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October 2013

ReadingGroupGuides.com Newsletter October 2013

Quick Links to Features on ReadingGroupGuides.com
 
Reading Through October
After an absolutely gorgeous September and early October here in the New York area, which included lots of beautiful warm evenings and thus an extended pool season, the temperatures are dropping and I find myself trying to harbor the last vestiges of summer as I paddle into the pool in my wetsuit --- and I am plucking leaves from the top of the water where they are spread like a carpet. It’s been a really nice ride being outside since early June. It’s just about time to move my favorite reading space back inside. That’s the one nice thing about reading --- you can move your book to a new comfy place and pick up where you left off!

A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of reading The Preservationist, which we are giving away this month. It’s a completely riveting psychological thriller releasing this week about three people whose dark pasts are beginning to catch up with them. One of the things I loved about it is that the story “works” right through to the end. So many books fall apart in the last third, becoming either races to the finish or just having unsatisfying resolutions. The Preservationist delivers right until the last page.

Late last month, we ran a contest for The Preservationist with our Registered Book Groups. Now, in our first of three contests this month, we open up the opportunity for 150 groups to win one copy of the book --- along with an opportunity for the author, Justin Kramon, to personally visit their book club meeting --- to all of our book groups. Many of you may remember Justin from when his debut novel, Finny, was published back in 2010. Justin traveled to meet soooo many of our book groups --- and he looks forward to doing more of that in the weeks to come! We heard such raves from the clubs that met with him --- they loved their discussions. To enter, all you have to do is fill out this form by Wednesday, November 6th at noon ET.

In our second contest, we’re celebrating the release of Strings Attached: One Tough Teacher and the Gift of Great Expectations by Joanne Lipman and Melanie Kupchynsky by giving 50 readers the opportunity to win a copy of the book, which is now in stores, for their group. Strings Attached centers on the legacy of Mr. K, the sharp-spoken, foot-pounding, never-praising Ukrainian-born despot whose music lessons and orchestra rehearsals reduced students to tears. Yet, when he passed away, more than 100 students from three generations returned to play in a memorial concert and acknowledge the amazing lesson he instilled: Demand great things of yourself. Written in two voices --- Mr. K’s daughter, who is now with the Chicago Symphony, and one of his students, who is a prominent journalist --- the writing here is as strong as the talent Mr. K brought out in his students. The book idea came from this New York Times Op Ed that Joanne wrote in 2010. The title of this book is wonderful; I am not sure if you discuss titles and their significance during your discussions, but this is one book where that would be time well spent.

I am about halfway through Strings Attached, and it has special meaning to me. My mom was an elementary school teacher (her favorite grade to teach was second grade), and she was the kind of teacher who students remember. Among her closest friends are some of the parents whose children she taught, and the number of students who still reach out to her lets me know she was a teacher who showed children that they mattered. Each year, birthday cards still arrive from students who remember the special year that they spent in her classroom where the décor was filled with “smiley-faced art.” A few years ago, one of her former students came to her house and picked up some of the decorations that she had used in her classroom for her own second grade class. She remembered how that special touch had meant something to her and wanted to impart it to her own students. Nice to see the legacy continue!

To enter our contest for Strings Attached, please fill out this form by Wednesday, November 6th at noon ET. And, in the spirit of the book’s theme, we would like you to tell us about a favorite teacher of yours who had a major impact on you. Once the contest is over, we plan to share your comments on the site!

For this month’s "What Are You Reading" contest, we have 12 copies of The Obituary Writer by Ann Hood, which is now available in paperback, to give away to three groups. The novel has two storylines that weave themselves together. First, readers are introduced to Claire, who, on the day John F. Kennedy is inaugurated, struggles over the decision of whether to stay in a loveless marriage or follow the man she loves and whose baby she may be carrying. The other character is Vivien Lowe, an obituary writer who lost track of her lover in the Great San Francisco Earthquake of 1906. The book is period-perfect about each time period --- I especially loved the way Claire and her friends were “Jackie fanatics,” taking bets on everything from her Inauguration outfit to her ball gown.

Click here and let us know by Wednesday, November 6th at noon ET what your group is reading for your chance to win. I loved the book so much that I made it a Bookreporter.com Bets On selection when it released in hardcover earlier this year. Read my commentary here, along with our review on Bookreporter.com and the guide.

In addition to these contests are a number of featured guides we’d like to get on your radar. First up is The Lowland by Jhumpa Lahiri, which has been longlisted for the National Book Award and shortlisted for the Booker Prize. Two brothers born in Calcutta during World War II share a close childhood but separate from one another as adults. Subhash, the older, quieter brother, moves to the US to study marine chemistry. Udayan, the younger and more volatile, stays in India and becomes active in the Naxalite Communist movement. The circumstances that draw them apart and eventually bring their families together form the drama of The Lowland. Click here for the guide and here for our review on Bookreporter.com.

Available in paperback now is The Twelve Tribes of Hattie, Ayana Mathis’s debut novel and an Oprah’s Book Club 2.0 selection when it released in hardcover. In 1923, 15-year-old Hattie Shepherd flees Georgia and settles in Philadelphia, hoping for a chance at a better life. Instead, she marries a man who will bring her nothing but disappointment and watches helplessly as her firstborn twins succumb to an illness a few pennies could have prevented. Hattie gives birth to nine more children whom she raises with grit and mettle and not an ounce of the tenderness they crave. Click here for the guide and here for our review on Bookreporter.com.

Next up is Once We Were Brothers by Ronald H. Balson. Elliot Rosenzweig, a respected civic leader and wealthy philanthropist, is accused of being a former Nazi SS officer named Otto Piatek, the Butcher of Zamosc. Although the charges are denounced as preposterous, his accuser, Solomon, encourages attorney Catherine Lockhart to bring Rosenzweig to justice, revealing that the true Piatek was abandoned as a child and raised by Solomon's own family, only to betray them during the Nazi occupation. But has Solomon accused the right man? Click here for the guide.

I read this book a few months ago, and it was the kind of story that I tore through as I was completely wrapped up in the characters. It gave me pause to think how easy it would be for a story like this to have happened. I can see this being a book that will generate some buzz, and with good reason. It will be a Bookreporter.com Bets On selection. Right now, the publisher is giving readers the opportunity to win a “Perfect Night In” Gift Basket, which includes a copy of Once We Were Brothers and Martin Fletcher's Jacob's Oath, along with a
cozy blanket, sounds of the '40s and herbal tea. Click here for all the details; your entries must be received by November 19th at 11:59pm ET.

Carrie Turansky’s latest novel is The Governess of Highland Hall, the first book in her Edwardian Brides series. Missionary Julia Foster loves working alongside her parents, ministering and caring for young girls in India. But when the family must return to England due to illness, she readily accepts the burden for her parents’ financial support. Taking on a job at Highland Hall as governess, she quickly finds that teaching her four privileged, ill-mannered charges at a grand estate is more challenging than expected, and she isn’t sure what to make of the estate’s preoccupied master, Sir William Ramsey. Based on the plot description and the praise it’s been getting, it appears that fans of “Downtown Abbey” will especially appreciate this new series. Click here for the guide.

John J Kelley’s debut, The Fallen Snow, follows a young infantry soldier’s difficult return to a hardscrabble Virginia community after suffering trauma in World War I. But what begins as the story of one youth’s journey soon grows into a timeless tale about the innumerable ways people cope, and find love, in even the most trying of circumstances. Charting an extraordinary coming of age, The Fallen Snow explores how damaged souls learn to heal and dare to grow. Click here for the guide.

Featured on the homepage right now are three books we’d like to bring to your attention. In honor of its highly successful first season on Netflix and the highly anticipated 2014 release of season two, we’re featuring a guide for the TV tie-in edition of Orange is the New Black, based on the book of the same name by Piper Kerman. For those of you not familiar with the premise, shortly after she graduated from Smith College, Piper was in a relationship with someone who was in the drug business. One time she carried one bag of money to a drop. Ten years later, that one time caught up with her, and she was arrested and sentenced to 15 months at a federal correctional facility. The memoir and the Netflix series are a recounting of her time in jail…and I’m sure both will spark some lively discussions among the members of your group. I watched all 13 of the Netflix episodes in rapid succession over a few nights. Nikki in our office watched the series and read the book --- and she preferred the book. Click here for the guide.

Another memoir we’re featuring this month is Free Spirit: Growing Up On the Road and Off the Grid. When Joshua Safran was four years old, his mother --- determined to protect him from the threats of nuclear war and Ronald Reagan --- took to the open road with him, leaving the San Francisco countercultural scene behind. Together they embarked on a journey to find a utopia they could call home. In Free Spirit, Safran tells the story of his childhood chasing this perfect life off the grid --- and how they survived the imperfect one they found instead. Click here for the guide.

At the heart of Lisa Gornick’s Tinderbox, our final featured title, is a Manhattan psychotherapist named Myra, whose phobia-addled son has just moved back in with her, accompanied by his wife and child. Myra hires a highly recommended Peruvian immigrant to serve as housekeeper and nanny. At first, Eva seems like a perfect fit, easily bonding with Myra’s grandson. But she is haunted by horrific images of the past, relying only on superstition to keep her safe from further harm. One afternoon, she settles into the chair normally reserved for Myra’s patients, igniting a heartrending, disturbing chain of events. Click here for the guide.

The Women's National Book Association has designated October as National Reading Group Month. This is the seventh annual celebration, and thousands of readers are expected to take part in activities through traditional and online book clubs and at neighborhood bookstores and local libraries. In honor of this special month, the National Reading Group Month Selection Committee picks a selection of Great Group Reads. Titles are selected on the basis of their appeal to reading groups for whom they are bound to open up lively conversations about a host of timely and provocative topics. The Selection Committee also makes a conscious decision to focus its attention on under-represented gems from small presses and lesser-known mid-list releases from larger houses. This year, 21 books were chosen as 2013’s Great Group Reads. A complete list of the titles can be found here.

While I was unable to attend Hachette Reading Group Day here in New York last month, we were fortunate enough to get reports from two readers who were there: Valerie from Secaucus, NJ attended this event for a second time with six members of her book group, “Red Pages Book Club,” and Diana from Staten Island, NY went with her sister. They all had a wonderful time, and the very detailed accounts of their experiences made me wish I had been there to enjoy the festivities with them. Next year! We’ll be sure to keep you posted on details so more of you can attend as well.

Next Tuesday, October 15th, we kick off our first-ever Fall Showcase contest on Bookreporter.com. On select days this month, we’ll be giving you a chance to win copies of some of the books people will be talking about in the weeks and months to come. Some days there will be up to five different books given away. As always, when we do contests like this, we’ll be sending a special newsletter showcasing the featured titles. For this, we will use the same list of subscribers who are signed up for our Fall Preview newsletters, so sign up here to know when these contests go live. With so many great books coming out this fall, this is an opportunity you don’t want to miss! Click here to see our featured Fall Showcase titles.

Happy reading…and read on to find a book for your book group to enjoy.

Carol Fitzgerald (Carol@bookreporter.com)

PS. When you use the links below to purchase books, you also support ReadingGroupGuides.com as we have affiliate arrangements with each of them. Please consider this when shopping for books online!


 

Special Contest: Win a Copy of THE PRESERVATIONIST and an Opportunity for Your Group to Meet Justin Kramon in Person
We are celebrating the October 10th release of The Preservationist --- a riveting psychological thriller about three people whose dark pasts are beginning to catch up with them --- with a special contest that will give 150 groups the opportunity to win one copy of the book and for the author, Justin Kramon, to personally visit their book club meeting. To enter, please fill out this form by Wednesday, November 6th at noon ET.

More about The Preservationist:
To Sam Blount, meeting Julia is the best thing that has ever happened to him. Working at the local college and unsuccessful in his previous relationships, he’d been feeling troubled about his approaching 40th birthday, “a great beast of a birthday,” as he sees it, but being with Julia makes him feel young and hopeful. Julia Stilwell, a freshman trying to come to terms with a recent tragedy that has stripped her of her greatest talent, is flattered by Sam’s attention. But their relationship is tested by a shy young man with a secret, Marcus Broley, who is also infatuated with Julia.

-Click here for the reading group guide.

 
Click here to enter the contest.

 
Special Contest: Win a Copy of STRINGS ATTACHED by Joanne Lipman and Melanie Kupchynsky for Your Group

We are celebrating the release of Strings Attached: One Tough Teacher and the Gift of Great Expectations by Joanne Lipman and Melanie Kupchynsky --- which was launched by a New York Times Op-Ed piece that went viral about a remarkable teacher’s legacy --- with a special contest. 50 readers will have the opportunity to win a copy of the book, which is now in stores, for their group. To enter, please fill out this form by Wednesday, November 6th at noon ET.

And, in the spirit of the book’s theme, we would like you to tell us about a favorite teacher of yours who had a major impact on you. Once the contest is over, we plan to share your comments on the site!

More about Strings Attached: One Tough Teacher and the Gift of Great Expectations:
Mr. K never received “Favorite Teacher” gifts. He was the sharp-spoken, foot-pounding, never-praising Ukrainian-born despot whose music lessons and orchestra rehearsals reduced students to tears. Yet, when Jerry Kupchynsky --- Mr. K --- passed away, more than 100 students from three generations returned to play in a memorial concert, and acknowledge the amazing lesson he instilled: Demand great things of yourself.

Co-written by award-winning journalist Joanne Lipman and Chicago Symphony violinist Melanie Kupchynsky (also Mr. K’s daughter), Strings Attached: One Tough Teacher and the Gift of Great Expectations provokes questions about education and parenting.


-Click here for the reading group guide.
Click here to enter the contest.

 
ReadingGroupGuides.com’s “What Are You Reading?” Monthly Contest Feature: Win 12 Copies of THE OBITUARY WRITER by Ann Hood for Your Group

Let us know what your group is reading in October, and you will be entered in a giveaway to win multiple copies of a book for your group! Our latest prize book is The Obituary Writer by Ann Hood, a sophisticated and suspenseful novel about the poignant lives of two women living in different eras. We have 12 copies of the book, which is now available in paperback, to give away to three groups. Enter here by Wednesday, November 6th at noon ET for your chance to win copies for you and your group members.

More about The Obituary Writer:
On the day John F. Kennedy is inaugurated, Claire, an uncompromising young wife and mother obsessed with the glamour of Jackie O, struggles over the decision of whether to stay in a loveless marriage or follow the man she loves and whose baby she may be carrying. Decades earlier, in 1919, Vivien Lowe, an obituary writer, is searching for her lover who disappeared in the Great San Francisco Earthquake of 1906. By telling the stories of the dead, Vivien not only helps others cope with their grief but also begins to understand the devastation of her own terrible loss. The surprising connection between Claire and Vivien will change the life of one of them in unexpected and extraordinary ways.


-Click here for the reading group guide.
-Click here to read our review on Bookreporter.com.
-Click here to see why we're betting you'll love this book.

 
Click here to enter the contest.

 
THE LOWLAND by Jhumpa Lahiri
Born just 15 months apart, Subhash and Udayan Mitra are inseparable brothers, one often mistaken for the other in the Calcutta neighborhood where they grow up. But they are also opposites, with gravely different futures ahead. It is the 1960s, and Udayan --- charismatic and impulsive --- finds himself drawn to the Naxalite movement, a rebellion waged to eradicate inequity and poverty. Subhash, the dutiful son, leaves home to pursue a life of scientific research in a quiet, coastal corner of America. But when Subhash learns what happened to his brother in the lowland outside their family’s home, he goes back to India, hoping to pick up the pieces of a shattered family.

-Click here to read our review on Bookreporter.com.
 
Click here for the reading group guide.

 
Now Available in Paperback: THE TWELVE TRIBES OF HATTIE by Ayana Mathis

In 1923, 15-year-old Hattie Shepherd, swept up by the tides of the Great Migration, flees Georgia and heads north. Full of hope, she settles in Philadelphia to build a better life. Instead she marries a man who will bring her nothing but disappointment, and watches helplessly as her firstborn twins are lost to an illness that a few pennies could have prevented. Hattie gives birth to nine more children, whom she raises with grit, mettle, and not an ounce of the tenderness they crave. She vows to prepare them to meet a world that will not be kind. Their lives, captured here in 12 luminous threads, tell the story of a mother’s monumental courage --- and a nation's tumultuous journey.

-Click here to read our review on Bookreporter.com.

 

Click here for the reading group guide.

 
ONCE WE WERE BROTHERS by Ronald H. Balson

Elliot Rosenzweig, a respected civic leader and wealthy philanthropist, is attending a fundraiser when he is suddenly accosted and accused of being a former Nazi SS officer named Otto Piatek, the Butcher of Zamosc. Although the charges are denounced as preposterous, his accuser is convinced he is right and engages attorney Catherine Lockhart to bring Rosenzweig to justice. Solomon persuades Lockhart to take his case, revealing that the true Piatek was abandoned as a child and raised by Solomon's own family only to betray them during the Nazi occupation. But has Solomon accused the right man?
 

Click here for the reading group guide.

 
THE GOVERNESS OF HIGHLAND HALL by Carrie Turansky

Missionary Julia Foster loves working alongside her parents, ministering and caring for young girls in India. But when the family must return to England due to illness, she readily accepts the burden for her parents’ financial support. Taking on a job at Highland Hall as governess, she quickly finds that teaching her four privileged, ill-mannered charges at a grand estate is more challenging than expected, and she isn’t sure what to make of the estate’s preoccupied master, Sir William Ramsey.

Widowed and left to care for his two young children and his deceased cousin Randolph’s two teenage girls, William is consumed with saving the estate from the financial ruin. The last thing he needs is any distraction coming from the kindhearted-yet-determined governess who seems to be quietly transforming his household with her persuasive personality, vibrant prayer life, and strong faith.

 

Click here for the reading group guide.

 
THE FALLEN SNOW by John J Kelley

Hailed by Publishers Weekly as “a gripping tale of self-exploration and atonement,” The Fallen Snow follows a young infantry soldier’s difficult return to a hardscrabble Virginia community after suffering trauma in WWI. But what begins as the story of one youth’s journey soon grows into a timeless tale about the innumerable ways people cope, and find love, in even the most trying of circumstances. Evoking 1918 Appalachia with poignant simplicity, Kelley's debut charts an extraordinary coming of age, exploring how damaged souls learn to heal, and dare to grow.
 

Click here for the reading group guide.

 
Announcing Bookreporter.com’s NEW Fall Showcase Contests and Feature
Fall is typically a time when some of the biggest books of the year are published, in anticipation of holiday gift giving. In Bookreporter.com's new Fall Showcase feature, we are happy to bring you some of the titles that people will be talking about in the weeks and months to come.

On select days in October, we’ll be offering contests where you can win copies of these books. Some days there will be up to five different books given away. As always, when we do special contests like this, we’ll be sending a special newsletter showcasing the featured titles. For this, we will use the same list of subscribers who are signed up for our Fall Preview newsletters, so sign up here to know when these contests go live. With so many great books coming out this fall, this is an opportunity you don’t want to miss!

 
Click here to read all the contest details and see our featured titles.

 
October’s New in Paperback Roundups on Bookreporter.com

October’s New in Paperback roundups include the following highlights for book groups:

The Time Keeper by Mitch Albom
The inventor of the world's first clock is punished for trying to measure God's greatest gift. He is banished to a cave for centuries and forced to listen to the voices of all who come after him seeking more days, more years. Eventually, with his soul nearly broken, Father Time is granted his freedom, along with a magical hourglass and a mission: a chance to redeem himself by teaching two earthly people the true meaning of time.

Schroder by Amity Gaige
Attending a New England summer camp, young Eric Schroder adopts the last name Kennedy to more easily fit in. Schroder relates the story of Eric's urgent escape years later to Lake Champlain, Vermont, with his six-year-old daughter in an attempt to outrun the authorities amid a heated custody battle with his wife, who will soon discover that her husband is not who he says he is.

The Trial of Fallen Angels by James Kimmel, Jr.
Everything that Brek Cuttler has ever known disappears when she finds herself standing on a deserted train platform, covered in blood. A man from her past explains that she has been chosen to join the elite team of lawyers charged with prosecuting and defending souls at the Final Judgment. As Brek struggles to find her way back to her husband and daughter, she will discover that her first client holds the shocking secret of her fate.

Palisades Park by Alan Brennert
Growing up in the 1930s, there is no more magical place than Palisades Amusement Park in New Jersey --- especially for seven-year-old Antoinette (nicknamed “Toni”) and her brother, Jack. However, both their father and Jack face the dangers of war, while their mother has ambitions of her own --- and Toni is determined to take on a very different kind of danger in impossible feats as a high diver. Yet they are all drawn back to each other --- and to Palisades Park --- until the park closes forever in 1971.


-Find out what's New in Paperback for the weeks of September 30th, October 7th, October 14th, October 21st and October 28th.

Recent “Bookreporter.com Bets On” Selections
The Husband's Secret by Liane Moriarty
We reviewed The Husband's Secret by Liane Moriarty in August, which prompted me to want to read it. Yes, even I am influenced by our reviews! The story was not the one I guessed from the title, and it had one surprise after the other, right through to the epilogue, which is soooo deliciously satisfying. It’s set in Australia, which somehow contributes to make it even more delightful as the dialogue has a great pitch.

-Click here to read more of Carol's thoughts on the book.
-Click here to read our review on Bookreporter.com.

Moonrise by Cassandra King
I have been a fan of Cassandra King’s for a while now, so seeing she had a new book made me smile. Moonrise is set in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, where my sister has a vacation home, so I know the area well. The title of the book is drawn from the name of the house that was originally occupied by Emmet and his first wife, Rosalyn. I love big old houses like this that in themselves are stories. Rosalyn cultivated a beautiful moon garden, created of flowers that bloom in the evenings and look wonderful in moonlight, like moonflowers, night jasmine and white butterfly bushes. The garden has gone to ruin after she died under mysterious circumstances the prior fall. Emmet hastily re-wed a younger woman named Helen, and this will be their first summer up at Moonrise. Old friends are not welcoming to Helen, and the mystery surrounding Rosalyn’s death swirls around them.

-Click here to read more of Carol's thoughts on the book.
-Click here to read our review on Bookreporter.com.


My Mother's Secret: A Novel Based on a True Holocaust Story by J.L. Witterick
When I finished reading My Mother's Secret by J.L. Witterick, I was totally in awe of it. It’s based on the true story of a woman and her daughter who hid two Jewish families and a German soldier on their farm during World War II. Told from four different perspectives, it’s so tightly and succinctly written that I found myself reading every word. It had been tightened down so much that it seemed that every word mattered. I can see this book being read by teens, as well as adults. It’s a story of courage, as well as the depths of ingenuity that one woman mastered to save those around her. It’s a story of heroism, bravery, and the kind of inner core that we all hope we would have in a time of crisis. You’ll read it fast, but I dare say the story will stay with you for a long time.

-Click here to read our review on Bookreporter.com.
 
Click here to see all the books we're is betting you'll love.

 
Bookreporter.com’s Books on Screen Feature for October
Put on your tweed jacket and Gregory Peck glasses, because it's October and we're getting serious! The drama is non-stop, on screens both big and small. Sometimes it's hard to decide between reading a good book and watching a thought-provoking movie or TV show. But with so many incredible books on screen to choose from this month, it's a win-win situation.

In theaters, there is not one but two remakes of old classics --- not to mention romance fan favorites. Mike Newell, who directed the amazing Four Weddings and a Funeral, is back with a very welcome retelling of Charles Dickens's complicated story of love and fortune, GREAT EXPECTATIONS. If your tastes run more Shakespearean, then the highly anticipated and reimagined Romeo & Juliet is a can't-miss.

If you're not looking for love this month, check out Tom Hanks in the tense thriller Captain Phillips, based on the 2009 hijacking of the U.S. container ship Maersk Alabama by a crew of Somali pirates. Also in October --- and just in time for Halloween --- is a remake of the Stephen King gorefest, CARRIE. America's favorite troubled teen is back, this time played by Chloe Grace Moretz, with Julianne Moore as her religious, overbearing mother.

If you're saving your money for Oktoberfest, there are plenty of books on screen to watch for free in the comfort of your own home. Vampires are hot this season (as with all seasons, post-Twilight), and you have your choice of the brooding CW kind or the brooding NBC kind. On the CW, "The Vampire Diaries" returns for its fifth season, and Stefan, Damon and Elena are all still fang-deep in old drama and new. Jonathan Rhys Meyers plays a more grown-up vampire over on NBC, starring as Dracula on the show of the same title, which premieres on October 25th.

Between all the romance, horror and remakes galore, there's something for everyone on screen this October. Get out there and enjoy!

 
Click here to see all the movies, TV shows and DVDs featured in October's Books on Screen.

 
New Guides Now Available
The following guides are now available on ReadingGroupGuides.com:

An American Bride in Kabul: A Memoir by Phyllis Chesler: An American Bride in Kabul is a powerful examination of women, culture, history, and the meaning of freedom as told by a woman who narrowly escaped death trying to regain her own.

Free Spirit: Growing Up On the Road and Off the Grid by Joshua Safran: Free Spirit is more than just a coming-of age story. It is also a journey of the spirit, as Joshua Safran reconnects with his Jewish roots; a tale of overcoming adversity; and a captivating read about a childhood unlike any other.
Friday's Harbor by Diane Hammond: The heartwarming and provocative sequel to Diane Hammond's Hannah's Dream, Friday's Harbor is the compelling story of a dying orca, the caring zoo that saves him, and the controversy that threatens his captivity.
The Good House by Ann Leary: The Good House is a riveting novel in which an engaging, irreverent woman is in complete denial --- about herself, her drinking, and her love for a man she’s known all her life.
The Lowland by Jhumpa Lahiri: From the Pulitzer Prize-winning, bestselling author of The Namesake comes an extraordinary new novel, set in both India and America, that expands the scope and range of one of our most dazzling storytellers: a tale of two brothers bound by tragedy, a fiercely brilliant woman haunted by her past, a country torn by revolution, and a love that lasts long past death.
The Night Guest by Fiona McFarlane: The Night Guest, Fiona McFarlane’s hypnotic first novel, is no simple tale of a crime committed and a mystery solved. This is a tale that soars above its own suspense to tell us, with exceptional grace and beauty, about aging, love, trust, dependence and fear; about processes of colonization; and about things (and people) in places they shouldn’t be.
Once We Were Brothers by Ronald H. Balson: Once We Were Brothers is a gripping tale about two boys, once as close as brothers, who find themselves on opposite sides of the Holocaust.
Orange Is the New Black: My Year in a Women's Prison by Piper Kerman: Now a Netflix original series and #1 New York Times bestseller, Orange is the New Black is the heartbreaking, hilarious, and at times enraging true story of Piper Kerman and her year in a women's federal prison.
The Power Trip by Jackie Collins: From blockbuster bestselling author Jackie Collins comes a sexy, sun-drenched thriller set on a state-of-the-art luxury yacht off the coast of Cabo San Lucas. The Power Trip --- it’s the journey of a lifetime.
Strings Attached: One Tough Teacher and the Gift of Great Expectations by Joanne Lipman and Melanie Kupchynsky: Launched by a New York Times Op-Ed piece that went viral about a remarkable teacher’s legacy, Strings Attached explores how success stems from enduring yet tough lessons.
Tinderbox by Lisa Gornick: When you invite a stranger into your home, you never know who’s really coming in…

Please note that these titles, for which we already had the guides when they appeared in hardcover, are now available in paperback:

The Cutting Season by Atticka Locke: From the acclaimed author of Black Water Rising comes a heart-pounding thriller that interweaves two murder mysteries --- one on Belle Vie, a historic landmark in the middle of Louisiana’s Sugar Cane country, and one involving a slave gone missing over 100 years earlier.
Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan: Sweeping from Europe’s legendary Renaissance book printers to the new frontiers of the Information Age, Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore is a rollicking adventure and an inspiring ode to the published word.
The Obituary Writer by Ann Hood: The Obituary Writer is a sophisticated and suspenseful novel about the poignant lives of two women living in different eras.
The Round House by Louise Erdrich: The Round House is an exquisitely told story of a boy on the cusp of manhood who seeks justice and understanding in the wake of a terrible crime that upends and forever transforms his family.
The Twelve Tribes of Hattie by Ayana Mathis: In 1923, 15-year-old Hattie Shepherd flees Georgia and heads north, hoping for a chance at a better life. Her children’s lives, captured here in 12 luminous threads, tell the story of a mother’s monumental courage --- and a nation's tumultuous journey.

The following guide is now available for Christian book groups:

The Governess of Highland Hall: Edwardian Brides, Book One by Carrie Turansky: Worlds lie between the marketplaces of India and the halls of a magnificent country estate like Highland Hall. Will Julia be able to find her place when a governess is neither upstairs family nor downstairs help?

 
Contests Running on Other Sites in TheBookReportNetwork.com
We have a number of contests currently running on our other sites in TheBookReportNetwork.com. Please take a look at them below, and enter for your chance to win some fabulous books!

Bookreporter.com

Fallen Women by Sandra Dallas
We have 35 copies of Fallen Women by Sandra Dallas, which releases on October 22nd, to give away to readers who would like to read the book and comment on it. The deadline for entries is Thursday, October 17th at noon ET.


How to Be a Good Wife by Emma Chapman
We have 35 copies of How to Be a Good Wife by Emma Chapman, which releases on October 15th, to give away to readers who would like to read the book and comment on it. The deadline for entries is Thursday, October 10th at noon ET.


Glittering Promises: The Grand Tour Series, Book 3 by Lisa T. Bergren
We are celebrating the release of Glittering Promises with a special contest that will give 25 readers the opportunity to win a copy of this final book in Lisa T. Bergren's Grand Tour series. The deadline for entries is Friday, November 1st at noon ET.

Word of Mouth
Tell us your current reading recommendations with your comments and a rating of 1 to 5 stars. During the contest period from October 4th to October 18th, FIVE lucky readers each will be randomly chosen to win a copy of Christmas Bliss by Mary Kay Andrews, Identical by Scott Turow, and Starry Night: A Christmas Novel by Debbie Macomber.

Teenreads.com

Book O'Lantern 2013
We are celebrating the season of ghouls and ghosts with our Third Annual Book O'Lantern Contest! Between now and Thursday, October 31st, teens can enter to win a bag perfect for trick-or-treating, filled with a few special sweet treats, plus some spooky reads that will help make the scariest season of them all last well beyond Halloween.

Kidsreads.com

The Last Present by Wendy Mass
When Connor's little sister, Grace, falls into a coma, he finds out it's his task to discover what happened to her and try to fix it --- all without running into an alternate version of himself! We are celebrating the release of The Last Present, the latest entry in Wendy Mass's Willow Falls series, with a special contest that will give 15 readers the opportunity to win a copy of the book. The deadline for entries is Thursday, October 31st at noon ET.

Sammy Keyes and the Killer Cruise by Wendelin Van Draanen
Sammy Keyes knew that getting to know her new dad on a cruise would be a little uncomfortable. But when an heiress disappears from the ship, it turns out everyone is in for a rocky ride. We are celebrating the release of Sammy Keyes and the Killer Cruise, Wendelin Van Draanen’s penultimate Sammy Keyes mystery, with a special contest that will give five readers the opportunity to win a SIGNED copy of the book. The deadline for entries is Wednesday, October 16th at noon ET.


FaithfulReader.com

The Secret Keeper: Home to Hickory Hollow, Book 4 by Beverly Lewis
We are celebrating the release of The Secret Keeper with a special contest that will give 30 readers the opportunity to win a copy of this fourth installment in Beverly Lewis's Home to Hickory Hollow series. The deadline for entries is Wednesday, October 16th at noon ET.

The Prayer Box by Lisa Wingate
We are celebrating the release of The Prayer Box with a special contest that will give five readers the opportunity to win a copy of Lisa Wingate's latest book. The deadline for entries is Wednesday, October 16th at noon ET.

FaithfulReader.com’s Monthly Contest
In our latest monthly contest, 30 readers will receive a copy of REBELLIOUS HEART by Jody Hedlund, a star-crossed love story about two people who find themselves bound together in what quickly becomes a very dangerous fight for justice. The deadline for entries is Wednesday, October 16th at noon ET.

 

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Happy reading. We'll see you next month.

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www.Bookreporter.com, www.20SomethingReads.com, www.Teenreads.com, www.Kidsreads.com, www.GraphicNovelReporter.com, www.FaithfulReader.com and www.AuthorsOnTheWeb.com.

Carol Fitzgerald (Carol@bookreporter.com)

The Book Report Network
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