Bonus Book Content Good for Book Clubs

Wicked Charms by Janet Evanovich

Murdered and mummified nearly a century ago, notorious bootlegger Collier “Peg Leg” Dazzle discovered and re-hid a famous pirate’s treasure somewhere along the coast of New England.

A vast collection of gold and silver coins and precious gems, the bounty also contains the Stone of Avarice—the very item reluctant treasure seeker Lizzy Tucker and her partner, Diesel, have been enlisted to find. While Lizzy would just like to live a quiet, semi-normal life, Diesel is all about the hunt. And this hunt is going to require a genuine treasure map and a ship worthy of sailing the seven seas . . . or at least getting them from Salem Harbor to Maine.

Giveaways Good for Book Clubs

Win This Exclusive Prize Pack from Highclere Castle (the Real Downton Abbey)

Going through Downton Abbey withdrawal? We have the cure!

What are we to do with ourselves, waiting for the final season of Downton Abbey? We can binge watch entire seasons we’ve already seen (always a good idea) and we can get the inside scoop of Highclere Castle (where the show is set) by reading Lady Catherine, the Earl, and the Real Downton Abbey and Lady Almina and the Real Downton Abbey.

We’re giving away signed copies of both books and an exclusive prize pack that’ll make you’ll feel like you’re dining with the Granthams!

Bonus Book Content Good for Book Clubs

Sneak Peek of I Take You by Eliza Kennedy

Meet Lily Wilder: New Yorker, lawyer extraordinaire, blushing bride. And totally incapable of being faithful to one man.

I’m getting married. He’s perfect! It’s a disaster.

“’You’re crazy,’ Freddy says as she hands me another drink. ‘Will is adorable. He’s got a cool job. He cooks. He’s super sweet.’

We’re at a club downtown. It’s dark, hot, crowded and insanely loud. Nicole is playing with her phone at the other end of the table. The rest of the girls are dancing by the DJ booth.

‘You’re a pig in a poke!’ Freddy shouts over the music. ‘You look good on the outside, but buy you and bring you home?’ She tosses back her drink. ‘Forget it.’   >> Continue reading . . .

Author Essay Good for Book Clubs

Erik Larson is Bringing History to Life on Twitter, and It’s Amazing

Starting today (or rather late last night) one of our favorite authors Erik Larson is recreating history . . . on Twitter!

We love it when authors bring their books to life in cool ways, and this is a fantastic example. Erik Larson – author of the New York Times bestseller Dead Wake will be live-tweeting the last voyage of the Lusitania through the ship’s final moments on May 7th. He’ll be using images and video to bring the story to life.

We can’t wait to watch the story unfold. We’ve captured a feed here on RIF which organizes the tweets in chronological order for easy perusing.

Your Reading Life Good for Book Clubs

Have You Ever Met a Favorite Author?

I’ve only won a single prize in a contest, but was a pretty great one: a dinner with my favorite author, Toni Morrison.

“Several years ago,” remembers Eleanora Buckbee, “Toni Morrison visited my undergraduate university to give a talk, and the English Department arranged for her to have dinner with some undergraduate students. Invitation only, with fewer than 20 students.

All I had to do was email a 140-character tweet to the department head, explaining why I wanted this ‘once-in-a-lifetime chance to spend time with one of the greatest living authors,’ as the email instructed. Those 140 characters were some of the hardest I’ve ever had to write.”

Perfect for Book Clubs Good for Book Clubs

Miranda Beverly-Whittemore on the Books That Inspired Bittersweet

Bittersweet shares a theme with my favorite books: an outsider longs to be part of an elite inner circle, makes it in, and only later pays the steep price of admission.

“There are a few other trends in my most beloved books,” says Miranda Beverly-Whittemore.

“The outsider is almost always poor; his gateway “in” is often a person or group of people on whom he has a crush (or at least a deep admiration); the paradise he gains access to is, at first, seductive for the reader as well, offering a rare glimpse into an elite playground; and there is almost always an unreliable narrator. But all the outsiders in these favorite books are men! And so Mabel Dagmar was born, as was her ‘gateway’ into Winloch—her college roommate, Ev. Here are the books that inspired Bittersweet, all of them delicious reads which have made my mouth water and heart stop.”

Perfect for Book Clubs Good for Book Clubs

Why All the Unlikable Characters? A Conversation with Herman Koch

Your characters have been described as completely unlikable. What is your reaction to that description?

Herman Koch: “They are unlikable in a way, but I personally never dislike them completely. I am not writing satirical novels with caricatures of real bad people in them.

In order to write about, or from the point of view of, a character, I must feel sympathy for him or her in some way. I might disagree with certain actions or thoughts, but I always try to understand them. And last but not least, I truly believe that ‘un-likable’ characters are the salt of the earth—they can be funny and make us laugh, or shock and revolt us, but in the end I think they offer a much more ac- curate version of “the truth” than their more likable counterparts.”

Your Reading Life Good for Book Clubs

Why Reread? Because Books Change As We Do

The experience of rereading my old favorites has taught me a lot about how I used to think about the world—and hit home just how much I’ve changed in the intervening years.

It helps of course, that I was (and still am) an avid underliner and so have clear evidence of what I found, and find, especially meaningful. As I tackled for a second time three of my favorite books from that period—As I Lay Dying, Ethan Frome, and Travels With My Aunt—I was struck by the lines that had appealed to me back then, and the ones that appealed to me now.

Why were they different? How were they different? Could comparing my 15-year-old self’s favorite sentences with my new favorite sentences tell me anything about how I’d changed?