Welcome to Shine’s Book Club

State of WonderState of WonderIf you are like us, you love the idea of joining a book club, but the reality of carving the time to go out to a meeting, even just once a month, can seem daunting. Shine's Book Club brings the gathering to you--and you don't even need to change out of your pajamas to participate.

As the cornerstone of our new Book Club, each month we will ask a notable female author to select a great read and then moderate a live online discussion about four weeks later. We'll write a kick-off post to spark your brain while you are reading, and you are welcome to leave comments anytime.

Why is Shine spotlighting books? We've observed that women in particular create communities around the books they cherish. Reading is wonderful entertainment of course, but talking about a favorite novel can also be a kind of shorthand for sharing what we find meaningful in life. If we haven't seen a girlfriend in awhile, one of the questions we often ask is, "So, what are you reading?" Now you can expand your conversation to include women from all over the country and gain wisdom from an accomplished author.

Our first author is Isabel Gillies, who wrote the New York Times best sellers 'Happens Every Day' and 'A Year And Six Seconds'. Her book choice is 'State of Wonder' by Ann Patchett. Speaking with Shine about her selection, Gillies said:

"One of life's great pleasures is having a good book to read in the summer-but ironically, the summer, with kids out of school, BBQs, and long days at the beach making sure no one drowns, can be a challenging time to make space for reading. That is why you need a REALLY good book that demands you keep picking it up. 'State of Wonder' by Ann Patchett is that kind of book. 'State of Wonder' is a gripping, beautifully written novel that from the very first page sweeps you into a world filled with adventure, a little mystery, juicy characters and complex human relationships. It reads like a memoir in that the protagonist's voice is very strong and intimate-immediately you can relate to her and you care where she goes and what happens to her while she is there. And boy does she go on an adventure! Dr. Marina Singh, a research scientist, is charged to find her old mentor Dr. Annick Swenson who is developing a fertility drug deep in the jungles of The Amazon. Heat, bugs, murky creature-infested waters, and an indigenous tribe of people whose women can have babies into their seventies. I think we will have a lot to talk about after reading this book, but I know that anyone who picks it up won't be able to put it down, even with the sprinkler on and eleven kids in your back yard."

Here is how it works: On August 7 at 10pm EST/7pm PST, Isabel Gillies will host a live online book club meeting about 'State of Wonder.' Go to Shine Book Club to join in the discussion. Between now and then, check back frequently and share your insights and questions as you dig deeper into the story.

You'll also find reviews of other books, author interviews, recommendations for kids and teens, and many other features in our new Book Club section.

Have any ideas for authors you would like to see leading future book club meetings? We love to hear from you, please leave your comments below.