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Something to Read About

Something to Read About

A Book Club Sampler from Simon & Schuster

  • reading group guide
Featuring favorite authors and thrilling debuts, Something to Read About: A Book Club Sampler, is the guide for finding your next book club read. Whether you’re in the mood for something historical, contemporary, young adult, or true life these are books you and your reading group won’t want to miss: The Memory Palace: A Memoir by Mira Bartok, Incendiary by Chris Cleave, The Chemical Garden Trilogy Book One: Wither by Lauren DeStefano, The Red Queen by Philippa Gregory, Possession by Elana Johnson, The Dirty Life: A Memoir of Farming, Food, and Love by Kristin Kimball, The Butterfly’s Daughter by Mary Alice Monroe, Skipping a Beat by Sarah Pekkanen, and Where Things Come Back by John Corey Whaley. 

Enjoy an excerpt from each book accompanied by a collection of bonus materials intended to enrich your reading experience and book club discussion. You’ll get discussion questions, suggestions for enhancing your book club, and full-length author interviews. We’ve even included a special note from the author and their answer to our culinary quandary: “What would you serve at a book club discussing your own book?” Their menu suggestions range from a family recipe for the “Best Ever Refritos” to a “Royal-Tea Cocktail” and are sure to add something special to your next book group meeting.

The Something to Read About sampler was created to help you discover your next won’t-be-able-to-put-it-down, can’t-wait-to-talk-about-it, all-time-favorite read. And like most of the finer things in life, these stories are meant to be shared. Enjoy!
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  • Simon & Schuster | 
  • 88 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781451658101 | 
  • May 2011
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Reading Group Guide

This reading group guide for These Girls includes discussion questions. The suggested questions are intended to help your reading group find new and interesting angles and topics for your discussion. We hope that these ideas will enrich your conversation and increase your enjoyment of the book. Questions and Topics for Discussion 1. Discuss the role of work in each girl’s life. To what extent do they find a sense of identity in their jobs? How do they define success or failure in their work lives, and how does either affect the way they think about themselves? 2. Each character in These Girls seems to be facing both an internal and an external struggle. Can you identify these? Are these struggles resolved by the novel’s conclusion? 3. Did you initially empathize with Abby or Joanna? Did your feelings toward Joanna change as the novel progressed? Does the fact that Abby has an affair with a married man make her less of a sympathetic character to you? Why or why not? 4. Describe the ways that each girl interacts with and connects to other people. How are their relationship styles similar, and how are they different? 5. Given the close bond that Trey and Abby share, do you think that he should have told her what happened to their brother? Why or why not? 6. How are mother-daughter relationships depicted in this novel? Was there one dynamic in particular that you identified with? 7. After Cate reminds her mother not to call her at work, she thinks to herself, “I see more

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About the Authors

Chris Cleave
Lou Abercrombie

Chris Cleave

Chris Cleave is the author of Incendiary and the #1 New York Times bestseller Little Bee. He lives with his wife and three children in Kingston-upon-Thames, England. Visit him at ChrisCleave.com or on Twitter @ChrisCleave.

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Philippa Gregory
Photo credit Santi U

Philippa Gregory

Philippa Gregory is the author of several bestselling novels, including The Other Boleyn Girl, and is a recognized authority on women’s history. Her Cousins’ War novels are the basis for the critically acclaimed Starz miniseries The White Queen. She studied history at the University of Sussex and received a PhD from the University of Edinburgh. She welcomes visitors to her website, PhilippaGregory.com.

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Sarah Pekkanen

Sarah Pekkanen is the internationally bestselling author of The Opposite of Me, Skipping a Beat, These Girls, The Best of Us, and Catching Air, as well as a series of linked short stories for ereaders. Her work has been published in numerous magazines and newspapers. She lives with her family, including a rescue dog and cat, in Chevy Chase, Maryland.

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Mira Bartok
photograph by Doug Plavin

Mira Bartok

Mira Bartók is a Chicago-born artist and the author of twenty-eight books for children. Her writing has appeared in several literary journals and anthologies and has been noted in The Best American Essays series. She lives in Western Massachusetts, where she runs Mira’s List, a blog that helps artists find funding and residencies all over the world. The Memory Palace is Mira’s first book for adults. You can find her at TheMemoryPalace.com.

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