“Light is only possible through dialogue between cultures, not through rejection of one or the other.”
James McBride, The Heaven & Earth Grocery Store

We hope you’re as excited as we are about our fall Read With Us selection, The Heaven & Earth Grocery Store by James McBride.

I had the great pleasure of reading this book a few months ago, so I can personally attest that it is very good . . . and very discussable! Washington Post book reviewer Ron Charles (a reviewer I follow and trust) called this book a “vibrant, love-affirming novel” and, well . .  I couldn’t agree more. The Heaven and Earth Grocery Store is a powerful novel that splices comedy and tragedy together — with quirky, richly-drawn characters, a strong sense of time and place, and solid storytelling. There are a lot of characters, and some jumping around in the storyline . . . so put your seat belts on and trust James McBride to get you there all in one piece! The Heaven and Earth Grocery Store is a delight.

Here’s a short video (just about 7 minutes) of James McBride discussing his new novel with Jeffrey Brown of PBS News Hour. I was fascinated and delighted to learn that Chona, the beloved owner of The Heaven & Earth Grocery Store, is actually McBride’s “fictional alternative life” for his own grandmother!


For more information about this season’s selection, you can check out our Read With Us reference page for background info and other “goodies” about the book. I’ll be adding to the reference page as Bonny and Carole share more information about the book as November unfolds.

The Heaven & Earth Grocery Store is currently available on Amazon in hardback ($16.99), paperback ($20.85), Kindle ($14.99) or Audible versions (1 credit). You can check your local bookstores for a copy — and, of course, the book should also be available at most libraries.

The book discussion day for The Heaven & Earth Grocery Store will be Tuesday, January 9, 2024. Bonny, Carole, and I will each post discussion questions on our blogs that day, and then – later in the evening (7:00 pm Eastern time zone) – we’ll be hosting a live book discussion/meet-up on Zoom. If you’d like to join the Zoom (and we’d really love it if you do!) please let me know in the comments or send me an email (link in sidebar).

C’mon along!
Read With Us!