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When anyone on the TODAY team's looking for a book recommendation, there's only one person to turn to: Jenna Bush Hager.
The daughter of a librarian and our resident bookworm, Jenna's a wealth of knowledge when it comes to the best new reads. Now, she wants to share her passion with TODAY fans.
That's why she's kicking off a new book club for fellow bibliophiles!
"I love book recommendations from my family and friends," Jenna shared. "So to have that same community with the TODAY show viewers I think is going to be really fun."
"I think in a world that can feel very, sort of, technologically-obsessed, it’s kind of fun to go back to the old-school book clubs," she continued. "My mom was in one. My grandma was in one. I’m in one. And now we get to do it. Even though it is through tech, we get to be connected and have conversations."
Every great book club has to start with a great page turner, so without further ado, the first pick for #ReadWithJenna is (drumroll please...) "The Last Romantics," by Tara Conklin!
"The Last Romantics," by Tara Conklin, $16 (originally $27), Amazon
Described as a "sweeping yet intimate epic about one American family," it's racked up plenty of praise since its release in early February. It follows the family of poet Fiona Skinner over two decades as they're forced to confront the life choices they've made.
"I’d read a review about it and I was like, 'OK, I’m dying to read that. Who’s going to read it with me,'" Jenna said of this month's book. "The author wrote another book that I loved, 'The House Girl,' ... so I was excited about this."
So, how can you get involved? It's easy! As you read along, we'll be posting updates on the TODAY Instagram page with thought-provoking conversation starters and hope you'll engage with the rest of the #ReadWithJenna community to make this book club your own.
So, what are you waiting for! Here's an excerpt from the first chapter of "The Last Romantics," to get you started:
The day of our father’s funeral was dank, mid-March. Ronald Reagan was president, the Cold War dragged on, Star Wars had made us all believe in forces we could not see. At that time Bexley was a town where people greeted each other by name at the post office or the bank and no one cared who had money and who did not. The doctor and the mill worker both visited my father for root canals, and both drank beer at the same drafty tavern. The dark Punnel River meandered along the east side of town and gave us something to do on summer days. This was still the era when a ninety-minute commute to New York City seemed absurd, and so the people who lived in Bexley, for the most part, worked in Bexley.
It was no surprise when the whole town turned out for our father’s funeral. Hundreds, it seemed to me. Thousands. Noni led us through that awful day with an iron grip on two of our eight hands. She alternated, she did not play favorites. She had four children, and we all needed to feel the warmth of her palm.