Each month, Beyond The Page: A WGBH Book Clubfeatures a notable author, who takes part in a live Q&A with a WGBH personality to discuss the intricacies of that month's novel. With each monthly book selection, we also ask the author for a list of reading recommendations. For its September edition, Beyond The Page selected Elise Hooper’s novel Fast Girls, a novel that explores the gripping, real life history of female athletes, members of the first integrated women’s Olympic team, and their journeys to the 1936 summer games in Berlin, Nazi Germany.

5 recommended books:

Hooper: Florence Adler Swims Forever by Rachel Beanland. It's an intimate look at how a family keeps secrets to protect each other. Set in Atlantic City, 1934, I couldn't put this one down.

The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek by Kim Michele Richardson. Inspired by the courageous librarians of the Kentucky Pack Horse Project and the state's blue-skinned people, this immersive story introduced me to a part of the country that I knew little about.

Beheld by TaraSea Nesbit. This is the story of the Pilgrims that we don't read about in school, but should.

The Island of Sea Women by Lisa See. I devoured this story of a community of Korean women skin divers and their intriguing, tumultuous history.

The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett. It's always a delight to be in the hands of a confident, clever storyteller and this one about race, gender, and identity kept me thinking about the Vignes twins long after turning the final page.

What are you reading now?

Hooper: Why We Swim by Bonnie Tsui.

What’s up next on your reading list?

Momplaisir: The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson.

Elise Hooper is a native New Englander, and spent several years writing for television and online news outlets before getting a MA and teaching high-school literature and history. She now lives in Seattle with her husband and two daughters. She is the critically acclaimed author of Learning to See (2019) and The Other Alcott (2017).

Looking for more? Then join the club. Don't miss out on the next selection and virtual session by joining the Beyond The Page Facebook Group and signing up for the e-mail newsletter.