Your Reading Life Good for Book Clubs

Do You Believe in Love at First (Book) Sight?

Reading a book is a lot like falling in love.

The longer you spend together, the more deeply you fall. The better you get to know each other, the stronger you feel about where it’s leading. You go through a lot together: good times and bad times and hard times and happy times.

But before all of that — there’s a spark. There’s that wonderful something that attracts you in the first place: his hair, her smile, his clothes, her laugh, its front cover, the smell of its pages…

What is it that draws you to your next great literary love? Here are a few of the things that draw me in when I’m browsing the bookshelves:

Your Reading Life Good for Book Clubs

Slow Down: A Lesson for Readers Who Skip Descriptive Paragraphs

In a world of “binge-watching” readers should slow down.

Like many bibliophiles I know, I like to keep a tally of the books I read. It’s useful, and good for the ego, to keep the list on hand.

Sometimes, I take the number crunching even further. I can tell you, for instance, that, as of May 1 of this year, I’d read 13 books, for a total of 3,698 pages. When I’m speeding through a book, I like to measure my rate. It ranges, on average, from 30 to 60 pages per hour.

It’s probably not hard to see the attraction of such record keeping. When we’re inundated with forms of entertainment (as we most certainly are), reading, watching, listening, and playing can all seem akin to participating in an eating contest. The more we consume, the closer we come to “winning”—to being ahead, in the know, intelligent, savvy.

Giveaways Good for Book Clubs

Thriller Giveaway: The Other Son

“Scandinavian crime fiction finds a new voice in Alexander Söderberg.”—Los Angeles Times

This breakneck thriller follows Sophie Brinkmann as she faces the consequences of joining a crime empire.

From the moment Hector Guzman entered a coma, Sophie Brinkmann has regretted joining his crime family. Hector’s right hand, Aron Geisler, is doing all he can to keep the sinking ship afloat and keep Sophie in their steely grip. But when Hector’s brother is murdered in Biarritz, Sophie gains the upper hand, and intends to use it.

Sophie becomes a player in a game where the rules are constantly changing, where loyalty and friendship are rendered meaningless. In order to survive, she must look inward and find her inner darkness. If not, she will be swallowed whole by the forces closing in on her: vengeful mobsters, cunning detectives, charismatic arms dealers, and possibly her own son.

Giveaways Good for Book Clubs

Western Fiction Giveaway: The New World

“Full of big themes such as courage, greed, loyalty and obsession, The New Worldis still an adventure story first and foremost. . . . An entertaining homage that is deeply felt and sincere.” —The Guardian (UK)

Washed ashore after escaping Treasure Island, young Jim Hawkins and his companion Natty find themselves stranded on the Gulf Coast of Texas. Their ship, the Nightingale, has been destroyed, and besides one other crew member, they are the only survivors. Before they can even grasp the full scope of their predicament, they realize they are not alone on the beach. When a band of Native Americans approaches the shore in a threatening fury, they brutally kill Jim and Natty’s last shipmate, rob their dead crew, and take the two desperate survivors hostage.

Suddenly, Jim and Natty are thrust into an adventure that takes them all across the unruly American South. Starting with a desperate escape from a violent chief who obsessively keeps close on their trail, they join up with a troupe of entertainers who take them to a thriving and dangerous New Orleans, and seek the closest port so they can set sail for home once again.

In magnificent, free-wheeling prose and in a high-flying style, Andrew Motion has spun a fantastic yarn that will win the hearts of adventure lovers everywhere.

Your Reading Life Good for Book Clubs

Reading as a Family Affair

“Show me a family of readers, and I will show you the people who move the world.” ―Napoléon Bonaparte

Reading is often pinned as an act of isolation, but does it have to be?

Reading is a culture in my family. No, strike that, reading is a compulsion in my family. My mom, dad, brother and I–and now my sister-in-law–are all voracious readers. It’s always been like that, and to this day we have an almost sacred respect for someone’s need to curl up in bed with a good book.

When I was a kid, especially on cold winter Sundays, my whole family would bundle up, get in the car and go to the bookstore. The minute we got there, the team would break out to our zones and explore for a few hours until we had all made our selections. Then we’d go home, my dad would make a fire and we’d all curl up in different corners of the house and read.

Bonus Book Content Good for Book Clubs

Start Reading Sea Lovers

Read an excerpt from Sea Lovers, a brilliant collection featuring Valerie Martin’s finest short stories to date.

The dogs are scratching at the kitchen door. How long, Lydia thinks, has she been lost in the thought of her rival dead? She passes her hand over her eyes, an unconscious effort to push the hot red edge off everything she sees, and goes to the door to let them in.

When Ivan confessed that he was in love with another woman, Lydia thought she could ride it out. She told him what she had so often told him in the turbulent course of their marriage, that he was a fool, that he would be sorry. Even as she watched his friends loading his possessions into the truck, even when she stood alone in the silent half-empty house contemplating a pale patch on the wall where one of his pictures had been, even then she didn’t believe he was gone. Now she has only one hope to hold on to: He has left the dogs with her, and this must mean he will be coming back.

Your Reading Life Good for Book Clubs

Loved That Bestseller? Read This!

There are plenty of lazy reading days ahead of us this summer, and if we know you like we think we do, you are well on your way to finishing today’s bestsellers and will soon be in need of another read to throw in your beach bag.

Here are some backlist read-a-likes to match your current favorite book. Whether you are looking for something historical, biographical, or fun & romantic, we’ve got your back.

Your Reading Life Good for Book Clubs

Book Recommendations for Every Kind of Vacation

Especially when packing space is limited, choosing the right book to bring with you on vacation is a fraught decision

Whether you’ll be journeying to a lake, boarding a cruise ship, or setting off an a whirlwind tour of Europe, you can’t go wrong with these novels and memoirs that’ll transport, challenge, and inspire you in equal measure.

“That’s the thing about books…they let you travel without moving your feet.” –Jhumpa Lahiri