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2013 Selections

Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter
Big Brother by Lionel Shriver
A Constellation of Vital Phenomena by Anthony Marra
David by Ray Robertson
The House Girl by Tara Conklin
How It All Began by Penelope Lively
Is This Tomorrow by Caroline Leavitt
Life After Life by Kate Atkinson
Margot by Jillian Cantor
Mary Coin by Marisa Silver
The Middlesteins by Jami Attenberg
Nowhere Is a Place by Bernice L. McFadden
The One-Way Bridge by Cathie Pelletier
Ordinary Grace by William Kent Krueger
The Other Typist by Suzanne Rindell
The Round House by Louise Erdrich
Schroder by Amity Gaige
Sparta by Roxana Robinson
Wash by Margaret Wrinkle
The Yellow Birds by Kevin Powers


Great Group Reads Selections 2013 Tabletop (PDF)


Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
(Knopf, 978-0307271082)
When Ifemelu decides to leave the U.S. and return home to Nigeria, she recalls her years of being torn between two cultures, never sure where she belonged, and haunted by the loss of her great love, Obinze. A rich, compelling story of race, love, and the search for home.

More about: Knopf, Americanah, Booklist Review, Reading Group Choices, Reading Group Guides

Community: Goodreads

Bonus resources: Amazon, Barnes&Noble, IndieBound, Kobo

Webinar: Booklist (to be announced)


Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter
(Harper, hc 978-0061928123; Harper Perennial, tr 978-0061928178)
Set on the beautiful Italian coast while Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor were filming Cleopatra and also in modern-day Hollywood, Walter enchantingly combines real and imagined characters in a lyrical, funny, and heartbreaking tale of love lost, found, and given away.

More about: HarperCollins Publishers, Harper Perennial, Beautiful Ruins, Booklist Review, Reading Group Choices, Reading Group Guides

Community: Goodreads

Bonus resources: Amazon, Barnes&Noble, IndieBound, Kobo

Webinar: Booklist (to be announced)


Big Brother by Lionel Shriver
(Harper, 978-0061458576)
When Pandora’s overweight brother Edison comes to stay, his eating habits and outsize personality lead husband Fletcher to issue an ultimatum: choose between your brother and me. Pandora chooses to save her brother’s life with a crash diet they’ll share for a year. But things are not what they seem in this intelligent novel about the debts we owe to family.

More about: HarperCollins Publishers, Big Brother, Booklist Review, Reading Group Choices, Reading Group Guides

Community: Goodreads

Bonus resources: Amazon, Barnes&Noble, IndieBound, Kobo

Webinar: Booklist (to be announced)


A Constellation of Vital Phenomena by Anthony Marra
(Hogarth, 978-0770436407)
Villagers in a remote town in war-torn Chechnya find unexpected humanity in the midst of chaos in this complex, compelling tale that begins as a doctor attempts to save the life of a child. Marra weaves together the lives of his disparate characters with gripping, elegant prose.

More about: The Crown Publishing Group, Hogarth, A Constellation of Vital Phenomena, Booklist Review, Reading Group Choices, Reading Group Guides

Community: Goodreads

Bonus resources: Amazon, Barnes&Noble, Extra Libris, IndieBound, Kobo

Webinar: Booklist (to be announced)


David by Ray Robertson
(Biblioasis, 978-1926845869)
David, born a slave in 1847, but educated and raised a free man in the historical Elgin Settlement in Canada, can’t subdue his rebellious nature and is evicted from the community. Years later, he’s a successful saloon-keeper, but the death of his mentor turns his world upside-down. A fascinating fictional look at a little-known part of history and the story of a man’s quest for knowledge and forgiveness.

More about: Biblioasis, David, Booklist Review, Reading Group Choices, Reading Group Guides

Community: Goodreads

Bonus resources: Amazon, Barnes&Noble, IndieBound, Kobo

Webinar: Booklist (to be announced)


The House Girl by Tara Conklin
(William Morrow, hc 978-0062207395; tp 978-0062207517)
A lawyer searches for right person to serve as the face of a high-profile class-action suit involving slavery reparations. In a parallel story, in 1852 Virginia, the young slave Josephine, a talented artist who finishes her mistress’s paintings, prepares to run away. In a New York art gallery, the two stories collide.

More about: HarperCollins Publishers, William Morrow, The House Girl, Booklist Review, Reading Group Choices, Reading Group Guides

Community: Goodreads

Bonus resources: Amazon, Barnes&Noble, IndieBound, Kobo

Webinar: Booklist (to be announced)


How It All Began by Penelope Lively
(Penguin Books, hc 978-0670023448; tp 978-0143122647)
When Charlotte Rainsford is injured in a mugging, events ripple outward, changing the lives of family, friends, and even strangers in unexpected ways. A wise and elegant novel about the consequences of our acts.

More about: Penguin Books, How it All Began, Booklist Review, Reading Group Choices, Reading Group Guides

Community: Goodreads

Bonus resources: Amazon, Barnes&Noble, IndieBound, Kobo

Webinar: Booklist (to be announced)


Is This Tomorrow by Caroline Leavitt
(Algonquin Books, 978-1616200541)
When Ava Lark, divorced and Jewish, moves to the suburbs in the early 1950s, her neighbors are not welcoming, but her son Lewis soon finds companionship with siblings Jimmy and Rose. When Jimmy goes missing, suspicion falls on Ava’s boyfriend. Years later, the effects of grief bring Lewis and Rose together to solve the puzzle of Jimmy’s disappearance.

More about: Algonquin Books, Is This Tomorrow, Booklist Review, Reading Group Choices, Reading Group Guides

Community: Goodreads

Bonus resources: Amazon, Barnes&Noble, IndieBound, Kobo

Webinar: Booklist (to be announced)


Life After Life by Kate Atkinson
(Reagan Arthur Books, hc 978-0316176484; Back Bay Books, tp 978-0316176491)
Atkinson explores the possibility of alternate lives and choices, as Ursula Todd dies and is reborn repeatedly to pursue different lives. Rich with history and character, the reader follows Cassandra-like Ursula from 1910 to World War II as she struggles to change history.

More about: Reagan Arthur Books, Back Bay Books, Life After Life, Booklist Review, Reading Group Choices, Reading Group Guides

Community: Goodreads

Bonus resources: Amazon, Barnes&Noble, IndieBound, Kobo

Webinar: Booklist (to be announced)


Margot by Jillian Cantor
(Riverhead Books, tp 978-1594486432)
What if Anne Frank’s sister Margot survived the war and came to America as Margie Franklin, no longer Jewish? That’s the premise of this alternate history in which fact (Margot’s diary was lost) and fiction (a romance with Peter) blend to create a powerful story about the effects of hiding.

More about: Riverhead Books, Margot, Booklist Review, Reading Group Choices, Reading Group Guides

Community: Goodreads

Bonus resources: Amazon, Barnes&Noble, IndieBound, Kobo

Webinar: Booklist (to be announced)


Mary Coin by Marisa Silver
(Blue Rider Press, hc 978-0399160707; Plume, tp 978-0142180785)
Dorothea Lange’s famous photograph of a migrant mother is the starting point for a fictionalized version of the lives of two women: the photographer and the woman she photographed. From the few known facts, Silver creates a compelling life story rich with the history of the times.

More about: Blue Rider Press, Plume, Mary Coin, Booklist Review, Reading Group Choices, Reading Group Guides

Community: Goodreads

Bonus resources: Amazon, Barnes&Noble, IndieBound, Kobo

Webinar: Booklist (to be announced)


The Middlesteins by Jami Attenberg
(Grand Central Publishing, hc 978-1455507214; tp, 978-1455507207)
Edie Middlestein’s successful, suburban life is threatened by her out-of-control eating. When she loses her job, her husband, and her health, her children and their families are drawn into Edie’s failure to deal with her cravings. But is Edie the only one at fault?

More about: Grand Central Publishing, The Middlesteins, Booklist Review, Reading Group Choices, Reading Group Guides

Community: Goodreads

Bonus resources: Amazon, Barnes&Noble, IndieBound, Kobo

Webinar: Booklist (to be announced)


Nowhere Is a Place by Bernice L. McFadden
(Akashic Books, 978-1617751318)
On a road trip across country to a family reunion, Sherry presses her mother, Dumpling, for the family stories she needs to know to understand her place in the world. As they drive, and Dumpling talks, Sherry transforms those stories into a memory book that helps her understand and forgive.

More about: Akashic Books, Nowhere Is a Place, Booklist Review, Reading Group Choices, Reading Group Guides

Community: Goodreads

Bonus resources: Amazon, Barnes&Noble, IndieBound, Kobo

Webinar: Booklist (to be announced)


The One-Way Bridge by Cathie Pelletier
(Sourcebooks Landmark, hc 978-1402280733; tp 978-1402287619)
The endearing and eccentric characters that populate rural Mattagash, Maine are busy gossiping, bickering, and generally investigating their neighbors’ lives. Vignettes about an offensive mailbox, an unhappily married woman, and a small-time drug dealer set the stage for the final hilarious and insightful confrontation at the eponymous bridge.

More about: Sourcebooks, The One-Way Bridge, Booklist Review, Reading Group Choices, Reading Group Guides

Community: Goodreads

Bonus resources: Amazon, Barnes&Noble, IndieBound, Kobo

Webinar: Booklist (to be announced)


Ordinary Grace by William Kent Krueger
(Atria Books, hc 978-1451645828; tp 9781451645859)
From a vantage point of forty years, Frank Drum recounts the events of his fourteenth summer--it was 1961 in rural Minnesota. When tragedy strikes, his kid brother, Methodist minister father, artistic mother, and Juilliard-bound sister, are all irrevocably changed. A coming of age novel rich in setting, character, and incident.

More about: Atria Books, Ordinary Grace, Booklist Review, Reading Group Choices, Reading Group Guides

Community: Goodreads

Bonus resources: Amazon, Barnes&Noble, IndieBound, Kobo

Webinar: Booklist (to be announced)


The Other Typist by Suzanne Rindell
(Amy Einhorn Books, 978-0399161469)
A page-turning story about Rose Baker, a young woman in Prohibition-era New York, who works in the police department, typing up confessions. When a new typist, the glamorous Odalie, joins the staff, dowdy Rose is enthralled and falls under Odalie’s spell, with murderous results.

More about: Amy Einhorn Books, The Other Typist, Booklist Review, Reading Group Choices, Reading Group Guides

Community: Goodreads

Bonus resources: Amazon, Barnes&Noble, IndieBound, Kobo

Webinar: Booklist (to be announced)


The Round House by Louise Erdrich
(HarperCollins hc 978-0062065247; Harper Perennial tp 978-0062065254)
A violent act with disastrous consequences for a Native American family in North Dakota gives Erdrich the opportunity to explore injustice and guilt in this riveting mystery and coming of age story. A National Book Award winner.

More about: HarperCollins Publishers, Harper Perennial, The Round House, Booklist Review, Reading Group Choices, Reading Group Guides

Community: Goodreads

Bonus resources: Amazon, Barnes&Noble, IndieBound, Kobo

Webinar: Booklist (to be announced)


Schroder by Amity Gaige
(Grand Central Publishing, hc 978-1455512133; Twelve, tp 978-1455512126)
As a young immigrant from East Germany, Eric Schroder adopted a new last name and identity to fit in better with his classmates. The duplicitous life he built from this lie finally explodes when he is faced with the loss of his daughter.

More about: Grand Central Publishing, Twelve, Schroder, Booklist Review, Reading Group Choices, Reading Group Guides

Community: Goodreads

Bonus resources: Amazon, Barnes&Noble, IndieBound, Kobo

Webinar: Booklist (to be announced)


Sparta by Roxana Robinson
(Sarah Crichton Books, 978-0374267704)
Classics student Conrad Farrell joins the Marines to do “something big” but on his return from a tour in Iraq finds that he is estranged from his family and former life. Rarely have the traumatizing effects of war on the mind of the returning soldier been so insightfully and compassionately portrayed.

More about: Sarah Crichton Books, Sparta, Booklist Review, Reading Group Choices, Reading Group Guides

Community: Goodreads

Bonus resources: Amazon, Barnes&Noble, IndieBound, Kobo

Webinar: Booklist (to be announced)


Wash by Margaret Wrinkle
(Atlantic Monthly Press, hc 978-0802120663; Grove Press, tp 978-0802122032)
Set in Tennessee in the very early 1800s, this is a powerful narrative of the relationship between master and slave, lyrical and heartbreaking, contrasting the richness of the slaves’ African culture against the poverty of the slaveowners’ lives.

More about: Atlantic Monthly Press, Grove Press, Wash, Booklist Review, Reading Group Choices, Reading Group Guides

Community: Goodreads

Bonus resources: Amazon, Barnes&Noble, IndieBound, Kobo

Webinar: Booklist (to be announced)


The Yellow Birds by Kevin Powers
(Little, Brown, hc 9780316219365; Back Bay Books, tp 978-0316219341)
Starting from the opening line, “The war tried to kill us in the spring,” the reader enters a nightmarish world where Private Bartle tries to honor the promise he made to a fellow-soldier’s mother to protect her son in Iraq. Harrowing and urgent, this short novel packs an incredible punch.

More about: Little, Brown, Back Bay Books, The Yellow Birds, Booklist Review, Reading Group Choices, Reading Group Guides

Community: Goodreads

Bonus resources: Amazon, Barnes&Noble, IndieBound, Kobo

Webinar: Booklist (to be announced)


National Reading Group Month Marketing Toolkit

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

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