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September 18, 2015 Newsletter September 18, 2015
Summer Summer, Please Don’t Go!
The leaves are falling off the trees so fast that I cannot keep up with them with my glue gun. Oddly, the moonflowers are coming out in rapid succession; maybe they favor the cooler temperatures. The herbs are in great shape, as are the poblano and jalapeño chilis. We’ve layered on the solar pool cover, which looks like giant circles of bubble wrap, and the heater is seeing some duty to get the chill off the water.

Fall arrives on Wednesday at 4:21am EDT, and I am soooooo not ready for this. And I am not planning to drink or eat pumpkin spice anything as my own form of rebellion. I already got a flu shot, another signal that summer is ending.

People always ask how I read so much while working full-time. One way: Multitasking. As an example, I tuck my swim exercise flotation barbells under my arms and bicycle around the pool with my legs; you can see a photo of this above. I do wish the Fitbit was waterproof so I could track my exercise in the water. There are times I have done this for 2.5 hours! I was reading ALONG THE INFINITE SEA by Beatriz Williams, which I guess is somewhat poignant. I thoroughly enjoyed it. HOW did I miss her in the past? I have a few other books of hers lined up!

There was lots of traffic on the drive into the city yesterday, but I popped in the audiobook of ONCE IN A GREAT CITY: A Detroit Story by David Maraniss, and suddenly the crawling traffic failed to matter! Nice to have that escape and the feeling of accomplishment instead of complete frustration. Interesting to think about the car industry in the early '60s, when second cars were being bought for wives, and kids were coming up to driving age in droves from the baby boom generation. I remember my mom getting a '63 Corvair; it was turquoise. Maybe that was what made me fall in love with the color. My dad drove it home from the dealership with a GIANT red bow on top and ribbon wrapped around the front and sides, as it was a present for her. I was lying on the floor mortified to be seen in a car with a bow on top!

Now I am reading THE DROWNING by Camilla Läckberg; she is so good! Her last book, THE HIDDEN CHILD, was one of my Bets On selections. This week I was talking to one of my neighbors, Helene, and she mentioned she was reading THE DROWNING and was completely captivated by Camilla’s writing and how she is a huge fan of Swedish authors. Loved that!

Now on to this week’s update…

From award-winning author Lauren Groff (THE MONSTERS OF TEMPLETON, ARCADIA) comes FATES AND FURIES, one of this season’s most highly anticipated novels. In this stunning inspection of marriage and creativity, readers track the course of an ambitious couple’s marriage over 24 years. At 22, Lotto and Mathilde are the envy of all of their friends --- glamorous, ambitious and deeply in love. A decade later, their marriage is still outwardly perfect, but soon enough it is revealed that the couple has been hiding complicated secrets. As readers hear from both Lotto and Mathilde, they learn that even the best relationships can have two wildly different perspectives.

Bronwyn Miller has our review and raves, “Groff takes on what could be a rather predictable story and adds so many delicate but edifying layers and renders unto readers a remarkable tapestry of ‘rich and royal hues,’ to quote songwriter Carole King. FATES AND FURIES is hard to put down and impossible to forget.” And yes, I am kicking myself that I have not read it yet!

We learned this week that FATES AND FURIES has been longlisted for this year’s National Book Award for Fiction. Other notables in this category include FORTUNE SMILES by Adam Johnson (I love that I met Adam before he won the Pulitzer Prize) and DID YOU EVER HAVE A FAMILY by Bill Clegg, the latter of which is my latest Bets On pick, which you can read more about here. The full list of longlisted titles (which also includes the Nonfiction, Poetry and Young People’s Literature categories) can be found here. And in other awards news, the Man Booker Prize for Fiction shortlist was revealed this week. Click here to see the six finalists.

PURITY, which many believe to be Jonathan Franzen’s most daring work of fiction yet, introduces readers to Pip Tyler, a young woman squatting with anarchists in Oakland. Although she knows her real name --- Purity --- her tenuous relationship with her reclusive mother prevents her from learning anything more about her past. When a chance encounter with a German peace activist lands Pip an internship with the secretive Sunlight Project organization, she hopes that she will learn more about her origins. But when founder Andreas Wolf takes an unexpected interest in her, her response warps her perceptions of right and wrong.

According to reviewer Harvey Freedenberg, “PURITY definitely qualifies as a big book --- ambitious in its themes, sophisticated in its characterization and skilled in its pacing. In this stimulating novel, Jonathan Franzen reminds us of the power of strong fiction to both contain and explain our world.”

Our latest New Release Spotlight features HOUSE OF THIEVES, a Gilded Age drama from Charles Belfoure that you may remember from our recent Sneak Peek feature (you can see advance readers' comments here). Prominent architect John Cross is devoted to his craft and his family. For years, his family has maintained a spotless reputation --- but all of that is threatened when his son, George, racks up an obscene gambling debt. Desperate to save him, Cross volunteers his architectural knowledge to Kent, the city’s most dangerous criminal mastermind, who hopes to use Cross’ help to rob several wealthy homes. But the thefts soon catch the attention of detectives, and Cross realizes his decision may have put his family in more danger than ever before.

Reviewer Alexis Burling says, “Stuffed with a bevy of Gilded Age particulars --- white-glove balls and strictly enforced rules of etiquette, Tammany Hall and revenge-seeking mob bosses, whorehouses and gambling dens --- HOUSE OF THIEVES not only tells an entertaining story but also delivers a gritty historic snapshot of New York City during its debauched heyday.”

Set against the haunting beauty of Cape Cod, Nina de Gramont’s THE LAST SEPTEMBER is an emotionally poignant tale of love and loyalty. Brett’s love affair with Charlie began 14 years ago, when he took her skiing on a perfect Colorado night. Now the two are married and settled in beautiful Cape Cod with their young daughter. But their marriage has been struggling for some time, and when Charlie’s unstable brother makes plans to move in with them, their issues all rise to the surface. What happens to charming, adventurous Charlie next is completely unexpected --- but Brett’s guilt will force her to decide between the love of her life and a sacrifice too great to bear.

According to reviewer Sarah Rachel Egelman, “The haunting poetry of Dickinson lends to the foggy atmosphere and gloomy, introspective tone of the book…. de Gramont's prose is spare and often quite touching, with sadness and hope in equal shares.”

HOUSE OF THIEVES and THE LAST SEPTEMBER will be my next Bets On selections. Find out why in next week’s newsletter!

Homicide detective Tracy Crosswhite returns for another hair-raising case in HER FINAL BREATH by Robert Dugoni. Northern Seattle is rocked by the Cowboy, a serial killer targeting young women in cheap hotels. The case takes on a new urgency when a stalker leaves Tracy a note suggesting that the killer may be targeting her personally. Charged with tracking down the vicious murderer, Tracy finds herself digging into a decade-old homicide investigation that may implicate her own captain. Still scarred from the events of MY SISTER’S GRAVE, Tracy must put her career --- and life --- in peril if she is to bring the Cowboy to justice.

Ray Palen has our review and says, "Dugoni does a masterful job with this entertaining novel, as he has done in all his prior works. If you are not already reading his books, you should be! HER FINAL BREATH is a great place to start." As I mentioned in an earlier newsletter, Bob never disappoints, so you can add HER FINAL BREATH to your reading list with confidence.

Our Fall Preview feature kicked off this week for a fifth year in a row! Many of you know the drill by now: On select days this month and next, we will spotlight a different title and offer a 24-hour contest to win five copies of the book. We also will be sending a special newsletter to announce each day's title. You can sign up here to receive the Fall Preview newsletter. Our first three prize books were the aforementioned THE LAST SEPTEMBER, in addition to KEEPER'S REACH: A Sharpe & Donovan Novel by Carla Neggers and THE SAME SKY by Amanda Eyre Ward. Next week, we'll be giving away the aforementioned HOUSE OF THIEVES and THE DROWNING, the latter of which will be paired with Camilla's earlier work, THE HIDDEN CHILD, along with AFTER THE WIND: 1996 Everest Tragedy --- One Survivor's Story by Lou Kasischke (the Everest film opens wide on the 25th) and KILLERS by Howie Carr.

Our History Books roundup has been updated for September. This month we have titles profiling a number of political figures (Abraham Lincoln, FDR, Richard Nixon, Henry Kissinger, RFK, Jr., Ronald Reagan, Jack Kemp), along with THE MAKING OF ASIAN AMERICA by Erika Lee, A NATION OF NATIONS: A Great American Immigration Story by Tom Gjelten, and A NATION AND NOT A RABBLE: The Irish Revolutions 1913-1923 by Diarmaid Ferriter.

Do you listen to podcasts or digital narrative radio? If so, what topics are covered in the shows that you listen to? Click here to let us know in our latest poll. We have been thinking about podcasts a lot in the office, and some of my staffers are encouraging me to do them. If you have any ideas about what you would like to see from us for a podcast, or thoughts about them in general, please drop me a note with the subject line "Podcasts."

One more week remains in our current Word of Mouth contest. What books have you finished reading? Let us know by Friday, September 25th at noon ET, and you’ll have the chance to win the aforementioned FATES AND FURIES, HER FINAL BREATH and HOUSE OF THIEVES.

IMPORTANT NOTE on “Sounding Off on Audio”: We’ve decided to extend our current Sounding Off on Audio contest to Thursday, October 1st at noon ET, as these will now be monthly contests that will start on the first day of each month. So you still have time to enter to win the audio versions of both Lee Child’s MAKE ME: A Jack Reacher Novel, read by Dick Hill, and Philippa Gregory’s THE TAMING OF THE QUEEN, read by Bianca Amato. Just let us know by Thursday, October 1st at noon ET what audiobooks you’ve finished listening to, and you’ll be in the running to win both prizes.

News and Pop Culture:

Two Notes from Our Reader Mailbag: First from Nancy regarding our obituary mention of Wayne Dyer last week: “I just want to let you know that Wayne Dyer did not die from cancer. He was completely cured of cancer by a shaman. He apparently died of a heart attack.” And from Barbara: “I'm surprised you didn't mention Jhumpa Lahiri and Annie Dillard, who received the National Humanities medal.” Thanks to both of you for adding that intel!

Operation Thriller: The Operation Thriller Writers USO Tour 2015 found Tess Gerritsen, Diana Gabaldon and Kathleen Antrim at bases in the UK and Germany meeting our troops and signing books for them and their families. You can see a photo of them above, as they are dressed for book-signing combat.

Our New Neighbor Stephen Colbert (we are a few blocks away from his theater): He closed out his first week last week with his musical guest, Paul Simon. Well, he did not call him Paul, but rather “Troubled Waters.” It was a bit odd, but here are two clips for you to enjoy --- one as Colbert fulfills a dream of whistling on "Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard," and one as Paul closes out the show singing "American Tune," which was quite poignant on 9/11.

“The View” Controversy Over Their Comments about Miss America and Nurses: I think they should be required to read and discuss THE NURSES by Alexandra Robbins. And the author should join this discussion. I am so bored with people working so hard to be funny that they do not fully understand the story they are joking about!

Movies: Watched Black or White starring Kevin Costner, and Cake starring Jennifer Aniston. Neither was stellar, but Black or White had its moments. Cake was depressing; Tom gave up halfway through! I do give Aniston points for pushing her acting chops with a dramatic role.

Television Reminder: Shonda Rhimes' killer Thursday night lineup returns next week! Her book, YEAR OF YES: How to Dance It Out, Stand In the Sun and Be Your Own Person, is coming out November 10th.

Hachette Book Group Day: The event sold out and now has a waiting list. Love how this event has grown. If you are planning to attend, please drop me a note!

Morristown Festival of Books: The schedule for October 2nd and 3rd has been announced.

Brooklyn Book Festival: It’s this weekend. Our intern Rebecca is going to be covering it for us. If any of you are going to be there, I would love to hear your thoughts about it.

We are heading to the beach tomorrow to celebrate my dad’s 86th birthday. People ask me what my dad’s health is like at his age. This will give you an idea: Last week, I asked if he was playing golf. He said his shoulder was still recovering from being tossed in the ocean while body surfing. I had not heard about the surf accident. He said he was diving into a wave and another came up quickly and tossed him under, and he did a number of turns and tumbles and along the way injured his shoulder. He said the ocean was really wild and rough that day. You can imagine my reaction. “WHY were you in the water?” His sheepish answer, “It was fun,” sounded like Cory who is 20! He said the water was rough most of August and such fun. He told me that, until he recovers, he is only going in up to his calves. So I think he is doing quite well for 86!

This week kicks off the BMW Oktoberfest events down in Absecon, NJ. My husband, among other things, is a BMW driving instructor who teaches other instructors and newbie students hitting the track at these private driving events. And yes, when I drive he is a terrible backseat driver, even from the front seat! I have caught rides a few times on the track, which is outrageous fun --- once it's over and you look back on it. I am way, way too much of a control person to relax during what to me is a rollercoaster ride.

Next week on Wednesday there is Yom Kippur, Thursday and Friday the Pope will be in town, and Thursday also is the Islamic holiday of Eid al-Adha. I have been studying the Papal travel and street closure schedule. It’s going to be a very crazy --- as well as a historic --- week.

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: FATES AND FURIES by Lauren Groff
FATES AND FURIES by Lauren Groff (Fiction)
Every story has two sides. Every relationship has two perspectives. And sometimes, it turns out, the key to a great marriage is not its truths but its secrets. At the core of FATES AND FURIES, Lauren Groff presents the story of one such marriage over the course of 24 years. At age 22, Lotto and Mathilde are tall, glamorous, madly in love and destined for greatness. A decade later, their marriage is still the envy of their friends, but with an electric thrill we understand that things are even more complicated and remarkable than they have seemed. Reviewed by Bronwyn Miller.

-Click here to read more about the book.
Click here to read a review.
Now in Stores: PURITY by Jonathan Franzen
PURITY by Jonathan Franzen (Fiction)
A glancing encounter with a German peace activist leads young Pip Tyler to an internship in South America with The Sunlight Project, an organization that traffics in all the secrets of the world --- including, Pip hopes, the secret of her origins. TSP is the brainchild of Andreas Wolf, a charismatic provocateur who rose to fame in the chaos following the fall of the Berlin Wall. Now on the lam in Bolivia, Andreas is drawn to Pip for reasons she doesn't understand, and the intensity of her response to him upends her conventional ideas of right and wrong. Reviewed by Harvey Freedenberg.

-Click here to read more about the book.
-Click here to read an excerpt.
-Click here for the reading group guide.
Click here to read a review.
Now in Stores: DEVOTED IN DEATH by J. D. Robb
DEVOTED IN DEATH by J. D. Robb (Thriller)
Ella-Loo and her boyfriend, Darryl, hit the road now that Darryl’s sentence has been served. When their car breaks down, they make plans to take someone else’s. Then things get messy, and they wind up killing someone --- an experience that stokes a fierce, wild desire in Ella-Loo. A desire for Darryl. And a desire to kill again. With her husband, Roarke, at her side, Lieutenant Eve Dallas has every intention of hunting these two down and giving them what they truly deserve. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

-Click here to read more about the book.
Click here to read a review.
New Release Spotlight: HOUSE OF THIEVES by Charles Belfoure
HOUSE OF THIEVES by Charles Belfoure (Historical Fiction)
John Cross only cares about two things: becoming the most prominent society architect in New York and upholding his family’s spotless reputation. His entire life changes the day he discovers that his oldest son, George, has racked up an unfathomable gambling debt to Kent, the city’s most notorious criminal mastermind. Desperate to save his son’s life and uphold his family’s good name, he uses his architectural knowledge to help Kent and his gang of thieves pillage the homes of his friends and clients until the debt is paid in full.

When his exploits catch the attention of detectives, John realizes that it’s only a matter of time before they find out that he’s the culprit. With the cops breathing down his neck and Kent refusing to let him off the hook, John realizes that if he’s not careful, his entire life --- and his family’s --- will come crashing down.

-Click here to read a review.
-Click here to read an excerpt.
-Click here for advance readers’ comments.
-Click here to read Charles Belfoure’s bio.
-Click here to visit Charles Belfoure’s official website.
-Connect with Charles Belfoure on Facebook and Twitter.
Click here to read more in our New Release Spotlight.
Now in Stores: THE LAST SEPTEMBER by Nina de Gramont
THE LAST SEPTEMBER by Nina de Gramont (Psychological Thriller)
Brett had been in love with Charlie from the day she laid eyes on him in college. When Charlie is found murdered, Brett is devastated. But, if she is honest with herself, their marriage had been hanging by a thread for quite some time. Though all clues point to Charlie’s brother Eli, who’s been in and out of psychiatric hospitals for years, any number of people might have been driven to slit the throat of Charlie Moss --- a handsome, charismatic man who unwittingly damaged almost every life he touched. Reviewed by Sarah Rachel Egelman.

-Click here to read more about the book.
Click here to read a review.
Now in Stores: TRIGGER MORTIS by Anthony Horowitz
TRIGGER MORTIS: A James Bond Novel by Anthony Horowitz, with original material by Ian Fleming (Historical Thriller/Adventure)
Incorporating original, never-before-published material from 007 creator Ian Fleming, Anthony Horowitz returns James Bond to his 1950s heyday. The world's most famous spy has just returned victorious from his showdown with Auric Goldfinger in Fort Knox. By his side is the glamorous and streetwise Pussy Galore, who played no small part in his success. As they settle down in London, the odds of Galore taming the debonair bachelor seem slim --- but she herself is a creature not so easily caught. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

-Click here to read more about the book.
Click here to read a review.
Now in Stores: HER FINAL BREATH by Robert Dugoni
HER FINAL BREATH by Robert Dugoni (Mystery/Thriller)
A serial killer known as the Cowboy is killing young women in cheap motels in North Seattle. Even after a stalker leaves a menacing message for Tracy Crosswhite, suggesting the killer or a copycat could be targeting her personally, the homicide detective is charged with bringing the murderer to justice. With clues scarce and more victims dying, Tracy realizes that the key to solving the murders may lie in a decade-old homicide investigation that others, including her captain, Johnny Nolasco, would prefer to keep buried. Reviewed by Ray Palen.

-Click here to read more about the book.
Click here to read a review.'s Fall Preview Contests and Feature
Fall is known as the biggest season of the year for books. The titles that release during this latter part of the year often become holiday gifts, and many are blockbusters. To celebrate the arrival of fall, we are spotlighting a number of outstanding books that we know people will be talking about in the days and months to come.

We will be hosting a series of 24-hour contests for these titles on select days in September and October, so you will have to check the site each day to see the featured prize book and enter to win. We also will be 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, September 21st at noon ET.

This year's featured titles include:

Click here to read all the contest details and see our featured titles. Bets On: DID YOU EVER HAVE A FAMILY by Bill Clegg
DID YOU EVER HAVE A FAMILY by Bill Clegg (Fiction)
When I first conceptualized “ Bets On,” my goal was to give notice to books that might slip under your radar. I decided that Bill Clegg’s novel, DID YOU EVER HAVE A FAMILY, would be a Bets On selection last December when I tore through it over the holidays. I was just wild about it. Since then, it has been longlisted for both the Man Booker Prize and the National Book Award. I think being a Bets On selection pales next to those honors.

When the book 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, as he was writing, he realized that he has not lost anyone 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.

Sadly Bill’s dad passed away last month after a long illness, which made the timing of this release and the messaging he felt as he was writing the book so bittersweet. I had the pleasure of interviewing Bill at BookExpo America. This will be a terrific book group discussion title!

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

Click here for more books we're betting you'll love.
September's History Books Roundup
September's roundup of History titles includes KILLING REAGAN, Bill O'Reilly and Martin Dugard's page-turning epic account of the career of President Ronald Reagan that tells the vivid story of his rise to power --- and the forces of evil that conspired to bring him down; RFK Jr. by Jerry Oppenheimer, a sensational biography of the son of the legendary Senator and troubled standard bearer of America's most fabled political dynasty; THE CONQUERING TIDE, a masterful history by Ian W. Toll that encompasses the heart of the Pacific War, when parallel Allied counteroffensives north and south of the equator washed over Japan's far-flung island empire like a "conquering tide," concluding with Japan's irreversible strategic defeat in the Marianas; and THE MAKING OF ASIAN AMERICA by Erika Lee, which tells the little-known history of Asian Americans and their role in American life.
Click here to see our History Books roundup for September.
More Reviews This Week
FINALE: A Novel of the Reagan Years by Thomas Mallon (Historical Fiction)
FINALE captures the crusading ideologies, blunders and glamour of the still-hotly-debated Ronald Reagan years, taking readers to the political gridiron of Washington, the wealthiest enclaves of Southern California, and the volcanic landscape of Iceland, where the president engages in two almost apocalyptic days of negotiation with Mikhail Gorbachev. At the center of it all --- but forever out of reach --- is Reagan himself, whose genial remoteness confounds his subordinates, his children and the citizens who elected him. Reviewed by Stuart Shiffman.

DISHING THE DIRT: An Agatha Raisin Mystery by M. C. Beaton (Mystery)
When therapist Jill Davent moved to the village of Carsely, Agatha Raisin was not a fan. Not only was she romancing Agatha's ex-husband, she dug up details of Agatha's not-too-glamorous origins. Jill also counsels a woman who Agatha firmly believes assisted her son in some grisly murders. Not one to keep her feelings to herself, Agatha tells anyone who would listen that Jill is a charlatan and better off dead. So when Jill is found strangled to death in her office, Agatha becomes the prime suspect. Reviewed by Amie Taylor.

THE BLUE GUITAR by John Banville (Fiction)
Oliver Otway Orme, a 50-year-old artist with a predilection for “the fine art of thieving,” has lost his passion for painting. His latest piece, an unfinished work he has all but given up on, is a picture of a blue guitar. But he is still a thief of sorts: He is cheating on his wife with his best friend’s spouse. John Banville’s latest novel is a meditation on the desire to possess and the complexities of artistic creation. Reviewed by Michael Magras.

As the child of a German movie producer father who lives in Italy and a beautiful, artistically talented mother who resides in New York, Liliane’s life is divided between those two very different worlds. A shy and observant only child with a vivid imagination, Liliane uncovers the stories of family members as diverse as Moses Mendelssohn, Mary Queen of Scots and an early Mexican adventurer, and pieces together their vivid histories, through both World Wars and across continents. Reviewed by Norah Piehl.

SORCERER TO THE CROWN: A Sorcerer Royal Novel by Zen Cho (Historical Fantasy/Adventure)
The Royal Society of Unnatural Philosophers has long been tasked with maintaining magic within His Majesty’s lands. Lately, though, the once proper institute has fallen into disgrace. At his wit’s end, Zacharias Wythe, Sorcerer Royal of the Unnatural Philosophers, ventures to the border of Fairyland to discover why England’s magical stocks are drying up. But when his adventure brings him in contact with a most unusual comrade, a woman with immense power and an unfathomable gift, he sets on a path that will alter the nature of sorcery in all of Britain --- and the world at large. Reviewed by Carly Silver.

CITY OF ECHOES by Robert Ellis (Hard-boiled Mystery/Thriller)
On Detective Matt Jones’ first night working Homicide in LA, he’s called to investigate a particularly violent murder case: a man has been gunned down in a parking lot off Hollywood Boulevard. Driven by the grisliness of the killing, Jones and his hot-tempered partner, Denny Cabrera, jump headfirst into the investigation. But as Jones uncovers evidence that links the crime to a brutal, ritualized murder that occurred 18 months prior, he begins to suspect that there’s more going on beneath the surface. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

A rare outburst from Caroline Jacobs has awakened something in her --- a realization that the roots of her tirade can be traced back to when her best friend very publicly betrayed her. So Caroline decides to go back to her home town and tell off her childhood friend. She busts her daughter out of school, and the two set off to deliver the perfect comeback…some 25 years later. But nothing goes as planned. Long-buried secrets rise to the surface, and Caroline finds that she has to face much more than one old, bad best friend. Reviewed by Jane Krebs.

DAUGHTER OF THE HOUSE by Rosie Thomas (Historical Fiction)
The year is 1910: Eliza's life has been utterly transformed since she dove head-first into the bohemian world of the Palmyra Theatre, becoming first a stage player and, since her marriage to impresario Devil Wix, a canny woman of business. She is now the mother of growing children, and in her family life as well as at the theatre she must face the challenges of a new century. The First World War changes the world forever, and the fortunes of the Wix family change with it. Reviewed by Amy Gwiazdowski.

CAROLINA ISRAELITE: How Harry Golden Made Us Care about Jews, the South, and Civil Rights by Kimberly Marlowe Hartnett (Biography)
This first comprehensive biography of Jewish American writer and humorist Harry Golden (1903-1981) --- author of the 1958 national bestseller ONLY IN AMERICA --- illuminates a remarkable life intertwined with the rise of the civil rights movement, Jewish popular culture, and the sometimes precarious position of Jews in the South and across America during the 1950s. Reviewed by Barbara Bamberger Scott.
Our Latest Poll: All About Podcasts
Do you listen to podcasts or digital narrative radio?

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What topics are covered in the shows that you listen to? Please check as many as apply.

  • Books & Authors
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  • Health & Medicine
  • History
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  • Sports & Fitness
  • Storytelling
  • True Crime
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  • Other (Please specify)
  • I do not listen to podcasts.
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 September 11th to September 25th, five lucky readers each will be randomly chosen to win a copy of FATES AND FURIES by Lauren Groff, HER FINAL BREATH by Robert Dugoni, and HOUSE OF THIEVES by Charles Belfoure.

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 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 August 21st to October 1st, three lucky readers each will be randomly chosen to win the audio versions of both MAKE ME: A Jack Reacher Novel written by Lee Child and read by Dick Hill, and THE TAMING OF THE QUEEN written by Philippa Gregory and read by Bianca Amato.

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 previous contest periods, click here.
Click here to enter the contest.

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