Reading Group Choices Newsletter
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VA Book!  - Discussible Choices
March 2010
Greetings!
Be the first in your group - read your next book group pick even before it's published! Find out how, plus get fresh ideas for lively discussions, reading group events, great discussible reads, and more - all in this month's Reading Group Choices Newsletter!
 
Remember - it's your LAST CHANCE to vote for your favorite discussible book of 2009 in the annual Favorite Discussible Book Survey!
 
PLUS
In This Issue
This Month's ARCs for ARCs Pick
Book Group Panel at VA Book!
Your Next Book Club Pick?
Please Share Your Favorites
Commuter Book Groups
On the Bookcase
PEN/Faulkner Award Finalists
Reading Group Tips
Your Own Discussible Choices
Reading Group Choices 2010 Now Available!
ARCs for ARCs
This Month's ARCs for ARCs Pick
 
Dear Money by Martha McPheeThis month, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and Reading Group Choices want your thoughts on Dear Money by Martha McPhee. The daughter of notable literary journalist John McPhee, Martha McPhee wrote four previous novels and was a finalist for the National Book Award. In Dear Money, she tells the story of India Palmer, a starving artist transformed by a Wall Street tycoon into a mortgage-backed securities trader. Joseph O'Neill writes of Dear Money"A skilled, always gripping satire of our foolish age." 
 
It is your turn to comment, and Dear Money needs some Conversation Starters! We need comments and discussion ideas by April 30th. Ten reading group members will be selected from those entering the program to receive a free Advance Readers' Copy of Dear Money and to offer their input. 
 
Register Now!
Book Group Panel at VA Book!
 
VA Book! 2010Four Reading Group Choices-selected authors will be panelists on the Reading Group Choices program at the Virginia Festival of the Book (VA Book!) on March 19th! The authors are Laura Brodie (The Widow's Season), Sheila Curran (Everyone She Loved, Diana Lively Is Falling Down), Masha Hamilton (31 Hours, The Camel Bookmobile, The Distance Between Us) and Mary Sharratt (Daughters of the Witching Hill, The Vanishing Point). The authors will discuss with the audience their books and discussions ideas within their books to create lively book discussions.
 
Come on down! We will have lots of fun!
Your Next Book Club Pick?

A Week in December by Sebastian FaulksFrom the author of Birdsong comes A Week in December! We follow seven lives in seven days during the week before Christmas 2007 in London. Sebastian Faulks explores complex patterns and crossings of modern urban life and how each character is forced, one by one, to confront the true nature of the world they-and we all-inhabit. Kirkus Reviews starred review states that Faulks "shows us a world in which money rules, tunnel vision destroys and love remains the touchstone and redeemer."

 

The Last Child by John HartJohn Hart's novel The Last Child follows the story of Johnny Merrimon, a thirteen year-old boy, and a tormented cop, Clyde Hunt, who search for Johnny's missing twin sister in rural North Carolina. While the two are searching for Alyssa, another child goes missing. Hart is a Edgar Award winning author of two New York Times bestsellers, The King of Lies and Down River. The Last Child is Hart's first novel in which a major character is a child. As Hart puts it, "The risks have to be credible, the action not only compelling but very, very real. And the kid -- man, the kid has to be real, too: his perspective, beliefs and actions, everything that he sees and thinks."

 

Yes, My Darling Daughter by Margaret LeroyIn Margaret Leroy's Yes, My Darling Daughter, four-year-old Sylvie is frightened by water, has night terrors, and is fascinated by an old photo of a seaside town -- a bit of a "odd" child. Her mother, Grace, is trying to find out why this obsession with the photo.

 

Publishers Weekly (starred review) says, "Fans of old-fashioned gothics will welcome this tale of love, betrayal and death from British author Leroy . . . Leroy's prose lures readers into a disturbing murder mystery. Her characters are as realistic and intriguing as her locales in England and Ireland."

 

Heresy by S. J. Parris Heresy by S.J. Parris is the tale of renegade Italian monk Giordano Bruno, based on a real-life figure, who has heretical ideas about the universe and escapes to England to work undercover for Sir Francis Walsingham. When attending a debate in Oxford, a series of murders take place which Bruno must solve. This blockbuster historical thriller delivers a page-turning murder mystery set on the sixteenth-century Oxford University campus. Publishers Weekly starred review reports, "Parris interweaves historical fact with psychological insight as Bruno, a humanist dangerously ahead of his time, begins his quest to light the fire of enlightenment in Europe."

 
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. And, if you belong to more than one group, fill out the survey for each group!
 
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
 
Commuter Book Groups
 
Literary conversation while riding the train to work? A Captial Idea!
 
CommuterFirst Capital Connect, which operates lines between London, Brighton, Bedford, Peterborough, Cambridge and King's Lynn, is introducing a new monthly book club!

The company will hand out chapter samplers 10 days each month at stations. The Guardian reported that Jonathan Kellerman's Evidence will be the debut read on the rails.
 
According to The Guardian, "First Capital Connect said it hoped the scheme would brighten journeys and help improve its service. It plans to offer a new title in the book club each month, but did not comment on whether Agatha Christie's Murder on the Orient Express, in which a man is stabbed to death in his sleep on a train, might be a future offer."
 
Excellent move by First Capital Connect -- reading groups help bring any community together!
On the Bookcase
 
On the BookcaseLook for giveaways and author posts from panelists from Reading Group Choices VA BOOK! program! Find out about new releases -- first! If it is On the Bookcase, it should be on your bookcase!  
 
PEN/Faulkner Award Finalists
 
Colson Whitehead, author of Reading Group Choices selection Sag Harbor Sag Harbor by Colson Whiteheadhas been chosen as a finalist for the 2010 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction, along with Sherman Alexie for War Dance, Barbara Kingsolver for The Lacuna; Lorraine M. L√≥pez for Homicide Survivors Picnic and Other Stories, and Lorrie Moore for A Gate at the Stairs. The shortlist was announced PEN/Faulkner Foundation. The winner of the $15,000 prize will be named March 23rd, and all five authors will be honored during the 30th annual PEN/Faulkner Award ceremony in New York City on May 8th. "I'm delighted by how richly American these books are," observed Rilla Askew, who shared judging duties with Kyoko Mori and Al Young. "Elegant, funny, the pain often embedded in the laugh lines, these works range widely in terms of geography, era and culture; each is rich in story and language, and subtly informed by the author's complex sensibility and mastery of craft."

 
Reading Group Tips
 
Thanks to Renee from The Tuesday Night Bookclub for this month's reading group tip!
 
Tips"Our bookclub chooses books every month by allowing each member that wants, to put one book choice into a jar. Then a member draws the book that we'll read for the following month's discussion.  We don't limit genre or price. We've tried other methods, but this seems to work best.  This way everyone has the opportunity to read a book that interests them and share that book with everyone else.  We have had some months that the book turned out to not be the greatest, but we still enjoy getting together and talking about it, good or bad."
Renee, The Tuesday Night Bookclub, Burns, TN

Your Own Discussible Choices
 
Congratulations to Marty and The Georgetown Woods Book Club for winning the random drawing for this month's Discussible Book Choice!
 
Still Alice by Lisa Genova"Our club recently discussed Still Alice by Lisa Genova.  While the subject, early onset alzheimers disease, could be off-putting, our discussion was inspiring, intelligent, interesting, and caring.  Everyone joined in the discussion and related family situations -- sadly too many of us are well acquainted with this disease and its effect on families.  One of our club's best ever discussions -- almost therapeutic!"
Marty, The Georgetown Woods Book Club, Youngsville, NC 
 
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 2010 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 reading alive,
 

 
ARCs for ARCs
ARCs for ARCs
 
Announcing an exciting new program just for members of reading groups -- Advance Readers' Copies for Advance Readers' Comments
 
Want to chance to peek at discussible books before they are published? Share your ideas with the publisher on what makes a good reading group pick? What about suggesting a Conversation Starter or two to facilitate lively discussions of that book? 
 
Reading Group Choices and our publishing partners want your input. You, as a reading group facilitator or member, will be selected periodically to receive an Advance Readers' Copy and to offer your input. If chosen, we would love to receive your comments. Maybe you could also provide some discussion points for reading groups pulled from the book!
 
Register now!

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