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March 4, 2016 Newsletter March 4, 2016
Weeding My Cookbook Collection

Last weekend, we emptied the kitchen pantry, painted it and replaced everything. Well, almost everything. One shelf had cookbooks on it. I thought there were two rows of them, but alas, further investigation led to a discovery that they were three-deep. Right now they are in a pile on the dining room table, where each day I am winnowing them down. So far there has only been one duplicate book. I did not realize that I had six books on cakes and decorating for children's birthday parties. There are some treasures there that were wedding presents; there are others that were purchased on vacations decades ago to Vail and Beaver Creek. There are lots of memories in many of these pages.

On Sunday, as we were deciding what to cook for dinner, Tom and I remembered a pork loin recipe that is cooked over sauerkraut. The challenge: Find the book that it was in! I remembered it had a man on the cover, but it was not Tom Douglas or Bobby Flay or Emeril. I also remembered it had something reddish brown on the cover and --- bam! --- there it was: Mario Batali’s FARM TO TABLE cookbook. Whew!

Oh, besides these books, there are two smaller shelves of cookbooks under the center island in the kitchen; these are the ones I use most often. I am not going to part with those any time soon. Speaking of cookbooks, Nicole Sherman has curated a collection of Spring 2016 Cookbooks that you can see here; we’re sure that you’ll want at least one of these 20 selections on your shelf/shelves. I will find room for at least one on mine!

Now to this week's update.....

Lisa Lutz, the author of the popular Spellman Files series, returns with her latest stand-alone thriller, THE PASSENGER. Tanya Dubois had nothing to do with her husband’s death. Left with no explanation or alibi, Tanya cashes in her credit cards, dyes her hair brown and creates a new identity before fleeing town. She meets Blue, a female bartender who empathizes with Tanya and offers her a place to stay. Tanya-now-Amelia accepts Blue’s offer, and a dangerous alliance is born. Amelia-now-Debra and Blue have jumped from city to city, but Debra is chased by a very dark secret. Can she outrun her past and pursue a path to survival, or will she be caught up in her own lies?

Maggie Harding has our review and says, “Though I always have a sense of loss when a favorite author drops a series in favor of ‘stand-alones’ or starts a new series with different characters, I can understand the writer's desire to explore and grow. Lutz's first departure from the Spellman Files series was HOW TO START A FIRE, and it met with rave reviews in 2015. THE PASSENGER is sure to garner the same enthusiasm and thus lessen the sense of loss regarding the Spellmans.”

Just in time for March Madness comes John Feinstein’s newest sports book, THE LEGENDS CLUB. In March 1980, Mike Krzyzewski was hired by the all-powerful Duke basketball program. The only problem was, with Krzyzewski’s so-so record in his short time as head coach of Army, no one knew who he was. Worst of all, no one could even pronounce his name. As a result, his career at Duke got off to a shaky start. Nine days later, North Carolina State hired the excellent Jim Valvano as their new head coach. These two coaches were now in place to challenge the legendary Dean Smith, who led the University of North Carolina and turned their basketball team into a powerhouse. Little did anyone know that the most sensational competitive decade in history was about to unfold. Feinstein reveals the inside story behind this extraordinary rivalry and documents a decade of intense college basketball competition.

According to reviewer Stuart Shiffman, "On the pages of THE LEGENDS CLUB, the multi-million-dollar industry that is 'March Madness' and college basketball come together to reveal the best and the worst of the game…. THE LEGENDS CLUB is a must-read not only for college basketball fans, but for all sports fans.” I am sooooo ready to get my brackets done!

Lene Kaaberbøl and Agnete Friis --- whose much-talked-about crime fiction debut, THE BOY IN THE SUITCASE, signaled the start of their series starring Red Cross nurse Nina Borg --- wrap up their quartet with the concluding installment, THE CONSIDERATE KILLER. Nina and her husband have just returned to Denmark after vacationing in Manila in an attempt to save their marriage. Six months later, Nina is attacked in a grocery store. The last thing she hears before losing consciousness is her assailant asking for forgiveness, and she later comes to understand that his apology is not only for what he’s done, but for what he plans on doing. As Nina tries to trace the origin of the sinister messages she’s received, she realizes that the attempt on her life is somehow linked to events in Manila, specifically three young men whose impossible choices have cost human lives.

Joe Hartlaub pays tribute to the series in his review: “If this indeed is the finale, the series will end on a high-flying note…. I’m going to miss these novels. More will be forthcoming from both authors, at least individually and hopefully collectively, at some point. For now, though, we have four fine books in a series that demands to be read and re-read.” I remember meeting Lene and Agnete when THE BOY IN THE SUITCASE was coming out, and they were such a delight; I have loved watching this series grow.

My latest Bets On pick is UNDER THE INFLUENCE by Joyce Maynard, which we featured in last week’s newsletter with our review and interview, along with the discussion guide. Click here to see why I’m betting you’ll love this poignant story about the true meaning --- and the true price --- of friendship. Something else to share: Joyce has written a three-part series of articles about her own relationship with alcohol, which I have followed starting here. For those of you on Facebook, I have been following Joyce there for a while now. Her posts are wonderful essays about her life, which I love reading. You can see them here.

Our New in Paperback roundups have been updated for March. We have the latest paperbacks from such bestselling authors as Stephen King, Lee Child, David Baldacci, Daniel Silva, Philippa Gregory, Sophie Kinsella, Lisa Scottoline and Linwood Barclay; nonfiction titles like DEAD WAKE: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania by Erik Larson and THE FOLDED CLOCK: A Diary by Heidi Julavits; and much more.

Also updated this month is our Books on Screen feature. Feature films include Whiskey Tango Foxtrot (based on THE TALIBAN SHUFFLE: Strange Days in Afghanistan and Pakistan by Kim Barker) and The Divergent Series: Allegiant (the first of two installments based on ALLEGIANT, the final book in Veronica Roth’s Divergent trilogy). On the small screen is the series premiere of “Hap and Leonard” on Sundance, and among March’s DVD releases are Room and The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2.

Where do you find information online about authors? Do you visit their websites, their Facebook, Twitter or Instagram pages, (our preferred avenue, of course!), or do you just Google their names and see what comes up? Click here to let us know in our latest poll!

Our previous poll asked how much of a book you read before deciding if you will finish it. 41% of you never have a set number of pages in mind, 20% give it 50 pages, 10% get to 100 pages, and 14% always finish every book they start. Click here for all the results.

We have a new Word of Mouth contest to tell you about. Let us know by Friday, March 18th at noon ET what books you’ve finished reading for a chance to win THE STEEL KISS: A Lincoln Rhyme Novel by Jeffery Deaver and TWO IF BY SEA by Jacquelyn Mitchard.

We’re also pleased to announce March’s Sounding Off on Audio contest. This month’s prize books are the audio versions of A MOTHER'S RECKONING: Living in the Aftermath of Tragedy, written and read by Sue Klebold (a Bets On selection), and Chris Pavone's THE TRAVELERS, read by Paul Michael. Let us know by Friday, April 1st at noon ET what audiobooks you’ve finished listening to, and you’ll be in the running to win both titles.

One of our “Sounding Off on Audio” prizes from last month was THE SOUND OF GRAVEL, written and read by Ruth Wariner. I was so captivated by the audiobook that I made it a Bets On pick shortly after its release in January. This week, we’re featuring both a review of the hardcover edition and a discussion guide --- and we’ll have more on the book next week on our site.

I got a note this week from our friends at Penguin Random House Audio that they “just launched a new podcast featuring interviews with authors in the recording studio as they narrate their own audiobooks --- This Is the Author. Episodes with the likes of NPR’s Diane Rehm, Pulitzer winner Jhumpa Lahiri, the Eurythmics’ Dave Stewart and more bring listeners into the booth to reveal the recording process from the writer’s point of view.” I must check this out!

News and Pop Culture:

Reader Mail: From Hedy: “I too absolutely loved THE LIGHT BETWEEN OCEANS and cried very hard the first time I read it. I have also listened to the audio. I go to library book sales and found two copies just recently to give away to friends. Now I will go watch the trailer.”

From Eve: “Just a note to add to survey re: how many pages you give a book before abandoning. I try to give a book 100 pages. If I find myself thinking, I would rather file my nails than read this book, then I know the book is not for me. I often find after 100 pages a book greatly improves.”

From Marion: “We are fortunate here in the Seattle area to have a true book guru, Nancy Pearl. Here is her advice from BOOK LUST: Recommended Reading for Every Mood, Moment, and Reason about how much of a book one ought to read before deciding to finish it or not: 'I live by what I call 'the rule of 50,' which acknowledges that time is short and the world of books is immense. If you're 50 years old or younger, give every book about 50 pages before you decide to commit yourself to reading it, or give it up. If you're over 50, which is when time gets even shorter, subtract your age from 100 --- the result is the number of pages you should read before deciding. Keep in mind that your mood has a lot to do with whether or not you will like a book. I always leave open the option of going back to a book I haven't liked...sometime later.’ Maybe someday I'll be down to about 10 exploratory pages --- but still reading, I hope!”

KNITLANDIA: One of our readers, Betsy, wrote and shared this link about a book called KNITLANDIA by Clara Parkes, which sounds terrific. Carla ditched her hi-tech job and started an online magazine called Knitter’s Review. She has spent the last 15 years traveling the world as "a yarn evangelist in search of her congregation." Must get my hands on this book!

Stressed Out by Coloring Books? I came across this article about crayon manufacturers who now have to crank out a ton of crayons to keep up with the demand for them, thanks to the coloring books craze that's been sweeping the nation.

The Presidency: You know I never touch real-life politics in this newsletter; there is enough of that elsewhere! I, however, will cast a vote for watching season four of "House of Cards" starting today, starring President Frank Underwood. For the record, I like him better than either of the presidential candidates running on "Scandal"!

Astronaut Scott Kelly: I think that NASA should have had Matt Damon waiting to greet him when he got back from his year in space this week. After all, between Interstellar and The Martian, Matt knows what it’s like to come back from outer space.

The Intern: Watched the movie last weekend. Really fun and a lovely escape.

The Oscars: Favorite moments included the interplay between Brie Larson and Jacob Tremblay. Funny photo: Tremblay in the back seat of the car on the way to the Oscars in his mini Armani tux. Funny moment for me: Last summer, Laura Dave’s literary agent threw a really fun party for her to celebrate her book, EIGHT HUNDRED GRAPES. Her husband, Josh Singer, was on hand to celebrate. We talked for a bit over wine, and he said he was in the city for meetings as he was working on a film called Spotlight, which at the time was not on my radar. Flash forward to this year: He is nominated and wins an Oscar for Best Screenplay, and there he is kissing his wife Laura in the audience as I am yelling “I know those people!” at the TV.

Harry Potter Miniature Quidditch Set: Is this a cute gift or what? It releases on March 22nd and is available here.

Lego Pain: For those of us who have stepped on a Lego and wondered WHY it hurts so much to do so.

American Gods: I read this week that Ian McShane is slated to star in the adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s book of the same name.

On Sunday night, we, along with you, will be saying goodbye to "Downton Abbey." We will miss the house, the iconic characters, the drama --- and the glitz and glamour. I loved the amount of time that these people spent relaxing between their varied, very simple life tasks. Did it really once take that long to dress and dine? They should have spent a lot more time reading! They did have a wonderful library.

The first week of March had a lamb/lion thing going on, probably with a lot more lion that I would like. My sons still tease me about the year I wrote in this newsletter about the lamb/lamb March that I craved, so this one is for them. Startlingly, next weekend we will be changing the clocks for Daylight Saving Time; rest up this week for the hour you are going to lose.

On Monday, I am moderating a panel of librarians at Launch Kids, now in its fifth year at Digital Book World Conference + Expo, which promises to be interesting. I have learned so much about reaching students and library patrons from my three panelists.

Back to closet and attic cleaning this weekend. We moved into this house 26 years ago, and I am embarrassed to say that I think there are still some boxes in the attic that were never unpacked! It’s time to get a fire burning. I have a huge stack of reading calling my name. I soooooo miss going on Spring Break vacation this time of year. I truly could use 10 days of reading time right now!

Greg has a bonspiel here in NJ this weekend. Cory will be swinging by for dinner, I hope; last weekend he brought a friend home, which was such fun. Tonight he is running a fundraiser for his Sigma Pi fraternity for the St. Baldrick’s Foundation, “a volunteer-powered charity committed to funding the most promising research to find cures for childhood cancers and give survivors a long happy life.” I told him we will donate in lieu of his shaving his head!

Read on, and have a great week.

Carol Fitzgerald (

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

Now in Stores: THE PASSENGER by Lisa Lutz
THE PASSENGER by Lisa Lutz (Psychological Thriller)
Audiobook available, narrated by Madeleine Maby
Forty-eight hours after leaving her husband’s body at the base of the stairs, Tanya Dubois cashes in her credit cards, dyes her hair brown, demands a new name from a shadowy voice over the phone and flees town. She meets Blue, a female bartender who offers her a place to stay. With dwindling choices, Tanya (now Amelia) accepts. It’s almost impossible to live off the grid today, but Amelia (now Debra) and Blue have the courage, ingenuity and desperation to try. Hopscotching from city to city, Debra especially is chased by a very dark secret. Can she outrun her past? Reviewed by Maggie Harding.

-Click here to read more about the book.
Click here to read a review.
Now in Stores: THE LEGENDS CLUB by John Feinstein
THE LEGENDS CLUB: Dean Smith, Mike Krzyzewski, Jim Valvano, and an Epic College Basketball Rivalry by John Feinstein (Sports)
Audiobook available, narrated by John Feinstein
On March 18, 1980, the immensely powerful Duke basketball program announced the hiring of its new coach --- the man who would resurrect the team, restore glory to Duke and defeat the legendary Dean Smith, who coached down the road at UNC Chapel Hill and had turned UNC into a powerhouse. The table was set nine days later, when on March 27, Jim Valvano was hired by North Carolina State to be their new head coach. In the skillful hands of John Feinstein, this extraordinary rivalry --- and the men behind it --- come to life in a unique, intimate way. Reviewed by Stuart Shiffman.

-Click here to read more about the book.
Click here to read a review. Reviews THE SOUND OF GRAVEL by Ruth Wariner --- Discussion Guide Now Available!
THE SOUND OF GRAVEL: A Memoir by Ruth Wariner (Memoir)
Audiobook available, narrated by Ruth Wariner
Ruth Wariner was the 39th of her father’s 42 children. After Ruth’s father is brutally murdered by his brother in a bid for church power, her mother remarries. In need of government assistance and supplemental income, Ruth and her siblings are carted back and forth between Mexico and the United States, where Ruth’s mother collects welfare and her stepfather works a variety of odd jobs. As she begins to doubt her family’s beliefs and question her mother’s choices, Ruth struggles to balance her fierce love for her siblings with her determination to forge a better life for herself. Reviewed by Rebecca Munro.

-Click here to read more about the book.
-Click here to read an excerpt.

-Click here for the discussion guide.
-Click here to read Carol's " Bets On" commentary on the audiobook.

Click here to read a review.
Now in Stores: THE LONELY CITY by Olivia Laing
THE LONELY CITY: Adventures in the Art of Being Alone by Olivia Laing (Memoir/Cultural Criticism)
When Olivia Laing moved to New York City in her mid-30s, she found herself inhabiting loneliness on a daily basis. Increasingly fascinated by this most shameful of experiences, she began to explore the lonely city by way of art. Moving fluidly between works and lives --- from Edward Hopper's Nighthawks to Andy Warhol's Time Capsules, from Henry Darger's hoarding to David Wojnarowicz's AIDS activism --- Laing conducts an electric, dazzling investigation into what it means to be alone. Reviewed by Norah Piehl.

-Click here to read more about the book.
Click here to read a review. Bets On: UNDER THE INFLUENCE by Joyce Maynard
UNDER THE INFLUENCE by Joyce Maynard (Fiction)
I always like Joyce Maynard’s writing and find her books to be compelling --- and memorable --- reads. In UNDER THE INFLUENCE, Helen’s life has unraveled due to her excessive drinking. Her marriage has fallen apart, and she has lost custody of her seven-year-old son, Ollie. Her career as a photographer is on the skids like the rest of her life. Then she meets Ava and Swift Havilland, who are wealthy and connected philanthropists, and becomes swept up in their “fabulous” world. They embrace Helen and Ollie, who quickly become like extended family.

Also new to Helen’s world is Elliott, a serious man who is an accountant and gives balance --- not excitement --- to Helen’s life. He’s solid and dependable, something that has been alien to her for a long time. But the Havillands dismiss him as neither fabulous nor exciting enough.

The story comes to a crescendo when Ollie witnesses an accident, and the ramifications of it unravel the world that has been carefully built around Helen. In a book group? There’s a lot to talk about with this one.

-Click here to read more about the book.
-Click here to read a review.

-Click here for the discussion guide.
-Click here to read our interview with Joyce Maynard.

Click here for more books we're betting you'll love.
March's New in Paperback Roundups
March’s roundup of New in Paperback fiction titles includes FINDERS KEEPERS, Stephen King's latest bestseller about a reader whose obsession with a reclusive writer goes much too far; THE GUILTY, the fourth thriller in David Baldacci's series starring Will Robie, the government's most professional, disciplined and lethal assassin; Philippa Gregory's THE TAMING OF THE QUEEN, a riveting Tudor tale featuring King Henry VIII’s sixth wife, Kateryn Parr, the first English queen to publish under her own name; and BROKEN PROMISE, the opening novel in Linwood Barclay's trilogy set in the peaceful small town of Promise Falls, where secrets can always be buried --- but are never forgotten.

Among this month’s nonfiction offerings are DEAD WAKE, in which Erik Larson tells the enthralling story of the sinking of the Lusitania while painting a larger portrait of America at the height of the Progressive Era; THE FOLDED CLOCK, Heidi Julavits' meditation on time and self, youth and aging, friendship and romance, faith and fate, art and ambition; and THE RESIDENCE by Kate Andersen Brower, which reveals daily life in the White House as it is really lived through the voices of the maids, butlers, cooks, florists, doormen, engineers and others who tend to the needs of the President and First Family.

-Find out what's New in Paperback for the weeks of February 29th, March 7th, March 14th, March 21st and March 28th.
March's Books on Screen Feature
I've said this once, and I’ll say it again: Another March means another Divergent movie. Up this year is Allegiant --- at least the first part of it --- which finds Tris and co. on the other side of Chicago’s walls, where they will learn that the world is not as it seems and combat unimaginable dangers.

If election season hasn’t driven you to desperate escapism quite yet, check out Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, a smart, funny comedy starring the smart, funny Tina Fey, based on Kim Barker’s smart, funny memoir, THE TALIBAN SHUFFLE. And in the grand, wildly divisive tradition of hunky Englishmen playing Americans, confirmed Brit Tom Hiddleston has some large cowboy boots to fill as Hank Williams in I Saw the Light, the story of the legendary country singer’s rapid rise to fame and his tragic, untimely death.

All of you suffering from early spring allergies can rejoice this month: There's plenty of great TV to keep you entertained while you’re stuck inside with your windows sealed tight. Sundance’s “Hap and Leonard,” based on Joe R. Lansdale's long-running series, has gotten great early buzz; the leisurely meandering crime show is at once a playful buddy drama and an incisive portrait of race relations in 1980s Texas. You can also look forward to the return of two streaming fan favorites: “House of Cards” and “Daredevil,” both on Netflix. And be sure not to miss Brie Larson’s Oscar-winning performance in Room, now available on DVD.

Click here to see all the movies, TV shows and DVDs featured in March's Books on Screen.
Coming March 11th:'s Spring Preview Contests and Feature --- Sign Up Now for Contest Alerts!’s Spring Preview contests are right around the corner! Here, we’ll be spotlighting a number of hot new books releasing in the spring that you will want to consider adding to your reading list. Starting Tuesday, March 15th at noon ET and continuing through Thursday, April 21st, we will be hosting a series of 24-hour contests for these books. You’ll have to check the site each day to see which title is being given away --- or you can sign up here for our Spring Preview newsletter to be notified when contests go live. We will be sending a special Sneak Preview newsletter on Monday, March 14th.
Click here to sign up for Spring Preview contest alerts.
THREE Contests on Enter to Win Paperback Titles for You and Your Book Group!
We are celebrating the paperback release of Amanda Filipacchi's THE UNFORTUNATE IMPORTANCE OF BEAUTY --- part literary whodunit, part surrealist farce, which illuminates the labyrinthine relationship between beauty, desire and identity --- by giving 25 readers the chance to win a copy of the book. Enter here by Wednesday, March 23rd at noon ET.

Win a Copy of JUMP CUT: An Ellie Foreman Mystery, by Libby Fischer Hellmann

We are celebrating the recent release of JUMP CUT --- the exciting fifth installment in Libby Fischer Hellmann's award-winning Ellie Foreman Mystery Series --- by giving 50 readers the chance to win a copy of the book. Enter here by Wednesday, March 9th at noon ET.

Additionally, to spread the word and get this thriller into the hands of as many readers as possible, Libby will visit 50 book groups via Skype. Click here to find out how your group can enter for a chance to be one of the lucky 50!

"What's Your Book Group Reading This Month?": Win 12 Copies of ME BEFORE YOU by Jojo Moyes
Each month on, we ask book groups to share the titles they are reading that month and rate them. From all entries, three winners will be selected, and each will win 12 copies of that month’s prize book for their group. In anticipation of the movie adaptation --- which hits theaters in June --- our latest prize book is ME BEFORE YOU, the heartbreaking #1 New York Times bestseller by Jojo Moyes. Louisa Clark takes a badly needed job working for ex–Master of the Universe Will Traynor, who is wheelchair-bound after an accident. When she learns of his shocking plans to end his own life, she sets out to show him that life is still worth living. Enter here by Wednesday, March 9th at noon ET.

Click here to visit
More Reviews This Week
HIDDEN BODIES by Caroline Kepnes (Psychological Thriller)
Audiobook available, narrated by Santino Fontana
Joe Goldberg is no stranger to hiding bodies. In the past 10 years, this thirty-something has buried four of them, collateral damage in his quest for love. Now he’s heading west to Los Angeles, determined to put his past behind him. But the problem with hidden bodies is that they don’t always stay that way. They re-emerge, like dark thoughts, multiplying and threatening to destroy what Joe wants most: true love. And when he finds it in a darkened room in Soho House, he’s more desperate than ever to keep his secrets buried. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

IMBECILES: The Supreme Court, American Eugenics, and the Sterilization of Carrie Buck by Adam Cohen (History)
Audiobook available, narrated by Dan Woren
Adam Cohen tells the story of one of the darkest moments in the American legal tradition: the Supreme Court’s decision to champion eugenic sterilization for the greater good of the country. In 1927, when the nation was caught up in eugenic fervor, the justices allowed Virginia to sterilize Carrie Buck, a perfectly normal young woman, for being an “imbecile.” Exposing this tremendous injustice --- which led to the sterilization of 70,000 Americans --- IMBECILES overturns cherished myths and reappraises heroic figures in its relentless pursuit of the truth. Reviewed by Barbara Bamberger Scott.

INTO OBLIVION: An Icelandic Thriller by Arnaldur Indridason (Thriller)
Audiobook available, narrated by George Guidall
A woman swims in a remote, milky-blue lagoon. Steam rises from the water, and as it clears, a body is revealed in the ghostly light. Miles away, a vast aircraft hangar rises behind the perimeter fence of the US military base. A sickening thud is heard as a man's body falls from a high platform. Many years before, a schoolgirl went missing. The world has forgotten her, but Erlendur has not. Erlendur is a newly promoted detective with a battered body, a rouge CIA operative, and America's troublesome presence in Iceland to contend with. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

PERFECT DAYS by Raphael Montes (Psychological Thriller)
Teo Avelar is a loner who only feels honest human emotion in the presence of his medical school cadaver --- that is, until he meets Clarice. She's almost his exact opposite. An aspiring screenwriter, Clarice is working on a screenplay called Perfect Days about three friends who go on a road trip across Brazil in search of romance. An obsessed Teo begins to stalk Clarice and ultimately kidnaps her, at which point they embark upon their very own twisted odyssey across Brazil, tracing the same route outlined in her screenplay. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

THE CONSIDERATE KILLER: A Nina Borg Thriller written by Lene Kaaberbøl and Agnete Friis, translated by Elisabeth Dyssegaard (Mystery/Thriller)
Audiobook available, narrated by Katherine Kellgren
In an attempt to save their marriage, Nina Borg and her husband traveled to a beach resort in the Philippines for a dream vacation. Only now, six months later, does Nina begin to understand the devastating repercussions of that trip --- repercussions that have followed her home across the globe to Denmark. On an icy winter day, she is attacked outside the grocery store. The last thing she hears before losing consciousness is her assailant asking her forgiveness. Only later does she understand that this isn’t for what he’s just done, but for what he plans to do. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

THE VATICAN PRINCESS: A Novel of Lucrezia Borgia by C. W. Gortner (Historical Fiction)
Audiobook available, narrated by Julia Whelan
Glamorous and predatory, the Borgias fascinated and terrorized 15th-century Renaissance Italy, and Lucrezia Borgia, beloved daughter of the pope, was at the center of the dynasty’s ambitions. Slandered as a heartless seductress who lured men to their doom, was she in fact the villainess of legend, or was she trapped in a familial web, forced to choose between loyalty and survival? THE VATICAN PRINCESS is the first novel to describe Lucrezia’s coming-of-age in her own voice. Reviewed by Carly Silver.

-Click here to read an excerpt.

THIS WAS NOT THE PLAN by Cristina Alger (Fiction)
Audiobook available, narrated by George Newbern
Widowerhood at 33 and 12-hour workdays have left a gap in Charlie Goldwyn’s relationship with his quirky five-year-old son, Caleb. The only thing Charlie has going for him is his job at a prestigious law firm, where he is finally close to becoming a partner. But when a slight lapse in judgment at an office party leaves him humiliatingly unemployed, stuck at home with Caleb for the summer, and forced to face his own estranged father, Charlie starts to realize that there’s more to fatherhood than financially providing for his son, and more to being a son than overtaking his father’s successes. Reviewed by Jana Siciliano.

MOVIE FREAK: My Life Watching Movies by Owen Gleiberman (Memoir/Entertainment)
Audiobook available, narrated by Owen Gleiberman
What molds a critic? Perhaps it takes parents willing to buy nine-year-old Owen Gleiberman drive-in tickets for Rosemary's Baby. Like millions of us, Gleiberman loves movies, and in MOVIE FREAK, he not only reveals the details of how he became a critic but attempts to show why we find cinema so defining as a society. As one of the premiere tastemakers for more than three decades, Gleiberman, a self-confessed movie freak, explains why he and so many others equate film with life. Reviewed by Harvey Freedenberg.

THE PHOTOGRAPHER'S WIFE by Suzanne Joinson (Historical Fiction)
In 1920s Jerusalem, 11-year-old Prudence watches her architect father launch an ambitious plan to redesign the Holy City by importing English parks to the desert. He employs a British pilot, William Harrington, to take aerial photographs of the city, and soon Prue becomes uncomfortably aware of the attraction flaring between Harrington and Eleanora, the young English wife of a famous Jerusalem photographer. Years later, Prue is an artist living a reclusive life by the sea when Harrington pays her a surprise visit. What he reveals unravels her world, and she must follow the threads that lead her back to secrets long-ago buried in Jerusalem. Reviewed by Jana Siciliano.

THE LION’S MOUTH: A Hanne Wilhelmsen Novel by Anne Holt (Mystery)
Less than six months after taking office, the Norwegian Prime Minister is found dead. Was it a politically motivated assassination or personal revenge? Hanne Wilhelmsen, Chief Inspector of the Norwegian Police, is on leave in California, but when this death shakes the country to its core, she knows she can’t remain on the sidelines of such a crucial investigation. When secrets begin to unravel from the Prime Minister’s past, Hanne and her partner, Billy T., must piece together the crime before a private tragedy becomes a public outcry. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

THE CYCLOPS INITIATIVE: A Jim Chapel Mission by David Wellington (Thriller/Adventure)
Audiobook available, narrated by P. J. Ochlan
Jim Chapel, the one-armed Special Forces soldier turned spy, is on the wrong side of the law. The person he trusts most in the world, the brilliant hacker known only as Angel, is suspected of terrorism. When his boss calls for Angel’s arrest, Chapel --- certain it’s a frame job --- has only one option: to go rogue. With the aid of old friends and his ex-lover, the search to find who framed Angel leads Chapel to a conspiracy with deep roots that shocks even this hardened veteran --- and a plan that will destroy the United States as we know it if it succeeds. Reviewed by Ray Palen.
Next Week's Notables: Noteworthy Books Releasing on March 8th
Below are some notable titles releasing on March 8th that we would like to make you aware of. We will have more on many of these books in the weeks to come. For a list of additional hardcovers and paperbacks releasing the week of March 7th, see our “On Sale This Week” newsletter here.

ALL THINGS CEASE TO APPEAR by Elizabeth Brundage (Psychological Thriller/Mystery)
Elizabeth Brundage combines noir and the gothic in a novel about two families entwined in their own unhappiness, with --- at its heart --- a gruesome and unsolved murder.

CLAWBACK: An Ali Reynolds Novel by J.A. Jance (Thriller)
Ali Reynolds faces her most controversial mystery yet --- solving the murder of a man whose Ponzi scheme bankrupted hundreds of people, and left them seeking justice…or revenge.

CRAZY BLOOD by T. Jefferson Parker (Psychological Suspense)
Combining exquisite writing with breathtaking scenes of high-stakes skiing, CRAZY BLOOD is an unforgettable story of two brothers on a ruthless quest for supremacy.

FAR FROM TRUE: A Promise Falls Novel by Linwood Barclay (Thriller)
Set in the troubled town of Promise Falls and following the electrifying cliffhanger of BROKEN PROMISE, private investigator Cal Weaver and Detective Barry Duckworth are both driven to pursue their investigations, no matter where they lead.

MIKE HAMMER: MURDER NEVER KNOCKS by Mickey Spillane and Max Allan Collins (Noir Mystery)
After a failed attempt on his life, Mike Hammer lands an unlikely job as security detail for a Hollywood producer. Soon, though, he finds violence following him and his beautiful P.I. partner, Velda, into the swankiest of crime scenes.

OFF THE GRID: A Joe Pickett Novel by C. J. Box (Mystery/Thriller)
Nate Romanowski is off the grid when he is offered a deal by a small team of elite professional special operators. They need help destroying a domestic terror cell in Wyoming’s Red Desert, but Nate soon discovers they have a different plan in mind.

SISI: Empress on Her Own by Allison Pataki (Historical Fiction)
SISI tells the little-known story of Empress Elisabeth of Austria-Hungary, the Princess Diana of her time, in an enthralling work of historical fiction that is also a gripping page-turner.

THE STEEL KISS: A Lincoln Rhyme Novel by Jeffery Deaver (Thriller)
Amelia Sachs pairs up with forensic detective Lincoln Rhyme against one of their most formidable opponents ever: a brilliant killer who turns common products into murder weapons.

THE TRAVELERS by Chris Pavone (Thriller)
Will Rhodes is a recently married, barely solvent travel writer, until one night --- on assignment for the award-winning Travelers magazine --- a beautiful woman makes him an offer he can’t refuse, and he is drawn into a network of deception and deadly conspiracy.

THE WATERS OF ETERNAL YOUTH: A Commissario Guido Brunetti Mystery by Donna Leon (Mystery)
In the 25th installment of the bestselling Commissario Guido Brunetti series, Brunetti finds himself drawn to a case that may not be a crime at all: the haunting story of a woman trapped in a perpetual childhood.

WHAT IS NOT YOURS IS NOT YOURS: Stories by Helen Oyeyemi (Fiction/Short Stories)
From the award-winning author of BOY, SNOW, BIRD and MR. FOX comes an enchanting collection of intertwined stories that span multiple times and landscapes as they tease boundaries between coexisting realities.
Click here to see our latest "On Sale This Week" newsletter.
Our Latest Poll: Finding Info about Authors
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Word of Mouth Contest: Tell Us What You're Reading --- and You Can Win Two 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 March 4th to March 18th at noon ET, three lucky readers each will be randomly chosen to win a copy of THE STEEL KISS: A Lincoln Rhyme Novel by Jeffery Deaver and TWO IF BY SEA by Jacquelyn Mitchard.

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 March 1st to April 1st at noon ET, two lucky readers each will be randomly chosen to win the audio versions of A MOTHER'S RECKONING: Living in the Aftermath of Tragedy, written and read by Sue Klebold, and Chris Pavone's THE TRAVELERS, read by Paul Michael.

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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