Giveaways Good for Book Clubs

4 Tragic, Funny Novels of Marriage and Divorce

Aside from Henry VIII’s wives, until the 20th century divorce was not a real possibility for women in bad marriages.

“While 19th century novels of adultery lent themselves to tragedy, the 20th/ 21st century novels of divorce lent themselves to comedy,” observes Susan Rieger, author of the debut romantic comedy The Divorce Papers.

“As a reader, I love both. As a writer, I’m firmly in comedy’s camp: sadness, anger, worry, sleeplessness, they’re all acceptable, but no rat poison, no throwing yourself under a train. Here are some of my favorite literary works on divorce.”

Giveaways Good for Book Clubs

Sneak Peek at Rosie Perez’s New Memoir, Handbook for an Unpredictable Life

I’ve hated my past so much that I’ve spent countless hours downplaying or even hiding bits of truth of my childhood in an attempt to make it seem less severe, less hurtful, less shameful, than it felt.

The abuse and neglect from my mother and the time was forced to spend in Saint Joseph’s Catholic Home for Children, aka “the Home,” have affected a big part of my life. And I’ve hated that fact. I’m a forward-moving and positive-thinking person, and it was hard to have that albatross hanging around my neck.

Giveaways Good for Book Clubs

Readers Eagerly Await Lawrence Osborne’s New Novel

RIFers and critics both raved about Lawrence Osborne’s novel The Forgiven, which was selected by The Economist, The Guardian, and Library Journal as one of the best books of 2012. Osborne’s new novel – The Ballad of a Small Player – is the riveting tale of risk and obsession set in the alluring world of Macau’s casinos.

If you’re a fan of Graham Greene, Paul Bowles and Evelyn Waugh, eerie suspense and rich atmosphere, you’ll enjoy The Ballad of a Small Player. It tells the story of Doyle, a corrupt English lawyer who has escaped prosecution by fleeing to the East, spending his nights drinking and gambling and his days sleeping off his excesses, continually haunted by his past.

Giveaways Good for Book Clubs

Men Write Novels, Women Write Chick Lit, NOT.

Men write novels, women write chick lit. This reductionist approach to the world of fiction has been so dominant in the last few years one could be forgiven for thinking that it is true, so often has it been repeated.

“Well it’s not,” says Madhulika Sikka.

“In fact, women write novels, novels that cross multiple genres. Women write books about women – that does not make them chick lit, any more than a man writing about a woman is writing chick lit. Women write books about men, too. Women write great novels, serious novels, funny novels, profound novels, historical novels, epic sweeping novels. Women write, well, everything.”

Your Reading Life Good for Book Clubs

Reading Curfew: Do You Have One?

How do you decide when it’s time to turn out the light, put your book on the bedside table, and go to sleep?

Ever have a reading hangover? You know what we’re talking about – when you stay up all night reading and the next day you’re a zombie.

Do you have a reading curfew? If you do, what kind of book makes you break your curfew? And when do you finally say to yourself, “okay, it’s time to put down my book and go to bed!”?

Giveaways Good for Book Clubs

Get Happier at Home: Practical Tips from Gretchen Rubin

“To understand yourself,” says Gretchen Rubin, author of Happier at Home, “is to understand your home. And to understand your home is to understand yourself.”

To feel more at home, at home, one suggestion Rubin offers is to “cultivate a shrine”—to make a place of special dedication to something that you love.

Rubin has created several such places in her apartment, but one she’s particularly fond of is a shrine to children’s literature: an area occupied by a bookcase full of children’s books, her old Cricket magazines, and a Gryffindor banner a friend brought her from the Harry Potter theme park.

Giveaways Good for Book Clubs

A (Parenthetical) Interview Between Sara Barron and Jonathan Ames

Sara Barron was told that it would benefit her new book, The Harm in Asking, to find another author to interview her. She was told that this other author should be someone more talented, more high profile, more . . . (in a word) better.

Sara Barron wrote the interview herself and – having done so – emailed Jonathan Ames.

Sara Barron titled her email: “HI JONATHAN. I KNOW THIS IS PATHETIC,” which I think we can all agree is a pretty brilliant, self-aware name.

Your Reading Life Good for Book Clubs

Sherlock Holmes Is Back. Then Again, He Never Really Left.

With Elementary back on our screens and the last episode Sherlock just aired in the U.K., there’s never been a better time to be a fan of the world’s only consulting detective.

Kaite Welsh shares five of her favorite Sherlock Holmes spin-offs.

“There’s something there for everyone,” Kaite says. “Want to see Holmes pitted against H.P Lovecraft’s monsters, or Watson as an army doctor in the First World War? Curious about what Irene Adler was really thinking during A Scandal in Bohemia?”