Reading Group Choices Newsletter
Which Books Create the Most Lively Discussions?
Music by the Book!
April 2010
Greetings!
Which books created the most lively discussions of the past year? Your votes have been tabulated and the results are revealed. 
 
Plus how music inspires the written word, ideas for your mother/daughter book club just in time for Mother's Day, brand new discussibles, and poetry, prizes, and picks - all in this month's Reading Group Choices newsletter!



In This Issue
Listen Up, Reading Groups!
An Unfinished Score-Music by the Book & Blog
Mother/Daughter Book Clubs
The Baby-sitters Club is Re-Born!
Brand New Discussibles!
Poem in Your Pocket
New Yorker Book Club Pick
Small Island on TV
Vote: Lost Man Booker Prize
Your Own Discussible Choices
Reading Group Choices 2010 Now Available!
The Results Are In!
Listen Up, Reading Groups!
 
June is AudioBook Month, and Macmillan Audio wants to celebrate with you! Win audiobooks for your entire group to kick off your summer meetings, and listen instead of read in June with your selected book. 
 
Listen Up, Book Groups!Macmillan Audio hopes to work closely with your reading group to make this an enjoyable, positive, and exciting experience. In addition to providing copies of the audiobook for members of your book club, the publisher will also offer, if your book group would like, to have the author, narrator, and/or producer attend your meeting in person or participate in your discussion over the phone. 
 
There are great topics to be added to your regular discussion of plot, characters, and writing. Did listening add to the experience of the book? How well did the narrator "fit" the characters' personas? Were accents and different tones used effectively? Did you feel connected to the characters differently than you have with memorable characters you've discussed in the past?
 
Enter the random drawing to win audiobooks, and become a listening book group! To enter, your group must be willing to have all members discuss an audiobook in June. Be kind to your eyes in June!
An Unfinished Score: Music by the Book & Blog
 
An Unfinished Score by Elise BlackwellElise Blackwell's An Unfinished Score is a story of music, love, loss, and betrayal. Suzanne, a concert violist, hears on the radio that her long-time illicit lover, Alex Elling, a renowned orchestra conductor, is dead. Suzanne must grieve in secret to guarantee keeping her husband unaware of the affair. Then Alex's widow black-mails her into completing the score for Alex's unfinished viola concerto. With music saturated throughout the book, this psychologically-compelling novel explores the ways that artists' lives and work interact, the nature of relationships among women as friends and competitors, and what it means to make a life of art. 
 
1,000 Recordings to Hear Before You DieReading Group Choices Music Consultant, Tom Moon, (1000 Recordings to Hear Before You Die) tells of some music recordings of unfinished works to enhance your discussion of An Unfinished Score
 
See Tom Moon's Music by the Book Pairing!
 
And, Elise has written a guest post in the On the Bookcase blog about her life as a writer, being married to a writer, and how marriage between two people committed foremost to the same art form was her inspiration for An Unfinished Score. Start a conversation with Elise!
Mother/Daughter Book Clubs

Just in time for Mother's Day, books to pick for your Mother/Daughter group.

 

Green Witch by Alice HoffmanAlice Hoffman's Green Witch is a post apocalyptic fable she began in Green Angel (2003), about Green, a teen who loses her family when a nearby city is destroyed. In this powerful, lovely sequel, Green must learn the stories of a number of "witches" and free her true soul mate from a prison as she grapples with life, love, and loss in a post-disaster world. The Booklist review writes, "Teens will want to talk about everything here: the potent emotion and loss; the 9/11 parallels; and the violent, eye-for-an-eye ending."

 

The Baby-sitters Club Is Re-Born!

The Summer Before by Ann M. MartinThese much-loved books are being reprinted, and Scholastic is featuring a new book which Ann M. Martin has written as a prequel to The Baby-sitters Club series.  The Summer Before explores the many issues the girls face in the summer before seventh grade and The Baby-sitters Club. Kristy hopes her father will return, Mary Anne needs to prove she is growing up and needs more freedom, Stacey is moving and leaving behind her friends in New York City, and Claudia is trying to figure out her first crush. The Summer Before yields major changes for all the girls, and the beloved series begins revealing all the joys and tribulations of being twelve and thirteen. Along with The Summer Before, the first two books in the series, Kristy's Great Idea and Claudia and the Phantom Phone Calls will be released this month. What perfect Mother/Daughter Book Club picks with plenty of Conversation Starters and activities to enjoy! 
 
Join Ann M. Martin on Facebook!  
 
Kristie's Great Idea by Ann M. MartinActivities: 
   Personality Quiz 
   Word Find 
   Secret Message 
   BSC Flyer 
Brand New Discussibles!
 
Holly LeCraw, author of the debut novel The Swimming Pool, weaves together love, lies, and betrayals in a compelling family drama -- welcome to summer on the Cape. 
 
The Swimming Pool by Holly LeCrawSeven summers ago, Marcella Atkinson fell in love with Cecil McClatchey, a married father of two. But on the same night their romance abruptly ended, Cecil's wife was found murdered-and their lives changed forever. The case was never solved, and Cecil died soon after, an uncharged suspect. Now divorced, Marcella lives alone, mired in grief and guilt. Meanwhile, Cecil's grown son, returns to the Cape and confronts Marcella about the affair. The two fall into an affair of their own, leading to crises and family revelations they never could have imagined.
 
Elinor Lipman, author of The Family Man, says "What an intelligent, beautifully plotted, intriguing and un-put-downable story about family secrets that interlock and haunt. I was totally captivated and lost in admiration for this masterful novel." 
 
See Holly LeCraw's 1-On-One
 
The House on Sugar Plum Lane by Judy DuarteJudy Duarte has created a town that's as warm and as welcoming as home in her Fairbrook novels. In The House on Sugar Plum Lane, old friends and new characters mingle in a poignant story of second chances, new beginnings, faith, and family. As Amy settles into Fairbrook and her newly rented house on Sugar Plum Lane, she learns the house belonged to her long-lost great-grandmother - who, unexpectedly, is still alive! Amy hopes for the chance to bond with her great-grandmother, but will her hopes be shattered? 
Poem in Your Pocket
 
National Poetry MonthApril is National Poetry Month. Publishers, booksellers, literary organizations, libraries, schools and poets around the country band together to celebrate poetry and its vital place in American culture.
 
Here's a Cool Idea - How about a Poem in Your Pocket! Select a poem you love during National Poetry Month. Then, carry it with you to share with co-workers, family, and friends on April 29, 2010. Very easy and very fun! Start the conversation with a poem!
New Yorker Book Club Pick
 
Legend of a Suicide by David VannThe New Yorker Book Club has picked David Vann's Legend of a Suicide, a novel in stories, for its April selection. Lorrie Moore on why she selected his haunting collection: "The writing in these stories, informed by both the empirical and the lyrical, is heart-wrenching and gorgeous." 
 
See Vann's Interview with The New Yorker
Small Island on TV
 
Small Island by Andrea LevyAndrea Levy's Small Island was adapted to film and is scheduled to premiere on PBS Masterpiece Classic on April 25th. It is the saga of two couples - one Jamaican, one English - whose lives intertwine in both friendship and tragic misunderstanding in post-World-War-II Britain. Naomie Harris and David Oyelowo star as the Jamaican immigrants, with Ruth Wilson and Benedict Cumberbatch as their English landlords.
Vote: Lost Man Booker Prize
 
The shortlist for the Lost Man Booker Prize, honoring works published in 1970 that were not eligible for consideration for the Booker Prize at the time are: 
 
The Birds on the Trees by Nina Bawden
Troubles by J.G. Farrell
The Bay of Noon by Shirley Hazzard
Fire from Heaven by Mary Renault
The Driver's Seat by Muriel Spark
The Vivisector by Patrick White
 
Although a panel of judges chose the shortlist, the winner will be determined by a public vote on the Man Booker Prize website. The winner will be announced May 19.
 
Vote for the Winner  
Your Own Discussible Choices
 
Congratulations to Renee and The Tuesday Night Bookclub for winning the random drawing for this month's Discussible Book Choice!
 
Sarah's Key by Tatiana de Rosnay"This month we actually had two choices to read.  Since we draw our books on a monthly basis, the first book drawn was Sarah's Key by Tatiana de Rosnay. Some members had read this selection already, so we decided to draw a second choice and allow members to choose which one they would like to read, or both.  The second book drawn was Bloodroot by Amy Greene.  The discussion was fabulous.  Those who choose Sarah's Key discussed first, and those who had not read it were intrigued by it and have decided to pick it up.  Bloodroot was the second discussion and fewer read it, but as we discussed it, those who hadn't read it were, again, intrigued and asked for copies so they could read.  It was an unusual meeting; we've never drawn two and given members a choice. They were very different choices, and it turned out to be a really great idea, so I think we will try it again."
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 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,
 

 
The Results Are In!
Favorite Discussible Books of 2009
 
Thanks to the thousands of you who responded, the results of the Favorite Discussible Books of 2009 Survey are now official! The one-of-a-kind survey ranks the books that resulted in the best book group discussions of 2009.
 
In a surprising move, a new arrival on the favorites list took the #1 spot. The Help by Kathryn Stockett just edged out The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows for the top honors.
 
Five books from the 2008 Top Ten held a spot in the 2009 list, including Loving Frank by Nancy Horan, The Book Thief by Markus Zusak, Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin, The Shack by William P. Young, and as previously mentioned, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows.
 
Among the other new arrivals on the 2009 favorites list were Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout, Still Alice by Lisa Genova, Sarah's Key by Tatiana de Rosnay, People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks, and The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein.
 
Several Reading Group Choices selections appeared in the Top 25 as well, among them Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen, The Double Bind by Chris Bohjalian, Pope Joan by Donna Woolfolk Cross, A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini, Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert, Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford, and Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See.
 
Thanks again to all of you who responded.  And stay tuned - next month, we'll announce the $75 winners of the random drawing from the participants of the questionnaire, and we will share more valuable reading group tips from your colleagues! 
 
Chances to Win!
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Music by the Book!
 
Fresh Ideas for Discussion 
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