Reading Group Choices Newsletter
Celebrating Earth Day!
Thanking Trees for Our Favorite Books
 March 2013
Greetings!
       
Thank you to all of the trees that provide us with our favorite and most discussible books!  And because book clubs read so much, Reading Group Choices is happy to dedicate our April Newsletter to Earth Day.

Plus Ladies' Home Journal's April book club pick, Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald, a new On the Bookcase post, 2013 World Book Night, and suggestions and tips from your colleagues.  
In This Issue
Fresh Discussible Titles
Win $100! -- Plus a Box of Discussibles
Neely's Earth Day Favorites
Ladies' Home Journal Book Club.
Your Own Discussible Choices
On the Bookcase Posts
Tips From Your Own Colleagues
Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald
Gear Up for World Book Night 2013
Reading Group Choices 2013 Print Edition
Earth Day for Book Clubs
Fresh Discussible Titles

The Cherry Cola Book Club by Ashton Lee

The Cherry Cola Book Club With its corrugated iron siding and cramped interior, the Cherico, Mississippi library is no Antebellum gem. But for young librarian Maura Beth Mayhew, it's as essential to the community. The library may be underfunded and overlooked, but it's Maura Beth's pride, and she won't let the good ole boys on the City Council close it down without a fight. Which is why Maura Beth has founded the Cherry Cola Book Club--a last-ditch attempt to boost circulation and save her job. But soon secrets are shared, old dreams rekindled, and new loves slowly blossom.

The Weight of Small Things by Sherri Wood Emmons

The Weight of Small Things Corrie Philips has an enviable life--even if it's not quite the one she wanted. After years of frustration and failed attempts, Corrie and her husband Mark are desperate for a child--and haunted by the choices in her past. A decade ago, just after college, Corrie's boyfriend Daniel left town, intent on saving the world even if it meant breaking Corrie's heart. Now he's returned, and despite her misgivings, Corrie feels drawn to him again. Faced with an unexpected choice, Corrie must unravel illusion from reality at last and weigh what she most needs against what her heart has always wanted.



A Nearly Perfect Copy by Allison Amend

A Nearly Perfect Copy Elm Howells has a loving family and a distinguished career at an elite Manhattan auction house. But after a tragic loss throws her into an emotional crisis, she pursues a reckless course of action that jeopardizes her personal and professional success. Meanwhile, talented artist Gabriel Connois wearies of remaining at the margins of the capricious Parisian art scene, and, desperate for recognition, he embarks on a scheme that threatens his burgeoning reputation. As these narratives converge, with disastrous consequences, A Nearly Perfect Copy boldly challenges our presumptions about originality and authenticity, loss and replacement, and the perilous pursuit of perfection.



Restoration  by Rose Tremain

Restoration Robert Merivel, son of a glove maker and an aspiring physician, finds his fortunes transformed when he is given a position at the court of King Charles II. Merivel slips easily into a life of luxury and idleness, enthusiastically enjoying the women and wine of the vibrant Restoration age. But when he's called on to serve the king in an unusual role, he transgresses the one law that he is forbidden to break and is brutally cast out from his newfound paradise. Thus begins Merivel's journey to self-knowledge, which will take him down into the lowest depths of seventeenth-century society.


Merivel by Rose Tremain
(sequel to Restoration)

Merivel Robert Merivel, physician and courtier to Charles II, begins questioning... has he been a good father? Is he a fair master? Is he the King's friend or the King's slave? In search of answers, Merivel sets off for the French court. But Versailles leaves Merivel in despair, until a chance encounter with a seductive Swiss botanist, allows him to dream of an honorable future. Back home at Bidnold Manor, his loyalty and medical skills are tested to their limits, while the captive bear he has brought back from France begins to cause havoc in his heart and on his estate.


Win $100! -- Plus a Box of Discussibles

Survey 2011 If you haven't already done so, please share with other groups the books that generated the best discussions in your group during the past year as well as your best book group experiences by completing our annual survey. It generates a one-of-a-kind list of favorite DISCUSSIBLE books for book groups!
  
For those of you in more than one book club, increase your chances to win by completing a survey for each of your groups.  Each time you do, 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 each win the prize!

Neely's Earth Day Favorites

 The Forest Unseen by David G. Haskell

Biologist David George Haskell uses a one-square-meter patch of old-growth Tennessee forest as a window onto the entire natural world. Visiting it almost daily for one year to trace nature's path through the seasons, he brings the forest and its inhabitants to vivid life. Beginning with simple observations--a salamander scuttling across the leaf litter, the first blossom of spring wildflowers--Haskell spins a brilliant web of biology, ecology, and poetry, explaining the science binding together ecosystems that have cycled for thousands--sometimes millions--of years.


The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating by Elisabeth Tova Bailey

The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating In a work that beautifully demonstrates the rewards of closely observing nature, Elisabeth Bailey shares an inspiring and intimate story of her uncommon encounter with a Neohelix albolabris--a common woodland snail. Told with wit and grace, The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating is a remarkable journey of survival and resilience, showing us how a small part of the natural world illuminates our own human existence and provides an appreciation of what it means to be fully alive.

 

 

Requiem for Nature by John Terborgh

Requiem of Nature For ecologist John Terborgh, Manu National Park in the rainforest of Peru is a second home; he has spent half of each of the past twenty-five years there conducting research. Like all parks, Manu is assumed to provide inviolate protection to nature. Yet Terborgh has been witness to the relentless onslaught of civilization. Terborgh argues that the greatest challenges of conservation are not scientific, but are social, economic, and political, and that success will require simultaneous progress on all fronts. He makes a compelling case that nature can be saved, but only if good science and strong institutions can be thoughtfully combined.

 

 

Valuing the Earth by Herman E. Daly and Kenneth N. Townsend (editors) 

 

Valuing the Earth Valuing the Earth collects more than twenty classic and recent essays that broaden economic thinking by setting the economy in its proper ecological and ethical context. They vividly demonstrate that, contrary to current macroeconomic preoccupations, continued growth on a planet of finite resources cannot be physically or economically sustained and is morally undesirable. Among the issues addressed are population growth, resource use, pollution, theology (east and west), energy, and economic growth. Their common theme is the notion, popular with classical economists from Malthus to Mill, that an economic stationary state is more healthful to life on earth than unlimited growth.   

Ladies' Home Journal Book Club

The Gods of Gotham In the April's Ladies' Home Journal Book Club selection, The God's of Gotham, author Lyndsay Faye pays homage to her passion for murder and mayhem whodunits. Her historical fiction mystery is set in 1843 New York City at the time of the Irish Potato Famine that motivated one hundred and twenty five thousand, largely Irish Catholics, to immigrate to the U.S. Most destitute with scant jobs to be had and little skill, they succumb to lives of crime and poverty.

Read "Gods of Gotham: Race Crimes, the Sacred Hatred" by Reading Group Choices' Neely Kennedy for discussible topics and themes! 

Your Own Discussible Choices

Book Dots Congratulations to Betty and The Dover Road Book Club for winning the random drawing for this month's Discussible Book Choice!

"Waiting for Snow in Havana by Carlos Eire--This is a biography of a boy who was born in Cuba and lived during the Castro take over.  It is at times funny and heartbreaking as he makes his way to the USA.  Mr. Eire lived in Charlottesville, and taught for years at UVa."
Betty, The Dover Road Book Club, Charlottesville, VA

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

On the Bookcase Posts
Laura On the Bookcase

Please welcome Karen Lee Sobol to On the Bookcase as she discusses how art was the best medication for her cancer in her memoir, Twelve Weeks: An Artist's Story of Cancer, Healing, and Hope.

Tips From Your Own Colleagues

Tips Congratulations to Susan and The Beach Babes Book Brigade for winning the random drawing for this month's Book Group Tips!

"We had a hosted a local professor, an English professor, to talk about The Paris Wife, and then on his life in Paris, his domestic and personal life, his literary circle of friends, and we also read Moveable Feast by Hemingway. We topped with virgin drinks featured on the author's website."
Susan, The Beach Babes Book Brigade, Little River, SC

We enjoy hearing from book club members and sharing what has made their discussions lively. Please let us know about your group's tips--you may win a book-related prize for every member of your reading group!

By the way, in December we received lots of fun suggestions for get-togethers during the holidays.  Thanks to all who sent them to us.  We'll share them all in our November newsletter, just in time for the 2013 holidays.

More Tips

 

Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald

Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald Admirers of The Great Gatsby will be intrigued with Therese Anne Fowler's new novel Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald. Wholly captivating, she paints a fantastical portrait of Zelda Sayre, wife of F. Scott Fitzgerald and society darling. Their glamorous jazz age lifestyle included enough outrageous parties and scandal to rival even Gatsby himself. As described in a recent Wall Street Journal article their tumultuous marriage included numerous creative highs and lows. Ultimately, the tragic end to her life was infused with the melancholia of a novelic world.
Gear Up for World Book Night 2013

With World Book Night right around the corner, April 23rd, see how you could get involved! Or at least get this year's book list to share with your book group.

The 2013 World Book Night list includes The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh, Still Alice by Lisa Genova, Mudbound by Hillary Jordan, Look Again by Lisa Scottoline, Salvage the Bones by Jesmyn Ward and many more!

World Book Night USA - April 23, 2012 
World Book Night USA - April 23, 2012
 
Reading Group Choices 2013 Print Edition
RGC 2013 Cover 
Reading Group Choices 2013: Selections for Lively Book Discussions is now available! A lot 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 guide is essential to 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!
  
 
Thanks for keeping the joy of reading alive,
 
LogoNwsltr
 
Earth Day for Book Clubs  
 
Book Tree
  

 

 Earth Day, Monday April 22, provides a wonderful opportunity to pause and reflect. With society's increasing focus on global health and renewal, combined with fantastic individual and community efforts, we've come a long way.  But there is still a great distance to go.  To inspire you, we've selected some very interesting earth-related non-fiction titles.  Requiem for Nature and Valuing the Earth focus on broad issues that impact us all, with dialogue and ideas to affect change.  On the other hand, The Forest Unseen and The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating focus on very small slices of nature, with great positive messages about both the world and ourselves. We hope you feel as energized as we do!   

  

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