Read It Forward

You know those books that keep your book group talking and talking – long after the wine and cheese are gone? The Underground Girls of Kabul is that kind of book. It’s our #1 pick to celebrate National Reading Group Month.

“Five years of intensive reporting have yielded this gritty, poignant, and provocative collage of intimate portraits,” says the reviewer in Elle.

“Nordberg conveys captivating nuance and complexity; just when you feel some kind of judgment or conclusive opinion is within reach, she deftly turns the tables, leaving us to reexamine our own prejudices and societal norms as we struggle with questions that are perhaps unanswerable.”

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.

Be among the first to learn about a literary sensation that’s sweeping Europe!

Bonita Avenue will be available in the U.S. in January 2015, and we’re thrilled to share it with you now. Critics are hailing Peter Buwalda as “The Dutch answer to Jonathan Franzen.”

A riveting portrait of a family in crisis and the ways that even the smallest twists of fate can forever change our lives, Bonita Avenue is an incendiary, unpredictable debut of relationships torn asunder by lies, and minds destroyed by madness.

The beautifully written, deeply affecting story of Jean-Michel Basquiat’s partner, her past, and their life together.

“Sublime, poetic . . . [Clement] chronicles her close friend Suzanne Mallouk’s love affair with Basquiat in elegant, spare, riveting prose,” says Rebecca Walker for NPR.

“A powerful female coming of age story . . . A harrowing, beautifully told love story about two seekers colliding in a pivotal moment in history, and setting everything, including themselves, on fire.”

Take a tour of the fictional the city of Bulikov with this beautiful interactive map – created by artist John Petersen for Robert Jackson Bennett’s novel City of Stairs.

One of the great pleasures of reading is that every reader “creates” a different book. We all bring different experiences to the page, and so we’re free to imagine these fictional worlds with characters and settings only we can see.

So it’s a real treat when an artist brings a book to life in a way that feels true. Illustrator John Petersen does just that with the city of Bulikov, the mind-bending setting of Robert Jackson Bennett’s novel City of Stairsa sci-fi novel for people who usually don’t read sci-fi.

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.