Tuesday, March 10, 2009

March 2009

ReadingGroupGuides.com's 2009 Book Group Survey -- Give Us Your Input and Receive a Complementary Book!

ReadingGroupGuides.com is conducting a survey of book groups. Our goal is to identify trends and topics that are of interest to book groups that we can share with publishers and authors, so they can provide the information and resources to enhance your meetings and discussions. We have not done a survey since 2001, and we know that a lot has changed in the last eight years! Thus, we would love to hear from you.

We estimate it will take 12-15 minutes to complete the survey. As your time is valuable to us, as a token of our appreciation for completing the survey, EACH survey participant will receive ONE of 28 books that appear at the bottom of this page.

We thank our publishing colleagues who graciously provided these incentives for you to share your thoughts with us. Please note that each of these titles would be worthy of a book club discussion! Prize titles will be selected at random and sent to you from the participating publisher. Your name will not be used for any other mailing. If you know people in other book clubs, may we suggest that you forward this link to them? The more voices that are heard for this, the more we will be able to have your comments shared with publishers and authors.

The survey will close on April 30th, or as soon as we have 2,500 prizes awarded, so click here to answer the survey NOW.

One quick note: Given customs and mailing restrictions, the prize offerings are only available to residents of the United States and Canada. To our international readers, we welcome your participation and regret we cannot send prizes overseas.

-Click here for more information about the survey and the 28 prize books.


New and Recommended Fiction

American Wife
by Curtis Sittenfeld


Now Available in Paperback:
"[Sittenfeld] succeeds in creating a memorable and sympathetic heroine... Nimble... Wickedly hilarious."
-- Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times

A kind, bookish only child born in the 1940s, Alice Lindgren has no idea that she will one day end up in the White House, married to the president. In her small Wisconsin hometown, she learns the virtues of politeness, but a tragic accident when she is 17 shatters her identity and changes the trajectory of her life. More than a decade later, when the charismatic son of a powerful Republican family sweeps her off her feet, she is surprised to find herself admitted into a world of privilege.

Click Here for the reading group guide.


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Deep Dish
by Mary Kay Andrews


Now Available in Paperback:
Local cooking show hosts Gina Foxton and Tate Moody face off in a reality show competition. The prize is the starring role in his or her own series on the Cooking Channel. As much as Gina and Tate yearn to win, they reluctantly find themselves distracted by their attraction to each other, in this hilarious and delightful romp from bestselling author Mary Kay Andrews.

Click Here for the reading group guide.

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Heart and Soul
by Maeve Binchy


With the insight, humor and compassion we have come to expect from her, Maeve Binchy tells a story of family, friends, patients and staff who are part of a heart clinic in a community caught between the old and the new Ireland. In this clinic, lives are saved, courage is rewarded, and humor and optimism triumph over greed and self-pity. Heart and Soul is Maeve Binchy at her storytelling best.

Click Here for the reading group guide.

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Mudbound
by Hillary Jordan


Now Available in Paperback:

"This is storytelling at the height of its powers. Hillary Jordan writes with the force of a Delta storm."
-- Barbara Kingsolver

March 17th marks the official publication date of the paperback release of Hillary Jordan's award-winning novel Mudbound. Hailed by The Washington Post as a compelling family tragedy, a confluence of romantic attraction and racial hatred that falls like an avalanche," this powerful novel will make for engaging book club discussions. For fans of timeless classics like To Kill a Mockingbird and The Heart is a Lonely Hunter.


Click here for the reading group guide.

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The Forgery of Venus
by Michael Gruber


Now Available in Paperback:
An artist born outside his time, Chaz Wilmot can paint like Leonardo, Goya, Gainsborough --- and he refuses to shape his talent to fit the fashion of the day. His unique abilities attract the attention of Werner Krebs, an art dealer with a dark past and shadier present, and soon Wilmot is working with a fervor he hasn't felt in years. But his creative burst is accompanied by strange interludes --- memories that are not memories... and he begins to wonder if he is really the person he believes he is.

Click Here for the reading group guide.

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The Anatomy of Wings
by Karen Foxlee


A powerful novel about the pain of grief that is as unexpectedly funny as it is wise. Discover the award-winning novel with your book club.

"Foxlee captures the small ways that humans reveal themselves, the mysterious intensity of female adolescence, and the surreal quiet of a grieving house, which slowly and with astonishing resilience fills again with sound and music."

-- Starred Review, Booklist

Click Here for the reading group guide.

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Terra Incognita
by Ruth Downie


Now Available in Paperback:
Following her widely acclaimed New York Times bestselling debut, Ruth Downie sends beleaguered army doctor Gaius Petrius Ruso to the uncivilized borders of the Roman Empire, where the Roman-controlled Britannia meets the independent tribes of the north. Ruso, unwillingly pulled into the murder investigation, is appalled to find that his slave Tilla is spending time with the prime suspect. Soon both Ruso's and Tilla's lives are in jeopardy, as is the future of their burgeoning romance.

"Downie's attention to day-in-the-life period details, judiciously doled-out twists, and dry British humor make Incognita one hell of a toga party."
-- Entertainment Weekly

Click Here for the reading group guide.

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Pictures at an Exhibition
by Sara Houghteling


Set in a Paris darkened by World War II, Sara Houghteling's sweeping and sensuous debut novel tells the story of a son's quest to recover his family's lost masterpieces, looted by the Nazis during the occupation. Written with luminous historical detail, and as haunting as the paintings that are reprinted on its pages, Houghteling's novel conjures a mesmerizing world of art and artists, the melancholy of an end of an era, and a timeless story of fathers and sons.

Click Here for the reading group guide.

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Crossing the Hudson
by Peter Stephan Jungk


While driving from the airport with his widowed mother to his vacation house in New York, Gustav Rubin --- distracted by his kvetching mother --- makes a wrong turn and ends up on the New Jersey side of the Hudson River, and mother and son get caught in a traffic jam of epic proportions on the Tappan Zee Bridge, leading to the crisis that will finally force Gustav, at 45, to grow up.

Click Here for the reading group guide.

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The King's Daughter
by Barbara Kyle


Upon the death of her father, Henry VIII, Queen Mary assumes the throne after a long exile. Her first order of business is to wed the devout Prince Philip of Spain, creating a powerful alliance that will transform Mary's fanatical dream of ridding England of Protestantism into terrifying reality. And so begins the reign of Bloody Mary...

Filled with lavish period detail and fascinating characters, The King's Daughter mesmerizes readers as it takes them into a riveting world of riches, pageantry, passion and danger...

Click Here for the reading group guide.


New and Recommended Nonfiction

The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher: A Shocking Murder and the Undoing of a Great Victorian Detective
by Kate Summerscale


Now Available in Paperback:
With the brisk pace of an old-fashioned murder mystery, The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher re-creates the fascinating case that dominated the pages of newspapers and detective novels alike, inspiring some of the best mystery writers of the Victorian era and beyond.

"If you are a mystery lover, or if you have ever wondered how the modern love of the genre began, you'll enjoy Summerscale's tracing of the early days of the profession and the fascination it exerted...a fascinating look at Victorian life, death and detection."
-- Associated Press

Click Here for the reading group guide.

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Hats & Eyeglasses: A Memoir
by Martha Frankel


Now Available in Paperback:
Martha Frankel grew up in a warm, loving family of diehard gamblers, where her father's poker games and her mother's mah-jongg blended happily with big pots of delicious food and endless gossip. In this "fast-paced and amazingly funny" (The Times - Picayune) memoir, Frankel traces her love affair with poker, an obsession that didn't hit until her mid-40s. By turns hilarious and heartbreaking, Hats & Eyeglasses is a tale of passion, addiction --- and those times in life when we almost lose our shirt.

Click Here for the reading group guide.


For Christian Readers

New Christian Guides


Registered Book Club Promotion


For March we have two very special opportunities for Registered Book Groups. Our featured titles this month are Murder at the Academy Awards(R): A Red Carpet Murder Mystery by Joan Rivers with Jerrilyn Farmer and The Anatomy of Wings by Karen Foxlee. Groups who have registered with us by Monday, March 16th have the chance to win author chats and/or free books. If your group is not registered, click here to register.

Click here for details.



New Guides


Now Available in Paperback

Oprah's Book Club Selection
The Story of Edgar Sawtelle by David Wroblewski


This month's prize:
Silent on the Moor by Deanna Raybourn


Get a Book Club Makeover
Whether your book club is just a few months old or has been around for a while, you might be in need of a Book Club Makeover from ReadingGroupGuides.com. After reading your emails --- and talking to book clubs across the country --- we see that book groups often can fall into a routine and need a bit of livening up. It's ReadingGroupGuides.com to the rescue! We'll select groups each month for makeovers, review the problems, and make suggestions. Interested in a Book Club Makeover for your group? Click here for details.

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