Reading Group Choices Newsletter
For the LOVE of Book Clubs
Happy Valentines Day!
 February 2013
Greetings!
       
It is the time of year to make romantic plans and curl up with your...favorite love stories! This newsletter is packed with romantic reads for you to enjoy this Valentine's Day.

Plus our survey for your favorite discussible books of 2012, Ladies' Home Journal's February book club pick, "Romance by You," new On the Bookcase posts, and ten of the most romantic literary quotes.  
In This Issue
Fresh Discussible Titles
Ladies' Home Journal Book Club.
On the Bookcase Posts
Our Top Romantic Literary Quotes
The Retro Queen
Unexpected Twists
Love's Poets and Philosophers
Romance by You
2012 Favorite Discussible Book Survey
Fun Romantic Novels
Fresh Discussible Titles


The Affair
by Colette Freedman

The Affair by Colette Freedman After eighteen years of marriage, Kathy Walker has settled into a pattern of comfortable routines. Then one day, Kathy discovers a suspicious number on her husband's phone. Six years before, Kathy accused Robert of infidelity and almost destroyed their marriage in the process. Now Kathy must decide whether to follow her suspicions at the risk of losing everything, or trust the man with whom she's entwined her past, present, and future. As she grapples with that choice, she is confronted with surprising truths not just about her relationship, but about her friends, family, and her own motivations.



 Learning to Stay by Erin Celello

  Learning to Stay by Erin Celello Elise Sabato is proud of her husband, Brad, for serving his country...and grateful when he returns home to her. But the traumatic brain injury he suffered in Iraq has turned him into someone who requires more care and attention than Elise can give while working in a demanding law firm. Elise must decide between the life she always wanted and the life she seems to be living...until she finds inspiration in the most unlikely of places: a lovable dog named Jones who teaches her that when life takes unexpected turns, sometimes you end up right where you were meant to be.
 

No One is Here Except All of Us by Jane Porter

No One Here Except All of Us by Ramona Ausubel In 1939, a remote Jewish village in Romania feel the war close in on them. Danger is imminent in every direction, yet the territory of imagination and belief is limitless. At the suggestion of an eleven-year-old girl and a mysterious stranger who has washed up on the riverbank, the villagers decide to reinvent the world...But the real world continues to unfold alongside the imagined one, eventually overtaking it, and soon our narrator must flee her village, move from one world to the next, to find her husband and save her children, and propel them toward a real and hopeful future.


The Good Daughter by Jane Porter

The Good Daughter by Jane Porter Kit Brennan has always been the most grounded of her sisters. Her fortieth birthday is right around the corner, causing Kit to consider some wilder notions...A girls' weekend away is just the reprieve Kit needs. It's there that she meets a man who's dangerous; a man who challenges who she thought she was, or rather should be. Kit wants to indulge herself this once, but with one of her students in crisis and the weight of her family's burdens weighing heavy on her heart, Kit isn't sure if now is the time to let her own desires take flight...


Ladies' Home Journal Book Club

The Dressmaker by Kate Alcott The often conflicting emotions of ambition and ethics lie at the center of Kate Alcott's period novel  The Dressmaker. Finding herself with the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to work for famed designer Lady Duff Gordon, aspiring seamstress Tess Collins learns that blind ambition sometimes comes at great consequence. Lady Duff seems to have it all; a devoted husband, a world-renowned career, and an endless stream of public admiration. However, her choice of action the night of the fateful sinking of the Titanic exemplifies the dark side of her selfish aspirations. Will Tess follow in her mentor's footsteps or will she forge a new and uncertain path in the unfamiliar world of New York City?

Read "True 'Haute Couture': Designing Personal Character; The Fabric of Our Humanity" by Reading Group Choices' Neely Kennedy for discussible topics and themes! 

On the Bookcase Posts
Laura On the Bookcase

Téa Obreht is the author of The Tiger's Wife, a New York Times bestseller and National Book Award finalist. Here she talks with novelist Ramona Ausubel about her experiences writing No One is Here Except All of Us.

Learn about more about the writing behind Santa Montefiore's newest novel, The Woman from Paris, in our most recent interview post.
Our Top Romantic Literary Quotes


Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte - "Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same."

 

Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez - "I have waited for this opportunity for more than half a century, to repeat to you once again my vow of eternal fidelity and everlasting love."

 

Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray - "It is better to love wisely, no doubt: but to love foolishly is better than not to be able to love at all."

 

Beloved by Toni Morrison - She is a friend of mind. She gather me, man. The pieces I am, she gather them and give them back to me in all the right order. It's good, you know, when you got a woman who is a friend of your mind."

 

Atonement by Ian McEwan - "I've never had a moment's doubt. I love you. I believe in you completely. You are my dearest one. My reason for life."  

 

Unaccustomed Earth by Jhumpa Lahiri - "That the last two letters in her name were the first two in his, a silly thing he never mentioned to her but caused him to believe that they were bound together."

 

Doctor Zhivago by Boris Pasternak - "You and I, it's as though we have been taught to kiss in heaven and sent down to earth together, to see if we know what we were taught."

 

The Rover by Aphra Behn - "One hour of right down love is worth an age of dully living on."

 

Hamlet by William Shakespeare - "Doubt thou the stars are fire; Doubt that the sun doth move; Doubt truth to be a liar; But never doubt I love."

 

Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy - "He stepped down, trying not to look long at her, as if she were the sun, yet he saw her, like the sun, even without looking."

 

The Retro Queen

Kathleen Woodiwiss Who is in the mood for some retro love? Does the name Kathleen Woodiwiss ring a bell? For our younger readers, ask your mom what she was reading in the '70's. It was probably The Flame and the Flower, Ashes in the Wind, or Shanna. Ms. Woodiwiss (1939-2007) pioneered the modern romance, featuring the first strong heroines and real love scenes. After multiple rejections and refusals to publish her epic 600-page novel The Flame and the Flower in hardback, she cleverly changed tactics and submitted for paperback release. Smart Move! In 1972, the novel sold 2.3 million copies and shot her to stardom. "My own mother tells me that the books were so captivating that 600 pages was not long enough!" says RGC's Neely Kennedy. 


Unexpected Twists

If traditional romance novels leave you feeling flat, try these literary heavyhitters that have unexpected amorous twists. As an extra bonus, they are all also historically significant.


Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry

Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry A love story, an adventure, and an epic of the frontier, Larry McMurtry's Pulitzer Prize- winning classic,Lonesome Dove, the third book in the Lonesome Dove tetralogy, is the grandest novel ever written about the last defiant wilderness of America. Journey to the dusty little Texas town of Lonesome Dove and meet an unforgettable assortment of heroes and outlaws, whores and ladies, Indians and settlers. Richly authentic, beautifully written, always dramatic, Lonesome Dove is a book to make us laugh, weep, dream, and remember.


Sacajawea by Anna Lee Waldo

Sacajawea by Anna Lee Waldo Clad in a doeskin, alone and unafraid, she stood straight and proud before the onrushing forces of America's destiny: Sacajawea, child of a Shoshoni chief, lone woman on Lewis and Clark's historic trek--beautiful spear of a dying nation. She knew many men, walked many miles. From the whispering prairies, across the Great Divide to the crystal-capped Rockies and on to the emerald promise of the Pacific Northwest, her story overflows with emotion and action ripped from the bursting fabric of a raw new land.


Sometimes a Great Notion by Ken Kesey

Sometimes a Great Notion by Ken Kesey Following the astonishing success of his first novel, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Ken Kesey wrote what Charles Bowden calls "one of the few essential books written by an American in the last half century." This wild-spirited tale tells of a bitter strike that rages through a small lumber town along the Oregon coast. Bucking that strike out of sheer cussedness are the Stampers. Out of the Stamper family's rivalries and betrayals, Ken Kesey has crafted a novel with the mythic impact of Greek tragedy.

 

Love's Poets and Philosophers

John Keats: A New Life
by Nicholas Roe

John Keats: A New Life by Nicolas Roe Through unparalleled original research, Roe arrives at a fascinating reassessment of Keats's entire life, from his early years at Keats's Livery Stables through his harrowing battle with tuberculosis and death at age 25. Zeroing in on crucial turning points, Roe finds in the locations of Keats's poems new keys to the nature of his imaginative quest.



The Seducers Diary by Soren Kierkegaard

The Seducer's Diary by Soren Kierkegaard Kierkegaard fell in love with the young woman, ten years his junior, proposed to her, but then broke off their engagement a year later. This event affected Kierkegaard profoundly. Olsen became a muse for him, and a flood of volumes resulted. His attempt to set right, in writing, what he feels was a mistake in his relationship with Olsen taught him the secret of "indirect communication." The Seducer's Diary, then, becomes Kierkegaard's attempt to portray himself as a scoundrel and thus make their break easier for her.

Doomed Love by Virgil

Doomed Love by Virgil Love can be surprising. Love can be heartbreaking. Love can be an art. But love is the singular emotion that all humans rely on most . . . and crave endlessly, no matter what the cost. United by this theme of love, the nine titles in the Penguin Great Loves collection include tales of blissful and all-encompassing, doomed and tragic, erotic and absurd, seductive and adulterous, innocent and murderous love.

 

Romance by You

Have you ever thought about what it would be like to actually be the heroine in your favorite romantic novel? We found a website that lets you do exactly that.
With "Romance by You" you can co-author 160 to 250-page personalized romance books by providing the names, features and places that personalize your novel. Customize over 30 characteristics--even include your dog or cat! Upload a photo to personalize the cover and include a dedication to add that finishing touch. Choose from a wide variety of romantic titles. A unique gift idea that will be treasured forever.
Romance by You

2012 Favorite Discussible Book Survey

Survey 2011 It's one-of-a-kind: a list of favorite DISCUSSIBLE books for book groups! Though there are many lists of books and many book awards, not all of the books on them make for the kind of lively, fun, interesting, thought-provoking, unforgettable discussions that reading groups crave. Well, here's your chance--join with thousands of other book group members to tell us which books did all that for your group in 2012. We'll compile and publish the list for you, and let you know how it compares to those chosen in previous surveys.

And when you complete the short survey, Reading Group Choices will enter your name into a random drawing for $100 to jazz up your next get-together -- plus a Box of Discussibles! Five lucky groups will win the prize!

 
Thanks for keeping the joy of reading alive,
 
LogoNwsltr
 
Fun Romantic Novels    
 

Heart Book Shelf  

 

  "Warm up in February with more than a cup of tea! This Valentine's Day, we have chosen some romantic novels from a few fun categories--retro, unexpected, and poetry. Take a little time to share a great read with your book group and bond over your favorite love-struck heroes and heroines.  If you are looking to surprise a friend, remember that books make great, and lasting, Valentine's Gifts!"

 

 

 

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The Affair 
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