The Book Club Companion - By Diana Loevy
From Third Place Books, Seattle, Washington: "It will be with some trepidation that I heartily recommend this reference to the 60 clubs registered with our store. If I hide it from them, then I may remain a necessary resource. If they own The Book Club Companion, however, their book club "coordinator" may become superfluous! My compromise will be to quote Diana Loevy on the many topics she includes - from discussion basics to the New Year's Resolutions for book clubs - and hope that I am credited with channeling her wit and wisdom!" Cheryl McKeon, Book Club Coordinator

Diana Loevy was born in Montgomery, Alabama and grew up in Morristown, New Jersey. She attended Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism and received a BSJ.

Her book, The Book Club Companion, published by Berkley Books, a division of Penguin Group USA is the definitive guide to the culture, indispensable titles and best practices of book clubs nationwide. The Book Club Companion has been chosen as a selection of the Literary Guild and Doubleday Book Club.

Diana led an editorial and marketing consulting business. She conceived, developed and launched the Reading Groups Internet site for Bookspan, the book club division of Bertelsmann. As editor for The Literary Guild and Black Expressions companion Web sites, Diana created the first of its kind readers' guide incorporating unique book-related and home entertainment content for club members.

As Vice President, Editorial Director of United Media in New York, she acquired and launched comic strips and features for newspaper syndication. Over the Hedge by Michael Fry and T. Lewis, Get Fuzzy by Darby Conley and Luann by Greg Evans were among the properties she acquired and developed. She implemented publishing and licensing programs for renowned authors and artists including Dilbert by Scott Adams. The Dilbert Principle became a No. 1 New York Times bestseller. She also developed web-based features such as Heavenly You with Vanity Fair contributing editor Michael Lutin.

Diana lived in Westport, Connecticut with her husband and son. She was a member of several book clubs and worked on new fiction and non-fiction book projects.

Berkley Publishing — Press Release

A Literary Guild and Doubleday Book Club Selection

The Book Club Companion

A Comprehensive Guide to the Reading Group Experience

by Diana Loevy

Millions of book club members have discovered that their book clubs are ideal forums to share a love of books and relish the company of friends both old and new. But they might not know how to create a book club that is "positively inspirational," according to publishing professional and author Diana Loevy. In The Book Club Companion (Berkley Trade Paperback Original; on sale August 2006; $14), she offers indispensable book lists and witty, practical advice for those already in a book club or thinking of starting one.

The Book Club Companion is organized into easily referenced chapters: The Beloveds; Book Club Classics; Classic Fiction; Brit Lit 101; Red, White and Noir; Literary Respites; Black Lit 101; Nonfiction that Reads Like Fiction; and Memoir. Learn how to enhance a meeting with a thematic cocktail or hors d'oeuvre, how to organize a classic fiction party or a summer book celebration. Clubs are encouraged to explore literary destinations, visit restaurants that serve cuisine related to the book selection, and delight members with small gifts or special recipes. Book lovers will savor author interviews with club favorites such as Isabel Allende, Alexander McCall Smith, Bebe Moore Campbell, and Ann Patchett. Recommendations for "tweens" enable older children to enjoy literary conversations of their own.

May we knit? How do we prevent the club's violets from being trampled by the more aggressive plant species? What do we do when the conversation strays too far? What if one of our pets misbehaves? The Book Club Companion offers advice on establishing "club rules" to keep the meetings entertaining and enjoyable for everyone. The ultimate "club killer," according to Loevy, is when groups stray too far from their purpose: the book discussion. Book selection is, of course, the most integral component of a successful book club. The Book Club Companion suggests "can't miss" titles by category, provides a synopsis, the reasons why it is a valuable selection, and key information about how to spark memorable discussions.

Whether a group needs a small energy-infusion or a complete book club makeover, The Book Club Companion paves the path toward a rewarding experience.


Diana Loevy was a member of four book clubs and a publishing professional who worked with several media companies. As Editorial Director of United Media she acquired authors, digital media and comic strips such as Get Fuzzy and Over the Hedge. She created the Reading Groups program for Bookspan and became the online Reading Groups Editor for the Literary Guild and Black Expressions.

The Book Club Companion
by Diana Loevy
Berkley Trade Paperback Original
August 2006 · ISBN: 0-425-21009-X
Visit our website at

Penguin Group (USA) Inc. is the U.S. member of the internationally renowned Penguin Group. Penguin Group (USA) is one of the leading U.S. adult and children's trade book publishers, owning a wide range of imprints and trademarks, including Berkley Books, Dutton, Frederick Warne, G.P. Putnam's Sons, Grosset & Dunlap, New American Library, Penguin, Philomel, Riverhead Books and Viking, among others. The Penguin Group is part of Pearson plc, the international media company.

Diana Loevy
The week's best literary and style stories for book clubs.
Sites of interest: