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12 March 2023 Book Club Picks To Get Reading With

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Thanks to social media, bookish celebrities, and marginalized book lovers, there are now lots of options for book clubs, for many kinds of readers. You can find enough monthly book clubs that you can’t do them all (although “challenge accepted” sounds fun). Depending on your schedule and needs, you can participate as much or as little as you’d like in your book club(s) of choice, from joining in on social media chats, just watching an author interview, or using the picks to read on your own or with a buddy.

While it’s easy to follow along with one book club, especially on social media, with the sheer volume of constant news and many social media platforms having less than desirable feeds/algorithms it’s become increasingly too easy to miss out on many of the monthly picks. So if you like knowing the monthly selections for book clubs — whether you try to read them or just like to know (and maybe judge) — I’ve got you. I’ve rounded up a variety of March 2023 book club picks, which also makes it fun to see and compare what’s getting chosen.

Now on to the book clubs and their March 2023 picks — which include middle grade, YA, adult, frontlist, backlist, nonfiction, and different fiction genres! Truly something for everyone.

Amor en Paginas: The Latinx Romance Buddy Read

A monthly book club run by two Latinas with the goal of amplifying romance novels written by Latinx authors.

March pick: Learn to Love You by Jade Hernández

About the book: For fans of forbidden love, secrets, and when taking over the family business is just not a passion. Damián “Junior” Águila-Gutierrez is meant to take over the family business, but he secretly has other dreams. Mayda Jiménez is Junior’s sister’s best friend, but has always kept the family from getting too close, afraid of being judged for her mother’s addiction. Each is secretly pining for the other, aware that they’re off limits…

Follow Amor en Paginas on social media: Instagram

Subtle Asian Book Club

Book cover of Other Words For Home by Jasmine Warga

Tiffany and Alexandra, longtime friends, created the Subtle Asian Book Club in 2020 with the goal of uplifting Asian voices and storytellers. You can read along with the monthly book chosen, join on social media, and watch videos of their live author interviews.

March pick: Other Words for Home by Jasmine Warga

About the book: A middle grade novel in verse that follows 12-year-old Jude as she and her mother flee Syria, leaving behind her father and brother. What is it like to suddenly have to live in a new country you’ve only ever known through films?

Follow Subtle Asian Book Club on social media: Instagram; Twitter; Facebook; Discord

Matzah Book Soup: A Jewish Own Voices Book Club for All

Book cover of Planning Perfect by Haley Neil

Lillianne Leight and Amanda Spivack created this book club with the focus on Jewish books and characters “with varying relationships to Judaism” that welcomed all readers — Jewish and non.

March pick: Planning Perfect by Haley Neil

About the book: This is a YA romcom with charm and heart that follows Felicity Becker as she navigates planning her mother’s wedding and being on the asexual spectrum.

Virtual meetup: Thursday, March 30 at 8 p.m. EDT

Follow Matzah Book Soup on social media: Instagram, Facebook

NYPL and WNYC’s Virtual Book Club

Book cover of I Have Some Questions for You by Rebecca Makkai

WNYC host Alison Stewart and New York Public Library have on-air and social media posts throughout the month about their pick, along with in-person and online book discussions led by librarians.

March pick: I Have Some Questions for You by Rebecca Makkai

About the book: A great mix of literary, contemporary, and mystery, especially for fans of fictional true crime podcasts. Bodie Kane is a well known podcaster who gets invited to teach at her former boarding school — a place she didn’t enjoy much, especially being that her roommate was murdered. The case was solved, the athletic trainer imprisoned. But when a current student wants to do their project on re-investigating the case Bodie is forced to deal with the ethics of true crime reporting, her own memories, rape culture, and the spectrum of predators. Bonus: the audiobook is a great production mostly narrated by Julia Whelan with a bit narrated by JD Jackson.

Follow NYPL and WNYC’s Virtual Book Club: Events, live conversations

Mocha Girls Read

Book cover of The Guest List by Lucy Foley

Mocha Girls Read is a monthly book club of Black women who love to read in the Los Angeles area.

March pick: The Guest List by Lucy Foley

About the book: For fans of twisty remote-set mysteries! The book starts with a murder, but the reader gets two mysteries: who committed the murder but also who is the victim? Wedding guests are invited to an island off the west coast of Ireland and staying in a ten bedroom property. Once you get to know everyone you realize plenty of people have motives to kill others so have fun guessing the two whose! Bonus: the audiobook is a multicast production.

Follow Mocha Girls read on social media: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, MeetUp, Goodreads, Pinterest

Reese’s Book Club

Book cover of The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah

Every month Reese Witherspoon picks a book for Reese’s Book Club that centers a woman in its story.

March pick: The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah

What Reese said about the book: “The Nightingale by @KristinHannahAuthor is arguably one of the most powerful, most captivating novels about WWII in recent years. This important story illuminates a part of history that’s often overlooked: the women’s war. It’s a harrowing tale of two sisters, survival, love and female resilience throughout Nazi-occupied France. If you haven’t read it yet (we know how popular it’s been!!), read along with us this month.”

What Rioter Jaime Herndon had to say about the pick: Hey, Reese: About That Book Club Selection…

Follow Reese’s Book Club on social media: Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, TikTok, YouTube

And now that I’ve said “book club” a million times, maybe you want to read a book with a book club in it: 8 Books About Book Clubs.



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Facebook Faces Yet Another Outage: Platform Encounters Technical Issues Again

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Facebook Problem Again

Uppdated: It seems that today’s issues with Facebook haven’t affected as many users as the last time. A smaller group of people appears to be impacted this time around, which is a relief compared to the larger incident before. Nevertheless, it’s still frustrating for those affected, and hopefully, the issues will be resolved soon by the Facebook team.

Facebook had another problem today (March 20, 2024). According to Downdetector, a website that shows when other websites are not working, many people had trouble using Facebook.

This isn’t the first time Facebook has had issues. Just a little while ago, there was another problem that stopped people from using the site. Today, when people tried to use Facebook, it didn’t work like it should. People couldn’t see their friends’ posts, and sometimes the website wouldn’t even load.

Downdetector, which watches out for problems on websites, showed that lots of people were having trouble with Facebook. People from all over the world said they couldn’t use the site, and they were not happy about it.

When websites like Facebook have problems, it affects a lot of people. It’s not just about not being able to see posts or chat with friends. It can also impact businesses that use Facebook to reach customers.

Since Facebook owns Messenger and Instagram, the problems with Facebook also meant that people had trouble using these apps. It made the situation even more frustrating for many users, who rely on these apps to stay connected with others.

During this recent problem, one thing is obvious: the internet is always changing, and even big websites like Facebook can have problems. While people wait for Facebook to fix the issue, it shows us how easily things online can go wrong. It’s a good reminder that we should have backup plans for staying connected online, just in case something like this happens again.

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Christian family goes in hiding after being cleared of blasphemy

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Christian family goes in hiding after being cleared of blasphemy

LAHORE, Pakistan — A court in Pakistan granted bail to a Christian falsely charged with blasphemy, but he and his family have separated and gone into hiding amid threats to their lives, sources said.

Haroon Shahzad (right) with attorney Aneeqa Maria. | The Voice Society/Morning Star News

Haroon Shahzad, 45, was released from Sargodha District Jail on Nov. 15, said his attorney, Aneeqa Maria. Shahzad was charged with blasphemy on June 30 after posting Bible verses on Facebook that infuriated Muslims, causing dozens of Christian families in Chak 49 Shumaali, near Sargodha in Punjab Province, to flee their homes.

Lahore High Court Judge Ali Baqir Najfi granted bail on Nov. 6, but the decision and his release on Nov. 15 were not made public until now due to security fears for his life, Maria said.

Shahzad told Morning Star News by telephone from an undisclosed location that the false accusation has changed his family’s lives forever.

“My family has been on the run from the time I was implicated in this false charge and arrested by the police under mob pressure,” Shahzad told Morning Star News. “My eldest daughter had just started her second year in college, but it’s been more than four months now that she hasn’t been able to return to her institution. My other children are also unable to resume their education as my family is compelled to change their location after 15-20 days as a security precaution.”

Though he was not tortured during incarceration, he said, the pain of being away from his family and thinking about their well-being and safety gave him countless sleepless nights.

“All of this is due to the fact that the complainant, Imran Ladhar, has widely shared my photo on social media and declared me liable for death for alleged blasphemy,” he said in a choked voice. “As soon as Ladhar heard about my bail, he and his accomplices started gathering people in the village and incited them against me and my family. He’s trying his best to ensure that we are never able to go back to the village.”

Shahzad has met with his family only once since his release on bail, and they are unable to return to their village in the foreseeable future, he said.

“We are not together,” he told Morning Star News. “They are living at a relative’s house while I’m taking refuge elsewhere. I don’t know when this agonizing situation will come to an end.”

The Christian said the complainant, said to be a member of Islamist extremist party Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan and also allegedly connected with banned terrorist group Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, filed the charge because of a grudge. Shahzad said he and his family had obtained valuable government land and allotted it for construction of a church building, and Ladhar and others had filed multiple cases against the allotment and lost all of them after a four-year legal battle.

“Another probable reason for Ladhar’s jealousy could be that we were financially better off than most Christian families of the village,” he said. “I was running a successful paint business in Sargodha city, but that too has shut down due to this case.”

Regarding the social media post, Shahzad said he had no intention of hurting Muslim sentiments by sharing the biblical verse on his Facebook page.

“I posted the verse a week before Eid Al Adha [Feast of the Sacrifice] but I had no idea that it would be used to target me and my family,” he said. “In fact, when I came to know that Ladhar was provoking the villagers against me, I deleted the post and decided to meet the village elders to explain my position.”

The village elders were already influenced by Ladhar and refused to listen to him, Shahzad said.

“I was left with no option but to flee the village when I heard that Ladhar was amassing a mob to attack me,” he said.

Shahzad pleaded with government authorities for justice, saying he should not be punished for sharing a verse from the Bible that in no way constituted blasphemy.

Similar to other cases

Shahzad’s attorney, Maria, told Morning Star News that events in Shahzad’s case were similar to other blasphemy cases filed against Christians.

“Defective investigation, mala fide on the part of the police and complainant, violent protests against the accused persons and threats to them and their families, forcing their displacement from their ancestral areas, have become hallmarks of all blasphemy allegations in Pakistan,” said Maria, head of The Voice Society, a Christian paralegal organization.

She said that the case filed against Shahzad was gross violation of Section 196 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC), which states that police cannot register a case under the Section 295-A blasphemy statute against a private citizen without the approval of the provincial government or federal agencies.

Maria added that Shahzad and his family have continued to suffer even though there was no evidence of blasphemy.

“The social stigma attached with a blasphemy accusation will likely have a long-lasting impact on their lives, whereas his accuser, Imran Ladhar, would not have to face any consequence of his false accusation,” she said.

The judge who granted bail noted that Shahzad was charged with blasphemy under Section 295-A, which is a non-cognizable offense, and Section 298, which is bailable. The judge also noted that police had not submitted the forensic report of Shahzad’s cell phone and said evidence was required to prove that the social media was blasphemous, according to Maria.

Bail was set at 100,000 Pakistani rupees (US $350) and two personal sureties, and the judge ordered police to further investigate, she said.

Shahzad, a paint contractor, on June 29 posted on his Facebook page 1 Cor. 10:18-21 regarding food sacrificed to idols, as Muslims were beginning the four-day festival of Eid al-Adha, which involves slaughtering an animal and sharing the meat.

A Muslim villager took a screenshot of the post, sent it to local social media groups and accused Shahzad of likening Muslims to pagans and disrespecting the Abrahamic tradition of animal sacrifice.

Though Shahzad made no comment in the post, inflammatory or otherwise, the situation became tense after Friday prayers when announcements were made from mosque loudspeakers telling people to gather for a protest, family sources previously told Morning Star News.

Fearing violence as mobs grew in the village, most Christian families fled their homes, leaving everything behind.

In a bid to restore order, the police registered a case against Shahzad under Sections 295-A and 298. Section 295-A relates to “deliberate and malicious acts intended to outrage religious feelings of any class by insulting its religion or religious beliefs” and is punishable with imprisonment of up to 10 years and fine, or both. Section 298 prescribes up to one year in prison and a fine, or both, for hurting religious sentiments.

Pakistan ranked seventh on Open Doors’ 2023 World Watch List of the most difficult places to be a Christian, up from eighth the previous year.

Morning Star News is the only independent news service focusing exclusively on the persecution of Christians. The nonprofit’s mission is to provide complete, reliable, even-handed news in order to empower those in the free world to help persecuted Christians, and to encourage persecuted Christians by informing them that they are not alone in their suffering.

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Individual + Team Stats: Hornets vs. Timberwolves

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CHARLOTTE HORNETS MINNESOTA TIMBERWOLVES You can follow us for future coverage by liking us on Facebook & following us on X: Facebook – All Hornets X – …

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