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October 31, 2014 Newsletter October 31, 2014
Happy Halloween!
We interrupt Halloween candy giving (and eating) to bring you this newsletter! Halloween for me brings up some of my fondest memories of my boys growing up. I loved making their costumes (ear of corn, Blue from Blue’s Clues, Fozzie Bear, Native American, chef); I have them all still packed away in the attic! I love the creativity that this holiday inspires. For two years (2011 and 2012), storms kept us from celebrating, and I joked last year that there were a group of five- and six-year-olds who had no memory of saying “trick or treat.” I do miss going through the boys’ bundles of candy loot and begging for Jujyfruits!

There is one neighborhood in our town where the homes are on smaller lots, and thus kids/parents frequent there for the “most candy per footstep” ratio. We get many fewer children, and I always want to run over there and donate the extra candy. The staff, however, has told me that they are expecting candy rations on Monday morning. I think for them it’s more about cocktails than candy tonight. Last year, there was a rather hungover group toiling away making me wish that Halloween was always on Friday or Saturday!

When we left off last week, I picked up THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN by debut author Paula Hawkins, a debut psychological thriller that is coming out on January 13th. I love love loved it. Fans of GONE GIRL, this one’s for you! Here’s the setup: Rachel takes the train to London each day, and it often stops on the tracks at the same location to wait for train traffic ahead to clear. From there, she watches a group of houses and the action happening at them. She particularly is intrigued by a young couple in one of the houses who she calls Jess and Jason. One day, she learns that "Jess" has gone missing. And she immediately gets caught up in what happened to this woman who she learns is named Megan. But is she a reliable narrator of this story? You must read to decide. I raced through it thinking Hitchcock would have loved this. I handed it to my husband, and when he looked up, he was on page 175! Note that it will be a Bets On selection.

Last night, I had a really fun evening at the “Books, Beer, and Bourbon” media event that Putnam Books hosted. They had four authors --- David Joy, M.O. Walsh, C. J. Box and Ace Atkins (all pictured above, from left to right)--- on a pre-pub tour to L.A., San Francisco, Boston, and their final whistle stop in New York. I had had the pleasure of meeting M.O. back in May at BEA where I interviewed him for BEA Author Buzz about his upcoming book, MY SUNSHINE AWAY (February 10th), which was a BEA Buzz title and will be a Bets On selection. David’s debut, WHERE ALL LIGHT TENDS TO GO (March 3rd), has been on my radar to read. I had not seen Ace since I moderated him on a very memorable panel at the Virginia Festival of the Book, which probably was a decade ago, and I never had met C. J. I loved hearing the authors all talk about their books and their paths to publication, especially from the two debut authors. David shared that he never had been on a plane until he flew to New York for his first agent and editor meeting last year. This tour upped his air travel significantly!

For those of you who enjoy our Dedicated Newsletters/Daily Contests, note that our Holiday Cheer promotion will be kicking off on November 11th, with a special preview mailing of all the books that we will be giving away going out on November 10th. Besides books to give and get, this series of contests will feature books you want to preview. Both THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN and MY SUNSHINE AWAY are preview titles. Sign up here. Having trouble signing up? Then please reach out to John Maher at

Now let's talk about this week’s lineup!

Fans of Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles have hoped and waited for years for a new installment in this incredible series, and she has finally delivered with PRINCE LESTAT. Picking up where THE VAMPIRE LESTAT left off many years ago, this newest release reunites readers with the beloved, beautiful and mythical vampires as a Voice begins instructing old, slumbering vampires to awaken and massacre scores of young vampires all over the world. Moving from present-day New York to ancient Egypt, Rice follows characters from every episode of the Vampire Chronicles, from Louis de Pointe du Lac of INTERVIEW WITH THE VAMPIRE to Mekare and Maharet of QUEEN OF THE DAMNED and even David Talbot of the Talamasca, as they try to identify the Voice and stop the brutal murders of their kin. At the center of it all, of course, is everyone’s favorite undead prince: Lestat.

Ray Palen has our review and raves, “The book reads like a house on fire, and fans of the series and the many beloved characters will find themselves grinning evilly throughout as they relish time spent with these long-absent fictional friends…. I could not be more pleased that Anne Rice has returned to this world and allowed us to spend time with her immortal creations once again.”

Returning with his first novel since ZERO HISTORY is William Gibson and his new science fiction thriller, THE PERIPHERAL. Here, Flynne and her brother, Burton, are spared jobs in the drug business because of Burton’s veteran’s benefits from his time in USMC’s elite Haptic Recon force. One night, Flynne discovers that Burton has a side job beta-testing part of a new game. His duties are simple: working a perimeter around the image of a tower, stopping little buglike creatures from getting too close. Flynne, however, sees something much darker in the simple game. It sounds like fun, but it looks much more like murder.

According to reviewer Stephen Hubbard, "While Gibson has entertained and made readers think with every novel he has dropped, this is probably his most energized work of fiction since IDORU and brings with it a darkness akin to the award-winning NEUROMANCER."

For fans of George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice & Fire series and the hit show “Game of Thrones” comes THE WORLD OF ICE & FIRE: The Untold History of Westeros and the Game of Thrones. In this fully illustrated and comprehensive history of Westeros, Martin and fan site founders Elio M. Garcia, Jr. and Linda Antonsson expose the battles, rivalries and rebellions that led to the events we have seen in books and on the small screen. Included are full family trees for each of the main houses, folk tales, scholarly speculation and new material from Martin himself --- a must-read for any fan.

Reviewer Kathy Weissman says, “Put THE WORLD OF ICE & FIRE on your shelf alongside the books, DVDs, dragon-egg paperweight and Tyrion Lannister action figure. Its dramas and details can only enhance your pleasure in the twists and turns that future incarnations of I&F/GoT have in store for us.” I need to read this to help me as I watch the HBO series. I constantly “get lost” watching and am turning to my husband so he can explain what is happening!

Michel Faber takes readers galaxies away with THE BOOK OF STRANGE NEW THINGS, a story of love, faith and survival. Peter and his wife, Beatrice, are born-again Christians, and Peter has been called to the mission of a lifetime: teaching a native population on the new planet Oasis about the word of God. The natives do not speak English, but Peter is taken with their eagerness to learn and becomes fully immersed in their culture. But as Beatrice’s letters from home become more and more desperate, the distance takes a toll on their marriage and Bea’s faith.

Michael Magras has our review of what Faber is calling his final book and says, “[M]any of the scenes in THE BOOK OF STRANGE NEW THINGS are compelling, especially late in the book. And Faber’s ability to conjure strange new worlds remains impressive. How sad that a gifted storyteller who has done such fine work in the past has decided not to write anymore.” In this New York Times article, Faber explains his decision to call it a career: "I felt that I had one more book in me that could be special and sincere and extraordinary, and that that would be enough." Sadly, Faber lost his wife, Eva, to cancer in July as he was making final changes to the book's manuscript.

For a dose of hope and insight into the joys of aging --- and, yes, you read that right --- we have LIGHTER AS WE GO: Virtues, Character Strengths, and Aging by Mindy Greenstein, PhD and Jimmie Holland, MD. In this psychological study, Greenstein and Holland argue that a person’s sense of well-being actually improves with age. To prove their point, they explore psychological concepts of strengths and virtues, exploring how we learn about ourselves as we age. Anyone with a fear of aging will find LIGHTER AS WE GO a hopeful and compassionate read.

Author Caroline Leavitt, whose most recent novel, IS THIS TOMORROW, was a Bets On selection, was more than happy to review this book for us. As she points out in her review, “[M]y own mother, now 97, is transitioning from independent living to assisted living, so the book has special meaning for me.” She goes on to say that the book “shows that old age can have its miracles. I know this to be true, because my mother fell in love for the first time at 93.” How heartwarming is that! Caroline also had the pleasure of interviewing Mindy and Jimmie, and you can read their discussion here.

In this week’s “Sounding Off on Audio,” we hear from two readers: Samantha Adams, a self-described “audiobook addict” who has been blind for many years, which makes her uniquely sensitive to the experience of listening to a book, and Gloria Riffie, who explains why THE STORYTELLER by Jodi Picoult is an amazing book to listen to. If you are an audiobook aficionado and would like to be interviewed, then drop me a note at with the subject line "Audiobook Lover."

Speaking of audiobooks, we wanted to pass along an audio clip that was sent to us from Brilliance Audio. Inspired by the audiobook of THE FINAL CUT: A Brit in the FBI Novel by Catherine Coulter and J. T. Ellison, which we reviewed in hardcover last week, the clip features an interview with characters from the novel, including Dillon Savich and Lacey Sherlock (from Coulter’s FBI Thriller series) and Nicholas Drummond (the hero from this current series). Click here to take a listen!

This week, Greg and I finished listening to NOT THAT KIND OF GIRL by Lena Dunham and then moved on to YES PLEASE by Amy Poehler, whose audiobook has cameo appearances by Carol Burnett, Seth Meyers, Michael Schur, Patrick Stewart, Kathleen Turner, and even Amy's parents. There’s a special bonus of "a one night only live performance at Poehler's Upright Citizens Brigade Theater" in which Amy read[s] a chapter of the book. We will have our review in two weeks.

Also, in anticipation of the HBO miniseries “Olive Kitteridge,” based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel of the same name by Elizabeth Strout, I have been listening to this book on audio, with Sandra Burr as the reader, and she is just as I would picture Olive. I hear her voice in my head, and thus it will be interesting to transfer that role to Frances McDormand, who stars in the television production. The series premieres this Sunday, November 2nd at 9:00pm ET/PT with the first two parts of the series, “Pharmacy” and “Incoming Tide.” The final two parts, “A Different Road” and “Security,” will air Monday night at the same time. By the way, as these are connected stories, they are wonderful for listening as you can do so in short bursts.

In our latest poll, we’d like to know which of the following paid subscription services, if any, do you use: Amazon Prime, basic cable, Cinemax, HBO, Hulu Plus, Netflix, Showtime, Starz. Click here to vote!

In our previous poll, we wanted to know if you have a smartphone. 59% of you do, while 38% don’t and 3% are planning to get one. We were also curious about how you access Most of you do so via a desktop computer, followed by a tablet, laptop and smartphone. Click here for all the results.

We also have a new Word of Mouth contest up this week. Let us know what books you’ve finished reading, and you’ll have the chance to win three major November releases: FLESH AND BLOOD: A Scarpetta Novel by Patricia Cornwell, LET ME BE FRANK: A Frank Bascombe Book by Richard Ford and REVIVAL by Stephen King. Be sure to enter by Friday, November 14th at noon ET.

Please note that the 31st Miami Book Fair International kicks off on Sunday, November 16th with six nights of “Evenings With...” programming. This year's "Evenings With..." events include the aforementioned Anne Rice and Patricia Cornwell, along with Joyce Carol Oates, Alexander McCall Smith, Dave Barry, Nicholas Kristof, Chuck Todd, and many others. The “Evenings With...” tickets go on sale on Monday, November 3rd. The Street Fair happens from the 21st through the 23rd. The full schedule of events can be seen here and the authors who will be there here.

Speaking of book fairs, we’re happy to share this insightful interview with reader Anne Glasgow, who was kind enough to answer our questions about the Texas Book Festival, which she attended last week for the 20th(!) time. We appreciate our readers who share their reports about the events that we cannot attend!

Tomorrow I am headed to Toms River, NJ for the Ocean County Library System’s Annual Book Club Tea. I'm looking forward to hearing what is of interest to these avid readers. I am reading --- and thoroughly enjoying --- Sophie Kinsella’s SHOPAHOLIC TO THE STARS. I was a fan of her earlier books, and with our celeb-crazed culture, it has been really fun escape reading! I have my Peanut M&Ms to accompany me.

And now my television watching update. I am liking "Madame Secretary." "The Good Wife" feels like it needs work. "Homeland" has had two disturbing episodes, especially last Sunday’s. "How to Get Away with Murder" is interesting, though it requires lots of paying attention as it jumps plot lines. "Scandal" is uneven; last night was good, last week was terrible, the week before that was good. I'm liking "The Affair." My friend, Annie, told me about a PBS documentary series called "Makers" --- featuring groundbreaking American women in different spheres of influence: war, comedy, space, business, Hollywood and politics --- that I completely missed. I will try to catch up on this. What are you watching and loving?

Temperatures are forecasted to plummet over the next few days; I have found that no matter what kind of a fall we have in the New York area, by the first weekend in November, it’s coat or jacket time!

By the way, the teal pumpkin above is not just in my favorite color, but it speaks to "a campaign that encourages people to raise awareness of food allergies by providing non-food treats for trick-or-treaters and painting a pumpkin teal --- the color of food allergy awareness --- to place in front of their house along with a free printable sign from FARE to indicate they have non-food treats available." As Greg has a severe tree nut allergy, it’s really a nice idea. Maybe I can give the kids a book. Next year!

Here’s hoping you all had a great Halloween and are enjoying the leftover candy --- or raiding your children’s bags for treats! Remember to turn your clocks back one hour this weekend. It's been quite a week, so I'm very much looking forward to those extra 60 minutes!

Read on, and have a great week.

Carol Fitzgerald (
Now in Stores: PRINCE LESTAT by Anne Rice
PRINCE LESTAT: The Vampire Chronicles by Anne Rice (Paranormal Mystery/Thriller)
The vampire world is in crisis. Vampires have been proliferating out of control, and old vampires are doing the bidding of a Voice commanding that they indiscriminately burn vampire-mavericks in cities from Paris and Mumbai to Hong Kong, Kyoto and San Francisco. The worlds and beings of all the Vampire Chronicles come together to ultimately rise up and seek out who or what the Voice is, and to discover the secret of what it desires and why. Reviewed by Ray Palen.

-Click here to read more about the book.
Click here to read a review.
Now in Stores: THE PERIPHERAL by William Gibson
THE PERIPHERAL by William Gibson (Science Fiction/Thriller)
Where Flynne and her brother, Burton, live, jobs outside the drug business are rare. Fortunately, Burton has his veteran’s benefits, and he finds a new job: beta-testing part of a new game, he tells her. It seems to be simple: work a perimeter around the image of a tower building. Little buglike things turn up. He’s supposed to get in their way and edge them back. He’s offering Flynne a good price to take over for him. What she sees, though, isn’t what Burton told her to expect. It might be a game, but it could also be murder. Reviewed by Stephen Hubbard.

-Click here to read more about the book.
-Click here to read an excerpt.
-Click here to visit William Gibson's official website.
Click here to read a review.
Now in Stores: THE WORLD OF ICE & FIRE by George R. R. Martin, Elio M. Garcia, Jr. and Linda Antonsson
THE WORLD OF ICE & FIRE: The Untold History of Westeros and the Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin, Elio M. Garcia, Jr. and Linda Antonsson (Fantasy)
This is the comprehensive guide to all things “Game of Thrones” and beyond. From the pre-history to the coming of the First Men, through the reign of the Targaryen kings and Robert's Rebellion, this guide --- co-written by George R. R. Martin and the immensely knowledgeable founders and keepers of the site --- will tell series readers old and new all they might want to know about the history and culture of Westeros and the lands beyond the Narrow Sea. Reviewed by Kathy Weissman.

-Click here to read more about the book.
Click here to read a review.
Now in Stores: THE BOOK OF STRANGE NEW THINGS by Michel Faber
THE BOOK OF STRANGE NEW THINGS by Michel Faber (Fiction)
Michel Faber’s latest novel is about the search for comfort in the face of life’s tragedies. Peter Leigh is a Christian missionary recruited by an organization known as USIC to be the pastor on a distant planet called Oasis. He leaves behind his wife to work with both the USIC employees stationed on Oasis and the planet’s natives. THE BOOK OF STRANGE NEW THINGS is a meditation on the meaning of faith and the consequences of devotion. Reviewed by Michael Magras.

-Click here to read more about the book.
Click here to read a review.
Author Caroline Leavitt Interviews Mindy Greenstein and Jimmie Holland, Authors of LIGHTER AS WE GO
Mindy Greenstein, PhD and Jimmie Holland, MD are the brilliant duo behind LIGHTER AS WE GO: Virtues, Character Strengths, and Aging. In it, they show us that, contrary to common wisdom, our sense of well-being actually increases with our age, by exploring the positive psychology concepts of character strengths and virtues. In this interview, award-winning author Caroline Leavitt (whose most recent work is the New York Times bestseller IS THIS TOMORROW) talks to Greenstein and Holland about aging throughout the centuries --- how it is and has been perceived, the stigmas that historically have been attached to it, and its cultural implications. They especially shed light on the concept of “learning as we go” and how a greater knowledge of self (that comes from experience) can diffuse personal boundaries and create a more comfortable position in the world.

LIGHTER AS WE GO: Virtues, Character Strengths, and Aging by Mindy Greenstein, PhD and Jimmie Holland, MD (Psychology/Self-Help)
In LIGHTER AS WE GO, Mindy Greenstein and Jimmie Holland show us that, contrary to common wisdom, our sense of well-being actually increases with our age --- often even in the presence of illness or disability. For the first time, Greenstein and Holland --- on a joint venture between a 50-year-old and an 85-year-old --- explore positive psychology concepts of character strengths and virtues to unveil how and why, through the course of a lifetime, we learn who we are as we go. Reviewed by Caroline Leavitt.

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

Click here to read Caroline Leavitt’s interview.
THE SECRET HISTORY OF WONDER WOMAN by Jill Lepore (Cultural History)
Aside from Superman and Batman, no superhero has lasted as long or commanded so vast and wildly passionate a following as Wonder Woman. Like every other superhero, Wonder Woman has a secret identity. Unlike every other superhero, she also has a secret history. Harvard historian and New Yorker staff writer Jill Lepore has uncovered an astonishing trove of documents, including the never-before-seen private papers of William Moulton Marston, Wonder Woman’s creator. Reviewed by Sam Glass.

-Click here to read more about the book.
-Click here to read an excerpt.
Click here to read a review.
Now in Stores: THE REPUBLIC OF IMAGINATION by Azar Nafisi
THE REPUBLIC OF IMAGINATION: America in Three Books by Azar Nafisi (Memoir/Literary Criticism)
Taking her cue from a challenge thrown to her in Seattle, where a skeptical reader told her that Americans don’t care about books the way they did back in Iran, Azar Nafisi energetically responds to those who say fiction has nothing to teach us. Blending memoir and polemic with close readings of her favorite American novels, Nafisi invites us to join her as citizens of her “Republic of Imagination,” a country where the villains are conformity and orthodoxy and the only passport to entry is a free mind and a willingness to dream. Reviewed by Jane Krebs.

-Click here to read more about the book.
Click here to read a review.
Now in Stores: WINTER STREET by Elin Hilderbrand
WINTER STREET by Elin Hilderbrand (Fiction)
Kelley Quinn is the owner of Nantucket's Winter Street Inn and the proud father of four. Patrick, the eldest, is a hedge fund manager with a guilty conscience. Kevin, a bartender, is secretly sleeping with a housekeeper named Isabelle. Ava, a school teacher, is finally dating the perfect guy but can't get him to commit. And Bart, the only child of Kelley's second marriage to Mitzi, has recently shocked everyone by joining the Marines. As Christmas approaches, Kelley is looking forward to getting the family together for some quality time. But when he walks in on Mitzi kissing Santa Claus, utter chaos descends. Reviewed by Vivian Payton.

-Click here to read more about the book.
Click here to read a review.
Sounding Off on Audio: Interviews with Listeners About Their Love of Audiobooks
As we continue to explore the world of audiobooks, we bring you our newest feature, “Sounding Off on Audio,” where we interview listeners about their love of audiobooks. Find out what they listen to, who their favorite narrators are, why they enjoy audiobooks, and much more. Whether you are a seasoned listener of audiobooks or have only a passing curiosity, we hope that you find these interviews to be fun and informative --- and perhaps come across a title or two that you can add to your audiobook listening list. Whenever possible, we will try to provide samples for your listening pleasure as well.

This week, we have two interviews to share with you.

First up is Samantha Adams (pictured above left), a self-described “audiobook addict” who has recently rediscovered her love of reading. Sam has been blind for many years, which makes her uniquely sensitive to the experience of listening to a book. Here, she talks about how she listens (the technology has certainly evolved since she started in the late '80s!) and how a good narrator can be the gateway to discovering wonderful new authors.

-Click here to read our interview with Samantha Adams.

We also chat with Gloria Riffie (pictured above right), a loyal reader who talks about how sometimes multiple narrators can be better than one (especially if they can do voices) and an audiobook she listened to that was 29 CDs long --- and worth every minute!

-Click here to read our interview with Gloria Riffie.

Click here for more "Sounding Off on Audio" interviews.
Voice Your Thoughts About Audiobooks in Our Survey --- Whether You Listen or Not --- and Enter to Win a Book or an Audiobook on CD!
Do you listen to audiobooks? If you have a smartphone, you can easily listen to an audiobook, so we want to know if you are tuned into them or not. We would like to hear from both listeners and non-listeners, so chime in with your thoughts in our Audiobook Survey. The questions have been designed so you can respond either way. Finish the survey, and you can enter a drawing for the chance to win one of 25 books or audiobooks on CD. There will be 25 prizes for listeners and 25 prizes for non-listeners. The survey will be open until Monday, December 1st at noon ET. Please note that prizes are limited to respondents in the U.S. and Canada.

-Click here for the official rules.
Click here to take the survey.
Coming November 16th: Miami Book Fair International 2014

Enjoy the 31st edition of Miami Book Fair International, the nation’s finest and largest literary gathering presented by the Florida Center for the Literary Arts at Miami Dade College.

The Fair, an eight-day literary party, will open Sunday, November 16th with the popular "Evenings With…" series, featuring six nights of readings and discussions with noted authors from the United States and around the world. This year's participants include Anne Rice, Patricia Cornwell, Joyce Carol Oates, Alexander McCall Smith, Walter Isaacson, Barbara Ehrenreich, Dave Barry, and many others. The “Evenings With...” tickets go on sale on Monday, November 3rd.

Click here for the full schedule of events and here for all the authors who will be in attendance.

On Friday, November 21st, the Street Fair gets underway. The highlight is the Festival of Authors, with more than 450 authors reading and discussing their work. During Street Fair weekend, more than 250 publishers and booksellers exhibit and sell books, with special features like the antiquarians, who showcase signed first editions, original manuscripts and other collectibles.

Click here for more information about Miami Book Fair International.
More Reviews This Week
THE WOLF IN WINTER: A Charlie Parker Thriller by John Connolly (Thriller)
The community of Prosperous, Maine has always thrived when others have suffered. Its inhabitants are wealthy, its children’s future secure. And at the heart of Prosperous lie the ruins of an ancient church, transported stone by stone from England centuries earlier by the founders of the town. But the death of a homeless man and the disappearance of his daughter draw the haunted, lethal private investigator Charlie Parker to Prosperous. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

COVER YOUR EYES by Mary Burton (Romantic Suspense)
Public defender Rachel Wainwright is struggling to reopen a decades-old case, convinced that the wrong man is in prison. Homicide detective Deke Morgan doesn't want to agree. But if Rachel's hunch is correct, whoever fatally bludgeoned young, beautiful Annie Dawson 30 years ago could be the source of a new string of brutal slayings. Rachel's investigation is about to reveal answers --- but at a price she never thought to pay. Reviewed by Melody Dean Dimick.

NEVER CAN SAY GOODBYE: Writers on Their Unshakable Love for New York edited by Sari Botton (Essays)
NEVER CAN SAY GOODBYE is an exuberant celebration of New York, featuring contributions from luminaries such as Elizabeth Gilbert, Susan Orlean, Rosanne Cash, Nick Flynn, Whoopi Goldberg, Phillip Lopate, Owen King, Amy Sohn, Alexander Chee and many others. These essays take place in dive bars and museums, cinemas and old restaurants, horse-drawn carriages and subway cars, capturing the true essence of life in New York. Reviewed by Megan Elliott.

THE FRAGILE WORLD by Paula Treick DeBoard (Fiction)
The Kaufmans have always considered themselves a normal happy family. But then they receive a phone call in the middle of the night that their son has been killed in a “freak” road accident. From this moment, the bonds tying them together begin to unravel, and things only get worse when the killer is released from prison early. Curtis packs his car up and takes his daughter on a journey to set things right. Reviewed by Donna Smallwood.

THE MIDNIGHT PLAN OF THE REPO MAN by W. Bruce Cameron (Mystery/Humor)
Former college football star Ruddy McCann has experienced a seismic drop in popularity; he is now living a simple life as Kalkaska, Michigan’s full-time repo man and part-time bar bouncer. That is, until Ruddy starts hearing a voice in his head. The voice introduces himself as Alan Lottner, a dead realtor. When Alan demands Ruddy find his murderers, Ruddy decides a voice in your head seeking vengeance is best ignored. When Alan also demands he clean up his act, and apartment, Ruddy tells him to back off. But where can a voice in your head go? Reviewed by Kate Ayers.

-Click here to read an excerpt.

CHARLIE CHAPLIN: A Brief Life by Peter Ackroyd (Biography)
The previous titles in Peter Ackroyd’s Brief Lives series have focused on writers (Chaucer and Poe), scientists (Isaac Newton) and painters (J. M. W. Turner). Now he turns to cinema with this engaging biography of Charlie Chaplin. Ackroyd’s narrative covers it all: Chaplin’s early years growing up in poverty in South London; his unprecedented fame in Keystone and First National comedies and, later, those of his own studio; and the temper and egotism that vexed his collaborators. Reviewed by Michael Magras.

LAST TRAIN TO BABYLON by Charlee Fam (Fiction)
Aubrey Glass has a collection of potential suicide notes just in case. And now, five years --- and five notes --- after leaving her hometown, Rachel is the one who goes and kills herself. There’s a voicemail from Aubrey’s former friend, left only days before her death, that Aubrey can’t bring herself to listen to --- and worse, a macabre memorial-turned-high-school reunion that promises the opportunity to catch up with everyone…including the man responsible for everything that went wrong between Aubrey and Rachel. Reviewed by Rebecca Munro.

-Click here to read an excerpt.

THE FINAL SILENCE by Stuart Neville (Thriller)
Rea Carlisle has inherited a house from an uncle she never knew. It doesn’t take her long to clear out the remaining possessions, but to her horror she discovers a leather-bound book, its pages filled with locks of hair and fingernails: a catalog of victims. Rea turns to the only person she can think of: an old boyfriend, police inspector Jack Lennon. He has more than enough problems already, but a gruesome murder brings the dead man’s terrifying journal to the top of the Belfast police’s priority list. Reviewed by Sarah Rachel Egelman.

THE HUMAN BODY by Paolo Giordano (Fiction)
A platoon of young men and one female soldier leaves Italy for one of the most dangerous places on earth: Forward Operating Base (FOB) in the Gulistan district of Afghanistan. Each member in the platoon manages the toxic mix of boredom and fear that is life at the FOB in his own way. But when a much-debated mission goes devastatingly awry, the soldiers find their lives changed in an instant. Reviewed by Norah Piehl.

BROOD by Chase Novak (Gothic Horror)
Adam and Alice are reaching the age when some of the children created by the fertility treatment that spawned them begin to turn feral. Will they succumb to the same physiological horror that destroyed their parents? Their aunt, Cynthia, struggles to give her niece and nephew the love they never had. Meanwhile, the forces of good and evil collide as a troop of feral offspring threatens to invade the refuge Cynthia is so determined to construct. Reviewed by Stephen Febick.
Our Latest Poll: Paid Subscription Services --- Which, if Any, Do You Use?
Which of the following paid subscription services do you use? Please check as many as apply.

Amazon Prime
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Click here to answer the poll.
Word of Mouth Contest: Tell Us What You're Reading --- and You Can Win THREE Books!
Tell us your current reading recommendations with your comments and a rating of 1 to 5 stars. During the contest period from October 31st to November 14th, FIVE lucky readers each will be randomly chosen to win a copy of FLESH AND BLOOD: A Scarpetta Novel by Patricia Cornwell, LET ME BE FRANK WITH YOU: A Frank Bascombe Book by Richard Ford and REVIVAL by Stephen King.

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.

Please note: You must enter your full address, using correct capitalization and filling in all fields if you would like to be eligible to win this prize.

Also, we realize that many times, your opinion of a book will change as you get further along into the story. Thus, to ensure that your comments and ratings accurately reflect your entire reading experience, your review WILL NOT be posted if you have not finished the book.

One important technical note: If you're using an iPad or another iOS device to access the Word of Mouth page and you would like to enter the contest, you must wait for the page to fully load before you can rate your book. Only then will the stars be clickable.

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

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