Giveaways Good for Book Clubs

Enter to Win Margaret Atwood’s The Heart Goes Last

Margaret Atwood puts the human heart to the ultimate test in an utterly brilliant new novel that is as visionary as The Handmaid’s Tale and as richly imagined as The Blind Assassin.

Stan and Charmaine are a married couple trying to stay afloat in the midst of an economic and social collapse. Job loss has forced them to live in their car, leaving them vulnerable to roving gangs. They desperately need to turn their situation around—and fast. The Positron Project in the town of Consilience seems to be the answer to their prayers. No one is unemployed and everyone gets a comfortable, clean house to live in . . . for six months out of the year. On alternating months, residents of Consilience must leave their homes and function as inmates in the Positron prison system. Once their month of service in the prison is completed, they can return to their “civilian” homes.

At first, this doesn’t seem like too much of a sacrifice to make in order to have a roof over one’s head and food to eat. But when Charmaine becomes romantically involved with the man who lives in their house during the months when she and Stan are in the prison, a series of troubling events unfolds, putting Stan’s life in danger. With each passing day, Positron looks less like a prayer answered and more like a chilling prophecy fulfilled.

Giveaways Good for Book Clubs

Giveaway: Predicting the Future with Superforecasting

From one of the world’s most highly regarded social scientists, a transformative book on the habits of mind that lead to the best predictions.

In Superforecasting, Tetlock and coauthor Dan Gardner offer a masterwork on prediction, drawing on decades of research and the results of a massive, In this groundbreaking and accessible book, Tetlock and Gardner show us how we can learn from this elite group. Weaving together stories of forecasting successes (the raid on Osama bin Laden’s compound) and failures (the Bay of Pigs) and interviews with a range of high-level decision makers, from David Petraeus to Robert Rubin, they show that good forecasting doesn’t require powerful computers or arcane methods. It involves gathering evidence from a variety of sources, thinking probabilistically, working in teams, keeping score, and being willing to admit error and change course. Superforecasting offers the first demonstrably effective way to improve our ability to predict the future—whether in business, finance, politics, international affairs, or daily life—and is destined to become a modern classic.

Excerpt Good for Book Clubs

A Walk In The Woods

It started with Benton MacKaye, a mild, kindly, infinitely well-meaning visionary who in the summer of 1921 unveiled an ambitious plan for a long-distance hiking trail to his friend Charles Harris Whitaker, editor of a leading architectural journal. To say that MacKaye’s life at this point was not going well would be to engage in careless understatement. In the previous decade he had been let go from jobs at Harvard and the National Forest Service and eventually, for want of a better place to stick him, given a desk at the U.S. Labor Department with a vague assignment to come up with ideas to improve efficiency and morale. There, he dutifully produced ambitious, unworkable proposals that were read with amused tolerance and promptly binned. In April 1921 his wife, a well-known pacifist and suffragette named Jessie Hardy Stubbs, flung herself off a bridge over the East River in New York and drowned.

It was against this background, just ten weeks later, that MacKaye offered Whitaker his idea for an Appalachian Trail, and the proposal was published in the somewhat unlikely forum of Whitaker’s Journal of the American Institute of Architects the following October. A hiking trail was only part of MacKaye’s grand vision. He saw the AT as a thread connecting a network of mountaintop work camps where pale, depleted urban workers in the thousands would come and engage in healthful toil in a selfless spirit and refresh themselves on nature. There were to be hostels and inns and seasonal study centers, and eventually permanent woodland villages—”self-owning” communities whose inhabitants would support themselves with cooperative “non-industrial activity” based on forestry, farming, and crafts. The whole would be, as MacKaye ecstatically described it, “a retreat from profit”—a notion that others saw as “smacking of Bolshevism,” in the words of one biographer.

Your Reading Life Good for Book Clubs

Julia Pierpont’s Favorite Places to Read in NYC

Julia Pierpont’s debut novel Among The Ten Thousand Things, set in New York City, tells of a family coming to grips with a newly-revealed secret that fractures and frays their bonds and changes them all in the process. Pierpont, a New York City native herself, tells Read It Forward her favorite places in the city to get lost in a book. If you happen to visit Manhattan, we highly suggest bringing a copy of Among The Ten Thousand Things to any of these locales and letting the book’s setting be your backdrop as you read Pierpont’s sharply observed and articulated work of fiction.

Giveaways Good for Book Clubs

Enter to Win X by Sue Grafton

X: The number ten. An unknown quantity. A mistake. A cross. A kiss.

X: The shortest entry in Webster’s Unabridged. Derived from Greek and Latin and commonly found in science, medicine, and religion. The most graphically dramatic letter. Notoriously tricky to pronounce: think xylophone.

X: The twenty-fourth letter in the English alphabet.

Sue Grafton’s X: Perhaps her darkest and most chilling novel, it features a remorseless serial killer who leaves no trace of his crimes. Once again breaking the rules and establishing new paths, Grafton wastes little time identifying this sociopath. The test is whether Kinsey can prove her case against him before she becomes his next victim.

Your Reading Life Good for Book Clubs

When You Share a Name With a Literary Character

What’s in a name? Well, if you share one with a famous literary character…a lot! When you read a book where the protagonist shares your name, it’s easy to get invested in the character.

Most of my friends and family call me by my nickname, Nora. As a kid, I was thrilled when my parents gave me a picture book titled Nora and the Bear, about—you guessed it—a girl and a bear. Nora gets lost in the snowy woods, and the bear she was supposed to be hunting helps guide her back to her village. For my reading level at the time, it was an action-packed thriller. I felt a frission of excitement whenever I saw my name on the page, and it was like reading about an adventure I could have in the future. I’m sure the enjoyment of reading that book is one of the (many) reasons I became a bookworm.

I felt a similar sense of kinship when I read A Doll’s House in high school. Written in the late nineteenth century, the play was ahead of its time in its portrayal of an independent woman. Nora, the protagonist, challenges societal norms and leaves her husband so she can discover herself. I found myself feeling protective and proud of the character, as though we had a special connection.

Giveaways Good for Book Clubs

Literary Fiction Giveaway: Fates and Furies

Fates and Furies is a literary masterpiece that defies expectation. A dazzling examination of a marriage, it is also a portrait of creative partnership written by one of the best writers of her generation.

Every story has two sides. Every relationship has two perspectives. And sometimes, it turns out, the key to a great marriage is not its truths but its secrets. At the core of this rich, expansive, layered novel, Lauren Groff presents the story of one such marriage over the course of twenty-four years.

At age twenty-two, Lotto and Mathilde are tall, glamorous, madly in love, and destined for greatness. A decade later, their marriage is still the envy of their friends, but with an electric thrill we understand that things are even more complicated and remarkable than they have seemed. With stunning revelations and multiple threads, and in prose that is vibrantly alive and original, Groff delivers a deeply satisfying novel about love, art, creativity, and power that is unlike anything that has come before it. Profound, surprising, propulsive, and emotionally riveting, it stirs both the mind and the heart.

Bonus Book Content Good for Book Clubs

The Gates of Evangeline

Start Reading The Gates of Evangeline by Hester Young. (One of our favorite picks for fall!)

I can’t pinpoint the moment I cross over. It comes slowly: the seductive darkness, my face and limbs dissolving into something weightless and fuzzy. Then consciousness spreads through me like caffeine. My senses come alive.

This time there is water. A soft shhh, on either side of me.

I wait. Try to orient myself. Am I in a boat?

The darkness lifts, and a picture forms. Swamp. I’m on a rowboat, a canoe maybe, drifting through brown water and swirls of green scum. Around me I see dead leaves, rotted branches curling like fingers, partially submerged trees clawing their way upward. On my right, I catch a flash of movement. Watchful green eyes peer up at me. An alligator.