Read It First

Good for Book Clubs
Excerpt Good for Book Clubs

Start Reading Like Family

Paolo Giordano’s prizewinning debut novel, The Solitude of Prime Numbers, catapulted the young Italian author into the literary spotlight. His new novel features his trademark character-driven narrative and intimate domestic setting that first made him an international sensation.

When Mrs. A. first enters the narrator’s home, his wife, Nora, is experiencing a difficult pregnancy. First as their maid and nanny, then their confidante, this older woman begins to help her employers negotiate married life, quickly becoming the glue in their small household. She is the steady, maternal influence for both husband and wife, and their son, Emanuele, whom she protects from his parents’ expectations and disappointments. But the family’s delicate fabric comes undone when Mrs. A. is diagnosed with cancer. Moving seamlessly between the past and present, Giordano highlights with remarkable precision the joy of youth and the fleeting nature of time. An elegiac, heartrending, and deeply personal portrait of marriage and the people we choose to call family, this is a jewel of a novel—short, intense, and unforgettable.

Start reading Like Family:

Read It First Good for Book Clubs

Virginia Morell on the Inner World of Animals

“I have so many favorite stories in Animal Wise,” says author Virginia Morell. “I loved meeting Alex the African Gray Parrot, a parrot that the scientist Irene Pepperberg had taught to mimic the sounds of over 100 English words. He understood that these sounds were labels – for example, he knew that the sound ‘yellow’ referred to the color yellow. Irene could then ask him questions about his understanding of the world. It was remarkable to watch her ask these questions, and to listen to his answers. He had a sweet little voice, rather like the one Dustin Hoffman adopted for his character in Rain Man. When one of his companion parrots was struggling to pronounce a word, Alex interrupted him and said, ‘Talk clearly! Talk clearly!’ I realized then that Alex truly had a mind of his own.”

Read It First Good for Book Clubs

Becky Aikman’s Memoir Saturday Night Widows

Meet the Saturday Night Widows: ringleader Becky, an unsentimental journalist who lost her husband to cancer; Tara, a polished mother of two, whose husband died in the throes of alcoholism after she filed for divorce; Denise, a widow of just five months, now struggling to get by; Marcia, a hard-driving corporate lawyer; Dawn, an alluring self-made entrepreneur whose husband was killed in a sporting accident, leaving two small children behind; and Lesley, a housewife who returned home one day to find that her husband had committed suicide. The women meet once a month, and over the course of a year, they strike out on ever more far-flung adventures, learning to live past the worst thing they thought could happen.

Read It First Good for Book Clubs

Mochimochis Took Over Crown Publishing

The Mochimochis from Mochimochi Land took over Crown Publishing. They infiltrated the Random House building, stormed the 6th floor and captured Crown’s publisher. The battle was documented by both sides on Twitter using the hashtag #MochimochisAttack. Follow the entire Mochimochi-Crown publishing battle! It’s terrifying, it’s adorable, it’s really happening! Not sure what mochimochi are? A mochimochi can be anything, from fearsome baby gators to pigs with beehive hairdos, from the toe-nibbling monster slippers to an assortment of itty-bitty hamsters, micro mountains, and human beans complete with comb-overs! Super-Scary Mochimochi here, and they’re taking over, just in time for Halloween.

Read It First Good for Book Clubs

Monumental Crime Thriller by Alexander Soderberg

We introduced you to Chris Pavone, author of The Expats, and RIFers loved his thriller. Here’s what he has to say about The Andalucian Friend, the smash debut by Alexander Söderberg: “The international cast is packed with compelling bad guys, the plot is intricate and urgent, and the dialogue is tense and true and sometimes even funny. A joy-ride of a read.” Read It Forward is excited to introduce you to Alexander Söderberg, sure to be one of your new favorite thriller writers. The Andalucian Friend is the first of three novels in a series, and we’re giving away copies long before it hits the shelves in March 2013. We can’t wait to hear what you think!

Read It First Good for Book Clubs

Herman Koch’s International Bestseller The Dinner

Read It Forward favorite Gillian Flynn describes Herman Koch’s bestselling novel The Dinner like this: “It begins with drinks and dark satire, and goes stealthily and hauntingly from there. It’s chilling, nasty, smart, shocking and unputdownable. Read the novel in one big gulp, and then make plans with friends – you’ll be desperate to debate this book over cocktails, appetizers, entrees, dessert . . . and then you still won’t be done talking about it.” We’re excited to share this international bestseller with you – be among the first readers in the U.S. to dive in!

Read It First Good for Book Clubs

Sequel from Agatha Award-Winning Novelist Sara J. Henry

Praised by critics and devoured by fans of suspense, Sara J. Henry‘s debut Learning to Swim was recognized by an astonishing number of literary organizations. Learning to Swim received the Mary Higgins Clark Award, Best First Novel from the Agatha Awards, and the Macavity Award for Best First Mystery. It was nominated for the Barry Award and the Anthony Award. All well-deserved for a masterful debut. Now we’re thrilled to share the sequel, A Cold a Lonely Place, featuring Sara’s unforgettable heroine Troy. RIFers will be among the very first readers to dive in long before A Cold and Lonely Place hits the shelves on February 5, 2013.

Read It First Good for Book Clubs

Ben Masters Compared to Martin Amis and Zadie Smith

Eliot Lamb has had countless nights like this before. He’s out with his mates, pint in hand, shots at the ready. They’re at the King’s Arms and will soon be making their familiar descent: pub, bar, club. But this time it’s different. When the night ends and tomorrow begins, he’ll graduate from Oxford and head reluctantly into adulthood. As he stares into the foam of his first beer, he knows it won’t be easy. Compared to early Martin Amis and Zadie Smith, Ben Masters is a fresh new voice in literary fiction, and his sparkling debut Noughties will blow you away.