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.”

Michael Gregg Michaud, author of Sal Mineo: A Biography shares inside scoop on James Franco’s film adaptation of his book: “Val Lauren, the actor cast as ‘Sal’ told me: ‘Both you and your book were integral tools to my research and understanding of Sal as an artist, and more importantly, as a human being. Your intimate knowledge about Sal fueled my imagination and contributed to my characterization of the true rebel and sensitive soul that was Sal Mineo. This was a rare opportunity for an actor to be able to work with an author, and see so many personal things that belonged to the man he is about to portray.”

Rebecca Rasmussen’s The Bird Sisters is a RIF favorite, and we’re celebrating the paperback release with another Read It First giveaway. A perfect choice for your book group! Hundreds of you received copies of The Bird Sisters back in April – we want to hear from you! Here’s what RIFer Laurie W. has to say about the read: “This is a great book of love, loss and family. The relationship of Twiss and Milly gives us a look into what it is like to have a sister who is always there for you. Even when you get old.”