Your Reading Life

Good for Book Clubs

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.

Your Reading Life Good for Book Clubs

Forget Oscar Fashion, We Want These Dresses Made From Books!

Everybody’s talking about the red carpet hits and misses at last night’s Academy Awards, but we’re more inspired by these clever gowns made entirely of books!

(Or made from newspapers or magazines or telephone books … you get the idea.)

Sitting down might be difficult. And we’d want to stay way from rain (or open flame!) while wearing these beauties – but we’re all willing suffer a little for fashion, aren’t we?

Have you seen a nifty paper dress online? Share the link in the comments – we want to see it!

Your Reading Life Good for Book Clubs

7 Clever Gifts for Your Bookish Valentine

Forget roses, forget chocolate, we Book Geeks want books!

If not books, we want clever, nifty bookish gifts. Here are some of our favorites: a Jane Eyre scarf, pendants made from Scrabble tiles, a book light that’s literally a book light … we’re lusting over these literary treats.

Perfect gifts for your bookish Valentine. Or for you! Just share this article to suggest (ahem … with great subtlety) that you’d like something book-related this year on Valentine’s Day.

Your Reading Life Good for Book Clubs

Trigger Warning: Short Fictions and Disturbances by Neil Gaiman

Gaiman’s introduction warns that “[t]here are things in this book, as in life, that might upset you. There is death and pain in here, tears and discomfort, violence of all kinds, cruelty, even abuse.”

In her review of Neil Gamain’s new collection, Natalie Zutter admits, “To be fair, I’m not Gaiman’s regular audience.”

Trigger Warning: Short Fictions and Disturbances is filled with stories that are coy, sharp, imaginative, at times tedious, and surely disturbing. But there was no need to present them with the kinds of caveats and warnings that accompany them here.”

Your Reading Life Good for Book Clubs

Fantastic Reviews for Girl in the Dark

We did a double-take when we read the description of Girl in the Dark by Anna Lyndsey. A woman who’s forced to live in complete darkness? It didn’t seem possible.

Well, it is possible, and it is Anna Lyndsey’s life. What a beautiful writer she is! She explores so much through her very unique experience, and she manages to draw us in and make us think about our own lives, too.

Other writers we admire have been singing Lyndsey’s praises, and with good reason. We can’t wait to hear what you think of the read!

Your Reading Life Good for Book Clubs

What To Do When You Hate Your Friend’s Favorite Book

When I love a book, nothing can stop me from pressing it into the hands of everyone I know. Unfortunately, when a book rubs me the wrong way, I can’t let it go.

“Modern, Internet-savvy readers are known to be very vocal about the books that inspire strong emotional reactions,” observes Natalie Zutter, “posting flailing reaction GIFs to Tumblr or detailed takedowns on Goodreads, they’ll speak out about the books that do and don’t resonate with them.

But what happens when the book comes recommended by a close friend? And even if you force yourself to finish it, you discover that you’re missing that same emotional connection?”

Your Reading Life Good for Book Clubs

National Book Critics Circle Announces 2014 Finalists

Your TBR pile just got bigger. You’re welcome.

The NBCC (National Book Critics Circle) announced its 30 finalists in six categories – autobiography, biography, criticism, fiction, general nonfiction, and poetry – for the best books of 2014.

Considered by many the most prestigious of literary prizes, NBCC awards are juried by working critics and book-review editors.

We love checking out the NBCC lists because they invariably include books we haven’t read yet – or even heard of before! These are the critics’ darlings, and there’s always a little-known gem to discover.

Your Reading Life Good for Book Clubs

It Was Me All Along Is a Must-Read Memoir

“Eating made me forget,” she writes. “Filling my belly stuffed my mind so completely that no space existed for sadness.”

Andie Mitchell had been overweight for as long as she could remember. But cutely plump as a school-age kid became morbidly obese at age 20, when she weighed nearly 300 pounds. Growing up with a depressed, alcoholic father and a mother who worked round the clock to pay the bills, Mitchell grew to view food—any food—as her friend and companion.

It Was Me All Along is the strikingly honest story of one woman’s long journey to self-acceptance. It’s a must-read memoir for anyone who has used food to numb the pain rather than nourish the body.

Your Reading Life Good for Book Clubs

And the Best Book Title in Translation Goes To …

L’extraordinaire Voyage du Fakir Qui Etait Resté Coincé dans une Armoire IKEA. Translation? The Extraordinary Journey of the Fakir Who Got Trapped in an IKEA Wardrobe. Maybe the best. book. title. ever.

It’s definitely going on our Books That Would Win ‘Best Title’ bookshelf.

When you’re a fakir (Indian con artist), cruising Paris with only one goal (IKEA), your life is full of surprises.

This is a fable set in our super-connected global economy, filled with equal parts biting satire and heartfelt observation. Different than anything we’ve read before, and beautifully translated from the French by Sam Taylor.