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June 29, 2012 Newsletter June 29, 2012
Catching Up On Reading

I am bemoaning the lack of a long weekend for the 4th of July this year, and I think I am not alone with this. The 4th on a Wednesday is just not a wonderful way to celebrate the old red, white and blue. But I am going to embrace this for what it is --- another day to enjoy some reading. When I travel while I gather great intel about books, I barely have time to read. Usually it’s just a chapter or two before I go to sleep. Any free time is spent working with the office, or writing. In fact, last weekend in California, I never even saw the pool.

While traveling, I was reading a really fun book, HOW I CAME TO SPARKLE AGAIN by Kaya McLaren, which will be in stores in October. It was the perfect business travel book as the story is light and it had the kinds of characters that were fun to settle in with at the end of the day or as I read before heading off to the convention floor in the morning. It’s set in a ski resort in Colorado, and since I have spent a lot of time at ski resorts in Colorado --- and in fact met my husband at one --- I am enjoying both the storyline and the way Kaya nails the whole ski scene. You’ll be hearing more about this one here!

There are times when I “miss” a book and it makes me crazy. By this, I mean a book that hits the bestseller lists or is the one everyone is talking about, and it’s one I am not familiar with. That’s what’s going on now with GONE GIRL by Gillian Flynn. I read three chapters last night --- cheating on aforementioned SPARKLE for a few moments (which is what I feel like when I get tugged away to read a new book) --- to see what all the rage is about, and I was hooked. This weekend I will be floating in the pool, swinging in the hammock and doing other sedentary activities so I can enjoy both books. I am still trying to figure out how to swim and do water aerobics with a book. Perhaps an audiobook is the solution here. I need to figure out how to get onto my swim headphones!

But ah, when we left off last week, I was in Anaheim at the American Library Association’s Annual Conference. There were so many memorable moments. To name a few --- attending a panel where George R.R. Martin spoke, the interview with Jodi Picoult and her daughter Samantha van Leer, where they talked about BETWEEN THE LINES, the young adult novel they wrote together (how much fun would it be to head into your senior year of high school, published and on the road on tour to three countries?), and attending the awards ceremony for the first-ever Andrew Carnegie Medal for fiction and nonfiction, which was presented to Anne Enright for her novel THE FORGOTTEN WALTZ and to Robert K. Massie for his work CATHERINE THE GREAT: Portrait of a Woman.

What also was fun was running into so many librarians who introduced themselves as readers of the site. I am planning to tap one of them to give us some feedback on John Irving’s talk since, while I was at a lot of events, I could not be at ALL of them. I just did a quick count, and I heard 48 authors present either with formal presentations, short talks or accepting awards, which will give you some idea of the scale of this event. I also walked the show floor and attended presentations about dozens of more titles! It's so nice to spend time with books and book-loving people like that.

I flew back on Tuesday and learned that Nora Ephron had passed away, which was a total shock. Her illness was kept under wraps at her request (I love that her family and friends were able to support her wish that way), and thus there was no warning for most of us. We loved her book I FEEL BAD ABOUT MY NECK and the follow-up, I REMEMBER NOTHING, but her career was so much bigger than the book world, with classic films that will be remembered through the generations, such as Sleepless in Seattle and When Harry Met Sally. Our reviewer, Bronwyn Miller, reviewed her books for us when they first released and has written a lovely tribute in honor of this brilliant lady, who women of a certain age will miss enormously for her humorous look at getting older. We’re on our own now to laugh at ourselves!

Our latest Historical Fiction Author Spotlight writer is Chris Bohjalian, whose upcoming book, THE SANDCASTLE GIRLS, will be in stores on July 17th. I have had the pleasure of meeting Chris in the past, besides enjoying his other work, thus was very happy to preview this book a few weeks ago. It’s a beautiful historical love story seeped in the author’s Armenian heritage. We have 100 copies to give away to readers who would like to preview the book and comment on it. The deadline for entries is Thursday, July 12th at noon ET. Click here to enter.

We have TWO new Paperback Spotlights for you this week. RULES OF CIVILITY by Amor Towles, set in New York City in 1938, tells the story of an uncompromising 25-year-old who embarks on a journey from a Wall Street secretarial pool through the upper echelons of New York society in search of a brighter future. This was a Bets On selection when it released in hardcover, and I’m so glad to have a reason to write about it again now that it’s out in paperback. Sporty coupes, jazz and liquor in downtown bars, everyone out to make a buck. Ladies and gentlemen, it’s New York City in the 1930s --- how could one expect it to be civilized? Social tension, a changing economy, and the boundaries of friendship, all captured in a threesome formed by humble roommates Katey and Eve, and landed banker Tinker, are what Amor explores in this Gatsby-esque debut novel. According to Bronwyn Miller, RULES OF CIVILITY is “a carefully observed and beautifully written portrait of a distinct moment in time,” a wonderful period piece. I love when our reviewers enjoy the books we share as much as me!

Coming in paperback on Tuesday, July 3rd is THE WOMAN AT THE LIGHT by Joanna Brady. The book opens on Wrecker’s Cay in 1839 where Emily Lowry learns that her husband, the lighthouse keeper, has not returned from a trip in his boat. Suddenly she is alone with her three young children, keeping not only her hearth and home, but also the lighthouse beacon burning. Wrecker’s Cay is isolated, and life there is lonely. So when a young black man with manacles attached to his hands washes up on their shore, there’s definitely time for tension to unfold. Who is he, and what is his story? Can he be trusted? There are surprises at every turn in this rich historical fiction story that I devoured. Having spent time at many lighthouses, as well as in Key West and New Orleans, I found myself enjoying the descriptions of life in these places as much as the lovely story that unfolds of love against many odds. You can read an excerpt here. It will be a Bets On selection. I look forward to our review as well!

Remember the new bookshelf format that we shared with you a couple of months ago? Well, this week we have THREE new features done in this format. First, the Olympics are coming, and to celebrate them (I confess that around our house we are Olympic junkies; I am even watching the swimming trials this week), we have a bookshelf of Olympic-Themed Titles. Click here to see the bookshelf, which includes a collection of novels, memoirs and nonfiction, all related to the Summer Olympics.

Then getting into a “thrilling frame of mind,” Joe Hartlaub, our mystery/thriller reviewer extraordinaire, shares 20 Thriller Titles of the last year or so that he thinks are worth noting. I know we have Joe Hartlaub fans here, as well as thriller fans, so you won’t want to miss this. Click here to see what Joe selected.

Speaking of experts weighing in, our wonderful reviewer Steve Hubbard --- who has Fantasy and Sci-Fi as his passion and reviews for us brilliantly in these genres --- has created a fantastical (I love that word) Fantasy Series Bookshelf where he looks at 20 fantasy series that are perfect for those who are getting to know this genre. Among his selections are five authors who are newer to the genre that he wants to be sure you do not miss.

Now to some noteworthy reviews. I'm finally getting to share with you a book I read back in April: HEARTBROKEN by Lisa Unger. I am going to use that clichéd term to talk about it --- it’s Lisa’s best! She has a few threads running through it that are so well done that you are in for such a treat reading it. Our reviewer Terry Miller Shannon agrees as she says, “This page-turner is multi-layered and intriguing, as master storyteller Lisa Unger weaves a compelling plotline from the disparate threads of these women's lives. Characters are fully fleshed out and three-dimensional, making them people readers care about.”

THE AGE OF MIRACLES by Karen Thompson Walker has been getting a lot of buzz. It’s about a girl whose family awakens to find that the earth’s rotation has slowed and drastically changed things such as gravity and people’s sleeping habits. While they must adjust to these changes, they must also deal with the normal disasters of everyday life. Reviewer Sarah Rachel Egelman says, “THE AGE OF MIRACLES is an absolutely wonderful, magical debut. It’s an inventive story, combining classic coming-of-age themes with the horror of natural disaster of apocalyptic proportions. Karen Thompson Walker perfectly balances the two, creating a seamless novel that is at once familiar and totally surprising.” We also have a Q&A with the author, who talks about why Julia was the perfect narrator for the story she wanted to tell.

Heather Gudenkauf, who many of you know from her first two novels, THE WEIGHT OF SILENCE and THESE THINGS HIDDEN, has written her third, ONE BREATH AWAY. When an unknown armed man walks into an elementary school classroom, the secrets of a small town are revealed as the members race to identify the man who is holding their children hostage. Reviewer Melanie Smith says, “ONE BREATH AWAY will instantly draw readers in with immediate action and superb characterization. Heather Gudenkauf’s expert skills as a bestselling writer are apparent throughout this novel.”

A while back, you may have heard me talk about ROGUE, Mark Sullivan’s next book, which will be coming out in the fall and will be the start of a new series featuring Robin Monarch as the protagonist. We already featured one short story, BROTHERHOOD, a few months ago, which introduced you to Monarch. This week we are happy to share a second short story, THE ART OF RENDITION, which will give you even more insight into Monarch. Here Monarch, an agent for the CIA, finds himself kidnapping and interrogating a Russian nuclear specialist suspected of selling technology to the Iranians. But Monarch has to do all this without the Russians, the Iranians, or the scientist himself ever knowing. Joe Hartlaub says, “While THE ART OF RENDITION is a shorter work, it reads like a novel. Sullivan’s prose is not sparse, but he does not waste words; every one counts to maximum effect. Even the more reflective passages are infused with suspense, as the past and present Monarch make tough decisions and take actions with which reasonable minds might agree or differ.” Trust me, you want to “get to know” Monarch now in anticipation of ROGUE.

Our Suspense/Thriller contest for John Lutz’s latest thriller continues through Thursday, July 5th at noon ET. In PULSE, the killer's depravity is insatiable. Homicide detective turned P.I. Frank Quinn has seen this M.O. before. A demented ritual, it's the work of Daniel Danielle --- a notorious serial killer who blurs the line between male and female, human and monster. Danielle disappeared 10 years ago. Is a copycat repeating the crimes? Or has Danielle made a deadly return? Either way, this time the killing won't stop. If this book sounds like your cup of tea, then be sure to enter here for an opportunity to win a copy and comment on it.

We are offering some new books for our Word of Mouth contest, so be sure to enter by Friday, July 13th at noon ET for your chance to win three VERY highly anticipated books: CREOLE BELLE: A Dave Robicheaux Novel by James Lee Burke,
NIGHT WATCH by Linda Fairstein and SHADOW OF NIGHT by Deborah Harkness.

Due to the Wednesday holiday, we are not running any Summer Reading contests next week. We know a lot of folks will be taking some extra days off next week, or at least Wednesday, and we have concerns that people would not be checking email or the site every day. However, take some time to peruse all the titles here, because whether you are a winner or not, there are GREAT summer reading suggestions. Also, you can see a list of all the winners to date here.

Meanwhile, our poll continues for another week. We’d like to know how you organize your bookshelves. So far, it seems like most of you are organizing your books alphabetically by author. At ALA, I heard a YA author talk about how she shelves by color as she likes the way it looks, which made me smile!

Thoughts this week with our readers in fire zones; the photos are terrifying, as well as those where the temperatures are spiking over 100. Caution to all and godspeed.

Here’s hoping your 4th of July means a picnic, some fireworks and, most of all, some great reading.

Carol Fitzgerald (

Now in Stores: HEARTBROKEN by Lisa Unger

HEARTBROKEN by Lisa Unger (Psychological Thriller)
In this sophisticated and complex page-turner, the lives of three women intersect on an isolated island in an Adirondacks lake to face secrets, memories and their futures. Mysterious sightings of ghostly apparitions plus evil in human form add to the dark, foreboding suspense. Reviewed by Terry Miller Shannon.

-Click here to read more about the book.
-Click here to read an excerpt.

Click here to read a review.
An Interview with Karen Thompson Walker, Author of THE AGE OF MIRACLES

Karen Thompson Walker is a former editor at Simon & Schuster who wrote her debut novel, THE AGE OF MIRACLES, in the mornings before work and on the subway. In this interview, which Walker did with her editor, Kate Medina, she talks about her narrator, growing up in California, and the similarities between the earth’s rotation slowing and our recent climate change.

THE AGE OF MIRACLES by Karen Thompson Walker (Dystopian Fiction)
Julia and her family awake to discover that the rotation of the earth has suddenly begun to slow. The days and nights grow longer and longer, gravity is affected, and the environment is thrown into disarray. Yet, as she struggles to navigate an ever-shifting landscape, Julia is also coping with the normal disasters of everyday life. As she adjusts to the new normal, the slowing inexorably continues. Reviewed by Sarah Rachel Egelman.

-Click here to read more about the book.
-Click here to read a review.
-Click here to read an excerpt.

Click here to read the interview.
Remembering Nora Ephron
We at mourn the loss of Nora Ephron, who passed away on June 26th at the age of 71 of leukemia. Ephron was the author of the bestselling I FEEL BAD ABOUT MY NECK and I REMEMBER NOTHING, as well as HEARTBURN, CRAZY SALAD, WALLFLOWER AT THE ORGY and SCRIBBLE SCRIBBLE. She wrote and directed the hit movie Julie & Julia and received Academy Award nominations for Best Original Screenplay for When Harry Met Sally, Silkwood, and Sleepless in Seattle, which she also directed.’s Bronwyn Miller reflects on Ephron’s work and legacy in this special tribute.
Click here to read Bronwyn Miller's tribute to Nora Ephron.
New Featured Historical Fiction Author: Chris Bohjalian, Author of THE SANDCASTLE GIRLS

THE SANDCASTLE GIRLS, Chris Bohjalian's 15th book, is a spellbinding tale that travels between Aleppo, Syria, in 1915 and Bronxville, New York, in 2012 --- a sweeping historical love story steeped in the author’s Armenian heritage, a subject his legions of fans have been asking him to write about for years.

We have 100 copies of THE SANDCASTLE GIRLS, which will be in stores July 17th, to give away to readers who would like to read the book and comment on it. If you are interested, please fill out this form by Thursday, July 12th at noon ET.

THE SANDCASTLE GIRLS by Chris Bohjalian (Historical Fiction)
When Elizabeth Endicott arrives in Syria, she has a diploma from Mount Holyoke College, a crash course in nursing, and only the most basic grasp of the Armenian language. The First World War is spreading across Europe, and she has volunteered on behalf of the Boston-based Friends of Armenia to deliver food and medical aid to refugees of the Armenian genocide. There, Elizabeth becomes friendly with Armen, a young Armenian engineer who has already lost his wife and infant daughter. When Armen leaves Aleppo to join the British Army in Egypt, he begins to write Elizabeth letters, and comes to realize that he has fallen in love with the wealthy, young American woman who is so different from the wife he lost.

Flash forward to the present, where we meet Laura Petrosian, a novelist living in suburban New York. Although her grandparents’ ornate Pelham home was affectionately nicknamed the “Ottoman Annex,” Laura has never really given her Armenian heritage much thought. But when an old friend calls, claiming to have seen a newspaper photo of Laura’s grandmother promoting an exhibit at a Boston museum, Laura embarks on a journey back through her family’s history that reveals love, loss --- and a wrenching secret that has been buried for generations.

-Click here to read more about the book.
-Click here to read an excerpt.
-Click here to watch the book trailer.
-Click here to read Chris Bohjalian’s bio.

-Click here to visit Chris Bohjalian’s official website.

Click here to read more in our Historical Fiction Author Spotlight and enter to win a copy of the book.
New Paperback Spotlight: RULES OF CIVILITY by Amor Towles

RULES OF CIVILITY by Amor Towles (Historical Fiction)
This sophisticated and entertaining first novel presents the story of a young woman whose life is on the brink of transformation. On the last night of 1937, 25-year-old Katey Kontent is in a second-rate Greenwich Village jazz bar when Tinker Grey, a handsome banker, happens to sit down at the neighboring table. This chance encounter and its startling consequences propel Katey on a year-long journey into the upper echelons of New York society --- where she will have little to rely upon other than a bracing wit and her own brand of cool nerve.

With its sparkling depiction of New York’s social strata, its intricate imagery and themes, and its immensely appealing characters, RULES OF CIVILITY won the hearts of readers and critics alike.

-Click here to read a review.
-Click here to read an excerpt.
-Click here to see why we’re betting you’ll love the book.
-Click here to read Amor Towles’ bio.

-Click here to visit Amor Towles’ official website.

Click here to read more in our Paperback Spotlight.
New Paperback Spotlight: THE WOMAN AT THE LIGHT by Joanna Brady

THE WOMAN AT THE LIGHT by Joanna Brady (Historical Romance)
One afternoon in 1839, Emily Lowry’s husband vanishes from Wreckers’ Cay, an isolated island off the coast of Key West where he tends to the lighthouse. As days stretch into months, Emily has no choice but take charge of Wrecker’s Cay and her husband’s duties tending the light to support her three children --- and a fourth on the way.

Unexpected help arrives when a runaway slave named Andrew washes up on their beach. At first, Emily is intensely wary of this strange, charming man, whose very presence there is highly illegal. But Andrew proves himself an enormous help and soon wins the hearts of the Lowry family. And --- far from the outside world and society’s rules --- his place in Emily’s life, as steadfast now as the light, will forever change their futures.

When Emily’s family is ripped apart once again, she faces untold hardships that test her love and determination and show how the passionate love of a defiant, determined woman can overcome any obstacle.

-Click here to read an excerpt.
-Click here to read Joanna Brady’s bio.
-Click here to visit Joanna Brady’s official website.

Click here to read more in our Paperback Spotlight.
Now in Stores: ONE BREATH AWAY by Heather Gudenkauf

ONE BREATH AWAY by Heather Gudenkauf (Fiction)
In the midst of a sudden spring snowstorm, an unknown man armed with a gun walks into an elementary school classroom. As tension mounts with each passing minute, the hidden fears and grudges of the small town are revealed as the people of Broken Branch race to uncover the identity of the stranger who holds their children hostage. Reviewed by Melanie Smith.

-Click here to read more about the book.

Click here to read a review.
Now in Stores: THE ART OF RENDITION by Mark Sullivan --- an eBook Short Story Exclusive

THE ART OF RENDITION: A Robin Monarch Short Story by Mark Sullivan (Thriller)
Robin Monarch is an agent for the CIA, called upon to use his unique skills to kidnap and interrogate a Russian nuclear scientist suspected of selling technology to the Iranians. But that’s only part of the challenge --- one that many trained agents could handle effectively. They’ve called upon Monarch because, after the interrogation, he must return the scientist without the Russians, the Iranians, or the scientist himself ever knowing he's been grabbed. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

-Click here to read more about the book.

-Click here to visit Mark Sullivan’s official website.

Click here to read a review.
Featured Suspense/Thriller Author: John Lutz, Author of PULSE

We have 25 copies of PULSE by John Lutz, which is now in stores, to give away to readers who would like to read the book and comment on it. If you are interested, please fill out this form by Thursday, July 5th at noon ET.

PULSE: A Frank Quinn Novel by John Lutz (Thriller)
The killer’s depravity is insatiable; what he does to his victims is unthinkable. Homicide Detective turned P.I. Frank Quinn has seen this M.O. before. A demented ritual, it’s the work of Daniel Danielle --- a notorious serial killer who blurs the line between male and female, human and monster. Danielle disappeared 10 years ago. Is a copy cat repeating the crimes, or has Danielle made a deadly return? Either way, this time the killing won’t stop…

-Click here to read an excerpt.
-Click here to read critical praise.
-Click here to read John Lutz’s bio.
-Click here to visit John Lutz’s official website.

-Connect with John Lutz on Facebook and Twitter.

Click here to read more in our Suspense/Thriller Author Spotlight and enter to win a copy of the book.'s Summer Reading Contests and Feature

Summer is officially here! At, this means it's time for us to share some great summer book picks with our Summer Reading Contest and Feature. We are spotlighting a different title on select days through July 31st, so you have to check the site each day to see the featured prize book and enter. We also are sending a special daily newsletter to announce the day's title, which you can sign up for here.

Our next prize book will be announced on Monday, July 9th at noon ET. Our featured titles that week will be JOY FOR BEGINNERS by Erica Bauermeister, NIGHT WATCH by Linda Fairstein and TRAPEZE by Simon Mawer.

Click here to read all the contest details and see our featured titles.
Contests Running on Other Sites in

We have a number of contests currently running on our other sites in Please take a look at them below, and enter for your chance to win some fabulous books!

Enter Your Group for a Chance to Meet Bestselling Author Robert Goolrick...And More!
We have a special opportunity for book groups to attend a special reception to meet Robert Goolrick, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of A RELIABLE WIFE, whose latest book HEADING OUT TO WONDERFUL is on sale now. This opportunity is available to book groups in select cities, but all readers are invited to enter to win additional prizes.

CITY OF WOMEN by David R. Gillham
We are celebrating the forthcoming release of CITY OF WOMEN by David R. Gillham --- a steamy page-turner about a seemingly perfect Nazi soldier’s wife and her clandestine life --- with a special contest. 50 readers will have the opportunity to each win an advance copy of the book, which will be in stores August 7th, for their group. The deadline for entries is Friday, July 6th at noon ET.

We are celebrating the release of THE BOOK OF SUMMERS by Emylia Hall --- the story of a woman who is forced to confront the betrayal that destroyed her years earlier --- with a special contest. 25 readers will have the opportunity to each win a copy of the book, which is now in stores, for their group. The deadline for entries is Friday, July 6th at noon ET.

Newsletter Contest
To be a group to win 20 free copies of THE RED HOUSE by Mark Haddon, all you have to do is sign up for the newsletter by July 1st. If you are receiving the newsletter in your mailbox, you already are signed up!

Beach Bag of Books
In our First Annual Beach Bag of Books contest, five readers each will receive a beach bag filled with some of this summer's hottest reads: GHOST CROWN: The Tracks, Book Two by J. Gabriel Gates and Charlene Keel, RULES OF CIVILITY by Amor Towles, SPRING FEVER by Mary Kay Andrews, TO BE SUNG UNDERWATER by Tom McNeal, and WHERE WE BELONG by Emily Giffin. Along with the books, winners will find their striped beach bag stocked with a polka-dot beach towel, Coppertone Sport Sunblock, and a plastic sports bottle to keep your drink cool. The deadline for entries is Monday, July 30th at noon ET.

Beach Bag of Books

In our Sixth Annual Beach Bag of Books contest, five readers each will receive a beach bag filled with some of this summer’s hottest reads: THE FEAR by Charlie Higson, FROM WHAT I REMEMBER… by Stacy Kramer and Valerie Thomas, THE SLEEPWALKERS by J. Gabriel Gates, TAKEN BY STORM: A Raised by Wolves Novel by Jennifer Lynn Barnes, and WHERE WE BELONG by Emily Giffin. Along with the books, winners will find their striped beach bag stocked with a polka-dot beach towel, Coppertone Sport Sunblock, and a metallic sports bottle to keep your drink cool. The deadline for entries is Monday, July 16th at noon ET.

Fierce Reads
To celebrate the release of four books that are being featured in Macmillan's Fierce Reads campaign, we're giving five readers the opportunity to win them all! Enter by Tuesday, August 7th at noon ET for your chance to be awarded MONUMENT 14 by Emmy Laybourne, OF POSEIDON by Anna Banks, SHADOW AND BONE by Leigh Bardugo, and STRUCK by Jennifer Bosworth.


We are celebrating the July 10th release of SEVENTEEN ULTIMATE GUIDE TO BEAUTY: The Best Hair, Skin, Nails & Makeup Ideas for You, a girl's handbook to celebrating her natural beauty, with a special contest. 15 readers will have the opportunity to win a copy of the book, along with SEVENTEEN ULTIMATE GUIDE TO STYLE: How to Find Your Perfect Look. The deadline for entries is Tuesday, July 24th at noon ET.

Artie Howard has the worst first day of school in the history of first days of school. When it’s all over, he’s relieved knowing it can never happen again. Or can it? Artie relives the first day of school over and over, and there’s nothing he can do to stop it! To celebrate the paperback release of IT'S THE FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL...FOREVER! by R. L. Stine, is giving 10 readers the chance to win a copy of the book. The deadline for entries is Tuesday, July 24th at noon ET. Monthly Contest
In our latest monthly contest, 25 readers will be awarded a copy of all three books in Linda Windsor’s historical fiction series, The Brides of Alba: HEALER, THIEF and REBEL. The deadline for entries is Tuesday, July 17th at noon ET.

This Week’s Reviews

WICKED BUSINESS: A Lizzy and Diesel Novel by Janet Evanovich (Mystery)
When Harvard University English professor Gilbert Reedy is mysteriously murdered, Lizzy and Diesel take up his 20-year quest for the Luxuria Stone, an ancient relic believed by some to be infused with the power of lust. Tearing through Boston catacombs, government buildings and multi-million dollar residences, they’ll leave behind a trail of robbed graves, public disturbances and general mayhem. Reviewed by Roz Shea.

BLOODLINE: A Sigma Force Novel by James Rollins (Thriller/Adventure)
James Rollins’ latest Sigma Force thriller finds the group in a race against time to stop a global plot that, at its center, deals with the abduction of the daughter of the President of the United States. Beneath this act lies a deeper storyline involving deadly genetic experimentation and a nefarious organization that may have existed since the days of the Knights Templar. Reviewed by Ray Palen.

THE THIRD GATE by Lincoln Child (Thriller/Adventure)
Professor Jeremy Logan --- renowned investigator of the strange and the inexplicable --- is called to an excavation set in a nearly impenetrable Egyptian swamp. The treasure that lies beneath allegedly bears a curse that threatens the lives of all who attempt to unearth it, and Logan is there to help debunk the supernatural events that seem to be happening with increasing frequency. Reviewed by Ray Palen.

-Click here to read an excerpt.

THE RISK AGENT by Ridley Pearson (Thriller)
Rutherford Risk is a firm specializing in extraction: the negotiation for and the recovery of hostages. Two unique outsiders are recruited to do their bidding: a forensic accountant hired to follow the money, and a civilian with unparalleled training in both combat and culture. But following the money leads to more complex --- and dangerous --- consequences than either anticipated. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

THE OPERATIVE by Andrew Britton (Thriller/Adventure)
Finally settling into a peaceful life after more than a decade on the deadly front lines of the war on terror, Ryan Kealey believes he’s put danger behind him --- and some of his demons to rest. But his calm is shattered when he’s swept into a highly organized and merciless terror attack during a charity gala in downtown Baltimore. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

-Click here to read an excerpt.
Click here to visit Andrew Britton's official website.

THE WRONG MAN by David Ellis (Legal Thriller)
When a woman is gunned down in a good neighborhood, a traumatized war veteran is arrested for her murder. At first, the vet’s legal team goes through the usual motions to get the guy declared insane. But then they begin to believe the police have the wrong man. Reviewed by Kate Ayers.

PINSTRIPE EMPIRE: The New York Yankees from Before the Babe to After the Boss by Marty Appel (Sports)
Since their breakthrough championship season in 1923, the New York Yankees have been baseball’s most successful franchise. Marty Appel, the Yankees’ PR director during the 1970s, now illuminates the team in all its century-plus of glory: clever, maneuvering owners; rowdy, talented players; and, of course, 27 championships. Reviewed by Ron Kaplan.

THE HYPNOTIST’S LOVE STORY by Liane Moriarty (Fiction)
Hypnotherapist Ellen O'Farrell has finally found a man with relationship potential. However, Patrick comes with baggage. Some of his complications are delightful (such as his young son), and some are only to be expected in a young widower. However, one is particularly disturbing and/or intriguing: it seems that Patrick has a stalker. Reviewed by Terry Miller Shannon.

ABDICATION by Juliet Nicolson (Historical Fiction)
Historical events are traditionally identified with those who set them in motion, but headlined names are only the public layer of the story. In ABDICATION, Juliet Nicolson creates an absorbing fictional backdrop to the infamous abdication of Edward VIII through the lives of several not-so-common commoners as they plot their own paths through the tumultuous year of 1936. Reviewed by Pauline Finch.

AFTER ANNIE by Michael Tucker (Fiction)

Herbie Aaron is one-half of a celebrity marriage. He and Annie have been together a lifetime, but when Annie dies of cancer, Herbie doesn't know what to do without her, his conscience and his muse. Reviewed by Christine M. Irvin.

Young Adult Books You Want to Read

As you may or may not know, our company, The Book Report Network, has a number of websites about books and authors in addition to Throughout the year, features adult books on, our site for young adult readers, that we think will have definite appeal to a teen audience. In the spirit of sharing, we are now spotlighting a selection of titles each month from that we believe are great reads that you might enjoy.

Here are our latest featured titles:

CHANGELING: Order of Darkness, Book One by Philippa Gregory (Historical Fantasy/Romance)
Despite religious vows and despite themselves, love grows between Luca and Isolde as they travel across Europe with their faithful companions, Freize and Ishraq. The four young people encounter werewolves, alchemists, witches and death-dancers as they head toward a real-life historical figure who holds the boundaries of Christendom and the secrets of the Order of the Dragon. Reviewed by Sarah Hannah Gómez.

THE FEAR by Charlie Higson (Horror)
THE FEAR is the third installment of Charlie Higson’s terrifying and action-packed horror series, in which everyone over the age of 16 has been infected by a disease that turns them into flesh-eating monsters. Set five days before the events that occur in THE ENEMY, book three features increasingly organized children facing the growing threat of their most dangerous enemy yet --- other children. Reviewed by Sarah A. Wood.

REBEL FIRE: Sherlock Holmes: The Legend Begins by Andrew Lane (Historical Mystery)
Even as a teenager, Sherlock Holmes is ready to solve any mystery and inevitably pursue danger. When he comes up against John Wilkes Booth, President Abraham Lincoln’s assassin, and his co-conspirators, Sherlock just might not yet be man enough to stop a second Civil War from starting. Reviewed by Benjamin Boche.

For Adrienne Haus' AP English summer essay assignment, she describes, from bitter recent experience, how book clubs can (literally) kill a person --- and how her membership in the one her mother forced her to join completely transformed her life. Reviewed by Terry Miller Shannon.

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This Week’s Poll and Word of Mouth Contest


How do you organize your bookshelves? Please check as many as apply as we know you may do a combination of these things.

Alphabetically by author
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Word of Mouth:

Tell us your current reading recommendations with your comments and a rating of 1 to 5 stars. During the contest period from June 29th to July 12th, FIVE lucky readers each will be randomly chosen to win a copy of CREOLE BELLE: A Dave Robicheaux Novel by James Lee Burke, NIGHT WATCH by Linda Fairstein and SHADOW OF NIGHT by Deborah Harkness.

To make sure other readers will be able to find the books you write about, please include the full title and correct author names (your entry must include these to be eligible to win). For complete rules and guidelines, click here.

-Click here to enter the contest.
-To see reader comments from previous contest periods, click here.

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