“I knew very little of Queen Margaret or King Malcolm and this was a great introduction,” writes Siobian at The Owl Bookmark Blog. “Reading Susan Fraser King’s Queen Hereafter, it was easy to see why the Catholic church made Margaret a saint. Equally moving to me was the love between her and Malcolm. The scenes of them together were so sweet and I enjoyed watching her go from indifference toward the king to bliss. Overall, I liked this book and learned a lot about Scotland and its heritage.”

“In my view, The Human Comedy is the best restaurant guide you could ask for, for the era,” suggests Anka Muhlstein, author of Balzac’s Omelette. “Balzac was a regular at some forty restaurants, and he sent his characters off into the most refined establishments, as well as into the lowliest ones. The result is both an ideal Michelin Guide of gastronomical delights (and disasters) in nineteenth-century Paris, and an enchanting introduction to the work of one of the greatest French novelists.”

In February 2011, Read It Forward introduced you to Taylor Stevens and her blockbuster debut The Informationist. With The Innocent, Taylor returns with another page-turning thriller featuring the fearless Vanessa Michael Munroe. Tautly written, brilliantly paced, and with the same evocation of the exotic combined with chilling violence that made The Informationist such a success, The Innocent confirms Taylor Stevens’ reputation as a thriller writer of the first rank.

Did you know that at least one-third of the people you know are introverts? Quiet shows how dramatically we undervalue introverts, and how much we lose in doing so. Susan Cain charts the rise of “the extrovert ideal” over the twentieth century, explores its far-reaching effects, and shows us how to empower an introverted child and how companies can harness the natural talents of introverts. This extraordinary book has the power to permanently change how we see introverts and, equally important, how they see themselves. Check out what authors like Gretchen Rubin, Andrew Weil, and Naomi Wolf are saying, take the Quiet Quiz, read the Quiet Manifesto, learn about famous introverts in history, get advice on parenting introverted kids, and enjoy a Q&A with author Susan Cain.

“A glimpse into the hearts and minds, hopes and fears of women who lived through turbulent times is the gift historical fiction gives readers as we move through our own lives: A connection to people who refused to be crushed by circumstances beyond their control,” writes Ella March Chase, author of Three Maids For A Crown. “This bridge to the past and the lessons it teaches is an ongoing study for me – my addiction to researching the history, especially of women – continues to be one of my greatest passions. It is that passion that has compelled me to write a series of three essays connected to Three Maids For A Crown, in which I will explore in more depth historical incidents connected to the Grey sisters.” 

“Like many people I’ve met,” says Matthew Gallaway, author of The Metropolis Case, “I didn’t know much about opera until later in life, and to discover it was a way to fall in love with music again. I wanted to bring this excitement to The Metropolis Case, so that anyone who loves music – which I like to think is everyone! – might be similarly moved or at least intrigued. Also, because I grew up listening to rock – anything from the Velvet Underground to the Smiths to My Bloody Valentine – I was surprised to hear echoes of rock music in opera (and vice versa), so I also wanted to describe those bridges between the past and the present.”