Fiction

Read It Forward features some of the finest fiction around, from international bestsellers to hot debuts. For readers who love contemporary, voice-driven, character-rich books.

This giveaway offer has ended. Thank you to everyone who entered for a chance to win our Box o’ Books + Audiobooks – and thanks for all the great comments!

We’ve partnered with Random House Reader’s Circle and Random House Audio to bring you a Box o’ Books with something for everyone! The latest from Debbie Macomber and Jude Deveraux, a “Best of 2013″ legal thriller, the much-anticipated novel from the author of Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, the newest from Lisa See, and a love story from Anna Quindlen, just to name a few. Happy reading, and good luck to all!

An enchanting and staggeringly original debut novel about one day in the lives of three unforgettable characters.

Still mourning the recent death of her mother, and caring for her grief-stricken father, Madeleine Altimari doesn’t realize that on the eve of Christmas Eve she is about to have the most extraordinary day—and night—of her life. After bravely facing down mean-spirited classmates and rejection at school, Madeleine doggedly searches for Philadelphia’s legendary jazz club The Cat’s Pajamas, where she’s determined to make her on-stage debut.

A grief that knows no boundary. A love without any limit. A need that doesn’t end at death.

Corrie Saunders didn’t expect her hero husband Jarrod to sacrifice his life taking on an Iraqi suicide bomber. Six months after Jarrod’s death, Corrie retreats to the family home her husband inherited deep in the Missouri Ozarks.

By moving to Saunders Creek and living in a house beloved by him, she hopes that somehow her Jarrod will come back to her. Something about the house suggests maybe he has. Corrie begins to wonder if she can feel Jarrod’s presence.

Which of these has the most sway when you’re deciding whether or not to read a book: author blurbs, reviewer quotes, or what other readers are saying online?

“Do blurbs really work?” asks Kira Walton, editor at RIF.

“Sometimes they work on me. Sometimes, when I’m browsing through the shelves at my local bookstore, I’ll pick up a book (because the cover calls to me), and if I see an author I love write something really great about the book, that’ll usually push me over the edge. Sometimes I’m thrilled to discover a new voice; sometimes I realize that my favorite author and I don’t share the same reading taste!”

Do you pay attention to author blurbs and early reviews when you’re deciding whether or not to read a book?

Here’s what early readers are saying about Andrew Lewis Conn’s O, Africa!: “It’s one of the funniest and saddest books I’ve read in years,” says Paul La Farge, author of Luminous Airplanes. Gary Shteyngart – author of Super Sad True Love Story – says, “Andrew Lewis Conn has written a strange, cool, hilarious and oddly moving masterpiece.”

Kirkus gives it a starred review and says O, Africa! is “A wildly ambitious and entertaining novel that manages to be both slapstick and deeply tragic.”

“I’m what you call an ‘armchair foodie.’ I love reading about food, and so of course Ruth Reichl is one of my favorite writers,” says Kira Walton, editor at Read It Forward.

Delicious! is full of the vivid descriptions of food and the culinary life that have made Ruth Reichl one of the most celebrated food writers ever. If you haven’t read her memoirs Tender at the Bone and Comfort Me with Apples, you must add them to your TBR pile! I’m always fascinated by non-fiction authors who try their hand at fiction. It’s such a big leap! Reichl makes it look easy. Her debut novel is charming and light – a perfect summer read.