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Instead of the usual weekly newsletter, this week I am sending you the just published issue of our monthly Book Club News. This is a great resource if you're in a book club and/or are interested in participating in BookBrowse's Book Club - or, frankly, if you just enjoy reading the sort of "thought-provoking" books that most book clubs are drawn to.

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Your Editor,
About This Issue

At times like this when the news around the world looks pretty grim and the US elections are weighing on many of our minds, it can be enlightening, perhaps even reassuring, to revisit historical events that have unfolded across the centuries to remind ourselves that we've been through struggles before - and, on the whole, emerged stronger. Thus the topic of this month's Book Club reading list: Historical fiction set in the USA.

I also invite you to find out more about Maggie O'Farrell's recently published This Must Be The Place, which we're currently discussing in our book club. Please do join the discussion if you've read it and you may wish to mark your calendars for upcoming discussions of Circling the Sun, Under the Udala Trees and The Bone Tree. We have some copies of The Bone Tree available to request if you are interested in receiving a copy to read and discuss.

Lastly, find inspiration for your book club from our recent interview with The Cover Girls, an Indianapolis based book club, and the many dozens of other interviews you'll find on BookBrowse.
thismust1. The BookBrowse Book Club

Please join us to discuss...

Book Jacket
This Must Be the Place by Maggie O'Farrell

Published Jul 2016, 400 pages

A dazzling novel from bestselling writer Maggie O'Farrell, winner of the Costa Novel Award--an irresistible love story that criss-crosses continents and time zones as it captures an extraordinary marriage, and an unforgettable family, with wit, humor, and deep affection.

More about this book | Join the discussion

See All Discussions
bookclublist2. US Historical Fiction for Book Clubs

History, as they say, repeats itself. At times like this when the news around the world looks pretty grim, it can be enlightening, perhaps even reassuring, to revisit historical events that have unfolded across the centuries to remind ourselves that we've been through similar struggles before - and, on the whole, emerged stronger after many trials by fire. Historical fiction offers book lovers special joys: travel to a different time and place and the liberties novels can take to create compelling characters and stories while still maintaining the broad scaffolding and accuracy of the event and period.

With the US presidential elections weighing on many of our minds, these book club recommendations provide snapshots into seven different times in America's history. There are stories to enjoy, lessons to be learned, and plenty to discuss in each. All books are available in multiple formats including paperback and ebook, and have a discussion guide available on BookBrowse. And for a limited time you can also read our reviews and "beyond the book" articles in full.

The Heretic's Daughter The Heretic's Daughter by Kathleen Kent

First published 2008 by Little Brown. 368 pages

Xenophobia, mass hysteria, the appropriation and manipulation of religion. Sound familiar? They might, but we're talking here about 17th-century Puritanical New England when the Salem witch trials were in full swing. This story of a "witch" and her tragic fate is narrated by her daughter, illuminating one of the darkest periods in American history and providing much fodder for discussion about family, fanaticism and the importance of human rights when faced with unfounded fear.
Review, article, excerpt & reading guide 

Parrot and Olivier in America Parrot and Olivier in America by Peter Carey

First published 2010 by Knopf. 400 pages

The two-time Booker Prize-winning author knows a thing or two about spinning a good story. Here is an entertaining peek at the American landscape in the early nineteenth century, told through the eyes of a character who reads very much like Alexis de Tocqueville, someone who had strong views on American democracy. Readers will be surprised to discover just how many of those observations will feel prescient today.
Review, article, excerpt & reading guide 

The Healing The Healing by Jonathan Odell

First published 2012 by Doubleday. 352 pages

On the surface this is a touching novel set in the antebellum South, a story that spotlights slavery's many cruel tragedies. Scratch the veneer however, and The Healing is a masterpiece about identity--how race and class form it and define it. The young slave girl Granada, obsessively taken in to replace her white slave owner's daughter, will linger with readers for a while. Ripe for discussions about loss, personality and the indelible effects of servitude.
Review, article, excerpt, reading guide & discussion 

Neverhome Neverhome: A Novel by Laird Hunt

First published in 2014 by Little Brown. 256 pages

Ash Thompson, aka Constance, decides she can't stay at home while her husband is recruited for the Civil War. She boldly signs up as a soldier for the Union cause and what follows is a revealing portrait of battle and its devastating effects narrated through a rare lens. Based on the histories of many real-life women who masqueraded and served during the Civil War, this engaging novel allows us to explore frequently furrowed ground from a fresh new angle.
Review, article, excerpt & reading guide 

The Gods of Gotham The Gods of Gotham: A Novel by Lyndsay Faye

First published in 2012 by Amy Einhorn Books. 352 pages

We've read historical fiction about the Civil War set in the American South. But what did Yankee country look like before the clash began? Set in New York City in 1845 The Gods of Gotham delivers a portrait of a city that has just begun to implement a police force. Its protagonist, Timothy Wilde, an improbable officer himself, becomes embroiled in the middle of a mystery. The period setting and questions of loyalty will give book club members much to discuss including love in its various manifestations.
Review, article, excerpt & reading guide 

Some Luck Some Luck by Jane Smiley

First published in 2014 by Doubleday. 416 pages

It is often said that the vast tide of history sweeps everyone in its wake but it's sometimes difficult to imagine. This first volume in a trilogy by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Jane Smiley illustrates this by spanning three transformative decades in America. The Langdon family is front and center starting with 1920, the end of World War I when Walter Langdon comes home, to the 1950s when the post-WWII boom is poised to revolutionize even staid Iowa farm households like the Langdons'. The series continues with Early Warning and Golden Age.
Review, article, excerpt & reading guide 

The Last Pilot The Last Pilot by Benjamin Johncock

First published in 2015 by Picador. 320 pages

The Space Race between the United States and Russia is personal for Jim Harrison. Trained as a pilot, he is on course to become an astronaut in a critical endeavor until family compels him to choose sides. Of course history can hit even when one is at home and Jim finds this out the hard way. There is plenty here for book club members who can soar with the acrobatics of the Space Age and reflect on how real people cope with loss and the stifling of ambition.
Review, article, excerpt & reading guide 

This article written by Poornima Apte.
covergirls3. Book Club Q&A

Cover Girls was established in August of 2006 in Indianapolis, Indiana and is made up of all women - mostly nurses and one homicide detective. Betty Averett talks about how their friendships have deepened with every book they've read.

comingsoon4. Discussions Coming Soon

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See All Discussions in BookBrowse's BookTalk section

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If you win this book you'll receive a print copy by mail free of charge in about 2 weeks. In return, please do your best to read it and join the discussion when it opens on Oct 18 (and if for any reason you find you can't, just reply to one of the reminder messages and we'll opt you out). Discussions are open for at least 6 weeks but early participation is appreciated.

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