For the second year, I had the fun of chairing the committee that reads and selects the titles for this list. We look for books that will be good for discussion, midlist books that may not get the big bucks for publicity. Since we read many titles pre-pub, we sometimes include a title or two that does turn out to be a bestseller. We’ll live with that! The list is mainly fiction, but this year and last year we picked one memoir. Here’s a link to the Great Group Reads website with all the titles, annotations, and links to reviews and publishers’ websites. The readers come from around the country and we have a great virtual conversation about the books.
Great Group Reads is part of National Reading Group Month, which is sponsored by the Women’s National Book Association, a great group that’s been around since 1917, when a group of women–ticked off by the all-male Bookseller’s League’s no-women members policy–formed their own group. Still going strong after 93 years, there are chapters in cities around the country. The NYC chapter is the founding chapter, and we host networking and educational events for our members, a great group of authors, editors, agents, publishers, librarians, and others involved in the book world.
All the WNBA chapters host events for National Reading Group Month (October); I’m moderating an author panel for the NYC chapter’s event on October 19th at Greenlight Bookstore in Brooklyn, starting at 6:30 pm. Come if you can–the event is free and there will be donations of books from publishers, refreshments, and book signings afterwards. Since Brooklyn now seems to be author central, we have a great group of authors: Susan Henderson, Sheri Holman, Rick Moody, Jackson Taylor, and Emily St. John Mandel. There’s a little more detail on the WNBA website events page; I’ll have more information as it gets closer.