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We live in a time when appealing to and listening to the diversity of America's voices are more important than ever. The goal of the Open Canon Book Club is to introduce readers to voices and portrayals of the American experience they may not have otherwise encountered in their day-to-day lives, their education, or their book club meetings. Literary diversity plays a vital role in making us understood to one another, and this hope of understanding is the hinge upon which our democracy swings.

As to the name of the Open Canon Book Club, below are a few definitions from Merriam-Webster that are particularly apt:

Open: not restricted to a particular group or category of participants; exposed to general view or knowledge; having no enclosing or confining barrier.

Canon: a sanctioned or accepted group or body of related works; a criterion or standard of judgment; a body of principles, rules, standards, or norms.

For each month's selection of the Open Canon Book Club I will post discussion questions here and across my social media accounts, and I will also host live book club discussions online and in independent bookstores. The authors of each month's selection will be invited to participate in any and every way that interests them. I will also post and share relevant documentaries, essays, websites, and blogs that will enrich the experience of reading and discussing the month's selection.  

I'm thrilled to announce that bookstores across the country are willing to extend their book club discounts, between 10-20%, to members of the Open Canon Book Club. Please see below for a list of bookstores, and make sure to join the Open Canon Book Club to get the tagline that will unlock these bookseller discounts. 

Bookstores Participating in the Open Canon Book Club Discount:

Alabama: Page & Palette (Fairhope).

Connecticut: Bank Square Books (Mystic).

Georgia: A Cappella Books (Atlanta); The Book Tavern (Augusta).

Kentucky: Wild Figs Books & Coffee (Lexington); Joseph-Beth Booksellers (Lexington); Joseph-Beth Booksellers (Crestview Hills); Carmichael's Bookstore (Lexington).

Louisiana: Octavia Books (New Orleans).

Mississippi: Square Books (Oxford).

Missouri: Left Bank Books (St. Louis).

New York: Books Are Magic (Brooklyn).

North Carolina:  Malaprop's Bookstore and Cafe (Asheville); Foggy Pine Books (Boone); Page 158 Books (Wake Forest); Scuppernong Books (Greensboro); Park Road Books (Charlotte); Bookmarks (Winston-Salem); Flyleaf Books (Chapel Hill); Regulator Bookshop (Durham); Two Sisters Bookery; Athenian House; Pomegranate Books (Wilmington); Quail Ridge Books (Raleigh); Country Bookshop (Southern Pines); Quarter Moon Books (Topsail Island); Main Street Books (Davidson); McIntyre's Books (Pittsboro); City Lights Bookstore (Sylva); Blue Ridge Books (Waynesville); Highland Books (Brevard).

Ohio: Mac's Backs Books on Coventry (Cleveland); Joseph-Beth Booksellers (Cincinnati).

Oregon: Another Read Through (Portland).

Pennsylvania: Penguin Bookshop (Sewickly).

Rhode Island: Savoy Bookshop and Cafe (Westerly).

South Carolina: Hub City Bookshop (Spartanburg, SC); Fiction Addiction (Greenville); Bookends (North Myrtle Beach).

Texas: Book People (Austin); Blue Willow Bookshop (Houston).

Utah: The King's English Bookshop (Salt Lake City).

Virginia: One More Page (Arlington).

West Virginia: Four Seasons Books (Shepherdstown).

National: Books-A-Million (email business@booksamillion.com for discount info.) Members of the Millionaires Club are eligible for free shipping)..

The May selection of the Open Canon Book Club is Whiskey & Ribbons by Leesa Cross-Smith.

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Set in contemporary Louisville, Leesa Cross-Smith’s mesmerizing first novel surrounding the death of a police officer is a requiem for marriage, friendship and family, from an author Roxane Gay has called “a consummate storyteller.”

"Beautiful and brutal, a gut-punch and a poem--I love this book.  ―Megan Stielstra, The Wrong Way to Save Your Life

"Her three lovers tell their stories, each turning over what we think we know, creating a moving triptych on love, desire, and grief, and the unexpected families life makes for us." ―Alexander Chee, author of The Queen of the Night

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Leesa Cross-Smith is a Southern, sentimental homemaker and writer from Kentucky. She is the author of the novel WHISKEY & RIBBONS (Hub City Press, 2018), the short story collection EVERY KISS A WAR (Mojave River Press, 2014), the forthcoming short story collection SO WE CAN GLOW (Grand Central Publishing, 2020) and novel THIS CLOSE TO OKAY (Grand Central Publishing, 2021). WHISKEY & RIBBONS won the 2019 Independent Publisher Book Awards (IPPY) Gold Medal in Literary Fiction, was longlisted for the 2018 Center for Fiction First Novel Prize, and was one of O Magazine's 2018 Top Books of Summer. EVERY KISS A WAR was nominated for the PEN Open Book Award (2014) and was a finalist for both the Flannery O'Connor Award for Short Fiction (2012) and the Iowa Short Fiction Award (2012).