Ladies' Home Journal and Reading Group Choices
have teamed up to bring book clubs a more specific and interesting way to provoke
a lively book discussion! Each month LHJ chooses a book, suitable for book club
reading, and Reading Group Choices' Literary Director, Neely Kennedy
, reads the book then write a blog post with the intention of pulling the best parts
It’s a Hard Knock Life; Orphan Wisdom
In the Ladies' Home Journal Book Club June selection, Orphan Train, Christina Baker Kline takes readers on an absorbing and very personal journey, intertwining the stories of a misfit teenage girl, Molly, and a reclusive ninety year old woman, Vivian, who bond over their painful orphan childhoods. Though the two women are brought up in different eras, and Molly's modern experience is less harsh than Vivian's thanks to child-protective services laws, their experience of abandonment, abuse, neglect, and mistrust are largely the same.
A Walk Down Memory Lane; The Routes of Our Pain
In May’s best-selling Ladies' Home Journal Book Club selection, The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, author Rachel Joyce tells the story of one man’s unlikely decision to walk the length of England from Kingsbridge to Berwick upon Tweed. Harold Fry’s spontaneous pilgrimage begins as a means to save an old friend after receiving a letter that she is in hospice dying of cancer. It is a surprisingly touching journey...
Gods of Gotham: Race Crimes, the Sacred Hatred
In the April’s Ladies' Home Journal Book Club selection, The God’s of Gotham, author Lyndsay Faye pays homage to her passion for murder and mayhem whodunits. Her historical fiction mystery is set in 1843 New York City at the time of the Irish Potato Famine that motivated one hundred and twenty five thousand, largely Irish Catholics, to immigrate to the U.S. Most destitute with scant jobs to be had and little skill, they succumb to lives of crime and poverty.
Beginner's Goodbye: Dealing with Loss,
A Book Club Discussion
In the March LHJl Book Club selection, The Beginner’s Goodbye, seasoned novelist Anne Tyler tells the intimate story of how a quirky publishing house editor, Aaron Woolcott, deals with the loss of his wife, Dorothy, after a tree falls on their home. Quotes taken from the book below outline his often peculiar, yet honest, perspective on his wife, marriage, colleagues, and family as he moves through the classic stages of grief.
Creating Personal Miracles
In the LHJ December book club pick, The Snow Child , The New York Times best-selling author, Eowyn Ivey, spins a modern day
fairytale about a couple trying to build a new life in the harsh wilderness of Alaska.
After fleeing comfortable circumstances in order to escape the grief of losing their
child, Mabel and Jack’s story begins with the darkness of their first year in Alaska...
Connecting to Loneliness
In the LHJ November book club pick Heft , introspective author Liz Moore writes about how feeling alone in the world can
serve as a common denominator that connects people to one another. Arthur Opp, a
morbidly obese recluse narrates the story, reflecting on how his path to isolation
developed over the years due to loss and estrangement from family and friends, a
battle with a negative self-image, and after being falsely accused of having an
affair with the much younger, awkward and shy misfit, Charlene Turner.
Realizing the American Dream, a Book Club Discussion
In the LHJ September book club pick, The Shoe Makers
Wife , a leading book club favorite author, Adrianna Trigiani,
tells the story of the Italian immigrant experience at the turn of the century.
Like many emigrants faced with poverty, this three part story spans Ciro Lazzari
and Enza Ravenelli’s intertwined destiny, as they set out for America in search
of opportunity and the dream of a better life...
Ana’s Legacy: Abuse of Power, a Book
In the LHJ August book club pick, Conquistadora
, author Esmeralda Santiago, tells the historical-fiction epic, set in the mid-19th
century, of one woman’s unwavering ambition. Ana Larragoity Cubillas Nieves, inspired
by her brazen explorer ancestors who once sailed with Columbus in discovery of the
New World, hatches a plan to persuade her future husband and twin brother to move
from Spain and purchase a sugar plantation in Puerto Rico...
The Irony of Perspective, a Book Club Discussion
In the LHJ book club July pick, The Astral , author Kate Christensen tells the modern
day realist story of Harry Quirk, a poet who finds his life in shambles; a mid-life
crisis.... As he moves through the stages of crisis, self-defense, and ultimately
reconciliation, Harry finally cultivates a perspective that allows him to stop looking
back so that he can begin to live again...
Expectations and Next to Love
In June’s LHJ Book Club pick, Next to Love
, author Ellen Feldman tells the heartbreaking, but hopeful story of three women’s
lives during the paradigm shift of the Baby Boomer generation—1944-1964, spanning
WWII and the war in Vietnam...
The Language of Flowers and Nature vs. Nuture
The Language of Flowers , the LHJ Book Club pick for May, author
Vanessa Diffenbaugh tells the moving story of Victoria Jones, a young woman whose
journey through the foster-care system has taught her to be untrusting of herself,
the world, and the people in it. Isolated and alone, only her treasured Victorian
language of flowers allows her to communicate her true emotions. But until she meets
a young man in a flower market, only she understands the message...
Illusions and Vaclav & Lena
In the LHJ book club pick, Vaclav & Lena , author Haley Tanner tells the story
of a young Russian immigrant boy’s obsession with becoming a great magician. While
Vaclav studies and practices his magic, his best friend, love interest and assistant,
Lena, hides behind the illusions of her horrific home life. It’s a delight to read
how Tanner skillfully marries the literal theme of magic with a deeper metaphor
and exploration of illusions.
How Sisters Shape Our Lives, A Book Club Discussion
The special bond of siblings can often be the longest and most important relationship
in our lives, transcending friends, jobs, parents, and sometimes even marriage.
LHJ Book Club pick, The Bird Sisters by Rebecca Rasmussen, tells the
story of sisters Milly and Twiss and the heartbreak, sacrifice, love and secrets
that they share through childhood, adulthood and old age.