Author Essays Good for Book Clubs

Start Reading “Sweetness” by Toni Morrison

It’s not my fault. So you can’t blame me. I didn’t do it and have no idea how it happened.

Toni Morrison’s short story “Sweetness” appeared in The New Yorker in advance of the publication of her new novel God Help the Child, which hits the shelves on April 21, 2015. This new novel is the first by her to be set in our current moment, and it confirms that Toni Morrison has changed American fiction forever with her matchless literary voice.

“A chilling oracle and a lively storyteller, Nobel winner Morrison continues the work she began 45 years ago with The Bluest Eye,” says Kirkus. Have you read a novel by Toni Morrison? Let’s share our favorites in the comments!

Your Reading Life Good for Book Clubs

Reader Spotlight: Hissing Cousins

Alice collected vices: smoking, gambling, gossiping, sleeping past noon: she was like a Girl Scout in reverse, gathering demerit badges.

“A wonderful read and a very interesting look inside the Hyde Park and Oyster Bay Roosevelt families, represented by Eleanor Roosevelt and Alice (Princess Alice) Roosevelt Longworth,” reviews RIFer Lisa. “They were two of America’s most famous and politically astute women, also known as Mrs. Democrat and Mrs. Republican.

Eleanor is the better remembered of the two for all her humanitarian work, My Day columns, speaking ability, and ‘everyman’ touch. Alice not so much. She whispered in the background, displayed her cutting wit and sometimes cruel opinions at Washington dinners.”

Your Reading Life Good for Book Clubs

The Best Literary Themed Cocktails for Your Next Night Out

Confession time: we not only love books, we LIVE books.

Even when we gather for Happy Hour.

Our friends at PUNCH have shared some literary-themed cocktails that help us feel well-read while we’re out for a night on the town.

From the Boo Radley (named, of course, for the mysterious neighbor in Harper Lee’s great Southern novel, To Kill a Mockingbird) to the Oxford Comma (you get bonus points as a stickler for proper grammar while drinking this delicious gin-based cocktail), there’s something for your every mood, literary and otherwise. Cheers!

Giveaways Good for Book Clubs

Be Among the First to Read Toni Morrison’s New Novel God Help the Child

A fierce and provocative novel that adds a new dimension to the matchless oeuvre of Toni Morrison.

At the center: a young woman who calls herself Bride, whose stunning blue-black skin is only one element of her beauty, her boldness and confidence, her success in life, but which caused her light-skinned mother to deny her even the simplest forms of love.

There is Booker, the man Bride loves, and loses to anger. Rain, the mysterious white child with whom she crosses paths. And finally, Bride’s mother herself, Sweetness, who takes a lifetime to come to understand that “what you do to children matters. And they might never forget.”

Your Reading Life Good for Book Clubs

9 Bookmarks You Can Make in 5 Minutes or Less

Hey, we read a lot. No time to waste looking under couch cushions for that $10 bookmark that lights up and is shaped like a unicorn.

It’s truth time: We lose bookmarks. A lot. Somewhere along our TBR pile we realize that cute bookmark we just bought is nowhere to be found and we’re back to marking our place by (gasp) dog-earing the pages, folding the dust jacket over the page, or using whatever’s handy (I have a penchant for receipts or old tickets).

This list of bookmarks is designed to give you the tools to quickly and effectively make your own bookmarks. They take practically no time to make and you can personalize them however you want. Let’s get crafty!

Giveaways Good for Book Clubs

Delicious Biography of the 20st Century’s First Global Celebrity

A lively and provocative double biography of first cousins Eleanor Roosevelt and Alice Roosevelt Longworth, two extraordinary women whose tangled lives provide a sweeping look at the twentieth century.

When Theodore Roosevelt became president in 1901, his beautiful and flamboyant daughter was transformed into “Princess Alice,” arguably the century’s first global celebrity.

Thirty-two years later, her first cousin Eleanor moved into the White House as First Lady. Born eight months and twenty blocks apart from each other in New York City, Eleanor and Alice spent a large part of their childhoods together and were far more alike than most historians acknowledge.

Your Reading Life Good for Book Clubs

What’s Your Genre Palate Cleanser?

How do you keep books with similar plots or settings from bleeding together?

“To avoid utter exhaustion in a specific genre,” says Natalie Zutter, “I’ve kept up this same pattern of a genre palate cleanser – that is, reading an entirely different book in between two of the same genre.

For example, to keep from mixing up the political intrigues of a non-gendered, space-faring empire and the mysterious plans of alien stewards hovering over Earth, I’ll turn to nonfiction – a memoir rooted in real memories and anecdotes.

A trippy, postmodern horror story meditating on documentary, truth, and a bloodthirsty house gets followed by a Regency romance filled with its own twists and turns of forbidden love and dreadful misunderstandings.”

Author Essays Good for Book Clubs

Exclusive Sneak Peek of Signature Kill by David Levien

Flesh. The lone word came to Officer Hawkins’s mind.

“He thumped the cruiser into park and stepped out, one hand wrapped around his six-battery Maglite, the other resting on the butt of his Glock .40 duty weapon,” begins David Levien’s new serial-killer thriller Signature Kill.

“He walked closer, his feet making a slight crunching sound on the grass, crisp with frost. He passed his light over the pile, and what he saw made his mouth go dry. There was a racing in his chest and a sickening drop in his stomach. Sweat popped along his back and crotch as adrenaline hit him hard.

It was a woman’s body, or parts of her body, naked in the night.”
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