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.

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.”

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.

Celebrate the freedom to read during Banned Books Week, September 21-27, 2014.

Since 1990, the American Library Association’s (ALA) Office for Intellectual Freedom (OIF) has received reports of more than 18,000 attempts to remove materials in schools and libraries for content deemed by some as inappropriate, controversial or even dangerous.

Here’s a fact that never ceases to amaze us: To Kill a Mockingbird – consistently named one of the “best books of all time” by your fellow RIFers – is one of the most challenged books in history.

I can’t help myself. I simply can’t leave this book unread. I keep trying to let it go, but I find myself picking it back up. I feel like Michael Corleone in The Godfather: “Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in.”

Maybe this has happened to you. You pick up a book you think you’ll like, but you’re just not hooked. Then, for whatever reason, you decide to stick with it. So you give it another 20 pages, another 50, another 100 … at this point, you’re invested. You’ve dedicated your precious reading time to this book. You’re so close. Do you plow through to the end? Or do you let go? It’s a book lover’s dilemma.

Our personal data has been used to spy on us, hire and fire us, and sell us stuff we don’t need. In Dataclysm, Christian Rudder uses it to show us who we truly are.

This is a book that uses big data to explore and understand more deeply who we are by looking at what we say and how we interact online.

It’s full of funky, funny and surprising facts about what our actions say about us, such as: The most likely indicator of whether someone will have sex on a first date is if they enjoy beer. Yes, it’s true!