Bookstore manager Natasha here! In February, I launched our Women in Translation Book Club, where we read novels written by women and femme-identifying authors translated into English. It’s been a great success thus far and one of the bright spots on my calendar.


I’m delighted to announce the launch of a new book club here at Idlewild, our Social Studies Book Club. This will focus on non-fiction books at the intersection of culture, history, and travel.


Social Studies Book Club!


My goal with this book club is to read around the world, and to indulge a sense of wanderlust, but not simply as a tourist. I want to read in an attempt at understanding the real lives of denizens in places, whose stories might not be making headlines. I’ve chosen books that range from a travel guide by Anthony Bourdain, a one-man trek through Indigenous lands, an exploration at Blackness in contemporary Europe, and many others.


My aim is to get closer to places that might seem far away, and to do so in community. Right now, that community will take place in bi-monthly Zoom meetings. I’d hope to move this indoors when it’s safe again to do so, but I will, for the duration of this book club, offer food for thought and suggestions for folks participating far away, if Zoom or live attendance in NYC isn’t for you.


If you’ve long been curious about these places, or want to travel around the world in a deeper, more intentional way, please consider joining in whatever way is comfortable to you. However you’re interested in participating, please reach out to me at natasha at idlewildbooks dot com, and I’ll add you to our list!


Bon Voyage and Happy Reading!


Reading List


Meeting 1: 10:30a.m. ET, Sunday, July 12, 2020

Spirit Run: A 6,000-Mile Marathon Through North America’s Stolen Land by Noé Álvarez
“The incredible story of a young working-class man in agricultural Washington state who achieves a full-ride scholarship to a prestigious private school and gives it up to join indigenous runners on a trek from Alaska to Argentina” -Buzzfeed

Meeting 2: 10:30a.m. ET, Sunday, September 13, 2020
How to Travel Without Seeing: Dispatches from the New Latin America by Andrés Neuman
“Neuman’s book offers an untraditional but valuable perspective on globalization and the character of nations.” -Publishers Weekly

Meeting 3: 10:30a.m. ET, Sunday, November 8, 2020

Histories of Nations: How Their Identities Were Forged by Peter Furtado

“In this book … twenty-eight different writers and scholars from around the world contribute, giving engaging, often passionate accounts of their own nation’s history.” -from the publisher.

Meeting 4: 10:30a.m. ET, Sunday, January 10, 2021
Afropean by Johnny Pitts

“Announces the arrival of an impassioned author able to deftly navigate and illuminate a black world that for many would otherwise have remained unseen.” -The Guardian

Meeting 5: 10:30a.m. ET, Sunday, March 7, 2021

“A keen-eyed look at contemporary Chinese life composed of equal parts of new global realties, timeless stories of human striving, and intelligent storytelling at its best.” -San Francisco Chronicle

Meeting 6: 10:30a.m. ET, Sunday, May 2, 2021
Incarnations: A History of India in Fifty Lives by Sunil Khilnani
“A whirlwind tour of roughly 2,500 years of Indian history in 50 fast-paced chapters.” -NYT Book Review