Newsletter 1

Read Harder Book Group Recap: September

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Jenn Northington

Director, Editorial Operations

Jenn Northington has worked in the publishing industry wearing various hats since 2004, including bookseller and events director, and is currently Director of Editorial Operations at Riot New Media Group. You can hear her on the SFF Yeah! podcast nerding out about sci-fi and fantasy. When she’s not working, she’s most likely gardening, running, or (obviously) reading. Find her on Tumblr at jennIRL and Instagram at iamjennIRL.

We hosted our first round of IRL book groups in September in eight cities, and we had an absolute blast. Thanks so much to everyone who came out; and if you’re interested and live near one of our groups, you can mark your calendars for October.

Some attendees are working their way through the 2015 Read Harder challenge, while others were working their way through their TBR stacks. Our wonderful hosts took notes; please enjoy this list of titles that come recommended from group members!



  • Tales of the Unexpected, Roald Dahl
  • Esio Trot (and the BBC TV adaptation) Roald Dahl
  • Elena Ferrante’s Neopolitan Novels (I think we all went away vowing to pick these up!)
  • Elizabeth Jane Howard’s Cazalet Chronicles
  • The Red Tent, Anita Diamond
  • Wild, Cheryl Strayed
  • Tiny Beautiful Things, Cheryl Strayed
  • 84, Charing Cross Road, Helene Hanff
  • Underfoot in Show Business, Helene Hanff
  • The Ocean at the End of the Lane, Neil Gaiman
  • American Gods, Neil Gaiman
  • Stardust, Neil Gaiman
  • Wolf, Mo Hayder
  • The Black House, Peter May
  • The Seed Collectors, Scarlett Thomas
  • Ana of California, Andi Teran
  • Me Before You, Jojo Moyes
  • After You, Jojo Moyes
  • Why Not Me?, Mindy Kaling
  • Yes Please, Amy Poehler

    New York City:



    Washington, D.C. (a more topics oriented group)

    • How do you track reading? (Most common answer: spreadsheets)
    • What books are worth re-reading? This also led to a conversation about books we don’t feel the need to re-read, because we recognize they were of a certain moment/time in our lives, and we might not recapture the magic.
    • We talked about retellings, like March by Geraldine Brooks Certain Women by Madeleine L’Engle’s
    • Lots of poetry readers in attendance! We talked about various poets and how some texts are meant to be read aloud.
    • the works of Stephen King
    • In the Woods, Tana French
    • Superzelda, Tiziana Lo Porto and Daniele Marotta
    • We also talked about the merits of audiobooks, and which genre is better to run to. (Consensus: narrative nonfiction)

    Los Angeles, CA