Book-of-the-Month Club


Connections Sort descending Author name Excerpt
Material Conditions of Writing Mary Renault
Since the American Book-of-the-Month Club wanted to distribute the book if publication could be speeded up, MR corrected proofs over the transatlantic telephone (then very imperfect). She found the process exhausting and frustrating.
Sweetman, David. Mary Renault: A Biography. Chatto and Windus, 1993.
255-7, 260
Publishing Henry Handel Richardson
She felt that her second volume had been a failure, and this made it very hard to go on. Then Heinemann , with low expectations for sales and set back by the stark undiluted tragedy...
Reception Storm Jameson
The Hidden River had some bad reviews in influential places, but excellent sales. It was a Book Society choice, earning £2,500 in English royalties, £268 from Book-of-the-Month Club in Canada, and a dollar amount...
Reception Rosamond Lehmann
Reviewers were pleased to see more fiction from Lehmann after nine years, and the book was popular, although not hugely applauded. Those praising it included Edwin Muir . There was much debate over the real-life...
Reception George Orwell
Animal Farm was and is extremely successful. It sold half a million copies in its first month, thanks to the American Book-of-the-Month Club ,
Meyers, Jeffrey. A Reader’s Guide to George Orwell. Littlefield, Adams, 1977.
and has been translated into every major language, including some...
Reception Elizabeth Bowen
Cyril Connolly expressed his admiration in the New Statesman, where he was reviewing a novel for the first time.
Glendinning, Victoria. Elizabeth Bowen. Alfred A. Knopf, 1978.
The Hotel was the April 1928 selection of the fairly new Book-of-the-Month Club in...
Reception Pearl S. Buck
The Good Earth was a Book of the Month Club choice, on the recommendation of Dorothy Canfield Fisher , who had sat up all night reading it.
Spurling, Hilary. Pearl Buck in China. Simon and Schuster, 2010.
188, 193
It won the Pulitzer Prize, headed...
Reception Vita Sackville-West
There was a widespread feeling that VSW had been too circumspect and scholarly. Virginia Woolf told Vita that she found the book solid, strong, satisfactory
Woolf, Virginia. The Letters of Virginia Woolf. Nicolson, Nigel and Joanne TrautmannEditors , Hogarth Press, 1980.
6: 49
, but wished she had allowed herself a...
Reception Jan Struther
The US edition of Mrs. Miniver became a roaring success long before the film was thought of. It was a Book-of-the-Month Club choice, and the publishers were eager to get JS to tour America to...
Reception Angela Thirkell
This, like all its immediate predecessors, met with excellent reviews, even though Hugh Walpole regretted its lack of plot.
Strickland, Margot. Angela Thirkell: Portrait of a Lady Novelist. Duckworth, 1977.
James Agate uncharacteristically wrote: All the time I was reading it I purred like my...
Reception Pearl S. Buck
The Three Daughters of Madame Liang was chosen by the Book of the Month Club and by the Readers Digest (for a condensed version). Spurling located the value of this book and Letter from Peking...
Reception Sylvia Townsend Warner
The novel was nominated for the 1926 Prix Femina, and was the first selection of the American Book-of-the-Month Club , an organisation newly formed that year.
Warner, Sylvia Townsend. “Editorial Materials”. Sylvia Townsend Warner: Collected Poems, edited by Claire Harman, Carcanet New Press, 1982, pp. xi - xxiii; 275.
Contemporary Authors: New Revision Series. Gale Research, 1981.
60: 409
It became popular with the public...
Reception Isak Dinesen
When this, like ID 's first book, became a Book-of-the-Month Club choice, she felt it would cheapen the recognition awarded the earlier work—showing that she misinterpreted this commercial honour as a purely critical one.
Thurman, Judith. Isak Dinesen: The Life of Karen Blixen. Penguin, 1984.
Reception Buchi Emecheta
The Joys of Motherhood was a Book-of-the-Month Club selection in 1979, and BE received a Best British Writer's Award for it in 1980.
Umeh, Marie, editor. Emerging Perspectives on Buchi Emecheta. Africa World Press, 1996.
Katherine Frank wrote a review article about her first five novels...
Reception Rumer Godden
This book was a joint Book-of-the-Month Club choice in the USA, and earned RG about $20,000. Spencer Curtis concluded he had been wrong to condemn it; but she feared he might have been right.
Godden, Rumer. A House with Four Rooms. Macmillan, 1989.


16 April 1926
The Book-of-the-Month Club , newly founded in the USA, mailed out its first monthly choice: Lolly Willowes by Sylvia Townsend Warner .
By April 1929
The Book Society (first conceived of by Arnold Bennett ) was launched by Hugh Walpole with himself as chairman; it was the first such society in Britain.