Erik Larson’s In the Garden of Beasts Facebook Giveaway

RIFers, PLEASE NOTE! We’re trying something new with this Read It First giveaway. We’re hosting it on Facebook, not here on the site. Most of our upcoming giveaways will continue to be hosted here as we understand that some RIFers are not on FB. For this giveaway, however, visit Read It Forward on Facebook for the chance to win a copy of In the Garden of Beasts.

Read It Forward loves Erik Larson – his books, his blog, the way he lets us inside “the author’s lair,” his candid talk about where he gets ideas for his books. He wanders the library stacks, reads newspaper obits, visits museums when he’s on tour.

“Mostly, though, I have no idea where my ideas come from,” he admits, “They rise to the surface over time like methane in a swamp, waiting to be ignited by some small spark.”

If you haven’t already, check out Erik’s always-amusing blog. Here’s how he announced our book group giveaway: “Erik Larson speechless at being offered as Grand Prize in new Read it Forward contest. Winning book groups get pre-publication galleys; Grand Prize winner gets Erik. His daughters ask: ‘That’s all?'”

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Please enter in droves,” Erik pleaded, “and help me wipe the smirks off my daughters’ faces.”

Well, enter in droves you did! Nearly 150 book groups wrote in and told us about their group for the chance to win copies of In the Garden of Beasts for everyone in their group. Ten groups were chosen at random, and one of those lucky groups will win the grand prize: a call from Erik.

larson_erikErik attends book group meetings whenever he can. He has a few rules (one very important rule!), which you can find on his contact page at

Show Erik some love! “Like” Erik Larson on Facebook.

Many congratulations to our winning book groups! Here’s a bit about each group:

Rebecca belongs to two book clubs and her husband has started a men’s book group. “We both have read all of Larson’s books and enjoy them thoroughly. Devil in the White City is on my top 10 favorite books of all time.”

Kristine‘s book group is unique. “There are four of us, three women, one man, ranging from 25 to 65 years of age. We discuss our books live on-air for our community radio station, and listeners can call in and join the discussion.”

G. Marie‘s book group has been reading together for almost 40 years. “We read Devil in the White City last year, and it was the rare book that everyone enjoyed.”

Emily is in several online book groups. “A lot of us read 100+ books a year, so we HAVE to have broad interests. We usually read three books as a group per month.”

Joyce‘s book group loves Erik Larson. “The war, the setting in 1933, the Jewish problems, all relate to our group perfectly as many of the ladies are older, Jewish, and very well-read. Some lived through this time in history.”

Margie facilitates the Thursday Night Book Club at her local library. “Our Devil in the White City discussion was a great one, especially when we discovered that the murderer is buried in our local cemetery!”

Melissa is in a Jewish women’s book group. “We try to stick to Jewish books or related themes whenever possible.”

Laurie‘s book group is made up of 14 women ranging in age from 35 to 74. “We read Devil in the White City and loved it. It was rated in the top 15 of all-time favorites for the club.”

Rachel‘s book group includes both men and women. “Our club began after Hurricane Katrina closed our libraries and destroyed most of our bookstores.”

Deb‘s book group members all belong to the same Temple. “One of our club members, who is famous for doing extensive research prior to each meeting, put together a photo presentation of old photographs from the Chicago World’s Fair for our Devil in the White City meeting.”

Are you in a book group? We want to know! Leave a comment below telling us about your group – how your group got started, your favorite book (or one that didn’t work!), how you choose your books, etc.


As always, you’ll enter by filling out a quick-and-easy form and winners will be chosen at random. You’ll be able to submit one bonus entry per day if you post to your FB wall! Also new: we’ll post the winners to the FB discussion board (you won’t get the usual email from us saying whether or not your entry was chosen at random to win).

About Kira Walton

KIRA WALTON has been stalking books all her life as a college English teacher, bookseller, book club consultant, author, and editor.

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