The Environment in Fiction

How do you take something as sprawling and all-encompassing as the environment around us and make it one of the primary players in fiction? These fascinating and compelling novels show us how it's done. What's more, they fulfill the basic premise of fiction, which is to make the story universal, to drive home the impact and maybe shed light on something we might not have heard about before. Just in time for Earth Day, these dramatic novels will doubtless give you plenty of fuel for discussion as we face the daunting challenge ahead of us.

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From Sea to Shining Sea: The American Story

History and sociology are always intriguing but when presented together, they can create a revelatory portrait of our times. Such explorations feel ever more pressing these days in our raw and polarized landscape. These recommendations offer nuance, something that is often missing from the public discourse and invite readers and book club members to learn more about the American experience from where we have been to where we are headed. We hope this stokes some healthy debate and sheds new insights into aspects of the United States--in all its colorful, messy and sprawling glory. Which books would you recommend? Share them with us by posting in the comments section at the bottom!

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Six Debut Authors to Read & Discuss

Debut novels are always great fun to keep an eye on. They are full of promise and if a book demonstrates ability there's a certain heady joy in realizing that you are among the first to recognize a new talent in ascendance. BookBrowse loves debut authors because we know how much book lovers value the thrill of a find, in seeking out that special talent and getting in on the action with a ringside seat. In this edition, we feature half a dozen outstanding debuts, all of which are now released in paperback. To make things even better for your book club, these selections also have reading guides to kick-start discussions. Happy reading!

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Victoria-era Winners: What to Read After Watching Victoria on PBS

Victoria by Daisy GoodwinSome of the best historical fiction is set in Britain's Victorian Era, and for good reason--the social mores of the time coupled with the increasingly prominent role the country played on the global stage provide much fodder for great literature. Upheavals at home were spurred on by the Industrial Revolution which stoked the Empire's grand ambitions. The landscape is an arresting canvas for compelling stories, not least the story of Queen Victoria herself who ascended the throne aged 18 after an extremely sheltered, arguably abusive childhood, and reigned for 63 years.

Inspired by the new PBS Masterpiece series, Victoria, and the book of the same name (both created by Daisy Goodwin), here are seven fine books set in this period. We are also discussing Victoria in our Book Club, please do join us!

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Best Books for Book Clubs in 2017

Dear BookBrowsers,

It's the most wonderful time of the year. No, we're not talking holiday parties and sugar cookies although those are fun too. It's time to start planning your book club lineup for 2017. Wading through recommendations from friends and family alike is not for the faint of heart so we've culled a select dozen novels that we suggest should be at the top of your "to consider" pile. With the exception of one, all are already released in paperback or soon to be so (and all are also in hardcover and ebook.) We have included an additional three titles for the young adult set.

Don't forget: you can also always participate in BookBrowse's online book club 24-7. Cookies and wine optional!

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Focus on the Family: Eight of the Best Novels About Families

File under the category of "can't live with them, can't live without them." Families can be a wonderful source of solace but also strain at our sense of self as extended ties impose impossible demands while stirring a whole host of emotions--both high and low.

No matter how happy or complicated--or fun or messy--your family is, you will find a lot to relate to in the novels we have picked here. The universality of themes relating to family make them especially malleable to great fiction as you will find with these recommendations. You might even agree with Leo Tolstoy: "All happy families are alike. Each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way." Pick a couple to read with your book club. Maybe even share them with your family!

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