Read It First Good for Book Clubs

Sandra Beasley on Embracing Life with Allergies

“In my new memoir, Don’t Kill the Birthday Girl: Tales from an Allergic Life,” says Sandra Beasley, “I delve into the nitty-gritty of how food allergies affect us, all the way from childhood into our teenage and adult years. I don’t just mean how allergies impact our physical selves (though that can be comically mortifying) but how they shape our social selves, our romantic selves, our role in a family, and our sense of mortality. Your worldview changes when something as simple as a bite of cake or a first-date kiss can send you to the hospital.”

Meet the Author Good for Book Clubs

John Milliken Thompson on His Novel The Reservoir

“My novel The Reservoir began forming in my mind shortly after I read a paragraph in a book on Richmond history,” explains John Milliken Thompson. “The paragraph mentioned a criminal court case that took place in 1885 after the body of a young woman was found floating in the old city reservoir. I started doing some research, investigating the case and the period like a historian and journalist. I also began writing.”

Read It First Good for Book Clubs

Karleen Koen’s Historical Novel Before Versailles

Louis XIV is one of the best-known monarchs ever to grace the French throne. But what was he like as a young man – the man before Versailles? After the death of his prime minister, Cardinal Mazarin, twenty-two-year-old Louis steps into governing France. He’s still a young man, but one who, as king, willfully takes everything he can get – including his brother’s wife. As the love affair between Louis and Princess Henriette burns, it sets the kingdom on the road toward unmistakable scandal and conflict with the Vatican. Every woman wants him. He must face what he is willing to sacrifice for love.

Book Group of the Month Good for Book Clubs

Book Groups! Win Copies of Lisa Unger’s New Thriller

Fans of thrillers and smart women’s fiction: we have an amazing offer for you! In her new novel Darkness My Old Friend, Lisa Unger – The New York Times bestselling author of Beautiful Lies and Fragile – returns to The Hollows, delivering a thriller that explores matters of faith, memory, and sacrifice. We want to share the read with you and invite Lisa to join your book group discussion!

Read It First Good for Book Clubs

Men’s Book Group Enjoys Skype Chat with Steven Pressfield

The Profession is thought-provoking, creative yet very realistic, and smile-evoking when the reader isn’t focused on maniacally trying to figure out what could possibly happen next,” says Mark, a member of an Avon, CT men’s book group that recently enjoyed a Skype chat with author Steven Pressfield. “Steven’s cautionary tale was written for today’s current events. The one question we did not have time to ask Steven: ‘Tunisia, Egypt, Libya—what’s next?’”

Meet the Author Good for Book Clubs

Hamilton Cain on Growing Up Baptist

“Linguists tell us that narratives are innate in an infant,” writes Hamilton Cain, “coiled inside a secret chamber of the mind, ripening in the dark until the moment someone or something calls them forth. The stories I first heard as a toddler came from my parents as they tucked me into a lower bunk: the baby in the manger, those lions and zebras and chimpanzees parading onto Noah’s ark, two by two. I still recall the hushed cadence of my father’s voice as it stirred an embryonic feeling inside me, one that Bible Drill would shape into an emotion more intricate and transformative, a love wide and deep.”

Read It First Good for Book Clubs

Lee Martin on Writing from the Heartland in Break the Skin

“I hope you’ll enjoy this novel of suspense and romance,” says Lee Martin, “a tale that comes from the Heartland where people want just as urgently as people anywhere to love and to feel loved in return. Sometimes, as in the case of the characters in Break the Skin, they make mistakes, and cause harm. Often the consequences are irrevocable, something that marks the people involved the rest of their lives.”

Read It First Good for Book Clubs

U.K. Bestseller Sister By Rosamund Lupton Debuts in U.S.

“I remember vividly the Sunday I said I was going to write a novel,” says bestselling author Rosamund Lupton. “There was a story I wanted to tell. I wasn’t sure yet how the plot would work, but I knew that it would be about two ­sisters. I had already imagined the older sister — starchy, uptight — and the phone call she gets in the ­middle of Sunday lunch saying that her younger sister — scruffy, an art student — had gone ­missing.”