The Profession is thought-provoking, creative yet very realistic, and smile-evoking when the reader isn’t focused on maniacally trying to figure out what could possibly happen next,” says Mark, a member of an Avon, CT men’s book group that recently enjoyed a Skype chat with author Steven Pressfield. “Steven’s cautionary tale was written for today’s current events. The one question we did not have time to ask Steven: ‘Tunisia, Egypt, Libya—what’s next?’”

“Linguists tell us that narratives are innate in an infant,” writes Hamilton Cain, “coiled inside a secret chamber of the mind, ripening in the dark until the moment someone or something calls them forth. The stories I first heard as a toddler came from my parents as they tucked me into a lower bunk: the baby in the manger, those lions and zebras and chimpanzees parading onto Noah’s ark, two by two. I still recall the hushed cadence of my father’s voice as it stirred an embryonic feeling inside me, one that Bible Drill would shape into an emotion more intricate and transformative, a love wide and deep.”

“I hope you’ll enjoy this novel of suspense and romance,” says Lee Martin, “a tale that comes from the Heartland where people want just as urgently as people anywhere to love and to feel loved in return. Sometimes, as in the case of the characters in Break the Skin, they make mistakes, and cause harm. Often the consequences are irrevocable, something that marks the people involved the rest of their lives.”

“I remember vividly the Sunday I said I was going to write a novel,” says bestselling author Rosamund Lupton. “There was a story I wanted to tell. I wasn’t sure yet how the plot would work, but I knew that it would be about two ­sisters. I had already imagined the older sister — starchy, uptight — and the phone call she gets in the ­middle of Sunday lunch saying that her younger sister — scruffy, an art student — had gone ­missing.”

Each week, Read It Forward gathers the latest and greatest from the world of books to share with our community of readers. This week: The Model Whose “Man Hands” Are on the Cover of Tina Fey’s Bossypants, The Top Ten Bestselling Books in Oprah’s Book Club, Why E-books Are Driving Older Women to Digital Piracy, this week’s New York Times bestsellers & more.

“We all fall down,” begins Centuries of June by Keith Donohue, “Perhaps it is a case of bad karma or simply a matter of being more prone to life’s little accidents, but I hit my head and fell hard this time around. Facedown on the bathroom ?oor, I watched my blood escape from me, spreading across the cool ceramic tiles like an oil slick, too bright and theatrical to be real. A scarlet river seeped into the grout, which will be murder to clean. The ?ow hit the edge of the bathtub and pooled like water behind a dam.”