Your Reading Life Good for Book Clubs

Books and Booze: 5 Delicious Pairings

Alcohol and literature go together like gin and tonic. While authors have a reputation for hitting the bottle – thanks for that, Hemingway – the relationship between readers and a good tipple often goes unremarked.

Dracula and a Bloody Mary, anyone? What do you imbibe when you’re curled up with your favorite book? Do you read Wuthering Heights with a highball of Dark n’ Stormy, or enjoy Fifty Shades of Grey with a Ménage à Trois? Drop us your recommendations and cocktail recipes in the comments!

Your Reading Life Good for Book Clubs

The Problem with Book Clubs

It was our most lively book club debate. It also ended with the woman bursting into tears and running out of the room. Book club soon disbanded afterwards.

“If the book had been a person,” recalls Emily Ansara Baines, “it would have been reduced to tears—instead, the recommender was. It ended up that the woman had suggested the book because she really, really related to its story: and with every complaint we lodged against the writing or the story, this woman felt like it was a complaint against herself.”

Your Reading Life Good for Book Clubs

10 Thanksgiving Quotes from Famous Authors

From William Shakespeare to William Faulkner, we’ve collected 10 inspiring, funny, clever quotes about Thanksgiving.

“After a good dinner one can forgive anybody, even one’s own relations,” says Oscar Wilde. We love that one.

E.E. Cummings waxes poetic: “I thank you God for most this amazing day: for the leaping greenly spirits of the trees and a blue dream of sky.”

Your Reading Life Good for Book Clubs

Reading on My iPhone: Never Thought I’d Do It and Now I Can’t Stop

Something happened about 20 minutes in – I was so engrossed with the story that I didn’t notice all the swipes. I wasn’t inconvenienced – I was just reading.

“There’s something comforting about knowing that I always have a good story within arm’s reach, even when I forget a book,” admits Emily Ansara Baines. “As long as I have my iPhone, I have freedom.

iPhones have not replaced the joys of owning good, solid books. But they’ve made my life – and the life of many of my fellow readers – easier.”

Giveaways Good for Book Clubs

Questions to Spark a Lively Discussion of My Life in Middlemarch

My Life in Middlemarch will delight your reading group. We hope the questions that follow will enrich your journey.

Some of the richest, most lively book club conversations happen with paired books. If you’re reading Rebecca Mead’s My Life in Middlemarch we suggest that you read George Eliot’s Middlemarch at the same time. Then check out these questions to get your conversation started!

Explore the parallels between George Eliot’s life and Rebecca Mead’s. In their relationships and in their careers as writers, do they share a common approach to the human experience?

Giveaways Good for Book Clubs

‘All that Mattered Was the Writing’ Says Author of Elders

My novel Elders is now nine months old: it still cries a lot, it wobbles on its feet, it is bald and broad-cheeked and looks a little like my grandfather.

“And in fact, and in one sense, it is quite old,” says author Ryan McIlvain. “Its gestation was four years long, or maybe five, or sometimes I say six.

The thing about a novel is that it begins almost despite you, imperceptibly. You’re twenty-five years old, you’re a newborn yourself, a new MFA student at a new MFA program. You’re at once frightened and extremely cocksure and you know the kind of writer you are, the kind of writer you’re going to be, and the kind of writer you’re not going to be.”

Your Reading Life Good for Book Clubs

Reader Spotlight: The First True Lie

I was effortlessly immersed in Luca’s life from the minute I opened this book.

RIFer and Barnes & Noble bookseller Laurie P. says this of Miranda Mander’s U.S. debut The First True Lie: “This young narrator is strong, sensitive, and intelligent, with a clever sense of humor. The writing put me right there with him as he navigated through his tragic situation.

In the end, I wanted to wrap my arms around Luca and take him home with me. In a sense, I did just that. He’s been with me ever since I closed the book.”

Your Reading Life Good for Book Clubs

Who Are the Best Literary Villains?

An astounding antagonist inspires a mix of disdain and sympathy.

“A great villain is neither entirely good nor entirely bad,” observes Rachel Goldberg.

“We understand him as a reflection of larger societal mechanisms, and understanding is essential for empathy. We take in his environment. We appreciate his circumstances, making our discomfort – and the fact that we detest him – all the more powerful.”