Quelling Book Group Anxiety: Let Them (and you!) Read Free Books!

Giveaway: Congratulations to Sandra F!

So a while back, when I first started with my book group, my main concern was about whether or not I’d be too much of a blabbermouth or too little of an intellectual.  While both of those may have come true, I no longer mind so much.  This group of ten women is made up of business executives in very large companies, entrepreneurs, social workers, financial experts, a professor, and me: the stay-at-home mom with a blog.  And besides those labels, there are layers and layers of personality and quirkiness and fascinating history within us.  The conversations have been not only interesting, they’ve forced me to rethink my envy of working mom autonomy (commuting is not as relaxing as I remember it) and my appreciation for adult conversation (how I’ve missed big words!).

However, now, after six months of attending book groups in other people’s homes – even swimming in a fantastic heated saltwater pool –  and eating other people’s food, it’s my turn to host.  Not being much of a chef, and not having a jacuzzi or even a real powder room to offer my guests, how could I impress these high-powered women?  Well, how does anyone impress anyone these days? SWAG!  Okay, intellectual swag.  Books!

A little while ago, I attended a great promotional event at Simon & Schuster, and while there were dozens of amazing children’s books discussed, a few adult books were offered up as well.  When Wildflower Hill, written by Kimberley Freeman, was discussed, I immediately thought of it for my book group.  It sounded interesting, gripping, but not too trying.  This was going to be something read on the train and before bed, and we’d read several emotionally difficult books already this year (Incendiary is hard to read as a parent, and The Postmistress sounds so lighthearted at first…).  A story about a Prima Ballerina in London returning to Australia and learning to live on sheep farm and reassessing her life might do us all some good.

What do high-powered women do when confronted with a novel with which they are unfamiliar? They look it up on Amazon – 4.5 stars! We’ll do it! It helped that Simon & Schuster had offered up books for the group in exchange for honest appraisals of what we thought of the novel.  This group is nothing if not honest: “I got through the first hundred pages and couldn’t take any more” was one comment for the recent book group read The Tiger’s Wife.  

Happily, I received an extra book to giveaway so that one lucky reader could read-along and serve as the control for my book group’s opinions.  In fact, it would be great if a few people could pick up the book and chime in here BEFORE the book group meets in late January to suggest discussion topics.  So really, you’d be helping me out if you enter to receive the free copy.  And if you don’t, consider picking it (or its eBook equivalent) up at your local bookstore to join the conversation.  If there are enough entries, I can scrounge up another copy, methinks.

Enter by leaving a comment telling me the last book you read for yourself by Wednesday, December 28th, 2011 at midnight EST.  One name will be chosen at random to receive a brand-spanking new copy of the 4.5 star novel.  So, spread the word about a free copy of Wildflower Hill from Simon & Schuster!

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About That Unique* Weblog

Adjusting to the car culture, dealing with leaving a career I love, and spouting off along the way.
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48 Responses to Quelling Book Group Anxiety: Let Them (and you!) Read Free Books!

  1. georgettegilmore says:

    The last book I read for myself was “Bossypants” by Tina Fey. Not very intellectual, but damn funny.

  2. Emily says:

    I just finished I See You Everywhere by Julia Glass. I read whatever I can find at the library so I’m usually a bit behind in current fiction!

  3. Lisa says:

    Reading Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close now thanks to a neighbors recommendation. Loving it.

  4. I just finished The American Heiress: A Novel by Daisy Goodwin and just started The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides. When I can’t find a book that satisfies me, I always go back to old standbys – Pride & Prejudice, Emma or Sense and Sensibility…

  5. Beth says:

    Currently reading The Paris Wife about Hemingway’s marriage. I’m enjoying it, light reading, takes you back in time, set in Europe… reading it for a book club I can never seem to get to but still read the books!

  6. Glamamom says:

    I’m excited to read this one. I started with The Time in Between and haven’t yet finished. Damn blogging takes up all my time!

  7. Rachel says:

    I’m slooooowly working my way through both “Tandem Breastfeeding through Pregnancy and Beyond” by Hilary Flowers, and “Girls on the Edge: The four factors driving the new crisis for girls”. The first has been super informative and helpful and the second I’ve found fascinating. They might now seem like pleasure reading – but they are!

  8. Finished the Anthony Bourdain book – Medium Raw the other week. But to prove I don’t only read food-stuff I’ve just started The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides.

  9. jane says:

    The last book I read was Bird Sisters which made me laugh and cry and remember to hug my own sisters. Now I am reading The Healing. So far a great southern novel

  10. Susan says:

    The last book I read, and loved it. It was a bang for me to end of the year. I am telling everyone to read that wants to listen. I is out of my genre, but I picked it up. Sharyn McCrumb, Ballad of Tom Dooley. Great read if you are a history buff, and want to learn the culture of the Appalacian community and culture.

  11. just finished Paris wife,

  12. Robin W. says:

    I just finished “Savor the Moment” by Nora Roberts. I’m not usually a romance reader, but the Bride Quartet has been really good!

  13. I just started my advanced copy of The Wolf Gift by Anne Rice. It doesn’t come out until February and she’s my favorite author, so I’m really excited for it!!

  14. Kathy Funk says:

    The last book I read for myself was “The Sacrifice of Tamar” by Naomi Ragen. It was a little tough going since I don’t know Hebrew, Yiddish or much about the Orthodox Jewish faith. But the plot drew me in and was well worth it! That’s the best thing about books – adventures into new worlds!

  15. Karen says:

    Just finished Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts. Mmmmm, loved it at first, slogged through the middle, and finished with a “finally”! Great writing, but very complicated.

  16. Janet P Bedell says:

    I just fnished reading Molaka’i. I never cried so much! And yet it really isn’t a sad book, but very touching and showing a women overcoming misfortune in her life. Loved it!!!

  17. Donna says:

    Just finished reading Kings of Colorado by David Hilton…I actually won the copy in a Simon and Schuster giveaway! It was great…our book club is currently doing Wildflower Hill, and I have my copy, but I haven’t started reading yet, so you don’t even have to enter me in the contest. Two members have finished it and said it was really great. I think you should do it with your book group, for sure!

  18. Jerri Patton says:

    I just started ‘The Art of Fielding’ by Chad Harack’. I’m going to nominate it for my book club.

  19. Sandra Furlotte says:

    The last book I read – just finished- was THE ROAD by Cormac McCarthy. I was prepared for a dark read, but I found it to be uplifting. A wonderful writer.
    Skfurlotte@gmail.com

    • I found it very difficult to read – how I wish they had stayed in the shelter! You’re right though; it’s uplifting despite the sadness. I watched the movie, and while it wasn’t as moving as the book, it was pretty solid.

  20. I’m a librarian (yay) and I’m a member of 5 book groups. Whew, it’s busy busy sometimes but I LOVE LOVE discussing books. Finding the right questions for those discussions are always a little tricky.The last really good book I read was “The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society” Such a great read!!! 🙂

    Merry Christmas!!

  21. Ms. A says:

    Last book I’ve read was “Agnes Grey” by Anne Brontë (because Brontë sisters’ works are considered classics).

  22. anna says:

    Just about finished reading Boomerang: Travels in the New Third World by Michael Lewis. Very good/informative and also a totally easy read, which frankly are the only kind of books I seem to read these days.

    Just checked on Amazon and the book only got 3.5 stars, so if you do read would be interested to hear if you agree with my thumbs up or everyone else’s more luke-warm response.

    • I just finished *Wildflower Hill* yesterday night. VERY easy and quick read. And I loved it. Can’t speak to how informative it is…

      I love Michael Lewis’ books – but I haven’t read that one. Thanks for the info!

  23. Lindsey says:

    The last book I read for myself was Hector and the Search for Happiness. I picked it up on my way out of a bookstore just because of the spine/cover detail, and turned out it was one of my favorite books that I’ve read this year!

  24. Pingback: Eat, Drink, Chat with Wildflower Hill | This Weblog is Unique. Just Like They All Are.

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