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December 18, 2015 Newsletter December 18, 2015
'Tis the Season…

I feel like the holidays snuck up on me this year. It’s been one whirlwind of a month. This is the first time in 15 years that we will not be heading to the Outer Banks for the holidays. Schedules did not jive to work for all of us to get away, so we are spending Christmas and New Year’s at home. I found myself with a dilemma about where to put the tree, as we added some furniture pieces over the past dozen plus years --- many of which have been designed and built by my husband. To fit the tree, we needed to move a terrific piece out of the front foyer (you can see a photo of the tree to the right, and above are some other holiday trims around the house and outside).

A book that got huge attention this year was Marie Kondo’s THE LIFE-CHANGING MAGIC OF TIDYING UP: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing. It talks about streamlining your possessions into those you really need. You are supposed to look at each article of clothing and object in your house, and question if you really need it. If you are doing away with it, you thank it for its time in your life and put it on a pile to give away, donate or toss.

I did my own variation on that this year. As I picked up each ornament and decoration in the attic storage area, I asked myself, “Do you want to put this away in January?” Many times my answer was “NO” and the piece would stay in the attic to see another Christmas. Now, I did not get rid of anything (yet), but I did carefully consider and weigh each decoration. That in and of itself was an accomplishment.

Cristina, one of our Miami readers, said she was doing the same thing. She thought about putting up her Christmas village and then decided not to. Her son came home from school and “surprised her” by doing it. I asked if he will be "surprising her" and taking it down, too. Undoing has a lot less charm than setting up! She was not sure about that.

For those who mastered Marie’s phase one, note that SPARK JOY: An Illustrated Master Class on the Art of Organizing and Tidying Up will be out on January 5th.

I have managed to misplace our holiday stockings, which need to be hung by the fireplace with care. We found the candles for the windows. Who would have thought they would be in the same box as the timers and extension cords?

Lots of news this week, so here you go….

Help us celebrate the end of the year in bookish style with our Fifth Annual Bets On Contest, featuring all 33(!) of my Bets On picks from 2015. One very lucky grand prize winner will be awarded all 33 titles, while 11 other winners will receive a selection of three of these titles. Among the books you can win are THE NIGHTINGALE by Kristin Hannah, CIRCLING THE SUN by Paula McLain, THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN by Paula Hawkins, and HOUSE OF THIEVES by Charles Belfoure. To enter, please fill out this form by Monday, January 11th at noon ET.

I have started to make my 2016 Bets On selections here. One book that already has made the list is Chris Bohjalian’s THE GUEST ROOM, which releases on January 5th. We received some fabulous feedback from readers who won an advance copy of THE GUEST ROOM in our Sneak Peek feature earlier this year. Click here to read their insightful comments. Some of the winners have not read any of Chris’ books before, and we loved seeing readers find a new author to follow and read. Another Bets On book that releases on January 5th is AFTER THE CRASH by Michel Bussi. We will have comments from the winners of our November contest in January; I snuck a peek, and there are lots of raves!

Two people stopped me at the Random House Open House event last week to tell me that they had read advance copies of AFTER THE CRASH and my sentiments about it were dead on. Loved that. As promised, Rebecca Munro has extensive blog coverage of the Random House Open House event here.

Note that THE GUEST ROOM is one of the prizes in our new Word of Mouth contest; the other is THE GEOGRAPHY OF GENIUS: A Search for the World's Most Creative Places, from Ancient Athens to Silicon Valley by Eric Weiner, which I mentioned last week. Let us know by Friday, January 8th at noon ET what books you’ve finished reading, and you’ll have a chance to win both these titles.

Once again, we asked our reviewers to let us know what their favorite books of the year were. The top three vote-getters are BETWEEN THE WORLD AND ME by Ta-Nehisi Coates, OUR SOULS AT NIGHT by Kent Haruf, and THE TSAR OF LOVE AND TECHNO: Stories by Anthony Marra. Click here to see their varied lists of fiction and nonfiction faves --- and see which of these titles you may want to add to your own wish lists or TBR lists! I love perusing our reviewers’ selections. Tom does a brilliant job of pairing reviewers and books, and seeing these comments is terrific!

For more 2015 highlights, take a look at this page where you’ll find a number of “Best Of” lists that we’ve compiled from around the web.

How many books did YOU read in 2015? Let us know here in our last poll of the year. In our previous poll, we were curious about your holiday gift shopping habits. Are you buying more, less, or about the same compared to last year? 52% of you said “about the same,” while 37% are buying less, only 9% are buying more, and 3% haven’t even started their holiday shopping yet.

One of the most talked-about books this year is Carly Simon’s memoir, BOYS IN THE TREES, and we have our review for you this week. Beginning with her childhood as the third daughter of Richard L. Simon, co-founder of the publisher Simon & Schuster, Simon explores the events that shaped her life, from incredible role models to shocking secrets. Moving to her musical debut as half of The Simon Sisters, she discusses her career as a solo artist responsible for 13 top 40 hits, including “You’re So Vain.” As she talks about the inspirations behind many of her most popular songs, she reveals a life full of romantic entanglements and heartbreaking losses.

Reviewer Stephen Febick calls BOYS IN THE TREES “a remarkable memoir filled with honesty and beauty, and the coming-of-age story of one of music's most popular artists…. Here, she paints her own portrait, unafraid to show us the areas that make her insecure. It makes for one of the best books of the year.” As I noted in previous weeks, I loved the audiobook!

Other notable titles we’re reviewing this week include THE BONE LABYRINTH, James Rollins’ new Sigma Force thriller; KNITTING PEARLS, Ann Hood’s latest collection in which two dozen writers write about the transformative and healing powers of knitting; and THE FIRST HOSTAGE by Joel C. Rosenberg (releasing December 29th), which marks the return of New York Times journalist J. B. Collins, who, along with the Secret Service, tries frantically to locate and rescue the President of the United States before ISIS’s threats become a catastrophic reality.

We’re simply loving this year’s Holiday Author Blogs! This week we heard from Nadia Hashimi, Chris Bohjalian, Camilla Läckberg, Heather Gudenkauf and Natasha Solomons. Next week, the series will wrap up (ribbon not included) with contributions from Sloane Crosley, Ania Ahlborn, Linwood Barclay and Melanie Benjamin. If you haven’t read these wonderful pieces yet, may we suggest that you “binge-read” them during the holidays? We will be posting these until December 24th.

Many thanks to all who entered our Holiday Cheer contests these last few weeks…and, of course, a huge congratulations to all the winners! If you’re still looking for books to give or get this holiday season, please do yourself a favor and check out the feature; we have 17 suggestions for you!

As our Holiday Cheer feature comes to a close, we’re already looking ahead to our Winter Reading contests, which we’ll be bringing back for a second year after a successful launch this past January. Once again, on select days in January and February, we’ll be awarding new and upcoming releases to some very lucky readers in a series of 24-hour contests. We’ll be sending our Winter Reading newsletters beginning January 19th, so be sure you’re signed up to receive them so you know what book we’re giving away on each of the contest days. If you signed up for the first round of contests, there’s no need to do so again…you automatically will be getting these newsletters in your inbox.

There’s still plenty of time to enter our final Sounding Off on Audio contest of 2015. Let us know by Monday, January 4th at noon ET what audiobooks you’ve finished listening to, and you may just win the audio versions of DEAR MR. YOU, written and read by Mary-Louise Parker, and James Lee Burke's HOUSE OF THE RISING SUN, read by Will Patton.

I am listening to DEAR MR YOU now. Parker's epistolary style took some getting used to, but once I did, I got wrapped up in it. She has made me think about experiences that I have had, such as when she talks about a musician who meant a lot to her through the years. We all have had experiences at the theater or concerts that moved us. She talks about how these people are the “custodians of people’s memories.” She has that so right. I also am listening to Drew Barrymore’s WILDFLOWER, which is so upbeat and fun that it just makes me smile to hear her voice. I saw her at the Random House Open House last week where she read the preface and was interviewed by her editor. It was a complete delight!

News and Pop Culture:

Reader Mail: In talking about organizing the books we suggest in the newsletter, we got a number of emails. Linda noted this “super reader” plan: “I print copies of each week’s Bookreporter [newsletter] and place in a three-ring binder. This way I can use a highlighter to mark any books I want to read. I then keep the binder on one of my bookshelves or on my bedside table with the pile of books I am currently working on. This way I can also make my own memos about books after or while being read right on the printed copy where you mentioned the book. I also keep a notebook of every book I have read. I start with the year and then number each book I have read for that year. I have the name of the book, author's name, number of pages and date read. I then give it a number from 1-5 and make notes about the book and what genre and likes or dislikes. If a friend asks for recommendations in a specific genre or author, I can look them up. I have been using this system since 2002.”

Gretchen said: “I totally agree with Jill about the need for a way to track all the books you mention over the year.”

Brenda had this tip to share: “I was reading your newsletter today, and you were discussing how to keep track of books that are coming out months in the future. I know this is probably not what people want to hear, but I keep a calendar in my iPad with when the books are coming out, e.g.: Jan January 5th: AFTER THE CRASH – Michel Bussi; January 12th: SCANDALOUS BEHAVIOR – Stuart Woods. This way, when I hear of a new book, I can slide it in where it belongs for when it is being published. I have books on my list all the way to June 2016 right now. Every time I read your reports, I add new books to my calendar. It’s wonderful! I know people say just another list, but if you know it’s there and you’re looking for a good book, it is easy to find one you already know you’re interested in reading. I love your Bookreporter reports and read them all. Keep up the good work!”

And reader mail on other topics... After we met up with Roe at the Random House Open House, she had this to say in an email: “I want to thank you for all the work you do with books and the weekly Bookreporter newsletter that makes me so happy every Saturday morning.” Steve said: “Once again, I thank you and your capable cohorts for providing this comprehensive review of new material. I look forward to the weekly report and forward it to three close friends to enjoy with me.” Thanks to all of you for your notes and for sharing.

Star Wars Spoilers Blocker: Not seen the film yet? Google Chrome has an extension that blocks Star Wars spoilers. You can get it here.

Brilliant Video for Eric Weiner’s THE GEOGRAPHY OF GENIUS: I love smart videos, and this is one to give a look now. Eric’s book is in stores on January 5th!

Adele: Loved her Radio City concert-lette on TV this week. I call it that as the actual concert was much longer. As for tickets for her tour, I did not even try to get them. And of those I know who tried, very few succeeded. Ahhhhh, if only authors could draw audiences like this! Wonder how many nights J.K. Rowling would have sold out in the Harry Potter heyday! Or what she could do now!

Noah’s Writing Dilemma on "The Affair": I weigh in with my thoughts on this in an interview here. The season finale is Sunday night. Looking forward to seeing how this and "Homeland" wrap up.

"The Good Wife": The season has been a drag, though Alicia’s last two words to Eli on Sunday night were perfect. Succinct and perfect.

Greg is in Charleston, South Carolina, for a wedding this weekend. He called this morning from Sullivan’s Island where he had discovered that Edgar Allan Poe was stationed in the military for a year and was the location where he began his writing career. For a more modern author reference, I shared with him that Dorothea Benton Frank also has a home there, and she sets many of her books in that part of the Low Country. Cory is wrapping up exams today, and I think he is counting down the minutes and seconds until he is “free.” He will be home for a while, and I am looking forward to that.

My sister is in town for the weekend, so we will be doing some celebrating at my mom’s house over the weekend with her and her children. Though we are staying home for the break, I am trying to keep social obligations to an absolute minimum. One thing I loved about our holiday trips to the Outer Banks was that I hunkered down and relaxed, read and kicked it back a big notch. It’s more of a challenge to do that at home.

This time of year, we do not update the site for two weeks to give the staff some much-deserved downtime. In the past during this time, we also would not send a newsletter. This year we are going to do something different. There will be no newsletter next Friday (Christmas) or the following Friday (New Year’s). We WILL do an interim brief newsletter on Monday, December 28th, with a bit of 2016 news in it and some contest reminders. We will be back in full gear on Friday, January 8th!

I am off to go look for the stockings…and figure out what will go in them! Will books fit?

So signing off here with a Merry Christmas, Happy Kwanzaa and Happy Holidays! Have a wonderful holiday season; here’s to old traditions and new memories. Read on, and more on the 28th!

Carol Fitzgerald (

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

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Indiebound

Special Contest: Enter to Win Our End-of-the-Year Celebration, Featuring All 33 "Bets On" Titles from 2015
We are thrilled to announce a very special contest featuring Carol Fitzgerald’s Bets On picks from 2015. One Grand Prize winner will be awarded all 33 books, while 11 other winners will receive a selection of three of these titles. To enter, please fill out this form by Monday, January 11th at noon ET.

Here are this year's Bets On titles:

-Click here for the official contest rules.
Click here to enter the contest. Reviewers Choose Their Favorite Books of 2015
We've asked our reviewers to provide us with a list of some of their favorite books from 2015. Included is a mix of fiction and nonfiction titles, all published this year. Among their top picks are BETWEEN THE WORLD AND ME by Ta-Nehisi Coates, DEAD WAKE: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania by Erik Larson, DID YOU EVER HAVE A FAMILY by Bill Clegg, A GOD IN RUINS by Kate Atkinson, OUR SOULS AT NIGHT by Kent Haruf, and THE TSAR OF LOVE AND TECHNO: Stories by Anthony Marra. Take a moment to read these varied lists of titles and see if you agree with any of their selections!
Click here to see our reviewer picks for 2015.
Now in Stores: BOYS IN THE TREES by Carly Simon
BOYS IN THE TREES: A Memoir by Carly Simon (Memoir)
Audiobook available, narrated by Carly Simon
BOYS IN THE TREES reveals Carly Simon’s remarkable life, beginning with her storied childhood as the third daughter of Richard L. Simon, the co-founder of publishing giant Simon & Schuster. It was a childhood enriched by music and culture, but also one shrouded in secrets that eventually would tear her family apart. Simon captures moments of creative inspiration, the sparks of songs, and the stories behind writing "Anticipation" and "We Have No Secrets," among many others. Reviewed by Stephen Febick.

-Click here to read more about the book.
Click here to read a review.
Now in Stores: THE BONE LABYRINTH by James Rollins
THE BONE LABYRINTH: A Sigma Force Novel by James Rollins (Thriller/Adventure)
Audiobook available, narrated by Christian Baskous
In the remote mountains of Croatia, an archaeologist makes a strange discovery: a subterranean Catholic chapel, hidden for centuries, holds the bones of a Neanderthal woman. In the same cavern system, elaborate primitive paintings tell the story of an immense battle between tribes of Neanderthals and monstrous shadowy figures. It isn’t long before the investigative team is attacked, while a bloody assault is made upon a primate research center outside of Atlanta. How are these events connected? Who is behind these attacks? The search for the truth will take Commander Gray Pierce of Sigma Force 50,000 years into the past. Reviewed by Ray Palen.

-Click here to read more about the book.
Click here to read a review.
In Stores December 29th: THE FIRST HOSTAGE by Joel C. Rosenberg
THE FIRST HOSTAGE: A J. B. Collins Novel by Joel C. Rosenberg
Audiobook available December 29th, narrated by David deVries
“The president of the United States…is missing.” With these words, New York Times journalist J. B. Collins, reporting from the scene of a devastating attack by ISIS terrorists in Amman, Jordan, puts the entire world on high alert. As the U.S. government faces a constitutional crisis and Jordan battles for its very existence, Collins must do his best to keep the world informed while working to convince the FBI that his stories are not responsible for the terror attack on the Jordanian capital. Reviewed by Melanie Reynolds.

-Click here to read more about the book.
Click here to read a review.'s Holiday Author Blogs: Authors Write About Their Favorite Holiday Memories of Giving or Receiving Books
We continue to bring you our Holiday Author Blogs, which we’ve brought back for an EIGHTH consecutive year. From now until Christmas Eve, we're featuring new blog posts from authors each weekday talking about the books that they've given and received.

Thus far we have heard from Elisabeth Egan, Stefanie Pintoff, C. W. Gortner, Ruth Ware, Robert Daniels, Paula McLain, Mary Kubica, Charles Belfoure, Merissa Alink, Nadia Hashimi, Chris Bohjalian, Camilla Läckberg, Heather Gudenkauf and Natasha Solomons. Next week, you can look forward to contributions from Sloane Crosley, Ania Ahlborn, Linwood Barclay and Melanie Benjamin.

As always, we so appreciate all the authors who have taken the time to share these wonderful holiday memories with us.
Click here to read's 2015 Holiday Author Blogs.'s Holiday Cheer Feature

At, we've been celebrating the holiday season in style with our Holiday Cheer Contests and Feature. As our gift to you, we've been spotlighting a book and giving five lucky readers a chance to win it.

Although the contests have ended, we encourage you to take a look at this year's featured titles. These are books you'll want to read during the holidays --- and throughout the year as well!

-Click here for the winners of this year's Holiday Cheer contests.

Click here to see our Holiday Cheer feature.
Coming January 15th:'s Winter Reading Contests and Feature --- Sign Up Now for Contest Alerts!
As our Holiday Cheer contests come to an end, another series of contests will begin shortly --- our "Winter Reading Dedicated Contests." On select days in January and February, we’ll be awarding new and upcoming releases to lucky readers in a series of 24-hour contests. The feature will go live on January 15th, and we'll be sending our Winter Reading newsletters starting on January 19th, so be sure you’re signed up to receive them so you know what book we’re giving away on each of the contest days.
Click here to sign up for Winter Reading contest alerts.
2015 “Best Of” Lists from Around the Web
This is the time of year when “Best Of” lists are everywhere. These annual roundups always seem to spark lively discussions among readers as they reflect on their favorite books of the year. Although we at don’t have a “Best Of” list of our own, we’ve compiled a number of them for you here. See which of your top picks appear on these lists and which titles you feel should've been included but weren't. Perhaps you’ll even find some books to add to your reading list as we head into the new year!
Click here to see 2015 “Best Of” lists.
Special Feature for Book Groups on Tell Us What YOUR Best Books of the Year Are
This is the time of year when everyone is posting “Best Books of the Year” lists. We would like you and your book group to help us compile ours! Click here to share both your favorite book that you read with your group this year and your favorite book that you read this year outside your group.

Please be careful with the spelling of book titles and authors’ first and last names to save us editing time!

And remember, the books can be the same.

The deadline to add your selections is Monday, January 11th.

We will have our reader-compiled Best Of list to share with you in mid-January. We cannot wait to see what you select.
Click here to tell us YOUR favorite books that you read in 2015.
More Reviews This Week
KNITTING PEARLS: Writers Writing About Knitting edited by Ann Hood (Essays/Crafts & Hobbies)
In KNITTING PEARLS, two dozen writers write about the transformative and healing powers of knitting. Lily King remembers the year her family lived in Italy, and a knitted hat that helped her daughter adjust to her new home. Laura Lippman explores how converting to Judaism changed not only Christmas but also her mother’s gift of a knitted stocking. Jodi Picoult remembers her grandmother and how, through knitting, she felt that everlasting love. These personal stories by award-winning writers celebrate the moments of loss and love intertwined in the rhythm, ritual and pleasure of knitting. Reviewed by Pauline Finch.

BRYANT & MAY AND THE BURNING MAN: A Peculiar Crimes Unit Mystery by Christopher Fowler (Mystery)
Enraged by a scandal involving a corrupt financier accused of insider trading, demonstrators are rioting outside the Findersbury Private Bank. But when someone hurls a Molotov cocktail at the bank’s front door, killing a homeless man on its steps, Bryant, May and the rest of the Peculiar Crimes Unit is called in. Is this an act of protest gone terribly wrong? Or a devious, premeditated murder? Their investigation heats up when a second victim is reported dead in similar fiery circumstances. May discovers the latest victim has ties to the troubled bank, and Bryant refuses to believe this is mere coincidence. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

OPERATION THUNDERBOLT: Flight 139 and the Raid on Entebbe Airport, the Most Audacious Hostage Rescue Mission in History by Saul David (History)
Audiobook available, narrated by Peter Ganim
On June 27, 1976, an Air France flight from Tel Aviv to Paris was hijacked by a group of Arab and German terrorists who demanded the release of 53 terrorists. The plane was forced to divert to Entebbe in Uganda --- ruled by the murderous despot Idi Amin, who had no interest in intervening. Days later, Israeli commandos disguised as Ugandan soldiers assaulted the airport terminal, killed all the terrorists and rescued all the hostages. Three of the country's greatest leaders --- Ehud Barak, Shimon Peres and Yitzhak Rabin --- planned and pulled off one of the most astonishing military operations in history. Reviewed by Melanie Reynolds.

THE WEREWOLF OF BAMBERG: A Hangman's Daughter Tale written by Oliver Pötzsch, translated by Lee Chadeayne (Historical Mystery)
In Stores December 29th
Audiobook available December 29th, narrated by Grover Gardner
In 1668, hangman Jakob Kuisl, his daughter Magdalena, and her husband Simon travel to the town of Bamberg. But what was planned as a family vacation soon becomes a nightmare: a murderer in Bamberg is leaving the severed limbs of victims in the trash outside the city. When rumors quickly spread that the deaths are the work of a werewolf, Jakob must prove the superstition wrong and embarks on a search for the “devil of Bamberg.” Reviewed by Carly Silver.

EISENHOWER’S ARMIES: The American-British Alliance During World War II by Niall Barr (History)
Audiobook available, narrated by Steven Crossley
The Anglo-American relationship from 1941 to 1945 proved to be the most effective military alliance in history. Yet there were also constant disagreements that threatened to pull the alliance apart. EISENHOWER’S ARMIES highlights why the unprecedented level of cooperation between the very different American and British forces eventually led to victory but also emphasizes the tensions and controversies that inevitably arose. Reviewed by Stuart Shiffman.

THE TREACHEROUS NET: An Inspector Irene Huss Investigation written by Helene Tursten, translated by Marlaine Delargy (Mystery)
Audiobook available, narrated by Suzanne Toren
The body of a teenage girl is found in the woods, followed by a mummified body bricked up in a chimney on a demolition site. Then a second young girl is found, wearing what appears to be the other half of the sexy lingerie set recovered near the first body. Fearing the two cases are linked and that the killer may strike again, Detective Inspector Irene Huss and her colleagues embark on a desperate hunt that takes them deep into a shadowy world of anonymous online predators and insecure teenage girls on a deadly quest for affirmation. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

RICHARD III: A Ruler and His Reputation by David Horspool (Biography)
With the discovery of Richard III's bones under a parking lot in Leicester, England, interest in this divisive and enigmatic figure in British history is at an all-time high. RICHARD III dispassionately examines the legend as well as the man to uncover both what we know of the life of Richard, and the way that his reputation has been formed and re-formed over centuries. But beyond simply his reputation, there is no dispute that the last Plantagenet is a pivotal figure in English history --- and David Horspool's biography chronicles this tumultuous time with flair. Reviewed by Amie Taylor.

MASTERS OF EMPIRE: Great Lakes Indians and the Making of America by Michael A. McDonnell (History)
In MASTERS OF EMPIRE, the historian Michael A. McDonnell reveals the pivotal role played by the native peoples of the Great Lakes in the history of North America. Though less well known than the Iroquois or Sioux, the Anishinaabeg, who lived across Lakes Michigan and Huron, were equally influential. The book charts the story of one group, the Odawa, who settled at the straits between those two lakes, a hub for trade and diplomacy throughout the vast country west of Montreal known as the pays d’en haut. Reviewed by Maya Gittelman.

Audiobook available, narrated by Liz Pearce
When former party girl and society photographer Theophania Bogart flees to San Francisco to escape a high-profile family tragedy, a series of murders drags her unwillingly out of hiding. In no time at all, she discovers she's been providing cover for a sophisticated smuggling operation, she starts to fall for an untrustworthy stranger, and she's knocked out, tied up and imprisoned. The police are sure she's lying. The smugglers are sure she knows too much. Her friends? They aren't sure what to believe. The body count is rising, and Theo struggles to find the killer before she's the next victim or her new life is exposed as an elaborate fraud. Reviewed by Norah Piehl.

DARK TIDES by Chris Ewan (Thriller)
Audiobook available, narrated by Alex Tregear
When Claire Cooper was eight years old, her mother mysteriously vanished during Hop-tu-naa, Halloween on the Isle of Man. At 14, Claire is still struggling to come to terms with her disappearance when she's befriended by a group of five teenagers who mark every Halloween by performing dares. But Claire's arrival begins to alter the group's dynamic until one year a prank goes terribly wrong, changing all their futures and tearing the friends apart. Six years later, one of the friends is killed on Halloween in an apparent accident. But Claire, now a police officer, has her doubts. Reviewed by Sarah Rachel Egelman.

DESPERATE MEASURES by Jo Bannister (Mystery)
Audiobook available, narrated by Jane Copland
When Gabriel Ash's wife and kids were kidnapped four years ago by Somali pirates, his life spiraled out of control. But with the help of his dog, Patience, and his friendship with young police officer Hazel Best, his focus returned. So when he discovers that his wife is still alive, Ash is once again filled with hope and fear. Hazel is deeply worried for Ash. But even she is unprepared for what Ash seems willing to do to secure the safety of his wife and children. In fact, nothing is as it seems, and loyalty, friendship and family bonds will be called into question. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

SILENT CITY: A Claire Codella Mystery by Carrie Smith (Mystery)
Audiobook available, narrated by Nicol Zanzarella
NYPD Detective Claire Codella has just won a tough battle with cancer. Now she has to regain her rightful place on the force. She hasn't even been back a day when Hector Sanchez, a maverick public school principal, is found murdered. The school is on high alert. The media is howling for answers. And Codella catches the high-profile case at the worst possible time. As she races to track down the killer, she uncovers dirty politics, questionable contracts and dark secrets. Each discovery she makes brings her closer to the truth, but the truth may cost Codella her life. Reviewed by Kate Ayers.
Our Latest Poll: How Many Books Did You Read in 2015?
How many books did you read in 2015?

  • 1-10
  • 11-20
  • 21-30
  • 31-40
  • 41-50
  • 51-75
  • 76-100
  • More than 100
  • None
  • I’m not sure.
Click here to vote in the poll.
Word of Mouth Contest: Tell Us What You're Reading --- and You Can Win Two 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 December 18th to January 8th at noon ET, three lucky readers each will be randomly chosen to win a copy of THE GUEST ROOM by Chris Bohjalian and THE GEOGRAPHY OF GENIUS: A Search for the World's Most Creative Places, from Ancient Athens to Silicon Valley by Eric Weiner.

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 December 1st to January 4th at noon ET, three lucky readers each will be randomly chosen to win the audio versions of both DEAR MR. YOU, written and read by Mary-Louise Parker, and James Lee Burke's HOUSE OF THE RISING SUN, read by Will Patton.

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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