Your Reading Life Good for Book Clubs

Reading Books You Don’t Expect to Like

Have you done this? Have you ever started reading a book even though you don’t think you’re going to like it? And then you do?

I’ve read plenty of books that I’ve started reluctantly, usually because they were recommended by a friend so enthusiastically I couldn’t refuse.

I know what I like when it comes to books, and I’m super choosy. But I love being surprised.

Your Reading Life Good for Book Clubs

Top 10 Beach Reads Countdown:
Part One

Here’s a summer reading list you’re going to love! The Top 10 Beach Reads Countdown: by RIFers, for RIFers.

We asked you to help us create a summer reading list, and you shared hundreds of recommendations – from what you’re reading now, to what’s on your TBR list this summer, to your classic favorites that you read again and again.

Here are five of the 10 books you recommended the most. Check out Part Two!

Giveaways Good for Book Clubs

Winners Announced: This Is Paradise

Congrats to Jennifer V., Heidi B., Debra A., Aimee D., Alyssa K., and 195 other members of the Read It Forward community!

Their entries were selected at random to win an Advance Reader’s Copy of Kristiana Kahakauwila’s short story collection This Is Paradise.

Make sure you’re subscribed at the top of this page. You’ll get an exclusive email from us every week with info on how to enter our members-only Read It First giveaways.

Meanwhile, why not click around and get your first look at the next great book!

Bonus Book Content Good for Book Clubs

Kristen Iversen Tells the Story Behind Full Body Burden

Full Body Burden not only took ten years of research and writing,” reveals author Kristen Iversen, “but it proved to be a turning point in my life.”

“I was able to look back on my life, particularly my adolescent years, and put many things in perspective. My family has been remarkably supportive of the book, and we grew closer as we talked about things in the past that we had never really talked about before.

The book has also had a big impact on the lives of people who live near Rocky Flats or other nuclear facilities in the United States and beyond – people whose stories and experiences have rarely been told.”

Author Essay Good for Book Clubs

Kristiana Kahakauwila on Writing
This Is Paradise

“I wished to draw out Hawai`i’s complicated nature,” says Kristiana Kahakauwila. “Its anger, its sadness, its generosity, and its sense of history reverberating into the present.”

Kristiana Kahakauwila talks about returning to Hawai`i to get to know the island home she’d left many years before. “I realized how far I had drifted away from the part of me that was Native,” she says. “I didn’t remember much Hawaiian history; I couldn’t recognize words in the Hawaiian language. I hadn’t eaten poi (pounded taro root) in several years. And mostly, I felt culturally separate from my paternal family, despite their efforts to re-introduce our traditions to me.”

Your Reading Life Good for Book Clubs

Reader Spotlight: The Doll by
Taylor Stevens

“The main character in the story reminds you quite a bit of Lisbeth Salander,” says RIFer Jill. “Incredibly smart, focused, a little awkward around people, but amazingly dangerous in self-preservation skills. I’m in awe!”

If you’re a fan of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo or Lee Child’s Jack Reacher series, you need to read Taylor Stevens’ three novels and meet Vanessa Michael Munroe, the “feral, take-no-prisoners heroine” who makes this series so popular.

Bonus Book Content Good for Book Clubs

Off the Grid: Morocco Beyond Marrakech, an Essay from Lawrence Osborne

The drive across this plateau is remarkable, since it is roadless, off the grid, and bare.

“Although well traveled by tourists, Morocco remains a country where secret places abound,” writes Lawrence Osborne, author of The Forgiven. “The desert is vast, as are the Atlas and Anti-Atlas Mountains, and here, far from the cities and cultural centers, one can find places removed from the camera-wielding crowds. Admittedly, many Berber desert towns are popular with tourists; they’re reached via the modern-day equivalent to the camel: the air-conditioned bus. But travelers equipped with their own four-wheel drive can move beyond the more traversed watering holes. The deep desert beckons.”

Giveaways Good for Book Clubs

Winners Announced: Blue Plate Special

Congrats to Andrea S., Beth A., Betty S., Diana S., Daniel V., and 20 other members of the Read It Forward community!

Their entries were selected at random to win an Advance Reader’s Copy of Kate Christensen’s culinary memoir Blue Plate Special.

Make sure you’re subscribed at the top of this page. You’ll get an exclusive email from us every week with info on how to enter our members-only Read It First giveaways.

Meanwhile, why not click around and get your first look at the next great book!