Just me talking about costume-y kind of stuff
Book For August
11-22-63 by Stephen King is our book for August. It is 800+ pages long and there's not a single word that's superfluous. I don't know about your feelings toward Stephen King novels, but I just quit reading his stuff after Desperation in the mid 90's. His books always started off great, got bogged down in too much exposition, got really good for the climax, and then suffered from not a good ending followed by too much material afterwards. I'm looking at you, unexpurgated version of The Stand.
So I feel it's my duty to tell anyone who used to really like Stephen King books but couldn't take the nonsense anymore, Stephen King is back with a vengence! This book isn't horror, there are no clown/giant turtle monsters, telekenetic girls, vampires, or rabid dogs in it. It's a historical fiction/time travel novel about one man's attempt to prevent Lee Harvey Oswald from shooting JFK. Time travel is a tricky enough subject to begin with and many writers don't get it right. I happen to be a big Doctor Who fan so I have an inkling that Stephen King saw Blink in 2007 before he began writing 11-22-63. The last time our group read a similar novel, Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter, I immediately started doing my own research to see how closely the author and the truth meshed and was surprised to find out that other than the addition of the vampires, Lincoln's life as portrayed in the book was in fact the truth. It's amazing to me when an author can take the truth and turn it into something that resembles fantasy, but as the old saying goes, Truth is stranger than fiction. I guess it hangs on choosing a historical figure that led an interesting life.
As I said before, it's 800+ pages and there's not one word I would cut out. It starts out by grabbing you and taking you on this journey to change the present by preventing an event in the past. It moves steadily and inexorably toward the climax and then there's a brief denouement, and then it's over. Plus, he's included his own Afterword that details his research and how closely he adhered to the truth. If you weren't already a conspiracy theorist or a JFK history buff, you'll learn a lot, and if you were, there's a list of similar books that Stephen King read on the topic for your perusal.