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May 13, 2011 Newsletter May 13, 2011

Summer On My Mind

This week we enjoyed what the weatherman called “San Diego-like weather” in New York. Everyone seemed to have a bit more of a spring in their step, and I found myself longing to spend time swinging in the hammock to read instead of being sequestered in the office.

With these warm weather thoughts running through my mind last night, I had an opportunity to speak to a group of readers at my local library where I previewed a long list of summer titles. As I was preparing for this presentation, I was surprised to see how many books that will be published this summer I already had read. Of the books presented, I tried to touch on ones that might never make it onto these patrons’ radar, much the same as we do here on It was a fun night where I was able to share anecdotes about the authors and backstories on many of the books.

Tuesday night I went to see Paul Simon, my all-time favorite musician, at the Beacon Theater, a really perfect setting for a show like this. While I have always been impressed with how Paul experiments with sounds and rhythms, I equally have loved how he weaves words together so the songs become like little stories with lots of imagery. He's playing many of the songs from his critically-acclaimed new album So Beautiful So What, plus older tunes that stretch back to his Simon and Garfunkel days. My husband and sons enjoyed the evening as well, and the boys both picked up tour T-shirts as souvenirs! It’s funny that I never buy T-shirts like that much the same that I rarely get books signed. Sure, if an author sends me a book, or offers to inscribe one to me, I never turn down the chance, but I more enjoy hearing their backstories and what’s going on with their future work. I guess those are my own versions of souvenirs.

Mary Kay Andrews has been one of my favorite authors since I read her first book, SAVANNAH BLUES, in manuscript form many years ago. Her eBook of HISSY FIT is now available for only $1.99 for a limited time from Amazon,, iBooks and the Sony Bookstore, so if you’ve never had a chance to read Mary Kay, now is the time to get started! When the hardcover originally came out in 2004, our reviewer Roberta O'Hara wrote: “HISSY FIT is a funny and quirky satire of class, etiquette and southern sensibilities. A hilarious lead character, combined with the hints of a mystery and lavish and luxurious decorating hints, make for another hit from Andrews.” For those of you who want to get a look at what Mary Kay will be up to next, you can read an excerpt of her upcoming book, SUMMER RENTAL (pre-order from Amazon or IndieBound), which will be in stores and available on eBook.

Speaking of “southern sensibilities,” last year, SCOUT, ATTICUS & BOO: A Celebration of Fifty Years of To Kill a Mockingbird, by filmmaker Mary McDonagh Murphy, was published to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the first adult novel that many of us remember reading --- one book that millions of us have in common. Today Mary’s new documentary about celebrated author Harper Lee entitled Hey, Boo: Harper Lee and To Kill a Mockingbird, which features interviews with many of the notables included in her book --- such as Anna Quindlen, Tom Brokaw, James McBride, James Patterson, Wally Lamb and Oprah Winfrey --- is being released. The film will have a limited release in New York City and Los Angeles this week, with a nationwide release to follow. From the film footage that I saw last year, this offers a wonderful opportunity to explore this seminal work further. Hoping I can grab some time to go see it!

This week, we’re spotlighting two authors familiar to readers in our Romantic Suspense Author Spotlight: sisters Lisa Jackson and Nancy Bush. Their new book, WICKED LIES, is a sequel to WICKED GAME, which we featured back in 2009. In it, madman Justice Turnbull is pacing his room at Halo Valley Security Hospital, planning to escape. He’s on a mission fueled by a vicious murder two decades ago…and Laura Adderley can sense that he’s coming, intent on destroying her. We’re giving away 20 copies of WICKED LIES to those who would like to read the book and comment on it. Enter here by Friday, May 20th at noon ET.

We’re also happy to announce a new title in our Paperback Spotlight feature: FRAGILE by Lisa Unger, the New York Times bestselling author of DIE FOR YOU, BEAUTIFUL LIES, SLIVER OF TRUTH and BLACK OUT. FRAGILE takes place in The Hollows --- a quaint, charming town outside of New York City, where a psychiatrist must use her intuitive gift to help find the missing girlfriend of her teenage son. Like WICKED LIES, we know danger awaits the female protagonist. I read this one in hardcover and loved it! We’re also giving away 20 copies of this book, so enter here by Friday, May 20th at noon ET for your chance to win.

Speaking of Paperback Spotlights, we have a great interview this week with Lily King, author of FATHER OF THE RAIN, which released in paperback Tuesday. Joshua Bodwell, a journalist and writer in Maine, discusses with King the autobiographical basis of her novel and her inclination for exploring complex family relationships, like that of the father and daughter in FATHER OF THE RAIN. Sarah Rachel Egelman has our review and says, “FATHER OF THE RAIN is emotionally powerful, often stingingly sad, and richly complex. King's prose shines, and her depiction of the fragility of an alcoholic family is spot-on. But beyond the themes of alcoholism, the heart of the story is of the complicated relationships between fathers and daughters…a scary, thoughtful, provocative and engrossing novel, exploring one of the most charged relationships in recent literature.”

We also have a rave review of Brianna Karp's memoir, THE GIRL’S GUIDE TO HOMELESSNESS, which might hit close to home for those readers affected by the Great Recession and the rise of unemployment. Barbara Bamberger Scott has this to say about the book, which is now in stores: “In THE GIRL'S GUIDE TO HOMELESSNESS, you’ll experience the ups and downs of Dysfunctional Family Life, Child Labor, Joblessness, Money-lessness, Cyberlove, and obviously, Homelessness --- but not, as Karp points out, hopelessness. This is a book of hope and change.”

Nordic crime novels have really taken off in the past few years, and those by Jo Nesbø are no exception. His previous Harry Hole mysteries published in the U.S. include THE REDBREAST, NEMESIS and THE DEVIL’S STAR. In this new release, THE SNOWMAN (which boasts a great cover), a serial killer seems to strike on the day of a first snowfall. Joe Hartlaub just could not contain his excitement about the book in his review: “Have you ever received an electric shock from the mere act of picking up a book? I have. It happened with NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN by Cormac McCarthy, and now again with THE SNOWMAN, Jo Nesbø’s latest novel released in the United States. It’s supercharged from beginning to end.”

Another thriller, and the latest in Eric Van Lustbader's Jack McClure-Alli Carson series, BLOOD TRUST, sees National Security Adviser McClure investigating the dark heart of the international slave trade, tied to a powerful Albanian crime lord whose ability and influence in global terrorism grows with each day. Like the first two books in the series, FIRST DAUGHTER and LAST SNOW, we’re sure this latest addition will jump onto the New York Times bestseller list. Reviewer Kate Ayers says, “BLOOD TRUST spans a harrowing few days for the former first daughter and special agent Jack McClure, a masterful team. Their latest exploits will keep Lustbader’s readers flipping through the pages as fast as they can, and then wishing for more. Lovers of intelligent thrillers will eat this up.”

To keep your heart pumping, SEAL TEAM SIX, by Howard E. Wasdin and Stephen Templin, details a real-life secret unit tasked with counterterrorism, hostage rescue and counterinsurgency. Wasdin recounts his missions, one of which was to kill or capture Somalian warlord Mohamed Farrah Aidid. From rooftops, helicopters and alleys, Wasdin hunted Aidid. One need only think of the recent killing of bin Laden when they get their hands on this new book. According to reviewer Ray Palen, “SEAL TEAM SIX tells a great saga about a highly determined and patriotic man who gave his all for his country and continues to pay it forward by helping people with his chiropractic practice. I cannot say enough good things about this very well-told and thoroughly engaging memoir.”

Of course, reading this memoir and reflecting on current events in Pakistan reminds me how we need to care for our veterans. "We" were not there; "they" were. I'm a long-time supporter of the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America organization. Their tireless work on behalf of veterans drives home how much there is to think about when soldiers come home, especially now as many are returning here to the highest unemployment rates in recent history. A donation to them says "thanks" to all the soldiers whose presence overseas enabled this mission.

We’re continuing to celebrate the release of RACING IN THE RAIN: My Life as a Dog by Garth Stein, a young reader's edition of the beloved bestseller THE ART OF RACING IN THE RAIN, a huge book club favorite. We’ve created a website where you can learn more about both books and get some ideas on how to read these books as a family so everyone can read, enjoy and talk about Enzo, the wise canine narrator who loves philosophy and race cars. It’s pretty special when an entire family can discuss the same book, and we have written up some ideas on how you can do just that with our Family Discussion Guide. You can also comment about the books here. As a very special treat, your family can enter to win a phone or Skype chat with Garth as well a signed copy of both books and some “I Heart Enzo” T-shirts and “Go Enzo” baseball caps from The Enzo Store. Five runners-up can also win signed books, shirts and caps. Enter here by Friday, June 3rd at noon ET. It should be a lot of fun!

We’re also sharing our contest for MYSTERY WRITERS OF AMERICA PRESENTS THE RICH AND THE DEAD, a collection of short stories from today’s leading mystery writers, including Nelson DeMille (who also edited the anthology), Michael Connelly and Ted Bell. One reader will have the opportunity to win a copy of the book, signed by 11 of the authors. To enter, all you have to do is answer this question by Friday, May 20th at noon ET: “If you could team up any two recurring mystery novel characters to solve a crime, who would they be?” I’m looking forward to seeing who all your crime-solving duos would be!

We’ve updated this month’s Books into Movies feature, and for those in the mood for a light romp of a film, check out Something Borrowed, based on Emily Giffin's novel of the same name. In the movie, Rachel (played by Ginnifer Goodwin) is a talented attorney at a top New York law firm, a generous and loyal friend, and, unhappily, still single…as her engaged best friend Darcy (played by Kate Hudson) is constantly reminding her. But after one drink too many at her 30th birthday party, perpetual good girl Rachel unexpectedly ends up in bed with the guy she's had a crush on since law school…who just happens to be Darcy's fiancé. The book was a fun, smart read, and from all I have read, the movie is just as fun.

My weekend will be a quiet one. I have no plans except tossing huge hints to get the pool opened and lots of time for reading and relaxing after a very hectic last six weeks. I am enjoying SILVER SPARROW by Tayari Jones (pre-order from Amazon or IndieBound), which I spoke about in last week’s newsletter. After hearing Tayari speak in Los Angeles, this June book moved to the top of my stack. The story is narrated by two girls, both of whom are the offspring of James Witherspoon, a man who is a bigamist. The first half of the book is told by Dana Lynn, the young woman who was born first, but whose mother married James second --- and illegally. She knows of her “sister” but has been told she must keep her relationship to her a secret. The second half of the story, which I am just starting, is narrated by Charisse, who knows nothing of her “sibling.” It’s an Indie #1 Pick for June, and reading it I can see why. Just so well done.

Headed to Washington, DC next Friday to speak at a conference of authors who write biographies on Saturday. Then it will be a crazy week as BookExpo America, the annual book trade conference, kicks off in New York, where I will hear about the upcoming fall titles. And here I was thinking I was just starting to feel like I was caught up on summer and BAM I will be behind again. With that in mind…read on.

Carol Fitzgerald (


Now in Stores: THE SNOWMAN by Jo Nesbo

THE SNOWMAN written by Jo Nesbø, translated by Don Bartlett (Mystery)
It is Oslo in November, and the first snow of the season has fallen. A boy named Jonas wakes in the night to find his mother gone. Antihero police investigator Harry Hole suspects a link between a menacing letter and the disappearance of Jonas’s mother --- and of perhaps a dozen other women, all of whom went missing on the day of a first snowfall. As Hole’s investigation deepens, something else emerges: he is becoming a pawn in a terrifying game devised by the killer. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

-Click here to read an excerpt from THE SNOWMAN.


Click here to read a review of THE SNOWMAN.

Now in Stores: SEAL TEAM SIX by Howard E. Wasdin and Stephen Templin

SEAL TEAM SIX: Memoirs of an Elite Navy SEAL Sniper by Howard E. Wasdin and Stephen Templin (Memoir)
SEAL Team Six is a secret unit tasked with counterterrorism, hostage rescue and counterinsurgency. Less than half a year after Howard Wasdin graduated sniper school, he started fighting for his life. One of his many missions: capture or kill Somalian warlord Mohamed Farrah Aidid. From rooftops, helicopters and alleys, Wasdin hunted Aidid. Later, of the 18 Special Forces snipers in SEAL Team Six, Wasdin became one of the best snipers on the planet. But then everything quickly went to hell. Reviewed by Ray Palen.

-Click here to read an excerpt from SEAL TEAM SIX.


Click here to read a review of SEAL TEAM SIX.

Now in Stores: BLOOD TRUST by Eric Van Lustbader

BLOOD TRUST: A McClure-Carson Novel by Eric Van Lustbader (Thriller)
Just as former First Daughter Alli Carson is trying to put her life back together, she finds herself the prime suspect in her boyfriend’s murder, while Jack McClure is using his unique talents to hunt down an infamous terrorist. Together with several old and some new friends, they work to clear Alli’s name and rid the world of one of its worst criminals. Reviewed by Kate Ayers.

-Click here to read an excerpt from BLOOD TRUST.
-Visit Eric Van Lustbader’s official website,


Click here to read a review of BLOOD TRUST.


New Featured Romantic Suspense Authors: Lisa Jackson and Nancy Bush, Authors of WICKED LIES

Sisters Lisa Jackson and Nancy Bush team up once again to write WICKED LIES, the sequel to their 2009 supernatural thriller, WICKED GAME. Psychopath Justice Turnbull is on a mission fueled by a vicious murder two decades ago --- and Laura Adderley can sense that he’s coming, intent on destroying her.

We have 20 copies of WICKED LIES, which will be in stores May 31st, to give away to readers who would like to preview the book and comment about it. If you are interested, please fill out this form by Friday, May 20th at noon ET.

-Click here to read an excerpt from WICKED LIES.
-Click here to read critical praise for WICKED LIES.
-Click here to watch a special trailer for WICKED LIES.
-Read bios of Lisa Jackson and Nancy Bush.
-Read the backlists of Lisa Jackson and Nancy Bush.
-Visit the official websites of Lisa Jackson and Nancy Bush.

More about WICKED LIES:
For two years, Justice Turnbull has paced his room at Halo Valley Security Hospital, planning to escape. Justice has a mission --- one that began with a vicious murder two decades ago. And there are so many others who must be sent back to the hell that spawned them…

Laura Adderley didn’t plan to get pregnant by her soon-to-be ex-husband, though she’ll do anything to protect her baby. But now reporter Harrison Frost is asking questions about the mysterious group of women who live at Siren Song lodge. Harrison hasn’t figured out Laura’s connection to the story yet. But Justice knows. And he is coming…

All her life, Laura has been able to sense approaching evil. But that won’t stop a psychopath bent on destroying her. Justice has been unleashed, and this time, there will be no place safe to hide...


Click here to read more about Lisa Jackson, Nancy Bush and WICKED LIES.


New Paperback Spotlight and Contest: FRAGILE by Lisa Unger

Lisa Unger, the New York Times bestselling author of BEAUTIFUL LIES, SLIVER OF TRUTH, BLACK OUT and DIE FOR YOU, returns with FRAGILE, her 2010 mystery that will be available in paperback on May 17th. The book takes place in The Hollows, a quaint, charming town outside of New York City, where a psychiatrist must use her intuitive gift to help find the missing girlfriend of her teenage son.

To celebrate the paperback release of FRAGILE, we are giving 20 readers the chance to win a copy of the book. All you have to do is fill out this form by Friday, May 20th at noon ET.

-Click here to read a review of FRAGILE.
-Click here to read an excerpt from FRAGILE.
-Click here to read critical praise for FRAGILE.
-Click here to read Lisa Unger’s bio.
-Click here to see Lisa Unger’s backlist.
-Visit Lisa Unger’s official website,

More about FRAGILE:
Everybody knows everybody in The Hollows, a quaint, charming town outside of New York City. It’s a place where neighbors keep an eye on one another’s kids, where people say hello in the grocery store, and where high school cliques and antics are never quite forgotten. As a child, Maggie found living under the microscope of small-town life stifling. But as a wife and mother, she has happily returned to The Hollows’s insular embrace. As a psychologist, her knowledge of family histories provides powerful insights into her patients’ lives. So when the girlfriend of her teenage son, Rick, disappears, Maggie’s intuitive gift proves useful to the case --- and also dangerous.


Click here to see our Paperback Spotlight feature for FRAGILE and enter the contest.


Special Contest: Win a Chat with Garth Stein for Your Family to Celebrate the Release of RACING IN THE RAIN

"The race is long. It is better to drive within oneself and finish the race behind the other than it is to drive too hard and crash."

That's the wisdom of Enzo, a dog with a lot to say about cars and life. When THE ART OF RACING IN THE RAIN --- Garth Stein's novel about Enzo and his owners --- was published in 2008, readers immediately fell in love with Enzo, and the book has been a New York Times bestseller ever since. That's because, once people finish reading the novel, they want to tell everybody about it.

Now the whole family can read about Enzo together --- RACING IN THE RAIN: My Life as a Dog is now available in an edition for junior readers.

Consider this site your “Enzo pit stop” with information about the books as well as a Special RACING IN THE RAIN Contest, where your family can win a chat with Garth Stein, signed books and “I Heart Enzo” T-shirts and “Go Enzo” baseball caps from the Enzo Store.


Click here to see our special site for RACING IN THE RAIN.

Special Contest: Win a Copy of MYSTERY WRITERS OF AMERICA PRESENTS THE RICH AND THE DEAD edited by Nelson DeMille

We are celebrating the release of MYSTERY WRITERS OF AMERICA PRESENTS THE RICH AND THE DEAD --- a collection of short stories from today’s leading mystery writers, including Nelson DeMille (who also edited the anthology), Michael Connelly and Ted Bell --- with a special contest. One reader will have the opportunity to win a copy of the book, signed by 11 of the authors, which is in stores now. To enter, fill out this form by Friday, May 20th at noon ET and answer the following question:

If you could team up any two recurring mystery novel characters to solve a crime, who would they be?

The truly wealthy live in another world. From their multi-national businesses to their palatial mansions to their exotic vacations at glamorous places all around the world, they do everything in a big way. And sometimes, that even includes crime.

In this anthology, you'll read about a wealthy writer who plots murder against his hopeless agent, an aging actress who clings to her past of wealth and fame, and a spoiled rich boy who steps into dangerous territory with his mean antics, among others. THE RICH AND THE DEAD features mystery and crime stories set among the upper crust of society, going behind the scenes of the lifestyles of the two percent of the world that controls 60 percent of its riches --- and just how far they'll go to stay on top.



Click here to read all the contest details.


Paperback Spotlight: FATHER OF THE RAIN by Lily King

FATHER OF THE RAIN by Lily King (Fiction)
Winner of the New England Book Award for Fiction and a New York Times Editors' Choice, Lily King's masterful third novel received glowing critical praise upon its initial publication and is poised to make an even bigger splash in paperback.

Gardiner Amory is a New England WASP who's beginning to feel the cracks in his empire. Nixon is being impeached, his wife is leaving him, and his worldview is rapidly becoming outdated. His daughter, Daley, has spent the first 11 years of her life negotiating her parents' conflicting worlds: the liberal, socially committed realm of her mother and the conservative, decadent, liquor-soaked life of her father. But when they divorce, and Gardiner's basest impulses are unleashed, the chasm quickly widens and Daley is stretched thinly across it.

-Click here to read a review of FATHER OF THE RAIN.
-Click here to read an excerpt from FATHER OF THE RAIN.
-Click here to read critical praise for FATHER OF THE RAIN.
-Click here to read an interview with Lily King.
-Click here to read Lily King’s bio.
-Click here to see Lily King’s backlist.
-Click here to see the 20 winners selected to read FATHER OF THE RAIN.


Click here to see our Paperback Spotlight feature for FATHER OF THE RAIN.


Paperback Spotlight: THE GIRL'S GUIDE TO HOMELESSNESS by Brianna Karp

THE GIRL'S GUIDE TO HOMELESSNESS: A Memoir by Brianna Karp (Memoir)
Brianna Karp entered the workforce at age 10, supporting her mother and sister throughout her teen years in Southern California. Although her young life was scarred by violence and abuse, Karp stayed focused on her dream of a steady job and a home of her own. By age 22 her dream became reality. Karp loved her job as an executive assistant and signed the lease on a tiny cottage near the beach.

And then the Great Recession hit. Karp, like millions of others, lost her job. In the six months between the day she was laid off and the day she was forced out onto the street, Karp scrambled for temp work and filed hundreds of job applications, only to find all doors closed. When she inherited a 30-foot travel trailer after her father's suicide, Karp parked it in a Walmart parking lot and began to blog about her search for work and a way back.

-Click here to read a review of THE GIRL’S GUIDE TO HOMELESSNESS.
-Click here to read an excerpt from THE GIRL’S GUIDE TO HOMELESSNESS.
-Click here to read critical praise for THE GIRL’S GUIDE TO HOMELESSNESS.
-Click here to read Brianna Karp’s bio.
-Click here to visit Brianna Karp’s official website.
-Click here to see the 20 winners selected to read THE GIRL’S GUIDE TO HOMELESSNESS.


Click here to see our Paperback Spotlight feature for THE GIRL'S GUIDE TO HOMELESSNESS.

May's New in Paperback Roundup
May's roundup of New in Paperback fiction titles includes THE PASSAGE by Justin Cronin, an epic and gripping tale of catastrophe and survival involving a government experiment of apocalyptic proportions; INNOCENT, the highly anticipated follow-up to Scott Turow’s debut thriller, PRESUMED INNOCENT, in which Judge Rusty Sabich stands accused of murdering his wife; Brady Udall’s THE LONELY POLYGAMIST, a tragicomic story of a deeply faithful man who becomes entangled in a dangerous affair; FULL DARK, NO STARS, which comprises new and unforgettable short works from the #1 internationally bestselling Stephen King; and Nevada Barr’s 16th Anna Pigeon novel, BURN, in which the National Park Service ranger must navigate the post-Katrina urban jungle.

Among our nonfiction highlights are WAR by Sebastian Junger, author of THE PERFECT STORM, which details his 15-month tour of duty in the most dangerous outpost in Afghanistan's Korengal Valley; Susan Casey’s THE WAVE, which is about colossal, ship-swallowing waves, and the surfers and scientists who seek them out; and BREAKING NIGHT, Liz Murray’s amazing journey from homelessness to Harvard that wowed audiences when it was published for the first time last year.

Click here to see our New in Paperback feature for May.


Books into Movies/Books into Movies on DVD for May

Spring is in the air, and it's a pleasure to be outdoors again. But if you're forced to combat allergies this season, you might as well duck into a dark theater.'s Books into Movies feature is spotlighting eight flicks --- because sometimes May flowers just don't do the trick.

To start this month off right, two unique superheroes will righteously battle. Thor, an epic adventure inspired by Stan Lee's creative genius, spans from present-day Earth to the realm of Asgard. The Mighty Thor must learn what it takes to be a true hero, after his reckless actions reignite an ancient war. em>Priest --- based on the graphic novel series by Hyung Min-woo --- sees another legendary warrior beginning a crusade, after a murderous pack of vampires abduct his beloved niece.

But if you're looking for less bloodshed, Something Borrowed, based on Emily Giffin's novel of the same name, is a safe bet, providing unexpected twists of romance and conflict. On a quirkier note, An Invisible Sign focuses on 20-year-old Mona Gray, whose obsession with math serves as an emotional band-aid for dealing with her ill father. And in Everything Must Go --- adapted from a popular short story by master storyteller Raymond Carver --- an alcoholic loses his wife and his job. We have a feeling that, despite the characters' struggles, happy endings are in store for all three films.

For fans of the Deep South and in anticipation of Father's Day, Bloodworth tackles the consequences of E.F. Bloodworth's decision to abandon his wife and sons for 40 years on the road. Another movie that deals with heavy consequences is HBO's Too Big to Fail, based on the bestselling book by Andrew Ross Sorkin that zeros in on the financial crises of 2008, and reveals some startling surprises. If we're talking surprises, there's also The Vintner's Luck, which tells the tale of a peasant winemaker who has three loves --- one of whom is a fallen angel with wings that smell of snow.

If, by the end of all this, your Claritin still isn't kicking in, relax at home with The Green Hornet, The Rite and I Am Number Four, all spotlighted in our Books into Movies on DVD feature.

Click here for more details about May's films.


This Week's Reviews

FAITH by Jennifer Haigh (Fiction)
In the spring of 2002, a perfect storm has hit Boston. Across the city's archdiocese, trusted priests have been accused of the worst possible betrayals. Estranged for years from her difficult relatives, Sheila McGann has remained close to her older brother Art --- the popular, dynamic pastor of a large suburban parish. When Art finds himself at the center of the maelstrom, Sheila returns to Boston, ready to fight for him and his reputation. But what she discovers is more complicated than she imagined. Reviewed by Bronwyn Miller.

READING MY FATHER: A Memoir by Alexandra Styron (Memoir)
William Styron’s youngest child explores the life of a fascinating and difficult man whose own memoir, DARKNESS VISIBLE, so searingly chronicled his battle with major depression. Alexandra’s parents --- the Pulitzer Prize–winning author of SOPHIE’S CHOICE and his political activist wife, Rose --- were, for half a century, leading players on the world’s cultural stage. She was raised under both the halo of her father’s brilliance and the long shadow of his troubled mind. Reviewed by Stephen Hubbard.

MY NEW AMERICAN LIFE by Francine Prose (Fiction)
Temporarily submerged by our economic woes, the debate over immigration policy simmers just below the surface of American political and social life. In her lighthearted, consistently engaging new novel, Francine Prose tells the story of Lula, a savvy young Albanian immigrant trying to gain a foothold in a country that at times seems as strange as her native land. Reviewed by Harvey Freedenberg.

THE WHITE DEVIL by Justin Evans (Gothic Thriller)
The Harrow School in London is home to privileged adolescents known as much for their distinctive dress as for their arrogance. Seventeen-year-old Andrew Taylor is enrolled there, and when a schoolmate dies mysteriously of a severe pulmonary illness, Andrew is blamed. Soon he is an outcast, spurned by nearly all his peers. Then a pale, strange boy begins to visit him at night. Either Andrew is losing his mind, or the house legend about his dormitory being haunted is actually true. Reviewed by Barbara Lipkien Gershenbaum.

THE HUNCHBACK OF NEIMAN MARCUS: A Novel About Marriage, Motherhood, and Mayhem by Sonya Sones (Fiction)
Sonya Sones’s first book for adults is, like her YA literature, a novel-in-verse. Her character, Holly, is a writer who's way behind on her deadline. But how can Holly concentrate on her work when her 50th birthday is rushing at her like a freight train and her 80-year-old mother is biting her nurses? Not to mention menopause, her daughter applying to colleges over a thousand miles away, and her husband being an irritating, finger-pointing stinker. Reviewed by Jana Siciliano.

-Click here to see the reading group guide for THE HUNCHBACK OF NEIMAN MARCUS.

Nearly 400 years after his death, William Shakespeare permeates our everyday lives: from the words we speak to the teenage heartthrobs we worship to the political rhetoric spewed by the news. In the pages of this book, Esquire columnist Stephen Marche uncovers the hidden influence of Shakespeare in our culture. Reviewed by Stuart Shiffman.

WHO SHOT THE WATER BUFFALO? by Ken Babbs (Historical Fiction)
Ken Babbs, famously a Merry Prankster and the best friend and working partner of Ken Kesey, has at last finished his first novel --- and the wait was worth it. Lieutenant Tom Huckelbee, leathery as any Texican come crawling out of the sage, and Lieutenant Mike Cochran, loquacious son of an Ohio gangster, make an unlikely pair training to be Marine chopper pilots on their way to Vietnam. Reviewed by Judy Gigstad.

Click here to read this week's reviews.


Poll and Question of the Week: Commenting on Reviews


If a comments section is available, do you share your thoughts on book reviews that you read online?

All the time
No, but I would like to start doing this.
I usually don’t read book reviews online.

-Click here to answer our poll.


What is the latest book you bought or borrowed because of a review you read? Did it live up to your expectations? Why or why not?

-Click here to answer our question.

Word of Mouth: Tell Us What You're Reading --- and You Can Win THREE Books!
Tell us what books YOU are reading and loving --- or even those you don't.

This week we have three great prizes: FIVE readers each will win a copy of DREAMS OF JOY by Lisa See, MURDER ONE by Robert Dugoni and SUMMER RENTAL by Mary Kay Andrews. Tell us what you are reading here and rate the titles 1-5 by noon ET on Friday, June 3rd to ensure that you are in the running to win these books.

Click here for more details about Word of Mouth.


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