March 12 – March 19, 2009 Edition

Book Clubs
Offer Gals Solace
In Tough Times

A landmark UCLA study suggests that women respond to stress with a cascade of brain chemicals that cause us to make and maintain friendships with other women. It’s a stunning find that has turned five decades of stress research—most of it on men—upside down.

With the economy in the slumps, more and more women are turning to their book clubs as an inexpensive source of support, snacks, and a forum to hang out. One group of readers formed expressly *because* they were laid off and wanted an excuse to keep seeing each other; New York Times bestselling author Kate Jacobs called during their first meeting and they’ve already scheduled another one of her books! Like the women who met to knit in Kate’s THE FRIDAY NIGHT KNITTING CLUB, it’s a case of life imitating art.

THE FRIDAY NIGHT KNITTING CLUB is a literary phenomenon. With over a YEAR on The New York Times bestseller list and over 1,000,000 copies in print, Kate is a household name. How did she do it? By talking to over 40 book clubs a month for years (and she still does!) She is available for interviews and we’d be happy to put you in touch with book clubs as well.

Here’s what Kate has to say about it:

“One thing I particularly love about telephoning book clubs is being welcomed into readers’ homes — being able to learn about their lives and communities and just chatting about books, life, and everything else. One reader emailed because she’d lost her job and sent her home email address so we could still arrange a call to her club. Her sense of shock over her lay-off was palpable and we had a correspondence during which I shared how I coped years ago when both my husband and I lost our jobs within months of our wedding.” says Kate, who notes that her chats with clubs can also differ depending on region. “Southern book clubs are charming and seem to love to discuss the food in all of my novels, New Yorkers get straight to the point, Midwestern clubs are refreshingly down-to-earth and thoughtful about the

characters, West Coast clubs always ask if I want to come over (because Ioften call from my home in California). Without fail, the women who read my books are smart and savvy and great company.”

Now Kate is back with COMFORT FOOD (Berkley Trade Paperback; $15.00; April 7, 2009), an engaging story of friends, family and foodies that proves KNITTING CLUB wasn’t just a case of beginner’s luck.