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National Reading Group Month (NRGM), sponsored by the Women’s National Book Association (WNBA), starts tomorrow.

The 2009 selections for Great Group Reads are out:

Appassionata by Eva Hoffman

The Unit by Ninni Holmqvist

The Secret Diaries of Charlotte Brontë by Syrie James

The House on Fortune Street by Margot Livesey

Perfection: A Memoir of Betrayal and Renewal by Julie Metz

While I’m Falling by Laura Moriarty

Out Stealing Horses by Per Petterson

Cost by Roxana Robinson

Burnt Shadows by Kamila Shamsie

Several of the books have been featured in BookPage. About The Secret Diaries, reviewer Carla Jean Whitley writes:

“James adapts Brontë’s voice, telling Brontë’s story as though it came straight from the great writer. Living with an alcoholic, drug-addicted brother and a deeply eccentric father, Brontë—and her sisters—still managed to write some of the most famous novels of their time. With The Secret Diaries, James offers a satisfying—if partly imagined—history of the real-life experiences that inspired Brontë’s classic novels.”

Julie Hale calls Out Stealing Horses “forthright, simple and tinged with melancholy… a poignant, beautifully realized narrative.”

And about Cost, reviewer Arlene McKanic writes:

“The most used word in Roxana Robinson's brilliant and devastating novel Cost is ‘unbearable’ and its variants. The word sums up perfectly the emotions, choices and horrible ironies that buffet a patrician, buttoned-up family whose youngest son is a heroin addict.”

NRGM started in October 2007 and will include events in WNBA chapter cities: Boston, Dallas, Detroit, Los Angeles, Nashville, New York, San Francisco, Seattle and Washington, D.C.

According to a statement from the WNBA, the mission of NRGM is 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.”

Any readers plan on participating? Or have suggestions for a great book club read?

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