Reading Group Choices Newsletter
Reading Group Trifecta
Special Choices for Special Groups
October 2010

Medici Award and more on the Beverly Hills Literary Escape,

Choices for book clubs and mother/daughter groups,

Specials for mystery lovers,

Book quips, musings & more in this month's edition!

In This Issue
New Winner: Nobel Prize for Literature
New Author Posts in On the Bookcase
New Choices for Reading Groups
Selections for Mother/Daughter & Tween Groups
Reading Groups and Mystery
Your Own Discussible Choices
What's Your Line?
Do You Ever Wonder?
Reading Group Choices 2011 Has Arrived!
1st Book Club Prize Ever
New Winner: Nobel Prize for Literature

Conversation in the Cathedral by Mario Vargas LlosaPeruvian Mario Vargas Llosa, one of the most acclaimed writers in the Spanish-speaking world, a man of letters who also braved the violence and political divisions of his homeland to run for president, won the 2010 Nobel Prize in literature on Thursday. Vargas Llosa has written more than 30 novels, plays and essays, including Conversation in the Cathedral and The Green House. The Swedish Academy said it honored the 74-year-old author for mapping the "structures of power and (for) his trenchant images of the individual's resistance, revolt and defeat." Vargas Llosa is the second South American winner of the prestigious 10 million kronor ($1.5 million) Nobel Prize in literature. The prize was awarded to Colombian writer Gabriel Garcia Marquez in 1982.

New Author Post in On the Bookcase
On the Bookcase

Jennifer Vanderbees (Strangers at the Feast and Easter Island) writes stories that "attempt to answer certain questions." 

New Choices for Reading Groups

The False Friend by Myla GoldbergIn her new novel, The False Friend, Myla Goldberg, bestselling author of Bee Season, writes an astonishingly complex psychological drama with a simple setup: two eleven-year-old girls, Celia and Djuna, best friends and fierce rivals, go into the woods. Only one comes out. What really happened? Did Celia lie about the day Djuna disappeared? The Library Journal starred review reports,"The term mean girls is elevated to a new level in Goldberg's moody novel...this is a layered, understated novel about the complex, ambiguous nature of memory and its effect on the dynamics of relationships. Great fodder for reading groups."


The Recipe Club by Andrea Israel and Nancy Garfinkel The Recipe Club by Andrea Israel and Nancy Garfinkel is a "novel cookbook," a deliciously funny, touching story of friendship, loss, and the ties that bind. In childhood, "LillyPad" and "ValPal" form an exclusive two-person club, writing intimate letters in which they share hopes, fears, deepest secrets-and recipes. The recipe club sustains their bond through decades, united as much by their differences as by their similarities--until the fateful day when an act of kindness becomes an unforgivable betrayal. Compellingly readable, this heartfelt story celebrates the resilience and power of women's friendships.


Try "Mommy's Macaroni & Cheese" with your group!


Undressing the Moon by T. GreenwoodT. Greenwood's Undressing the Moon deals with childhood, identity, mother/daughter relationships, and personal challenges. At thirty, Piper Kincaid feels too young to be dying. Cancer has eaten away her strength; she'd be alone but for a childhood friend who's come home by chance. Yet with all the questions of her future before her, she's adrift in the past, remembering the fateful summer she turned fourteen and her life changed forever. Now Piper is once again left with the jagged pieces of a shattered life. If she is ever going to put herself back together, she'll have to begin with the summer that broke them all. Dark and compassionate, graceful yet raw, Undressing the Moon explores the seams between childhood and adulthood...between love and loss.


What does Hans and Gretel have to do with Undressing the Moon? T. Greenwood explains. 


Enter for a chance to win a copy


Tears of Pearl by Tasha AlexanderThe fourth book of Tasha Alexander's Victorian-era series, Tears of Pearl, has a lush setting and beautiful details. Lady Emily and Colin Hargreaves set out toward Turkey for an exotic honeymoon. But on their first night in Constantinople, a harem girl is found murdered. The brutal death of a concubine in the sultan's palace allows Emily's first foray into investigating a crime as an official agent of the British Empire--because only a woman can be given access to the forbidden world of the harem. There, she quickly discovers that its mysterious, sheltered walls offer no protection from a ruthless murderer. Library Journal states, "Curious facts about the Ottoman Empire, comparisons of women's independence there and in England, and vivid descriptions of locations and objects add that little something extra...The strong female lead and historically accurate details will please readers of Anne Perry, Laurie R. King, and Deanna Raybourn seeking a new fan-favorite author."


Friday Mornings at Nine by Marilyn BrantWhat if you gave into temptation? Friday Mornings at Nine by Marilyn Brant addresses the issue. Each Friday morning at the Indigo Moon Café, Jennifer, Bridget and Tamara meet to swap stories about marriage, kids, and work. But one day, Jennifer poses questions they've never faced before. What if they all married the wrong man? What if they're living the wrong life? Soon each woman is second-guessing the choices she's made-and the ones she can unmake. Jennifer, Bridget and Tamara begin to realize how little they know about each other, their marriages, and themselves, and how much there is to gain-and lose-when you step outside the rules.


Enter for a chance to win a copy

Selections for Mother/Daughter & Tween Groups

The Fences Between Us (Dear America Series) by Kirby LarsonThe bestselling Dear America series is back, with beautiful new cover designs for a new generation of young readers. The intimate diary format of these books makes history personal and accessible, allowing readers to experience American history through the eyes of someone their own age. These fictional accounts blend reading motivation and American history for readers in elementary and middle school. Written by award-winning authors noted for the quality of their research, many of the books are inspired by actual diaries and journals of the time. Booklist writes, "Scholastic has reinvigorated its venerable Dear America series of diary-format historical novels with an interactive Web site and newly designed titles by award-winning writers, including this first release from Larson, author of the Newbery Honor Book Hattie Big Sky...A fictional epilogue, extensive historical notes, photos and maps, a glossary, and an author's note complete this moving title with obvious curricular ties that will draw readers beyond the classroom, too."


Conversation Starters for the entire Dear America series are available in the "Quick Links" in the right-hand column.


Stage Fright (Allie Finkle's Rules for Girls Series) by Meg CabotMeg Cabot's series and books for both adults and tweens/teens have included multiple #1 New York Times bestsellers and have sold over fifteen million copies worldwide. Now, discuss with your daughter/granddaughter the complete Allie Finkle's Rules for Girls.  Here, finally, is a heroine she can share with her little sister! Allie is nine years old and trying to learn the rules of friendship...which isn't easy when you've got two annoying little brothers, are starting a whole new school, and just got a brand new kitten.  Copley News Service says, "Meet the most likable young heroine since Pippi Longstocking."


Conversation Starters for the entire Allie Finkle series are available in the "Quick Links" in the right-hand column.

Reading Groups and Mystery

In October, Kenneth Branagh returns to his remarkable Emmy and Golden Globe-nominated role as the soul-searching Swedish cop created by novelist Henning Mankell in three gripping new Kurt Wallander cases. Masterpiece Mystery will air 3 adaptations - Faceless Killers, The Man Who Smiled, and The Fifth Woman. Please check local listings.


Masterpiece Mystery will also air in October the thrilling new series, Sherlock, a fast-paced, witty take on the legendary crime drama. Now set in present day London, the series stars Benedict Cumberbatch (Atonement) as the eponymous detective. According to The Times of London, "This series is powered by express-speed intellectual pleasures, witty dialogue, fantastic character acting." Three titles will air on Masterpiece Mystery beginning October 24th. Please check local listings.  

Your Own Discussible Choices
Book DotsCongratulations to Sara Jane and The East Williston Library Book Discussion Group for winning the random drawing for this month's Discussible Book Choice!

"If our group doesn't laugh (I mean guffaws!), it is not a successful session. We thoroughly enjoyed Brava Valentine by Adriana Trigiani. Since we all live close to Manhattan, we reveled in the description of Greenwich Village and the house on Perry Street which overlooks the Hudson River. The Angelini and Roncalli families were a treasure of humor and kindness."

Sara Jane, East Williston Library Book Discussion Group, East Williston, NY

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  

"Am presently really enjoying Pigs in Heaven by Barbara Kingsolver - she is such a wise & witty author!!! I would be interested in knowing how our American neighbours felt about her work. We (Middle Pages) just finished The Slap & will meet tomorrow - am expecting a lively evening of discussion!!!"

Lu-Ellen, Middle Pages, St Eustache, Quebec


Even More Discussible Choices

What's Your Line?

The American Book Review offers "100 Best First Lines from Novels." What's your favorite line? Let us know! You may win some discussible books to share with your group.

Do You Ever Wonder?

Do You Ever Wonder?


-Why the sun lightens our hair, but darkens our skin?

-Why you don't ever see the headline "Psychic Wins Lottery"?

-Why "abbreviated" is such a long word?

-Why it is that doctors call what they do "practice"?

-Why is it that to stop Windows, you have to click on "Start"?

-Why the man who invests all your money is called a "broker"?

-Why the time with the slowest traffic is called "rush hour"?

-Why there isn't mouse-flavored cat food?

-Who tests dog food labeled "new and improved tasting"?

-Why Noah didn't swat those two mosquitoes?

-Why they sterilize the needle for lethal injections?


Thanks to TechBytes, published by The Digital Architects, Inc. for the musings.

Reading Group Choices 2011 Has Arrived!
Reading Group Choices 2011: Selections for Lively Book DiscussionsWe are so excited to announce that Reading Group Choices 2011: Selections for Lively Book Discussions is now available! This is our 17th annual print edition, which once again includes reading recommendations of some of the publication industry's best authors. Reading Group Choices 2011 includes over 65 new titles for recommended reading and book group discussion. Titles by such reading group favorite authors as Carlos Ruiz Zafón, Syrie James, Barbara Kingsolver, Laura Lippman, Alexander McCall Smith, Anchee Min, and Ann Hood, 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 2011 - or other annual editions from 2009, 2008, 2006, 2005, and 2004 - visit the store, email us, or call us toll-free at 1-866-643-6883.

Purchase a Copy for Everyone in Your Group  
Thanks for keeping the joy of reading alive,

1st Book Club Prize Ever!
Fall for Books
Fall for Books!
Congratulations to Colum McCann, who has just been awarded the first annual Medici Book Club Prize for his novel Let the Great World Spin! The award is for a "distinguished work of fiction that has inspired thoughtful conversation and contributed to a deeper understanding of the human experience." McCann will receive $5,000 for the award, which is intended to "acknowledge the tremendous impact that book club selections have on readers."


McCann will receive his award on Sunday, October 24, at the Beverly Hills Literary Escape.


The Medici Book Club Prize nominees are selected by an advisory council which includes Julie Robinson, co-founder of the Beverly Hills Literary Escape, and Barbara Mead of Reading Group Choices, among other judges.


October is the trifecta for the reading group/book club community. Reading Group Choices 2011 has been released, National Reading Group Month (NRGM) is here, and The Beverly Hills Literary Escape, the new VIP book club experience, will be held on October 22-24. Reading Group Choices is proud to be a partner and sponsor of The Book Club Lounge at the exciting Beverly Hills Literary Escape and of NRGM.


Join the conversation in Beverly Hills with some Reading Group Choices' selected authors -- Colum McCann, Abraham Verghese, Aimee Bender, Gin Phillips, Karen Essex, Tatjana Soli, Thrity Umrigar, Heidi Durrow, Martha McPhee, and many more. Don't just read a book - experience it!


And, Barbara will see you at the Southern Festival of Books and the NRGM Breakfast featuring Melanie Benjamin, (Alice I Have Been); Tom Franklin, (Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter); Sena Jeter Naslund, (Adam & Eve); Helen Simonson (Major Pettigrew's Last Stand); and Lee Smith (Mrs. Darcy and the Blue-Eyed Stranger).


Come fall for books and authors this season!

Chances to Win!
New Author blog Post

Jennifer Vanderbes 

Fresh Ideas for Discussion 
Mother/Daughter, Tween Ideas for Discussion

The Dear America Series


The Fences Between Us


A Journey to the New World


The Winter of Red Snow


Voyage on the Great Titanic



Allie Finkle's Rules for Girls


Moving Day


The New Girl


Best Friends and Drama Queens


Stage Fright


Glitter Girls and the Great Fake Out


Blast from the Past



More About Reading Group Choices 

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