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October 24, 2014 Newsletter October 24, 2014
New Directions and What to Look Out For

I drive into the city Monday through Thursday, eschewing mass transit as I loathe being held to schedules. I have discovered a phone app called Waze that I am addicted to. It crowdsources traffic reporting to give you intel on the best travel routes, as well as what’s happening on the roadways and frequently updates my anticipated arrival time. Besides directions, you get real-time info on accidents and other obstacles that may slow you down. My favorite phrases this week: “roadkill on road ahead,” “rain ahead” and “pothole coming up.” I also did not use the same route any of the four days as “the Waze lady,” as we call her, shot me around to new routes around the heaviest traffic. It definitely made the brutal commutes in the rain on Wednesday and Thursday a lot more bearable.

Last Saturday, I had the pleasure of being surrounded by booklovers and met many of our readers at the Hachette Book Club Brunch! It was a fabulous event with a very engaged audience. Besides the terrific programming that you can read more about here, as reported on by our intern, Rebecca Munro, I loved the chance to talk to our readers and hear their thoughts about our sites and what they are reading. Many who I got a chance to talk to, though not all, are pictured in the blog.

In the photo above, see me with Christopher Scotton, the author of THE SECRET WISDOM OF THE EARTH, coming January 6th, as well as Melanie Steinberg, who edits our Word of Mouth feature, and my dear friend, Beverley Wilson, who I have known since my first days at Conde Nast. All attendees had received a copy of Christopher's book, which will be a Bets On selection, and we had a terrific discussion about it. I know that many of you wrote to share that personal or family plans kept you from attending this year and that you were sorry to miss this event. We will be sure to announce the date for next year as soon as we have it, so you can get it on your calendars. One amusing note. Melanie and I met in person for the first time that day; we actually had never even spoken on the phone. When I picked her up at Penn Station, we chatted like old friends as we knew a lot about each other from our emails.

Looking for the next book and author event? I will be at the Random House Open House program on Friday, November 14th. You can see details about that event and ticket information here. I have attended Random House Open Houses twice in the past, and they were terrific both times. I have not yet read BLOOD, BONES & BUTTER: The Inadvertent Education of a Reluctant Chef by Gabrielle Hamilton, but I plan to do that before the 14th! Nicole Sherman from our staff is joining me at this program; she loved that book. And we both look forward to the rest of the day's lineup as well.

For those of you in the Miami area, the Miami Book Fair should be on your schedule for November 16-23 with the Street Fair weekend programming scheduled for November 21-23. For those outside of the Miami area, make some travel plans! The author lineup there always is stellar. This year, they have added a brilliant opportunity for readers: all of the National Book Award finalists, as well as the winners, will be presenting. Right now, I have plans that are keeping me from heading to Miami, which is very disappointing. If that changes, I will let you know.

Both the Texas Book Festival and the Boston Book Festival are on tap for this weekend. Anyone attending? If so, I would love a report. Let me know, and I will send you some interview questions to be answered via email!

Now onward to this week’s lineup….

John Grisham takes readers deep into the heart of Appalachia in his latest legal thriller, GRAY MOUNTAIN. Successful Wall Street lawyer Samantha Kofer is in for a huge surprise when the recession strikes and she is escorted out of the building. Though she’s lost her job, she is offered the choice to work at a legal aid clinic for one year --- free of pay --- for the slim chance of getting her job back. Before she knows it, the city girl finds herself in the small town of Brady, Virginia. Lifelong Brady resident Mattie Wyatt is tasked with helping her learn how to help “real” people. For the first time in her career, Samantha gets to see the grittier side of the law --- and learns that even the smallest towns can hide great secrets.

Stuart Shiffman has our review and calls the book “an entertaining and informative novel that exposes readers to two worlds of the law.... At the end of GRAY MOUNTAIN, there are many unanswered questions that suggest a sequel. I hope Samantha Kofer comes back for an encore. She is a lawyer to admire and respect.”

Everyone’s favorite shopaholic, Becky Brandon (née Bloomwood), returns in Sophie Kinsella’s SHOPAHOLIC TO THE STARS. In this installment, Becky and her daughter, Minnie, have just arrived in Hollywood to join Luke, Becky’s husband, who is there handling PR for famous actress Sage Seymour. As expected, Becky is more than ready to start living among the A-listers, but her real dream is to become Sage’s personal stylist. However, when she gets the chance to dress Sage’s archrival, things become a lot more complicated. It may seem as though Becky’s dream has come true, but things are not always what they seem in Hollywood.

According to reviewer Amie Taylor, “SHOPAHOLIC TO THE STARS is filled with numerous hilarious moments that fans have come to expect from Kinsella as she leads us on Becky's newest adventure…. Readers are guaranteed to laugh out loud and marvel at the sheer audacity that Becky displays while in single-minded pursuit of her latest goal.” I have to get a copy of this. I loved the earlier Shopaholic books!

Award-winning actor Alan Cumming unpacks his family’s history in his memoir, NOT MY FATHER’S SON. After growing up with a violent, damaged father, Alan appeared on a celebrity genealogy show in 2010 to solve the disappearance of his maternal grandfather, Tommy Darling. Cumming’s mother last saw Darling when she was only eight years old. Years later, she learned that he had died of an accidental shooting somewhere in the Far East. Just before filming for the show began, Alan was approached by his estranged father, who revealed a dark secret that would change their family history.

Reviewer Ray Palen calls NOT MY FATHER’S SON “a deeply moving piece that will shed light on one of our finest actors and allow readers inside the locked door that has been Alan Cumming's past.” By the way, the first time I heard Cumming speak outside of episodes of "The Good Wife," I was surprised to hear his Scottish accent. The number of Brits and Scots who do American parts with smoothness always surprises me. Both leads on Showtime’s "The Affair," Dominic West and Ruth Wilson, are Brits, and so is Andrew Lincoln, who plays Rick Grimes on "The Walking Dead."

Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Hector Tobar tells the stories of the 33 Chilean miners trapped underground for 69 days in DEEP DOWN DARK. The book is the first of its kind, honoring an agreement between the miners to wait to relay their story only as a group. Writing not only about their time underground, but the miners’ personal lives, families and paths that led them to the San Jose mine, Tobar portrays the miners as regular, loveable men who were fated to survive the disastrous collapse. Drawing upon hours of interviews with the men, as well as NASA and police reports, Tobar brings their ordeal to life.

Rebecca Munro has our review and raves, “The miners were correct in believing that they should not tell their story to just anyone, and it is clear now that they found the perfect outlet in Hector Tobar. His retelling of their suffering is immediate, vivid and, above all, haunting. Even people who followed the story religiously will learn something new with DEEP DOWN DARK, an extraordinary work of narrative journalism.”

We have a special feature for you this week in celebration of Rebecca Frankel’s WAR DOGS: Tales of Canine Heroism, History, and Love, which released last week. In an exclusive essay for, Rebecca explores her “war dogs” library and takes time to point out her favorites, writing a brief description of each. Although not every book is specifically about canines in the military, she feels they each enrich the study found in her book, whether by educating the reader about the history of dogs or about different branches of the military. Many thanks to Rebecca for taking the time to write this wonderful piece for us!

We have two more interviews to share with you in our “Sounding Off on Audio” feature, where we talk to listeners about their love of audiobooks. Two readers, Linda Johnson and Mary Lou Wachsmith, discuss their audiobook listening habits and some of their favorite audiobooks and narrators. If you are an audiobook aficionado and would like to be interviewed, then drop me a note at with the subject line "Audiobook Lover." We have many more of these interviews scheduled for the weeks ahead. I would love to make this a weekly feature (as we have for the past four weeks), so please keep those emails coming. If you have not yet heard back from me, you will. I am scheduling these about one week before each update, so you can be current in what you are sharing with us.

Last week, we announced our Audiobook Survey, which is for both those who are audiobook listeners and those who are not. We want to hear from both camps. Thanks to those of you who already answered. I have been looking through the results, and they are giving me ideas for future coverage. If you have not had a chance to answer the survey yet, we encourage you to do so, regardless of whether or not you actually listen to audiobooks. Upon completing the survey, you’ll be given the option to enter a drawing for a chance to win one of 25 books or audiobooks. There will be 25 prizes for listeners and 25 prizes for non-listeners. Click here to take the survey, which will be up until December 1st at noon ET, and please be sure to share it with others. We want to learn as much as we can about your opinions concerning this format.

This week, in my endless quest to get more reading into my day and to amuse myself on my commute besides reports from the aforementioned Waze, I have been listening to a book called KNITTING YARNS, which is a collection of stories by authors about their experiences with knitting that is edited by Ann Hood. I am enjoying these pieces enormously. A few weeks ago, I was speaking with Kelly Link, the author of the upcoming short story collection, GET IN TROUBLE. She told me something about short stories that I had not considered. Typically you will not love every story in a collection. Some will resonate with you; others will not. The joy of short stories is that you can skip around. Good advice!

Also, with all the buzz about Lena Dunham’s NOT THAT KIND OF GIRL, I have been listening to that on audio as well. This memoir narrated by Dunham is told in a collection of stories. There are many parts of this book that are very, very amusing; she is self-deprecating and brutally upfront. One of my favorite lines is where she says something along the lines of “I am an unreliable narrator of my own life,” which is very funny to read in a memoir. But it's clear; this is the world through her eyes, bumps and all. As expected, there are many over-the-top and graphic rambling parts about her and boys/men that make me glad that I am not twentysomething. Even as she was professionally seeing the success of the first year of "Girls," her personal life was much less together and she had a lot less confidence than I would have believed. I think I am enjoying this on audio more than I would be reading it in print. Like Tina Fey’s BOSSYPANTS, the inflection and reading enhance the experience, even when, in Lena’s case, things get cringeworthy. But she also does make me laugh.

Our Fall Preview contests have wrapped up for 2014. In our final three contests, we gave away the aforementioned GRAY MOUNTAIN by John Grisham, THE MIDNIGHT PLAN OF THE REPO MAN by W. Bruce Cameron and NEIL PATRICK HARRIS: Choose Your Own Autobiography by Neil Patrick Harris. Congratulations to our winners, and many thanks to all who entered! Click here to see all the books in this year’s feature. These are titles that we know people will be talking about as we near the end of the year.

Switching gears, it’s now time to sign up for our Holiday Cheer dedicated newsletters and contests! They are kicking off on November 11th with a special preview mailing going out on the 10th. We have a stellar lineup of titles scheduled with both books to give and get this holiday season and some preview titles that will be out in early 2015 that will make for perfect holiday reading.

We’ve updated our Young Adult Books You Want to Read feature, reviews we’ve posted recently on our site that we think you’ll enjoy. This month’s selections are BROWN GIRL DREAMING by Jacqueline Woodson and I’LL GIVE YOU THE SUN by Jandy Nelson.

Don’t forget to answer our latest poll. We’d like to know whether or not you own a smartphone, and exactly how you access Is it via a smartphone, tablet or computer? Take part in the poll by clicking here.

Also, our Word of Mouth contest that started last week continues for another week. What books have you finished reading? Submit your comments to us, and you could be one of the five winners to receive the aforementioned GRAY MOUNTAIN, along with THE BOOK OF STRANGE THINGS by Michel Faber and WINTER STREET by Elin Hilderbrand. Enter by Friday, October 31st at noon ET for your chance to win!

Kirkus Reviews has announced the winners of the first annual Kirkus Prize in the categories of Fiction, Nonfiction and Young Readers’ Literature. The winners are EUPHORIA by Lily King, CAN'T WE TALK ABOUT SOMETHING MORE PLEASANT? by Roz Chast and AVIARY WONDERS INC.: Spring Catalog and Instruction Manual, by Kate Samworth. Click here to read more about the award and for a complete list of all the nominees.

My son Greg was interviewed about lighthouses (he’s been to over 400 around the world) and his passion for them last Saturday by the Star Ledger during the New Jersey Lighthouse Challenge. The article (which you can see here) has a lot of great photos and a video of him doing a terrific standup piece. This week, he participated in his first curling match and loved it. He’s wondering why he did not take this up sooner; it's been one of his favorite parts of the Olympics for years now!

The pool is closed, and parts of the house look like a plant nursery. Over the summer, I found trimming the yellowed and dried leaves from plants and watering to be time for contemplation, which is about as Zen as I get. It's my version of yoga and meditation, thus I am happy to continue this chore. I will say that watering from a hose is a lot easier than filling the water can. Wait, maybe this is now my version of power yoga --- lift and pour.

This is the first weekend in a while where we literally have no plans or “must-do” chores, and I am loving it. I started reading THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN by Paula Hawkins last night, and I can see that this will be devoured tonight and tomorrow morning. I love when you pick up a book and instantly know you are going to connect with it. I had to discipline myself to not read but rather work today!

Read on, and have a great week.

Carol Fitzgerald (

Now in Stores: GRAY MOUNTAIN by John Grisham
GRAY MOUNTAIN by John Grisham (Legal Thriller)
Samantha Kofer’s career at a huge Wall Street law firm is on the fast track --- until the recession hits and she gets downsized. However, she is offered an opportunity to work at a legal aid clinic in Virginia for one year without pay, after which there would be a slim chance that she’d get her old job back. Samantha’s new job takes her into the murky and dangerous world of coal mining, and within weeks she finds herself engulfed in litigation that turns deadly. Reviewed by Stuart Shiffman.

-Click here to read more about the book.
-Click here to read an excerpt.
Click here to read a review.
Now in Stores: SHOPAHOLIC TO THE STARS by Sophie Kinsella
SHOPAHOLIC TO THE STARS by Sophie Kinsella (Fiction)
Becky Bloomwood and her two-year-old daughter, Minnie, have relocated to L.A. to join Becky’s husband, Luke, who is there to handle PR for famous actress Sage Seymour. Becky really hopes to become a personal stylist --- Sage’s personal stylist --- if only Luke would set up an introduction. Then, unexpectedly, she is offered the chance to dress Sage’s archrival, and though things become a bit more complicated, it’s a dream come true. Suddenly Becky has everything she’s ever wanted. Or does she? Reviewed by Amie Taylor.

-Click here to read more about the book.
Click here to read a review.
Now in Stores: NOT MY FATHER’S SON by Alan Cumming
NOT MY FATHER'S SON: A Memoir by Alan Cumming (Memoir)
Acclaimed stage, television and film actor Alan Cumming shares the story of his complicated relationship with his emotionally and physically abusive father and the deeply buried family secrets that shaped his life and career. He integrates stories from his childhood with those detailing his experiences as a successful actor today in a memoir that is suspenseful, deeply moving and wickedly funny. Reviewed by Ray Palen.

-Click here to read more about the book.
Click here to read a review.
Special Feature: WAR DOGS: Author Rebecca Frankel Shares Her Favorite Books About Dogs in the Military
Rebecca Frankel is the senior editor for special projects at Foreign Policy magazine and author of WAR DOGS: Tales of Canine Heroism, History, and Love, which is now in stores. In this piece written exclusively for, Frankel discusses seven titles from her very own “War Dog library” that delve into the history of military dogs. Although not every book is specifically about canines in the military, she feels that each of these selections enriches the study found in her book, whether by educating the reader about the history of dogs or about different branches of the military.
Click here to read Rebecca Frankel’s “War Dogs” feature.
Now in Stores: WAIT FOR SIGNS by Craig Johnson
WAIT FOR SIGNS: Twelve Longmire Stories by Craig Johnson (Fiction/Short Stories)
Ten years ago, Craig Johnson wrote one of the earliest appearances of the sheriff who would go on to star in his award-winning novels and the A&E hit series "Longmire." Each Christmas Eve thereafter, Johnson sent out a new story featuring an episode in Walt’s life that doesn’t appear in the books. WAIT FOR SIGNS collects those beloved stories --- and one entirely new story --- for the very first time in a single volume, regular trade hardcover. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

-Click here to read more about the book.
Click here to read a review.
Now in Stores: NORA WEBSTER by Colm Tóibín
NORA WEBSTER by Colm Tóibín (Fiction)
Widowed at 40, with four children and not enough money, Nora Webster has lost the love of her life, Maurice. Wounded, strong-willed, clinging to secrecy in a tiny community where everyone knows your business, Nora is drowning in her own sorrow and blind to the suffering of her young sons. Yet she has moments of stunning empathy and kindness, and when she begins to sing again, she finds solace, engagement, a haven --- herself. Reviewed by Jana Siciliano.

-Click here to read more about the book.
-Click here to read an excerpt.
Click here to read a review.
Now in Stores: DEEP DOWN DARK by Héctor Tobar
DEEP DOWN DARK: The Untold Stories of 33 Men Buried in a Chilean Mine, and the Miracle That Set Them Free by Héctor Tobar (Biography)
When the San José mine collapsed outside of Copiapó, Chile, in August 2010, it trapped 33 miners beneath thousands of feet of rock for a record-breaking 69 days. The entire world watched what transpired above-ground during the grueling and protracted rescue, but the saga of the miners' experiences below the Earth's surface --- and the lives that led them there --- has never been heard until now. Reviewed by Rebecca Munro.

-Click here to read more about the book.
-Click here to read an excerpt.
Click here to read a review.
Sounding Off on Audio: Interviews with Listeners About Their Love of Audiobooks
As we continue to explore the world of audiobooks, we bring you our newest feature, “Sounding Off on Audio,” where we interview listeners about their love of audiobooks. Find out what they listen to, who their favorite narrators are, why they enjoy audiobooks, and much more. Whether you are a seasoned listener of audiobooks or have only a passing curiosity, we hope that you find these interviews to be fun and informative --- and perhaps come across a title or two that you can add to your audiobook listening list. Whenever possible, we will try to provide samples for your listening pleasure as well.

This week, we have two interviews to share with you.

First up is Linda Johnson, a former newspaper columnist and longtime devotee of who has been listening to audiobooks for 15 years. Here, she discusses converting from old technologies to new ones, how listening can be a shared experience --- even when you’re technically listening solo --- and why you should probably not listen to John Waters’ CARSICK in a public place.

-Click here to read our interview with Linda Johnson.

We also interview Mary Lou Wachsmith, a lawyer-turned-tutor whose love of books is in her DNA --- a trait so deep it’s inherited by her sons. Here, she talks about how her love of listening to books was fostered early by radio programs and the children’s story hour at the library, and why a good narrator is absolutely integral to the success of an audiobook.

-Click here to read our interview with Mary Lou Wachsmith.
Click here for more "Sounding Off on Audio" interviews.
Voice Your Thoughts About Audiobooks in Our Survey --- and Enter to Win a Book or an Audiobook!
Welcome to the Audiobook Survey! We are interested in receiving feedback from listeners and non-listeners; the questions have been designed for both groups to be able to respond. Finish the survey, and you can enter a drawing for the chance to win one of 25 books or audiobooks on CD. There will be 25 prizes for listeners and 25 prizes for non-listeners. The survey will be open until Monday, December 1st at noon ET. Please note that prizes are limited to respondents in the U.S. and Canada.

-Click here for the official rules.

Click here to take the survey.
New Guides Now Available on
The following guides are now available on

ABOVE by Isla Morley (Dystopian Fiction)
In the bestselling vein of ROOM and THE ROAD, ABOVE is a stunning and harrowing novel about a Kansas teenager who is abducted and locked away in an abandoned missile silo by a survivalist who believes he is saving her from the impending destruction of the world.

ALL THE LIGHT WE CANNOT SEE by Anthony Doerr (Historical Fiction)
Anthony Doerr’s new novel is the story of two children: a blind French girl who flees Nazi-occupied Paris in 1940 to live with an eccentric great-uncle in the walled city of Saint-Malo, and a German boy whose talent for fixing radios earns him a spot at the National Political Institutes of Education, a training school for Hitler Youth.

AUNTY LEE'S DEADLY SPECIAL: A Singaporean Mystery by Ovidia Yu (Mystery)
Rosie “Aunty” Lee, the feisty widow, amateur sleuth and proprietor of Singapore’s best-loved home cooking restaurant, is back in AUNTY LEE’S DEADLY SPECIALS, another delectable, witty mystery involving scandal and murder among the city’s elite.

BIRD IN HAND by Christina Baker Kline (Fiction)
From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of ORPHAN TRAIN comes BIRD IN HAND, a novel about the choices we make, how they shape our lives and how they can change them forever.

DARING: MY PASSAGES: A Memoir by Gail Sheehy (Memoir)
The author of PASSAGES returns with her inspiring memoir --- a chronicle of her trials and triumphs as a groundbreaking “girl” journalist in the 1960s, to iconic guide for women and men seeking to have it all, to one of the premier political profilers of modern times.

A DEADLY WANDERING: A Tale of Tragedy and Redemption in the Age of Attention by Matt Richtel (Social Science/Technology)
Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times reporter Matt Richtel examines the impact of technology on our lives through the story of Utah college student Reggie Shaw, who killed two scientists while texting and driving.

GUTENBERG'S APPRENTICE by Alix Christie (Historical Fction)
This rich, authoritative and enthralling debut novel offers a radically new view of the birth of printing in medieval Germany, told through the lives of the three men who made it possible: the visionary genius Johann Gutenberg; his financial backer Johann Fust; and the reluctant apprentice Peter Schoeffer.

HOW TO BUILD A GIRL by Cailtin Moran (Fiction)
HOW TO BUILD A GIRL is a hilarious yet deeply moving coming-of age-novel from Caitlin Moran, “the UK’s answer to Tina Fey, Chelsea Handler and Lena Dunham all rolled into one” (Marie Claire).

LAND OF DREAMS by Kate Kerrigan (Historical Fiction)
Set in 1940s Los Angeles, LAND OF DREAMS is the compelling final installment in Kate Kerrigan’s sweeping immigrant trilogy begun in ELLIS ISLAND and CITY OF HOPE --- a story of family, love, danger and ambition in Hollywood during World War II.

THE LAST BREATH by Kimberly Belle (Fiction)
From a remarkable new voice in suspenseful women's fiction comes an emotionally searing drama about a woman who risks her life to discover the devastating truth about her family.

LILA by Marilynne Robinson (Fiction)
LILA, a moving expression of the mysteries of existence, is a new American classic from Marilynne Robinson --- the Pulitzer Prize–winning author of GILEAD; HOME, a National Book Award finalist; and HOUSEKEEPING.

MASTERING THE ART OF FRENCH EATING: From Paris Bistros to Farmhouse Kitchens, Lessons in Food and Love by Ann Mah (Memoir)
MASTERING THE ART OF FRENCH EATING is the memoir of a young diplomat’s wife who must reinvent her dream of living in Paris --- one dish at a time.

NECESSARY LIES by Diane Chamberlain (Historical Fiction)
NECESSARY LIES is the story of two young women, seemingly worlds apart, who are thrown together and must ask themselves: How can you know what you believe is right, when everyone is telling you it’s wrong?

POSITIVE: A Memoir by Paige Rawl with Ali Benjamin (Memoir)
In this dazzling memoir, HIV-positive teenager Paige tells the deeply personal yet universal story of how she managed to overcome the trauma of persistent bullying by choosing compassion over cruelty, and how she resolved to fight daily on behalf of others in her place.

A PROMISE TO PROTECT: Logan Point Series, Book 2 by Patricia Bradley (Romantic Suspense)
In a steamy small town of secrets, danger and broken promises, a woman reaches out to a former love to save her brother’s life. Can she prevent her own secret from being revealed?

A QUILT FOR CHRISTMAS by Sandra Dallas (Historical Fiction)
From New York Times bestselling author Sandra Dallas comes a Christmas novel set during the Civil War in which a woman makes a quilt for her husband and learns about love, grief, forgiveness and healing.

STILL LIFE WITH BREAD CRUMBS by Anna Quindlen (Fiction)
Here is a stunningly crafted journey into the life of a woman, her heart, her mind, her days, as she discovers that life is a story with many levels, a story that is longer and more exciting than she ever imagined.

A SUDDEN LIGHT by Garth Stein (Supernatural Mystery)
When a boy tries to save his parents’ marriage, he uncovers a legacy of family secrets in a coming-of-age ghost story by the author of the internationally bestselling phenomenon THE ART OF RACING IN THE RAIN.

US by David Nicholls (Fiction)
US is the highly anticipated new novel from David Nicholls, author of the mega-bestselling fiction sensation ONE DAY, which follows one man’s efforts to salvage his marriage --- and repair his troubled relationship with his teenaged son --- during the course of a trip around Europe.

In WE ARE ALL COMPLETELY BESIDE OURSELVES, Karen Joy Fowler weaves her most accomplished work to date --- a tale of loving but fallible people whose well-intentioned actions lead to heartbreaking consequences.

Please note that these titles, for which we already had the guides when they appeared in hardcover, are now available in paperback:

From the beloved author of the #1 New York Times bestsellers TUESDAYS WITH MORRIE and THE FIVE PEOPLE YOU MEET IN HEAVEN comes his most thrilling and magical novel yet --- a page-turning mystery and a meditation on the power of human connection.

MEN WE REAPED: A Memoir by Jesmyn Ward (Memoir)
Jesmyn Ward's memoir shines a light on the community she comes from, in the small town of DeLisle, Mississippi, a place of quiet beauty and fierce attachment.

THE PRESERVATIONIST by Justin Kramon (Psychological Thriller)
THE PRESERVATIONIST is an irresistible psychological thriller about a love triangle on a college campus that will leave readers guessing until the very end.

SOMEONE by Alice McDermott (Fiction)
From National Book Award–winning author Alice McDermott comes a fully realized portrait of one woman’s life in all its complexity.

THIS DARK ROAD TO MERCY by Wiley Cash (Fiction)
THIS DARK ROAD TO MERCY is a resonant novel of love and atonement, blood and vengeance, set in western North Carolina, involving two young sisters, a wayward father, and an enemy determined to see him pay for his sins.

UNDER THE WIDE AND STARRY SKY by Nancy Horan (Historical Romance)
From Nancy Horan, the New York Times bestselling author of LOVING FRANK, comes her much-anticipated second novel, which tells the improbable love story of Scottish writer Robert Louis Stevenson and his tempestuous American wife, Fanny.
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More Reviews This Week
The legendary creator of iconic television programs such as “All in the Family” and "The Jeffersons," Norman Lear remade our television culture --- while leading a life of unparalleled political, civic and social involvement. EVEN THIS I GET TO EXPERIENCE is a memoir as touching and remarkable as the life he has led. Married three times and the father of six children ranging from 19 to 68, Lear’s penetrating look at family life, parenthood and marriage is a volume in itself. Reviewed by Barbara Bamberger Scott.

THE LOST KEY: A Brit in the FBI Novel by Catherine Coulter and J. T. Ellison (Thriller)
Freshly minted FBI agent Nicholas Drummond is barely out of his Quantico training when he and his partner, Mike Caine, are called to investigate a stabbing on Wall Street. Their investigation, however, yields more questions than answers. It quickly becomes clear that the victim, John Pearce, was more than the naval historian and antiquities dealer he appeared to be. Reviewed by Judy Gigstad.

-Click here to listen to an interview with characters from the novel.

J: A Novel by Howard Jacobson (Fiction)
When Ailinn Solomons arrives in his village by a sea that laps no other shore, Kevern Cohen is instantly drawn to her. Although mistrustful by nature, the two become linked as if they were meant for each other. Together, they form a refuge from the commonplace brutality that is the legacy of a historic catastrophe shrouded in suspicion, denial and apology, simply referred to as WHAT HAPPENED, IF IT HAPPENED. Reviewed by Harvey Freedenberg.

LAST WINTER, WE PARTED written by Fuminori Nakamura, translated by Allison Markin Powell (Thriller)
A young writer is assigned a difficult task by his editor: he is to write an investigative biography of a death row inmate named Yudai Kiharazaka, a 35-year-old photographer who has been convicted of the murders of two women. Trying to unearth the truth about Kiharazaka forces the writer to grapple with horrifying archival material and to interview dangerous, grotesque people --- not least of all Kiharazaka himself. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

When a mysterious and beautiful stranger enters their lives, Tracy Whitney and her partner's once unbreakable partnership is suddenly blown wide open. Jeff Stevens wakes one morning to find Tracy gone, vanished without a trace. For more than a decade, a broken Jeff struggles to carry on knowing Tracy is out there somewhere. But the rest of the world believes she is dead…until a series of murders leads a tenacious French detective to her doorstep. Reviewed by Renee Yeager.

THE TUDOR VENDETTA by C. W. Gortner (Historical Fiction)
London, 1558. Queen Mary is dead, and Elizabeth ascends the throne. Summoned to court from exile abroad, Elizabeth’s intimate spy, Brendan Prescott, is reunited with the young queen. Elizabeth dispatches him on a mission: to find her favored lady in waiting, Lady Parry. The mystery surrounding Lady Parry deepens as Brendan begins to realize there is far more going on at the manor than meets the eye. But the closer he gets, the more he learns that in his zeal to uncover the truth, he could be precipitating Elizabeth’s destruction. Reviewed by Amy Gwiazdowski.

SOMETIMES THE WOLF by Urban Waite (Thriller)
After struggling with money troubles, Sheriff Patrick Drake ended up convicted of one of the biggest crimes in local history. Now, 12 years later, Patrick is on parole under the watchful eye of his son Bobby, who is a deputy sheriff. No matter how much distance he has tried to put between himself, his father, his grandfather and the past, small town minds can have very long memories. But trouble isn’t done with the Drakes --- and a terrifying threat boils up from Patrick’s old life. And this time, no one will be spared. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

BURNED: A Vanessa Pierson Novel by Valerie Plame and Sarah Lovett (Thriller)
Covert CIA ops officer Vanessa Pierson has dedicated her career to capturing one man: Bhoot, the world’s most notorious nuclear arms dealer. When she narrowly escapes death during a devastating explosion at the Louvre, Vanessa immediately suspects that Bhoot was the architect of the brazen terrorist attack. But when a previously unknown militant group claims responsibility for the bombing and promises even greater carnage, she is forced to rethink her initial assumptions. Reviewed by Roz Shea.

THE PROMISE by Beth Wiseman (Romance)
Mallory Hammond is determined that no one will stand in the way of her goal --- to save a life. She had that chance years ago and failed to take it, leaving her adrift and in search of the real meaning of her life. Finally, she meets a man online from a volatile corner of the world who offers her the chance to find that purpose. But she will have to leave behind everyone she loves in order to take it. Reviewed by Susan Miura.
Young Adult Books You Want to Read
Our company, The Book Report Network, has a number of websites about books and authors in addition to Throughout the year, features adult books on, our site for young adult readers, that we think will have definite appeal to a teen audience. In the spirit of sharing, we also spotlight a selection of titles each month from that we believe are great reads that you might enjoy.

Here are our latest featured titles:

BROWN GIRL DREAMING by Jacqueline Woodson (Narrative Poetry)
Raised in South Carolina and New York, Jacqueline Woodson always felt halfway home in each place. In vivid poems, she shares what it was like to grow up as an African American in the 1960s and 1970s, living with the remnants of Jim Crow and her growing awareness of the Civil Rights movement. Touching and powerful, each poem is both accessible and emotionally charged, each line a glimpse into a child’s soul as she searches for her place in the world.

I’LL GIVE YOU THE SUN by Jandy Nelson (Fiction)
Jude and her twin brother, Noah, are incredibly close. At 13, isolated Noah draws constantly and is falling in love with the charismatic boy next door, while daredevil Jude cliff-dives, wears red-red lipstick and does the talking for both of them. But three years later, Jude and Noah are barely speaking. Something has happened to wreck the twins in different and dramatic ways…until Jude meets a cocky, broken, beautiful boy, as well as someone else --- an even more unpredictable new force in her life.
Click here for more young adult books we recommend you read.
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Word of Mouth Contest: Tell Us What You're Reading --- and You Can Win THREE Books!
Tell us your current reading recommendations with your comments and a rating of 1 to 5 stars. During the contest period from October 17th to October 31st, FIVE lucky readers each will be randomly chosen to win a copy of THE BOOK OF STRANGE NEW THINGS by Michel Faber, GRAY MOUNTAIN by John Grisham and WINTER STREET by Elin Hilderbrand.

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 complete rules and guidelines, click here.

Please note: You must enter your full address, using correct capitalization and filling in all fields if you would like to be eligible to win this prize.

Also, we realize that many times, your opinion of a book will change as you get further along into the story. Thus, to ensure that your comments and ratings accurately reflect your entire reading experience, your review WILL NOT be posted if you have not finished the book.

One important technical note: If you're using an iPad or another iOS device to access the Word of Mouth page and you would like to enter the contest, you must wait for the page to fully load before you can rate your book. Only then will the stars be clickable.

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Click here to enter the contest.

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