Friday, October 22, 2010

October 2010

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

The results of ReadingGroupGuides.com's 10th Anniversary Contest were announced this month. You can view the Top 10 Discussion Books here. We also used the results to create Top 10 lists in the following categories:

-Top 10 Classics
-Top 10 Memoirs/Biographies
-Top 10 Young Adult/Kids Books
-Top 10 Books Featuring Animals
-Selections You Might Not Expect

We selected 50 winners from more than 12,000 entries to receive a $200 gift card to the retailer of their choice. Some winners also elected to donate their prize to local libraries, schools and other organizations.

News about the contest results were featured in October 14th edition of Publishers Weekly, the October 13th edition of Shelf Awareness, and a blog post in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch's daily blog from October 15th. Click the publication to name to view respective articles.

The titles below are also mentioned in the ReadingGroupGuides.com Newsletter Opener, which can be read here:
-Alice I Have Been by Melanie Benjamin
-Adam & Eve by Sena Jeter Naslund
-Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter by Tom Franklin
-Firefly Lane by Kristin Hannah
-Major Pettigrew's Last Stand by Helen Simonson
-Mrs. Darcy and the Blue-Eyed Stranger by Lee Smith
-Night Road by Kristin Hannah
-True Colors by Kristin Hannah
-Winter Garden by Kristin Hannah

Special Features and Contests


Win a Copy of SARAH'S KEY by Tatiana de Rosnay for Your Group

Here’s your chance to win a copy of the international bestseller Sarah’s Key by Tatiana de Rosnay --- the bestselling book club favorite from one of Europe’s most acclaimed authors --- with a special contest. 80 readers will have the opportunity to each win one paperback copy of the book for their group. The deadline for entries is Wednesday, November 3rd at noon ET.

More about Sarah's Key:
Paris, May 2002: On Vel’ d’Hiv’s 60th anniversary, journalist Julia Jarmond is asked to write an article about this black day in France's past. Through her contemporary investigation, she stumbles onto a trail of long-hidden family secrets that connect her to Sarah. Julia finds herself compelled to retrace the girl's ordeal, from that terrible term in the Vel d'Hiv', to the camps, and beyond. As she probes into Sarah's past, she begins to question her own place in France, and to reevaluate her marriage and her life.

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

Win a Copy of A HAPPY MARRIAGE for Your Group

We are celebrating the paperback release of A Happy Marriage by Rafael Yglesias --- an emotional, deeply-felt novel of one man’s beloved wife --- with a special contest. 50 readers will have the opportunity to each win one paperback copy of the book, which is in stores now, for their group. The deadline for entries is Wednesday, November 3rd at noon ET.

More about A Happy Marriage:
A Happy Marriage is both intimate and expansive: It is the story of Enrique Sabas and his wife, Margaret, a novel that alternates between the romantic misadventures of the first weeks of their courtship and the final months of Margaret's life as she says good-bye to her family, friends and children --- and to Enrique. Spanning 30 years, this achingly honest story is about what it means for two people to spend a lifetime together --- and what makes a happy marriage.

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

Win an Advance Copy of THE OTHER LIFE for Your Group

We are previewing next year’s release of The Other Life by Ellen Meister --- a haunting novel of one woman’s paranormal ability to see the consequences of her decisions --- with a special contest. 100 readers will have the opportunity to each win one advance copy of the book, which will be in stores February 3, 2011, for their group. The deadline for entries is Wednesday, November 3rd at noon ET.

More about The Other Life:
If you could return to the road not taken, would you? Happily married and pregnant, Quinn Braverman has an ominous secret. Every time she makes a major life decision, she knows an alternate reality exists in which she made the opposite choice --- not only that, she knows how to cross over. But even in her darkest moments --- like her mother’s suicide --- Quinn hasn’t been tempted to slip through…until she receives devastating news about the baby she’s carrying.

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

Win an Advance Copy of YOU KNOW WHEN THE MEN ARE GONE for Your Group

We are previewing next year’s release of You Know When the Men Are Gone by Siobhan Fallon --- a collection of short stories about military wives and the tension-filled lives they lead --- with a special contest. 100 readers will have the opportunity to each win one advance copy of the book, which will be in stores January 20, 2011, for their group. The deadline for entries is Wednesday, November 3rd at noon ET.

More about You Know When the Men are Gone:
If you could return to the road not taken, would you? Happily married and pregnant, Quinn Braverman has an ominous secret. Every time she makes a major life decision, she knows an alternate reality exists in which she made the opposite choice --- not only that, she knows how to cross over. But even in her darkest moments --- like her mother’s suicide --- Quinn hasn’t been tempted to slip through…until she receives devastating news about the baby she’s carrying.

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

New and Recommended Fiction

The Next Queen of Heaven by Gregory Maguire
International bestselling author Gregory Maguire --- who re-imagined the land of Oz and all its fabled inhabitants in his monumental series, The Wicked Years --- brings us a wildly farcical and gloriously imaginative tall tale of faith, Catholic dogma, lust, and questionable miracles on the eve of Y2K. The very bizarre and hilarious goings on in the eccentric town of Thebes make for a delightfully mad reading experience --- as The Next Queen of Heaven shows off the acclaimed author in a brilliant new heavenly light.

Click here for the reading group guide.

To the End of the Land by David Grossman
Ora, a middle-aged Israeli mother, is on the verge of celebrating her son Ofer’s release from army service when he returns to the front for a major offensive. In a fit of preemptive grief and magical thinking, she sets out for a hike in the Galilee, leaving no forwarding information for the “notifiers” who might darken her door with the worst possible news. Recently estranged from her husband, Ilan, she drags along an unlikely companion: their former best friend and her former lover Avram, once a brilliant artistic spirit. As Ora and Avram sleep out in the hills, ford rivers, and cross valleys, avoiding all news from the front, she gives him the gift of Ofer, word by word; she supplies the whole story of her motherhood, a retelling that keeps Ofer very much alive for Ora.

Click here for the reading group guide.

Bound by Antonya Nelson
Wichita, Kansas is back in the headlines. Twenty-five years ago, the serial killer known as BTK --- Bind, Torture, and Kill --- was in the backdrop of Catherine and Misty’s adolescence in Wichita. Now the BTK has struck again, and Catherine is flooded with memories of growing up in the killer’s heyday with her best friend, Misty, who left town for good after graduation. Catherine learns that Misty has just died in a car accident --- and left her daughter, Cattie, in the hands of her namesake, Catherine. In the midst of all these secrets and lies, Catherine isn’t sure she can take care of a teenager she’s never met. And Cattie isn’t sure she can face the world without her tough-talking, devoted mother.

Click here for the reading group guide.

The Debutante by Kathleen Tessaro
She brought us Elegance, Innocence and The Flirt --- and now the exceptional Kathleen Tessaro takes contemporary women’s fiction to new heights with The Debutante. The story of a troubled New York artist transplanted to London, where she gets drawn into the strange, secret history of a notorious debutante from the previous century, Tessaro’s novel is a mystery combined with a love story within a poignant tale of a modern young woman’s self-discovery --- and readers of Jane Green, Anna Maxted and Marian Keyes will take it deep into their hearts.

Click here for the reading guide.

Undressing the Moon by T. Greenwood
At 30, Piper Kincaid feels too young to be dying. Cancer has eaten away her strength. Yet with all the questions of her future before her, she’s adrift in the past, remembering the fateful summer she turned 14 and her life changed forever. Her nervous father’s job search seemed stalled for good, as he hung around the house watching her mother’s every move. What he and Piper had both dreaded at last came to pass: Her restless, artistic mother, who smelled of lilacs and showed Piper beauty, finally left.

Click here for the reading group guide.

The Recipe Club: A Tale of Food and Friendship by Andrea Israel and Nancy Garfinkel
Now Available in Paperback

A novel that combines the moving story of a friendship told in letters with more than 80 delicious recipes, The Recipe Club is a wonderful literary banquet. A celebration of female bonding and excellent cooking --- with scrumptious dishes developed by New York Times food columnist Melissa Clark --- The Recipe Club will satisfy readers who previously devoured The Friday Night Knitting Club, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society and The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants.

Click here for the reading group guide.

The Secrets Sisters Keep by Abby Drake
The secrets sisters keep can be startling --- and in the hands of Abby Drake, author of Perfect Little Ladies and Good Little Wives, they can be outrageous, eye-opening, wickedly smart and wildly funny. With The Secrets Sisters Keep, Drake once again takes women’s fiction far beyond common chick lit --- delighting readers with a deeply satisfying story of four sisters gathering at a rich uncle’s home to celebrate his birthday. But they’ll have to find the old man first, since he’s inconveniently gone missing.

Click here for the reading group guide.

New and Recommended – Nonfiction

Traveling with Pomegranates: A Mother and Daughter Journey to the Sacred Places of Greece, Turkey, and France by Sue Monk Kidd and Ann Kidd Taylor
Now Available in Paperback
Sue Monk Kidd has touched the hearts of millions of readers with her beloved novels and acclaimed nonfiction. Now, in this wise and engrossing dual memoir, she and her daughter, Ann, chronicle their travels together through Greece and France at a time when each was on a quest to redefine herself and rediscover each other.

Click here for the reading group guide.

For Christian Readers

New Christian Guides


Faithful by Kim Cash Tate
For Time and Eternity: The Sister Wife Series, Book 1
by Allison Pittman
A Hope Undaunted: Winds of Change, Book 1
by Julie Lessman
The House on Malcolm Street
by Leisha Kelly
Making Waves: Lake Manawa Summers, Book 1
by Lorna Seilstad
A Memory Between Us: Wings of Glory, Book 2
by Sarah Sundin
Whisper on the Wind: The Great War Series, Book 2
by Maureen Lang

Registered Book Club Promotion

For October we have two very special opportunities for Registered Book Groups. Our featured titles this month are Finny by Justin Kramon and Secrets of Harmony Grove by Mindy Starns Clark. Groups who registered with us by Tuesday, October 19th 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

Bound by Antonya Nelson: Critically acclaimed author Antonya Nelson’s much anticipated first novel in a decade --- a story of tangled lives, set in a Wichita riveted by the reemergence of an infamous serial killer.
By Nightfall
by Michael Cunningham: Michael Cunningham’s masterly new novel is a heart-breaking look at the way we live now, much like his legendary, Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, The Hours.
Cheap Cabernet: A Friendship
by Cathie Beck: A memoir of friendship about a mother who puts an ad in the paper seeking friends, and finds a group that changes her life.
Comedy in a Minor Key
by Hans Keilson: A penetrating study of ordinary people resisting the Nazi occupation --- and, true to its title, a dark comedy of wartime manners.
Conversations with Myself
by Nelson Mandela: After a lifetime of taking pen to paper to record thoughts and events, hardships and victories, Nelson Mandela has bestowed his entire extant personal papers, which offer an unprecedented insight into his remarkable life.
The Debutante
by Kathleen Tessaro: An auction appraiser stumbles across a box full of pricey items and sets out to return them to their rightful owners.
Doors Open
by Ian Rankin: Ian Rankin creates a highly-charged caper of second guesses and double crosses right until the harrowing finish.
Eating Animals
by Jonathan Safran Foer: The bestselling book --- by one of the preeminent literary voices of his generation --- that has ignited a national conversation about what we eat.
Fall of Giants
by Ken Follett: This first installment of Follett’s The Century Trilogy follows five families spread across the continents in sweeping historical detail and narrative as only the master behind Pillars of the Earth can do.
The False Friend
by Myla Goldberg: A woman who was presumed kidnapped more than 20 years ago returns to her hometown, much to the disbelief of its citizens, and offers her account of the fateful event.
Finny
by Justin Kramon: A funny, emotional and honest coming-of-age story follows a young woman from her teen years through her mid-30s in this highly-praised debut.
The Girl Who Fell from the Sky
by Heidi W. Durrow: An ambitious, award-winning debut told from multiple perspectives about an 11-year-old biracial girl and the event that shattered her world.
The Golden Hustla
by Wahida Clark: Nina Coles, hood chick from What's Really Hood?, makes a home in Atlanta hoping to turn her life around. But she'll learn that you can't run from trouble in New York Times bestselling author Wahida Clark's newest urban tale.
The Good Sister
by Drusilla Campbell: The gripping story of two sisters, one of whom begins suffering from postpartum depression while the other sister helps her recover as she comes to terms with the family legacy of lies and secrecy.
A Happy Marriage
by Rafael Yglesias: The fictional account of a courtship, 30-year marriage and its tragic outcome from the author of Fearless.
In the Belly of Jonah: A Liv Bergen Mystery
by Sandra Brannan: The first novel in this series follows amateur sleuth Liv Bergen as she uncovers the death of an intern at a mining camp and the strange circumstances surrounding it.
The Lotus Eaters
by Tatjana Soli: A richly detailed, vivid novel of the Vietnam War and its aftermath on three people: a photographer, a deserter and a woman seeking answers to her brother’s death.
A Lucky Child: A Memoir of Surviving Auschwitz as a Young Boy
by Thomas Buergenthal: Now a Judge at the International Court of Justice in The Hague and dedicated to helping those subjected to tyranny throughout the world, Buergenthal writes his story with a simple clarity that highlights the stark details of unimaginable hardship.
Molly Fox’s Birthday
by Deirdre Madden: A successful playwright procrastinates her next project by visiting her friend’s Dublin apartment, and reflecting upon their 20-year friendship.
The Next Queen of Heaven
by Gregory Maguire: The bestselling author of Wicked offers this religious satire on the eve of the Y2K hysteria as a town’s residents become embroiled in church scandals.
The Other Life
by Ellen Meister: Happily married and pregnant, Quinn Braverman has an ominous secret as every time she makes a major life decision, she knows an alternate reality exists in which she made the opposite choice --- not only that, she knows how to cross over.
The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake
by Aimee Bender: A young baker discovers she can taste the emotions of whoever prepares her food, which leads her to confront friends, family members, past decisions and her mother.
The Recipe Club: A Tale of Food and Friendship
by Andrea Israel and Nancy Garfinkel: Loyalty, loss and the ties that bind: These are the ingredients of The Recipe Club, a "novel cookbook" that combines an authentic story of friendship with more than 80 delicious recipes.
The Reversal
by Michael Connelly: Detective Harry Boesch and attorney Mickey Haller team up to keep a brutal serial killer behind bars despite exonerating evidence.
Room
by Emma Donoghue: The haunting bestselling, Man Booker-nominated novel of a young boy, his mother, the only room he knows and the circumstances that put him there.
Safe from the Sea
by Peter Geye: Set against the powerful lakeshore landscape of northern Minnesota, Safe from the Sea is a heartfelt novel in which a son returns home to reconnect with his estranged and dying father 35 years after the tragic wreck upon the Great Lakes.
The Secrets Sisters Keep
by Abby Drake: Drake's funny and wise family soaper features four unhappy sisters who arrive at their uncle’s 75th birthday party, only to find the guest of honor has gone missing.
The Stray Sod Country
by Patrick McCabe: McCabe's enjoyable final installment to his Small-Town series is the charming and often dark ensemble story of Cullymore in 1957, a small Irish town near the U.K. border.
Tears of Pearl
by Tasha Alexander: This historical mystery set in Constantinople focuses on a husband and wife’s investigation of the murder of a harem girl, and the lengths that those in power will go to keep it covered up.
To the End of the Land
by David Grossman: An Israeli mother fears for her son’s safety as he enlists in a military campaign, but keeps her hope and faith strong by sharing fond memories of their family.
Traveling with Pomegranates: A Mother and Daughter Journey to the Sacred Places of Greece, Turkey, and France
by Sue Monk Kidd and Ann Kidd Taylor: The bestselling author of The Secret Life of Bees and her daughter embark on a trip to discover more about themselves and each other.
Two Cents Plain: My Brooklyn Boyhood
by Martin Lemelman: A graphic novel memoir of a boy’s childhood in the rapidly decaying Brownsville section of Brooklyn during the 1950s and 1960s.
Undressing the Moon
by T. Greenwood: A breast cancer survivor recounts her troubled childhood and the free-spirited artist mother who abandoned her.
The Unnamed
by Joshua Ferris: The Unnamed is a deeply felt, luminous novel about modern life, ancient yearnings, and the power of human understanding.
Up From the Blue
by Susan Henderson: Tillie Harris's life is in disarray --- her husband is away on business, the boxes in her new home aren't unpacked, the telephone isn't connected yet --- and sudden labor pains force Tillie to reach out to her estranged father for help.
Uprisings for the Earth: Reconnecting Culture with Nature
by Osprey Orielle Lake: Artist-author-advocate Osprey Orielle Lake explores how the beauty, vitality and ecological systems of the natural world can guide and transform human perspective, particularly as we face current environmental crises.
The Weekend
by Bernhard Schlink: The acclaimed author of The Reader follows old friends as they plan a party for a friend just out of prison, and plot their next attack.
You Know When the Men Are Gone
by Siobhan Fallon: Fallon takes readers inside the homes and hearts of army wives anxiously awaiting the return of their husbands in this collection of stories.

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


The Gift of an Ordinary Day
by Katrina Kenison: The Gift of an Ordinary Day is 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.

Oprah's Book Club Selection
Freedom by Jonathan Franzen


Click here to read the October 2010 edition of the ReadingGroupGuides.com newsletter.

Click here to visit the ReadingGroupGuides.com homepage.

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