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Book Group Buzz

A Booklist Blog
Book group tips, reading lists, & lively talk of literary news from the experts at Booklist Online

Archive for April, 2011

Fri, April 29th, 2011
Food for Thought
Posted by: Neil Hollands

A new crop of memoirs has emerged this spring that will leave book groups with mouths watering, especially if foodies are among their numbers. Grant Achatz is the chef at Alinea, the highly praised Chicago restaurant that has done so much to popularize the science fair meets inside joke approach of molecular gastronomy. In his memoir,  Life, on […]


Thu, April 28th, 2011
Emily, Alone
Posted by: Misha Stone

Stewart O’Nan’s Emily, Alone is a moving yet unsentimental look at aging, memory and the simple pleasures of life. It is a follow-up to his novel, Wish You Were Here, which you needn’t have read to enjoy this one. Or, as someone who hasn’t as yet read its predecessor, I have no idea what I […]


Wed, April 27th, 2011
A Double Dose of Belonging
Posted by: Neil Hollands

A new study that is scheduled to appear in the journal Psychological Science found that reading about a fictional community gives readers a sense of connection to that community, satisfying a crucial psychological need for belonging that improves well-being. The effect is especially strong in individuals who are more socially oriented in their everyday lives. […]


Wed, April 27th, 2011
The Forgotten Garden
Posted by: Misha Stone

I just got lost in a book that is, cliche as it sounds, rather enchanting and beguiling. Kate Morton’s The Forgotten Garden is exactly the kind of book you can lose yourself in if you like complex family secrets, brooding English estates, craven and cursed aristocratic families and plucky young heroines. In 1913, a 4-year-old […]


Tue, April 26th, 2011
New source for author info/discussion starters
Posted by: Rebecca Vnuk

Okay, so it’s from the corporate behemoth Amazon.. but I still wanted to point it out as potentially very useful to book clubs. They’ve launched a new part of the site, The Backstory. The Backstory features exclusive author interviews and essays, guest reviews, and more.  I know my book club participants always love it when […]


Sun, April 24th, 2011
How about a Magazine Club instead of a Book Club?
Posted by: Rebecca Vnuk

You know, the more I think about this, the more I like it…  This article from the Washington Post talks about a woman in Washington, DC, who didn’t enjoy her book club, and really just wanted to talk with others about the The New Yorker… so her friend organized a discussion club! What do you […]


Fri, April 22nd, 2011
The Future Just Isn't What It Used to Be
Posted by: Neil Hollands

My science fiction and fantasy book group met earlier this week to explore how well science fiction classics have predicted the future. The meeting generated a fascinating discussion, but let’s just say that on the whole, we wouldn’t hire SF writers to invest the family nest egg. Overall, we found prescient imaginings of inventions that would […]


Thu, April 21st, 2011
Party like a Book Star!
Posted by: Kaite Stover

THIS is the book party I want to go to next year. The Minnesota Book Awards. I blogged about these awards and the short list of nominees some weeks ago and this past Saturday, April 16, the big awards were announced at a biblio-blow out. Here’s a list of all the winners, but the big […]


Wed, April 20th, 2011
Tea-Totalling
Posted by: Neil Hollands

Another nonfiction book group favorite is not faring well under close scrutiny. Greg Mortenson, whose books Three Cups of Tea and Stones into Schools have inspired book groups everywhere, has not provided good answers so far to questions about the veracity of his books and the conduct of his organization. The extent of his guilt […]


Wed, April 20th, 2011
Indies Choice 2011: Room and Unbroken
Posted by: Rebecca Vnuk

So, I was all excited to post about the 2011 Indies Choice awards… when I realized, we’ve actually already spent a lot of time on this blog talking about the 2 main winners! The Adult Fiction Book of the Year is Room, by Emma Donoghue, which should be no surprise. The Adult Nonfiction Book of […]





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