Giveaways Good for Book Clubs

My ‘Read It Forward Moment’ with a Novel by Roland Merullo

We all have them. Those moments when we give a book we love to a friend, when someone shares a favorite book with us.

“I had a ‘Read It Forward Moment’ with Roland Merullo’s A Little Love Story,” says Kira Walton. “His newest novel, Vatican Waltz, is sure to inspire readers to pass it on. Reviewers rave about Merullo’s fiction!”

“Merullo has a knack for rendering emotional complexities, paradoxes, or impasses in a mere turn of the phrase.” —Chicago Tribune

Giveaways Good for Book Clubs

Fall in Love with Your Female Brain

Susan is like so many women I see. There was one major part of her body that she never gave any thought to—her brain.

“This is ironic, because Susan’s brain governs every aspect of her life,” writes Daniel Amen in Unleash the Power of the Female Brain.

“Her brain decides what she eats and how much she sleeps. Her brain decides whether to snap at her children or to take a deep breath and try a different approach. And her brain decides whether Susan is going to live a long and vital life looking and feeling her best or whether she is going to age rapidly, look years older than she is, and perhaps even face a serious disorder like cancer, diabetes, heart disease, or Alzheimer’s.”

Your Reading Life Good for Book Clubs

Reader Spotlight: “Why I Yell at My Books”

I’d love a cozy reading corner all to myself. That way, when I’m yelling at my books, I won’t wake up my long-suffering spouse.

“I once threw a book across the room,” admits RIFer Carla C. “It hit the wall and then hit my husband on the head. It was midnight, he had to be up for work at 4:00 a.m. He just rolled over and stuck a pillow over his face.

My husband is incredibly patient. I am a very lucky woman. I get extremely into my books. That’s why I yell at them.”

Your Reading Life Good for Book Clubs

Gillian Flynn’s Sharp Objects is Pure Southern Gothic

Sharp Objects is all derelict buildings and terrifying but perfectly turned-out matriarchs, dripping charm and sweet iced tea.

“It is a dreamy, disturbing tale of self-destructive journalist Camille Preaker,” describes Kaite Welsh, “who returns to Wind Gap – the once-grand, now-struggling Missouri town she thought she had escaped – to investigate the disappearance of a teenage girl, a schoolmate of her Lolita-in-training half-sister Amma.

Sharp Objects is about the claustrophobic nature of a mother’s love, the roles into which society forces women, and the things people do to survive.”

Author Essay Good for Book Clubs

Video Chat with Bestselling Novelist Susan Gregg Gilmore

Take a peek at our video chat with one of our favorite novelists, Susan Gregg Gilmore.

Susan Gregg Gilmore’s critically acclaimed fiction is tender and graceful, with the kind of writing that makes you slow down so you can savor every turn of phrase. Her work has been compared to Fannie Flagg and The Help, but Susan more than holds her own when it comes to Southern fiction.

Susan’s fans adore her, and she’s been a RIFer favorite since her debut novel, Looking for Salvation at the Dairy Queen. She inspires readers and writers alike with her warm wit and Southern charm. We had a great time chatting with her about her latest novel, The Funeral Dress.

Giveaways Good for Book Clubs

A Letter from Jane Austen to William Shakespeare

This letter is from an acolyte: a celebrant at your temple of genius; and I am taking up my pen, not in want of a favor, but only to thank you for setting me an example that has been of profound and consistent inspiration throughout my little life as a writer.

Found by Ken Ludwig, author of How To Teach Your Children Shakespeare, this letter was sent by Mr. Ludwig to Random House “with gratitude.”

In his note to Random House, Mr. Ludwig observes that Miss Austen’s sentiments are extremely similar to those that he expresses in How To Teach Your Children Shakespeare.

Giveaways Good for Book Clubs

The ‘Real Downton’ Revealed in Photos from Lady Catherine, the Earl, and the Real Downton Abbey

Countess Fiona Carnarvon shares photos from the archive of Highclere Castle, the grand estate that serves as the central character for the hit PBS show Downton Abbey.

Lady Catherine, the Earl, and the Real Downton Abbey transports readers to the 1920s and 1930s as the nations of Europe inched towards war and tells the story of Catherine Wendell, the beautiful and spirited American woman who married Lady Almina’s son, the man who would become the 6th Earl of Carnarvon.

Enjoy these rare photographs of Catherine Wendell and her family!

Bonus Book Content Good for Book Clubs

“A Book Is Already Finished Once I’ve Come Up with the First Sentence,” Says Herman Koch

When I start writing, I don’t have the entire book laid out in my mind. I never draw up outlines either. On the contrary: I sit down at my desk each morning, curious to see what’s going to happen next. Just like the reader.

“For me, a book is already finished once I’ve come up with the first sentence. Or rather: the first two sentences,” admits internationally bestselling novelist Herman Koch.

“Those first two sentences contain everything I need to know about the book. I sometimes call them the book’s “DNA.” As long as every sentence that comes afterward contains that same DNA, everything is fine.”