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April 2006

ReadingGroupGuides.com Newsletter

April 2006

This Month on ReadingGroupGuides.com

Calling All Librarians, Booksellers and Readers --- We Want to Hear from YOU!

Special Chat Opportunity and Book Giveaway --- BREATH AND BONES by Susann Cokal

WHAT I KNOW NOW by Ellyn Spragins

DANIEL ISN'T TALKING by Marti Leimbach

THE BRIGHT FOREVER by Lee Martin

Special Feature on ReadingGroupGuides.com: What To Do When No Guide is Available

Librarians and Booksellers --- We Want to Hear from YOU --- As Well as Book Club Members

THE FIVE PEOPLE YOU MEET IN HEAVEN
Interactive Video Reading Group Guide

For Registered Book Clubs --- FOUR Special Offers

For Christian Readers --- Two New Guides

Book Club Interviews

Newest Guides

Poll

This Month's Contest: Win 20 Copies of YA-YAS IN BLOOM
On ReadingGroupGuides.com
 
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Find a Guide by Author
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Shop Amazon with this link and support ReadingGroupGuides.com Read more about Pages magazine here Find your local Booksense independent bookseller here.

Calling All Librarians, Booksellers and Readers --- We Want to Hear from YOU!

One of the most interesting things about a book club is that the book can allow a group to look at a topic that they may hear a lot about, but yet know so little about. A fiction title that we are sharing this month does that --- DANIEL ISN'T TALKING by Marti Leimbach, which is the story of an autistic little boy and what his mom goes through in her determination to challenge him and make him normal. We all hear about autism and how many children are being diagnosed with this, but many have no idea how this can impact a family. This book can take readers there --- and through this help them understand it more.

This is National Library Week, which makes this the perfect time for us to share a new feature that we want to launch on ReadingGroupGuides.com --- interviews with librarians who work with book groups in their libraries. We'd like to feature interviews with librarians across the country in much the same way that we interview book groups each month. If you are a librarian, or you are a reader who knows a librarian who knows book clubs, we'd love you to answer the questions we have here so we can feature you.

We also would love to spotlight booksellers in the same way. So if you are a bookseller, or you know a bookseller who is great with groups, click here for our interview questions.

And for those of you in a group who'd like to share your group with us, we have questions for you here. These kinds of lively exchanges are what make this site such fun for us. We feel we travel to meet you as we read along on our monitors. 

Anne, our new Message Board monitor, has been reading and responding to your email this past month. She is very interested in creating online discussions with groups. Interested? Log onto the boards, or drop her a line at Anne@ReadingGroupGuides.com.

In honor of National Poetry Month, our Quotes of the Day this month on Bookreporter.com are all taken from poems. Also, on Bookreporter.com we've added some new bestseller lists to the site --- Booksense, the national list from the Independent Booksellers Association and a list from the Independent Mystery Booksellers Association. We plan to add more regional lists in the months to come as they give you a good picture of what people are reading cross-country.

I am off to the Outer Banks for Spring Break. I have a stack of books at the ready, and I am sure I will be writing a blog about them in the next days. For those of you who would like to read about my adventures at the Virginia Festival of the Book last month, click here. I will be at the L.A. Festival of Books the last weekend in April. If you are planning to be there, be sure to let me know. I enjoy events like this since I get to hear authors and meet readers.

For our Jewish readers, have a wonderful Passover and to our Christian readers, Happy Easter.

Carol Fitzgerald (Carol@bookreporter.com)

Click here to register your reading group.
 

Special Chat Opportunity and Book Giveaway --- BREATH AND BONES by Susann Cokal

Following Mirabilis, her highly acclaimed debut, Susann Cokal blends pre-Raphaelite painting, American brothels, Utahan polygamists, a bit of cross-dressing, a dynamite-wielding labor movement, one California millionaire, and the invention of electrical stimulation (as treatment for consumption) into a comic novel that gallops across the American west.

Three groups will win the chance to chat with Susann Cokal and 12 copies of Breath and Bones for their group. Interested? Send your name, mailing address, and a brief description of your reading group to Contest@readinggroupguides.com by May 4th.

-Click here to read our guide for Breath and Bones.

Click here for all the contest details.


 

WHAT I KNOW NOW by Ellyn Spragins

 
In touching, inspiring, and heartfelt letters, more than 40 of the most notable women in modern history reveal wishes for their younger selves. As one might expect, the letters such driven and ambitious women might write to their younger selves include advice to slow down, to have fun, to appreciate life --- advice most modern women could use. But in addition, these remarkable letters give us a frank and penetrating insight into who these women were and are, from the floundering actress that is a young Camryn Manheim, to Kitty Kelley on the brink of releasing her controversial book, The Family, to a fledgling reporter, Ann Curry, as she attempts to shed her uniqueness to fit in with mainstream media. Stay true to yourself. Don't be afraid to spread your wings. Be smart about the risks you take. The wisdom in these letters is hard won, battle proved, and above all, gifted with love.

Click here to read our guide for What I Know Now.


 

DANIEL ISN'T TALKING by Marti Leimbach

Marti Leimbach's first novel, Dying Young, was called "a masterpiece of details that always ring true, with the sad, funny and fascinating unpredictability of real life." With the same talent and perception, Leimbach's new novel takes the reader to London, to the home of the Marshes: Stephen Marsh, a true Brit; Melanie, a transplanted American; and their two children, four-year-old Emily and Daniel, just three. When it is conveyed that Daniel is autistic, the orderly life of the Marsh family is shattered.

Daniel Isn't Talking is a moving, deeply absorbing story of a family in crisis. What sets it apart from most fiction about difficult subjects is the author's ability to write about a sad and frightening situation with a seamless blend of warmth, compassion and humor.

-Click here for more information on Autism or to make a donation to Autism research please contact Autism Speaks at autismspeaks.org.  

Click here to read our guide for Daniel Isn't Talking.


 

THE BRIGHT FOREVER by Lee Martin

On an evening like any other, nine-year-old Katie Mackey, daughter of the most affluent family in a small town on the plains of Indiana, sets out on her bicycle to return some library books. This simple act is at the heart of The Bright Forever, a suspenseful, deeply affecting novel about the choices people make that change their lives forever. Reminiscent of books such as The Little Friend and The Lovely Bones, but most memorable for its own perceptions and power, The Bright Forever is a compelling and emotional tale about the human need to know even the hardest truth

 

A Featured Alternate of the Literary Guild, Doubleday Book Club, and Book-of-the-Month Club

Click here to read our guide for The Bright Forever.
 

Special Feature on ReadingGroupGuides.com: What To Do When No Guide is Available

While we have hundreds of reading guides available, and we're adding more all the time, it can happen that no guide is available for the book your group has chosen to read. It can be intimidating when it's your turn to lead the discussion and you have no idea where to begin. In order to aid your discussion and enjoyment of your group's choices, we have created a list of questions that can be used for those books with no reading guides.

We've broken these out to cover the following ten genres: Biography, Christian Fiction, Classics, Current Events & Politics, Fiction, Historical Fiction, History, Mystery & Thriller, Memoir, and Religion & Spirituality.

Click here to read our lists of generic questions.
 

Librarians and Booksellers --- We Want to Hear from YOU --- As Well as Book Club Members

Each month on ReadingGroupGuides.com we'd like to feature interviews with librarians and booksellers from across the country in much the same way that we interview book groups each month. If you'd like to share your knowledge and opinions about book clubs with our readers, a link to the list of questions we'd like answered is available from the links below.

Please feel free to go beyond these questions and share with us anything about books clubs --- ones that meet in your library, your store, of which you're a member or ones that you've heard about --- that you think might interest our readers. When answering these questions, please keep in mind that our readers love to know what other groups are reading, so the more titles you include, the better!

-Librarians: Click here to see our interview instructions and questions for Librarians.

-Booksellers: Click here to see our interview instructions and questions for Booksellers.

-Book Club Members: Click here to see our interview instructions and questions for Book Club Members.

THE FIVE PEOPLE YOU MEET IN HEAVEN
Interactive Video Reading Group Guide

We love when authors do different things to reach out to book clubs. Mitch Albom appears on a video where he answers 15 book club discussion questions, and also provides commentary about THE FIVE PEOPLE YOU MEET IN HEAVEN, in an intro and closing. We have two of his discussion replies for you to watch. The rest can be found at his website.

-Click here to see our clips from Mitch Albom's DVD.

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


 

For Registered Book Clubs --- FOUR Special Offers

This month we are running the following contests for Book Groups that have registered with us by April 14th:

The Wild Girl by Jim Fergus - 10 groups will win 12 copies of the book for their group.

More about The Wild Girl:
From the award-winning author of One Thousand White Women, a novel in the tradition of Little Big Man, tracing one man's search for adventure and the wild Apache girl who invites him into her world.

In this novel based on historical fact, Jim Fergus takes readers on a journey of magnificent sweep and heartbreaking consequence peopled with unforgettable characters. With prose so vivid that the road dust practically rises off the page, The Wild Girl is an epic novel filled with drama, peril, and romance, told by a master.

About Grace by Anthony Doerr - 15 groups will win the opportunity to chat with Anthony Doerr and receive 12 copies of the book for their group.


More about About Grace:
When Anthony Doerr's The Shell Collector was published in 2002, the Los Angeles Times called his stories "as close to faultless as any writer --- young or vastly experienced --- could wish for." He won the Rome Prize from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Discover Prize, Princeton's Hodder Fellowship, and two O. Henrys, and shared the Young Lions Award. Now he has written one of the most beautiful, wise, and compelling first novels of recent times.

The Gilded Chamber by Rebecca Kohn - 12 groups will win the opportunity to chat with Rebecca Kohn and receive 12 copies of the book for their group.

More about The Gilded Chamber:
For centuries her name has been a byword for feminine beauty, guile, and wisdom. This sweeping, meticulously researched novel restores Esther to her full, complex humanity while reanimating the glittering Persian empire in which her story unfolded. Esther comes to that land as a terrified Jewish orphan betrothed to her cousin, a well-connected courtier. She finds a world racked by intrigue and unfathomable hatreds and realizes that the only way to survive is to win the heart of its king. Passionate, suspenseful, and historically authentic, The Gilded Chamber illuminates the dilemma of a woman torn between her heart and her sense of duty, resulting in pure narrative enchantment.

The Memory of Running by Ron McLarty - 10 groups will win the opportunity to chat with Ron McLarty and receive 12 copies of the book for their group.

More about The Memory of Running:
Every decade seems to produce a novel that captures the public's imagination with a story that sweeps readers up and takes them on a thrilling, unforgettable ride. Ron McLarty's The Memory of Running is this decade's novel. By all accounts, especially his own, Smithson "Smithy" Ide is a loser. An overweight, friendless, chain-smoking, forty-three-year-old drunk, Smithy's life becomes completely unhinged when he loses his parents and long-lost sister within the span of one week. Rolling down the driveway of his parents' house in Rhode Island on his old Raleigh bicycle to escape his grief, the emotionally bereft Smithy embarks on an epic, hilarious, luminous, and extraordinary journey of discovery and redemption.

Click here to register your group.
 

For Christian Readers --- Two New Guides

We are featuring two new guides for Christian Readers from Nikki Arana's Regalo Grande series:

In the Shade of the Jacaranda by Nikki Arana.

The Winds of Sonoma by Nikki Arana.


 

Book Club Interviews

This month we bring you the following book club interviews:


-Nicole Cox of "
Wichita Women's Book Nook" from Wichita, KS

-Michelle Garren from Rancho Murieta, CA

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

Read our Book Club Interviews here.


 

Newest Guides

The following guides are now available on ReadingGroupGuides.com:

About Grace by Anthony Doerr
All This Belongs to Me by Ad Hudler
Beautiful Inez by Bart Schneider
Bella Tuscany by Frances Mayes
Breath and Bones by Susann Cokal
The Brief History of the Dead by Kevin
Brockmeier
A Brief Lunacy by Cynthia Thayer
The Bright Forever by Lee Martin
Daniel Isn't Talking by Marti Leimbach
Eating Heaven by Jennie Shortridge
Evidence of Harm by David Kirby
The Geographer's Library by Jon Fasman
The Gilded Chamber by Rebecca Kohn
In the Company of the Courtesan by Sarah
Dunant
In the Shade of the Jacaranda by Nikki Arana
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
The Memory of Running by Ron McLarty
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
Stop That Girl by Elizabeth McKenzie
The Tenth Circle by Jodi Picoult
What I Know Now by Ellyn Spragins
The Winds of Sonoma by Nikki Arana
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 Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown
The Year of Pleasures by Elizabeth Berg
The Wild Girl by Jim Fergus
Lighthousekeeping by Jeanette Winterson 
Ya-Yas in Bloom by Rebecca Wells
Saturday by Ian McEwan
The Highest Tide by Jim Lynch

Click here to read our newest guides.


 

Poll

When selecting books, what best describes your group?

Everyone gives input when we select books and is listened to equally.
Everyone gives input when we select books, but we give some members more weight.
A few members dominate the selection process, but I am content with this.
A few members dominate the selection process, and I do not like this.
One person chooses all our books and I am content with this.
One person chooses all our books and I am not content with this.

None of the above apply to our group.

Click here to answer our poll.


 
This Month's Contest: Win 20 Copies of YA-YAS IN BLOOM

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 Ya-Yas in Bloom for his or her entire reading group.


-Click here to read more about Ya-Yas in Bloom.

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
250 W. 57th Street - Suite 1228
New York, New York 10107