CLUB HUB: Feb. 02, 2014

Book club: Passages

Location: Santa Barbara

Reading: “Spouse Trap” (A Madeline Dawkins Novel) by Cynthia Hamilton (Woodstock Press, 2013)

The story: After being framed for an affair, pampered socialite Madeline Dawkins Ridley must clear her name and in doing so, she becomes a self-reliant woman.

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Book Club Confidential: Free books! The only cost is word of mouth

Things are heating up over here in Book Club Confidential land, in their own particular way. Why, I’ve got people with books in their hands beating down my door!

Author Robert P. Johnson has written me a nice long letter telling me that he owes his success in writing to our local book clubs. Last year, he says, 14 clubs took his recent book “Thirteen Moons: A Year in the Wilderness” as assigned reading, and those are the clubs he knows about. If not for the clubs, his book would have disappeared when his publisher Capra Press went out of business.

In fact, Mr. Johnson’s book was the last off the press of the 52-year-old company before it closed its doors. And that meant no promotion, not even enough money to send galley proofs to reviewers, he says.

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Book Club Profiles: Scenes of the Crime

There’s a neighborhood there now. A middle-class neighborhood.”

Michel Nellis is not talking about land use or real estate. She’s talking about the former crime scene of the Black Dahlia murder, where 22-year-old aspiring actress Elizabeth Short was found dismembered in 1947. The case and since has spawned many a book, fiction and nonfiction, intent on uncovering the killer.

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Book Club Profiles: Literary Discussion Group examines great authors, richness of life

The Literary Discussion Group (the title is still in flux) grew out of an offshoot of one of the first American book clubs, the Great Books Foundation. “We finished the list of books they gave us,” says Gene Waller, one of its main members, “and we wondered what to read next.”

Fortunately, discovering what to read next has kept this book club going for nearly 20 years. Currently, the discussion group, which generally numbers 8 to 12 members per meeting, bases its readings around essays and short stories.

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