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March 6, 2015 Newsletter March 6, 2015
Spring Ahead Means...Time to Read Faster!

Are you ready for the clocks to change on Sunday? While the whole staff is excited about the extra hour of daylight in the evening, I am mourning the loss of an hour on Sunday. I guess I am too shortsighted, or I know I am dreading next week when everyone drags a bit at the beginning before catching up on lost sleep. After snow this past Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday, I am ready to see green grass and flowers again.

On Tuesday night, during an evening when my commute home was a three-hour odyssey, I lamented that I did not have an audiobook with me. The next night, I made sure not to repeat that mistake, and I was prepared with the audiobook of LEAVING BERLIN by Joseph Kanon (just in stores this week), which is read by Corey Brill. Last week, I realized something about my listening. I am not as fond of British narrators as I thought I would be. While the narrators of both ALAN TURING: The Enigma --- which The Imitation Game was based on --- and THE END OF THE AFFAIR, narrated by Colin Firth, were excellent, I could not wrap myself around their accents. My dad has the same issue with British television shows. I need to look into this more!

I typically write from home on Fridays, but today I was happy to go into the city to meet two authors. First was Bill Clegg, who has written a novel called DID YOU EVER HAVE A FAMILY, which I tore through over the holidays and am just wild about. It’s not being published until September 15th, but you need to take note of it now. When it opens, a woman is dealing with a tragedy at her home, trying to piece together what happened and cope with the loss of many she loved. To me, the varying interconnected characters were reminiscent of OLIVE KITTERIDGE. I confess, though, that in the latter book, I did not like the main character, thus it was not one of my favorites --- though the conclusion was satisfying.

Conversely, in DID YOU EVER HAVE A FAMILY, I immediately became attached to the characters, and the twists and turns kept me reading. I was invested in the story and loved how it spread across a broad canvas, but came together in a realistic way. It reminded me how, while we are far-flung these days, there are many connections binding us together, some completely unexpected. Bill worked on this book for seven years; in his "day job" he is a literary agent. He spoke about the fact that he has not lost someone dear to him in his life, but he was inspired to write this book by the fear of losing someone and found exploring that to be an intriguing idea. The way you are empathetic towards the characters speaks to how his goal was accomplished. This will be a Bets On pick. See a photo of me with Bill in the upper left.

I caught up with Paula McLain today at a pre-publication lunch for her new novel, CIRCLING THE SUN, which I devoured. It will be in stores on July 28th. Her subject here is the life of Beryl Markham, and it is set in Kenya. As I loved THE PARIS WIFE, I approached CIRCLING THE SUN with some trepidation as I wanted to enjoy it as much. I am happy to report that I did, and that it, too, will be a Bets On pick. The story swells and rolls with equal parts passion and drama. Paula clearly loved the character of Beryl, who she discovered after reading her book, WEST WITH THE NIGHT. It inspired her to want to know more about this woman. The more she read, the more she was intrigued by Beryl --- and it shows as she has created a very vivid picture of her.

Paula was just back from Africa where she spent two weeks traveling to places that were pivotal to Markham's life. She shared a story about being in the house that Markham's father had built for her, and she was transported by place and time by being there.

To give this story a bit of spice, Beryl was close friends with Karen Blixen, the writer, and Denys Finch Hatton, the English big game hunter, and they are key characters in this book. Both Beryl and Karen had love affairs with Denys. Note that Karen and Denys were portrayed in the movie Out of Africa, which I am planning to rent to explore more about the time period. Also note that Beryl was not portrayed in that movie, nor was she in the book. And Karen had no place in Beryl's book either. Such a juicy tidbit, eh? Book groups are going to love this one! Paula and I are pictured above on the right.

Last weekend, I lost myself in a memoir that grabbed me from the first page, DANGEROUS WHEN WET by Jamie Brickhouse. I know Jamie professionally, and a while ago, he shared that he was writing a book. I knew that part of the theme had to do with his overcoming his addiction to alcohol, but I was not aware how complicated his story was. His mother was larger than life and hugely dominated his world. He left Beaumont, Texas, first for college and then to come to New York to take a publishing course because his mother always thought he should be a writer. With blistering prose that contrasts with laugh-out-loud funny sections, Jamie pours out his story of coming out, going wild, getting even more out of control, and getting his life back on course. To do that, the influence of Mama Jean was something he needed to come to grips with. In some parts, he truly unravels, and I found myself trying to parse that information with the person I know. We will have more on this aptly named novel, but note its publication date of April 28th.

Greg is on the board of the World Ship Society, which meets monthly in NYC. Last week, the speaker was John Maxtone-Graham, whose latest book is SS UNITED STATES: Red, White and Blue Riband, Forever. He signs them in two colors of fountain pen, and then attendees leave them open to dry. A very special moment and signature, and we are sharing a photo above.

This begs our latest poll question: How do you feel about signed books? Do you actively try to get books signed at author events? Do you go to stores where you can get signed books? Or do you have no interest whatsoever in signed books? Let us know your thoughts about this in our latest poll! In our previous poll, we wanted to know which books releasing this month you’re planning to read. AT THE WATER’S EDGE by Sara Gruen received the most votes at 41%; this was followed by THE STRANGER by Harlan Coben (36%), WORLD GONE BY by Dennis Lehane (27%) and A DANGEROUS PLACE: A Maisie Dobbs Novel, by Jacqueline Winspear (23%). Click here for all the results.

Now on to the rest of this week’s lineup….

From Booker Prize-winning author Kazuo Ishiguro comes THE BURIED GIANT, his first novel in a decade. Following war and the Romans’ departure, Britain is falling to ruin in this post-Arthurian tale. Axl and Beatrice, an elderly couple, decide that now is their chance to journey across the turbulent and misty land to find their son. Though they expect to face many dangers --- some otherworldly --- they are soon joined by a Saxon warrior, his orphan charge and a knight. As the unlikely group crosses the country to find what they have lost, they discover the remarkable power of memory.

Michael Magras offers his take on the book in his review: “This is Ishiguro as Tennyson by way of Tolkien…. As always, Ishiguro writes eloquently about memory and denial... This book is straight-up fantasy. It’s entertaining, and, for fantasy fans, that may be enough…”

Jennifer Chiaverini, New York Times bestselling author of MRS. LINCOLN’S RIVAL, turns her eye to another First Lady in MRS. GRANT AND MADAME JULE. Although Julia Grant was a beloved Civil War general’s wife and First Lady, she struggled with a profound relationship with her slave, Jule. Aside from performing typical servant duties, Jule protected her mistress’s secrets about her poor vision and clairvoyance, becoming her eyes to the world. Following Julia’s marriage to Ulysses and his rise to general in chief of the Union Army, Julia began to struggle with her feminist views and conflicting role as a slaveholder. With the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation, however, Jule claimed her freedom and became a prominent businesswoman, crossing paths with the First Lady throughout her life.

Reviewer Jana Siciliano says, “MRS. GRANT AND MADAME JULE manages to put a very deep and incisive specificity to the women’s lives that makes us feel as if we are living with them each step of their journey together. It is a real joy to read about the friendship of deeply caring and intelligent females in a time when the whole world and all its rules and regulations were being reconsidered.”

Debut novelist David Joy takes readers outside the town of Cashiers, North Carolina, in WHERE ALL LIGHT TENDS TO GO. High school dropout Jacob McNeely has worked for his father for years helping him run his meticulously organized meth ring. With the police on his payroll, Jacob’s father is practically unstoppable and Jacob’s life is miserable. His only joy comes from reuniting with his first love, Maggie, a girl destined for greater things than Cashier has to offer. When a tragic mistake changes everything, Jacob must decide whether to stay and appease his cruel father, or leave the only life he’s ever known with the girl he loves.

Joe Hartlaub has our review and says, “[T]his book is a surprise, a master work of southern literature that puts one in the mind of William Faulkner or Cormac McCarthy in some spots, and Ace Atkins in others.” I had the pleasure of meeting David back in October when he was on a pre-publication tour. He shared that before signing the contract for this deal, he had never been on a plane, and thus being published really had him floating on a cloud, literally. I am moving this to the top of my list after reading Joe’s review.

We’re delighted to present our newest Women's Fiction Author Spotlight featuring Katherine Center, whose novel, HAPPINESS IS FOR BEGINNERS, releases on March 24th. Thirty-two-year-old Helen Carpenter is still struggling to find herself after her divorce. In a moment of weakness, she allows her annoying brother, who is 10 years her junior, to talk her into signing up for a wilderness survival course. Before she knows it, Helen is trekking the remote wilderness of a mountain range in Wyoming, battling mosquitoes, a surprise blizzard and, worst of all, a group of sorority sisters. Despite everything, the wilderness seems to help Helen, teaching her some tough --- but very necessary --- lessons along the way. In anticipation of its release, we’re offering 25 readers the chance to win a copy of the book and share their comments about it. The deadline for entries is Thursday, March 19th at noon ET.

Our second new Women’s Fiction Author Spotlight of the week is on Sylvia True, whose novel, THE WEDNESDAY GROUP, features five women battling shameful secrets. Gail, a Boston judge, is plagued by letters from her husband’s girlfriend, even though her husband claims to have stopped having sex with grad students. Hannah, a devoted housewife, is shocked to catch her husband having sex with a male prostitute in a public restroom. Bridget, a psychiatric nurse, is happily in love with her husband, until she learns that he is addicted to chat rooms. Similarly, Lizzy, a high school teacher, is married to a man addicted to porn. Last of all is Flavia, who is working at the library when she learns that her husband has been arrested for groping a young girl on the subway. The women all meet in a support group run by Kathryn, a woman with secrets of her own. To celebrate its March 24th release, we’re offering 25 readers the chance to win a copy of the book and share their comments about it. The deadline for entries is Thursday, March 19th at noon ET. This is a book sure to spur discussion for book groups, and we have a guide to give you some direction for the conversation.

New from Suzanne Woods Fisher comes ANNA’S CROSSING, an Amish Beginnings novel. The year is 1737, and young Anna König is reluctantly boarding the Charming Nancy with her fellow Amish worshippers to journey across the Atlantic for a chance at religious freedom. Anna is the only one in her community who speaks English, so she feels compelled to go, but she has every intention of returning to her beloved Rotterdam --- if she survives the dangerous trip. When Anna meets Bairn, the ship’s carpenter, she is anything but lovestruck by his hardened nature. But when Anna is caught in a perilous situation, Bairn discovers that his faith may still save them both. To celebrate the book's release, Suzanne will be giving away an iPad and a Kindle. Click here for all the details.

HAPPINESS FOR BEGINNERS, THE WEDNESDAY GROUP and ANNA’S CROSSING are just three of the nearly 100 books we’re featuring in this month’s New in Paperback roundups. Others include CHINA DOLLS by Lisa See (which we’re giving away on in our “What’s Your Book Group Reading?” monthly contest), KEEP QUIET by Lisa Scottoline, THE FORTUNE HUNTER by Daisy Goodwin, and GEMINI by Carol Cassella (the last two of which were Bets On selections when they released in hardcover).

Author Jonathan Odell has been kind enough to share a blog post about his experiences with racism. Set in pre-Civil Rights Mississippi, his novel, MISS HAZEL AND THE ROSA PARKS LEAGUE (which we reviewed a few weeks ago), follows two young mothers, Hazel and Vida, battling race and the devastating losses of their sons. In his piece, Jonathan discusses how his upbringing encouraged him to be racist and how he “recovered” by discovering a greater empathy. Also, be sure to watch this video where he further explores the issue of race in America. Jana Siciliano had this to say in her review: "The book is a recommended read, especially for those who are looking for something that matches the intensity and offers the possibility for discussion that THE HELP brought to reading groups all over the world." (You can see the rest of that review here.)

The official start of spring is just two weeks away, and it seriously cannot come soon enough, especially this year. To celebrate the warmer and calmer days that we’re all anticipating, we’re bringing back our Spring Preview Feature, where we spotlight a number of hot new books releasing in the spring that you will want to consider adding to your reading list. Starting Tuesday, March 10th at noon ET and continuing through Tuesday, April 21st, we’ll be hosting a series of 24-hour contests for these books on select days. You’ll have to check the site each day to see which title is being given away --- or you can sign up here for our Spring Preview newsletter to be notified when contests go live. Next week, we’ll be awarding these books to the winners of our first three contests: THE CAIRO AFFAIR by Olen Steinhauer, DEAD WAKE: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania by Erik Larson and GOLDENEYE: Where Bond Was Born: Ian Fleming’s Jamaica by Matthew Parker (Greg cannot stop raving about this one; he quoted from it over the entire Christmas holiday.) Click here to see all the titles we’re giving away.

We have a new Word of Mouth contest up this week. Let us know by Friday, March 20th at noon ET what books you’ve read, and you’ll have the chance to win DEAD WAKE by Erik Larson, along with LAST ONE HOME by Debbie Macomber and WORLD GONE BY by Dennis Lehane (we’ll be reviewing all three in next week’s newsletter).

The finalists for the 2014 Los Angeles Times Book Prizes have been announced. Among the nominees are THE SHORT AND TRAGIC LIFE OF ROBERT PEACE by Jeff Hobbs (Current Interest), THE INNOVATORS by Walter Isaacson (History) and AFTER I’M GONE by Laura Lippman (Mystery/Thriller). The winners will be announced on April 18th, but we already know that T.C. Boyle is the 2014 Robert Kirsch Award Winner and Levar Burton is the recipient of the 2014 Innovator’s Award. Click here for all the nominees.

News and Pop Culture:

"House of Cards": I finished the last of the 13 episodes last night. For all the critics who said this was a slow-to-start season, I am not in agreement. I really enjoyed it in the crazy way that one dives into this show. One of our readers, Reeves, mentioned that she has been binging on Netflix this month and not reading as aggressively as she has done since her kids were “itty bitty.” I laughed reading this as it was like she was confessing. I dropped her a note and told her that for penance she should read at least a book a week for four weeks!

HBO Documentary for Book Lovers: Debuting March 23rd is "It's Me, Hilary: The Man Who Drew Eloise, The Story of Hilary Knight, Who Brought the Beloved Children’s Book Icon to Life."

The Postal Service has unveiled their design for a Maya Angelou stamp, based on a portrait by artist Ross Rossin. The stamp will be issued on April 7th.

For those crazy about "Downton Abbey," here are two interesting pieces about it AFTER you have watched the finale: one is a recap, and the second is an interview with Julian Fellowes.

More from the Family of Kelly Corrigan: Last week, I shared some words from Kelly Corrigan upon the passing of her dad, and she mentioned he was the best person in her life. I wondered how her husband felt reading that. Then I read this piece by her husband and smiled.

Jeff Kinney, the author of the Wimpy Kid series, is opening a bookstore. Read more about his thoughts on why he is doing that here.

Last weekend, I decided to make hummus from scratch. This included looking for tahini in the grocery store (located next to the peanut butter) and adopting the Ottolenghi method of soaking beans the night before as I read in their cookbook and then boiling them. Somehow I got the idea that I should remove the skins from the beans as well, thus for TWO HOURS on Sunday I did this while watching "House of Cards." I learned later this was NOT a necessary step. Tell this to my webbed fingertips that needed hours to unshrivel from peeling. The end result was great, but it really needed more lemon to offset the tahini (tip from Nicole in our office). And next time I am going to mix the tahini and lemon before I add in the chickpeas.

Quiet weekend ahead…may there be no snow!

Read on and have a great week…albeit a one-hour shorter one. I vote the hour should be taken from Monday, not Sunday! Who is with me on this?

Carol Fitzgerald (

P.S. For those of you who shop online, if you use the store links below, gets a small affiliate fee on your purchases. We would appreciate your considering this!

Now in Stores: THE BURIED GIANT by Kazuo Ishiguro
THE BURIED GIANT by Kazuo Ishiguro (Historical Fantasy/Adventure)
Kazuo Ishiguro, one of the best novelists working today, is also one of the most surprising. He has written drawing-room novels, dystopian fiction, surrealist works, and now a post-Arthurian tale of knights and ogres, of elderly villagers searching for their long-lost son, and of a she-dragon rumored to be the cause of a mist of forgetfulness that has plagued the land. As in past books, Ishiguro uses his story to meditate on memory and loss. Reviewed by Michael Magras.

-Click here to read more about the book.
-Click here to read an excerpt.
Click here to read a review.
Now in Stores: MRS. GRANT AND MADAME JULE by Jennifer Chiaverini
MRS. GRANT AND MADAME JULE by Jennifer Chiaverini (Historical Fiction)
In 1844, Missouri belle Julia Dent met dazzling horseman Lieutenant Ulysses S Grant. Four years passed before their parents permitted them to wed, and the groom’s abolitionist family refused to attend the ceremony. Since childhood, Julia owned as a slave another Julia, known as Jule. Jule guarded her mistress’s closely held twin secrets: She had perilously poor vision but was gifted with prophetic sight. So it was that Jule became Julia’s eyes to the world. Reviewed by Jana Siciliano.

-Click here to read more about the book.
-Click here to read an excerpt.
Click here to read a review.
New Women’s Fiction Author Spotlight & Contest: HAPPINESS FOR BEGINNERS by Katherine Center
We have 25 copies of HAPPINESS FOR BEGINNERS by Katherine Center to give away to readers who would like to read the book, which releases on March 24th, and share their comments on it. To enter, please fill out this form by Thursday, March 19th at noon ET.

HAPPINESS FOR BEGINNERS by Katherine Center (Fiction)
A year after getting divorced, Helen Carpenter, 32, lets her annoying, 10 years younger brother talk her into signing up for a wilderness survival course. It’s supposed to be a chance for her to pull herself together again, but when she discovers that her brother’s even-more-annoying best friend is also coming on the trip, she can’t imagine how it will be anything other than a disaster. Thus begins the strangest adventure of Helen's well-behaved life: three weeks in the remotest wilderness of a mountain range in Wyoming where she will survive mosquito infestations, a surprise summer blizzard, and a group of sorority girls.

Yet, despite everything, the vast wilderness has a way of making Helen's own little life seem bigger, too. And, somehow the people who annoy her the most start teaching her the very things she needs to learn. Like how to stand up for herself. And how being scared can make you brave. And how sometimes you just have to get really, really lost before you can even have a hope of being found.

-Click here to read more about the book.
-Click here to read an excerpt.
-Click here to read Katherine Center’s bio.
-Click here to visit Katherine Center’s official website.
-Connect with Katherine Center on Facebook and Twitter.
Click here to read more in our Women’s Fiction Author Spotlight and enter the contest.
New Women’s Fiction Author Spotlight & Contest: THE WEDNESDAY GROUP by Sylvia True
We have 25 copies of THE WEDNESDAY GROUP by Sylvia True to give away to readers who would like to read the book, which releases on March 24th, and share their comments on it. To enter, please fill out this form by Thursday, March 19th at noon ET.

THE WEDNESDAY GROUP by Sylvia True (Fiction)
Gail. Hannah. Bridget. Lizzy. Flavia. Each of them has a shameful secret, and each is about to find out that she is not alone…

Gail, a prominent Boston judge, keeps receiving letters from her husband's latest girlfriend, while her husband, a theology professor, claims he's nine-months sober from sex with grad students. Hannah, a homemaker, catches her husband having sex with a male prostitute in a public restroom. Bridget, a psychiatric nurse at a state hospital, is sure she has a loving, doting spouse, until she learns that he is addicted to chat rooms and match-making websites. Lizzy, a high school teacher, is married to a porn addict, who is withdrawn and uninterested in sex with her. Flavia was working at the Boston Public library when someone brought her an article that stated her husband had been arrested for groping a teenage girl on the subway. He must face court, and Flavia must decide if she wants to stay with him. Finally, Kathryn, the young psychologist running the group, has as much at stake as all of the others.

As the women share never-before-uttered secrets and bond over painful truths, they work on coming to terms with their husbands' addictions and developing healthy boundaries for themselves. Meanwhile, their outside lives become more and more intertwined, until, finally, a series of events forces each woman to face her own denial, betrayal and uncertain future head-on.

-Click here to read an excerpt.
-Click here for the reading group guide.
-Click here to read Sylvia True’s bio.
Click here to read more in our Women’s Fiction Author Spotlight and enter the contest.
New from Suzanne Woods Fisher: ANNA’S CROSSING
ANNA’S CROSSING: An Amish Beginnings Novel by Suzanne Woods Fisher (Historical Romance)
When Anna König first meets Bairn, the ship carpenter of the Charming Nancy, their encounter is anything but pleasant. Anna is on the ship to ensure the safe arrival of her loved ones to the New World, while Bairn is hardened by years of lonely living at sea. Yet, Bairn finds himself drawn to Anna's serene nature.

When an act of sacrifice leaves Anna in a perilous situation, Bairn discovers his faith might yet live. But has the revelation come too late?

In ANNA’S CROSSING, bestselling author Suzanne Woods Fisher provides a fascinating glimpse into the beginning of Amish life in America. As always, she is sure to delight longtime fans and attract new ones with her superb and always surprise-filled writing.

-Click here to learn more or purchase a copy of ANNA'S CROSSING.
Click here to enter for your chance to win an iPad Mini or Kindle!
Announcing's Spring Preview Contests and Feature
Spring is in the air (or will be soon...hopefully)! We’ve already caught the fever --- and it’s being fueled by a list of great upcoming books. Here are some picks that we know people will be talking about over the next few months. We will be hosting a number of 24-hour contests for these titles on select days through April 21st. You will need to check the site to see the featured book and enter to win. We also will be sending a special newsletter to announce each title, which you can sign up for here.

Our first prize book will be announced on Tuesday, March 10th at noon ET.

This year's featured titles include:

Click here to see our Spring Preview feature and sign up for our special newsletter.
Now in Stores: LUCKY ALAN AND OTHER STORIES by Jonathan Lethem
LUCKY ALAN AND OTHER STORIES by Jonathan Lethem (Fiction/Short Stories)
Jonathan Lethem’s third collection of stories uncovers a father’s nervous breakdown at SeaWorld; a foundling child rescued from the woods during a blizzard; a political prisoner in a hole in a Brooklyn street; and a crumbling, haunted “blog” on a seaside cliff. As in his novels, Lethem finds the uncanny lurking in the mundane, the irrational self-defeat seeping through our upstanding pursuits, and the tragic undertow of the absurd world(s) in which we live. Reviewed by Harvey Freedenberg.

-Click here to read more about the book.
Click here to read a review.
Now in Stores: WHERE ALL LIGHT TENDS TO GO by David Joy
WHERE ALL LIGHT TENDS TO GO by David Joy (Thriller)
Jacob McNeely’s father runs a methodically organized meth ring, with local authorities on the dime to turn a blind eye to his dealings. Having dropped out of high school and cut himself off from his peers, Jacob has been working for his father for years, all on the promise that his payday will come eventually. But when a fatal mistake changes everything, he’s faced with a choice: stay and appease his father, or leave the mountains with the girl he loves. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

-Click here to read more about the book.
Click here to read a review.
Story Evoking Story: Jonathan Odell, Author of MISS HAZEL AND THE ROSA PARKS LEAGUE, on His Journey from Racism to Empathy
Jonathan Odell's deeply moving novel, MISS HAZEL AND THE ROSA PARKS LEAGUE, is set in pre-Civil Rights Mississippi. It's the story of a town, a people and a culture on the verge of a great change that begins with small things, like unexpected friendship. Jonathan himself grew up in Mississippi, and here he shares his journey, as a "recovering racist," toward a greater empathy and understanding of others who are like and unlike him. Read on for his story, and click here to watch a video where he further explores the issue of race in America.

-Click here to read more about the book.
-Click here to read a review.
-Click here for the reading group guide.
Click here to read Jonathan Odell’s blog post.
March’s New in Paperback Roundups
March’s roundups of New in Paperback fiction titles include CHINA DOLLS by Lisa See, in which the lives of three friends are threatened by paranoia and suspicion after the Japanese attack Pearl Harbor, and a shocking act of betrayal changes everything; KEEP QUIET, Lisa Scottoline's emotionally gripping and complex story about one man's split-second decision to protect his son --- and the devastating consequences that follow; THE ONE & ONLY by Emily Giffin, in which the comfortable world of 33-year-old Shea Rigsby is upended when an unexpected tragedy strikes her tight-knit community, and she begins to wonder if the life she has chosen is really enough for her; and THE FORTUNE HUNTER, Daisy Goodwin's bestselling historical novel about a beautiful empress, a handsome horseman and a bluestocking heiress who form a passionate love triangle.

Among this month’s nonfiction offerings are THE NOBLE HUSTLE, Pulitzer finalist Colson Whitehead’s memoir of his search for meaning at high-stakes poker tables, which he describes as “EAT, PRAY, LOVE for depressed shut-ins”; A BROKEN HALLELUJAH, Liel Leibovitz's meditation on Leonard Cohen --- the singer, his music, and the ideas and beliefs at its core; and FOR THE BENEFIT OF THOSE WHO SEE, Rosemary Mahoney's memoir that tells the story of Braille Without Borders, the first school for the blind in Tibet, and of Sabriye Tenberken, the remarkable blind woman who founded the school.

-Find out what's New in Paperback for the weeks of March 2nd, March 9th, March 16th, March 23rd and March 30th.
Women’s Fiction Author Spotlight: THE GIRLS OF MISCHIEF BAY by Susan Mallery
THE GIRLS OF MISCHIEF BAY by Susan Mallery (Fiction)
Nicole Lord wants to be a good wife, but there's a difference between being supportive and supporting her husband, who quit his job to write a screenplay she's never seen. He won't even help take care of their son, leaving Nicole to run the house and work full-time.

Sacrificing a personal life for her career is how Shannon Rigg became VP at her firm, but she wonders now whether she made the right choice. An exciting new relationship with a great guy convinces her that it might not be too late --- until he drops a bombshell that has her questioning whether she really can have it all.

Although Pam Eiland adores her husband, she feels restless now that the kids are grown. Finding sexy new ways to surprise him brings the heat and humor back to their marriage, but when unexpected change turns her life upside down, she'll have to redefine herself. Again.

Through romance and heartbreak, laughter and tears, the girls of Mischief Bay will discover that life is richer with friends at your side.

-Click here to read a review.
-Click here to read an excerpt.
-Click here to read critical praise.
-Click here to visit the series' official website.
-Click here to read Susan Mallery’s bio.
-Click here to read our interview with Susan Mallery.
-Click here to visit Susan Mallery's official website.
-Connect with Susan Mallery on Facebook and Twitter.
Click here to read more in our Women’s Fiction Author Spotlight.
More Reviews This Week
WELCOME TO BRAGGSVILLE by T. Geronimo Johnson (Fiction)
UC Berkley freshman D’aron Davenport is uncertain about his place until one disastrous party brings him three idiosyncratic best friends. But everything changes in the group’s alternative history class when D’aron lets slip that his hometown hosts an annual Civil War reenactment, recently rebranded “Patriot Days.” His announcement is met with righteous indignation and inspires one of his friends to suggest a “performative intervention” to protest the reenactment. Reviewed by Barbara Lipkien Gershenbaum.

THE FIRST WIFE by Erica Spindler (Thriller)
Despite the 10-year difference in their ages, her working class upbringing and his of privilege, Logan Abbott and Bailey Browne fall deeply in love. Marriage quickly follows. But when Logan brings her home to his horse farm in Louisiana, her dreams of happily-ever-after begin to unravel. A tragic family history she knew nothing about surfaces, plus whisperings about the disappearance of his first wife and rumors about the women from the area who have gone missing. Reviewed by Kate Ayers.

MURDER ON THE CHAMP DE MARS: An Aimée Leduc Investigation Set in Paris by Cara Black (Mystery)
Aimée Leduc has her work cut out for her --- running her detective agency and fighting off sleep deprivation as she tries to be a good single mother to her new bébé. The last thing she has time for now is to take on a personal investigation for a poor manouche (Gypsy) boy. But he insists his dying mother has an important secret she needs to tell Aimée concerning Aimée’s father’s unsolved murder a decade ago. How can she say no? The dying woman’s secret is even more dangerous than her son realized. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

THE AMERICAN LOVER by Rose Tremain (Fiction/Short Stories)
Trapped in a London apartment, Beth remembers a transgressive love affair in 1960s Paris. The most famous writer in Russia takes his last breath in a stationmaster’s cottage, miles from Moscow. A young woman who is about to marry a rich aristocrat instead begins a torrid relationship with a construction worker. A father, finally free of his daughter’s demands, embarks on a long swim from his Canadian lakeside retreat. And in the grandest house of all, Danni the Polish housekeeper catches the eye of an enigmatic visitor, Daphne du Maurier. Reviewed by Sarah Rachel Egelman.

ROOSEVELT AND STALIN: Portrait of a Partnership by Susan Butler (History)
Making use of previously classified materials from the Russian State Archive of Social and Political History, and the Archive of the Foreign Policy of the Russian Federation, as well as the Franklin D. Roosevelt Library and 300 hot war messages between Roosevelt and Stalin, Susan Butler tells the story of how the leader of the capitalist world and the leader of the Communist world became more than allies of convenience during World War II. Reviewed by Barbara Bamberger Scott.

CANARY by Duane Swierczynski (Crime Fiction)
Honors student Sarie Holland is busted by the local police while doing a favor for her boyfriend. Unwilling to betray him but desperate to avoid destroying her future, she has no choice but to become a "CI" --- a confidential informant. Sarie turns out to be the perfect CI but soon enough is hunted by crooked cops and killers alike with nothing to save her --- except what she's learned during her harrowing weeks as an informant. Which is bad news for the police and the underworld. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

THE LONG AND FARAWAY GONE by Lou Berney (Mystery)
In the summer of 1986, six movie-theater employees were killed in an armed robbery, while one inexplicably survived. Then, a teenage girl vanished from the annual State Fair. Twenty-five years later, the reverberations of those unsolved cases quietly echo through the survivors’ lives. A private investigator in Vegas, Wyatt’s latest inquiry takes him back to a past he’s tried to escape. Similarly, Julianna struggles with the past --- with the day her beautiful older sister Genevieve disappeared. When Julianna discovers that one of the original suspects has resurfaced, she’ll stop at nothing to find answers. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

A MEMORY OF VIOLETS: A Novel of London's Flower Sellers by Hazel Gaynor (Historical Fiction)
For years, Mr. Shaw’s Home for Watercress and Flower Girls has cared for London’s flower girls --- orphaned and crippled children living on the streets and selling posies of violets and watercress to survive. Assistant housemother Tilly Harper discovers a diary written by an orphan named Florrie, who died of a broken heart after she and her sister, Rosie, were separated. Moved by Florrie’s pain and all she endured in her brief life, Tilly sets out to discover what happened to Rosie. Reviewed by Christine M. Irvin.

-Click here to read an excerpt.
-Click here for the reading group guide.

EMPIRE: The Chronicles of the Invaders, Book 2 by John Connolly and Jennifer Ridyard (Science Fiction/Adventure)
In EMPIRE, John Connolly and Jennifer Ridyard continue the journey of Syl and Paul as they fight to regain planet Earth from a ruthless alien species. Light years from Earth and millions of miles apart, the two must find a way to reveal the horrifying truth behind the Empire and save all that they hold dear from the hunger of the Others. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

AMONG THIEVES by John Clarkson (Thriller)
They thought they could cover up what an out-of-control trader at a Manhattan brokerage firm did to Olivia Sanchez. She worked hard and played by the rules, but so what? Blackball her from the industry and be done with her. Who’s going to stop them? Nobody, until Olivia turns to her cousin Manny, an ex-con and ex-gang leader whose first reaction is to take care of the arrogant bastard who hurt his cousin --- permanently. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

THE AUTUMN BALLOON by Kenny Porpora (Memoir)
Kenny Porpora's memoir is the story of a deeply dysfunctional but loving family, and follows his life from the chaos of his youth to his triumphs in the Ivy League. At times darkly comic, at times elegiac, THE AUTUMN BALLOON is a beautifully written testament to the irreplaceable bonds of family, even under the most trying circumstances. Reviewed by Rebecca Kilberg.
Our Latest Poll: Tell Us How You Feel About Signed Books
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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 March 6th to March 20th, FIVE lucky readers each will be randomly chosen to win a copy of DEAD WAKE: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania by Erik Larson, LAST ONE HOME by Debbie Macomber, and WORLD GONE BY by Dennis Lehane.

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.

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