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.”

Giveaways Good for Book Clubs

Enter for Your Chance to Win Cynthia Bond’s Ruby, a Selection of Oprah’s Book Club 2.0

Read It Forward is celebrating the selection of Ruby for Oprah’s Book Club 2.0 by giving away copies! Enter for your chance to win the book everybody’s going to be talking about.

Utterly transfixing, with unforgettable characters, riveting suspense, and breathtaking, luminous prose, Ruby offers an unflinching portrait of man’s dark acts and the promise of the redemptive power of love.

Full of life, exquisitely written, and suffused with the pastoral beauty of the rural South, Ruby is a transcendent novel of passion and courage.

Bonus Book Content Good for Book Clubs

Excerpt of Ruby by Cynthia Bond

Intrigued by all of the news surrounding Oprah’s Book Club 2.0 pick? We have an exclusive excerpt from RUBY just for our Read It Forward readers – let us know what you think!

“Ruby Bell was a constant reminder of what could befall a woman whose shoe heels were too high. The people of Liberty Township wove her into cautionary tales of the wages of sin and travel. They called her buck-crazy. Howling, half-naked mad. The fact that she had come back from New York City made this somewhat understandable to the town…”

Author Essays Good for Book Clubs

Two Types of Violence We Encounter As Readers

It is an easy cliché to criticize violence as a part of our collective storytelling—but that is a gross over-simplification.

“I believe that there are two types of violence we encounter as readers, as audience members,” says Cynthia Bond, author of Ruby.

“One exists for the purpose of moving the plot of the story along, to direct the audience to the next highlighted point.

The second type of violence is a kind of documentation. It comes with the belief that some stories cannot be told without walking through a doorway, without witnessing the horror, without breathing in the pain.”

Bonus Book Content Good for Book Clubs

Angel Cake Recipe from Ruby by Cynthia Bond

“As she stirred the dawn into being, a dew drop of sweat salted the batter. The cake baked and rose with the sun.”

There’s a cake in Ruby by Cynthia Bond. We can’t tell you more without spoiling the novel, but let’s just say it’s a profound part of Ruby’s story. We have the delicious recipe for White Lay Angel Cake inspired by Ruby. Bake it for your book club and create a truly special meeting. Lay down your burdens and enjoy!

“Ephram slept as the cake slid from its tin, so sweet it crusted at its crumbling edges, so light little craters of air circled its surface, so moist it was sure, as was always the case, to cling to the spaces between his sister’s long three-pronged silver fork. . . “

Bonus Book Content Good for Book Clubs

Official Reader’s Guide for Ruby by Cynthia Bond

An inspiring tribute to the human spirit, Ruby will captivate your reading group. We hope this guide enriches your journey.

Perfect for book clubs – and a selection of Oprah’s Book Club 2.0 – Ruby is the kind of novel that will keep your group talking for hours.

“Reading Cynthia Bond’s Ruby, you can’t help but feel that one day this book will be considered a staple of our literature, a classic,” says Edwidge Danticat.

“Lush, deep, momentous, much like the people and landscape it describes, Ruby enchants not just with its powerful tale of lifelong quests and unrelenting love, but also with its exquisite language. It is a treasure of a book, one you won’t soon forget.”

Author Essays Good for Book Clubs

Conversation with Cynthia Bond, Author of Ruby

As a victim of human trafficking as a child, these stories and images filled my chest with horror, rage, and fear until I picked up a pen and placed it upon the blank page. Writing Ruby became my salvation.

“When I taught writing to homeless youth in Hollywood, I found that most of my students had themselves run from abuse,” remembers Cynthia Bond, author of Ruby.

“Somewhere along the way, living with my own abuse, and hearing stories of such pain and torment, I thought, If you can bear to have lived it, I can at least bear to listen. Ephram Jennings says that in some form to Ruby later in the novel. I asked that of myself while working on this book.”