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June 2015

ReadingGroupGuides.com Newsletter June 2015


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Speed Dating and Our Book Group Survey

Our 4th Annual BEA Speed Dating session was a smashing success --- by our tally, there were 200 readers at this event hearing news about 136 books coming this fall from 27 publishers. All within less than two hours. WHEW! We had such a good time running the program, and have heard some marvelous feedback from our attendees!

We know that most of you were not able to join us at this event, but that you still are curious about fall/winter 2015 books that will be perfect for book group discussions. Emily coordinated the materials for the slideshow and leavebehind at the event, and she also pulled together a slideshow with all the titles that were presented during the BEA program for you! You can find it here. To give you an easy way to mark what you want to suggest at your future meetings, she also created a spreadsheet with all the featured titles that you can share with your other book group members, which you can find on this page. We hope these materials help you and your group with your upcoming selections!

My thanks to Emily for doing the lion’s share of the work for this program, and also to our team of Nicole, Greg, John and our intern, Rebecca, who worked with us on pulling off a very successful program!

Last week I had the pleasure of moderating a panel for book groups with “book group perfect” authors at BookCon, the consumer book event in New York. You can see me pictured above with the author guests, including, from left to right: Paula McLain (author of THE PARIS WIFE and the upcoming CIRCLING THE SUN --- you can enter here to win a copy of this book on Bookreporter.com between now and June 18th), Vanessa Diffenbaugh (author of the upcoming WE NEVER ASKED FOR WINGS and THE LANGUAGE OF FLOWERS) and Annie Barrows (author of the upcoming THE TRUTH ACCORDING TO US, which is one of our Bookreporter Summer Reading Contest books this week, and THE GUERNSEY LITERARY AND POTATO PEEL PIE SOCIETY). Each shared some information about her upcoming book, and then we dove into a conversation about how they have interacted with book groups through the years.

Vanessa was asked to join a local book group after the group discussed her book. Paula shared that she has participated in book group discussions near and far; near with her next-door neighbor, but she also likes to meet with groups when she is on the road touring and, in fact, had spoken with a woman in the Cleveland airport the day before who wanted her to visit her Kansas City book group. Annie shared that she has done a number of Skype call-ins with groups; unlike when she is talking to mother/child book groups about her Ivy and Bean series, adult readers do not expect her to make crafts. They were delightful company, and the hour flew by.

Thanks to those of you who already have answered our 2015 Book Group Survey. We remind you that this survey is open until July 15th, and we are hoping to hear from ALL of you! One reader commented that as she answered the survey she found herself enjoying reflecting upon her book group meetings and what they have read. Another reader commented that the survey actually gave her ideas of things she would like to do with her book group. Love that! We definitely asked a broad range of questions. Click here to weigh in.

We are interested in hearing as much of your feedback as possible. People always ask us what book groups are interested in, and your participation will ensure that we can provide those answers! We know your time is valuable, so once you complete the survey, you can opt to enter to win one of the following: a Grand Prize of one $250 gift certificate to the bookstore of your choice, ten (10) $100 gift certificates to the bookstore of your choice and fifty (50) $25 gift certificates, again to the bookstore of your choice. We did the math for you; that is a $2,500 prize package! The survey will be open until July 15th, but we encourage you to jump in as quickly as possible. And if you are in more than one book group, feel free to take the survey for each group you belong to --- you’ll be helping us tremendously and you’ll increase your chance to win a prize! And please share with all the members of your group; the more the merrier!

Big UGH! We changed email systems in late April and recently learned that emails from our "Write to Us" and “Request a Guide” mailboxes did not reach us during that time frame. Not one of my happier moments when we figured this out. It’s fixed now, after a long conversation with three people at Office 365, who were very helpful once we had all the facts figured out. So sorry for the inconvenience. I should have anticipated that the MX record move would have caused an issue. MX records are just one of the things I get to think about when I am not reading!

This month, we have three contests to share with you. The first is for Dorothea Benton Frank’s ALL THE SINGLE LADIES. The perennial New York Times bestselling author returns with an emotionally resonant novel that illuminates the power of friendship in women’s lives, and is filled with her trademark wit, poignant and timely themes, sassy, flesh-and-blood characters, and the steamy Southern atmosphere and beauty of her beloved Carolina Lowcountry. In honor of its June 9th release --- just in time for summer! --- we’re giving five groups the chance to win 10 copies. Enter here by Wednesday, July 8th at noon ET.

Next, we’re giving away 100 copies of Matt Richtel’s fascinating, thought-provoking A DEADLY WANDERING in honor of its June 2nd paperback release. I loved this book and made it a Bookreporter.com Bets On selection. Read it, and you will think about it for a very long time. As in, every time you pick up your phone to text or make a call. It’s filled with fascinating, accessible detail, riveting narrative tension, and emotional depth. It explores one of the biggest questions of our time --- what is all of our technology doing to us? --- and provides unsettling and important answers and information we all need. Enter here by Wednesday, July 8th at noon ET.

Our prize book in June’s “What’s Your Book Group Reading This Month?” contest is DOLLBABY by debut author Laura Lane McNeal. It’s a sweeping family saga of Southern eccentricities and secrets --- set against the backdrop of civil-rights era New Orleans --- that weaves together the lives of five women who prove family can be found where you least expect it. As usual, we’re giving three groups the chance to win 12 copies of the book; enter here and let us know what your group is reading this month for your chance to win. The deadline for entries is Wednesday, July 8th at noon ET.

Speaking of summer reading, for a perfect summer read full of fame and love, try THE LIFE AND DEATH OF SOPHIE STARK by Anna North. This provocative novel follows the rise of artist Sophie Stark, a filmmaker whose first project is a documentary about college basketball star Daniel. But when Sophie’s obsession grows too invasive, she becomes the victim of a cruel prank. Undeterred by humiliation, Sophie begins to pull stories from the lives of people around her to create movies, quickly gaining critical recognition and praise --- at the risk of betraying the person closest to her. Click here for more about the book.

We have six featured guides this month! The first is for THE BOOK OF LIFE, the thrilling conclusion to Deborah Harkness' bestselling All Souls Trilogy --- now available in paperback. Powerful witch Diana Bishop and her vampire husband Matthew Clairmont are back in the present and about to face their worst and most unexpected enemies --- their families. There’s still resistance to their marriage, the issues with the Congregation have yet to be resolved and a long-abandoned son of Matthew’s begins reigning terror on the de Clermont family and the public at large. Click here for the featured guide.

Lori Nelson Spielman’s SWEET FORGIVENESS is a funny, poignant story about the power of forgiveness. The Forgiveness Stones craze is sweeping the nation --- instantly recognizable pouches of stones that come with a chain letter and two simple requests: to forgive, and then to seek forgiveness. New Orleans' favorite talk show host Hannah Farr has kept her very own pouch hidden for two years --- and her dark past concealed for nearly two decades. But when Fiona Knowles, creator of the Forgiveness Stones, appears on Hannah’s show, Hannah unwittingly reveals on air details of a decades-old falling out with her mother. Reluctantly, Hannah embarks on a public journey of forgiveness and must find the courage to right old wrongs, or risk losing her mother forever. Click here for the featured guide.

SECOND LIFE is the latest from New York Times bestselling author S. J. Watson. How well can you really know another person? How far would you go to find the truth about someone you love? When Julia learns that her sister has been violently murdered, she must uncover why. But Julia's quest quickly evolves into an alluring exploration of her own darkest sensual desires. Becoming involved with a dangerous stranger online, she's losing herself, losing control, perhaps losing everything. Her search for answers will jeopardize her marriage, her family and her life. Click here for the featured guide.

Next, we’re featuring the guide for Ellen Cooney’s THE MOUNTAINTOP SCHOOL FOR DOGS AND OTHER SECOND CHANCES, now out in paperback. It’s the story of two women and a whole pack of dogs, who, having lost their way in the world, find a place at a training school --- and radical rescue center --- called the Sanctuary. Cooney crafts a moving and hilarious chronicle of the ways in which humans and canines help each other find new lives, new selves and new hope, that will appeal to lovers of dogs and lovers of good books alike. Click here for the featured guide and here for the review on Bookreporter.com.

We’re also featuring the guide for Kim Wright’s THE CANTERBURY SISTERS. After Che Milan’s longtime lover abruptly dumps her, she reluctantly decides to undertake a pilgrimage to Canterbury at her eccentric dead mother’s behest. Within days she joins a group of women who are walking the 60 miles from London to the shrine of Becket in Canterbury Cathedral, reputed to be the site of miracles. The women swap stories as they walk, each vying to see who can best describe true love. It’s Chaucer meets Jojo Moyes, and you won’t want to miss it. Click here for the featured guide and here for the review on Bookreporter.com.

Last but not least, we’re featuring the guide for Linda Francis Lee’s THE GLASS KITCHEN, now available in paperback. It’s about Portia Cuthcart, who, after a string of betrayals and the loss of her legacy, is determined to start a new life with her sisters in Manhattan…and never cook again. But when Portia moves into a dilapidated brownstone on the Upper West Side, she meets 12-year-old Ariel and her widowed father, Gabriel. Soon, a promise made to her sisters forces Portia back into a world of magical food and swirling emotions, where she must confront everything she has been running from. Click here for the featured guide and here for the review on Bookreporter.com. And I LOVE the vases on that cover!

We're really excited about our poll question this month. We're always hearing new books being compared to older, usually bestselling, titles in their genre; we want to know which title comparisons would make you want to read the book. Click here to check out the titles we've listed, and to let us know what you think!

We've updated our Reading Roundup feature for June. This month's top picks from LibraryReads, Indie Next, Target Book Club and Pennie's Pick (Costco) include EIGHT HUNDRED GRAPES by Laura Dave, THE TRUTH ACCORDING TO US by Annie Barrows, IN THE UNLIKELY EVENT by Judy Blume, DIETLAND by Sarai Walker (which our reviewer raved about on Bookreporter.com) and A LAND MORE KIND THAN HOME by Wiley Cash. Click here to see the full roundup.

I love meeting our readers. And I love when authors connect with our readers. In the photo above, Mary Kay Andrews catches up with Jamie Anderson from Duck’s Cottage and Duck’s Cottage Downtown in Duck, North Carolina where she was on tour for BEACH TOWN: Jamie, a longtime bookseller friend, is a huge fan of MKA’s, as we affectionately call Mary Kay Andrews around the office. Jamie and I met over a decade ago when we stopped by her store on the Outer Banks. Asked what websites she read for ideas for buying for the store and customer recommendations. Jamie quickly mentioned ReadingGroupGuides.com and went on and on about it. Greg nudged me and asked when I was going to tell her we owned it. I enjoyed hearing the unfiltered feedback. We’ve gone on to become pals, and thus when my two friends met up over Memorial Day weekend in Duck (see the photo above) when MKA was on book tour, I was beaming.

Here’s to a great book group discussion this month…read on for much more. And remember the Book Group Survey!

Carol Fitzgerald (Carol@bookreporter.com)

P.S. For those of you who are doing online shopping for books, if you use the store links below, ReadingGroupGuides.com gets a small affiliate fee on your purchases. We would appreciate your considering this!

 

Special Contest: Win Copies of ALL THE SINGLE LADIES by Dorothea Benton Frank for Your Group

We are celebrating the release of bestselling author Dorothea Benton Frank's ALL THE SINGLE LADIES --- an emotionally resonant novel that illuminates the power of friendship in women’s lives --- by giving five groups a chance to win 10 copies of the book. To enter, please fill out this form by Wednesday, July 8th at noon ET.

ALL THE SINGLE LADIES by Dorothea Benton Frank (Fiction)
The perennial New York Times bestselling author returns with an emotionally resonant novel that illuminates the power of friendship in women’s lives, and is filled with her trademark wit, poignant and timely themes, sassy, flesh-and-blood characters, and the steamy Southern atmosphere and beauty of her beloved Carolina Lowcountry.

Few writers capture the complexities, pain and joy of relationships --- between friends, family members, husbands and wives, or lovers --- as beloved New York Times bestselling author Dorothea Benton Frank. In this charming, evocative, soul-touching novel, she once again takes us deep into the heart of the magical Lowcountry, where three amazing middle-aged women are bonded by another amazing woman’s death.

Through their shared loss they forge a deep friendship, asking critical questions. Who was their friend and what did her life mean? Are they living the lives they imagined for themselves? Will they ever be able to afford to retire? How will they maximize their happiness? Security? Health? And, ultimately, their own legacies?

A plan is conceived and unfurls with each turn of the tide during one sweltering summer on the Isle of Palms. Without ever fully realizing how close they were to the edge, they finally triumph amid laughter and maybe even newfound love.

-Click here for the reading group guide.

 

Click here to enter the contest.

 
Special Contest: Win a Copy of A DEADLY WANDERING by Matt Richtel

We are celebrating the paperback release of Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Matt Richtel's A DEADLY WANDERING --- a thought-provoking examination of technology’s impact on human behavior --- by giving 100 readers a chance to win a copy of the book. To enter, please fill out this form by Wednesday, July 8th at noon ET.

A DEADLY WANDERING: A Mystery, a Landmark Investigation, and the Astonishing Science of Attention in the Digital Age by Matt Richtel (Social Science/Technology)
From Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist Matt Richtel, a brilliant, narrative-driven exploration of technology’s vast influence on the human mind and society, dramatically-told through the lens of a tragic “texting-while-driving” car crash that claimed the lives of two rocket scientists in 2006.

In this ambitious, compelling and beautifully written book, Matt Richtel, a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter for the New York Times, examines the impact of technology on our lives through the story of Utah college student Reggie Shaw, who killed two scientists while texting and driving. Richtel follows Reggie through the tragedy, the police investigation, his prosecution, and ultimately, his redemption.

In the wake of his experience, Reggie has become a leading advocate against “distracted driving.” Richtel interweaves Reggie’s story with cutting-edge scientific findings regarding human attention and the impact of technology on our brains, proposing solid, practical, and actionable solutions to help manage this crisis individually and as a society.

A propulsive read filled with fascinating, accessible detail, riveting narrative tension, and emotional depth, A DEADLY WANDERING explores one of the biggest questions of our time --- what is all of our technology doing to us? --- and provides unsettling and important answers and information we all need.

-Click here for the reading group guide.
-Click here to read a review on Bookreporter.com.
-Click here to read why Carol chose it as a Bookreporter.com Bets On selection.
-Click here to read a guest post by author Matt Richtel on the Teenreads.com blog.

 

Click here to enter the contest.

 
"What's Your Book Group Reading This Month?": Win 12 Copies of DOLLBABY by Laura Lane McNeal

Each month, we ask book groups to share the titles they are reading that month and rate them. From all entries, three winners will be selected, and each will win 12 copies of that month’s prize book for their group. Note: To be eligible to win, let us know the title of the book that YOUR book group is CURRENTLY reading, NOT the title we are giving away.

Our latest prize book is debut author Laura Lane McNeal's DOLLBABY. A sweeping family saga of Southern eccentricities and secrets set against the backdrop of civil-rights era New Orleans, DOLLBABY weaves together the lives of five women who prove family can be found where you least expect it. Enter here by Wednesday, July 8th at noon ET.

DOLLBABY by Laura Lane McNeal (Fiction)
When Ibby Bell's father dies in the summer of 1964, her mother Vidrine deposits the 11-year-old with her eccentric grandmother Fannie Bell, whom she didn’t know existed. Fannie, who lives in a decrepit Victorian mansion in Uptown New Orleans, tends to wind up in the local asylum every now and then. Her black cook, Queenie, who runs the household, and Queenie’s outspoken daughter, Dollbaby, take young Ibby under their wing and initiate her into the ways of the South --- both its grand traditions as well as its darkest secrets. As Ibby uncovers the ghosts of her family's past, she learns that family can be found in places you least expect it.

Uplifting and funny, poignant and full of verve, DOLLBABY is a novel of Southern eccentricity, secrets and charm. Fans of Sue Monk Kidd, Pat Conroy and Harper Lee won’t want to miss this one!

-Click here for the reading group guide.
-Click here to read a review on Bookreporter.com.
-Click here to read a Q&A with the author.

 

Click here to enter the contest.

 
Featured Title: THE LIFE AND DEATH OF SOPHIE STARK by Anna North

Gripping and provocative, THE LIFE AND DEATH OF SOPHIE STARK is a haunting story of fame, love, and legacy told through the propulsive rise of an iconoclastic artist. Sophie Stark begins her filmmaking career by creating a documentary about her obsession, Daniel, a college basketball star. But when she becomes too invasive, she finds herself the victim of a cruel retribution. The humiliation doesn’t stop her. Visionary and unapologetic, Sophie begins to use stories from the lives of those around her to create movies, and as she gains critical recognition and acclaim, she risks betraying the one she loves most.

Told in a chorus of voices belonging to those who knew Sophie best, THE LIFE AND DEATH OF SOPHIE STARK is an intimate portrait of an elusive woman whose monumental talent and relentless pursuit of truth reveal the cost of producing great art.

 

Click here to read more about this title.

 
We Want to Hear from You in Our 2015 Book Group Survey!
Welcome to the 2015 Book Group Survey, presented by ReadingGroupGuides.com. The results of this survey will be shared with publishers and authors for the purposes of creating programs and promotions to enhance your book club experience.

We invite you to take our 2015 Book Group Survey. It should take about 10-12 minutes to complete it.

If you belong to more than one group, as you answer the survey please select one group to answer the questions about. If you would like to supply replies about another group, please take the survey again once you have completed it.

Those who complete the survey will be eligible to win one of the following prizes:
1 (one) Grand Prize - $250 gift certificate to the bookstore of your choice.
10 (ten) First Prizes - $100 gift certificate to the bookstore of your choice.
50 (fifty) Second Prizes - $25 gift certificate to the bookstore of your choice.

The survey will be open through Wednesday, July 15, 2015. We appreciate your participation!

 
Click here to take the survey.

 
BEA Wrap-Up: Great Book Club Picks for Fall/Winter 2015

At BookExpo America (BEA), we had a chance to meet some of our readers at the Speed Dating session that we ran on Friday, May 31st. We know that many of you were not able to join us this year in New York, so we want to give you the opportunity to see all of the amazing titles that were presented at the event. To give you an easy way to mark what you want to suggest at your future meetings, we are providing a spreadsheet with all the featured titles, which you can find on this page.

We have also made a PDF of all the titles available. Due to the large size of the file, we've divided it up alphabetically by publisher:

Part 1: Algonquin; Berkley, New American Library; Bloomsbury; Consortium; Crown
Part 2: Ecco; Farrar, Straus and Giroux; Grove/Atlantic; Hachette; HarperCollins
Part 3: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt; Ingram; Liveright; Mira; Other Press; Penguin Press, Picador
Part 4: Random House; Riverhead; Simon & Schuster; Soho
Part 5: Sourcebooks; St. Martin's Press; Viking; W. W. Norton; William Morrow

 

Click here for our BEA Fall Preview.

 
Featured Guide: THE BOOK OF LIFE by Deborah Harkness

THE BOOK OF LIFE by Deborah Harkness (Paranormal Romance)
The #1 New York Times bestselling series finale and sequel to A DISCOVERY OF WITCHES and SHADOW OF NIGHT

Fans of the All Souls Trilogy sent this highly anticipated finale straight to #1 on the New York Times hardcover bestseller list. Bringing the series’ magic and suspense to a deeply satisfying conclusion, THE BOOK OF LIFE is poised to become an even bigger phenomenon in paperback.

Diana and Matthew time-travel back from Elizabethan London to make a dramatic return to the present --- facing new crises and old enemies. At Matthew’s ancestral home, Sept-Tours, they reunite with the beloved cast of characters from A DISCOVERY OF WITCHES --- with one significant exception. But the real threat to their future has yet to be revealed, and when it is, the search for Ashmole 782 and its missing pages takes on even more urgency.

 

Click here for the featured guide.

 
Featured Guide: SWEET FORGIVENESS by Lori Nelson Spielman

SWEET FORGIVENESS by Lori Nelson Spielman (Fiction)
The Forgiveness Stones craze is sweeping the nation --- instantly recognizable pouches of stones that come with a chain letter and two simple requests: to forgive, and then to seek forgiveness. But New Orleans' favorite talk show host, Hannah Farr, isn't biting. Intensely private and dating the city’s mayor, Hannah has kept her very own pouch of Forgiveness Stones hidden for two years --- and her dark past concealed for nearly two decades. But when Fiona Knowles, creator of the Forgiveness Stones, appears on Hannah’s show, Hannah unwittingly reveals on air details of a decades-old falling out with her mother.

Spurned by her fans, doubted by her friends, and accused by her boyfriend of marring his political career, Hannah reluctantly embarks on a public journey of forgiveness. As events from her past become clearer, the truth she’s clung to since her teenage years has never felt murkier. Hannah must find the courage to right old wrongs, or risk losing her mother, and any glimmer of an authentic life, forever.

 

Click here for the featured guide.

 
Featured Guide: THE MOUNTAINTOP SCHOOL FOR DOGS AND OTHER SECOND CHANCES by Ellen Cooney

THE MOUNTAINTOP SCHOOL FOR DOGS AND OTHER SECOND CHANCES by Ellen Cooney (Fiction)
A novel of a young woman who, despite knowing nothing about animals, signs herself up for dog training school at the Sanctuary, where she discovers that rescue can find even the most hopeless among us and that friends come in all shapes, sizes and breeds

The Sanctuary. High up on the mountain, the Sanctuary is a home for strays and rescued dogs. Once the indomitable Mrs. Auberchon lets her pass, Evie joins a training program there --- never mind that she doesn’t know a thing about animals. But when she’s finally on the mountain with staffers, volunteers and the dogs, Evie learns quickly, finding refuge in the Sanctuary as the dogs do. For, like the racing greyhound who won’t move, the golden retriever who returns every time he’s adopted and the Rottweiler failing at search-and-rescue, Evie has a troubled past. A worthy shelf-mate to books by Garth Stein and Carolyn Parkhurst, this is a heartfelt novel about finding in your fellow animals a deeper sense of home, healing, and hope for a fresh future.

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

 

Click here for the featured guide.

 
Featured Guide: THE CANTERBURY SISTERS by Kim Wright

THE CANTERBURY SISTERS by Kim Wright (Fiction)
Che Milan’s life is falling apart. Not only has her longtime lover abruptly dumped her, but her eccentric, demanding mother has recently died. When an urn of ashes arrives, along with a note reminding Che of a half-forgotten promise to take her mother to Canterbury, Che finds herself reluctantly undertaking a pilgrimage.

Within days she joins a group of women who are walking the sixty miles from London to the shrine of Becket in Canterbury Cathedral, reputed to be the site of miracles. In the best Chaucer tradition, the women swap stories as they walk, each vying to see who can best describe true love. Che, who is a perfectionist and workaholic, loses her cell phone at the first stop and is forced to slow down and really notice the world around her, perhaps for the first time in years.

Through her adventures along the trail, Che finds herself opening up to new possibilities in life and discovers that the miracles of Canterbury can take surprising forms.


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

 

Click here for the featured guide.

 
Featured Guide: THE GLASS KITCHEN by Linda Francis Lee

THE GLASS KITCHEN by Linda Francis Lee (Fiction)
Portia Cuthcart never intended to leave Texas. Her dream was to run the Glass Kitchen restaurant her grandmother built decades ago. But after a string of betrayals and the loss of her legacy, Portia is determined to start a new life with her sisters in Manhattan…

When she moves into a dilapidated brownstone on the Upper West Side, she meets 12-year-old Ariel and her widowed father, Gabriel, a man with his hands full trying to raise two daughters on his own. Soon, a promise made to her sisters forces Portia back into a world of magical food and swirling emotions, where she must confront everything she has been running from. What seems so simple on the surface is anything but when long-held secrets are revealed, rivalries exposed, and the promise of new love stirs to life like chocolate mixing with cream.

THE GLASS KITCHEN is a delicious novel, a tempestuous story of a woman washed up on the shores of Manhattan who discovers that a kitchen --- like an island --- can be a refuge, if only she has the courage to give in to the pull of love, the power of forgiveness and accept the complications of what it means to be family.

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

 

Click here for the featured guide.

 
Featured Guide: SECOND LIFE by S. J. Watson

SECOND LIFE by S. J. Watson (Psychological Thriller)
From the New York Times bestselling author of BEFORE I GO TO SLEEP, a sensational new psychological thriller about a woman with a secret identity that threatens to destroy her.

How well can you really know another person? How far would you go to find the truth about someone you love?

When Julia learns that her sister has been violently murdered, she must uncover why. But Julia's quest quickly evolves into an alluring exploration of own darkest sensual desires. Becoming involved with a dangerous stranger online, she's losing herself...losing control...perhaps losing everything. Her search for answers will jeopardize her marriage, her family and her life.

A tense and unrelenting novel that explores the secret lives people lead; and the dark places in which they can find themselves SECOND LIFE is a masterwork of suspense from the acclaimed S. J. Watson.

 

Click here for the featured guide.

 
New Guides Now Available

The following guides are now available on ReadingGroupGuides.com:

ALL THE SINGLE LADIES by Dorothea Benton Frank (Fiction)
The perennial New York Times bestselling author returns with an emotionally resonant novel that illuminates the power of friendship in women’s lives, filled with her trademark wit, poignant and timely themes, sassy, flesh-and-blood characters, and the steamy Southern atmosphere and beauty of her beloved Carolina Lowcountry.

BALM by Dolen Perkins-Valdez (Historical Fiction)
The New York Times bestselling author of WENCH returns to the Civil War era to explore the next chapter of history --- the end of slavery --- in this powerful story of love and healing about three people who struggle to overcome the pain of the past and define their own future.

BEACH TOWN by Mary Kay Andrews (Fiction)
When movie location scout Greer Hennessy zeroes in on a sleepy Florida panhandle town, its mayor and born-again environmentalist Eben Thibadeaux will do whatever he can to protect it --- if he can resist his growing attraction to Greer.

THE BOOK OF LIFE by Deborah Harkness (Paranormal Romance/Urban Fantasy)
“Weaving an extraordinarily rich story of magic and science, history and fiction, passion and power, secrets and truths, Harkness delivers an unforgettable and spellbinding finale that's not to be missed.” —USA Today

THE CANTERBURY SISTERS by Kim Wright (Fiction)
In the vein of Jojo Moyes and Cheryl Strayed’s WILD, a warm and touching novel about a woman who embarks on a pilgrimage to Canterbury Cathedral after losing her mother, sharing life lessons --- in the best Chaucer tradition --- with eight other women along the way.

DISCLAIMER by Renée Knight (Psychological Thriller)
DISCLAIMER is a brilliantly conceived, deeply disturbing psychological thriller about a woman haunted by secrets --- and the price she will pay for concealing the truth.

DOLLBABY by Laura Lane McNeal (Historical Fiction)
A sweeping family saga of Southern eccentricities and secrets set against the backdrop of civil-rights era New Orleans, DOLLBABY weaves together the lives of five women who prove family can be found where you least expect it.

GIRL IN THE MOONLIGHT by Charles Dubow (Fiction)
The author of the acclaimed INDISCRETION returns with a searing tale of love, passion and obsession --- the story of one man’s all-consuming desire for a beautiful, bewitching and elusive woman.

HOTEL MOSCOW by Talia Carner (Fiction)
From the author of JERUSALEM MAIDEN comes a mesmerizing, thought-provoking novel that tells the riveting story of an American woman --- the daughter of Holocaust survivors --- who travels to Russia shortly after the fall of communism, and finds herself embroiled in a perilous mafia conspiracy that could irrevocably destroy her life.

THE INVASION OF THE TEARLING by Erika Johansen (Fantasy)
In this riveting sequel to the national bestseller THE QUEEN OF THE TEARLING, the evil kingdom of Mortmesne invades the Tearling, with dire consequences for Kelsea and her realm.

LOVE AND MISS COMMUNICATION by Elyssa Friedland (Fiction)
This unforgettable debut novel asks us to look up from our screens and out at the world…and to imagine what life would be like with no searches, no status updates, no texts, no Tweets, no pins and no posts.

THE MAKING OF ZOMBIE WARS by Aleksandar Hemon (Fiction)
Disaster ensues when Josh --- an aspiring screenwriter teaching ESL classes --- becomes entangled with a student whose husband is jealous and violent in this seriously funny roller-coaster ride of a novel.

MOONLIGHT ON BUTTERNUT LAKE by Mary McNear (Fiction)
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Mary McNear takes us home to Butternut Lake, where the townspeople are sure to look after anyone they consider their own…

THE MOUNTAINTOP SCHOOL FOR DOGS AND OTHER SECOND CHANCES by Ellen Cooney (Fiction)
A novel of a young woman who, despite knowing nothing about animals, signs herself up for dog training school at the Sanctuary, where she discovers that rescue can find even the most hopeless among us and that friends come in all shapes, sizes and breeds.

MY STRUGGLE: Book 4 by Karl Ove Knausgaard (Memoir)
Book 4 finds an 18-year-old Karl Ove in a tiny fishing village in Northern Norway: He has been hired as a schoolteacher and is living on his own for the first time and must weigh the realities of his new life as a writer against everything he had believed it would be.

SECOND LIFE by S. J. Watson (Psychological Thriller)
From the New York Times bestselling author of BEFORE I GO TO SLEEP, a sensational new psychological thriller about a woman with a secret identity that threatens to destroy her.

SWEET FORGIVENESS by Lori Nelson Spielman (Fiction)
#1 international bestselling author Lori Nelson Spielman follows THE LIFE LIST with SWEET FORGIVENESS, in which a fiercely private woman experiences a very public journey toward atonement.

THE UNFORTUNATES by Sophie McManus (Fiction)
THE UNFORTUNATES is the riveting, hilarious and epic story of a prominent American family on the cusp of ruin.


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

THE BLESSINGS by Elise Juska (Fiction)
An extraordinary novel that captures 20 years in the life of an ordinary family.

BRUTAL YOUTH by Anthony Breznican (Fiction)
Three freshmen must join forces to survive at a troubled, working-class Catholic high school with a student body full of bullies and zealots, and a faculty that's even worse in Anthony Breznican's BRUTAL YOUTH.

A DEADLY WANDERING: A Mystery, a Landmark Investigation, and the Astonishing Science of Attention in the Digital Age by Matt Richtel (Social Science/Technology)
Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times reporter Matt Richtel examines the impact of technology on our lives through the story of Utah college student Reggie Shaw, who killed two scientists while texting and driving.

ELIZABETH IS MISSING by Emma Healey (Thriller)
In this darkly riveting debut novel, a woman descending into dementia refuses to accept that her elderly best friend Elizabeth has simply disappeared --- and, as her mind retreats to a frightening place where the past and present collide, she embarks on a desperate quest for the truth that will have shattering consequences.

THE GLASS KITCHEN by Linda Francis Lee (Fiction)
Three sisters move from Texas to New York City to open a restaurant in this novel about food, family and finding true love from the author of EMILY AND EINSTEIN.

THE SHELF: From LEQ to LES: Adventures in Extreme Reading by Phyllis Rose (Literary Criticism)
Essayist and biographer Phyllis Rose chose a bookshelf at random --- LEQ-LES --- challenging herself to an adventure in “extreme reading” in the wilds of a historic library on Manhattan’s Upper East Side.

THE STORIES WE TELL by Patti Callahan Henry (Fiction)
From bestselling author Patti Callahan Henry comes a tense family drama about secrets and lies, and the cost of finally telling the truth.

WE ARE NOT OURSELVES by Matthew Thomas (Fiction)
WE ARE NOT OURSELVES is the sprawling story of Eileen and Ed Leary, a wife and husband drawn apart and together again by their complicated relationship with the American Dream.

THE YEAR SHE LEFT US by Kathryn Ma (Fiction)
From the winner of the 2009 Iowa Short Fiction Prize --- comes the extraordinary, unexpected debut tale of three generations of Chinese-American women in a San Francisco family who must confront their past and carve out a future.

 

This Month's Poll

If a book was being compared to a title listed below, which comparison(s), if any, would make you want to read that book? Please check as many as apply.
 

  • THE ART OF RACING IN THE RAIN by Garth Stein
  • BEFORE I GO TO SLEEP by S. J. Watson
  • EAT, PRAY, LOVE: One Woman's Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia, by Elizabeth Gilbert
  • THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN by Paula Hawkins
  • THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO by Stieg Larsson
  • THE GLASS CASTLE: A Memoir, by Jeannette Walls
  • GONE GIRL by Gillian Flynn
  • THE HELP by Kathryn Stockett
  • INTO THE WILD by Jon Krakauer
  • THE KITE RUNNER by Khaled Hosseini
  • THE LOVELY BONES by Alice Sebold
  • THE NIGHT CIRCUS by Erin Morgenstern
  • THE SECRET LIFE OF BEES by Sue Monk Kidd
  • A WALK IN THE WOODS: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail, by Bill Bryson
  • WATER FOR ELEPHANTS by Sara Gruen
  • WILD: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail, by Cheryl Strayed
  • None of the above
     
Click here to answer the poll by Tuesday, July 7th at noon ET.

 

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