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February 12, 2016 Newsletter February 12, 2016
Brrrr… Hunker Down with a Book!

All week, meteorologists have been talking about the Arctic Blast that will be ripping across the country this weekend. Listening to them, it’s like the weather is a character in a fast-paced book, laced with lots of intrigue. Their television commentary is followed by at least five people on the street telling you how cold they are. It’s all so predictable (pun intended) that it's rather amusing.

Yesterday, I had such fun talking to Ann Hood at a media lunch, where she was being celebrated for her upcoming novel, THE BOOK THAT MATTERS MOST, which will be in stores on August 8th. In it, a woman suffers a tragedy and rebounds by forming a book group where each member will share the book that mattered most to them. There’s a knitting thread to the plot, too, something Ann does so well. Over lunch, we launched into a conversation about knitting, as well as books. She joked that she actually had thought about bringing along her knitting to the event; if she had, I would have loved it! Caught between us was a colleague who shall remain nameless who watched this conversation like he was at a tennis match until he realized he had a sweater that needed mending and perhaps we could advise. We think we have a solution for him as we simultaneously said "I-cord!" Lovely to spend time with someone who enjoys two of my favorite things…actually, make it three, as she loves to cook as well!

I picked up a copy of BE FRANK WITH ME by Julia Claiborne Johnson this week, and I have been enjoying it. Yes, you can be amused that I like a book with a turquoise cover; I am, too! In it, a reclusive writer, M. M. "Mimi" Banning, has not written a book in years. Desperate for money, she is forced to write again, and her publisher decides to acknowledge her request for a healthy advance, as well as an assistant. As they see it, they will protect their investment my sending someone to Bel Air to keep her on task. Alice Whitley gets this job and finds herself slotted in as a companion for Frank, Mimi’s nine-year-old son, who is eccentric and not typical of his age at all. It is bright and fun --- the kind of book where, as you read it, you find yourself smiling. I look forward to smiling a lot more this weekend as I read it. And thinking about top hats and formal wear!

Now to this week’s update.

Last week, I wrote about discovering WHEN BREATH BECOMES AIR, a beautiful and poignant memoir by Paul Kalanithi, who sadly passed away last March. An award-winning and highly respected neurologist, Kalanithi was shocked when he was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer at the too-young age of 36. After spending over a decade of his life fighting to treat the dying, it was a complete turnaround to suddenly count himself amongst the terminally ill. Here, Kalanithi combines his loves of philosophy, literature and medicine to explore the true value of a human life. When he becomes a father for the first time, this question takes on even more urgency, though he never once wavers in his love of life.

Reviewer Jana Siciliano raves that WHEN BREATH BECOMES AIR “flows like any good memoir, bringing you close to the soul of the writer but keeping you at enough distance to have perspective on his plight as he did not have for himself while living it. This makes for a completely moving and emotional reading experience.” When I closed this book last Saturday, I immediately texted Cory’s friend Josh, known around here as Son 2B, to recommend it to him as he is a pre-med student studying for his MCATs. There is more there about what it means to be a doctor than what he will find in any textbook!

Detective D. D. Warren faces the thin line between redemption and revenge in Lisa Gardner’s FIND HER. Seven years ago, college student Flora was kidnapped without a trace while on spring break. She spent the next 472 days enduring repeated physical and emotional attacks that very nearly killed her. But Flora is a survivor, and since her rescue, she has thought of nothing but protecting other girls like her --- even if it means risking her own hard-fought safety. When D. D. meets Flora, she has become reckless, her presence felt on more than one crime scene. But when Flora goes missing, D. D. must walk in her shoes to hunt a killer more dangerous than anyone could have anticipated.

Rebecca Munro has our review and says, "Few authors can create such a cold character who can still elicit feelings from the reader, especially without employing boring clichés and tropes. Gardner does none of this and keeps her narrative fresh and succinct, an impressive balance for any writer." I am looking forward to listening to FIND HER on audio.

We’re awarding FIND HER, along with MIDNIGHT SUN by Jo Nesbø, in our Word of Mouth contest. Let us know by Friday, February 19th at noon ET what books you’ve finished reading for your chance to win both titles.

Dawn Tripp reimagines the passionate, sensational life of one of America’s best-known artists in GEORGIA. The year is 1916, and young Georgia O’Keeffe remains unknown to all except famed photographer and art dealer Alfred Stieglitz. Stieglitz has just discovered Georgia and invited her to New York for an exhibition in his gallery. Georgia is captivated by Stieglitz and quickly becomes his mistress, protégé and muse, with his photographs of her --- clothed and nude --- quickly igniting a whirlwind of gossip and media attention. But as Georgia’s own creative eye develops, she finds herself pushing back against her critics and taking greater control over her art, a choice that alters her relationship with Stieglitz forever. co-founder Jesse Kornbluth, who currently runs, was kind enough to share his review of GEORGIA with us. In it, he says the following: “Tripp expertly makes drama of two traditional themes in the O’Keeffe story --- the romance with Stieglitz and the development of her art --- but it’s the track about her art and his management of it and her struggle not to be dominated by him that makes her novel compelling.” We also have an interview with Dawn that you can read here.

GEORGIA is one of the books we gave away in this week’s Winter Reading contests; the others were CALMING THERAPY: An Anti-Stress Coloring Book, THE VATICAN PRINCESS: A Novel of Lucrezia Borgia by C.W. Gortner, and THE WONDER GARDEN by Lauren Acampora. The prize titles for our final three Winter Reading contests will be THE FRIENDS WE KEEP by Susan Mallery, LOVE IN LOWERCASE by Francesc Miralles, and A PLACE FOR US by Harriet Evans, with the first one going up on Tuesday, February 16th at noon ET.

Following last week’s review, my latest Bets On selection is MISSING PIECES by Heather Gudenkauf. In this hair-raising thriller, Sarah Quinlan and her husband Jack return to Jack’s childhood home, a source of great emotional trauma for him. But as Sarah begins to explore his past, it becomes evident that the Quinlans are not quite what they seem. Drowning in unanswered questions, Sarah must gather her strength and confront Jack’s past once and for all --- even if the truth may kill her.

Time is running out to enter our 11th Annual Valentine's Day contest, where five readers will win six love-themed books and some delicious Ghirardelli chocolates. The deadline for entries is Tuesday, February 16th at noon ET; you can fill out the form here.

Don’t forget that there is still time to enter’s Winter Reading Essentials Sweepstakes, as the deadline is Thursday, February 18th at 11pm ET. Perfect for readers looking to enjoy a cozy night at home, this giveaway supplies everything you need to beat the winter blues. One grand prize winner will receive five buzzworthy books, a cotton herringbone blanket from Kaufmann Mercantile, a pair of Warby Parker glasses and a $25 Starbucks gift card. This prize package is perfect to combat the ominous weather predictions!

This week’s poll continues to ask if you purchase eBooks at discounted prices and read them. I’m so curious about your thoughts on this, so please click here and cast your vote!

In this month’s Sounding Off on Audio contest, we’re giving you the opportunity to win the audio versions of two recent Bets On picks: Gregg Hurwitz's ORPHAN X, performed by Scott Brick, and THE SOUND OF GRAVEL: A Memoir, written and read by Ruth Wariner. Let us know by Tuesday, March 1st at noon ET what audiobooks you’ve finished listening to for a chance to win both titles.

Once again, we will be hosting our Book Group Speed Dating event at BookExpo America (BEA), which this year will be held in Chicago. Our event is on Friday, May 13th. Full details on how to sign up can be found here.

News and Pop Culture:

Reader Mail: Pauline said, “Read you every week, but now that I'm a recently retired public librarian, I especially like your suggestions and reviews. I miss seeing the new book carts at work and ordering new books. I try to read for at least an hour every late afternoon and don't miss the deadlines at work. Miss the commute, though, as that was my time to listen to audiobooks. My all-red amaryllis will be in full bloom for Valentine's Day. I have two pots in the sunny, warm living room. My gardener instincts love nurturing them in the coldness of February. They're my annual treat. The pots spend the summer on one end of the front porch. Keep up the good work.”

"20/20": Tonight I am looking forward to Diane Sawyer’s interview with Sue Klebold, where she will talk about her book, A MOTHER'S RECKONING: Living in the Aftermath of Tragedy. The events in Columbine almost 17 years ago altered life for those in that town --- and transformed how we think about school safety in this country. This is an important subject; more on the book next week.

Harry’s Back: Big news this week that there will be a new Harry Potter book (the eighth for those keeping count) on Sunday, July 31st as a script of a stage play called "Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Parts I & II" will be published in the U.S. and Canada by Scholastic. This is timed for the day after the play --- which is based on a new story by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne and John Tiffany --- makes its world debut in London. This should be to the book world what Adele’s November release was to the music world. Our own version of "Hello.”

Speaking of "Hello": Adele will be appearing at the Grammys on Monday night. You can sing along from your couch.

Harper Lee on Broadway: TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD is headed to Broadway. Producer Scott Rudin has acquired stage adaptation rights for the novel. Aaron Sorkin is adapting it; it is scheduled for the 2017-18 season.

Bidding Adieu: This week, Shara Zaval, our Editorial Manager (shown with me above), headed to a new job at Faber & Faber, a British publisher who is expanding into the States. We sent her off in style with a burrito lunch! I appreciated all that she shared with us in the last two-plus years!

Savannah Book Festival: It’s this weekend, and the aforementioned Rebecca Munro is on site there to cover it for us. She was texting me last night after she attended Paula McLain’s fabulous session. We’ll have Rebecca’s coverage next week, and I hope she gets to meet Nancy, one of our readers, who got this book festival on my radar.

In More Staff News: Rebecca will be joining our staff full time on February 29th as our new Editorial Coordinator. Looking forward to having her on board and in the office every day!

It has been a crazy busy week. Yesterday morning, as I was driving into the city for an early morning meeting, I cranked up the radio and sang loudly and, I admit, off-key. There was something cathartic about it. I highly recommend this as a stress reliever. Just do not look at the car beside you to see if you are being observed. Best to stay in your own zone/lane to remain stress-free.

Greg has been down for the count with a crazy flu this week that has had him wiped out. Two words for him next year: flu shot. The first time I mention it! He had been scheduled to head to Maine this weekend with his Land Rover friends, but that is not going to be happening. Cory made an appearance at the house for dinner and leftovers during the week --- not sure if he has a drive-by scheduled for the weekend.

I'm VERY happy to have a three-day weekend ahead. I am starting to think we need one of these every month! I am not big on celebrating Valentine’s Day, which a friend dubbed “Girl Christmas” a few years ago. I am sure I will be prompted to make the heart-shaped cake with whipped cream frosting and raspberries or strawberries that has become a tradition. I thought I was finished with the mohair scarf that I was making last week when it clocked 90”, but I think I am going to go to 108” so I can wrap it more. When I laid this out to block it, Tom and the boys were very amused.

The Grammys are on Monday night --- my chance to figure out who sings all the songs I hear, but do not pay attention to. Maybe I will find some more for my version of Car Karaoke.

Happy Valentine’s Day to all of you…and here’s to the presidents who ensured that this Monday can be celebrated.

Read on, and have a great week.

Carol Fitzgerald (

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

Now in Stores: WHEN BREATH BECOMES AIR by Paul Kalanithi
WHEN BREATH BECOMES AIR by Paul Kalanithi (Memoir)
Audiobook available, narrated by Sunil Malhotra and Cassandra Campbell
At the age of 36, on the verge of completing a decade’s worth of training as a neurosurgeon, Paul Kalanithi was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer. One day he was a doctor treating the dying, and the next he was a patient struggling to live. And just like that, the future he and his wife had imagined evaporated. WHEN BREATH BECOMES AIR chronicles Kalanithi’s transformation from a naïve medical student into a neurosurgeon at Stanford working in the brain, and finally into a patient and new father confronting his own mortality. Reviewed by Jana Siciliano.

-Click here to read more about the book.

Click here to read a review.
Now in Stores: IN OTHER WORDS written by Jhumpa Lahiri, translated by Ann Goldstein
IN OTHER WORDS written by Jhumpa Lahiri, translated by Ann Goldstein (Memoir)
Audiobook available, narrated by Jhumpa Lahiri
Jhumpa Lahiri’s love for the Italian language first captivated and capsized her during a trip to Florence after college. Although Lahiri studied Italian for many years afterward, true mastery always eluded her. Seeking full immersion, she decides to move to Rome with her family, for “a trial by fire, a sort of baptism” into a new language and world. There, she begins to read, and to write --- initially in her journal --- solely in Italian. Presented in a dual-language format, IN OTHER WORDS investigates the process of learning to express oneself in another language, and describes the journey of a writer seeking a new voice. Reviewed by Maya Gittelman.

-Click here to read more about the book.
Click here to read a review.
Now in Stores: FIND HER by Lisa Gardner
FIND HER by Lisa Gardner (Thriller)
Audiobook available, narrated by Kirsten Potter
Seven years ago, carefree college student Flora Dane was kidnapped while on spring break. For 472 days, she learned just how much one person can endure. Miraculously alive after her ordeal, she has spent the past five years reacquainting herself with the rhythms of normal life. When Boston detective D. D. Warren is called to the scene of a crime --- a dead man and the bound, naked woman who killed him --- she learns that Flora has tangled with three other suspects since her return to society. Is Flora a victim or a vigilante? Reviewed by Rebecca Munro.

-Click here to read more about the book.
Click here to read a review.
An Interview with Dawn Tripp, Author of GEORGIA
Dawn Tripp is an award-winning author and frequent essayist, whose work has appeared in the Virginia Quarterly Review, The Believer, The Rumpus, Psychology Today and on NPR. Her fourth work of fiction, GEORGIA, is a biographical novel about Georgia O’Keeffe --- told in the first person --- that chronicles O’Keefe’s journey from unknown teacher to the most famous female American artist of the last century. In this interview, Tripp talks about why she wanted to write about O’Keefe, and what she wishes to add to the artist’s already extensive literary catalog and characterization. She also discusses the challenges in finding her heroine’s voice, as well as capturing the highs and lows of her tumultuous relationship with photographer Alfred Stieglitz.

GEORGIA: A Novel of Georgia O'Keeffe by Dawn Tripp (Historical Fiction)
Audiobook available, narrated by Ann Marie Lee
In 1916, Georgia O’Keeffe is a young, unknown art teacher when she travels to New York to meet Alfred Stieglitz, the famed photographer and art dealer, who has discovered O’Keeffe’s work and exhibits it in his gallery. O’Keeffe is quickly drawn into Stieglitz’s sophisticated world, becoming his mistress, protégé and muse, as their attraction deepens into an intense and tempestuous relationship and his photographs of her create a sensation. Yet as her own creative force develops, Georgia begins to push back against what critics and others are saying about her and her art. And soon she must make difficult choices to live a life she believes in. Reviewed by Jesse Kornbluth for

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

Click here to read the interview.
An Interview with Carol Goodman, Author of RIVER ROAD
Carol Goodman is the critically acclaimed author of 14 novels, including THE LAKE OF DEAD LANGUAGES and THE SEDUCTION OF WATER, which won the 2003 Hammett Prize. RIVER ROAD is her most recent book, and it tells the story of a woman who --- after hitting a deer while driving home from a holiday party --- is suspected of killing a young girl in a hit-and-run accident. In this interview, Goodman discusses the real-life incidents that inspired RIVER ROAD’s various narrative threads, the benefits and pitfalls of empathizing so deeply with every protagonist she writes, and why she believes all writing is motivated by “a desire to make the risky trip to the Underworld, and to bring someone or something back from the dead.”

RIVER ROAD by Carol Goodman (Psychological Thriller)
Audiobook available, narrated by Madeleine Maby
Nan Lewis, a creative writing professor, hits a deer while driving home from a faculty holiday party. But when she gets out of her car to look for it, the deer is nowhere to be found. The next morning, Nan is informed that one of her students was killed in a hit-and-run the night before. And because of the damage to her car, Nan is a suspect. In the days following the accident, Nan finds herself shunned by the same community that rallied around her when her own daughter was killed in an eerily similar accident. When she begins to find disturbing tokens that recall the death of her daughter, Nan suspects that the two accidents are connected. Reviewed by Ray Palen.

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

Click here to read the interview.'s 11th Annual Valentine's Day Contest: Enter to Win Books and Sweet Treats for Yourself or Your Valentine!
Valentine's Day is only a few heartbeats away. We can't think of a better way to celebrate this special day than to cuddle up with your loved one...and a good book, of course! We're giving readers the chance to win one of our five Valentine's Day prize packages, which includes one copy of each of our featured books and some delicious Ghirardelli chocolate. Enter between now and Tuesday, February 16th at noon ET for your opportunity to be a lucky (and beloved!) winner.

If you're feeling frisky, share with us your all-time book character crush. Don't be shy, we all got 'em! We'll post the top 10 literary loves and lusts --- along with the five winners --- right after Valentine's Day, so please be on the lookout!

This year's featured titles are:

Click here to enter the contest and see our featured titles.'s Second Annual Winter Reading Contests and Feature
At, we are kicking off 2016 with our second annual Winter Reading Contests and Feature. On select days between now and February 19th at noon ET, we are hosting a series of 24-hour contests spotlighting a book releasing this winter and giving five lucky readers a chance to win it. We also are sending a special newsletter to announce the day's title, which you can sign up for here.

Our next prize book will be announced on Tuesday, February 16th at noon ET.

This year's featured titles include:

Click here to read all the contest details and see our featured titles.
Enter for a Chance to Win Your Own Cozy Winter Reading Essentials from Signature!
Signature, the latest news with a literary slant, wants you to bundle up and hunker down with your very own set of cozy reading essentials, including:
  • 5 buzzworthy books
  • A cotton herringbone blanket from Kaufmann Mercantile
  • A pair of Warby Parker glasses ($95)
  • A $25 Starbucks gift card

The deadline for your entries is Thursday, February 18th at 11pm ET.

Enter for your chance to win today! Bets On: MISSING PIECES by Heather Gudenkauf
MISSING PIECES by Heather Gudenkauf (Thriller)
Audiobook available, narrated by Christina Traister
I have been a fan of Heather Gudenkauf’s writing since THE WEIGHT OF SILENCE was published in 2009. So when I saw MISSING PIECES, I immediately grabbed it, knowing that Gudenkauf creates a well-paced thriller that always engages me. She did not disappoint.

In MISSING PIECES, Sarah Quinlan is headed to her husband Jack’s family home in Iowa as his Aunt Julia has taken a fall and is in critical condition. It’s the least Jack can do as his aunt and uncle took him and his sister in and raised them as their own children, following the death of their mother when Jack was just 15. He had come home from school one day to find his mother dead at the bottom of the cellar stairs, with his father gone from the house. Of course, his dad was the key suspect in the crime.

Jack has fabricated his history, so going back to his hometown is not easy. There are a lot of secrets in that town, and it’s time for them to be unwrapped. Sarah is a journalist and employs all of her skills to try to unravel what really went down decades ago. As this happens, she starts doubting Jack and their life together.

Everyone is looking over his or her shoulder as the pages turn, with Gudenkauf doing a brilliant job of keeping her readers guessing as to what actually happened….and what’s going on now. Plan to lose yourself for an afternoon reading it!

-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.
Debut Suspense/Thriller Author Spotlight: THE WIDOW by Fiona Barton
THE WIDOW by Fiona Barton (Psychological Thriller)
For fans of GONE GIRL and THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN, an engrossing and thrilling debut novel of psychological suspense from a major new talent.

There's a lot Jean hasn't said over the years about the crime her husband was suspected of committing. She was too busy being the perfect wife, standing by her man while living with the accusing glares and the anonymous harassment.

Now her husband is dead, and there's no reason to stay quiet. There are people who want to hear her story. They want to know what it was like living with that man. She can tell them that there were secrets. There always are in a marriage.

The truth --- that's all anyone wants. But the one lesson Jean has learned in the last few years is that she can make people believe anything...

THE WIDOW releases on Tuesday, February 16th.

-Click here to read an excerpt.
-Click here to read Fiona Barton’s bio.
-Click here to visit Fiona Barton’s official website.
-Click here to connect with Fiona Barton on Twitter.
-Click here to see the 35 winners selected to read and comment on the book.

Click here to read more in our Debut Suspense/Thriller Author Spotlight.
Women's Fiction Author Spotlight: THE THINGS WE KEEP by Sally Hepworth
THE THINGS WE KEEP by Sally Hepworth (Fiction)
Audiobook available, narrated by Barrie Kreinik and Therese Plummer
Anna Forster, in the early stages of Alzheimer's disease at only 38 years old, knows that her family is doing what they believe to be best when they take her to Rosalind House, an assisted living facility. She also knows there's just one other resident her age: Luke. What she does not expect is the love that blossoms between her and Luke, even as she resists her new life at Rosalind House. As her disease steals more and more of her memory, Anna fights to hold on to what she knows, including her relationship with Luke.

When Eve Bennett is suddenly thrust into the role of single mother, she finds herself putting her culinary training to use at Rosalind House. When she meets Anna and Luke, she is moved by the bond the pair has forged. But when a tragic incident leads Anna's and Luke's families to separate them, Eve finds herself questioning what she is willing to risk to help them.

-Click here to read a review.
-Click here to see why we're betting you'll love this book.
-Click here to read our interview with Sally Hepworth.
-Click here to read Sally Hepworth’s bio.
-Click here to visit Sally Hepworth’s official website.
-Connect with Sally Hepworth on Facebook and Twitter.
-Click here to see the 25 winners selected to read and comment on the book.

Click here to read more in our Women's Fiction Author Spotlight.
More Reviews This Week
THE WOLVES: A John Wells Novel by Alex Berenson (Thriller)
Audiobook available, narrated by George Guidall
John Wells has just barely managed to stop an operation designed to drive the United States and Iran into war, but the instigator himself disappeared behind an impenetrable war of security. Now it’s time for him to pay, and Wells has made it his personal mission. But the White House doesn’t want anybody stirring the pot; his old CIA bosses have their own agendas; and other countries are starting to sniff around, sensing something unusual. It is when Russia and China enter the mix, however, that the whole affair is set to combust. With alarming speed, Wells is once again on his own…and the wolves are closing in. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

THE BITTER SEASON by Tami Hoag (Psychological Thriller)
Audiobook available, narrated by David Colacci
Detective Sam Kovac is distracted from his troubles by an especially brutal double homicide: a prominent university professor and his wife, bludgeoned and hacked to death in their home with a ceremonial Japanese samurai sword. Detective Nikki Liska’s case --- the unsolved murder of a decorated sex crimes detective --- is less of a distraction: Twenty five years later, there is little hope of finding the killer who got away. As the trails of two crimes a quarter of a century apart twist and cross, Kovac and Liska race to find answers before a killer strikes again. Reviewed by Barbara Lipkien Gershenbaum.

ROBERT B. PARKER’S BLACKJACK by Robert Knott (Historical Mystery/Western)
Audiobook available, narrated by Rex Linn
Appaloosa, the hometown of Territorial Marshals Virgil Cole and Everett Hitch, continues to prosper, but with prosperity comes a slew of new trouble: carpetbaggers, gamblers, migrants, peddlers, drifters, thieves and whores. And there’s a new menace in town: Boston Bill Black, the owner of Appaloosa’s new casino who is wanted for a series of murders. As they set out to track him down, Cole and Hitch find themselves back in Appaloosa --- where one woman in particular may, or may not, prove to be the apple of Boston Bill’s eye. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

MY FATHER, THE PORNOGRAPHER: A Memoir by Chris Offutt (Memoir)
When Andrew Offutt died, his son, Chris, inherited a desk, a rifle and 1,800 pounds of porn. Andrew had been considered the “king of 20th century smut,” a career that began as a strategy to pay for his son’s orthodontic needs and soon took on a life of its own, peaking during the ’70s when the commercial popularity of the erotic novel was at its height. Over one long summer in his hometown, helping his mother move out of the house, Chris began to examine his deceased father’s possessions and realized he finally had an opportunity to come to grips with the mercurial man he always feared but never understood. Reviewed by Barbara Bamberger Scott.

VIOLENT CRIMES: An Amanda Jaffe Novel by Phillip Margolin (Thriller)
Audiobook available, narrated by Therese Plummer
Dale Masterson has become wealthy and successful representing the interests of oil and coal companies. But when his colleague is found dead, his business practices are put under surveillance and a lower-level employee stands accused. The controversy surrounding the firm is magnified when Dale is found beaten to death in his mansion. His son, Brandon, confesses to killing him on behalf of all the people whose lives are being destroyed by his questionable clients. Veteran lawyer Amanda Jaffe is hired to represent Brandon, but what seems like an open-and-shut case quickly begins to unravel. Reviewed by Kate Ayers.

ARCADIA by Iain Pears (Supernatural Thriller/Fantasy)
Audiobook available, narrated by John Lee and Jayne Entwistle
In 1960s Oxford, Professor Henry Lytten is attempting to write a fantasy novel that forgoes the magic of his predecessors, J. R. R. Tolkien and C. S. Lewis. He finds an unlikely confidante in his quick-witted, inquisitive young neighbor, Rosie. One day, while chasing Lytten’s cat, Rosie encounters a doorway in his cellar. She steps through and finds herself in an idyllic, pastoral land where Storytellers are revered above all others. There she meets a young man who is about to embark on a quest of his own --- and may be the one chance Rosie has of returning home. These breathtaking adventures ultimately intertwine with the story of an eccentric psychomathematician whose breakthrough discovery will affect all of these different lives and worlds. Reviewed by Ray Palen.

INCARCERATION NATIONS: A Journey to Justice in Prisons Around the World by Baz Dreisinger (Social Science/Penology)
Audiobook available, narrated by Christina Delaine
Beginning in Africa and ending in Europe, INCARCERATION NATIONS is a first-person odyssey through the prison systems of the world. Professor, journalist and founder of the Prison-to-College-Pipeline, Baz Dreisinger looks into the human stories of incarcerated men and women and those who imprison them, creating a jarring, poignant view of a world to which most are denied access, and a rethinking of one of America’s most far-reaching global exports: the modern prison complex. Reviewed by Stuart Shiffman.

PIECE OF MIND by Michelle Adelman (Fiction)
Audiobook available, narrated by Tavia Gilbert
At 27, Lucy knows everything about coffee, comic books and Gus (the polar bear at the Central Park Zoo), and she possesses a rare gift for drawing. But since she suffered a traumatic brain injury at the age of three, she has had trouble relating to most people. When unexpected circumstances force her out of the comfortable and protective Jewish home where she was raised and into a cramped studio apartment in New York City with her college-age younger brother, she must adapt to an entirely different life --- one with no safety net. Reviewed by Norah Piehl.

THE GOOD LIAR by Nicholas Searle (Literary Suspense)
Audiobook available, narrated by Matthew Brenher
Veteran con artist Roy spots an obvious easy mark when he meets Betty, a wealthy widow, online. In no time at all, he has moved into Betty’s lovely cottage and is preparing to accompany her on a romantic trip to Europe. Betty’s grandson disapproves of their blossoming relationship, but Roy is sure this scheme will be a success. He knows what he’s doing. As this remarkable feat of storytelling weaves together Roy’s and Betty’s futures, it also unwinds their pasts. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

THE ARRANGEMENT by Ashley Warlick (Historical Fiction)
Audiobook available, narrated by Cassandra Campbell
Los Angeles, 1934. Mary Frances is young, restlessly married, and returning from her first sojourn in France. She is hungry, and not just for food: she wants Tim, her husband Al’s charming friend, who encourages her writing and seems to understand her better than anyone. After a night’s transgression, it’s only a matter of time before Mary Frances claims what she truly desires, plunging all three of them into a tangled triangle of affection that will have far-reaching effects on their families, their careers and their lives. Reviewed by Norah Piehl.

-Click here to read an excerpt.

LIAR: A Memoir by Rob Roberge (Memoir)
Audiobook available, narrated by Rob Roberge
When Rob Roberge learns that he's likely to have developed a progressive memory-eroding disease from years of hard living and frequent concussions, he’s terrified by the prospect of becoming a walking shadow. In a desperate attempt to preserve his identity, he sets out to (somewhat faithfully) record the most formative moments of his life. But the process of trying to remember his past only exposes just how fragile the stories that lay at the heart of our self-conception really are. As LIAR twists and turns through Roberge’s life, it turns the familiar story of sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll on its head. Reviewed by Rebecca Munro.

THE CELLAR by Minette Walters (Psychological Thriller/Horror)
Audiobook available, narrated by Eyre Justine
On the day Mr. and Mrs. Songoli’s young son fails to come home from school, 14-year-old Muna’s fortunes change for the better. Until then, her bedroom was a dank windowless cellar, her activities confined to cooking and cleaning. Now that Scotland Yard has swarmed the Songoli house to investigate the disappearance of the son, Muna is given a real bedroom and clothing, yet her world remains confined. Before long, though, it becomes clear that young Muna is far more clever --- and her plans more terrifying --- than the Songolis, or anyone else, can ever imagine. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.
Next Week's Notables: Noteworthy Books Releasing on February 15th and 16th
Below are some notable titles releasing on February 15th and 16th that we would like to make you aware of. We will have more on many of these books in the weeks to come. For a list of additional hardcovers and paperbacks releasing the week of February 15th, see our “On Sale This Week” newsletter here.

February 15th

A MOTHER'S RECKONING: Living in the Aftermath of Tragedy by Sue Klebold (Memoir)
Sue Klebold chronicles with unflinching honesty her journey as a mother trying to come to terms with her son Dylan's role in the Columbine High School shootings.

February 16th

COMETH THE HOUR by Jeffrey Archer (Historical Fiction)
COMETH THE HOUR is the penultimate book in the Clifton Chronicles and, like the five previous novels in the series, showcases Jeffrey Archer's extraordinary storytelling with his trademark twists.

THE GIRL IN THE RED COAT by Kate Hamer (Psychological Thriller)
Newly single mom Beth has one constant, gnawing worry: that her dreamy eight-year-old daughter, Carmel, who has a tendency to wander off, will one day go missing. And then one day, it happens.

INTERIOR DARKNESS: Selected Stories by Peter Straub (Literary Horror/Short Stories)
Celebrated author Peter Straub's mastery of the short form shines in this wide-ranging collection of his most chilling, intense and compelling tales from the past 25 years.

LEONARD: My Fifty-Year Friendship with a Remarkable Man by William Shatner, with David Fisher (Biography)
As much a biography of Leonard Nimoy as a story of his friendship with William Shatner, LEONARD is a uniquely heartfelt book written by one legendary actor in celebration of another.

MASTER OF CEREMONIES: A Memoir by Joel Grey (Memoir)
MASTER OF CEREMONIES is a memoir of a life lived in and out of the limelight, but it is also the story of the man behind the stage makeup.

MIDNIGHT SUN by Jo Nesbø (Thriller)
The internationally acclaimed author of the Harry Hole novels now gives us the tightly wound tale of a man running from retribution, a renegade hitman who goes to ground far above the Arctic circle, where the never-setting sun might slowly drive a man insane.

NO CURE FOR LOVE by Peter Robinson (Mystery/Thriller)
Featuring a foreword by Michael Connelly, this relentlessly suspenseful thriller from the Edgar Award-winning author of the Inspector Banks books marks the first time that Peter Robinson has set a novel in America.

NO SHRED OF EVIDENCE: An Inspector Ian Rutledge Mystery by Charles Todd (Historical Mystery)
With no shred of evidence to clear the accused, Inspector Ian Rutledge must plunge deep into the darkest secrets of a wild, beautiful and dangerous place if he is to find a killer who may --- or may not --- hold the key to their fate.

THE OPPOSITE OF EVERYONE by Joshilyn Jackson (Fiction)
A fiercely independent divorce lawyer learns the power of family and connection when she receives a cryptic message from her estranged mother.

THE QUALITY OF SILENCE by Rosamund Lupton (Psychological Thriller)
Yasmin and her daughter, Ruby, arrive in a remote part of Alaska to be told that Ruby's father, Matt, has been the victim of a catastrophic accident. Unable to accept his death as truth, Yasmin and Ruby set out into the hostile winter of the Alaskan tundra in search of answers.

WHY WE CAME TO THE CITY by Kristopher Jansma (Fiction)
From the widely acclaimed author of THE UNCHANGEABLE SPOTS OF LEOPARDS comes a warm, funny and heartfelt novel about a tight-knit group of twentysomethings in New York whose lives are upended by tragedy.

THE WIDOW by Fiona Barton (Psychological Thriller)
When the police started asking questions, Jean Taylor turned into a different woman. One who enabled her and her husband to carry on, when more bad things began to happen. But that woman’s husband died last week. And Jean doesn’t have to be her anymore.
Our Latest Poll and Word of Mouth/Sounding Off on Audio Contests


Do you purchase eBooks at discounted prices (e.g., $.99, $1.99, $2.99) and read them? Which phrase best describes what you do?

  • I purchase them all of the time and read them all of the time.
  • I purchase them all of the time and sometimes read them.
  • I purchase them some of the time and read them.
  • I purchase them some of the time and sometimes read them.
  • I rarely do this.
  • I never do this.
  • No, but this is a good idea
  • I do not read eBooks.

-Click here to vote in the poll.

Word of Mouth:

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 February 5th to February 19th at noon ET, three lucky readers each will be randomly chosen to win a copy of FIND HER by Lisa Gardner and MIDNIGHT SUN by Jo Nesbø.

-Click here to enter the contest.

Sounding Off on Audio:

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 February 1st to March 1st at noon ET, two lucky readers each will be randomly chosen to win the audio versions of both Gregg Hurwitz's ORPHAN X, performed by Scott Brick, and THE SOUND OF GRAVEL: A Memoir, written and read by Ruth Wariner.

-Click here to enter the contest.

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