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June 17, 2016 Newsletter June 17, 2016
Up With the Birds --- Literally!
There was a string of cool nights this week, which were perfect for sleeping with the windows open. Just fabulous until about 4:45am when the birds awoke and starting singing. From then on, their chirping became a choir. Birds rapping is the last thing I need that time of day. Most mornings I cave and get up…and read. Birds as alarm clocks! One of my favorite days is coming on Monday. The summer solstice arrives at 6:34pm ET. It’s the day of the year with the most daylight (not the day with the most hours; I have been corrected on this in the past, and yes, I am clear that we only have 24 hours every day, though my husband tells me I cram 36 hours into them!). The countdown to summer is ON!

After all the Tony buzz about “Hamilton” last weekend, I picked up a copy of the audiobook of HAMILTON: THE REVOLUTION by Lin-Manuel Miranda and Jeremy McCarter; Miranda and McCarter are also the narrators, along with actress Mariska Hargitay. We hit ridiculous traffic going into the city on Wednesday morning, and I was completely distracted hearing the brilliant backstory of this record-breaking show. Whether you have been lucky enough to get tickets, find yourself rapping throughout the day just thinking about the show, or just want to learn more about the phenomenon, this is worth exploring either on audio or in print.

THE GIRLS, Emma Cline’s long-awaited dark and electrifying debut novel, is the latest book we’re featuring in our New Release Spotlight. Evie Boyd is a lonely, contemplative teenager in 1960s California who finds herself mesmerized by a group of girls in the park. Desperate to be accepted by them, she is eventually drawn into the circle of this soon-to-be infamous cult and their charismatic leader. As Evie spends more time away from her family and as her obsession with one of the older girls in the group intensifies, she has no idea that unthinkable violence is looming.

Norah Piehl has our review and calls THE GIRLS “a troubling novel to read at times, but it’s also a much-needed one, as it explores issues of girlhood, belonging and identity that are as vital now as they were more than 40 years ago." This is my next Bets On selection; you can read my commentary in next week’s newsletter.

We’re awarding the audio version of THE GIRLS (read by Cady McClain) to the winners of our Sounding Off on Audio contest, along with Anne Tyler’s VINEGAR GIRL, which is narrated by Kirsten Potter. All you have to do is let us know by Friday, July 1st at noon ET what audiobooks you’ve finished listening to, and you may be the proud recipient of both these audio titles. And folks, it’s Audiobook Month, so think about listening to an audiobook if you have never given one a whirl before. Audiobooks have given me the opportunity to increase the number of books that I read.

BARKSKINS, Annie Proulx’s first novel in 14 years (following 2002’s THAT OLD ACE IN THE HOLE), explores the lives of two young woodcutters, René Sel and Charles Duquet, and their descendants. René is forced to marry a Mi’kmaw woman, trapping their ensuing lineage between cultures. Duquet becomes a fur trader and then sets up a business with a resource that, to him, seems endless: timber. The narrative marries bloody battles, brutal conditions, cultural annihilation and ecological destruction for an epic work of immersive historical breadth.

Reviewer Roz Shea proclaims BARKSKINS to be “a spellbinding novel of compelling power and importance as the world faces the reality of Western civilization’s hunger for natural resources…. This novel is certain to elevate Proulx among America’s most exciting and prodigious authors.”

In Elin Hilderbrand’s latest novel, HERE’S TO US, three very different, charismatic women are linked by one thing: the man they’ve all, at some point, married. When celebrity chef Deacon Thorpe passes away, it’s his final wish that his three ex-wives and families reunite in his Nantucket home to bid farewell. Can they put their differences aside to scatter his ashes? Hilderbrand’s trademark style will bring the beach to life for readers: the sun, the salt, the recipes. But get your tissues ready --- despite the fun drama between the families, this is one heartwarming tale!

According to reviewer Bronwyn Miller, “The book immediately draws you in with its scenic descriptions of the island and the Page Six-worthy life of a famous rock star chef. A comfy beach chair and HERE’S TO US is the perfect recipe for a delectable reading experience.”

HERE’S TO US is one of the prize books in our current Word of Mouth contest; the other is FOREIGN AGENT, Brad Thor’s latest Scot Harvath thriller, which we’re also reviewing this week. Let us know by Friday, June 24th at noon ET what books you’ve read, and you’ll have the opportunity to win both these surefire bestsellers.

Our Debut Suspense/Thriller Author Spotlight of Emelie Schepp’s MARKED FOR LIFE --- the first of a trilogy --- wraps up this week with our review and interview. Soon after the body of a high-ranking head of the migration board is found shot to death, the book’s plot thickens when the body of a derelict preteen is discovered with the murder weapon. Public prosecutor Jana Berzelius recognizes the signs and scars on his body that scream child trafficking, triggering painful memories from her own dark childhood. In order to keep her horrific past hidden, she must catch the murderer before the police do.

Joe Hartlaub weighs in with his review: “While the focus is on Berzelius, the unusual and finely drawn supporting cast --- including one extremely flawed detective who is Berzelius’ foible throughout the novel --- keeps the narrative flowing through the well-tuned and occasionally horrific plot.” Joe also had the pleasure of talking with Emelie about her US debut (the book originally released in Sweden in 2013) and how she became one of Sweden’s most popular self-published authors. Click here to read the interview.

Our Women’s Fiction Author Spotlight & Contest for A CERTAIN AGE by Beatriz Williams continues this week. As the freedom of 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. Divorce for a woman of Theresa’s wealth and social standing is out of the question, and besides, there is no need; she has an understanding with Sylvo, her generous and well-respected philanderer husband. But the relationship becomes more tangled when Theresa’s 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. We’re giving 25 readers the chance to win a copy of the book and share their comments on it. To enter, please fill out this form by Thursday, June 23rd at noon ET.

I spent last Sunday sitting poolside reading --- and enjoying --- A CERTAIN AGE; I love the way Beatriz wonderfully describes both old New York and Greenwich. I was humored by references to traffic jams in the city. As we drove down Broadway last night, I was thinking that some things never change!

In this week’s Summer Reading contests, we gave away the aforementioned THE GIRLS by Emma Cline, along with CIRCLING THE SUN by Paula McLain, DISCOVERING YOU by Brenda Novak, and THE MERMAID'S SECRET by Katie Schickel. Next week’s prize books will be BUKOWSKI IN A SUNDRESS: Confessions from a Writing Life by Kim Addonizio, THE LAKE HOUSE by Kate Morton (everyone is telling me I need to read this one), LILAC GIRLS by Martha Hall Kelly (a Bets On selection), and RULES OF CIVILITY by Amor Towles (another Bets On selection...and please note that his new book, A GENTLEMAN IN MOSCOW, will be in stores on September 6th). The first contest of the week will be up on Monday, June 20th at noon ET.

Monday, June 20th at noon ET also marks the end of our Father’s Day and Me Before You contests. Be sure to click the preceding links for all the details on both giveaways!

Our History Books roundup has been updated for June. We have biographies of Douglas MacArthur, William Tecumseh Sherman and Edward I; NEVER A DULL MOMENT: 1971 -- The Year That Rock Exploded by David Hepworth; and HOW THE POST OFFICE CREATED AMERICA by Winifred Gallagher.

When you go on vacation, do you buy print books, download eBooks, bring audiobooks, or do you not read any books while you’re away? Take part in our latest poll and let us know what you do!

News and Pop Culture:

Reader Mail: Gretchen wrote to share, “Picked up a hardcover copy of BEFORE THE FALL at Barnes & Noble and finished it in one day. Great read! Loved the way it was written, but think that there was too much information on some of the characters, like the chapter 'Jack.'"

Janice wrote, “I found your question about taking books along on vacation amusing. I have done all the things you listed, at one time or another. It depends a lot on whether I am driving or flying. Three years ago I went on the only cruise I have ever taken. While waiting in a hotel in Vancouver, Canada, to board the ship to Alaska, my Nook ceased working. Prior to leaving home, I had loaded about 30 books on it, which I figured would be sufficient for the 14 days I would be away from home. When it quit working (on the morning we were to board the ship), I was scared to death that I would have nothing at all to read for the seven days aboard ship, and so I literally ran my 65-year-old body down a couple of blocks of the crowded Vancouver sidewalks to a local drugstore, and quickly bought three paperbacks, all things that I had wanted to read. Once on the ship, my Nook started working again, and I learned that others in the same hotel had had the same problem with their Nooks there. So I had plenty to read, paper and electronic! I was very relieved!”

Ali wrote, “I love all of the book info, your work and home escapes, and all of the other stuff you jam into Bookreporter and ReadingGroupGuides. Keep up the good work. I wanted to comment on your blurb on Jodi Picoult. I was away for a few weeks and was spending the morning catching up on the newsletters I hadn't had time to read. After reading three or four, I thought to myself, Carol and her people love all these books they review. How can that be possible? I read a lot and think the more I read, the more critical I become, and I can spot good literature quickly and bad writing even faster! You read for a living, so you must have lightning speed in identifying good vs. bad. Anyway, it was so refreshing to hear you say that you didn't enjoy nor did you finish Jodi's last two books. I thought that was very honest of you, and also it was almost like giving readers permission to stop reading a book they are not enjoying. Brava! I like an honest review of books, pros and cons, so I applaud you on that one. It has nothing to do with that specific author, just honesty of the review. Too many books, too little time, I say. If you don't like it, stop. The only exception to that is for the book group I started. We have few rules, but that is the cardinal one. You must finish the book, like it or not. Have a great, lazy, book-reading weekend.”

Commentary from me on this: I elect not to share my opinions on the books that I do not like. There are a few reasons for this. First, I do not consider myself the ultimate arbiter of taste. Second, there have been MANY times when I was not in the mood for a particular book and I put it down, only to pick it up later and enjoy it. Third, we allow reviewers to select the books they want to read, which is why many of our reviews are enthusiastic. I do not encourage them to read books that they do not like either. Over the past almost 20 years, we have some reviewers who have decided that they no longer want to review some authors who were faves in the past; tastes can change as well.

Janie wrote, “Carol, I always enjoy your newsletter and get some great reading ideas from it. If Jodi Picoult’s LEAVING TIME was one of the ones that you did not finish reading, you really missed a great AHA moment! It made me want to re-read the whole book.” And this is exactly why I choose not to share my opinions along the way. I personally was not captivated with the elephant story in the book; not my thing. If I said, "I am skipping this book," Janie may have not read it and she would have missed a truly wonderful reading moment for herself! By the way, I also am not big on the circus, so I surprised myself when I enjoyed WATER FOR ELEPHANTS.

Knit in Public Day: Whip out your needles, tomorrow, June 18th, for World Wide Knit in Public Day.

Dave Cullen, author of COLUMBINE: He wrote a great piece on the Orlando shooting for Vanity Fair.

Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney, author of THE NEST: A piece on how she got the courage to write.

Locking phones at venues: A friend wrote that she was so happy to experience this at a concert recently where people lived in the moment instead of making videos, selfies and texting! I think we need this more.

Joyce Maynard’s sad news brilliantly shared: Nineteen months ago, Joyce Maynard’s husband, Jim, was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. She has written some brilliant pieces about it on Facebook, not shying away from this brutal disease and the ramifications of it, but also talking about celebrating life and love. On Thursday, she shared the story of Jim’s passing on Facebook with a brilliant tribute piece. I have never met Joyce or Jim, but I was crying at my desk reading her piece. The blog piece preceding it about their last night out together to see Bob Dylan in concert on June 10th is spectacular as well; the photo of his black hat is very poignant. You can read both here even if you are not a member of Facebook as this is a public page. If you are moved after reading it, consider buying one of Joyce’s books; you can see some of them here.

Lois Duncan: Got the sad news that she passed away this week. Who among us remembers reading I KNOW WHAT YOU DID LAST SUMMER? You can read her obituary here.

10th anniversary of one of my favorite books: ME & EMMA is being celebrated with a special new cover.

June 17th: “Orange is the New Black” season four premieres on Netflix. This will remind me why I never want to go to jail.

June 26th: “Ray Donovan” season four premieres on Showtime. I previewed the first episode and am “thinking about it.” There is a storyline with Abby being set up that I am not wild about. I think I need to get settled back into Ray’s world by watching it again. I just saw that the press preview of episode two is available for me now too. So I will report back!

Suffragette: We watched this film last week, which was well done, about the background of the women’s movement to get the right to vote in Britain.

40 Ways to Decorate with Turquoise: With thanks to my friend Kelly for showing me this.

Thanks for the great feedback about our Pinterest page for my Bets On titles. We still are working on a plan to share the books that I have read this year. Interns have been scrambling to find the publication dates for all of the books. Linda suggested that I add them to Goodreads, but I do not want to rate them; that’s just not my style. So we will come up with something by next week!

My early morning reading this week has included THE TUMBLING TURNER SISTERS by Juliette Fay, which we review this week. It’s her first venture into historical fiction; she is such a great researcher, and the details are wonderful. I came across this very interesting blog piece from Juliette where she explains the book's cover. Interesting bit of trivia: SHELTER ME, Juliette’s debut novel that released at the end of 2008, was my very first Bets On pick! I am juggling THE TUMBLING TURNER SISTERS with SWEETBITTER by Stephanie Danler as I am a foodie and love to read behind-the-scenes stories about restaurants.

My love of popcorn has continued. Thanks to Nicole in the office, I am doing a taste test of blue, purple and red corn kernels each cooked with coconut oil. I have them pictured above in case you want to click and buy as well.

Tomorrow we are headed to the beach to celebrate with my dad with book presents in hand, and then will swing back home to celebrate with Tom on Sunday. I am sure golf will be somewhere on the agenda, even if just watching it on TV, plus lots of just hanging out. Greg has a wedding tonight in Poughkeepsie (Friday night weddings are tough), and happily Cory has been around a lot this week. Loving that!

Happy Father’s Day to all the dads and grandads out there, and a super day of celebrating to all. And for those of you who have lost your dads, a special hug is coming at you from me. Here’s to memories to fill in for the emptiness.

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!

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Indiebound
New Release Spotlight: THE GIRLS by Emma Cline
THE GIRLS by Emma Cline (Psychological Thriller)
Audiobook available, read by Cady McClain
Northern California, during the violent end of the 1960s. At the start of summer, a lonely and thoughtful teenager, Evie Boyd, sees a group of girls in the park, and is immediately caught by their freedom, their careless dress, their dangerous aura of abandon. Soon, Evie is in thrall to Suzanne, a mesmerizing older girl, and is drawn into the circle of a soon-to-be infamous cult and the man who is its charismatic leader. Hidden in the hills, their sprawling ranch is eerie and run down, but to Evie, it is exotic, thrilling, charged --- a place where she feels desperate to be accepted. As she spends more time away from her mother and the rhythms of her daily life, and as her obsession with Suzanne intensifies, Evie does not realize she is coming closer and closer to unthinkable violence.

Emma Cline’s remarkable debut novel is gorgeously written and spellbinding, with razor-sharp precision and startling psychological insight. THE GIRLS is a brilliant work of fiction.

-Click here to read a review.
-Click here to read an excerpt.
-Click here to read Emma Cline’s bio.
-Click here to visit Emma Cline’s official website.
-Click here to connect with Emma Cline on Facebook.
Click here to read more in our New Release Spotlight.
Featured Review: BARKSKINS --- Annie Proulx's First Novel in 14 Years
BARKSKINS by Annie Proulx (Historical Fiction)
Audiobook available, read by Robert Petkoff
In the late 17th century, two penniless young Frenchmen, René Sel and Charles Duquet, arrive in New France. Bound to a feudal lord for three years in exchange for land, they become woodcutters --- barkskins. Sel suffers extraordinary hardship, oppressed by the forest he is charged with clearing. He is forced to marry a Mi’kmaw woman, and their descendants live trapped between two inimical cultures. But Duquet runs away, becomes a fur trader and sets up a timber business. Annie Proulx tells the stories of the descendants of Sel and Duquet over 300 years, the revenge of rivals, accidents, pestilence, Indian attacks and cultural annihilation. Reviewed by Roz Shea.

-Click here to read more about the book.
Click here to read the review.
Featured Review: FOREIGN AGENT --- Brad Thor's Latest Scot Harvath Thriller
FOREIGN AGENT by Brad Thor (Thriller)
Audiobook available, read by Armand Schultz
As a child, Sacha Baseyev endured an unimaginable horror. Today, he lives and breathes for only one reason --- to kill. And he will kill as many Americans as it takes to accomplish his mission. When a clandestine American operations team is ambushed near Syria, all signs point toward a dangerous informant in Brussels. But as Scot Harvath searches for the man, he uncovers another actor --- a rogue player hell-bent on forcing America’s hand and drawing it into a confrontation deadlier than anyone could have imagined. Reviewed by Ray Palen.

-Click here to read more about the book.
Click here to read the review.
Featured Review: HERE'S TO US by Elin Hilderbrand
HERE'S TO US by Elin Hilderbrand (Fiction)
Audiobook available, read by Erin Bennett
Celebrity chef Deacon Thorpe has always been a force of nature with an insatiable appetite for life. But after that appetite contributes to Deacon's shocking death in his favorite place on earth, a ramshackle Nantucket summer cottage, his family is reeling. Now Deacon's three wives, his children and his best friend gather on the island he loved to say farewell. The three very different women have long been bitter rivals, each wanting to claim the primary place in Deacon's life and his heart. But as they slowly let go of the resentments they've held onto for years and remember the good times, secrets are revealed, confidences are shared and improbable bonds are formed. Reviewed by Bronwyn Miller.

-Click here to read more about the book.
-Click here to read an excerpt.
Click here to read the review. Talks to Emelie Schepp, Author of MARKED FOR LIFE --- Our Latest Debut Suspense/Thriller Author Spotlight Title
International bestselling author Emelie Schepp introduces us to the enigmatic, unforgettable Jana Berzelius in MARKED FOR LIFE, the first installment of a chilling trilogy. Schepp didn’t take the traditional route to publication; instead of being deterred when her manuscript was rejected or ignored by major publishing houses, she published her work online and became one of the most popular self-published authors in Sweden. In this interview with’s Joe Hartlaub, Schepp opens up about her unique --- although increasingly less so --- path to success, why she feels inclined to explore the theme of envy between women, and what we can expect from her next.

MARKED FOR LIFE by Emelie Schepp (Thriller)
Audiobook available, read by Christine Lakin
When a high-ranking head of the migration board is found shot to death in his living room, there is no shortage of suspects. But no one expects to find mysterious, child-size fingerprints in this childless home. A few days later, the body of a derelict preteen is discovered, and with him, the murder weapon that killed the official. As she attends his autopsy, public prosecutor Jana Berzelius recognizes something familiar on his 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. Now, to protect her own horrific but hidden past, she must find the real suspect behind these murders before the police do. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

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

Click here to read our interview.
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.'s 11th Annual Father's Day Contest --- Enter by Monday, June 20th at Noon ET!
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.'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 20th 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 History Books Roundup
June's roundup of History titles includes COMMANDER IN CHIEF, the sequel to Nigel Hamilton's THE MANTLE OF COMMAND, which recounts the astonishing story of FDR's year-long, defining battle with Churchill, as World War II raged in Africa and Italy; NEVER A DULL MOMENT, David Hepworth's rollicking look at 1971 --- the busiest, most innovative and resonant year of the '70s, defined by the musical arrival of such stars as David Bowie, Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin and Joni Mitchell; DOUGLAS MacARTHUR: AMERICAN WARRIOR by Pulitzer Prize finalist Arthur Herman, the definitive biography of the visionary general who led American forces through three wars and foresaw his nation’s great geopolitical shift toward the Pacific Rim; and HOW THE POST OFFICE CREATED AMERICA, Winifred Gallagher's examination of the postal service's surprising role in our country's political, social, economic and physical development.
Click here to see our History Books roundup for June.
More Reviews This Week
LIBERTY'S LAST STAND by Stephen Coonts (Thriller/Adventure)
Audiobook available, read by Eric G. Dove
The president of the United States stands on an outdoor stage, flanked by powerful members of his administration and party. Television crews are preparing for broadcast. High above the stage, on a nearby rooftop, a decorated sniper adjusts the scope on his rifle. Afterwards, America will never be the same. Jake Grafton and Tommy Carmellini suddenly find themselves on the wrong side of the law when a public act of violence throws the country into chaos just before a presidential election. After martial law is declared and rioting begins, Grafton and Carmellini must risk everything to unravel a massive conspiracy and help a new resistance movement rise up against an unimaginable enemy. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

EVERYBODY BEHAVES BADLY: The True Story Behind Hemingway's Masterpiece The Sun Also Rises by Lesley M. M. Blume (Biography)
Audiobook available, read by Jonathan Davis
In the summer of 1925, Ernest Hemingway and a clique of raucous companions traveled to Pamplona, Spain, for the town’s infamous running of the bulls. Then, over the next six weeks, he channeled that trip’s maelstrom of drunken brawls, sexual rivalry, midnight betrayals and midday hangovers into his groundbreaking novel, THE SUN ALSO RISES. But the full story of Hemingway’s legendary rise has remained untold until now. Lesley Blume resurrects the explosive, restless landscape of 1920s Paris and Spain, and reveals how Hemingway helped create his own legend. Reviewed by Lorraine W. Shanley.

THE COURSE OF LOVE by Alain de Botton (Fiction)
Audiobook available, read by Julian Rhind-Tutt
We all know the headiness and excitement of the early days of love. But what comes after? In Edinburgh, a couple, Rabih and Kirsten, fall in love. They get married and have children --- but no long-term relationship is as simple as “happily ever after.” THE COURSE OF LOVE is a novel that explores what happens after the birth of love, what it takes to maintain love, and what happens to our original ideals under the pressures of an average existence. You experience, along with Rabih and Kirsten, the first flush of infatuation, the effortlessness of falling into romantic love, and the course of life thereafter. Reviewed by Harvey Freedenberg.

SONS AND DAUGHTERS OF EASE AND PLENTY by Ramona Ausubel (Historical Fiction)
Audiobook available, read by Elisabeth Rodgers
Labor Day, 1976, Martha's Vineyard. Summering at the family beach house along this moneyed coast of New England, Fern and Edgar are happily preparing for a family birthday celebration when they learn that the unimaginable has occurred: There's no more money in the estate of Fern's recently deceased parents, which, as the sole source of Fern and Edgar's income, had allowed them to live this beautiful, comfortable life. Quickly, the once-charmed family unravels. In distress and confusion, Fern and Edgar are each tempted away on separate adventures: she on a road trip with a stranger, he on an ill-advised sailing voyage with another woman. Reviewed by Norah Piehl.

THE LYNCHING: The Epic Courtroom Battle That Brought Down the Klan by Laurence Leamer (History)
Audiobook available, read by Malcolm Hillgartner
Arrested, charged and convicted of a brutal race-based killing, Henry Hays, a member of Klavern 900 of the United Klans of America, was sentenced to death --- the first time in more than half a century that the state of Alabama sentenced a white man to death for killing a black man. On behalf of the victim’s grieving mother, legendary civil rights lawyer Morris Dees filed a civil suit against the members of the local Klan unit involved and the UKA, the largest Klan organization. Charging them with conspiracy, Dees put the Klan on trial, resulting in a verdict that would level a deadly blow to its organization. Reviewed by Stuart Shiffman.

BRIGHTON by Michael Harvey (Thriller)
Audiobook available, performed by Stephen Mendel
Kevin Pearce was only 15 when he and his buddy, Bobby Scales, committed heinous violence for what they thought were the best of reasons. Kevin didn’t want a pass, but he was getting it anyway. Bobby would stay and face the music; Kevin’s future would remain bright as ever. At least that was the way things were supposed to work. Twenty-six years later, Kevin is a Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist for the Boston Globe. When he learns that Bobby is the prime suspect in a string of local murders, he heads home to protect his friend and the secret they share. To report this story to the end and protect those he loves, he must face not only an elusive, slippery killer, but his own corrupted conscience. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

THE SECOND GIRL by David Swinson (Mystery)
Audiobook available, read by Christopher Ryan Grant
A decorated former police detective, Frank Marr retired early and now ekes a living as a private eye for a defense attorney. A long-functioning drug addict, Frank has devoted his considerable skills to hiding his usage from others. But after accidentally discovering a kidnapped teenage girl in the home of an Adams Morgan drug gang, Frank becomes a hero and is thrust into the spotlight. He reluctantly agrees to investigate the disappearance of another girl --- possibly connected to the first --- and the heightened scrutiny may bring his own secrets to light. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

JUNE by Miranda Beverly-Whittemore (Suspense)
Audiobook available, read by Sofia Willingham
Cassie Danvers is holed up in her family’s crumbling mansion mourning the loss of the woman who raised her --- her grandmother, June. But a knock on the door forces her out of isolation. Cassie has been named the sole heir to legendary matinee idol Jack Montgomery's vast fortune. How did Jack Montgomery know her name? Could he have crossed paths with her grandmother all those years ago? Soon Jack’s famous daughters come knocking, determined to wrestle Cassie away from the inheritance they feel is their due. Together, they all come to discover the true reasons for June’s silence about that long-ago summer, when June and Jack’s lives were forever altered by murder, blackmail and betrayal. Reviewed by Rebecca Munro.

THE TUMBLING TURNER SISTERS by Juliette Fay (Historical Fiction)
Audiobook available, read by Katie Schorr and Eileen Stevens
In 1919, the Turner sisters and their parents are barely scraping by. Their father is a low-paid boot-stitcher in Johnson City, New York, and the family is always one paycheck away from eviction. When their father’s hand is crushed and he can no longer work, their irrepressible mother decides that the vaudeville stage is their best --- and only --- chance for survival. Traveling by train from town to town, recent widow Nell and teenagers Gert, Winnie and Kit soon find a new kind of freedom in the company of performers who are as diverse as their acts. There is a seamier side to the business, however, and the young women face dangers and turns of fate they never could have anticipated. Reviewed by Megan Elliott.

LAST NIGHT, A SUPERHERO SAVED MY LIFE edited by Liesa Mignogna (Essays)
In LAST NIGHT, A SUPERHERO SAVED MY LIFE, authors share their most hilarious and most heartwrenching experiences with their chosen defender to explain why superheroes matter, what they tell us about who we are, and what they mean for our future. Contributors include New York Times bestsellers Christopher Golden, Leigh Bardugo, Brad Meltzer, Neil Gaiman, Carrie Vaughn, Jodi Picoult and Jamie Ford, as well as award-winners and mainstays like Joe R. Lansdale, Karina Cooper and Ron Currie, Jr., among many others. Reviewed by Sarah Jackman.

DARK HORSE: An Eddy Harkness Novel by Rory Flynn (Mystery)
When a late-summer hurricane slams into Boston, Detective Eddy Harkness and his Narco-Intel crew are thrown into the eye of a very different kind of storm. Dark Horse --- an especially pure and deadly brand of heroin --- has infiltrated the gritty Lower South End. Harkness soon finds that the drug is also at the center of an audacious land grab by the city’s corrupt new mayor and his shadowy power brokers. Meanwhile, Lower South End residents displaced by the storm use an obscure bylaw to move into Eddy’s hometown, and soon enough tensions are running high along Nagog’s tree-lined streets. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.
Next Week's Notables: Noteworthy Books Releasing on June 21st
Below are some notable titles releasing on June 21st 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 20th, see our “On Sale This Week” newsletter here.

AS GOOD AS GONE by Larry Watson (Historical Fiction)
It’s 1963, and Calvin Sidey, one of the last of the old cowboys, is looking after his grandchildren for a week. Trouble soon comes to the door when a boy’s attentions to 17-year-old Ann become increasingly aggressive and a group of reckless kids portend danger for 11-year-old Will. Calvin knows only one way to solve problems: the Old West way, in which your gun is always loaded.

THE MANDIBLES: A Family, 2029-2047 by Lionel Shriver (Fiction)
In 2029, the United States is engaged in a bloodless world war that will wipe out the savings of millions of American families. The Mandibles have been counting on a sizable fortune filtering down when their 97-year-old patriarch dies. When the inheritance turns to ash due to the circumstances of the war, each family member must contend with the challenge of sheer survival.

MY FATHER AND ATTICUS FINCH: A Lawyer’s Fight for Justice in 1930s Alabama
by Joseph Madison Beck (Memoir)
As a child, Joseph Beck heard about his father’s legacy: Foster Beck had once been a respected trial lawyer who defied the unspoken code of 1930s Alabama by defending a black man charged with raping a white woman. Beck became intrigued by the similarities between his father’s story and the one at the heart of Harper Lee’s iconic novel, leading to this riveting memoir.

THE PURSUIT: A Fox and O’Hare Novel by Janet Evanovich and Lee Goldberg (Thriller)
Nicolas Fox --- one of the top 10 fugitives on the FBI’s most-wanted list --- has been kidnapped. What the kidnapper doesn’t know is that Nick has been secretly working for the FBI. It isn’t long before Special Agent Kate O’Hare is in hot pursuit of the crook who stole her con man. The trail pits Nick and Kate against their deadliest adversary yet: Dragan Kovic.

ROBERT LUDLUM'S THE BOURNE ENIGMA by Eric Van Lustbader (Thriller/Adventure)
On the eve of Russian general Boris Karpov's wedding, Jason Bourne receives an enigmatic message from his old friend and fellow spymaster. In Moscow, what should be a joyous occasion turns bloody and lethal. Now Bourne is the only one who can decipher Karpov's cryptogram --- which he must do in order to prevent a cataclysmic international war.

VINEGAR GIRL by Anne Tyler (Fiction)
Dr. Battista is on the verge of a breakthrough, and his research could help millions. But his brilliant young lab assistant, Pyotr, is about to be deported. When Dr. Battista cooks up an outrageous plan that will enable Pyotr to stay in the country, he’s relying on his daughter, Kate, to help him. Kate is furious, but will she be able to resist the two men’s touchingly ludicrous campaign to bring her around?

Click here to see the latest "On Sale This Week" newsletter.
Our Latest Poll: Taking Books on Vacation
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 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 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.

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 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.

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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