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May 22, 2015 Newsletter May 22, 2015
Summer is Here!

It’s an absolutely gorgeous day here! The sky is blue, it’s gloriously sunny, trees are lush and green, the pool is sparkling blue (though 70 degrees) and the flowers are brilliant. What a great way to kick off the unofficial start of summer. This is energizing weather, and we all are ready for a weekend of RELAXING.

It’s been a very hectic week as we all worked on planning for BookExpo America (BEA), the big book trade show conference that takes place next week. I had a chance to chat with all of the authors who I am going to be interviewing, and I am thoroughly looking forward to this. Our Book Group Speed Dating session is going to be terrific; 27 publishers and 47 imprints will be represented. In early June, we will be sharing these selections on It’s been a whirlwind, and I am very, very grateful to our amazing staff for minding all the details with me.

On Tuesday, I had the absolute pleasure of meeting Philippa Gregory at a lunch while she was in New York for a pre-publication tour for THE TAMING OF THE QUEEN. It was so interesting to learn about her research process, as well as how she approaches her writing. There is so little known about many of her subjects, thus deep digging has to happen to construct the outline of the story, which she will then fictionalize. Unlike our celebrity culture of today, little was written about royal subjects during the time of Henry VIII and the Tudors. Write the wrong thing, and you could be tried for heresy and executed, thus very little was shared! She loves the subject of this book, the sixth wife of Henry, Kateryn Parr; as she spoke about her smarts and energy, I saw why.

I have two books lined up for weekend reading and a plan to organize my shelves of upcoming titles (the first I know will happen; the latter is an ongoing project!).

First up, FINDING AUDREY by Sophie Kinsella --- her first YA novel --- which will be on sale June 9th. I've been a fan of hers for years, and I'm looking forward to seeing her work for a younger audience.

The second one is not coming out until next January, but when I heard the editor pitch it at a recent preview, I knew I had to read it now. AFTER THE CRASH by Michael Bussi is a novel about a flight from Istanbul bound for Paris in 1980, where 169 passengers were killed as it crashed in the Alps. Yes, this sounds eerily like the horrific mountain crash that we heard about earlier this year. In this book, a three-month-old girl survives. There were two babies on board: one from lesser means and one from a powerful family. Which did the child belong to? I read 25 pages and am hooked.

Onward to this week’s very robust update…

Our Women's Fiction Author Spotlight of Mary Kay Andrews and her breezy summertime novel, BEACH TOWN, wraps up with our review and interview. Following a disastrous shoot, movie location scout Greer Hennessy has one last chance to save her career. She is in search of the perfect undiscovered beach town and is ecstatic when she finds a sleepy Florida town with only one motel, a marina --- and even a casino for the film’s explosive climax. Town mayor Eben Thibadeaux is worried about how the film’s production will affect his town’s environment, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t find Greer attractive.

Reviewer Amie Taylor calls BEACH TOWN “the perfect summer read, particularly for anyone who harbors fond memories of childhood vacations spent in small Florida towns before big resorts and luxury accommodations took over the coastline…. In addition, characters who are far from cookie cutter populate BEACH TOWN to create a warm, homey feeling that will leave readers eager to immerse themselves in the story.” Amie was fortunate enough to chat with Mary Kay; click here for the interview. I foresee this on many a beach chair!

Fans of Clive Barker will be delighted to learn that THE SCARLET GOSPELS is now in stores. Barker’s highly anticipated return to horror/dark fantasy takes readers back in time to the early days of two of his most iconic creations: Harry D’Amour, investigator of supernatural crimes, and Pinhead, the priest of hell. As these longtime enemies face off in a bloody, evil battle, Barker’s horrific scenes and brilliant narrative will fuel your nightmares for a long time to come.

Ray Palen has our review and says, “[Barker’s] eternally fertile imagination and ability to create visual horror that will stick inside your darkest nightmares is well evident in THE SCARLET GOSPELS, and the border between sanity and insanity is crossed several times. It is a most refreshing return from one of the living legends of horror, and I hope Barker continues to do his part in making the horror and dark fantasy genres relevant again.”

Kate Betts takes readers deep into the heart of one of the world’s most romantic capitals with MY PARIS DREAM: An Education in Style, Slang, and Seduction in the Great City on the Seine. As a young girl, Kate always dreamed of becoming a glamorous foreign correspondent. After graduating from college in the 1980s, she set off for Paris, renting a room in an apartment and throwing herself into the culture. After a series of unfulfilling jobs, her determination paid off when she was hired by John Fairchild, the publisher of Women’s Wear Daily. In MY PARIS DREAM, she shares her experiences working for Fairchild and how her Parisian life helped her learn about herself.

According to reviewer Barbara Bamberger Scott, “[F]ew who read about her gutsy, glittering glissade through the City of Light will feel anything other than a frisson of envy. As told in MY PARIS DREAM, her coming of age was not a novel, but the true story of a young woman destined to rise to the height of her profession.” co-founder Jesse Kornbluth asked Kate 10 questions about Paris and the book. You can read the Q&A, along with Jesse’s own thoughts about the book, on his site,, here. I had the pleasure of meeting Kate at a lunch a few months ago, and we had such fun talking about our former magazine days; we knew many of the same people, and they all were entertaining.

Other reviews of note this week include ROBERT B. PARKER’S KICKBACK, a new Spenser novel by Ace Atkins; AND SOMETIMES I WONDER ABOUT YOU, Walter Mosley’s latest mystery featuring Leonid McGill; TIFFANY GIRL by Deeanne Gist (click here for the guide on and here to see an interview with a group that won a dinner and book discussion with Deeanne) and WATER FROM MY HEART by Charles Martin (you can enter to be one of 10 lucky winners of this book in our Monthly Contest).

Our Summer Reading contests kicked off this week. We gave away the aforementioned BEACH TOWN, in addition to THE GLASS KITCHEN by Linda Francis Lee and LEAVING TIME by Jodi Picoult. Next week’s prize books will be FRIENDSWOOD by Rene Steinke, GIRL IN THE MOONLIGHT by Charles Dubow, and THE GUEST COTTAGE by Nancy Thayer. The first 24-hour contest of the week will go live on Tuesday, May 26th at noon ET. I am lining up THE GUEST COTTAGE on audio for my next listen.

While we’re in a summer frame of mind, we’re curious to know if your reading habits change during the summer. Do you read more, less, or about the same? Click here to answer our latest poll question. Our previous poll asked if you choose books based on their length. For 64% of you, the length of a book doesn’t matter, while 31% prefer books that are between 200 and 500 pages. Click here for the full results.

Also kicking off this week, for the 10th year in a row, is our Father’s Day Contest and Feature. Five readers will be awarded a prize package that includes all of this year’s featured titles, along with some special treats. Click here to see the prize books and enter for your chance to be a lucky winner. The deadline for your entries is Monday, June 22nd at noon ET. Many thanks to Nicole for coordinating this feature!

To coincide with the start of this contest, we’re featuring a very appropriate piece written by Alan Axelrod, whose new book, LOST DESTINY: Joe Kennedy Jr. and the Doomed WWII Mission to Save London, released this week. As the title implies, it’s military history about one U.S. Navy flier who eagerly undertook a dangerous mission. But, as Axelrod explains in his essay, it’s also about the life of a son with a powerful father, which inspires him to examine “top-of-mind entries in the rich literature of sons and fathers.”

We have a new Word of Mouth contest starting this week. Please let us know by Friday, June 5th at noon ET what books you’ve finished reading, and you’ll be in the running to win RADIANT ANGEL by Nelson DeMille, which we review next week, along with FINDERS KEEPERS by Stephen King and EIGHT HUNDRED GRAPES by Laura Dave, both of which we’ll be reviewing in the June 5th newsletter.

Reminder that if you are in a book group and have some time on your hands, take our 2015 Book Group Survey! Also share this with ALL members of your book group. We are looking for as much individual feedback on book groups as possible, so the more respondents, the merrier! If you are not in a book group but have friends in book groups, please share this with them, too! We've put together a group of prizes worth $2,500. And if you are not in a book group, while the entire survey is not open to you, we have a limited number of questions up front for non-book group members. Answer those, and you can be eligible to win one of four $25 gift certificates.

News and Pop Culture:

Mary Higgins Clark and Alafair Burke will be throwing out simultaneous first pitches at Yankee Stadium tonight. Such fun!

The Girl on the Train movie news: Tate Taylor, who is a childhood friend of Kathryn Stockett’s and the director of The Help, will direct the movie adaptation of THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN. I read this week that over two million copies of this book have been sold. We shared it with you as a preview title in our Holiday Cheer Feature/Contest in December. I had a feeling from reading just the early promo copy that this would be a success, but wow!

Jeff Kinney of Wimpy Kid fame is opening a bookstore in Massachussetts. You can read about that here.

Coloring Books for Adults: We wrote about this a few weeks ago, and we are seeing more about it every day. Read this piece about them. I still remember loving my 64 Crayola crayons as a kid, especially periwinkle blue. That was my favorite color, before turquoise. STILL my second favorite color!

Pumping gas in NJ: Shocking though it may be, in New Jersey, like Oregon, it is against the law to pump your own gas. This means that those of us from NJ are a bit flummoxed at the pump in other states. This week, there was talk of changing this law in NJ, which to me only sparked images of being outside in the snow and rain pumping away. Luckily that topic was shot down rather quickly.

Remember the monks doing the sand art ceremony called Mandala in the White House in this season's "House of Cards"? They are coming to Maplewood, NJ this summer to create one. There will be an opening ceremony, five days of making the Mandala and the closing ceremony from August 10th to 15th. Here are the details.

"Mad Men": Loved the series ending of one of the most sharply written shows on television. I collected a few of the pieces that came out this week, which I thought were particularly special, including an interview with Matthew Weiner, which he says is going to be his last about this. I loved this interview with Jon Hamm. And here’s one with the actor who played Leonard in the finale. And here, for those who loved the show, is the promo for the last episode that to me was just brilliant. If you hum the Paul Anka song for days after you give it a watch, note that I did the same thing. And for another in-depth look at the show, see this Time magazine piece.

Goodbye, David Letterman: Since 1996 our office has been on 57th Street, three blocks "up the street" from David Letterman. Greg stepped out on Wednesday and shot the photo above of the marquee, and that night we drove down Broadway and onto 53rd where the cameras and TV trucks were lined up, as well as the fans. Nice sendoff for a legend. I read that hours after the show wrapped, demo crews were taking the set apart. The same location will be used for Stephen Colbert.

Quiet weekend on tap. Tom has been traveling on business all week to Kansas and Oklahoma, where it sounds like he has been eating chicken-fried everything from the phone reports that I have been receiving. I have had a crazy busy week prepping for BEA. Layer in that commuting time has been exceptionally tough, and I very much am looking forward to three days of relaxing outside.

The weather looks like it is going to be gorgeous and cool, with temps as low as the 40s at night --- thus no swimming, but perfect for doing the rest of the planting that I need to do, as well as reading and kicking it back a notch. And grilling! Reading and floating are on hiatus for a bit more. We do have the solar covers on the pool, so when the temps climb during the week, they should help! Cory is working a lot this weekend; I am not happy that this week, when he was around, I was either in traffic or working. He starts summer classes next week. Drat!

We will be at the town parade on Monday, which is a tradition and a way for us to take some time to remember what Memorial Day really is about. When I see the older veterans marching --- and there are fewer every year --- I choke up. And if they do the missing man flyover, I am a puddle!

Here’s to a wonderful Memorial Day weekend for all of you. 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 Mary Kay Andrews, Author of BEACH TOWN --- Our Latest Women's Fiction Author Spotlight Title

It wouldn’t be summer without an exciting new book from the “Queen of the Summer Beach Read” herself, Mary Kay Andrews. Her latest, aptly titled BEACH TOWN, does not disappoint. When movie location scout Greer Hennessy zeroes in on a sleepy Florida panhandle town, its mayor and born-again environmentalist Eben Thibadeaux will do whatever he can to protect it --- if he can resist his growing attraction to Greer. In this interview, Mary Kay talks to's Amie Taylor about the book, including insights into the setting, the characters and --- her favorite part of all --- her protagonists’ “meet cute.” She also shares what she’s working on next, which readers can expect to see --- you guessed it! --- next summer.

BEACH TOWN by Mary Kay Andrews (Fiction)
Greer Hennessy, a movie location scout, must find the perfect undiscovered beach town for a big budget movie. She zeroes in on a sleepy Florida panhandle town but finds a formidable obstacle in the town mayor, Eben Thibadeaux. A born-again environmentalist, he has seen massive damage done to the town by a huge paper company and has no intention of letting anybody screw with his town again. The only problem is that he finds Greer way too attractive for his own good, and knows that her motivation is in direct conflict with his. Reviewed by Amie Taylor.

-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 Mary Kay Andrews’ bio.
-Click here to visit Mary Kay Andrews’ official website.
-Connect with Mary Kay Andrews on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.
-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.
Now in Stores: THE SCARLET GOSPELS by Clive Barker
THE SCARLET GOSPELS by Clive Barker (Horror/Dark Fantasy)
THE SCARLET GOSPELS takes readers back many years to the early days of two of Clive Barker's most iconic characters in a battle of good and evil as old as time. The long-beleaguered detective Harry D'Amour, investigator of all supernatural, magical and malevolent crimes, faces off against his formidable and intensely evil rival, Pinhead, the priest of hell. Barker's horror will make your worst nightmares seem like bedtime stories. The Gospels are coming. Are you ready? Reviewed by Ray Palen.

-Click here to read more about the book.
-Click here to read an excerpt.
Click here to read a review.
Now in Stores: ROBERT B. PARKER’S KICKBACK by Ace Atkins
ROBERT B. PARKER’S KICKBACK: A Spenser Novel by Ace Atkins (Mystery)
What started out as a joke landed 17-year-old Dillon Yates in a lockdown juvenile facility in Boston Harbor. When he set up a prank Twitter account for his vice principal, he never dreamed he could be brought up on criminal charges. Judge Joe Scali gives speeches about getting tough on today’s wild youth. But Dillon’s mother, who knows other Blackburn kids who are doing hard time for minor infractions, isn’t buying Scali’s line. She hires Spenser to find the truth behind the draconian sentencing. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

-Click here to read more about the book.
Click here to read a review.
Now in Stores: MY PARIS DREAM by Kate Betts
MY PARIS DREAM: An Education in Style, Slang, and Seduction in the Great City on the Seine by Kate Betts (Memoir)
As a young woman, Kate Betts nursed a dream of striking out on her own in a faraway place and becoming a glamorous foreign correspondent. After college --- and not without trepidation --- she took off for Paris, renting a room in the apartment of a young BCBG (bon chic, bon genre) family and throwing herself into the local culture. She was determined to master French slang, style and savoir faire, and to find a job that would give her a reason to stay. Reviewed by Barbara Bamberger Scott.

-Click here to read more about the book.
-Click here for Jesse Kornbluth’s Q&A with Kate Betts on
Click here to read a review.
Announcing's 10th Annual Father's Day Contest and Feature: Best Books for Dad

Father’s Day is a time to celebrate the men in our lives who have raised and loved us. Why not show him your appreciation by inspiring him with a great book? In our 10th annual "Best Books for Dad" contest, we have eight titles that are perfect gift-giving suggestions for Dad, keeping him busy through the rest of the year. Five readers will be awarded a prize package that includes these titles, along with some special treats.

To enter, please fill out this form by Monday, June 22nd at noon ET.

This year's featured titles are:

Click here to enter the contest and see our featured titles.'s Summer Reading Contests and Feature
Summer will be here before you know it! At, this means it's time for us to share some great summer book picks with our Summer Reading Contests and Feature. We will be hosting a number of 24-hour contests for these titles on select days throughout the summer, so you will have to check the site each day to see the featured prize book and enter to win. We also will be sending a special newsletter to announce the day's title, which you can sign up for here.

Our next prize book will be announced on Tuesday, May 26th at noon ET.

This year's featured titles include:

Click here to read all the contest details and see our featured titles.
Now Available in Paperback: EVERYTHING I NEVER TOLD YOU by Celeste Ng
“Lydia is dead. But they don’t know this yet.” So begins this exquisite novel about a Chinese American family living in 1970s small-town Ohio.

Lydia is the favorite child of Marilyn and James Lee, and her parents are determined that she will fulfill the dreams they were unable to pursue. But when Lydia’s body is found in the local lake, the delicate balancing act that has been keeping the Lee family together is destroyed, tumbling them into chaos.

A profoundly moving story of family, secrets and longing, EVERYTHING I NEVER TOLD YOU is both a gripping page-turner and a sensitive family portrait, uncovering the ways in which mothers and daughters, fathers and sons, and husbands and wives struggle, all their lives, to understand one another.

“If we know this story, we haven’t seen it yet in American fiction, not until now.... Deep, heartfelt.” —The New York Times Book Review

-Click here to read a review.
Click here to read more about the book on the publisher’s website.
Celebrating the Launch of the New!
Home is where the books are. Enter to win a year of books from!

Ready to build your own literary landscape? Now that they're merging their libraries at Penguin and Random House, they want to help you create and polish your own home collection.

Have a favorite genre? Pick and choose from their list of literary fiction, sci-fi/fantasy, romance, nonfiction, young adult, and more! One winner will randomly be selected to win five books in their favorite genres a month for a year. We did the math; that's 60 books!
Click here to enter to win a year of books from!
Now in Stores: AND SOMETIMES I WONDER ABOUT YOU by Walter Mosley
AND SOMETIMES I WONDER ABOUT YOU: A Leonid McGill Mystery by Walter Mosley (Mystery)
Leonid McGill is approached by an unemployed office manager named Hiram Stent to track down the whereabouts of his cousin, Celia, who is about to inherit millions of dollars from her father's side of the family. Leonid declines the case, but after his office is broken into and Hiram is found dead, he gets reeled into the underbelly of Celia's wealthy old-money family. It's up to Leonid to save who he can and incriminate the guilty --- all while taking care of a number of personal matters. Reviewed by Jane Krebs.

-Click here to read more about the book.
Click here to read a review.
Now in Stores: TIFFANY GIRL by Deeanne Gist
TIFFANY GIRL by Deeanne Gist (Historical Fiction)
As preparations for the 1893 World’s Fair set Chicago and the nation on fire, Louis Tiffany seizes the opportunity to unveil his state-of-the-art, stained glass, mosaic chapel. But when his dream is threatened by a glassworkers’ strike months before the Fair opens, he turns to the female students at the Art Students League of New York. Eager for adventure, the young women move to boarding houses and assume new identities as the “Tiffany Girls.” Flossie Jayne, a beautiful, budding artist, is handpicked by Louis to help complete the Tiffany chapel. Reviewed by Michele Howe.

-Click here for the reading group guide.
-Click here to read about the group who won a contest from where they had dinner with Deeanne and discussed TIFFANY GIRL.
Click here to read a review.
New Guides Now Available on
The following guides are now available on

THE ANCHORESS by Robyn Cadwallader (Historical Fiction)
What could drive a girl on the cusp of womanhood to lock herself away from the world forever?

THE ART OF BAKING BLIND by Sarah Vaughan (Fiction)
In this delicious and heartfelt debut, five amateur bakers compete in a baking competition only to discover that the recipe for happiness may not be so easy to follow.

BEACH TOWN by Mary Kay Andrews (Fiction)
When movie location scout Greer Hennessy zeroes in on a sleepy Florida panhandle town, its mayor and born-again environmentalist Eben Thibadeaux will do whatever he can to protect it --- if he can resist his growing attraction to Greer.

THE CANTERBURY SISTERS by Kim Wright (Fiction)
In the vein of Jojo Moyes and Cheryl Strayed’s WILD, THE CANTERBURY SISTERS is a warm and touching novel about a woman who embarks on a pilgrimage to Canterbury Cathedral after losing her mother, sharing life lessons --- in the best Chaucer tradition --- with eight other women along the way.

DANGEROUS WHEN WET: A Memoir by Jamie Brickhouse (Memoir)
Bitingly funny, raw and insightful, DANGEROUS WHEN WET is the unforgettable story of a unique relationship between a son and his mother.

DEAD WAKE: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania by Erik Larson (History)
From the #1 New York Times bestselling author and master of narrative nonfiction Erik Larson comes the enthralling story of the sinking of the Lusitania.

DISCLAIMER by Renée Knight (Psychological Thriller)
DISCLAIMER is a brilliantly conceived, deeply disturbing psychological thriller about a woman haunted by secrets --- and the price she will pay for concealing the truth.

EUPHORIA by Lily King (Historical Fiction)
Set between two world wars and inspired by events in the life of revolutionary anthropologist Margaret Mead, EUPHORIA is an enthralling story of passion, possession, exploration and sacrifice from accomplished author Lily King.

GIRL IN THE MOONLIGHT by Charles Dubow (Fiction)
The author of the acclaimed INDISCRETION returns with a searing tale of love, passion and obsession --- the story of one man’s all-consuming desire for a beautiful, bewitching and elusive woman.

THE GLASS KITCHEN by Linda Francis Lee (Fiction)
Three sisters move from Texas to New York City to open a restaurant in this novel about food, family and finding true love from the author of EMILY AND EINSTEIN.

THE HURRICANE SISTERS by Dorothea Benton Frank (Fiction)
Filled with her trademark wit, sassy, heartwarming characters and the steamy Southern atmosphere and beauty of her beloved Carolina Lowcountry, THE HURRICANE SISTERS is Dorothea Benton Frank’s enchanting tale of the ties and lies between generations.

LOVE AND MISS COMMUNICATION by Elyssa Friedland (Fiction)
This unforgettable debut novel asks us to look up from our screens and out at the world…and to imagine what life would be like with no searches, no status updates, no texts, no Tweets, no pins and no posts.

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Mary McNear takes us home to Butternut Lake, where the townspeople are sure to look after anyone they consider their own.

Despite knowing nothing about animals, a young woman signs herself up for dog training school at the Sanctuary, where she discovers that rescue can find even the most hopeless among us and that friends come in all shapes, sizes and breeds.

NOT MY FATHER'S SON: A Memoir by Alan Cumming (Memoir)
In his unique and engaging voice, the acclaimed actor of stage and screen shares the emotional story of his complicated relationship with his father and the deeply buried family secrets that shaped his life and career.

THE PREDICTIONS by Bianca Zander (Fiction)
From the author of THE GIRL BELOW, “a fantastic writer” (Curtis Sittenfeld), comes a new novel about fate, love, hippies and punk rock.

READ BOTTOM UP by Neel Shah and Skye Chatham (Fiction)
READ BOTTOM UP is a charming novel about falling in love (or like) in the digital age.

SCENT OF TRIUMPH: A Novel of Perfume and Passion by Jan Moran (Historical Romance)
Set between privileged lifestyles and gritty realities, SCENT OF TRIUMPH by commanding newcomer Jan Moran is one woman's story of courage, spirit and resilience.

TIFFANY GIRL by Deeanne Gist (Historical Fiction)
From the bestselling author of IT HAPPENED AT THE FAIR and FAIR PLAY comes a compelling historical novel about a progressive “New Woman,” Flossie Jayne, the girl behind Tiffany’s chapel and the love that threatens it all.

UNDER THE SAME BLUE SKY by Pamela Schoenewaldt (Fiction)
From the USA Today bestselling author of WHEN WE WERE STRANGERS and SWIMMING IN THE MOON comes a lush, exquisitely drawn novel set against the turmoil of the Great War, as a young German-American woman explores the secrets of her past.

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

THE BOOK OF YOU by Claire Kendal (Psychological Thriller)
Like the bestselling novels of Gillian Flynn and S. J. Watson, THE BOOK OF YOU --- an utterly original fiction debut --- is a sophisticated psychological thriller that will haunt you long after it reaches its terrifying, breathtaking conclusion.

THE INVENTION OF WINGS by Sue Monk Kidd (Historical Fiction)
From the celebrated author of THE SECRET LIFE OF BEES comes a masterpiece of hope, daring, the quest for freedom, and the desire to have a voice in the world.

LOVERS AT THE CHAMELEON CLUB, PARIS 1932 by Francine Prose (Historical Fiction)
This richly imagined and stunningly inventive literary masterpiece of love, art and betrayal explores the genesis of evil, the unforeseen consequences of love, and the ultimate unreliability of storytelling itself.

THE QUEEN OF THE TEARLING by Erika Johansen (Historical Fantasy/Adventure)
In this first novel of an eagerly awaited trilogy, an untested young princess must claim her throne, learn to become a queen and combat a malevolent sorceress in an epic battle between light and darkness.

SMALL BLESSINGS by Martha Woodroof (Fiction)
Readers who loved MAJOR PETTIGREW’S LAST STAND will adore this inspiring debut of a small-town college professor, a remarkable new woman at the bookshop and the 10-year old son he never knew he had.

THE SNOW QUEEN by Michael Cunningham (Fiction)
By turns heartwarming and heartrending, Michael Cunningham’s THE SNOW QUEEN is a haunting exploration of the longings that seem to define us and the love that sustains us.

THE STORIES WE TELL by Patti Callahan Henry (Fiction)
Bestselling author Patti Callahan Henry is back with a powerful novel about the stories we tell and the people we trust.

THAT NIGHT by Chevy Stevens (Psychological Thriller)
THAT NIGHT is a stunning breakout novel from the New York Times bestselling author of STILL MISSING in which a woman is convicted of her sister's murder.
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More Reviews This Week

IT’S A LONG STORY: My Life by Willie Nelson, with David Ritz (Autobiography)
Having recently turned 80, Willie Nelson is ready to shine a light on all aspects of his life, including his drive to write music, the women in his life, his collaborations, and his biggest lows and highs --- from his bankruptcy to the founding of Farm Aid. Nelson and his music have found their way into the hearts and minds of fans the world over, winning 10 Grammys and receiving the Kennedy Center Honors. Now it's time to hear the last word about his life --- from the man himself. Reviewed by Christine M. Irvin.

WATER FROM MY HEART by Charles Martin (Fiction)
Charlie Finn earned a life-changing scholarship to Harvard, where he learned how to survive and thrive on the outskirts of privileged society. That skill served him well in the cutthroat business world, as it does in more lucrative but dangerous ventures he now operates off the coast of Miami. Charlie tries to separate relationships from work. But when his choices produce devastating consequences, he sets out to right wrongs. He travels to Central America where he will meet those who have paid for his actions, including a woman and her young daughter. Reviewed by Susan Miura.

I, RIPPER by Stephen Hunter (Historical Thriller)
I, RIPPER is a vivid reimagining of Jack the Ripper’s personal story entwined with that of an Irish journalist who covered the case, knew the principals, charted the investigation, and, at last stymied, went off in a bold new direction. These two men stalk each other through a city twisted in fear of the madman’s blade, a cat-and-mouse game that brings to life the sounds and smells of the fleshpot tenderloin of Whitechapel and all the lurid acts that fueled the Ripper headlines. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

THE HARVEST MAN: A Novel of Scotland Yard's Murder Squad by Alex Grecian (Historical Thriller)
When the Harvest Man begins killing, carving people’s faces off their skulls, Scotland Yard knows they need Inspector Walter Day in the field. Rash actions have cost Sergeant Nevil Hammersmith his job, but that doesn’t stop his obsessive hunt for the Ripper. When the mutilated bodies of prostitutes start turning up again, Hammersmith enlists the help of a criminal network to stop Saucy Jack, his methods carrying him further and further from the ideals of the Yard --- so far in fact that he may never be able to find his way back. Reviewed by Amy Gwiazdowski.

HOPE AND OTHER LUXURIES: A Mother's Life with a Daughter's Anorexia by Clare B. Dunkle (Memoir)
Clare Dunkle seemed to have an ideal life --- two beautiful, high-achieving teenage daughters, a loving husband, and a satisfying and successful career as a children's book novelist. But just after one daughter successfully conquered her depression, another daughter developed a life-threatening eating disorder. Co-published with ELENA VANISHING, the memoir of her daughter, this is the story of one family's fight against a deadly disease, from an often ignored but important perspective: the mother of the anorexic. Reviewed by Amelia Kidd.

THE FOLDED CLOCK: A Diary by Heidi Julavits (Diaries & Journals)
When Heidi Julavits found her old diaries in a storage bin, she hoped to discover the early evidence of the person (and writer) she’d since become. Instead, "The actual diaries revealed me to possess the mind of a paranoid tax auditor." Thus was born a desire to try again, to chronicle her daily life as a forty-something woman, wife, mother and writer. The result is THE FOLDED CLOCK, in which the diary form becomes a meditation on time and self, youth and aging, betrayal and loyalty, friendship and romance, art and ambition. Reviewed by Brandon Stickney.

THE CANTERBURY SISTERS by Kim Wright (Fiction)
Not only has Che Milan’s longtime lover abruptly dumped her, but her eccentric, demanding mother has recently died. When an urn of ashes arrives, along with a note reminding Che of a half-forgotten promise to take her mother to Canterbury, Che finds herself reluctantly undertaking a pilgrimage. Within days she joins a group of women who are walking the 60 miles from London to the shrine of Becket in Canterbury Cathedral, reputed to be the site of miracles. The women swap stories as they walk, each vying to see who can best describe true love. Reviewed by Norah Piehl.

-Click here to read an excerpt.
-Click here for the reading group guide.

DON’T GO HOME: A Death on Demand Mystery by Carolyn Hart (Mystery)
Annie Darling, owner of the Death on Demand mystery bookstore, is hosting a party to celebrate successful Southern literary icon Alex Griffith and his bestselling new novel, Don’t Go Home. But not everyone in town is ready to give him a glowing review. As Annie attempts damage control, her friend Marian Kenyon gets in a heated argument with Griffith. It’s a fight Annie won’t soon forget --- especially after the author turns up dead. Reviewed by Judy Gigstad.

Ray Welter, who until recently was a high-flying advertising executive in Chicago, has left the world of newspeak behind. He decamps to the isolated Scottish Isle of Jura in order to spend a few months in the cottage where George Orwell wrote most of his seminal novel, NINETEEN EIGHTY-FOUR. A few of the local islanders take a decidedly shallow view of a foreigner coming to visit in order to sort himself out, and Ray quickly finds himself having to deal with not only his own issues but also a community whose eccentricities are at times amusing and at others downright dangerous. Reviewed by Kate Ayers.

1920: The Year that Made the Decade Roar by Eric Burns (History)
The Roaring Twenties is the only decade in American history with a widely applied nickname, and our collective fascination with this era continues. But how did this surge of innovation and cultural milestones emerge out of the ashes of The Great War? Acclaimed author Eric Burns investigates the year of 1920, which was not only a crucial 12-month period of its own, but one that foretold the future, foreshadowing the rest of the 20th century and the early years of the 21st. Reviewed by Barbara Bamberger Scott.

BENEFIT OF THE DOUBT by Neal Griffin (Thriller)
Ben Sawyer was a big-city cop, until he nearly killed a helpless suspect in public. Now a detective in the tiny Wisconsin town where he and his wife grew up, Ben suspects that higher-ups are taking payoffs from local drug lords. Before long, Ben is off the force. His wife is accused of murder. His only ally is another outcast, a Latina rookie cop. Worse, a killer has escaped from jail with vengeance on his mind, and Newburg --- and Ben Sawyer --- in his sights. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

DEAD GIRL WALKING by Christopher Brookmyre (Thriller)
Famous, beautiful and talented, Heike Gunn has the world at her feet. Then, one day, she simply vanishes. Meanwhile, journalist Jack Parlabane has lost everything: his career, his marriage, his self-respect. A call for help from an old friend offers a chance for redemption --- but only if he can find out what happened to Heike. Pursued by those who would punish him for past crimes, Parlabane enters the secret-filled world of Heike’s band, Savage Earth Heart, whose members each seem to be hiding something. He must dredge up old secrets to find Heike before it’s too late. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

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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 May 22nd to June 5th, FIVE lucky readers each will be randomly chosen to win a copy of EIGHT HUNDRED GRAPES by Laura Dave, FINDERS KEEPERS by Stephen King, and RADIANT ANGEL: A John Corey Novel by Nelson DeMille.

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