Read It First

“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.”

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.

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.

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 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!

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.