Bonus Book Content

Good for Book Clubs

You know that feeling when you finish a book and you’re desperately wanting more? We’ve collected Author Essays, Author Q&As, and Reader Guides from many of our featured books to continue your reading journey — and to start a lively book club discussion!

Bonus Book Content Good for Book Clubs

Delicious Southern Menu from Frances Mayes’ Under Magnolia

Frances Mayes shares recipes for an easy-to-make Southern feast of comfort food at its best: Cheese Grits, Summer Squash Casserole, and Martha Washington Jetties.

Frances Mayes made us all fall in love with Tuscany with Under the Tuscan Sun. In Under Magnolia, the The Bard of Tuscany relishes the sweetness of the South, the smells and tastes at her family table and the fragrance of her hometown trees.

On grits: “We were always served grits for breakfast at my house, but somehow I never appreciated them until I lived in Italy and learned all about polenta, kissing cousin of grits. Now, living in the South again, I can’t get enough of shrimp and grits, or of this Cheese Grits dish my mother used to make.”

Bonus Book Content Good for Book Clubs

Start Reading The Cake House, An Urban Reinvention of a Shakespearean Tale

The Cake House is a gem of a novel: a mystery wrapped in a cloak of family dysfunction with subtle Shakespearean.

“Rosaura is a heroine with spunk and a vulnerability so endearing I missed her the second I closed the book,” says —Elizabeth Flock, author of Me & Emma and What Happened To My Sister. “Salom has written a dazzling coming-of-age tale that will resonate long after you reach the end.”

Start reading this tense, shocking, and seductively dark book. It’s a literary mystery, a unique coming-of-age tale, and a ghost story like no other.

Bonus Book Content Good for Book Clubs

Discover Where Jane Smiley’s Early Warning Began In This Excerpt of Some Luck

Early Warning continues Jane Smiley’s extraordinary epic trilogy, a gorgeously told saga that began with Some Luck and will span a century in America.

Dive into this excerpt of Some Luck (the first book in the trilogy) to discover where it all began!

“Walter Langdon hadn’t walked out to check the fence along the creek for a couple of months—now that the cows were up by the barn for easier milking in the winter, he’d been putting off fence-mending—so he hadn’t seen the pair of owls nesting in the big elm. The tree was half dead; every so often Walter thought of cutting it for firewood, but he would have to get help taking it down, because it must be eighty feet tall or more and four feet in diameter. And it wouldn’t be the best firewood, hardly worth the trouble.”

Bonus Book Content Good for Book Clubs

Angel Cake Recipe from Ruby by Cynthia Bond

“As she stirred the dawn into being, a dew drop of sweat salted the batter. The cake baked and rose with the sun.”

There’s a cake in Ruby by Cynthia Bond. We can’t tell you more without spoiling the novel, but let’s just say it’s a profound part of Ruby’s story. We have the delicious recipe for White Lay Angel Cake inspired by Ruby. Bake it for your book club and create a truly special meeting. Lay down your burdens and enjoy!

“Ephram slept as the cake slid from its tin, so sweet it crusted at its crumbling edges, so light little craters of air circled its surface, so moist it was sure, as was always the case, to cling to the spaces between his sister’s long three-pronged silver fork. . . “

Bonus Book Content Good for Book Clubs

Official Reader’s Guide for Ruby by Cynthia Bond

An inspiring tribute to the human spirit, Ruby will captivate your reading group. We hope this guide enriches your journey.

Perfect for book clubs – and a selection of Oprah’s Book Club 2.0 – Ruby is the kind of novel that will keep your group talking for hours.

“Reading Cynthia Bond’s Ruby, you can’t help but feel that one day this book will be considered a staple of our literature, a classic,” says Edwidge Danticat.

“Lush, deep, momentous, much like the people and landscape it describes, Ruby enchants not just with its powerful tale of lifelong quests and unrelenting love, but also with its exquisite language. It is a treasure of a book, one you won’t soon forget.”

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.

Bonus Book Content Good for Book Clubs

Novelists Adam Sternbergh and Lev Grossman on Genre Fiction and Theories of Nerd-dom

There are essentially three kinds of nerds: Sci-Fi Nerds (e.g. Star Trek, Star Wars, etc.); Superhero Nerds (e.g. superheroes and comic books), and Fantasy Nerds (e.g. Tolkien, Dungeons & Dragons, etc.).

Adam Sternbergh: My theory is: You can’t be all three. You can be one, you can be two, but never all three.

Lev Grossman: I might suggest a refinement along the lines of: One’s nerdiness is a fixed quantity, a non-expanding pie, which can only be allocated to one genre/medium at the expense of another.

Adam Sternbergh: I like that—the Quantity Theory of Nerd-dom . . . I wonder if this biodiversity of enthusiasms has contributed to the explosion of literary-genre crossbreeds—which is to say, novels that take seriously both the pleasures of genre and the pleasures of literary fiction?

Bonus Book Content Good for Book Clubs

The Book Club Ice-Breaker

Welcome book group members and book club facilitators! Read It Forward is here to help you create a one-of-a-kind book club experience.

We’ve collected book club ice-breakers, delicious recipes, and bonus book content . . . all designed to help you build a one-of-a-kind book club experience.

We understand that one of the most challenging things about being in a book club is choosing the right books for your group. Our Book Club Ice-Breakers are designed to get you talking. You’ll learn a lot about each other in the process, and you’ll build a terrific list of books that’s meaningful to your group.

It’s this easy: have someone act as secretary to write down everyone’s responses. Then go around the circle, ask everyone to respond to the ice-breaker with a title (or two!), and voila! You have an awesome reading list for your book club.