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Life's Library, a new kind of book club:

In which John announces the project he and Rosianna Halse Rojas have been working on, Life's Library. Here's the idea: Every six weeks for a year, a group of people read a book together, and discuss it on a discord channel. You can choose either a physical subscription--in which you get the book, a letter from me, bookplates made by artists we love, and other cool surprises--or a digital subscription--in which you pick up your own copy of the book and get all the other resources emailed to you. 100% of profits will go to Partners in Health. We don't yet know if there will be enough interest in this idea to make it work, so we aren't launching yet. But if you want to reserve your spot for if/when we do launch, you can sign up now at by clicking on the subscription you want and entering your email address at the bottom of the page.

Fans of An Absolutely Remarkable Thing:

Let us know if you have any questions. Here's to reading great book together!

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Good morning Hank it's Tuesday. Your book debuted at number one on the New York Times bestseller list! Huzzah! Hank this whole experience has been so joyful. It is so much better to have your brother publish a book than to publish one yourself. But maybe my favorite part has been watching people read and discuss the book together in the “Fans of An Absolutely Remarkable Thing” discord channel. It's reminded me how fun it can be to read a book with people. Like reading is usually a solitary and private experience but when you're done with a book it can be so fulfilling to talk about it with people.

Slightly off topic but when Sarah and I first met we were discussing that and we decided to start a two-person book club. Which we did for like three months before we started dating, possibly history's most egregious example of two people failing to notice they were in love with each other.

Anyway, lately I've been missing not only the feeling of reading a book with a lot of people but also the experience of a slightly less open, more community-oriented Internet where we do and make stuff together. Not to be overly dramatic but lately a lot of my time online feels like I'm, you know, shouting my despair into an infinite void. Which, you know, is nice in its way, but not necessarily what I want to do all the time.

All of this is melded together into an idea that Rosianna Halse Rojas and I have developed with our friends at called Life's Library. The idea is that every six weeks for one year, a group of people will read a book together. Not a brand new book but one that's at least a year old, and then together we will discuss it in a discord channel; which is like a chatroom except better in every way.  The books will be chosen alternately by Rosianna and I, and if you sign up for the physical life's library you will get a copy of the book mailed to you along with lots of other stuff. Like a letter from me, book plates designed by artists we love, postcards, and other surprises. You also get digital stuff, including a podcast Rosianna and I make about the book as well as a discussion guide, and there will be q and a's with the authors unless they are unavailable and/or dead. I guess everyone who's dead is unavailable. Well maybe not, maybe we can do a séance Q&A with the dead authors. I don't know we'll figure it out together. Alternately you can sign up for the digital subscription in which you pick up the book at your local library or bookstore and then you get all the other resources emailed to you. And if you can't afford either of those options you can still get your book at a local library and participate in the discussion at the discord.

As for the books they'll range from YA novels, to mysteries, to memoirs. We want to read broadly and celebrate lots of different kinds of books. The physical subscription will be $25 per book which includes free shipping both domestically and internationally. The digital subscription will be $10 per book. In a related story, shipping is expensive. And all the profits from Life's Library will go to Partners in Health, an organization we've worked with for over a decade that is dedicated to providing healthcare access for the poor.  

Our first book, if we can pull this off, will be Jacqueline Woodson's If You Come Softly which was published 20 years ago but still feels blisteringly contemporary. Woodson is one of my favorite writers and If You Come Softly is one of my favorite books and I am so excited about the thought of getting to read it closely with lots of you.

So, yeah one more thing, we'll only be able to do this if enough people sign up so we can't like promise that it's gonna happen; but if you're interested in Life's Library please go to to sign up to be notified when the book club launches. And if enough people sign up in the next week or two we will launch and your copies of If you Come Softly will arrive by Christmas. Which reminds me that Life's Library would make a great gift for your family and friends. Okay I think that's it. I hope you like the idea of Life's Library, I'll be in comments to answer any of your questions. is where you sign up and Hank I will see you on Friday.