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Great Group Reads

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Great Group Reads

2015 Selections

All My Puny Sorrows by Miriam Toews
All Who Go Do Not Return: A Memoir by Shulem Deen
The Book of Strange New Things by Michel Faber
Call Me Home by Megan Kruse
Delicious Foods by James Hannaham
Did You Ever Have a Family by Bill Clegg
Dietland by Sarai Walker
Etta and Otto and Russell and James by Emma Hooper
Henna House by Nomi Eve
Landfall by Ellen Urbani
Make Your Home Among Strangers by Jennine Capó Crucet
Man Alive: A True Story of Violence, Forgiveness and Becoming a Man by Thomas Page Mcbee
Miss Hazel and the Rosa Parks League by Jonathan Odell
No. 4 Imperial Lane by Jonathan Weisman
Orphan #8 by Kim van Alkemade
A Perfect Crime by A Yi
The Secret Wisdom of the Earth by Christopher Scotton
A Sister to Honor by Lucy Ferriss
Without You, There Is No Us: My Time with the Sons of North Korea’s Elite by Suki Kim
The Wonder Garden by Lauren Acampora


Great Group Reads Selections 2015 Tabletop (PDF)

National Reading Group Month Marketing Toolkit


All My Puny Sorrows by Miriam Toews
(McSweeney's, TP 978-1940450711)
This novel is an honest, compassionate story about sisters and what it feels like to love someone who is determined to take her own life. This book takes a clear-eyed look at devotion, jealousy, and depression, examining right-to-die issues and what it means to be family.

More about: McSweeney's, All My Puny Sorrows

Bonus Resources: Booklist Review, Reading Group Choices, Reading Group Guides

Community: Goodreads

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All Who Go Do Not Return: A Memoir by Shulem Deen
(Graywolf Press, TP 978-1555977054)
A courageous memoir about faith, doubt, freedom, and hope from the author, raised in one of the most restrictive Hasidic Jewish communities. From his arranged marriage at eighteen and subsequent parenthood, to his transgressions which led to his questioning of the faith, he details his painful pathway to integrity.

More about: Graywolf Press, All Who Go Do Not Return: A Memoir

Bonus Resources: Booklist Review, Reading Group Choices, Reading Group Guides

Community: Goodreads

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The Book of Strange New Things by Michel Faber
(Hogarth, TP 978-0553418866)
Peter is a Christian pastor who goes to proselytize a community of earthlings and another race on a distant planet. The inventive story is an elegant device for a meditation on faith, the profundity of life, the communication of love, and a multitude of contemplative concepts. The work is intelligent, genre-bending, and full of provocative questions.

More about: Hogarth, The Book of Strange New Things

Bonus Resources: Booklist Review, Reading Group Choices, Reading Group Guides

Community: Goodreads

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Call Me Home by Megan Kruse
(Hawthorne Books, TP 978-0990437000)
Three distinct voices are woven together with depth and compassion in a story about family, individual decisions, and what it means to be home. Kruse explores love, betrayal, family bonds, domestic violence, and hope, even false hope, asking us all to consider how we love, and why we make the choices we do.

More about: Hawthorne Books, Call Me Home

Bonus Resources: Booklist Review, Reading Group Choices, Reading Group Guides

Community: Goodreads

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Delicious Foods by James Hannaham
(Little, Brown And Company, HC 978-0316284943)
A story about addiction and human trafficking that is told with unforgettable beauty through three distinct characters: a mother, her son, and the actual drug, crack, that threatens to overpower them and their love for one another. Disturbing and timely, this is a novel that is unforgettable.

More about: Little, Brown And Company, Delicious Foods

Bonus Resources: Booklist Review, Reading Group Choices, Reading Group Guides

Community: Goodreads

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Did You Ever Have a Family by Bill Clegg
(Gallery Books/Scout Press, HC 978-1476798172)
Clegg explores the effects of terrible loss in this wrenching debut novel told from multiple viewpoints. From its opening lines to the final ones, this lyrical novel is brutally direct yet ultimately optimistic — a tour de force of empathy and healing, with unforgettable characters.

More about: Gallery Books/Scout Press, Did You Ever Have a Family

Bonus Resources: Booklist Review, Reading Group Choices, Reading Group Guides

Community: Goodreads

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Dietland by Sarai Walker
(Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, HC 978-0544373433)
This witty, subversive story follows Plum, the 300-pound main character, as she struggles with her weight, joins a cult-like group aimed at helping her lose weight, and comes to an understanding of herself and her body. This is a multi-layered send-up of the diet industry and a close look at society’s obsession with appearance.

More about: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Dietland

Bonus Resources: Booklist Review, Reading Group Choices, Reading Group Guides

Community: Goodreads

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Etta and Otto and Russell and James by Emma Hooper
(Simon & Schuster, TP 978-1476755687)
One morning, eight-three-year-old Etta starts walking the 3,232 kilometers from her rural western Canada home to the Atlantic Ocean. Husband Otto and neighbor Russell have their own journeys as Etta continues eastward with the coyote James by her side. Flashbacks fill out this heartfelt story of longings and memories.

More about: Simon & Schuster, Etta and Otto and Russell and James

Bonus Resources: Booklist Review, Reading Group Choices, Reading Group Guides

Community: Goodreads

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Henna House by Nomi Eve
(Scribner, TP 978-1476740287)
A sensuous and intimate tale of a Yemenite Jewish woman's coming of age and the ancient art of henna painting, evocatively told from the 1920’s in a village in the mountains of Yemen, through the devastation of the Holocaust to the 1948 birth of Israel. Eve’s beguiling story covers love, loss, betrayal, and forgiveness, threaded throughout with the powerful ritual of henna.

More about: Scribner, Henna House

Bonus Resources: Booklist Review, Reading Group Choices, Reading Group Guides

Community: Goodreads

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Landfall by Ellen Urbani
(Forest Avenue Press, TP 978-0988265776)
The stories and destinies of two teenagers—one black, one white—converge in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. In her debut novel, Urbani shows us the resiliency of the human spirit through the voices of these women as they alternately narrate their enthralling stories.

More about: Forest Avenue Press, Landfall

Bonus Resources: Booklist Review, Reading Group Choices, Reading Group Guides

Community: Goodreads

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Make Your Home Among Strangers by Jennine Capó Crucet
(St. Martin’s Press, HC 978-1250059666)
Cuban American Lizet is caught between two worlds, as the first of her family to go to college. This debut novel adroitly, humorously, and heartbreakingly describes the “double vision” of being a part of an immigrant community, aspiring for more but without the support of your calamitous family, and finding yourself out of your element in both worlds.

More about: St. Martin’s Press, Make Your Home Among Strangers

Bonus Resources: Booklist Review, Reading Group Choices, Reading Group Guides

Community: Goodreads

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Man Alive: A True Story of Violence, Forgiveness and Becoming a Man by Thomas Page Mcbee
(City Lights Publishers, TP 978-0872866249)
What does it takes to be a man? Here, we meet one person who is preparing to transition from female to male and deal with his abusive father. A tender novel about manhood and imperfection, violence and self-possession, this book is a timely example of one man’s experience of masculinity, personal identity, and change.

More about: City Lights Publishers, Man Alive: A True Story of Violence, Forgiveness and Becoming a Man

Bonus Resources: Booklist Review, Reading Group Choices, Reading Group Guides

Community: Goodreads

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Miss Hazel and the Rosa Parks League by Jonathan Odell
(Maiden Lane Press, TP 978-1940210049)
A rich white woman and her black maid despise each other in 1950’s Mississippi, but their painful losses and the powerful currents of social change around them challenge them to reconsider each other. Themes of racial patterns, family and marriage, and friendship are gracefully explored.

More about: Maiden Lane Press, Miss Hazel and the Rosa Parks League

Bonus Resources: Booklist Review, Reading Group Choices, Reading Group Guides

Community: Goodreads

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No. 4 Imperial Lane by Jonathan Weisman
(Twelve, HC 978-1455530458)
In this beautifully written debut novel, a young American signs on as a caregiver to a quadriplegic to extend his year abroad in Britain. As David gets to know the Bromwells, he learns about their tragic connection with war-torn Angola, and his own life is changed.

More about: Twelve, No. 4 Imperial Lane

Bonus Resources: Booklist Review, Reading Group Choices, Reading Group Guides

Community: Goodreads

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Orphan #8 by Kim van Alkemade
(William Morrow Paperbacks, TP 978-0062338303)
A tale inspired by true events, the Jewish orphanage in early 20th century New York City comes to life through 4-year-old Rachel, who suffers disfigurement from medical experimentation there, becomes a nurse, and later finds herself caring for the doctor that experimented on her. Beautifully atmospheric, each character provides thought-provoking dilemmas and decisions.

More about: William Morrow Paperbacks, Orphan #8

Bonus Resources: Booklist Review, Reading Group Choices, Reading Group Guides

Community: Goodreads

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A Perfect Crime by A Yi
(Oneworld Publications, HC 978-1780747057)
A stunning psychological story from the People’s Republic of China centered on a motiveless murder. The author, a former policeman in China, subtly and chillingly examines the social isolation and morality issues of a country trying to rapidly adjust to immense upheaval in its social fabric and culture.

More about: Oneworld Publications, A Perfect Crime

Bonus Resources: Booklist Review, Reading Group Choices, Reading Group Guides

Community: Goodreads

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The Secret Wisdom of the Earth by Christopher Scotton
(Grand Central Publishing, HC 978-1455551927)
A man reflects on the revelatory summer he spent in a remote Appalachian coal town. This debut novel, full of richly drawn characters and lovingly portraying the beauty of the mountains, powerfully delves into issues of prejudice, environmental and economic conflicts, love, loss, and redemption.

More about: Grand Central Publishing, The Secret Wisdom of the Earth

Bonus Resources: Booklist Review, Reading Group Choices, Reading Group Guides

Community: Goodreads

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A Sister to Honor by Lucy Ferriss
(Berkley, TP 978-0425276402)
Afia Satar and her brother Shahid leave their devout Islamic home in Pakistan to study in the U.S. Shahid promises his parents he will protect his sister, but when a Facebook photo shows Afia holding hands with an American boy, the consequences spiral out of Shahid’s control — a riveting and very relevant novel.

More about: Berkley, A Sister to Honor

Bonus Resources: Booklist Review, Reading Group Choices, Reading Group Guides

Community: Goodreads

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Without You, There Is No Us: My Time with the Sons of North Korea’s Elite by Suki Kim
(Crown, HC 978-0307720658)
Kim’s memoir of her six months teaching English in North Korea to the son’s of North Korea’s elite is fascinating and troubling, a rare look into a closed society where contact with the world outside is strictly forbidden.

More about: Crown, Without You, There Is No Us: My Time with the Sons of North Korea’s Elite

Bonus Resources: Booklist Review, Reading Group Choices, Reading Group Guides

Community: Goodreads

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The Wonder Garden by Lauren Acampora
(Grove Press, HC 978-0802123558)
A serene suburban location, Old Cranberry, is the setting for thirteen interconnected stories of oddities, revelations, and dichotomies that are sharply imaginative and highly original. Frequently compared to Cheever, Wharton, and O’Connor, Acampora’s debut offers a stylish and new interpretation of contemporary residential American life.

More about: Grove Press, The Wonder Garden

Bonus Resources: Booklist Review, Reading Group Choices, Reading Group Guides

Community: Goodreads

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Archive:
Great Group Reads Selections — 2009
Great Group Reads Selections — 2010
Great Group Reads Selections — 2011
Great Group Reads Selections — 2012
Great Group Reads Selections — 2013
Great Group Reads Selections — 2014

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