Read It First Good for Book Clubs

Camille DeAngelis, author of Petty Magic, on Witches

Evelyn Harbinger, the heroine of Petty Magic, is 149 years old, and her favorite pastime is making herself a girl again for nights out on the town seducing young men. When people ask me what the novel is about, I usually use the word ‘witch’ even though Eve hates that word with a red-hot fiery passion, just because ‘witch’ is quicker to understand. (There’s an old-school witch on the cover, too, spiriting a little girl away on her broomstick—but this is ironically appropriate.)

Book Talk Good for Book Clubs

Booksellers of Baghdad by Philip Patrick

The Al-Rajab’s story has been covered in Publishing Perspectives. The facts are bare as they devastating: in August 1999 their store, Al-Muthanna Library was destroyed in mysterious fire and the brothers have been working ever since to rebuild, a tough enough challenge as it stands, but made all the more difficult first by the war and now by the government. And, of course, there is the ongoing threat of violence.

Fan Favorites Good for Book Clubs

A Conversation with Erzsébet Báthory, the “Blood Countess”

Was the “Blood Countess” history’s first and perhaps worst female serial killer? Or did her accusers create a violent fiction in order to remove this beautiful, intelligent, ambitious foe from the male-dominated world of Hungarian politics? Author Rebecca Johns imagines a conversation with her heroine, Erzsébet Báthory. Compelling and chilling at the same time, The Countess is unlike any heroine you’ve ever met, and Rebecca Johns’ novel is unlike any historical fiction you’ve ever read: an intimate look at the woman who became a monster.

Fan Favorites Good for Book Clubs

Carol Burnett on Patti LuPone’s Extraordinary Memoir

Patti’s story had me from the moment I turned to page one of the prologue until the absolutely triumphant final chapter. The passion with which she writes about the theatre and her love of it found me, at various times, crying and laughing. I thoroughly enjoyed her backstage tales that were both victorious and horror-filled. The lady pulls no punches in describing her most humiliating moments, such as the backstabbing that unfortunately happens all too often in this business.

Critics Rave Good for Book Clubs

Janet Elder, Author of Huck, on Your Dog, You, and Fate

Some friendships feel destined. I started wondering today if it isn’t that way with people and their dogs too. How do people get matched with their dogs? As far as I know, there is no for people and dogs. You don’t meet dogs in the workplace. I suppose friends can set you up with a dog. Lots of people seem to have stumbled into adopting their dog. That is where I think fate has a hand.

Critics Rave Good for Book Clubs

Liz Welch on People Magazine’s Rave Review of The Kids Are All Right

Diana heard the news first, and speed dialed Liz – “I just got an email that says we are in People Magazine!” she said. Liz went to the nearest newsstand, opened to page 67 and Liz promptly burst into tears. he called Diana: “It’s the lead review!” she said. “There are two photos and a book jacket image that takes up 1/4 of the page!” She next called Dan and Amanda and read the review to each verbatim.

Meet the Author Good for Book Clubs

Nancy Mauro, Author of New World Monkeys, on Female Bravado

Recently I was interviewed for the Big Orange Slide, an online magazine for and by folks in the ad world. The interviewer, after reading my novel, asked me, “Could you mercy kill a dying animal like your novel’s protagonists do?” This was an interesting question. It actually got me thinking about bravado. But not the swagger and heft of male courage—that defining quality (or lack thereof) that marks a man from cradle to grave. Instead my thoughts turned to the infinitely more interesting female bravado.