The Huffington Post is launching a book club. This is why.
Stories are how we understand our world.
Books are not separate from the rest of our lives - just as a song can provide the perfect soundtrack to a real-life experience, so the characters, ideas, dilemmas, behaviors we learn through our books help us "read" everything else that surrounds us.
This is why our Book Club is different.
Just like other book clubs, it's a way for us to invite you to read books that you otherwise might not, and to be part of a larger community discussing their narratives and themes.
Unlike any other book club, we also want to hear about how your reading intersects with your experiences, your memories, your everyday life and with current events.
We want to know where and how you read, and what you can see and hear as you do so. We want to know where the story is taking you, and where your memories are taking the story. Books are a collaboration between author and reader, and we want to hear what you're bringing to the tale.
Using free online tools, The HuffPost Book Club will create a unique intersection between the digital and physical world.
The HuffPost Book Club wants to be a part of the way you read books. We invite you to join a special HP Book Club digital community, through your existing Twitter (#HPbookclub), Facebook, Instagr.am, YouTube and Flickr accounts, to share both thoughts and real-world experiences as we read.
We also want to join your real-world community, teaming up with local book clubs and independent bookstores, hosting both online discussion and real-world events. We will be inviting readers to submit blogposts as they read, sharing supplemental material to assist others' reading.
In the first year, the Book Club will feature 10 titles, an eclectic selection of prominent names and overlooked authors, spanning a wide variety of publishers and genres. At the culmination of each book, we will announce the next.
We begin with one of the most remarkable pieces of fiction in recent years: The Tiger's Wife by Téa Obreht.
Youngest winner ever of the Orange Prize for fiction, shortlisted for the National Book Award, named Apple's Fiction Book of the Year, and included in the top books of 2011 lists from Amazon, the New York Times and the Washington Post, it's a brutal and magical story.
We're telling you now, so you can add it to your Christmas list. We can't wait to read it with you.
The Book Club will officially begin on January 3rd. On February 7th, we will host an free event at St Mark's Bookshop in New York City, featuring Téa Obreht. More on that soon.
So prepare your reading lists. Gather your friends. The HuffPost Book Club is an experiment in reading, both online and off. Help us tell its story.