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June 3, 2016 Newsletter June 3, 2016
Turned the Page and It's JUNE!
We had a great holiday weekend, though sadly the town parade that to me is the cornerstone of our “weekend of remembering” was canceled --- for the first time in over 20 years --- as they anticipated rain. Of course, the rain passed by the morning! Tom and I hit two nurseries and planted the herbs and flowers we bought with great speed. Well, we hit our stride once I figured out that having the plants, dirt and pots in the same place made a lot more sense than walking up and down the patio steps for each part of this process; it was so much more efficient. Thus I had time to float in the pool and read; the weather was so beastly hot that I just bucked up to the chilly water.

One disappointment: Our hydrangeas started to bud in spring and then we got a freeze, so I fear there will be no flowers this year. The peonies are as gorgeous as ever. Hearing the forecast, I was out clipping them Sunday night; when they are pummeled by rain, it’s a total mess. I share them with you above.

Among my reading was UNDER THE HARROW by Flynn Berry and AGE OF CONSENT by Marti Leimbach, both of which I recommend, and both of which have been added to our Summer Reading Feature and Contests. In UNDER THE HARROW, a young woman arrives at her sister’s house for the weekend and discovers that she has been killed, as well as her dog. Readers are kept guessing as to who did it as Berry skillfully turns the story in many directions. In AGE OF CONSENT, a man is on trial for his actions with a young woman when she was under the age of consent. The twist here to complicate things? He’s now married to the girl’s mother, and tensions are high about bringing up an accusation of a crime that is decades old.

Also, I read TRIBE: On Homecoming and Belonging by Sebastian Junger. I loved his commentary about the way our country is so divided --- and his feelings about the effects of that on our soldiers coming home. Lots to ponder there. I stay unpolitical in this newsletter and on our website as I feel respite is needed, and I am happy to provide it.

With many thanks to our friend, Bibi Baksh, at Penguin Books, the TBRN staff and some friends went to a screening of Me Before You on Wednesday night. I love evenings like this when we all get to experience something fun, in advance, together! The film is very true to the book, Emilia Clarke is just adorable as Lou (as commanding as she is every Sunday night as the Mother of Dragons on "Game of Thrones"), the setting is gorgeous (get me a stable renovation like that!) and, yes, I needed tissues. I think you will enjoy it; read the book first!

To celebrate the film's release, we're giving away two movie tickets and a copy of the movie tie-in edition of ME BEFORE YOU to 12 lucky readers. To enter, please fill out this form by Monday, June 20th at noon ET. Please note: If you're selected as a winner, you'll receive two movie ticket vouchers (acceptable at most theaters nationwide, except for AMC and its affiliates) via snail mail, along with the movie tie-in edition.

Now to this week’s update...

Noah Hawley is an Emmy, Golden Globe, Critics' Choice and Peabody Award-winning author, screenwriter and producer --- and now he's brought us the thriller of the year. In BEFORE THE FALL, 11 people --- 10 well-to-do and one down-on-his-luck artist --- board what should have been a short flight from Martha's Vineyard to New York. Minutes into the flight, their plane plummets into the ocean. The only survivors are the artist and a four-year-old media heir. The narrative weaves between the aftermath of the crash and the backstories of the people on board. As the reasons for the crash unfold, the building suspense is paralleled by the unique relationship that evolves between the two survivors.

Joe Hartlaub has our review and calls the book “brilliantly constructed and wonderfully told…. This is a tale that will haunt you long after you read the last page, even as you wish the narrative was twice as long, for all the right reasons.” I agree; it’s a total page-turner, and I’m making BEFORE THE FALL a Bets On selection for many of these same reasons. You can read my commentary in next week’s newsletter.

What happens to the cool college kids when they hit middle age? How do you navigate your goals, your relationships and your own identity when the expanse of future possibilities has narrowed into the blunt present? Emma Straub gets it in MODERN LOVERS, an insightful and hilarious novel perfect for today's readers. Former bandmates now live within shouting distance of each other in Brooklyn. They must learn how to balance the realities of life --- aging, waning love, their growing children, their desire for actualization --- with the dreams of who they used to be. Straub's new book explores all different kinds of evidenced by its lovely cover, which she actually wears printed on a dress for book signings! You can see a picture of that above. As she said, “This will make dressing for my book tour a lot easier."

Maya Gittelman has this to say in her rave review: “Straub’s characters are fresh, appropriately 'modern,' and struggling with issues that are at once timely and timeless but explored in a contemporary context that’s addictively accessible…. Overall, MODERN LOVERS is almost painfully authentic. It’s about life’s constant shifting, growing in one direction or the other. Straub understands people, time, change and introspection.” I cannot wait to read this. I devoured THE VACATIONERS, which was a Bets On selection. Last weekend, with thousands of books in our house and hundreds unread, I really wanted to get my hands on this one!

Dorothea Benton Frank's latest novel asks the ultimate question: Can money buy happiness? ALL SUMMER LONG explores how even the most successful people can struggle to keep things together. Prominent interior designer Olivia Ritchie and her husband, English professor Nicholas Seymour, prepare to retire in the Lowcountry. Olivia can't let him know that her clients are disappearing, and their finances are simply not what he thought. In the face of true love, she takes a leap of faith that changes everything.

According to reviewer Jamie Layton, “ALL SUMMER LONG will take only a few days to read. But the crazy characters, exotic locales and underlying messages will stick with the reader until the last waning moments of summer.” Jamie also had the pleasure of interviewing Dottie, and you can read their conversation here. Plus, we have a discussion guide for the book on; click here to check it out.

BEFORE THE FALL, MODERN LOVERS and ALL SUMMER LONG are the prize books in our current Word of Mouth contest. Let us know by Friday, June 10th at noon ET what books you’ve read, and you’ll be in the running to win all three of these sizzling summer reads.

You probably know Neil Gaiman for his prolific and darkly humorous fiction, but his essay collection, THE VIEW FROM THE CHEAP SEATS, proves that his nonfiction is just as poignant and creative. These essays center on storytelling, but over the course of the book, he tackles music, ghosts, comics, America, libraries, travel and more. He also pays tribute to other writers like Diana Wynne Jones, Douglas Adams and Stephen King, and his intimate portraits read like a very witty friend's recommendation.

Sarah Rachel Egelman agrees, calling THE VIEW FROM THE CHEAP SEATS “a delight for story lovers, art appreciators, writers of fiction and daydreamers of all stripes. It is poignant but unafraid to be weird, exuberant and passionate, charged with smart and even challenging ideas." We have the guide for this one as well, and you can find it here.

The new installment in Gena Showalter’s Lords of the Underworld series, THE DARKEST TORMENT, is our latest New Release Spotlight title. Driven to his death by the demon of Distrust, Baden spent centuries in purgatory. Now he's back, but at what cost? Bound to the king of the underworld, he's unable to withstand the touch of another, forcing him to devolve into a force of ruthless anger. Meanwhile, famed dog trainer Katarina Joelle must marry a monster to protect her loved ones. When Baden takes her hostage, she's plunged into a war between two evils. They are meant to be enemies, but neither can resist the passion burning between them…and all too soon the biggest threat is to her heart. Can she teach him how to love, or will she lose him forever?

Our Debut Suspense/Thriller Author Spotlight for Emelie Schepp's MARKED FOR LIFE --- the opening entry in a trilogy introducing readers to public prosecutor Jana Berzelius --- continues this week. I got a sneak peek at Joe Hartlaub’s interview questions for Emelie; in one question, he refers to it as “one of my favorite books of 2016 thus far.” More when we get his review, but know that this comment had me plucking an advance reading copy off the shelves at the office for weekend reading. We have 25 copies to give away to readers who would like to read the book, which releases on June 14th, and share their comments on it. To enter, please fill out this form by Thursday, June 9th at noon ET.

Time is running out for all you bookworms to enter the Reading Nook Sweepstakes. Here is your chance to win a fully furnished reading nook courtesy of Room & Board and Penguin Random House, complete with chair, end table, floor lamp and, most importantly, bookshelf --- plus a library of books in the genres you love. Be sure to enter here by Wednesday, June 8th at 11pm ET.

In this week’s Summer Reading contests, we gave away THE ALLIANCE by Jolina Petersheim, BLUEPRINTS by Barbara Delinsky, and DECEPTION ISLAND by Brynn Kelly. All of next week’s prize books are paperbacks: SLEEPLESS IN MANHATTAN by Sarah Morgan and WHEN WE MEET AGAIN by Kristin Harmel, both of which are originals, and two reprints that release on Tuesday: KITCHENS OF THE GREAT MIDWEST by J. Ryan Stradal and TWAIN'S END by Lynn Cullen. Don’t miss the first 24-hour contest of the week, kicking off on Monday, June 6th at noon ET.

You still have plenty of time to enter our 11th Annual Father’s Day Contest. Five of you will win a prize package that includes all of this year’s featured titles and some special treats we know dad will appreciate. All you have to do is submit your entries by Monday, June 20th at noon ET.

Meanwhile, we have a brand new Sounding Off on Audio contest to tell you about. This month’s prize books are Emma Cline's THE GIRLS (which will be a Bets On selection), read by Cady McClain, and Anne Tyler's VINEGAR GIRL, read by Kirsten Potter. Let us know by Friday, July 1st at noon ET what audiobooks you’ve listened to, and you’ll have a chance to win both audio titles. By the way, June is Audiobook Month, a celebration of audio. We have been celebrating audio a lot over the past year, and my thanks to all of you who are ensuring that our "Sounding Off on Audio" commentary keeps growing (this was our biggest month ever), as you add your personal feedback on books and authors. Waving my earbuds and, yes, also tossing a disc to you!

Our poll question continues to ask how you keep track of the books you want to read. Click here to cast your vote! Here are two comments that I found interesting in the "Other" replies: “As soon as I read a book, I get rid of it so that ALL the books in my house are my TBR list, and I have a list of all books read!” and “I keep them on shelves. I don't keep any books I've read as I have four bookcases full now.” Very interesting from someone who has rooms and rooms of bookshelves.

News and Pop Culture:

Reader Mail: Diane wrote to share, “Your piece about being a book concierge struck a note with me. I volunteer at the Book Cellar, a used bookstore located in the basement of the Webster Library branch of the NYPL, and one of the most enjoyable aspects of the job is helping people choose a book. We ask them what they have read and enjoyed and go from there. I'll definitely remember to mention the Bookreporter to them!” Thanks, Diane!

Eva said, “I am always baffled when people tell me they don't read or don't know what to read. I have no less than three books going at any given time. Right now I am reading LEAVING TIME by Jodi Picoult and THE CITY OF MIRRORS by Justin Cronin, and I am listening to THE MUSEUM OF EXTRAORDINARY THINGS by Alice Hoffman. And I have a stack and a list waiting --- I figure right now I need to live for a long time just to finish what I already have. There are so many sources that will suggest and recommend books. I guess some people fish and some people quilt and some devote themselves to books. I so enjoy and look forward to the news from Carol on Friday evenings.”

Nancy wrote to share, “I'm almost done unpacking. We only moved 35 miles, but it might as well have been 3,500. If I never see another box, I'll be happy. The road to hell may be paved with good intentions, but, as far as I am concerned, it is paved with movers' packing paper. What's with all the trilogies? You mentioned several in today's newsletter. I'm curious: Are there any statistics on follow-up books? Do they gain readers, lose readers, and when the second book comes out, is there an uptick in sales of the first book? My problem is I'm getting to the point where, if the second book doesn't come out soon enough after the first, I forget a lot of the characters.” I will look into this question more, but I am happy to share that Justin Cronin’s THE CITY OF MIRRORS will debut at #1 on the New York Times bestseller list. The previous two books were #3 and #2. Also, many people wait until a trilogy is completely published and then they binge it. Of course, the book itself has to work from the first installment.

Jean wrote with a question: “About five years ago, I started a summer book club with my two grandsons. They were 7 and 11. Of course, as they are four years apart, we had to compromise on the books so they would both like them. Now they are 12 and 17. They live in Kansas City, and I'm in Iowa. We read so many chapters a week and then talk on the phone once a week. This year, we were talking about what kind of book to read, and they decided to read something pertaining to history. We found the book THE RED BADGE OF COURAGE, and I think we will have time to read another book this summer and wondered if you knew of a book that had history and a story that would keep them interested.” I suggested both THE BOYS IN THE BOAT and UNBROKEN, both of which have YA editions as well as the adult ones.

Margy wrote, “I loved reading about The BFG in your newsletter! I especially can’t wait to see the movie because Mark Rylance --- the BFG himself --- was a middle school crush of mine when he was Mark Waters back in high school, and his mother was my fabulous sixth grade English teacher. (Yes, right here in little ol’ Milwaukee, Wisconsin!) The clips of Mark’s face in The BFG movie trailer make me smile…they remind me of what I recall his father looking like. Mark is still as darling as he ever was!"

The 33: Terrific film...I had forgotten the complete details of this mine accident; it’s based on the book DEEP DOWN DARK by Hector Tobar.

"Chef’s Table": For readers who enjoy cooking and cuisine, Cory turned us on to "Chef's Table" on Netflix. Very interesting to hear chefs talk about their work. We are on season one; the first episode with Massimo Bottura on Italian food was excellent. The second one with Dan Barber was more about the background on ingredients for farm to table cuisine and some prep, and the third with Francis Mallmann about a chef who cooks with fire pits, with little about a restaurant. Interesting...the second chef never introduced his wife, Aria Sloss, though she was part of his segment along with their daughter, who he did speak about. Curious, I looked and learned that she is the author of AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF US, which I read and was a Bets On selection!

Fun Way to Test Your Reading Speed and Comprehension: Found this on the New York Public Library site.

THE BOYS IN THE BOAT Documentary: Happy to note that PBS will be airing a documentary about the boys and their boat in July. Read the book now, and then watch the documentary as you count down to the Olympics. Read more here.

Shelter Dogs and Books: Kids engage with shelter dogs' tails and get them “wagging by reading them tales.” Read all about it here.

J.K. Rowling Honored at the PEN Awards: This happened a couple of weeks ago, but I failed to share. Check out some quotes from that speech about free speech.

Cool Item: Thirty-six LOST OCEAN coloring postcards so you can color on the go this summer --- and then mail to share your art!

Cory came to the office yesterday and accomplished a ton of maintenance issues, like changing light bulbs; we had not noticed how many were dead. It took an engineer to make the office a lot brighter. Also, he took on a ton of reorganization and tossing things. I am VERY grateful for his cheerful help!

Tom is playing golf both Saturday and Sunday, then he and Cory are off to the racetrack on Monday and Tuesday as Tom is teaching his instructor class. This will be a first time at the track for Cory that he remembers; he was there as a baby. Greg is off on a lighthousing trip to New Bedford with the New England Lighthouse Lovers for the weekend. Time alone for me means the usual reading, knitting and floating routine. Olé!

On Tuesday, I am giving a full morning presentation for Nassau County Librarians about book groups; I still have some prep to do for that. This is the first of a series of speaking engagements lined up in the tri-state area over the summer. A few people asked me to come speak this spring, with one invite to Florida that I would have coveted, but my schedule was so packed that I did not have time for it. I am hoping that this can become more of a regular thing going forward. I love sharing my comments about books and readers, and I love meeting readers and members of the publishing community!

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!
Featured Review: BEFORE THE FALL by Noah Hawley
BEFORE THE FALL by Noah Hawley (Thriller)
Audiobook available, read by Robert Petkoff
On a foggy summer night, 11 people --- 10 privileged, one down-on-his-luck painter --- depart Martha's Vineyard on a private jet headed for New York. Sixteen minutes later, the unthinkable happens: the plane plunges into the ocean. The only survivors are Scott Burroughs --- the painter --- and a four-year-old boy, who is now the last remaining member of an immensely wealthy and powerful media mogul's family. With chapters weaving between the aftermath of the crash and the backstories of the passengers and crew members, the mystery surrounding the tragedy heightens. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

-Click here to read more about the book.
Click here to read the review.
Featured Review: MODERN LOVERS by Emma Straub
MODERN LOVERS by Emma Straub (Fiction)
Audiobook available, read by Jen Tullock
Friends and former college bandmates Elizabeth, Andrew and Zoe have watched one another marry, buy real estate, and start businesses and families, all while trying to hold on to the identities of their youth. But nothing ages them like having to suddenly pass the torch to their own offspring. Now nearing 50, they all live within shouting distance in the same neighborhood deep in gentrified Brooklyn. The summer that their children reach maturity (and start sleeping together), the fabric of the adult lives suddenly begins to unravel, and the secrets and revelations that are finally let loose can never be reclaimed. Reviewed by Maya Gittelman.

-Click here to read more about the book.
Click here to read the review. Talks to Dorothea Benton Frank, Author of ALL SUMMER LONG

New York Times bestselling author Dorothea Benton Frank is back with the perfect beach read, aptly titled ALL SUMMER LONG. It follows one charming New York couple --- prominent interior designer Olivia Ritchie and her husband, Nicholas Seymour, an English professor and true southern gentleman --- as they prepare to retire to the Lowcountry and find themselves pondering the next step of their lives. In this interview, Dottie talks to The Book Report Network's Jamie Layton about her personal style, the power of love, and whether or not money truly can buy happiness.

ALL SUMMER LONG by Dorothea Benton Frank (Fiction)
Audiobook available, performed by Bernadette Dunne
ALL SUMMER LONG is the story of how plans evolve and lives change in unexpected ways, how even those who have everything are still looking for something more. Dorothea Benton Frank’s latest novel asks the ultimate question: Can money buy happiness? From Sullivans Island to Necker Island to Nantucket to the beaches of Southern Spain, readers will come to recognize the many faces of true love, love that deepens and endures but only because one woman makes a tremendous leap of faith. And that leap changes everything. Reviewed by Jamie Layton.

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

Click here to read our interview.
Featured Review: THE VIEW FROM THE CHEAP SEATS by Neil Gaiman
THE VIEW FROM THE CHEAP SEATS: Selected Nonfiction by Neil Gaiman (Essays)
Audiobook available, read by Neil Gaiman
An inquisitive observer, thoughtful commentator and assiduous craftsman, Neil Gaiman has long been celebrated for the sharp intellect and startling imagination that informs his bestselling fiction. Now, THE VIEW FROM THE CHEAP SEATS brings together for the first time ever more than 60 pieces of his outstanding nonfiction. Analytical yet playful, erudite yet accessible, this cornucopia explores a broad range of interests and topics --- offering a glimpse into the head and heart of one of the most acclaimed, beloved and influential artists of our time. Reviewed by Sarah Rachel Egelman.

-Click here to read more about the book.
-Click here to read an excerpt.
-Click here for the discussion guide.
Click here to read the review.
New Release Spotlight: THE DARKEST TORMENT by Gena Showalter

THE DARKEST TORMENT: Lords of the Underworld by Gena Showalter (Paranormal Romance)
New York Times bestselling author Gena Showalter returns with her most explosive Lords of the Underworld tale to date, about a fierce warrior on the brink of sanity who will stop at nothing to claim the exquisite human with the power to soothe the beast inside him.

Driven to his death by the demon of Distrust, Baden spent centuries in purgatory. Now he's back, but at what cost? Bound to the king of the underworld, an even darker force, he's unable to withstand the touch of another…and he's quickly devolving into a heartless assassin with an uncontrollable temper. Things only get worse when a mission goes awry and he finds himself saddled with a bride --- just not his own.

Famed dog trainer Katarina Joelle is forced to marry a monster to protect her loved ones. When she's taken hostage by the ruthless, beautiful Baden immediately after the ceremony, she's plunged into a war between two evils --- with a protector more dangerous than the monsters he hunts. They are meant to be enemies, but neither can resist the passion burning between them…and all too soon the biggest threat is to her heart.

But as Baden slips deeper into the abyss, she'll have to teach him to love…or lose him forever.

-Click here to read an excerpt.
-Click here to read Gena Showalter's bio.
-Visit Gena Showalter's official website, Instagram and Pinterest.
-Connect with Gena Showalter on Facebook and Twitter.

Click here to read more in our New Release Spotlight.
Debut Suspense/Thriller Author Spotlight & Contest: MARKED FOR LIFE by Emelie Schepp --- Enter to Win a Copy and Share Your Feedback on It
We have 25 copies of MARKED FOR LIFE by Emelie Schepp --- the opening installment in a suspenseful, chilling trilogy featuring public prosecutor Jana Berzelius --- to give away to readers who would like to read the book, which releases on June 14th, and share their comments on it. To enter, please fill out this form by Thursday, June 9th at noon ET.

MARKED FOR LIFE by Emelie Schepp (Thriller)
When a high-ranking head of the immigration board is found shot to death in his living room, there is no shortage of suspects, including his wife. But no one expects to find mysterious, child-size fingerprints in this childless home.

Public prosecutor Jana Berzelius steps in to lead the investigation. Young and brilliant but emotionally cold, Berzelius, like her famous prosecutor father, won't be swayed by the hysterical widow or intimidated by the threatening letters the victim had tried to hide. She is steely, aloof, impenetrable. That is, until the boy…

A few days later on a nearby deserted shoreline, the body of a derelict preteen is discovered, and with him, the murder weapon that killed the official. Berzelius finds herself drawn more deeply into the case when, as she attends the boy's autopsy, she recognizes something familiar on his small, scarred, drug-riddled body. Cut deep into his flesh are initials that scream child trafficking and trigger in her a flash of memory from her own dark childhood. Her connection to this boy has been carved with deliberation and malice that penetrate to her very core.

Now, to protect her own horrific but hidden past, she must find the real suspect behind these murders before the police do.

-Click here to read an excerpt.
-Click here to read Emelie Schepp's bio.

Click here to read more in our Debut Suspense/Thriller Author Spotlight and enter the contest.
Special Contest from Room & Board and Penguin Random House: Enter to Win a Modern Reading Nook and Library!
Calling all bookworms! This is your chance to win a fully furnished reading nook courtesy of Room & Board and Penguin Random House, complete with chair, end table, floor lamp and, most importantly, bookshelf --- plus a library of books in the genres you love.
Click here to learn more and enter to win!'s 11th Annual Father's Day Contest: Best Books for Dad
Father’s Day is a time to celebrate the men in our lives who have raised and loved us. Why not show him your appreciation by inspiring him with a great book? In our 11th annual "Best Books for Dad" contest, we have five books that are perfect gift-giving suggestions for dad, keeping him busy through the rest of the year. Five readers will be awarded a prize package that includes these titles, along with some special treats. To enter, please fill out this form by Monday, June 20th at noon ET.

This year's featured titles are:

Click here to read more about the prize books and enter the contest.'s Summer Reading Contests and Feature
Summer will be here before you know it! At, this means it's time for us to share some great summer book picks with our Summer Reading Contests and Feature. We are hosting a series of 24-hour contests for these titles on select days through August 25th, so you will have to check the site each day to see the featured prize book and enter to win. 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 Monday, June 6th at noon ET.

This year's featured titles include:

Click here to read all the contest details and learn more about our featured titles.
More Reviews This Week
THE SORCERER'S DAUGHTER: The Defenders of Shannara by Terry Brooks (Fantasy)
Audiobook available, read by Simon Vance
The mysterious, magic-wielding Druid order has existed for long ages, battling any evil that threatens the Four Lands --- and struggling to be understood and accepted by outsiders. But their hopes of building goodwill are dashed when a demon’s murderous rampage at a peace summit leaves their political opponents dead --- casting new suspicions upon the Druids and forcing them to flee from enemies both mortal and monstrous. Paxon Leah, the order’s appointed protector, knows that blame lies with Arcannen Rai, the vile sorcerer he has battled and defeated before. But Arcannen is playing a deeper game than Paxon realizes. Reviewed by Matthew Burbridge.

-Click here to read an excerpt.

PORCELAIN: A Memoir by Moby (Memoir)
Audiobook available, read by Moby
At once bighearted and remorseless in its excavation of a lost world, PORCELAIN is both a chronicle of a city and a time and a deeply intimate exploration of finding one’s place during the most gloriously anxious period in life --- when you are on your own and betting on yourself, but have no idea how the story ends, and so you live with the honest dread that you’re one false step from being thrown out on your face. Moby’s voice resonates with honesty, wit and, above all, an unshakable passion for his music that steered him through some very rough seas. Reviewed by Jana Siciliano.

BLOOD FLAG: A Paul Madriani Novel by Steve Martini (Legal Thriller)
Audiobook available, performed by Dan Woren
Paul Madriani and Harry Hinds have a new client: Emma Brauer, a woman accused in the “mercy killing” of her aged father, Robert Brauer. Digging into Robert’s military history, Madriani discovers that other members of the Army unit Robert served with have recently died --- under similarly suspicious circumstances. When he finds that a box sent to Brauer shortly before he entered the hospital relates to a mysterious talisman that went missing at the end of World War II --- a feared Nazi relic known as the “Blood Flag” --- Madriani and Hinds realize they are in for the fight of their lives. Reviewed by Roz Shea.

IN THE CLEARING by Robert Dugoni (Mystery/Thriller)
Audiobook available, read by Emily Sutton-Smith
Detective Tracy Crosswhite has a skill, and a soft spot, for tackling unsolved crimes. Having lost her own sister to murder at a young age, she has dedicated her career to bringing justice and closure to the families and friends of victims of crime. So when Jenny, a former police academy classmate and protégé, asks Tracy to help solve a cold case that involves the suspicious suicide of a Native American high school girl 40 years earlier, she agrees. Following up on evidence Jenny’s detective father collected when he was the investigating deputy, Tracy probes one small town’s memory and finds dark, well-concealed secrets hidden within the community’s fabric. Reviewed by Rebecca Munro.

MARLENE by C.W. Gortner (Historical Fiction)
Audiobook available, performed by Bernadette Dunne
Raised in genteel poverty after the First World War, Maria Magdalena Dietrich dreams of a life on the stage. With her sultry beauty, smoky voice, seductive silk cocktail dresses and androgynous tailored suits, Marlene performs to packed houses and becomes entangled in a series of stormy love affairs. For the beautiful, desirous Marlene, neither fame nor marriage and motherhood can cure her wanderlust. Setting sail for America, she quickly becomes one of Hollywood’s leading ladies. C. W. Gortner’s novel reveals the inner life of a woman of grit, glamour and ambition who defied convention, seduced the world, and forged her own path on her own terms. Reviewed by Amy Gwiazdowski.

-Click here to read an excerpt.

FORGIVE ME by Daniel Palmer (Thriller)
Angie DeRose strives to find and rescue endangered runaways. But in the wake of her mother's sudden death, she makes a life-altering discovery. Hidden among the mementos in her parents' attic is a photograph of a little girl, with a code and a handwritten message on the back: "May God forgive me." Angie has no idea what it means or how to explain other questionable items among her mother's possessions. The lies she unearths will bring her past and present together with terrifying force. And everything she cherishes will be threatened by the repercussions of one long-ago choice --- and an enemy who will kill to keep a secret hidden forever. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

THE POLITICIANS AND THE EGALITARIANS: The Hidden History of American Politics by Sean Wilentz (History/Politics)
Audiobook available, read by Joe Barrett
“There are two keys to unlocking the secrets of American politics and American political history.” So begins THE POLITICIANS AND THE EGALITARIANS, Princeton historian Sean Wilentz’s bold new work of history. First, America is built on an egalitarian tradition. At the nation’s founding, Americans believed that extremes of wealth and want would destroy their revolutionary experiment in republican government. Second, partisanship is a permanent fixture in America, and America is the better for it. With these two insights, Wilentz offers a crystal-clear portrait of American history, told through politicians and egalitarians --- a portrait that runs counter to current political and historical thinking. Reviewed by Harvey Freedenberg.

THE LAST INNOCENTS: The Collision of the Turbulent Sixties and the Los Angeles Dodgers by Michael Leahy (Sports/History)
Legendary Dodgers Maury Wills, Sandy Koufax, Wes Parker, Jeff Torborg, Dick Tracewski, Lou Johnson and Tommy Davis encapsulated 1960s America: white and black, Jewish and Christian, wealthy and working class, pro-Vietnam and anti-war, golden boy and seasoned veteran. THE LAST INNOCENTS is a thoughtful, technicolor portrait of these six players and their storied team. Bringing into focus the high drama of their World Series appearances and pivotal games, Michael Leahy explores these men’s interpersonal relationships and illuminates the triumphs, agonies and challenges each faced individually. Reviewed by Ron Kaplan.

HOME GAME: Big-League Stories from My Life in Baseball's First Family by Bret Boone and Kevin Cook (Sports/Memoir)
Audiobook available, read by Bret Boone
Bret Boone didn't care about family legacy as he fought his way into the Major Leagues in 1992; he wanted to make his own way. He did just that, building a 14-year career that included three all-star appearances, four Gold Gloves, a bout with alcoholism, and the ignominy of being traded for the infamous "player to be named later." Now that he's coaching minor leaguers half his age, and his 15-year-old son has the potential to be a fourth-generation major leaguer, Bret is ready to reflect on and tell the story of baseball from the perspective of his family's 70-year history in the sport. Reviewed by Curtis Edmonds.

THE HIGH PLACES: Stories by Fiona McFarlane (Fiction/Short Stories)
Fiona McFarlane's stories skip across continents, eras and genres to chart the borderlands of emotional life. In "Mycenae," she describes a middle-aged couple's disastrous vacation with old friends. In "Good News for Modern Man," a scientist lives on a small island with only a colossal squid and the ghost of Charles Darwin for company. And in the title story, an Australian farmer turns to Old Testament methods to relieve a fatal drought. McFarlane’s first story collection dissects the feelings --- longing, contempt, love, fear --- that animate our existence and hints at a reality beyond the smallness of our lives. Reviewed by Alex Bowditch.

TWO FOR THE SHOW by Jonathan Stone (Thriller)
Audiobook available, read by R.C. Bray
Chas is a detective who can get the goods on anyone with the tap of a keyboard, and it’s all to make sure that superstar Las Vegas mind reader Wallace the Amazing stays amazing. Thanks to Chas’ steady stream of stealthy intel, Wallace’s mental “magic” packs houses every night. But when someone threatens to call the psychic showman’s bluff, the sweet gig takes a sour --- and sinister --- turn. Who’s the clean-cut couple gunning for Wallace with an arsenal of dirty tricks? Why does Wallace keep upping the ante instead of backing down? And just how much does Chas really know about his mysterious boss’s life…or his own? Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.
Next Week's Notables: Noteworthy Books Releasing on June 7th
Below are some notable titles releasing on June 7th 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 June 6th, see our “On Sale This Week” newsletter here.

BUT WHAT IF WE'RE WRONG?: Thinking About the Present As If It Were the Past by Chuck Klosterman (Social Science/Popular Culture)
BUT WHAT IF WE’RE WRONG? visualizes the contemporary world as it will appear to those who will perceive it as the distant past. Chuck Klosterman asks questions that are profound in their simplicity: How certain are we about our understanding of gravity? How certain are we about our understanding of time?

THE CAVENDON LUCK by Barbara Taylor Bradford (Historical Fiction)
In 1938 England, Miles and Cecily Ingham have led the family in bringing the Cavendon estate back from the brink of disaster. But now, with the arrival of World War II, Cavendon Hall will face its biggest challenge yet.

DIE OF SHAME by Mark Billingham (Mystery)
Every Monday evening, six people gather in North London to talk about shame. When one of the group is murdered, it quickly becomes apparent that someone else in the circle is responsible. What could be shameful enough to cost someone their life?

DISHONORABLE INTENTIONS: A Stone Barrington Novel by Stuart Woods (Thriller)
Stone Barrington and his latest lady friend strive to remain one step ahead of a man who believes Stone is an intolerable obstacle in the way of his goals. From Bel-Air to Europe to Santa Fe, they must thwart their pursuer as tensions reach the boiling point.

END OF WATCH by Stephen King (Thriller)
In END OF WATCH, the finale to the trilogy that began with MR. MERCEDES and FINDERS KEEPERS, the diabolical “Mercedes Killer” drives his enemies to suicide. If Bill Hodges and Holly Gibney don’t figure out a way to stop him, they’ll be victims themselves.

GRUNT: The Curious Science of Humans at War by Mary Roach (Social Science)
GRUNT tackles the science behind some of a soldier's most challenging adversaries --- panic, exhaustion, heat, noise --- and introduces us to the scientists who seek to conquer them.

THE HOUSE OF SECRETS by Brad Meltzer and Tod Goldberg (Thriller)
After a devastating car accident and traumatic brain injury, Hazel Nash works to put together the pieces of her past and present when the FBI shows up asking questions about her father and his connection to a corpse found with a priceless book.

I ALMOST FORGOT ABOUT YOU by Terry McMillan (Fiction)
Dr. Georgia Young decides that it’s time to make a change in her life. She finds herself on a wild journey that may include a second chance at love and the discovery of the person she always wanted to become.

INK AND BONE by Lisa Unger (Psychological/Supernatural Thriller)
A young woman's mysterious gift forces her into the middle of a dangerous investigation of a little girl's disappearance.

LILY AND THE OCTOPUS by Steven Rowley (Fiction)
Steven Rowley’s debut novel reminds us how it feels to love fiercely, how difficult it can be to let go, and how the fight for those we love is the greatest fight of all.

WHAT WE BECOME by Arturo Perez-Reverte (Historical Fiction)
Arturo Perez-Reverte’s latest is an epic historical tale following the dangerous and passionate love affair between a beautiful high society woman and an elegant thief.
Click here to see the latest "On Sale This Week" newsletter.
Our Latest Poll: Keeping Track of Your "To Be Read" List
How do you keep track of the books you want to read? Please check all that apply.

  • I keep them on shelves apart from books that I have read.
  • I keep them on shelves, but they are mixed in with books that I have read.
  • I keep them in stacks.
  • I keep a list.
  • I use Goodreads.
  • I use LibraryThing.
  • I try to remember them.
  • Other (Please specify)
Click here to vote in the poll.
Word of Mouth Contest: Tell Us What You're Reading --- and You Can Win Three Books!
Tell us about the books you’ve finished reading with your comments and a rating of 1 to 5 stars. During the contest period from May 27th to June 10th at noon ET, three lucky readers each will be randomly chosen to win a copy of ALL SUMMER LONG by Dorothea Benton Frank, BEFORE THE FALL by Noah Hawley, and MODERN LOVERS by Emma Straub.

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 June 1st to July 1st at noon ET, two lucky readers each will be randomly chosen to win the audio versions of Emma Cline's THE GIRLS, read by Cady McClain, and Anne Tyler's VINEGAR GIRL, read by Kirsten Potter.

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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