‘Today’ Getting Into Book Club Game

By Alex Weprin 

The book club wars are heating up.

After Oprah Winfrey left her daytime show, TV was left with a hardcover-shaped void. Who would step in to provide the book club that will keep America reading? Lest we fall into the trap of forgoing literature in favor of, say, “Duck Dynasty.”

As it happens, Oprah rebooted her book club on OWN, but with its relatively low ratings, the network morning shows are stepping in to try and get America reading again.

The latest addition is NBC’s “Today,” which launched “The Today Book Club” this morning. The show will select a book and encourage viewers to read it. A few weeks later, it will host a Google Hangout with the author and readers.The first book is called The Bone Season, which is being released today by 21-year old author Samantha Shannon. Natalie Morales will interview her in a Hangout on Monday, September 16.

The “Today” book club follows in the footsteps of “CBS This Morning”‘s own literary effort, “CBS This Morning Reads.” That book club launched last October, with the only real difference being that the author is interviewed on “CTM” at the end, rather than in a Google Hangout.

More details on the “Today Book Club” below.


Modern day book club uses Google Hangouts and makes its debut with one of the most anticipated must-reads of the year

NEW YORK, NY—August 20, 2013—TODAY is putting a new spin on an old classic with the launch of the TODAY Book Club— a unique discussion series connecting book lovers with engaging reads from both up-and-coming new authors to some of their seasoned favorites.

Revamping the book club experience for the digital age, the TODAY Book Club will meet regularly using Google Hangouts, where members can directly connect and interact with the TODAY team, the featured author and other special fans who share a passion for great books.

As was announced on the show this morning, the TODAY Book Club is kicking off with the highly-anticipated novel The Bone Season, available in stores on Tuesday, August 20th. Natalie Morales will host the first TODAY Book Club Google Hangout on Monday, September 16thwith the novel’s 21-year-old author, Samantha Shannon—who wrote the book while attending college at Oxford University. The Bone Season is Shannon’s riveting first installment in a seven-part fantasy series set in a dystopian futuristic London where the story’s clairvoyant heroine struggles against a totalitarian government and its supernatural overlords.

TODAY Book Club members will have the opportunity to connect with Shannon directly about her highly buzzed-about debut during the Google Hangout. Readers can go to TODAY.com/BookClub now to sign up for the Google Hangout and the TODAY Book Club newsletter to keep up with the club community. In addition, members can read an exclusive excerpt of The Bone Season on TODAY.com, as well as find the latest author and book news, must-read lists, giveaways and more.

Part of a continuing series, the TODAY Book Club team will choose unique books across every major genre, and selections will be announced on TODAY a few weeks in advance of each of the Google Hangout discussions. All TODAY fans are invited to participate and will be able to sign up for these special discussions upon each announcement of a new book selection. TODAY Book Club discussions will be archived and available to replay on demand at TODAY.com/BookClub.

The Bone Season is published by Bloomsbury and film rights for the book have been optioned by The Imaginarium Studios.