Reading Group Choices Newsletter
Black History Month
Happy Valentines Day
February 2014

February is Black History Month! In this Newsletter we have chosen four discussible books about black history written
by current authors.
These suggestions will have you following stories all over the world!

Plus a chance to win audiobooks for your whole group, books apdated into TV mini-series, The 2014 Big Book Club Getaway, a Valentine's Day pick from a great book club author, and a new Spotlight Book Club to meet.

The Reading Group Choices 2014 printed guide is now available! Order copies for your book group.

In This Issue
Fresh Ideas for Discussion
Happy Valentine's Day from Jojo Moyes
Discussing Audiobooks
Ladies' Home Journal Book Club
Black History Month Picks
NEW "Spotlight" Book Club
2014 Big Book Club Getaway
Discussible Books as TV Mini-series
Reading Group Choices 2014 Printed Guide
Modern Authors of History
Fresh Ideas for Discussion

 

Not Without You by Harriet Evans  

 

Sophie Leigh's real name is Sophie Sykes. But she hasn't been called that for years, not since she became an A-list movie star. Living in Los Angeles, she can forget all about the life she left behind in England. But she's lost something of herself in the process, too. Glamorous 1950s starlet Eve Noel had none of Sophie's modern self-confidence. She didn't choose her name. A Hollywood producer did. In fact, he made all her decisions--what to wear, when to smile, whom to love. Right up until the day she simply vanished from the spotlight. No one knows where she went, or why. As Sophie's perfect-on-the-outside world begins to crumble, her present col­lides with Eve's past. She must unravel the mystery around her idol's disappear­ance before it's too late for them both.   

 

 

 Whistling Past the Graveyard by Susan Crandall  


The summer of 1963 begins like any other for nine-year-old Starla Claudelle. But Starla never dreams that she's about to embark on a journey that will change her life forever. When Starla's strict grandmother and guardian grounds her on the Fourth of July, Starla decides to run away from her Mississippi home and go to Nashville, to seek her mother who had abandoned her. On the road, Starla finds an unlikely ally in Eula--a lonely woman suffering loss and abuse. Through a series of unforeseen events, the black woman and the white girl band together on a path to self-discovery. As they travel, Starla's eyes are opened to the harsh realities of 1963 Southern segregation. Through her discussions with Eula, reconnection with both her parents, and a series of surprising misadventures, Starla begins to realize that having a life with the perfect family might look drastically different from how she dreamed it would.



The Winter People  by Jennifer McMahon 

 

West Hall, Vermont, has always been a town of strange disappearances and old legends. The most mysterious is that of Sara Harrison Shea, who, in 1908, was found dead in the field behind her house just months after the tragic death of her daughter, Gertie. Now, in present day, nineteen-year-old Ruthie lives in Sara's farmhouse with her mother, Alice, and her younger sister, Fawn. Alice has always insisted that they live off the grid, a decision that suddenly proves perilous when Ruthie wakes up one morning to find that Alice has vanished without a trace. Searching for clues, she is startled to find a copy of Sara Harrison Shea's diary hidden beneath the floorboards of her mother's bedroom. As Ruthie gets sucked deeper into the mystery of Sara's fate, she discovers that she's not the only person who's desperately looking for someone that they've lost. But she may be the only one who can stop history from repeating itself.      

 

Enter for a Chance to Win a Free Copy!

 

 

The Consequences by Colette Freedman

 

Over the course of one tumultuous Christmas Eve, Kathy Walker confirmed her suspicions about her husband's affair, confronted his mistress, Stephanie, and saved her marriage. She and Robert have eighteen years, two teenagers, and a film production business between them--plus a bond that Kathy has no intention of giving up on. Yet though Robert is contrite, Kathy can't quite silence her doubts. While Robert reels from his wife's ultimatum and his mistress's rejection, Stephanie makes a discovery: she's pregnant. Her resolve to stay away from Robert wavers now that they could make a real family together. And in the days that follow, Stephanie, Robert, and Kathy must each reckon with the intricate realities of desire, the repercussions of betrayal, and the secrets that, once revealed, ripple through lives and relationships in thoroughly unexpected ways.  

 

 

    

Happy Valentine's Day from Jojo Moyes

Me Before You Beautiful and original, Me Before You by Jojo Moyes is not your typical formulaic romance.  Instead, Moyes brings us something completely unexpected; a novel that examines the parameters of love, and the lengths to which we must sometimes go in order to honor those dearest to our hearts.  Me Before You combines a lighthearted boy-meets-girl story with serious moral and ethical questions, striking a perfect balance in the process.  Following the success of the recently repackaged The Last Letter From Your Lover, this is a novel not to be missed--reminding us that the most beautiful type of love comes from a place of selflessness and surrender.
Discussing Audiobooks

 

Perhaps your book group would like to discuss a book that you all listen to, instead of read, in 2014. It might add a new dimension to your discussion as you compare reactions to the narrator or glean new insights from an inflection. If you would like to try it, we have a suggestion. Since June is AudioBook Month, Reading Group Choices, in conjunction with Macmillan Audio, will distribute FREE audiobooks of either Jane Green's Tempting Fate or Lisa Scottoline's Keep Quiet to all groups who sign up on our Random Drawing Webpage. Your group will receive the audiobooks at the end of April, giving everyone in your group time to do their listening before your June meeting

 

Tempting Fate by Jane Green
Read by author

Gabby and Elliott have been happily married for eighteen years. They have two teenaged daughters; they have built a life together. So why does she even look at the handsome guy--ten years younger--at the other end of the bar one night? Gabby is the last person to have an affair--a physical one, at least. But Matt makes her feel sparkling, fascinating--something she hasn't felt in years. Surely there's no harm in continuing a long-distance friendship? Surely there's no harm in an emotional affair? As Gabby steps ever deeper into the allure of attraction and attention, things turn perilous. If she makes one wrong move she could lose everything--and find out what really matters most.

 

Enter to receive free audiobooks to discuss in June


Keep Quiet by Lisa Scottoline
Read by Ron Livingston

Jake Whitmore is enjoying a rare bonding moment with his sixteen-year-old son, Ryan, when disaster strikes. They get in a terrible car accident that threatens to derail not only Ryan's chances at college, but his entire future. Jake makes a split-second decision that saves his son from formal punishment, but plunges them both into a world of guilt, lies, and secrecy. Just when Jake thinks he has everything under control, a malevolent outsider comes forward with the power to expose Jake's secret and taunts him to the breaking point. Lisa Scottoline's Keep Quiet is the powerful and gut-wrenching tale of the unraveling--and the ultimate redemption--of a family. 

 

Enter to receive free audiobooks to discuss in June

 

Ladies' Home Journal Book Club


In the February Ladies' Home Journal Book Club selection Above All Things, poet turned debut novelist Tanis Rideout takes us on a historical fiction extreme adventure, reimagining the story of mountain climber George Mallory as he joins an expedition in his third attempt to conquer Mount Everest. Rideout's story takes liberties that include the perspective of George's wife, Ruth, to whom he has broken a promise not to go. Flashbacks from the couple's rocky but sentimental romance reveal George's ambition is bigger, however slightly, than his love for Ruth.

Read "Above All Things: The Peaks and Valleys of Loving an Adventurer" by Reading Group Choices' Neely Kennedy for discussible topics and themes! 

Black History Month Picks

Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Ifemelu and Obinze are young and in love when they depart military-ruled Nigeria for the West. Beautiful, self-assured Ifemelu heads for America, where despite her academic success, she is forced to grapple with what it means to be black for the first time. Quiet, thoughtful Obinze had hoped to join her, but with post-9/11 America closed to him, he instead plunges into a dangerous, undocumented life in London. Fifteen years later, they reunite in a newly democratic Nigeria, and reignite their passion--for each other and for their homeland.


The Secret of Magic by Deborah Johnson

Regina Robichard works for Thurgood Marshall, who receives an unusual letter asking the NAACP to investigate the murder of a returning black war hero. It is signed by M. P. Calhoun, the most reclusive author in the country. As a child, Regina was captivated by Calhoun's The Secret of Magic, a novel in which white and black children played together in a magical forest. Once down in Mississippi, Regina finds that nothing in the South is as it seems. She must navigate the muddy waters of racism, relationships, and her own tragic past. The Secret of Magic brilliantly explores the power of stories and those who tell them.


Who Asked You? by Terry McMillan

Kaleidoscopic, fast-paced, and filled with McMillan's inimitable humor, Who Asked You? opens as Trinetta leaves her two young sons with her mother, Betty Jean, and promptly disappears. BJ, a trademark McMillan heroine, already has her hands full dealing with her other adult children, two opinionated sisters, an ill husband, and her own postponed dreams--all while holding down a job delivering room service at a hotel. Her son Dexter is about to be paroled from prison; Quentin, the family success, can't be bothered to lend a hand; and taking care of two lively grandsons is the last thing BJ thinks she needs. The drama unfolds through the perspectives of a rotating cast of characters, pitch-perfect, each playing a part, and full of surprises.


Radiance of Tomorrow by Ishmael Beah

At the center of Radiance of Tomorrow are Benjamin and Bockarie, two longtime friends who return to their hometown, Imperi, after the civil war. The village is in ruins, the ground covered in bones. As more villagers begin to come back, Benjamin and Bockarie try to forge a new community by taking up their former posts as teachers, but they're beset by obstacles: a scarcity of food; a rash of murders, thievery, rape, and retaliation; and the depredations of a foreign mining company intent on sullying the town's water supply and blocking its paths with electric wires. As Benjamin and Bockarie search for a way to restore order, they're forced to reckon with the uncertainty of their past and future alike.

NEW "Spotlight" Book Club

Our current "Spotlight" Book Club is Childbirth and Parenting Education Association Book Club. Read about their group here.



Become one of our Spotlight Book Clubs!

Spotlight Book Club Email us at info@readinggroupchoices.com with a picture of your book group and description of what makes your reading group unique.

If your book club is chosen, we will send you and your group a box of books to share!

2014 Big Book Club Getaway

More than 70 bestselling and award-winning authors will converge at the Mohegan Sun Resort in Uncasville, Connecticut on February 21-22, 2014 for the The Big Book Getaway, presented by The Mark Twain House and Museum.   

 

Featured speakers include Hallmark Channel's Debbie Macomber; author and media personality Dr. Ruth Westheimer; political humorist P.J. O'Rourke; former CNN news journalist Kitty Pilgrim; plus Sarah Addison Allen, Pete Hamill, Charlotte Rogan, Eloisa James, Jane Green, Susan Conley, Karen White, and several others.  Many different genres including memoir, history, travel, health, mystery, romance, theater, fiction and non-fiction will be represented. Guests will have an opportunity to hear authors on the Main Stage and in concurrent break-out sessions.   

 

Go to The Big Book Club Getaway website, to register, and to get expanded information on the program, the authors, the panels, accommodations and activities.  

Discussible Books as TV Mini-series

Recently Shelf Awareness has published that three of Reading Group Choices' discussible picks will be adapted into TV mini-series! Having a film version of a great reading group pick adds an interesting element to the any discussion. Keep an eye out mini-series based on The Dovekeepers by Alice Hoffman, Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel, and The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton.

     
 
Reading Group Choices 2014 Printed Guide

The New Year--perhaps a perfect time to recharge and refocus your book club discussions with the help of Reading Group Choices 2014. Here you will find over fifty of the year's best titles, their summaries, critical praise, as well as thoughtful discussion questions for each--titles including Mrs. Poe, The Weight of Small Things and Visit Sunny Chernobyl.  Make your next group get together seamless and relaxing by letting us do the work for you!

Buy a copy for yourself for $6.95, or for book club members for $3.95 each when you order 5 or more!
 
 
Thanks for keeping the joy of reading alive,
 
LogoNwsltr
 
Modern Authors of  History 
 
  

 

In celebration of Black History Month, we would like to shine the spotlight on a few current authors of note.  In this month's suggestions, we find ourselves exploring a family in Los Angeles; a Southern murder being investigated by the NAACP; post-civil war Sierra Leone; and the global connection between Nigeria and the United States. No matter the story or location, these writers have one thing in common--they use their unique voices and points of view to illuminate the literary world and expand all of our personal horizons.  

    

 ********* 

Chances to Win!
 
Other Discussibles
Top Book Group Favorites
 
 *********

See what Top Book Group Favorites other book clubs said produced the liveliest book discussion  
 
Favorite Discussible Books of 2009  

*********
 
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


*********

Book Group iPad App

*********

iPad


Download our Free iPad App to enhance your book club! Search "Reading Group Choices" in the App Store.


*********


Choices
 
*********

"Spotlight" Book Club 
 
 *********

Enter to be our "Spotlight" Book Club & receive a Box O' Books for your book group!

Spotlight Book Club 

*********
More About Reading Group Choices 

*********

  
  *********  

 

Join Our Mailing List