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March 27, 2015 Newsletter March 27, 2015
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This week, we updated all the desktops and the server in our office for the first time in about five years; we were way, way overdue. At the same time, we also changed email servers, which meant that the 40,000 pieces of email that I had logged needed to migrate from one server to the next. One reason I delayed this project was because it’s such a big production since there are so many details to keep in mind. I LOVED the company we worked with on this as they clearly grasped all the details.

There are moments when our office takes on the tone of a sitcom, while the rest of the time it’s as quiet as a study hall library. The staff works in an open bullpen space (many companies are moving to this office style now, but we had it since we started in 1996), while I have an office with a conference table in it where we have just two formal staff meetings a week and lots of informal conversations. I loathe meetings and prefer to grab people as needed for projects, but mostly leave them to do their jobs --- a novel thought in our over-meeting-ed world! There will be hours when everyone is diligently working, and then suddenly the place will erupt with conversation about everything from gourmet popcorn to movies to some pop culture nugget to…well, you get the point. I think the tech team working with us was humored by the way the vibe can change direction in a moment and then instantly nestle back in.

Speaking of email, I failed to thank our readers who forwarded our newsletter to friends a few weeks ago when I requested it. I truly appreciated your doing that, and we saw a nice bump in subscribers. If you enjoy this weekly missive and can think of others who may want to see it, please share it with them by hitting “Forward to a Friend” on the upper right! And thank you in advance.

During my commute this week, I needed something light to listen to, and Candice Bergen came to the rescue as I listened to the audiobook of A FINE ROMANCE, her latest memoir, which will be published on April 7th. She has an incredible memory for the most minute details of her life and shares them with affection, warmth, honesty, wit and a fair dose of self-deprecation. Her French makes her sound like a native, while her “inside Hollywood” stories made me feel like I was in her “bungalow” in the Hills, as well as on the set of "Murphy Brown." I loved that her daughter’s godfather, Mike Nichols (like I said, very “inside”), gave her books when she was born --- a first edition of THE CATCHER IN THE RYE and the complete works of Sherlock Holmes. Really fun; I am halfway through --- and look forward to more listening. I would love to meet her at some point; the way she tells her story, I feel like I know her already.

A funny story: Years ago, Candy (see what good friends we are now after listening?) starred in Carnal Knowledge with Art Garfunkel and Jack Nicholson. I, a HUGE Simon and Garfunkel fan, was 14 years old and desperately wanted to see the movie, Garfunkel’s second theatrical foray. I did not know the meaning of the word “carnal,” so I hit the dictionary and noted there that both words were defined. How perfect. When I saw their definition was "sexual intercourse," I quickly realized that was never going to fly with mom and dad, though I even had someone over 18 lined up to accompany me to this R-rated film.

Now on to this week’s lineup….

Our Women's Fiction Author Spotlight of Katherine Center and her new novel, HAPPINESS FOR BEGINNERS, enters its final week. Although it has been a year since her divorce, 32-year-old Helen Carpenter is still not quite back on her feet. Ready to try something new, she lets her annoying brother talk her into taking a wilderness survival course. With his even more annoying friend joining the group, Helen is sure the trip will end in nothing less than disaster. But she soon finds that the wilderness can help her put her life into perspective and that, sometimes, life’s greatest struggles teach you the most important lessons.

Alexis Burling has our review and says, “Like with any romantic comedy, it’s nearly impossible not to root for Jake and Helen’s first real kiss. But Center keeps herself (and readers) busy by throwing in a few curveballs in the plot.” Alexis also had the chance to talk to Katherine about her inspiration for the novel, among many other topics, and you can read the interview here.

Also wrapping up is our Women's Fiction Author Spotlight of Sylvia True and her debut novel, THE WEDNESDAY GROUP. Sure to be a hit with book clubs, the book invites readers into the lives of five women whose husbands have very unusual addictions. With each wife at her wits’ end, they meet in a support group run by a young psychologist. As they share their shameful secrets and bond over the effects of their husbands’ addictions, they begin to lean on one another as their outside lives become intertwined.

Reviewer Bronwyn Miller points out, “Every other addiction has their own support group or rehab facility and counseling for the families of addicts. But with sex addiction, it still seems to bear the stigma of shame and silence. That’s why Sylvia True’s novel is in a class by itself, taking on a tough issue that really hasn’t been dealt with in commercial fiction before.” Bronwyn also had the pleasure of speaking to Sylvia, and you can read their conversation here.

This week, we have a new Women's Fiction Author Spotlight featuring Holly Brown, whose novel, DON’T TRY TO FIND ME, releases in paperback on April 7th (it originally was published in hardcover last year and received some excellent reviews). When 14-year old Marley runs away, she leaves behind a message: Don’t try to find me. Horrified, her parents reach out to the police, but are informed that they have limited resources. Taking matters into their own hands, Rachel and Paul launch a public campaign on Facebook, Twitter, and their own website, But when Rachel blows a television interview, the public begins to speculate that she is hiding something. In anticipation of the paperback release, we’re giving away 50 (!) copies of the book to readers who would like to share their comments on it. The deadline for your entries is Thursday, April 9th at noon ET. I am 70 pages in and hooked, and am making my guesses as to what is really happening with both Marley and her parents. For those who enjoyed RECONSTRUCTING AMELIA, this should be on your reading list!

Our Southern Fiction Author Spotlight of Linda Goodnight and her book, THE MEMORY HOUSE, continues. Releasing on March 31st, it is the first in her Honey Ridge series set in Tennessee. Julia Presley once had a life enriched by marriage and motherhood, but tragedy has taken all of that away. Now she runs the Peach Orchard Inn, comforted by the routine and quiet days. But when Eli Donovan and his motherless son, Alex, arrive in town, her life quickly changes. Julia hires Eli to renovate the Inn, and the two soon discover a stack of dusty love letters hidden in the attic, revealing the Inn’s dark history and enveloping the two in romance. There is still time to enter to win one of 25 copies of THE MEMORY HOUSE and share your comments on it. Please do so by Thursday, April 2nd at noon ET.

We have two Paperback Spotlight titles to share with you this week. The first, THE FORTUNE HUNTER by Daisy Goodwin, takes readers to lush, exciting 18th-century Europe, where Sisi, the Duchess of Austria, uses horse riding to escape the banalities of royal life. Meanwhile, in England, dashing Captain Bay Middleton is an accomplished horseman, but is held back from winning the Grand National by poverty --- until he meets Charlotte Baird. Charlotte is an eligible young heiress and quickly falls for Bay. But when Sisi joins the legendary Earl Spencer hunt, and Bay is asked to guide her, the three become involved in a dangerous triangle that threatens each of their futures. Click here to read our review and here for the discussion guide on our site. This was a Bets On selection when it released in hardcover.

Our second Paperback Spotlight features ONE PLUS ONE by Jojo Moyes. Jess Thomas’ life is less than perfect, to say the least. Her husband has pulled a disappearing act, her teenage stepson is being bullied, and now her genius daughter has been offered a partial scholarship to a very expensive private school. Fortunately, there’s a math competition happening in Scotland, with a massive cash prize for the winner, but Jess has no way to get there. Her knight in shining armor is Ed Nicholls, an obnoxious tech genius whose house Jess cleans. As Ed chauffeurs Jess and her family to Scotland, the two discover that opposites really do attract. You can see our review here. I really enjoyed this book; Jojo is such a star!

Bestselling author Harlan Coben delivers his most explosive thriller yet with THE STRANGER. The Stranger is a dark villain, seemingly without identity or motive who appears only to crush the lives of his victims with a few whispered words. Adam Price is a man living the American Dream with a beautiful wife, two sons, a big house and a good job. But when he runs into the Stranger, he learns a devastating secret about his wife, and his life takes a sharp turn.

According to reviewer Joe Hartlaub, “Longtime fans of Coben and those enjoying his work for the first time will find much to love in this stand-alone title, which is honed with both his trademark style and some unique twists and turns that take the reader to unexpected and frightening places.”

Alison Jean Lester chronicles the fascinating life of an adventurous 60-something in LILLIAN ON LIFE. Born in the Midwest in the 1930s, Lillian traveled to Europe for love and work in the ’50s. From there, she settled in New York to pursue the great love of her life in the ’60s and ’70s. Now it’s the early ’90s, and Lillian feels it’s time to reflect on her life and choices. Recalling scenes of parental disappointment and societal expectations, she struggles with traditional and modern roles for women. The result is her very own brand of wisdom, full of style, humor and love.

Jesse Kornbluth, my co-founder who founded and now runs, was kind enough to share his review with us. He calls LILLIAN ON LIFE “the best book I’ve read this year” and ends his review on this note: “I don’t know who I love more: Lillian or Alison Jean Lester. If you pick up this book, you will soon have the same problem.” Sounds terrific!

My latest Bets On selection is MADEMOISELLE CHANEL by C. W. Gortner, which we reviewed last week. Click here to see why I’m betting you’ll love this book just as much as our reviewer, Amy Gwiazdowski, did.

We’re pleased to share with you a blog post that killer whale trainer John Hargrove wrote exclusively for us about his book, BENEATH THE SURFACE: Killer Whales, SeaWorld, and the Truth Beyond Blackfish, which released this week. When two trainers were killed by orcas in marine parks, Hargrove decided that SeaWorld's wildly popular programs were both detrimental to the whales and ultimately unsafe for trainers. He left SeaWorld and became one of the stars of the controversial documentary "Blackfish." In his piece for us, Hargrove focuses on his favorite whales: Takara and her mother Kasatka, two of the most dominant orcas in SeaWorld, which he talks about extensively in the book.

Our Spring Preview contests are still going strong. This week, we gave away THE CAVENDON WOMEN by Barbara Taylor Bradford; THE MYSTERY WRITERS OF AMERICA COOKBOOK: Wickedly Good Meals and Desserts to Die For, edited by Kate White; and THE PRECIOUS ONE by Marisa de los Santos (we’re featuring the review and interview this week, and the guide on Next week’s prize books will be THE 13TH DISCIPLE: A Spiritual Adventure, by Deepak Chopra; AT THE WATER'S EDGE by Sara Gruen; and PART TIME COWBOY: A Copper Ridge Novel, by Maisey Yates. The first 24-hour contest of the week will go live on Tuesday, March 31st at noon ET.

Oh, I promised to tell you where we get a shout-out in THE MYSTERY WRITERS OF AMERICA COOKBOOK. Every year, Wendy Corsi Staub bakes the MOST amazing rum cake for the staff at the holidays. The recipe is in this book (trust me; this alone is worth buying the book for), and in her recipe preface Wendy writes about the day she came to the office for a visit and I introduced her to the staff as "Wendy --- you know 'Rum Cake Wendy.'" I love it! Many of the recipes are a complete hoot and a howl as is the surrounding commentary where the authors definitely strut their personal culinary styles.

We’ve updated our Young Adult Books You Want to Read feature, books we’ve reviewed on our site that we think our adult readers will enjoy. This month’s titles are THE TIGHTROPE WALKERS by David Almond, BONE GAP by Laura Ruby, THE LAST TIME WE SAY GOODBYE by Cynthia Hand, and DEAD TO ME by Mary McCoy. Also, on we have updated our Ultimate Reading List. It boasts 400 plus titles that we think teens WANT to read, as opposed to those they should be required to read. We update this once a year, and our fresh offerings are there now; we also weeded out ones we now feel less passionate about.

Because of the upcoming Passover and Easter holidays, we’ve decided to extend our current Word of Mouth contest and poll an extra week. So you’ll now have until Friday, April 10th at noon ET to let us know what books you’ve read for the opportunity to win THE PATRIOT THREAT by Steve Berry, along with the aforementioned AT THE WATER’S EDGE and THE STRANGER. Our latest poll question asks if you’re familiar with publishers and publishing imprints, and which imprints you may be familiar with.

As promised, we have a report from Bethanne Patrick, who tweets as @TheBookMaven, on the Virginia Festival of the Book, which wrapped up this week in Charlottesville. I attended this event for five years and was disappointed not to be able to go this time, so I appreciate Bethanne sharing her thoughts on this year’s festivities with us!

Registration is officially open for our BEA “Great Book Club Titles for Fall/Winter 2015 – Speed Dating for Booksellers, Librarians & Book Group Leaders.” This year the event will be held on Friday, May 29th from 2:00-3:50 at the BookExpo America trade conference. This is a fabulous opportunity to hear about more than 100 forthcoming titles that are “book group perfect.” We are VERY excited about the event this year as it coincides with the 15th anniversary of in May. Advance registration is required and ends on Monday, May 18th at noon ET. To register, click here. One reminder: You must be signed up to attend BEA on Friday, May 29th to attend this session. If you have not already registered for BEA, you can do so here. For more information about pricing, click here. Questions, please let us know! We’re looking forward to seeing you there.

In awards news this week, the winners of the Books for a Better Life Awards were announced. They included CAN'T WE TALK ABOUT SOMETHING MORE PLEASANT? by Roz Chast (Inspirational Memoir) and JUST MERCY by Bryan Stevenson (First Book). Also, the nominees for the Man Booker International Prize were announced. Not to be confused with the Man Booker Prize for Fiction, for the Man Booker International Prize, the judges consider a writer's body of work rather than a single novel. The winner will be revealed on May 19th.

News and Pop Culture:

Cover reveal: Earlier this week, there was a cover reveal for Harper Lee’s highly anticipated novel, GO SET A WATCHMAN (we have it above), which releases on July 14th. I love the way the visual is such a terrific companion to the iconic cover for TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD.

More "Bosch" on Amazon Prime: Amazon renewed another season of "Bosch," based on Michael Connelly’s series. Amazon has said that "Bosch" has been the most-watched title on Prime Instant Video out of all TV shows and movies in the weeks since the first season debut on February 13th. Nice news!

A clock with books for hands: How clever is THIS? I am sooooo tempted to figure out how to do this in the office!

Ron Rash: Interview about his books, SERENA and THE WORLD MADE STRAIGHT, being made into films.

Akhil Sharma: Won the Folio Prize for his novel FAMILY LIFE, which has a $60,000 prize. You can read our review of it here! I had the pleasure of meeting Akhil, who worked on this book for 13 years; so nice to see him/it receiving this honor.

Book weedings suggestion from Diane, one of our NY readers: “Now that the nice weather is here, I have been getting serious about weeding my big collection of books that has a tendency to overtake my apartment. I started volunteering at the Book Cellar, a used bookstore located in the basement of the Webster Library branch of the NYPL on the Upper East Side, so now my books have a new home. It's great because the sale proceeds of the Book Cellar go to fund programs at the branch libraries of the NYPL, so I feel good about donating my books there.”

Library of Congress Prize for American Fiction: Louise Erdrich will be presented with this award at the National Book Festival later this year, honoring a "body of work distinguished not only for its mastery of the art but also for its originality of thought and imagination."

I finished reading A WINDOW OPENS by Elisabeth Egan last Saturday; I loved it, and it will be a Bets On selection when it releases on August 25th! It’s fiction, set in a town in NJ much like the one where I went to high school. In it, Alice Pearse is a mom of three, and the promo copy says it so well: she is “a compulsively honest, longing-to-have-it-all, sandwich generation heroine for our social-media-obsessed, lean in (or opt out) age. Like her fictional forebears Kate Reddy and Bridget Jones, Alice plays many roles (which she never refers to as 'wearing many hats' and wishes you wouldn’t, either).” Alice lands what she thinks is her dream job at Scroll, a new company that boasts it offers “the future of reading,” with literary lounges where readers will gather to sit and…read. She quickly realizes this nirvana-like environment is not going to be the way she envisioned it --- and neither is her life. A WINDOW OPENS is fresh and honest and so very well done. For booklovers, there is so much here to make you smile as it works as a love letter for bibliophiles as well as an ode to where motherhood is today.

Tom and I are celebrating our 30th anniversary on Monday; well, actually our 33rd since we married three years to the day from the day we met on a ski slope in the tiny but very cool town of Crested Butte, Colorado. We thought about flying somewhere for the weekend to mark the occasion, but, to be honest, the weather has been so horrendous I did not want to end up stuck in some airport trying to get to a coveted place at the start of the trip or back home at the end. I know, silly of me, but given the winter we've had, probably not so wrong. Instead we made a bunch of local plans, and I am happy with that! Greg is going off-roading with his Land Rover somewhere in VT, something I do not grasp since I prefer to stay ON the road and not lumbering at low speeds up hills and plains, and through MUD.

Beyond that…lots of reading, and I promise to finish knitting the wool scarf that has been consuming my last few weeks. You want me to finish; I am convinced spring is being held back until I finish this project! I should have knit a summer tank top back in December to see if I could have influenced the weather. 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!
Now in Stores: THE STRANGER by Harlan Coben
THE STRANGER by Harlan Coben (Thriller)
The Stranger appears out of nowhere. His identity is unknown, and his motives are unclear. But his information is undeniable. He whispers a few words in your ear and disappears, leaving you picking up the pieces of your shattered world. Adam Price has a lot to lose: a comfortable marriage to a beautiful woman, two wonderful sons, and all the trappings of the American Dream. Then he runs into the Stranger. When he learns a devastating secret about his wife, he confronts her, and the mirage of perfection disappears as if it never existed at all. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

-Click here to read more about the book.
Click here to read a review. Talks to Katherine Center, Author of HAPPINESS FOR BEGINNERS --- A Women’s Fiction Author Spotlight Title

Katherine Center is the author of four novels about love and family, and her writing has appeared in multiple publications and anthologies. Her latest book, HAPPINESS FOR BEGINNERS, follows newly divorced Helen Carpenter as she embarks on a wilderness survival course and discovers that sometimes you have to leave things behind in order to find yourself. In this interview with's Alexis Burling, Center shares her own experience taking a wilderness survival course in her 20s and what it taught her about the way people grow. And it’s not only Center’s endings that are happy: She talks about why she’s more interested in resilience than defeat, and the lovely way she uses others’ wisdom to inspire her kids every day.

HAPPINESS FOR BEGINNERS by Katherine Center (Fiction)
A year after getting divorced, Helen Carpenter lets her annoying brother talk her into signing up for a wilderness survival course. 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 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. Reviewed by Alexis Burling.

-Click here to read more about the book.
-Click here to read a review.
-Click here to read an excerpt.
-Click here for the reading group guide.
-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 see the 25 winners selected to read and comment on the book.
-Click here to read more in our Women’s Fiction Author Spotlight.

Click here to read our interview. Talks to Sylvia True, Author of THE WEDNESDAY GROUP --- A Women’s Fiction Author Spotlight Title

Sylvia True was born in Manchester, England to German refugees, who moved to the U.S. when she was five. She has been a high school science teacher for over 20 years, and now she (and readers!) welcomes her debut novel, THE WEDNESDAY GROUP. It’s the “unputdownable” story of five women, who meet each week in therapy to discuss the trials of being married to sex addicts. In this interview with's Bronwyn Miller, True talks about why she felt compelled to write a story about addiction from a fresh --- and often overlooked --- angle, the reason she’s so interested in how people experience shame, and how writing about it helps her resolve those feelings in her own life.

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. 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. Reviewed by Bronwyn Miller.

-Click here to read more about the book.
-Click here to read a review.
-Click here to read an excerpt.
-Click here for the reading group guide.
-Click here to read Sylvia True’s bio.
-Click here to see the 25 winners selected to read and comment on the book.
-Click here to read more in our Women’s Fiction Author Spotlight.

Click here to read our interview.
New Women's Fiction Author Spotlight & Contest: DON’T TRY TO FIND ME by Holly Brown
We have 50 copies of DON'T TRY TO FIND ME by Holly Brown to give away to readers who would like to read the book, which releases in paperback on April 7th, and share their comments on it. To enter, please fill out this form by Thursday, April 9th at noon ET.

DON'T TRY TO FIND ME by Holly Brown (Psychological Thriller)
Don’t try to find me. Though the message on the kitchen white board is written in Marley’s hand, her mother Rachel knows there has to be some other explanation. Marley would never run away.

As the days pass and it sinks in that the impossible has occurred, Rachel and her husband Paul are informed that the police have “limited resources.” If they want their 14-year-old daughter back, they will have to find her themselves. Desperation becomes determination when Paul turns to Facebook and Twitter, and launches

But Marley isn’t the only one with secrets.

With public exposure comes scrutiny, and when Rachel blows a television interview, the dirty speculation begins. Now, the blogosphere is convinced Rachel is hiding something. It’s not what they think; Rachel would never hurt Marley. Not intentionally, anyway. But when it’s discovered that she’s lied, even to the police, the devoted mother becomes a suspect in Marley’s disappearance.

Is Marley out there somewhere, watching it all happen, or is the truth something far worse?

-Click here to read an excerpt.
-Click here for the reading group guide.
-Click here to read Holly Brown’s bio.

-Click here to visit Holly Brown’s blog.
-Click here to connect with Holly Brown on Facebook.

Click here to read more in our Women’s Fiction Author Spotlight and enter the contest.
Southern Writers Author Spotlight & Contest: THE MEMORY HOUSE by Linda Goodnight
We have 25 copies of THE MEMORY HOUSE: A Honey Ridge Novel by Linda Goodnight, which releases on March 31st, to give away to readers who would like to read the book and comment on it. To enter, please fill out this form by Thursday, April 2nd at noon ET.

THE MEMORY HOUSE: A Honey Ridge Novel by Linda Goodnight (Fiction)
Memories of motherhood and marriage are fresh for Julia Presley --- though tragedy took away both years ago. Finding comfort in the routine of running the Peach Orchard Inn, she lets the historic, mysterious place fill the voids of love and family. No more pleasure of a man's gentle kiss. No more joy in hearing a child call her Mommy. Life is calm, unchanging…until a stranger with a young boy and soul-deep secrets shows up in her Tennessee town and disrupts the loneliness of her world.

Julia suspects there's more to Eli Donovan's past than his motherless son, Alex. There's a reason he's chasing redemption and bent on earning it with a new beginning in Honey Ridge. Offering the guarded man work renovating the inn, she glimpses someone who --- like her --- has a heart in need of restoration. But with the chance discovery of a dusty stack of love letters buried within the lining of an old trunk, the long-dead ghosts of a Civil War romance envelop Julia and Eli, connecting them to the inn's violent history and challenging them both to risk facing yesterday's darkness for a future bright with hope and healing.

-Click here to read an excerpt.
-Click here to read Linda Goodnight’s bio.
-Click here to visit Linda Goodnight’s official website.
-Connect with Linda Goodnight on Facebook and Twitter.
Click here to read more in our Southern Writers Author Spotlight and enter the contest.
New Paperback Spotlight: THE FORTUNE HUNTER by Daisy Goodwin
THE FORTUNE HUNTER by Daisy Goodwin (Historical Fiction)
Empress Elizabeth of Austria, known as Sisi, is the Princess Diana of 19th-century Europe. Famously beautiful, as captured in a portrait with diamond stars in her hair, she is unfulfilled in her marriage to the older Emperor Franz Joseph. Sisi has spent years evading the stifling formality of royal life on her private train or yacht or, whenever she can, on the back of a horse.

Captain Bay Middleton is dashing, young, and the finest horseman in England. He is also impoverished, with no hope of buying the horse needed to win the Grand National --- until he meets Charlotte Baird. A clever, plainspoken heiress whose money gives her a choice among suitors, Charlotte falls in love with Bay, the first man to really notice her, for his vulnerability as well as his glamour. When Sisi joins the legendary hunt organized by Earl Spencer in England, Bay is asked to guide her on the treacherous course. Their shared passion for riding leads to an infatuation that jeopardizes the growing bond between Bay and Charlotte, and threatens all of their futures.

THE FORTUNE HUNTER releases in paperback on March 31st.

-Click here to read a review.
-Click here to read an excerpt.
-Click here for the reading group guide.
-Click here to read Daisy Goodwin’s bio.
-Click here to visit Daisy Goodwin’s official website.
-Connect with Daisy Goodwin on Facebook and Twitter.
Click here to read more in our Paperback Spotlight.
New Paperback Spotlight: ONE PLUS ONE by Jojo Moyes
ONE PLUS ONE by Jojo Moyes (Fiction)
American audiences have fallen in love with Jojo Moyes. Ever since she debuted Stateside, she has captivated readers and reviewers alike, and hit the New York Times bestseller list with the word-of-mouth sensation ME BEFORE YOU. Now, with ONE PLUS ONE, she’s written another contemporary opposites-attract love story.

Suppose your life sucks. A lot. Your husband has done a vanishing act, your teenage stepson is being bullied, and your math whiz daughter has a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that you can’t afford to pay for. That’s Jess’ life in a nutshell --- until an unexpected knight in shining armor offers to rescue them. Only Jess’ knight turns out to be Geeky Ed, the obnoxious tech millionaire whose vacation home she happens to clean. But Ed has big problems of his own, and driving the dysfunctional family to the Math Olympiad feels like his first unselfish act in ages...maybe ever.

ONE PLUS ONE releases in paperback on March 31st.

-Click here to read a review.
-Click here to read Jojo Moyes’ bio.
-Click here to visit Jojo Moyes’ official website.
-Connect with Jojo Moyes on Facebook and Twitter.
Click here to read more in our Paperback Spotlight.
One to Watch Author Spotlight: THE POCKET WIFE by Susan Crawford
THE POCKET WIFE by Susan Crawford (Psychological Thriller)
Dana Catrell is shocked when her neighbor, Celia, is brutally murdered. To Dana’s horror, she was the last person to see Celia alive. Suffering from mania, the result of her bipolar disorder, she has troubling holes in her memory, including what happened on the afternoon of Celia’s death.

Her husband’s odd behavior and the probing of Detective Jack Moss create further complications as she searches for answers. The closer she comes to piecing together the shards of her broken memory, the more Dana falls apart. Is there a murderer lurking inside her...or is there one out there in the shadows of reality, waiting to strike again?

-Click here to read a review.
-Click here to read an excerpt.
-Click here for the reading group guide.
-Click here to read our interview with Susan Crawford.
-Click here to read Susan Crawford’s bio.
-Click here to visit Susan Crawford’s official website.
-Connect with Susan Crawford on Facebook and Twitter.
Click here to read more in our One to Watch Author Spotlight.'s Spring Preview Contests and Feature
Spring is in the air (or will be soon...hopefully)! We’ve 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 31st at noon ET.

This year's featured titles include:

Click here to see our Spring Preview feature and sign up for our special newsletter. Blog Post: John Hargrove on How One Amazing Killer Whale Saved His Life
Over the course of two decades, John Hargrove worked with 20 different whales on two continents and at two of SeaWorld's U.S. facilities. In 2012 he resigned his position with SeaWorld, and currently contributes his expertise to an advocacy movement that is convincing legislators to prohibit keeping killer whales in captivity. Hargrove appeared in the controversial 2013 documentary "Blackfish," and his book, BENEATH THE SURFACE: Killer Whales, SeaWorld, and the Truth Beyond Blackfish, is now available. In it, he paints a compelling portrait of killer whales as highly intelligent and social creatures, and argues that SeaWorld's popular programs are both detrimental to the whales and unsafe for trainers. Here, Hargrove shares his experience with one orca, Takara, with whom he formed a true bond --- and the fascinating story of how she saved his life.
Click here to read John Hargrove's blog post on the killer whale that saved his life.
More Reviews This Week
ALL THE OLD KNIVES by Olen Steinhauer (Thriller)
Six years ago in Vienna, terrorists took over a hundred hostages, and the rescue attempt went terribly wrong. The CIA’s Vienna station was witness to this tragedy, gathering intel from its sources during those tense hours, assimilating facts from the ground and from an agent on the inside. So when it all went wrong, the question had to be asked: Had their agent been compromised, and how? Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

THE FIFTH HEART by Dan Simmons (Historical Mystery)
In 1893, Sherlock Holmes and Henry James come to America together to solve the mystery of the 1885 death of Clover Adams. Holmes has faked his own death because he has come to the conclusion that he is a fictional character. This leads to serious complications for James. If his esteemed fellow investigator is merely a work of fiction, what does that make him? And what can the master storyteller do to fight against the sinister power that may or may not be controlling them from the shadows? Reviewed by Ray Palen.

THE PRECIOUS ONE by Marisa de los Santos (Fiction)
In all her life, Eustacia “Taisy” Cleary has given her heart to only three men: her first love, Ben Ransom; her twin brother, Marcus; and Wilson Cleary --- professor, inventor, philanderer, self-made millionaire, brilliant man, breathtaking jerk: her father. Seventeen years ago, Wilson ditched his first family for Caroline, a beautiful young sculptor. Why then, is Wilson calling Taisy now, inviting her for an extended visit? Why, now, does Wilson want Taisy to help him write his memoir? Reviewed by Bronwyn Miller.

-Click here for the reading group guide.
-Click here to read our interview with Marisa de los Santos.

THE BULLET by Mary Louise Kelly (Thriller)
In a split second, everything Caroline Cashion has known is proved to be a lie. A single bullet is found lodged at the base of her skull. Caroline is stunned. She has never been shot. Then, over the course of one awful evening, she learns the truth: that she was adopted when she was three years old after her real parents were murdered. She was wounded too, a gunshot to the neck. Surgeons had stitched up the traumatized little girl, with the bullet still there. Now, Caroline has to find the truth of her past. Reviewed by Jana Siciliano.

INSPECTOR OF THE DEAD by David Morrell (Historical Thriller)
The year is 1855. The Crimean War is raging. The incompetence of British commanders causes the fall of the English government. The Empire teeters. Amid this crisis comes opium-eater Thomas De Quincey, one of the most notorious and brilliant personalities of Victorian England. Along with his irrepressible daughter, Emily, and their Scotland Yard companions, Ryan and Becker, De Quincey finds himself confronted by an adversary who threatens the heart of the nation. Reviewed by Kate Ayers.

THE ANIMALS by Christian Kiefer (Literary Thriller)
Bill Reed manages a wildlife sanctuary in rural Idaho, caring for injured animals that are unable to survive in the wild. Seemingly rid of his troubled past, Bill hopes to marry the local veterinarian and live a quiet life together, the promise of which is threatened when a childhood friend is released from prison. Suddenly forced to confront the secrets of his criminal youth, Bill battles fiercely to preserve the shelter that protects these wounded animals and to keep hidden his turbulent, even dangerous, history. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

ONGOINGNESS: The End of a Diary by Sarah Manguso (Memoir)
Sarah Manguso confronts a meticulous diary that she has kept for 25 years. “I wanted to end each day with a record of everything that had ever happened,” she explains. Maintaining this diary, now 800,000 words, had become, until recently, a kind of spiritual practice. Then Manguso became pregnant and had a child, and these two Copernican events generated an amnesia that put her into a different relationship with the need to document herself amid ongoing time. Reviewed by Norah Piehl.

SOIL by Jamie Kornegay (Fiction)
An ambitious young environmental scientist hoped to establish a sustainable farm on a small patch of river-bottom land nestled among the Mississippi hills. Jay Mize convinced his wife, Sandy, to move their six-year-old son away from town and to a rich and lush parcel. He did not know that within a year he’d be ruined, that flood and pestilence would invade his fledgling farm, or that his wife and son would leave him. When Jay discovers a corpse on his property, he is sure his bad luck has come to a head and he is being framed. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

NIGHT NIGHT, SLEEP TIGHT by Hallie Ephron (Mystery)
When Deirdre Unger arrived in Beverly Hills to help her bitter, disappointed father sell his dilapidated house, she discovers his lifeless body floating face down in the swimming pool. At first, she assumes his death was a tragic accident. But the longer she stays in town, the more she suspects that it is merely the third act in a story that has long been in the making. The sudden re-surfacing of Deirdre’s childhood best friend, Joelen Nichol, seems like more than a coincidence. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

THE DOG WHO SAVED ME by Susan Wilson (Fiction)
Boston police officer Cooper Harrison never thought he’d go back to his hometown of Harmony Farms. But when his faithful K-9 partner Argos is killed in the line of duty, Cooper, caught in a spiral of trauma and grief, has nowhere else to turn. Jobless and on the verge of divorce, he accepts an offer for the position of dog officer in Harmony Farms. Cooper refuses to get emotionally invested in another dog the way he had with Argos --- until he finds himself rescuing a wounded and gun-shy yellow lab gone feral. Reviewed by Maggie Harding.

KNOW YOUR BEHOLDER by Adam Rapp (Fiction/Humor)
As winter deepens in snowbound Pollard, Illinois, thirty-something Francis Falbo is holed up in his attic apartment, recovering from a series of traumas. Other than the agoraphobia that continues to hold him hostage, all he has left is his childhood home, the remaining rooms of which he rents to a cast of eccentric tenants. The tight-knit community has already survived a blizzard, but there is more danger in store for the citizens of Pollard before summer arrives. Reviewed by Jane Krebs.

THE DIRTY DUST written by Máirtín Ó Cadhain, translated from the Irish by Alan Titley (Historical Fiction)
Máirtín Ó Cadhain’s satire, originally published in Irish in 1949, is appearing in English translation for the first time. THE DIRTY DUST has about two dozen characters, all of whom are dead and lying in their respective graves. Written almost entirely in dialogue and set during World War II, this hilariously profane book depicts Irish villagers who can’t stop gossiping and complaining about one another. So much for resting in peace. Reviewed by Michael Magras.

THE MERMAID'S CHILD by Jo Baker (Historical Fantasy)
Malin has always been different, and when her father dies, leaving her alone, her choice is clear: stay and remain an outsider forever, or leave in search of the mythical inheritance she is certain awaits her. Apprenticed to a series of strange and wonderful characters, Malin embarks on a grueling journey that crosses oceans and continents --- from the high seas to desert plains --- and leads to a discovery that she never could have expected. Reviewed by Kathy Weissman.

LILLIAN ON LIFE by Alison Jean Lester (Fiction)
Born in the Midwest in the 1930s, Lillian lives, loves and works in Europe in the ’50s and early ’60s. She settles in New York and pursues the great love of her life in the ’60s and ’70s. Now it’s the early ’90s, and she’s taking stock. Throughout her life, walking the unpaved road between traditional and modern choices for women, Lillian grapples with parental disappointment and societal expectations, wins and losses in love, and develops her own brand of wisdom. Reviewed by Jesse Kornbluth, founder of

THE LOST BOYS SYMPHONY by Mark Ferguson (Fiction)
After Henry's girlfriend, Val, leaves him and transfers to another school, his grief begins to manifest itself in bizarre and horrifying ways. After weeks of sleepless nights and sick delusions, Henry decides to run away and find Val. Once on the George Washington Bridge, however, a powerful hallucination knocks him out cold. When he awakens, he finds out that he has been kidnapped by two strangers who claim to be future versions of himself. Reviewed by Sarah Rachel Egelman.
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:

THE TIGHTROPE WALKERS by David Almond (Historical Fiction)
A gentle visionary coming of age in the shadow of the shipyards of northern England, Dominic Hall is torn between extremes. On the one hand, he craves the freedom he feels when he steals away with the eccentric girl artist next door, Holly Stroud --- his first and abiding love --- to balance above the earth on a makeshift tightrope. With Holly, Dom dreams of a life different in every way from his shipbuilder dad’s. On the other hand, he finds himself irresistibly drawn to the brutal charms of Vincent McAlinden, a complex bully who awakens something wild and reckless and killing in Dom.

BONE GAP by Laura Ruby (Mystery/Fantasy/Romance)
BONE GAP is the story of Roza, a beautiful girl who is taken from a quiet midwestern town and imprisoned by a mysterious man, and Finn, the only witness, who cannot forgive himself for being unable to identify her kidnapper. As we follow them through their melancholy pasts, their terrifying presents, their uncertain futures, acclaimed author Laura Ruby weaves a heartbreaking tale of love and loss, magic and mystery, regret and forgiveness --- a story about how the face the world sees is never the sum of who we are.

THE LAST TIME WE SAY GOODBYE by Cynthia Hand (Fiction)
Since her brother, Tyler, committed suicide, Lex has been trying to keep her grief locked away and to forget about what happened that night. But as she starts putting her life, her family and her friendships back together, Lex is haunted by a secret she hasn't told anyone --- a text Tyler sent that could have changed everything.

DEAD TO ME by Mary McCoy (Historical Mystery)
"Don't believe anything they say." Those were the last words that Annie spoke to Alice before turning her back on their family and vanishing without a trace. Alice spent four years waiting and wondering when the impossibly glamorous sister she idolized would return to her --- and what their Hollywood-insider parents had done to drive her away. When Annie does turn up, the blond, broken stranger lying in a coma has no answers for her. But Alice isn't a kid anymore, and this time she won't let anything stand between her and the truth, no matter how ugly.

Click here for more young adult books we recommend you read.
Our Latest Poll: Your Thoughts on Publishers and Their Imprints
Are you familiar with publishers and publishing imprints?
  • Yes, I often select books from specific imprints.
  • Yes, but this does not affect my book selections.
  • I am not familiar with specific imprints.
  • I am not sure how I feel.

Which of the following selection of imprints are you familiar with? Please check all that apply.
  • Anchor/Vintage
  • Atria
  • Ballantine/Bantam
  • Bloomsbury
  • Crown
  • Delacorte
  • Doubleday
  • Europa Editions
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  • Harper Perennial
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  • Knopf
  • Little, Brown and Company
  • Penguin
  • Putnam
  • Random House
  • Riverhead
  • Scribner
  • Simon & Schuster
  • St. Martin's Press
  • Tor/Forge
  • Viking
  • William Morrow
  • 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 March 20th to April 10th, FIVE lucky readers each will be randomly chosen to win a copy of AT THE WATER’S EDGE by Sara Gruen, THE PATRIOT THREAT by Steve Berry, and THE STRANGER by Harlan Coben.

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.

-To see reader comments from previous contest periods, click here.
Click here to enter the contest.

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