Send Your Customers ABA’s Summer Reading Group Guide E-newsletter

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The American Booksellers Association’s Summer Reading Group Guide is taking a new format this year and will be available to booksellers as a free e-newsletter that can be delivered to customers by email, courtesy of Matchbook Marketing.

Four emails are being sent, with each featuring specific categories, as follows:

  • Thursday, June 11: Dazzling Debuts and Other Worlds (sent)
  • Thursday, July 9: Coming of Age, Family Ties, and Young Adult (sent)
  • Thursday, August 13: Nonfiction and Historical Fiction
  • Thursday, September 10: Small Bites and Indie Presses: Backlisted but Not Forgotten

Titles will be announced in Bookselling This Week a month ahead of the e-newsletter send date; titles will also be available as collections in Edelweiss. No printed version of the Summer Reading Group Guide will be created. Due to the COVID-19 outbreak and the resulting shelter-in-place orders, many stores are reporting a significant uptick in online sales as well as customer demand for content.

Stores that would like to join the program for the August 13 newsletter should fill out this form by August 1. This program is currently only available to IndieCommerce and IndieLite stores. Stores that are already working with Matchbook Marketing can update their information here.

Titles for the August 13 Indie Next Reading Group Picks e-newsletter (all trade paperback unless otherwise noted) are:

Nonfiction and Memoir

Deep Creek: Finding Hope in the High Country
By Pam Houston
(W.W. Norton & Company, 9780393357660, $15.95) On Sale Date: 1/7/2020
Deep Creek is Pam Houston at her most honest and lyrical. She looks at how her life has been shaped by her beautiful ranch in Colorado’s high country, and she lovingly evokes that land with its horses, dogs, and, most importantly, the people who populate and enrich her life.”
—Arsen Kashkashian, Boulder Book Store, Boulder, CO

Furious Hours: Murder, Fraud, and the Last Trial of Harper Lee
By Casey Cep
(Vintage, 9781101972052, $16.95) On Sale Date: 4/28/2020
“A series of suspicious deaths in Alabama in the 1970s was so intriguing and sensational that Harper Lee set out to write the book about it. She didn’t. Now, Casey Cep has nested three books into one in order to tell the story Lee never did and why she didn’t. This informative and penetrating book will have tremendously wide appeal.”
—Keith Mosman, Powell’s Books, Portland, OR

How We Fight for Our Lives: A Memoir
By Saeed Jones
(Simon & Schuster, 9781501132742, $17) On Sale Date: 5/5/2020
“An exciting declaration of passion and tenacity, and what it’s like to be young, gifted, black, and queer in an America where every corner is marked with the specter of hatred, ignorance, and tragedy. Through adversity, Saeed Jones still manages to find a path to remain whole and resolute—within the tears, he finds purpose. This book cuts a groove into you.”
—Luis Correa, Avid Bookshop, Athens, GA

Maid: Hard Work, Low Pay, and a Mother’s Will to Survive
By Stephanie Land
(Hachette Books, 9780316505093, $15.99) On Sale Date: 1/21/2020
“In a time when most in our country are falling further and further behind the ‘one percent,’ Maid tells the story of author Stephanie Land’s abrupt and unexpected slide from her middle-class upbringing to an impoverished adulthood as a single mother. As a first-person narrative window into the way increasing numbers of Americans are forced to live, Maid will strike a chord with the readership of Hillbilly Elegy and White Trash
—Jill Miner, Saturn Booksellers, Gaylord, MI

Three Women
By Lisa Taddeo
(Avid Reader Press / Simon & Schuster, 9781451642308, $17) On Sale Date: 6/2/2020
Three Women is one of the most compelling nonfiction books I have ever read. Taddeo crafts this book in such a way that you feel like you’re hearing these unique stories from a friend over a glass of wine. An intimate look into these women’s lives asks the reader to look into their own life of sensuality, relationships, and trauma—elements often coexisting. She finds a beautiful humanity in that tangled mess of natural desire and what we hide within ourselves.”
—Jenna Soltesz, Buxton Books, Charleston, SC

Underland: A Deep Time Journey
By Robert Macfarlane
(W.W. Norton & Company, 9780393358094, $17.95) On Sale Date: 5/5/2020
“A study of the cultural, geological, and psychological call of the world beneath. From ancient cave paintings to the language of trees, from the catacombs of Paris to the burial mounds of nuclear power plants, McFarlane leads us on a bounding but intimate journey through our past and into our future.”
—Ben Kemper, Rediscovered Books, Boise, ID

Historical Fiction

The Confessions of Frannie Langton: A Novel
By Sara Collins
(Harper Perennial, 9780062851802, $16.99) On Sale Date: 5/26/2020
“This riveting page-turner is complex, unexpected, and empowered. Frannie Langton will linger in your mind two centuries after she was here. In Confessions, Collins holds a mirror to the white reader’s embedded expectations—demands, even—of black stories and black suffering. Beautifully written and powerfully told, this debut is a knockout.”
—Chorel Centers, Bookshop Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, CA

Lady Clementine
By Marie Benedict
(Sourcebooks Landmark, 9781492666936, $16.99) On Sale Date: 7/7/2020
“I was immediately drawn into the life of Clementine Churchill. Benedict writes with a refreshing frankness and skillfully shows the many empowered roles Clementine held — running households that were a whirlwind of activity, as a political and tactical advisor, and as a stateswoman and a speech writer. Full of great historical fiction, a thoughtful exploration of parenting guilt, and moments of self-doubt and overwhelming stress. Clemmie was much more than a backdrop to Winston.”
—Karin Barker, Bookworm of Edwards, Edwards, CO

The Secrets We Kept
By Lara Prescott
(Vintage, 9780525566106, $16.99) On Sale Date: 5/26/2020
“A fast-paced and fascinating novel about the women behind the CIA’s plan to use Boris Pasternak’s Dr. Zhivago as a weapon against the Soviet system. The story moves easily from East to West and from the lives of the women who supported and inspired Pasternak to the women who helped get his banned book into Soviet readers’ hands.”
—Margo Grimm Eule, East City Bookshop, Washington, DC

The Tenth Muse: A Novel
By Catherine Chung
(Ecco, 9780062574084, $16.99) On Sale Date: 4/14/2020
“Growing up in the 1940s and 1950s, Katherine, as the daughter of a Chinese immigrant and a World War II veteran, has to grapple with her Asian identity, her brilliance with numbers, and eventually her unorthodox decision to become a mathematician. When she chooses to work on the ‘unsolvable’ Riemann hypothesis, Katherine finds herself making choices in pursuit of her academic ambitions that distance her from the ones she loves. And in her search for success, she unexpectedly realizes that a notebook given to her by her father contains clues to her past. This tale comes full circle as Katherine reflects on the joys and sorrows of coming to terms with her true identity, mingled with her ambition to succeed and her pursuit of mathematical excellence.”
—Jann Griffiths, BookSmart, Morgan Hill, CA

Tidelands: A Novel (The Fairmile Series #1)
By Philippa Gregory
(Washington Square Press, 9781501187162, $17) On Sale Date: 2/18/2020
“In Phillipa Gregory’s new series, she leaves the intrigue and glamor of the royal court for the grit and struggle of an impoverished fishing village off the southern coast of England. Parliamentarians clash with Royalists, and Papists secret away from their Puritan neighbors in this 17th-century Thorn Birds-esque tale of struggle, caste systems, forbidden love, secrets, superstition, temptation, and infidelity. In a small fishing village where anything can be blamed on the evils of women, gossip rules, gossip destroys, and anyone can be suspected of witchcraft. Gregory never fails to breathe new life into forgotten histories!”
—Kathy Blattman, The Well-Read Moose, Coeur d’Alene, ID

To Keep the Sun Alive
By Rabeah Ghaffari
(Catapult, 9781948226769, $16.95) On Sale Date: 1/21/2020
“Casting us back to a turning point in Iranian history, To Keep the Sun Alive beautifully renders a world of contrasts. When Bibi’s family gathers for lunch, there are many world views both around the table and hidden from view. Acceptance and fundamentalism, romance and tradition, love and violence are all present, daring her to try to keep the peace amongst such passionate advocates. Bibi’s husband is the voice of moderation, while his brother is a fundamentalist mullah, and the weight of their choices has devastating repercussions. Rabeah Ghaffari’s impressive debut will leave you reeling. As more is revealed and the deadly conflict finally arrives, the impact of what was lost during the revolution becomes palpable.”
—Luisa Smith, Book Passage, Corte Madera, CA