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USA Today Book Club


The nationally-distributed newspaper USA Today started a book discussion club in early 2002, with on-line reading guides and discussion forums. You can see the on-line resources for many of the following books if you go to the USA Today Book Club Web index.

2004 Selections
Baby Plays Around: A Love Affair, With Music by Helene Stapinksi

Baby Plays Around reads like a novel but will ring true to anyone who has ever been in a band or just dreamed of it. Set amid the bars, clubs, and rehearsal studios of Manhattan’s Lower East Side, it’s an incisive exploration of the romance of rock and roll, and of the realization and relinquishing of youthful dreams – about ambition, freedom, and infidelity, about love lost and found again.
2003 Selections
Balance of Power by Richard North Patterson

President Kerry Kilcannon and his fiancee, television journalist Lara Costello, have at last decided to marry. But their wedding is followed by a massacre of innocents in a lethal burst of gunfire, challenging their marriage and his presidency in ways so shattering and indelibly personal that Kilcannon vows to eradicate gun violence and crush the most powerful lobby in Washington – the Sons of the Second Amendment (SSA).

[Also available in unabridged audiotape and Large Type formats.]  
Mystic River by Dennis Lehane

The story, set in working class New England, is about three childhood friends, now grown up, who become entangled in a murder — as father of the victim, police investigator and suspect.

[Also available in unabridged audiotape, abridged book-on-CD and Large Type formats.]  
Lucia, Lucia by Adriana Trigiani

From bestselling author Trigiani comes the story of a passionate young woman whose fateful choice changes her life forever. Set in a time of possibility for women in America, “Lucia, Lucia” is the story of a girl who risked everything for the belief that a woman could–and should–be able to have it all.

[Also available in audiotape and book-on-CD formats — both unabridged.]  
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling

The fifth in J.K. Rowling’s series of seven books, Order of the Phoenix is the fastest-selling book in U.S. publishing history. Darker than the first four volumes, Order of the Phoenix chronicles Harry’s increasingly rebellious adolescence during troubling times at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

[Also available in audiotape and book-on-CD [both unabridged] and Large Type formats.]  
The New Work of Dogs by Jon Katz

Katz’s book, which profiles several pet owners, explores the emotional and psychological role dogs play in our increasingly isolated society.
Jarhead by Anthony Swofford

When the Marines–or “jarheads” as they call themselves–are sent to Saudi Arabia to fight the Iraqis in the Persian Gulf War, Swofford is there, with a 100-pound pack on his shoulders and a sniper’s rifle in his hands. In this powerful memoir, he weaves his war experience with vivid accounts of boot camp, reflections on the mythos of the Marines, and remembrances of battles with lovers and family.

[Also available in audiotape and book-on-CD formats — both unabridged.]  
The Hours by Michael Cunningham

Pulitzer-prize winning The Hours looks at three women in different periods of history whose lives are linked by Virginia Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway, the tale of a day in the life of Clarissa Dalloway that is anything but ordinary.

[Also available in audiotape, book-on-CD [both unabridged] and Large Type formats.]  
Sandy Koufax: A Lefty’s Legacy by Jane Leavy

In a book that is part biography and part cultural history, Leavy presents an eye-opening biography of Dodger great Sandy Koufax, a pitcher who changed the game of baseball forever. Leavy reveals the man behind the myth, creating an unprecedented portrait of a man described by one former Dodger as the most misunderstood man in baseball.

[Also available in Large Type format.]  
I Don’t Know How She Does It by Allison Pearson

Pearson’s debut novel chronicles the world of frazzled working mom Kate Reddy as she juggles the demands of work and family.

[Also available in audiotape and book-on-CD formats — both unabridged.]2002 Selections
Kitchen Privileges by Mary Higgins Clark

When her father dies in 1939, Mary’s indomitable Irish mother puts a classified ad in the “Bronx Home News”: “Furnished rooms! Kitchen Privileges!” Very shortly, there arrives the first in a succession of tenants who will change the lives of the Higgins family and set the young Mary on her start as a writer, while bringing them all a dose of the Christmas spirit.

[Also available in audiotape and book-on-CD formats – both unabridged.]  
Reversible Errors by Scott Turow

A supercharged, exquisitely suspenseful novel about a vicious triple murder and the man condemned to die for it. Further complicating the situation is that the judge who originally found the man guilty is only recently out of prison herself, having served time for taking bribes.

[Also available in abridged audiotape, unabridged audiotape and Large Type formats.]  
Running With Scissors: A Memoir by Augusten Burroughs

After Burroughs was adopted by his mother’s shrink at age 13, his childhood took a turn for the bizarre with electroshock machine fun and games; month-long family/patient sleep-overs on the front lawn; a physician-assisted fake suicide attempt to get excused from school forever; and a pedophile living in the barn.

[Also available in unabridged audiotape format.]  
Bad Boy Brawly Brown by Walter Mosley

Easy Rawlins is out of the investigation business and as far away from crime as a black man can be in 1960s Los Angeles. But living around desperate men means life gets complicated sometimes. When an old friend gets in enough trouble to ask for Easy’s help, he finds he can’t refuse.

[Also available in abridged audiotape, unabridged audiotape, unabridged book-on-CD and Large Type formats.]  
Seabiscuit: An American Legend by Laura Hillenbrand

Laura Hillenbrand beautifully renders this breathtaking saga of one horse’s journey from alsoran to national luminary. Seabiscuit: An American Legend is an inspiring tale of unlikely heroes, a classic story of three embattled individuals overcoming the odds in the Great Depression.

[Also available in abridged audiotape, unabridged audiotape, unabridged book-on-CD, and Large Type formats.]  
Empire Falls by Richard Russo

In this droll, unsentimental, and occasionally hilarious bestselling novel, Russo tells the story of a big-hearted man who becomes the unlikely hero of a small town with a glorious past but a dubious future.

[Also available in two different unabridged audios — 15 tapes and 17 tapes, and in Large Type format.]

last updated June 2004 sdc