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February 26, 2016 Newsletter February 26, 2016
Enough of the Gray of February (and Yes, That Rhymes)
My friend Beverley reminded me this week that February is one of the longest and most depressing months of the year. The sky is more gray than blue, and the weather is unpredictable. Making plans is not easy, and it feels like we are trapped in a slog to get to spring that's going to take forever.

My days have been brightened by looking ahead at spring books as we make our editorial plans for the websites. We also are making plans for our's 5th Annual Book Group Speed Dating Event at BookExpo America (BEA), which this year is scheduled for Chicago on Friday, May 13th. Representatives from more than a dozen publishers will be in attendance to share selections and book group news from their publishing houses in a speed-dating format designed to give booksellers, librarians, book group leaders and bloggers an inside look at what book groups will want to know for fall and winter. Galley giveaways and ideas for enhancing book group discussions will be part of this event. Advance signup is required by Tuesday, May 3rd at noon ET. Seating will be assigned. Fill out this form to sign up. Please note: You must be registered to attend BookExpo America in order to attend this session. If you are not, click here to register.

We know that some of you who typically attend our Annual Book Group Speed Dating Event will not be heading to Chicago. We are gauging interest in a similar Manhattan-based event in late May or June. If you are interested in this event, please fill out this form. Bear in mind that there are no firm plans for this event at this time --- we are merely exploring level of interest.

My weekend reading will include THE VERSIONS OF US (on sale: May 3rd). I had the pleasure of meeting Laura Barnett (pictured above with her book) in late January at a luncheon as she was in the States (she lives in the UK) for some pre-pub promotion. The book has three versions of a story that starts this way. “A man is walking down a country lane. A woman, cycling towards him, swerves to avoid a dog. On that moment, their future hinges. There are three possible outcomes, three small decisions that could determine the rest of their life.” Laura shared that she wrote the book in sequence, pivoting from one story to the next in order instead of writing each in full and then weaving them together. Impressive! It’s making me think of Sliding Doors, a film that I enjoyed so much! By the way, Laura swears that the fact that her dress matched the book cover was pure coincidence. I was very impressed.

I have NOT forgotten my pledge earlier in the year to create a list for you of upcoming titles that I have read well in advance. Over the next week or two, we will work on this. The last four weeks we have not been at full staff, due to illness, vacation and staff changes. I would love to have all hands on deck for five continuous days. Repeat after me…it’s February.

On Monday, we will celebrate the first anniversary of our website. It’s actually four years old, but I purposely launched it on February 29th so it would stay forever young. And yes, I am now going to be humming “Forever Young” by Bob Dylan for the rest of the day. Have a college student or twentysomething in your life? Then send them here.

Now to this week’s update….

Although most Americans can remember where they were when they heard the news about the Columbine shootings of 1999, few can remember so well as Sue Klebold, the mother of Dylan Klebold, one of the two shooters responsible for the tragedy. In A MOTHER’S RECKONING, Klebold walks readers through the guilt and shame she has felt in the years since Columbine, chronicling with unflinching honesty her journey as a mother. Drawing upon her own personal journals, as well as the writings left behind by Dylan and countless meetings with mental health experts, Klebold explores how her beloved son could wreak such havoc. Using the insights she has gained in her search for answers, she provides important information about recognizing children in distress and finding help before it's too late.

Barbara Bamberger Scott has our review and says, “[W]hat one senses in this account is a kind of openness, a willingness to keep looking for answers, and a dedication to helping others who have experienced, or fear they might be close to experiencing, even a part of [Klebold's] grief.” A MOTHER’S RECKONING is one of my Bets On picks for this week; see my take on the book, most of which I listened to (the audio version was read by Sue Klebold herself), here.

My other Bets On pick for this week is Fiona Barton’s first novel, THE WIDOW, our Debut Suspense/Thriller Author Spotlight title that we’ve been talking about for the last few weeks. Read my Bets On commentary here, and don’t forget our review and interview, which we featured in last week’s newsletter.

Debbie Macomber celebrates the power of inner strength and love in A GIRL’S GUIDE TO MOVING ON. When Nichole discovers that her husband, Jake, has cheated, her perfect life quickly crumbles. While balancing her young son, a new job and volunteer work, she meets Rocco, a blunt man who is Jake’s polar opposite. As the sparks begin to fly between the two, Jake returns with a risky plan to win Nichole back, but it will put her happiness at risk. Meanwhile, Jake’s mother, Leanne, emboldened by Nichole’s actions, finally decides to leave her cheating husband and close her heart off to men. But when she volunteers as an English teacher, she meets Nikolai, a charming Ukrainian man who makes her feel alive again --- until a tragedy forces her to reevaluate her commitments.

According to reviewer Susan Miura, “Whether you are in a rock-solid relationship or have faced a break-up or divorce, you are sure to connect with the joys and trials faced by Leanne and Nichole as they support each other in their individual quests for a brighter tomorrow. Readers will find the book full of the tender moments, humor, drama and emotion for which Debbie Macomber’s novels are famous.” I think this is Debbie’s best novel in years.

New from Joyce Maynard, the bestselling author of LABOR DAY and AFTER HER, comes UNDER THE INFLUENCE, a poignant story about the value of friendship. Alcoholism has cost Helen not only her marriage and budding photography career, but also custody of her beloved seven-year-old son, Ollie. When Helen meets wealthy philanthropists Ava and Swift Havilland, she is instantly swept away by their fabulous friends and glamorous parties, her loneliness masked by their alluring lifestyle. But then she meets Elliott, a man who can offer her true happiness --- if she can pull herself away from the Havillands. As her life with Ollie becomes entangled with the Havillands’ drama, Helen must decide where her true path lies.

Norah Piehl has our review and says, “Although not precisely a suspense novel, UNDER THE INFLUENCE bears many of the hallmarks of suspense fiction, as it marches on steadily toward the inevitable betrayal that readers know is coming but still will surprise them.” Norah also had the pleasure of interviewing Joyce, and you can see their conversation here. I’ll have much more on the book next week as it will be my next Bets On pick. In a book group? There’s a lot to talk about with this one.

A GIRLS’ GUIDE TO MOVING ON and UNDER THE INFLUENCE are our current Word of Mouth prize titles. Let us know by Friday, March 4th at noon ET what books you’ve finished reading for a chance to win both novels.

We have two New Release Spotlights to share with you this week. First up is THE FRIENDS WE KEEP, an insightful story by book club favorite Susan Mallery. Gabby Schaefer has spent five years as a stay-at-home mom, balancing the attentions of rambunctious twins, a husband and a wild stepdaughter. But when it is time for her to return to work, shocking news derails her plans and forces her to fight for independence. Hayley Batchelor, meanwhile, would do anything to become a mother, even if it means risking her health. Her husband, however, is tired of expensive and dangerous fertility treatments and believes it is time to reassess their situation. Then there’s Nicole Lord, a woman still reeling from a surprising divorce. She may have found true love the second time around, but how can she trust herself? As these three Mischief Bay friends navigate life and love, they lean on one another for support.

I listened to the first Mischief Bay book on audio, and it was fun, light reading/listening. By the way, Greg was entertained by it too. He keeps asking if we have the audio of THE FRIENDS WE KEEP. It reminded me of when he was reading the Shopaholic books. He swore they gave him insight into the minds of women; amusingly, he was in high school when he read them.

Our second New Release Spotlight shines on THE RAIN SPARROW, the second Honey Ridge novel by Linda Goodnight. Renowned thriller writer Hayden Winters lives a private life marked by his hidden shame. Although he dreams of starting a family, he feels that he cannot trust anyone with his deepest secrets. In an effort to escape his past, he visits the charming Peach Orchard Inn, where he meets Carrie Riley. Carrie has always played it safe, but there is something incredibly alluring about the enigmatic writer. When the two discover a vulnerable young boy hiding at the Inn, their journey for answers leads them to a centuries-old mystery that draws them closer together. But as their secrets start to come to light, they must decide if their love can withstand the truth.

We’ve updated our Young Adult Books You Want to Read feature, reviews we’ve posted on that we think will appeal to our adult readers. This month’s titles are SALT TO THE SEA by Ruta Sepetys (I have been a fan of Ruta's since her debut, BETWEEN SHADES OF GRAY), THE SECRET LANGUAGE OF SISTERS by Luanne Rice (Luanne knocks it out of the park with her first YA novel, and reading this you will be afraid to even look at your phone while driving), and FRONT LINES by Michael Grant.

Approximately how much of a book do you read before you decide if you will finish it? That continues to be the subject of our latest poll, and we’d love to hear your thoughts on this. Click here to cast your vote!

Time is running out to enter February’s Sounding Off on Audio contest. You only have until noon ET on Tuesday, March 1st to let us know what audiobooks you’ve finished listening to for a chance 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. We will have our review of the hardcover version of THE SOUND OF GRAVEL in next week's newsletter.

Last Friday night, as I was still processing the news of Harper Lee’s passing, I learned of the death of Umberto Eco, the author behind such groundbreaking titles as THE NAME OF THE ROSE and THE PRAGUE CEMETERY. Praised for his studies of semiotics --- signs and symbols --- Eco sought to interpret cultures through in-depth studies of their symbols, a passion he wove into his literary works. Often controversial, Eco became a global name in 1980, earning a devout international readership that delighted in his complex novels and surely will miss him.

On Tuesday, the finalists were announced for this year’s Los Angeles Times Book Prizes. Among the nominees are FORTUNE SMILES: Stories by Adam Johnson (Fiction), THE WHITES by Richard Price (Mystery/Thriller) and ONCE IN A GREAT CITY: A Detroit Story by David Maraniss (History). The Los Angeles Times Book Prizes will be awarded on April 9th at a ceremony where James Patterson will be given the Innovator’s Award for his work to inspire a lifelong love of reading in children and his support of independent bookstores nationwide.

News and Pop Culture:

Reader Mail:

Margaret was one of the winners of our Year-End Bets On Contest. She had this to share about the books she won and has read: “WHEN THE MOON IS LOW by Nadia Hashimi, my first audiobook YEAR OF YES by Shonda Rhimes and BROKEN PROMISE by Linwood Barclay. I will be reading more by these authors. Thank you so much.”

Linda said, “I wanted to add to your poll question that I established my 100-page 'rule' when reading LIFE OF PI. I did not like the book and kept reading it because there had been so much talk about it. On page 100, the whole story turned for me, and I would have missed this excellent book if I'd quit when I wanted to at first. That said, I prefer authors to pull me in sooner, certainly by page 50.”

Paul Simon & Dion: A few months ago, I talked about a song they recorded together on Dion’s latest album, New York is My Home. Jesse Kornbluth found a video of it and serves it up here.

More Paul Simon: The first time I saw Paul Simon was on July 18, 1970 at the Forest Hills Tennis Stadium. On June 30th, Paul is returning for his first concert there since 1970. Greg bought us tickets as a belated birthday present for me. Really looking forward to this!

FAR FROM TRUE: Found this fun book trailer for
FAR FROM TRUE by Linwood Barclay, the second book in his Promise Falls trilogy, which will be in stores on March 8th. We will have our advance reader comments in the next few weeks!

The Light Between Oceans trailer: Who, like me, enjoyed THE LIGHT BETWEEN OCEANS, which was a Bets On selection? Here's the movie trailer that reminds me how much I liked it. The film is slated for a September 2nd release.

Jim Fusilli on Music: Many of you know Jim as the music critic for the Wall Street Journal. Here’s a piece from him from Salon where he discusses "Catching Up," how the recording industry ignores grownups, why today's music marketing is so different than yesteryear's, how he perceives the new role of the rock critic, and his desire/mania to introduce today's great new music to smart people.

What Happened, Miss Simone?: Watched this on Netflix and enjoyed it. One caveat: “Sinnerman” (you know it as the song that is in the soundtrack for The Thomas Crown Affair as they race around The Met) is one of my favorite songs, but sadly I did not hear it until the credits were running. I wanted more insight into that piece!

"Vinyl": Skip it on HBO. Seriously. I think no one wanted to say “no” to Martin Scorsese and Mick Jagger. It can be the only reason it was made!

Greg is at a Bonspiel event up in Rochester this weekend; his team won their match on Thursday morning, and then he spent the rest of the day at the rink writing a PowerPoint for a presentation on the results of our Book Group Survey that I am giving at the Public Library Association Convention in Denver in early April. They lost this morning and play again tonight. I'm sure Cory will cruise by for dinner and leftovers. This weekend, I hope to clean out a section of the attic. I have decided I can part with the 20 years of Rolling Stone magazines that I have stored in boxes there. Maybe I will keep the first one. You can laugh. I'll see if I can part with 20 years of Mademoiselle magazines too, but that may be too radical!

I am ready for the Academy Awards on Sunday night. I feel it’s not been the best year for movies. I do hope that Brie Larson continues her Best Actress win streak. I am knitting this very cool Architexture Shawl; I am about three inches in. I'm loving this project, though it does require attention, so no knitting and reading….unless…wait…audio download-time. Whew…saved!

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!

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Indiebound Bets On: A MOTHER’S RECKONING by Sue Klebold

A MOTHER'S RECKONING: Living in the Aftermath of Tragedy by Sue Klebold (Memoir)
Audiobook available, narrated by Sue Klebold
While we were horrified to watch the events at Columbine, for Sue Klebold, this event was personal as it was masterminded and executed by her son, Dylan, and his friend, Eric Harris. While wrapping her head around the horror of what had been unleashed that morning, she grappled with losing the child she had loved, presenting her with a deep set of challenges. She looks at them in A MOTHER’S RECKONING: Living in the Aftermath of Tragedy.

Columbine is a sad and defining day in our social history. After this, we never looked at schools as safe havens again. When publication of this book was announced, I could not wait to get my hands on it, and those feelings were augmented after I watched Sue interviewed by Diane Sawyer on "20/20.”

In the days after the tragedy, I confess to wondering what kind of parents she and her husband had been, who could raise a child capable of executing this kind of a plot. How did they not know what was going on? Sue felt all of this and more.

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

Click here to read more of Carol's thoughts on the book.
Now in Stores: A GIRL’S GUIDE TO MOVING ON by Debbie Macomber
A GIRL'S GUIDE TO MOVING ON by Debbie Macomber (Romance)
Audiobook available, narrated by Nancy Linari and Allyson Ryan
Nichole is recovering from a broken heart after learning that her husband was having an affair and separating from him. The twist is that her mother-in-law, Leanne, is the one who told her that her son was cheating. Leanne has looked the other way for decades as her own husband cheated, and can’t bear to see her son repeating the same pattern. In telling Nichole, she also gathers the courage to leave her husband, and the two women rent apartments across the hall from each other, supporting one another in rebuilding their lives and embracing surprising new romantic endeavors. Reviewed by Susan Miura.

-Click here to read more about the book.
-Click here to read an excerpt.
Click here to read a review. Talks to Joyce Maynard, Author of UNDER THE INFLUENCE
Joyce Maynard is the New York Times bestselling author of numerous titles, including LABOR DAY and AFTER HER, as well as a memoir, AT HOME IN THE WORLD. Her latest novel is UNDER THE INFLUENCE, a poignant story about the true meaning --- and the true price --- of friendship. Like most of her books, UNDER THE INFLUENCE has an authentic, ripped-from-the-headlines appeal, and here, Maynard talks to's Norah Piehl about how her fiction intersects with her real life. She also discusses addiction, single motherhood, and the joys and horrors of online dating.

UNDER THE INFLUENCE by Joyce Maynard (Fiction)
Audiobook available, narrated by Joyce Maynard
Drinking cost Helen her marriage and custody of her seven-year-old son, Ollie. Once an aspiring art photographer, she now makes ends meet taking portraits of school children and working for a caterer. Recovering from her addiction, she spends lonely evenings checking out profiles on an online dating site. When she meets wealthy philanthropists Ava and Swift Havilland, the vulnerable Helen is instantly enchanted. As she increasingly falls under their influence, Ava and Swift hold out the most seductive gift: their influence and help to regain custody of her son. But the debt Helen owes them is about to come due. Reviewed by Norah Piehl.

-Click here to read more about the book.
-Click here to read a review.
-Click here for the reading group guide.

Click here to read our interview.
New Release Spotlight: THE FRIENDS WE KEEP by Susan Mallery
THE FRIENDS WE KEEP by Susan Mallery (Fiction)
After five years as a stay-at-home mom, Gabby Schaefer can't wait to return to work. Oh, to use the bathroom in peace! No twins clamoring at the door, no husband barging in, no stepdaughter throwing a tantrum. But when her plans are derailed by some shocking news and her husband's crushing expectations, Gabby must fight for the right to have a life of her own.

Getting pregnant is easy for Hayley Batchelor. Staying pregnant is the hard part. Her husband is worried about the expensive fertility treatments and frantic about the threat to her health. But to Hayley, a woman who was born to be a mom should risk everything to fulfill her destiny --- no matter how high the cost.

Nicole Lord is still shell-shocked by a divorce that wasn't as painful as it should've been. Other than the son they share, her ex-husband left barely a ripple in her life. A great new guy tempts her to believe maybe the second time's the charm…but how can she trust herself to recognize true love?

As their bonds of friendship deepen against the beautiful backdrop of Mischief Bay, Gabby, Hayley and Nicole will rely on good food, good wine and especially each other to navigate life's toughest changes.

-Click here to read an excerpt.
-Click here to visit the official website of the Mischief Bay series.
-Click here to read Susan Mallery's bio.
-Visit Susan Mallery's official website and Instagram.
-Connect with Susan Mallery on Facebook and Twitter.

Click here to read more in our New Release Spotlight.
New Release Spotlight: THE RAIN SPARROW by Linda Goodnight
THE RAIN SPARROW: A Honey Ridge Novel by Linda Goodnight (Romance)
Renowned yet private, thriller writer Hayden Winters lives a life colored by lies. As he is deeply ashamed of his past, his hunger for an honest relationship and dreams of starting a family remain unsatisfied, and he can trust no one with his secrets. He's determined to outrun his personal demons, but the charming old Peach Orchard Inn and a woman whose presence is as gentle as a sparrow's song stops him in his tracks.

Carrie Riley is afraid of everything from flying to thunderstorms, and pretty much of life itself. But meeting the enigmatic writer staying at the inn emboldens her to learn everything about him. When they discover a vulnerable boy hiding at the inn, Hayden is compelled to help Carrie protect him. Soon they're led to a centuries-old mystery that haunts Hayden's sleep, and his only safe haven is Carrie. As the secrets of the past and present cause their lives to become entwined, all that's left to come to light is love --- if the grim truth doesn't tear them apart first.

-Click here to read an excerpt.
-Click here to read Linda Goodnight's bio.

-Click here to visit Linda Goodnight's official website.
-Connect with Linda Goodnight on Facebook and Twitter.

Click here to read more in our New Release Spotlight. Bets On: THE WIDOW by Fiona Barton
THE WIDOW by Fiona Barton (Psychological Thriller)
I love diving into psychological thrillers. A couple of years ago, I read a book called THE SILENT WIFE, which I loved and selected as a Bets On pick. In it, there was a wife who knew a secret about her husband and from there set a course to unravel and destroy his life. There was a moment when the entire story turned…and, ah, the tangle that was woven! Thus, when I read the description for THE WIDOW by Fiona Barton, I was riveted.

Here, again, we have a wife. Again, we have a wife with a secret, and the setup is like this: A couple of years ago, a young child named Bella went missing out of the front yard of her home. Glen Taylor is the prime suspect. His wife, Jean, hasn’t said much about the accusations. She has bucked up and carried on as the perfect wife. But now Glen is dead, and Jean can talk. She can unwrap their marriage and share what she knows. Everyone wants the truth. As the media haunts her, what will she say? Remember that now she can tell any story she wants. Glen is not there to say otherwise. So what does she say? It’s one addicting read, and you will have to turn the pages to find out just what the widow knows!

-Click here to read more about the book.
-Click here to read a review.
-Click here to read an excerpt.
-Click here to read our interview with Fiona Barton.
Click here for more books we're betting you'll love.
Now in Stores: LEONARD by William Shatner, with David Fisher
LEONARD: My Fifty-Year Friendship with a Remarkable Man by William Shatner, with David Fisher (Biography)
Audiobook available, narrated by William Shatner
Thanks to the “Star Trek” TV and movie franchise, Leonard Nimoy and William Shatner grew to know each other more than most friends could ever imagine. Over the course of half a century, they saw each other through personal and professional highs and lows. In LEONARD, Shatner tells the story of a man who was his friend for five decades, recounting anecdotes and untold stories of their lives on and off set, as well as gathering stories from others who knew Nimoy well, to present a full picture of a rich life. Reviewed by Pauline Finch.

-Click here to read more about the book.

Click here to read a review.
Now in Stores: 13 WAYS OF LOOKING AT A FAT GIRL by Mona Awad
13 WAYS OF LOOKING AT A FAT GIRL: Fiction by Mona Awad (Fiction)
Growing up in the suburban hell of Misery Saga (a.k.a. Mississauga), Lizzie has never liked the way she looks. She starts dating guys online but is afraid to send pictures, even when her skinny friend, China, does her makeup. So she starts to lose. With punishing drive, she counts almonds consumed, miles logged and pounds dropped. She grows up and gets thin, navigating double-edged validation from her mother, friends, husband and reflection in the mirror. But no matter how much she loses, will she ever see herself as anything other than a fat girl? Reviewed by Norah Piehl.

-Click here to read more about the book.
Click here to read a review.
More Reviews This Week
SCANDALOUS BEHAVIOR: A Stone Barrington Novel by Stuart Woods (Thriller/Adventure)
Audiobook available, narrated by Tony Roberts
After a series of nonstop adventures, Stone Barrington is eager for some peace and quiet in a rustic British setting. But no sooner does he land in England than he’s beset by an outrageous demand from a beautiful lady, and an offer he can’t refuse. Unfortunately, Stone quickly learns that his new acquisition comes with some undesired strings attached --- namely, a deadly mystery involving the complex relationships of the local gentry, and a relentless adversary who raises the stakes with every encounter. Reviewed by Judy Gigstad.

-Click here to read a review of FOREIGN AFFAIRS, the previous Stone Barrington thriller.

REASONS TO STAY ALIVE by Matt Haig (Memoir)
Everyone’s lives are touched by mental illness: if we do not suffer from it ourselves, then we have a friend or loved one who does. Matt Haig’s frankness about his experiences is both inspiring to those who feel daunted by depression and illuminating to those who are mystified by it. Above all, his humor and encouragement never let us lose sight of hope. Speaking as his present self to his former self in the depths of depression, Matt is adamant that the oldest cliché is the truest --- there is light at the end of the tunnel. Reviewed by Norah Piehl.

THE NARROW DOOR: A Memoir of Friendship by Paul Lisicky (Memoir)
Lisicky’s memoir provides a compelling collage of scenes and images from two long-term relationships, one with a woman novelist and the other with his ex-husband, a pot. Denise and Paul, stretched by the demands of their writing lives, drift apart. The Deepwater Horizon oil spill, earthquake in Haiti and local disturbances make an unsettling backdrop to the pressing concerns of Denise’s cancer diagnosis and Paul’s impending breakup. Lisicky’s survival --- hard-won, unsentimental and authentic --- proves that in turning to loss, we embrace life. Reviewed by Jesse Kornbluth for

INTERIOR DARKNESS: Selected Stories by Peter Straub (Literary Horror/Short Stories)
"Mr. Clubb and Mr. Cuff" is a darkly comic masterpiece in which a stern estate lawyer known as the Deacon hires a pair of "Private Detectives Extraordinaire" to investigate and seek revenge on his unfaithful wife. In "The Ballad of Ballard and Sandrine," a man and his much younger lover explore their decadent and increasingly sinister fantasies on a luxurious yacht in the remotest stretch of the Amazon River. "Blue Rose" finds violence and power in the hands of the most innocent among us, leading to a conclusion that is fully surprising and devastating. The stories assembled here represent Peter Straub’s astonishing range and his ability to terrify, transport and hold a reader hostage. Reviewed by Ray Palen.

NO CURE FOR LOVE by Peter Robinson (Mystery/Thriller)
Audiobook available, narrated by Jeff Harding
Sarah Broughton, the star of a hit cop show on TV, has put her dark past behind her…as well as her old name, Sally Bolton. When Sarah begins receiving letters mysteriously signed with the letter “M,” she thinks they’re from a harmless admirer…until her real name appears in the third letter. And then she finds that name inscribed in the sand near her home --- next to a body. The message is clear: Someone is watching Sarah’s every move. Someone so obsessed with her that he won’t stop at just one murder in order to prove his love. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

THE FALL OF MOSCOW STATION by Mark Henshaw (Thriller/Adventure)
Audiobook available, narrated by Eric G. Dove
When a body with Russian military tattoos is found floating in a lake outside Berlin, the CIA immediately takes notice. The body is identified as the director of Russia’s Foundation for Advanced Nuclear Research, who is also a CIA asset. Alden Maines is jaded after years in the CIA cleaning up the messes of incompetent political appointees in dangerous foreign posts. When he is passed over for promotion, Maines crosses the Rubicon and decides to cash in as a double agent for Russia. But while Maines dreams of off-shore bank accounts and a new secret life, Arkady Lavrov of Russia’s intelligence service (GRU) has other plans. Reviewed by Melanie Reynolds.

A MIDSUMMER'S EQUATION by Keigo Higashino (Mystery)
Audiobook available, narrated by P.J. Ochlan
Manabu Yukawa, the physicist known as "Detective Galileo," has traveled to Hari Cove, a once-popular summer resort town that has fallen on hard times. He is there to speak at a conference on a planned underwater mining operation, which has sharply divided the town. The night after the tense panel discussion, one of the resort's guests is found dead on the seashore at the base of the local cliffs. As the police try to uncover where Tsukahara was killed and why, Yukawa finds himself enmeshed in yet another confounding case of murder. In a series of twists, Galileo uncovers the hidden relationship behind the tragic events that led to this crime. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

ALL THE WINTERS AFTER by Seré Prince Halverson (Fiction)
Audiobook available, narrated by George Newbern
Alaska doesn't forgive mistakes. That's what Kachemak Winkel's mother used to tell him. A lot of mistakes were made that awful day 20 years ago, when she died in a plane crash with Kache's father and brother --- and Kache still feels responsible. He fled Alaska for good, but now his aunt Snag insists on his return. She admits she couldn't bring herself to check on his family's house in the woods --- not even once since he's been gone. Kache is sure the cabin has decayed into a pile of logs, but he finds smoke rising from the chimney and a mysterious Russian woman hiding from her own troubled past. Reviewed by Stephen Febick.

THE IMMORTALS by Jordanna Max Brodsky (Fantasy/Thriller)
Audiobook available, narrated by Jordanna Max Brodsky and Robert Petkoff
The city sleeps. Selene DiSilva walks her dog along the banks of the Hudson. She is alone --- just the way she likes it. She doesn't believe in friends, and she doesn't speak to her family. Most of them are simply too dangerous. In the predawn calm, Selene finds the body of a young woman washed ashore, gruesomely mutilated and wreathed in laurel. Her ancient rage returns. And so does the memory of a promise she made long ago --- when her name was Artemis. Reviewed by Sarah Rachel Egelman.

ICE CHEST by J.D. Rhoades (Comic Thriller/Adventure)
Clarissa Cartwright is about to take the stage wearing a fortune in jewels. In the wings, a motley crew of bumbling crooks is scheming to make off with the biggest heist of their careers: five and a half million dollars in precious stones. When the robbers find themselves pursued by both the intimidating ex-cop tasked with protecting the world’s most valuable piece of lingerie and Clarissa's insanely jealous and mobbed-up ex-boyfriend, things get ugly. Especially when Clarissa decides she's had quite enough of being an object and resolves to turn the tables on both the crooks and the fashion world. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.
Next Week’s Notables: Noteworthy Books Releasing on March 1st
Below are some notable titles releasing on March 1st 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 29th, see our “On Sale This Week” newsletter here.

BEHAVE by Andromeda Romano-Lax (Historical Fiction)
From the author of THE SPANISH BOW comes a new novel based on the real life story of Rosalie Rayner Watson, one of the most controversial scientists --- and mothers --- of the 20th century.

THE CONSIDERATE KILLER: A Nina Borg Thriller by Lene Kaaberbøl and Agnete Friis (Mystery/Thriller)
In an attempt to save their marriage, Nina Borg and her husband traveled to a beach resort in the Philippines for a dream vacation. Only now, six months later, does Nina begin to understand the devastating repercussions of that trip.

A FEW OF THE GIRLS: Stories by Maeve Binchy (Fiction/Short Stories)
A FEW OF THE GIRLS is a collection of the very best of Maeve Binchy’s short story writing, stories that were written over the decades --- some published in magazines, others for friends as gifts, many for charity benefits.

THE GANGSTER: An Isaac Bell Adventure by Clive Cussler and Justin Scott (Historical Thriller/Adventure)
It is 1906, and in New York City, the Italian crime group known as the Black Hand is on a spree. Detective Isaac Bell of the Van Dorn Agency is hired to form a special “Black Hand Squad,” but the gangsters appear to be everywhere.

GONE AGAIN: A Jack Swyteck Novel by James Grippando (Legal Thriller)
Miami criminal defense lawyer Jack Swyteck takes on his first death-row client since THE PARDON in a case as twisty as it is shocking.

THE LEGENDS CLUB: Dean Smith, Mike Krzyzewski, Jim Valvano, and an Epic College Basketball Rivalry by John Feinstein (Sports)
John Feinstein gives readers the riveting inside story of college basketball's fiercest rivalry among three coaching legends --- University of North Carolina's Dean Smith, Duke's Mike Krzyzewski, and North Carolina State's Jim Valvano.

MRS. HOUDINI by Victoria Kelly (Historical Fiction)
MRS. HOUDINI is a captivating debut novel about the passionate marriage of Harry and Bess Houdini --- a love story that defied death itself.

THE PASSENGER by Lisa Lutz (Psychological Thriller)
Lisa Lutz’s latest thriller is about a woman who creates and sheds new identities as she crisscrosses the country to escape her past.
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Young Adult Books You Want to Read
Here are this month's books we reviewed on that we think will appeal to an adult audience:

SALT TO THE SEA by Ruta Sepetys (Historical Fiction)
In 1945, World War II is drawing to a close in East Prussia, and thousands of refugees are on a desperate trek toward freedom, almost all of them with something to hide. Among them are Joana, Emilia and Florian, whose paths converge en route to the ship that promises salvation, the Wilhelm Gustloff. Forced by circumstance to unite, the three find their strength, courage and trust in each other tested with each step closer toward safety. But just when it seems that freedom is within their grasp, tragedy strikes, and all 10,000 people aboard must fight for the same thing: survival.

When Ruth Ann (Roo) McCabe responds to a text message while she's driving, her life as she knows it ends. The car flips, and Roo winds up in a hospital bed, paralyzed. Everyone thinks she's in a coma, but Roo has locked-in syndrome --- she can see, hear and understand everything around her, but no one knows it. Mathilda (Tilly) is Roo's sister and best friend. She was the one who texted Roo and inadvertently caused the accident. Now, Tilly must grapple with her overwhelming guilt and her growing feelings for Roo's boyfriend, Newton --- the only other person who seems to get what Tilly is going through.

FRONT LINES by Michael Grant (Historical Fiction)
World War II, 1942. A court decision makes women subject to the draft and eligible for service. The unproven American army is going up against the greatest fighting force ever assembled, the armed forces of Nazi Germany. Three girls sign up to fight. Rio Richlin, Frangie Marr and Rainy Schulterman are average girls, with dreams and aspirations. Each has her own reasons for volunteering: Rio fights to honor her sister, Frangie needs money for her family, and Rainy wants to kill Germans. These daring young women will play their parts in the war to defeat evil and save the human race.

Click here for more young adult books we recommend you read.
Our Latest Poll: Do You Stop Reading Books You're Not Liking?
Approximately how much of a book do you read before you decide if you will finish it?

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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 February 19th to March 4th at noon ET, three lucky readers each will be randomly chosen to win a copy of A GIRL’S GUIDE TO MOVING ON by Debbie Macomber and UNDER THE INFLUENCE by Joyce Maynard.

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.
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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 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.

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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