Reading Group Choices Newsletter
Eclectic Selections
RGC 2012 Is Here!
September 2011
Greetings!

 

Tributes to Barbara. Selections in circus magic, heartbreaking legacy, timeless love, devastating loss, romantic comedy, and mother-daughter selections. Big discounts to The Book Club Play and a featured book club, too. And 70 new discussible selections in print! This month's newsletter has something - maybe even a lot - just for you.
 

In This Issue
Something for Every Book Group
Planning a Themed Book Discussion
The Book Club Play
New Author Posts in On the Bookcase
It's Here! Reading Group Choices 2012
Skype Book Clubbing
High Line Book Clubbing
Book Club of the Month
Your Own Discussible Choices
Goodbye to Barbara
Something for Every Book Group


 

The Night Circus by Erin MorgensternErin Morgenstern, in her just-released discussible delight The Night Circus, writes of a special kind of circus that reveals a special kind of relationship between two magicians. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called Le Cirque des Rêves. It arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. And it is only open at night. But behind the scenes, a fierce competition is underway-a duel between two young magicians, Celia and Marco, who have been trained since childhood expressly for this purpose by their mercurial instructors. Unbeknownst to them, this is a game in which only one can be left standing, and the circus is but the stage for a remarkable battle of imagination and will. Despite themselves, however, Celia and Marco tumble headfirst into love--a deep, magical love. Kirkus Review predicts The Night Circus is "[l]ikely to be a big book-and, soon, a big movie..."

  

The Legacy by Katherine WebbKatherine Webb's novel The Legacy follows Erica Calcott through family mysteries that lead to a less than pleasing legacy. Sorting through her grandmother's belongings, Erica thinks back to the summer her cousin Henry vanished mysteriously from the estate. It is time, she believes, to lay the past to rest, bring her sister some peace, and finally solve the mystery of her cousin's disappearance. But sifting through remnants of a bygone time is bringing a secret family history to light, and Erica must come to terms with two shocking acts of betrayal...and the heartbreaking legacy they left behind. The Radio Times (UK) believes The Legacy "[h]as it all--mystery, intrigue, history, and a great big old house."

 

Katherine Webb describes the book's setting and more

 

An Accidental Mother by Katherine Anne Kindred An Accidental Mother, by Katherine Anne Kindred, is the story of Kate and Michael. He was a sweet young boy, neglected by his birth mother and now living with his dad.  Michael's father, Kate's boyfriend, allowed Kate to become Michael's mother--to care for him and help raise him and to blossom in her unexpected new role. But when they split up after six years, despite his early assurances to the contrary, the father refused Kate access to the child. She had no rights. She was devastated. And she always will be. The Examiner.com says An Accidental Mother "[w]ill make you ponder on your own family and things we take for granted." 

  

Q: A Timeless Love Story by Evan ManderyA smart, romantic, and funny novel about tender and requited love, Q: A (Timeless) Love Story is a wonderfully original literary feat from Evan Mandery. Taking the classic love story and turning it on its head, Mandery brilliantly blends outrageous humor, existential philosophy, and heartbreaking angst while offering a wealth of satisfying surprises. A magical tale of a man obsessed yet unable to allow himself the fulfillment of a perfect romance with the one true love of his life, Q: A (Timeless) Love Story is a unique and delightful work of fiction from one of the most exciting novelists currently on the literary scene. 

  

Call Me Irresistible by Susan Phillips (TP) Call Me Irresistible, by Susan Phillips, situates a very uncomfortable story for two best friends. Lucy Jorik is about to marry Mr. Irresistible-Ted Beaudine-the favorite son of Wynette, Texas. Meg Koranda is not happy about it and is determined to save her friend from a mess of heartache, but no one else seems to agree. As a result, Meg becomes the most hated woman in town. Broke, stranded, and without her famous parents at her back, Meg is sure she can survive on her own wits. What's the worst that can happen? Lose her heart to the one and only Mr. Irresistible? Not likely. Not likely at all. The Minneapolis Star Tribune says "Next to Tracy and Hepburn, nobody does romantic comedy better than Susan Elizabeth Phillips." 

  

13 Gifts by Wendy MassGreat for Mother-Daughter book clubs, 13 Gifts, by Wendy Mass, offers a magical story about Alyssa and her 13th birthday. When Alyssa, a self-proclaimed shrinking violet, steals the school mascot, a goat, in order to make some friends with the popular crowd and gets caught, she gets herself in a heap of trouble. In addition, her parents decide that instead of taking her on their summer trip to Madagascar to study the courtship rituals of the Bamboo Lemur, she must go stay with her aunt, uncle, and bratty cousin Emily St. Claire in Willow Falls. Alyssa thinks it's a good time to start over; she'll be turning 13 after all, so she might as well make the best of it and perhaps even attempt to break out of her shell (in a non-criminal manner). What Alyssa doesn't know is that this charmed town has something big in store for her on her 13th birthday.

 

Enter for a chance to win a copy 
 

Planning a Themed Book Discussion
 

Donna Paz Kaufman Ladies Home Journal this month featured Reading Group Choices book club expert Donna Paz Kaufman who shared tips about planning a themed book club discussion. Thanks for some great ideas, Donna!


 

 The Book Club Play

 

The Book Club Play at Arena StagePlanning on being in the Washington, D.C. area next month?  If not, you and your book group may want to make plans, because Arena Stage is presenting The Book Club Play, by resident playwright Karen Zacarías (Legacy of Light) and directed by Molly Smith, from October 7th to November 6th in the Kogod Cradle. 

  

As an added bonus, Reading Group Choices subscribers will receive 20% off their tickets!  And Arena Stage will host your next book club in one of Arena Stage's spectacular spaces or intimate studies when you reserve group tickets to see the play! Tickets start at $40 - to order yours, please eMail or call (202) 488-4380 and use Offer Code 1703.

  

Spend time with Ana, a Type A personality living in a letter-perfect world with an adoring husband, perfect job and her greatest passion: Book Club. But when bizarre circumstances put her life under a magnifying glass, things begin to heat up and more truths are told than anyone bargained for. TalkinBroadway.com calls this production about life, love and literature "delightful, fresh comedy!" 
 

New Author Posts in On the Bookcase

 

Laura On the Bookcase Katherine Webb, author of The Legacy, reveals her favorite authors, what she loves--and hates--about writing, and much more! 

 

New Author Squared: Jenny Gardiner and Wade Rouse (I'm Not the Biggest Bitch in this Relationship

 

Another Author Squared: Gabrielle Burton (Impatient with Desire) and Chitra Divakaruni (One Amazing Thing)

 

Has penman's ship sailed? Notes on writing from Maile Chapman, author of Your Presence is Requested at Suvanto 

 

 Mara Purl, author of What the Heart Knows, talks about her author chat with a book club and how her "characters became springboards for philosophical considerations and self-examination" during the book club discussion. 
 

It's Here! Reading Group Choices 2012

 

Reading Group Choices 2012It doesn't even seem possible, but the brand-new 18th annual print edition of Reading Group Choices 2012 is here and ready for shipment to your group! Filled with 70 new discussible titles from favorite book group authors as well as some debut releases, this year's edition is an eclectic collection sure to offer some titles that will delight any book group. See what's new from Lisa See, Marisa de los Santos, Cathy Lamb, Douglas Kennedy, Adrienne McDonnell, Shobhan Bantwal, and Marie Bostwick and ponder the unique ideas of Adrienne Sharp, Evelyn Toynton and Marie Mutsuki Mockett. Get ready for the holidays - order copies now for your whole book group!

 

Order copies for your whole group
 

Skype Book Clubbing
 

The Uncoupling by Meg WolitzerMeg Wolitzer, author of a Reading Group Choices pick The Uncoupling, talks about her experience with virtual book clubs in an article from Reuters. Not only are authors video-chatting with book clubs, but book club members are now having bi-coastal group meetings amongst themselves. Meg participated in a few book club meetings in which members of the club were in different states. "I got a kick out of seeing these women sitting there, in their homes around the country," Wolitzer said. Skype video calling has become a popular facet in book clubs all over the country. This may be a revolution in book group membership in that you aren't limited to conversing with people only in your zip code.
 

High Line Book Clubbing
 

Public book club? According to Huffington Post, a new type book club has emerged on the High Line in Manhattan.  The High Line ("elevated railroad-turned-park") was the first meeting for the Architecture and Design Book Club where they discussed William Whyte's The Social Life of Small Architecture. The discussion was broad but began with making connections to the specific location and the book. Anyone passing through the park could stop and participate as they pleased. The next meeting for this unique book club will be at the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts during Fashion Week!
 

Book Club of the Month

 

Want to know what other book clubs are doing? Look no further! Check out the comments from the Literary Ladies, our pick this month as book club of the month.

 

Literary Ladies"I started Literary Ladies back in 2008 with a small group of friends and neighbors. In September we will celebrate our third book club anniversary! Our group has grown steadily over the last three years, and we now have 13 regular members whose ages range from 33 to 60-ish. :-) We rotate hostessing duties, and we meet monthly to discuss our selected books. We like to do fun things too, such as having a dinner and a movie meeting when there is a movie of the book we have read. We recently went as a group to see The Help, since we had read it last year. Every Christmas we have a party and do fun things such as have a cookie exchange and learn how to make pumpkin rolls. Over the last three years we have become very close, and a lot of special friendships have formed through our monthly gatherings and discussions. I am excited about our upcoming anniversary and look forward to reading many more great books and deepening the bonds of friendship with my book club friends!"

Sarah, Literary Ladies, Cincinnati, OH

 

We would love to hear from you and feature your book group in an upcoming newsletter. Email us with a picture and tell us about your experiences.

 

 

Your Own Discussible Choices
 

Congratulations to Margery and The Tuesdays at 7 Book Group for winning the random drawing for this month's Discussible Book Choice!

 

Book Dots"My book group had an interesting discussion about Same Kind of Different as Me, by Ron Hall and Denver Moore.  This unlikely but true story of a life-changing friendship and the transforming power of love and faith provided a number of wide ranging discussable topics, including: treatment of the homeless, cancer, visions from God. It also provided us with a history lesson on the life of southern sharecroppers.  One of the important ideas we discussed was how simply recognizing, talking to and listening to an individual can be the beginning of a positive life change for the persons on both sides of the conversation."

Margery, The Tuesdays at 7 Book Group, Kissimmee, FL

 

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
 

 
Thanks for keeping the joy of reading alive,
 

 
Goodbye to Barbara

 

Barbara Drummond Mead 

 

It is with great sadness and love that we had to say goodbye to Barbara Drummond Mead, the president and inspiration behind Reading Group Choices. Barbara died suddenly and unexpectedly of a brain hemorrhage on August 23rd.

 

Fortunately, those of us who remain behind at Reading Group Choices will carry on her work, continuing to bring you news, book club ideas, discussible book selections, author insights, giveaways, and much more from our partners in the publishing industry.

 

Barbara's niece, Laura, long-time employee of Reading Group Choices, has already assumed responsibility for the On the Bookcase blog. Laura has arranged for many creative guest posts from Barbara's author friends, and she is already working on new Author Squared and Progressive Novel entries, as well as author interviews, online chats, and new book club ideas.

  

Please visit On the Bookcase and/or the Reading Group Choices Facebook Page to share your memories of Barbara.

  

Before she left us, Barbara sent 70 discussible book selections to the printer to be included in the print edition of Reading Group Choices 2012.  Visit the Reading Group Choices Store to orders copies - special pricing when you order for your whole book group.

 

Barbara also detailed her instructions for us to enhance the Reading Group Choices Website.  Our technical team is hard at work on them, and we'll bring them to you soon.  The site will be easier to navigate, chock-full of new information, and more interactive than ever!

  

 
 
 
 *********
  
Chances to Win!
 
********* 
 
 
 
 
*********

You & RGC in the News!


*********

*********

Choices
 
*********
New Author blog Posts
 
*********

 

Katherine Webb

 

Jenny Gardiner

 

Wade Rouse

 

Maile Chapman

 

Gabrielle Burton

 

Chitra Divakaruni

 

Mara Purl

 

*********

 

More About Reading Group Choices 

*********


*********

Join Our Mailing List

Save 20%

 

 

Reading Group Choices subscribers will receive 20% off their tickets!  And Arena Stage will host your next book club in one of Arena Stage's spectacular spaces or intimate studies when you reserve group tickets to see the play! Tickets start at $40 - to order yours, please eMail or call (202) 488-4380 and use Offer Code 1703.