Read It First Good for Book Clubs

Joydeep Roy-Bhattacharya on Writing His Novel The Watch

“When I set out to write The Watch, I wanted to give voice to the statistics, especially those counted as collateral damage in our foreign wars of choice,” says novelist Joydeep Roy-Bhattacharya. “I decided to tell the story of one brave and representative young Afghan woman who refuses to yield her right to bury the body of her brother killed during a battle with an American combat company. In modeling my Pashtun protagonist explicitly on Sophocles’ Antigone, I introduced a figure from Greek tragic drama – perhaps its purest figure – in order to enable you to feel her sorrow, sorrow of a magnitude to which we’ve become immunized, despite our best intentions, in an age of the ceaseless warfare.”

Read It First Good for Book Clubs

Gillian Flynn’s New Thriller Gone Girl

“I cannot say this urgently enough,” says Scott Smith, New York Times bestselling author of The Ruins and A Simple Plan, “you have to read Gone Girl. It’s as if Gillian Flynn has mixed us a martini using battery acid instead of vermouth and somehow managed to make it taste really, really good. Gone Girl is delicious and intoxicating and delightfully poisonous.” Scott Smith’s not the only one urging you to read Gillian Flynn’s latest. Karin Slaughter, New York Times bestselling author of Fallen, says “Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl reminds me of Patricia Highsmith at the top of her game.” Be among the first to read it! RIF is excited to give you the chance to win a copy of Gone Girl months before its June 2012 release.

Read It First Good for Book Clubs

Stephanie Reents, Author of The Kissing List, on Personal Reinvention

The interlocking stories in The Kissing List feature an unforgettable group of young women – Sylvie, Anna, Frances, Maureen – as their lives connect, first during a year abroad at Oxford, then later as they move to New York on the cusp of adulthood. We follow each of them as they navigate the treachery of first dates, temp jobs and roommates, failed relationships and unexpected affairs – all the things that make their lives seem full of possibility, but also rife with potential disappointment.

Meet the Author Good for Book Clubs

John Robison, Author of Be Different, on His Favorite Books

“I learned about my own mind and how I differ from most other people by reading Dr. Tony Attwood’s Asperger’s Syndrome. His explanations of how people on the autism spectrum see the world transformed my life as much as anything before or since,” explains John Robison, author of Be Different. “A few years after that, my brother Augusten [Burroughs] took up the book writing trade. After growing up in an abusive and dysfunctional home, I had worked hard to conceal the less savory aspects of my youth. With no warning, my brother put it all out there for the world to see, and I was terrified. Would I have any friends left after they read his account of our childhood?”

Book Group of the Month Good for Book Clubs

Signs of Life by Natalie Taylor, a Great Book Group Book

RIFers in book groups! Signs of Life is a terrific book group book, which is why it’s a selection of the Ladies Home Journal Book Club. Don’t miss the bonus material for Signs of Life that will help make your book group discussion lively and rewarding: a letter from author Natalie Taylor and discussion questions for Signs of Life. Were you a lucky winner of our Read It First Signs of Life giveaway? We want to hear from you! Leave a comment with your RIFer Reader Review. If we feature your review here on, we’ll send you another fabulous book!

Read It First Good for Book Clubs

Anouk Markovits, Author of I Am Forbidden, on Forbidden Reading

A family is torn apart by fierce belief and private longing in this unprecedented journey deep inside the most insular Hasidic sect, the Satmar. Sweeping from the Central European countryside just before World War II to Paris to contemporary Williamsburg, Brooklyn, I Am Forbidden brings to life four generations of one Satmar family. A beautifully crafted, emotionally gripping story of what happens when unwavering love, unyielding law, and centuries of tradition collide, I Am Forbidden announces the arrival of an extraordinarily gifted new voice and opens a startling window on a world long closed to most of us, until now.

Meet the Author Good for Book Clubs

Joe Kissack, author of The Fourth Fisherman, on Red Flags

“When it comes to understanding themselves, the paths they choose, how they are driven, where they are going and why, men don’t know what they don’t know about any of it,” says Joe Kissack, author of The Fourth Fisherman. “Even though he doesn’t know what he doesn’t know, you can. If you have the desire, you can choose the option to help him figure some of this out now, instead of the mandatory sentence of helping him figure it out in the wake of destruction of two little words: I do. You do this by utilizing what I like to call Operation Red Flag (ORF) and it is a simple two-stage plan.”

Read It First Good for Book Clubs

Celebrate the U.S. Launch of Virginia Woolf’s Hogarth Press

In 1917, Virginia and Leonard Woolf started The Hogarth Press from their home, armed only with a handpress and a determination to publish the newest, most exciting writing. Hogarth brought the world authors who shaped the culture of the past 100 years: Virginia Woolf, T. S. Eliot, Katherine Mansfield, E.M. Forster, Christopher Isherwood, Sigmund Freud, Gertrude Stein, Vita Sackville-West, to name a few. This year, what began in London in 1917 finds a new life in New York and Hogarth’s goals are no less lofty: bring readers the authors who will shape the culture of the next 100 years: Anouk Markovits, Joydeep Roy-Bhattacharya, Stephanie Reents, Jay Caspian-Kang, Vincent Lam, Shani Boianjiu, Lawrence Osborne, Ben Masters.