A new readers’ resource

I’ve found a new tool to help me select books for my book groups and prepare in advance for the meetings.vnuk

It’s Women’s Fiction Authors by Rebecca Vnuk. Yes, for disclosure purposes, I will admit she’s one of my favorite library pals (because she’s the one who turned me onto Real Simple and InStyle magazines and will giggle and snort with me at froufrou cocktail parties). But this book is a great help for book group facilitators.

Rebecca has gathered over 70 authors and compiled brief biographical sketches, lists of major fiction and nonfiction works, research sources in print and online, and links to critical analyses and readers’ guides where available.

Why this book and why now? Simple. I own all of the books like this one that are out there. Three of the best are What to Read (rev) by Mickey Pearlman (1999), The Reading List edited by David Rubel (1998), and The Readers’  Choice by Victoria Golden McMains (2000).

I consult those three books on a regular basis, use them in any book group workshop I present, and loan them out to fellow book group facilitators/members. I only have one minor beef with them all. They need updating. I love them and I want more current editions of them.

Rebecca’s book does what I want these other books to do. Gathers popular authors who are current favorites with book club members, provides lists of works, some readalikes, and resources to hel0p boost the discussion.

Women’s Fiction is going on the shelf with the other three and will be traveling with me to workshops and getting loaned out to colleagues.

And who knows? I might get so inspired to cobble together my favorite features from all four of these books and try to compile my own work of “Great Books that Work in Book  Groups.” Or I might just rip out all the pages from all four and past them into a looseleaf binder, arranged alphabetically by author. Less work, I’d say, and I can do it in front of the telly.

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About the Author:

Kaite Mediatore Stover refuses to give up her day job as director of readers' services for The Kansas City Public Library to read tarot cards professionally or be the merch girl/roadie for her husband's numerous bands. Follow her on Twitter at @MarianLiberryan.

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