Author Essays Good for Book Clubs

Aislinn Hunter on What It Means to Be a Writer

I was a high school dropout, a failed actress, and, if I’m being honest, I was, as my friends lovingly described it, “a bit dippy.” What I did have going for me was that I was wildly interested in the world.

“Because I’d had a miserable time in high school I’d left at seventeen, packing up and moving to Ireland to wait tables,” recalls Aislinn Hunter, author of The World Before Me.

“There, in Dublin, I shopped in flea markets and used-book stores, went to plays and concerts, and bused out to different parts of the country whenever I had a few days off. I found history everywhere—in the old buildings, the creaking doors of the pubs, in storytelling traditions that went back hundreds of years.”

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!

Giveaways Good for Book Clubs

Enter for a Chance to Win The World Before Us

In the tradition of A. S. Byatt’s Possession, a hauntingly poignant novel about madness, loss, and the ties that bind our past to our present.

Deep in the woods of northern England, somewhere between a dilapidated estate and an abandoned Victorian asylum, fifteen-year-old Jane Standen lived through a nightmare. She was babysitting a sweet young girl named Lily, and in one fleeting moment, lost her. The little girl was never found, leaving her family and Jane devastated.

Twenty years later, Jane is an archivist and as a final research project, she surveys the archives for information related to another missing person: a woman who disappeared over one hundred years ago in the same woods where Lily was lost. As Jane pieces moments in history together, a portrait of a fascinating group of people starts to unfurl.

Giveaways Good for Book Clubs

The Memoir of a Woman Forced to Live in Darkness

A gorgeous memoir of an unthinkable life: a young woman writes of the sensitivity to light that has forced her to live in darkness, and of the love that has saved her.

“Something is afoot within me that I do not understand, the breaking of a contract that I thought could not be broken, a slow perverting of my substance.”

Anna was living a normal life. She was ambitious and worked hard; she had just bought an apartment; she was falling in love. But then she started to develop worrying symptoms: her face felt like it was burning whenever she was in front of the computer. Soon this progressed to an intolerance of fluorescent light, then of sunlight itself. The reaction soon spread to her entire body..

Author Essays Good for Book Clubs

Gretchen Rubin Shows You How to Master Your Habits in Better Than Before

Habits are a key to change. What we really need to know is: how do we change our habits? Gretchen Rubin’s new book Better Than Before answers that question.

“I was writing and thinking and talking with people about happiness for years,” Gretchen Rubin shared in our recent interview, “and I began to notice a pattern that often when people talk about a ‘happiness challenge,’ they would talk about some habit that they couldn’t make or break.

They knew that they’d be happier if they could go running or get more sleep or work on their novel or give up sugar – they’d figured it out – but for some reason they weren’t able to do it, they weren’t able to follow through. And often that was about a habit that was not forming. So I began to get more and more drawn into thinking about habits.”

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?”

Giveaways Good for Book Clubs

Enter for Your Chance to Win Better Than Before by Gretchen Rubin

The author of the blockbuster New York Times bestsellers, The Happiness Project and Happier at Home, tackles the critical question: How do we change?

Gretchen Rubin’s answer: through habits. Habits are the invisible architecture of everyday life. It takes work to make a habit, but once that habit is set, we can harness the energy of habits to build happier, stronger, more productive lives.

So if habits are a key to change, then what we really need to know is: How do we change our habits?

Better than Before answers that question. It presents a practical, concrete framework to allow readers to understand their habits—and to change them for good.

Bonus Book Content Good for Book Clubs

Reader’s Guide for My Life in Middlemarch

A wise and revealing exploration of the ways in which literature shapes our lives, My Life in Middlemarch will delight your reading group. We hope the questions that follow will enrich your journey.

A captivating combination of biography, reporting, and memoir, My Life in Middlemarch traces a New Yorker writer’s passion for George Eliot’s masterwork—the eight-volume “study of provincial life” that is regarded by many as the greatest English novel.

Throughout her life, Mead found herself reading and rereading Middlemarch. With its complex portraits of love and marriage, aspiration and failure, and the foundations of morality, the novel proved to be a lush source of self-discovery for Mead.