Thursday, July 12, 2012

Reading Women: A Book Club Guide for Women's Fiction

Any book-group leader who ever despaired of finding a discussable romance title at the suggestion of a member need fret no longer. Hill has compiled an admirable list of women’s fiction, chick lit, and romance titles suitable for discussion. Women’s fiction, as defined by Hill, is an umbrella term encompassing titles that appeal to female readers by addressing the important issues in women’s lives. The understated yet standout feature of this resource guide is the blend of titles with an emphasis on the humor, lightheartedness, and hope found in many women’s-fiction novels—no Oprah’s Book Club literary depression here. Hill has thoroughly examined each title and provided title-specific discussion questions (beware that some contain subtle spoilers) that facilitators will find quite valuable. Each entry also lists brief biographical background, a short annotation, website and readers’-guide URLs, and read-alikes. The majority of the 90 titles listed...

For the full review (contributed by Kaite Mediatore Stover), see Booklist Online.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Keepsake by Kristina Riggle

Riggle’s fourth novel (after Things We Didn’t Say, 2011) is a sensitive portrayal of a dysfunctional family struggling to make peace with their pasts. Trish thinks of herself as just a distracted, messy housekeeper—but when her young son, Jack, suffers a broken collarbone after a pile of papers falls on him, Child Protective Services comes calling, forcing her to deal with the fact that she has inherited her mother’s hoarding habits. Trish’s estranged sister, Mary, is the complete opposite—when her white carpet gets a footprint on it, she spends an hour with a scrub brush trying to get it clean. Much to Trish’s chagrin, Mary comes to help her get her house (and life) in order so that Jack is not removed from the home. Meanwhile, Trish’s ex-husband and her older teenage son....
For the full review, please visit Booklist Online.

This review was originally published May 15, 2012 in Booklist.