Here come the holidays. For many of us meeting with our book club this month will be the only restful time that we have! Wondered if any of you have any special holiday celebrations planned as part of your meetings. We would love to share those suggestions with your fellow readers. Write to me at Liz@ReadingGroupGuides.com and let me know.
One quick piece of news --- as you know we are conducting a Reader Study on ReadingGroupGuides.com. To date 500 of you have already responded, which is very impressive. We heard from a number of people who asked us to extend the deadline till next Friday as holiday commitments had kept you from participating. Given that our goal is for the largest number of respondents to weigh in, we are extending the deadline until December 7th, and ask those of you who have not responded to share your thoughts. Also, some folks told us that they could not scroll all the way down the page. We made a technical adjustment, so if this was your problem, can we encourage you to try again?
Many thanks to all of you who wrote last month to add your choices for the ReadingGroupGuides.com Top Ten Books for Reading Groups. We have a great list. If your group is stumped on what to read, try one of these suggestions.
This month we highlight three special titles that we thought deserved special mention:
A Desert in Bohemia by Jill Paton Walsh is the story that takes place in postwar Central Europe as a terrified young woman seeks refuge in an empty castle. There she discovers an infant, apparently abandoned. Soon others join her, including the castle's ancestral owner and other refugees and exiles, innocents, and zealots, the tragic and the damned. This powerfully written and heartrending story follows the intertwined lives of nine characters as it probes the nature of love and duty... and the consequences of action and inaction.
The Way Forward Is With A Broken Heart by Alice Walker is a collection of stories loosely based on Alice Walker's marriage to a white man in the racially segregated Deep South. They are tales of what happens when a "magical" marriage to an "extraordinary man" ends in a "less-than-magical" divorce. And in shedding this relationship, the author is reborn as the woman she was to become.
The Journey Home by Olaf Olafsson is a story of Disa who, when she learns she has only twelve months to live, decides to abandon the safety of the successful summer hotel she runs with her friend Anthony and return to the village in Iceland where she was born. In traveling back to her home, Disa also begins a much more perilous journey, a journey back in time through the memories that have haunted her for decades --- her ill-fated engagement to a Jewish man, her painful relationships with her mother and sister, the agonizing loss that World War II inflicted on her, and the devastating encounter she has kept hidden all her life.
Also, just as we were preparing this mail this morning, Oprah announced her latest selection: A FINE BALANCE by Rohinton Mistry. You can check out the reading guide on our site.
Our Roundtable discussion this month asks how does your group attract new members? Do you advertise? Is there any sort of screening process? What if they don't seem to fit in? Email me at Liz@readinggroupguides.com and let us know how your group deals with the issue of keeping your membership up to date.
December's interview This month's interview is with a couples' group from Richardson, Texas. Read and find out about their meetings and bookish road trips. And our recipe this month is for Stuffed Mushrooms sent to us by Jillian Smythe of Annapolis, Maryland.
Remember that your subscription to this newsletter is your entry into our monthly contest. In December, one lucky reader will win enough copies of Out of the Night That Covers Me by Pat Cunningham Devoto for his or her entire group!
Have a wonderful holiday! May this very special season be even more poignant for you and yours this year.
See you next year!
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