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:


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.

Your Reading Life Good for Book Clubs

Read, Reread, Recycle

There comes a point in some books lives when it is no longer readable, useful, or helpful as it was when it was first published. After a while, a well loved novel will fall apart. A non-fiction book will be out of date and not helpful in today’s world (think of a science book from the 1960’s!). A children’s book won’t be relatable because the pictures and language no longer represent how kids look and speak. What happens to these books?

If you are like us, throwing out a book causes pain! You don’t have to toss it – there are plenty of cool ways to up-cycle and recycle so your favorite titles can live on.

Giveaways Good for Book Clubs

Enter to Win a Fantastic YA Book + Gift from Uppercase

This week, we’re giving away copies of I’ll Give You The Sun, one of our recent YA favorites–heartwarming, funny, and romantic. As a special treat, we’ll also be giving 5 winners one free month of Uppercase! That means you’ll get another YA book, hand-picked by expert book bloggers plus a surprise bookish item!

About I’ll Give You The Sun: The New York Times Bestselling story of first love, family, loss, and betrayal for fans of John Green, David Levithan, and Rainbow Rowell.


Thriller Prize Pack Giveaway

We’re giving away three thrillers by Stephen Dobyns, a writer Stephen King calls “the best of the best”

In the The Church of Dead Girls, girls begin disappearing from a sleepy, small town that awakens to a full-blown nightmare. In The Burn Palace, packs of coyotes gather and a baby is stolen and replaced with a snake, a series of inexplicably violent acts confounds Detective Woody Potter—and inspires terror in the locals. Is Fat Bob Dead Yet? is a comic suspense novel about a small-time con operation, a pair of combative detectives, and the pride, revenge, and deception that guide us all.