Archive for November, 2015

Giving Thanks for Good Friends and Great Books

November 19th, 2015

Thanksgiving is when we reflect on the things we’re grateful for, and it goes without saying that two things top our list year after year: reading group friends and great books! Below, we share some of the books for which we’re most thankful. Whether you’re looking for an escape from your family, trying to choose the ideal book for the last reading group meeting of the year, or just want a great read for the long Thanksgiving break, you’re sure to find something that strikes your fancy here.


And-the-Dark-Sacred-NightAnd the Dark Sacred Night by Julia Glass

What’s better than reuniting with an old friend? In And the Dark Sacred Night, Julia Glass brings back Fenno McLeod, beloved protagonist of Three Junes, in a story about making youthful choices, forgiving yourself, and confronting the shadows of one’s past.

Read an excerpt | Get the reader’s guide | Print the Recipe by the Book


Astonish-MeAstonish Me by Maggie Shipstead

Thanksgiving is certainly a family affair, and nothing says family quite like secrets and domestic drama. Maggie Shipstead’s Astonish Me is the tale of two generations of passionate dancers that travels through sleepy California suburbs, Soviet defection, and the sweeping romance of Paris.

Read an excerpt | Get the reader’s guide | Go behind the scenes with a note from the author


Berties-Guide-to-Life-and-MothersBertie’s Guide to Life and Mothers by Alexander McCall Smith

Sometimes family is more than the people to whom you’re related. With dogs in pubs, dubious dukes, and overeager waxologists, the extended family of Alexander McCall Smith’s 44 Scotland Street is up to more high jinks than ever before in Bertie’s Guide to Life and Mothers.

Read an excerpt


The-Book-of-Unknown-AmericansThe Book of Unknown Americans by Cristina Henríquez

When fifteen-year-old Maribel Rivera sustains a terrible injury, the Riveras leave behind a comfortable life in Mexico and risk everything to come to the United States so that Maribel can have the care she needs. It is a stunning novel of hopes and dreams, guilt and love—a book that offers a resonant new definition of what it means to be American.

Read an excerpt | Get the reader’s guide | Watch an interview with the author


The-Narrow-Road-to-the-Deep-NorthThe Narrow Road to the Deep North by Richard Flanagan

The winner of the Man Booker Prize, Richard Flanagan’s The Narrow Road to the Deep North is a savagely beautiful portrait of love, loss, truth, and war. It’s not light reading, but it’s a great book for a gray November day.

Read an excerpt | Get the reader’s guide | Watch an interview with the author


The-Children-ActThe Children Act by Ian McEwan

Fiona Maye, a High Court judge presiding over cases in the family division, must decide whether to overrule a sick seventeen-year-old boy’s refusal of medical treatment based on his religious beliefs. The ethical dilemma Fiona faces is contrasted against her domestic trials, reminding readers that life is messy, but that’s what makes it worth living.

Read an excerpt | Get the reader’s guide | Listen to an NPR interview


Station-ElevenStation Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel

If you’re looking for an escape from a house full of relatives, look no further than Emily St. John Mandel’s impossible-to-put-down Station Eleven. A richly imagined story of survival in a dystopian future, this mesmerizing novel will make you grateful for the world as it is now.

Read an excerpt | Get the reader’s guide | Watch an interview with the author


How-to-Write-a-NovelHow to Write a Novel by Melanie Sumner

Precocious Aris Thibodeau is 12.5 years old and writing a bestselling novel that will solve the problems of the all-too-real family on which her book is based. Quirky and clever, sweet and moving, How to Write a Novel is a perfectly meta story that highlights the love found within a dysfunctional family.

Read an excerpt


Dear-Committee-MembersDear Committee Members by Julie Schumacher

Recently announced as the winner of the Thurber Prize for American Humor, Dear Committee Members is a novel in letters that moves from laugh-out-loud funny to surprisingly poignant in fewer than two hundred pages. This is the perfect book to read while friends and family sleep off Thanksgiving dinner.

Read an excerpt