5 Famous Middle Children In Fiction

August 12th was National Middle Child Day, but we believe in appreciating these wonderful characters all year round! Is your favorite middle child on this list? Let us know in the comments section!


Thief’s Mark Sweepstakes

Murder in a quiet English village. 

Long buried secrets uncovered. 

One man’s search for answers before a killer strikes again.

Discover THIEF’S MARK, a gripping new novel of suspense from New York Times bestselling author Carla Neggers!

Preorder your copy today and enter the THIEF’S MARK Sweepstakes for a chance to win a signed copy of THIEF’S MARK, a pair of Bracken Distillers engraved whiskey glasses and a $50.00 VISA Gift Card.

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THIEF’S MARK Sweepstakes

 

Read more Sharpe & Donovan novels:

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER.  Purchase or acceptance of a product offer does not improve your chances of winning. Sweepstakes opens 08/14/2017 at– 11:59 AM EDT and closes 08/28/2017 at 12:01 PM EDT.  Enter online at www.bookclubbish.com/thiefsmarksweepstakes. Open to legal residents of the U.S. and Canada (excluding Quebec) who have reached the age of majority in their province/state/territory of residence or older. Void where prohibited by law. Void in Quebec.  One (1) prize will be awarded consisting of: (i) one (1) signed copy of THIEF’S MARK by Carla Neggers; (ii) two (2) “Bracken Distillers” engraved whiskey glasses; and (iii) one (1) $50.00 CAD Visa Gift Card.  Total ARV: $115.00 CAD.  Odds of winning depend on the number of eligible entries received.  Official Rules available online at http://www.bookclubbish.com/thiefs-mark-sweepstakes. Sponsor: Harlequin Enterprises Limited.


5 Second Chances in Fiction

Sometimes, our heroes need a few tries before they get things right. Here are our top 5 second chances in fiction. Let us know in the comments if you’ve read any of these books!


Our Favorite Fictional Siblings

When it comes to reading about siblings in fiction, there are some families that are literary legends: Little Women’s Civil War-era March sisters, the put-upon Bennets of Pride and Prejudice and the mischievous Weasleys of Harry Potter fame come to mind. Through fun and folly, these bands of siblings thrived with only the slightest of dysfunctions to contend with, supporting each other (and, often, their parents) until each found a secure foothold in life (or at least a comfortable place in the family order).

Then there are the more notorious literary broods, whose nefarious deeds or circumstances make them no less interesting to read about. George R. R. Martin’s Lannisters and V.C. Andrews’ Dollanganger siblings probably aren’t the kind of kids you’d want to invite over after school, but their place in the fictional sibling hall of fame is solid—it’s just that we’d better put them in a separate wing, away from some of the more wholesome groups.

Take a look at these five books featuring unforgettable fictional siblings, each a study of the complicated, complex and ferociously loving bonds between brothers and sisters.

 

We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson

Merricat and Constance Blackwood are the custodians of their family’s imposing, rundown home, a myriad of secrets and each other. Merricat’s devotion to Constance is shaken only by unanswered questions: What, exactly, happened to the other members of the Blackwood family, and how, exactly, did the arsenic get into the sugar bowl that day? Down the hill, the superstitious townspeople believe they know the answers and will not let the sisters forget it.

Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi

In eighteenth-century Ghana, Effia and Esi, half-sisters, are born in two different villages. Effia marries an English noble and lives a luxurious life in a coastal castle. Esi is captured for the slave trade and sent to America. Each sister is followed through generations, as their fates diverge, converge and give shape to a family and a civic history.


5 Relaxing Reads for Everyone

TGIF! Get ready for a relaxing weekend with these 5 fantastic reads. Did your favorite make the list?


Top 8 Fictional Restaurants We Want to Try

Stop in at one of these fictional restaurants and treat yourself to some of the most scrumptious eats we’ve ever read about. Better make a reservation.

 

  1. Whistle Stop Cafe from Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe by Fannie Flagg

Proprietors: Idgie Threadgoode and Ruth Jamison

Tonight’s special: BBQ by Big George. The secret’s in the sauce.

The buzz: Idgie and Ruth are thick as thieves, and that’s probably what makes the Whistle Stop a must-try whenever you’re passing through this part of Alabama. Cooks Sipsey and her son, Big George, will serve up the best friend green tomatoes in the state while Ruth and Idgie provide the stories—although the most interesting stories are the ones they may not be so quick to tell.

  1. Luella’s from The Coincidence of Coconut Cake by Amy E. Reichert

Proprietor: Lou Johnson

Tonight’s special: deep-friend cheese curds

The buzz: Luella’s took a bit of a hit when a food critic stopped by on a rough night (we all have them once in a while), but Lou will not be deterred. It helps that she is falling for handsome Brit Al, who may hold the key to Lou’s heart—as well as her success. She just doesn’t know it yet.


5 Books to Take You on an Adventure

Summer is the perfect time for a grand escape, and even if you can’t get the time (or funds) to head off somewhere exotic and new, these five books will transport you on an adventure you won’t soon forget. No passport required!

 

GO ON A THRILLING ADVENTURE

Fierce Kingdom by Gin Phillips

It’s a short adventure—the tale is told entirely over a three-hour span of time—but it’s as electrifying and terrifying as any. When the end of a lovely day at the zoo turns into a nightmare, a mother must do everything she can to protect herself and her four-year-old son from the threat that is closing in on them. This wire-taught adventure may not be the kind anybody puts on their bucket list, but the read is an intense and exciting one.

 

GO ON AN ADVENTURE OF SELF-DISCOVERY

I Almost Forgot About You by Terry McMillan

Life, love and the possibility of change are once again the hallmarks of beloved author Terry McMillan’s latest book. Georgia has seemingly led a charmed life as a successful doctor and mother, but as she hovers in middle age, something is missing. Throwing her career and caution to the wind, she sets out to find what she thinks has been missing—and manages to discover a whole lot more along the way.


Lie To Me Sweepstakes

They built a life on lies… Will grief, jealousy, betrayal and murder destroy the façade of the perfect literary couple?

Preorder your copy to find out and enter the LIE TO ME Sweepstakes to win a writing journal, a fountain pen, a glass script mug and a signed Advance Reader’s Copy of LIE TO ME.

Lie To Me Sweepstakes

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER.  Purchase or acceptance of a product offer does not improve your chances of winning. Sweepstakes opens 7/24/2017 at 12:01 PM (EST) and closes 8/21/2017 at 12:01 PM (EST).  Enter online at www.Bookclubbish.com\lietomesweepstakes. Open to legal residents of the U.S. and Canada (excluding Quebec) who have reached the age of majority in their province/state/territory of residence or older. Void where prohibited by law. Void in Quebec.  One (1) prize will be awarded consisting of: (i) one (1) advance reader copy of LIE TO ME signed by J.T. Ellison; (ii) one (1) refillable zip spiral journal; (iii) one (1) fountain pen; and (iv) one (1) glass script mug.  Total ARV: $56.00 CAD.  Odds of winning depend on the number of eligible entries received.  Official Rules available online at here. Sponsor: Harlequin Enterprises Limited.


5 Sherlockian Reads + Giveaway!

Have you just finished binging Sherlock and want more? You won’t want to miss these 5 Sherlockian reads, including Arrowood, the Sherlockian and more! Become a super sleuth and see if you can solve crack these cases.

Have a super-sleuth summer! Enter for a chance to WIN these Sherlockian reads!


Book Club Recommendations: World War II–Era Books

It may not seem like the most uplifting theme for a discussion usually had over cheese and wine, but it is precisely the surfeit of discussion points that make books about the Second World War so perfect for a book club pick.

Continually relevant and continually refreshed, books set in this era, both fiction and non-fiction, speak to a devastating ripple effect that altered the world in ways we are only made aware of on the page. Ground zero may have been Europe, but the tendrils of war are long and treacherous, and these books provide not only illumination on the immediate horrors of war, but insight into the often hidden or unknown circumstances of those living well behind the front.

Each of these six contemporary books presents a unique perspective on life during World War II, making them perfect choices as book club picks. And as a bonus for reading groups, not only are these books packed with thematic discussion points, but they are written beautifully, with strength of voice and originality of style that is sure to lead to an even more robust conversation—so plan your wine and cheese inventory accordingly.

 

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows

The war has just ended and a London author is looking for her next book subject. What she finds is the extraordinary story of a group of people who formed a resistance party under the guise of an innocent book club while under occupation on a small island in the English Channel. This tale of the ingenuity and determination of the human spirit in the face of adversity is as uplifting as a WWII story can get.

Life After Life by Kate Atkinson

A truly remarkable novel that introduces us to Ursula Todd, who, on a winter night in 1910, is born, and then dies, again and again. With each rebirth she inches closer to her intended fate, and the fate of those around her, culminating in the role she is destined to play during the Blitz of London. A highly original, thoroughly fascinating look at the significance one life will have on the world around it.


Introducing Arrowood

I had the idea for writing Arrowood when I was rereading Sherlock Holmes several years ago. I love Conan Doyle’s stories, but I wondered which other private detectives would have been working in London at the time, and whether they would have resented Holmes’s genius and fame. I thought I probably would have.

William Arrowood was just such a detective, living in cheap rooms in South London, only just surviving on the low fees he charged working the poorer parts of London, a man with a huge heart and a concern for the injustices of Victorian society.

I knew if Arrowood was to capture the imagination, he had to be a strong character. And if he was to resent the success of Sherlock Holmes, he had to have a different approach to solving crime. This was the key to who he was. While Holmes focuses on physical clues and logic, Arrowood is obsessed with people, with their emotions, their motives, and their inconsistencies. Instead of studying shipping timetables and the qualities of cigar ash, Arrowood studies Victorian ideas of the mind and emotion. He carries out small experiments in the course of his work, prodding and poking his clients, his informants, his suspects. And instead of the cool reserve of Holmes, Arrowood is affable, given over to tenderness and fury in equal measure, loving yet greedy, generous to strangers yet careful with his pennies.


Discussion Starters for Every Book Club

Theoretically, book clubs, both online and in person, are the ideal place for book lovers to gather. The collective act of sharing a book-reading experience can be creatively inspiring, intellectually stimulating and, sometimes, politically challenging. It is a wonderful thing when the majority of the group loves the book and wants to share their mutual adoration, but dissenting experiences can also lead to a robust and interesting discussion.

The key, however, is to ensure that the discussion starts, flows and remains open-minded and respectful, even when opinions of the text diverge. And if you are the host or curator of the book club, this responsibility is yours alone.

Getting the conversation started and sustaining it throughout your meeting is easier with some books than with others, but with a few points of preparation, you can ensure that a vigorous talk is enjoyed by all. Follow these generalized topics for starting, and maintaining, a great discussion about any book:

 

First Questions:

A quick “So, did we like the book?” is fine as a way to call the meeting to order, so to speak, but the only answer necessary is a nod, shake of the head or quick poll around the room. Then move on to more invigorating opening questions. Try these:

  • Did everybody finish the book? If not, was it a time constraint, or did the reader ditch it? Why?
  • Was the book what you expected before you began reading? How/in what ways were you surprised?”


Quintessential Canadian Bookish Decor

Oh, Canada! Our home and native land has been a country for 150 years and all of 2017 is a celebration of what makes Canada unique. Maple syrup, bagged milk, toques, Tim Hortons…if you can’t get enough of the Canadian-esque, decorate your house with these Canadian decor must-haves and cuddle up with your favorite read from the North.

 

An Iconic Hudson Bay Blanket

The Hudson Bay Company is the oldest company in North America and their signature multistripe blanket dates back to 1800. Nothing will keep you warmer while you enjoy an exceptional Canadian read like Alias Grace or Lullabies for Little Criminals. Find the blanket in wool or the less costly fleece.


Perfect Fandom Reads

The rise of the Internet has made it easier than ever to connect with people who like the same weird stuff that you like. For some people, fandom and fanfiction are a huge part of their lives, whether they like comics, video games, books, movies or TV shows. As a self-proclaimed fangirl, here are my seven picks for books for passionate fans of everything from fantasy to sci-fi.

 

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

Cath is a Simon Snow fan, and with the approaching release of the last book in the series the pressure is on for Cath to finish her fan fiction story, Carry On Simon Snow. Her fan fiction is famous in the fandom and features a romance between the hero Simon and his nemesis Baz. As she starts her first year of college, Cath is separated from her twin sister Wren for the first time. While Wren has grown out of Simon Snow, Cath hasn’t. As Cath continues work on her fanfic and struggles with her creative writing class, she finds her own voice outside of Simon Snow and apart from her sister.

Interested in more? Rainbow Rowell also wrote a Simon Snow novel called Carry On.

 

The Magicians by Lev Grossman

Perfect for fans of Harry Potter and The Chronicles of Narnia who have now entered adulthood, The Magicians follows Quentin as her enrolls in a prestigious college of magic. Hoping to find a world of adventure, Quentin stumbles into a dark world of magic that’s connected to the childhood stories he loved as a child.

 


Celebrate 150 Years of Canada with These Essential Authors

2017 marks 150 years of Canada’s federation, and the celebrations have begun in earnest. One of the most beautiful, honest and timeless ways to mark our country’s trials and triumphs is, of course, through its books and authors. Our voices are as vast and varied as our landscape, and our experiences are, as well. But each is worthy of our time, consideration and enjoyment.

A list off essential Canadian authors would be nearly endless, so here are just a few of the significant voices that have recently released fiction. They speak of the experience of feeling both a part of, and apart from Canada; they speak of our unity and our divisions, and most important, they speak of how we must listen to each other in order to understand Canada from the many perspectives that make our country what it is today. This is the tip of the iceberg, but start your reading list with these five authors.

Son of a Trickster, the latest from award-winning Indigenous author Eden Robinson, tells the story of Jared Martin, a 16-year-old kid, who, according to his grandmother, is not even human. Sure, Jared may have some issues: he’s a bit of a stoner, his mom is an addict, and—oh yeah, he can talk to ravens, but underneath it all he is a creative, compassionate kid who is left to draw his own roadmap for life. Robinson’s coming of age story is a must-read for Canadians of any age.

 

Metis writer and Governor General’s Award winner Katherena Vermette presents a gripping family saga in The Break, which tells the story of the ripple effect of a crime that a young woman observes one freezing winter night in Winnipeg’s North End. Themes of violence, addiction, racism and colonialism—as well as tradition, legacy, loyalty and love—are explored through multiple perspectives, each sharply and sensitively presented.

Thanks to a Hulu televisation and some global political unrest, Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale has taken its place on international bestseller lists again, more than three decades after its original release. It’s everything we love about Margaret Atwood—dystopian realism, feminist protagonists, laser-sharp wit and eerily prescient story lines—and everything we fear about the future of society. Blessed be the fruit.

 


BookClubbish Was There: Book Expo America and Book Con

Book Expo America just wrapped up, and with that means plenty of book recommendations. Here is what BookClubbish thinks you need to read!


Celebrate 200 Years With These HarperCollins Recommendations

Celebrate the 200th Anniversary of HarperCollins with these amazing recommendations!


Bookish Desserts

Looking for a snack? Get ready for your mouth to water, because we’re sharing some of our favorite book-related desserts! From our own Instagram comes this fantastic Mary Kubica cake! Regrammed from @marykubica. Look at this amazing book cake! A post shared by BookClubbish (@bookclubbish) on Jul 8, 2017 at 10:10am PDT

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Best Day Ever

In the bestselling, page-turning vein of The Couple Next Door and The Dinner, Kaira Rouda weaves a gripping, tautly suspenseful tale of deception and betrayal dark enough to destroy a marriage…or a life. “I glance at my wife as she climbs into the passenger seat, and I am bursting with confidence. Today will be everything I’ve promised her…and… Read More »

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Something Like Happy

With wry wit and boundless heart, Eva Woods delivers an unforgettable tale of celebrating triumphs great and small, seizing the day, and always remembering to live in the moment. “It’s simple, really. You’re just meant to do one thing every day that makes you happy. Could be little things. Could be big. In fact, we’re… Read More »

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