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March 2006

ReadingGroupGuides.com Newsletter

March 2006

This Month on ReadingGroupGuides.com

Books That Stay With You....

THE FIVE PEOPLE YOU MEET IN HEAVEN by Mitch Albom --- Special DVD and Book Giveaway!

Book Giveaway --- THE MERMAID CHAIR by Sue Monk Kidd

INTUITION by Allegra Goodman

THE YEAR OF MAGICAL THINKING by Joan Didion

SNOBS by Julian Fellowes

EVIDENCE OF HARM by David Kirby

SNOW FLOWER AND THE SECRET FAN by Lisa See

IN THE COMPANY OF THE COURTESAN by Sarah Dunant

ALL THIS BELONGS TO ME by Ad Hudler

For Registered Book Clubs --- Two Special Offers

Newest Guides

Book Club Interview

Poll

This Month's Contest: Win 20 Copies of THE BRIEF HISTORY OF THE DEAD
On ReadingGroupGuides.com
 
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Books That Stay With You....

There are books that stay with me long after I have finished them. I am sure that many of you know what I am talking about when I say this. This month we are featuring two books that did this for me. The first is The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion. The intensity and depth of Didion's writing of the year after the death of her husband, John Dunne, is inspiring. I have shared this book with so many people for its stark look at grief. It would lend itself to a fabulous discussion. If you would like to read more about my personal thoughts on this book, read the blog that I wrote after seeing Didion last November.

Another favorite is just out in paperback --- Snow Flower and the Secret Fan. The two female protagonists in this book will have readers thinking about the power of friendship between women long after the book is done. Shannon McKenna and I wrote a piece about this book for our Pages magazine "In the Club" column that is on newsstands now. We also talk about Mother/Daughter Book Clubs in this issue.

I love when authors offer something different to readers. Many of you may remember Ad Hudler from his previous books, Househusband and Southern Living. His new book, All This Belongs to Me, centers on two disparate and lonely characters who are brought together thanks to a mishap in the mail. Ad's website has been updated and he's visiting with book clubs with a very interesting offer --- twice each year he will visit a book club in its home town anywhere in North America and cook them all dinner as he discusses one or more of his novels. The club also gets the fun responsibility of being the focus group for his next novel, passing judgment on early drafts and giving suggestions for the manuscript via emails and conference calls. Learn more about this offer at AdHudler.com on his Book Club page.

Also, in the interesting offer department, we have a contest where groups can win copies of a DVD that features Mitch Albom answering questions about his bestselling novel, The Five People You Meet in Heaven, which is now available in paperback. I look forward to watching this DVD and we will have a few sample clips to add later this month.

I am pleased to share that Anne Staszalek has joined us as our Community Leader. She will be facilitating our message board, helping groups create boards for online discussions, as well as other community features there. Please join me in welcoming her. She can be reached at Anne@ReadingGroupGuides.com.

Our Registered Book Club promotion will spotlight chats and book giveaways on two titles --- The Problem with Murmur Lee by Connie May Fowler and The Geographer's Library by Jon Fasman. Book clubs who are signed by March 17th will be eligible to receive these offers.

We also have our contest for The Mermaid Chair and lots more reading beyond what I have outlined above. In fact, as I was going through this month's update, I found myself noting books that I wanted to read.

Have a great March. We're on the countdown to spring. Get some flowers in the house to get you in the mood!

Carol Fitzgerald (Carol@bookreporter.com)

Click here to register your reading group.
 

THE FIVE PEOPLE YOU MEET IN HEAVEN by Mitch Albom --- Special DVD and Book Giveaway!

From the author of the number one New York Times bestseller Tuesdays with Morrie comes this follow-up, an enchanting, beautifully crafted novel that explores a mystery only heaven can unfold. In The Five People You Meet in Heaven, Mitch Albom gives us an astoundingly original story that will change everything you've ever thought about the afterlife -- and the meaning of our lives here on earth. With a timeless tale, appealing to all, this is a book that readers of fine fiction, and those who loved Tuesdays with Morrie, will treasure.

One grand prize winner will receive up to 20 copies of The Five People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom for their group and an exclusive DVD of Mitch Albom answering 15 questions about his life and his work. 20 more groups will receive the DVD! Interested? Send your name, mailing address, and a brief description of your reading group to Contest@readinggroupguides.com by April 6th.

Coming Soon: We will have clips from Mitch's DVD - Keep checking the ReadingGroupGuides.com homepage!

-Click here to read our guide for The Five People You Meet in Heaven.

Click here for all the contest details.


 

Book Giveaway --- THE MERMAID CHAIR by Sue Monk Kidd

 
What inspires the yearning for a soul mate? Few writers have explored, as Kidd does, the lush, unknown region of the feminine soul where the thin line between the spiritual and the erotic exists. The Mermaid Chair is a vividly imagined novel about the passions of the spirit and the ecstasies of the body; one that illuminates a woman's self-awakening with the brilliance and power that only a writer of Kidd's ability could conjure. For more, visit SueMonkKidd.com.

Two lucky winners will receive up to 12 copies of The Mermaid Chair by Sue Monk Kidd for their group! Send your name, mailing address, and a brief description of your reading group to Drawing@readinggroupguides.com by April 6th.

-Click here to read the guide for The Mermaid Chair.
-Click here to visit SueMonkKidd.com

Click here for all the contest details.


 

INTUITION by Allegra Goodman

Allegra Goodman returns with a bracing new novel, at once an intricate mystery and a rich human drama set in the high-stakes atmosphere of a prestigious research institute in Cambridge, Massachusetts. With extraordinary insight, Goodman brilliantly explores the intricate mixture of workplace intrigue, scientific ardor, and the moral consequences of a rush to judgment. She has written an unforgettable novel.

 

Click here to read our guide for Intuition.


 

THE YEAR OF MAGICAL THINKING by Joan Didion

Joan Didion's powerful, National Book Award-winning memoir, The Year of Magical Thinking, is a spare, lucid, and remarkably moving examination of the year following her husband's sudden death just before their fortieth anniversary. It is the story of Didion's search for answers, for relief, and above all for the chance to change the course of events. Filled with often surprising insights and more than a dash of humor, it is one of the most critically acclaimed books of the decade.

Click here to read our guide for The Year of Magical Thinking.
 

SNOBS by Julian Fellowes

The best comedies of manners are often deceptively simple, seamlessly blending social critique with character and story. In his superbly observed first novel, Julian Fellowes, winner of an Academy Award for his original screenplay of Gosford Park, brings us an insider's look at a contemporary England that is still not as classless as is popularly supposed. In this wickedly astute portrait of the intersecting worlds of aristocrats and actors, Julian Fellowes establishes himself as an irresistible storyteller and a deliciously witty chronicler of modern manners.

Click here to read our guide for Snobs.
 

EVIDENCE OF HARM by David Kirby

In the 1990s reported autism cases among American children began spiking, from about 1 in 10,000 in 1987 to a shocking 1 in 166 today. Evidence of Harm explores the heated controversy over what many parents, physicians, public officials, and educators have called an "epidemic" of afflicted children. Following several families, David Kirby traces their struggle to understand how and why their once-healthy kids rapidly descended into silence or disturbed behavior, often accompanied by severe physical illness.
 
 

 

Click here to read our guide for Evidence of Harm.


 

SNOW FLOWER AND THE SECRET FAN by Lisa See

Lily is haunted by memories --- of who she once was, and of a person, long gone, who defined her existence. She has nothing but time now, as she recounts the tale of Snow Flower, and asks the gods for forgiveness. Snow Flower and the Secret Fan is a brilliantly realistic journey back to an era of Chinese history that is as deeply moving as it is sorrowful. With the period detail and deep resonance of Memoirs of a Geisha, this lyrical and emotionally charged novel delves into one of the most mysterious of human relationships: female friendship

Click here to read our guide for Snow Flower and the Secret Fan.
 

IN THE COMPANY OF THE COURTESAN by Sarah Dunant

A bold courtesan, a philosophically inclined dwarf, and the dazzle of 16th-century Venice --- both its wealth and pageantry and its damp, seamy demi-monde --- combine to make In the Company of the Courtesan a triumph of passion and wit. A story of desire and deception, sin and religion, loyalty and friendship, In the Company of the Courtesan paints a portrait of one of the world's greatest cities at its most potent moment in history: It is a picture that remains vivid long after the final page.

Click here to read our guide for In the Company of the Courtesan.
 

ALL THIS BELONGS TO ME by Ad Hudler

An often hilarious, always moving novel that explores love and fate and the ways we lie to ourselves to get by in a sometimes overwhelming world.

When a mishap in the mail brings Geena into Ellis's life, neither realizes how much they need each other. With her marriage in tatters, Geena is still recovering from the sudden loss of her son. Ellis has been alone in the world since the death of his mother, and as he approaches his twilight years, the routine of everyday life has replaced the relationships he might once have known. When that routine is thrown into disarray by changes at the Thomas Edison estate, where Ellis works as a tour guide, he is lost until Geena brings courage and independence back into his life. For Geena, caring for Ellis is the salve on her own wounds.
 
For more about Ad Hudler, go to AdHudler.com.
 

Click here to read our guide for All This Belongs to Me.


 

For Registered Book Clubs --- Two Special Offers

This month we are running the following contests for Book Groups that have registered with us by March 17th:

The Problem With Murmur Lee
 by Connie May Fowler --- five groups will win 12 copies of The Problem With Murmur Lee and the chance to chat with Connie May Fowler.


More about The Problem With Murmur Lee:

The bestselling author of Before Women Had Wings spins a wild new tale about the strong bonds among a group of friends that loses its quirkiest member, Murmur Lee. Exploring new literary territory while keeping to her native Floridian roots, Fowler is here at her most original and entertaining.

                           ------------

The Geographer's Library by Jon Fasman --- 10 to 15 groups will receive 12 copies of this book and the opportunity to chat with Jon Fasman.

More about The Geographer's Library:
Stretching through time and around the world, The Geographer's Library is an accomplished debut from Jon Fasman. With his remarkable command of language and suspense, Fasman has crafted a novel that explores how interconnected lives and deaths across countless years can collide in a single moment.

Click here to register your group.


 

Newest Guides

The following guides are now available on ReadingGroupGuides.com:

The Alchemist's Daughter by Katharine McMahon
All This Belongs to Me by Ad Hudler
Annie Freeman's Fabulous Traveling Funeral by Kris Radish
Beautiful Inez by Bart Schneider
The Brief History of the Dead by Kevin
Brockmeier
A Brief Lunacy by Cynthia Thayer
The Dearest Dorothy Series by Charlene Ann Baumbich
Eating Heaven by Jennie Shortridge
Evidence of Harm by David Kirby
Freakonomics by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner
The Geographer's Library by Jon Fasman
The Good Son by Craig Nova
Honeymoon with My Brother by Franz Wisner
The Illuminator by Brenda Rickman Vantrease
In the Company of the Courtesean by Sarah
Dunant
Intuition by Allegra Goodman
Kill Me by Stephen White
The Last Boylen by Karen Harper
Love and Other Impossible Pursuits by Ayelet Waldman
Love Story by Erich Segal
Metropolis by Elizabeth Gaffney
Money, A Memoir by Liz Perle
Murder Most Royal by Jean Plaidy
My Jim by Nancy Rawles
The Problem with Murmur Lee by Connie May
Fowler
River Rising by Athol Dickson
Send Me by Patrick Ryan
Snobs by Julian Fellowes
The Space Between Us by Thrity Umrigar
Things We Once Held Dear by Ann Tatlock
The Train to Lo Wu by Jess Row
White Ghost Girls by Alice Greenway
The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion

 

 

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

The Baker's Apprentice
by Judith R. Hendricks

A Changed Man by Francine Prose
March by Geraldine Brooks
Me & Emma by Elizabeth Flock
Oh My Stars by Lorna Landvik
The Painted Kiss by Elizabeth Hickey

Click here to read our newest guides.


 

Book Club Interview

This month we bring you the following book club interview:

-Lorraine Molloy of "The Iselin Reading Association" from Iselin, NJ.

-Click here if you'd like information about having your group interviewed.

Read our Book Club Interviews here.


 

Poll

Of the books that your group selects to read, how many do you actually like?

All of them
Almost all of them
About 75%
About 50%
Less than 50%
I am not sure.
I am not in a book group.

Click here to answer our Poll.
 
This Month's Contest: Win 20 Copies of THE BRIEF HISTORY OF THE DEAD

A subscription to our newsletter is all you need to be entered in our monthly contest. This month, one lucky reader will win up to 20 copies of The Brief History of the Dead for his or her entire reading group.


-Click here to read more about The Brief History of the Dead.

 

Read contest details here.
 

Do you like what you see here, and want to forward it to a friend? Then click our link on the bottom of the page to do just that!

Happy reading. We'll see you next month.

Don't forget to visit our other websites from TheBookReportNetwork.com: Bookreporter.com, AuthorsOnTheWeb.com, FaithfulReader.com, AuthorYellowPages.com, Teenreads.com, and Kidsreads.com.

Carol Fitzgerald (Carol@bookreporter.com)

The Book Report Network
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New York, New York 10107