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September 11, 2015 Newsletter September 11, 2015
We’re Back!

We all had a wonderful break and came back full of ideas, which is what happens when we get out of our usual routine. When I was not sitting in a lounge chair at the end of the pool, I floated in the pool --- and read. The staff came out for a pool party. We colored as you can see in the photo above. It was relaxing!

We did a lot of entertaining al fresco. As always, the dinner conversation turned to books. Surprising to me was how many of our friends are not avid readers. They either dabble in reading or are consumed with other entertainment. Some said that they were slow readers, which I think may affect the pleasure of reading a book. Wondering if you find the same thing with your friends. If so, what do you recommend to them to get them reading?

I would love to see us all work on an initiative to try to get our adult friends back into reading. We spend so much time encouraging children to read books. Why are we not encouraging adults the same way? Something to ponder. And I welcome ideas from you on how we can make this happen.

Our friend Donal mentioned that in addition to reading eBooks, he has been listening to podcasts and is enjoying them. I attended an audio conference a few weeks ago, and they mentioned that many are finding their way into audiobooks after enjoying podcasts. This spurs our latest poll questions: Do you listen to podcasts or digital narrative radio? If so, what topics are covered in the shows that you listen to? Click here to let us know. We are exploring this concept, and a few staffers are encouraging me to do podcasts. Thus we very much would like to know what you think. If you have any ideas about what you would love to see from us for a podcast, or thoughts about them in general, please drop me a note with the subject line "Podcasts."

In our previous poll, we were curious about the typical condition of your books after you've read them. It appears that the majority of you take excellent care of your books. 70% of you keep your books in pristine condition, 13% mark up pages, and a minuscule 1% have books that are falling apart. Click here for all the results. I confess to folding down pages, and my books are anything but pristine. I read early review copies, and they can take a real beating. When I have a first edition of a book, Greg torments me to be sure that I do not muck it up.

One of our readers, Judy, wants me to break my page-folding habit. With that in mind, she made me the absolutely gorgeous bookmark that you can see above, which was waiting for me when I got back to the office on Tuesday. I owe her a thank-you note. Judy, if you are reading, I really appreciate this, and a formal thank-you note is to come!

Over the break, I explored a number of Young Adult (YA) titles that I had picked up at various publisher previews over the last months, as well as a number of adult titles that I reference later in this newsletter. You can see that I most enjoyed here.

Our intrepid intern, Rebecca Munro, attended two book events this week and blogs about hearing from Salman Rushdie and Amy Odell here. Now I really want to get Amy’s book as I still celebrate fashion after my Conde Nast days.

We were saddened to learn about the deaths of Oliver Sacks and Wayne Dyer, both on August 30th. Renowned for his bestselling case histories, neurologist and author Dr. Sacks passed away comfortably in his home, following a battle with liver cancer. Motivational speaker and beloved author Wayne Dyer battled cancer since 2009. They each leave behind a devoted readership and numerous literary contributions.

In this week’s update…..

Iconic drifter Jack Reacher and his creator, Lee Child, celebrate an impressive milestone with the release of MAKE ME, the 20th novel in this explosive series. We find Reacher in the tiny, remote town of Mother’s Rest. With its thousand miles of wheat fields and sullen inhabitants, Mother’s Rest fascinates Reacher, prompting him to stick around for a while. But when a worried woman named Michelle Chang mistakes him for her missing private investigation partner, the small town becomes more interesting than he could have imagined. As Reacher and Chang race through LA, Chicago and even the Internet, thugs and assassins threatening them at every turn, Reacher discovers that Mother’s Rest may hide his worst nightmares.

Joe Hartlaub has our review and calls MAKE ME “a bit of a mix of Reacher old and new, to excellent effect. He is still the capable and savvy tough guy we first met so many years ago, but this 20th installment presents a vulnerable side of him that rarely has been seen, if it all.”

By the way, Joe’s birthday is today, and I know he has MANY fans among our readers. If you would like to drop him some birthday wishes, send them here.

Although Stieg Larsson’s Millennium trilogy wrapped up with THE GIRL WHO KICKED THE HORNET'S NEST, you can read more about genius hacker Lisbeth Salander in David Lagercrantz’s stand-alone sequel, THE GIRL IN THE SPIDER'S WEB. Journalist Mikael Blomkvist receives a phone call from a stranger claiming to have vital information about the United States. Desperate for a scoop, he reaches out to superhacker Salander for confirmation. As the two attempt to unravel a web of spies, criminals and corrupt governments, they encounter a mastermind willing to kill to protect his secrets.

According to Joe, “THE GIRL IN THE SPIDER’S WEB has it all: complex plots, troubled characters with off-kilter personalities, dark humor, and political machinations that permeate every corner of the book…. Lagercrantz is the perfect choice to keep the Larsson legacy alive.”

I read this on my vacation and loved seeing the characters spring to life; I agree that Lagercrantz picked up the mantle well. I would've loved to have seen a bit more live interaction between Blomkvist and Lisbeth, just because the dynamic between them is so strong. Here is an interview with Lagercrantz in USA Today where I am quoted.

Bestselling memoirist Bill Clegg makes his novelistic debut with DID YOU EVER HAVE A FAMILY. On the night before her daughter’s wedding, June Reid’s life is horrifically changed when a disaster takes the lives of her daughter, her daughter’s fiancé, her ex-husband, and her boyfriend, Luke. The only survivor of the tragedy, June is devastated and flees her small Connecticut town for a cross-country trip, making her mark on several people along the way. From the couple running the motel where June eventually settles, to the wedding’s caterer, to Luke’s outcast mother, each person touched by the accident is changed as truths continue to come to light.

Norah Piehl has our review and says, "The novel is filled with moments of sparkling prose and genuine wisdom, and its final chapters...offer some of the clearest and most wrenching descriptions of grace you’ll ever see..." I read an early copy of this book; it’s one of those books that I still can remember where I was when I read it! I loved the way each individual’s story came together to tell this very powerful one. It reminded me of the style of OLIVE KITTERIDGE, though I enjoyed DID YOU EVER HAVE A FAMILY more; it will be a Bets On selection next week.

From mysterious and beloved author Elena Ferrante comes THE STORY OF THE LOST CHILD, the fourth and final novel in her Neapolitan series. In this dazzling conclusion, brilliant Elena and fiery Lila are now adults, their friendship having survived various losses and triumphs. While their bond was once strengthened by their desire to leave the violent neighborhood of their childhood, only Elena ever succeeded in escaping. Now she has returned to Naples to be with the man she has always loved, reuniting herself with Lila, whose entrepreneurial ventures have brought her uncomfortably close to the nepotism and violence of Naples. As Lila and Elena clash, drift apart and reconcile, they reveal new levels of both their friendship and themselves.

Reviewer Frederick Lloyd raves, “Reading THE STORY OF THE LOST CHILD, one encounters details from the previous books, events and characters from decades earlier in the narrative that you have all but forgotten, and the memory of them stirs dimly in your recollection, like episodes from your own life that lie dormant until they are brought up nostalgically over drinks with an old friend or an old lover.” For those of you who are in a book group, we are running a contest to win copies of the first book in the series, MY BRILLIANT FRIEND. Read here for details on how to enter. And with all four books now in print, what a lovely time to savor the entire series.

In his profound and timely memoir, BLACK MAN IN A WHITE COAT, Damon Tweedy confronts issues of race, bias and health. When he first visited Duke University Medical School on a full scholarship, Tweedy, like many other bright youths, pictured a future full of opportunity. Instead, he found that his race continued to be an issue when one of his professors mistook him for a maintenance worker. Even during lessons, he found that his education was clearly geared towards doctors who would be practicing on only white patients. Drawing upon these and other experiences, Dr. Tweedy examines the complex ways in which black doctors and patients must approach health, medicine and socioeconomic issues.

Barbara Bamberger Scott has our review and comments, “Already creating a stir, BLACK MAN IN A WHITE COAT will doubtless cause thoughtful readers to feel the pinch of their own unquestioned assumptions about race and its relation to health care in America.” I had the pleasure of interviewing Damon at BEA, and I wish I had had the chance to speak with him more. I have found myself thinking about this book over the last months, much the same as how I pondered THE SHORT AND TRAGIC LIFE OF ROBERT PEACE. Here is an interview with him from NPR.

Our latest Paperback Spotlight features BETRAYED, the second installment in Lisa Scottoline’s Rosato & DiNunzio series. In this follow-up to ACCUSED, lawyer Judy Carrier is faced with her most personal case yet when Iris, her housekeeper, is found dead of an apparent heart attack. The circumstances of her death are suspicious, prompting her to suspect something far more sinister. Meanwhile, Judy is facing both personal and professional issues, which are jeopardizing not only her position at the firm, but also her relationship. But when she sets these issues aside, she discovers a shocking truth about Iris’ murder --- and the price of justice.

BETRAYED is one of the books we’re featuring in our New in Paperback roundups for September. Others include THE ASSASSINATION OF MARGARET THATCHER, a collection of contemporary stories from Hilary Mantel; EDGE OF ETERNITY, the final volume in Ken Follett's Century Trilogy; ON IMMUNITY: An Inoculation by Eula Biss, a National Book Critics Circle Award Finalist (I had the pleasure of interviewing Eula last year at BEA as this was a Buzz title for 2014); and DR. MUTTER’S MARVELS, Cristin O'Keefe Aptowicz’s biography of a medical innovator who revolutionized American surgery and founded the country’s most famous museum of medical oddities.

We’re happy to announce the launch of our Fifth Annual Fall Preview feature! On select days in September and October, we will spotlight a different title and offer a 24-hour contest to win five copies of the book. We also will be sending a special newsletter to announce each day's title. If you have not already done so, you can sign up here to receive the Fall Preview newsletter. On Monday the 14th, we will send a special preview newsletter with all the titles we’ll be giving away thus far (more will be added in the days and weeks ahead). Then our first series of contests kick off the following day at noon ET. The prize books for the first week will be KEEPER'S REACH: A Sharpe & Donovan Novel by Carla Neggers (I am listening to this on audio now), THE LAST SEPTEMBER by Nina de Gramont (a future Bets On title) and THE SAME SKY by Amanda Eyre Ward (which is now available in paperback and was a Bets On title when it released in hardcover in January).

Our Books on Screen feature has been updated for September. In theaters now is A Walk in the Woods starring Robert Redford and Nick Nolte, based on Bill Bryson’s modern classic of travel literature, and releasing the 18th in IMAX (and the 25th on all screens) is Everest, adapted from Jon Krakauer’s INTO THIN AIR, Lou Kasischke’s AFTER THE WIND and Beck Weathers' LEFT FOR DEAD. The long-awaited fourth season of “Longmire” (canceled by A&E last year) is now available on Netflix, while DVD releases this month include Cinderella and Pitch Perfect 2.

We have a new Word of Mouth contest to tell you about. Let us know by Friday, September 25th at noon ET what books you’ve finished reading, and you’ll be in the running to win FATES AND FURIES by Lauren Groff, HER FINAL BREATH by Robert Dugoni, and HOUSE OF THIEVES by Charles Belfoure (which we’ll feature in our New Release Spotlight next week).

There are just a handful of days left to enter our current Sounding Off on Audio contest. Let us know by Friday, September 18th at noon ET what audiobooks you’ve finished listening to, and three winners will be awarded the audio versions of the aforementioned MAKE ME: A Jack Reacher Novel, read by Dick Hill, and Philippa Gregory’s THE TAMING OF THE QUEEN, read by Bianca Amato. I spent some time this week reading your recommendations. Truly some stellar commentary there. Whether you are an audio listener, or you are thinking of dabbling and giving it a try, I highly recommend searching this feature for ideas.

News and Pop Culture:

Stephen King and Tobias Wolff Each Receive National Medal of Arts: Read about it here.

Library Card Sign-up Month: Do you have one? If not, think about getting one. One county here in New Jersey is offering discounts to those who show their library card.

Morristown Book Festival: It will be held in Morristown, NJ the evening of Friday, October 2nd and all day Saturday, October 3rd. Last year was the inaugural event, and it was excellent. I will be interviewing Dana Goldstein about THE TEACHER WARS: A History of America's Most Embattled Profession on Saturday afternoon. Other authors who will be there include Jami Attenberg, Emily St. John Mandel, Christopher Scotton, Gail Sheehy and Kimberly McCreight. And they have panels for teens and kids, too! Click here for more info.

Book Group Brunch, Perfect for ALL Readers: Our site is partnering with the Hachette Book Group to bring you "Hachette’s Book Club Brunch: A Day for Readers" on Saturday, October 17th from 10am to 2:30pm. Admission is $45 and includes brunch and a tote bag with selected free books! This year the event will be held at the publisher’s offices, a nice treat! Tickets are going fast, so act now! Maria Semple, bestselling author of WHERE’D YOU GO, BERNADETTE, will be a featured speaker. The day of events closes with a special book club discussion with Elizabeth Poliner, author of the forthcoming novel AS CLOSE TO US AS BREATHING, which will be on sale March 15, 2016. All attendees will receive an advance copy of the novel to read before the event. Signup is here. I read AS CLOSE TO US AS BREATHING last week, and I loved how the story unfolded. Looking forward to hearing what other readers think about it.

Book Festivals: We have a list of Book Festivals around the country that you may want to explore.

Two Products I Love: Hask Keratin Protein for your hair, which is amazing for conditioning it, and facial cleaning cloths with eucalyptus that can perk up your face in seconds flat; I LOVE eucalyptus!

"Show Me a Hero" on HBO: Watched this. Wonderfully well-done series about a big issue.

Free Haircuts for Kids Who Read to Him: Loved this piece from "NBC Nightly News" about a barber who gives free haircuts to children who read to him.

Jack Reacher: Movie Number Two: Coming October 21, 2016. Yes, starring Tom Cruise again as Reacher. I know many fans skipped the first one. I liked it and am excited about the second. Suspend thoughts of Cruise as Reacher and instead soak up the story. And I hope Lee has another cameo. Read more here.

Diana Nyad documentary: I watched the 2013 Diana Nyad documentary, The Other Shore, the other night. It has me excited about her book, FIND A WAY, coming on October 20th.

"Fear the Walking Dead": Really well-done series; I am two episodes in and look forward to more.

Trailer for John Irving’s AVENUE OF MYSTERIES: Here is a great trailer for the book, including commentary from the author. It was created by Spencer Barclay, Linwood Barclay’s son. Love that.

He Named Me Malala: Trailer here; some of our staffers are going to see it next week.

"Homeland" and "The Affair": Both start up again on October 4th. "Homeland" picks up two years after Carrie leaves her ill-fated assignment in Islamabad. This season is set in Berlin where she is estranged from the CIA. The trailer is here. As for "The Affair," the next season has Noah and Alison together, but dealing with the fallout of the marriages they left behind with Helen and Cole. Oh, and there is the murder still lingering out there that Noah is charged with. The trailer is here.

Today is a day of remembrance of the events of 14 years ago. They will be detailed and commemorated, as well they should be. We all have our personal stories of that day. One of my favorite books is THE DAY THE WORLD CAME TO TOWN by Jim DeFede, which talks about the way the town of Gander, Newfoundland came together as international flights from all over the world landed there when flights into the United States were grounded there. It’s a wonderful uplifting story of the human spirit.

Greg is in Bucks County at a Bonspieling event. What’s that? A curling tournament. He has a new broom, and no, it will not be used to clean his room. Cory stopped home last weekend and floated in the pool for a bit. He found the baseball cap in the photo above in his closet. As he wants to become an aeronautical engineer, it’s perfect. I am hoping to savor a bit more of summer by hanging by the pool!

For our friends celebrating Rosh Hashanah, we all wish you a Happy New Year. Read on, and a have a great week….

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: MAKE ME by Lee Child
MAKE ME: A Jack Reacher Novel by Lee Child (Thriller)
Mother’s Rest is a tiny place hidden in a thousand square miles of wheat fields, with a railroad stop, sullen and watchful people, and a worried woman named Michelle Chang, who mistakes Jack Reacher for someone else: her missing partner in a private investigation she thinks must have started small and then turned lethal. Before long, Reacher is plunged into a desperate race through LA, Chicago, Phoenix and San Francisco, and ultimately back to Mother’s Rest, where he must confront the worst nightmare he could imagine. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

-Click here to read more about the book.
-Click here to read an excerpt.
Click here to read a review.
Now in Stores: THE GIRL IN THE SPIDER'S WEB by David Lagercrantz
THE GIRL IN THE SPIDER'S WEB: A Lisbeth Salander Novel by David Lagercrantz (Thriller)
Late one night, Mikael Blomkvist receives a phone call from a source claiming to have information vital to the United States. The source has been in contact with a young female superhacker --- a hacker resembling someone Blomkvist knows all too well. The implications are staggering. Blomkvist, in desperate need of a scoop for Millennium, turns to Lisbeth Salander for help. The secret they are both chasing is at the center of a tangled web of spies, cybercriminals and governments around the world, and someone is prepared to kill to protect it. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

-Click here to read more about the book.
Click here to read a review.
Now in Stores: DID YOU EVER HAVE A FAMILY by Bill Clegg
DID YOU EVER HAVE A FAMILY by Bill Clegg (Fiction)
On the eve of her daughter’s wedding, June Reid’s life is completely devastated when a shocking disaster takes the lives of her daughter, her daughter’s fiancé, her ex-husband, and her boyfriend, Luke --- her entire family, all gone in a moment. And June is the only survivor. Alone and directionless, June drives across the country, away from her small Connecticut town. In her wake, a community emerges, weaving a beautiful and surprising web of connections through shared heartbreak. Reviewed by Norah Piehl.

-Click here to read more about the book.
Click here to read a review.
Now in Stores: THE STORY OF THE LOST CHILD by Elena Ferrante
THE STORY OF THE LOST CHILD: The Fourth and Final Neapolitan Novel written by Elena Ferrante, translated from the Italian by Ann Goldstein (Fiction)
Here is the dazzling saga of two women: the brilliant, bookish Elena and the fiery uncontainable Lila. In the fourth and final Neapolitan novel, both are adults; life’s great discoveries have been made, its vagaries and losses have been suffered. Through it all, the women’s friendship, examined in its every detail over the course of four books, remains the gravitational center of their lives. Reviewed by Frederick Lloyd.

-Click here to read more about the book.
Click here to read a review.
Now in Stores: BLACK MAN IN A WHITE COAT by Damon Tweedy, M.D.
BLACK MAN IN A WHITE COAT: A Doctor's Reflections on Race and Medicine by Damon Tweedy, M.D. (Memoir)
BLACK MAN IN A WHITE COAT examines the complex ways in which both black doctors and patients must navigate the difficult and often contradictory terrain of race and medicine. As Damon Tweedy transforms from student to practicing physician, he discovers how often race influences his encounters with patients. Through their stories, he illustrates the complex social, cultural and economic factors at the root of most health problems in the black community. These issues take on greater meaning when Tweedy himself is diagnosed with a chronic disease far more common among black people. Reviewed by Barbara Bamberger Scott.

-Click here to read more about the book.
Click here to read a review.
Announcing’s Fall Preview Contests and Feature
Fall is known as the biggest season of the year for books. The titles that release during this latter part of the year often become holiday gifts, and many are blockbusters. To celebrate the arrival of fall, we are spotlighting a number of outstanding books that we know people will be talking about in the days and months to come.

We will be hosting a series of 24-hour contests for these titles on select days in September and October, 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 first prize book will be announced on Tuesday, September 15th at noon ET.

This year's featured titles include:

Click here to read all the contest details and see our featured titles.
New Paperback Spotlight: BETRAYED by Lisa Scottoline
BETRAYED: A Rosato & DiNunzio Novel by Lisa Scottoline (Mystery)
Blockbuster author Lisa Scottoline returns to the Rosato & Associates law firm with BETRAYED, and maverick lawyer Judy Carrier takes the lead in a case that's more personal than ever. Judy has always championed the underdog, so when Iris, the housekeeper and best friend of Judy's beloved Aunt Barb, is found dead of an apparent heart attack, Judy begins to suspect foul play. The circumstances of the death leave Judy with more questions than answers, and never before has murder struck so close to home.

In the meantime, Judy's own life roils with emotional and professional upheaval. She doesn’t play well with her boss, Bennie Rosato, which jeopardizes her making partner at the firm. Not only that, her best friend Mary DiNunzio is planning a wedding, leaving Judy feeling left behind, as well as newly unhappy in her relationship with her live-in boyfriend Frank.

Judy sets her own drama aside and begins an investigation of Iris’ murder, then discovers a shocking truth that confounds her expectations and leads her in a completely different direction. She finds herself plunged into a shadowy world of people who are so desperate that they cannot go to the police, and where others are so ruthless that they prey on vulnerability. Judy finds strength within herself to try to get justice for Iris and her aunt --- but it comes at a terrible price.

-Click here to read a review.
-Click here to read an excerpt.
-Click here for the reading group guide.
-Click here to read Lisa Scottoline’s bio.
-Click here to visit Lisa Scottoline’s official website.
-Connect with Lisa Scottoline on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and YouTube.
Click here to read more in our Paperback Spotlight.
September's New in Paperback Roundups
September’s roundup of New in Paperback fiction titles includes THE ASSASSINATION OF MARGARET THATCHER, a collection of contemporary stories from Hilary Mantel that revolve around dislocation and family fracture, whimsical infidelities and sudden deaths with sinister causes; EDGE OF ETERNITY, the final volume in Ken Follett's Century Trilogy, which follows the fortunes of five intertwined families as they make their way through the 20th century; DIE AGAIN, the heart-pounding 11th installment in Tess Gerritsen’s series featuring Detective Jane Rizzoli and medical examiner Maura Isles, the inspiration behind TNT’s hit show "Rizzoli & Isles"; and 'TIL THE WELL RUNS DRY by Lauren Francis-Sharma, a multigenerational, multicultural saga that sweeps from the 1940s through the 1960s in Trinidad and the United States.

Among this month’s nonfiction offerings are YES PLEASE, a rich and varied collection of stories, lists, poetry (Plastic Surgery Haiku, to be specific), photographs, mantras and advice courtesy of "SNL" and "Parks and Recreation" star Amy Poehler; ON IMMUNITY, a provocative examination by Eula Biss, who addresses our fear of the government, the medical establishment, and what may be in our children's air, food, mattresses, medicines and vaccines; and DR. MUTTER'S MARVELS by Cristin O'Keefe Aptowicz, a mesmerizing biography of the brilliant and eccentric medical innovator who revolutionized American surgery and founded the country’s most famous museum of medical oddities.

-Find out what's New in Paperback for the weeks of August 31st, September 7th, September 14th, September 21st and September 28th.
September’s Books on Screen Feature
This month’s Books on Screen gives us almost as many transformations as an “America’s Next Top Model” makeover episode. Johnny Depp is nearly unrecognizable as notorious Irish mobster Whitey Bulger in Black Mass. Based on the book of the same name, the movie follows the uneasy alliance between Bulger and the FBI.

Everest is out this month and looks great. The film, with an all-star cast that includes Jake Gyllenhaal and Keira Knightley, brings the harrowing events that led to the 1996 Everest tragedy to the big screen. If one vertigo-inducing movie isn’t enough, Joseph Gordon-Levitt makes the titular walk as Philippe Petit, the stuntman who illegally crossed a wire between towers of the World Trade Center. The Walk doesn't come out until the end of the month, but it’s moving and rather breathtaking to see the pre-9/11 towers looming so large again. And if you’re looking for something a little more, well, grounded, check out A Walk in the Woods based on the bestselling Bill Bryson book, which --- among other things --- is an alliteration lover's dream.

TV fans will be happy to hear that “Longmire” is back this month. The modern-day Western was dropped by A&E in 2014, but Netflix, patron saint of beloved-if-underappreciated television, is reviving it faster than fans can say “Wyatt Earp.” Steven Spielberg’s 2002 sci-fi hit Minority Report is also getting a small screen reboot. The show picks up a decade after the movie left off and about nine years after the Pre-Crime Unit featured in the film was dismantled, although there are still some Precogs roaming the dystopian streets of Washington, D.C. And if gritty crime dramas aren’t for you, check out Cinderella and Pitch Perfect 2 on DVD.
Click here to see all the movies, TV shows and DVDs featured in September’s Books on Screen.
One to Watch Author Spotlight: EVERYBODY RISE by Stephanie Clifford
EVERYBODY RISE by Stephanie Clifford (Fiction)
It's 2006 in the Manhattan of the young and glamorous. Money and class are colliding in a city that is about to go over a financial precipice and take much of the country with it. At 26, bright, funny and socially anxious Evelyn Beegan is determined to carve her own path in life and free herself from the influence of her social-climbing mother, who propelled her through prep school and onto the Upper East Side. Evelyn has long felt like an outsider to her privileged peers, but when she gets a job at a social network aimed at the elite, she's forced to embrace them.

Recruiting new members for the site, Evelyn steps into a promised land of Adirondack camps, Newport cottages and Southampton clubs thick with socialites and Wall Streeters. Despite herself, Evelyn finds the lure of belonging intoxicating, and starts trying to pass as old money herself. When her father, a crusading class-action lawyer, is indicted for bribery, Evelyn must contend with her own family's downfall as she keeps up appearances in her new life, grasping with increasing desperation as the ground underneath her begins to give way.

-Click here to read a review.
-Click here to read an excerpt.
-Click here to see why we're betting you'll love this book.
-Click here to read our interview with Stephanie Clifford.
-Click here to read Stephanie Clifford’s bio.
-Click here to visit Stephanie Clifford’s official website.
-Click here to connect with Stephanie Clifford on Twitter.
-Click here to see the 50 winners selected to read and comment on the book.
Click here to read more in our One to Watch Author Spotlight.
More Reviews This Week
ABOVE THE WATERFALL by Ron Rash (Fiction)
Les, a long-time sheriff just three weeks from retirement, contends with the ravages of crystal meth and his own duplicity in his small Appalachian town. Becky, a park ranger with a harrowing past, finds solace amid the lyrical beauty of this patch of North Carolina. When an irascible elderly local is accused of poisoning a trout stream, Les and Becky are plunged into deep and dangerous waters, forced to navigate currents of disillusionment and betrayal that will force them to question themselves, test their tentative bond --- and threaten to carry them over the edge. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

FEAR OF DYING by Erica Jong (Fiction)
Vanessa Wonderman watches her parents age, attends doctor appointments with her pregnant daughter, and sits by the hospital bed of her husband, Asher, 15 years her senior. With her best years as an actress behind her, she's discovering that beginnings are easy, but endings can be hard. Could her fountain of youth fantasies be fulfilled on A site inspired by the writings of her best friend, Isadora Wing, it promises "no strings attached" encounters --- and Vanessa is so restless that she's willing to try anything. Reviewed by Eileen Zimmerman Nicol.

SISTERS IN LAW: How Sandra Day O'Connor and Ruth Bader Ginsburg Went to the Supreme Court and Changed the World by Linda Hirshman (Biography)
The relationship between Sandra Day O’Connor and Ruth Bader Ginsburg transcends party, religion, region and culture. Strengthened by each other’s presence, these groundbreaking judges, the first and second to serve on the highest court in the land, have transformed the Constitution and America itself, making it a more equal place for all women. Linda Hirshman’s dual biography includes revealing stories of how these trailblazers fought for their own recognition in a male-dominated profession. Reviewed by Maya Gittelman.

THE HANGING GIRL: A Department Q Novel by Jussi Adler-Olsen (Psychological Thriller/Mystery)
Carl Mørck has no choice but to lead Department Q into the tragic cold case of a vivacious 17-year-old girl who vanished from school, only to be found dead hanging high up in a tree. The investigation will take them from the remote island of Bornholm to a strange sun-worshipping cult, where Carl, Assad, Rose and newcomer Gordon attempt to stop a string of new murders and a skilled manipulator who refuses to let anything --- or anyone --- get in the way. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

ROBERT B. PARKER'S THE DEVIL WINS: A Jesse Stone Novel by Reed Farrel Coleman (Mystery)
Three bodies are discovered in the rubble of an abandoned factory building in an industrial part of Paradise known as The Swap. Found within feet of a man’s body are the skeletal remains of two teenage girls who had gone missing 25 years earlier. Not only does that crime predate Jesse Stone’s arrival in Paradise, but the dead girls were close friends of Jesse’s right hand, Officer Molly Crane. And things become even more complicated when one of the dead girls’ mothers returns to Paradise to bury her daughter and is promptly murdered. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

LAST BUS TO WISDOM by Ivan Doig (Historical Fiction)
Donal Cameron is being raised by his grandmother, the cook at the legendary Double W ranch in Ivan Doig’s beloved Two Medicine Country of the Montana Rockies, a landscape that gives full rein to an 11-year-old’s imagination. But when Gram has to have surgery, all she can think to do is to ship Donal off to her sister in faraway Manitowoc, Wisconsin. Aunt Kate is bossy, opinionated, argumentative and tyrannical, prompting Donal to leave. He is joined by Herman the German, and the pair have rollicking misadventures along the way. Reviewed by Roz Shea.

FORTUNE SMILES: Stories by Adam Johnson (Fiction/Short Stories)
In six masterly stories, Adam Johnson delves deep into love and loss, natural disasters, the influence of technology, and how the political shapes the personal. He returns to his signature subject, North Korea, in the title story, which depicts two defectors from Pyongyang who are trying to adapt to their new lives in Seoul, while one cannot forget the woman he left behind. FORTUNE SMILES gives voice to the perspectives we don’t often hear, while offering a new way of looking at the world. Reviewed by Harvey Freedenberg.

WE NEVER ASKED FOR WINGS by Vanessa Diffenbaugh (Fiction)
For 14 years, Letty Espinosa has worked three jobs around San Francisco to make ends meet while her mother raised her children in their tiny apartment on a forgotten spit of wetlands near the bay. But now Letty’s parents are returning to Mexico, and Letty must step up and become a mother for the first time in her life. She comes up with a plan to help the family escape the dangerous neighborhood and heartbreaking injustice that have marked their lives. But one wrong move could jeopardize everything she’s worked for and her family’s fragile hopes for the future. Reviewed by Rebecca Munro.

-Click here to read an excerpt.

A CURIOUS BEGINNING: A Veronica Speedwell Mystery by Deanna Raybourn (Historical Mystery)
After her home is ransacked in 1887 England, Veronica Speedwell receives a visit from the mysterious Baron von Stauffenbach, warning her of additional danger. Instinctively trusting him, she accepts his offer of sanctuary in London. But when the Baron is found murdered, Veronica is left with her host’s associate, an ill-tempered naturalist named Stoker. Together, they must evade unknown assailants while unraveling the mystery of the threat against Veronica --- a threat tied to her true parentage. Reviewed by Amie Taylor.

OUT ON THE WIRE: The Storytelling Secrets of the New Masters of Radio by Jessica Abel (Graphic Novel)
Every week, millions of devoted fans tune in to or download "This American Life," "The Moth," "Radiolab," "Planet Money," "Snap Judgment," "Serial," "Invisibilia" and other narrative radio shows. Using personal stories to breathe life into complex ideas and issues, these beloved programs help us to understand ourselves and our world a little bit better. Each has a distinct style, but every one delivers stories that are brilliantly told and produced. OUT ON THE WIRE offers an unexpected window into this new kind of storytelling --- one that literally illustrates the making of a purely auditory medium. Reviewed by John Maher.

BAREFOOT TO AVALON: A Brother's Story by David Payne (Memoir)
In 2000, while moving his household from Vermont to North Carolina, author David Payne watched from his rearview mirror as his younger brother, George A., driving behind him in a two-man convoy of rental trucks, lost control of his vehicle. David’s life hit a downward spiral. He found himself haunted not only by George A.’s death, but also by his brother’s manic depression, an inherited past that now threatened David’s and his children’s futures. The only way out, he found, was to write about his brother. Reviewed by Jesse Kornbluth for

DEADLY ASSETS: A Badge of Honor Novel by W. E. B. Griffin and William E. Butterworth IV (Thriller/Adventure)
Homicide Sergeant Matt Payne has been investigating the murder of a young family. A reporter, working on an illicit drug series for Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist Mickey O’Hara, has been killed with his wife and child, a note stapled to his chest warning that the drug stories are to stop. Period. While Payne knows that he, like his pal O’Hara, cannot back down, he also knows that they certainly could be among the next to die. Reviewed by Judy Gigstad.

THE NIGHT SISTER by Jennifer McMahon (Psychological Suspense)
Once the thriving attraction of rural Vermont, the Tower Motel now stands in disrepair, alive only in the memories of Amy, Piper, and Piper's kid sister, Margot. The three played there as girls until the day their games uncovered something dark and twisted in the motel's past, something that ruined their friendship forever. Now adults, Piper and Margot have tried to forget what they found that fateful summer, but their lives are upended when Piper receives a panicked midnight call from Margot, with news of a horrific crime for which Amy stands accused. Reviewed by Norah Piehl.

IS FAT BOB DEAD YET? by Stephen Dobyns (Comic Thriller)
In the seaport city of New London, Connecticut, newcomer Connor Raposo has just witnessed a gruesome motorcycle accident on Bank Street. At least he thinks it was an accident. But then he sees a familiar man --- who else would wear an Elvis pompadour in this day and age? --- lurking around the crime scene. Where does Connor know him from? And why does everyone he knows keep showing up dead? Reviewed by Kate Ayers.
Our Latest Poll: All About Podcasts
Do you listen to podcasts or digital narrative radio?

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What topics are covered in the shows that you listen to? Please check as many as apply.

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Word of Mouth Contest: Tell Us What You're Reading --- and You Can Win Three Books!

Tell us about the books you've finished reading with your comments and a rating of 1 to 5 stars. During the contest period from September 11th to September 25th, five lucky readers each will be randomly chosen to win a copy of FATES AND FURIES by Lauren Groff, HER FINAL BREATH by Robert Dugoni, and HOUSE OF THIEVES by Charles Belfoure.

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 rules and guidelines, click here.

-To see reader comments from previous contest periods, click here.

Click here to enter the contest.
Sounding Off on Audio Contest: Tell Us What You're Listening to --- and You Can Win Two Audiobooks!
Tell us about the audiobooks you’ve finished listening to with your comments and a rating of 1 to 5 stars for both the performance and the content. During the contest period from August 21st to September 18th, three lucky readers each will be randomly chosen to win the audio versions of both MAKE ME: A Jack Reacher Novel written by Lee Child and read by Dick Hill, and THE TAMING OF THE QUEEN written by Philippa Gregory and read by Bianca Amato.

To make sure other readers will be able to find the audiobook, 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.

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

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