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?”

Bonus Book Content Good for Book Clubs

Excerpt of Thrive by Arianna Huffington

On the morning of April 6, 2007, I was lying on the floor of my home office in a pool of blood. On my way down, my head had hit the corner of my desk, cutting my eye and breaking my cheekbone.

I had collapsed from exhaustion and lack of sleep. In the wake of my collapse, I found myself going from doctor to doctor, from brain MRI to CAT scan to echocardiogram, to find out if there was any underlying medical problem beyond exhaustion. There wasn’t, but doctors’ waiting rooms, it turns out, were good places for me to ask myself a lot of questions about the kind of life I was living.

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.

Your Reading Life Good for Book Clubs

National Book Critics Circle Announces 2014 Finalists

Your TBR pile just got bigger. You’re welcome.

The NBCC (National Book Critics Circle) announced its 30 finalists in six categories – autobiography, biography, criticism, fiction, general nonfiction, and poetry – for the best books of 2014.

Considered by many the most prestigious of literary prizes, NBCC awards are juried by working critics and book-review editors.

We love checking out the NBCC lists because they invariably include books we haven’t read yet – or even heard of before! These are the critics’ darlings, and there’s always a little-known gem to discover.

Giveaways Good for Book Clubs

You Could Win a Bag o’ Short Stories (+ This Super Cute Book Tote Bag)

“A good [short story] would take me out of myself and then stuff me back in, outsized, now, and uneasy with the fit.” ―David Sedaris

It’s our very first Big Bag o’ Short Stories! Enter for your chance to win five short story collections from bestselling authors Charles Baxter, Jonathan Lethem, and more. Our friends at BookPage have shared these super cute book tote bags – 50 lucky RIFers will win one!

We’ve hand-picked five very different and equally engaging short story collections for you: There’s Something I Want You to Do by Charles Baxter, master of the short story; Lucky Alan by literary superstar Jonathan Lethem; Single, Carefree, Mellow, the charming, funny debut from Catherine Heiney, Get in Trouble by Kelly Link, already on people’s Best of 2015 lists, and This Is Paradise, a beautiful collection of linked stories from Kristiana Kahakauwila.

Your Reading Life Good for Book Clubs

It Was Me All Along Is a Must-Read Memoir

“Eating made me forget,” she writes. “Filling my belly stuffed my mind so completely that no space existed for sadness.”

Andie Mitchell had been overweight for as long as she could remember. But cutely plump as a school-age kid became morbidly obese at age 20, when she weighed nearly 300 pounds. Growing up with a depressed, alcoholic father and a mother who worked round the clock to pay the bills, Mitchell grew to view food—any food—as her friend and companion.

It Was Me All Along is the strikingly honest story of one woman’s long journey to self-acceptance. It’s a must-read memoir for anyone who has used food to numb the pain rather than nourish the body.

Meet the Author Good for Book Clubs

Interview with Peter Buwalda, Author of Bonita Avenue

Dutch writer Peter Buwalda is keenly attuned to the ironies of being a successful novelist. “A successful writer is living a paradox,” Buwalda says from to his home in Amsterdam, where he moved after his gripping literary debut, Bonita Avenue, became a bestseller in Holland in 2010.

“Being successful and writing sort of exclude each other. Before I was a real recluse, and now I am an outgoing person. I have to be,” Buwalda says.

Until he was 34, he worked as an editor and journalist and was “a very fanatical reader.” Then he decided to write fiction and “changed like Gregor Samsa in the story by Kafka into a novelist. For me it was late, so I had to try to write a thick, serious novel at once, without hesitating, diving into the deep.”