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May 14, 2010 Newsletter May 14, 2010
Gotta Keep Reading...

I like dress-down days when I can wear jeans to the office; for some reason, I feel I can work better when I am not “dressed up.” There was a day a couple of years ago when I went downstairs to the Gap store in our building in the middle of the day and bought myself a pair of jeans after I got back from a business lunch. This week there were a lot of dress-up nights, which meant I was doing a lot of quick changes. Always amusing.

I started out the week attending the Children’s Choice Book Awards Gala with some of our staffers. It’s one of my favorite events as there are no tables, but rather people mix and mingle over cocktails and hors d'ouerves, then they do a brisk awards ceremony, and then we mingle again over desserts. There were a number of children's and YA authors in the house, and there were a number of eager children running around getting their autographs. It was great to see this much enthusiasm going on about…BOOKS! The photo here is of Jeff Kinney, the author of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series autographing a “standee” of Greg, the protagonist of the series, for my son Cory. The complete list of winners can be found here.

During the event, they showed this video called “Gotta Keep Reading,” which was shot at the Ocoee Middle School in Ocoee, FL. It’s set to the Black Eyed Peas' “I Gotta Feeling” song, and all the words have been changed to reflect a love of reading. It’s slow to load, so be patient, but what a very, very cool, enthusiastic cheerlead for books this is!

Wednesday night I jumped in a cab and headed uptown to see Emily Giffin’s event/reading/signing for HEART OF THE MATTER at a Barnes & Noble store. Once again I made the mistake of heading to the Upper West Side store instead of the Upper East Side, and thus was my cab driver’s nightmare as we raced through the park. I got there just as the event began, and the room was packed. Before I say anything more, let me share how much I love the COLOR of this book jacket. Seriously folks, it’s gorgeous. And looking around the room seeing so many readers sitting there holding it in their hands, it looked like they were holding spring flowers. It’s beautiful…it pops…and when you see a lot of books like this in one place, you cannot help but smile.

Emily is a poised, polished presenter; I think her law training does poke through with that. She spoke about this book's look at emotional balance and what happens when that is upset, as well as the missteps that life takes along the way and how people then react to them. Some of the audience questions mirrored ours; we have a terrific interview with her running this week where she gives some insight and background on the book. And Norah Piehl’s review is good reading as well. Also, if you missed the piece that Emily's mom wrote in our Mother’s Day blogs, you can find it here.

One author I did not get to see this week was Sebastian Junger, whose book WAR is just brilliant. I heard him speak in L.A. a few weeks ago, but this book has so impressed me that I wish I could follow him on tour to a few cities to see how people react after seeing how engaged that crowd was. This quote from our reviewer, Harvey Freedenberg, says it so well: “Ultimately, the only men qualified to judge the integrity of this book are those whose bravery and loss Junger describes. Their ‘shared commitment to safeguard one another’s lives is unnegotiable and only deepens with time,’ he concludes. For those of us who haven’t experienced combat and never will, there’s little to do but marvel at the courage of the men he describes and the unflinching glimpse he offers us into their lives.” I have been watching The Pacific on HBO, which wraps up Sunday night. With both of these experiences, war is shown to be about a lot more than just battles.

We also bring you an interview with Holly LeCraw and a review of THE SWIMMING POOL, which is a terrific debut novel that I have mentioned here previously. As Norah Piehl says in her review, “In her debut novel, Holly LeCraw intricately demonstrates the interconnections of families and communities, especially one as tightly knit as the one on Cape Cod come summer. Her storytelling is confident and well-crafted, as she juxtaposes scenes from the past with those of the present, vividly demonstrating how characters, situations, and conflicts persist through time.” Definitely a great summer read.

This week we are launching two new author features. In our Suspense/Thriller spotlight is Kevin O’Brien, whose latest novel, VICIOUS, comes out May 25th. We have featured Kevin on the site before, and are always excited when he has a new book out. I also had the pleasure of having drinks with him in Seattle a couple of months ago. For the record, he has a terrific sense of humor and tells great, funny stories. His books…well...they are written by the other side of his personality! VICIOUS revolves around the "Mama’s Boy" killer, and we have 20 copies to give away to readers who like to read the book and comment on it. Enter here by Friday, May 28th at noon ET. Kevin also shared a fond tribute to his mother, Adele, as part of our Mother’s Day Month blog series. You can read his piece here, and scroll through all our contributors here.

Our latest One to Watch feature is for Julie Metz’s PERFECTION, which is a stunning memoir that captured us all when it was released in hardcover last year. Julie’s emotional, personal story begins with the sudden death of her husband and how she copes, only to discover he had been leading a secret life of sorts. It’s a very honest, powerful read and will be available in paperback on May 18th. We have 20 copies of PERFECTION to give away to readers who would like to read the book and comment on it. Enter here by Friday, May 21st at noon ET.

This week we also have an interview with Ben Farmer about his debut novel, EVANGELINE, which was one of our recent One to Watch features. Ben imagines Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's famous “Evangeline” poem as a love story during America’s colonial days. We have received some high praise from readers about this one, which we will be sharing soon. We also have an author talk with Pulitzer Prize winner Jane Smiley about her latest book, PRIVATE LIFE.

This month marks the 10th Anniversary of, another site in sites. It’s been quite a journey, watching this site grow over the years, and we now proudly offer more than 3,000 discussion guides and have more than 10,000 registered groups. If you’re in a book club, share your "Top 10 Favorite Discussion Books" from the past 10 years, and you will be entered to win one of 50 $200 gift certificates to the bricks and mortar or online retailer of your choice. And for those of you who need a calculator to do math, yes, that’s $10,000 worth of prizes. You could also use that gift card to donate books to the library, school or organization of your choice. If you are in a book club, click here to read all the details and enter.

Our latest poll question has to do with the upcoming vacation season now that spring/summer fever is in full swing. We’re curious about how many books you bring along on vacation and whether or not you "screen them" in advance. As you all know, I always overpack! Our question to complement that is “What is your all-time favorite beach book?" You can choose up to five. Answer our poll here and our question here. Additionally, you can share comments about the books that you have read in our Word of Mouth section and be eligible to win THE BOURNE OBJECTIVE by Eric Van Lustbader, THE GIRL WHO KICKED THE HORNET'S NEST by Stieg Larsson, and SEAWORTHY: A Swordboat Captain Returns to the Sea by Linda Greenlaw.

In our Books into Movies feature, we're spotlighting the sweet romantic drama Letters to Juliet, which is now in theaters. Starring Amanda Seyfried, Gael Garcia Bernal and Vanessa Redgrave, this heartwarming, feel-good film promises to bring out the romantic in all of us as a young woman plays matchmaker to a pair of lovers separated 50 years previous, all the while finding a special someone of her own. And if that doesn’t satisfy your cravings for sentimental love stories, you can also catch Seyfried in Dear John, out on DVD this month, along with the inspiring Extraordinary Measures, the post-apocalyptic epic The Road, and the Oscar-nominated Invictus.

Our Mother’s Day Month blog series is entering its final week, and we’re savoring every last entry. This project has been so much fun for everyone --- us at the office, the authors, their mothers and you. Thanks for all the nice notes about it; I do think we will do it again. You can scroll through the complete series here. Coming up we have pieces from memoirist Wade Rouse, a touching tribute from Katherine Rosman, and a piece on being a grandmother from Barbara Graham. We are also sharing the daily pieces, and other book news, on our Facebook page.

For lunch on Mother’s Day, my husband and my younger son (the older one was at college studying for exams, making this the first of what I know will be many Mother’s Days we do not spend together) went with me to the Clinton Book Shop to share some pizzas with Harvey and Rob there as they took a break from their store move. They had organized a bucket brigade that morning where people moved books down the street to their new location passing them hand to hand. Well, this happened at 8:30AM, and since I am not a morning person but I REALLY am not a morning person on Mother’s Day, pizza at 1PM sounded a lot more civilized. I love their new space, and it was fun to be there before the store re-opened on Tuesday.

I have about 50 more pages to read in Nelson DeMille’s THE LION, which will be in stores on June 8th. I saw Nelson last night at an industry event and told him not to tell me how it ended. In his usual joking style, he said that he could tell me and save me the time. I have been enjoying this one enormously where the signature DeMille/John Corey humor is present on some pages juxtaposed with the anticipation of an assassin who has come back to seek his revenge. It really moves. The opening few chapters are so powerful that I dare you to read them and not get hooked.

Another moment of bookish humor. The other day I got an email from The Gap with a promo called “Love a Good Mystery.” I thought it was about books; instead it was for a "mystery priced gift card." Yes, I think my life and my work are pretty intertwined and I think everyone thinks about books like I do.

Gotta get reading…and hope you do too. Have a great week…read on…

Carol Fitzgerald ( Talks to Emily Giffin, Author of HEART OF THE MATTER

Emily Giffin is the author of five novels, including SOMETHING BORROWED, SOMETHING BLUE, BABY PROOF and LOVE THE ONE YOU’RE WITH. In this interview with’s Norah Piehl, Giffin recalls the event that inspired her latest work of fiction, HEART OF THE MATTER, and describes the appeal of creating flawed but sympathetic characters. She also discusses the ways in which her work has evolved over the years, reveals her most and least memorable experiences on tour, and shares details about her involvement with big-screen adaptations of her books.

HEART OF THE MATTER by Emily Giffin (Fiction)
In alternating, pitch-perfect points of view, Emily Giffin creates a moving, luminous story of good people caught in untenable circumstances. Each being tested in ways they never thought possible. Each questioning everything they once believed. And each ultimately discovering what truly matters most. Reviewed by Norah Piehl.

-Click here to read a review of HEART OF THE MATTER.
-Click here to read an excerpt from HEART OF THE MATTER.
-Click here to see the reading group guide for HEART OF THE MATTER.
-Click here to read Emily Giffin's bio.
-Click here to see Emily Giffin's backlist.
-Click here to read a blog post from Emily Giffin and her mother, Mary Ann Elgin.
-Click here to read critical praise for HEART OF THE MATTER.
-Click here to see our advance copy winners.


Click here to read our interview with Emily Giffin.


New Featured Suspense/Thriller Author: Kevin O'Brien, Author of VICIOUS

Kevin O'Brien returns with VICIOUS, his latest thriller starring the "Mama's Boy" killer. The Seattle-area serial killer who held the city in his grip and eluded police at every turn has not been heard from in years --- until he makes his unexpected, chilling return. VICIOUS will be available in stores on May 25th.

We have 20 copies of VICIOUS to give away to readers who would like to read the book and comment about it. If you are interested, please fill out this form by Friday, May 28th at noon ET.

-Click here to read an excerpt from VICIOUS.
here to read Kevin O'Brien's bio.

-Click here to see Kevin O'Brien's backlist.
-Click here to read critical praise for VICIOUS.
-Visit Kevin O'Brien's official website,
-Click here to read Kevin O'Brien's blog post about his mother, Adele.

More about VICIOUS:
For more than two years, he held Seattle in a terror grip. A cold-blooded killer who abducted young mothers right in front of their sons and murdered them execution style. Then, as suddenly as the killings began, they seemed to stop. Susan Blanchette is looking forward to a relaxing weekend getaway with her fiancé, Allen, and young son Matthew. But something about the remote lake house doesn’t feel right. A woman vanished from the area a year ago, and now Susan thinks she’s spotted someone lurking around the property. And when Allen disappears, her fear grows…

Click here to read more about Kevin O'Brien and VICIOUS.


New Featured One to Watch Author: Julie Metz, Author of PERFECTION

Julie Metz's powerful, emotional memoir, PERFECTION, chronicles the sudden death of her husband and the subsequent secret life he had away from her and their six-year-old daughter. Metz combats feelings of rage, helplessness and confusion as she tries to make sense of her family's past while building a new future. PERFECTION releases in paperback on May 18th.

We have 20 copies of PERFECTION to give away to readers who would like to read the book and comment about it. If you are interested, please fill out this form by Friday, May 21st at noon ET.

-Click here to read a review of PERFECTION.
here to read an excerpt from PERFECTION.
-Click here to see the reading group guide for PERFECTION.
-Click here to read an interview with Julie Metz.
here to read Julie Metz's bio.

-Click here to read critical praise for PERFECTION.

More about PERFECTION:
Julie Metz’s life changed forever on one ordinary January afternoon when her husband, Henry, collapsed on the kitchen floor and died in her arms. Suddenly, this mother of a six-year-old became the young widow in her bucolic small town. But that was only the beginning. Seven months after Henry’s death, just when Julie thought she was emerging from the worst of it, came the rest of it: Henry had hidden another life from her. PERFECTION is the story of rebuilding both a life and an identity after betrayal and widowhood, of rebirth and happiness --- if not perfection.

Click here to read more about Julie Metz and PERFECTION.

Now Available in Paperback: THE PHYSICK BOOK OF DELIVERANCE DANE by Katherine Howe

Harvard graduate student Connie Goodwin needs to spend her summer doing research for her doctoral dissertation. But when her mother asks her to handle the sale of Connie's grandmother's abandoned home near Salem, she can't refuse. As she is drawn deeper into the mysteries of the family house, Connie discovers an ancient key secreted within a 17th-century Bible. The key contains a yellowing fragment of parchment with a name written upon it: Deliverance Dane. This discovery launches Connie on a quest to find out who this woman was, and to unearth a rare colonial artifact of singular power: a physick book, its pages a secret repository for lost knowledge of herbs and other, stranger things.

-Click here to read a review of THE PHYSICK BOOK OF DELIVERANCE DANE.
-Click here to read an interview with Katherine Howe.
-Visit the book's official website,


Click here to read more about THE PHYSICK BOOK OF DELIVERANCE DANE.


Now in Theaters: Mother and Child

MOTHER AND CHILD. Three women’s lives share a common core: they have all been profoundly affected by adoption. Starring Annette Bening, Naomi Watts and Kerry Washington. Now playing in New York City and Los Angeles. Coming soon to a city near you.

Click here for more details about Mother and Child.


Featured Suspense/Thriller Author: Robert Dugoni, Author of BODILY HARM

In BODILY HARM, his latest David Sloane novel, bestselling legal thriller author Robert Dugoni delivers a pulse-pounding story of corporate greed, espionage, and the lengths to which one man is willing to go for justice. BODILY HARMA> will be in stores on May 25th.

-Click here to read a second excerpt from BODILY HARM.
here to read Robert Dugoni's bio.

-Click here to see Robert Dugoni's backlist.
-Click here to read critical praise for BODILY HARM.
-Visit Robert Dugoni's official website,
-Click here to read a blog post from Robert Dugoni's mother, Patty.
-Click here to see our advance copy winners.

More about BODILY HARM:
In his return as “the lawyer who does not lose,” David Sloane is on the verge of another victory, but something about the malpractice case has bothered him from the start. His uneasiness grows when toy designer Kyle Horgan confronts him on the way to the verdict to claim responsibility not only for the child’s death, but also for the fate of a second young boy in central Washington.

Click here to read more about Robert Dugoni and BODILY HARM.

Featured Suspense/Thriller Author: John Manning, Author of THE KILLING ROOM

John Manning's new thriller, THE KILLING ROOM, follows private detective Carolyn Cartwright's investigation of an old Maine mansion where secrets reveal deadly truths. One by one, members of the Young family meet their grisly deaths, and it's up to Cartwright to uncover the truth behind the murders.

-Click here to read a second excerpt from THE KILLING ROOM.
here to read John Manning's bio.

-Click here to see John Manning's backlist.
-Click here to read critical praise for THE KILLING ROOM.
-Click here to see our finished copy winners.

Old houses have their secrets. The Young residence --- a beautiful Maine mansion overlooking the Atlantic --- is no exception. But the secrets here are different. Carolyn Cartwright, private detective and ex-FBI agent, has been hired by Howard Young to investigate a string of gruesome family deaths. The crimes are horrific, brutal and senseless. One by one, members of the Young family are chosen to die. Old and young, weak and strong, no one is safe from a killer with a limitless thirst for revenge. And the only way for Carolyn to uncover the shocking truth is to enter the room no one has ever left alive.

Click here to read more about John Manning and THE KILLING ROOM.


Featured Suspense/Thriller Author: Sigmund Brouwer, Author of FLIGHT OF SHADOWS

In the not-too-distant future of Sigmund Brouwer's FLIGHT OF SHADOWS, society has been sharply divided into classes of the haves and have-nots. Caitlyn, the result of a genetic experiment gone wrong, finds herself pursued by all the battling classes and at the center of a crisis in this dystopian future.

-Click here to read a second excerpt from FLIGHT OF SHADOWS.
-Click here to read Sigmund Brouwer's bio.
-Click here to read critical praise for FLIGHT OF SHADOWS.
-Click here to see our advance copy winners.

She escaped the religious enclave of Appalachia. But peace and freedom are even further out of reach for Caitlyn as the myriad dangers pursuing her threaten to crush her last shred of hope. Will she ever discover the truth of her origin? A lightning-fast chase through an all-too-plausible future, bestselling author Sigmund Brouwer is at his best in this terrifying ride into the heart of compelling moral questions about science and society.

Click here to read more about Sigmund Brouwer and FLIGHT OF SHADOWS.

Featured Historical Romance Author: Mary Jo Putney, Author of NEVER LESS THAN A LADY

New York Times bestselling author Mary Jo Putney returns with NEVER LESS THAN A LADY, a stirring, sensual story of a rebellious nobleman drawn to a lovely widow with a shocking past. Julia Bancroft is a lonely woman with a dark secret that suddenly makes her the object of many men's desires.

-Click here to read a second excerpt from NEVER LESS THAN A LADY.
here to read Mary Jo Putney's bio.

-Click here to see Mary Jo Putney's backlist.
-Click here to read critical praise for NEVER LESS THAN A LADY.
-Click here to see our finished copy winners.

As the sole remaining heir to the Earl of Daventry, Alexander Randall knows his duty: find a wife and sire a son of his own. The perfect bride for a man in his position would be a biddable young girl of good breeding. But the woman who haunts his imagination is Julia Bancroft --- a village midwife with a dark secret that thrusts her into Randall's protection.

Click here to read more about Mary Jo Putney and NEVER LESS THAN A LADY.

Featured Historical Romance Author: Lynn Kurland, Author of ONE ENCHANTED EVENING
In ONE ENCHANTED EVENING, bestselling fantasy/romance novelist Lynn Kurland tells the story of a duty-bound knight who has taken on the task of rebuilding the most dilapidated castle in all of England and a costume designer who gets her chance to shine by showcasing her designs. The magic that whispers along the castle's hallways is about to orchestrate an improbable happily-ever-after.

-Click here to read a third excerpt from ONE ENCHANTED EVENING.
here to read Lynn Kurland's bio.
-Visit Lynn Kurland's official website,

-Click here to read critical praise for ONE ENCHANTED EVENING.
-Click here to see our finished copy winners.

Montgomery de Piaget attracts responsibilities like blossoms lure bees. Where other knights have bonny brides, laughing children and noble quests, he has the task of rebuilding the most dilapidated castle in all of England. A bit of magic might aid him --- if only he still believed in that sort of thing. When Pippa Alexander is invited to England to provide costumes for an upscale party, she jumps at the chance to showcase her own line of fairytale-inspired designs. Not that she believes in fairy tales, or magic that whispers along the hallways of an honest-to-goodness medieval castle… But the castle is full of more than cobwebs, and danger lurks in unexpected places.
Click here to read more about Lynn Kurland and ONE ENCHANTED EVENING.


Featured Historical Fiction Author: Mitchell James Kaplan, Author of BY FIRE, BY WATER

Mitchell James Kaplan's debut novel, BY FIRE, BY WATER, is being compared to such modern-day classics as Anita Diamant's THE RED TENT and Geraldine Brooks's PEOPLE OF THE BOOK --- not just for its exploration of religious oppression and New World adventure during the Spanish Inquisition, but also for its lush prose and captivating storytelling.

-Click here to read a third excerpt from BY FIRE, BY WATER.
here to read Mitchell James Kaplan's bio.

-Click here to read critical praise for BY FIRE, BY WATER.
-Click here to see our advance copy winners.

More about BY FIRE, BY WATER:
Luis de Santángel, chancellor to the court and longtime friend of the lusty King Ferdinand, has had enough of the Spanish Inquisition. Santángel is from a family of conversos, and his Jewish heritage makes him a target of the brutal Inquisitor Tomás de Torquemada. When a dear friend’s demise brings the violence close to home, Santángel takes retribution into his own hands, simultaneously growing ever closer to a beautiful Jewish silversmith, Judith Migdal.
Click here to read more about Mitchell James Kaplan and BY FIRE, BY WATER.

Featured One to Watch Author: Elizabeth Bass, Author of MISS YOU MOST OF ALL
Elizabeth Bass's sparkling debut, MISS YOU MOST OF ALL, will inspire laughs and tears as she tells the story of very different sisters who turn their childhood farm into a popular vacation spot. Their problems only grow when an estranged stepsister shows up with trouble not far behind.

-Click here to read a second excerpt from MISS YOU MOST OF ALL.
here to read Elizabeth Bass's bio.

-Click here to read critical praise for MISS YOU MOST OF ALL.
-Click here to see our finished copy winners.

Sassy Spinster Farm is a place to find solace. At least, that's what it's become since Rue Anderson and her sister Laura transformed their childhood Texas homestead into a successful tourist destination. It's where guests flock to get their hands dirty and taste food fresh from the garden. And it's where Rue is raising her preteen daughter on her own --- while trying to keep her outspoken sister in check. It's not easy, but together, it seems there's nothing the two can't handle --- until an unexpected, and not entirely welcome, guest shows up in the middle of one warm summer night.
Click here to read more about Elizabeth Bass and MISS YOU MOST OF ALL.

Featured Women's Fiction Author: Katie MacAlister, Author of LOVE IN THE TIME OF DRAGONS

Katie MacAlister launches the Light Dragons series with LOVE IN THE TIME OF DRAGONS, about an ordinary, everyday mom who finds herself with a case of mistaken identity. What's worse is that her identity is now that of a famous hero from dragon lore.

-Click here to read a second excerpt from LOVE IN THE TIME OF DRAGONS.
here to read Katie MacAlister's bio.
-Visit Katie MacAlister's official website,

-Click here to see Katie MacAlister's backlist.
-Click here to read critical praise for LOVE IN THE TIME OF DRAGONS.
-Click here to see our finished copy winners.

Tully Sullivan is just like any other suburban mom --- unless you count the days every year that she zones out and turns base metals into gold. Those are weird. And now she’s woken up in a strange place surrounded by strange people who keep insisting that they’re dragons --- and that she’s one, too. But not just any dragon. She’s Ysolde de Bouchier, a famed figure from dragon history.

Click here to read more about Katie MacAlister and LOVE IN THE TIME OF DRAGONS.

This Week's Reviews
WAR by Sebastian Junger (Current Events)
Journalist Sebastian Junger spent the better part of a year embedded with a combat platoon in Afghanistan. With WAR, he returns with an intense and unflinching look at the almost inhuman difficulty of the task they face and the bonds that compel them to perform it. Reviewed by Harvey Freedenberg.

-Click here to visit the publisher’s official website.

FEVER DREAM by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child (Thriller)
Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child return with another complex thriller featuring the Sherlock Holmes-like FBI Agent Aloysius Pendergast and his frequent partner, Lieutenant Vincent D’Agosta of the NYPD. This case once again delves into Pendergast’s past as he finds evidence that his wife’s death 12 years earlier in Africa may not have been an accident after all. Reviewed by Ray Palen.

-Click here to read an excerpt from FEVER DREAM.

PRIVATE LIFE by Jane Smiley (Historical Fiction)
PRIVATE LIFE is a compelling historical drama from Pulitzer Prize-winning author Jane Smiley that traverses the intimate landscape of one woman’s life, from the 1880s to World War II. Reviewed by Ray Palen.

-Click here to read an excerpt from PRIVATE LIFE.
-Click here to read an interview with Jane Smiley.
-Click here to see the reading group guide for PRIVATE LIFE.

THE SWIMMING POOL by Holly LeCraw (Fiction)
Holly LeCraw questions whether the mistakes of one generation are doomed to be repeated by the next in THE SWIMMING POOL, an intricate novel of passion, deception, and the secrets that keep families together and tear them apart. Reviewed by Norah Piehl.

-Click here to read an excerpt from THE SWIMMING POOL.
-Click here to read an interview with Holly LeCraw.
-Click here to see the reading group guide for THE SWIMMING POOL.
-Click here to read Holly LeCraw’s blog post about THE SWIMMING POOL.

HEROES FOR MY SON by Brad Meltzer (Inspirational/Parenting)
When Brad Meltzer welcomed his first child into the world, he started keeping a list of heroes whose virtues and talents he wanted his son to share when he grew up. HEROES FOR MY SON is a collection of 54 extraordinary men and women, some celebrated across the globe and some lesser-known, but each in their own right a hero.
Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

THE MAP OF TRUE PLACES by Brunonia Barry (Fiction)
Brunonia Barry’s bestselling debut novel, THE LACE READER, was a powerful family saga with an especially strong sense of place. As the title of her second book hints, THE MAP OF TRUE PLACES also concerns itself with geography --- as much with the sometimes rocky landscapes of family relationships and internal struggles as with the real-world places we inhabit. Reviewed by Norah Piehl.

FALCON SEVEN by James W. Huston (Thriller)
New York Times bestselling author James W. Huston returns with yet another powerful thriller. Exploding with international intrigue, sizzling courtroom drama, and heart-stopping action, FALCON SEVEN delivers an all-too-realistic tale of America under fire. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

DIE TWICE by Andrew Grant (Thriller)
A race is on to stop an agent gone bad from selling toxic gas to foreign terrorists. David Trevellyan, first seen in EVEN, returns with a vengeance, and he will stop at nothing to prevent mass destruction and ferret out a traitor among his ranks. Reviewed by Kate Ayers.

PEARL OF CHINA by Anchee Min (Historical Fiction)
In this ambitious and moving new novel, Anchee Min, the acclaimed author of EMPRESS ORCHID and RED AZALEA, brings to life a courageous and passionate woman who loved the country of her childhood and who has been hailed in China as a modern heroine. Reviewed by L. Dean Murphy.

-Click here to see the reading group guide for PEARL OF CHINA.

THE ARK by Boyd Morrison (Thriller)
When a biblical myth becomes reality, a madman decides to impose his own interpretation of the Bible on humanity. Standing in his way are an archaeologist and an engineer, who know what’s at stake and are the only two who can stop him from carrying out his plan. Reviewed by Amy Gwiazdowski.

THE WAR LOVERS: Roosevelt, Lodge, Hearst, and the Rush to Empire, 1898 by Evan Thomas (History)
On February 15, 1898, the American ship USS Maine mysteriously exploded in the Havana Harbor. Bestselling historian Evan Thomas brings us the full story of this monumental turning point in American history. THE WAR LOVERS takes us from Boston mansions to the halls of Congress to the beaches of Cuba and the jungles of the Philippines. Reviewed by Ron Kaplan.

DAUGHTERS OF FORTUNE by Tara Hyland (Fiction)
DAUGHTERS OF FORTUNE is the riveting saga of Elizabeth, Caitlin, and Amber, three sisters born to fashion magnate William Melville and their transformation from wayward, privileged girls into talented, beautiful women as they strive to find their place in the family business, in their father's heart, and in the world at large. Reviewed by Amie Taylor.

CITY OF DRAGONS by Kelli Stanley (Historical Mystery)
Fireworks explode in February 1940 as San Francisco celebrates Chinese New Year with a Rice Bowl Party, designed to raise money and support for China war relief. When private investigator Miranda Corbie stumbles upon the fatally shot body of Eddie Takahashi, the Chamber of Commerce wants it covered up and the cops acquiesce. All Miranda wants is justice --- whatever it costs. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.
Click here to read this week’s reviews.


As always, here are a few housekeeping notes. If you are seeing this newsletter in a text version, and would prefer to see the graphics, you can either read it online or change your preferences below.

Those of you who wish to send mail to, please see the form on the Write to Us page. If you would like to reach me, please write Writing any of the respond buttons below will not get to us.

Those who are subscribed to the newsletter by May 31, 2010 automatically are entered in our Monthly Newsletter Contest. This month, one winner will be selected to win the following five books: 61 HOURS by Lee Child, FEVER DREAM by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child, THE GIRL WHO KICKED THE HORNET'S NEST by Stieg Larsson, INNOCENT by Scott Turow and PRIVATE LIFE by Jane Smiley. Kimberly from Nashville, TN was last month's winner. She won THE BLACK CAT: A Richard Jury Mystery by Martha Grimes, DELIVER US FROM EVIL by David Baldacci, THE DOUBLE COMFORT SAFARI CLUB: The New No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency Novel by Alexander McCall Smith, EVERY LAST ONE by Anna Quindlen and THE SHADOW OF YOUR SMILE by Mary Higgins Clark.

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