blond-haired actor long suspected of setting fire to the LAPL more than thirty years ago.

The reader is introduced to an unforgettable cast of characters from libraries past and present–from Mary Foy, who in 1880 at eighteen years old was named the head of the Los Angeles Public Library at a time when men still dominated the role, to Dr. C.J.K. Jones, a pastor, citrus farmer, and polymath known as “The Human Encyclopedia” who roamed the library dispensing information; from Charles Lummis, a wildly eccentric journalist and adventurer who was determined to make the L.A. library one of the best in the world, to the current staff, who do heroic work every day to ensure that their institution remains a vital part of the city it serves.

Brimming with wit, insight, compassion, and deep research, this book offers a thrilling journey through the stacks that reveals how these beloved institutions provide much more than just books–and why they remain an essential part of the heart, mind, and soul of our country. It is also a master journalist’s reminder that, perhaps especially in the digital era, they are more necessary than ever.”

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