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Read With Us: The Heaven & Earth Grocery Store Promo

It’s my turn to take a whack at convincing you to read The Heaven & Earth Grocery Store by James McBride, our next Read With Us selection.

The first thing I want to do is toot our own horn because we have, once again, chosen a winner. Yep, this book is the 2023 Barnes and Noble Book of the Year! And, even more praise, Ann Patchett said, “I keep thinking every time I read one of his books. ‘That’s his best book.’ No. THIS is his best book.” I couldn’t agree with her more as I do believe THIS is McBride’s best book. So far.

The second thing I want to do is share my review from way back in August when I read this:

This story of a neighborhood called Chicken Hill, where Black, Jewish, and immigrants live and work together, is (in my opinion) McBride's best work yet. The narrative is just brilliant, each chapter serving almost as a vignette that McBride connects to the rest of the story and other characters in remarkable ways. It's tender and suspenseful, heartbreaking and hopeful, and at times laugh out loud funny. The ending is completely satisfying and brings the whole story full circle in such a beautiful way that I didn't even mind that I saw it coming. I love it and highly recommend it.
I was given a free copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

And the third thing I want to do is to encourage you to just read it. I thought about linking to podcasts about it (there are tons) or videos about it (also tons) or reviews about it (you guessed it, tons) but I think this is one of those books where you’re better off going in without knowing too much and just letting it unfold in an organic way. All of those other source are going to give you too much insight and I think an unfettered experience will be a more authentic experience when it comes to reading this book.

Finally, be sure and check out what Bonny and Kym had to say in their promo posts, because they both offered some really great reviews and back stories about the book and McBride’s inspiration for writing it.

Please mark your calendars for Tuesday, January 9, 2024 when we will be posting discussions questions on our blogs and hosting our live discussion on Zoom.

This Post Has 9 Comments

  1. I can’t wait to read this! I’ve moved up in the queue, but still am only 152, so I may need to break down and buy it. I have audible credits, but I really want to read this one with my eyes.

  2. I’m really happy I read it when it first came out — before there was much hype or discussion. I agree with you — it’s best read “unfettered!” (So. Good.) (Although I ever-so-slightly liked Deacon King Kong better.) XO

  3. It’s also Amazon’s #1 Book of the Year and won the Kirkus Prize. I bet there are more awards to come. No wonder the hold queues are so long!

  4. I am listening to this book and feel like I am on the front porch with the character. I appreciate your advice to just enjoy this book.

  5. I finished it yesterday afternoon! While I think I liked Deacon King Kong a bit better, I have a feeling this one is going to grow on me, and I know our discussion will make my appreciation grow.

  6. There’s no surprise that it’s on so many “best of the year” lists! It might be my favorite of his so far.

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