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March 18, 2016 Newsletter March 18, 2016
Spring Arrives Sunday; Snow is Predicted!

I started the week with daylight saving jet lag but was perked up by an unexpected visit with Mary Kay Andrews. The New Atlantic Independent Booksellers Association (NAIBA) hosted an industry event at Watchung Booksellers in Montclair, New Jersey, and MKA (as we call her around the office) was on hand to talk to booksellers about her writing and her upcoming book, THE WEEKENDERS (coming May 17th). You may recall that my plan for the weekend was to kick back a notch, read it and think warm summer thoughts. I was 200 pages in on Sunday (and completely wrapped up in the story of this barrier island resort town) when I headed to Montclair.

I had not been to Watchung Booksellers before, though I have had the pleasure of spending time with its owner, Margot, and store manager, Carolyn, at other industry events. I grew up in the two towns that surround Montclair and went to a private high school in that town, so the area has a lot of history for me. It made me long for a store like this in my town, where community clearly thrives. I loved looking at their clever displays and reading their recommendations. We got to talk the biz a bit and shared some terrific treats from Tiny Elephant, which is adjacent to the bookstore. MKA shared more about her love of writing beach books; her goal is for her readers to escape with her and enjoy a good story. She’s not solving world problems, but rather giving readers a chance to escape and be entertained. Her roots as a mystery writer (her real name is Kathy Trocheck, and she wrote mysteries for years) often crop up in her books; THE WEEKENDERS is no exception. At the start of the novel, Riley learns that her estranged husband is dead, and it looks like murder. Set on an island where life is always kicked back a notch, the book is steeped in traditions, and the action is both beachy and page-turning. I think it’s her best book yet.

Now let’s talk about this week’s update!

James Patterson and Mark Sullivan are back with another exhilarating installment in the Private series. PRIVATE PARIS takes us to France, where Jack Morgan expects a relaxing break from his hectic life. After stopping by the office for a quick hello, though, he is quickly pressed into service when his client, Sherman Wilkerson, asks him to track down his granddaughter, who is on the run from a drug dealer. Before Jack can find her, several members of France’s elite are found murdered in stunning, symbolic fashion. He and his team must connect the dots before the religious and ethnic tensions come to a head in the City of Lights.

Joe Hartlaub has our review and calls PRIVATE PARIS “a heck of an entertaining story that moves readers rapidly from page to page while also providing a bit of a triptych tour of Paris and its culture…. Sullivan, a highly regarded thriller author in his own right, has his considerable action writing chops on full display here while managing to intersperse descriptions of interesting and offbeat street scenery with explosions and bloodshed.”

As promised, we have our review of SISI: Empress on Her Own, Allison Pataki’s third novel and her second to feature Empress Elisabeth of Austria-Hungary, affectionately known as Sisi. Newly married to Emperor Franz Joseph, Sisi has captured the hearts of her people as the “fairy queen.” But beneath this graceful and stunning persona, Sisi grows restless under the strict protocols of her royal marriage. A free-spirited wanderer at heart, she escapes to her estate outside Budapest where she rides horses and enjoys visits from a handsome Hungarian statesman. But tragic news brings Sisi out of her seclusion, and she must return to the world of court gossip and envy where a dangerous fate lurks in the shadows.

We’re happy to share Amy Gwiazdowski’s rave review. Here’s a preview: “Historical fiction loaded with court intrigue featuring a strong female lead is right in my wheelhouse. SISI was all that and more for me. I fell in love on page one and was heartbroken at the end. I’ve never been happier with a book…. It’s so easy to be swept away emotionally and feel utterly devastated at the end, but I’m so happy to have experienced it all.” You can see Allison's appearance on the "Today" show here.

Leaving behind the childhood she described in CHANEL BONFIRE, Wendy Lawless examines her misguided 20s in her follow-up memoir, HEART OF GLASS. Running from an unstable childhood with a volatile mother, Lawless ended up in the heart of 1980s New York City, before downtown Manhattan was scrubbed clean, gentrified and overrun with designer boutiques. With an open heart and a thrift store wardrobe, Lawless navigated this demi-monde of jaded punk rockers, desperate actors, pulsing parties and unexpected run-ins with her own past as she made every mistake of youth, looked for love in all the wrong places, and eventually learned how to grow up on her own.

According to reviewer Barbara Bamberger Scott, “HEART OF GLASS is deftly designed, vividly frank and often very funny, though the situations Lawless describes are not always the usual stuff of humor…. It’s impossible to read about Lawless’ earnestly misspent youth without feeling a slight touch of vertigo from all the ups, downs, twists and turns.”

HEART OF GLASS was the first book we gave away this week in this year’s Spring Preview contests; the others were ON FIRE: The 7 Choices to Ignite a Radically Inspired Life by John O'Leary (I met John a few months ago, and he and his story were so inspiring) and SAVING ALEX: When I Was Fifteen I Told My Mormon Parents I Was Gay, and That's When My Nightmare Began (what a story!) by Alex Cooper with Joanna Brooks. Next week’s prize books will be DIMESTORE: A Writer's Life by Lee Smith, her first nonfiction title, and THE SUMMER BEFORE THE WAR by Helen Simonson, which I am loving and is a future Bets On selection.

I have two Bets On selections for you this week: FAR FROM TRUE by Linwood Barclay and ALL THINGS CEASE TO APPEAR by Elizabeth Brundage. As I was writing them, I realized that both are set in upstate New York, though the tales told in them are very different stories. Also, we have more reader comments about both titles in Linwood’s Promise Falls trilogy: BROKEN PROMISE and FAR FROM TRUE.

We’ve updated our History Books roundup for March. We have books about the Lusitania (DEAD WAKE), FDR (RIGHTFUL HERITAGE), Charlotte Brontë (CHARLOTTE BRONTE: A Fiery Heart), baseball (THE SELLING OF THE BABE and STEALING GAMES) and much more.

We have a new poll question for you, something that has us curious. If you are not enjoying a book, are you more likely to stop reading it if you haven’t paid for it? Let us know! In our previous poll, we asked where you go online to find information about authors. Your top go-to places are author websites, (we LOVE seeing that!), Goodreads, Google and Amazon author pages. Click here for all the results.

We have a new Word of Mouth contest to tell you about this week. Let us know by Friday, April 1st at noon ET what books you’ve finished reading for your chance to win THE CHARM BRACELET by Viola Shipman, FOOL ME ONCE by Harlan Coben, and the aforementioned THE SUMMER BEFORE THE WAR by Helen Simonson. Trending this week on Word of Mouth are THE READERS OF BROKEN WHEEL RECOMMEND by Katarina Bivald; ANNA AND THE SWALLOW MAN by Gavriel Savit, a YA title that we shared with you here; and Linwood Barclay's aforementioned FAR FROM TRUE.

Don’t forget to enter this month’s Sounding Off on Audio contest. Submit your comments about the audiobooks you’ve finished listening to, and you’ll be in the running 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. The deadline for your entries is also Friday, April 1st at noon ET. No fooling!

Speaking of audiobooks, I’ve been listening to NO ONE KNOWS by J.T. Ellison, a psychological thriller that will be in stores on Tuesday. I’m loving the interplay of the voices on this one! We plan to have our review of the hardcover next week.

We were saddened to hear this week of another author passing: Anita Brookner, who died at the age of 87. Becoming a prolific writer after establishing herself as an art historian, Brookner wrote a book almost every year from 1981 --- when her first novel, A START IN LIFE, was published --- until 2011, with the release of the novella AT THE HAIRDRESSER’S. Her fourth novel, HOTEL DU LAC, won the Booker Prize in 1984. Brookner is mourned by friends, fellow writers and fans of her poignant, if melancholy, prose.

Otessa Moshfegh has won the PEN/Hemingway Award for her debut novel, EILEEN, and the winners of the National Book Critics Circle Awards were announced yesterday. This week also saw the announcement of the finalists for the Barry Award and the Indies Choice/E.B. White Read-Aloud Awards; click on the award names for all the nominees.

News and Pop Culture:

Reader mail was slower than usual this week --- symptoms of spring break and daylight saving jet lag! But proving that some of our best ideas come from our readers, Virginia wrote and asked, “Would you consider including the Amazon, Barnes & Noble and other links in your ‘On Sale This Week’ newsletter? There are two books I'd like to order that were released today, and I'd like to support Bookreporter! Having the links at the beginning of the newsletter would be very convenient.” Consider this done for next week with us thinking, WHY did we not do this?

By the way, if you have not signed up for the “On Sale This Week” newsletter, you can do so here. Circulation for this newsletter is steadily climbing, which we love to see. The newsletter tells you what is on sale that week and the following week in both hardcover and paperback. And we have been including some bonus features there too, including contest previews!

My cousin, Maryann, is one of our readers, which I love! She wrote to share that she “is going to see Allison Pataki at a country club in New Jersey on May 19th and is looking forward to our review of SISI.” She also mentioned that she loves hearing about my boys and said, “You have to post a photo of Cory's new look.” Readers may recall that Cory shaved his head for a fundraiser for pediatric cancer a few weeks ago. Since a few of you have asked, see the photo above.

Nora Ephron: A new documentary about her called
Everything Is Copy debuts on HBO on Monday, March 21st at 9pm ET and will be available On Demand on March 22nd. It is written and directed by her son, Jacob Bernstein. You can see a trailer for it here.

Liane Moriarty: Know you are waiting for her new book; it’s coming on July 26th. The cover was revealed this week for TRULY MADLY GUILTY. Check it out here.

“House of Cards”: Really enjoyed season four, but I think the wrap on the final episode could have been better. Cory has one episode left; I will rewatch with him tomorrow night.

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children: We have the trailer starring Eva Green and directed by Tim Burton.

San Andreas: I am going to admit that I watched the movie San Andreas last Friday night (Tom did not think I would admit to it) for a couple of reasons: 1) The week before, we watched Straight Outta Compton with Paul Giammati. Then I watched him in “Billions” during the week, and then he was in San Andreas. So I feel like I should ask him what he wants for dinner tonight. 2) Tom has degrees in engineering AND geology. So during the entire movie, I had a play-by-play on every fact that was wrong (why there would not have been a tsunami, etc.), which is payback for every thriller we ever watched where I guessed the ending. For the record, he would have been as good as Dwayne Johnson at rescuing us, and I would have been just as terrified as the wife!

NCAA Tournament: Lots of basketball and bracket talk around our house this weekend. For me, the best part of the tournament is the commentary from Charles Barkley and the crew in the booth. Standup comedy!

For those of you who have attended the Book Group Speed Dating sessions at BookExpo America (BEA) in New York the past few years, please note that we will be taking the event on the road to Chicago where the BEA show is this year. The event will be held on Friday, May 13th. We already have a fantastic lineup of publishers confirmed to join us, and we’re working on putting together a great program for our readers who can make it out to the Windy City. Registration for our event is now open; click here to sign up before May 3rd at noon ET. Please note that to attend this event, you must be registered to attend BEA on Friday, May 13th and have a badge. Click here for more information.

We know that some of you who typically attend our Annual Book Group Speed Dating Event will not be heading to Chicago. We are gauging interest in a similar Manhattan-based event in late May or June. If you are interested in this event, please fill out this form. Bear in mind that there are no firm plans for this event at this time --- we are merely exploring level of interest.

I am headed to Denver from April 5-7 for the Public Library Association’s conference. I have heard from a few of you that you will be there. I have been invited by the Penguin Random House Library team to present at their pre-PLA Lunch & Learn and talk about the current trends in book groups on Wednesday, April 6th from 12:30-1:30. Also, special guest author Ariel Lawhon will be signing copies of her Library Reads pick, FLIGHT OF DREAMS. If you are registered for the conference and would like to RSVP to attend, click here.

Cory has been in and out of the house all week as he is on spring break, and it has been so nice to have him around. He and Tom worked on some new projects; Tom is planning to market and sell the fabulous outdoor light that he made for me a few years ago so I can read outdoors at night. There is no quality outdoor lighting that can stand up to the elements. He does beautiful woodwork, thus I am so happy to see him heading in this new direction.

Yesterday morning, I saw a basket full of Cory’s laundry, so I washed it. Last night, he wandered in the laundry room as I was headed to do the second basket of laundry. He said, "Mom, why are you washing the clean clothes?" It ends up those were clean clothes that morning, waiting to be folded...or stuffed in his suitcase as he is wont to do! He is so independent; he has not brought home one load of laundry for me to do since he headed to college.

Greg’s plans for the weekend keep shifting; when he walks out the door, I may know where he is going...or maybe he will!

Spring arrives Sunday, and it can’t happen a moment too soon! But I am seeing a prediction for snow in the New York area for Sunday into Monday. HUGE growl on that! Well, we will have an extra hour of light in the evening to watch it fall.

I have a LOT of reading to do. Between the end of April and the second week in May, I am interviewing 11 authors! I wonder if the trick where you put a book under your pillow works. I also wonder if I will absorb a plotline if I listen to the audiobook as I sleep; I'll let you know how that works out!

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!

Featured Review: PRIVATE PARIS by James Patterson and Mark Sullivan
PRIVATE PARIS by James Patterson and Mark Sullivan (Thriller)
Audiobook available, narrated by Jay Snyder
When Jack Morgan stops by Private's Paris office, he envisions a quick hello during an otherwise relaxing trip. But he is quickly pressed into duty after getting a call from his client, Sherman Wilkerson, asking him to track down his young granddaughter, who is on the run from a brutal drug dealer. Before Jack can locate her, several members of France's cultural elite are found murdered in stunning, symbolic fashion. The only link between the crimes is a mysterious graffiti tag. As religious and ethnic tensions simmer in the City of Lights, only Jack and his Private team can connect the dots before the smoldering powder keg explodes. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

-Click here to read more about the book.
-Click here to read an excerpt.
Click here to read the review.
Featured Review: SISI by Allison Pataki
SISI: Empress on Her Own by Allison Pataki (Historical Fiction)
Audiobook available, narrated by Elizabeth Knowelden
Married to Emperor Franz Joseph, Elisabeth --- fondly known as Sisi --- captures the hearts of her people as their “fairy queen,” but beneath that dazzling persona lives a far more complex figure. Sisi grows restless, feeling stifled by strict protocols and a turbulent marriage. A free-spirited wanderer, she finds solace at her estate outside Budapest. There she rides her beloved horses and enjoys visits from the striking Hungarian statesman Count Andrássy. But tragic news brings Sisi out of her fragile seclusion, forcing her to return to her capital and a world of gossip, envy and sorrow where a dangerous fate lurks in the shadows. Reviewed by Amy Gwiazdowski.

-Click here to read more about the book.
-Click here to read an excerpt.
Click here to read the review.
Featured Review: THE WATERS OF ETERNAL YOUTH by Donna Leon --- Book #25 in the Commissario Guido Brunetti Series
THE WATERS OF ETERNAL YOUTH: A Commissario Guido Brunetti Mystery by Donna Leon (Mystery)
Fifteen years ago, a teenage girl fell into a canal late at night. Unable to swim, she went under and started to drown, only surviving thanks to a nearby man, an alcoholic, who heard her splashes and pulled her out, though not before she suffered irreparable brain damage that left her in a state of permanent childhood. The drunk man claimed he saw her thrown into the canal by another man, but the following day he couldn’t remember a thing. Now, at a fundraising dinner for a Venetian charity, a wealthy and aristocratic patroness --- the girl’s grandmother --- asks Brunetti if he will investigate. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

-Click here to read more about the book.

Click here to read the review.
Featured Review: AS CLOSE TO US AS BREATHING by Elizabeth Poliner
AS CLOSE TO US AS BREATHING by Elizabeth Poliner (Fiction)
In 1948, sisters Ada, Vivie and Bec assemble at their beloved family cottage in Woodmont, Connecticut. Ada is unimpeded by her strict, religious husband. Vivie is the family diplomat and an increasingly inventive chef. Unmarried Bec finds herself forced to choose between a family-centric life and a passion-filled life with a married man. But when a terrible accident occurs on the sisters' watch, the girls’ lives are changed forever. Seen through the eyes of Molly, who was 12 years old when she witnessed the accident, this is the story of a tragedy and its aftermath. Can Molly, decades after the event, draw from her aunt Bec's wisdom and free herself from the burden that destroyed so many others? Reviewed by Sarah Rachel Egelman.

-Click here to read more about the book.
Click here to read the review.
Featured Review: HEART OF GLASS by Wendy Lawless
HEART OF GLASS: A Memoir by Wendy Lawless (Memoir)
Before downtown Manhattan was scrubbed clean, gentrified, and overrun with designer boutiques and trendy eateries and bars, it was the center of a burgeoning art scene. Running from the shipwreck of her glamorous and unstable childhood with a volatile mother, Wendy Lawless landed in the center of it all. She navigated this demi-monde of jaded punk rockers, desperate actors, pulsing parties and unexpected run-ins with her own past as she made every mistake of youth, looked for love in all the wrong places, and eventually learned how to grow up on her own. Reviewed by Barbara Bamberger Scott.

-Click here to read more about the book.
-Click here to read an excerpt.
Click here to read the review. Bets On: FAR FROM TRUE and ALL THINGS CEASE TO APPEAR
FAR FROM TRUE: A Promise Falls Novel by Linwood Barclay (Thriller)
FAR FROM TRUE is the second book in Linwood Barclay’s Promise Falls trilogy. After reading BROKEN PROMISE, the first installment, there were a number of loose threads that I was looking forward to getting wrapped up. They were, except for the significance of the number 23, but not before a few new scenarios unfolded. The book opens with a scene at the local drive-in movie theater. It is supposed to be closed the following week but explodes ahead of schedule, killing four and injuring many more. Though all eyes point to the wrecking company, the kicker is that they had nothing to do with it. So you start to wonder if this was a random act, or who might’ve wanted who dead and why. With Linwood Barclay, it’s always the latter. And from there, the story rolls on.

-Click here to read more of Carol's thoughts on the book.
-Click here to read more about the book.
-Click here to read a review.
-See comments from readers about FAR FROM TRUE and the Promise Falls trilogy.

ALL THINGS CEASE TO APPEAR by Elizabeth Brundage (Psychological Thriller/Mystery)
Audiobook available, narrated by Kirsten Potter

Years ago, I read THE DOCTOR’S WIFE by Elizabeth Brundage. If I was picking Bets On titles back then, it would have been one. Elizabeth is an author who takes her time writing, thus time passes between her books. Picking up ALL THINGS CEASE TO APPEAR reminded me of why I like her work; it’s not just the story, it’s her talent as a wordsmith. This is not a skim-and-digest book, but rather one in which the pace builds slowly while you are surrounded by writing that is both lush and descriptive. I read Elizabeth’s work more slowly than I do many others. I find myself wrapped up in the descriptions and writing, both of which are deep and full of nuances.

-Click here to read more of Carol's thoughts on the book.
-Click here to read more about the book.
-Click here to read a review.
-Click here to read an excerpt.
-Click here to visit Elizabeth Brundage's official website.

Click here for more books we're betting you'll love.
March's History Books Roundup
March's roundup of History titles includes RIGHTFUL HERITAGE, in which Douglas Brinkley chronicles FDR's essential yet under-sung legacy as the founder of the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) and premier protector of America’s public lands; David Reid's THE BRAZEN AGE, an unparalleled look at the extraordinarily rich culture and turbulent politics of New York City between the years 1945 and 1950; STEALING GAMES, in which Maury Klein explains how the 1911 New York Giants (a team that stole an astonishing 347 bases, a record that still stands more than a century later) embodied a rapidly changing America on the cusp of a faster, more frenetic pace of life; and THE PAPER TRAIL by Alexander Monro, a sweeping and richly detailed history that tells the fascinating story of how paper --- the simple Chinese invention of 2,000 years ago --- wrapped itself around our world.
Click here to see our History Books roundup for March.'s Fifth Annual Spring Preview Contests and Feature
Spring is in the air! We’ve caught the fever --- and it’s being fueled by some wonderful new and upcoming releases. Our fifth annual Spring Preview Contests and Feature spotlights many of these picks, which we know people will be talking about over the next few months. We are hosting a series of 24-hour contests for these titles on select days through April 21st. You will need to check the site to see the featured book and enter to win. We also are sending a special newsletter to announce each title, which you can sign up for here.

Our next prize book will be announced on Tuesday, March 22nd at noon ET.

This year's featured titles include:

Click here to read all the contest details and see our featured titles.'s Latest Bookshelf: Spring Cookbooks 2016
Spring is arguably the best season of the year. For those of us in the northeast, it's a sign of warmer days ahead, frequent rain showers that bring May flowers, and no longer eating soup or stew for every single meal (although we wouldn't blame you if you still wanted to!). Along with one of the best seasons comes a slew of brand new cookbooks, and this year's batch is sure to get your mouth watering and your tongue wagging. Whether you're a cooking novice or you've hopped, skipped and jumped around the kitchen plenty of times, there's truly a buffet of cookbook choices for you this spring. Braise, bubble, roast, temper, stir, spread, slice and sauté away!
Click here to see our "Spring Cookbooks 2016" bookshelf.
More Reviews This Week
OFF THE GRID: A Joe Pickett Novel by C. J. Box (Mystery/Thriller)
Audiobook available, narrated by David Chandler
Nate Romanowski is off the grid, recuperating from wounds and trying to deal with past crimes, when he is suddenly surrounded by a small team of elite professional special operators. They’re not there to threaten him, but to make a deal. They need help destroying a domestic terror cell in Wyoming’s Red Desert, and in return they’ll make Nate’s criminal record disappear. But they are not what they seem, as Nate’s friend Joe Pickett discovers. They have a much different plan in mind, and it just may be something that takes them all down --- including Nate and Joe. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

THE END GAME by Raymond Khoury (Thriller)
In THE END GAME, which is being published exclusively as a Kindle eBook, New York Times bestselling author Raymond Khoury brings back FBI Special Agent Sean Reilly and archaeologist/novelist Tess Chaykin for another blistering thriller in their series. This time out, the man known simply as Reed Corrigan is pursuing a brutal end game that could cost Reilly and those he loves most their lives. Reviewed by Ray Palen.

THE IMMORTAL IRISHMAN: The Irish Revolutionary Who Became an American Hero by Timothy Egan (History)
Audiobook available, narrated by Gerard Doyle
The Irish-American story, with all its twists and triumphs, is told through the improbable life of one man. A dashing young orator during the Great Famine of the 1840s, in which a million of his Irish countrymen died, Thomas Francis Meagher led a failed uprising against British rule, for which he was banished to a Tasmanian prison colony. He escaped and six months later was heralded in the streets of New York. Meagher’s rebirth in America included his leading the newly formed Irish Brigade from New York in many of the fiercest battles of the Civil War. Reviewed by Curtis Edmonds.

RIGHTFUL HERITAGE: Franklin D. Roosevelt and the Land of America by Douglas Brinkley (History)
Audiobook available, narrated by William Dufris
RIGHTFUL HERITAGE chronicles Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s legacy as the founder of the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) and premier protector of America’s public lands. FDR built from scratch dozens of State Park systems and scenic roadways. As America’s president, he established hundreds of federal migratory bird refuges and spearheaded the modern endangered species movement. During its nine-year existence, the CCC put nearly three million young men to work on conservation projects, combating severe unemployment during the Great Depression. Reviewed by Lorraine W. Shanley.

INNOCENTS AND OTHERS by Dana Spiotta (Fiction)
Audiobook available, narrated by January LaVoy
INNOCENTS AND OTHERS is about two best friends who grow up in LA in the ’80s and become filmmakers. Meadow and Carrie have everything in common --- except their views on sex, power, movie-making and morality. Their lives collide with Jelly, a loner whose most intimate experience is on the phone. Jelly is older, erotic and mysterious. She cold calls powerful men and seduces them not through sex but through listening. She invites them to reveal themselves, and they do. Reviewed by Harvey Freedenberg.

PIMP by Ken Bruen and Jason Starr (Hard-boiled Mystery)
Ruined and on the lam, former drug kingpin Max Fisher stumbles upon the biggest discovery of his crooked life: a designer drug called PIMP that could put him back on top. Meanwhile, a certain femme fatale from his past is pursuing a comeback dream of her own, setting herself up in Hollywood as producer of a series based on her and Max’s life story. But even in La-La Land, happy endings are hard to come by, especially with both the cops and your enemies in the drug trade coming after you. Reviewed by Tom Callahan and Joe Hartlaub.

IN EUROPE'S SHADOW: Two Cold Wars and a Thirty-Year Journey Through Romania and Beyond by Robert D. Kaplan (History)
Audiobook available, narrated by J. Paul Boehmer
Robert Kaplan first visited Romania in the 1970s, when he was a young journalist and the country was a bleak Communist backwater. It was one of the darkest corners of Europe, but few Westerners were paying attention. What ensued was a lifelong obsession with a critical, often overlooked country --- a country that, today, is key to understanding the current threat that Russia poses to Europe. Through the lens of one country, Kaplan examines larger questions of geography, imperialism, the role of fate in international relations, the Cold War, the Holocaust and more. Reviewed by Melanie Reynolds.

THE WATCHER IN THE WALL by Owen Laukkanen (Thriller)
Audiobook available, narrated by Edoardo Ballerini
Kirk Stevens and Carla Windermere of the joint BCA-FBI violent crime task force have handled shocking cases before, but this one is different. Stevens’ daughter, Andrea, is distraught over a classmate’s suicide, but what the two investigators find is even more disturbing --- an online suicide club of unhappy teenagers, presided over by an anonymous presence who seems to be spurring them on. It soon becomes apparent that the classmate wasn’t the first victim --- and won’t be the last, either, unless they can hunt down this psychopath once and for all. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.
Next Week's Notables: Noteworthy Books Releasing on March 22nd
Below are some notable titles releasing on March 22nd 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 21st, see our “On Sale This Week” newsletter here.

THE CHARM BRACELET by Viola Shipman (Fiction)
Through an heirloom charm bracelet, three women will rediscover the importance of family and a passion for living as each charm changes their lives.

DIMESTORE: A Writer's Life by Lee Smith (Memoir)
For 45 years, Lee Smith’s fiction has lived and breathed with the rhythms and people of the Appalachian South. Now, she has written her own story, a moving personal portrait and a testament to embracing one’s heritage.

FOOL ME ONCE by Harlan Coben (Thriller)
When former special ops pilot Maya sees the impossible on her nanny cam --- her two-year-old daughter playing with Maya’s recently murdered husband --- she must come to terms with deep secrets and deceit in her own past.

JANE STEELE by Lyndsay Faye (Historical Romance)
Jane Eyre and Jane Steele come from strikingly similar beginnings --- both orphans who suffered at the hands of spiteful relatives and grim schools. There’s just one big difference between the two: Jane Steele is a gutsy, heroic serial killer.

THE NEST by Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney (Fiction)
Brought together by an accident that endangers their joint trust fund, the four Plumb siblings must grapple with old resentments and present-day truths, as well as finally acknowledge the choices they have made in their own lives.

NO ONE KNOWS by J.T. Ellison (Psychological Thriller/Mystery)
Aubrey Hamilton’s husband is declared dead five years after his disappearance. But Aubrey is still unable to move on and is suddenly haunted by a strangely familiar figure.

THE SUMMER BEFORE THE WAR by Helen Simonson (Historical Fiction)
Just as the small town of Rye is getting used to the freethinking and attractive Beatrice Nash as their Latin teacher, its inhabitants are again shaken --- this time by the advent of World War I.

TREACHERY AT LANCASTER GATE: A Charlotte and Thomas Pitt Novel by Anne Perry (Historical Mystery)
When an explosion in London kills two policemen and seriously injures three more, Thomas Pitt is stunned to discover that the bombing was a calculated strike against the ranks of law enforcement. But still more shocking revelations await.

Click here to see our latest "On Sale This Week" newsletter.
Our Latest Poll: Reading Books You Haven't Paid For
If you are not enjoying a book, are you more likely to stop reading it if you haven’t paid for it? Please check as many as apply.

  • Yes, I do this with library books.
  • Yes, I do this with books I download for free.
  • Yes, I do this with books I receive as gifts.
  • Yes, I do this with books I win in contests.
  • Yes, I do this with advance reading copies.
  • No, that does not have any influence on my finishing a book.
  • I buy all my books.
  • I finish every book I start.
Click here to vote in the poll.
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 March 18th to April 1st at noon ET, three lucky readers each will be randomly chosen to win a copy of THE CHARM BRACELET by Viola Shipman, FOOL ME ONCE by Harlan Coben, and THE SUMMER BEFORE THE WAR by Helen Simonson.

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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