The first pick is Etta and Otto and Russell and James by Emma Hooper, released in trade paperback today by S&S.
The club is announced in the June issue of COSTCO Connection, with a plot summary, “This debut novel tells the story of Etta, who, in her 80s, sets out to walk from her home in Saskatchewan to the ocean. Leaving behind her husband, Otto, Etta is joined by James, a coyote. And, she is trailed by Russell, who has always loved her.”
It also happens to be one of the titles that librarian and book club guru, Nancy Pearl recently selected as one of her under-the-radar summer picks on NPR’s Morning Edition. Nancy credits it for involving character development, saying that the book is a page turner in the less traditional sense of the term, because it “makes you want to find out more about [each character] … as you turn the pages, you delve deeper into their hopes and where they are at the moment in their life.”
The COSTCO Connection features an accompanying story on how to develop a book club and they’ve hit on some crossover potential, noting that Costco warehouses carry many items useful to book clubs beyond books, like food, beverages, folding tables and chairs.
Ianniciello has long been recognized in the book business for giving a new life in trade paperback to debuts and below-the-radar titles.
She’s not the only influential Costco buyer, the company’s wine buyer, Annette Alvarez Peters, is recognized as a major influence in that business (Costco is the largest importer of French wine in the world).
So this month’s COSTCO Connection article on “the exciting flavors of sauvignon blanc” could enjoy cross over with reading clubs, not to mention the Italian cheeses in another article (Pecorino Romano is noted as pairing well with sauvignon blanc).