April Book Club News

*New Fiction, Giveaways, Menus

*Connecting During Quarantine

*A Mighty Blaze

* Blends Giveaway & Mother's Day Gifts

*Book Clubs Preview Forthcoming Titles
Book Club Featured Titles
Giveaways and book-inspired menu ideas from authors
Today, we share The Other Family, Loretta Nyhan's novel about a woman's search for her birth family as she struggles to care for her chronically ill daughter.

Also this month:

Girls Like Us, a new thriller from Cristina Alger, one of Library Journal 's "Best Books of 2019"— now in paperback.

In her debut historical novel, Mountain Full of Moons, Irene Kessler tells the story of a young woman in ancient Palestine.

Our Book Club Buzz featured title (April 7) is Angie Kim's mystery, Miracle Creek, now out in paperback—a page-turning, contemporary courtroom drama.

You'll find book-inspired menu ideas from authors on  Facebook Twitter , Instagram , and Pinterest . Check the giveaway dates below, and enter on our  contest page .

Happy reading!

Judy Gelman
Loretta Nyhan
(Lake Union)
Fiction / Women's Fiction
From the author of Digging In comes a witty and moving novel about motherhood, courage, and finding true family.
Cristina Alger
(G.P. Putnam)
Fiction / Thriller
Worlds collide when an FBI agent investigates a string of grisly murders that raises the question: What happens when the primary suspect is your father?
Irene Kessler
(She Writes Press )
Fiction / Historical Fiction
A historical fiction debut about a thirteen-year old girl growing up in a village in ancient Palestine —and failing to fit in.
Book Club Buzz
Angie Kim
Mystery / Thriller
A "quick-paced murder mystery that plumbs the power and perils of community” (O Magazine ), Miracle Creek explores the complexities of life as an immigrant family.
Connecting During Quarantine
Notes from Virtual Book Club Meetings
With the coronavirus pandemic altering public life for all of us, our book clubs and our love of reading remain a way to seek comfort, enlightenment, and normalcy.The landscape for book club meetings is now virtual: book clubs are connecting via videoconferencing platforms such as Skype, Zoom, Google, Facebook, and HouseParty. We encourage you to continue to help flatten the curve—but keep in touch—by meeting with your group virtually. Below, we share members' tips on meeting from a distance—along with a reminder that authors are available to join your book clubs virtually. Please share suggestions and tips from your meeting and answer our question:

In Mill Valley, California, the CLAMS (Corte Madera Literary And Munching Society) discussed via Skype Jennifer Robson's novel The Gown— about the women who created Queen Elizabeth’s wedding dress. To enhance the virtual experience, coordinator Phyllis Evans collected members' wedding dress photos and created a Facebook group album before the meeting to share with members.

The group enjoyed seeing similarities and differences in the gowns and embroidery. "If we'd met in person, members would have brought photos of their gowns, but having the virtual collection in advance was a better way to view them all together," says Evans.
Terry Ryan's Chicago area book club meetings always feature literature-inspired dishes. When they met virtually on Google Hangouts this week because of the pandemic, members cooked Dutch Baby pancakes together as they discussed Ann Patchett's novel, The Dutch House. The host chose the recipe and members had prepped ingredients in advance of the video conference. "During the call, we each made pancakes in our kitchens trying to get the skillets into the oven at the same time," jokes Ryan. "While the pancakes baked, we discussed the book — interrupted periodically with cooking questions: 'Is yours done yet?' 'How does it look?' We served ourselves, sat down to eat, and continued our discussion. It helped that the recipe was simple and yummy. We talked and ate. What could be better?"

Ryan says organizing the meeting and getting the hang of the technology took a little time, but worked well with the small group. "Considering we are under a stay at home order, we were really happy to be socializing and cooking with each other," she added.
Kristen MacWilliams reports that her Nashua, New Hampshire based See Jane Read Book Club met via Facebook Messenger, but will choose another platform that allows for more than eight members to participate at their next virtual gathering. "Our meeting was half as long as usual, since our 'social hour' was far shorter than it would have been in person," says MacWilliams.

New to Zoom, Helen Streimer says her Baltimore, Maryland book club benefitted from a test run before their first virtual meeting. "Some coaching was needed, but we ultimately enjoyed our discussion of Heather Morris's novel Cilka’s Journey, " says Streimer.

Sara Monk of Pembina, North Dakota regularly hosts an online book club using Zoom, as the platform allows participants to virtually raise their hands to ask a question or speak to the group, and permits meetings to be recorded for members who miss them. "Take turns leading the book discussions," advises Monk, "and if you're the leader, have notes ready." She also suggests announcing new reading selections as far in advance as possible, so that all members can have time to access books, as many members who borrow from libraries now face waiting lists for digital and audio books.

Monk also recommends Mighty Networks , a platform that allows her to create an online community where her members can follow book topics, ask questions, vote, and share thoughts as they read.
Many authors have more time to join your book club virtually!

Jenna Blum, author of Those Who Save Us and The Lost Family, enjoys connecting with book clubs in person. "I was struck with extra fear that COVID-19 would prevent me from doing this thing I love most: connecting with readers," shares Blum. "One thing that’s been reassuring, though, is how rapidly humans adapt. I’ve been talking to book groups and hosting events for The Lost Family via Zoom and feeling so grateful for the technology that keeps us together."

See more on Blum's initiative to support authors, A MIGHTY BLAZE, below.
A Mighty Blaze
Helping Authors With Cancelled Book Tours
We’re proud to partner with A MIGHTY BLAZEa group of book stores, authors, and book-related organizations that has launched a social media initiative for authors whose public events have been canceled during the COVID-19 outbreak, so they can still reach their readers—and so readers will have a place to learn about and buy new books. It’s the brainchild of novelists Jenna Blum and Caroline Leavitt.

“Writers and books need readers. Readers need books,” says Blum. “Every Tuesday, you can hear about new book releases and meet the authors."

Visit  @amightyblaze on social media each Tuesday for updates on new releases.

Click here for our update on how publishers, organizations, and bookstores are connecting authors and readers during the pandemic.

T uesday. March 31
Elizabeth Wetmore: Valentine
Rebecca Dinersten: Hex
Bettye Kearse: The Other Madisons
Heather Graham: The Final Deception
Ariel Lawhon : Code Name Helene
Matt Norman: Last Couple Standing
Azalea Lee The Crystal Workshop
DJ Lee: Remote: Finding Home in the Bitterroots

Tuesday, April 7
Alison Hammer: You and Me and Us
Ellen Meeropol: Her Sister's Tattoo
Chelsea Bieker: Godshot
Rowan Hisayo Buchanan: Starling Days
Susan Meissner: The Last Year of the War
Deborah Lott: Don't Go Crazy Without Me
Ali Araghi: The Immortals of Tehran
Danielle Trussoni: The Ancestor
Kelly Fordon: I Have the Answer
Aaron Jackson: The Astonishing Life of August March
Haley Shapley: Strong Like Her: A Celebration of Rule Breakers, History Makers, and Unstoppable Athletes
Jennifer Armstrong: Pop Star Goddesses
Ann Lewison: Still Life with Meredith
Beth Morrey: The Love Story of Missy Carmichae l
Iris Krasnow : Camp Girls
Emily Skrutskie : Bonds of Brass
Casey Schwartz: Attention A Love Story
Mindy Mejia: Strike Me Down
Mary Philpott : I Miss You When I Blink
Lindsay Chervinsky: The Cabinet
Julia Alvare z: Afterlife
Veronica Roth: Chosen Ones
Brenda Novak: One Perfect Summe r
GalleyMatch Book Clubs Suggest
Book clubs previewing forthcoming titles through our GalleyMatch p rogram share reading and menu suggestions. Click images for their discussion highlights and see all GalleyMatch book club recommendations here .
Lectio Matris 
of Hayden, Idaho
by Isla Morley
Reading Between the Wines Book Club
of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 
by Vikram Paralkar 

Blends Giveaway and Mother's Day Gifts!
Also a Blends Puzzle!

We're hosting a weekly Book Blends giveaway! To enter, simply donate to an organization helping fight COVID-19, or a local food bank, help fund medical supplies, or call on neighbors to see what they might need—take a step to help during the corona virus outbreak. Then, submit your entry.

The first giveaway package features Book, Song, and TV Blends!

For a bonus entry (and fun!) : These Blends titles have a common theme. Can you name them? Email your answer and we'll double your chances of winning.

Where the Crawdads Zing (Gulf Coast Bay Seasoning) This blend adds mystery, beauty, and spicy coastal flavor to your seafood dishes.

The Late Show with Stephen Clove-bert (Yucatan Recado Rojo Rub) You'll be host extraordinaire with guests talking about this rub that gets the highest ratings.

Carolina in My Mind (North Carolina BBQ Rub) You'll see the sunshine and feel the moonshine with this tangy barbecue rub!

Are there Blends you'd like to see in future giveaways? Let us know!

Book Blends — spices inspired by literary titles— are the perfect gift for the food and literature enthusiast! And music lovers and TV fans can enjoy Song Blends and TV Blends!

We're pleased to accept Mother's Day gift orders until 4/25/20. Order early to reserve your favorite Blends: quantities are limited.

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