What We’re Reading in January!


We’re excited to share that our January Book Club Book Club selection is Eva Jurczyk’s debut novel, The Department of Rare Books and Special Collections, forthcoming from Poisoned Pen Press on February 22 but available to Rumpus Book Club members in just a few weeks!

Liesl Weiss long ago learned to be content working behind the scenes in the distinguished rare books department of a large university, managing details and working behind the scenes to make the head of the department look good. But when her boss has a stroke and she’s left to run things, she discovers that the library’s most prized manuscript is missing.

Liesl tries to sound the alarm and inform the police about the missing priceless book, but is told repeatedly to keep quiet, to keep the doors open and the donors happy. But then a librarian unexpectedly stops showing up to work. Liesl must investigate both disappearances, unspooling her colleagues’ pasts like the threads of a rare book binding as it becomes clear that someone in the department must be responsible for the theft. What Liesl discovers about the dusty manuscripts she has worked among for so long—and about the people who care for and revere them—shakes the very foundation on which she has built her life.

“This intricately woven literary mystery brings readers into the cut-throat world of academia where rare book collections compete for money and prestige, and where those in power will do whatever it takes to protect their institution. A strong female protagonist and complex relationships drive this impressive, genre-bending debut.” – Wendy Walker, author of Don’t Look for Me

“Who doesn’t love a mystery involving rare books and bad librarians? This clever, deftly written story has all that and more. A great pleasure from beginning to end.” – Karen Joy Fowler, author of We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves and The Jane Austen Book Club

Subscribe to the Rumpus Book Club by December 15 to join us in reading The Department of Rare Books and Special Collections, culminating in an exclusive online discussion with author Eva Jurczyk about the book!

Learn more about The Rumpus Book Club here. More from this author →