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October 2014

ReadingGroupGuides.com Newsletter October 2014


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October is…Colorful!

Here in the New York area, the colors of fall are all around us, and the nights are getting a lot cooler. The light on the trees in the morning is just beautiful, and I take a few moments to savor it before jumping into my very busy days.

LOTS to share this month, including FOUR new contests!

Our first two contests have a French theme, which is such fun. In the first, we’re giving three groups the chance to win 12 copies of journalist Ann Mah’s memoir, MASTERING THE ART OF FRENCH EATING. Like Sarah Turnbull’s ALMOST FRENCH and Julie Powell’s New York Times bestseller JULIE AND JULIA, MASTERING THE ART OF FRENCH EATING is interwoven with the lively characters Ann meets and the traditional recipes she samples. Both funny and intelligent, this is a story about love --- of food, family and France --- that will have your mouth watering. I read this on my summer vacation and was marking pages of recipes that I want to try. It also gave me a wonderful way to explore the many regions of France, albeit from my pool chair. We’re also giving away 25 additional, individual copies. Enter here by Thursday, November 6th at noon ET for your chance to win.

Speaking of all things French, in honor of the release of HOW TO BE PARISIAN WHEREVER YOU ARE, in our second contest five lucky winners will win a copy of the New York Times bestselling book, PLUS two French classics: THE SECOND SEX and SUITE FRANÇAISE. HOW TO BE PARISIAN is a fresh take on what it really means to be a Parisienne, written by four stunning and accomplished women who epitomize that French je ne sais quoi. Our staffer, Nicole Sherman, was in Paris for a whirlwind weekend a few weeks ago and saw this book everywhere. When it arrived at the office, she was so enthusiastic about it, and we are happy to be sharing it with you. Enter here by Thursday, November 6th at noon ET for your chance to win a copy of these three amazing books. Bonne chance to all of you!

The third contest is for Kimberly Belle’s THE LAST BREATH. From a remarkable new voice in women’s fiction, this is an emotionally searing drama about a woman who risks her life to discover the devastating truth about her family. I have this one on my list to read and plan to enjoy it on audio. There’s a lot of terrific buzz about it. We’re giving 25 readers the chance to win a copy. Enter here by Thursday, November 6th at noon ET.

We have an ongoing contest for New York Times bestselling author Sandra Dallas’ A QUILT FOR CHRISTMAS, a story set during the Civil War in which a woman makes a quilt for her husband and learns about love, grief, forgiveness and healing. For those of you looking for a book to read for the holidays, or those who want to get a start on holiday shopping, A QUILT FOR CHRISTMAS is worth exploring. We’re giving four groups the chance to win 10 copies. Enter here by Tuesday, October 14th at noon ET before it’s too late! And for the young readers in your life, we’re giving away 100 copies of Sandra’s latest middle grade book, RED BERRIES, WHITE CLOUDS, BLUE SKIES, over on Kidsreads.com. It’s set during the same time period of World War II and carries the same themes as her bestseller, TALLGRASS. Enter here by Tuesday, November 11th at noon ET.

Our October “What’s Your Book Group Reading This Month?” contest is #1 New York Times bestselling author Anna Quindlen's STILL LIFE WITH BREAD CRUMBS, a deeply moving and often very funny story of unexpected love, and a stunningly crafted journey into the life of a woman, her heart, her mind, her days, as she discovers that life is a story with many levels. We’re giving three groups the chance to win 12 copies. All you need to do to enter is to tell us what YOUR book group is reading for its discussion this month. Enter here by Thursday, November 6th to win!

We also have a great lineup of featured guides this month.

The "Today Show" recently selected POSITIVE, Paige Rawl’s inspiring memoir about growing up with AIDS, as their latest Today Book Club selection. I read this book in August and was so impressed with Paige; her poise and commitment are to be admired. As a parent, I felt for her on so many levels. Shara, our Editorial Manager for Teenreads.com, met her at a lunch and came back to the office excited about meeting her and hearing her story. You can see the "Today Show" interview with Paige here.

Here’s more about Paige’s story. One day in middle school, Paige disclosed to a friend her HIV-positive status (her mother unknowingly passed the disease to Paige and the vigilance her mother employs to keep her healthy and not scared will impress any parent) --- and within hours the bullying began. One night, desperate for escape, 15-year-old Paige found herself in her bathroom staring at a bottle of sleeping pills. That could have been the end of her story. Instead, it was only the beginning. Paige's memoir calls for readers to choose action over complacency, compassion over cruelty --- and, above all, to be positive. It’s such an inspiring book! Click here to check out our featured guide and here to read our review on Bookreporter.com.

Next, we have a featured guide for bestselling author Diane Chamberlain’s riveting historical drama, NECESSARY LIES. Set in rural Grace County, North Carolina, in a time of state-mandated sterilizations and racial tension, it’s the story of two young women, seemingly worlds apart, but both haunted by tragedy. A social worker and a 15-year-old are thrown together and must ask themselves: how can you know what you believe is right, when everyone is telling you it’s wrong? Click here for the featured guide and here to read our review on Bookreporter.com. We also have an interview with Diane here.

Our third featured guide this month is for Isla Morley’s ABOVE. It’s a novel about Blythe Hallowell, who at 16 was abducted by a survivalist and locked away in a missile silo a few miles from her home and family. Wanting nothing more than to escape, Blythe will spend the next 17 years below looking for a way above and imagining what it will be like to go home again. When she finally does get above, the world she left is not the one in which she reemerges. Click here for the featured guide and here for our review on Bookreporter.com.

We also have a featured guide this month for New York Times bestselling author Caitlin Moran's HOW TO BUILD A GIRL. Imagine THE BELL JAR written by Rizzo from Grease, with a soundtrack by My Bloody Valentine and The Happy Mondays. As beautiful as it is funny, HOW TO BUILD A GIRL is a brilliant coming-of-age novel in Dr. Martens and ripped tights that captures perfectly the terror and joy of trying to discover exactly who it is you are going to be. Click here for the featured guide.

GUTENBERG’S APPRENTICE is Alix Christie's enthralling literary debut, which evokes one of the most momentous events in history --- the birth of printing in medieval Germany. It's a story of invention, intrigue and betrayal, rich in atmosphere and historical detail, told through the lives of the three men who made it possible: the visionary genius Johann Gutenberg; his financial backer Johann Fust; and the reluctant apprentice Peter Schoeffer. Fans of literary historical fiction won't want to miss this one. Click here for the featured guide.

My latest Bets On pick is Matt Richtel’s fascinating A DEADLY WANDERING: A Tale of Tragedy and Redemption in the Age of Attention. I heard Matt speak about it last May, and the storyline intrigued me. Reggie, a teen, was driving to work one early morning. He crossed the yellow line into the other lane, more than once, and that precipitated an accident that killed two prominent rocket scientists who were fathers and husbands. Prior to the accident, it was learned that the teen was texting, though he does not remember doing this. Texting for him is something he did all day, not thinking about how it distracted him. I dare you to read A DEADLY WANDERING and not think about how inattention can be both deadly and an unconscious thing that we need to be more conscious about. Click here to read more of my thoughts about it.

October has been designated National Reading Group Month by the Women's National Book Association. This is the eighth annual celebration, and thousands of readers are expected to take part in activities through traditional and online book clubs and at neighborhood bookstores and local libraries. In honor of this special month, the National Reading Group Month Selection Committee picks a selection of Great Group Reads. This year, 20 books were chosen as 2014’s Great Group Reads. Click here to see a complete list of the titles.

New York metro area readers, have you signed up for the Hachette Book Group’s Book Club Brunch on Saturday, October 18th in New York City? This is the third year that ReadingGroupGuides.com is a proud sponsor --- I’ll be there, of course, and I’d love to meet you! EVERY attendee will be given an advance copy of THE SECRET WISDOM OF THE EARTH prior to the event, so you can read it and participate in a discussion during the day. I’ve already read this book and am looking forward to this; I already know it will be one of my first Bets One selections of 2015. Maureen Corrigan, Jean Korelitz, Edan Lepucki and Barbara Ehrenreich will be among the amazing authors who will be in attendance. You can sign up NOW to attend here; tickets are just $45 for a full day of programming and book group bonding. Also, if your group is not available to attend, this is the kind of event where you easily can come solo. People are really welcoming; I already have heard from a few people coming alone!

For those of you in the Miami area, the Miami Book Fair is offering a number of special benefits to book groups who attend the Fair. This is one of the premier book festivals in the country offering a chance to see hundreds of authors in a two-day period. For details on how to get your group on board for this special offering, click here.

Now that the quiet days of summer are officially in our rearview mirror, things can get pretty hectic. We want to know what you do to relax. Click here to take our poll.

A few months ago, we added a feature called Reading Roundup to the site, which highlights selected titles from Indie Booksellers (Indie Next Picks), Librarians (LibraryReads), Target and Costco. See this month’s roundup here. And in case you want to know which titles are popular among our readers, our top three most requested guides this month are for THE BOYS IN THE BOAT by Daniel James Brown, THE ART OF HEARING HEARTBEATS by Jan-Philipp Sendker and THE INVENTION OF WINGS by Sue Monk Kidd.

Make sure to also visit our “Rate Books for Book Groups” feature. As always, we encourage you to share books you think would be good for books groups, and check out books other readers suggest. Please note that these don’t necessarily need to be books that you have read with your book clubs --- they can simply be titles that you think would be great for discussion! Some of the books you rated highly last month were Nancy Horan's UNDER THE WIDE AND STARRY SKY and Anthony Doerr's ALL THE LIGHT WAS CANNOT SEE. Keep letting us know what books you're enjoying!

Last October, we gave 100+ book groups the chance to win a copy of THE PRESERVATIONIST and have author Justin Kramon personally visit their group's discussion. We heard from many of you that the book was great and Justin was an absolute delight. Here Justin shares his experience group-hopping across the country; it seems he enjoyed you as much as you enjoyed him, even if no attempts at kidnapping were made! And click here to check out reader Valerie Giambona's blog post about Justin's visit to her book group.

We are ramping up our audiobook coverage across our websites. If you are a book group that listens to your discussion selections, or if you have a member who listens to more than reads the physical or eBook, please drop Emily a note at Emily@bookreporter.com.

Over on Teenreads.com, we’re celebrating the season of ghouls and ghosts with our new feature, Thrills and Chills! Between now and Monday, November 3rd at noon ET, readers can enter here to win a bag perfect for trick-or-treating, filled with a few special sweet treats and some spooky reads that will help make the scariest season of them all last well beyond Halloween. Surprise a teen in your life, or don’t --- remember, you’re not a monster if you keep the books and candy for yourself!

Happy Halloween, and read on for much, much more.

Carol Fitzgerald (Carol@bookreporter.com)

 

Special Contest: Win a Copy of THE LAST BREATH by Kimberly Belle

We're giving 25 readers the chance to win a copy of debut author Kimberly Belle's THE LAST BREATH, an emotionally searing drama about a woman who risks her life to discover the devastating truth about her family. To enter, please fill out this form by Thursday, November 6th at noon ET.

THE LAST BREATH by Kimberly Belle (Fiction)
Humanitarian aid worker Gia Andrews chases disasters around the globe for a living. It’s the perfect lifestyle to keep her far away from her own personal ground zero. Sixteen years ago, Gia’s father was imprisoned for brutally killing her stepmother. Now he’s come home to die of cancer, and she’s responsible for his care --- and coming to terms with his guilt.

Gia reluctantly resumes the role of daughter to the town’s most infamous murderer, a part complete with protesters on the lawn and death threats that are turning tragedy into front-page news. Returning to life in small-town Tennessee involves rebuilding relationships that distance and turmoil have strained, though finding an emotional anchor in the attractive hometown bartender is certainly helping Gia cope.

As the past unravels before her, Gia will find herself torn between the stories that her family, their friends and neighbors, and even her long-departed stepmother have believed to be real all these years. But in the end, the truth --- and all the lies that came before --- may have deadlier consequences than she could have ever anticipated...

-Click here for the reading group guide.

 

Click here to enter the contest.

 
Special Contest: Win 12 Copies of MASTERING THE ART OF FRENCH EATING by Ann Mah for Your Group

We're giving three groups the chance to win 12 copies of journalist Ann Mah's MASTERING THE ART OF FRENCH EATING, a funny and intelligent memoir about love --- of food, family and France. We're also giving away 25 individual copies. To enter, please fill out this form by Thursday, November 6th at noon ET.

MASTERING THE ART OF FRENCH EATING by Ann Mah (Memoir/Travel)
When journalist Ann Mah’s diplomat husband is given a three-year assignment in Paris, Ann is overjoyed. A lifelong foodie and Francophile, she immediately begins plotting gastronomic adventures à deux. Then her husband is called away to Iraq on a year-long post --- alone. Suddenly, Ann’s vision of a romantic sojourn in the City of Light is turned upside down.

So, not unlike another diplomatic wife, Julia Child, Ann must find a life for herself in a new city. Journeying through Paris and the surrounding regions of France, Ann combats her loneliness by seeking out the perfect pain au chocolat and learning the way the andouillette sausage is really made. She explores the history and taste of everything from boeuf Bourguignon to soupe au pistou to the crispiest of buckwheat crepes. And somewhere between Paris and the south of France, she uncovers a few of life’s truths.

Like Sarah Turnbull’s ALMOST FRENCH and Julie Powell’s New York Times bestseller JULIE AND JULIA, MASTERING THE ART OF FRENCH EATING is interwoven with the lively characters Ann meets and the traditional recipes she samples. Both funny and intelligent, this is a story about love --- of food, family and France.

-Click here for the reading group guide.
 

Click here to enter the contest.

 
Special Contest: Win a Copy of HOW TO BE PARISIAN WHEREVER YOU ARE (Plus TWO More Books!)

In honor of the release of HOW TO BE PARISIAN WHEREVER YOU ARE, we're giving five readers the chance to win a copy, in addition to two more amazing books: THE SECOND SEX and SUITE FRANÇAISE. Share the books with your group and you'll have that French je ne sais quoi in no time. To enter, please fill out this form by Thursday, November 6th at noon ET.

HOW TO BE PARISIAN WHEREVER YOU ARE by Anne Berest, Audrey Diwan, Caroline de Maigret and Sophie Mas (Self-Help)
From four stunning and accomplished French women --- at last --- a fresh and spirited take on what it really means to be a Parisienne: how they dress, entertain, have fun and attempt to behave themselves.

In short, frisky sections, these Parisian women give you their very original views on style, beauty, culture, attitude and men. The authors --- Anne Berest, Audrey Diwan, Caroline de Maigret and Sophie Mas --- unmarried but attached, with children --- have been friends for years. Talented bohemian iconoclasts with careers in the worlds of music, film, fashion and publishing, they are untypically frank and outspoken as they debunk the myths about what it means to be a French woman today. Letting you in on their secrets and flaws, they also make fun of their complicated, often contradictory feelings and behavior. They admit to being snobs, unpredictable but not unreliable. Bossy and opinionated, they are also tender and romantic.

You will be taken on a first date, to a party, to some favorite haunts in Paris, to the countryside, and to one of their dinners at home with recipes even you could do --- but to be out with them is to be in for some mischief and surprises. They will tell you how to be mysterious and sensual, look natural, make your boyfriend jealous, and how they feel about children, weddings and going to the gym. And they will share their address book in Paris for where to go: At the End of the Night, for A Birthday, for a Smart Date, A Hangover, for Vintage Finds and much more.

HOW TO BE PARISIAN WHEREVER YOU ARE will make you laugh as you slip into their shoes to become bold and free and tap into your inner cool.

 

Click here to enter the contest.

 
Special Contest: Win 10 Copies of A QUILT FOR CHRISTMAS by Sandra Dallas for Your Group

We're giving four groups the chance to win 10 copies of New York Times bestselling author Sandra Dallas's A QUILT FOR CHRISTMAS, a story set during the Civil War in which a woman makes a quilt for her husband and learns about love, grief, forgiveness and healing. To enter, please fill out this form by Tuesday, October 14th at noon ET.

A QUILT FOR CHRISTMAS by Sandra Dallas (Historical Fiction)
It is 1864 and Eliza Spooner's husband Will has joined the Kansas volunteers to fight the Confederates, leaving her with their two children and in charge of their home and land. Eliza is confident that he will return home, and she helps pass the months making a special quilt to keep Will warm during his winter months in the army. When the unthinkable happens, she takes in a woman and child who have been left alone and made vulnerable by the war, and she finds solace and camaraderie amongst the women of her quilting group. And when she is asked to help hide an escaped slave, she must decide for herself what is right, and who can she can count on to help her.

-Click here for the reading group guide.

 

Click here to enter the contest.

 
"What's Your Book Group Reading This Month?" Contest: Win 12 Copies of STILL LIFE WITH BREAD CRUMBS by Anna Quindlen for Your Group

Each month, we ask book groups to share the titles they are reading that month and rate them. From all entries, three winners will be selected, and each will win 12 copies of that month’s prize book for their group. Note: To be eligible to win, let us know the title of the book that YOUR book group is CURRENTLY reading, NOT the title we are giving away.

Our latest prize book is #1 New York Times bestselling author Anna Quindlen's STILL LIFE WITH BREAD CRUMBS, a deeply moving and often very funny story of unexpected love, and a stunningly crafted journey into the life of a woman, her heart, her mind, her days, as she discovers that life is a story with many levels. To enter, please fill out the form on this page by Thursday, November 6th at noon ET.

STILL LIFE WITH BREAD CRUMBS by Anna Quindlen (Fiction)
STILL LIFE WITH BREAD CRUMBS begins with an imagined gunshot and ends with a new tin roof. Between the two is a wry and knowing portrait of Rebecca Winter, a photographer whose work made her an unlikely heroine for many women. Her career is now descendent, her bank balance shaky, and she has fled the city for the middle of nowhere. There she discovers, in a tree stand with a roofer named Jim Bates, that what she sees through a camera lens is not all there is to life.

Brilliantly written, powerfully observed, STILL LIFE WITH BREAD CRUMBS is a deeply moving and often very funny story of unexpected love, and a stunningly crafted journey into the life of a woman, her heart, her mind, her days, as she discovers that life is a story with many levels, a story that is longer and more exciting than she ever imagined.

-Click here
for the reading group guide.
-Click here to read our review on Bookreporter.com.
 

Click here to enter the contest.

 
Featured Guide: NECESSARY LIES by Diane Chamberlain
NECESSARY LIES by Diane Chamberlain (Fiction)
It is 1960 in North Carolina and the lives of Ivy Hart and Jane Forrester couldn’t be more different. Fifteen-year-old Ivy lives with her family as tenants on a small tobacco farm, but when her parents die, Ivy is left to care for her grandmother, older sister and nephew. As she struggles with her grandmother’s aging, her sister’s mental illness and her own epilepsy, she realizes they might need more than she can give.

When Jane Forrester takes a position as Grace County’s newest social worker, she is given the task of recommending which of her clients should be sterilized without their knowledge or consent. The state’s rationalization is that if her clients are poor, or ill, or deemed in some way "unfit," they should not be allowed to have children. But soon Jane becomes emotionally invested in her clients’ lives, causing tension with her new husband and her supervisors. No one understands why Jane would want to become a caseworker for the Department of Public Health when she could be a housewife and Junior League member. As Jane is drawn in by the Hart women, she begins to discover the secrets of the small farm --- secrets much darker than she would have guessed. Soon, she must decide whether to take drastic action to help them, or risk losing a life-changing battle.

NECESSARY LIES is the story of these two young women, seemingly worlds apart, but both haunted by tragedy. Jane and Ivy are thrown together and must ask themselves: How can you know what you believe is right, when everyone is telling you it’s wrong?


-Click here to read our review on Bookreporter.com.
-Click here to read an interview with the author.

 
Click here for the featured guide.

 
Featured Guide: POSITIVE by Paige Rawl
POSITIVE by Paige Rawl, with Ali Benjamin (Memoir)
Paige has been HIV-positive since birth, but growing up that was never The Thing that defined her. It was just one facet of her life, like competing in beauty pageants or making the honor roll. But in middle school, in a moment in which she was attempting to console a friend, Paige disclosed her HIV-positive status. Relentlessly bullied from then on, Paige suffered from stress-related seizures, she cut herself and her normally athletic frame withered to a mere 81 pounds. One night, desperate for escape, Paige swallowed 15 sleeping pills --- one for each year of her life. That could have been the end of her story. Instead, it was only the beginning. In this dazzling memoir, Paige tells the deeply personal yet universal story of how she managed to overcome the trauma of persistent bullying by choosing compassion over cruelty, and how she resolved to fight daily on behalf of others in her place.


-Click here to read our review on Bookreporter.com.
-Click here to watch Paige's interview on the "Today Show.
"
 
Click here for the featured guide.

 
Featured Guide: ABOVE by Isla Morley

ABOVE by Isla Morley (Dystopian Fiction)
Blythe Hallowell is 16 when she is abducted by a survivalist and locked away in an abandoned missile silo in Eudora, Kansas. At first, she focuses frantically on finding a way out, until the harrowing truth of her new existence settles in --- the crushing loneliness, the terrifying madness of a captor who believes he is saving her from the end of the world and the persistent temptation to give up. But nothing prepares Blythe for the burden of raising a child in confinement. Determined to give the boy everything she has lost, she pushes aside the truth about a world he may never see for a myth that just might give meaning to their lives below ground. Years later, their lives are ambushed by an event at once promising and devastating. As Blythe’s dream of going home hangs in the balance, she faces the ultimate choice --- between survival and freedom.

ABOVE is a riveting tale of resiliencein which“stunning” (Daily Beast) new literary voice Isla Morley compels us to imagine what we would do if everything we had ever known was taken away. Like the bestselling authors of ROOM and THE LOVELY BONES before her, Morleyexplores the unthinkable with haunting detail and tenderly depicts our boundless capacity for hope.

-Click here to read our review on Bookreporter.com.
 

Click here for the featured guide.

 
Featured Guide: HOW TO BUILD A GIRL by Caitlin Moran

HOW TO BUILD A GIRL by Caitlin Moran (Fiction)
What do you do in your teenage years when you realize what your parents taught you wasn’t enough? You must go out and find books and poetry and pop songs and bad heroes --- and build yourself.

It’s 1990. Johanna Morrigan, 14, has shamed herself so badly on local TV that she decides that there’s no point in being Johanna anymore and reinvents herself as Dolly Wilde --- fast-talking, hard-drinking Gothic hero and full-time Lady Sex Adventurer. She will save her poverty-stricken Bohemian family by becoming a writer --- like Jo in LITTLE WOMEN, or the Bröntes --- but without the dying-young bit.

By 16, she’s smoking cigarettes, getting drunk and working for a music paper. She’s writing pornographic letters to rock stars, having all the kinds of sex with all the kinds of men, and eviscerating bands in reviews of 600 words or less.

But what happens when Johanna realizes she’s built Dolly with a fatal flaw? Is a box full of records, a wall full of posters and a head full of paperbacks enough to build a girl after all?

Imagine THE BELL JAR --- written by Rizzo from Grease. HOW TO BUILD A GIRL is a funny, poignant and heartbreakingly evocative story of self-discovery and invention, as only Caitlin Moran could tell it.

 

Click here for the featured guide.

 
Featured Guide: GUTENBERG'S APPRENTICE by Alix Christie
GUTENBERG'S APPRENTICE by Alix Christie (Historical Fiction)
An enthralling literary debut that evokes one of the most momentous events in history, the birth of printing in medieval Germany --- a story of invention, intrigue and betrayal, rich in atmosphere and historical detail, told through the lives of the three men who made it possible.

Youthful, ambitious Peter Schoeffer is on the verge of professional success as a scribe in Paris when his foster father, wealthy merchant and bookseller Johann Fust, summons him home to corrupt, feud-plagued Mainz to meet “a most amazing man.”

Johann Gutenberg, a driven and caustic inventor, has devised a revolutionary --- and to some, blasphemous --- method of bookmaking: a machine he calls a printing press. Fust is financing Gutenberg’s workshop and he orders Peter, his adopted son, to become Gutenberg’s apprentice. Resentful at having to abandon a prestigious career as a scribe, Peter begins his education in the “darkest art.”

As his skill grows, so, too, does his admiration for Gutenberg and his dedication to their daring venture: copies of the Holy Bible. But mechanical difficulties and the crushing power of the Catholic Church threaten their work. As outside forces align against them, Peter finds himself torn between two father figures: the generous Fust, who saved him from poverty after his mother died; and the brilliant, mercurial Gutenberg, who inspires Peter to achieve his own mastery.

Caught between the genius and the merchant, the old ways and the new, Peter and the men he admires must work together to prevail against overwhelming obstacles --- a battle that will change history…and irrevocably transform them.

 
Click here for the featured guide.

 
LAST CALL: Attend a ReadingGroupGuides.com-Sponsored Event: Hachette Book Group's "Book Club Brunch"
This will be the third year that ReadingGroupGuides.com will be a proud sponsor of the Hachette Book Group’s "Book Club Brunch" on Saturday, October 18th in New York City. EVERY attendee will be given an advance copy of Christopher Scotton's THE SECRET WISDOM OF THE EARTH prior to the event, so you can read it and participate in a discussion during the day. Seven authors will be in attendance at the event: Christopher Scotton, Maureen Corrigan, Barbara Ehrenreich, Sam Kean, Edan Lepucki, Joshua Ferris and Jean Hanff Korelitz. You can sign up NOW to attend here; tickets are just $45 for a full day of programming and book group bonding.
 
Click here to sign up for the event.

 
Recent "Bookreporter.com Bets On" Selections

A DEADLY WANDERING: A Tale of Tragedy and Redemption in the Age of Attention by Matt Richtel (Social Science/Technology)
I heard Matt Richtel speak about A DEADLY WANDERING: A Tale of Tragedy and Redemption in the Age of Attention last May, and the storyline intrigued me. Reggie, a teen, was driving to work one early morning. He crossed the yellow line into the other lane, more than once, and that precipitated an accident that killed two prominent rocket scientists who were fathers and husbands. Prior to the accident, it was learned that the teen was texting, though he does not remember doing this. Texting for him is something he did all day, not thinking about how it distracted him.

-Click here to read more of Carol's thoughts on the book.
-Click here to read more about the book.
-Click here to read a review.


THE SHORT AND TRAGIC LIFE OF ROBERT PEACE: A Brilliant Young Man Who Left Newark for the Ivy League by Jeff Hobbs (Biography)
Back in the spring, I read Jeff Hobbs’s first work of nonfiction, THE SHORT AND TRAGIC LIFE OF ROBERT PEACE: A Brilliant Young Man Who Left Newark for the Ivy League, and I have not stopped talking about it since. It’s a book I cannot get out of my head. To me, it’s not just the story of Robert Peace, but also a commentary on the racial divide in this country, as well as a background history on the downfall of the inner city.

-Click here to read more of Carol's thoughts on the book.
-Click here to read more about the book.
-Click here to read a review.

 

THE CHILDREN ACT by Ian McEwan (Fiction)
In THE CHILDREN ACT by Ian McEwan, Fiona Maye is a High Court judge in London presiding over cases in family court. She approaches the families that she advocates on behalf of with her mind wide open, giving strong thought to her sensitivities to culture and religion as well as the law. Her attentiveness to all sides of the issues before her --- and her meticulous attention to her cases --- consumes her on many levels.

-Click here to read more of Carol's thoughts on the book.
-Click here to read more about the book.
-Click here to read a review.


FIVE DAYS LEFT by Julie Lawson Timmer (Fiction)
FIVE DAYS LEFT by Julie Lawson Timmer is a brilliant debut that looks at two people who are counting down the days until they will be saying goodbye to the people they love. Mara is a brilliant lawyer who has a wonderful marriage to a successful doctor and is the mother of an active little girl who she lovingly adopted. Sounds like the perfect life, right? But she’s also grappling with a debilitating disease that has her assessing her future. Her chat room compadre, Scott, is a middle school teacher who has been nurturing a young boy in his foster care while his mother serves a jail sentence; his wife is carrying their eagerly anticipated first child.

-Click here to read more of Carol's thoughts on the book.
-Click here to read more about the book.
-Click here to read a review.

 

Click here for more books we're betting you'll love.

 
New Guides Now Available

The following guides are now available on ReadingGroupGuides.com:

ABOVE by Isla Morley
(Dystopian Fiction)
In the bestselling vein of ROOM and THE ROAD, a stunning and harrowing novel about a Kansas teenager who is abducted and locked away in an abandoned missile silo by a survivalist who believes he is saving her from the impending destruction of the world.

ALL THE LIGHT WE CANNOT SEE by Anthony Doerr (Historical Fiction)
Anthony Doerr’s new novel is the story of two children: a blind French girl who flees Nazi-occupied Paris in 1940 to live with an eccentric great-uncle in the walled city of Saint-Malo, and a German boy whose talent for fixing radios earns him a spot at the National Political Institutes of Education, a training school for Hitler Youth.

AUNTY LEE'S DEADLY SPECIALS by Ovidia Yu (Mystery/Thriller)
Rosie “Aunty” Lee, the feisty widow, amateur sleuth and proprietor of Singapore’s best-loved home cooking restaurant, is back in AUNTY LEE’S DEADLY SPECIALS, another delectable, witty mystery involving scandal and murder among the city’s elite.

BIRD IN HAND by Christina Baker Kline (Fiction)
From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of ORPHAN TRAIN comes BIRD IN HAND, a novel about the choices we make, how they shape our lives and how they can change them forever.

DARING: MY PASSAGES: A Memoir by Gail Sheehy (Memoir)
The author of the classic New York Times bestseller PASSAGES returns with her inspiring memoir --- a chronicle of her trials and triumphs as a groundbreaking “girl” journalist in the 1960s, to iconic guide for women and men seeking to have it all, to one of the premier political profilers of modern times.

A DEADLY WANDERING: A Tale of Tragedy and Redemption in the Age of Attention by Matt Richtel (Social Science/Technology)
Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times reporter Matt Richtel examines the impact of technology on our lives through the story of Utah college student Reggie Shaw, who killed two scientists while texting and driving.

GUTENBERG'S APPRENTICE by Alix Christie (Historical Fction)
A rich, authoritative and enthralling debut novel that offers a radically new view of the birth of printing in medieval Germany, told through the lives of the three men who made it possible: the visionary genius Johann Gutenberg; his financial backer Johann Fust; and the reluctant apprentice Peter Schoeffer.

HOW TO BUILD A GIRL by Cailtin Moran (Fiction)
A hilarious yet deeply moving coming-of age-novel from New York Times bestselling author Caitlin Moran, “the UK’s answer to Tina Fey, Chelsea Handler and Lena Dunham all rolled into one” (Marie Claire).

LAND OF DREAMS by Kate Kerrigan (Historical Fiction)
Set in 1940s Los Angeles, LAND OF DREAMS is the compelling final installment in New York Times bestselling author Kate Kerrigan’s sweeping immigrant trilogy begun in ELLIS ISLAND and CITY OF HOPE --- a story of family, love, danger and ambition in Hollywood during World War II.

THE LAST BREATH by Kimberly Belle (Fiction)
From a remarkable new voice in suspenseful women's fiction comes an emotionally searing drama about a woman who risks her life to discover the devastating truth about her family.

LILA by Marilynne Robinson (Fiction)
LILA, a moving expression of the mysteries of existence, is a new American classic from Marilynne Robinson --- the Pulitzer Prize–winning author of GILEAD; HOME, a National Book Award finalist; and HOUSEKEEPING.

MASTERING THE ART OF FRENCH EATING: From Paris Bistros to Farmhouse Kitchens, Lessons in Food and Love by Ann Mah (Memoir)
The memoir of a young diplomat’s wife who must reinvent her dream of living in Paris --- one dish at a time.

NECESSARY LIES by Diane Chamberlain (Historical Fiction)
NECESSARY LIES is the story of two young women, seemingly worlds apart, who are thrown together and must ask themselves: How can you know what you believe is right, when everyone is telling you it’s wrong?

POSITIVE: A Memoir by Paige Rawl, with Ali Benjamin (Memoir)
In this dazzling memoir, HIV-positive teenager Paige tells the deeply personal yet universal story of how she managed to overcome the trauma of persistent bullying by choosing compassion over cruelty, and how she resolved to fight daily on behalf of others in her place.

A QUILT FOR CHRISTMAS by Sandra Dallas (Historical Fiction)
From the New York Times bestselling author, a Christmas novel set during the Civil War in which a woman makes a quilt for her husband and learns about love, grief, forgiveness and healing.

STILL LIFE WITH BREAD CRUMBS by Anna Quindlen (Fiction)
A stunningly crafted journey into the life of a woman, her heart, her mind, her days, as she discovers that life is a story with many levels, a story that is longer and more exciting than she ever imagined.

A SUDDEN LIGHT by Garth Stein (Supernatural Mystery)
When a boy tries to save his parents’ marriage, he uncovers a legacy of family secrets in a coming-of-age ghost story by the author of the internationally bestselling phenomenon, THE ART OF RACING IN THE RAIN.

WE ARE ALL COMPLETELY BESIDE OURSELVES by Karen Joy Fowler (Fiction)
In WE ARE ALL COMPLETELY BESIDE OURSELVES, Karen Joy Fowler weaves her most accomplished work to date --- a tale of loving but fallible people whose well-intentioned actions lead to heartbreaking consequences.


Please note that these titles, for which we already had the guides when they appeared in hardcover, are now available in paperback:

MEN WE REAPED: A Memoir by Jesmyn Ward
(Memoir)
Jesmyn Ward's memoir shines a light on the community she comes from, in the small town of DeLisle, Mississippi, a place of quiet beauty and fierce attachment.

THE PRESERVATIONIST by Justin Kramon (Psychological Thriller)
THE PRESERVATIONIST is an irresistible psychological thriller about a love triangle on a college campus that will leave readers guessing until the very end.

SOMEONE by Alice McDermott (Fiction)
From National Book Award–winning author Alice McDermott comes a fully realized portrait of one woman’s life in all its complexity.

THIS DARK ROAD TO MERCY by Wiley Cash (Fiction)
THIS DARK ROAD TO MERCY is a resonant novel of love and atonement, blood and vengeance, set in western North Carolina, involving two young sisters, a wayward father, and an enemy determined to see him pay for his sins.

UNDER THE WIDE AND STARRY SKY by Nancy Horan (Historical Romance)
From Nancy Horan, the New York Times bestselling author of LOVING FRANK, comes her much-anticipated second novel, which tells the improbable love story of Scottish writer Robert Louis Stevenson and his tempestuous American wife, Fanny.


 

This Month's Poll
Which of the following activities do you do to relax? Please check as many as apply.

Reading
Cooking
Sewing
Knitting
Arts and crafts
Watching television
Going to the movies
Shopping
Browsing the Internet
Gardening
Working out/walking/jogging
Doing yoga/Pilates
Swimming/water sports
None of the above

 
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