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August 26, 2016 Newsletter August 26, 2016
Vacation Time as We Celebrate 20(!) Years!

I have to admit that our 20-year milestone crept up on me! I know that two decades is something memorable and to be celebrated, but we’ve been so busy that I have not come up with anything “special” to commemorate it. Then this morning, my personal Facebook page sent me a reminder about it by linking me to the blog that Greg wrote on the 15th anniversary. I read it and smiled, noting that all those sentiments still rang true --- and that the bottle of tequila is still in the office fridge (you can see it above). The one difference: Now Cory, who was one when we started the company, is also of legal drinking age!

By the way, there’s lore about our actual launch date. We were “ready to go” 20 years ago today, but the launch was delayed a day as someone at AOL, where our original site first lived, left the office before making the site live. Thus, the world did not see the site until August 27th. In our offices, we had a launch party where readers could click around on our screens and get a private viewing. This moment became part of our company history.

None of this would have been possible without all of you. For this, I, on behalf of our staff, thank you. This celebration is just as much yours as it is ours. Your reading and spreading the word about Bookreporter and the other sites in our Network have been what has fueled our growth. We have never run an ad to drive traffic, or boosted a Facebook post, or bought lists. Instead, it’s been all about folks reading and sharing, which is very special. We built it reader by reader. I have met maybe a couple hundred of our readers, but I have read emails, reader comments and recommendations from many, many more. And I think of you each week when I write the newsletter.

I have gained so much from you, expanding my reading horizons with your suggestions, just as much as I have from the pitches that we have gotten from publishers and authors through the years. I have learned about your passions for books and authors and so much more.

If you know friends who are readers with whom you have not yet shared Bookreporter, may we ask you to forward this newsletter to them? And if you have 20 friends to share it with, we will not be disappointed! Once again, this milestone has me counting my lucky stars that you all are reading and enjoying the site, so I can continue reading and sharing books and authors with you.

I would be nowhere each week without our amazing staff. I'm not sure how many of you know that all of our sites are produced by just six people. Tom Donadio, our Editorial Director, is steady at the helm no matter what is going on; in fact, the staff gave him a poster that says, “Keep Calm and Call Tom,” which is just perfect. Whether assigning reviews, editing or doing any of the myriad of tasks that come his way in a given day, he’s unflappable. I cannot thank him enough for his endless attention to detail; I rely on him enormously! He deserves every second of his vacation next week. If you want to thank him for all he does, drop him a note at

Nicole Sherman handles every single detail of every promotion and ad that you see here. Juggling proposals, materials, chasing down content and books for prizes is not easy, but she never misses a beat or a deadline. I love when she shows up in my office with a “to do” list of what needs to be done, and we crank through it. She could be nicknamed "The Great Anticipator" as she is always a step ahead! Emily Hoenig handles feature details here on the site, including the very popular Books on Screen, soliciting and curating our blogs, and lots of editing to ensure that the grammar is dead right. (Tom and Emily both know that I have not mastered the use of the comma.) Rebeccca Munro’s role is on the kids and teens side of the business, but here she makes our Young Adult Books You Want to Read recommendations and writes terrific blogs about industry events.

Greg has had so many roles through the years; he literally grew up with the company, and his talents have been used in many ways. These days, he’s handling all the promotional art for the sites, as well as working on the design/development for the websites that we build for authors, another side of our business. Wearing a very different hat, he also handles our accounting. Since I am very bad at turning work off, Greg hears about ideas while commuting…and on nights…and on weekends, most of the time patiently. Running a small company has its challenges as well as its rewards, and the support from him, my husband Tom and Cory has meant everything.

Next week we will be on hiatus, so we can all grab a breather before we head into fall, but we are leaving you with lots to read in the meantime.

And now, as we have done for 20 years, here’s this week’s update…

Imbolo Mbue’s hotly anticipated debut has arrived. BEHOLD THE DREAMERS explores the pitfalls and promises of the American Dream through an immigration narrative as it intersects with the recession. Jende Jonga, a Cameroonian immigrant, has worked tirelessly to come to the United States, bring over his wife Neni and their six-year-old son Liomi, and make a life for them in a small Harlem apartment. It’s 2007, and Jende can hardly believe his luck when he lands a job as a chauffeur for Clark Edwards, a senior executive. But the company Clark works for is Lehman Brothers. Jende begins to overhear some unnerving conversations while Neni uncovers a side to Clark’s wife that she intended to keep secret. As the carefully constructed façades fall, neither family will remain the same.

In her rave review, Maya Gittelman calls BEHOLD THE DREAMERS “an expertly wrought, wholly unique and sorely needed masterpiece. With this debut, Imbolo Mbue distinguishes herself as an incisive critic and a dexterous storyteller…. It’s simply excellent fiction, with a tight plot that avoids convention and always surprises, and characters and dynamics that breathe right off the page. This is a refreshing, phenomenal and crucial work, and I eagerly anticipate further greatness from Imbolo Mbue.”

Shari Lapena worked as a lawyer before turning to fiction. In her suspense debut, THE COUPLE NEXT DOOR, Anne and Marco Conti seem to have it all --- a caring relationship, a comfortable home, and their beautiful baby, Cora. But one evening, they return from a dinner party next door to discover that a terrible crime has been committed. Suspicion naturally falls on the parents, and an unsettling account of what actually happened unfolds. Detective Rasbach knows that the panicked perfect couple is hiding something. Both Anne and Marco soon discover that the other has been keeping secrets for years.

Joe Hartlaub has our review and says, “Each word, from first page to last, tugs and cajoles you right along, compelling you to want to know what happens next…. Surprise follows surprise, but things really begin rolling when Lapena lights the fuse on a long string of firecrackers about halfway through the book. The fireworks are still going off even as you read the last sentence.” "Cajoles" is a perfect word to describe what Shari does. Here is a piece in which she talks about the success of THE COUPLE NEXT DOOR in the UK, where it was an instant bestseller.

Fiona Davis' striking, suspenseful debut, THE DOLLHOUSE, pulls readers into the lush world of New York City's glamorous Barbizon Hotel for Women. When Darby McLaughlin arrives at the famed Barbizon Hotel fresh out of secretarial school in 1952, she is everything her modeling agency hall mates aren’t: plain, self-conscious, homesick and entirely convinced she doesn’t fit in. Yet when Darby befriends a maid at the Barbizon, Esme, she’s introduced to an entirely new side of New York City. More than 50 years later, rumors of Darby’s involvement in a deadly skirmish with a hotel maid haunt the halls of the building. It’s a combination too intoxicating for journalist Rose Lewin, Darby’s upstairs neighbor, to resist --- not to mention the perfect distraction from her own hectic personal life. Yet as Rose’s obsession deepens, the ethics of her investigation become murkier and murkier, and neither woman will remain unchanged when the truth is revealed.

According to reviewer Bronwyn Miller, “Fiona Davis’ debut novel deftly blends the contemporary and mid-century storylines to form a wholly absorbing and entertaining read. Fans of Lily Koppel’s THE RED LEATHER DIARY and Elizabeth Winder’s PAIN, PARTIES, WORK: Sylvia Plath in New York, Summer 1953 will devour this period fiction mingled with twists and turns that keep the reader engrossed until the very last page.”

BEHOLD THE DREAMERS, THE COUPLE NEXT DOOR and THE DOLLHOUSE are my latest Bets On selections. Click on the titles to see my commentary on each of these eagerly awaited releases.

This year’s Summer Reading contests wrapped up, appropriately enough, with these three books as our final prizes. Congratulations to the winners of all 52(!) of this year’s giveaways, and many thanks to all who entered throughout the summer! Still looking for something to read this summer? Then click here to see the complete list of our Summer Reading titles.

Nathan Hill’s short fiction has appeared in many journals, and now he delivers a powerful, intimate debut novel, THE NIX, which releases on Tuesday the 30th. A Nix can take many forms. In Norwegian folklore, it is a spirit that steals children away. In this book, a Nix is anything you love that disappears. It’s 2011, and Samuel Andresen-Anderson has a Nix of his own: his mother, Faye. He hasn’t seen her since she abandoned the family when he was a boy. Now she’s reappeared, having committed an absurd crime that dominates the nightly news. The media depicts Faye as a radical with a shameful past, but as far as Samuel knows, his mother was a fairly average young woman until she disappeared. Which version of his mother is true? To save her, Samuel must uncover long-buried secrets about the woman he thought he knew.

Norah Piehl has our review and calls THE NIX "a sprawling novel, but in the best way. It creates a world that, despite its characters’ foibles and imperfections, readers will delight to inhabit." This was a Buzz title at BookExpo America, and I had the pleasure of meeting and interviewing Nathan there.

We’ve updated our aforementioned Young Adult Books You Want to Read feature, books we've recently featured on that we think will appeal to an adult audience. This month’s titles are HARRY POTTER AND THE CURSED CHILD, GIRL IN PIECES by Kathleen Glasgow, and THREE TRUTHS AND A LIE by Brent Hartinger.

Do you read the dedication page in books? We want to know in our latest poll! Click here to tell us what you do.

If you didn’t win the aforementioned THE COUPLE NEXT DOOR in our Summer Reading contest, then you’ll have another chance in our Word of Mouth contest. Let us know by Friday, September 9th at noon ET what books you’ve finished reading, and you’ll be in the running to win Shari Lapena’s aforementioned debut novel, along with A GENTLEMAN IN MOSCOW by RULES OF CIVILITY author Amor Towles.

We’re also giving you a chance to win the audio versions of the aforementioned BEHOLD THE DREAMERS and THE DOLLHOUSE in our Sounding Off on Audio contest. Let us know by Tuesday, September 6th at noon ET what audiobooks you’ve finished listening to, and you may be the proud recipients of both audio titles.

We have an ad running on the site for a contest to win a copy of QUEEN SUGAR by Natalie Baszile. Note that Oprah’s OWN channel has set a two-night premiere for its new drama series based on the book debuting at 10pm on Tuesday and Wednesday, September 6-7. It then will air regularly at 10pm on Wednesdays for the remainder of its 13-episode first season. You can see a trailer here.

Interested in what’s coming up for fall? Then you’ll want to click here for a special FREE opportunity to read excerpts from upcoming fall titles from Penguin Random House.

While you're in the "planning ahead" mode, may we suggest you also check out our Coming Soon feature for books releasing in September and October?

News and Pop Culture:

Reader Mail:

Leslie wrote to thank us for her audiobook prizes in our recent Sounding Off on Audio contest and to tell us how much she appreciates our encouraging her to try audiobooks: “OH thank you so much! I LOVE audiobooks...and Carol, I am so glad you finally gave in and started listening to them. One of my favorite series in audiobooks is the Jan Karon series with Father Tim…the reader sounds just like you picture Father Tim! Also, the reader for the Sue Grafton series is wonderful. Y’all just made my day! I am traveling to the beach soon and will be listening to these books there and back.”

"The Night Of" on HBO: How have I missed this series? It’s just an eight-episode limited series, and I have been binging the first seven in anticipation of the finale on Sunday night. The premise is simple: After a night of partying with a female stranger, a man wakes up to find her stabbed to death and is charged with her murder. Filmed in and around Manhattan, it is based on the BBC’s “Criminal Justice,” created by Peter Moffat.

Sweden’s Crime Writer of the Year --- Emelie Schepp: You may recall that we featured Swedish author Emelie Schepp and her book, MARKED FOR LIFE, earlier this year. I just learned that she has won the Swedish Crime Writer of the Year award. Other nominees included seasoned writers Lars Kepler and Camilla Läckberg, so she definitely is an author to watch.

"Ray Donovan": Getting better as the season goes on, but there are so many storylines that I could edit.

"Mr. Robot": Want to check this out over the break. Hearing great things about it.

"Strange Things" on Netflix: I watched the first episode last night, and I see why people are talking about it! The '80s period details alone are worth watching for!

Sully: We have the trailer for Sully, Clint Eastwood's film based on the book HIGHEST DUTY: My Search for What Really Matters by Chesley B. Sullenberger (with Jeffrey Zaslow). The film, starring Tom Hanks, Aaron Eckhart and Laura Linney, hits theaters September 9th.

The Light Between Oceans: Coming to theaters on September 2nd. Here’s a trailer. One of the few films I look forward to seeing in theaters!

For Humor: Who wants to read when you can color? Ron Charles does a deep dive into the joys of adult coloring books. Watch the video here.

My husband was traveling for much of this week, and since he’s the weekday chef, Cory offered to jump in and cook. As a kid Cory ate mac 'n cheese, pizza, chicken nuggets and hot dogs. With Tom away, Cory was making dinners. Tonight was pork tenderloin with a raspberry sauce that he dreamed up, wild rice and mozz/basil/tomato salad. Amazing! On Monday night, he created his own BBQ sauce for chicken. Last night, he made sautéed chicken and salad. LOVE it! Cory has one more week before school starts, and I am hoping we can grab some beach time and maybe some hiking time next week.

Greg is doing a 12-mile walk on Saturday along the line of the J train from Lower Manhattan to Jamaica Queens with his friend, Ted. He was inspired to do this by a book called WALK THE LINES: The London Underground, Overground that he got at the British Library Bookstore in London a few years ago. Tom, I am sure, will play golf.

For next week I have no solid plans, and I am loving this. There are tons of house projects I would like to have time for, plus gardening (I want to plant a last batch of basil!), reading, knitting and just floating in the pool. As always, there is a tower of books I want to delve into. Yes, this is a lot for 10 days, but right now I am still in overdrive mode and will probably kick it back a notch by Monday or so, and just breathe!

Read on, and have a great TWO weeks. We’ll see you in September!

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: BEHOLD THE DREAMERS by Imbolo Mbue --- a Bets On Title
BEHOLD THE DREAMERS by Imbolo Mbue (Fiction)
Audiobook available, read by Prentice Onayemi
Jende Jonga, a Cameroonian immigrant living in Harlem, has come to the United States to provide a better life for himself, his wife, Neni, and their six-year-old son. In the fall of 2007, Jende can hardly believe his luck when he lands a job as a chauffeur for Clark Edwards, a senior executive at Lehman Brothers. However, the world of great power and privilege conceals troubling secrets, and soon Jende and Neni notice cracks in their employers’ façades. When the financial world is rocked by the collapse of Lehman Brothers, the Jongas are desperate to keep Jende’s job, even as their marriage threatens to fall apart. As all four lives are dramatically upended, Jende and Neni are forced to make an impossible choice. Reviewed by Maya Gittelman.

-Click here to read more about the book.
-Click here to read Carol's " Bets On" commentary on the book.
Click here to read the review.
Featured Review: THE COUPLE NEXT DOOR by Shari Lapena --- a Bets On Title
THE COUPLE NEXT DOOR by Shari Lapena (Psychological Thriller)
Audiobook available, read by Kirsten Potter
Anne and Marco Conti seem to have it all --- a loving relationship, a wonderful home, and their beautiful baby, Cora. But one night when they are at a dinner party next door, a terrible crime is committed. Suspicion immediately focuses on the parents. But the truth is a much more complicated story. Inside the curtained house, an unsettling account of what actually happened unfolds. Detective Rasbach knows that the panicked couple is hiding something. Both Anne and Marco soon discover that the other is keeping secrets, secrets they've kept for years. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

-Click here to read more about the book.
-Click here to read an excerpt.
-Click here to read Carol's " Bets On" commentary on the book.
Click here to read the review.
Featured Review: THE DOLLHOUSE by Fiona Davis --- a Bets On Title
THE DOLLHOUSE by Fiona Davis (Fiction)
Audiobook available, read by Tavia Gilbert
Fiona Davis' debut novel pulls readers into the lush world of New York City's glamorous Barbizon Hotel for Women, where in the 1950s a generation of aspiring models, secretaries and editors lived side-by-side while attempting to claw their way to fairy-tale success, and where a present-day journalist becomes consumed with uncovering a dark secret buried deep within the Barbizon's glitzy past. Reviewed by Bronwyn Miller.

-Click here to read more about the book.
-Click here to read an excerpt.
-Click here to read Carol's " Bets On" commentary on the book.

Click here to read the review.
Featured Review: THE NIX by Nathan Hill --- On Sale August 30th
THE NIX by Nathan Hill (Fiction)
Audiobook available on August 30th, read by Ari Fliakos
Meet Samuel Andresen-Anderson: stalled writer, bored teacher at a local college, obsessive player of an online video game. He hasn’t seen his mother, Faye, since she walked out when he was a child. But then one day there she is, all over the news, throwing rocks at a presidential candidate. The media paints Faye as a militant radical with a sordid past, but as far as Samuel knows, his mother never left her small Iowa town. Which version of his mother is the true one? Determined to solve the puzzle --- and finally have something to deliver to his publisher --- Samuel decides to capitalize on his mother’s new fame by writing a tell-all biography, a book that will savage her intimately and publicly. Reviewed by Norah Piehl.

-Click here to read more about the book.

Click here to read the review.
Featured Review: A GREAT RECKONING by Louise Penny --- On Sale August 30th
A GREAT RECKONING by Louise Penny (Mystery)
Audiobook available on August 30th, read by Robert Bathurst
When an intricate old map is found stuffed into the walls of the bistro in Three Pines, at first it seems no more than a curiosity. But the closer the villagers look, the stranger it becomes. Given to Armand Gamache as a gift the first day of his new job, the map eventually leads him to shattering secrets. It leads the former Chief of Homicide for the Sûreté du Québec to places even he is afraid to go but must. There he finds four young cadets in the Sûreté academy, along with a dead professor. And, with the body, a copy of the old, odd map. The focus of the investigation soon turns to Gamache himself, his mysterious relationship with one of the cadets, and his possible involvement in the crime. Reviewed by Roz Shea.

-Click here to read more about the book.

Click here to read the review.
What Will You Read Next? Sign Up and Download a Free First Look at Fall's Best Books!
Don’t miss out on new excerpts from Jodi Picoult, Brunonia Barry, Candace Millard and Elan Mastai in our Penguin Random House Fall Books Sampler. Sign up today to download the sampler for free.
Click here to get a sneak peek of fall's biggest books.
Debut Suspense/Thriller Author Spotlight: WE ARE UNPREPARED by Meg Little Reilly
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.

WE ARE UNPREPARED releases on August 30th.

-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.'s Summer Reading Feature
All summer long, we at have been sharing some great summer book picks with our Summer Reading Feature. While our series of 24-hour contests have ended, we encourage you to take a look at our featured titles for some sizzling summer reading ideas. And click here to see the winners of our 52(!) contests.

This year's featured titles are:

Click here to read more about our featured titles and see the winners of this year's contests.
More Reviews This Week
Audiobook available, read by Amy Schumer
In THE GIRL WITH THE LOWER BACK TATTOO, Emmy Award-winning comedian, actress and writer Amy Schumer mines her past for stories about her teenage years, her family, relationships and sex, and shares the experiences that have shaped who she is --- a woman with the courage to bare her soul to stand up for what she believes in, all while making us laugh. Ranging from the raucous to the romantic, the heartfelt to the harrowing, this highly entertaining and universally appealing collection is the literary equivalent of a night out with your best friend. Reviewed by Bronwyn Miller.

THE ONE MAN by Andrew Gross (Historical Thriller)
Audiobook available, read by Edoardo Ballerini
Poland, 1944. Alfred Mendl and his family are brought on a crowded train to a Nazi concentration camp after being caught trying to flee Paris with forged papers. A renowned physicist, Mendl holds knowledge that only two people in the world possess. And the other is already at work for the Nazi war machine. In Washington, DC, Intelligence lieutenant Nathan Blum routinely decodes messages from occupied Poland. But never did he expect the proposal he receives from “Wild” Bill Donovan, head of the OSS: to sneak into the most guarded place on earth on a mission to find and escape with one man --- the one man the Allies believe can ensure them victory in the war. Reviewed by Jennifer McCord.

THE PERFECT HORSE: The Daring U.S. Mission to Rescue the Priceless Stallions Kidnapped by the Nazis by Elizabeth Letts (History)
Audiobook available, read by Paul Boehmer
In the chaotic last days of World War II, a small troop of battle-weary American soldiers captures a German spy and makes an astonishing find --- his briefcase is empty but for photos of beautiful white horses that have been stolen and kept on a secret farm behind enemy lines. Hitler has stockpiled the world’s finest purebreds in order to breed the perfect military machine --- an equine master race. But with the starving Russian army closing in, the animals are in imminent danger of being slaughtered for food. With only hours to spare, one of the Army’s last great cavalrymen, American colonel Hank Reed, makes a bold decision --- with General George Patton’s blessing --- to mount a covert rescue operation. Reviewed by Rob Bentlyewski.

THE BOOK: A Cover-to-Cover Exploration of the Most Powerful Object of Our Time by Keith Houston (History)
We may love books, but do we know what lies behind them? In THE BOOK, Keith Houston reveals that the paper, ink, thread, glue and board from which a book is made tell as rich a story as the words on its pages --- of civilizations, empires, human ingenuity and madness. In an invitingly tactile history of this 2,000-year-old medium, Houston follows the development of writing, printing, the art of illustrations and binding to show how we have moved from cuneiform tablets and papyrus scrolls to the hardcovers and paperbacks of today. Reviewed by Barbara Bamberger Scott.

CROWNED AND DANGEROUS: A Royal Spyness Mystery by Rhys Bowen (Historical Mystery)
Audiobook available, read by Katherine Kellgren
Nothing is simple when you’re 35th in line for the British crown, least of all marriage. But with love on their side and plans to elope, Lady Georgiana Rannoch and her beau, Darcy O’Mara, hope to bypass a few royal rules. Throwing their cares to the wind, nothing could deter them from their mission --- except the news that Georgie’s future father-in-law has just been arrested for the murder of a wealthy American. With the elopement postponed, they head for Ireland where Darcy’s father insists he’s innocent, and it’s up to Georgie and Darcy to prove it --- for better or worse. Reviewed by Carly Silver.

THE MANNINGS: The Fall and Rise of a Football Family by Lars Anderson (Sports/Biography)
Audiobook available, read by Ian Alan Carlsen
What the Kennedys are to politics, the Mannings are to football. Two generations have produced three NFL superstars: Archie Manning, the Ole Miss hero–turned–New Orleans Saint; his son Peyton, widely considered one of the greatest quarterbacks ever to play the game; and Peyton’s younger brother, Eli, who won two Super Bowl rings of his own. And the oldest Manning child, Cooper --- who was forced to quit playing sports after he was diagnosed at age 18 with a rare spinal condition --- might have been the most talented of them all. In THE MANNINGS, longtime Sports Illustrated writer Lars Anderson gives us, for the first time, the never-before-told story of this singular athletic dynasty. Reviewed by John Bentlyewski.

NOTHING SHORT OF DYING: A Clyde Barr Novel by Erik Storey (Thriller)
Audiobook available, read by Jeremy Bobb
Clyde Barr has been away from Colorado’s thick forests, alpine deserts and craggy peaks for 16 years, running from a past filled with haunting memories. But now he’s back, having roamed across three continents as a hunter, adventurer, soldier of fortune and, most recently, unjustly imprisoned convict. And once again, his past is reaching out to claim him. By the light of a flickering campfire, Clyde receives a frantic phone call from his sister, Jen. No sooner has she pleaded with him to come rescue her than the line goes dead. Clyde doesn’t know how much time he has, where Jen is located, or even who has her. All he knows is that nothing short of dying will stop him from saving her. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

THE WIDOWER'S WIFE by Cate Holahan (Mystery/Thriller)
Ana Bacon, a young housewife, tumbles off a cruise ship into the dark and deadly waters. But did she take her secrets with her? Investigator Ryan Monahan is a numbers man. So when his company sends him the Bacon case, which could net a $10-million payout, Monahan doubts that her death is just a tragic accident. But the husband has a substantial alibi, and a number of witnesses claim to have seen Ana fall. So the official ruling seems to be substantiated. Still, the more Monahan uncovers about Ana’s life, the more he realizes how many people would kill to keep her secrets hidden. And the closer he gets to the truth, the greater the odds grow that he, too, will take a fatal fall. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

REPO MADNESS by W. Bruce Cameron (Mystery/Humor)
Audiobook available, read by R.C. Bray
Ruddy McCann is finally getting his life back on track. He has a beautiful fiancé, a somewhat stable job stealing cars, and a lazy, lovable basset hound. With his job suddenly in jeopardy, his fiancé wanting a break, and a new court-ordered psychiatrist insisting he take his medication or violate the terms of his probation, Ruddy finds himself missing the one thing he thought he would be happy to be rid of --- the voice of Alan Lottner, dead realtor and Ruddy's future father-in-law. When a woman tells Ruddy that the tragedy that defines his life may be a lie, Ruddy starts to investigate the disappearances of women in the area and soon discovers that his own redemption may be within reach. Reviewed by Kate Ayers.

THE AMERICAN GIRL by Kate Horsley (Psychological Thriller/Mystery)
Audiobook available, read by Julia Whelan and Nan McNamara
Seventeen-year-old American exchange student Quinn Perkins stumbles out of the woods near the small French town of St. Roch. Barefoot, bloodied and unable to say what has happened to her, Quinn’s appearance creates quite a stir, especially since the Blavettes --- the French family with whom she’s been staying --- have mysteriously disappeared. Now the media, and everyone in the idyllic village, are wondering if the American girl had anything to do with her host family’s disappearance. When she is arrested for the murders of the Blavette family, she finds an unlikely ally in journalist Molly Swift, who must unravel the disturbing secrets of the town’s past in an effort to clear Quinn’s name. Reviewed by Sarah Rachel Egelman.

Yongju is an accomplished student from one of North Korea's most prominent families. Jangmi, on the other hand, has had to fend for herself since childhood, most recently by smuggling goods across the border. Then there is Danny, a Chinese-American teenager whose quirks and precocious intelligence have long made him an outcast in his California high school. These three disparate lives converge when they flee their homes, finding themselves in a small Chinese town just across the river from North Korea. But will they find their way to the better lives they risked everything for? Reviewed by Lorraine W. Shanley.

THE HERO’S BODY: A Memoir by William Giraldi (Memoir)
At just 47 years old, William Giraldi’s father was killed in a horrific motorcycle crash while racing on a country road. This tragedy, which forever altered the young Giraldi and devastated his family, provides the pulse for THE HERO’S BODY. In the tradition of Andre Dubus III’s TOWNIE, this is a deep-seeing investigation into two generations of men from the working-class town of Manville, New Jersey, including Giraldi’s own forays into obsessive bodybuilding as a teenager desperate to be worthy of his family’s pitiless, exacting codes of manhood. Reviewed by Harvey Freedenberg.

SECRETS OF NANREATH HALL by Alix Rickloff (Historical Fiction)
Audiobook available, performed by Lauren Irwin and Laura Waddell

Back in England after the harrowing evacuation at Dunkirk, WWII Red Cross nurse Anna Trenowyth is shocked to learn that her adoptive parents have been killed in an air raid. She desperately needs their advice as she’s been assigned to the military hospital that has set up camp inside her biological mother’s childhood home --- Nanreath Hall. Anna was just six years old when her mother, Lady Katherine Trenowyth, died. All she has left are vague memories that tease her with clues she can’t unravel. Anna’s assignment to Nanreath Hall could be the chance for her to finally become acquainted with the family she’s never known --- and to unbury the truth and secrets surrounding her past. Reviewed by Sarah Jackman.

-Click here to read an excerpt.
-Click here for the discussion guide.
Next Week's Notables: Noteworthy Books Releasing on August 30th and September 6th
Below are some notable titles releasing on August 30th and September 6th 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 29th, see our “On Sale This Week” newsletter here. In the August 30th edition of the "On Sale This Week" newsletter, you will find more hardcovers and paperbacks that will be available the week of September 5th.

August 30th

THE EMERALD LIE: A Jack Taylor Novel by Ken Bruen (Mystery/Thriller)
The main menace in Ken Bruen’s new Jack Taylor novel may be the Grammarian, who kills over gaffes in speech. But a side trip to London puts Jack in the sphere of another criminal with an interest in young children, as well as the intricate web of the deadly Emily/Emerald.

A GREAT RECKONING by Louise Penny (Mystery)
In Louise Penny’s 12th Chief Inspector Gamache novel, an old map is the catalyst to uncovering a tangled crime that ensnares the protégée of a murdered professor as well as Gamache himself.

HELL FIRE: An Inspector Sejer Mystery by Karin Fossum (Mystery)
The investigation of a mysterious mother-son death intersects with the story of Mass Malthe and her troubled son, Eddie. As secrets are revealed, Eddie finds that Mass and the murdered mother, Bonnie, share more in common than he could have guessed.

THE JEALOUS KIND by James Lee Burke (Historical Fiction)
As Aaron undergoes his harrowing evolution from boy to man, he inadvertently challenges the power of the Mob and one of the richest families in Texas. Against the backdrop of 1950s Houston, he discovers the poignancy of first love and a world of violence he did not know existed.

LIAR'S KEY: A Sharpe & Donovan Novel by Carla Neggers (Romantic Suspense)
An FBI legend, a mysterious antiquities specialist and a brazen art thief draw top FBI agents Emma Sharpe and Colin Donovan into a complex web of blackmail, greed and murder in the eagerly awaited new novel in Carla Neggers' Sharpe & Donovan series.

THE NIX by Nathan Hill (Fiction)
When Samuel Andresen-Anderson’s mother returns to him, it is after decades of absence and in the midst of a media firestorm surrounding her recently committed crime. Samuel becomes determined to sort out the truth about his mother and capitalize on her new fame by writing a tell-all biography.

RUSHING WATERS by Danielle Steel (Fiction)
Heroes are revealed as New York City and its residents struggle to face a natural disaster of epic proportions. A day of chaos takes its toll. Lives, belongings and loved ones are swept away. And then the real challenge begins, as the survivors face their futures, with damage to repair and scars to heal.

THE SHATTERED TREE: A Bess Crawford Mystery by Charles Todd (Historical Mystery)
As Bess Crawford does her best to stabilize a French soldier, he shouts at her in German. The outburst sparks suspicion in Bess, who wonders if his allegiance lies with the Allied Forces or Central Powers. He later disappears into the fray of World War I in Paris, and Bess will risk everything to find out why.

WE ARE UNPREPARED by Meg Little Reilly (Thriller)
The forecast of a superstorm divides a once-idyllic Vermont town into paranoid preppers, religious fanatics and government tools, each at odds about what course to take. Meanwhile, ex-Brooklynites Ash and Pia’s marriage hangs in the balance.

September 6th

APPRENTICE IN DEATH by J.D. Robb (Thriller)
The shots came quickly, silently and with deadly accuracy. Within seconds, three people were dead at Central Park’s ice-skating rink. The victims were a talented young skater, a doctor and a teacher. Eve Dallas has seen a lot of killers during her time with the NYPSD, but never one like this.

BEST. STATE. EVER.: A Florida Man Defends His Homeland by Dave Barry (Humor/Essays)
Join loyal Floridian Dave Barry as he celebrates Florida from Key West at the bottom to whatever it is that’s at the top, from the Sunshine State’s earliest history to the fun-fair of weirdness that it is today.

CLOSED CASKET: The New Hercule Poirot Mystery by Sophie Hannah (Mystery)
As guests arrive for a party at her Irish mansion, beloved children’s author Lady Athelinda Playford has decided to cut off her two children without a penny and leave her vast fortune to someone else: an invalid who has only weeks to live.

DEAR MR. M by Herman Koch (Psychological Thriller)
From alternating points of view, where no one is to be trusted, Herman Koch weaves together an intricate tale of a writer in decline, a teenage couple in love, a missing teacher, and a single book that entwines all of their fates.

DOWNFALL: A Brady Novel of Suspense by J. A. Jance (Mystery/Thriller)
Two women have fallen to their deaths from a small nearby peak. What’s the connection between them? Is this a case of murder/suicide, or is it a double homicide? And if someone else is responsible, is it possible that the perpetrator may be on the hunt for another victim? Cochise County Sheriff Joanna Brady must investigate.

A GENTLEMAN IN MOSCOW by Amor Towles (Historical Fiction)
When, in 1922, Count Alexander Rostov is deemed an unrepentant aristocrat by a Bolshevik tribunal, he is sentenced to house arrest in the Metropol, a grand hotel across the street from the Kremlin. Unexpectedly, his reduced circumstances provide him a doorway into a much larger world of emotional discovery.

HERE I AM by Jonathan Safran Foer (Fiction)
Unfolding over four tumultuous weeks in present-day Washington, D.C., HERE I AM is the story of a fracturing family in a moment of crisis. As they are forced to confront the distances between the lives they think they want and the lives they are living, a catastrophic earthquake sets in motion a quickly escalating conflict in the Middle East.

LEAVE ME by Gayle Forman (Fiction)
Surprised to discover that her recuperation from a heart attack seems to be an imposition on those who rely on her, Maribeth Klein does the unthinkable: she packs a bag and leaves. But, as is often the case, once we get where we’re going, we see our lives from a different perspective.

MANITOU CANYON by William Kent Krueger (Mystery)
In the new Cork O’Connor thriller from New York Times bestselling and Edgar Award–winning author William Kent Krueger, the lives of hundreds of innocent people are at stake when Cork vanishes just days before his daughter’s wedding.

THE PIGEON TUNNEL: Stories from My Life by John le Carré (Memoir)
In his first memoir, John le Carré gives us a glimpse of a writer’s journey over more than six decades, and his own hunt for the human spark that has given so much life and heart to his fictional characters.

RAZOR GIRL by Carl Hiaasen (Mystery/Humor)
When Lane Coolman's car is bashed from behind on the road to the Florida Keys, what appears to be an ordinary accident is anything but. Behind the wheel of the other car is Merry Mansfield --- the eponymous Razor Girl --- and the crash scam is only the beginning of events that spiral crazily out of control.

THE RED BANDANNA: A Life. A Choice. A Legacy. by Tom Rinaldi (Biography)
What would you do in the last hour of your life? THE RED BANDANNA tells the story of Welles Crowther, whose actions on 9/11 offer a lasting lesson on character, calling and courage.

REVENGE IN A COLD RIVER: A William Monk Novel by Anne Perry (Historical Mystery)
When Commander William Monk of the Thames River Police is called to investigate the drowning of an escaped prisoner, he is forced to contend with customs officer McNab, who clearly bears a bitter grudge against him. But the reason is a mystery in itself.

THE RISEN by Ron Rash (Fiction)
Ron Rash’s latest novel tells the suspenseful tale of two brothers whose lives are altered irrevocably by the events of one long-ago summer --- and one bewitching young woman --- and the secrets that could destroy their lives.
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Young Adult Books You Want to Read
Here are this month's books we featured on that we think will appeal to an adult audience:

HARRY POTTER AND THE CURSED CHILD -- Parts One & Two (Special Rehearsal Edition Script): The Official Script Book of the Original West End Production by J. K. Rowling, Jack Thorne and John Tiffany (Fantasy)

Based on an original new story by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne and John Tiffany, HARRY POTTER AND THE CURSED CHILD is the eighth story in the Harry Potter series and the first to be presented on stage. It was always difficult being Harry Potter, and it isn’t much easier now that he is an overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic, a husband and father of three children. While Harry grapples with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs, his son Albus must struggle with the weight of a family legacy he never wanted. As past and present fuse ominously, both father and son learn the uncomfortable truth: sometimes darkness comes from unexpected places.

GIRL IN PIECES by Kathleen Glasgow (Fiction)
Charlotte Davis is in pieces. At 17 she’s already lost more than most people do in a lifetime. But she’s learned how to forget. The broken glass washes away the sorrow until there is nothing but calm. You don’t have to think about your father and the river. Your best friend, who is gone forever. Or your mother, who has nothing left to give you. Every new scar hardens Charlie’s heart just a little more, yet it still hurts so much. It hurts enough to not care anymore, which is sometimes what has to happen before you can find your way back from the edge.

THREE TRUTHS AND A LIE by Brent Hartinger (Psychological Thriller/Mystery)
Deep in the forest, four friends gather for a weekend of fun. Truth #1: Rob is thrilled about the weekend trip. It’s the perfect time for him to break out of his shell…to be the person he really wants to be. Truth #2: Liam, Rob’s boyfriend, is nothing short of perfect. He’s everything Rob could have wanted. They’re perfect together. Truth #3: Mia has been Liam’s best friend for years…long before Rob came along. They get each other in a way Rob could never, and will never, understand. Truth #4: Galen, Mia’s boyfriend, is sweet, handsome and incredibly charming. He’s the definition of a Golden Boy…even with the secrets up his sleeve. One of these truths is a lie…and not everyone will live to find out which one it is.

Click here for more young adult books we recommend you read.
Our Latest Poll: Book Dedications
Do you read the dedication page in books?

  • Always, before I start the book.
  • Always, when I finish the book.
  • Most of the time
  • Some of the time
  • Never
  • Only if it is an author with whom I am familiar.
  • I am not even aware that there is a dedication page.
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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 19th to September 9th at noon ET, three lucky readers each will be randomly chosen to win a copy of THE COUPLE NEXT DOOR by Shari Lapena and A GENTLEMAN IN MOSCOW by Amor Towles.

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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