Skip to main content

April 10, 2015 Newsletter April 10, 2015

Quick Links to Features on
My Week Had Trips Down Memory Lane
On Sunday night, after a fun Easter Sunday dinner (and yes, I did buy the pre-dyed Easter eggs, which were a huge hit and ensured that I did not dye the kitchen table like I did in other years), we watched part one of the Sinatra documentary on HBO, "Sinatra: All or Nothing at All," followed by the first episode of the final season of "Mad Men." Monday night was part two of the Sinatra piece (I had not realized it was a two-parter until Sunday night when the show ended suddenly in 1954). I was very into the music both nights and, at one point, was mouthing the songs on the couch, complete with hard gestures. My husband turned and asked me a question. I told him, “Wait, I am doing my big finish of 'My Way.'" He laughed and, okay, it was humorous. I cannot sing, so it's better that I'm only mouthing the words.

By the way, I highly recommend the documentary, though I am not sure why they are running it now as a 100th anniversary tribute when Sinatra’s birthday is not until December 12th. As for "Mad Men," it was a solid opener. On the way to a publisher meeting the other day, we stopped by “Don Draper Way” and the Don Draper bench on Sixth Avenue, where Greg shot the photo of me above. I realized later that I should have sat next to Don and draped my arm over the bench...not the wisest staging. It was a last-minute idea, and we were rushed.

I finished up listening to Candice Bergen’s A FINE ROMANCE, and after I wrote what I thought was Bets On copy for the audiobook, Greg took a look at the 11 paragraphs on my screen and pointed out that I had actually written a review. It has been quite a while (probably around 10 years) since I’ve written a review for the site, so I’m very pleased to share this one with you. Here’s a preview of it: “What I liked is that the book is wickedly honest.... I laughed a lot while listening to this book. A LOT.... In something that may surprise you, I am going to say that this would be a great book for book groups.” And don’t worry, it still will be a Bets On title. You can read my additional comments about the book in next week’s newsletter. Also, here’s a link to Candice on the "Today Show," where they lasered in on one of the points in the book that I did not discuss in my review by choice. The media seemed to latch on to this point like a dog with a bone. Seriously, the book is about a whole lot more.

In this long-awaited second memoir to KNOCK WOOD, Candice begins with her marriage to her first husband, French director Louis Malle, and goes on to chronicle her life as a wife and mother amidst her “Murphy Brown” fame. When Louis is diagnosed with cancer 15 years into their marriage, Candice and her daughter, Chloe, suffer through grief and despair. After years of widowhood, however, she finds a new love and watches her daughter leave home --- all while battling the oftentimes humorous (very humorous) troubles of aging.

I love Linwood Barclay’s thrillers, which are tightly written and action-packed, set in towns much in the vein of Harlan Coben. After reading an advance copy of BROKEN PROMISE, which will be in stores on July 28th, I knew this would be a great book for our Sneak Peek: An Early Look at an Upcoming Book feature/contest, and I am happy to share details about this special opportunity with you now. We have 100(!) advance copies to give away to readers who can commit to previewing it and sharing their comments on it by June 4th (and we really mean we want you to commit ONLY if you can read it by that date!).

In BROKEN PROMISE, David Harwood has unexpectedly lost his wife and his career. With few choices left, he and his nine-year-old son move in with his elderly parents in Promise Falls, NY. When his mother asks him to check in on his cousin, Marla, he finds her with a 10-month-old boy, who she claims belongs to her --- despite losing her baby in childbirth a year ago. As David investigates, he uncovers numerous secrets and lies, all leading to a shocking conclusion that puts all of Promise Falls in danger. The deadline for your entries is Thursday, April 23rd at noon ET. If you can read and comment by June 4th, sign up now! Oh, and did I mention this will be a Bets On pick when it releases?

This week, we have a new Women's Fiction Author Spotlight featuring Lisa Genova and her latest novel, INSIDE THE O’BRIENS, which came out this week. I have been talking about this book for months, and when you read it, you will see why. Lisa does an absolutely brilliant job of looking at the effects of Huntington’s disease on one family. When 44-year-old Joe O’Brien begins experiencing bouts of disorganized thinking, temper outbursts and involuntary movements, he attributes his symptoms to the stress of his job as a police officer. As they worsen, however, he agrees to see a neurologist and is met with a life-changing diagnosis: Huntington’s disease. Even worse, each of his four grown children has a 50 percent chance of inheriting the disease, although a simple test can reveal their fates.

Norah Piehl has our review and says, “In addition to the portrayal of a family in crisis, it offers readers a terrific portrait of Boston, a thoughtful consideration of urban gentrification, and a very personalized story of the brave new world of genetic testing and how it affects individuals' self-conception and future choices.” Norah had the pleasure of speaking with Lisa about her inspiration for INSIDE THE O’BRIENS, her research methods, and the topic of her next novel. Click here to read the interview. Also, in February, a select group of readers who entered our special contest won a copy of the book and an opportunity to comment on it. Click here for their feedback. And if you are an audiobook listener, I gave that a listen this week, and the reading by Skipp Sudduth is quite well done. I will have my Bets On commentary on this next week.

Our newest One to Watch Author Spotlight features Annabel Smith, whose novel, WHISKEY AND CHARLIE, is now in stores. As children, twin brothers Whiskey and Charlie shared not only genetics, but also a secret language based on the two-way alphabet. Though they were close, Charlie often felt pushed back by Whiskey’s bold and daring attitude. As the two grew up, they grew apart, and by the time they reach adulthood they barely speak. But when Charlie hears that Whiskey has been in a terrible accident, he must make sense of the possibility of his life without his twin --- and the closure he needs.

According to reviewer Alexis Burling, “Smith’s dogged approach to flushing out Charlie and Whiskey’s relationship without giving Whiskey a say is a smart gamble to take… Above all, what WHISKEY AND CHARLIE really gives us is a powerful reminder that life is short, loved ones shouldn’t be taken for granted, and forgiveness is often the key to contentment.” Alexis talked with Annabel about her inspiration for the book, as well as her blog and what she has planned next. Click here to read the interview. Also, winners of our Sneak Peek contest who received a copy of the book were given an opportunity to provide us with opinions of the book. You can read their comments here. This, too, will be a Bets On selection; more on that next week!

Our Women's Fiction Author Spotlight on Holly Brown and her debut novel, DON’T TRY TO FIND ME (now available in paperback), continues with our review and interview. When 14-year-old Marley runs away, her parents, Rachel and Paul, are horrified by the message she leaves behind: “Don’t try to find me.” After less than stellar results from the local police, the devastated parents launch a social media campaign to help find her. But when Rachel blows a television interview, it becomes clear that Marley wasn’t the only one with secrets.

Alexis Burling has this to say in her review: “The structure of DON’T TRY TO FIND ME plays an essential role in how Marley’s story unfolds.... Brown succeeds in shining a much-needed spotlight on what seems to be a widespread problem --- thousands of vulnerable children looking for love in all the wrong places.” Alexis chatted with Holly about her inspiration for this thrilling novel, as well as her professional background and her upcoming book. Click here to read the interview.

DON’T TRY TO FIND ME is one of the books featured in our New in Paperback roundups for April. Others include the highly anticipated paperback release of THE GOLDFINCH by Donna Tartt; continuations of popular series from Lee Child (PERSONAL: A Jack Reacher Novel), Jeffery Deaver (THE SKIN COLLECTOR: A Lincoln Rhyme Novel) and Sophie Kinsella (SHOPAHOLIC TO THE STARS); and nonfiction offerings such as HARD CHOICES by Hillary Rodham Clinton and EVERYBODY’S GOT SOMETHING by Robin Roberts.

From The New Yorker copy editor and proofreader Mary Norris comes BETWEEN YOU & ME: Confessions of a Comma Queen. Drawing on her vast experience, Norris describes some of the funniest and most common problems in spelling, punctuation and usage. From comma faults to danglers and even gender-neutral language, Norris tackles it all, explaining how to handle pesky grammar problems. She even takes readers through Noah Webster’s groundbreaking Blue-Backed Speller and on a quest to discover who put the hyphen in MOBY-DICK.

Norah Piehl has our grammatically correct review and says, “Readers of The New Yorker, especially, will relish Norris' behind-the-scenes glimpses into the workings of the magazine… Part memoir, part grammar guide, part exposé on The New Yorker, BETWEEN YOU & ME will appeal to readers who want to think more deeply about how they write and how they read.” I had the absolute pleasure of meeting Mary at a luncheon earlier this year. I pictured someone strict and reserved; she was anything but! She had some fun stories to share about getting the magazine out on time and grammatically correct at The New Yorker, which made me laugh thinking of my magazine days! Since meeting her, I have been mindful of grammar and in, I am careful to be sure that Tom edits everything for me.

Our Mother's Day Contest and Feature is back for a 10th year! We are featuring 27(!) books that are perfect for gift giving for moms. Over the next four weeks, readers will have the chance to win one of our 25 prize packages, which includes a selection of five of these books (please note that two of these titles --- the eShorts CAT AND JEMIMA J by Jane Green and WHAT SHE REALLY WANTS by Barbara Delinsky --- are available for free download on Amazon Kindle on May 5th), along with a marvelous array of gifts to treat yourself or Mom. The deadline for your entries is Monday, May 11th at noon ET. Click here to take a look at all of our featured titles --- it’s an amazing lineup that you can read more about below --- and enter to win.

For this week’s Spring Preview contests, we gave away ALENA by Rachel Pastan, BLOSSOM STREET BRIDES by Debbie Macomber, ORHAN'S INHERITANCE by Aline Ohanesian and THIS HEART OF MINE by Brenda Novak. Next week's prize books will be THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD by Elizabeth Alexander (an upcoming Bets On selection), RE JANE by Patricia Park, THE ROCKS by Peter Nichols and VISIBLE CITY by Tova Mirvis. We'll be posting the first 24-hour contest of the week on Monday, April 13th at noon ET.

Our Books on Screen feature has been updated for April. Theatrical releases include The Longest Ride and Child 44, while on the small screen, there’s “Wolf Hall” on PBS, “Seeds of Yesterday” on Lifetime and Paddington on DVD. And, of course, "Game of Thrones."

Over the past year, has television watching interfered with your reading? Let us know in our latest poll. I will share what I have seen in my personal life when the poll closes. In our previous poll, we asked about your familiarity with publishers and their imprints. Click here for the results.

We have a new Word of Mouth contest this week. Please let us know by Friday, April 24th at noon ET what books you’ve finished reading, and you’ll have the chance to win BLOOD ON SNOW by Jo Nesbø; EVERY FIFTEEN MINUTES by Lisa Scottoline; and MISSOULA: Rape and the Justice System in a College Town, by Jon Krakauer.

The American Library Association (ALA) has announced the shortlist for this year’s Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence in Fiction and Nonfiction. The three finalists in the fiction category are ALL THE LIGHT WE CANNOT SEE by Anthony Doerr; NORA WEBSTER by Colm Tóibín; and ON SUCH A FULL SEA by Chang-rae Lee. The nonfiction finalists are JUST MERCY: A Story of Justice and Redemption, by Bryan Stevenson; THE SIXTH EXTINCTION: An Unnatural History, by Elizabeth Kolbert; and THIRTEEN DAYS IN SEPTEMBER: Carter, Begin, and Sadat at Camp David, by Lawrence Wright. The winners will be announced at the 2015 ALA Annual Conference in San Francisco on June 27th.

News and Pop Culture:

We're looking for teen and 20Something YA readers who love fantasy: On our site, we are running a survey asking for opinions about 10 YA fantasy book covers and looking for the opinions of those ages 12-29. Please pass this link along to those who you think would be interested. Once they complete it, they can enter to win prizes!

Legendary columnist Liz Smith loves THE FORTUNE HUNTER: Last year, I selected THE FORTUNE HUNTER as a Bets On title. I just saw a piece on New York Social Diary where Liz Smith gave the book a HUGE rave: “I want to highly recommend that you at least settle in for a whopping good time and get the new soft cover of THE FORTUNE HUNTER. Especially if you are one of the thousands of English-speaking fanatics and fans of 'Downton Abbey,' those who love reading about the royals, who were once the be-all and end-all of British 'civilization.'" She also chastises herself for not finding it sooner (maybe I should see if she wants to get this newsletter). See what she had to say here.

"Game of Thrones": Season Five kicks off Sunday night at 9. I have not read the books, thus everything is a surprise to me. My husband has read them all, so naturally he takes the show more in stride. Suffice it to say, the night of the “Red Wedding” I was jumping out of my seat in horror while he was cool as a cucumber.

"Nurse Jackie": Jackie is back for a final season starting Sunday night on Showtime. I have screened the first five episodes, and they are very, very strong. You can see the trailer here.

"True Detective": Season two will be back on June 21st. You can see the trailer here.

I was lucky enough to get a hold of an advance copy of RADIANT ANGEL, Nelson DeMille’s upcoming John Corey novel, which will be in stores on May 26th. Corey has left the Anti-Terrorist Task Force and has taken a job with the Diplomatic Surveillance Group in New York City. In this role, he tracks diplomats to be sure that they are following the restrictions set upon them when stationed here. His assignment is to track some Russian diplomats assigned to the United Nations. He follows them to a party in the Hamptons, but quickly notes that something fishy is going on...and it’s not sushi at the party. What ensues is a scarily plausible scenario. As always, it’s action-packed right to the end; I lost sleep finishing it! You can read the two opening chapters here. For those who have not read Nelson’s Corey books before, this is the seventh one! You have time to speed read and catch up by the end of May.

I currently am listening to Anjelica Huston’s audio recording of her memoir, WATCH ME. I'm loving her voice. Both she and Bergen have a great sense of timing when they read; they clearly know how to pace a story from their years as actresses.

“Masters Weekend” means lots of hushed tones in our house this weekend as that four-letter word, G-O-L-F, is played. I will be making pimento cheese sandwiches as part of the ritual. My mom made MANY terrific desserts last weekend, including a cheesecake that we luckily finished before I could carve myself another wide slice; it was AMAZING! Way too amazing! Fruit for me for a few weeks now.

Here it has been forecasted that it will be sunny and in the 60s this weekend. If that happens, there will be outdoor reading on the agenda. 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!

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Indiebound Talks to Lisa Genova, Author of INSIDE THE O’BRIENS --- Our Latest Women’s Fiction Author Spotlight Title

Earlier this year, Lisa Genova proudly watched Julianne Moore win an Academy Award for playing the lead in the big screen adaptation of her New York Times bestselling novel, STILL ALICE. Her latest book, INSIDE THE O’BRIENS, sheds light on another disease --- Huntington’s --- and the heartbreaking effect it has on one family. She has a background in neuroscience and is known for her masterful handling of the human aspects of illness. In this interview with’s Norah Piehl, Genova talks about what initially inspired her to write from the perspective of the patient and how she is able to achieve such poignantly empathetic narratives (hint: tons of first-person research!).

INSIDE THE O’BRIENS by Lisa Genova (Fiction)
A devoted husband, proud father of four children in their 20s, and respected police officer, Joe O'Brien begins experiencing bouts of disorganized thinking, uncharacteristic temper outbursts, and strange, involuntary movements. He initially attributes these episodes to the stress of his job, but as these symptoms worsen, he agrees to see a neurologist and is handed a diagnosis that will change his and his family’s lives forever: Huntington’s disease. Reviewed by Norah Piehl.

-Click here to read more about the book.
-Click here to read a review.
-Click here to read an excerpt.
-Click here to see advance readers’ comments for the book.
-Click here to read Lisa Genova’s bio.
-Click here to visit Lisa Genova’s official website.
-Connect with Lisa Genova on Facebook and Twitter.
-Click here to read more in our Women’s Fiction Author Spotlight.

Click here to read our interview.
New Sneak Peek Contest: Win an Advance Copy of BROKEN PROMISE by Linwood Barclay and Share Your Comments On It

Our latest Sneak Peek Feature spotlights BROKEN PROMISE by Linwood Barclay, an explosive novel about the disturbing secrets of a quiet small town. The book doesn’t release until July 28th, but we have 100 advance copies to give away to readers who can commit to previewing it and sharing their comments on it by Thursday, June 4th. To enter, please fill out this form by Thursday, April 23rd at noon ET.

For our Sneak Peek program, your commitment to participate is critical, so please only enter this contest if you truly will have time to read BROKEN PROMISE and give us your feedback before our June 4th deadline. We take these project deadlines seriously. If you cannot commit, don’t worry…we will have more opportunities like this in the future.

BROKEN PROMISE by Linwood Barclay (Thriller)
After his wife’s death and the collapse of his newspaper, David Harwood has no choice but to uproot his nine-year-old son and move back into his childhood home in Promise Falls, New York. David believes his life is in free fall, and he can’t find a way to stop his descent.

Then he comes across a family secret of epic proportions. A year after a devastating miscarriage, David’s cousin Marla has continued to struggle. But when David’s mother asks him to check on her, he’s horrified to discover that she’s been secretly raising a child who is not her own --- a baby she claims was a gift from an “angel” left on her porch.

When the baby’s real mother is found murdered, David can’t help wanting to piece together what happened --- even if it means proving his own cousin’s guilt. But as he uncovers each piece of evidence, David realizes that Marla’s mysterious child is just the tip of the iceberg.

Other strange things are happening. Animals are found ritually slaughtered. An ominous abandoned Ferris wheel seems to stand as a warning that something dark has infected Promise Falls. And someone has decided that the entire town must pay for the sins of its past…in blood.

-Click here to read Linwood Barclay’s bio.
-Click here to visit Linwood Barclay’s official website.
-Connect with Linwood Barclay on Facebook and Twitter.

Click here to read more in our Sneak Peek feature and enter the contest. Talks to Annabel Smith, Author of WHISKEY AND CHARLIE --- Our Latest One to Watch Author Spotlight Title

Australian author Annabel Smith’s latest novel, WHISKEY AND CHARLIE, is about Charlie Ferns, who learns that his estranged twin brother Whiskey has been in a terrible accident. Although they barely have spoken in years, Charlie can’t help but wonder: Who is he without Whiskey? In this interview with’s Alexis Burling, Smith discusses how --- with seemingly fluid ease --- she gets into the heads of her characters, as well as how the things we internalize as kids can continue to affect us as adults. She also explains “Six Degrees of Separation” and “Writers Ask Writers” --- two monthly features on her blog that celebrate writing, great books and community.

WHISKEY AND CHARLIE by Annabel Smith (Fiction)
Whiskey is everything his twin brother, Charlie, is not --- bold, daring, carefree --- and Charlie blames his brother for always stealing the limelight. When they were just boys, the secret language they whispered back and forth over their crackly walkie-talkies connected them. As the brothers grew up, they grew apart, and in their adulthood, they are barely even speaking to each other. When Charlie hears that Whiskey has been in a terrible accident, he can’t make sense of it. Who is he without Whiskey? Reviewed by Alexis Burling.

-Click here to read more about the book.
-Click here to read a review.
-Click here to see advance readers’ comments for the book.
-Click here to read Annabel Smith’s bio.
-Connect with Annabel Smith on Facebook and Twitter.
-Click here to read more in our One to Watch Author Spotlight.

Click here to read our interview. Talks to Holly Brown, Author of DON’T TRY TO FIND ME --- A Women’s Fiction Author Spotlight Title

Holly Brown is a practicing marriage and family therapist, in addition to being a recent debut author. Her first book, DON’T TRY TO FIND ME (now available in paperback), is a gripping psychological thriller about one family's search for their missing daughter and the very public campaign that will expose their darkest secrets. In this interview with's Alexis Burling, Brown discusses her decision to place the mother-daughter relationship at the center of her story (a move that is somewhat atypical for the genre) and how her writing is informed by her work as a therapist. She also talks about runaways, reinvention, and why she believes nobody is ever truly beyond redemption.

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. 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 Holly Brown’s bio.
-Click here to visit Holly Brown’s blog.
-Click here to connect with Holly Brown on Facebook.
-Click here to see the 50 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.'s 10th Annual Mother's Day Contest: Books Mom Will Love
Mother’s Day is a time to recognize the woman who raised and nurtured us. To celebrate, we're giving you the opportunity to win books and goodies for you or the special lady in your life in our 10th annual "Books Mom Will Love" contest. From now through Monday, May 11th at noon ET, readers can enter to win one of our 25 prize packages, which includes a selection of five books listed below, along with some delicious Ghirardelli chocolate, tea from Tea Forté and Yardley Bar Soap. (Please note that two of these titles --- the eShorts CAT AND JEMIMA J by Jane Green and WHAT SHE REALLY WANTS by Barbara Delinsky --- are available for free download on Amazon Kindle beginning May 5th.)

With books that are moving, uplifting, humorous and informative, look no further than for the perfect gift for Mom.

To enter, please fill out this form by Monday, May 11th at noon ET.

This year's featured titles are:

Click here to read more about the prize books and enter the contest.
Now in Stores: A FINE ROMANCE (Audiobook) written and read by Candice Bergen

A FINE ROMANCE - Audiobook written and read by Candice Bergen (Memoir)
A FINE ROMANCE begins with Candice Bergen’s charming first husband, French director Louis Malle, whose huge appetite for life broadened her horizons and whose occasional darkness never diminished their love for each other. But her real romance begins when she discovers overpowering love for her daughter after years of ambivalence about motherhood. As Chloe grows up, Bergen finds her comic genius in the biggest TV role of the '80s, "Murphy Brown," and makes unwanted headlines when Dan Quayle pulls her into the 1992 presidential campaign. Reviewed by Carol Fitzgerald.

-Click here to read more about the audiobook.

Click here to read a review.


Now in Stores: BETWEEN YOU & ME by Mary Norris

BETWEEN YOU & ME: Confessions of a Comma Queen by Mary Norris (Writing/Reference)
Mary Norris has spent more than three decades in The New Yorker's copy department, maintaining its celebrated high standards. Now she brings her vast experience, good cheer and finely sharpened pencils to help the rest of us in BETWEEN YOU & ME, which features her laugh-out-loud descriptions of some of the most common and vexing problems in spelling, punctuation and usage, and her clear explanations of how to handle them. Reviewed by Norah Piehl.

-Click here to read more about the book.

Click here to read a review.
Now in Stores: THE CHILDREN’S CRUSADE by Ann Packer

THE CHILDREN’S CRUSADE by Ann Packer (Fiction)
Bill Blair finds the land by accident, three wooded acres in a rustic community south of San Francisco, and buys the property on a whim. In Penny Greenway he finds a suitable wife, and they marry and have four kids. Thirty years later, the three oldest Blair children, now adults and still living near the family home, are disrupted by the return of the youngest, whose sudden presence and all-too-familiar troubles force a reckoning with who they are, separately and together, and set off a struggle over the family’s future. Reviewed by Jana Siciliano.

-Click here to read more about the book.

Click here to read a review.
New in Paperback Roundups for April

April’s roundups of New in Paperback fiction titles include Donna Tartt's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel THE GOLDFINCH, an old-fashioned story of loss and obsession, survival and self-invention, and the ruthless machinations of fate; PERSONAL, book #19 in Lee Child's action-packed series starring retired military cop Jack Reacher; Jeffery Deaver's THE SKIN COLLECTOR, which finds forensic detective Lincoln Rhyme having to untangle a twisted web of clues before a killer, a criminal inspired by the Bone Collector, targets more victims --- or Rhyme himself; and SHOPAHOLIC TO THE STARS, which marks the return of Sophie Kinsella's beloved Shopaholic series, with Becky Brandon (née Bloomwood) newly arrived in Hollywood and starry-eyed.

Among this month’s nonfiction offerings are HARD CHOICES, Hillary Rodham Clinton’s inside account of the crises, choices and challenges she faced during her four years as America’s 67th Secretary of State; EVERYBODY'S GOT SOMETHING, Robin Roberts' memoir in which she recounts the incredible journey that's been her life so far, and the lessons she's learned along the way; and BIRDMEN by Lawrence Goldstone, a thrilling narrative of courage, determination and competition that centers on the intense rivalry between the Wright brothers and Glenn Curtiss, which fueled the rise of American aviation.

-Find out what's New in Paperback for the weeks of April 6th, April 13th, April 20th and April 27th.

April’s Books on Screen Feature

We all know it’s officially spring because Hollywood is already hyping its summer movies. But before all the boom and bluster of the hot-weather blockbusters hit theaters, we can enjoy April’s simpler offerings.

The movies this month may not be many, but they have enough variety among them to satisfy moviegoers. The Longest Ride is now in theaters. While it looks like typical Nicholas Sparks fare, newcomers Scott Eastwood and Britt Robertson do their best to sell a story that feels a little…familiar. If your teeth are still aching from last year’s The Best of Me, check out Tom Hardy’s Russian accent in the stylish thriller Child 44. Based on Tom Rob Smith's debut novel of the same name, the film boasts a stellar cast and some dark, hard-hitting themes. And lastly, Jonah Hill and James Franco get serious in True Story, based on --- you guessed it! --- the true story of disgraced New York Times reporter Michael Finkel, who goes to dangerous lengths to catch the man who has stolen his identity.

If you’re saving up this month for margaritas and sandals, then you’re in luck: It seems that there are more books on TV in April than in a Terry Pratchett series! The big news, of course, is the return of “Game of Thrones” mid-month, with the lovely, determined “Outlander” coming back at a close second. Both shows are based on beloved, genre-bending series, and both have devoted fan bases who have been waiting patiently (some more patiently than others…ahem, George R. R. Martin) to find out what happens next.

Click here to see all the movies, TV shows and DVDs featured in April’s Books on Screen.'s Spring Preview Contests and Feature

Spring finally has arrived! 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 are hosting a number of 24-hour contests for these titles on select days through April 21st. You need to check the site to see the featured book and enter to win. We also are sending a special newsletter to announce each title, which you can sign up for here.

Our next prize book will be announced on Monday, April 13th at noon ET.

This year's featured titles are:

Click here to see our Spring Preview feature and sign up for our special newsletter.
Southern Writers Author Spotlight: THE MEMORY HOUSE by Linda Goodnight

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 a review.
-Click here to read an excerpt.
-Click here for the reading group guide.
-Click here to read our interview with Linda Goodnight.
-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 see the 25 winners selected to read and comment on the book.

Click here to read more in our Southern Writers Author Spotlight.
More Reviews This Week

BLOOD ON SNOW by Jo Nesbø (Thriller)
This is the story of Olav, an extremely talented “fixer” for one of Oslo’s most powerful crime bosses. But Olav is also an unusually complicated fixer. He has a capacity for love that is as far-reaching as is his gift for murder. He has an “innate talent for subordination,” but running through his veins is a “virus” born of the power over life and death. And while his latest job puts him at the pinnacle of his trade, it may be mutating into his greatest mistake. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

FALLING IN LOVE: A Commissario Guido Brunetti Mystery by Donna Leon (Mystery)
Invited by Commissario Guido Brunetti to dine at his in-laws’ palazzo, opera star Flavia Petrelli confesses her alarm at the excessive displays of adoration from an anonymous fan. When a talented young Venetian singer who has caught Flavia’s attention is savagely attacked, Brunetti begins to think that Flavia’s fears are justified in ways neither of them imagined. He must enter into the psyche of an obsessive fan before Flavia, or anyone else, comes to harm. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

EMMA: A Modern Retelling by Alexander McCall Smith (Fiction)
The summer after university, Emma Woodhouse returns home to the village of Highbury to prepare for the launch of her interior design business. Soon she befriends Harriet Smith, the naïve but charming young teacher’s assistant at an English-language school run by the hippie-ish Mrs. Goddard. Harriet is Emma’s inspiration to do the two things she does best: offer guidance to those less wise in the ways of the world and put her matchmaking skills to good use. Reviewed by Megan Elliott.

-Click here to read an excerpt.

MIRACLE AT AUGUSTA by James Patterson and Peter de Jonge (Fiction)
A year ago, Travis McKinley, an unknown golfing amateur, shocked the world by winning the PGA Senior Open at Pebble Beach. Still he can't shake the feeling that he's a fraud, an imposter who doesn't deserve his success. And after a series of disappointments and personal screw-ups, he might just prove himself right. A shot at redemption arrives in an unexpected form: a teenage outcast with troubles of his own --- and a natural golf swing. Reviewed by Stuart Shiffman.

ONE MILE UNDER: A Ty Hauck Novel by Andrew Gross (Thriller)
When an old friend contacts Ty Hauck and says his daughter is in trouble, he doesn't hesitate to get involved. Together, the two step into a sinister scheme running deep beneath the surface of a quiet, Colorado town that has made a deal with the devil to survive. But in the square-off between giant energy companies and beaten-down ranchers and farmers, one resource is even more valuable in this drought-stricken region than oil. They both will kill for it --- water. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

CUBA STRAITS: A Doc Ford Novel by Randy Wayne White (Thriller/Adventure)
Doc Ford’s old friend, General Juan Garcia, has gone into the lucrative business of smuggling Cuban baseball players into the U.S. He is also feasting on profits made by buying historical treasures for pennies on the dollar. He prefers what dealers call HPC items --- high-profile collectibles --- but when he manages to obtain a collection of letters written by Fidel Castro between 1960 and 1962 to a secret girlfriend, it’s not a matter of money anymore. Garcia has stumbled way out of his depth. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

SCENT OF MURDER by James O. Born (Mystery/Thriller)
Two years after being tossed from the detective bureau for using questionable tactics while catching a child molester, deputy Tim Hallett's life is finally on track. Assigned to a special K-9 unit with the best partner in the world, a Belgian Malinois named Rocky, Hallett has finally learned to balance police work with his family life. But that all changes in the heat of a Florida sugarcane field. While searching for a kidnapper, Rocky locks onto the scent of a predator unlike anyone has ever seen. Or have they? Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

BLACK SCORPION: The Tyrant Reborn written by Jon Land, created by Fabrizio Boccardi(Thriller/Adventure)
Five years have passed since Michael Tiranno saved the city of Las Vegas from a terrorist attack. And now a new enemy has surfaced in Eastern Europe in the form of an all-powerful organization called Black Scorpion. Once a victim of human trafficking himself, the shadowy group's crazed leader, Vladimir Dracu, has become the mastermind behind the scourge's infestation on a global scale. And now he's set his sights on Michael Tiranno for reasons birthed in a painful secret past that have scarred both men. Reviewed by Ray Palen.

17 CARNATIONS: The Royals, the Nazis and the Biggest Cover-Up in History by Andrew Morton (History)
Andrew Morton tells the story of the feckless Edward VIII, later Duke of Windsor; his American wife, Wallis Simpson; and the bizarre wartime Nazi plot to make him a puppet king after the invasion of Britain and the attempted cover-up by Churchill, General Eisenhower and King George VI of the duke's relations with Hitler. From the alleged affair between Simpson and the German foreign minister to the discovery of top secret correspondence about the man dubbed "the traitor king" and the Nazi high command, 17 CARNATIONS is a saga of intrigue, betrayal and deception. Reviewed by Roz Shea.

THE ARCHITECT’S APPRENTICE by Elif Shafak (Historical Fiction)
In 1540, 12-year-old Jahan arrives in Istanbul. As an animal tamer in the sultan’s menagerie, he looks after the exceptionally smart elephant Chota and befriends (and falls for) the sultan’s beautiful daughter, Princess Mihrimah. A palace education leads Jahan to Mimar Sinan, the empire’s chief architect, who takes Jahan under his wing as they construct (with Chota’s help) some of the most magnificent buildings in history. Yet even as they build Sinan’s triumphant masterpieces, dangerous undercurrents begin to emerge, with jealousy erupting among Sinan’s four apprentices. Reviewed by Carly Silver.

AQUARIUM by David Vann (Fiction)
Caitlin lives alone with her mother in subsidized housing next to an airport in Seattle. Each day, while waiting to be picked up after school, she visits the local aquarium to study the fish. Gazing at the creatures within the watery depths, she accesses a shimmering universe beyond her own. When she befriends an old man at the tanks one day, who seems as enamored of the fish as she, Caitlin cracks open a dark family secret and propels her once-blissful relationship with her mother toward a precipice of terrifying consequence. Reviewed by Sarah Rachel Egelman.

Our Latest Poll and Word of Mouth Contest


Over the past year, has television watching interfered with your reading?

  • Yes, definitely
  • Yes, sometimes
  • Nothing gets in the way of my reading.
  • I am not sure how I feel.

-Click here to answer the poll.


Word of Mouth:

Tell us your current reading recommendations with your comments and a rating of 1 to 5 stars. During the contest period from April 10th to April 24th, FIVE lucky readers each will be randomly chosen to win a copy of BLOOD ON SNOW by Jo Nesbø, EVERY FIFTEEN MINUTES by Lisa Scottoline and MISSOULA: Rape and the Justice System in a College Town by Jon Krakauer.

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.

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

As always, here are a few housekeeping notes. If you are seeing this newsletter in a text version, and would prefer to see the graphics, you can either read it online or change your preferences below.

Those of you who wish to send mail to, please see the form on the Write to Us page. If you would like to reach me, please write Writing any of the respond buttons below will not get to us.

Happy reading! Don't forget to forward this newsletter to a friend or to visit our other websites from,,,,, and

The Book Report Network
250 W. 57th Street - Suite 1228
New York, New York 10107

connect with us twitterfacebook