Read It Forward

New York is toxic—decimated by a dirty bomb years ago. The limnosphere is a virtual safe haven—if you’re rich enough to buy in. Spademan is a hit man—box-cutter at the ready.

His latest job is to snuff out Lesser, a lowlife lurking around other people’s fantasies. As Spademan is about to close the deal, Lesser comes back from the limn with a wild claim: terrorists are planning to attack New York. Again. This time from the inside out.

Spademan has always had his share of enemies, but now they’re coming at him from all sides and it’s impossible to know whom to trust.

We all have some crazy bit of trivia we like to share and astonish our friends. What’s yours?

Prepare to be even more revolted, flabbergasted, appalled, and completely entertained by this incredible follow-up collection of absolutely true trivia from the author of 5 People Who Died During Sex.

Nothing is too insane, too inane, or too sacred for Karl Shaw’s eclectic lists of the world’s very worst. In this excerpt, Shaw shares 12 Acts of Cannibalism (aka Your Eatin’ Heart).

Debut novelist and self-proclaimed space nerd Andy Weir manages to make every moment of astronaut Mark Watney’s outer-space ordeal painstakingly realistic and believable.

For scifi fans, The Martian is an obvious choice: the kind of debut space fiction geeks will gobble up like candy. But even if you’re not a big science fiction reader, you should consider reading The Martian with your book group. It’s smart, provocative – with plenty of hot topics to discuss – and it’s just the kind of book to reboot your reading routine.

Have you ever read outside your comfort zone? If so, tell us about it! Was it inspiring or disastrous?

“Sure, you know all about getting into a rut at work, socially, and in your exercise regimen,” says Nicole Sprinkle. “But what about in your reading life?

Even pleasurable pastimes can become dull. While you probably stick with a favorite genre, author or style of writing – and with good reason, of course! – doing so sometimes that limits your perspective, your circle of knowledge, and even your imagination.”

RIFer Karen won a copy of Adam Sternbergh’s Shovel Ready from us and wrote a review on her sister Kathy’s book blog, BermudaOnion.

“I really like his Spademan character even if he is a hitman,” she says. “He is flawed, but he does have his redeeming qualities. Told mainly through a series of dialogues the book is a fairly quick read.

It’s dystopian fiction that draws the reader’s thoughts to present day issues of religion, ethics and technology. If you’re not a fan of dystopian I think you’ll still enjoy this suspenseful novel.”

Does knowing that a book won a literary award make you more likely to read it? Why or why not? Share in the comments!

The winner of the 2014 Man Booker prize will be unveiled tonight (October 14, 2014) in a ceremony in Guildhall, London. We’re thrilled to share an excerpt from one of the finalists: J by Howard Jacobson.

J is a dystopia that invites comparison with George Orwell’s 1984 and Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World.” –Sunday Times