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October is National Reading Group Month

Good literature not only puts readers in touch with their own humanity, it connects readers to each other and to the world.
Good literature brings people together to share experiences, raise questions and exchange ideas — to learn, grow, bond and

National Reading Group Month is all about celebrating good books, good friends and the joy of shared reading.

Launched in October 2007 by the Women’s National Book Association, the National Reading Group Month initiative promotes the intrinsic benefits of reading and engaging in literary discussion.

According to the organization, the project aims to “foster the values reading groups encourage: camaraderie, enjoyment of shared reading, and appreciation of literature and reading as conduits for transmitting culture and advancing civic engagement.”

It provides an opportunity for reading groups to reflect on their accomplishments and plan for the future; it’s also the perfect time to join or start a group.

More reasons to cheer
Just in time for National Reading Group Month, Reading Group Choices has released their 17th annual edition of book recommendations.

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“Reading Group Choices 2011: Selections for Lively Book Discussions,” includes over 65 new titles and conversation starters to facilitate lively discussions.

The compilation includes novels by book club favorites Carlos Ruiz Zafón, Barbara Kingsolver, Ann Hood, Anchee Min, Jane Green, Susan Richards and Alexander McCall Smith, as well as books by debut authors such as Daphne Kalotay.

The Women’s National Book Association puts together a more modest list of book recommendations each year; here are the 2010 National Reading Group Month selections for Great Group Reads:

“Blame,” Michelle Huneven (Farrar, Straus & Giroux)
“The Blessings of the Animals,” Katrina Kittle (HarperCollins)
“Cheap Cabernet: A Friendship,” Cathie Beck (Hyperion)
“Eternal on the Water,” Joseph Monninger (Gallery/Simon & Schuster)
“The Girl Who Fell from the Sky,” Heidi W. Durrow (Algonquin/Workman)
“Little Bee,” Chris Cleave (Simon & Schuster)
“The Lotus Eaters,” Tatjana Soli (St. Martin’s)
“Molly Fox’s Birthday,” Deirdre Madden (Picador/Macmillan)
“The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake,” Aimee Bender (Doubleday/RandomHouse)
“The Queen of Palmyra,” Minrose Gwin (Harper Perennial/HarperCollins)
“Room,” Emma Donoghue (Little, Brown/Hachette)
“Safe from the Sea,” Peter Geye (Unbridled)
“Up from the Blue,” Susan Henderson (Harper Collins)

Click here for more details on these book selections and National Reading Group Month.

How is your book club celebrating this month? Share with us in the comment section below.