Giveaways Good for Book Clubs

Short Story Collection Giveaway: Barbara the Slut and Other People

A fresh, honest, and darkly funny debut collection about family, friends, and lovers, and the flaws that make us most human.

Fearless, candid, and incredibly funny, Lauren Holmes is a newcomer who writes like a master. She tackles eros and intimacy with a deceptively light touch, a keen awareness of how their nervous systems tangle and sometimes short-circuit, and a genius for revealing our most vulnerable, spirited selves.

“There isn’t a bad part of Barbara the Slut… The stories in this book are sometimes painful, sometimes brilliantly funny, and most often both; Holmes can find the humor in the worst situations, and the tragedy in the most glorious moments. But it’s her characters that carry the stories — imperfect, difficult and defiantly human.”—NPR

Your Reading Life Good for Book Clubs

Find Out How Long Will It Take You to Read Your Entire TBR Pile

TBR pile: (noun) Your “To-Be-Read” pile, the comprehensive list of books that a person plans on reading in the near or distant future. Also known as that stack of books teetering dangerously off the side of the bedside table.

A few months ago, we asked you to share the size of your TBR pile—and you shocked us with the amount of titles on your lists. Some of you have over a thousand just waiting to be devoured. With the help of our friends at Uppercase, we decided to quantify the TBR—in other words, help you figure out just how long it will take you to get through your current list and how old you’ll be when you finish. Of course, we know you’ll be adding books to your pile the whole time, but use this fun tool to measure your big reading ambitions—and let us know on Facebook and Twitter when the calculator says you’ll finish!

Your Reading Life Good for Book Clubs

Loved That? Read This! Celebrity Author Edition

Naturally, many of us are curious about celebrities beyond what we see on the big (and little) screen. More so now than ever before, celebs are writing their memoirs and use them as an opportunity to take a stand on political issues, share juicy on-set details and let us into their personal histories from before they were ever mobbed by paparazzi. We’ve paired five current celeb bestsellers with read-alikes from the vault to keep you in good celebrity memoir standing. All are interesting, insightful and poignant. Enjoy!

Loved That? Modern Love by Aziz Ansari

Read This: A Sort of History of the United States by Dave Barry

We love funny men. Much like Aziz Ansari’s recounting of our collective romantic history in Modern Love, A Sort of History retells the story of the founding of our nation in the droll voice we have come to expect from Barry, an award-winning author best known for his long-running humor column in The Miami Herald.

Loved That? Down the Rabbit Hole by Holly Madison

Read This: Here’s the Story: Surviving Marcia Brady and Finding My True Voice by Maureen McCormick

Marcia, Marcia, Marcia! Just as Holly describes the (horrifying) behind-the-scenes world of the Playboy mansion, McCormick rehashes the dark side of growing up in the spotlight and shedding her squeaky-clean image. Surprisingly more disturbing than Madison’s tale, you will not be able to put this memoir down.

Your Reading Life Good for Book Clubs

How to Get Over a Book Hangover

Whereas a real-life hangover may take you by surprise, you’ll know when you have a book hangover. That’s because it’s best defined as finishing a book and being unable to return to the real world, because the real world feels incomplete or surreal in comparison to the fictional world you just left. Other symptoms might include an inability to leave the fetal position and a tendency to yell out (or whisper) characters’ names in public.

Fear not! There are ways to cope with a book hangover, but they’re more private than public. In truth, you have to live in it in order to ride it out; just follow Natalie Zutter’s simple advice:

Giveaways

Enter to Win Four Page-Turning Thrillers

Fifty winners will take home all four of these fantastic thrillers:

Remember Mia by Alexandra Burt: “A twisty, gripping read—beautifully written and impossible to put down.”—Meg Gardiner, Edgar Award winning author

Eeny Meeny by M. J. Arlidge: “Dark, twisted, thought-provoking, and I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough. Take a ride on this roller coaster from hell—white knuckles guaranteed.”—Tami Hoag, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Cold Cold Heart

Somebody I Used to Know by David Bell: “An absolutely riveting, absorbing read not to be missed.”—New York Times Bestselling Author Lisa Unger

Broken Promise by Linwood Barclay: “Some days, all you really want is for someone to tell you a wicked-good story. Linwood Barclay answers the reader’s perpetual prayer.”—The New York Times Book Review

Giveaways Good for Book Clubs

Contemporary Romance Giveaway: Reservations for Two

A culinary concoction of taking chances and finding love in the most delectable places

In Reservations for Two, food writer-turned-restaurateur Juliette D’Alisa has more than enough on her plate. While her trip to Provence might have unlocked new answers to her grandmother’s past, it’s also provided new complications in the form of Neil McLaren, the man she can’t give up.

Juliette and Neil find romance simple as they travel through Provence and Tuscany together, but life back home presents a different set of challenges. Juliette has a restaurant to open, a mother combating serious illness, and a family legacy of secrets to untangle – how does Neil, living so far away in Memphis, fit into to her life?

As she confronts an uncertain future, Juliette can’t help but wish that life could be as straightforward as her chocolate chip cookie recipe. Can her French grandmother’s letters from the 1940’s provide wisdom to guide her present? Or will every new insight create a fresh batch of mysteries?

Your Reading Life Good for Book Clubs

Why Readers Are More Empathetic

Charlotte’s Web was the first book I can remember that really moved me. From the moment Fern saved that little runt, Wilbur, I loved him. My tiny eight-year-old heart swelled over his friendship with the spider Charlotte and it was broken by her death—and Wilbur’s loss of his best friend.

Then there was Ponyboy in The Outsiders, Piggy in Lord of the Flies, Holden Caulfield in Catcher in the Rye, whose stories broke my heart. Jane Eyre and Mr. Rochester drove me crazy with their chaste love; I both admired and loathed Scarlett O’Hara, and Holly Golightly felt like that friend who always gets you into trouble but she’s just so exciting you can’t resist.

Whether it be compassion, love, pity, admiration, infatuation, or fear; and no matter how different their lives may be from mine, all those characters and so many others have allowed me to look at the world from the inside out through their eyes.

So intuitively, it didn’t really surprise me back in 2013 when a study came out with the finding that reading literary fiction improves a person’s ability to understand other people’s emotions. In other words, those who read literary fiction are more empathetic.

Your Reading Life Good for Book Clubs

Charming Bookstores in Unexpected Places

While the vast selection of books in a famous independent bookstore like the Tattered Cover in Denver, CO is always something to celebrate, sometimes the best bookstores are the hidden gems, those out-of-the-way, hole-in-the-wall shops that we find by accident and return to on purpose. It’s something about the little-known, hard-to-reach quality that makes these places so magical. Here are seven of the most hidden and noteworthy bookstores worth going off the beaten path to explore.

Stone Soup Books (35 Main Street, 
Camden, Maine): In a narrow, shingled building between a restaurant and a home goods shop, there is a staircase leading to a tiny store that is filled floor-to-ceiling with secondhand books. This is Stone Soup, founded in 1982 by Paul and Agnes Joy in the small coastal town of Camden, Maine. Though at first glance the stacked shelves may seem overwhelming, Mr. Joy has an amazing memory for his inventory and will help you find exactly what you’re looking for. Get lost in the large selection of contemporary and classic paperbacks, or their sections of nautical volumes, books on exploration, and Maine books.

The Montague Bookmill (north of Amherst and Northampton Massachusetts): The Montague Bookmill is so out of the way that their humorously self-effacing mantra is “Books you don’t need in a place you can’t find.” This used bookstore is housed in an 1842 gristmill on the banks of the Sawmill River. Your best bet is to follow the directions on their website, since they advise visitors not to use GPS. The destination is well worth the journey, as they have thousands of books, most of which are half-price. Their lovely store features cozy reading nooks, too.