Tuesday, August 11, 2009

August 2009

Special Feature and Contest

Win a signed copy of THE VIRGIN'S DAUGHTERS by Jeane Westin and a bottle of Queen Elizabeth I's perfume for your reading group!

We are celebrating the release of The Virgin's Daughters: In the Court of Elizabeth I by Jeane Westin with a special contest. One Grand Prize winner will have the opportunity to receive a signed copy of The Virgin's Daughters as well as a bottle of Queen Elizabeth I's perfume that was recreated from the monarch's garden. Fifty additional readers will have the opportunity to each win one finished copy of The Virgin's Daughters, which is now available in stores, for their group.

More about The Virgin's Daughters:
In a court filled with repressed sexual longing, scandal and intrigue, Lady Katherine Grey is Elizabeth's most faithful servant. When the young queen is smitten by the dashing Robert Dudley, Katherine must choose between duty and desire --- as her secret passion for a handsome earl threatens to turn Elizabeth against her. Once the queen becomes a bitter and capricious monarch, another lady-in-waiting, Mistress Mary Rogers, offers the queen comfort. But even Mary cannot remain impervious to the court's sexual tension --- and as Elizabeth gives her doomed heart to the mercurial Earl of Essex, Mary is drawn to the queen's rakish godson...

Click here to read all the contest details.
Click here for the reading group guide.



New and Recommended Fiction


That Old Cape Magic
by Richard Russo


This is a novel of deep introspection, with a middle-aged man confronting his parents and their failed marriage, his own troubled one, his daughter's new life and, finally, what it was he thought he wanted and what in fact he has. Moments of great comedy and even hilarity alternate with others of rueful understanding and heart-stopping sadness, and the novel's ending is at once surprising, uplifting and unlike anything Richard Russo has ever written.

Click Here for the reading group guide.

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The Girl Who Played With Fire
by Stieg Larsson


The electrifying follow-up to the phenomenal bestseller The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo features Lisbeth Salander --- the troubled, wise-beyond-her-years genius hacker --- as the focus and fierce heart of the story.

"Larsson's two central characters, Salander and Blomkvist, transcend their genre and insinuate themselves in the reader's mind through their oddball individuality, their professional competence and, surprisingly, their emotional vulnerability." --Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times

Click Here for the reading group guide.

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South of Broad
by Pat Conroy

Against the sumptuous backdrop of Charleston, South Carolina, South of Broad gathers a unique cast of sinners and saints. The ties among them endure for years, surviving marriages happy and troubled, unrequited loves and unspoken longings, hard-won successes and devastating breakdowns, and Charleston's dark legacy of racism and class divisions. But the final test of friendship that brings them to San Francisco is something no one is prepared for. South of Broad is Pat Conroy at his finest.

Click Here for the reading group guide.

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The Lace Reader
by Brunonia Barry


Now Available in Paperback:
This New York Times bestseller has drawn comparisons to Rebecca and The Thirteenth Tale --- a modern-day gothic story that follows Towner Whitney, a troubled woman who can divine the future. Towner hails from a family of Salem women who can read the future in patterns of lace, and who have guarded a history of secrets going back generations. But the disappearance of two women brings Towner home to Salem, and the truth about the death of her twin sister to light.

Click Here for the reading group guide.

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In the Heart of the Canyon
by Elisabeth Hyde


From the author of The Abortionist's Daughter, a gripping new novel about a rafting trip through the Grand Canyon that changes the lives of everyone on board. Over 13 days, as various decisions are second-guessed and sometimes regretted, both passengers and guides find that sometimes the most daunting adventures on a Colorado River trip have nothing to do with white-water rapids, and everything to do with reconfiguring the rocky canyons of the heart.

Click Here for the reading group guide.

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The Confessions of Edward Day
by Valerie Martin


In this fictional memoir, Valerie Martin brilliantly re-creates the theater world of 1970s New York. Edward Day, a talented young actor, finds his life forever altered during a weekend party, where he seduces the delicious Madeleine and is saved from drowning by Guy, a man who bears an eerie physical resemblance to Edward. Afterwards, Edward is torn between his desire for Madeleine and his indebtedness to Guy, his rival in love and in art, on stage and off.

Click Here for the reading group guide.


For Christian Readers

The Hope of Refuge: An Ada's House Novel
by Cindy Woodsmall


New Yorker Cara Moore has nothing and is on the run. Young Amish woman Deborah Mast has everything and is on her way to the wedding altar. When their lives collide, neither one will be the same. Can the humility and faith of Ada save either of them?

Click Here for the reading group guide.


New Christian Guides

Registered Book Club Promotion


For August we have two very special opportunities for Registered Book Groups. Our featured titles this month are The Weight of Silence by Heather Gudenkauf and The Night Counter by Alia Yunis. Groups who have registered with us by Monday, August 17th 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

  • The Beijing of Possibilities by Jonathan Tel: A surreally realistic chronicle of life in modern-day Beijing, featuring figures from a modern-day Monkey King to a Ming Dynasty princess posting her first online profile.
  • The Believer by Ann H. Gabhart: A romantic story of two people caught up in the storms of life.
  • Bertie's War by Barbara Blakey: In the fall of 1961, the world goes crazy --- and takes a young girl with it.
  • The Best of Times by Penny Vincenzi: Penny Vincenzi delivers another brilliantly crafted page-turner centered on one devastating moment that will change lives forever.
  • Border Songs by Jim Lynch: By the acclaimed author of The Highest Tide, a novel about a distinctive community straddling the largely invisible boundary between Washington state and British Columbia.
  • Brodeck by Philippe Claudel: Winner of the 2007 Prix Goncourt des Lycéens, Brodeck is a lyrically dramatic account of a terrifying murder in a small town and the tortured soul chosen to tell the tale.
  • Certain Jeopardy by Capt. Jeff Struecker, with Alton Gansky: Certain Jeopardy is an immersing and pulsating fictional account of what really happens at every level of a stealth engagement.
  • Chéri and The Last of Chéri (Movie Tie-in Edition) by Colette: Chéri, now a major motion picture starring Michelle Pfeiffer and Kathy Bates, is one of the most honest, sensual and poignant breakup stories ever written.
  • The Confessions of Edward Day by Valerie Martin: Valerie Martin brilliantly recreates the theater world of 1970s and 1980s New York and plays with the boundary between reality and performance amongst a group of thespians.
  • The Crowning Glory of Calla Lily Ponder by Rebecca Wells: The long-awaited new novel from Rebecca Wells, New York Times bestselling author of Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood.
  • A Different Kind of Wild: Is Your Faith Too Tame? by Debbie Alsdorf: Join Debbie Alsdorf as she coaches you into the exhilarating process of developing as a woman of God.
  • The Distance Between Us by Bart Yates: Award-winning author Bart Yates's powerful and evocative novel of family, friendship...and the dual-edged nature of fame and talent.
  • Essie in Progress by Marjorie Presten: Told with a unique wit and a genuine Southern sensibility, Essie in Progress is a stirring story about realizing the life God has in store for you.
  • A Fatal Waltz: A Novel of Suspense by Tasha Alexander: Lady Emily Ashton reluctantly agrees to attend a party at the sprawling English country estate of a man she finds odious. But the despised Lord Fortescue is not to be her greatest problem.
  • The Frontiersman's Daughter by Laura Frantz: This epic novel gives you a glimpse into the simple yet daring lives of the pioneers who first crossed the Appalachians.
  • The Garden of Last Days by Andre Dubus III: In his stunning follow-up to the #1 bestselling House of Sand and Fog, Andre Dubus draws us into the lives of three deeply flawed, driven people whose paths intersect on a September night in Florida.
  • The Geography of Love by Glenda Burgess: A poignant exploration of the depths of the human heart and our ability to love and to trust no matter the obstacles.
  • The Girl Who Played With Fire by Stieg Larsson: In the electrifying follow-up to the bestselling The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Lisbeth Salander, the troubled genius hacker, is drawn into a murderous hunt.
  • Good-bye and Amen by Beth Gutcheon: The follow-up to the critically acclaimed novel Leeway Cottage follows the newest generation of the Moss family as they gather at their summer home in Maine.
  • A Good Indian Wife by Anne Cherian: First-time novelist Anne Cherian explores how immigrants, caught between two worlds, have to learn to overcome their own suspicions of others in order to find themselves.
  • Hallie's Heart by Shelly Beach: Winner of a Christy Award in 2008, an eccentric antique dealer and her 15-year-old niece struggle to find healing in this Mitford-type novel.
  • Happiness Key by Emilie Richards: Meet four women who think they have nothing in common except the oyster shell road that runs between their ramshackle beach cottages on a spit of land called Happiness Key.
  • The Hope of Refuge: An Ada's House Novel by Cindy Woodsmall: Cara and her daughter must run to escape a deadly threat. Can they find refuge in an Amish community with complex, unspoken ties to her family history?
  • The House at Sugar Beach: In Search of a Lost African Childhood by Helene Cooper: Helene Cooper's bestselling memoir is an account of her family's flight from Liberia, and her return 20 years later to find a foster sister left behind.
  • How Does it Feel to be a Problem?: Being Young and Arab in America by Moustafa Bayoumi: Moustafa Bayoumi offers a glimpse into the often-ignored struggles a group of twenty-something Arab Americans face.
  • In the Heart of the Canyon by Elisabeth Hyde: From the author of The Abortionist's Daughter, a novel about a rafting trip through the Grand Canyon that changes the lives of everyone on board.
  • Impossible by Nancy Werlin: A beautifully wrought modern fairy tale from master storyteller and award-winning author Nancy Werlin.
  • An Irishwoman's Tale by Patti Lacy: Far away from her Irish home, Mary Freeman begins to adapt to life in Midwest America, but family turmoil and her own haunting memories threaten to ruin her future.
  • Israel is Real: An Obsessive Quest to Understand the Jewish Nation and its History by Rich Cohen: Breaking through the heated polemics and intractable politics, Israel is Real is a fresh voice, a tale of people and ideas, of the background of present-day Israel. It's a new approach to a story we thought we knew.
  • June Bug by Chris Fabry: Publishers Weekly calls June Bug "a lovely, moving, present-day account of sacrifice."
  • The Justice Game by Randy Singer: In his new legal thriller, Randy Singer explores the unseen forces controlling two lawyers involved in a lawsuit against a gun company.
  • Lime Tree Can't Bear Orange by Amanda Smyth: Written with great beauty and economy, Lime Tree Can't Bear Orange is the story of one woman's search for love and identity.
  • Labor Day by Joyce Maynard: Acclaimed author Joyce Maynard weaves a beautiful, poignant tale of love, sex, adolescence and devastating treachery seen through the eyes of a young teenage boy.
  • The Lace Reader by Brunonia Barry: The Lace Reader is a mesmerizing tale that spirals into a world of secrets, confused identities, lies and half-truths.
  • Looking for Salvation at the Dairy Queen by Susan Gregg Gilmore: An entertaining and touching novel about one small-town girl's search for her place in a much bigger world and finding that it was right where she began.
  • Love's First Light by Jamie Carie: Christophé, the Count of St. Laurent, has lost his entire family to the blood-soaked French Revolution and must flee to an ancient castle along the southern border of France to survive.
  • Morningsong by Shelly Beach: In this highly-anticipated follow-up to the Christy Award-winning Hallie's Heart, a terrifying accident on the shores of Lake Michigan forces a woman to pick up the pieces of her life.
  • The Night Counter by Alia Yunis: Shifting between the U.S. and the Middle East, first-time novelist Alia Yunis pieces together four generations of family secrets in this hilarious, heartwarming debut that creates a vibrant mosaic of modern Arab American life.
  • The Outlander by Gil Adamson: An intoxicating debut novel reminiscent of early Cormac McCarthy, about a young murderess's desperate journey into the 1903 wilderness.
  • The Painter from Shanghai by Jennifer Cody Epstein: "[An] engrossing story of a woman forced to choose between following her heart and pursuing her art." --Library Journal
  • Pharmakon by Dirk Wittenborn: Pharmakon is a classic American epic about family, ambition and the price we are willing to pay for happiness.
  • A Pragmatist and His Free Spirit: The Half-Century Romance of Hu Shi & Edith Clifford Williams by Susan Chan Egan and Chih-p'ing Chou: This is an "East meets West" story, portraying the unconventional love of a Chinese civil rights activist and an American avant-garde artist.
  • The Sacred Cipher by Terry Brennan: More historically and biblically accurate than The Da Vinci Code and just as adventurous as an Indiana Jones movie, The Sacred Cipher draws readers into a world of ancient secrets and international escapades.
  • The Secrets of Jin-shei by Alma Alexander: In an ancient kingdom, eight young women are bound together by Jin-shei: a vow of lifelong sisterhood --- a promise that is everlasting, a bond that cannot be broken, whatever the cost.
  • Someone Knows My Name by Lawrence Hill: Kidnapped from Africa as a child, Aminata Diallo is enslaved in South Carolina but escapes during the chaos of the Revolutionary War.
  • South of Broad by Pat Conroy: The one and only Pat Conroy returns with a big, sprawling novel that is a love letter to Charleston and an ode to lifelong friendship.
  • Sweet Waters: An Otter Bay Novel by Julie Carobini: After returning to her hometown, a young woman begins to uncover shocking secrets about why her family left this heaven on earth all those years ago.
  • Swimming by Nicola Keegan: A spectacular debut about the rise of an Olympic champion --- a novel about competition, the hunger for victory, and a young girl with an unsinkable spirit.
  • That Old Cape Magic by Richard Russo: Richard Russo tells the story of a marriage and all the other ties that bind, from parents and in-laws to children and the promises of youth.
  • Two Brothers: One North, One South by David H. Jones: Navigated by Walt Whitman and based on real people and events, Two Brothers: One North, One South is the quintessential story of the Civil War.
  • Trouble by Kate Christensen: A tragicomedy of marriage and friendship from Kate Christensen, the acclaimed author of The Great Man, winner of the 2008 PEN/Faulkner Award.
  • Valley of the Shadow by Tom Pawlik: In this sequel to the award-winning novel, Vanish, Tom Pawlik explores the murky world between life and death, where your worst fears can become reality.
  • The Virgin's Daughters: In the Court of Elizabeth I by Jeane Westin: The story of Elizabeth I, as it's never been told before --- through the eyes of two ladies-in-waiting closest to her…
  • Wait Until Twilight by Sang Pak: Sang Pak's Wait Until Twilight is a coming-of-age story that explores the complex darkness infecting a damaged psyche in a small Southern town.
  • The Weight of Silence by Heather Gudenkauf: Masterfully written and beautifully told, Heather Gudenkauf's debut is a stunning novel of family devotion, honesty and regret that will linger long after the last page is turned.
  • What the Bayou Saw by Patti Lacy: Patti Lacy's second novel exposes the life of Sally, set amid the shadows of prejudice in Louisiana.
  • The Widow's Season by Laura Brodie: A lyrical, mysterious novel about a young, seemingly haunted, widow, inspired by Renaissance plays where husbands faked their deaths in order to spy on their wives.
  • Worldweavers: Cybermage by Alma Alexander: When Thea Winthrop and her friends are called in by the Federal Bureau of Magic to unlock a mysterious cube left behind by Nikola Tesla, they find themselves in a race against time.
  • www.queenmotorhome.com by Patt Fero: www.queenmotorhome.com is a story about two baby boomer-aged best friends who run away from home in a motor home.
  • The Zookeeper's Wife: A War Story by Diane Ackerman: After their zoo was bombed, Polish zookeepers Jan and Antoninia Zabinski managed to save over 300 people from Nazi racism by hiding refugees in the empty animal cages.

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

This month's prize:
The Geography of Love by Glenda Burgess


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


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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