Tuesday, October 13, 2009

October 2009

The following features and discussion guides began running on ReadingGroupGuides.com on Thursday, October 8th.

The titles below are also mentioned in the ReadingGroupGuides.com Newsletter Opener, which can be read here:

-The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls
-Half Broke Horses by Jeanette Walls

New and Recommended Fiction

The Lost Symbol
by Dan Brown

In this stunning follow-up to the global phenomenon The Da Vinci Code, Dan Brown demonstrates once again why he is the world's most popular thriller writer. The Lost Symbol is a masterstroke of storytelling --- a deadly race through a real-world labyrinth of codes, secrets and unseen truths...all under the watchful eye of Brown's most terrifying villain to date. Set within the hidden chambers, tunnels and temples of Washington, D.C., The Lost Symbol accelerates through a startling landscape toward an unthinkable finale.

Click Here for the reading group guide.

Chronic City
by Jonathan Lethem

The acclaimed author of Motherless Brooklyn and The Fortress of Solitude returns with a roar with this gorgeous, searing portrayal of Manhattanites wrapped in their own delusions, desires and lies. Like Manhattan itself, Jonathan Lethem's Chronic City is beautiful and tawdry, tragic and forgiving, devastating and antic, a stand-in for the whole world and a place utterly unique.

Click Here for the reading group guide.

The Concubine's Daughter
by Pai Kit Fai

Take a journey back to early 20th century China in The Concubine's Daughter. Just as Lisa See captivated readers with Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, The Concubine's Daughter will leave you mesmerized with its passionate tale of love and courage.

From remote mountain refuges to Hong Kong on the eve of World War II, this adventurous tale spanning two generations reveals an amazing cultural journey of a mother and daughter as sweeping changes unfold in 20th century China.

The Concubine's Daughter
is destined to be a reading group favorite, so don't miss the extensive bonus content in the back of the book; and click here for a chance to win a free copy!

Click Here for the reading group guide.

Lying With the Dead
by Michael Mewshaw

In this novel, Greek tragedy meets a dysfunctional family from Maryland, when the matriarch calls home her three children. Quinn must fly in from England, putting a new love interest and a career-boosting role on hold. Maury rides in on a bus from his quiet life out west. Candy is already in Maryland, where she takes care of her mother and dreams of retiring to North Carolina with her boyfriend. Once the family is reassembled, Mewshaw invites us into the heart of a family dynamic, exploding prejudices about love, religion and murder.

Click Here for the reading group guide.

The Book of Fathers
by Miklós Vámos

Now Available in Paperback:
When in 1705 Kornél Csillag's grandfather finds a gold pocket watch gleaming in the mud, the shipwrecked fortunes of the Csillag family suddenly take a new and marvelous turn. The golden watch brings with it the gift of clairvoyance. Passed down from father to firstborn son, the gift is a blessing for some, a curse for others. No matter the outcome, each generation records its astonishing, vivid and revelatory visions in a battered journal that becomes known as The Book of Fathers.

Click Here for the reading group guide.

The Return
by Victoria Hislop

Sonia knows nothing of Granada's shocking past, but ordering a cup of coffee in a cafe will lead her to the tale of the Ramirez family's fight to survive the horror of the Spanish Civil War 70 years earlier. Four siblings --- a serious teacher, a flamboyant matador, a skilled musician and a spirited flamenco dancer --- must choose whether to submit, fight or attempt escape, and their decisions impact their family forever.

Click Here for the reading group guide.

Angel Lane
by Sheila Roberts

Have you ever wanted to change the world for the better?

In this heartwarming novel, three small-town shop owners and best friends set their sights on doing just that. But their aspiration to "keep the heart in Heart Lake" by asking their neighbors to commit one random act of kindness every day leads them to some pretty wild situations, and shows one woman that love can grow from the most unexpected places.

Ripe with irresistible humor, friendship and delicious recipes inspired by the story, Angel Lane teaches the important of kindness, friendship and taking a chance on love.

Click here for a chance to win a free copy of Angel Lane!

Click Here for the reading group guide.

According to Jane
by Marilyn Brant

Jane Austen fans will relish Marilyn Brant's new novel, According to Jane, as the ghost of Jane Austen takes up residence in brainy Ellie Barnett's mind. Follow Ellie's adventures in pride, prejudice and the pursuit of the perfect guy...as she must decide whether to follow her head or her heart to find her own happy ending.

Click Here for the reading group guide.

by Sheramy Bundrick

When love blossoms between Vincent van Gogh and a young prostitute, the artist finds the inspiration he needs to fully invest himself in his paintings. But as time passes, Rachel gains a deeper insight into a man struggling with personal demons. Can Vincent's growing attachment to Rachel save him? And will Rachel find the strength to stand by a man she has come to care for deeply, even as he spirals into darkness?

Click Here for the reading group guide.

New and Recommended Nonfiction

Thin Is the New Happy
by Valerie Frankel

Now Available in Paperback:
For anyone who loves feel-good, relatable memoirs like Eat, Pray, Love. Val Frankel may be a successful novelist and magazine writer, but she was a very unsuccessful dieter: cabbage soup, lemon juice, etc... and she hated herself for it.

Not wanting to pass this legacy to her daughters, Val stopped dieting and started living. Conclusion: unburden yourself from body image, and excess weight dissolves too. Val lost 20 lbs., looks smokin' and, most notably, loves herself more now than ever!

Click here for a chance to win a free copy of Thin is the New Happy.

Click Here for the reading group guide.

The Ladies' Gallery: A Memoir of Family Secrets
by Irene Vilar

Eleven years after her mother's suicide, 18-year-old Irene Vilar awakens in a psychiatric hospital after her own attempt and begins to face the devastating inheritance of abandonment and suicide passed down to her from grandmother and mother. Alternating between Vilar's notes from the ward and the unraveling of her family's secrets, this lyrical and powerful memoir of three generations of Puerto Rican women is urgent, impassioned and unforgettable.

Click Here for the reading group guide.

Impossible Motherhood: Testimony of an Abortion Addict
by Irene Vilar

Impossible Motherhood is a heartrending and ultimately triumphant testimonial as told by a writer pregnant with her 17th child, looking back at her history of addiction. Abortion has never offered any honest person easy answers, and Vilar's journey through self-inflicted wounds, compulsive patterns and historical hauntings revisits the difficulties of this difficult subject, and it prompts an important, much needed discussion --- literary, political, social and philosophical. Impossible Motherhood is at once a fragile coming-of-age story and an affirmation of the spirit.

Click Here for the reading group guide.

For Christian Readers

New Christian Guides

Registered Book Club Promotion

For October we have FIVE very special opportunities for Registered Book Groups. Our featured titles this month are The Longest Trip Home by John Grogan, Oxygen by Carol Cassella, Windfall by Penny Vincenzi, Thirsty by Tracey Bateman and Where Grace Abides by BJ Hoff. Groups who have registered with us by Thursday, October 15th 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

  • According to Jane by Marilyn Brant: Jane Austen fans will relish According to Jane, as the ghost of Jane Austen takes up residence in brainy Ellie Barnett's mind. Follow Ellie's adventures in pride, prejudice and the pursuit of the perfect guy.
  • Alex & Me: How a Scientist and a Parrot Discovered a Hidden World of Animal Intelligence -- and Formed a Deep Bond in the Process by Irene Pepperberg: Irene was 28 when she bought Alex, a one-year-old African gray parrot. Little did she know that 30 years later Alex would pass away as the smartest --- and most famous --- parrot to ever live.
  • Alexander and Alestria by Shan Sa: The imaginative tale of the dramatic love affair between Alexander the Great and Alestria, queen of the Amazons, when both are at the height of their powers.
  • Amish Peace: Simple Wisdom for a Complicated World by Suzanne Woods Fisher: Organized around five central themes in Amish life, Amish Peace shows you how you can cultivate a simple life of love, gratitude and faith in the midst of a very complicated world.
  • America Libre by Raul Ramos y Sanchez: When undercover detectives in San Antonio accidentally kill a young Latina bystander during a botched drug bust, riots erupt across the Southwest.
  • Angel Lane by Sheila Roberts: With irresistible humor, warmth, affection --- and recipes --- author Sheila Roberts serves up a generous, open-hearted story about the friendships we make, the chances we take, and the lives we touch every day.
  • Beat the Reaper by Josh Bazell: With the mob, the government and death itself descending on the hospital, Dr. Peter Brown has to buy time and do whatever it takes to keep his patients, himself, and his last shot at redemption alive. To get through the next eight hours --- and somehow beat the reaper.
  • Better Because of You by Ginny Hutchinson and Cathy Haffner: Authors Ginny Hutchinson and Cathy Haffner share true-to-life stories that can help you do small things each day to make a big difference in your life.
  • Blame by Michelle Huneven: Blame is a spellbinding novel of guilt and love, family and shame, sobriety and the lack of it, and the moral ambiguities that ensnare us all.
  • The Blue Star by Tony Earley: This is a timeless and moving story of discovery, loss and growing up, proving why Tony Earley's writing "radiates with a largeness of heart" (Esquire).
  • The Book of Fathers by Miklós Vámos: For 300 years, a battered journal is passed down the Csillag family line, in which each generation's firstborn son records his life. Known as The Book of Fathers, the journal bears witness to holocaust and wedding feast alike.
  • The Boy Next Door by Irene Sabatini: The Way We Were set in Zimbabwe after independence, a moving and powerful love story set against the backdrop of political upheaval.
  • By the Time You Read This by Lola Jaye: Already a national bestseller in the U.K., Lola Jaye's By the Time You Read This is a profoundly beautiful story of a father's abiding love for the daughter he will never see grow up.
  • A Change in Altitude by Anita Shreve: The new novel about the fragility of a young marriage from one of our greatest chroniclers of the mysteries of the human heart.
  • Chronic City by Jonathan Lethem: The acclaimed author of The Fortress of Solitude returns with a roar with this gorgeous, searing portrayal of Manhattanites wrapped in their own delusions, desires and lies.
  • The Concubine's Daughter by Pai Kit Fai: An epic, heartwrenching story of a mother and daughter's journey to their destiny.
  • Damas, Dramas, and Ana Ruiz: A Quinceañera Club Novel by Belinda Acosta: "...a book about damas of all ages, from teenage girls to the struggling mothers of those teenage girls..." --Julia Alvarez, author of Return to Sender
  • Divine Inspirations: Words of God's Love and Grace by Cindy A. Warren: This book is a series of love letters spoken from God that expresses the inseparable love that God truly has for all of His creation.
  • Dutch by Teri Woods: James Bernard Jr., a.k.a. Dutch, has become the most dangerous criminal in New Jersey. Feared by all, and completely fearless, Dutch and his dangerous clique take over the lucrative heroin business of a local African drug lord.
  • An Eye for an Eye: Heroes of Quantico Series, Book 2 by Irene Hannon: A fast-paced tale of romance, suspense and intrigue, An Eye for an Eye is the exciting second book in the Heroes of Quantico series.
  • Evenings at the Argentine Club by Julia Amante: Victor and Jaqueline Torres imagined moving to the U.S. would bring happiness and prosperity --- instead they found a world of frustration.
  • Feelin' the Vibe by Candice Dow: Clark Winston now has to make the most important decision of her life --- choose the man who broke her heart or the one who fixed it.
  • The Fire by Katherine Neville: The spectacular chess game in The Eight --- which captivated readers with exotic locales, fascinating historic figures and a labyrinthine plot --- returns in force in the dazzling sequel: The Fire!
  • A Gate at the Stairs by Lorrie Moore: A dazzling new novel by the author of Birds of America --- an ambitious book about post-9/11 anxiety, race, war and love.
  • Generosity: An Enchantment by Richard Powers: From the National Book Award–winning author of The Echo Maker, a playful and provocative novel about the discovery of the happiness gene.
  • The Gift of an Ordinary Day: A Mother's Memoir by Katrina Kenison: An intimate memoir of a family in transition --- boys becoming teenagers, careers ending and new ones opening up, an attempt to find a deeper sense of place, and a slower pace, in a small New England town.
  • Girl Trouble: Stories by Holly Goddard Jones: Rona Jaffe Award winner Holly Goddard Jones's debut short story collection, set around small-town Southerners caught in moral and sometimes mortal quandaries.
  • Have a Little Faith: A True Story by Mitch Albom: A book about a life's purpose; about losing belief and finding it again; about the divine spark inside us all. It is one man's journey, but it is everyone's story.
  • The Hour I First Believed by Wally Lamb: A profound and heart-rending work of fiction. Wally Lamb proves himself a virtuoso storyteller, assembling a variety of voices and an ensemble of characters rich enough to evoke all of humanity.
  • I'm So Happy for You: A Novel About Best Friends by Lucinda Rosenfeld: A smart, darkly humorous and uncannily dead-on novel about female friendship.
  • Impossible Motherhood: Testimony of an Abortion Addict by Irene Vilar: A courageous and extraordinary memoir of one woman's journey through family trauma and self-mutilation, and her determined struggle to prevail into motherhood.
  • Into the Beautiful North by Luis Alberto Urrea: Filled with unforgettable characters and prose as radiant as the Sinaloan sun, Into the Beautiful North is the story of an irresistible young woman's quest to find herself on both sides of the fence.
  • The Jewel of His Heart: Heart of the West, Book 2 by Maggie Brendan: Juliana Brady is alone in an 1890s Montana mining town, with few prospects for making a living. But she is determined not to be dependent on the charity of others.
  • The King's Daughter: A Novel of the First Tudor Queen by Sandra Worth: In this groundbreaking novel, award-winning author Sandra Worth vividly brings to life the people's queen, "Elizabeth the Good."
  • The Ladies' Gallery: A Memoir of Family Secrets by Irene Vilar: A razor-sharp memoir about the allure of suicide for three generations of women in one Puerto Rican family and the frightening family secrets that have haunted a grandmother, mother and daughter in their search for self.
  • Leaving Carolina by Tamara Leigh: Piper Wick left her hometown of Pickwick, North Carolina, 12 years ago, and did not look back. Now all of Piper's hard-won happiness is threatened by a reclusive uncle's bout of conscience.
  • The Longest Trip Home: A Memoir by John Grogan: The funny and poignant memoir of faith, family and identity from John Grogan --- the #1 international bestselling author of the beloved Marley & Me.
  • The Lost Dog by Michelle de Kretser: Tom Loxley, an Indian-Australian professor, is less concerned with finishing his book on Henry James than with finding his dog, who is lost in the Australian bush.
  • The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown: In this stunning follow-up to the global phenomenon The Da Vinci Code, Dan Brown demonstrates once again why he is the world's most popular thriller writer.
  • Lying with the Dead by Michael Mewshaw: Narrated by three very different siblings --- dutiful but tough Candy, sweet but disturbed Maury, and successful but despondent Quinn --- Lying with the Dead is a moving and darkly humorous story of three adult children and their aging, embittered mother.
  • Mathilda Savitch by Victor Lodato: A fiercely funny and touching debut novel about a young girl trying to find out the truth behind her sister's death.
  • A Mercy by Toni Morrison: An ambivalent, disturbing story of a mother and a daughter --- a mother who casts off her daughter in order to save her, and a daughter who may never exorcise that abandonment.
  • Mistress of the Vatican: The True Story of Olimpia Maidalchini: The Secret Female Pope by Eleanor Herman: A scintillating biography of a powerful yet little-known woman whose remarkable story is ripe with secrets, sex, passion and ambition.
  • The Monster of Florence by Douglas Preston and Mario Spezi: In the tradition of Erik Larson's The Devil in the White City, Douglas Preston weaves a captivating account of crime and punishment in the lush hills of Florence, Italy.
  • My Name is Will: A Novel of Sex, Drugs, and Shakespeare by Jess Winfield: In this retelling of William Shakespeare's youth, his story is paired with that of another Shakespeare: a struggling graduate student in Reagan-era California.
  • The Night Gardener by George Pelecanos: George Pelecanos achieves in The Night Gardener what his brilliant career has been building toward: a novel that is a perfect union of suspense, character and unstoppable fate.
  • No Impact Man: The Adventures of a Guilty Liberal Who Attempts to Save the Planet, and the Discoveries He Makes About Himself and Our Way of Life in the Process by Colin Beavan: What would your life be like if you had zero impact on the environment? Colin Beavan tackled this question, embarking on a yearlong experiment with his wife and their toddler.
  • Once on a Moonless Night by Dai Sijie: From the author of Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress, a haunting tale of love and the beguiling power of a lost language.
  • One Foot Wrong by Sofie Laguna: For Hester, the only child of religiously reclusive parents, the outside world is forbidden. But once she catches a glimpse of what she's been missing, escaping her sheltered life becomes something worth fighting for.
  • The Palace of Strange Girls by Sallie Day: Over a holiday week, the Singletons must struggle to find their place in the shifting world of promenade amusements, illicit sex and stilted afternoon teas in this touching and evocative novel.
  • The Private Papers of Eastern Jewel by Maureen Lindley: An electrifying epic page-turner, based on the incredible true story of a princess turned spy.
  • A Question of Freedom: A Memoir of Learning, Survival, and Coming of Age in Prison by R. Dwayne Betts: A beautifully, brutally honest memoir about one imprisoned boy's harrowing journey towards freedom and manhood.
  • A Quiet Belief in Angels by R.J. Ellory: A thrilling --- and often chilling --- tale that not only evokes strong emotions but asks important questions about our own morality.
  • Reasons for and Advantages of Breathing: Stories by Lydia Peelle: Lydia Peelle brings together eight brilliant stories --- two of which won Pushcart Prizes and one of which won an O. Henry Prize --- that peer straight into the human heart.
  • The Return by Victoria Hislop: Family betrayals, forbidden love and historical turmoil converge between a family's heartwrenching struggle during the Spanish Civil War and a young woman traveling in present-day Granada.
  • Requiem of the Human Soul by Jeremy R. Lent: The human race is on trial at the U.N. in the late 22nd century. At stake... its continued existence.
  • 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 Sari Shop Widow by Shobhan Bantwal: Shobhan Bantwal's compelling new novel is set on the streets of Edison, New Jersey's Little India, where a young businesswoman rediscovers the magic of love and family.
  • Say You're One of Them by Uwem Akpan: Each story in this collection is a testament to the wisdom and resilience of children, even in the face of the most agonizing situations our planet can offer.
  • A Separate Country by Robert Hicks: Set in New Orleans in the years after the Civil War, A Separate Country is based on the incredible life of John Bell Hood, arguably one of the most controversial generals of the Confederate Army --- and one of its most tragic figures.
  • Serena by Ron Rash: A gothic tale of greed, corruption and revenge set against the backdrop of the 1930s wilderness and America's burgeoning environmental movement.
  • Shadow Baby by Alison McGhee: In Alison McGhee's stunning novel Shadow Baby, 11-year-old Clara struggles to piece together her family history, while her mother refuses to talk about those people lost to her daughter.
  • Sisters & Husbands by Connie Briscoe: Ten years have passed since Sisters and Lovers, and Beverly, now 39, is engaged to Julian, a man her family and friends agree is the epitome of a great catch.
  • Skunk: A Love Story by Justin Courter: This darkly hilarious novel follows a social outcast who develops a bizarre addiction that he eventually overcomes when he discovers love.
  • Slumberland by Paul Beatty: Critical darling Paul Beatty's highly original, widely praised novel of race, identity and underground music.
  • Stand the Storm by Breena Clarke: Even though Sewing Annie Coats and her son, Gabriel, have managed to buy their freedom, their lives are still marked by constant struggle and sacrifice.
  • A Summer Affair by Elin Hilderbrand: Hearts break and emotions are pushed to the limit in this riveting story of one woman's attempt to deal with loves past and present, family, business and high-powered social pressures.
  • Sunflowers by Sheramy Bundrick: A hauntingly beautiful novel about Vincent van Gogh and his relationship with a mysterious young woman named Rachel and the passion they shared, in a debut novel from art historian Sheramy Bundrick.
  • Sweetwater Run by Jan Watson: In 1891 in the mountains of eastern Kentucky, two young women stand at a crossroads. As they struggle with the realities of life, both learn to rely on their faith above all else.
  • The Swiss Courier by Tricia Goyer and Mike Yorkey: 1944: When a young woman is asked to "courier" a German scientist who is working on the atomic bomb out of enemy territory, the fate of the world hangs in the balance.
  • A Taste of Fame: The Potluck Catering Club by Linda Evans Shepherd and Eva Marie Everson: A Taste of Fame serves up the perfect blend of humor, misadventure and mouthwatering recipes. Fans new and old will love this exciting trip into the wild world of competitive cooking!
  • Thin is the New Happy by Valerie Frankel: The true story of one woman's quest to exorcise her bad body-image demons, to uncover the truths behind what put them there and to learn how to truly love herself.
  • Thirsty by Tracey Bateman: Recovering alcoholic Nina Parker wants to start fresh in her Ozark hometown, but a gruesome murder, her shattered family and a 250-year-old stranger's obsession have her torn between surrendering to darkness --- and salvation.
  • Time of My Life by Allison Winn Scotch: One morning Jillian wakes up seven years in the past, and armed with 20-20 hindsight, she's free to choose all over again.
  • To Love What Is: A Marriage Transformed by Alix Kates Shulman: In this elegant memoir, Alix Kates Shulman describes the ongoing anxieties and risks --- and surprising rewards --- she experiences as she reorganizes her world to care for her husband.
  • Transgression: A Novel of Love and War by James W. Nichol: A beautifully written World War II romance and mystery that follows Adele, a young French woman who falls in love with a German soldier and is cast out of her village as a "horizontal traitor" at the end of the war.
  • The Truth About Love by Josephine Hart: From the author of Damage, a novel that opens with the accidental death of a teenage boy who commits one final, heartrending act of love.
  • The Twelve by William Gladstone: What will happen in 2012? The Mayans predicted the end of the world. In his novel The Twelve, William Gladstone forecasts a new beginning as the fate of all humanity rests in the balance.
  • Under the Cajun Moon by Mindy Starns Clark: Mindy Starns Clark offers an exciting stand-alone novel, one full of Cajun mystery, hidden dangers and the glow of God's unending grace.
  • Whatsoever Things are Lovely: Must-Have Accessories for God's Perfect Peace by Rhonda Rhea: Using Philippians 4:8-9 as a springboard, Rhonda Rhea takes you on a fun adventure that can help you lead a more fruitful, blessed and peace-filled life.
  • Where Grace Abides: The Riverhaven Years by BJ Hoff : Readers loved Rachel's Secret, the first book in The Riverhaven Years, and are eagerly awaiting the continuing story of Rachel and Jeremiah Gant.
  • White Picket Fences by Susan Meissner: "White Picket Fences is a beautiful yet haunting portrayal of what lies beneath a seemingly perfect suburban family." --Mary E. DeMuth, author of Daisy Chain and A Slow Burn
  • Windfall by Penny Vincenzi: Windfall is full of the signatures that make Vincenzi's novels irresistible to devoted fans and newcomers alike: a sharp eye for detail, an assortment of loveable and despicable characters, and a titillating, suspenseful plot.

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:
Have a Little Faith: A True Story by Mitch Albom

Oprah's Book Club Selection
Say You're One of Them by Uwem Akpan

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.

Click here to read the October 2009 edition of the ReadingGroupGuides.com newsletter.

Click here to visit the ReadingGroupGuides.com homepage.



Post a Comment

<< Home

Back to top.   

Privacy Policy | Contact Us | Advertising | About Us

© Copyright 2001-2010, ReadingGroupGuides.com. All rights reserved.