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July 17, 2015 Newsletter July 17, 2015
The Word of the Week: WATCHMAN
You know when you plan a week and then everything gets turned upside down? THAT was my week! When we left off, I was headed for a hectic Saturday. The Random House "Off The Page" event in Hudson, NY was fun; it was great to have time to speak with book groups about ideas for their meetings and share selections that we suggest. We have a full report on the day from Rebecca Munro with lots of photos here. One breakout session offered us the chance to arrange flowers based on the floral meaning noted in THE LANGUAGE OF FLOWERS by Vanessa Diffenbaugh. It was such fun to pull my bouquet together. You can see a photo of the “flower market” for this above. I am going to dry these flowers at some point as a nice memento of the day.

I raced back to the city and changed into a cocktail dress to head to the 10th Annual Thriller Awards, which gave me the opportunity to check in with my thriller author friends and chat about books all night! Megan Abbott won Best Hardcover Novel of the Year for THE FEVER. You can see the complete list of winners here. Part of the fun of the evening was reminiscing back to the first ThrillerFest held in Scottsdale, Arizona; it’s been in New York ever since. I was at that first event with our reviewer Joe Hartlaub, and we had a blast. This annual conference brings up a lot of happy memories. Such a fun evening of talking books and authors.

More on ThrillerFest from our own Tom Donadio later in this newsletter.

I had started reading Robert Goolrick’s upcoming THE FALL OF PRINCES --- which will be in stores on August 25th --- on Friday night, and on Sunday I was eager to pick it back up. It is set in the '80s and is a story of a young Wall Street turk --- his rise and his fall. I loathe the excess of many of those on The Street, but loved this book. On Sunday, I sat poolside and finished it. For those who liked THE BONFIRE OF THE VANITIES and THE WOLF OF WALL STREET, this is for you. The scenes from when his life crashes and he rebounds are wonderfully done; I loved the lunch with his ex-wife. From what I read in the cover letter, it’s a thinly veiled telling of Goolrick’s own life. You will be hearing more about it.

On Sunday, I started reading THE HAND THAT FEEDS YOU by A.J. Rich, which we reviewed last week. It’s a very tight psychological thriller, and what I am loving is that I am already on page 109 and am still guessing what is going to happen. I love that!

So Sunday night I was relaxing, had barely eaten all day, and was planning to make a nice dinner and be in bed asleep by 9:30 (which is VERY early for me) as I was really tired. We were just starting to make dinner when Cory called from college. He said he had been nauseous all day and his right side hurt. Now Cory is not one to complain about being ill, so an alarm went off in my head. We drove to school to get him, then headed to the ER, where tests revealed he had acute appendicitis, which is what we all suspected. He had surgery at 6am on Monday, and I am happy to say he is recovering really, really well. If you saw him even the night after surgery, you never would have known he had had surgery that day. Painkillers are very good things. But this escapade meant I had one hour of sleep instead of the 10 that I craved. (Hospitals are the noisiest places!) Cory rested a lot better; thank you, morphine.

During this entire hospital visit, I found myself referencing THE NURSES by Alexandra Robbins that I had read a few weeks ago. Trust me, what I picked up from that book really helped me navigate the ER and anticipate what to ask about and for. I also wrote the name of the book on my business card for a number of the hospital personnel as a great read. When Cory first called, I anticipated he might have appendicitis, so I packed THE HAND THAT FEEDS YOU (a riveting psychological thriller is perfect hospital reading, right?), my laptop and my knitting. THAT was a very smart move. What I should have packed was food or snacks. My purse had one KIND bar and one bag of cookies left over from the Random House event. Ah, this is a new weight-loss plan. Cory came through surgery with flying colors and has been up and about all week, with me encouraging him to please take it easy. Whew! What an experience. And yes, I slept REALLY well on Monday night!

Tuesday, back at the office, GO SET A WATCHMAN fever was at an all-time pitch. A copy of the book was messengered to me at the office. Given all the news surrounding it, I could not wait to get into reading it. From the get-go, I had focused on it being an early, unedited work. As I noted last week, I was most intrigued that it originally was written in the 1950s from an adult woman’s point of view. I started reading a few pages in the office, but realized that to read the entire physical book before I wrote this newsletter, I needed to up my reading time. On the drive home, I stopped to get gas and quickly downloaded the audio from to my cellphone. For those of you who would love to give digital audio a whirl, consider this: You can do a one-month free trial here, and download GO SET A WATCHMAN now and start listening. Reese Witherspoon’s narration is terrific!

As you most likely know by now, WATCHMAN reunites readers with many of Lee’s beloved, iconic characters some 20 years after the events of her classic book, TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD. In this newly discovered novel, which was written first, readers follow Jean Louise Finch --- Scout --- as she returns home to Maycomb to visit her father, Atticus. As she reacquaints herself with everything she once held dear, however, she struggles with both personal and political issues involving not just society, but her own father.

Bronwyn Miller, who has been to Monroeville, Alabama (Harper Lee's hometown), has our review and says, "[I]f the reader approaches WATCHMAN with the proviso that this is a first version of a classic story, the early outline of what was to be, it can be enjoyed on this level --- as an example of how the writing process can be long and laborious and mutable.... This is MOCKINGBIRD in its earliest stages, not the classic we’ve come to know and revere. I can see book groups now, going into overtime discussing the issues and differences between this and the 1960 version. No matter the reasons behind its publication, WATCHMAN can and should be appreciated for exactly what it is."

I eagerly read the book for many reasons. First, I often wonder about earlier versions of books and how stories evolve. I embraced this as an opportunity to learn about that. I clearly see why the editor encouraged Harper Lee to put this manuscript aside and write TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD instead from Scout’s point of view as a young child. Her childhood stories were among the best written pages of the book. The scene where a social is thrown in her honor so everyone can see her home from New York City reads like a chapter from THE HELP and is just as amusing. I love how she handled the many points of view of the attendees in an almost cinema verite style. It's cleverly done.

Her reference to the trial that Atticus defended when she was a child --- and its different outcome --- again provides an interesting look inside TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD. The commentary about life in the South and how it was --- and is --- can provide great discussion. The book’s ending, where her uncle speaks of her blind admiration of her father, will give readers a new perspective of this man, who is very different from the one we know. Or is he? Yes, Atticus here is not the man we all came to know and love/revere. But then again, we may have been a bit like the child of Scout in idealizing him. Remember, we were seeing him through a child's eyes in TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD.

Is GO SET A WATCHMAN a perfect book? No. Parts are overwritten, and I was glad Reese was reading them as she pepped them up. Am I glad I read it? Yes. And I look forward to hearing what readers have to say about it and talking more about it. As for the controversy surrounding its publication, all the stories could make your head spin. The truth lies somewhere within. I am going to sit out judgments and finger pointing. From those I know, Harper Lee appears happy that it was published, and a lot of readers were excited about reading it. Anything that makes people excited about books and reading works for me. It would make for a great book group discussion, as Bronwyn points out in her review.

Oh, she mentions chinaberry trees…a lot. I had to look up what those are. Here’s a picture of one.

Ta-Nehisi Coates bravely confronts America’s fraught history and current racial crisis in BETWEEN THE WORLD AND ME. Written in the form of a letter to his adolescent son, this powerful work offers readers a new framework for addressing race in America and moving forward towards equality. Coates argues that we have built a false empire on the idea of race, and it is only when we can all honestly reckon with our history that we can free ourselves from additional damage. He further illustrates his point through personal stories, reimagined histories and timely reportage, resulting in an illuminating vision for the future.

Our own John Maher has this to say about the book in his review: "Coates has an omnivorous, ravenous pen, and it shows. His language lopes, loops and leaps. His new book, BETWEEN THE WORLD AND ME, is his second, and in it he covers everything from the Civil War to contemporary redlining, from Saul Bellow’s racism to hip hop’s influence on white culture.... BETWEEN THE WORLD AND ME --- a supposedly non-visual work of art...raised the stakes: It instilled a new awareness of the actual physical impression made, every day, by my body."

While I had a wonderful time at the Thriller Awards banquet, I was unable to attend the ThrillerFest conference last Friday and Saturday morning/afternoon that led up to Saturday night’s awards ceremony. So Tom Donadio, our Editorial Director, was happy to attend in my absence. Here’s what he had to say about his experiences:

“I was thrilled (pun very much intended) to go to ThrillerFest for the first time. I attended a number of roundtable discussions and one-on-one interviews featuring bestselling and up-and-coming mystery and thriller authors. One panel featured the all-star lineup of Sandra Brown, Clive Cussler, Nelson DeMille, David Morrell, R.L. Stine and Scott Turow talking about, among other things, their writing habits. All have been named ThrillerMasters at some point in their careers (DeMille is the current holder of this award, which honors an author’s legendary career and outstanding contributions to the thriller genre), and the conversation was lively, to say the least. For the record, Nelson DeMille still prefers to write longhand, Sandra Brown goes to an office everyday to write, and R.L. Stine churns out 2,000 words a day.

“At another panel, called ‘Tingles, Terrors and Titillation: Tension in Thrillers,’ Jeffery Deaver emphasized his avoidance of gratuitous sex scenes in his books because, in his opinion, they do nothing to advance the plot and needlessly distract readers. Meanwhile, Paul Levine pointed to the famous Janet Leigh shower scene in Psycho as an example of ratcheting up the tension in thrillers without resorting to blood, guts and gore to shock audiences.

“One of the highlights of the conference for me (and many others) was an interview with Greg Iles conducted by literary agent Dan Conaway. I never heard Iles speak before and was immediately taken by how much of a straight shooter he is…he just tells it like it is. Along with sharing amazing stories about fellow authors John Grisham, Dan Brown and Ken Follett, who have helped him enormously throughout his career, he also recounted a horrific car accident that nearly cost him his life back in 2011. Please take a look at this article that profiles his long ordeal and road to recovery, and I think you’ll agree that the term ‘walking miracle’ is an apt way to describe him.

“I also had the pleasure of meeting and chatting briefly with the aforementioned Nelson DeMille, Paul Levine, David Morrell and R.L. Stine, along with Steve Berry, Mark Billingham, Lee Child, Jon Land, Patrick Lee, Jenny Milchman, Vicki Pettersson, Keith Raffel, Kathy Reichs and Hank Phillippi Ryan. I enjoyed every minute of this fabulous conference, and I’m already on the edge of my seat (I just couldn’t help myself there) anticipating ThrillerFest XI next year!”

I loved reading this feedback!

Following last week’s review, my latest Bets On pick is THOSE GIRLS by Chevy Stevens. Set in western Canada, this chilling novel follows the Campbell sisters --- Jess, Courtney and Dani --- as they escape the brutality of their violent home, only to end up in a far more horrifying situation. True to form, Chevy has delivered a page-turning thriller that does not disappoint.

We are happy to share with you a piece from Anthony M. Amore, author of THE ART OF THE CON: The Most Notorious Fakes, Frauds, and Forgeries in the Art World, his latest book that discusses pilfered paintings and lost treasures. As an expert on international art theft, Amore frequently hosts lectures about this specific crime. Over the years, he has been asked time and time again about his favorite art theft-related book. His answer, THE LOST PAINTING by Jonathan Harr, may surprise most because it is not technically related to theft, but rather the search for Caravaggio’s The Taking of Christ. Here, he discusses Harr’s compelling book and how it influenced his own writing.

THE ART OF THE CON is one of the books we’re featuring in this month’s History Books roundup. Others include VENDETTA: Bobby Kennedy Versus Jimmy Hoffa by James Neff (which we review this week) and THE JEWISH OLYMPICS: The History of the Maccabiah Games by our very own Ron Kaplan (which we'll review next week), along with these paperback reprints: DOUBLE AGENT: The First Hero of World War II and How the FBI Outwitted and Destroyed a Nazi Spy Ring by Peter Duffy, LANDSLIDE: LBJ and Ronald Reagan at the Dawn of a New America by Jonathan Darman, and LIBERTY’S TORCH: The Great Adventure to Build the Statue of Liberty by Elizabeth Mitchell.

In this week’s Summer Reading contests, we gave away the aforementioned GO SET A WATCHMAN and THE INSECT FARM by Stuart Prebble. Next week’s prize books will be THE COINCIDENCE OF COCONUT CAKE by Amy E. Reichert, FISHBOWL by Bradley Somer, MISS EMILY by Nuala O'Connor (which we review this week) and A WEDDING ON PRIMROSE STREET by Sheila Roberts. The first contest of the week will appear on the homepage on Monday, July 20th at noon ET.

Calling all children and grandchildren of our readers! You have less than two weeks to enter them in our first-ever Sneak Peek Contest on for WARREN THE 13th AND THE ALL-SEEING EYE, written by Tania del Rio and illustrated by Will Staehle. Perfect for readers between the ages of 10 and 13, this clever story follows Warren, a Victorian bellhop with terrible luck --- and tons of optimism. Although Warren takes great pride in his deceased parents’ hotel, he believes his evil Aunt Anaconda is ruining their legacy. Anaconda has no interest in hotel management, but believes the hotel’s grounds are hiding a mysterious treasure known as the All-Seeing Eye. In order to save the hotel --- and his future --- Warren must find the treasure before Anaconda and the hotel’s many wacky guests find it first. WARREN THE 13th AND THE ALL-SEEING EYE doesn’t release until November 24th, but we have 100 advance copies to give away to readers who can commit to previewing it and sharing their comments on it by Friday, August 28th. To enter, please fill out this form by Tuesday, July 28th at noon ET.

Which books releasing this month, if any, are you planning to read? Take our latest poll here and let us know.

Our current Word of Mouth contest continues for one more week. Let us know by Friday, July 24th at noon ET what books you’ve finished reading, and you’ll be entered to win the aforementioned BETWEEN THE WORLD AND ME, along with SPEAKING IN BONES by Kathy Reichs and WHEN THE MOON IS LOW by Nadia Hashimi.

Also continuing is our second Sounding Off on Audio contest. Fill out the form on this page by Friday, July 31st at noon ET for your chance to win the digital version or a CD of both DRUNKEN FIREWORKS written by Stephen King and read by Tim Sample, and DOES THIS BEACH MAKE ME LOOK FAT?: True Stories and Confessions written and read by Lisa Scottoline and Francesca Serritella.

Quiet weekend ahead, or so I hope! I want to finish THE HAND THAT FEEDS YOU and do some floating in the pool. Next week, I head up to New Haven to speak at the Yale Publishing Course, and then I am back in the city for the Romance Writers of America’s Literacy Autographing event to raise money for ProLiteracy Worldwide, Literacy Partners and Literacy Assistance Center on Wednesday evening, with more fun events and author catchups on Thursday.

Read on, and have a great week.

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: GO SET A WATCHMAN by Harper Lee
GO SET A WATCHMAN by Harper Lee (Fiction)
Originally written in the mid-1950s, GO SET A WATCHMAN was the novel Harper Lee first submitted to her publishers before TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD. Assumed to have been lost, the manuscript was discovered in late 2014. GO SET A WATCHMAN features many of the characters from TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD some 20 years later. Returning home to Maycomb to visit her father, Jean Louise Finch --- Scout --- struggles with issues both personal and political, involving Atticus, society, and the small Alabama town that shaped her. Reviewed by Bronwyn Miller.

-Click here to read more about the book.
-Click here to read the first chapter.
Click here to read a review.
Now in Stores: BETWEEN THE WORLD AND ME by Ta-Nehisi Coates
BETWEEN THE WORLD AND ME by Ta-Nehisi Coates (Memoir)
Americans have built an empire on the idea of “race,” a falsehood that damages us all but falls most heavily on the bodies of black women and men --- bodies exploited through slavery and segregation, and, today, threatened, locked up and murdered out of all proportion. What is it like to inhabit a black body and find a way to live within it? And how can we all honestly reckon with this fraught history and free ourselves from its burden? BETWEEN THE WORLD AND ME is Ta-Nehisi Coates’ attempt to answer these questions in a letter to his adolescent son. Reviewed by John Maher.

-Click here to read more about the book.
Click here to read a review.
Now in Stores: CODE OF CONDUCT by Brad Thor
CODE OF CONDUCT by Brad Thor (Thriller)
Hidden deep within one of the world’s most powerful organizations is a secret committee with a devastating agenda. Its members are afforded incredible protections --- considered elites, untouchables. But when four seconds of video is captured halfway around the world and anonymously transmitted to D.C., covert wheels are set in motion, and counterterrorism operative Scot Harvath is tapped to undertake the deadliest assignment of his career. Reviewed by Ray Palen.

-Click here to read more about the book.
Click here to read a review.
Now in Stores: BULL MOUNTAIN by Brian Panowich
BULL MOUNTAIN by Brian Panowich (Thriller)
Clayton Burroughs comes from a long line of outlaws. For generations, the Burroughs clan has made its home on Bull Mountain in North Georgia, running shine, pot and meth over six state lines. To distance himself from his family’s criminal empire, Clayton took the job of sheriff in a neighboring community to keep what peace he can. But when a federal agent with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms shows up at Clayton’s office with a plan to shut down the mountain, his hidden agenda will pit brother against brother, test loyalties, and could lead Clayton down a path to self-destruction. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

-Click here to read more about the book.
Click here to read a review. Bets On: THOSE GIRLS by Chevy Stevens
THOSE GIRLS by Chevy Stevens (Psychological Thriller)
I can depend on Chevy Stevens to deliver me a page-turning thriller, one that I usually read in one sitting. And she does just that in THOSE GIRLS. The book opens in a small town in western Canada where the Campbell sisters --- Jess, Courtney and Dani --- live pretty much on their own. Their mom has died, and they have bonded together to survive life with their alcoholic father, whose appearances at home are sporadic and volatile. Fear surrounds them; it defines their world.

One night, they take matters into their own hands when their father goes too far; suddenly they are on the run. Along the way, they again hit trouble at the get-go as they find themselves held captive by sweet-talking brothers who make life with their father seem almost warm and fuzzy. Kind strangers step up and help them create new names --- Jamie, Crystal and Dallas --- and new lives. But the sisters are always hiding, wondering who will unearth the secrets of their past.

This is not for the faint of heart --- Chevy does not hold back in her storytelling. It is gritty and edgy, but wonderfully balanced by the intense feelings that these sisters have for one another. Chevy can plot, build tension and rope you into a story. This is her fifth book, and she keeps getting better and better. At a time when I think many thriller writers are “phoning it in,” Chevy’s attention to her craft continues to be ramped up. I love when an author delivers like that!

-Click here to read more about the book.
-Click here to read a review.
-Click here to read an excerpt.
Click here for more books we're betting you'll love. Talks to Holly Brown, Author of A NECESSARY END
Not only is Holly Brown a practicing marriage and family therapist, she’s also the author of the gripping psychological thriller DON’T TRY TO FIND ME. A NECESSARY END is her sophomore effort; it’s a taut, riveting novel of psychological suspense --- a domestic drama full of secrets and twists --- about a woman determined to have a child, her ambivalent husband and a pregnant teenager with a secret agenda of her own. In this interview with's Alexis Burling, Brown talks about what’s changed since her debut and how her “day job” influences her writing. She also explains why she enjoys writing (and reading) about complex, not necessarily likable characters and why it’s important for her to stay flexible as her story evolves.

A NECESSARY END by Holly Brown (Psychological Thriller)
Thirty-nine-year-old Adrienne is desperate to be a mother. And this time, nothing is going to get in her way. At 19, Leah bears a remarkable resemblance to the young woman Adrienne once was. Which is why Adrienne knows the baby Leah is carrying is meant to be hers. But Leah has ideas of her own. All she wants is to live in Adrienne’s house for a year after the baby is born and get a fresh start. It seems like a small price for Adrienne to pay to get their baby. And with Adrienne’s husband, Gabe, suddenly on board, what could possibly go wrong? Reviewed by Alexis Burling.

-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 our interview.
First-Ever Sneak Peek Contest on Win an Advance Copy of WARREN THE 13th AND THE ALL-SEEING EYE and Share Your Comments On It
What's cooler than winning a free book? Winning a free book that won't hit the shelves until the late fall (talk about being a trendsetter)...and getting to give your feedback on it!

That's what kids between the ages of 10 and 13 get to do in our first-ever Sneak Peek promotion on They can win an advance copy of WARREN THE 13th AND THE ALL-SEEING EYE, written by Tania del Rio and illustrated by Will Staehle (which releases on November 24th), and tell us what they thought about it.

We're giving away 100 copies, and the deadline for entries is Tuesday, July 28th at noon ET. Click here to enter. If your kids win, we'll need their comments by Friday, August 28th.

WARREN THE 13th AND THE ALL-SEEING EYE written by Tania del Rio, illustrated by Will Staehle (Fantasy/Mystery/Adventure)
Meet Warren the 13th, a cursed 12-year-old Victorian bellhop who’s terribly unlucky...yet perpetually optimistic, hard-working and curious. Orphan Warren’s pride and joy is his family’s hotel, but he’s been miserable ever since his evil Aunt Anaconda took over the management. Anaconda believes a mysterious treasure known as the All-Seeing Eye is hidden somewhere on the grounds, and she’ll do anything to find it. If Warren wants to preserve his family’s legacy, he’ll need to find the treasure first --- if the hotel’s many strange and wacky guests don’t beat him to it!

This middle-grade adventure features gorgeous two-color illustrations on every page and a lavish two-column Victorian design that will pull you into a spooky and delightful mystery.

-Click here to read an excerpt.
-Click here to visit the book's official website.
Click here to enter the contest.
Anthony M. Amore, Author of THE ART OF THE CON, Talks About His Favorite Art Theft Book (Which Isn’t About Art Theft)
Anthony M. Amore is no stranger to the world of art crime: Not only is he the head of security at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, he also serves as trustee of the Association for Research into Crimes against Art. Art theft is a captivating subject because it combines the high world of art with the grittier crime world...and, let’s face it, everyone loves a good heist (except, perhaps, its victim). In THE ART OF THE CON, Amore shares his considerable knowledge to tell the stories of some of history’s most notorious yet untold cons. Here, he talks about his favorite art theft book --- besides his own, of course. Hint: It’s not what you think!

THE ART OF THE CON: The Most Notorious Fakes, Frauds, and Forgeries in the Art World by Anthony M. Amore (True Crime/History)
Art scams are so numerous today that the specter of a lawsuit arising from a mistaken attribution has scared a number of experts away from the business of authentication and forgery, and with good reason. Art scams are increasingly convincing and involve incredible sums of money. The cons perpetrated by unscrupulous art dealers and their accomplices are proportionately elaborate. Anthony M. Amore's THE ART OF THE CON tells the stories of some of history's most notorious yet untold cons.

-Click here to read more about the book.

Click here to read Anthony M. Amore's piece on his favorite art theft book.
July's History Books Roundup
July's roundup of History titles includes VENDETTA, in which investigative reporter James Neff brings to life the gripping, no-holds-barred clash of two American titans: Robert Kennedy and his nemesis, Jimmy Hoffa; THE ART OF THE CON by Anthony M. Amore, which tells the stories of some of history's most notorious yet untold art scams, while also taking the reader into the investigations that led to the capture of the con men, who oftentimes return back to the world of crime; Jonathan M. Bryant's DARK PLACES OF THE EARTH, a dramatic work of historical detection illuminating one of the most significant --- and long forgotten --- Supreme Court cases in American history; and SICILY, John Julius Norwich's latest book that weaves the turbulent story of Sicily into a spellbinding narrative that places the island at the crossroads of world history.
Click here to see our History Books roundup for July.'s Summer Reading Contests and Feature
Summer has arrived! At, this means it's time for us to share some great summer book picks with our Summer Reading Contests and Feature. We are hosting a number of 24-hour contests for these titles on select days throughout the summer, so you will have to check the site each day to see the featured prize book and enter to win. We also are sending a special newsletter to announce the day's title, which you can sign up for here.

Our next prize book will be announced on Monday, July 20th at noon ET.

This year's featured titles include:

Click here to read all the contest details and see our featured titles.
More Reviews This Week
ARMADA by Ernest Cline (Science Fiction/Adventure)
Zack Lightman dreams that the real world could be a little more like the countless science-fiction books, movies and videogames he’s spent his life consuming. Then he sees the flying saucer. Even stranger, the alien ship he’s staring at is straight out of the videogame he plays every night, a hugely popular online flight simulator called Armada --- in which gamers just happen to be protecting the earth from alien invaders. His skills --- as well as those of millions of gamers across the world --- are going to be needed to save the earth from what’s about to befall it. Reviewed by Curtis Edmonds.

WICKED CHARMS: A Lizzy and Diesel Novel by Janet Evanovich and Phoef Sutton (Mystery)
Murdered and mummified nearly a century ago, notorious bootlegger Collier “Peg Leg” Dazzle discovered and re-hid a famous pirate’s treasure somewhere along the coast of New England. A vast collection of gold and silver coins and precious gems, the bounty also contains the Stone of Avarice --- the very item reluctant treasure seeker Lizzy Tucker and her partner, Diesel, have been enlisted to find. But greed is eternal and insatiable, and Lizzy and Diesel aren’t the only ones searching for the lost pirate’s chest. Reviewed by Maggie Harding.

SCENTS AND SENSIBILITY: A Chet and Bernie Mystery by Spencer Quinn (Mystery)
Private investigator Bernie Little and his canine companion, Chet, return home to encounter some alarming developments. First off, Bernie’s wall is gone, and with it Bernie’s grandfather’s watch, their most valuable possession. And next door, old Mr. Parsons is under investigation for being in possession of a saguaro cactus illegally transplanted from the desert. Bernie and Chet go deep into the desert to investigate. Is it possible that such a lovely old couple have a terrible secret in their past? Reviewed by Roz Shea.

AFTER THE STORM: A Kate Burkholder Novel by Linda Castillo (Thriller)
When a tornado tears through Painters Mill and unearths human remains, Chief of Police Kate Burkholder finds herself tasked with the responsibility of identifying the bones. Evidence quickly emerges that the death was no accident, and Kate finds herself plunged into a 30-year-old case that takes her deep into the Amish community to which she once belonged. Under siege from an unknown assailant, Kate digs deep into the case only to discover proof of an unimaginable atrocity, a plethora of family secrets and the lengths to which people will go to protect their own. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

VENDETTA: Bobby Kennedy Versus Jimmy Hoffa by James Neff (History/Politics)
From 1957 to 1964, Robert Kennedy and Jimmy Hoffa channeled nearly all of their considerable powers into destroying each other. Kennedy's battle with Hoffa burst into the public consciousness with the 1957 Senate Rackets Committee hearings and intensified when his brother named him attorney general in 1961. RFK put together a "Get Hoffa" squad within the Justice Department, devoted to destroying one man. But Hoffa, with nearly unlimited Teamster funds, was not about to roll over. Reviewed by Harvey Freedenberg.

MISS EMILY by Nuala O’Connor (Historical Fiction)
Eighteen-year-old Ada Concannon has just been hired by the respected but eccentric Dickinson family of Amherst, Massachusetts. Despite their difference in age and the upstairs-downstairs divide, Ada strikes up a deep friendship with Miss Emily, the gifted elder daughter living a spinster’s life at home. But Emily’s passion for words begins to dominate her life. When Ada’s safety and reputation are threatened, however, Emily must face down her own demons in order to help her friend --- with shocking consequences. Reviewed by Gena LeBlanc.

MAYBE IN ANOTHER LIFE by Taylor Jenkins Reid (Fiction)
Hannah Martin has lived in six different cities and held countless meaningless jobs since graduating college. On the heels of leaving yet another city, Hannah moves back to her hometown of Los Angeles. She goes out to a bar one night with her best friend, Gabby, and meets up with her high school boyfriend, Ethan. Just after midnight, Gabby asks Hannah if she’s ready to go. A moment later, Ethan offers to give her a ride later if she wants to stay. What happens if she leaves with Gabby? What happens if she leaves with Ethan? In concurrent storylines, Hannah lives out the effects of each decision. Reviewed by Norah Piehl.

THE GODDESS POSE: The Audacious Life of Indra Devi, the Woman Who Helped Bring Yoga to the West by Michelle Goldberg (Biography)
When the woman who would become Indra Devi was born in Russia in 1899, yoga was virtually unknown outside of India. By the time of her death, in 2002, it was being practiced everywhere, from Brooklyn to Berlin to Ulaanbaatar. In THE GODDESS POSE, Michelle Goldberg traces the life of the incredible woman who brought yoga to the West --- and, in so doing, paints a sweeping picture of the 20th century. Reviewed by Pauline Finch.

CONFESSION OF THE LIONESS written by Mia Couto, translated by David Brookshaw (Fiction)
In Kulumani, a village in present-day Mozambique, lions are killing local women, including three of the four daughters of the Mpepe family. Only 32-year-old Mariamar is left. Village elders recruit Archangel Bullseye, a hunter from Maputo who saved Mariamar from danger 16 years earlier, to end the attacks. Now, as she wonders whether or not she wants to see the hunter she once loved, Mariamar suspects that spiritual forces may be the cause of the village’s troubles. Reviewed by Michael Magras.

RUN YOU DOWN by Julia Dahl (Mystery)
Aviva Kagan was a just a teenager when she left her Hasidic Jewish life in Brooklyn for a fling with a college boy from Florida --- and then disappeared. Twenty-three years later, the child she walked away from is a tabloid reporter named Rebekah Roberts. And Rebekah isn't sure she wants her mother back in her life. But when a man from the ultra-Orthodox enclave of Roseville, NY, contacts Rebekah about his young wife's mysterious death, she is drawn back into Aviva's world. Reviewed by Amie Taylor.

SO NUDE, SO DEAD by Ed McBain (Hard-boiled Crime Fiction)
SO NUDE, SO DEAD was the first crime novel written by the great, bestselling mystery writer and novelist Ed McBain. It tells the story of a piano prodigy turned heroin addict who wakes up in a seedy hotel room to find his companion from the night before --- a beautiful singer and heroin addict --- murdered in the bed next to him. On the run and in desperate need of a fix, he must find the real killer. Reviewed by Tom Callahan.

NAKED: A Novel of Lady Godiva by Eliza Redgold (Historical Fiction)
We all know the legend of Lady Godiva, who famously rode naked through the streets of Coventry, covered only by her long, flowing hair. As the story goes, she begged her husband Lord Leofric of Mercia to lift a high tax on her people, who would starve if forced to pay. Lord Leofric demanded a forfeit: that Godiva ride naked on horseback through the town. There are various endings to Godiva's ride, but NAKED contains a twist that may be closer to the truth: By the end of his life, Leofric had fallen deeply in love with Lady Godiva. Reviewed by Carly Silver.

THE MAPMAKER’S CHILDREN by Sarah McCoy (Historical Fiction)
When Sarah Brown, daughter of abolitionist John Brown, realizes that her artistic talents may be able to help save the lives of slaves fleeing north, she becomes one of the Underground Railroad’s leading mapmakers, taking her cues from the slave code quilts and hiding her maps within her paintings. She boldly embraces this calling after being told the shocking news that she can’t bear children. But as the country steers toward bloody civil war, Sarah faces difficult sacrifices that could put all she loves in peril. Reviewed by Jana Siciliano.
Our Latest Poll: Which July Books Are You Anticipating?
Which of the following titles releasing in July are you planning to read? Please check all that apply.

  • BADLANDS by C.J. Box
  • BETWEEN THE WORLD AND ME by Ta-Nehisi Coates
  • BROKEN PROMISE by Linwood Barclay
  • BRUSH BACK: A V. I. Warshawski Novel, by Sara Paretsky
  • BUM RAP by Paul Levine
  • CIRCLING THE SUN by Paula McLain
  • CODE OF CONDUCT by Brad Thor
  • DEXTER IS DEAD by Jeff Lindsay
  • DOES THIS BEACH MAKE ME LOOK FAT?: True Stories and Confessions, by Lisa Scottoline and Francesca Serritella
  • GO SET A WATCHMAN by Harper Lee
  • HOW TO BE A GROWN-UP by Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus
  • IDEAL by Ayn Rand
  • THE NAKED EYE by Iris Johansen and Roy Johansen
  • NAKED GREED: A Stone Barrington Novel, by Stuart Woods
  • THE NOVEL HABITS OF HAPPINESS: An Isabel Dalhousie Novel, by Alexander McCall Smith
  • THE OTHER DAUGHTER by Lauren Willig
  • A PARIS AFFAIR by Tatiana de Rosnay
  • THE REDEEMERS: A Quinn Colson Novel, by Ace Atkins
  • SPEAKING IN BONES by Kathy Reichs
  • THOSE GIRLS by Chevy Stevens
  • None of the above
Click here to vote in the poll.
Word of Mouth Contest: Tell Us What You're Reading --- and You Can Win Three Books!
Tell us about the books you’ve finished reading with your comments and a rating of 1 to 5 stars. During the contest period from July 10th to July 24th, five lucky readers each will be randomly chosen to win a copy of BETWEEN THE WORLD AND ME by Ta-Nehisi Coates, SPEAKING IN BONES by Kathy Reichs, and WHEN THE MOON IS LOW by Nadia Hashimi.

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.

-To see reader comments from previous contest periods, click here.
Click here to enter the contest.
Sounding Off on Audio Contest: Tell Us What You're Listening to --- and You Can Win Two Audiobooks!
Tell us about the audiobooks you’ve finished listening to with your comments and a rating of 1 to 5 stars for both the performance and the content. During the contest period from July 10th to July 31st, THREE lucky readers each will be randomly chosen to win the digital version or a CD of both DOES THIS BEACH MAKE ME LOOK FAT?: True Stories and Confessions written and read by Lisa Scottoline and Francesca Serritella, and DRUNKEN FIREWORKS by Stephen King, read by Tim Sample.

To make sure other readers will be able to find the audiobook, 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.

-To see reader comments from the previous contest period, click here.

Click here to enter the contest.

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