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November 20, 2015 Newsletter November 20, 2015
Bookish Special Moments
This week moved at warp speed with very special moments that all super-charged me.

On Wednesday night, Shara Zaval, our Teenreads and Kidsreads Editorial Manager, and I attended the National Book Awards, which is the book industry’s version of the Oscars. It was a brilliant evening where one acceptance speech was more poignant than the next. Andy Borowitz was the perfect humorous and irreverent host. James Patterson was awarded the Literarian Award by Carmen Farina, the Chancellor of NYC Department of Education, for Outstanding Service to the American Literary Community for his work with reaching young people and his contributions to increase literacy and support of books and reading. Don DeLillo was presented with the Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters by Jennifer Egan.

Neal Shusterman’s acceptance speech for CHALLENGER DEEP in the Young People’s Literature category was heartfelt as he referenced his son, Brendan, whose challenges with mental illness, namely schizophrenia, inspired the book. As part of his remarks, he thanked the doctor who he credits with “saving his son,” who was in the audience. In just a wonderful moment, he had Brendan join him on the stage. Shara and I had a chance to speak with them both before the ceremony, and you can see a photo of Shara, Neal and Brendan above.

I am not a huge fan of poetry, but Robin Coste Lewis’ acceptance speech for VOYAGE OF THE SABLE VENUS reminded me of how poetry washes over one in a most serene way. It’s the "yoga of writing" to me. I have read a lot about Ta-Nehisi Coates and BETWEEN THE WORLD AND ME. While accepting the Nonfiction prize, he dedicated his award to his college friend, Prince Jones, who was shot and killed by a police officer. Hearing him reiterated how this slim volume packs a powerful commentary on race and our world today. Adam Johnson clearly was surprised to accept the Fiction prize for his short story collection, FORTUNE SMILES. You may remember him as the winner of the Pulitzer Prize for THE ORPHAN MASTER’S SON. I had the pleasure of meeting Adam years ago in another role when he spoke at the Miami Book Fair about the graphic novels he created with his students as a professor at Stanford. Lovely to see someone I knew “before he was famous” accept another prize.

I ended the evening with a note to myself: Find black tie shoes that are more comfortable. Also, as I made my way uptown on the subway (the fastest way to travel even when wearing fancy clothes), I thought back on what an inspiring evening that was!

On Thursday night, Greg and I dashed through the pouring rain to attend a party to celebrate the launch of Crooked Lane Books, a terrific new mystery and crime novel publisher. We mingled and met their authors. You can see a photo of us above with Wendy Corsi Staub, whose Lily Dale series will be publishing with them, as well as my old friend Dan Weiss, who is a publishing consultant at the imprint. Note that we are seated on a turquoise couch, which I covet!

John Hart --- whose next book, REDEMPTION ROAD, will be in stores on May 6th --- stopped by for a visit on Thursday afternoon. I have been an avid reader of John’s work for years, thus this was a real treat. It’s been a while between books for him. He wrote an entire book and then realized it just did not feel right and abandoned it. But from that process, he found the protagonist for REDEMPTION ROAD, and for the first time he has a female in that role. He’s a thoughtful author, and it was a pleasure to spend time with him talking about his work. I admire him enormously for not publishing a book that he did not feel proud of; it says something about him! Above you can see a photo of the two of us.

We have something very special for you this week to help with your holiday gift giving. We’ve kicked off a contest featuring Linwood Barclay’s thriller, BROKEN PROMISE, the first book in his Promise Falls trilogy. As a nod to the mysterious number that keeps recurring in events in Promise Falls, we will be giving away 23 personalized signed copies for lucky readers to give this holiday season. To enter, tell us by Monday, December 7th at noon ET which of your friends or family members would like to receive a signed copy of BROKEN PROMISE; if selected, they will receive the book as a special holiday gift with a personal inscription of your choosing. Note that the goal here is for you to give this book, and it is not a “to me/from me” moment. More details below in this newsletter and here. BROKEN PROMISE was a Bookreporter Bets On selection; I loved its fast pace!

Will Robie, America’s most lethal assassin, makes his return in THE GUILTY, a thrilling new novel by David Baldacci. Notorious for his talent and discipline, Robie is shocked when he learns that his father, Dan, has been arrested and charged with murder. They have not spoken for 20 years --- not since Robie left his small Gulf Coast hometown after high school, cutting off all who knew him. In that time, Dan, a pillar of the community, has been elected town judge. Still, most of the town is aligned against him, and even worse, Dan refuses to defend himself. Teaming up with the formidable Jessica Reel, Robie begins to investigate his father’s case, forcing himself to confront the consequences of old decisions made by father and son.

Reviewer Barbara Lipkien Gershenbaum calls THE GUILTY “a fast-moving thriller that will force readers into that ‘zone,’ where you don't want to put the book down…. Whether you are a diehard fan or a newcomer to [Baldacci's] work, you will not be disappointed in THE GUILTY.”

Hollywood private investigators Elvis Cole and Joe Pike join forces with SUSPECT heroes Scott James and his K-9 partner in Robert CraisTHE PROMISE. When Elvis is hired to track down a woman who may have disappeared with a stranger she met online, it seems like a straightforward assignment. But when he learns the missing woman worked for a defense contractor and was being blackmailed for explosives components, the case takes on a whole new level. Elsewhere in Los Angeles, LAPD officer Scott James and his patrol dog, Maggie, close in on an armed thief only to find the fugitive dead, the building riddled with explosives and a hidden assaulter. As Elvis and Joe’s case intertwines with Scott and Maggie’s, shadowy forces close in and the stakes become higher than ever before.

Joe Hartlaub has our review and gives it his seal of approval: “For those who have been there with Crais for a long time, we get yet another reminder of why he is one of the best in the business as he ties all sorts of disparate threads together and gives us, after lo these many years and countless books, one of his most outstanding efforts yet.”

Following the success of THE CINDERELLA MURDER, Mary Higgins Clark and Alafair Burke team up once again for ALL DRESSED IN WHITE. Five years ago, bride-to-be Amanda Pierce mysteriously disappeared just before her lavish Palm Beach ceremony. Today, television producer Laurie Moran realizes that Amanda’s case is perfect for her investigative television series, “Under Suspicion.” As Laurie and her team prepare to recreate the night of the disappearance in an effort to shed new light on the mystery, several theories are exposed. Between a jealous sister, playboy groomsmen, Amanda’s former fiancé, and numerous rumors about Amanda herself, Laurie and her crew may be facing their most complicated show yet.

According to reviewer Amie Taylor, “ALL DRESSED IN WHITE is a fast-moving story that increases the reader's curiosity with each and every chapter as Mary Higgins Clark and Alafair Burke continue to feed us just enough info to whet our appetites.”

November’s History Books roundup is now live. We have titles focusing on celebrities (Orson Welles, Bob Hope); presidents (George Washington, Thomas Jefferson); and geography (the Caribbean, ancient Rome, Istanbul).

Our Holiday Cheer contests launched this week. Each giveaway opens at noon ET on select days in November and December, and run for just 24 hours, so you will have to check the site to see what is being featured. As always, we’ll be sending our special Holiday Cheer newsletter on the days when there are contests. Click here to sign up for these email alerts. Our first three prizes were DASHING THROUGH THE SNOW: A Christmas Novel by Debbie Macomber, A KNIGHTS BRIDGE CHRISTMAS: A Swift River Valley Novel by Carla Neggers, and LITTLE HOUSE LIVING: The Make-Your-Own Guide to a Frugal, Simple, and Self-Sufficient Life by Merissa A. Alink. Next week, we’ll be giving away THE DEAD PLAY ON by Heather Graham and THE GIVING WAY TO HAPPINESS: Stories and Science Behind the Life-Changing Power of Giving by Jenny Santi. The first contest of this Thanksgiving-abbreviated week will go up on Monday at noon ET.

We’re also celebrating the start of the holiday season with a holiday-themed poll. What types of books are you planning to give as gifts for the holidays? Will it be fiction, nonfiction, cookbooks, gift books…or perhaps coloring books (I’m sure you’ve heard a thing or two about the latter lately!) Let us know by answering the poll here.

In our previous poll, we wanted to know which November nonfiction titles you were planning to read. The top five vote-getters were BOYS IN THE TREES by Carly Simon, YEAR OF YES by Shonda Rhimes, DEAR MR. YOU by Mary-Louise Parker, GRATITUDE by Oliver Sacks, and KNITTING PEARLS edited by Ann Hood. Click here for the complete results.

We’re continuing to give away the audio versions of BOYS IN THE TREES by Carly Simon (I learned this week that Carly revealed Warren Beatty was one of the inspirations for “You’re So Vain”) and Shonda Rhimes' YEAR OF YES (which hit the New York Times bestseller list this week) in our current Sounding Off on Audio contest. Let us know by Tuesday, December 1st at noon ET what audiobooks you’ve finished listening to, and three of you will win these two prizes.

A new Word of Mouth contest is now up. We’re giving away HIS RIGHT HAND: A Linda Wallheim Mystery Set in Mormon Utah by Mette Ivie Harrison (I read this one a couple of weeks ago; Mette is one to watch), HOUSE OF THE RISING SUN by James Lee Burke, and SPLINTER THE SILENCE: A Tony Hill and Carol Jordan Novel by Val McDermid to three lucky readers. All you have to do is let us know by Friday, December 4th at noon ET what you’ve finished reading for your chance to win all three novels.

A few weeks ago, I spotted a Facebook post from Lisa R. Cohen --- a longtime network news producer/author, who is now at Columbia Journalism School --- about her mother-daughter book group. From our recent book group survey, we noted that mother-daughter groups are not as common as you’d think, so we immediately seized the opportunity to find out more about this rare group dynamic. Lisa answers our questions about the original incentive to start a group with local mothers and daughters, how the group functioned and evolved through the years, and how the mothers are faring now that their girls (young women?) are all away at college. Click here to read the Q&A on

I have been doing a lot of audiobook sampling over the last two weeks, listening to the works of writers who I have not yet explored, and others who I have not read in a while. Among them are James Lee Burke’s HOUSE OF THE RISING SUN, read by Will Patton (I see now why readers are obsessed with his storytelling, as people and places vividly came to life); Stephen King’s THE BAZAAR OF BAD DREAMS read by King and an entire ensemble cast (I loved hearing him talk about why he writes short stories, and the various narrators captured the mood of each story); Kate Morton’s THE LAKE HOUSE, narrated by Caroline Lee, which dropped me right into the countryside; and FIND A WAY by Diana Nyad, whose performance of her memoir is terrific.

For books that we are reviewing, we are adding “audio available” and a note about the narrator to our “about the book” pages.

News and Pop Culture:

Reader Mail: Julie wrote after reading about my frustrations with my Logitech remote not streaming Amazon Prime programming to share that “the Tivo Bolt is a unified entertainment system. It will accept all streaming sources that you want to watch on your TV.” She went on to say that “I'm a longtime reader of your newsletter (8-10 years) and I enjoy it just as much now as I did then!” Appreciate that tip and her loyal reading!

PBS Coverage of the Miami Book Fair International: In Miami this weekend, there will be a stellar lineup of authors on hand. Not able to get there? I am happy to share that PBS will offer live coverage on Saturday from noon to 5pm, and Sunday from noon to 5pm (all times Eastern). This will include author interviews and features. Live stream coverage will be available online via and at, plus selected PBS station websites and Some segments will be archived and available for on-demand viewing on, PBS station websites and all PBS video apps, as well as YouTube. Coverage will be led by Jeffrey Brown, Senior Correspondent and Chief Arts Correspondent for "PBS NewsHour," and "Book View Now" host Rich Fahle.

Signed Books for the Holidays at Barnes & Noble: Their Signed Editions program is back for a second year, with over a half-million books signed by more than 120 acclaimed authors. All B&N stores feature limited quantities of autographed books by authors such as Anthony Doerr, Diana Gabaldon, Mindy Kaling, David McCullough and many more. You can see special behind-the-scenes photos and videos on Participating Signed Editions authors each signed close to 4,500 books, averaging 12 hours’ worth of signing at a rate of 400 books per hour, and used over 3,150 pens in total! I heard from author friends who all were wowed by the experience.

Long Island friends: I am doing a Book Group Presentation at the Garden City Public Library on Thursday, December 3rd from 7:00-8:30pm. The program is open to all --- including book club members, book club moderators and readers. RSVP to the Reference Department at 516-742-8405, ext. 221 by Tuesday, November 24th.

Denver Readers: I will be in Denver at the end of January for Winter Institute. Would love to cook up a meet-up with Denver readers, perhaps at Tattered Cover or a local library. Interested? Shoot me a note!

What I am Knitting: This scarf. Well, this pattern has inspired me as mine has stripes, but I am making up my own striping pattern; friends know I typically go off the pattern grid. Accent sections will be teal, but you already guessed that, right? I am NUTS about Shibui Yarn the same way I have been about Prism, Madelinetosh, Malabrigo and Maggiknits.

Adele's 25: Ordered the CD (I know, sooooo old-school), which will arrive today. But am glad I did as it will not be offered streaming anywhere. Read more here.

Paul Simon and Dion: Recorded a song together called “New York is My Home.” Read about it here.

"The Affair": Previewed Sunday’s episode. There is yet another book event --- this time a reading! And we are reminded again that Whitney is truly a legend in her own mind. Told from Noah and Helen's POV this week. Not the strongest episode for action; more like an insight one.

I am eager to finish ALL THINGS CEASE TO APPEAR by Elizabeth Brundage. I have been reading it in fits and starts all week, and I am enjoying it. Looking forward to having time to sink completely into it!

Next week, our newsletter will arrive in your mailboxes on Wednesday to give the staff a chance to enjoy their long weekend. We embrace the concept of the long weekend for celebrating with family and friends. I abhor that retailers will be open for shopping on Thanksgiving Day and am very impressed with the fact that REI will be closed on Black Friday and instead encourages folks to get outdoors and share photos. If you really need something from them THAT DAY, their online store is open.

Please keep in mind that November 28th will be the “Indies First” celebration, a national campaign of events in support of independent bookstores. You can look at the map here to see if a store near you will be participating, where host authors will act as “honorary booksellers throughout the day to help sell and sign books, share recommendations, give readings, and more.” Cheryl Strayed, the bestselling author of WILD, TINY BEAUTIFUL THINGS, TORCH and BRAVE ENOUGH, is the 2015 official spokesperson for Indies First.

Greg has informed me that the turkey we will get from his friends’ farm will be a “heritage turkey,” the turkey version of heirloom seeds. I know zip about this, but turned to Wikipedia and learned that “despite increasing interest in heritage turkeys, they are still a tiny minority, perhaps 25,000 raised annually compared to more than 200,000,000 industrial turkeys and 7,000,000 turkeys in the wild, most heritage breeds are endangered in some respect.”

My husband, Tom, has been traveling on business all week (he got to experience a tornado warning in Texas) and arrived home this afternoon. Thus we are both looking forward to a VERY quiet weekend. I still am noodling my Thanksgiving menu.

Read on, and have a great week. See you again on Wednesday.

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!

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Now in Stores: THE GUILTY by David Baldacci
THE GUILTY by David Baldacci (Thriller)
Audiobook available, narrated by Kyf Brewer and Orlagh Cassidy
Will Robie escaped his small Gulf Coast hometown of Cantrell, Mississippi after high school, severing all personal ties, and never looked back. Not until the unimaginable occurs. His father, Dan Robie, has been arrested and charged with murder. Unlike the missions Robie undertook in the service of his country, where his target was clearly defined, digging into his father's case only reveals more questions. Robie is drawn into the hidden underside of Cantrell, where he must face the unexpected and possibly deadly consequences of the long-ago choices made by father and son. Reviewed by Barbara Lipkien Gershenbaum.

-Click here to read more about the book.
Click here to read a review.
An Interview with Robert Crais, Author of THE PROMISE

Louisiana native Robert Crais is the author of the bestselling Elvis Cole novels. The latest entry in the series is THE PROMISE, which brings Elvis and his partner, Joe Pike, together with fan-favorite duo LAPD K-9 Officer Scott James and his German shepherd, Maggie. The quartet must join forces to stop a very dangerous killer. In this interview, Crais talks about creating the right circumstances for his characters from different books to feasibly cross paths and his rigorous research into the LAPD's K-9 Platoon. And if you loved Maggie in SUSPECT, you are certainly not alone; Crais shares the reason he suspects so many readers are drawn to her.

THE PROMISE: An Elvis Cole and Joe Pike Novel by Robert Crais (Thriller)
Audiobook available, narrated by Luke Daniels and MacLeod Andrews
When Elvis Cole is secretly hired to find a grief-stricken mother, he's led to an ordinary house on a rainy night in Echo Park. Only the house isn't ordinary, and the people hiding inside are a desperate fugitive and a murderous criminal with his own dangerous secrets. LAPD K-9 Officer Scott James and his German shepherd, Maggie, track the fugitive to this same house, coming face-to-face with Mr. Rollins, a killer who leaves behind a brutally murdered body and enough explosives to destroy the neighborhood. Scott is now the only person who can identify him, but Mr. Rollins has a rule: Never leave a witness alive. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

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

Click here to read the interview.
Now in Stores: ALL DRESSED IN WHITE by Mary Higgins Clark and Alafair Burke
ALL DRESSED IN WHITE: An Under Suspicion Novel by Mary Higgins Clark and Alafair Burke (Mystery/Thriller)
Audiobook available, narrated by Jan Maxwell
Five years ago, Amanda Pierce was excitedly preparing to marry her college sweetheart. Then, with their guests and families all gathered together, she disappeared. In present-day New York City, Laurie Moran realizes a missing bride is the perfect cold case for her investigative television series, “Under Suspicion.” She and her team set out to recreate the night of the disappearance at the Florida resort with Amanda’s friends and family in attendance. Laurie and “Under Suspicion” host Alex Buckley quickly realize everyone has a theory about why Amanda vanished into thin air. Reviewed by Amie Taylor.

-Click here to read more about the book.
Click here to read a review.
New Special Contest: Win a Personalized Signed Copy of Linwood Barclay’s BROKEN PROMISE for Your Friend or Relative!
Here’s an opportunity to win a personalized signed copy of BROKEN PROMISE by Linwood Barclay for someone on your holiday list. And, ahem, this is not a “To Me/From Me” gift! The purpose is for you to give the book to a thriller reader.

Barclay is hailed as “a suspense master” by Stephen King, and the writing in BROKEN PROMISE, the first book in the Promise Falls trilogy, lives up to that description. This fast-paced series is also on a fast publication schedule. The second book, FAR FROM TRUE, will be in stores on March 22, 2016. The third book, THE TWENTY THREE, will release on November 16, 2016.

We have 23 prizes to give away. Why 23? That is the number that keeps resurfacing in the series of strange events in Promise Falls that runs through the books and will be revealed in THE TWENTY THREE.

Tell us who you would like to nominate to win by Monday, December 7th at noon ET. Note: You can share a personalized greeting to include or leave it to Linwood to inscribe the book. We will wrap up the book with a gift tag for you and send it to the recipient who you select! What could be more fun?

BROKEN PROMISE by Linwood Barclay (Thriller)
After his wife’s death and the collapse of his newspaper, David Harwood has no choice but to uproot his nine-year-old son and move back into his childhood home in Promise Falls, New York. David believes his life is in free fall, and he can’t find a way to stop his descent. Then he comes across a family secret of epic proportions that will affect not only his family, but the entire town.

-Click here to read more about the book.
-Click here to read a review.
-Click here to see why we're betting you'll love this book.

Click here to enter the contest.'s Holiday Cheer Contests and Feature
At, we kick off the holiday season in style with our Holiday Cheer Contests and Feature. This year’s Holiday Cheer titles include books that you want to give and get, as well as a “hot” 2016 title or two. The contests start at noon ET on select days in November and December, and run for just 24 hours, so you will have to check the site to see what is being featured. As always, we’ll be sending our special Holiday Cheer newsletter on the days when there are contests. Click here to sign up for these email alerts.

Our next prize book will be announced on Monday, November 23rd at noon ET.

This year's featured titles include:

Click here to read all the contest details and see our featured titles.
Now in Stores: PLAYING WITH FIRE by Tess Gerritsen
PLAYING WITH FIRE by Tess Gerritsen (Thriller)
Audiobook available, narrated by Julia Whelan and Will Damron
In a shadowy antiques shop in Rome, violinist Julia Ansdell happens upon a curious piece of music --- the Incendio waltz --- and is immediately entranced by its unusual composition. Back home in Boston, from the moment Julia’s bow moves across the strings, drawing the waltz’s fiery notes into the air, something strange is stirred. The music has a terrifying and inexplicable effect on her young daughter, who seems violently transformed. Convinced that the hypnotic strains of Incendio are weaving a malevolent spell, Julia sets out to discover the man and the meaning behind the score. Reviewed by Judy Gigstad.

-Click here to read more about the book.
-Click here to read an excerpt.
Click here to read a review.
Now in Stores: PACIFIC by Simon Winchester
PACIFIC: Silicon Chips and Surfboards, Coral Reefs and Atom Bombs, Brutal Dictators, Fading Empires, and the Coming Collision of the World's Superpowers by Simon Winchester (History)
Audiobook available, narrated by Simon Winchester
As the Mediterranean shaped the classical world, and the Atlantic connected Europe to the New World, the Pacific Ocean defines our tomorrow. With China on the rise, so, too, are the American cities of the West coast. Today, the Pacific is ascendant. Its geological history has long transformed us --- tremendous earthquakes, volcanoes and tsunamis --- but its human history, from a Western perspective, is quite young, beginning with Magellan’s 16th-century circumnavigation. It is a natural wonder whose most fascinating history is currently being made. Reviewed by Lorraine W. Shanley.

-Click here to read more about the book.
Click here to read a review.
Now in Stores: RED TIDE by Jeff Lindsay
RED TIDE: A Billy Knight Thriller by Jeff Lindsay (Thriller)
In Jeff Lindsay's long-awaited sequel to his debut novel, TROPICAL DEPRESSION, Billy Knight wants to ride out Key West’s slow season with the occasional charter and the frequent beer. But when he discovers a dead body floating in the gulf, Billy gets drawn into a deadly plot of dark magic and profound evil. Along with his plucky, gun-happy friend, Nicky, and Anna, a resilient and mysterious survivor of her own horrors, Billy sets out to right the wrongs the police won’t, putting himself in mortal peril on the high seas. Reviewed by Ray Palen.

-Click here to read more about the book.
Click here to read a review.
November's History Books Roundup
November's roundup of History titles includes THOMAS JEFFERSON AND THE TRIPOLI PIRATES by Brian Kilmeade and Don Yaeger, the little-known story of how a newly indepen­dent nation was challenged by four Muslim powers and what happened when America’s third president decided to stand up to intimidation; TO HELL AND BACK, acclaimed scholar Ian Kershaw’s long-anticipated analysis of the pivotal years of World War I and World War II; HUBRIS, in which Sir Alistair Horne revisits six battles of the past century and examines the strategies, leadership, preparation and geopolitical goals of aggressors and defenders to reveal the one trait that links them all: hubris; and THE WASHINGTONS by Flora Fraser, a full-scale portrait of the marriage of the father and mother of our country --- and of the struggle for independence that he led.
Click here to see our History Books roundup for November.
What's New This Month on
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The following guides are now available:

Please note that these titles, for which we already had the guides when they appeared in hardcover, are now available in paperback:

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More Reviews This Week

THOMAS JEFFERSON AND THE TRIPOLI PIRATES: The Forgotten War That Changed American History by Brian Kilmeade and Don Yaeger (History)
Audiobook available, narrated by Brian Kilmeade

When Thomas Jefferson became president in 1801, America was deeply in debt and needed its economy to grow quickly. But its merchant ships were under attack by pirates from North Africa’s Barbary coast who routinely captured American sailors and held them as slaves. In response, Jefferson sent the U.S. Navy’s new warships and a detachment of marines to blockade Tripoli --- launching the Barbary Wars and beginning America’s journey toward future superpower status. Reviewed by Curtis Edmonds.

SPQR: A History of Ancient Rome by Mary Beard (History)
Ancient Rome was an imposing city even by modern standards, a sprawling imperial metropolis of more than a million inhabitants that served as the seat of power for an empire that spanned from Spain to Syria. Yet how did all this emerge from what was once an insignificant village in central Italy? In SPQR, world-renowned classicist Mary Beard narrates the unprecedented rise of a civilization that even 2,000 years later still shapes many of our most fundamental assumptions about power, citizenship, responsibility, political violence, empire, luxury and beauty. Reviewed by Carly Silver.

THE IMPROBABILITY OF LOVE by Hannah Rothschild (Fiction)
At a neglected secondhand shop, Annie McDee purchases a painting that happens to be a lost masterpiece by one of the most important French painters of the 18th century. But who painted this masterpiece is not clear at first. Soon Annie finds herself pursued by interested parties who would do anything to possess her picture. In her search for the painting’s identity, Annie will unwittingly uncover some of the darkest secrets of European history --- as well as the possibility of falling in love again. Reviewed by Norah Piehl.

BEATLEBONE by Kevin Barry (Fiction)
Audiobook available, narrated by Kevin Barry
It is 1978, and John Lennon has escaped New York City to try to find the island off the west coast of Ireland he bought nine years prior. Leaving behind domesticity, his approaching 40s, his inability to create and his memories of his parents, he sets off to find calm in the comfortable silence of isolation. But when he puts himself in the hands of a shape-shifting driver full of Irish charm and dark whimsy, what ensues can only be termed a magical mystery tour. Reviewed by Michael Magras.

SON OF THE BLACK SWORD: Saga of the Forgotten Warrior by Larry Correia (Historical Fantasy/Adventure)
Audiobook available, narrated by Tim Gerard Reynolds
After the War of the Gods, the demons were cast out and fell to the world. Mankind was nearly eradicated by the seemingly unstoppable beasts, until the gods sent the great hero, Ramrowan, to save them. He united the tribes, gave them magic and drove the demons into the sea. Yet as centuries passed, Gods and demons became myth and legend, and the people no longer believed. Ashok Vadal has been chosen by a powerful ancient weapon to be its bearer. But Ashok isn’t who he thinks he is, and when he finds himself on the wrong side of the law, the consequences lead to rebellion, war and destruction. Reviewed by Stephen Hubbard.

YOUNG ORSON: The Years of Luck and Genius on the Path to Citizen Kane by Patrick McGilligan (Biography)
Audiobook available, narrated by Keith Szarabajka
In the history of American popular culture, there is no more dramatic story --- no swifter or loftier ascent to the pinnacle of success and no more tragic downfall --- than that of Orson Welles. In this biography, Patrick McGilligan brings young Orson into focus as never before. He chronicles Welles’ early life growing up in Wisconsin and Illinois as the son of an alcoholic industrialist and a radical suffragist and classical musician, and the magical early years of his career, including his marriage and affairs, his influential friendships and his artistic collaborations. Reviewed by Stuart Shiffman.

YOUNG ELIZABETH: The Making of the Queen by Kate Williams (Biography)
Audiobook available, narrated by Kate Williams
We can hardly imagine a Britain without Elizabeth II on the throne. It seems to be the job she was born for. And yet, for much of her early life, the young princess did not know the role that her future would hold. Kate Williams reveals how the 25-year-old young queen carved out a lasting role for herself amid the changes of the 20th century. Her monarchy would be a very different one to that of her parents and grandparents, and its continuing popularity in the 21st century owes much to the intelligence and elusive personality of this remarkable woman. Reviewed by Amie Taylor.

THE HIDDEN MAN by Charles Cumming (Thriller)
Audiobook available, narrated by James Langton
Christopher Keen, once a master spy, is murdered in cold blood. His sons Mark and Benjamin, though they hadn't seen their father for over 20 years, are now drawn into the legacy of his life as a spy as they set out to discover the truth and avenge their father's death. But as their search proceeds, more questions arise. Is Christopher's death connected to his past life in MI6? Was his eldest son involved in a conspiracy that links him to Moscow, Afghanistan and the Russian mafia? Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

YAPPY HOUR by Diana Orgain (Cozy Mystery)
Audiobook available, narrated by Caroline Shaffer
Every Friday night, the Roundup Crew, a group of dog-loving friends, meets at a neighborhood wine bar for Yappy Hour. When Rachel, the owner, mysteriously leaves town and asks her sister, Maggie, to run the bar in her absence, things get complicated fast. Maggie arrives to open up and finds a body sprawled on the floor, along with an incriminating letter with Rachel's name on it nearby. On impulse, she hides the letter from the hunky detective, Officer Brad Brooks, who is dispatched to the scene. When Rachel is declared the top suspect by the police, Maggie decides to investigate on her own. Reviewed by Maggie Harding.

THE GIRL IN THE ICE: A Konrad Simonsen Thriller written by Lotte and Søren Hammer, translated by Paul Norlen (Mystery/Thriller)
Under the heartless vault of Greenland's arctic sky, the body of a girl is discovered. Half-naked and tied up, buried hundreds of miles from any signs of life, she has lain alone for 25 years. When Detective Chief Superintendent Konrad Simonsen is flown in to investigate this horrific murder and he sees how she was attacked, it triggers a dark memory and he realizes this was not the killer's only victim. As Simonsen's team works to discover evidence that has long since been buried, they unearth truths that certain people would prefer stayed forgotten. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

Our Latest Poll: Giving Books This Holiday Season
Which of the following types of books are you planning to give as gifts for the holidays? Please check all that apply.

  • Fiction
  • Nonfiction
  • Children’s/teen books
  • Classics
  • Holiday-themed books
  • Cookbooks
  • Gift books
  • Coffee table books
  • Coloring books
  • None of the above
  • I do not give books over the holidays.
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 November 20th to December 4th at noon ET, three lucky readers each will be randomly chosen to win a copy of HIS RIGHT HAND: A Linda Wallheim Mystery Set in Mormon Utah by Mette Ivie Harrison, HOUSE OF THE RISING SUN by James Lee Burke, and SPLINTER THE SILENCE: A Tony Hill and Carol Jordan Novel by Val McDermid.

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 November 2nd to December 1st at noon ET, three lucky readers each will be randomly chosen to win the audio versions of both BOYS IN THE TREES: A Memoir written and read by Carly Simon and YEAR OF YES: How to Dance It Out, Stand in the Sun and Be Your Own Person written and read by Shonda Rhimes.

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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