Earlier this year, I reviewed NANNY RETURNS, the sequel to the best-selling THE NANNY DIARIES, by Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus. I enjoyed this book and was extremely curious to see all of the characters twelve years later.
I am so glad to welcome Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus to Book Club Exchange. I enjoyed reading about how much their book clubs mean to them, and I hope you do too!
We met at NYU in a program called The Gallatin School, which teaches its entire curriculum through the cannon. For example, if you wanted to study water, you would read The Odyssey, The Tempest and then To the Lighthouse. Every class surveyed a theme from Antiquity, through the Renaissance and into modern classics. So far from taking a few English classes, our entire education was one long intensive seminar on the history of Western literature.
Understandably, then, graduating and being left to read on our own was quite a shock and left us both very lonely and nostalgic for the kind of discourse we had had, but maybe without the long papers and exams. So we were very excited when some of our friends proposed a few years later that we start book clubs.
We LOVE our book clubs. Whether the group inspires us to read something we may not have picked up, The Tipping Point, Reading Lolita in Tehran, or re-introduces us to an old favorite, The Wonder Boys, we love getting together with our friends over wine and take-out and discussing the themes, leitmotifs, and imagery, the structure and diction, what we enjoyed, what confused us, and what were the authors intentions.
So you can imagine how amazing it was for us when friends and relatives started asking if we would join their book clubs when they read one of our books. It has been amazing. From groups of grannies reading Dedication and imagining getting swept off their feet by Frank Sinatra to teens playing through media literacy issues in The Real Real, we have joined groups in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut and Skyped with groups as far away as Sweden. It is so much fun for us to hear what creates lively discussion and what isn’t resonating—we always learn something.
Writing can be a lonely profession, but in our partnership we have solved that problem. And reading can be lonely, too, when you are transported by a story and want to share that exalted feeling with someone. Book clubs let us carry that communal joy over from writing to reading.
We appreciate the support of all of our book club fans! We are available for book club discussions via skype or I-Chat. For consideration, please contact Yona Deshommes at Yona.Deshommes@simonandschuster.com.
Newsweek declared McLaughlin and Kraus' THE NANNY DIARIES a 'phenomenon.' It is a number one New York Times best-seller and the longest-running hardcover best seller in 2002. In 2007, THE NANNY DIARIES was released as a major motion picture starring Scarlett Johansson, Laura Linney, and Alicia Keys.
McLaughlin and Kraus have appeared numerous times on CNN, MSNBC, The Today Show, Good Morning America, Entertainment Tonight and The View. Their work and partnership have been covered in The New York Times, The Washington Post, USA Today, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, TIME, Elle, Town & Country, and Harper's Bazaar.
They have contributed to The London Times and The New York Times as well as two short story collections to benefit The War Child Fund: Big Night Out and Girls' Night Out. In addition to writing for television and film, they travel around the country speaking to young women about gender issues in American corporate culture.
I am so grateful to Ms. McLaughlin and Ms. Kraus for writing this fabulous guest post about their experiences with their book clubs. If you are interested in participating in a future Book Club Exchange, please contact me at bookingmama(at)gmail(dot)com.
Giveaway alert: Thanks to the publisher, I have one copy of NANNY RETURNS to share with one lucky reader. To enter, just fill out the form below. I will be accepting entries until September 20th at 11:59 p.m. ET and I will notify the winner the following day. Contest is open to those of you with U.S. and Canada mailing addresses only. Good luck!