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June 10, 2016 Newsletter June 10, 2016
A Perfect Weekend of Reading!
Last Friday evening, a copy of Emma Straub’s MODERN LOVERS arrived at the house. As Tom and the boys all had plans for Saturday, I spent the day in a perfect way: I grabbed MODERN LOVERS as soon as I woke up and started reading. I migrated from my bed to the couch to the patio to my pool chair, reading the entire time. I love the opportunity to read a book from start to finish, uninterrupted, as I did with this one. I felt like I spent the day with the characters. I read Emma’s last book, THE VACATIONERS, the same way and remember the joy of the experience of reading it as much as the book itself.

After spending Saturday with Emma, on Sunday it was fun to pick up the New York Times and see how she spends her Sundays. It brought up tons of memories of when our boys were young. MODERN LOVERS is a Bets On selection, and you can see why I am picking it here. I also am selecting BEFORE THE FALL by Noah Hawley, which is not to be confused with AFTER THE CRASH, which I selected earlier this year. Both involve planes that crash! Read why I'm betting you'll love it here.

My friend, Vinnie, wrote me last week to ask if I had read Matthew Quick’s new YA book, EVERY EXQUISITE THING, which I had not. I was lucky enough to find a copy on my shelf at the house (where my “to be read” shelves are out of control); I started reading it on Saturday evening and finished it on Sunday. Like SILVER LINNGS PLAYBOOK, Quick looks at mental illness in one of the characters along with a storyline about an out-of-print book; I really enjoyed it. We have our review here, and you can read an interview/listen to an interview with Quick here. Downtown Books, one of my favorite book shops in Manteo, NC, hosted Matthew for an event this week. I told them to be sure to have customers look under the dust jacket of the cover to see the lovely surprise inside. The hardcover bears the cover of The Bubblegum Reaper, the book that Quick’s characters talk about. Big points for cleverness to the designer of this nugget!

Now I am reading an advance copy of Jodi Picoult’s SMALL GREAT THINGS, which releases on October 11th. I confess that I did not enjoy, or finish, her last two books. They just did not engage me. This one is a different story, and I have been reading it whenever I have had time during a very busy week. In it, Ruth Jefferson is a labor and delivery nurse. During one of her rotations, while going about her typical duties with a newborn named Davis, cleaning and swaddling him, the parents take offense. It has nothing to do with her nursing skills, but rather the fact that she is African American and they are white supremacists. They have it noted on their baby’s chart that no African American personnel are to touch their child. Days later, the baby is in the nursery when all the other nurses are called to an emergency, leaving Ruth with a dilemma. Davis is in cardiac distress. What she does, or does not do next, calls for her to be arrested and charged with a crime. Layer in Kennedy, Ruth’s white attorney, who thinks race should be left out of the trial, and you have one very complex story on tap.

I had the pleasure of hearing Jodi speak about this book at BookExpo America. She said she did a lot of personal introspection as she was researching and writing it, and writing it made her much more aware of race differences --- and broadened her perspective on them.

By the way, for all of you who have been asking me to draw up a list of the books that I have read and referenced in newsletters this year, I worked on that last Sunday afternoon. I’m not sure I have everything, but I’m at 65 books. We’re working on how to present them to you. Stay tuned!

We also have been working on getting all of my Bets On selections (dating back to 2009 when I first started charting Bets On) onto our new Bookreporter Pinterest page, which you can see here. I’m hoping that both of these lists will give you a chance to reference what I am reading more easily. Thanks for the suggestions to do this, and thanks to Nicole on our staff for getting us pinning!

On Tuesday, I spent the morning at the Merrick Public Library presenting our Book Group Survey and book talked 100(!) titles to the Nassau County Adult Reader Advisory Group. I loved it! We concluded with a 30-minute lively exchange about the books and authors that readers are talking about at their libraries --- and what is happening with library events and programming. It was truly terrific. Next up, I will be at the Rockville Centre Public Library on June 28th at 7pm to kick off their Summer Reading Program. If you plan to be there, let me know!

Now to this week’s update…

Stephen King concludes his Bill Hodges trilogy with the terrifying and suspenseful final installment. Preceded by MR. MERCEDES and FINDERS KEEPERS, END OF WATCH brings the Detective Hodges story to a sublime, heart-pounding close. Five years after the Mercedes Massacre, killer Brian Hartsfield is still in a vegetative state thanks to Bill and his partner, Holly Gibney. Yet, when a survivor of the Massacre winds up the victim of a murder-suicide, Bill and Holly discover that Brian may not need to be conscious to kill…and he’s seeking revenge.

Joe Hartlaub has our review and raves, “King has paced himself and his story wonderfully. END OF WATCH, which brings the tale of Brady Hartsfield to rest, is everything you reasonably could want out of a thriller novel, and more.”

Brad Meltzer does it again, crafting a fast-paced, unique thriller ride with THE HOUSE OF SECRETS, which he co-wrote with Tod Goldberg. When Hazel Nash was little, she loved her father’s tall tales, especially the one about a leather book belonging to Benedict Arnold that was hidden in a corpse. Now, she wakes up in the hospital with no memory and is told she has been in a car accident that has killed her father. An FBI agent starts questioning her about her father --- and about his connection to the just-found corpse of a man found with an object stuffed in his chest: a priceless book that belonged to Benedict Arnold. Hazel must work to uncover the truth about her father and herself --- and she might not like what she finds.

Reviewer Ray Palen calls THE HOUSE OF SECRETS "an outstanding novel and destined to be one of the most popular reads of the summer." We also share an interview with Meltzer, where he talks about his decision to bring on Goldberg for this project.

Two much-talked-about debut novels released on Tuesday, and we want to make sure they’re on your radar. First up is HOMEGOING by Yaa Gyasi. Two half-sisters, unbeknownst to each other, are born in different 18th-century Ghanaian villages. One is married off to a wealthy white British slaver, while the other is imprisoned in the horrors of his keep. The novel traces their tandem lineages over generations, spanning Ghanaian villages, American plantations, the Reconstruction, the emergence of Harlem and the Civil Rights Movement.

Reviewer Maya Gittelman calls the book “shatteringly magnificent…. HOMEGOING is a rich novel about race, its constructs, belonging and nonbelonging. A painful, poignant and absolutely necessary read, it is a reclamation, a reparation, a revolution.”

Emotional depth meets a hint of magic in Stephen Rowley’s debut, LILY AND THE OCTOPUS. This is a story about that special someone, the person in your life you can’t live without. For Ted Flask, it happens to be his dog, Lily. Ever since Ted’s six-year relationship with Jeffrey ended, he’s been grasping for direction, happiness, something to hold onto. Despite his fear of loss, he knows and expects that Lily is aging. What he doesn’t expect is for her to begin to grow an octopus atop her head.

Kate Ayers has this to say in her review: “Dog lovers will discover that LILY AND THE OCTOPUS is easily the book at the top of this summer’s reading list. And if you’re not a dog lover, it’s still the book for you. It’s simply that good.” Rowley reveals the heartbreaking inspiration behind his first novel in an interview that you can read here.

This week, we kick off our Women’s Fiction Author Spotlight of Beatriz Williams’ latest novel, A CERTAIN AGE. As the Jazz Age transforms New York City, the iridescent Mrs. Theresa Marshall has done the unthinkable: she’s fallen in love with her young paramour, Captain Octavian Rofrano, a handsome aviator and hero of the Great War. While times are changing, divorce for a woman of Theresa’s wealth and social standing is out of the question, and there is no need; she has an understanding with Sylvo, her generous and well-respected philanderer husband. But their relationship subtly shifts when her bachelor brother, Ox, decides to tie the knot with the sweet younger daughter of a newly wealthy inventor. An emerging love triangle and uncovered family secrets will force Theresa to make a bittersweet choice. The book releases on June 28th, but we have 25 copies to give away to readers who would like to read and comment on the book. To enter, please fill out this form by Thursday, June 23rd at noon ET. I have been a longtime fan of Beatriz’s work and am looking forward to reading this one.

In anticipation of the US Open and Father’s Day, we’re happy to present our Summer Golf Books feature courtesy of our golfer/reviewer extraordinaire, Stuart Shiffman. He takes a look at four terrific titles that range from instructional to biographical, all celebrating the spirit of the sport. Among them is Kevin Robbins’ HARVEY PENICK: The Life and Wisdom of the Man Who Wrote the Book on Golf, which is one of the five books we’re awarding to the winners of our Father’s Day contest. Enter here by Monday, June 20th at noon ET.

In this week’s Summer Reading contests, we gave away KITCHENS OF THE GREAT MIDWEST by J. Ryan Stradal, SLEEPLESS IN MANHATTAN by Sarah Morgan, TWAIN'S END by Lynn Cullen, and WHEN WE MEET AGAIN by Kristin Harmel. Next week’s prize books will be CIRCLING THE SUN by Paula McLain (which was a Bets On selection), DISCOVERING YOU: A Whiskey Creek Novel by Brenda Novak, THE GIRLS by Emma Cline (which will be a Bets On selection), and THE MERMAID'S SECRET by Katie Schickel. The first contest of the week will go live on Monday, June 13th at noon ET.

We’ve updated our New in Paperback and Books on Screen features for this month. Out this week in paperback is THE MARRIAGE OF OPPOSITES by Alice Hoffman, which is the latest prize book in our "What's Your Book Group Reading This Month?" contest on (Be sure to check the RGG homepage for info on four other contests that are currently running on the site.) And in theaters now is Me Before You, which is based on the 2012 bestseller by Jojo Moyes. Interested in receiving two tickets to see the movie in theaters, along with the movie tie-in edition of the book? We’re giving 12 of you the chance to do just that; all you have to do is fill out the form on this page by Monday, June 20th at noon ET.

As we mentioned in last week’s newsletter, June is Audiobook Month. To celebrate, the Audio Publishers Association is launching a major initiative called “A Good Audiobook Speaks Volumes,” where authors talk about their love of audiobooks and why they think the format is so important. We’re happy to share with you this video from National Book Award winner Andrew Solomon, who offers his thoughts on audiobooks. His latest book is FAR AND AWAY: Reporting from the Brink of Change: Seven Continents, Twenty-Five Years, a collection of essays about places in dramatic transition. Andrew also narrates the audio version of the book; you can listen to an excerpt and read more about the book here.

We have turned up the volume on our audiobook coverage over the last year. We now note when audio versions of the books we review on Bookreporter and Teenreads are available, as well as the narrator for each title. Audiobooks are growing fast; one reason is downloadable digital audio. We will have more news about this next week as we continue our celebration of Audiobook Month.

We celebrate audiobooks every month with our Sounding Off on Audio contest, where readers give us feedback about the audiobooks they’ve listened to, commenting on both the book’s content and the narration. This month’s titles are the aforementioned THE GIRLS by Emma Cline, which is read by Cady McClain, and Anne Tyler's VINEGAR GIRL, narrated by Kirsten Potter. Let us know by Friday, July 1st at noon ET what audiobooks you’ve listened to for your opportunity to win both prizes.

We have a new Word of Mouth contest to tell you about. Let us know by Friday, June 24th at noon ET what books you’ve finished reading, and you’ll be in the running to win FOREIGN AGENT by Brad Thor and HERE’S TO US by Elin Hilderbrand.

For those of you who go on vacation, we’re curious as to what you do book-wise. Do you buy print books, download eBooks, bring audiobooks, or do you not read any books when you’re vacationing? Click here to let us know in our new poll!

In our previous poll, we asked how you keep track of the books you want to read. 58% of you keep a list, 35% use Goodreads and 32% keep them on shelves apart from the books you’ve read. Many of you wrote in that you use your Amazon Wish Lists to store titles, and some of you note on a calendar the release dates of the books you’d like to read. Click here for all the results.

News and Pop Culture:

Reader Mail: Mary sent along a gorgeous photo of her hydrangeas, saying, “Couldn't resist sharing my hydrangeas with you. They are as pretty as they've ever been.” She went on to say, “The bush in the middle came from a cutting in my grandmother's yard many years ago. I hope to take pieces of it with me when I move next month, though my husband says now isn't the time to take cuttings.” She also shared, “Speaking of moving, I loved the comment from Nancy [our reader who we quoted last week] about moving. I feel the same way!” Her flowers are stunning!

Liz wrote last night to say, “I have a couple of different ways to keep track of the books I want to read. One is of course adding them to my wish list on one of the internet sites I purchase books from. But I also often download a sample --- which I often don't get around to reading in a timely fashion --- to my e-reader...OR my laziest option to avoid typing altogether is just to take a picture of the book cover. I can do this at the library, in a bookstore, or even at the computer.”

BookShots: James Patterson introduced his new concept in reading this week --- books that are 150 pages or less in length! His goal is to get those who are reluctant to read longer books to give reading a shot (pun intended). You can see more about these books, including the first two titles, CROSS KILL and ZOO 2, here. Five more are coming. After hearing from many of my friends who are not reading and who swear they do not have time to read, I am watching this initiative closely.

“Rizzoli & Isles”: The final season (its seventh) started airing on TNT this week.

“O.J.: Made in America”: The miniseries premieres Saturday night on ABC; episodes 2-5 will air on ESPN.

Trumbo: Watched this the other night; very well done. Bryan Cranston has such great acting chops.

Tony Awards air Sunday night: What, if anything, will “Hamilton” NOT win?

“Orange is the New Black”: The fourth season kicks off June 17th on Netflix.

“Purity:” Just learned that Daniel Craig will star on this Showtime limited series, which is based on the bestselling novel by Jonathan Franzen. Production does not start until next year, but cannot resist a Daniel Craig mention!

Jojo Moyes Interview: I enjoyed this interview with Jojo about the movie.

Pat Conroy Literary Center to Open in the Fall: Got a note this week of plans for The Pat Conroy Literary Center to open this fall in Beaufort, S.C., right off the bay in Downtown Beaufort, the Lowcountry home he so loved. It will have a small museum, offer classes, host book groups and provide mentorships for young writers. Pat was generous to other authors, offering guidance and praise, and there is a plan for that to continue. Donations to help fund the center and make this vision possible may be made here. The board of directors is chaired by Conroy's widow, Cassandra King, with Marly Rusoff serving as director/honorary chair. The honorary board includes authors John Grisham and Dorothea Benton Frank.

Warriors: I am half-watching the NBA finals (I rarely watch pro basketball) and rooting for the Warriors as I admire Steph Curry. I read this funny piece about the Warriors coach, Steve Kerr, going to see Paul Simon at the Greek Theatre in San Francisco the other night and upstaging Paul there for a moment as he got a standing ovation upon arrival with the crowd chanting “Warriors.” Paul, as usual, had a quip.

Lester Holt: I really like Lester Holt. What's interesting to me is how MUCH he works. I see him as part of so much of NBC’s news programming. Yes, I know he can shoot a bunch of standups in the studio (I am not naïve), but he truly feels on the ground and involved. The last few Sundays, we have been watching a new NBC news show called “On Assignment” instead of “60 Minutes.” Been enjoying it.

If you are living in the New York area and are wondering about this sudden cool snap the past few days, I can explain this. One of our air conditioning units at the house needed a new compressor; it was installed Wednesday, and as they were testing it, the temperatures outside plunged so quickly that they could not test it properly. If it had stayed broken, it would have been really warm this week.

The cool temps mean that the garden has been looking fabulous, with nothing wilting. Tom is in a golf tournament this weekend; Greg is off to tour a ship tomorrow along with a luncheon. Cory’s plans remain those of a man of mystery. He is of an age where he juggles options, waiting for the “best” one to come along. I hear he is not alone.

This week has been so hectic that I long for a really laid-back weekend. May that be on tap!

I have one more flower pot to fill, as well as a planter. Somehow having a bit more planting still on the horizon makes me happy. The herb garden has been a smashing success. Last weekend, there was fresh pesto sauce; this week, large basil leaves were layered on top of takeout pizza, and they really gave it a fresh feel. I already am thinking up recipes for this weekend. I also want to get some herb seeds planted with an idea of harvesting some herbs in the early fall that will last the winter. Farmer Carol; you can laugh.

In the office, Nicole brought in healthy popcorn a few weeks ago, which had red corn that was cooked up in coconut oil. It was terrific. I have regular popcorn and have been cooking it up in coconut oil, and it is fab. But maddeningly I have managed to scorch a few pots in the process. She passed along this recipe, and I am going to give it a whirl. I will report back on my success next week!

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: END OF WATCH by Stephen King --- the Finale to the Bill Hodges Trilogy
END OF WATCH by Stephen King (Thriller)
Audiobook available, read by Will Patton
Retired police detective Bill Hodges now runs an investigation agency with his partner, Holly Gibney --- the woman who delivered the blow to the head of Brady Hartsfield, perpetrator of the Mercedes Massacre, that put him on the brain injury ward. When Bill and Holly are called to a suicide scene with ties to the massacre, they find themselves pulled into their most dangerous case yet, one that will put their lives at risk, as well as those of Bill’s heroic young friend Jerome Robinson and his teenage sister, Barbara. Brady Hartsfield is back, and planning revenge not just on Hodges and his friends, but on an entire city. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

-Click here to read more about the book.
Click here to read the review.
An Interview with Brad Meltzer, Co-author (with Tod Goldberg) of THE HOUSE OF SECRETS
Brad Meltzer has worn many hats: He’s a #1 New York Times bestselling author, host of two television series, and one of the only authors to ever have books on the bestseller list for nonfiction, advice, children's books and graphic novels. Now he has accomplished another first: He successfully co-wrote his latest political thriller, THE HOUSE OF SECRETS. In this interview, Meltzer discusses the relationship between George Washington and history’s most infamous traitor, Benedict Arnold (complicated), his own professional relationship with co-author Tod Goldberg (also complicated, but ultimately fruitful), and how THE HOUSE OF SECRETS is his attempt to solve one of history’s most intriguing mysteries.

THE HOUSE OF SECRETS by Brad Meltzer and Tod Goldberg (Thriller)
Audiobook available, read by Scott Brick and January LaVoy
Hazel Nash wakes up in a hospital and is told she's been in a car accident that killed her father and injured her brother. But she can't remember any of it, because of her own traumatic brain injury. Then a man from the FBI shows up, asking questions about her dad --- and about his connection to the corpse of a man found with an object stuffed into his chest: a priceless book that belonged to Benedict Arnold. Trying to put together the puzzle pieces of her past and present, Hazel needs to figure out who killed this man --- and how the book wound up in his chest. Reviewed by Ray Palen.

-Click here to read more about the book.
-Click here to read a review.
Click here to read the interview.
Featured Review: HOMEGOING by Yaa Gyasi
HOMEGOING by Yaa Gyasi (Historical Fiction)
Audiobook available, read by Dominic Hoffman
Two half-sisters, Effia and Esi, are born into different villages in 18th-century Ghana. Effia is married off to an Englishman and lives in comfort in the palatial rooms of Cape Coast Castle. Unbeknownst to Effia, Esi is imprisoned beneath her in the castle’s dungeons, sold with thousands of others into the Gold Coast’s booming slave trade, and shipped off to America, where her children and grandchildren will be raised in slavery. One thread of HOMEGOING follows Effia’s descendants through centuries of warfare in Ghana, while the other follows Esi and her children into America. Reviewed by Maya Gittelman.

-Click here to read more about the book.
-Click here to read an excerpt.
Click here to read the review.
An Interview with Steven Rowley, Author of LILY AND THE OCTOPUS
Steven Rowley has worked as a freelance writer, newspaper columnist and screenwriter, but now, with his excellent debut in bookstores, he’s well on his way to becoming a household name. LILY AND THE OCTOPUS is an epic adventure and a fierce love story about the lengths to which one man will go to save his dog. In this interview, Rowley reveals the heartbreaking inspiration behind his first novel, why your 40s can feel like the “halftime” of your life, and how he tends to blur the lines between prose and poetry in his writing.

LILY AND THE OCTOPUS by Steven Rowley (Fiction)
Audiobook available, read by Michael Urie
When you sit down with LILY AND THE OCTOPUS, you will be taken on an unforgettable ride. The magic of this novel is in the read, and we don’t want to spoil it by giving away too many details. We can tell you that this is a story about that special someone: the one you trust, the one you can’t live without. For Ted Flask, that someone special is his aging companion Lily, who happens to be a dog. LILY AND THE OCTOPUS reminds us how it feels to love fiercely, how difficult it can be to let go, and how the fight for those we love is the greatest fight of all. Reviewed by Kate Ayers.

-Click here to read more about the book.
-Click here to read a review.
Click here to read the interview.
New Women's Fiction Author Spotlight & Contest: A CERTAIN AGE by Beatriz Williams --- Enter to Win a Copy and Share Your Feedback on It
We have 25 copies of A CERTAIN AGE by Beatriz Williams --- a beguiling reinterpretation of Richard Strauss’ comic opera Der Rosenkavalier, set against the sweeping decadence of Gatsby’s New York --- to give away to readers who would like to read the book, which releases on June 28th, and share their comments on it. To enter, please fill out this form by Thursday, June 23rd at noon ET.

A CERTAIN AGE by Beatriz Williams (Historical Fiction)
As the freedom of the Jazz Age transforms New York City, the iridescent Mrs. Theresa Marshall of Fifth Avenue and Southampton, Long Island, has done the unthinkable: she’s fallen in love with her young paramour, Captain Octavian Rofrano, a handsome aviator and hero of the Great War. An intense and deeply honorable man, Octavian is devoted to the beautiful socialite of a certain age and wants to marry her. While times are changing and she does adore the Boy, divorce for a woman of Theresa’s wealth and social standing is out of the question, and there is no need; she has an understanding with Sylvo, her generous and well-respected philanderer husband.

But their relationship subtly shifts when her bachelor brother, Ox, decides to tie the knot with the sweet younger daughter of a newly wealthy inventor. Engaging a longstanding family tradition, Theresa enlists the Boy to act as her brother’s cavalier, presenting the family’s diamond rose ring to Ox’s intended, Miss Sophie Fortescue --- and to check into the background of the little-known Fortescue family. When Octavian meets Sophie, he falls under the spell of the pretty ingénue, even as he uncovers a shocking family secret. As the love triangle of Theresa, Octavian and Sophie progresses, it transforms into a saga of divided loyalties, dangerous revelations and surprising twists that will lead to a shocking transgression...and eventually force Theresa to make a bittersweet choice.

-Click here to read an excerpt.
-Click here to read Beatriz Williams' bio.
-Click here to visit Beatriz Williams' official website.
-Connect with Beatriz Williams on Facebook and Twitter.

Click here to read more in our Women's Fiction Author Spotlight and enter the contest.
Special Contest: Enter to Win Two Tickets to See Me Before You in Theaters --- and a Movie Tie-In Edition of the Book!
We are celebrating the theatrical release of Me Before You with a very special contest that will award 12 readers two tickets each to see the film, along with a movie tie-in edition of the book by Jojo Moyes. To enter, please fill out this form by Monday, June 20th at noon ET.

Please note: If you are selected as a winner, you will receive two movie ticket vouchers (acceptable at most theaters nationwide, except for AMC and its affiliates) for Me Before You by snail mail, along with a copy of the movie tie-in edition.

ME BEFORE YOU by Jojo Moyes (Romance)
Louisa Clark is an ordinary girl living an exceedingly ordinary life --- steady boyfriend, close family --- who has barely been farther afield than their tiny village. She takes a badly needed job working for ex–Master of the Universe Will Traynor, who is wheelchair bound after an accident. Will has always lived a huge life --- big deals, extreme sports, worldwide travel --- and now he’s pretty sure he cannot live the way he is.

Will is acerbic, moody, bossy --- but Lou refuses to treat him with kid gloves, and soon his happiness means more to her than she expected. When she learns that Will has shocking plans of his own, she sets out to show him that life is still worth living.

-Click here to read a review.
-Click here to read an excerpt.
-Click here for the discussion guide.
-Click here to read an interview with Jojo Moyes.
-Click here to watch the movie trailer.
Click here to enter the contest.'s 11th Annual Father's Day Contest --- and Summer Golf Reading for 2016
Father’s Day is a time to celebrate the men in our lives who have raised and loved us. Why not show him your appreciation by inspiring him with a great book? In our 11th annual "Best Books for Dad" contest, we have five books that are perfect gift-giving suggestions for dad, keeping him busy through the rest of the year. Five readers will be awarded a prize package that includes these titles, along with some special treats. To enter, please fill out this form by Monday, June 20th at noon ET.

This year's featured titles are:

-Click here to read more about the prize books and enter the contest.

Summer Golf Reading for 2016
The lure of golf remains strong, although not as strong as before the financial downturn of 2008. Those were glory days for the sport as millions followed the exploits of Tiger Woods, and open parcels of land across America sprouted golf courses and residential communities. Woods is home in Florida, now 40 years old and seeking to recapture his skills. Golf courses are still closing, though not as many as in past years, and some new ones are under construction. There seems to be fewer golf books on the market, but this summer there are still interesting choices appearing in bookstores.’s Stuart Shiffman takes a look at four wonderful titles --- among them, the aforementioned HARVEY PENICK --- that are available for those looking for vacation reading or gifts for that golfing father, graduate or friend.

-Click here for Stuart Shiffman’s roundup of summer golf titles.'s Summer Reading Contests and Feature
Summer will be here before you know it! At, this means it's time for us to share some great summer book picks with our Summer Reading Contests and Feature. We are hosting a series of 24-hour contests for these titles on select days through August 25th, so you will have to check the site each day to see the featured prize book and enter to win. We also are sending a special newsletter to announce the day's title, which you can sign up for here.

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

This year's featured titles include:

Click here to read all the contest details and learn more about our featured titles.
June's New in Paperback Roundups
June's roundup of New in Paperback fiction titles includes OUR SOULS AT NIGHT by Kent Haruf, a bittersweet yet inspiring story of a man and a woman who, in advanced age, come together to wrestle with the events of their lives and their hopes for the imminent future; Alice Hoffman's THE MARRIAGE OF OPPOSITES, a forbidden love story set on the tropical island of St. Thomas about the extraordinary woman who gave birth to painter Camille Pissarro --- the Father of Impressionism; and GOLDEN AGE, the final volume of Jane Smiley's Last Hundred Years Trilogy that brings the Langdon family into our present times and beyond.

Among this month’s nonfiction offerings are DEAR MR. YOU, which renders the singular arc of a woman’s life through letters Mary-Louise Parker composes to the men, real and hypothetical, who have informed the person she is today; DOES THIS BEACH MAKE ME LOOK FAT?, a collection of funny stories and true confessions from the mother-daughter team of Lisa Scottoline and Francesca Serritella, who tackle the quirks, absurdities and wonders of everyday life with wit and warmth; and FIND A WAY, a riveting memoir from Diana Nyad in which she shares a spirited account of what it takes to face one’s fears, engage one’s passions and never ever give up.

-Find out what's New in Paperback for the weeks of June 6th, June 13th, June 20th and June 27th.
June's Books on Screen Feature
The highlight of this month’s Books on Screen feature is, of course, Me Before You, based on the weepy Jojo Moyes bestseller about a young woman who comes to care for (and care for) an unhappy quadriplegic man. The movie’s controversial ending might put some viewers off, but the adaptation --- penned by Moyes herself --- stays pretty faithful to the book.

Also out this month is Genius, which is all about Maxwell Perkins, who edited some of literature’s greatest writers, including F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway and Thomas Wolfe. The movie, which stars an embarrassment of A-list actors, is based on A. Scott Berg’s immensely readable biography of Perkins, and tells the story of how a well-mannered man with a love of language and a pen changed the face of American letters.

And for those of you who don’t like to leave your own comfy shelters, there’s plenty to see on television in June. While some of our favorite programming gears up for season finales (now is the time to prep for imminent “Game of Thrones” withdrawal), may I suggest that new shows are just starting to heat up? The one to watch this month is USA’s “Queen of the South.” Based on the global bestselling novel LA REINA DEL SUR by Arturo Pérez-Reverte, it's the story of a resourceful young woman who seeks refuge in America after her drug-dealing boyfriend is unexpectedly murdered in Mexico. Also, look out for season four of "Orange is the New Black," available on Netflix June 17th.
Click here to see all the movies, TV shows and DVDs featured in June's Books on Screen.
Debut Suspense/Thriller Author Spotlight: MARKED FOR LIFE by Emelie Schepp
MARKED FOR LIFE by Emelie Schepp (Thriller)
When a high-ranking head of the immigration board is found shot to death in his living room, there is no shortage of suspects, including his wife. But no one expects to find mysterious, child-size fingerprints in this childless home.

Public prosecutor Jana Berzelius steps in to lead the investigation. Young and brilliant but emotionally cold, Berzelius, like her famous prosecutor father, won't be swayed by the hysterical widow or intimidated by the threatening letters the victim had tried to hide. She is steely, aloof, impenetrable. That is, until the boy…

A few days later on a nearby deserted shoreline, the body of a derelict preteen is discovered, and with him, the murder weapon that killed the official. Berzelius finds herself drawn more deeply into the case when, as she attends the boy's autopsy, she recognizes something familiar on his small, scarred, drug-riddled body. Cut deep into his flesh are initials that scream child trafficking and trigger in her a flash of memory from her own dark childhood. Her connection to this boy has been carved with deliberation and malice that penetrate to her very core.

Now, to protect her own horrific but hidden past, she must find the real suspect behind these murders before the police do.

MARKED FOR LIFE releases on June 14th.

-Click here to read an excerpt.
-Click here to read Emelie Schepp's bio.
-Click here to see the 25 winners selected to read and comment on the book.

Click here to read more in our Debut Suspense/Thriller Author Spotlight.
More Reviews This Week
TRIBE: On Homecoming and Belonging by Sebastian Junger (Social Science)
Audiobook available, read by Sebastian Junger
Combining history, psychology and anthropology, Sebastian Junger’s latest book explores what we can learn from tribal societies about loyalty, belonging and the eternal human quest for meaning. It explains the irony that --- for many veterans as well as civilians --- war feels better than peace, adversity can turn out to be a blessing, and disasters are sometimes remembered more fondly than weddings or tropical vacations. TRIBE explains why we are stronger when we come together, and how that can be achieved even in today's divided world. Reviewed by Rebecca Kilberg.

DISHONORABLE INTENTIONS: A Stone Barrington Novel by Stuart Woods (Thriller)
Audiobook available, read by Tony Roberts
Stone Barrington’s latest lady friend is full of surprises, but she also has some unfinished business with a temperamental man who believes Stone is an intolerable obstacle in the way of his goals. In a cat-and-mouse game that trails from sun-drenched Bel-Air to a peaceful European estate and gorgeous Santa Fe, Stone and his friend remain just one step ahead of their opponent. But their pursuer is not a man who can stand to be thwarted. Tensions are mounting and may soon reach the boiling point. Reviewed by Barbara Lipkien Gershenbaum.

THE CAVENDON LUCK by Barbara Taylor Bradford (Historical Fiction)
Audiobook available, read by Anna Bentinck
It is 1938 in England, and Miles and Cecily Ingham have led the family in bringing the Cavendon estate back from the brink of disaster. But now, with the arrival of World War II, Cavendon Hall will face its biggest challenge yet. It is a challenge that will push the Inghams and Swanns to protect each other and the villagers, and reveal their true capacity for survival and rebirth. Reviewed by Amie Taylor.

INK AND BONE by Lisa Unger (Psychological/Supernatural Thriller)
Audiobook available, read by Molly Pope
Visited by people whom others can't see and haunted by prophetic dreams, Finley Montgomery has never been able to control or understand the things that happen to her. When her abilities start to become too strong for her to handle, she turns to her grandmother Eloise Montgomery, a renowned psychic. Merri Gleason is a woman at the end of her tether after a 10-month-long search for her missing daughter. With almost every hope exhausted, she resorts to hiring Jones Cooper, a detective who sometimes works with Eloise. Finley and Eloise are ultimately drawn into the investigation, which proves to have much more at stake than even the fate of a missing girl. Reviewed by Ray Palen.

THE GIRLS IN THE GARDEN by Lisa Jewell (Psychological Suspense)
Imagine that you live on a picturesque communal garden square, an oasis in urban London where your children run free, in and out of other people’s houses. You’ve known your neighbors for years, and you trust them. Implicitly. You think your children are safe. But are they really? On a midsummer night, as a festive neighborhood party is taking place, preteen Pip discovers her 13-year-old sister Grace lying unconscious and bloody in a hidden corner of a lush rose garden. What really happened to her? And who is responsible? Reviewed by Norah Piehl.

SECURITY by Gina Wohlsdorf (Thriller)
Audiobook available, read by Zach Villa
Manderley Resort is a gleaming, new 20-story hotel on the California coast. It’s about to open its doors, and the world --- at least those with the means to afford it --- will be welcomed into a palace of opulence and unparalleled security. But someone is determined that Manderley will never open. The staff has no idea that their every move is being watched, and over the next 12 hours they will be killed off, one by one. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

THE FAR EMPTY by J. Todd Scott (Thriller)
Audiobook available, read by T. Ryder Smith
Seventeen-year-old Caleb Ross is adrift in the wake of the sudden disappearance of his mother more than a year ago, and is struggling to find his way out of the small Texas border town of Murfee. Chris Cherry is a newly minted sheriff’s deputy, a high school football hero who has reluctantly returned to his hometown. When skeletal remains are discovered in the surrounding badlands, the two are inexorably drawn together as their efforts to uncover Murfee’s darkest secrets lead them to the same terrifying suspect: Caleb’s father and Chris’ boss, the charismatic and feared Sheriff Standford “Judge” Ross. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

-Click here to read an excerpt.

DIE OF SHAME by Mark Billingham (Mystery/Thriller)
Audiobook available, read by Mark Billingham
Every Monday evening, six people gather in a smart North London house to talk about shame. But when one of the group is murdered, it quickly becomes apparent that someone else in that circle is responsible. The investigation is hampered by the strict confidentiality that binds these individuals and their therapist together, which makes things difficult for Detective Inspector Nicola Tanner. What could be shameful enough to cost someone their life? And how do you find the truth when secrets, lies and denial are second nature to all of your suspects? Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

FIRST DADS: Parenting and Politics from George Washington to Barack Obama by Joshua Kendall (Parenting/Politics)
Audiobook available, read by Johnny Heller
Every president has had some experience as a parent. Of the 43 men who have served in the nation's highest office, 38 have fathered biological children and the other five adopted children. Each president's parenting style reveals much about his beliefs as well as his psychological make-up. In FIRST DADS, which is based on research in archives around the country, Joshua Kendall shows presidential character in action. Readers will learn which type of parent might be best suited to leading the American people and how the fathering experiences of our presidents have forever changed the course of American history. Reviewed by Barbara Bamberger Scott.

18 HOLES WITH BING: Golf, Life, and Lessons from Dad by Nathaniel Crosby and John Strege (Memoir)
Audiobook available, read by Sean Pratt
Former professional golfer Nathaniel Crosby introduces us to the Bing Crosby he and his family knew --- not the beloved singer who played golf, but a golfer who sang to pay his country club dues. Nathaniel shares exclusive stories about this American icon golfing, working and playing with some of the most famous people in history. At the book’s heart is an intimate account of a father and a son --- how a mutual love of golf formed an exceptional emotional bond. Reviewed by Barbara Bamberger Scott.

MONSTERS: A Love Story by Liz Kay (Romantic Comedy)
Audiobook available, read by Allyson Ryan
Since her husband died eight months ago, Stacey Lane has been a certified mess --- a poet who can’t write anymore, a good mother who feels like she’s failing her kids. She’s been trying to redefine herself, to find new boundaries. Tommy DeMarco has no respect for boundaries. A surprisingly well-read A-list Hollywood star, Tommy has fallen in love with Stacey’s novel-in-verse, a feminist reimagining of FRANKENSTEIN, no less. His passion for the book, and eventually its author, will set their lives on a collision course. Reviewed by Norah Piehl.

HOT LITTLE HANDS: Fiction by Abigail Ulman (Fiction/Short Stories)
Audiobook available, read by Gemma Whelan
Over the course of nine loosely connected stories, HOT LITTLE HANDS introduces us to young women, at once clever and naïve, who struggle to navigate the chronic uncertainty and very real dangers that come with being impatient for the future and reluctant to leave childhood behind. Abigail Ulman’s voice feels of the moment --- sharp and powerful --- as she deftly explores ageless themes of sex and maturity among girls who are both confident and frighteningly exposed. Reviewed by Sarah Rachel Egelman.
Next Week's Notables: Noteworthy Books Releasing on June 13th and 14th
Below are some notable titles releasing on June 13th and 14th 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 June 13th, see our “On Sale This Week” newsletter here.

June 13th

LIBERTY’S LAST STAND by Stephen Coonts (Thriller/Adventure)
CIA Director Jake Grafton and his right-hand man, Tommy Carmellini, suddenly find themselves on the wrong side of the law when a public act of violence --- putting the president of the United States in the scope of a sniper --- throws the country into chaos just before a presidential election. They must risk everything to unravel a massive conspiracy and help a new resistance movement rise up against an unimaginable enemy.

June 14th

BARKSKINS by Annie Proulx (Historical Fiction)
In this dazzling, violent and dramatic novel about the taking down of the world’s forests, Annie Proulx tells the stories of the descendants of René Sel and Charles Duquet over 300 years and the revenge of rivals, accidents, pestilence, Indian attacks and cultural annihilation that comes with them.

CHARCOAL JOE: An Easy Rawlins Mystery by Walter Mosley (Mystery)
Ezekiel “Easy” Rawlins is ready to start a life together with his girlfriend, Bonnie Shay, but a case gets in the way. Seymour, the son of a very old man everyone calls Charcoal Joe, has been arrested and charged with the murder of a white man. Although Joe will pay to see him exonerated, proving his innocence will be difficult as Seymour was found literally standing over the man’s dead body.

FIELD OF GRAVES by J. T. Ellison (Thriller)
FIELD OF GRAVES reveals the origins of some of J. T. Ellison’s most famous creations: the haunted Lieutenant Taylor Jackson; her blunt, exceptional best friend, medical examiner Dr. Samantha Owens; and troubled FBI profiler Dr. John Baldwin. Together, they race the clock and their own demons to find a serial killer loose in Nashville before he claims yet another victim.

FOREIGN AGENT by Brad Thor (Thriller)
As Scot Harvath searches for the man responsible for ambushing a clandestine American operations team near Syria, he finds that, despite all signs pointing towards a dangerous informant in Brussels, there is a rogue player hell-bent on forcing America’s hand and drawing it into a confrontation deadlier than anyone could have imagined.

THE GIRLS by Emma Cline (Psychological Thriller)
Evie Boyd, a lonely and thoughtful teenager, finds herself drawn to a mesmerizing older girl, Suzanne, leading her into the circle of a soon-to-be infamous cult and the man who is its charismatic leader. As her obsession with Suzanne intensifies, Evie does not realize she is coming closer and closer to unthinkable violence.

HERE’S TO US by Elin Hilderbrand (Fiction)
When celebrity chef Deacon Thorpe dies in his favorite place on earth, a ramshackle Nantucket summer cottage, his three wives, children and best friend gather on the island he loved to say farewell. The three women have long been bitter rivals, but as they start to let go of resentment and remember good times, secrets are revealed, confidences are shared and improbable bonds are formed.

THE LONG COSMOS by Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter (Science Fiction/Adventure)
2070-71. Nearly six decades after Step Day, The Next --- the hyper-intelligent post-humans --- receive a message that they realize contains instructions for kick-starting the development of an immense artificial intelligence known as The Machine. To build this computer the size of an Earth continent, they must obtain help from the more populous and still industrious worlds of mankind, leading to the question: What is the meaning of life?

MARKED FOR LIFE by Emelie Schepp (Thriller)
A few days after the body of a high-ranking head of the migration board is found shot to death in his living room, the body of a derelict preteen is discovered with the murder weapon that killed the official. Public prosecutor Jana Berzelius recognizes signs of child trafficking, which triggers memories from her dark childhood. In order to protect her horrific but hidden past, she must find the real suspect behind these murders before the police do.

MURDER ON THE QUAI: An Aimée Leduc Investigation by Cara Black (Mystery)
The week the Berlin Wall crumbles, so does Aimée Leduc’s life as she knows it. Someone has sabotaged her lab work, putting her at risk of failing out of Paris’s preeminent medical school, and her father takes off to Berlin and asks Aimée to help out at his detective agency while he’s gone. Before she knows it, the case involving a murder linked to a transport truck of Nazi gold has gotten under her skin.

TOM CLANCY DUTY AND HONOR: A Jack Ryan Jr. Novel by Grant Blackwood (Thriller/Adventure)
Using clues found on his would-be assassin, even though he’s on leave from the clandestine intelligence group known as The Campus, Jack Ryan, Jr. follows a growing trail of corpses to the European Union’s premier private security firm, Rostock Security Group, and its founder, Jürgen Rostock --- a former general in the German Special Forces Command.

Click here to see the latest "On Sale This Week" newsletter.
Our Latest Poll and Word of Mouth/Sounding Off on Audio Contests

When you go on vacation, which of the following do you do? Please check as many as apply.

  • I bring physical books (hardcovers or paperbacks).
  • I download books to an eReader.
  • I bring physical audiobooks.
  • I download audiobooks.
  • I borrow books from the library.
  • I buy books while on vacation.
  • I do not read books when I go on vacation.
-Click here to vote in the poll.

Word of Mouth:

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 June 10th to June 24th at noon ET, three lucky readers each will be randomly chosen to win a copy of FOREIGN AGENT by Brad Thor and HERE'S TO US by Elin Hilderbrand.

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

Sounding Off on Audio:

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 June 1st to July 1st at noon ET, two lucky readers each will be randomly chosen to win the audio versions of Emma Cline's THE GIRLS, read by Cady McClain, and Anne Tyler's VINEGAR GIRL, read by Kirsten Potter.

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

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