Time Travel Reads for Pretend to Be A Time Traveler Day

We’re celebrating Pretend To Be A Time Traveler Day with amazing reads! What time period would you visit if you had the chance? Let us know in the comments section below!


Dear Reader: Eight Stories Told in Epistolary Form

While every great novel makes the reader feel as though they have been let in on a great secret, there is an added layer of intimacy to a novel written in epistolary form. The very nature of peering in, of being allowed to see what is usually hidden, creates a bond between the characters in the book and the person turning the pages that does not always happen as quickly in a traditional novel. And rather than feeling gimmicky, a well-written epistolary novel allows us to become the perfect, delicious blend of voyeur and trustee.

From Bram Stoker to Jane Austen, classic authors used these tools to enmesh us in the lives of some of the moodiest, most memorable protagonists ever written, and the practice has continued until today, where authors like these eight continue to use diary entries, notes and letters to bring us deep into their characters’ world.


5 Engaging Literary Scientists We Want to Learn From

Reading a book is like auditing a university class, but better, because you still have the opportunity to learn about a subject you’re interested in without getting lost on campus!

It’s especially great when you read a book featuring one of these five scientists, where the professor is as engaging as they are wise, and the information is presented in a way that only the most astute lecturer could hope to achieve. From an astronaut to a geneticist and a few mad and not-so-mad scientists in between, these are the architects of the literary lessons you’re going to want to revisit at least once a semester.


6 Books About Art and Artists

Indulge your inner artists with these 6 books all about the wonderful world of art and the artist!


Get Matched to Your Holiday Wishlist

Check out all of our wish lists here:

For the Book Club Host

For the Detective

For the Romantic

For the Traveler

For the Historian


Discussion Guide: Lie to Me by J.T. Ellison

Have you added Lie to Me by J.T. Ellison to your book club reading list? We want to help create some great conversations at your next meeting! Here are some discussion questions you can bring up with your friends–and be sure to let us know in the comments section how your latest book club session went!

Careful, there are spoilers below!


Cover Love: Illustrated Edition

This month we’re looking at beautiful book covers featuring illustrations. What’s better than art and books? Here are 8 book covers with unique and artful covers that will make you want to start reading them right now.


Bookstrology: Sagittarius

Sagittarius (November 23–December 21)

Happy birthday, Sagittarius! You are extroverted, curious, dynamic and a born traveler. A natural optimist, Sagittariuses are friendly and fun-loving.

 

Book of the Month

The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper by Phaedra Patrick

Sagittarius’s natural-born wanderlust will draw them to this story that takes readers from London to Paris and even to India. When widower Arthur Pepper finds a beautiful and unfamiliar charm bracelet that belonged to his late wife, he embarks on an epic quest of discovery and healing to find the truth about the secret life of his wife.

 

Fellow Sagittariuses:

George Eliot November 22, 1819
C. S. Lewis November 29, 1898
Jonathan Swift November 30, 1667
Mark Twain November 30, 1835
Emily Dickinson December 10, 1830
Jane Austen December 16, 1775

 


Dynamic Literary Duos

Some things are just better together…including these amazing duos from some of your favorite reads! Who are your favorite literary duos? Let us know in the comments section.


Giveaway! How Well Do You Remember Lie to Me by J.T. Ellison?

Let us know how you did in the comments below for a chance to win a signed copy of All the Pretty Girls by J.T. Ellison and a signed Field of Graves poster!

Giveaway: Open to residents of the US and Canada, excluding Quebec. Contest closes November 30, at 11:59 p.m. ET. One (1) winner will be selected from all eligible comments and announced here on or around December 1. For full official rules, click here.


Presumed Guilty: 7 Books that Feature the Falsely Accused

In the milieu of crime writing, there is no shortage of horror. The pain and suffering that humans are capable of heaping upon one another knows no bounds, and if it feels like we are almost edging up to one, authors seem to be able to mine their imaginations (or news archives) for something that pushes that boundary even further.

But nestled inside the macabre and fascinating crime genre is a niche that has the capacity to scare even the most hard-boiled crime story fan: the trope of the falsely accused. Knowing that a crime has taken place is jarring enough; being accused of a crime you are innocent of committing is downright terrifying.

Enter in the era of the unreliable narrator and the lines are blurred even more, creating chaos and mistrust every step of the way. So do we leave it to the writers to sort things out for us, to light the path to righteousness and bring justice to the victims—especially if one of the victims turns out to be the person accused of committing the crime in the first place? Take a look at these seven novels that chillingly feature a protagonist accused of a crime—wrongly, we suspect.


6 Villains We Love to Hate

Writers are obsessed with villains. From the obvious enemy to the subtle rogue, villains add a depth to a story rarely plumbed by the hero. Their personalities are as intriguing as their acts, and their motivations, however sinister, are often what keep us turning pages as readers.

As much as we may cringe at their dastardly deeds, villains are as necessary in literature as heroes—and sometimes, they’re more interesting. Consider these six bad guys, some of whom play to type a little closer than others, but each a villain we just can’t help but love to hate.


6 Relaxing Reads to Help Block Out the World

Looking for a way to kick back and relax? We have 6 book suggestions perfect for you! Let us know what you’re reading in the comments section below!

The Fictional Food Pop-Up Cafe

Welcome to the Fictional Food Pop-Up Café, serving gastronomical delights straight from the pages of our favourite books. Some of these treats you may have tasted before, some are truly the stuff of fantasy, but each dish on the menu is a feast for the imagination. Bon Appetit!


5 Novels That Give Caregivers Their Due

There are a lot of great novels out there that focus on the heartbreaking reality of living with an illness or other physical challenge. They mine our emotions for sympathy, understanding, acceptance and compassion. And then there are the stories that allow those strengths and emotions to live inside the book, within a fully formed character—the caregiver.

These five novels are special in that they refuse to sideline that work, physically and emotionally, that caregivers do. Supporting somebody that needs help is not a secondary job, and the characters in these books are not secondary figures. While the narrative may not always shine a light directly on them the entire way through the book, these nurses, parents, friends and relatives offer their charges, and us readers, an important perspective on love, life, survival and triumph.

 


6 Great Celebrity Book Clubs for Women

Isn’t it great when you find out that your favorite female celebrity is also a book lover? And not only a book lover, but a book lover so dedicated to sharing their favorite books that they start a book club not just for their 10 closest friends and a bottle of wine, but for everybody! For you!

And we know—these days, there are tons of book clubs out there, and tons of celebrity endorsements. Which ones are the real deal, dedicated to championing other women readers, writers and booksellers? Well, we’ve found them. Here are six of the most female-positive celebrity book clubs out there, just waiting for you to join in the conversation.


Mother and Daughters: A Complex Relationship in Six Stories

Is there any relationship more interesting, nuanced—and often, complicated—as the one between a mother and daughter? Whether best described as a window, a mirror or a wall, the mother/daughter dynamic can be endlessly mined for stories and has been so by writers for generations.

This generation of storytellers is no exception, and for readers looking for honest, humorous and heart-felt stories of a unique and timeless relationship, take a look at these six novels featuring mothers and daughters and all the delicious love and messiness between them.


Daylight Savings Reads

Don’t let the fact that we changed the clocks stop you from missing these amazing books! Let us know what you’re reading right now in the comments below.Sala


Six Books Featuring Women Making Big Changes in Midlife

Hitting the middle of anything can feel lonely—neither beginning nor end, accomplishment nor failure. In a photo, the middle distance is a space that can often represent a void, but it’s important to remember that in that void, that space, anything is possible.

And it’s beneficial to see the middle years of life in that way as well: not as a void where the past and future each struggle to dominate or stay in focus, but as a space where the two merge amicably into a landscape where anything—everything—is possible.

That is the philosophy with which each of these six women moves forward through their midlife years. It’s not always pretty, it’s not always graceful, but it is always brave and bold, and comes beautifully into focus, just the way we hope our own middle years will.


Coffee and Books: A Match Brewed in Heaven

Is there anywhere better to sit and read than in your favorite café, with a hot beverage to drink and a great chair to curl up in? Even the white noise of the other patrons adds to the enjoyment, as the familiar, friendly chatter insulates you from the bustling world beyond the page.

With the comforting, pace-slowing partnership of books and coffee, readers have an opportunity to savor two of the most engaging and relaxing ways to spend some time away from the business—and busy-ness—of everyday life. So order up one of these seven books, each perfect for café reading, and something warm to savor alongside it.


Ten of Our Favorite Fictional Bookworms

Reading about readers is a particularly special pleasure, and the readers we read about often come to us early in life when we are at our most impressionable and open-minded. I can’t think of a better role model than a character who loves books as much as we do, and helps us carry on that love of reading throughout the years.

It’s no surprise that the fictional readers listed here are often characters who feel like they live life from the margins, or who observe life from a unique, often difficult, vantage point. The introverts, the black sheep, the thinkers: these are the characters that turn to books to provide an escape, an answer and a pleasure when real life becomes complicated, messy and exhausting. We understand these characters, and we get why books are so important to them. And if we ever compared reading lists, they might even look quite similar.


Five Kick-Ass Women in International Thrillers

Credit Lisbeth Salandar for paving the way for a new generation of smart, savvy antiheroes taking the lead in crime thrillers these days. Kicking down doors and kicking asses along the way, this international roster is full of women who refuse to be intimidated or hobbled in their goals, and will work tirelessly until the job that they must do is done.

From the operating room to the courtroom, make the acquaintance of these five unstoppable protagonists brought to life by an international cast of authors, each ready to take on the world—and whoever tries to stand in their way.


6 Reads for National Native American Heritage Month

 

November is National Native American Heritage month, and we’re celebrating with Native American books that you absolutely must read!


Ten Ways to Celebrate National Family Literacy Day

National Family Literacy Day began in 1994 as a way to promote reading, writing and literacy as a family-wide activity and responsibility. Since then, countless schools, libraries and literacy groups have marked the day with advocacy, awareness and of course, the call to celebrate reading, writing and literacy together!

More than just raising a reader, National Family Literacy Day shines a spotlight on how families can work together to increase literacy rates, instill a love of literacy and combat poverty, low graduation rates and job insecurity due to literacy challenges through community and grassroots initiatives.

So on November 1, join together with families across North America and take part in an activity that celebrates a love of literacy together. Here are ten easy ways your family can participate!


Seven Modern Horror Stories to Keep You Up at Night

From H.P. Lovecraft to Stephen King, horror novelists have always found a way to tap into our deepest fears and craft them into compelling, frightening, addictive reflections—and we readers can’t get enough.

If October is the season for spooky, it’s also a great time to discover newer horror classics. Yes, there are still monsters under the bed, but the monsters have evolved. These seven books may all have been released at or just before the dawning of the 21st century, and intimate modern speculation, dystopia or cultural phenomena, but their ability to set your imagination—and your fears—ablaze is absolutely timeless.


Books Featuring Cults

Books allow us to explore lives nothing like our own. Today, we’re looking at some books that explore life within–and escaping from–a cult.


Six Books that Take You on a Time Warp

Time travel may be a familiar trope of science fiction books, but it’s not a theme that is limited to that fantastical genre. Moving in and out of different eras has also been deftly handled in commercial and literary fiction, weaving storylines through the past, the present and even the future without sacrificing the development of character or plot. Sometimes the action happens in parallel eras, sometimes in simultaneous eras, sometimes in a blend of the two.

The result, when done well, as in these six phenomenal books, is as mind-bending as it is genre-bending, taking readers for an unforgettable ride through the ages. Are you ready to play with time?


Bookstrology: Scorpio

Scorpio (October 24–November 22)

Happy Birthday, Scorpio! You’re charming, motivated, mysterious and ambitious with a drive to match. Fierce and passionate, Scorpios are not to be underestimated.

 

Book of the Month

Best Day Ever by Kaira Rouda

A perfect-seeming life and marriage might hide something much more sinister beneath the facade. Paul Strom is taking his wife, Mia, to their lake house, where he’s planned the best day ever. As they drive away from the city, tensions between them rise and things take an ominous turn. Scorpio will love the mystery between the two main characters.

 

Fellow Scorpios

Hilary Clinton October 26, 1947
Sylvia Plath October 27, 1932
John Keats October 31, 1795
Anne Sexton November 9, 1928
Neil Gaiman November 10, 1960
Fyodor Dostoevsky November 11, 1821
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. November 11, 1922
Robert Louis Stevenson November 13, 1850
Margaret Atwood November 18, 1939


BookClubbish Was There: Bouchercon 2017

Fans of crime fiction, thrillers and suspenseful stories gathered in Toronto, Canada last week for Bouchercon, a celebration of all things mystery. The annual World Mystery Convention is named after distinguished mystery fiction critic, editor and author Anthony Boucher, and provides the perfect opportunity to connect with fellow book lovers and talk about our favorite mysterious reads.

This year’s event, ‘Passport to Murder’, brought BookClubbish authors together for a fantastic signing event where visitors had the chance to win a Year’s Supply of Mystery Books. We also spent the perfect Friday the 13th evening at a cocktail party with some of our favorite book people at Ben McNally Books, Toronto’s most beautiful bookstore.

Check out our Facebook Live broadcast for a snapshot of the evening!


Cover Love: Halloween Edition

Things are getting darker as Halloween creeps closer. This month we’re looking at spine-chilling covers that combine eye-catching design with eerie images fitting for Halloween.


Get Ready for a Good Cry with These Seven Emotional Reads

There is nothing more cathartic than a good cry, particularly when it is not brought on by something happening to you right now, in real life.

When we read, the most impactful stories are the ones that manage to touch that nerve closest to our sense of empathy and tap into our collective experience of being human. Sometimes we cry because the story resonates close to the surface of our own experience, and sometimes it is because we could not possibly imagine the depth of sorrow, love, happiness or horror that our protagonist is going through, though it resonates deep within our heart. Either way, a story that makes us cry is a story that makes us think, makes us know and makes us feel what it is to be truly vulnerable.

These seven novels offer all the ingredients for an unforgettable, tear-jerking read, so set that box of tissues close by and get ready for a good cry.


Black Poetry Day

October 17 is Black Poetry Day! Established in 1985, the date is homage to Jupiter Hammon, the first published African American poet, who was born on October 17, 1711. In his honor, the day is marked to celebrate all of the contributions black poets have made to literature, poetry and culture.

How can you celebrate? Check out our list of books of poetry by black writers, whose work you can read on October 17 and every day after.


Fall Reads to Keep You Warm

 

Don’t let the end of summer get you down.These reads are perfect for keeping things nice and toasty when the fall weather hits.


Celebrate 200 Years With These HarperCollins Recommendations

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


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