Barbara's picture

Brava, Valentine is Released and A Giveaway!

Well, Brava, Valentine has been released! yea! One great reading group pick for Adriana Trigiani, again! Love, secrets, family, personal challenges -- what more can a book club want!

Award-winning playwright, television writer, and documentary filmmaker Adriana Trigiani returns with Brava, Valentine, continuing the heartwarming and hilarious story of Valentine Roncalli, her family, her love life, and the Angelini Shoe Company. Following on the heels of the New York Times bestseller Very Valentine (hailed by People magazine as “Sex and the City meets Moonstruck”), Brava, Valentine is another tour-de-force from the beloved author of bestselling novels Lucia, Lucia, The Queen of the Big Time, and the Big Stone Gap series. --publisher excerpt

Brava, Valentine“Nicely written with vivid images of high fashion, New York City, and traditional Italy, Trigiani’s latest is sure to be eagerly anticipated by her many fans and attact some new readers.” — Library Journal



All you have to do is write a comment on why you should win a copy of Brava, Valentine, and your name will go in the hat! 5 copies to give away --- tell your friends! 

Thanks to Adriana and HarperCollins! Giveaway closes on 2/17/10.

Buona fortuna!

Barbara's picture

Teaser Tuesday 2/9 Daughters of the Witching Hill

Witching hillMy teaser today is from Daughters of the Witching Hill by Mary Sharratt (April 2010).






"We came into our powers, and they grew and grew till folk could not ignore the glimmer in Liza's wayward eyes, the fire that burned inside us both. The magic that ran in our blood."

Mary, Masha Hamilton (31 Hours), Laura Brodie (The Widow's Season), and Shelia Curran (Everyone She Loved) will be on the Reading Group Choices panel at the Virginia Festival of the Book in Charlottesville on March 19th. Please come and meet them. They are lots of fun and their books are great book club picks!

teaser tuesdayTeaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
    BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!
Barbara's picture

Violence, Pain, Suffering -- Necessary in Meaningful Books?

Books speak the truth and truth can sometimes be awful, terrifying, violent. We, as readers, come to the "table" willingly to grow and learn in the painful truth of books. When does it get too much? That the author is creating violence, sex, and heart-break that has no meaning in the characterization, plot, and style of the work.

Have you found a work (maybe one that was read for your book club) that turned you off because of gratuitous scenes of meaningless pain and suffering? How about sex and swearing?

What are some books that have pain, suffering, sex that counters and supports the true meaning and theme of the book?

Barbara's picture

Robert's Reflections: Movies for Reading Groups Part II

Robert Segedy (previous post of books into movies, in general) has another idea to a book-to-movie discussion for reading groups.

"So what books/films do I consider enticing enough to venture that a book club may be persuaded to do a compare and contrast?  Here is one selection that I can easily endorse for both their literary value but also for their success in meeting some of the standards that I have explained earlier.

Grapes of WrathThe Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck. Winner of two Oscars, and nominated for five more; masterfully directed by John Ford, with Henry Fonda cast as Tom Joad. Ford does an amazing job of telling this tale of Great Depression hardship; the astonishing black and white cinematography vividly captures the dust blown destruction of family farms."

Barbara's picture

Winners in Very Valentine Giveaway

Winners in Very Valentine Giveaway! Thanks so much for entering.

Very ValentineDenise, Joyce, Suzanne, Anne, and Kelly. I will be emailing you! A early Valentine's gift to all of you!






Brava, ValentineDon't forget the Brava, Valentine giveaway coming soon!








Thanks to HarpersCollins and Adraina Trigiani!


Barbara's picture

Booking Through Thurday: Snowy Day Read

Booking Through Thursday The question today!

"The northern hemisphere, at least, is socked in by winter right now… So, on a cold, wintry day, when you want nothing more than to curl up with a good book on the couch … what kind of reading do you want to do?"

After I helped my husband shoveled the driveway (ha!), I'll make myself some tea (with milk, of course), sit in my favorite chair and read!! Decisions, decisions! Do I read my current book or skim through old favorites?

Most of my time will be spent looking my children's cat books! I love my cats books and many of them illustrate cold, snowy days and nights beautifully!

Cat Who Wouldn'tThe Cat Who Wouldn't Come Inside by Cynthia von Buhler






Santa's SnowSanta's Snow Cat by Due Stainton and Anne Mortimer






Cristmas CatThe Christmas Cat by Efner Tudor Holmes and Tasha Tudor



Other good ones: Holly by Ruth Brown, A Kitten Called Moonlight by Martin Waddell and Christian Bormingham. All well-told and well-illustrated!

And, BTW, a chance to win One Amazing Thing by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni, A Man From Saigon by Marti Leimbach, and The Hungry Season by T. Greenwood! Good luck!

What's your snowy day read?

Barbara's picture

Waiting on Wednesday -- Solar by Ian McEwan

Waiting on Wednesday"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

I'm jazzed about Solar by Ian McEwan (March 30, 2010). Atonement, Saturday, On Chesil Beach, Amsterdam -- loved them all. All McEwan's books are filled with characters, themes, on-going personal and world issues that produce lively conversations for reading groups and book clubs! 

Michael Beard is a Nobel prize–winning physicist whose best work is behind him. Trading on his reputation, he speaks for enormous fees, lends his name to the letterheads of renowned scientific institutions, and half-heartedly heads a government-backed initiative tackling global warming.

While he coasts along in his professional life, Michael’s personal life is another matter entirely. His fifth marriage is crumbling under the weight of his infidelities. But this time the tables are turned: His wife is having an affair, and Michael realizes he is still in love with her.

When Michael’s personal and professional lives begin to intersect in unexpected ways, an opportunity presents itself in the guise of an invitation to travel to New Mexico. Here is a chance for him to extricate himself from his marital problems, reinvigorate his career, and very possibly save the world from environmental disaster.

Can a man who has made a mess of his life clean up the messes of humanity?

A complex novel that brilliantly traces the arc of one man’s ambitions and self-deceptions, Solar is a startling, witty, and stylish new work from one of the world’s great writers. -- publisher summary

What's your "can't wait" read?

Barbara's picture

Teaser Tuesday 2/2 An Unfinished Score

My teaser for this week is from An Unfinished Score by Elise Blackwell (Unbridled Books, April 2010)

An Unfinished Score"The applause approached wildness and the stage shook with it when Alex, again staring at her, both of them already consumed, turned his open hand for her to stand as St. Louis bid her farewell. Because she wanted to halt time but could not, she experienced the coiled happiness and remorse as though the moment had already passed, as though she was looking back on an earlier time."

The love of music, the music of love, friendship, loss, secrets, betrayal -- enough fodder for reading groups to engage in a lively conversation.

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
    BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

I love music in books  -- some of my favorites are The Student Conductor by Robert Ford, Good Things I Wish You by A. Manette Ansay

What's your teaser this week? Or, what books do you like that involve music?

Barbara's picture

Chris Bohjalian's Secrets of Eden Video!

Chris Bohjalian has a video just for Reading Group Choices readers! Secrets of  Eden has just been released and Chris is offering a chance to win a copy. Listen to Chris as he tells you about Secrets of Eden. Thanks, Chris!

In Publishers Weekly's starred review of Chris Bohjalian's Secrets of Eden: "Bohjalian (Law of Similars) has built a reputation on his rich characters and immersing readers in diverse subjects—homeopathy, animal rights activism, midwifery—and his latest surely won’t disappoint. . .This is a masterfully human and compassionate tale."

Developing characters, interesting issues and themes, and, of course, secrets revealed. What more can a reading group want!



What book of Chris Bohjalian's did you like the best? What intrigued you about that book?

Barbara's picture

Musing Monday, Apples and Oranges

Today’s MUSING MONDAYS post is about a random book.Go to your bookshelf and pick a random book. No cheating now, just reach out and pick one.

Now tell us about it – where did you get it? Why? Was it a gift? Does it hold any special memories? Did someone recommend it to you? etc.

PLEASE LEAVE A COMMENT with either the link to your own Musing Mondays post, or share your opinion in a comment here (if you don’t have a blog).

Apples and OrangesMy random selection is Apples and Oranges: My Brother and Me, Lost and Found by Marie Brenner.

A gift from Marie. I was in Nashville in October for the Southern Festival of Books attending the National Reading Group Month panel. Marie was an panelist and rode with with me to the panel. What a lovely person! We talked about women authors' place in the writer's world.

Apples and Oranges is Marie's memoir on how her brother and herself grew up the same and turn out so differently and with such opposing views on life's issues. By the end of the book, Carl and Marie come to terms with each other and actually like and respect each other. Excellent book and highly recommended!

I'm on the Advisory Board for the National Reading Group Month. Come join us nationwide next October and start the conversation!

What's your Monday random selection?

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