Reading Group Choices Newsletter
New Books, New Ideas for Discussion!
Vote for Your Favorites!
February 2010
Lots of new releases and new paperbacks to discuss! Valentine greetings for your most beloved book. And speaking of beloved, don't forget to tell us about your 2009 favorites in the annual Favorite Discussible Book survey!

In This Issue
Please Share Your Favorites
On the Bookcase
NEW Discussible Releases
NEW in Paperback
Valentine for a Book
BIG Book Fan
Your Own Discussible Choices
Reading Group Choices 2010 Now Available!
New Bohjalian Novel!
Please Share Your Favorites

Survey - Click HerePlease join with thousands of reading groups to tell us your favorite discussible books of the past year. If you haven't already, please take our short survey for a chance to win $75 to cater your next book club meeting! Then increase your chances of winning - ask your book club members to weigh in with their thoughts, too.
Complete the Survey 
You and your group can use the survey results to select some great discussibles that you may not have otherwise known about. To see what we mean, take a look at past years' lists.

See Past Years' Favorites
On the Bookcase
On the BookcaseLots of great things going on at On the Bookcase! Author posts, comments on upcoming releases, giveaways of great reading group picks (including a February 9th giveaway of Brava, Valentine by Adrianna Trigliani), learn about books others enjoy! Please stop by and give us a holler! Become a Facebook fan to get updates on all the happenings. Start a conversation!
And for lots of new information, stop by the Reading Group Choices Website.  We continually update it with new ideas and suggestions for book group discussions.

NEW Discussible Releases

The Bread of Angels by Stephanie SaldanaStephanie Saldana tells her story of her year in Damascus in The Bread of Angels: A Journey to Faith and Love. She is studying the Prophet of Jesus in Islam, trying to be whole after a heartbreak, and becoming disillusioned with her faith -- all in the war-torn Syria. She retreats to an ancient monastery to gain back her spirituality and meets Frederic, a novice monk. She recovers her faith and falls in love with Frederic. The Bread of Angels renews one's belief in faith, self-discovery, and possibility of true love.

The Power of Half by Kevin & Hannah SalwenAfter their 14-year-old daughter, Hannah, had an eureka moment about economical disparity and giving, the Salwen family sold their house, bought one half the size, and gave half of the sale price to a worthy charity. The Power of Half: One Family's Decision to Stop Taking and Start Giving Back by Hannah and Kevin Salwen is the wonderful, touching, and funny story of the Salwen's family who found the half could be so much more! Maybe your reading group might try the Power of Half in your community.   
The Hungry Season by T. GreenwoodT. Greenwood's second novel, The Hungry Season, speaks to grief and loss and how that can wreak havoc on you and those you love. Sam, an award-winning novelist, and Mena, a Greek-food maven and aspiring actress, lost their  15-year old daughter and they can't connect with each anymore or their son. Their grief overrides everything. They come to their lake house to regain their love and family. From the author of Two Rivers comes the beautifully told story of hope, family, and above all, hunger - for food, sex, love and success. Publishers Weekly writes "Hunger proves to be a powerful metaphor for the family's loss and desires..." 
Enter for a Chance to Win a Copy!
NEW in Paperback
The Spare Room by Helen GarnerHelen invites her 65-year-old friend Nicola to stay with her while Nicola has a three-week "alternative treatment" for her terminal cancer. The Spare Room by Helen Garner delves in the relationship between two friends and their separate ways of dealing with life and death. Though very funny at times, the compassion is always felt throughout the novel. "Garner is perhaps most easily introduced to new American readers as the Joan Didion of Australia-a person who writes with a diamond drill, depicting human relationships with such brutal clarity they seem to be rendered for the first time." writes April Smith, Los AngelesTimes
Honolulu by Alan BrennertWith a passionate knowledge of people and places in Hawai'i far off the tourist track, Alan Brennert spins the spellbinding tale of four women in a new world, united by dreams, disappointment, sacrifices, and friendship in his latest novel, Honolulu. "[A] sweeping, epic novel....Brennert weaves the true stories of early Hawaii into his fictional tale," posts Library Journal in its starred review.  
Look Again by Lisa ScottolineWhen reporter Ellen Gleeson gets a "Have You Seen This Child?" flyer in the mail, she almost throws it away. But something about it makes her look again, and her heart stops-the child in the photo is identical to her adopted son. What does she do? Ignore the seemingly truth or pursue her journalist ethic and find all the answers? Look Again by Lisa Scottoline is a heart-racing and heart-stopping tale! What would you do -- a thoughtful conversation for book clubs!
Valentine for a Book
Happy Valentine's Day!  And thanks so much for the following quote to Maja Djikic, Ph.D. from OnFiction, an online magazine with the aim of developing the psychology of fiction. 
Book Valentine"You make me leave the house hungry and unshowered, clutching your covers, one foot barely before the other. The little voyage from my house to the office a thousand days long. When the life of your words is too much to bear I halt, breathe, and try to hush the background buzz of people and cars and feet all striding confidently somewhere. I abandon your words to my mind, I let them invade me. I devour them one by one, or in dozens, or in herds and flocks and floods. Suck on them like on roasted ribs, turning them this way and that in my mouth, and when nothing is left, lick my fingers with heavy joy. You make me stop on the street, on the corner, on the stairs - perhaps sit shielded from the wind in some building, on my way to somewhere, now I forget where... You make me almost perish under the wheels of a brand new pick-up truck (No need to yell, Mister, can't you see I'm in love?). I admonish myself for wanting to flare ahead - wanting to have all of your words all at once; chide myself for losing the most delicious details in my great hunger. I cover the next paragraph, the following page with my palm and laugh at myself for with giddiness of a child knowing she will have her cake, and have it, and have it, and will have her cake and eat it too. I finish you (as if there is such a thing, an end of you) sitting in my office. And then close your covers and smile - all that, all that, before my morning coffee."
BIG Book Fan
The Klencke Atlas / Photograph: British LibraryIf you are in a reading group, then you are a big book fan. How about a literal big-book fan? The Guardian reports that "it takes six people to lift it and has been recorded as the largest book in the world, yet the splendid Klencke Atlas, presented to Charles II on his restoration and now 350 years old, has never been publicly displayed with its pages open. That glaring omission is to be rectified. It was announced by the British Library today, when it will be displayed as one of the stars of its big summer exhibition about maps." Now, that's a BIG BOOK!
Your Own Discussible Choices
Congratulations to Renee and The Tuesday Night Book Club for winning the drawing for this month's Discussible Book Choice!

"I have the Reading Group Choices books for 2009 and 2010 and I LOVE them!  I received them at the Southern Festival of Books WNBA breakfasts for the past 2 years, and they are my favorite thing in my goody bag. 'Can't wait for this years edition!  I truly look forward to it.  I'm actually writing for the Favorite Books Survey. Some we have read in my bookclub, and some I have read on my own and wish they would get drawn for book club reads.  But here's my list for 2009: 

The Help: Kathryn Stockett (my favorite!)

My Enemy's Cradle: Sara Young
Serena: Ron Rash
Time of My Life: Allison Winn Scotch
Shanghai Girls: Lisa See
Miscarriage of Justice: Kip Gayden
The Weight of Silence: Heather Gudenkauf

The Reliable Wife: Robert Goolrick"

Renee, The Tuesday Night Bookclub, Burns, TN

We enjoy hearing from book club members and sharing their choices with everyone. Please let us know about your group's discussible choices - you may win a book-related prize for every member of your reading group! 
More Discussible Choices
Reading Group Choices 2010 Now Available!
Reading Group Choices 2010: Selections for Lively Book Discussions is now available.
Reading Group Choices 2010The 2009 guide marks the 16th annual print edition, which once again includes reading recommendations of some of the publication industry's best authors. Reading Group Choices 2010: Selections for Lively Book Discussions includes over 75 new titles for recommended reading and book group discussion. Titles by such reading group favorite authors as Barbara Delinsky, Khaled Hosseini, Elizabeth Noble, Geraldine Brooks, Marilynne Robinson, Mary Anne Shaffer & Annie Barrows, and Dennis Lehane, as well as work from debut authors have been selected for inclusion. The guide also includes valuable resources available to reading groups and book clubs all over the world. 
To order copies of Reading Group Choices 2010 - or any of the other annual editions from 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005, and 2004 - visit the store, email us, or call us toll-free at 1-866-643-6883.
Purchase a Copy 
Thanks for keeping the joy of shared reading alive,

New Bohjalian Novel!
Chris Bohjalian
Photo © Victoria Blewer
Chris Bohjalian's new novel, Secrets of Eden, reveals that the morning after her baptism into the Reverend Stephen Drew's Vermont Baptist church, Alice Hayward and her abusive husband are found dead in their home, an apparent murder-suicide. Various voices narrate the following weeks and months after that horrific night -- the local pastor, the deputy state's attorney, the grief-stricken daughter, a famous author drawn in the circle for her own reasons. Can we, as readers, trust that anyone is telling us the truth?
Chris has a video just for Reading Group Choices fans and an offer for a chance to win an copy of Secrets of Eden!
Julie Kane from Library Journal in her starred review of Secrets Of Eden says it all, "Bohjalian's most splendid accomplishment to date. . .A fantastic choice for book clubs, this novel deals beautifully with controversial topics of domestic abuse, faith, and adultery without resorting to sensationalism. Breathtaking." 
See the Video  
Chances to Win!
Fresh Ideas for Discussion 
Very Valentine
More About Reading Group Choices 
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