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Posts Tagged ‘reader’s circle’

Enter for your chance to win THE TECHNOLOGISTS by Matthew Pearl

Thursday, December 13th, 2012

Pearl_The Technologists“A terrific historical mystery in the fine old Arthur Conan Doyle style . . . Who knew that a mystery formed around the founding of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology could be so good? . . . There are cliffhanger endings and fortuitous escapes. . . . There are even a couple of very sweet romances.”—The Globe and Mail

Boston, 1868. The Civil War may be over but a new war has begun, one between past and present, tradition and technology. The daring Massachusetts Institute of Technology is on a mission to harness science for the benefit of all. But when an unnatural disaster strikes the ships in Boston Harbor, and an equally inexplicable catastrophe devastates the heart of the city, an antiscience backlash casts a pall over MIT and threatens its very survival. So the best and brightest from the Institute’s first graduating class secretly join forces to save innocent lives and track down the truth. Armed with ingenuity and their unique scientific training, gifted war veteran Marcus Mansfield, blueblood Robert Richards, genius Edwin Hoyt, and brilliant freshman Ellen Swallow will match wits with a master criminal bent on the utter destruction of the city.

Look for special features inside. Join the Circle for author chats and more.

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Enter for the chance to win a copy of A PARTIAL HISTORY OF LOST CAUSES by Jennifer DuBois

Tuesday, August 14th, 2012

DuBoise_Partial History_TP “I can’t remember reading another novel—at least not recently—that’s both incredibly intelligent and also emotionally engaging.”—Nancy Pearl, NPR

In Jennifer duBois’s mesmerizing and exquisitely rendered debut novel, a long-lost letter links two disparate characters, each searching for meaning against seemingly insurmountable odds. With uncommon perception and wit, duBois explores the power of memory, the depths of human courage, and the endurance of love.

In St. Petersburg, Russia, world chess champion Aleksandr Bezetov begins a quixotic quest: He launches a dissident presidential campaign against Vladimir Putin. He knows he will not win—and that he is risking his life in the process—but a deeper conviction propels him forward.

In Cambridge, Massachusetts, thirty-year-old English lecturer Irina Ellison struggles for a sense of purpose. Irina is certain she has inherited Huntington’s disease—the same cruel illness that ended her father’s life. When Irina finds an old, photocopied letter her father wrote to the young Aleksandr Bezetov, she makes a fateful decision. Her father asked the chess prodigy a profound question—How does one proceed in a lost cause?—but never received an adequate reply. Leaving everything behind, Irina travels to Russia to find Bezetov and get an answer for her father, and for herself.

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Enter for the chance to win a copy of WHAT HAPPENED TO MY SISTER by Elizabeth Flock

Friday, July 20th, 2012

Flock_What Happened to My SisterFrom the author of Me & Emma comes a dazzling novel of two unforgettable families bound together by their deepest secrets and haunted pasts—perfect for fans of The Secret Life of CeeCee Wilkes and The Book of Bright Ideas.

Nine-year-old Carrie Parker and her mother, Libby, are making a fresh start in the small town of Hartsville, North Carolina, ready to put their turbulent past behind them. Violence has shattered their family and left Libby nearly unable to cope. And while Carrie once took comfort in her beloved sister, Emma, her mother has now forbidden even the mention of her name.

When Carrie meets Ruth, Honor, and Cricket Chaplin, these three generations of warmhearted women seem to have the loving home Carrie has always dreamed of. But as Carrie and Cricket become fast friends, neither can escape the pull of their families’ secrets—and uncovering the truth will transform the Chaplins and the Parkers forever.

Look for special features inside. Join the Circle for author chats and more.

The Girl in the Blue Beret by Bobbie Ann Mason: A Reader’s Guide

Friday, May 18th, 2012

Mason_Girl in the Blue BeretBehind the Book

My father-in-law was a pilot. During World War II, he was shot down in a B-17 over Belgium. With the help of the French Resistance, he made his way through Occupied France and back to his base in England. Ordinary citizens hid him in their homes, fed him, disguised him, and sheltered him from the Germans. Many families willingly hid Allied aviators, knowing the risks: They would have been shot or sent to a concentration camp if they were dis- covered by the Germans.

In 1987 the town in Belgium honored the crew by erecting a memorial at the crash site, where one of the ten crew members died. The surviving crew was invited for three days of festivities, including a ?yover by the Belgian Air Force. More than three thousand Allied airmen were rescued during the war, and an extraordinarily deep bond between them and their European helpers endures even now.

My father-in-law, Barney Rawlings, spent a couple of months hiding out in France in 1944, frantically memorizing a few French words to pass himself off as a Frenchman, but his ordeal had not inspired in me any ?ction until I started taking a French class. Suddenly, the language was transporting me back in time and across the ocean, as I tried to imagine a tall, out-of-place American struggling to say Bonjour. Barney had a vague memory of a girl who had escorted him in Paris in 1944. He remembered that her signal was something blue—a scarf, maybe, or a beret. The notion of a girl in a blue beret seized me, and I was off.
I had my title, but I didn’t know what my story would be. I had to go to France to imagine the country in wartime. What would I have done in such circumstances of fear, deprivation, and uncertainty? What if my pilot character returns decades later to search for the people who had helped him escape?

Writing a novel about World War II and the French Resistance was a challenge both sobering and thrilling. I read many riveting escape-and-evade accounts of airmen and of the Resistance networks organized to hide them and then send them on grueling treks across the Pyrenees to safety. But it was the people I met in France and Belgium who made the period come alive for me. They had lived it.

In Belgium, I was entertained lavishly by the people who had honored the B-17 crew with the memorial, including by some of the locals who had witnessed the crash landing. I was overwhelmed by their generosity. They welcomed me with an extravagant three- cheek kiss, but one ninety-year-old man, Fernand Fontesse, who had been in the Resistance and had been a POW, planted his kiss squarely on my lips.

In a small town north of Paris I met Jean Hallade. He had been only ?fteen when Second Lieutenant Rawlings was hidden in a nearby house. Jean took a picture of Barney in a French beret, a photo to be used for the fake ID card he would need as he traveled through France over the next few months, disguised as a French cabinetmaker.

And in Paris I became friends with lovely, indomitable Michèle Agniel, who had been a girl guide in the Resistance. Her family aided ?fty Allied aviators, including Barney Rawlings. She takes her scrapbooks from the war years to schools to show children what once happened. “This happened here,” she says. “Here is a ration card. This is a swastika.” She pauses. “Never again,” she says. The characters in The Girl in the Blue Beret are not portraits of actual people, but the situations were inspired by very real individuals whom I regard as heroes.

Questions and Topics for Discussion

1. Discuss the special bond between Allied aviators and their European helpers. Why did it take so long for many of them to reunite after the war?

2. What does ?ying mean to Marshall? Discuss Marshall’s failed B-17 mission and the effect it had on his life. (more…)

Celebrate a new year of reading with us. Enter for a chance to win an iPad!

Friday, January 13th, 2012

RHRC-iPad-giveaway-banner-300x250

This giveaway is now closed. Thanks to the thousands of you who entered! We’ll announce the winner soon.

Good luck to all!
The iPad 2 that could be yours is black, 16 gigabytes, and Wi-Fi enabled, with iOS5 and iCloud. Does not include 3G or data plan from a carrier. Download books directly from iTunes and be reading in seconds!

Sweepstakes Starts: January 11, 2012 @ 12:00 pm (PST)
Sweepstakes Ends: January 23, 2012 @ 11:59 pm (PST)

Win a copy of Janelle Brown’s This Is Where We Live

Tuesday, May 10th, 2011

This Is Where We Live

**This giveaway is now closed. Sign up for the Reader’s Circle e-newsletter on the RHRC.com homepage for more news about monthly giveaways.**

Now in paperback from the author of All We Ever Wanted Was EverythingBrown_Janelle

“Wildly entertaining.”—San Francisco Chronicle

“Feels like a natural follow-up to Brown’s bestselling 2008 debut. . . . Both books [are] page-turners. . . . Brown has an uncanny eye for contemporary characters and settings, and that’s definitely part of the fun.”—Los Angeles Times

“Richly told . . . Maybe some wisdom can be gleaned from this recession after all.”—The Seattle Times

Claudia and Jeremy, a young married couple (she’s an aspiring filmmaker, he’s an indie musician), are on the verge of making it. Her first film was a sensation at Sundance and is about to have its theatrical release; he’s assembled a new band and is a few songs shy of an album. They’ve recently purchased their first home—a mid-century bungalow with a breathtaking view of Los Angeles—with the magical assistance of an adjustable-rate mortgage. But a series of seismic events—the tanking of Claudia’s film, the return of Jeremy’s manipulative ex-girlfriend, and the staggering adjustment of their monthly mortgage payments—deal a crushing blow to their dreams of the bohemian life and their professional aspirations and make them question their values and their shared vision of the future.

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