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June 3, 2011 Newsletter June 3, 2011

My Personal Lost in Translation Moment

Last night I went to see Gregg Allman at a small theater in New Jersey with my husband and sons. The plan was that we would have dinner at 7 as the concert started at 8. I promised to leave the office at 6 to make this happen, which of course meant I left around 6:15 as one thing or another came up as I was trying to leave. My older son, who works with us, got in the car and plugged in his GPS since we were clueless as to where we were going. Greg is a self-proclaimed "Anglophile" and thus has his GPS programmed to British-speak. The directions kept telling me to take the Slip Road no matter what town I was in, including New York City. This was accompanied by an urgent turn right or left. I finally asked him, “WHAT is up with Slip Road?” He looked at me like I was clueless, which I was, and said that means exit ramp. Gee, HOW could I have not figured that out on my own!

The Mexican place we planned to eat at was of course booked, and the Italian place next to the theater that we settled on had no pizza as they had run out of dough (I was trying to get a grasp on how this happened as they had 12 pizzas featured on their menu). Dinner arrived at 6:50, and we inhaled it to get to the theater on time, forgetting this was a music concert, not a Broadway theater. There was an opening act, and Allman did not drift on til after 9! The show was terrific --- so good that I may forgive him for not playing my all-time favorite song of his, "Queen of Hearts." It was recently announced that Allman is writing a memoir that will be published by HarperCollins’s William Morrow division in Spring 2012. So as Gregg was in town, he had meetings and lunch with the publisher on Wednesday and at least one photo of a staffer pal, and he popped up on Facebook. I should have had THEM ask him to play "Queen of Hearts" for me!

In the blur of reporting on BookExpo America coverage, I failed to share that at the American Booksellers Association Awards luncheon, I was seated with Jennifer Egan, the Pulitzer Prize winner of A VISIT FROM THE GOON SQUAD. While the table setup (I was three seats away) and the program did not make lots of conversation easy, Jennifer was gracious and fun. Winner of the ABA's Indies Choice Book Award for Fiction was Emma Donoghue, whose ROOM is such a terrific read and a Bets On selection. Had a nice chat with her after the award ceremony, where I talked about how that cover was just perfect for the book, which she agreed with. Lovely event.

At a dinner on Wednesday night of BEA, I was seated so my triangulated conversation was with Karin Slaughter, Nancy Pearl and Mark Siegel. I cannot wait for FALLEN (pre-order at IndieBound or Amazon) to get into bookstores on June 21st so you can enjoy it as much as I did; it’s Karin’s best book! We also got to talk about her Save the Libraries program. I may have shared that Greg has read a number of Ian Rankin books, and I was wondering what encouraged him to read the books. He said that he had read about them in Nancy Pearl’s Book Lust series. Nancy loved that story, and we exchanged titles of books that we both recently had enjoyed. As much as we both read, it was such fun to hear about books that were not on my radar. Mark is a brilliant graphic novel creator --- both an artist and writer, as well as a superb editor at First Second Books, someone who has a keen eye and taste. He drew a quick sketch of Nancy about something we joked about during dinner, and I had fun watching him studying her and drawing and lettering it. Serendipitous moments like that are such fun.

I also love what I learn from our readers. This week, Mary Lou, one of our readers, picked up a flyer at the San Clemente branch library and wrote to let me know that Saturday, June 11th -19th, World Wide Knit in Public Days will be held around the world. How much fun is this? And now I have a reason to knit in public.

This week we have three new author features to check out. We’ll start with our Suspense/Thriller Author Spotlight and BURIED SECRETS by Joseph Finder, the long-awaited second novel centering on “private spy” Nick Heller. I’ve been reading Finder for a long time and can say this is his best work to date. I was lucky enough to read the manuscript back in October and chat with Joe about it when we were in San Francisco for Bouchercon. Joe has a real knack for pace and ratcheting up the tension, and it all comes together with BURIED SECRETS. Nick Heller is racing against the clock to save the daughter of a high-profile financier, who may have done business with the wrong associates. We have 20 copies of the book for those who enter here by Friday, June 10th at noon ET. BURIED SECRETS goes on sale June 21st. You can also visit to check out a lot of bonus material for BURIED SECRETS. There are some really cool videos there!

Another one of my favorite authors, Robert Dugoni, is also back with a new book just in time for summer reading. MURDER ONE is his latest legal thriller featuring prosecutor David Sloane, who finds his personal and professional lives intersecting when the female romantic interest stands charged with the murder of a Russian drug lord. If you haven’t read a David Sloane novel, or anything by Dugoni, then you owe it to yourself to start. There are a lot of twists and turns along the way that keep you guessing until those final few pages. MURDER ONE will hit stores this Tuesday, June 7th. Robert let me know that he has been named the Guest Honor at Killer Nashville: A Conference for Thriller, Suspense & Mystery Writers and Lovers held in late August, an honor previously given to Mary Higgins Clark, Michael Connelly and J.A. Jance. Not bad company!

Although we do not have a contest for MURDER ONE, you can win a copy of it --- and more --- as part of our Father’s Day Contest and Feature. We have five backpacks filled with seven books, including MURDER ONE, to give away to readers who enter here by Monday, June 13th. You can check out all our featured titles here. It’s a great list filled with diverse titles and genres. Robert will also be contributing to our Father’s Day Blog Series, which gets started Monday and will run right through Dad’s big weekend. Be sure to check it out as lots of great heartfelt essays and interviews have been planned.

We’re featuring THE DARK ENQUIRY by Deanna Raybourn in our Romantic Suspense Author Spotlight this week. This is the latest in her bestselling Lady Julia Grey series, and it will be in stores on Tuesday, June 21st. Lady Julia finds herself investigating a special case for her prim-and-proper brother, only to find the trail leads to an exclusive underground club filled with supernatural encounters and black magic practices. I have been reading Deanna’s series since the first book, and she handles historical details beautifully. If you like Jacqueline Winspear, you will be interested in Deanna’s work. We have 20 copies of THE DARK ENQUIRY to give away to readers who enter here by Friday, June 10th at noon ET.

I hope you all have been keeping tabs on our Summer Reading contests that kicked off earlier this week. We’ve wrapped up Week 1 with lucky readers winning copies of THE SNOWMAN by Jo Nesbø, PEARL OF CHINA by Anchee Min and PRETTY LITTLE THINGS by Jilliane Hoffman. Check back Monday for our next prize book, or subscribe here to receive our special daily alert emails. You can check out the full list of books we’re featuring throughout the summer here. We’re just getting started!

We also have reviews of some eagerly anticipated books this week, beginning with Lisa See’s DREAMS OF JOY, which picks up where SHANGHAI GIRLS left off, with Joy, the headstrong teenage daughter, fleeing to Shanghai to track down her estranged father as the country’s New Society of Red China gets underway. I always look forward to reading Lisa’s latest and hearing her talk about her research and personal connection to the story, and was disappointed to have missed seeing her at three points during BEA. Lisa and I see each other more in L.A. than we do in New York. Reviewer Roz Shea says, “Lisa See is among the few to write about how the people in the countryside survived as they became enslaved to serve Chairman Mao. Her extensive research led her to some aging survivors who told their stories. These shared personal histories underlie Joy’s experiences on the commune. They are what makes DREAMS OF JOY much more than just a heartwarming story of heroic love between a mother and daughter.” Lisa also contributed an essay to the blog earlier this week, which you can read here. She’s also embarking on a huge tour that you can read more about here.

IN THE GARDEN OF BEASTS: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler’s Berlin by Erik Larson is a book getting passed around quickly in my house. I think I’m the only one who hasn’t read it yet, and that’s only because someone keeps snatching my original copy, thus I picked up my own copy when I heard him speak at BEA last week. As he did with his blockbuster THE DEVIL IN THE WHITE CITY, Larson pours himself into the research and details, telling it in a rich, narrative voice. Reviewer Kate Ayers says, “Erik Larson tackles this outstanding period of history as fully and compellingly as he portrayed the events in his bestseller, THE DEVIL IN THE WHITE CITY. With each page, more horrors are revealed, making it impossible to put down. IN THE GARDEN OF BEASTS reads like the true thriller it is.”

Sisters Lisa Jackson and Nancy Bush teamed up to write WICKED LIES, their second book together after 2009’s WICKED GAME, which was a Romantic Suspense Author Spotlight title. Amie Taylor has our review this week and says, “In this follow-up to WICKED GAME, where Justice Turnbull began his reign of terror, we're afforded a more intimate glimpse into the mind of a killer and the mysterious lives of the women of Siren Song. The mystery continues to unfold, bit by agonizing bit. WICKED LIES provides over 500 pages of twists, turns and terror that keep the reader enthralled. You'll fear for Laura, root for Harrison, despise Justice, and yearn to know what shocking events loom between you and the conclusion of the story.” Amie also interviewed Lisa and Nancy as they talk about co-authoring, some family competition, and where this series is heading. Click here for the interview.

Last weekend I went on a tear planting flowers, zipping from garden center to garden center to find colorful blossoms. Then it was dirt, plant, more dirt, water. The following morning I wandered outside and thought I would count how many pots I had planted. I guessed 20. It was 43! I kid you not; I guess I went a little overboard. Blame it on my excitement about seeing the sun shining. I love the way the patio and yard look, and the spectacular weather had me outside every evening this week. There is no outdoor lighting so I have found myself grabbing my iPad for evening reading. I was reading a manuscript this week and was alternating between the printed page inside and the digital copy outside. I so see why I would want bundled print/digital copies of books. It just makes it easier!

The pool cleared in 48 hours; I think my glaring at it helped, and thus I did get in a chilly swim on Monday. My younger son was doing math equations to come up with the solar plan for heating it. I will give him an “A” if he figures it out! Memorial Day had me thinking about the troops as well as our veterans. We went to the town parade, which is always amusing as it is small town hokey, and when the airplanes did a “missing man” flyby, I got choked up. Something about that always hits me. We found a piece this week on with information on how to share books with troops overseas that I wanted to share with you. Click here to read it.

Quiet weekend planned again this weekend. Here's to reading and watering.

Carol Fitzgerald (


Now in Stores: DREAMS OF JOY by Lisa See

DREAMS OF JOY by Lisa See (Historical Fiction)
In SNOWFLOWER AND THE SECRET FAN, PEONY IN LOVE and SHANGHAI GIRLS, Lisa See has illuminated the potent bonds of mother love, romantic love, and love of country. Now, in DREAMS OF JOY, she returns to these timeless themes, continuing the story of sisters Pearl and May from SHANGHAI GIRLS, and Pearl’s strong-willed 19-year-old daughter, Joy. Reviewed by Roz Shea.

-Click here to read an excerpt from DREAMS OF JOY.
-Click here to read Lisa See's blog post about DREAMS OF JOY.


Click here to read a review of DREAMS OF JOY.

Now in Stores: IN THE GARDEN OF BEASTS by Erik Larson

IN THE GARDEN OF BEASTS: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler's Berlin by Erik Larson (History)
In 1933, William Dodd, the new American ambassador, arrives in Berlin, just as Hitler has been appointed chancellor. Dodd and his family watch as Germany falls under Hitler’s spell and the country is transformed. Why did the U.S. dismiss its ambassador’s warnings? It might have been politics, or personalities, or maybe disbelief. Author Erik Larson takes a cold, hard look at this deplorable period in history. Reviewed by Kate Ayers.

-Click here to read an excerpt from IN THE GARDEN OF BEASTS.

Click here to read a review of IN THE GARDEN OF BEASTS. Talks to Lisa Jackson and Nancy Bush, Authors of WICKED LIES

Sisters Lisa Jackson and Nancy Bush have teamed up to write WICKED LIES, a sequel to their 2009 romantic suspense novel, WICKED GAME. Their latest is a paranormal thriller in which a psychopath is hell-bent on destroying a newly pregnant woman who has the psychic ability to sense evil approaching. In this interview, conducted by’s Amie Taylor, Jackson and Bush discuss their collaboration, musing on their characters --- both villainous and heroic --- as well as why readers and writers enjoy edgy tales of serial killers. They also offer glimpses into their future projects, both individually and as a team.

WICKED LIES by Lisa Jackson and Nancy Bushstrong> (Romantic Suspense)
Nurse Laura Adderley has the amazing ability to diagnose her patients' illnesses simply by touching them. But it's this same second sense that allows her to receive maniacal death threats against herself and her unborn baby when a madman begins communicating with her in a terrifyingly telepathic manner. Reviewed by Amie Taylor.

-Click here to read a review of WICKED LIES.
-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.
-See the backlists of Lisa Jackson and Nancy Bush.
-Visit the official websites of Lisa Jackson and Nancy Bush.
-Click here to see the 20 winners selected to read and comment on WICKED LIES.


Click here to read our interview with Lisa Jackson and Nancy Bush.


New Featured Suspense/Thriller Author: Joseph Finder, Author of BURIED SECRETS

In Joseph Finder's much-anticipated new novel, BURIED SECRETS, "private spy" Nick Heller returns to track down the missing daughter of a wealthy financier whose business dealings have made him a lot of enemies.

We have 20 copies of BURIED SECRETS, which will be in stores June 21st, 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, June 10th at noon ET.

-Click here to read an excerpt from BURIED SECRETS.
-Click here to read critical praise for BURIED SECRETS.
-Click here to read Joseph Finder's bio.
-Click here to see Joseph Finder's backlist.
-Visit Joseph Finder's official website,

Nick Heller, "private spy," has returned to his old home town of Boston to set up his own shop. There he’s urgently summoned by an old family friend. Hedge fund titan Marshall Marcus desperately needs Nick’s help. His teenaged daughter, Alexa, has just been kidnapped. Her abduction was clearly a sophisticated professional job, done with extraordinary precision. Alexa, whom Nick has known since she was young, is now buried alive, held prisoner in an underground crypt, a camera trained on her, her suffering streaming live over the Internet. She’s been left with a limited supply of food and water, and if her father doesn’t meet the demands of her shadowy kidnappers, she’ll die. And as Nick begins to probe, he discovers that all is not quite right with Marshall Marcus’s business. He’s being investigated by the FBI, he has a lot of shady investors, his fund is in danger, and now he has a lot of powerful enemies who may have the motivation to go after Marcus’s daughter. But to find out who’s holding Alexa Marcus hostage, Nick has to find out why.

Click here to see our Suspense/Thriller Author Spotlight feature for Joseph Finder and BURIED SECRETS.


New Featured Suspense/Thriller Author: Robert Dugoni, Author of MURDER ONE

MURDER ONE by Robert Dugoni (Legal Thriller)
Attorney David Sloane has returned to Seattle after three months in Mexico mourning the loss of his wife. At a black-tie dinner where he’s been persuaded to give the keynote address, Sloane reconnects with Barclay Reid, opposing counsel in his most prominent case. Barclay is suffering from her own personal tragedy --- the death of her teenage daughter from a drug overdose. In the aftermath, Barclay has begun an intense crusade against the Russian drug traffickers she holds responsible for her daughter’s death, pursuing them with a righteousness that matches Sloane’s own zeal for justice. Despite their adversarial past, Sloane is drawn to Barclay and for the first time since his wife died, he finds himself beginning to have romantic feelings again.

But when Barclay’s crusade stalls and a Russian drug dealer turns up dead, she stands accused of murder, and Sloane is her chosen defender. Amid the swirling media frenzy, in his first criminal case, Sloane finds himself once again in harm’s way, while mounting evidence suggests that Barclay is a woman with many secrets. And may not be quite as innocent or as in love with Sloane as she purports to be.

With his signature fast-paced, page-turning action, and exhilarating plot twists, Robert Dugoni once again proves why he’s so often been named the heir to Grisham’s literary throne.

-Click here to read an excerpt from MURDER ONE.
-Click here to read critical praise for MURDER ONE.
-Click here to read Robert Dugoni’s bio.
-Click here to see Robert Dugoni’s backlist.
-Visit Robert Dugoni’s official website,


Click here to see our Suspense/Thriller Author Spotlight feature for Robert Dugoni and MURDER ONE.


New Featured Romantic Suspense Author: Deanna Raybourn, Author of THE DARK ENQUIRY

Deanna Raybourn's THE DARK ENQUIRY finds Lady Julia Grey investigating a strange case with a family connection that leads down a dark path filled with supernatural intrigue and black magic.

We have 20 copies of THE DARK ENQUIRY, which will be in stores June 21st, 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, June 10th at noon ET.

-Click here to read an excerpt from THE DARK ENQUIRY.
-Click here to read critical praise for THE DARK ENQUIRY.
-Click here to read Deanna Raybourn's bio.
-Click here to see Deanna Raybourn's backlist.
-Visit Deanna Raybourn's official website,

Partners now in marriage and in trade, Lady Julia and Nicholas Brisbane have finally returned from abroad to set up housekeeping in London. But merging their respective collections of gadgets, pets and servants leaves little room for the harried newlyweds themselves, let alone Brisbane's private enquiry business. Among the more unlikely clients: Julia's very proper brother, Lord Bellmont, who swears Brisbane to secrecy about his case. Not about to be left out of anything concerning her beloved --- if eccentric --- family, spirited Julia soon picks up the trail of the investigation. It leads to the exclusive Ghost Club, where the alluring Madame Séraphine holds evening séances…and not a few powerful gentlemen in thrall. From this eerie enclave unfolds a lurid tangle of dark deeds, whose tendrils crush reputations and throttle trust.


Click here to see our Romantic Suspense Author Spotlight feature for Deanna Raybourn and THE DARK ENQUIRY.'s Summer Reading Contests and Feature

Summer is upon us! At, this means it's time for us to share some great summer book picks with our Summer Reading Contests and Feature. We will be spotlighting a different title or two on select days from Tuesday, May 31st through Wednesday, July 27th, so you will have to check the site each day to see the featured prize book(s) and enter. Some days may even feature special bonus prizes, including beach items, a beach tote stocked with goodies, and additional books. We also will be sending a special daily newsletter to announce the day's title(s), which you can sign up for here.

Our next prize book will be announced on Monday, June 6th at noon ET.

-Click here to see this year's featured titles.
-Click here to receive our special newsletter announcing each day’s prize book.


Click here to read all the details of's Summer Reading Contests and Feature.'s Sixth Annual Father's Day Contest and Feature: Best Books for Dad

Father’s Day is a time to celebrate the men in our lives who have raised and inspired us. Why not show him your appreciation by inspiring him with a great book? From May 27th through June 13th, readers will have the chance to win one of our five Father’s Day Backpacks. Each hunter green backpack is filled with a copy of our seven featured titles, keeping dad busy through the rest of the year. Also included are a red-striped beach towel and a pack of Dunkin’ Donuts coffee.

Our featured Father’s Day titles are:

-THE COUNCIL OF DADS: A Story of Family, Friendship & Learning How to Live by Bruce Feiler
-THE DELTA SOLUTION: An International Thriller by Patrick Robinson
-FORCED TO KILL (Audible Audio Edition) written by Andrew Peterson, narrated by Dick Hill
-MATTERHORN: A Novel of the Vietnam War by Karl Marlantes
-MURDER ONE by Robert Dugoni
-OPERATION MINCEMEAT: How a Dead Man and a Bizarre Plan Fooled the Nazis and Assured an Allied Victory by Ben MacIntyre
-TO BE PERFECTLY HONEST: One Man’s Year of Almost Living Truthfully Could Change Your Life. No Lie. by Phil Callaway


Click here to read all the contest details.


Featured Women’s Fiction Author: Mary Kay Andrews, Author of SUMMER RENTAL

Bestselling author Mary Kay Andrews returns with SUMMER RENTAL, a story of three friends who rent a house on the Outer Banks of North Carolina, only to find love, trouble, friendship and understanding throughout one life-changing summer.

-Click here to read an excerpt from SUMMER RENTAL.
-Click here to read critical praise for SUMMER RENTAL.
-Click here to read Mary Kay Andrews’s bio.
-Click here to see Mary Kay Andrews’s backlist.
-Visit Mary Kay Andrews’s official website,
-Click here to see the 20 winners selected to read and comment on SUMMER RENTAL.

Ellis, Julia and Dorie. Best friends since Catholic grade school, they now find themselves, in their mid-30s, at the crossroads of life and love. Ellis, recently fired from a job she gave everything to, is rudderless and now beginning to question the choices she's made over the past decade of her life. Julia --- whose caustic wit covers up her wounds --- has a man who loves her and is offering her the world, but she can't hide from how deeply insecure she feels about her looks, her brains, her life. And Dorie has just been shockingly betrayed by the man she loved and trusted the most in the world…though this is just the tip of the iceberg of her problems and secrets. A month in North Carolina's Outer Banks is just what each of them needs.


Click here to see our Women’s Fiction Author Spotlight feature for Mary Kay Andrews and SUMMER RENTAL. Bets On: SILVER SPARROW by Tayari Jones

SILVER SPARROW by Tayari Jones (Fiction)
The opening line of SILVER SPARROW by Tayari Jones is seven words: “My father, James Witherspoon, is a bigamist.” Ponder it for a moment and think what those words mean for the person who wrote them, and then think about how that scenario can envelop a whole group of people who are caught up in knowing --- and not knowing --- secrets, lies and the truth that is somewhere between.

Written in two parts that then collide, you first hear the voice and story of Dana, who is the secret child. Her dad is a dad only once in a while. She knows about the other girl and realizes that that girl has the “real life,” while hers is the shadow one. The second story is that of Bunny, who has her dad full time but knows nothing of the full world in which he lives. The story arcs wonderfully so both stories come together, and there’s a lot to think about and talk about.

Set in Atlanta in the 1980s, the city is a character as well, as it sets the stage for the two different worlds in which the Witherspoons live. It’s a look at cause and effect of actions --- and inactions --- and leaves a lot to discuss once you finish it.

-Click here to read a review of SILVER SPARROW.


Click here to see all the books we’re betting you’ll love.


Paperback Spotlight: FRAGILE by Lisa Unger

FRAGILE by Lisa Unger (Mystery)
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 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,


Click here to see our Paperback Spotlight feature for FRAGILE.


Books into Movies/Books into Movies on DVD for June

Summer is almost here, and you know what that means: beach books, suntans, and blockbusters!'s Books into Movies feature is spotlighting five flicks to kick off summertime, for book and movie lovers alike.

When it comes to blockbusters, nothing beats the superhero film --- it’s practically a summer staple. So prepare yourself for X-Men: First Class, a series prequel that sees archenemies Charles Xavier (Professor X) and Erik Lehnsherr (Magneto) as friends! It’s true: the two were once young men discovering their powers together until a rift between them opened. Also in theaters will be The Green Lantern, which reveals a small but powerful force of warriors trying to keep the universe peaceful --- until a new enemy threatens the planet and they must call upon their newest recruit, a mere human who now wears the Lantern’s ring.

If you’re looking for something less fantastical, there’s Submarine --- based on a book by Joe Dunthorne --- which is the coming-of-tale of 15-year-old Oliver Tate, who has two big ambitions: save his parents' marriage and lose his virginity.

A young character also takes center stage in the sunshiny Judy Moody and the NOT Bummer Summe­r, the first time Megan McDonald’s Judy Moody has graced the big screen. Starring Heather Graham and newcomer Jordana Beatty, third grader Judy will spend her summer not with her two best friends, as she had planned, but with her wacky Aunt Opal, who is full of surprises. Another family flick, Mr. Popper’s Penguins, sees Jim Carrey trying to train a group of penguins for a circus act. Funny and uplifting, the film is based on Richard and Florence Atwater’s children’s book, which was originally published in 1938.

If you’d rather spend your summer nights inside your (hopefully) air-conditioned abode, be sure to check out our Books into Movies on DVD feature, where we’re spotlighting eight films: The Adjustment Bureau, Barney’s Version, Beastly, The Eagle, Kill the Irishman, Red Riding Hood, True Grit (which received 10 Oscar nominations) and Unknown.

Click here for more details about June's films.


This Week’s Reviews

CITY OF THE SNAKES by Darren Shan (Horror/Urban Fantasy)
CITY OF THE SNAKES brings a worthy horror/fantasy series to a close with a final installment that is more repulsive and shocking than ever. Thus far, these books have been crime mysteries focusing on the supernatural, but the last installment is the darkest, tending toward pure horror and giving readers a better glimpse of the serial killer Paucar Wami --- maybe a closer view than you’d bargained on. Reviewed by Melanie Smith.

THE INFORMANT: A Butcher’s Boy Novel by Thomas Perry (Thriller)
In THE BUTCHER’S BOY, a professional killer betrayed by the Mafia leaves countless mobsters dead and then disappears. Justice Department official Elizabeth Waring is the only one who believes he ever existed. THE INFORMANT returns to the Butcher's Boy many years later as a Mafia hit team finally catches up with him. The Butcher’s Boy knows they won't stop coming and decides to take the fight to their door. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

THE LONDON TRAIN by Tessa Hadley (Fiction)
Two for the price of one: This subtle, original novel by a gifted Welsh writer is like a sophisticated jigsaw puzzle. At first you think it is a pair of independent novellas, only to discover, little by little, how the two sections --- one with a male protagonist, the other in a woman’s voice --- entwine with and echo one another. Reviewed by Kathy Weissman.

THE NINTH WIFE by Amy Stolls (Fiction)
Bess is turning 35 on the day she meets the man of her dreams. Rory is an adorable and charming musician with a lilting Irish accent and a few (well, eight) ex-wives. The question is: Does this eliminate him from Bess's fantasy of happily-ever-after marriage? She hits the road hoping to find the answer she seeks from his previous brides. Reviewed by Terry Miller Shannon.

-Click here to see the reading group guide for THE NINTH WIFE.

CENTURIES OF JUNE by Keith Donohue (Fiction)
In the bathroom of an old house just before dawn, a man tries to tell the story of how he ended up on the floor with a hole in his head. But he keeps getting interrupted by a series of suspects --- eight women lying in the bedroom just down the hall. Each tells a story drawn from five centuries of American myth and legend. Reviewed by Ray Palen.

MY DEAR I WANTED TO TELL YOU by Louisa Young (Fiction)
Only 18 years old at the outbreak of World War I, Nadine and Riley --- lovers from different social classes --- want to make promises to each other. But how can they when their future is out of their hands? Youthful passion is on their side, but loyalty is tested by terrible injury and rehabilitation. Reviewed by Bronwyn Miller.

THE QUANTUM THIEF by Hannu Rajaniemi (Science Fiction)
This debut novel is a crazy joyride through the solar system several centuries hence, a world of marching cities, ubiquitous public-key encryption, people communicating by sharing memories, and a race of hyper-advanced humans who originated as MMORPG guild members. Reviewed by Stephen Hubbard.

THESE DARK THINGS: Introducing the Captain Natalia Monte Series Set in Naples by Jan Merete Weiss (Mystery)
When a college student is found murdered in the catacombs beneath a monastery in Naples, Captain Natalia Monte is assigned to investigate. Could the killer be a professor the student had been sleeping with? A blind monk who loved her? Or perhaps a member of the brutal Napali criminal organization, the Camorra? Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

Click here to read this week's reviews.

Poll, Question and Word of Mouth


What percentage of the books you read are nonfiction?


What types of nonfiction books would you like to see featured more on Please check as many as apply.

Current Events
True Crime
None of the above

-Click here to answer our poll.


Name up to five nonfiction books you’ve enjoyed reading in the past year.

-Click here to answer our question.

Word of Mouth:

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 CARTE BLANCHE: The New James Bond Novel by Jeffery Deaver, FALLEN by Karin Slaughter and ONE SUMMER by David Baldacci. Tell us what you are reading here and rate the titles 1-5 by noon ET on Friday, June 17th 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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