Reading Group Choices Newsletter
Sneak Peek at Favorite Discussibles
Your Birthday Bestsellers
February 2011
Greetings!

Grab a sneak peek at favorite discussibles of 2010, plus increase your chances to win $100 cash for your group! Characters with character flaws; changed characters, too. Listening to your book's music with your group - our music expert explains. Book & film clubs and more - all in this issue of the Reading Group Choices newsletter.

In This Issue
New Author Post in On the Bookcase
Suspense Stories
Birthday Bestsellers
Life-Changing Experiences in These Discussibles
Be an Advance Reader Critic
Book & Film Clubs
Book Group Tips for Lively Discussions
100 Years of Alice
Prince of Tides Series
Your Own Discussible Choices
Reading Group Choices 2011 Has Arrived!
Give a Valentine to Your Favorite Discussible Book!
New Author Post in On the Bookcase
 

On The Bookcase

 

Summer Wood, author of Wrecker, talks about how her novel "came about because of an unexpected bump in my personal motherhood curve." 

 
And don't forget to visit Reading Group Choices website for more reading group ideas.

 

Suspense Stories

Think Twice by Lisa ScottolineIs evil born in us-or is it bred? That is the question at the heart of this penetrating novel, Think Twice, from blockbuster New York Times bestselling author Lisa Scottoline. Twins, Alice Connelly and Bennie Rosato look identical but are different in all other ways. Alice is a tramp and Bennie, a successful lawyer and good friend to many people. Alice buries Bennie alive and proceeds to take on Bennie's life and relationships. Library Journal writes, "Readers who enjoy warm, believable characters, a touch of romance with their suspense, and a bit of humor will be delighted with the gang at Rosato's. Scottoline's intricate plot will keep thriller fans turning those pages."

 

The Revenge of the Radioactive Lady by Elizabeth Stuckey-FrenchElizabeth's Stuckey-French's The Revenge of the Radioactive Lady tells the story of seventy-seven-year-old Marylou Ahearn. She is going to kill Dr. Wilson Spriggs come hell or high water. In 1953, he gave her a radioactive cocktail without her consent as part of a secret government study that had horrible consequences. "If you liked the film Little Miss Sunshine, you'll absolutely LOVE this book!  Not only whacked-out and wonderful, this novel is secretly very damn serious, too, as well as up-to-the-minute contemporary and compelling.  I couldn't put it down." writes Lee Smith, bestselling author of The Last Girls and On Agate Hill.

 

Charles Jessold, Considered as a Murderer by Wesley StaceMusic, History, and Murder - all in one book! Charles Jessold, Considered As A Murderer by Wesley Stace is a intriguing novel set in England in 1923.  A gentleman critic named Leslie Shepherd tells the macabre story of a gifted young composer, Charles Jessold. On the eve of his revolutionary new opera's premiere, Jessold murders his wife and her lover, and then commits suicide in a scenario that strangely echoes the plot of his opera-which Shepherd has helped to write. The opera will never be performed. The story takes place in a turbulent moment in music history with the backdrop of England's readiness for The Great War. "This is one of the few novels I have read that is truly musical. Wesley Stace is a brilliant and intensely original writer and this is his most unusual book yet." says Audrey Niffenegger, author of The Time Traveler's Wife.

 

Let music accompany your discussion of Charles Jessold, Considered As A Murderer! Tom Moon (1000 Recordings To Hear Before You Die) discusses recordings and selections from the book in this month's Music by the Book
 

 
Birthday Bestsellers
 

 

Birthday CakeTake a trip through literary history and find the books that topped the New York Times bestseller list on your birthday. The BibliOZ tool will generate the list. How cool is that? Have you read any of your birthday books? Let us know on the Reading Group Choices Facebook Page.  

 

 
Life-Changing Experiences in These Discussibles
 

This Glittering World by T. GreenwoodT. Greenwood-the highly praised author of Two Rivers and The Hungry Season crafts a moving, lyrical story of loss, atonement, and promises kept in This Glittering World. One November morning, Ben Bailey walks out of his Flagstaff home to retrieve the paper. Instead, he finds Ricky Begay, a young Navajo man, beaten and dying in the newly fallen snow. Ben tries to uncover the truth behind Ricky's death. This journey leads him to examine his past and challenge his future. "Start, taut, and superbly written, this dark tale brims with glimpses of the Southwest and scenes of violence, gruesome but not gratuitous. This haunting look at a fractured family is certain to please readers of literary suspense." reports Library Journal in its starred review.

 

Enter to win a copy of This Glittering World

 

When We Were Strangers by Pamela Schoenewaldt When We Were Strangers, the debut novel by Pamela Schoenewaldt, chronicles the tumultuous life journey of a young immigrant seamstress, as she travels from her isolated Italian mountain village through the dark corners of late nineteenth century America. Irma stitches a new life in Chicago until the Great Fire. Enduring a painful recovery, Irma realizes her she has a gift besides her talent as a seamstress. Publishers Weekly reports, "Schoenewaldt's heartbreaking debut is the late 19th century immigrant coming-of-age story of poor, plain Irma Vitale...Irma's adventures and redeeming evolution make this a serious book club contender."

 

Prayers and Lies by Sherri Wood Emmons"Prayers and Lies [by Sherri Wood Emmons] is a sweet, revealing tale of family, friendship, long-held secrets and includes the all-important ingredients of forgiveness and love." writes Kris Radish, author of The Shortest Distance Between Two Women. When seven-year-old Bethany meets her six-year-old cousin Reana Mae, it's the beginning of a kinship of misfits that saves both from a bone-deep loneliness. Every summer, Bethany travels from Indianapolis to be with her cousin in West Virginia's Coal River Valley. But the bucolic setting holds secrets that shatter lives, faith and friendships.

 

Enter to win a copy of Prayers and Lies

 

 

When Beauty Tamed the Beast by Eloisa James When Beauty Tamed the Beast by Eloisa James is a delightful take on Beauty and the Beast. The novel unfolds in Regency England, where a beastly, bad-tempered Earl matches wits with a brazen beauty who has vowed to make the handsome grump fall in love with her in two short weeks. Publishers Weekly's starred review reports, "Fresh and witty...James's cheeky, sometimes sly humor makes for frequent laugh-out-loud moments." James, a Shakespeare professor at Fordham College in New York City, has written 20 novels.

 

Enter for a chance to win Eloisa's new novel 

 
Be an Advance Reader Critic
 

Thanks so much for your response in the Advance Readers' Copies for Advance Reader Comments Program! Some of you have started on this month's selection - Pao by Kerry Young - and one of you has already finished!  Thanks again!!

 

Advance Listening Copies for The American Heiress by Daisy Goodwin and narrated by Katie Calgrin will be on their way to some of you soon.

 

The American Heiress by Daisy GoodwinBy the way, don't forget to enter for a chance to win FREE copies of the audiobook of The American Heiressby Daisy Goodwin FOR EVERY MEMBER of your book group to discuss in June.

 

If you haven't already registered, and if you are willing to devote some time to listen or read an upcoming title and comment and develop a discussion questions and two, please enter for this exciting program. You might be published in a Reading Group Choices' guide!

 

Enter the ARCs for ARCs Program
 

Book & Film Clubs

Downtown Abbey CastleIn celebrating their 40th anniversary, MASTERPIECE has released an extensive collection of Book & Film Club guides - questions to help your group discuss the adaptation of book to film.  Also, enter the 40th Anniversary Sweepstakes. Follow in the footsteps of great British drama as you tour some of MASTERPIECE'S most iconic and beloved locations. Book groups may also purchase a particular MASTERPIECE film at a 15% discount, using the code BOOKANDFILM during checkout. (Anyone else loving Downton Abbey?!) Reading Group Choices supports MASTERPIECE and all the great movies they provide. 
 

Book Group Tips for Lively Discussions 
 

Thanks to Carole of the The Heritage Wake Forest Book Club for sending us a few book group tips.  Carole is the facilitator of a book club whose thirteen members have been together for seven years! Box O' Books for you, Carole, to share with you group!

 

"We meet year round, on the first Friday of the month, at 9:30AM.  The facilitator (that is I) has tried to get others to take a turn, but has had little success! In October, each member suggests three books for the group to consider/vote upon for the following year. Their typed copy includes a short summary, no. of pages, genre, # of copies held by library, etc.  At the October meeting, each person also gives a quick synopsis of her suggestions. We ask for variety.  A committee reviews what's been suggested, and narrows the number to 21 books.  When committee makes final list of 12 (based on the "votes"), they vary the genre, book length depending on the month it will be read.  I've created spread sheets, samples of which I'd be willing to share. Social half hour at beginning; one bows out of participating if she hasn't read the book.  Tidbits of interest re:  the author, etc., are shared.  In turn, each shares what she likes/didn't like/would/should not recommend, gives it a # from 1-10.  Interjections by others naturally happen.  Discussion questions that seem appropriate are used if discussion comes to a standstill. We consider ourselves very fortunate to be a part of the group.  In seven years, we have had no drop outs.  The 13 of us want to keep to that number, so we kindly say "no" when someone wants to join."

Carole, The Heritage Wake Forest Book Club, Wake Forest, NC

 
100 Years of Alice 
 

Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carrol - 1898Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland debuted in 1865. Flavorwire takes a look back at over 100 years of Alice in Wonderland covers.

 
Prince of Tides Series 
 

ABC is developing a series based on Pat Conroy's novel The Prince of Tides. Deadline.com reported that the one-hour drama is expected to be a closer adaptation of the book than the 1991 movie starring Barbra Streisand and Nick Nolte. Bob Brush and Mel Harris are writing the script. Conroy will be a non-writing consultant for the project.

 
Your Own Discussible Choices
 
Book DotsCongratulations to Pamela and The Book Snobs for winning the random drawing for this month's Discussible Book Choice!

"Our book club enjoyed discussing Remedies by Kate Ledger.  The author visited our club for the meeting and we talked for almost 3 hours.  The novel elicited many responses about the complexity of the characters, patients dealing with chronic pain, and a marriage in crisis.  This was one of our best meetings of all time. Remedies comes highly recommended for quality discussion material."

Pamela, The Book Snobs, Chanhassen, MN

 

Remedies by Kate LedgerAnother book club also enjoyed Remedies this month, and we have decided to award them a Box O Books as well!  Here's what they are saying about this discussible choice:

 

"We read Remedies by Kate Ledger and loved the discussion that followed."

Stacy, Mill Pointe Book Club, Burlington, NC

 

 

By the way, two book clubs picked The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks this month.  See their comments on our website. 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 Box O Books for your reading group!

 

Reading Group Choices 2011 Has Arrived!
 
Reading Group Choices 2011: Selections for Lively Book DiscussionsThe print edition, 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 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,
 

 
Give a Valentine to Your Favorite Discussible Book!
Favorite Discussible Books of 2009 

Has your group read The Help by Kathryn Stockett?  How about The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows?  Hundreds of groups in last year's Favorite Discussible Book survey had lively and enjoyable discussions after reading one or both of these books.  Maybe one of them was yours.

 

But that was a year ago.  All kinds of new books have been released or come out in paperback since then - with different themes and perspectives and written with styles and approaches that will delight you and your group during the upcoming year.  Wouldn't you like to know which ones have already proven to generate lively discussions in other groups?  Likewise, we're sure they would like to know which ones your group enjoyed the most.

 

So, give a valentine to your favorite discussible book! If you haven't already, will you complete the new Favorite Discussible Book survey?  If you belong to more than one group, you can answer the survey for each group.  And multiple members of a single group can answer the survey, increasing your chances - five lucky groups will win $100 cash for their book club!  We'll announce the results in the April newsletter.

 

Favorite Discussible Book Survey

 

And THANKS to those of you who have already responded.  Preliminary results indicate that six of the top ten discussible books are NEW to the top ten! One title so far is way ahead of the rest for first place. Which one is it? Will it maintain its big lead?  It all depends on YOU, and we'll all find out soon!

 

Complete the Survey 
 
See Past Years' Favorites

 
 
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Chances to Win!
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New Author blog Post
  

Summer Wood 

 

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Fresh Ideas for Discussion 
More About Reading Group Choices 

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