Extra Libris: Bonus Book Material

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!

Discussion questions for Dark Eden, the book that won the 2013 Arthur C Clarke Award for the Best Science Fiction Novel of 2013.

Eden is a planet outside of the galaxy that has no sun of its own, but has evolved its own form of life that uses heat from the planet’s core, and produces luminescence like deep sea creatures on Earth. Generations before the beginning of the book, a group of astronauts found themselves stranded there with a damaged spacecraft. Three of the astronauts elected to try and return to Earth. Two, a man and a woman, decide to remain and wait.

A heartfelt and exceptionally human novel about the best mistakes a person can make.

Jonathan and Rosie have been together so long they finish each other’s sentences—so when he (finally) proposes and asks her to move across the country with him, everyone is happily surprised.

But when things suddenly unravel, Rosie sends Jonathan packing and moves back home with Soapie, the irascible, opinionated grandmother who raised her. Now she has to figure out how to fire Soapie’s very unsuitable caregiver, a gardener named Tony who lets her drink martinis, smoke, and cheat at Scrabble.

You know that feeling when you finish a book and you’re desperately wanting more? The questions in this Reader’s Guide will continue your reading journey — and start a lively book club discussion!

Pilgrim’s Wilderness is the riveting true story of a modern-day homesteading family in the deepest reaches of the Alaskan wilderness – and of the chilling secrets of its maniacal, spellbinding patriarch.

Veteran Alaska journalist Tom Kizzia unfolds the remarkable, at times harrowing, story of a charismatic spinner of American myths who was not what he seemed, the townspeople caught in his thrall, and the family he brought to the brink of ruin.

Explore these books and travel the world without leaving your reading chair.

Bestselling novelist Anthony Marra – author of A Constellation of Vital Phenomena – shares some of this favorite far-flung novels.

From Brazil to Japan to Czechoslovakia, the settings of these novels will capture your imagination and expand your sense of the world.

If you’ve read these, leave a comment with your review! If you haven’t, you’ll want to add them to your TBR pile.

Q. Why write about Chechnya?

A. I first became interested in the region as a college student in St. Petersburg. I realized that Chechnya was a place I didn’t know how to spell and couldn’t find on a map, but the ramifications of the wars there had reached as far north as Petersburg, where on a daily basis I saw Russian veterans soliciting for alms in the Metro stations.

I began reading nonfiction accounts of Chechnya and quickly became fascinated. The accounts I read of ordinary people in remarkable situations were the kinds of stories that I felt needed to be brought to life through fiction.

We hope that the following questions will enhance your reading group’s discussion of this stirring meditation on loss and redemption.

In this haunting masterwork, award-winning author Anthony Marra transports us to a snow-covered village in Chechnya. It is 2004, and an eight-year-old girl has just watched Russian soldiers abduct her father and set fire to her house in the middle of the night. Fearing the worst, their lifelong neighbor Akhmed rescues the girl and seeks refuge at the bombed-out hospital. Over the course of five extraordinary days, their worlds will unravel in unimaginable ways, culminating in a breathtaking, ultimately affirming turn of fate.