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November 7, 2014 Newsletter November 7, 2014
Intrepid Readers
Last Saturday, I drove down to Toms River for a terrific book group event hosted by the Ocean County Library System. It was pouring rain on the drive down and back. As I was heading down the Parkway, I was wondering if the weather would hurt attendance, thus I was really happy to walk into a very full room of readers. I did not know anyone there, but at check-in, I met a woman named Sue who suggested we sit together. We immediately fell into conversation, chatting about books and life, and ended up eagerly chatting with the other women at our table. I was rattling off book suggestions as I dropped into “book concierge” mode. The program was chock full of information and book group suggestions. We played a lively game of Book Trivia (our table scored 8 out of 10), and for an added bonus, I had the pleasure of meeting Betty, one of our readers, which was really lovely.

The next day, I learned that Toms River bore the brunt of the Saturday storm with the largest rainfall and wind, making me even more impressed with the attendance. Gigi, who co-coordinated the program, reminded the crowd that two years ago this event had been held the day before the start of Superstorm Sandy, so I guess it’s all relative.

Speaking of events, for those of you in the Tri-State area, will I see you next week at the “Open House at Random House” event on Friday, November 14th? I’ll be attending with Nicole Sherman from our staff and Rebecca Munro, our intern, and we’re all looking forward to it! Here, readers will be treated to a full day of interactive author panels and book signings at Random House’s New York offices. Tickets are $60 and include an autographed copy of THERE WAS A LITTLE GIRL by Brooke Shields, an advance readers edition of THE SAME SKY by Amanda Eyre Ward (I have read this, and it will be a Bets On selection), a canvas tote bag full of books and goodies, and so much more. Click here for more details about the event and to buy your ticket. I am power-reading BLOOD, BONES & BUTTER in anticipation of meeting Gabrielle Hamilton.

Last Friday, my laptop fan died, leaving me without my “sitting on the couch watching movies and TV companion” until the tech team showed up to fix it on Monday. Some people have lap pets; I have the laptop. Sure I had my iPad and my Smartphone, and a desktop in my home office, but somehow I work really efficiently on my laptop. Greg said, “You were so relaxed last weekend.” Maybe I appeared to be, but I was composing emails in my head and writing lots of mental notes. Also, for all my tech savviness, you may be surprised to hear that I keep my calendar and “to do” list in an Excel spreadsheet. The most recent incarnation was on my laptop, and it was not backed up anywhere. Thus I was testing my brainpower trying to remember my schedule for the week as I appeared so relaxed. And yes, I am exploring other ideas on how to handle this document that has become my lead organization tool! Ideas are welcome, though I think exploring the benefits of Outlook beyond just sending emails could be a really smart thing.

I have a very, very busy next few weeks in the office, thus I am sadly going to miss the Bouchercon World Mystery Convention in Long Beach next week, as well as the Miami Book Fair the weekend before Thanksgiving. If you are attending either, please let me know so I can interview you. I'm happy to share that Cory’s friend, Josh, who we call Son 2A, is going to cover the Miami Book Fair for me; he’s at the University of Miami and is one avid reader. A few weeks ago, he went to one of my favorite book paradises, Books & Books in Coral Gables, and he texted me right after his visit, clearly excited about it. I love seeing the next generation excited about books and reading!

Now onward to this week’s update, where there’s a lot to read and remember….so take notes!

Michael Connelly’s homicide detective Harry Bosch returns with a new case in THE BURNING ROOM. When a man dies from complications from a 10-year-old bullet wound, Bosch is in for a tough case. Even worse, he is assigned a new partner, Detective Lucia Soto, who is new to the department. But as the two investigate the complicated and politically sensitive murder case, they find a connection to an unsolved case involving the deaths of several children in a fire many years ago. Soon their investigation will risk their careers and lives.

Joe Hartlaub has our review and says, “I did not anticipate the ending, even as Connelly dropped subtle and ironic breadcrumbs throughout the narrative. Never fear: the novel is complete in itself, but longtime readers will anticipate the next Harry Bosch installment as they have no other.”

Richard Ford invites readers back into the funny, inappropriate and insightful world of Frank Bascombe with LET ME BE FRANK WITH YOU. Opening during the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, Ford captures and highlights America in this very moment. Through four robust narratives, readers are moved and engaged as Bascombe attempts to reconstruct and accept his new world following the catastrophe.

Reviewer Stuart Shiffman says, "Frank Bascombe remains a literary character who is capable of striking chords in readers that they will clearly recognize in themselves. Ford’s greatest strength as a writer is his ability to make his characters into human beings whose strengths and weaknesses are present in all of us."

David Nicholls, author of the enormously popular New York Times bestseller ONE DAY, is back with his latest novel, US. Mild-mannered Douglas Petersen couldn’t believe his luck when he scored a second date with the beautiful Connie. The two are now married and have a 17-year-old son, Albie, but Connie thinks she wants a divorce. Luckily for Douglas, she doesn’t want to cancel their pre-planned family trip to Europe, and he may have a second chance to save his family --- and learn more about himself.

In her review, Renee Yeager calls US “a witty, funny and moving look at marriage and parenthood that will have you swiftly turning pages to find out what happens to Douglas, Connie and Albie. As you near the end, you realize that you have to slow down so as not to close the book on some good friends.”

Next up is my latest Bets On pick, MY SISTER’S GRAVE, Robert Dugonis first novel in over two years and his first to feature a female protagonist. Tracy Crosswhite becomes a homicide detective after her sister, Sarah, disappears and is believed dead. Tracy doesn’t believe the man condemned for Sarah’s murder actually did it, and dedicates her life to tracking down the real killer. But when Sarah’s remains are finally found, Tracy uncovers dark secrets that change her views on the past --- and put her in grave danger.

Kate Ayers has our review and says, "Readers will find themselves in a quandary, wondering what they would have done were they in Tracy Crosswhite’s shoes. Robert Dugoni dishes up a superb thriller...that poses a delicious moral dilemma. For at least a while, you won’t know which characters to root for and which to despise." Click here for my Bets On commentary.

For more suspense, try TEMPLE MOUNT. Keith Raffel’s fifth and latest book follows Alex Kalman, who has spent two years wondering how to live his life after selling his Silicon Valley company. When his estranged grandfather makes a deathbed request that sends Kalman on a journey from Washington, D.C. to Jerusalem’s ancient Temple Mount, he unexpectedly becomes involved with powerful American, Arab and Israeli figures. Divided by political and ideological differences, these powerful men all agree on one thing: Kalman must be stopped.

Joe Hartlaub raves, “TEMPLE MOUNT contains some of Raffel’s best writing. Even if you had no idea what the Ark of the Covenant was before reading, you would find the information that he provides fascinating. He also presents a remarkably even-handed discussion concerning Mideast woes…and comes up with a plausible and hopeful conclusion to the proceedings.” When I was driving to the book club event last weekend, Joe called, and as I kept my eyes on the road, we chatted about Keith’s book and how much we enjoyed it. We both know Keith and think that he has a marvelous way of looking at himself and his own life. And you see that same kind of style in his character, Alex.

Acclaimed biographer Thomas Maier, perhaps best known as the author of MASTERS OF SEX --- the basis for the hit Showtime series --- presents a comprehensive history of the deeply connected lives of the Churchills and the Kennedys in WHEN LIONS ROAR. Beginning in the 1930s, his book describes how these two families began sharing a powerful circle of friends, lovers and associates that would soon be broken by several tragedies, including World War II. Taking readers through the 1960s, Maier profiles the members of each family as they are shaped by duty, loyalty and ambition.

According to reviewer Judy Gigstad, “WHEN LIONS ROAR is a lengthy but masterful dual biography and a genuine tribute to the two families whose public and private lives became intertwined.” Tom and I went to Fordham together, and it makes me so happy to see his continued success.

I also want to point out that Lisa Unger’s new eBook, THE WHISPERS, is now available. It’s the first in a series of three short stories featuring psychic Eloise Montgomery, who first appeared in Unger’s 2010 novel, FRAGILE. THE BURNING GIRL, set 10 years after THE WHISPERS, releases on November 25th. And then on January 5th, THE THREE SISTERS will be available, set 10 years after the middle story. I already have told you to be on the lookout for her February release, CRAZY LOVE YOU, which I earmarked as a future Bets on selection.

We are full of joy this week as we launch this year’s Holiday Cheer feature! Once again, we’re giving away books that are sure to get you in the holiday spirit. This year’s Holiday Cheer titles include books that you want to give and get, as well as a couple of “hot” 2015 titles. The contests kick off at noon ET on select days in November and December, and run for just 24 hours, so you will have to check the site to see what is being featured. As always, we’ll be sending our special Holiday Cheer newsletter on the days when there are contests. Click here to sign up for these email alerts. If you have problems signing up, please send a note to, and he will handle this for you.

Our preview email with all the books to be featured will go out on Monday to those who have opted into the Holiday Cheer newsletter, and our first contest will go live on Tuesday at noon ET. Week one’s prize books will be THE DEEPEST SECRET by Carla Buckley, HELLO FROM THE GILLESPIES by Monica McInerney and UNDER THE WIDE AND STARRY SKY by Nancy Horan.

We’ve updated our New in Paperback feature for November. Among this month’s releases are THE LINCOLN MYTH by Steve Berry, INNOCENCE by Dean Koontz, TEMPTING FATE by Jane Green, HOW TO BE A GOOD WIFE by Emma Chapman and IF KENNEDY LIVED: The First and Second Terms of President John F. Kennedy by Jeff Greenfield.

Our Books on Screen feature for this month has also been posted. Among November’s theatrical releases are The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1, Foxcatcher and The Theory of Everything, while DVD releases include If I Stay, The Christmas Candle and Sin City: A Dame to Kill For.

In this week’s “Sounding Off on Audio,” we hear from Frank Cammuso, the author/illustrator of the graphic novel series The Misadventures of Salem Hyde and creator of the Knights of the Lunch Table graphic novel series. Frank and I had a great chat about audiobooks a few weeks ago. We also interview Bill Bolander, whose wife, Linda Johnson, shared her own thoughts on audiobooks with us a few weeks ago. Yes, there are two men being interviewed this week for the first time. If you are an audiobook aficionado and would like to be interviewed, then drop me a note at with the subject line "Audiobook Lover." Even if you have not yet heard from me, you will. I am pairing people up for each week, but I do not want to schedule too far out to keep thing current.

Remember, if you have not yet answered our Audiobook Survey, it's open to both listeners and non-listeners. Finish it, and you are eligible for prizes. Click here to get started.

In our latest poll, we’re continuing to ask which of the following paid subscription services, if any, do you use: Amazon Prime, basic cable, Cinemax, HBO, Hulu Plus, Netflix, Showtime, Starz. Click here to let us know!

Our current Word of Mouth contest is up for one more week. Let us know by Friday, November 14th at noon ET what books you’ve finished reading, and you’ll have the chance to win the aforementioned LET ME BE FRANK: A Frank Bascombe Book by Richard Ford, along with FLESH AND BLOOD: A Scarpetta Novel by Patricia Cornwell and REVIVAL by Stephen King, both of which we’ll be reviewing next week.

Greg is at a Guy Fawkes Day Land Rover rally in Cooperstown, NY this weekend and today hit the Baseball Hall of Fame, which he enjoyed. Before he left, he downloaded the audiobook of THE GREAT RAILWAY BAZAAR by Paul Theroux, which he has wanted to read for a long time. He’s currently reading --- and crazy about --- EMPIRE’S CROSSROADS by Carrie Gibson. It’s the history of the Caribbean from discovery to today. I remember reading CARIBBEAN by James Michener years ago, and he seems to be just as excited about this book. We’ve been listening to Amy Poehler’s YES PLEASE on audio this week, which has made driving in rain and insane traffic a lot more enjoyable!

We have no plans for the weekend beyond taking down the Halloween decorations and doing some garden work, guest room prep work and closet cleaning. I am reading HER by Harriet Lane, which will be in stores on January 6th. I picked up an advance copy of this psychological domestic thriller at Hachette's Book Club Brunch, and that is my weekend reading. My friend Beverley is reading it as well; she got it at the same event. I look forward to hearing her pre-publication comments.

There’s also lots stored on the DVR, including "Olive Kitteridge" (did any of you watch it last week?) and "Broadchurch" on Netflix discs for Tom and I to enjoy on our empty nester weekend. Temperatures are dropping, thus huddling inside feels lovely. I am knitting with some Prism Impressions yarn that I have had around that will be either a sweater or a scarf. I have 42 stitches cast on, and I am knitting. When I get to where armholes would be, I will make a decision on what to do. Starting over may be an option. You can laugh at this; I am too! I unwind knitting. You can laugh at that, too.

Read on, and here’s to a great week.

Carol Fitzgerald (
Now in Stores: THE BURNING ROOM by Michael Connelly
THE BURNING ROOM by Michael Connelly (Thriller)
In the LAPD's Open-Unsolved Unit, not many murder victims die almost a decade after the crime. But when a man succumbs to complications from being shot by a stray bullet 10 years earlier, detectives Harry Bosch and Lucia Soto are tasked with solving what turns out to be a highly charged, politically sensitive case. Beginning with the bullet that's been lodged in the victim's spine, they must pull new leads from years-old information, which soon reveal that this shooting may have been anything but random. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

-Click here to read more about the book.
-Click here to read an excerpt.
Click here to read a review.
Now in Stores: LET ME BE FRANK WITH YOU by Richard Ford
LET ME BE FRANK WITH YOU: A Frank Bascombe Book by Richard Ford (Fiction)
Through Frank Bascombe, we’ve witnessed the aspirations, sorrows, longings, achievements and failings of an American life in the twilight of the 20th century. Now, in LET ME BE FRANK WITH YOU, author Richard Ford reinvents Bascombe in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. In four narratives, Bascombe (and Ford) attempts to reconcile, interpret and console a world undone by calamity. Reviewed by Stuart Shiffman.

-Click here to read more about the book.
Click here to read a review.
Now in Stores: US by David Nicholls
US by David Nicholls (Fiction)
Douglas and Connie live more or less happily in the suburbs of London with their moody 17-year-old son, Albie. Then Connie tells Douglas she thinks she wants a divorce. Hoping to encourage her son’s artistic interests, Connie had planned a month-long tour of European capitals, a chance to experience the world’s greatest works of art as a family. Douglas is privately convinced that this landmark trip will rekindle the romance in their marriage and might even help him to bond with Albie. Reviewed by Renee Yeager.

-Click here to read more about the book.
-Click here to read an excerpt.
-Click here for the reading group guide.
Click here to read a review. Bets On: MY SISTER’S GRAVE by Robert Dugoni
MY SISTER'S GRAVE by Robert Dugoni (Mystery/Thriller)
I have been a longtime fan of Robert Dugoni, and his talent has only improved with time. MY SISTER’S GRAVE has everything: terrific plotting, well-drawn characters and solid writing. It’s a cross between a legal thriller and a police procedural. While reading it, I was dropped into a zone with a fast-paced story that grabbed me and wrapped me up in the adventure and storyline.

In it, Tracy Crosswhite is a Seattle homicide detective who is convinced that the man who was convicted of murdering her sister, Sarah, is not the right person. When Sarah’s remains are found in a lake bed 20 years after her death, Tracy’s theory becomes more sound. Her childhood friend collaborates with her to take a fresh look at the crime, and the action ramps up fast.

While some compare Dugoni to Grisham, I also am seeing touches of Sandra Brown as he writes relationships so well. He’s the kind of author who always delivers for me. I already am looking forward to his next book!

-Click here to read more about the book.
-Click here to read a review.
Click here for more books we're betting you'll love.
Announcing's Holiday Cheer Contests and Feature
At, we kick off the holiday season in style with our Holiday Cheer Contests and Feature. This year’s Holiday Cheer titles include books that you want to give and get, as well as a couple of “hot” 2015 titles. The contests kick off at noon ET on select days in November and December, and run for just 24 hours, so you will have to check the site to see what is being featured. As always, we’ll be sending our special Holiday Cheer newsletter on the days when there are contests. Click here to sign up for these email alerts.

Our first prize book will be announced on Tuesday, November 11th at noon ET.

This year's featured titles are:

Click here to read all the contest details and see our featured titles.
New in Paperback Roundups for November
November’s roundups of New in Paperback titles include Steve Berry's THE LINCOLN MYTH, a Cotton Malone adventure involving a flaw in the United States Constitution, a mystery about Abraham Lincoln, and a political issue that’s as explosive as it is timely; TEMPTING FATE by Jane Green, an enthralling and emotional story about how much we really understand the temptations that can threaten even the most idyllic of relationships; THE SPOOK LIGHTS AFFAIR, the second installment in the Carpenter and Quincannon historical mystery series from MWA Grandmasters Marcia Muller and Bill Pronzini; MY VENICE AND OTHER ESSAYS, Donna Leon's collection of 50 funny, charming, passionate and insightful essays that range from battles over garbage in the canals to the troubles with rehabbing Venetian real estate; and MOZART, a biography of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart from acclaimed historian Paul Johnson, who charts Mozart's life from age three through to his later years --- when he penned The Marriage of Figaro and Don Giovanni.

-Find out what's New in Paperback for the weeks of November 3rd, November 10th & 17th, and November 24th.
November’s Books on Screen Feature
The weather outside might be getting colder, but the Oscar race is just warming up!

Obviously, the hot ticket this month is Mockingjay - Part 1, the third movie in the epic adaptation of Suzanne Collins’ game-changing YA trilogy, The Hunger Games. But then there's also Foxcatcher. Based on Olympic wrestler Mark Schultz’s memoir of the same name, the film stars Channing Tatum as the athlete hungry for Olympic glory and Steve Carell as the eccentric millionaire who sponsors Schultz. And if you can’t get enough of character-driven Oscar bait, Eddie Redmayne’s stunning performance as Stephen Hawking in The Theory of Everything is a can’t-miss.

Comic book lovers can continue to stay home and watch the many comic-to-TV adaptations this month --- including the CW’s “Arrow” and “The Flash.” If you’ve had just about enough of men in tights already, HBO aired an adaptation of Elizabeth Strout’s Pulitzer Prize-winning OLIVE KITTERIDGE in early November. The four-part miniseries received rave reviews from critics, which isn’t surprising considering the ever-reliable Frances McDormand was cast as the titular character. Don’t worry if you missed it; you can catch Parts 1 & 2 on Saturday the 8th at noon ET/PT and Parts 3 & 4 the very next day at the same time.

During this month of thanksgiving, let’s give thanks for all the amazing books on screen we have to fill our days with meaning and things to do. Enjoy!
Click here to see all the movies, TV shows and DVDs featured in November’s Books on Screen.
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 Frank Cammuso (pictured on the right), a former award-winning political cartoonist and a current graphic novel author and illustrator. It may be surprising, then, that someone so visually-oriented is also a longtime audiobook lover. Frank has been listening to audiobooks for so long, in fact, that he still refers to them as “books on tape.” Here, he gives us a straightforward rundown of his audio habits --- including where and when he listens, and why he still prefers CDs over less tangible technology, like an MP3.

-Click here to read our interview with Frank Cammuso.

We also chat with Bill Bolander (not pictured here), who works in a factory and can fix anything except his difficulties with dyslexia. Listening to audiobooks has opened up a new world of books to him. Now he can discuss books with his bibliophile wife, Linda Johnson, an avid reader who --- not coincidentally --- shared her own thoughts on audiobooks with us a few weeks ago. In this interview, Bill tells us about some of the great books he has listened to. And for all of you biography and history lovers, he has some excellent recommendations!

-Click here to read our interview with Bill Bolander.
Click here for more "Sounding Off on Audio" interviews.
Voice Your Thoughts About Audiobooks in Our Survey --- Whether You Listen or Not --- and Enter to Win a Book or an Audiobook on CD!
Do you listen to audiobooks? If you have a smartphone, you can easily listen to an audiobook, so we want to know if you are tuned into them or not. We would like to hear from both listeners and non-listeners, so chime in with your thoughts in our Audiobook Survey. The questions have been designed so you can respond either way. 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.
Attend “Open House at Random House” on Friday, November 14th --- A Full Day of Interactive Author Panels, Book Signings and More
"Open House at Random House" is a unique event that brings together the biggest names in publishing for a full day of interactive author panels and book signings at Random House’s New York offices. Readers get a behind-the-books look at what’s new at this all-inclusive day, which includes breakfast, snacks, lunch, a cocktail party, and a canvas tote bag full of books and goodies (a $185 value!).

Join Random House on Friday, November 14th for their next Open House, featuring author and actress Brooke Shields, QVC personality and celebrity makeup artist Mally Roncal, the New York Times Food Editor Sam Sifton, and more bestselling authors. Participate in conversations about this year’s best books-as-gifts and get a jumpstart on your holiday shopping at this special event.
Click here to learn more about "Open House at Random House" and purchase your ticket.
Celebrate This Year’s Miami Book Fair International from November 16-23

Enjoy the 31st edition of Miami Book Fair International, the nation’s finest and largest literary gathering presented by the Florida Center for the Literary Arts at Miami Dade College.

The Fair, an eight-day literary party, will open Sunday, November 16th with the popular "Evenings With…" series, featuring six nights of readings and discussions with noted authors from the United States and around the world. This year's participants include Anne Rice, Patricia Cornwell, Joyce Carol Oates, Alexander McCall Smith, Walter Isaacson, Barbara Ehrenreich, Dave Barry, and many others. The “Evenings With...” tickets are now on sale.

Click here for the full schedule of events and here for all the authors who will be in attendance.

On Friday, November 21st, the Street Fair gets underway. The highlight is the Festival of Authors, with more than 450 authors reading and discussing their work. During Street Fair weekend, more than 250 publishers and booksellers exhibit and sell books, with special features like the antiquarians, who showcase signed first editions, original manuscripts and other collectibles.

Click here for more information about Miami Book Fair International.
More Reviews This Week
THE HANDSOME MAN'S DE LUXE CAFÉ: No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency (15) by Alexander McCall Smith (Mystery)
Mma Ramotswe has her hands full both at home and in the office. To add to her current challenges, her devoted partner, Grace Makutsi, has decided to branch out on her own and open The Handsome Man's De Luxe Café. But even “Miss 97 Per Cent” can't quite meet all the demands of running a business --- not to mention those that a lightning strike makes on her building. Eventually, she'll have to accept all the help she can get --- even if it comes from a completely unexpected source. Reviewed by Roz Shea.

-Click here to read an excerpt.

WHEN LIONS ROAR: The Churchills and the Kennedys by Thomas Maier (History)
By the mid-1930s, from London to America, the Churchills and the Kennedys shared an ever-widening circle of friends, lovers and political associates --- soon shattered by World War II, spying, sexual infidelity, and the tragic deaths of JFK's sister Kathleen and his older brother Joe Jr. By the 1960s and JFK's presidency, these two powerful families had overcome their bitter differences and helped to define the “greatness” in each other. Reviewed by Judy Gigstad.

BILLY JOEL: The Definitive Biography by Fred Schruers (Biography)
Acclaimed music journalist Fred Schruers draws upon more than 100 hours of exclusive interviews with Billy Joel to present an unprecedented look at the life, career and legacy of the pint-sized kid from Long Island who became a rock icon. He chronicles Joel’s rise to the top of the charts, from his working-class origins in Levittown and early days spent in boxing rings and sweaty clubs to his monumental success in the ’70s and ’80s. Reviewed by Christine M. Irvin.

MR. HOCKEY: My Story by Gordie Howe (Autobiography)
Over an incredible six decades, Hall of Famer Gordie Howe had so many accomplishments that he set the record for the most records by any athlete ever in any sport. But Howe did not inspire generations of hockey players simply by rewriting the record books. When people talk about him, it’s the man they revere even more than the player. There has never been a comprehensive account of Howe’s life from the man himself. Now is the time. Reviewed by Ray Palen.

MAEVE’S TIMES: In Her Own Words by Maeve Binchy (Literary Collection)
From the beginning, Maeve Binchy’s writings reflected the warmth, wit and keen human interest that readers would come to love in her fiction. From the royal wedding to boring airplane companions, Samuel Beckett to Margaret Thatcher, "senior moments" to life as a waitress, MAEVE’S TIMES gives us wonderful insight into a changing Ireland as it celebrates the work of one of our best-loved writers. Reviewed by Pauline Finch.

TEMPLE MOUNT by Keith Raffel (Thriller)
After selling his Silicon Valley company, Alex Kalman spends two years wondering what to do with his life. Then a deathbed request from his estranged grandfather sends Kalman on a quest that takes him from Washington's corridors of power to ancient passages under Jerusalem's Temple Mount. Finally, Americans, Arabs and Israelis agree on something --- the need to stop Alex Kalman. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

-Click here to visit Keith Raffel’s official website.

THE SHIP OF BRIDES by Jojo Moyes (Historical Fiction)
Following World War II, four women in Sydney, Australia join 650 other war brides on an extraordinary voyage to England --- aboard HMS Victoria, which still carries not just arms and aircraft but a thousand naval officers. The men and the brides will find their lives intertwined despite the Navy’s ironclad sanctions. And for Frances Mackenzie, whose past comes back to haunt her far from home, the journey will change her life in ways she never could have predicted. Reviewed by Norah Piehl.

MERMAIDS IN PARADISE by Lydia Millet (Fiction)
On the grounds of a Caribbean island resort, newlyweds Deb and Chip meet a marine biologist who says she has sighted mermaids in a coral reef. As the resort's "parent company" swoops in to corner the market on mythological creatures, the couple joins forces with other adventurous souls to save said mermaids from the "Venture of Marvels," which wants to turn their reef into a theme park. Reviewed by Norah Piehl.

SOMETHING RICH AND STRANGE: Selected Stories by Ron Rash (Fiction/Short Stories)
SOMETHING RICH AND STRANGE showcases Ron Rash’s artistry and craftsmanship in 30 stories culled from his previously published collections NOTHING GOLD CAN STAY, BURNING BRIGHT, CHEMISTRY and THE NIGHT NEW JESUS FELL TO EARTH. Each work of short fiction demonstrates Rash’s dazzling ability to evoke the heart and soul of this land and its people --- men and women inexorably tethered to the geography that defines and shapes them. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

THE FIRELIGHT GIRLS by Kaya McLaren (Fiction)
THE FIRELIGHT GIRLS is a story of three generations of women and men whose lives are pieced back together when they return to the place that made them who they are: a summer camp on Lake Wenatchee in Washington State. When they learn that the camp’s future is in jeopardy, Ethel and Ruby send out the alarm, reuniting campers and staff to save the place that was so instrumental in all of their lives. Reviewed by Jana Siciliano.

THE SWORD OF MICHAEL by Marcus Wynne (Urban Fantasy)
Marius Winter doesn’t walk the road of the shaman-warrior alone. His spirit guides are a Lakota war-chief and medicine man, First In Front; Tigre, a powerful feminine spirit who appears as a white tiger; and Burt, a spirit raven who channels an old Jewish bookie from the Bronx. Now Marius is targeted by a powerful sorcerer. In the battle for the souls of his friends and lover, he must storm the gates of the underworld and fight through the Seven Demi-Demons of Hell to the deepest dungeons to confront Belial himself. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.
Our Latest Poll: Paid Subscription Services --- Which, if Any, Do You Use?
Which of the following paid subscription services do you use? Please check as many as apply.

Amazon Prime
Basic cable
Hulu Plus
None of the above

Click here to answer the poll.
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 31st to November 14th, FIVE lucky readers each will be randomly chosen to win a copy of FLESH AND BLOOD: A Scarpetta Novel by Patricia Cornwell, LET ME BE FRANK WITH YOU: A Frank Bascombe Book by Richard Ford and REVIVAL by Stephen King.

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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