Giveaways Good for Book Clubs

Enter for Your Chance to Win Better Than Before by Gretchen Rubin

The author of the blockbuster New York Times bestsellers, The Happiness Project and Happier at Home, tackles the critical question: How do we change?

Gretchen Rubin’s answer: through habits. Habits are the invisible architecture of everyday life. It takes work to make a habit, but once that habit is set, we can harness the energy of habits to build happier, stronger, more productive lives.

So if habits are a key to change, then what we really need to know is: How do we change our habits?

Better than Before answers that question. It presents a practical, concrete framework to allow readers to understand their habits—and to change them for good.

Bonus Book Content Good for Book Clubs

Reader’s Guide for My Life in Middlemarch

A wise and revealing exploration of the ways in which literature shapes our lives, My Life in Middlemarch will delight your reading group. We hope the questions that follow will enrich your journey.

A captivating combination of biography, reporting, and memoir, My Life in Middlemarch traces a New Yorker writer’s passion for George Eliot’s masterwork—the eight-volume “study of provincial life” that is regarded by many as the greatest English novel.

Throughout her life, Mead found herself reading and rereading Middlemarch. With its complex portraits of love and marriage, aspiration and failure, and the foundations of morality, the novel proved to be a lush source of self-discovery for Mead.

Your Reading Life Good for Book Clubs

National Book Critics Circle Announces 2014 Finalists

Your TBR pile just got bigger. You’re welcome.

The NBCC (National Book Critics Circle) announced its 30 finalists in six categories – autobiography, biography, criticism, fiction, general nonfiction, and poetry – for the best books of 2014.

Considered by many the most prestigious of literary prizes, NBCC awards are juried by working critics and book-review editors.

We love checking out the NBCC lists because they invariably include books we haven’t read yet – or even heard of before! These are the critics’ darlings, and there’s always a little-known gem to discover.

Giveaways Good for Book Clubs

You Could Win a Bag o’ Short Stories (+ This Super Cute Book Tote Bag)

“A good [short story] would take me out of myself and then stuff me back in, outsized, now, and uneasy with the fit.” ―David Sedaris

It’s our very first Big Bag o’ Short Stories! Enter for your chance to win five short story collections from bestselling authors Charles Baxter, Jonathan Lethem, and more. Our friends at BookPage have shared these super cute book tote bags – 50 lucky RIFers will win one!

We’ve hand-picked five very different and equally engaging short story collections for you: There’s Something I Want You to Do by Charles Baxter, master of the short story; Lucky Alan by literary superstar Jonathan Lethem; Single, Carefree, Mellow, the charming, funny debut from Catherine Heiney, Get in Trouble by Kelly Link, already on people’s Best of 2015 lists, and This Is Paradise, a beautiful collection of linked stories from Kristiana Kahakauwila.

Your Reading Life Good for Book Clubs

It Was Me All Along Is a Must-Read Memoir

“Eating made me forget,” she writes. “Filling my belly stuffed my mind so completely that no space existed for sadness.”

Andie Mitchell had been overweight for as long as she could remember. But cutely plump as a school-age kid became morbidly obese at age 20, when she weighed nearly 300 pounds. Growing up with a depressed, alcoholic father and a mother who worked round the clock to pay the bills, Mitchell grew to view food—any food—as her friend and companion.

It Was Me All Along is the strikingly honest story of one woman’s long journey to self-acceptance. It’s a must-read memoir for anyone who has used food to numb the pain rather than nourish the body.

Meet the Author Good for Book Clubs

Interview with Peter Buwalda, Author of Bonita Avenue

Dutch writer Peter Buwalda is keenly attuned to the ironies of being a successful novelist. “A successful writer is living a paradox,” Buwalda says from to his home in Amsterdam, where he moved after his gripping literary debut, Bonita Avenue, became a bestseller in Holland in 2010.

“Being successful and writing sort of exclude each other. Before I was a real recluse, and now I am an outgoing person. I have to be,” Buwalda says.

Until he was 34, he worked as an editor and journalist and was “a very fanatical reader.” Then he decided to write fiction and “changed like Gregor Samsa in the story by Kafka into a novelist. For me it was late, so I had to try to write a thick, serious novel at once, without hesitating, diving into the deep.”

Author Essays Good for Book Clubs

Huan Hsu on Being Half-American, Half-Chinese

There are a lot of books on China being published these days, and many of those books are being written by people who aren’t Chinese.

“There’s nothing wrong with this, of course,” says Huan Hsu, author of The Porcelain Thief. “Some of the writers behind the books I most admire aren’t Chinese.

And Hessler and Gifford and Pomfret wrote fantastic books on China; they likely speak better Mandarin and feel more comfortable in China than I do. But they’re not Chinese. And while books about the Chinese-American experience in America are plentiful, the Shanghai bookstore I visited seemed to indicate that the story of Chinese-Americans in China remains unstudied.”

Author Essays Good for Book Clubs

Should You Judge a Book by Its Cover?

Simon Kurt Unsworth, author of The Devil’s Detective, speaks at the Lancashire Writing Hub and answers a question from the audience. His answer may surprise you!

“I think you damn well should judge books by their covers,” says Simon Kurt Unsworth.

“I’ll tell you why in this short ramble. I think the first thing I need to do is to differentiate something. When we say ‘don’t judge a book by it’s cover,’ we often mean don’t judge people by how we see them, the first things that we see about them. I don’t suppose there’s anyone in this room who would disagree that we should not judge people by things like the color of their skin, whether they’re male or female, their age, how they kind of look to us. But I don’t really think that’s what this phrase actually means.”