Reading Group Center




6 Ways to Celebrate Summer with Recipe by the Book

6 Ways to Celebrate Summer with Recipe by the Book

In our ongoing celebration of summer, we dipped into the Recipe by the Book archives and selected six favorites for you to enjoy at your next book club meeting.

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Armchair Adventurer: The Real-life Socialist Utopia of Jonathan Lethem’s Dissident Gardens

Armchair Adventurer: The Real-life Socialist Utopia of Jonathan Lethem’s Dissident Gardens

The title of Jonathan Lethem’s bestselling novel Dissident Gardens, an epic yet intimate family saga, was inspired by a little-known neighborhood in the heart of New York City: Sunnyside Gardens. In this edition of Armchair Adventurer, we take a look at the neighborhood’s fascinating history.

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Group Talk

Read tips from other book club members and join the discussion by sharing your own advice.


Edwidge Danticat on the Power of Community in Claire of the Sea Light

Edwidge Danticat on the Power of Community in Claire of the Sea Light

In an interview for PBS, Edwidge Danticat talked about the way in which Claire of the Sea Light expanded from simply being about Claire, her father, and her soon-to-be adoptive mother into one about their town’s community.

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Take a Tour Around Florence with Dan Brown’s Inferno

Take a Tour Around Florence with Dan Brown’s Inferno

Use our list of Florentine attractions to complement your reading of Dan Brown’s blockbuster Inferno—and follow Langdon’s pulse-pounding adventure deep into the heart of the ancient city to experience it like never before.

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7 Modern Rewritings of Literary Classics That Are Perfect for Reading Groups

7 Modern Rewritings of Literary Classics That Are Perfect for Reading Groups

At one time or another, we’ve all had the same book club dilemma: read classics or opt for modern works of fiction that grace the bestseller lists. Here, we’ve brokered a compromise by compiling a list of can’t-miss modern retellings of masterpieces by the likes of William Shakespeare, Jane Austen, and Virginia Woolf. Enjoy!

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Armchair Adventurer: Political Unrest Overtakes Calcutta in Jhumpa Lahiri’s The Lowland

Armchair Adventurer: Political Unrest Overtakes Calcutta in Jhumpa Lahiri’s The Lowland

Jhumpa Lahiri’s latest novel, The Lowland, chronicles the lives of two very different brothers in post-Independence India. To understand her characters’ lives, we turn to the annals of mid-twentieth-century Indian history, and the history of the Naxalite movement in particular.

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Downstairs at Longbourn: The Bennet Sisters Through the Eyes of the Help

Downstairs at Longbourn: The Bennet Sisters Through the Eyes of the Help

With Jo Baker’s Longbourn, an irresistibly imagined below stairs response to Pride and Prejudice, we get a new perspective on the Bennet sisters through the eyes of their servants. From personal habits to social interactions, servants—like Longbourn’s housemaid Sarah—provide astute observations, adding color and texture to the familiar story.

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Anne Rice on Crafting the Cosmology of Her Bestselling Werewolf Series

Anne Rice on Crafting the Cosmology of Her Bestselling Werewolf Series

Read an excerpt from a Q&A with Anne Rice—arguably the best world builder of our time—in which she talks about the joys of crafting the new cosmology of The Wolf Chronicles series, fitting the fantasy elements into a modern setting, as well as her future plans for the series.

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How Editor Jennifer Jackson Got Carried Away with Crazy Rich Asians

How Editor Jennifer Jackson Got Carried Away with Crazy Rich Asians

In a note to readers, Knopf editor Jennifer Jackson introduces Kevin Kwan’s fantastic debut novel Crazy Rich Asians, now in paperback from Anchor.

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Bridget Jones: Her World Then and Now

Bridget Jones: Her World Then and Now

Since landing Marc Darcy fourteen years ago, Bridget’s life has taken some unexpected turns. In Bridget Jones: Mad About the Boy finds herself in a brave new world—battling the vicissitudes of tweeting, texting, and online dating. So how has the dating rulebook changed, along with the cultural landscape that’s shaped it? In this post, we take a look at Bridget’s world in 1997 and now.

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