Short stories remind me of the commercial for Almond Joy. Yes, sometimes you feel like a novel...sometimes you don't. An intricately crafted short story is a window into a fully developed world in a bite-sized nugget. When you're crunched for time they're also a quick escape and a great introduction to a writer's work.
The right sort of short stories can also be great for book clubs, particularly at busy times of the year. Pick a story, maybe two or three, and you've got an easy month of reading, capped by an engaging discussion.
Here are our recommendations for short story collections, with a reading guide for each, for when you crave that perfect treat. Pairing with chocolate is entirely optional.
Sadly, summer is mostly in the rear-view mirror now and while there's still time for barbecues and watermelon, the annual ritual of reading often prescribes light reads for the summer and more "serious" literature for fall.
This doesn't mean that we can't lighten up our reading with picks from the humor and satire pile, or indulge droll and dry wit. After all, laughter is the best prescription. And while the book club selections in this list might not be laugh-out-loud funny, they're sure to bring a smile to your face. If you'd like to, please share your own recommendations by posting at the bottom.
The Cold War might be a thing of the past but the "Red Menace" still rules the West's collective imagination. For those of us who remember the duck-and-cover drills, the race to space and the many subtle and not-so-subtle ways in which world geopolitics permeated everyday lives, a peek behind the Iron Curtain is as fascinating as it is informative. We present here a mix of fiction and nonfiction books specifically about Russia and Russians, both before and after the disintegration of the powerful federation that was the USSR.
Looking for the perfect books for your book club to read this year and into 2016? Look no further!
In December last year we published the first half of our Top Reads for Book Clubs in 2015 list, covering books that had published (or were due to publish) in paperback from late 2014 to early 2015.
Now, here is part 2 - with the very best book club reads from Spring to Fall 2015. All books are available in paperback and ebook. All received 5 star reviews from BookBrowse, and almost all have reading guides.
Of course, these aren't just for book clubs, they make great reading for all who enjoy well written books that provoke good conversation, and tell you things about this wonderful world of ours you didn't before!
The books are categorized into:
We love all types of books but sometimes it's time for a read that doesn't weigh us down too heavily, that lifts our spirits and yet reaches beyond melodramatic cliches. They might not always be "happy" books but the journey is uplifting and worthwhile. Here are a dozen fiction and nonfiction recommendations for exactly this type of book - books that are rewarding to read and discuss, that feel good without feeling mushy. It's a fine line to walk but we believe these do so effectively and will add a heartwarming touch to your book club gatherings.
A few weeks ago, the wildly popular website Humans of New York featured an adorable elementary schooler. What stuck with me was her hugely inventive story -- she had created a country called Manizao, she explained, that was between India and China and its president was a girl called Mahava. These intricately plotted stories from childhood are wonderful products from kids who can color outside their boxes and transport themselves to places of wonder and fantasy. The magic of speculative fiction fills such a niche for adults all while spinning a credible yarn. In this special issue, our book club recommendations deliver great stories, speculative fiction that will fire your imagination by asking a very basic and intriguing question: what if?