Reading Group Choices Newsletter
Reading Group Choices 2013 Has Arrived! 
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  September 2013
An exciting historical thriller, an unpredictable portrait of mental illness, and lots of thought-provoking fiction all make up this month's suggestions for your reading group.

And the Reading Group Choices 2013 guide -- the 19th annual edition -- is hot off the press and ready to assist your group with this year's picks! This year's eclectic collection includes 71 discussible recommendations for lively book discussions.

Also in this issue, our discussion of the Ladies' Home Journal September book club pick and a book club favorite that's now a TV series.
In This Issue
Choices, Choices, Choices
Reading Group Choices 2013 Print Edition
Author Squared: Tatjana Soli & Meg Waite Clayton
Ladies' Home Journal Book Club
Neely's Spooky Choices
Your Own Discussible Choices.
Tips from Your Colleagues
"Orange is the New Black"
NEW from Reading Group Choices
Choices, Choices, Choices
The Malice of Fortune by Michael Ennis 

Malice of Fortune by Michael Ennis This brilliant novel is an epic tale exploring the backdrop of the most controversial work of the Italian Renaissance, The Prince. Here, Niccolo Machiavelli, the great "scientist" of human behavior becomes, in effect, the first criminal profiler, while his contemporary and sometime colleague, the erratic genius Leonardo da Vinci, brings his observational powers to the increasingly desperate hunt for a brilliant, terrifying serial murderer. Their foil and partner is the exquisite Damiata, scholar and courtesan. All three know their quarry is someone who holds enormous power, both to tear Italy apart, and destroy each of their most beloved dreams.

You Are the Love of My Life by Susan Richards Shreve

You Are the Love of My Life It is 1973 and Watergate is on everyone's lips. Lucy Painter is a children's book illustrator and a single mother of two. She leaves New York and the married father of her children to live in a tightly knit Washington neighborhood in the house where she grew up and where she discovered her father's suicide. Lucy hopes for a fresh start, but her life is full of secrets: her children know nothing of her father's death or the identity of their own father. As the new neighbors enter their insular lives, her family's safety and stability become threatened.

Bella Fortuna by Rosanna Chiofalo

Bella Fortuna by Rosanna Chiofalo Valentina DeLuca has made hundreds of brides' dreams come true. At Sposa Rosa, the Astoria, New York, boutique where she, her sisters, and their mother design and sew couture knock-off gowns, she can find the perfect style for even the most demanding customer. Now, it's her turn. Valentina has loved Michael Carello ever since he rescued her from a cranky shopkeeper when she was ten years old. He's handsome, chivalrous, and loyal. And in a few weeks, she's going to marry him--in Venice. But just when she thinks everything is falling into place, Valentina is forced to re-examine her life to see what truly makes her happy.

Love Anthony
by Lisa Genova

Love Anthony by Lisa Genova Two women, each cast adrift by unforseen events in their lives, meet by accident on a Nantucket beach and are drawn into a friendship. Olivia is a young mother whose eight-year-old severely autistic son has recently died. Her marriage badly frayed by years of stress, she comes to the island in a trial separation to try and make sense of the tragedy of her Anthony's short life. Beth, a stay-at-home mother of three, is also recently separated after discovering her husband's long-term infidelity. In an attempt to recapture a sense of her pre-married life, she rekindles her passion for writing, determined to find her own voice again.


Hystera by Leora Skolkin-Smith


Hystera Set in the turbulent 1970s when Patty Hearst became Tanya the Revolutionary, Hystera is a timeless story of madness, yearning, and identity. After a fatal accident takes her father away, Lillian Weill blames herself for the family tragedy. Tripping through failed love affairs with men, and doomed friendships, all Lilly wants is to be sheltered from reality. She retreats from the outside world into a world of delusion and the private terrors of a New York City Psychiatric Hospital. Unreachable behind her thick wall of fears, the world of hospital corridors and strangers become a vessel of faith. She is a foreigner there until her fellow patients release her from her isolation with the power of human intimacy...

Reading Group Choices 2013 Print Edition

RGC 2013 Cover Hot off the press! Reading Group Choices 2013: Selections for Lively Book Discussions is now available! Lots of care and consideration for you and our book clubs went into this edition. With over 70 titles including summaries, praise, author bios and conversation starters, this is an essential resource for book clubs. The guide includes works from book club favorites such as Jeffrey Eugenides, Ann Patchett, Adriana Trigiani, Paulo Coelho,  Julian Barnes, Mitch Albom, Toni Morrison, Esmeralda Santiago, Laura Lippman, and Gillian Flynn. Also you can find rising talent including Erin Morgenstern, Mette Jakobsen, and Natalie Serber. Get the guide and get to discussing!

Order copies for your book club here!


Author Squared: Tatjana Soli & Meg Waite Clayton

Laura On the Bookcase Please welcome Tatjana Soli, author of  The Forgetting Tree, and Meg Waite Clayton, author of The Wednesday Sisters to On the Bookcase in a special "Author Squared" interview!

Tatjana: ...Book clubs often ask me if I'm going to write a sequel to The Lotus Eaters. You are kind of doing that with your next book, The Wednesday Daughters...

Meg:...It's much like you say about developing The Forgetting Tree: when you limit the choices in some ways, you open up your time to explore more deeply what is there. Mac jokingly proposed that what I should write next is The Wednesday Wedding!


Ladies' Home Journal Book Club

In the Ladies' Home Journal September book club pick, The Shoe Makers Wife, a leading book club favorite author, Adrianna Trigiani, tells the story of the Italian immigrant experience at the turn of the century. Like many emigrants faced with poverty, this three-part story spans Ciro Lazzari and Enza Ravenelli's intertwined destiny, as they set out for America in search of opportunity and the dream of a better life...



Read "Realizing the American Dream, a Book Club Discussion" by Reading Group Choices' Neely Kennedy for discussible topics and themes!


Neely's Spooky Choices

Neely Kennedy, Literary Director Want to have a fun Halloween discussion with your book club? Why not select one of Neely's Spooky Choices. (Did her black cat inspire the picks?) You could even arrange a theme meeting based on the book you select or all show up in costume!

 A Death in the Small Hours by Charlie Finch

A Death in the Small HoursWhen Charles Lenox arrives in the quiet village of Plumley, what greets him is a series of strange vandalisms upon the local shops: broken windows, minor thefts, threatening scrawls. Only when a far more serious crime is committed does he begin to understand the great stakes of those events, and the complex and sinister mind that is wreaking fear and suspicion in Plumley. Now, with his protege, John Dallington, at his side, the race is on for Lenox to find the culprit before he strikes again. And this time his victim may be someone that Lenox loves.

A Not So Model Home by David James

A Not So Model Home Amanda Thorne's first listing as an independent realtor ended in a case of murder. This time around she's looking to sell a Spanish-style mansion that's the backdrop for a reality TV show. A golden opportunity--until one of the contestants is poisoned. Now it's up to Amanda and her dishy homicide detective boyfriend Ken Becker, as well as her gay ex-husband, Alex, to figure out who's responsible--before the killer decides to try a repeat performance.

His Vampyrrhic Bride by Simon Clark

His Vampyrrhic Bride What is this striking yet ghostly figure doing gliding across my lawn at midnight? Chasing the dangerously beautiful woman into the woods next to his family's new home, Tom Westonby is attacked and beaten unconscious. Returning home the next day, he meets the stranger, Nicola Bekk, once more. Tom is deeply drawn to her, but unbeknownst to him, Nicola is both protected and enslaved by her Viking ancestry--and the choices he makes will trigger the curse that has blighted the lives of the Bekk family for centuries.

Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake

Anna Dressed in Blood Cas Lowood has inherited an unusual vocation: He kills the dead. Now, armed with his father's mysterious and deadly athame, Cas travels the country with his kitchen-witch mother and their spirit-sniffing cat. Searching for a ghost the locals call "Anna Dressed in Blood," Cas finds a ghost like he's never faced before. She still wears the dress she wore on the day of her brutal murder in 1958. Since her death, Anna has killed any and every person who has dared to step into the deserted Victorian she used to call home. Yet she spares Cas' life...



Death of A Neighborhood Witch by Laura Levine

Death of a Neighborhood Witch Halloween is just around the corner, and between cauldrons of candy and a deliciously cute new neighbor, Jaine Austen is struggling to resist her sweet tooth. But this year, her once humdrum neighborhood seems to be handing out more tricks than treats...As the masks come off, Jaine's search for sweet justice turns up more questions than answers. And just when she thought nothing could be scarier than her run-in with a tortuous Tummy Tamer, she closes in on her neighbor's killer and learns the true meaning of grave danger...


Your Own Discussible Choices

Book Dots Congratulations to Lois and the JCC 39ers for winning the random drawing for this month's Discussible Book Choice!

We read The Zookeeper's Wife by Diane Ackerman. We were thrilled to learn and discuss the use of the zoo and the role of animal lovers in saving Jews in Poland during WW2. We discussed the role of Nazi leaders in redeveloping animal breeds that had become extinct. Such a love for animals and a disregard for human life.
Lois, JCC 39ers, Maitland, 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


Tips from Your Colleagues

Tips Congratulations to Ann and the Deep River Library Book Talk for providing this month's winning Book Group Tip!

"Our best discussions come from books that generate feelings of loving the book to hating the book. If everyone loves the book, discussions go nowhere. One example is Miss Timmons School for Girls and Swamplandia."
Ann, Deep River Library Book Talk, Chester, CT

We enjoy hearing from book club members and sharing their ideas with everyone. Please let us know about your group's tips -- you may win a "Box 'O Books" for your reading group!

Lots More Tips


"Orange is the New Black" is the New Netflix Series!

Orange is the New Black According to the Hollywood Reporter, Taylor Schilling will star in a debut Netflix series based on Piper Kerman's memoir Orange is the New Black. Schilling recently starred in a movie based on Nicholas Sparks' The Lucky One, as well as the film adaption of Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged.  The Lionsgate TV series is a "one-hour dramedy [centered] on an engaged Brooklyn resident whose decade-old relationship Taylor Schillingwith a drug-runner in college results in her arrest and multi-year detention in a federal penitentiary. Lacking any real-world  experience to deal with this harsh new environment, Piper immerses herself in women's prison culture and finds acceptance, tears, laughter and love amidst an outspoken group of inmates." 

Thanks for keeping the joy of reading alive,

NEW from Reading Group Choices!

RGC 2013 Cover


We are thrilled to announce that Reading Group Choices 2013: Selections for Lively Book Discussions is now available! This is our 19th annual print edition, an outstanding collection of over seventy titles and Conversation Starters that are perfect for stimulating lively book discussions. Here you will find this year's collection of the most entertaining and discussible novels, as well as several important non-fiction titles and memoirs. There is, literally, something for everyone. Use it as a resource for planning your book club's yearly reading list or simply for finding suggestions for personal reading. 






Chances to Win!
Ladies' Home Journal
Book Club


See what Ladies' Home Journal's Book Club and Reading Group Choices' Neely Kennedy are discussing!

Ladies' Home Journal Side Bar


Fresh Ideas for Discussion


The Antelope Wife

The Good Muslim

The Thread

The World We Found  


The Forgetting Tree

The Wednesday Sisters

The Four Ms. Bradwells


Neely's Spooky Choices


A Death in the Small Hours

A Not So Model Home

His Vampyrrhic Wife

Anna Dressed in Blood 


A Death of a Neighborhood Witch 


More About Reading Group Choices 




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