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March 13, 2015 Newsletter March 13, 2015
Missing Spring Break; Recovering from Daylight Saving Time

I felt jet-lagged all week with the loss of just one hour last weekend! Instead of pretending that I now live on Caribbean time, which has nice thoughts associated with it, I was wide-eyed each evening and cocooning every morning. Traffic was really bad every day, thus I think that I am not the only one on a sloooooooooow delay pattern. I needed an escape as I drove and found myself listening to the audiobook of THE GIRLS OF MISCHIEF BAY by Susan Mallery, a title that we recently featured on the site. It takes place in Southern California, and I can feel summer coming as I read.

My beach-related thoughts are bubbling up as I miss going away for spring break. When the boys were younger, their spring break meant that we headed somewhere fun for a week. Cory is on spring break this coming week, but there is no epic vacation planned. He and Tom may head up to Vermont to ski for a few days. I could use a week on a beach reading. I have a wickedly great “to be read” stack of books and not enough hours to enjoy them. Eight days of reading would be PERFECT right about now. An advance reading copy of BEACH TOWN, Mary Kay Andrews' upcoming book (on sale May 19th), arrived at the house the other day. For the moment, reading this will be the closest I get to the beach for a while, but I am ready for a mental vacation...and from the first few pages I can see it’s going to be the usual great fun read I expect from "MKA," as we call her around the office. My friend Seale told me that I would miss spring break when Cory graduated high school, and he was soooooo right.

Winter has been long enough that my husband had time to design and build the stunning bookshelf that you see pictured above. I love it and will spend some time this weekend “shelving” it. He noted that the bottom shelf is perfect for coffee table books; it was designed to be a bit higher to allow for those. Note that this only will be indulging my book squirreling habit. I am so bad at weeding my collection; this is done in libraries to cull out books that are not circulating anymore. I read them once and they stay here forever!

I saw a note from Anna Knapp, one of our former chat hosts, earlier this week mentioning that her library was way overdue for cleaning and reorganizing. Her shelves of new books to be read were scattered, her cookbooks were separated, and her rough categorizing was a mess. She was off to vacuum her books (whoa, I have not done that ever; she felt guilty about not doing it for a few years!). She decided to go ahead and build a catalog using an app called Libib. As she said, “Libib will let me build individual libraries of what I own (books, audio, Kindle, games, movies, etc.) that appeals to me.” Does anyone else catalog their books? If so, what do you do?

On Tuesday night, I had a wonderful time meeting with the Clinton Book Shop’s “Politically Incorrect Book Club” to discuss THE SHORT AND TRAGIC LIFE OF ROBERT PEACE by Jeff Hobbs. The group has been together for more than five years. On this rainy evening, Rob, who is the manager of the book shop, moderated the discussion with six of the group’s members on hand ---John, Pam, Laura, Rose, Craig and Jeff. (There are four other members who were not there that evening.) We met at a local tea shop and talked for an hour and a half straight about this brilliant book. We looked at many angles of the story --- among them, the fact that Rob's mom and dad never married and the effect that had on him, race and privilege, the inner city and its woes, the impact of his dad’s incarceration, how Jeff Hobbs felt about writing this story, the strength of Rob’s mom, the status of Ivy League and what it means to those outside, and whether or not Rob was destined for the fate he met. I loved it; the discussion rolled on and on. I came home and found this terrific video of Jeff discussing the book at Greenlight Bookstore in Brooklyn last fall that filled in some pieces. By the way, the “Politically Incorrect Book Club” has a website where they list some of what they have read, which you can see here.

I learned that tickets are going FAST for Random House’s Semi-Annual Reader Day, which will be hosted on May 1st this year. The lineup includes Jodi Picoult and her daughter, Samantha Van Leer, (they have written a second YA book together), Emily Giffin, and today’s latest announcement that Tom Brokaw has joined the lineup. I am a HUGE Brokaw fan, and he will be talking about his upcoming book, A LUCKY LIFE INTERRUPTED, which will be in stores on May 12th. It’s “a memoir of the year he spent battling multiple myeloma, a bone marrow cancer, with reflections on the medical quest, the life lessons learned, and news events he covered for NBC.” If you want to get a ticket, sign up here fast.

We were saddened to learn that beloved fantasy author Terry Pratchett passed away yesterday following a lengthy battle with a rare, early-onset form of Alzheimer's disease. Pratchett was perhaps best known for his Discworld series, though his literary career spanned more than four decades of fantasy and creativity. He died at home, survived by his wife, Lyn, and his daughter, Rhianna --- as well as a devoted readership who will mourn his passing for many years to come. staffer John Maher wrote a wonderful tribute to Sir Pratchett, which you can read here.

In the past months, as I have been listening to audiobooks, Edward Herrmann has emerged as my favorite audiobook narrator. He has “read me” several great nonfiction titles, which have enabled me to catch up on backlist titles that I had not had time to get to. Given my pleasure with three of these books, I did some research and pulled together a bookshelf with 15 nonfiction and five fiction titles narrated by Herrmann, who sadly passed away in December. We have titled this bookshelf "Celebrating Edward Herrmann: Audiobook Narrator Extraordinaire," and you can see it here. In honor of his work, take a look at our bookshelf, and try to sample a book or two. Trust me that even if you’ve never listened to an audiobook before, you won’t regret it! I am trying to decide which to listen to next.

Erik Larson brings readers to the height of World War I and the disastrous sinking of the Lusitania in DEAD WAKE. On May 1, 1915, the luxury ocean liner set sail from New York to Liverpool. Despite Germany recently declaring the seas around Britain to be a war zone, Captain William Thomas Turner held fast to the gentlemanly codes of conduct that kept civilian ships safe from attack. But the German captain of Unterseeboot-20, Walther Schwieger, had other plans. Meanwhile, a secret British intelligence unit tracked U-20, unbeknownst to anyone else. Alternating between these storylines, Larson tells the tale of the Lusitania, tracking the course of events as several forces converged, ending in one of the great disasters in history.

According to reviewer Stuart Shiffman, “DEAD WAKE is an intriguing book that will allow readers to once again reflect on the nuances and vagaries of history. It is crucial to always remember how seemingly isolated acts can have devastating consequences.” Greg and I are going to be attending a lecture that Larson is giving on Monday night, which we both are looking forward to!

Debbie Macomber, best known for her Blossom Street and Cedar Cove series, has penned LAST ONE HOME, a stand-alone novel about the power of sisterhood. Cassie, Karen and Nichole Carter were all very close growing up, until a fateful event severed their tight bonds. Following high school, Cassie ran away into the arms of the wrong man, breaking her family members’ hearts. Now she is 31 and has returned with her daughter, hoping for a fresh start after ending her difficult marriage. Meanwhile, Karen and Nichole have found happiness as wives and mothers. When Cassie receives a letter from Karen, she sees the chance to reconcile and takes it, opening herself to the powers of love and forgiveness.

Michele Howe has our review and says, “Macomber’s story is one of forgiveness, moving forward and embracing family. Her fans will appreciate the fact that she doesn’t attempt to solve all of her characters’ problems by the final page.”

Following the success of LIVE BY NIGHT, Dennis Lehane has released WORLD GONE BY, the next installment in his Joe Coughlin series. Ten years have passed since Joe’s enemies murdered his wife and destroyed his empire, but today he is experiencing a new wave of success. Prohibition is over, and while the world may be at war, Joe is making the most of it. He is working as a consigliore to the Bartolo crime family, effortlessly mixing with Tampa’s social elite, U.S. Naval intelligence and his crime family --- and getting richer by the minute. But a dark truth from his past is threatening to come to light, and it may be time for him to pay for past sins.

Reviewer Joe Hartlaub raves, "So how good is WORLD GONE BY? I read it one sitting, and from beginning to end was transported from 2015 back to 1953 to a reality that still seems more concrete than the one in which I presently live. Let me put it another way: I finished reading the last few pages and felt as if someone on a starless night had hit me over the head with a shovel and pushed me into a deep, deep pit. I’m still falling."

DEAD WAKE, LAST ONE HOME and WORLD GONE BY are all prizes in our current Word of Mouth contest. Let us know by Friday, March 20th at noon ET what books you’ve finished reading, and you’ll be in the running to win these three titles.

Joseph Kanon takes readers to 1948 postwar Berlin in LEAVING BERLIN. Although the war has been over for some time, Berlin is still reeling, both physically and politically. Even German culture has suffered, with German intellectuals being lured back from exile to help competing sectors of the city. Alex Meier, a young Jewish writer, fled Nazi-ridden Germany before the war, but the politics of his youth have made him a target of McCarthy’s witch hunt. Faced with losing his family and new life, he makes a deal with the CIA to earn his way back to America by acting as an agent in Berlin. But when things begin to go wrong, Alex discovers his real assignment: to spy on the only woman he has ever loved.

As I mentioned in last week’s newsletter, I’ve been listening to the audiobook of LEAVING BERLIN (read by Corey Brill), so I was thrilled when Jesse Kornbluth, my co-founder who founded and now runs, shared his review of the hardcover edition with us. Here’s a preview: “LEAVING BERLIN is a big book that will put Kanon even with [Alan] Furst, or maybe ahead.... Because almost everyone has at least two faces, the book is an onion that slowly gets peeled. For veteran readers of thrillers, this will be pure pleasure.”

James Bond is one of the world’s most beloved characters, but how did he come to be? Matthew Parker investigates this question in GOLDENEYE, a look into author Ian Fleming’s life in Jamaica, where Bond was born. For two months every year, Fleming lived at Goldeneye, his house overlooking a white sand beach in Jamaica. Here, Fleming began to live like Bond himself, surviving on vodka and cigarettes. The house had a huge influence on the creation of Fleming’s iconic character, offering him both a retreat from the world and a spectacular fantasy.

Barbara Bamberger Scott has our review and says, “In this highly readable book, Matthew Parker...paints a colorful portrait of the paradise where James Bond first drew breath, and where Fleming flirted with creation and self-destruction.” I am reading and LOVING this book. However, Greg is so passionate about Bond and GOLDENEYE that he, not I, will be making it a Bets On selection next week as he does a guest commentary. I look forward to reading it, as this book is a Bets On for me as well!

Our Women's Fiction Author Spotlight of Katherine Center and her novel, HAPPINESS FOR BEGINNERS, continues. Helen Carpenter is 32 and still struggling to find herself after her recent divorce. Desperate for a change, she signs up for a wilderness survival course with her younger brother. Though she can’t imagine how the wilderness will help her, she is soon surprised to learn that some of life’s most important lessons come from its hardest struggles. There is still time to enter our contest for the chance to win one of 25 copies of the book and share your comments on it. The deadline for entries is Thursday, March 19th at noon ET.

We’re also continuing our Women's Fiction Author Spotlight of Sylvia True and her novel, THE WEDNESDAY GROUP, featuring five women battling shameful secrets about their husbands’ addictions. From sex with younger women to Internet porn, and even an encounter with a male prostitute, these ladies have seen it all. When they come together in a support group, they begin to come to terms with their husbands’ addictions and help one another learn to stand up for herself. This book is sure to be a hit with book groups, so we’re featuring its guide on to help you direct your conversations. We also are still offering 25 readers the chance to win a copy of the book and share their comments on it. The deadline for entries is Thursday, March 19th at noon ET.

Our Spring Preview contests kicked off this week. We gave away the aforementioned DEAD WAKE and GOLDENEYE, in addition to THE CAIRO AFFAIR by Olen Steinhauer, which is now available in paperback. Next week’s prize books will be THE HEADMASTER'S WIFE by Thomas Christopher Greene, MADEMOISELLE CHANEL by C.W. Gortner (ooh la la, for the fashionistas among you; I really enjoyed this one!) and THE PHARAOH'S DAUGHTER: A Treasures of the Nile Novel by Mesu Andrews. The first 24-hour contest of the week will be up beginning Tuesday, March 17th at noon ET.

And because we’re so giddy over spring’s impending arrival (good riddance to winter!), we’re delighted to present our Spring Cookbooks bookshelf, curated by our very own Nicole Sherman. With the longer hours of daylight and warm temperatures, many of us are welcoming the new selection of fruits and vegetables that come with the season. There are so many delicious ingredients to work with that we’re sure you’ll be happy to try some new recipes. Our bookshelf covers dinners, sweets and side dishes, many of which use spring vegetables in new, innovative ways!

We’ve updated our Books on Screen feature for March. Among this month’s standout feature films are Insurgent, Cinderella and Serena. Towards the end of the month, you can look forward to the TV movie adaptation of Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard’s #1 New York Times bestseller KILLING JESUS and a miniseries based on Alice Hoffman’s 2011 historical novel, THE DOVEKEEPERS. DVD releases include Unbroken, Wild, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1 and The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies.

If you haven’t taken our latest poll yet, we strongly encourage you to do so. We want to know your feelings about signed books. Do you actively try to get books signed at author events? Do you go to stores where you can get signed books? Or do you have no interest whatsoever in signed books? Click here to let us know! We love getting your feedback.

The winners of the 2014 National Book Critics Circle Awards were announced last night in six categories: autobiography, biography, criticism, fiction, general nonfiction and poetry. They include Marilynne Robinson for LILA (Fiction) and Roz Chast for CAN'T WE TALK ABOUT SOMETHING MORE PLEASANT? (Autobiography). You can see the complete list here.

News and Pop Culture:

THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN: Has sold more than 1,000,000 copies. I am quoted in USA Today on why I think it’s such a success.

UK child sent home from school for dressing as Christian Grey as a literary character for World Book Day: Details here in USA Today. I am wondering how this child skipped many other literary characters to leap right to Christian Grey!

Interview with BETTYVILLE author George Hodgman in the New York Times: Click here to read it. We also have our review of the book and a Q&A.

Reader comment on Paula McLain’s novel, CIRCLING THE SUN: Betty from Paramus, NJ, said, “I just read your comments on the site about Beryl Markham. There is also a good biography of her, STRAIGHT ON TILL MORNING, that talks about her friendship with Dinesen and Finch Hatton. Very interesting section of the book, which in itself is fascinating.” I love how well-read our readers are!

The Tucson Festival of Books: This weekend, the Tucson Festival of Books will be taking place on the University of Arizona campus. Authors attending include Lisa See, Deborah Harkness and William Kent Krueger. We'll have more on that next week when reader Edy gives us a full report.

Reading her late daughter’s book collection: During the filming of Midnight Rider in Georgia, there was an accident on train tracks --- found to be caused by the negligence of the production team --- that killed a young woman, Sarah Jones. In her victim’s statement this week, her mom, Elizabeth Jones, spoke about what she plans to do with the books that Sarah had collected. A very emotional piece about a very emotional topic, which you can read here.

Lollipop: Downloaded the Lollipop operating system to my Samsung S5, and it is draining out the battery power at a rapid clip. I am sure some fix will come along, but until then, not fun! Beware of Lollipop. The last version was the next named after another candy, this time starting with M?

"Broadchurch": It’s back on BBC America, and I think we have missed the first episode! Must remedy this!

No weekend plans, thus I think some spring cleaning is in order. Spring cleaning is not as much fun as spring break! Cory’s friend, Josh, is around wrapping up his spring break (humorously he goes to school in Miami and came home for the break) and will be hanging around. Rain expected tomorrow means maybe the snow will be gone soon; I think I will leave my car in the driveway for a rain bath. Oh, and Happy St. Patrick’s Day! I am Irish in name only, but thinking green and lucky Leprechaun thoughts with everyone else. And I have ignored until now that it is Friday the 13th. Read on, and here’s to a great week ahead!

Carol Fitzgerald (

P.S. For those of you who shop online, if you use the store links below, gets a small affiliate fee on your purchases. We would appreciate your considering this!

Click here to read our tribute to Terry Pratchett.
Now in Stores: DEAD WAKE by Erik Larson
DEAD WAKE: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania by Erik Larson (History)
The sinking of the Lusitania is a story that many of us think we know but don’t, and Erik Larson tells it thrillingly, switching between hunter and hunted while painting a larger portrait of America at the height of the Progressive Era. DEAD WAKE brings to life a cast of evocative characters --- from famed Boston bookseller Charles Lauriat to pioneering female architect Theodate Pope to President Woodrow Wilson, a man lost to grief, dreading the widening war but also captivated by the prospect of new love. 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: LAST ONE HOME by Debbie Macomber
LAST ONE HOME by Debbie Macomber (Romance)
Growing up, Cassie Carter and her sisters, Karen and Nichole, were incredibly close --- until one fateful event drove them apart. After high school, Cassie ran away from home to marry the wrong man, throwing away a college scholarship. Now 31, Cassie is living in Seattle with her daughter and hoping to leave her past behind. Despite the strides she has made, she hasn’t been able to make peace with her sisters. Then one day, Cassie receives a letter from Karen, offering what Cassie thinks may be a chance to reconcile. Reviewed by Michele Howe.

-Click here to read more about the book.
-Click here to read an excerpt.
-Click here to visit Debbie Macomber's official website.
Click here to read a review.
Now in Stores: WORLD GONE BY by Dennis Lehane
WORLD GONE BY by Dennis Lehane (Historical Thriller)
Ten years have passed since Joe Coughlin’s enemies killed his wife and destroyed his empire, and much has changed. The former crime kingpin works as a consigliore to the Bartolo crime family, traveling between Tampa and Cuba, his wife’s homeland. He has everything --- money, power, a beautiful mistress and anonymity. But success cannot protect him from the dark truth of his past. Ultimately, the wages of a lifetime of sin will finally be paid in full. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

-Click here to read more about the book.
Click here to read a review.
Women’s Fiction Author Spotlight & Contest: HAPPINESS FOR BEGINNERS by Katherine Center
We have 25 copies of HAPPINESS FOR BEGINNERS by Katherine Center to give away to readers who would like to read the book, which releases on March 24th, and share their comments on it. To enter, please fill out this form by Thursday, March 19th at noon ET.

HAPPINESS FOR BEGINNERS by Katherine Center (Fiction)
A year after getting divorced, Helen Carpenter, 32, lets her annoying, 10 years younger brother talk her into signing up for a wilderness survival course. It’s supposed to be a chance for her to pull herself together again, but when she discovers that her brother’s even-more-annoying best friend is also coming on the trip, she can’t imagine how it will be anything other than a disaster. Thus begins the strangest adventure of Helen's well-behaved life: three weeks in the remotest wilderness of a mountain range in Wyoming where she will survive mosquito infestations, a surprise summer blizzard, and a group of sorority girls.

Yet, despite everything, the vast wilderness has a way of making Helen's own little life seem bigger, too. And, somehow the people who annoy her the most start teaching her the very things she needs to learn. Like how to stand up for herself. And how being scared can make you brave. And how sometimes you just have to get really, really lost before you can even have a hope of being found.

-Click here to read more about the book.
-Click here to read an excerpt.
-Click here to read Katherine Center’s bio.
-Click here to visit Katherine Center’s official website.
-Connect with Katherine Center on Facebook and Twitter.
Click here to read more in our Women’s Fiction Author Spotlight and enter the contest.
Women’s Fiction Author Spotlight & Contest: THE WEDNESDAY GROUP by Sylvia True
We have 25 copies of THE WEDNESDAY GROUP by Sylvia True to give away to readers who would like to read the book, which releases on March 24th, and share their comments on it. To enter, please fill out this form by Thursday, March 19th at noon ET.

THE WEDNESDAY GROUP by Sylvia True (Fiction)
Gail. Hannah. Bridget. Lizzy. Flavia. Each of them has a shameful secret, and each is about to find out that she is not alone…

Gail, a prominent Boston judge, keeps receiving letters from her husband's latest girlfriend, while her husband, a theology professor, claims he's nine-months sober from sex with grad students. Hannah, a homemaker, catches her husband having sex with a male prostitute in a public restroom. Bridget, a psychiatric nurse at a state hospital, is sure she has a loving, doting spouse, until she learns that he is addicted to chat rooms and match-making websites. Lizzy, a high school teacher, is married to a porn addict, who is withdrawn and uninterested in sex with her. Flavia was working at the Boston Public library when someone brought her an article that stated her husband had been arrested for groping a teenage girl on the subway. He must face court, and Flavia must decide if she wants to stay with him. Finally, Kathryn, the young psychologist running the group, has as much at stake as all of the others.

As the women share never-before-uttered secrets and bond over painful truths, they work on coming to terms with their husbands' addictions and developing healthy boundaries for themselves. Meanwhile, their outside lives become more and more intertwined, until, finally, a series of events forces each woman to face her own denial, betrayal and uncertain future head-on.

-Click here to read an excerpt.
-Click here for the reading group guide.
-Click here to read Sylvia True’s bio.
Click here to read more in our Women’s Fiction Author Spotlight and enter the contest.'s Spring Preview Contests and Feature
Spring is in the air (or will be soon...hopefully)! We’ve already caught the fever --- and it’s being fueled by a list of great upcoming books. Here are some picks that we know people will be talking about over the next few months. We will be hosting a number of 24-hour contests for these titles on select days through April 21st. You will need to check the site to see the featured book and enter to win. We also will be sending a special newsletter to announce each title, which you can sign up for here.

Our next prize book will be announced on Tuesday, March 17th at noon ET.

This year's featured titles include:

Click here to see our Spring Preview feature and sign up for our special newsletter.’s Latest Bookshelf: Celebrating Edward Herrmann --- Audiobook Narrator Extraordinaire
As I have been exploring audiobooks, I found a favorite narrator in Edward Herrmann. Thus far, he has “read me” UNBROKEN, ENDURING COURAGE and THE BOYS ON THE BOAT. All were books that were on my “to listen to” list as I had not had time to read them in print form. His narration was so powerful that I decided to curate a bookshelf of other titles that he has narrated. I culled three shelves of history and biography books, as well as a shelf of fiction titles. I rarely have time to read nonfiction, especially backlist titles, thus I am looking forward to the opportunity to catch up this way. If you, like me, enjoy his narration, this will be an easy way to find another book to love. Sadly Herrmann passed away in December, thus we are calling this bookshelf “a celebration” of his work. Please note that all of his work is not shown here, but what you will find is a very robust collection to get you started.

--- Curated by Carol Fitzgerald
Click here to see our bookshelf celebrating Edward Herrmann-narrated audiobooks.
Now in Stores: LEAVING BERLIN by Joseph Kanon
LEAVING BERLIN by Joseph Kanon (Historical Thriller)
Almost four years after the end of World War II, the city of Berlin is still in ruins, a physical wasteland and a political symbol about to rupture. Alex Meier, a young Jewish writer, fled the Nazis for America before the war. But the politics of his youth have now put him in the crosshairs of the McCarthy witch-hunts. Faced with deportation and the loss of his family, he makes a desperate bargain with the fledgling CIA: he will earn his way back to America by acting as their agent in his native Berlin. However, almost from the start, things go fatally wrong. Reviewed by Jesse Kornbluth, founder of

-Click here to read more about the book.
Click here to read a review.
THE UNLIKELY PILGRIMAGE OF HAROLD FRY followed its unassuming hero on an incredible journey as he traveled the length of England on foot --- a journey spurred by a simple letter from his old friend, Queenie Hennessy, writing from a hospice to say goodbye. Setting pen to paper, Queenie makes a journey of her own, a journey that is even bigger than Harold’s. One word after another, she promises to confess long-buried truths, including the devastating secret she has kept from Harold for all these years. Reviewed by Kate Ayers.

-Click here to read more about the book.
-Click here to read an excerpt.
Click here to read a review.
March's Books on Screen Feature
This spring movie season is looking bright --- and not just because Daylight Savings is hitting, and hitting hard! Another March, another Divergent franchise film release. No complaints here; in this month's Insurgent, Tris and Co. are now on the run from Jeanine and her brainy Erudite henchmen, and the stakes are higher than ever as they search for answers in the ruins of a futuristic Chicago. Considering that princesses are all the rage in this post-Frozen world, it’s no surprise that Disney is upping the ante with a live-action reboot of the 1950 animated classic, Cinderella.

There’s plenty to watch on TV while we wait for the return of “Games of Thrones” and “Outlander” in April. Tune in March 31st and April 1st for “The Dovekeepers,” a CBS miniseries based on Alice Hoffman's 2011 historical novel of the same name, and on Palm Sunday, National Geographic will be premiering "Killing Jesus," a TV movie based on Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard’s #1 New York Times bestseller.

March also marks the time when the DVD embargo is lifted on Oscar contenders. So those of you who missed the award show favorites in theaters will now have the chance to watch them at home, namely Unbroken, Wild, Annie, The Imitation Game and Foxcatcher.
Click here to see all the movies, TV shows and DVDs featured in March’s Books on Screen.
New Guides Now Available on
The following guides are now available on

THE BOOKSELLER by Cynthia Swanson (Historical Fiction)
A provocative and hauntingly powerful debut novel reminiscent of Sliding Doors, THE BOOKSELLER follows a woman in the 1960s who must reconcile her reality with the tantalizing alternate world of her dreams.

CHINA DOLLS by Lisa See (Historical Fiction)
The author of SNOW FLOWER AND THE SECRET FAN, PEONY IN LOVE and SHANGHAI GIRLS has garnered international acclaim for her great skill at rendering the intricate relationships of women and the complex meeting of history and fate. Now Lisa See’s highly anticipated novel, CHINA DOLLS, is available in paperback.

THE DECISION: Prairie State Friends, Book One by Wanda E. Brunstetter (Historical Romance)
Starting over in a new Amish community after suffering terrible heartbreak is going well for Jonah Miller, until he falls in love with a woman who fears she cannot marry him and still care for her beloved, ailing grandmother.

THE LOST CHILD by Caryl Phillips (Fiction)
THE LOST CHILD is a multifaceted, deeply original response to Emily Brontë’s masterpiece, WUTHERING HEIGHTS, which gets at the heart of alienation, exile and family by transforming a classic into a profound story that is singularly its own.

THE MOMENT OF EVERYTHING by Shelly King (Fiction)
THE MOMENT OF EVERYTHING is a funny, romantic novel about a young woman finding her calling while saving a used bookstore.

THE NAZI OFFICER'S WIFE: How One Jewish Woman Survived the Holocaust by Edith Hahn Beer, with Susan Dworkin (Memoir)
A riveting new chapter in the history of the Holocaust, this is the memoir of an Austrian Jewish woman who forged her identity and married a Nazi in order to survive the war years in plain sight in Nazi Germany.

OVERWHELMED: How to Work, Love, and Play When No One Has the Time by Brigid Schulte (Sociology/Marriage & Family)
From a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter comes “a book for LEAN IN fans, and everyone who feels overwhelmed” (Booklist) --- now a New York Times bestseller.

THE POCKET WIFE by Susan Crawford (Psychological Thriller)
A story of marriage, murder and madness, THE POCKET WIFE explores the world through the foggy lens of a woman on the edge.

THE RELUCTANT MIDWIFE: A Hope River Novel by Patricia Harman (Historical Fiction)
Full of humor and compassion, THE RELUCTANT MIDWIFE is a moving tribute to the power of optimism and love to overcome the most trying circumstances and times, and is sure to please fans of the poignant "Call the Midwife" television series.

THE UNRAVELING OF MERCY LOUIS by Keija Parssinen (Psychological Suspense)
Evocative and unsettling, THE UNRAVELING OF MERCY LOUIS charts the downfall of one town’s golden girl while exploring the brutality and anxieties of girlhood in America.

THE WEDNESDAY GROUP by Sylvia True (Fiction)
THE WEDNESDAY GROUP is an unputdownable debut novel about five women who meet in therapy to discuss the trials of being married to sex addicts.

THE WILD OATS PROJECT: One Woman's Midlife Quest for Passion at Any Cost by Robin Rinaldi (Memoir)
What if for just one year you let desire call the shots? THE WILD OATS PROJECT is one woman’s journey to find out who she is --- without her husband.
Click here to visit
More Reviews This Week
BETTYVILLE: A Memoir by George Hodgman (Memoir)
When George Hodgman leaves Manhattan for his hometown of Paris, Missouri, he finds himself --- an unlikely caretaker and near-lethal cook --- in a head-on collision with his aging mother, Betty, a woman of wit and will. As these two unforgettable characters try to bring their different worlds together, Hodgman reveals the challenges of Betty’s life and his own struggle for self-respect, moving readers from their small town --- crumbling but still colorful --- to the star-studded corridors of Vanity Fair. Reviewed by Miriam Tuliao.

-Click here to read an excerpt.
-Click here to read an interview with George Hodgman.

ENDANGERED: A Joe Pickett Novel by C. J. Box (Mystery/Thriller)
Joe Pickett had good reason to dislike Dallas Cates, even if he was a rodeo champion, and now he has even more --- Joe’s 18-year-old ward, April, has run off with him. And then comes even worse news: The body of a girl has been found in a ditch along the highway --- it is April, and the doctors aren’t sure if she’ll recover. Cates denies having anything to do with it, but Joe knows in his gut who’s responsible. What he doesn’t know is the kind of danger he’s about to encounter. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

THE FIFTH GOSPEL by Ian Caldwell (Thriller)
In 2004, as Pope John Paul II’s reign enters its twilight, a mysterious exhibit is under construction at the Vatican Museums. A week before it is scheduled to open, its curator is murdered at a clandestine meeting on the outskirts of Rome. That same night, a violent break-in rocks the home of the curator’s research partner, Father Alex Andreou, a Greek Catholic priest who lives inside the Vatican with his five-year-old son. When the papal police fail to identify a suspect in either crime, Father Alex undertakes his own investigation. Reviewed by Ray Palen.

EPITAPH: A Novel of the O.K. Corral by Mary Doria Russell (Historical Fiction)
On October 26, 1881, Doc Holliday and the Earp brothers faced off against the Clantons and the McLaurys in Tombstone, Arizona. It should have been a simple misdemeanor arrest. Thirty seconds and 30 bullets later, three officers were wounded and three citizens lay dead in the dirt. Wyatt Earp was the last man standing, the only one unscathed. The lies began before the smoke cleared, but the gunfight at the O.K. Corral would soon become central to American beliefs about the Old West. Reviewed by Stuart Shiffman.

GOLDENEYE: Where Bond Was Born --- Ian Fleming's Jamaica by Matthew Parker (Biography)
For two months every year, from 1946 to his death 18 years later, Ian Fleming lived at Goldeneye, the house he built on a point of high land overlooking a small white sand beach on Jamaica’s stunning north coast. All the James Bond novels and stories were written here. Matthew Parker’s book explores the huge influence of Jamaica on the creation of Fleming’s iconic post-war hero. The island was for Fleming part retreat from the world, part tangible representation of his own values, and part exotic fantasy. Reviewed by Barbara Bamberger Scott.

-Click here to read an excerpt.

REBEL QUEEN by Michelle Moran (Historical Fiction)
When the British Empire sets its sights on India in the mid-19th century, it expects a quick and easy conquest. India is fractured and divided into kingdoms, each independent and wary of one another, seemingly no match for the might of the English. But when they arrive in the Kingdom of Jhansi, the British army is met with a surprising challenge. Instead of surrendering, Queen Lakshmi raises two armies and rides into battle, determined to protect her country and her people. Reviewed by Carly Silver.

DARK ROOMS by Lili Anolik (Mystery)
Death sets the plot of DARK ROOMS in motion: the murder of 16-year-old Nica Baker. The crime is quickly solved --- a lonely classmate, unrequited love, a suicide note confession --- but memory and instinct won’t allow Nica’s older sister, Grace, to accept the case as closed. Dropping out of college and living at home, working at the moneyed and progressive private high school from which she recently graduated, Grace becomes increasingly obsessed with identifying and punishing the real killer. Reviewed by Sarah Rachel Egelman.

THE BOOKSELLER by Cynthia Swanson (Historical Fiction)
Kitty Miller loves the bookshop she runs with her best friend, Frieda, and enjoys complete control over her day-to-day existence. But then the dreams begin. Katharyn Andersson is married to Lars, the love of her life, and they have beautiful children. It’s everything Kitty once believed she wanted. Convinced that these dreams are simply due to her overactive imagination, Kitty enjoys her nighttime forays into this alternate world. But with each visit, the more irresistibly real Katharyn’s life becomes. Reviewed by Jana Siciliano.

-Click here for the reading group guide.

LIFE OR DEATH by Michael Robotham (Thriller)
Audie Palmer has spent 10 years in prison after pleading guilty to a robbery in which four people died and seven million dollars went missing. During that time he has suffered repeated beatings, stabbings and threats by inmates and guards, all desperate to answer the same question: where's the money? On the day before Audie is due to be released, he suddenly vanishes. Now everybody is searching for him, but Audie isn't running to save his own life --- he's trying to save someone else's. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

THE SECRETS OF MIDWIVES by Sally Hepworth (Fiction)
THE SECRETS OF MIDWIVES tells the story of three generations of women devoted to delivering new life into the world --- and the secrets they keep. Neva, a third-generation midwife, is determined to keep the details surrounding her own pregnancy --- including the identity of the baby’s father --- hidden for as long as possible. Her mother, Grace, finds it impossible to let this secret rest. For Floss, Neva’s grandmother, Neva’s situation thrusts her back 60 years in time to a secret that eerily mirrors her granddaughter’s --- a secret that, if revealed, will change everything. Reviewed by Carole Turner.

-Click here to read an excerpt.

WEREWOLF COP by Andrew Klavan (Supernatural Thriller)
Detective Zach Adams serves on a federal task force that has a single mission: to hunt down Dominic Abend, a European gangster who has taken over the American underworld. After a brutal murder gives them a lead, Zach and his tough guy NYPD partner Martin Goulart feel like they’re finally on Abend’s trail. But things get complicated --- and very, very weird. Zach is beginning to suspect that Abend’s evil goes beyond crime --- perhaps to the edge of the supernatural. Reviewed by Ray Palen.

THE DAUGHTER by Jane Shemilt (Psychological Thriller)
Jenny is a successful family doctor, the mother of three great teenagers and married to a celebrated neurosurgeon. But when her youngest child, 15-year-old Naomi, doesn’t come home after her school play, Jenny’s seemingly ideal life begins to crumble. More than a year after her daughter’s disappearance, Jenny is still digging for answers --- and what she finds disturbs her. Everyone she has trusted, everyone she thought she knew, has been keeping secrets, especially Naomi. Reviewed by Barbara Lipkien Gershenbaum.
Our Latest Poll: Tell Us How You Feel About Signed Books
How do you feel about signed books? Please check all that apply.

I actively try to get books signed at author events.
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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 March 6th to March 20th, FIVE lucky readers each will be randomly chosen to win a copy of DEAD WAKE: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania by Erik Larson, LAST ONE HOME by Debbie Macomber, and WORLD GONE BY by Dennis Lehane.

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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