Reader Reviews

Your Reading Life

We RIFers are voracious readers and we love to tell a good story. Your Reading Life features personal essays, reader reviews — anything that embraces our literary lifestyle. Pull up a mug of your favorite cozy beverage and join in on the conversation.

Who says only the children get to dress up? From Miss Havisham to Mrs. Whatsit, here are 10 Halloween literary costumes for the bookish prankster in all of us.

“Ladies and Gentlemen, fall has descended upon us,” observes Emily Ansara Baines. “Leaves are changing. The wind is more brisk than refreshing. And the children now no longer want to play outside, making getting solitary reading time a tad more hard to come by.

Luckily, with the fall season comes a myriad of fun holidays, including my personal favorite—Halloween! There’ll be no need for tricks—and plenty of treats—with these getups!”

Readers Beware: not all these novels appear spooky at first: but as we’ve learned, it’s not fair to judge a book by its cover—much less its synopsis.

From literary novels like Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close to postmodern masterpieces like House of Leaves, Emily Ansara Baines includes some really unexpected books in her top 10 list.

This aren’t your typical Halloween reads (though Stephen King does make an appearance). Take a look and leave a comment with your favorites!

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.”

We want to create a “read it forward” moment for you: when you discover a book, read it, love it, and pass it on to a friend. Every week, we feature behind-the-scenes stories from authors, editors, and booksellers. We introduce you to books long before they hit the shelves, so you’re the first to know about the next great book. And every week we offer a Read It First giveaway. It’s easy to enter for the chance to win an Advance Reader’s Copy of a great book. Join the conversation!

Read It Forward is a proud sponsor of National Reading Group Month, an month-long celebration of the joy of shared reading.

Whether you’re a reading group member, author, bookseller, librarian, or publishing industry professional, there are tons of ways to get involved in National Reading Group Month. There are special events at book stores and libraries across the country, book group resources and support, as well as this carefully curated list of books that are sure to inspire lively book group discussion.