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.

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!

Always begin with “Once Upon a Time,” and finish with “The End.”

“I’ll never forget all the impromptu stories my father told me at bedtime,” says Nicole Sprinkle. “When my daughter was a toddler, I tried to keep this tradition alive in our house.

At first, I felt nervous. How was I going to make up something interesting and fun on the fly? My dad revealed a few helpful tips—passed down from his own father—and they never fail me.”

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!