By the Book

A Book Club Recommendation!

By the Book

An English professor struggling for tenure discovers that her ex-fiancé has just become the president of her college—and her new boss—in this whip-smart modern retelling of Jane Austen’s classic Persuasion.

Anne Corey is about to get schooled.

An English professor in California, she’s determined to score a position on the coveted tenure track at her college. All she’s got to do is get a book deal, snag a promotion, and boom! She’s in. But then Adam Martinez—her first love and ex-fiancé—shows up as the college’s new president.

Anne should be able to keep herself distracted. After all, she’s got a book to write, an aging father to take care of, and a new romance developing with the college’s insanely hot writer-in-residence. But no matter where she turns, there’s Adam, as smart and sexy as ever. As the school year advances and her long-buried feelings begin to resurface, Anne begins to wonder whether she just might get a second chance at love.

Funny, smart, and full of heart, this modern ode to Jane Austen’s classic explores what happens when we run into the demons of our past...and when they turn out not to be so bad, after all.
  • Gallery Books | 
  • 384 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781501175183 | 
  • February 2018
List Price $16.00 (price may vary by retailer)
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Reading Group Guide

This reading group guide for By the Book includes an introduction, discussion questions, and ideas for enhancing your book club. The suggested questions are intended to help your reading group find new and interesting angles and topics for discussion. We hope that these ideas will enrich your conversation and increase your enjoyment of the book.


Anne Corey, an English professor in California, is determined to achieve the coveted tenure track at her liberal arts college, Fairfax. But she’s having trouble securing the book deal she needs signed before her contract is up. Then Adam Martinez—her ex-fiancé from her days at Princeton—shows up as Fairfax’s new president.

Anne keeps herself distracted with her book, her aging father, and a romance developing with Fairfax’s new writer-in-residence. But as the school year advances, Anne finds herself further entangled with Adam and other old friends from her college years. She is constantly questioning the choices she’s made since her broken engagement. She’s always done what’s best for her career, but is this a second chance at love? This is a modern ode to Jane Austen’s classic Persuasion, and the idea that the demons of our past may not turn out not to be so bad, after all.

Topics & Questions for Discussion

1. The first man Anne introduces us to is Larry, who provides much of the com see more

Articles About This Book

About the Author

Julia Sonneborn
Lauren Hurt

Julia Sonneborn

Julia Sonneborn is an English professor and a Los Angeles native. After heading east for college and graduate school, she hightailed it back to California, where she now lives with her husband, two kids, two cats, and a dog. When she’s not reading, writing, or talking about books, she enjoys trying new restaurants, reading online gossip blogs, and throwing dinner parties. She is the author of By the Book.