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August 12, 2016 Newsletter August 12, 2016
Page Count Down; Blame the Olympics

I, like many of you, have been obsessed with Olympic coverage this week. On the beach last Friday, I read Megan Abbott's YOU WILL KNOW ME, which is terrific, and it put me in an Olympic frame of mind. Why? Young gymnasts with Olympic dreams --- and their coaches and families --- are at the core of the story.

Megan was influenced to write this book during the 2012 London Olympics when she saw the video of Aly Raisman’s parents that went viral as they acted out her routine in the stands; they were back at it this year. I think that they should get a gold medal! She explores a family where their lives revolved around a plan to make their daughter a star, with this as their sole obsession. That would have been strong enough, but then Megan layered in the shocking death of a beloved member of the gymnastics community and the stakes ramped up. I am selecting YOU WILL KNOW ME as a Bets On selection this week; scramble to read it before the rest of the gymnastics events next week. The New Yorker ran a terrific cultural commentary about the book here.

The opening ceremony program felt endless, and I thank God that the IOC did not acquiesce to NBC's request that the countries come out in English alphabetical order, thus I was able to turn off the TV once the USA team came in as Estados Unidos. I feel like it was a moral victory to know that Matt Lauer was still talking and I was not listening. Even my son, super Olympiad fan Greg, gave up and tuned out, waiting to find who lit the cauldron the next day. For the record, Lauer commentated the opening ceremony with the same tone that he uses for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Seriously, floats, bands, athletes and countries all sound exceptionally robotically presented.

It's been a fun week watching Michael Phelps; I love that after that killer medley last night, he was disappointed that he did not break the world record. He has tenacity. For a look at just how fast he swims, see this video of him racing against Anderson Cooper in 2012. Something to remember: Those who did not even make the finals in any of the swimming events are still endlessly faster and stronger than any of us in the pool! And the athletes who fell off the balance beam were able to frolic along that narrow plank --- something most of us could not even imagine without noting the location of the nearest hospital. And in the 100-meter freestyle race, one second was the difference between the gold medalist and the eighth person in the field. Wild!

I loved seeing the young racers nailing it, some of whom were three years old when Michael raced in Athens. And the two very, very cool!

On Tuesday night, I headed uptown to Barnes & Noble’s Upper West Side store for Johanna Basford’s author event to celebrate the launch of her latest coloring book, MAGICAL JUNGLE. It’s been a while since I’ve been at a store event; when we first moved to our office 20 years ago, there were five bookstores within walking distance, and now there are none. It’s quite depressing. Outside the store was a picture from the book that folks were coloring; you can see our intern, Maya Gittelman, who works for Barnes & Noble, kicking off the coloring. I shared the picture from LOST OCEAN that my sister beaded with Johanna. You can see her with it above; she love, love, loved it. There’s a fun Facebook Live interview with Johanna here, where she covers many of the topics she spoke about that evening, including some interesting news about the paper for the latest book. Her next book will be JOHANNA’S CHRISTMAS, where every page will be perforated so you can frame your artwork.

As I watched endless sports this week, there was a lot less reading time. A book of short stories entitled MALAFEMMENA by Louisa Ermelino was the perfect pairing to a week with not enough downtime --- bite-sized stories for before-sleep reading. The common theme here has to do with troubled women. It opens with a story about a strong Italian woman, and it was sharp and brisk. Here’s to more! I have been a fan of Louisa's writing, and it's been a loooong while between books, so it's nice to have her back!

Last week, I asked you for binge-reading suggestions for my friend Cathy, who had already binged all of Lee Child, Greg Iles and Harlan Coben. I got notes from dozens of readers, which I pulled together into a blog that you can read here.

Now to this week’s update...

This week, our New Release Spotlight shines on B. A. Paris’ sharply gripping debut thriller, BEHIND CLOSED DOORS. Jack is a handsome, wealthy lawyer who advocates for battered women. His wife, Grace, is the picture of poise, spending her days painting in their beautiful home. She throws lavish dinner parties, and they’re known as that gorgeous, successful, ideal couple. Yet Grace is never available for coffee with friends, even though she doesn’t have a job. She never answers the phone. And if you look closely, there are bars on one of the bedroom windows.

Reviewer Joe Hartlaub says, “The plotting is wonderfully simple and straightforward, and the well-delineated characters (with perhaps a few income adjustments) could be your neighbors. Everyone from librarians to book clubs will be talking about this one for months.” I wholeheartedly agree with Joe about this edgy thriller (which was so intense that I had to walk away from it at times), which is why it’s a Bets On selection. You can see my commentary in next week’s newsletter.

Ann Hood, the celebrated author of such novels as THE KNITTING CIRCLE and THE RED THREAD, just released the charmingly named THE BOOK THAT MATTERS MOST. Ava’s 25-year marriage has fallen apart, and her two grown children are pursuing their own lives. She joins a book group, not only for her love of reading but also out of sheer loneliness. The group’s goal throughout the year is for each member to present the book that matters most to them. Ava rediscovers a mysterious book from her childhood --- one that helped her through the untimely deaths of her sister and mother. Alternating with Ava’s story is that of her troubled daughter Maggie, who, living in Paris, becomes entangled in a destructive relationship with an older man. Ava’s mission to find that book takes her on a quest that offers her and Maggie the chance to remake their lives.

Rebecca Munro has our review and says, "While it is true that books about books have been gaining in popularity in recent years, in THE BOOK THAT MATTERS MOST, Hood has taken the trope and completely revitalized it. Although famous and obscure works provide the backbone for her book, it is their universal messages that allow her characters to move and thrive within their world. Rather than applying the most basic of themes from each work, she has clearly studied them carefully and woven them into her narrative with such finesse that even a reluctant reader would be willing to head out and buy copies of every book mentioned in Ava’s club." This, too, is a Bets On pick; find out why in next week’s newsletter!

Jacqueline Woodson won the National Book Award for her YA book, BROWN GIRL DREAMING, and now she brings us ANOTHER BROOKLYN, her first novel for adults in 20 years. Running into a long-ago friend sets memory from the 1970s in motion for August, transporting her to a time and a place where friendship was everything --- until it wasn’t. For August and her girls, Brooklyn was a place where they believed they were a part of a future that belonged to them. But as they grew up, the borough and the future alike seemed to belong to them less and less. The landscape began to shift, and the streets revealed themselves as a dangerous place where grown men reached for innocent girls in dark hallways, where ghosts haunted the night, where mothers disappeared and fathers turned to religion.

Here’s a preview of Maya Gittelman’s rave review: “My expectations for this book were high, and still I found myself astounded. ANOTHER BROOKLYN packs so much work into such a beautiful, poignant narrative. Entirely accessible, the novel elevates voices too often unheard. This is essential reading.”

We are pleased to announce WE ARE UNPREPARED by Meg Little Reilly as our latest Debut Suspense/Thriller Author Spotlight title. Ash and Pia move from hipster Brooklyn to rustic Vermont in search of a more authentic life. But just months after settling in, the forecast of a superstorm divides their tight-knit community and exposes the weaknesses in their marriage. Where Isole was once a place of old farm families, rednecks and transplants, it now divides into the paranoid preppers, religious fanatics and government cronies, each at odds about what course to take. Would you like to be one of 25 readers who will win a copy of the book and be able to share their comments on it? Then please fill out this form by Thursday, August 25th at noon ET.

Along with the aforementioned YOU WILL KNOW ME, I have added I WILL SEND RAIN by Rae Meadows to my Bets On list. Click here to see why I’m betting you’ll love this book.

In this week’s Summer Reading contests, we gave away HOUSE OF THIEVES by Charles Belfoure (a Bets On pick from last year when it released in hardcover); the aforementioned MAGICAL JUNGLE: An Inky Expedition and Coloring Book for Adults, by Johanna Basford; and MISSING PIECES by Heather Gudenkauf (which we’re currently featuring in our Paperback Spotlight and was a Bets On selection). Next week’s prize books will be THE GOLDEN AGE by Joan London, and two novels from Debbie Macomber that we’re giving away in one contest: SWEET TOMORROWS, the conclusion to the Rose Harbor series (which we reviewed last week), and A GIRL’S GUIDE TO MOVING ON (which releases in paperback on August 23rd).

Our poll continues to ask if you read the acknowledgements in books. Click here to cast your vote! We love seeing you weigh in on topics like this.

Let us know by Friday, August 19th at noon ET what books you’ve finished reading, and you’ll be in the running to win A HOUSE WITHOUT WINDOWS by Nadia Hashimi and STING by Sandra Brown in our latest Word of Mouth contest.

Please also keep in mind this month’s Sounding Off on Audio contest. Share your thoughts on the audiobooks you’ve listened to for a chance to win two audio titles, both of which are upcoming Bets On selections: Imbolo Mbue's BEHOLD THE DREAMERS, read by Prentice Onayemi, and Fiona Davis' THE DOLLHOUSE, read by Tavia Gilbert. Enter by Tuesday, September 6th at noon ET.

News and Pop Culture:

Reader Mail:

Nice note from Sharon: "Let me just start by saying how much I look forward to this newsletter every week. I don't know if I'll ever get to all the books I've written down from you and the newsletter, but I am going to try my best."

From Joan, commenting on my praise for Lisa Jewell: "I just finished reading this week’s Bookreporter and was glad to see you have discovered Lisa Jewell. I discovered her a few years ago and have found all her books to be different. Most writers have a format that you notice after you have read a few of their books, but not Ms. Jewell. I actually found some of her earlier books more to my liking. I know you read a lot of books, but if you have the time, you should try THE HOUSE WE GREW UP IN, THE MAKING OF US and BEFORE I MET YOU. All great books in my opinion. Thank you to you and your staff for my weekly ‘fix’ on books. Enjoy your weekend in the Hamptons.”

Betty from Macon also commented about Lisa Jewell and Martha Hall Kelly’s LILAC GIRLS: “I discovered Lisa a couple of years ago. I love her books. Like you, I love 'discovering' new authors. But the downside is that then I have to go out and buy all the author's past books. Just finished LILAC GIRLS. What an amazing story.”

THE NIGHTINGALE Movie News: Kristin Hannah shared last night that TriStar has signed Michelle MacLaren “to helm the feature film adaptation of the novel. MacLaren is best known for her work in TV, beginning with AMC’s 'Breaking Bad,' which earned her Emmy wins for best series. Her other big TV credits include 'Game of Thrones,' 'The Walking Dead' and, most recently, 'The Deuce' for David Simon."

"Victoria" Coming to PBS: "Victoria," starring Jenna Coleman in the title role, will be airing on PBS in the "Downton Abbey" time slot starting in January. Here is more and a trailer.

Jacob Tremblay: He’s The Book Report Network staff’s surrogate son. He'll also be starring with Julia Roberts in the film adaptation of WONDER, which is coming next spring. Check out a first look here.

New from Hobie Cat: Would love to have one of these.

Organ Donation: Since reading a book called TAYLOR’S GIFT a few years ago, I have felt strongly about the cause of raising awareness for organ donation. This piece where a bride is walked down the aisle by the man who got her father’s heart is heartwarming. Pun intended.

Last weekend, I was VERY happy to find rhubarb in the store and thus baked a strawberry rhubarb pie, which is one of my favorites! I froze rhubarb so I can reprise this dessert! Here is the recipe, though I used lemon instead of orange.

Our websites continue to have some perplexing tech issues, which are maddening. So please be patient if you are clicking around and things are slow to load, or are not loading. Trust that hours on the phone with the tech team and the server company is NOT what I want to be doing with my time!

I have a QUIET weekend on tap. It’s beastly hot, so I am not sure if I will be pool floating. I will be reading and hopefully catnapping as I need some daytime snoozing to stay awake for the Olympics. I am in the midst of three knitting projects, including reknitting the bottom of a skirt that I made years ago. I never liked how the bottom looked. Greg is in a wedding tonight and is gone for most of the weekend. Son 2A is up from Florida, and he and one of Cory's frat brothers are headed here for dinner tonight. Keep cool! Reading requires very little energy, but do hydrate.

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

New Release Spotlight: BEHIND CLOSED DOORS by B. A. Paris --- a Bets On Title
BEHIND CLOSED DOORS by B. A. Paris (Psychological Thriller)
Audiobook available, read by Georgia Maguire
Everyone knows a couple like Jack and Grace: he has looks and wealth, she has charm and elegance. You'd like to get to know Grace better. But it's difficult, because you realize Jack and Grace are never apart. Some might call this true love.

Picture this: a dinner party at their perfect home, the conversation and wine flowing. They appear to be in their element while entertaining. And Grace's friends are eager to reciprocate with lunch the following week. Grace wants to go, but knows she never will. Her friends call --- so why doesn't Grace ever answer the phone? And how can she cook such elaborate meals but remain so slim?

And why are there bars on one of the bedroom windows?

The perfect marriage? Or the perfect lie?

BEHIND CLOSED DOORS will be a Bets On selection. Read Carol's commentary about the book in the August 19th newsletter.

-Click here to read a review.
-Click here to read an excerpt.
-Click here to read B. A. Paris' bio.
-Click here to connect with B. A. Paris on Twitter.

Click here to read more in our New Release Spotlight.
Featured Review: THE BOOK THAT MATTERS MOST by Ann Hood --- a Bets On Title
Audiobook available, narrated by Nina Alvamar
Ava’s 25-year marriage has fallen apart, and her two grown children are pursuing their own lives outside of the country. Ava joins a book group, not only for her love of reading but also out of sheer desperation for companionship. The group’s goal throughout the year is for each member to present the book that matters most to them. Alternating with Ava’s story is that of her troubled daughter Maggie, who, living in Paris, descends into a destructive relationship with an older man. Reviewed by Rebecca Munro.

THE BOOK THAT MATTERS MOST will be a Bets On selection. Read Carol's commentary about the book in the August 19th newsletter.

-Click here to read more about the book.
Click here to read the review.
Featured Review: ANOTHER BROOKLYN, Jacqueline Woodson's First Novel for Adults in 20 Years
ANOTHER BROOKLYN by Jacqueline Woodson (Fiction)
Audiobook available, performed by Robin Miles
Running into a long-ago friend sets memory from the 1970s in motion for August, transporting her to a time and a place where friendship was everything --- until it wasn’t. For August and her girls, sharing confidences as they ambled through neighborhood streets, Brooklyn was a place where they believed that they were beautiful, talented and brilliant --- a part of a future that belonged to them. But beneath the hopeful veneer, there was another Brooklyn, a dangerous place where grown men reached for innocent girls in dark hallways, where ghosts haunted the night, where mothers disappeared. A world where madness was just a sunset away, and fathers found hope in religion. Reviewed by Maya Gittelman.

-Click here to read more about the book.
Click here to read the review.
New Debut Suspense/Thriller Author Spotlight & Contest: WE ARE UNPREPARED by Meg Little Reilly
We have 25 copies of WE ARE UNPREPARED by Meg Little Reilly --- a debut novel about the superstorm that threatens to destroy a marriage, a town and the entire Eastern seaboard --- to give away to readers who would like to read the book, which releases on August 30th, and share their comments on it. To enter, please fill out this form by Thursday, August 25th at noon ET.

WE ARE UNPREPARED by Meg Little Reilly (Thriller)
This is a novel about the superstorm that threatens to destroy a marriage, a town and the entire Eastern seaboard. But the destruction begins early, when fear infects people's lives and spreads like the plague.

Ash and Pia move from hipster Brooklyn to rustic Vermont in search of a more authentic life. But just months after settling in, the forecast of a superstorm disrupts their dream. Fear of an impending disaster splits their tight-knit community and exposes the cracks in their marriage. Where Isole was once a place of old farm families, rednecks and transplants, it now divides into paranoid preppers, religious fanatics and government tools, each at odds about what course to take.

WE ARE UNPREPARED is an emotional journey, a terrifying glimpse into the human costs of our changing earth, and, ultimately, a cautionary tale of survival and the human spirit.

-Click here to read an excerpt.
-Click here to read Meg Little Reilly's bio.
-Click here to visit Meg Little Reilly's official website.
-Connect with Meg Little Reilly on Facebook and Twitter.

Click here to read more in our Debut Suspense/Thriller Author Spotlight and enter the contest.
A Very Special Contest Celebrating the 15th Book in William Kent Krueger's Cork O'Connor Series
We are celebrating the September 6th release of MANITOU CANYON, the 15th installment in William Kent Krueger's Cork O'Connor series, with a very special contest. One grand prize winner will receive all 15 books in the series, including a hardcover copy of MANITOU CANYON, plus the eBook THE WORLD OF CORK O'CONNOR: A Look Behind the Pages of the Beloved Mystery Series. Thirty-five second prize winners will be awarded the first book in the series, IRON LAKE, and THE WORLD OF CORK O'CONNOR. To enter, please fill out this form by Thursday, August 25th at noon ET.


Not long before his daughter's November wedding, Cork O'Connor takes a case to find a man who has gone missing in Minnesota’s Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. As days pass with no word from Cork, his family anxiously awaits his return. They fly by floatplane to the lake where the missing man was last seen. Locating Cork's campsite, there is no sign of their father --- just blood, and a lot of it. With an early winter storm on the horizon, it's a race against time as Cork's family struggles to uncover the mystery behind these disappearances.

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


Part Irish, part Anishinaabe Indian, Corcoran "Cork" O'Connor is the former sheriff of Aurora, MN. Once a cop on Chicago's South Side, there's not much that can shock him. But when the town's judge is brutally murdered, and a young Eagle Scout is reported missing, Cork takes on a mind-jolting case of conspiracy, corruption and scandal. As a lakeside blizzard buries Aurora, Cork must dig out the truth among town officials who seem dead-set on stopping his investigation in its tracks. But even Cork freezes up when faced with the harshest enemy of all: a small-town secret that hits painfully close to home.

-Click here to read more about the book.

THE WORLD OF CORK O'CONNOR: A Look Behind the Pages of the Beloved Mystery Series
In this helpful reader’s companion, readers can gain new insight into how the series has evolved book after book, how Cork O’Connor came to exist as a character, and how Minnesota’s great Northwoods proved to be as important to the books as any human character William Kent Krueger created. You’ll find a brief description of each book in the series, a concordance of the characters introduced in each book, and a tantalizing excerpt. THE WORLD OF CORK O'CONNOR provides an overview of an extraordinary body of work that only gets richer over time, and a glimpse into the mind of a gifted writer.

-Click here to read more about the book.

Click here to enter the contest.
Paperback Spotlight: MISSING PIECES by Heather Gudenkauf
MISSING PIECES by Heather Gudenkauf (Thriller)
Audiobook available, read by Christina Traister
Sarah Quinlan's husband, Jack, has been haunted for decades by the untimely death of his mother when he was just a teenager, her body found in the cellar of their family farm, the circumstances a mystery. For years Jack has avoided returning home, but when his beloved aunt Julia is in an accident, Jack and Sarah are forced to confront the past that they have long evaded.

Upon arriving, Sarah and Jack are welcomed by the family Jack left behind all those years ago. But as facts about Julia's accident begin to surface, Sarah realizes that nothing about the Quinlans is what it seems. Sarah dives deep into the puzzling rabbit hole of Jack's past, but the farther in she climbs, the harder it is for her to get out. And soon she is faced with a deadly truth she may not be prepared for.

-Click here to read a review.
-Click here to read an excerpt.
-Click here for the discussion guide.
-Click here to read Carol's Bets On commentary on the book.
-Click here to read Heather Gudenkauf's bio.
-Visit Heather Gudenkauf's official website, Pinterest and Instagram.
-Connect with Heather Gudenkauf on Facebook and Twitter.

Click here to read more in our Paperback Spotlight. Bets On: YOU WILL KNOW ME by Megan Abbott
YOU WILL KNOW ME by Megan Abbott (Psychological Thriller)
I confess to being an Olympics junkie. I am intrigued by those who put great effort towards such a singular goal. To succeed so young requires dedication of the athlete’s family, as well as drive and raw talent. And it starts young, often robbing these young protégés of so-called normal lives. Thus I was drawn to read Megan Abbott’s YOU WILL KNOW ME, a novel that on one level is the poetic story of a young gymnast’s road to success that reads like one of those saccharine stories that accompanies the Olympics broadcasts, and, on another, a nail-biting thriller.

Devon Knox is an Olympics hopeful whose parents, Katie and Eric, have guided her career from the days of early tumbling classes. These classes began as therapy for her after a shocking accident. Tumbling turns to gymnastics, and Devon’s star rises amidst a close-knit community of athletes and their parents. This community has all the markings of high school with a pecking order and hierarchy amongst both the athletes and their parents. Readers get an inside look at the punishing world of the sport, and a life where being the best in your sport is a daily goal, with a long path to success.

Life is more than a beam or parallel bar performance, or the sequins stitched onto a leotard, but the perfection to hit the routine right and sparkle comes with its own price. Families sacrifice a so-called normal life that few will ever see, driving themselves right into this obsession. So what does it mean for them when the threads start to pull apart? Narrated by Katie, YOU WILL KNOW ME unwraps the story of how these lives went awry.

The real world creeps in as a violent accident leaves people wondering what happened to the young man who was so loved around the gym --- the guy with the perfect perky girlfriend. Who is responsible? Who knows what? And how will the secrets be unraveled without damaging the stars, who have been sheltered thus far from much of the real world?

The tension ramps up so rapidly that you cannot look away, though you start to see where it is headed. Or do you? Megan Abbott gets better and better with each book. Once you close the pages of YOU WILL KNOW ME, I dare you to watch an elite athletic performance the same way again.

-Click here to read more about the book.
-Click here to read a review. Bets On: I WILL SEND RAIN by Rae Meadows
I WILL SEND RAIN by Rae Meadows (Historical Fiction)
I have read a few books that take place during the years of the Dust Bowl storms. I find this time and place in history so very tragic and always want to learn more about it. So when I saw I WILL SEND RAIN by Rae Meadows, I immediately wanted to read it.

The story is set in Mulehead, Oklahoma in the mid-1930s during the early years of the Dust Bowl. Annie Bell, the protagonist, has a lot on her mind as she chases the dust swirling around her. The dust is killing the crops on her family’s farm, and the livestock are struggling to survive. She watches her husband, who is not coping well with all these changes. Life is closing in on her literally from the hardships of nature and from the pressure of trying to survive in a life where she feels she is lost and cannot find her way.

Annie is deeply mourning the loss of a child, which contributes to her inner turmoil, while she vigilantly watches her son, Fred, as the dust is bearing down and causing him serious breathing issues. She also has her eye on her daughter, Birdie, who is mooning over a neighborhood boy, seeing him as an escape from the drudgery of her life. Young and cavalier Birdie knows she does not want the life that her mother has been dealt. Annie knows Birdie is vulnerable, while at the same time knows she does not want for her the life that she has.

A small window of joy opens for Annie as she begins spending time with a man who sees her as more than a wife and mother. She has an out. Will she take it? Is this joy, or just an interlude?

Rae writes beautifully from multiple points of view with prose that is sharp and nuanced. The ending shows a glimmer of hope for everyone --- light inside each of them emerging in spite of the dust. It would make for a great book group discussion.

-Click here to read more about the book.

-Click here to read an excerpt.'s Summer Reading Contests and Feature
Summer is here! 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 Tuesday, August 16th 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
FAMILY TREE by Susan Wiggs (Fiction)
Audiobook available, performed by Christina Traister
The producer of a popular television cooking show, Annie Harlow loves her handsome husband and the beautiful Los Angeles home they share. But in an instant, her life is shattered. When Annie awakes from a yearlong coma, she discovers that time isn’t the only thing she’s lost. Grieving and wounded, she retreats to her old family home. There, surrounded by her free-spirited brother, their divorced mother, and four young nieces and nephews, she slowly emerges into a world she left behind years ago. With the discovery of a cookbook her grandmother wrote in the distant past, Annie unearths an age-old mystery that might prove the salvation of the family farm. Reviewed by Sarah Jackman.

TO THE BRIGHT EDGE OF THE WORLD by Eowyn Ivey (Historical Fiction)
Audiobook available; read by John Glouchevitch, Kiff Vandenheuvel and Christine Lakin
In the winter of 1885, decorated war hero Colonel Allen Forrester leads a small band of men on an expedition that has been deemed impossible: to venture up the Wolverine River and pierce the vast, untamed Alaska Territory. Leaving behind Sophie, his newly pregnant wife, Colonel Forrester records his extraordinary experiences in hopes that his journal will reach her if he doesn't return. Once he passes beyond the edge of the known world, there's no telling what awaits him. The truths that Allen and Sophie discover over the course of that fateful year change both of their lives --- and the lives of those who hear their stories long after they're gone --- forever. Reviewed by Amy Gwiazdowski.

WHEN THE MUSIC'S OVER: An Inspector Banks Novel by Peter Robinson (Mystery/Thriller)
Audiobook available, performed by Simon Prebble
Two women. Two crimes. The first is a poet claiming she was assaulted decades earlier by a man now regarded as one of the country’s national treasures. The second is a girl found on a remote roadside, her life snuffed out. For Alan Banks, newly promoted to Detective Superintendent, the first case rips a tunnel into long-ago days of innocence and discovery, of music and light. And in the victim, he sees an opportunity for magic recaptured --- if he can bring her assailant to justice. For Detective Inspector Annie Banks, the lifeless young woman poses a baffling mystery --- a mystery that will lead her into the unlikeliest of places, interviewing the unlikeliest of suspects. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

CAROUSEL COURT by Joe McGinniss Jr. (Fiction)
Audiobook available, read by Corey Brill and Joy Osmanski
Nick and Phoebe Maguire move cross-country to Southern California in search of a fresh start for themselves and their infant son following a trauma. But instead of landing in a beachside property, Nick and Phoebe find themselves cemented into the dark heart of foreclosure alley, surrounded by neighbors being drowned by their underwater homes who set fire to their belongings, flee in the dead of night, and eye one another with suspicion while keeping shotguns by their beds. Trapped, broke and increasingly desperate, Nick and Phoebe each devise their own plan to claw their way back into the middle class and beyond. Hatched under one roof, their two separate, secret agendas will inevitably collide. Reviewed by Sarah Rachel Egelman.

PATIENT H.M.: A Story of Memory, Madness, and Family Secrets by Luke Dittrich (Science/Biography & Memoir)
Audiobook available, read by George Newbern
In 1953, a 27-year-old factory worker named Henry Molaison --- who suffered from severe epilepsy --- received a radical new version of the then-common lobotomy, targeting the most mysterious structures in the brain. The operation failed to eliminate Henry’s seizures, but it did have an unintended effect: Henry was left profoundly amnesic, unable to create long-term memories. Over the next 60 years, Patient H.M., as Henry was known, became the most studied individual in the history of neuroscience, a human guinea pig who would teach us much of what we know about memory today. Luke Dittrich’s investigation into the dark roots of modern memory science ultimately forces him to confront unsettling secrets in his own family history. Reviewed by Barbara Bamberger Scott.

PLAYING DEAD: A Journey Through the World of Death Fraud by Elizabeth Greenwood (True Crime)
Audiobook available; read by Arden Hammersmith, with an introduction read by Elizabeth Greenwood
Is it still possible to fake your own death in the 21st century? With six figures of student loan debt, Elizabeth Greenwood was tempted to find out. So she sets off on a foray into the world of death fraud, where for $30,000 a consultant can make you disappear. But your suspicious insurance company might hire a private detective to dig up your coffin…only to find it filled with rocks. Along the way, Greenwood learns that love is a much less common motive than money, and that making your death look like a drowning virtually guarantees you’ll be caught. (Disappearing while hiking, however, is a great way to go.) Reviewed by Rebecca Kilberg.

ARROWOOD by Laura McHugh (Psychological Thriller/Mystery)
Audiobook available, read by Sarah Scott
Arrowood, the most ornate and grand of the historical houses that line the Mississippi River, has a mystery it has never revealed: It’s where Arden Arrowood’s younger twin sisters vanished on her watch 20 years ago, never to be seen again. After the twins’ disappearance, Arden’s parents divorced and the Arrowoods left the big house that had been in their family for generations. Arden has held on to the hope that her sisters are still alive, and it seems she can’t move forward until she finds them. When her father dies and she inherits Arrowood, Arden returns to her childhood home determined to discover what really happened to her sisters that traumatic summer. Reviewed by Kate Ayers.

THE WITNESSES by Robert Whitlow (Legal Thriller)
Audiobook available, read by Heath McClure
Parker House, a fresh-faced North Carolina attorney, shares his German grandfather’s uncanny ability to see future events in his mind’s eye --- a gift that has haunted 82-year-old Frank House through decades of trying to erase a murderous wartime past. While Parker navigates the intrigue and politics of small-town courtroom law, Frank is forced to face his darkest regrets. Then a big career break for Parker collides with a new love he longs to nurture and the nightmares his grandfather can no longer escape. Sudden peril threatens to shatter not only Parker’s legal prospects but also his life and the lives of those dearest to him. Reviewed by Melanie Reynolds.

ANOTHER ONE GOES TONIGHT: A Chief Superintendent Peter Diamond Investigation by Peter Lovesey (Mystery)
Audiobook available, read by Simon Prebble
Two police officers are about to head home when they receive one last call. En route to investigate, the patrol car spins off the road, killing one of the exhausted cops and leaving the other in critical condition. Detective Peter Diamond, who is assigned to look into the case, discovers that a civilian on a motorized tricycle was involved in the crash and has been lying on the side of the road for hours. Diamond administers CPR, but the man’s fate is unclear. As he lingers on life support, Diamond must wrestle with the fact that he may have saved the life of a serial killer. Reviewed by Roz Shea.

MATA HARI’S LAST DANCE by Michelle Moran (Historical Fiction)
Audiobook available, read by Zara Ramm
Paris, 1917. The notorious dancer Mata Hari sits in a cold cell awaiting freedom…or death. Alone and despondent, she is as confused as the rest of the world about the charges she’s been arrested on: treason leading to the deaths of thousands of French soldiers. As she waits for her fate to be decided, she relays the story of her life to a reporter who is allowed to visit her in prison. Beginning with her carefree childhood, Mata Hari recounts her father’s cruel abandonment of her family as well her calamitous marriage to a military officer. Taken to the island of Java, she refuses to be ruled by her abusive husband and instead learns to dance, paving the way to her stardom as Europe’s most infamous dancer. Reviewed by Lorraine W. Shanley.

WATCHING EDIE by Camilla Way (Psychological Suspense)
Audiobook available, read by Heather Wilds and Fiona Hardingham
Edie was the kind of girl who immediately caused a stir when she walked into your life. Now, at 33, she is working as a waitress, pregnant and alone. When she becomes overwhelmed by the needs of her new baby and sinks into a bleak despair, she thinks that there’s no one to turn to. But someone has been watching Edie, waiting for the chance to prove once again what a perfect friend she can be. It’s no coincidence that Heather shows up on Edie’s doorstep, just when Edie needs her the most. Edie is about to learn a new lesson: Those who have hurt us deeply --- or who we have hurt --- never let us go, not entirely. Reviewed by Norah Piehl.

THE MORE THEY DISAPPEAR by Jesse Donaldson (Literary Thriller)
When long-serving Kentucky sheriff Lew Mattock is murdered by a confused, drug-addicted teenager, chief deputy Harlan Dupee is tasked with solving the crime. But as Harlan soon discovers, his former boss wasn't exactly innocent. The investigation throws Harlan headlong into the burgeoning OxyContin trade --- from the slanted steps of trailer parks to the manicured porches of prominent citizens, from ATV trails and tobacco farms to riverboat casinos and country clubs. As the evidence draws him closer to an unlikely suspect, Harlan comes to question whether the law can even right a wrong during the corrupt and violent years that followed the release of OxyContin. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

THE STORY OF EGYPT: The Civilization that Shaped the World by Joann Fletcher (History)
Audiobook available, read by Kate Reading
The story of the world's greatest civilization spans 4,000 years of history that has shaped the world. It is full of spectacular cities and epic stories --- an evolving society rich in inventors, heroes, heroines, villains, artisans and pioneers. Professor Joann Fletcher pulls together the complete story of Egypt --- charting the rise and fall of the ancient Egyptians while putting their whole world into a context to which we can all relate. Reviewed by John Bentlyewski.
Next Week's Notables: Noteworthy Books Releasing on August 16th
Below are some notable titles releasing on August 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 August 15th, see our “On Sale This Week” newsletter here.

ANY MINUTE NOW by Eric Van Lustbader (Thriller)
Red Rover, the blackest of black ops teams, is betrayed on its top-priority mission to capture and interrogate a mysterious Saudi terrorist. Greg Whitman and Felix Orteño are left adrift in a world full of deathly shadows and unanswerable questions. Into their midst comes Charlize Daou, a brilliant arms expert who possesses the true power necessary for survival.

CURIOUS MINDS: A Knight and Moon Novel by Janet Evanovich and Phoef Sutton (Mystery/Thriller)
Emerson Knight is introverted, eccentric, and has little to no sense of social etiquette. Good thing he’s also brilliant, rich and handsome. Riley Moon has landed her dream job as a junior analyst with mega-bank Blane-Grunwald. At least Riley Moon thought it was her dream job, until she is given her first assignment: babysitting Emerson Knight.

DAMAGED by Lisa Scottoline (Legal Thriller)
Ten-year-old Patrick O'Brien is shy, dyslexic and small for his age. But the real trouble begins when Patrick is accused of attacking a school aide. The aide promptly quits and sues the boy, his family and the school district. Patrick's grandfather turns to the law firm of Rosato & DiNunzio for help, and Mary DiNunzio is on the case.

A HOUSE WITHOUT WINDOWS by Nadia Hashimi (Fiction)
For two decades, Zeba was a loving wife, a patient mother and a peaceful villager. But her quiet life is shattered when her husband, Kamal, is found brutally murdered. A shocked Zeba is unable to account for her whereabouts at the time of his death. Barely escaping a vengeful mob, Zeba is arrested and jailed.

THE LAST DAYS OF NIGHT by Graham Moore (Historical Thriller)
New York, 1888. Gas lamps still flicker in the city streets, but the miracle of electric light is in its infancy. The person who controls the means to turn night into day will make history --- and a vast fortune. A young untested lawyer named Paul Cravath, fresh out of Columbia Law School, takes a case that seems impossible to win.

RISE THE DARK by Michael Koryta (Thriller)
Rise the dark. These were the last words written in Lauren Novak's notebook before she was murdered in a Florida village. They've never meant anything to the police or to her husband, investigator Markus Novak. Now the man he believes killed her is out of prison, and draws Markus to the place he's avoided for so long: the lonely road where his wife was shot to death.

STING by Sandra Brown (Romantic Suspense)
When Jordie Bennet and Shaw Kinnard lock eyes across a disreputable backwater bar, something definitely sparks. But Shaw is there to kill her. As he and his partner take aim, Jordie is certain her time has come. Shaw has other plans, though, and abducts Jordie, hoping to get his hands on the $30 million her brother has stolen and, presumably, hidden.
Click here to see the latest "On Sale This Week" newsletter.
Our Latest Poll: Book Acknowledgements
Do you read the acknowledgements in books?

  • Always, before I start the book.
  • Always, when I finish the book.
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  • Some of the time
  • Never
  • Only if it is an author with whom I am familiar.
  • I am not even aware that there are acknowledgements.
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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 August 5th to August 19th at noon ET, three lucky readers each will be randomly chosen to win a copy of A HOUSE WITHOUT WINDOWS by Nadia Hashimi and STING by Sandra Brown.

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 August 1st to September 6th at noon ET, two lucky readers each will be randomly chosen to win the audio versions of Imbolo Mbue's BEHOLD THE DREAMERS, read by Prentice Onayemi, and Fiona Davis' THE DOLLHOUSE, read by Tavia Gilbert.

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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