New Book Club Selection!

Joy for BeginnersJoy for Beginners

by Erica Bauermeister

A She Reads Selection


“Moving, touching, wonderfully written, inspiring to read.” -Garth Stein, author of The Art of Racing in the Rain

At an intimate, festive dinner party in Seattle, six women gather to celebrate their friend Kate’s recovery from cancer. Wineglass in hand, Kate strikes a bargain with them. To celebrate her new lease on life, she’ll do the one thing that’s always terrified her: white-water rafting. But if she goes, all of them will also do something they always swore they’d never do-and Kate is going to choose their adventures.

Shimmering with warmth, wit, and insight, Joy for Beginners is a celebration of life: unexpected, lyrical, and deeply satisfying. (Available on Amazon and B&N.)

Erica BauermeisterAbout the Author: Erica Bauermeister’s love of slow food and slow life was cemented by her two years living in northern Italy with her husband and children. She has taught literature and creative writing at the University of Washington and currently lives in Seattle with her family. Joy for Beginners is her second novel. The School of Essential Ingredients was her first.


She ReadsJoy for Beginners is a selection of the SHE READS book club. If you love to read novels and you like discussing them with other like-minded women, this online book club is for you! Each month, the She Reads book club offers one current title as a featured selection. Readers have vast differences in taste, so diverse genres and authors are chosen, with a total of twelve books per year.

The She Reads book club chooses novels from a variety of genres and publishers. The website features a blog that regularly discusses books and authors; discussion forums; author profiles and interviews; and discussion questions you can use in your own book club.

Click here to read the opening of Joy for Beginners.

Click here to visit Erica Bauermeister online.

Click here to visit the She Reads homepage and blog.


I’m giving away a copy of Joy for Beginners. Leave a comment by Wednesday (3/7) at 11:59 pm EST. I’ll randomly select two winners. (Winners must live in the US/Canada.)

What is your favorite genre of novel to read?

Do you  belong to any kind of book club?

  1. Megan says:

    I would love to win this book! This seems like a great book to follow The Happiness Project that I just finished.

  2. PatriciaW says:

    My favorite genre is romance. I’m not a bookclub member. I read so quickly, I’d like read and forget the book by the time the club met. But I do enjoy talking books with others.

  3. Cindy says:

    Favorite genre is literary fiction.
    I’m in a book club that’s faith-based but doesn’t read explicitly Christian fiction. (We just finished The Language of Flowers and loved it SO much. Probably the favorite of any we’ve read so far, and discovered through She Reads. Thank you!)

  4. Lynda (Benzeknees) says:

    I read a lot of different genres – I like Stephen King & Brian Lumley for horror, Diana Gabaldon for historical fiction, Charles Dickens for his look at life in his time. Some of my favorite books are Pride & Prejudice, Jane Eyre, The Stand, The Outlander series, the Dark Tower series, the Necroscope series. I also like mystery books like Sherlock Holmes & Miss Marple, Rizzoli & Isles, etc. I don’t currently belong in a book club since we just moved to the city 8 months ago, but Good Reads & She Reads sound like good resources for me! Thanks for considering me for the give away.

  5. Bryn says:

    I love contemporary fiction, but I dabble in it all. I’ve been hearing about this book more and more. Sounds interesting!

  6. Kathy Phillips says:

    Wow, both books sound like they are a must have!

  7. Although I have been part of two different book clubs in the past, I’m not currently in one. In this season, I have been reading mostly young adult fiction because I’m always looking for books for my kids to read, plus I missed a bunch when I was growing up!

  8. Great interview. Erica seems like a lovely person, and I would love to spend time in her world.

    My favorite genre–I’m cheating a bit here–is any book that’s written well enough, with enough depth and attention to language, to transcend whatever genre it happens to be. Joy for Beginners sounds like that kind of book.

  9. Sounds like a very unique and relaxing read.

  10. Liza lake says:

    Looks good. I’d love to read it!

  11. Sapphire says:

    My favorite genre is Christian historical romance, and I’m currently in a book club that focuses on mystery novels by women authors.

    I’d love to be entered; thanks for the opportunity! ^_^

  12. Angelica Hagman says:

    I lean toward Young Adult fiction but I this book would be perfect for one of the two book groups I belong to. Sounds like an inspiring read – thanks for the recommendation and give-away!

  13. Sheila K. says:

    My favorite genre is mystery/thrillers, and I do not belong to a book club. Thanks for the great giveaway—this book sounds like a good read!

  14. I’m not in a book club (but should be) and my favorite genre is literary fiction, with narrative non-fiction a close second.

    This looks like a great read!

  15. Shannon Christine says:

    While I am not a member of an official book club, my friends and I discuss books all of the time. I love historical fiction, as well as fiction with a magical theme threaded throughout.

  16. I mostly read fantasy and science fiction, but I’ll try any (wholesome) genre once! Hence entering this giveaway. JOY FOR BEGINNERS would be quite the reading stretch for me. Thank you for the giveaway. 🙂

  17. Pattie says:

    This is on my wishlist, as I thoroughly enjoyed “The School of Essential Ingredients.” I read a lot of women’s fiction, Christian romance, some chick lit, suspense, and cozy mysteries. I avoid sci-fi and fantasy in general.
    I had an awesome book club when we lived in North Dakota, made of military wives; sadly, we’ve all moved away and are scattered around the globe now. I’ve moved 2 times in less than 2 years, so I have not tried to find a new book club now that I’m teaching again.

  18. I am in several writers groups.
    I was very interested in the “SHE READS” bookclub because it said current novels.
    The last one I was in had the most boring old books.

  19. Oh, wow, and the Author video was shot in one of my favoritly frequented places – Third Place Books.

  20. I’m going to suggest this book to my book club for our next selection! It would fit us perfectly. Old friends who’ve known each other forever and yet still love each other dearly. I wouldn’t say we’re a “traditional” book club. We meet at a Mexican restaurant, so sometimes it feels more like a margarita club. 🙂

  21. This book sounds wonderful! In fact, the women sound wonderful. I have some great friends in Seattle, do I know these women?

    Favorite genre: 19th century fiction and historical fiction. I cannot resist reading George MacDonald or Jane Austen over and over.

    Re Book Club: I love talking about books with friends. Don’t really like the constraints of reading the same book at the same time at the same pace.

    Of, course, the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society was a great book club. I was part of that, wasn’t I? Well, I should have been.

  22. Pamela Lear says:

    This book and the “She Reads” blog/book group sounds wonderful. I read primirily literary fiction. Recently enjoyed “Caleb’s Crossing: by Geraldine Brooks, “Doc” by Mary Doria Russell, “When the Killing’s Done” by T.C. Boyle, etc. I just moved to a new town, so am looking for book groups; I’ve joined one so far thanks to a good friend, and am going to try one out at my local library. In the past, I’ve belonged to as many as 4 book groups at a time, and have volunteered leading literary discussions for high school groups.

  23. Shontrell says:

    I read almost every genre and don’t really have a favorite. The genre of the day depends on my mood. For example, if I’m having a bad day, I may pick something out of my chick lit pile. If it’s a rainy day, I may pick something from my Stephen King or Dean Koontz pile.
    I’m in several online book clubs, each in a different genre.

  24. Heidi says:

    My favorite genre is historical fiction. Erica’s book sounds enticing!

  25. Lynne says:

    I love Historical Fiction but enjoy all genres. This sounds like a terrific read and I am grateful for the opportunity.

  26. Janice H says:

    I read mysteries, fantasy, literature and Christian theology books. I don’t belong to a book club right now but do follow several online.

  27. Jody Bowden says:

    New leases on life! I would share this book with my youngest son who is dealing with PTSD and an injury from Afghanistan and my daughter who was recently beaten and mugged in New Orleans. Thank God for new leases on life!

  28. Would love to be entered in the giveaway. Thanks for the opportunity!

  29. tawnya says:

    1st person narrative or literary fiction. And yes! I have an amazing book club.

  30. I love fiction, especially historical fiction set somewhere in England. 🙂 This book sounds really interesting though! I used to be in a book club, but had to quit because I just didn’t have time for it. Loved being a part of it, though.

  31. This sounds like an interesting read. I don’t usually read outside the mystery genre, but am starting to broaden my horizons, too. 🙂

  32. HopefulLeigh says:

    I’ve been wanting to read this! I’m a part of a local book club, as well as an on-line one. For both book clubs, we switch up genres all the time.

  33. Kristina says:

    I love to read mystery. Especially Christian books. I don’t belong to a book club, but read often.

  34. I love magical realism. And I have a book club where we throw themed parties at the get-togethers. For instance, we dressed up 20s style and had macaroons when we read The Paris Wife.

  35. Carol Wong says:

    I really want to read this book. If I had news of a terminal disease and still had some time, I think I would be more likely to do what I have been longing for instead of what I fear. But that’s just me. As a member of the Baby Boomer group, we have to deal with the end of life more and more.

  36. I no longer belong to a book club but I’m a voracious reader. I like literary fiction. Three of my favourite authors: Geraldine Brooks, Elizabeth Stout and Salley Vickers. Best book? Miss Garnet’s Angel by Vickers

  37. Kassie says:

    Sounds like an inspiring book and author. I bet this is a great read!

  38. What a lovely, inspiring interview for writers. Even if I don’t win the book, I think I’ll pick it up! Thanks for sharing this and for the giveaway.

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