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Weekly Update

November 21, 2014

Bookreporter.com Newsletter November 21, 2014
Oh My Turkey!

Thanksgiving has crept on me; I am way behind prepping for the eat-athon. I know it’s the SAME time every year (the fourth Thursday), but somehow this year I am glad that there is a time-honored menu for this dinner, as I am lacking in time for jogging my imagination on what to make. We test-drove butternut squash ravioli with sage butter sauce, which will be an appetizer. I will be perusing some cookbooks this weekend, and the plan is to get the dreaded grocery shopping done before the rush of next week. Wegmans had an amazing orange cranberry bread last year that I must get my hands on again.

In our biweekly poll we’re asking about the types of books you typically give over the holidays (click here to weigh in), and we see that so far 44% of you are planning to give cookbooks. We are happy, not coincidentally, to share our latest bookshelf --- Fall/Winter Cookbooks 2014 --- for shopping ideas and Thanksgiving inspiration. It has 20 cookbook selections that our staff curated for giving and getting --- and cooking and perusing. We all love to cook, and food-related conversation is something we all enjoy! Many thanks to Nicole Sherman for pulling this together from our spirited suggestions.

When we left off last week, I was headed to the Random House Open House. It was a huge success, and we all had a wonderful time. Our fabulous intern, Rebecca Munro, did a write-up about it here, including some photos. We’ll be sure to share details of the next event, which most likely will be scheduled for May. Rosemary, one of our readers, won one of the big prizes --- a fast slow cooker (yes, say that two times fast), and when we sat down to eat lunch, a reader named Betty said hi and chimed in on our conversation. Really fun when that happens. By the way, I am so bad with names that if you see me at an event and I do not remember your name, please do not be offended. I remember things about people, but am notoriously bad with names.

Last weekend, mystery lovers and amateur sleuths (aka readers) convened in Long Beach, CA for Bouchercon 2014. Bouchercon, the World Mystery Convention, is the largest annual meeting in the world for mystery lovers. Every year, Bouchercon celebrates readers and writers with various panel discussions, lectures and other presentations, all focused on a selected theme. This year’s theme was the humorous “Murder at the Beach.” Unfortunately, I could not attend this year, but we received wonderful feedback from some of my author and publishing friends who were in attendance, which we share here. Many thanks to Dana Haynes, Ali
Karim, William Kent Krueger, Clair Lamb, Keith Raffel, Wendy Corsi Staub and Wendy Webb, who took time out of their busy schedules to share their thoughts with us! And we have a photo gallery as well that you can see here. We also are happy to share William Kent Krueger’s wonderful news that at Bouchercon his book ORDINARY GRACE won THREE awards --- the Anthony, the Barry and the Macavity. We ran one of our Sneak Peek features for that book, which is one of my favorites, and I have been so enjoying seeing its continued success.

Speaking of awards, on Wednesday night, I attended the National Book Awards with Shara Zaval, our Editorial Manager for Kidsreads.com and Teenreads.com. The temps were frigid, not conducive to spending lots of time outdoors in black tie attire. Thus Shara and I plotted to take the subway downtown, and ended up walking mere steps from our office to the subway and then mere steps to the venue. We were warmer than if we had been standing on the street flagging down cabs! As always, this was such a fun and festive evening, as it is any time authors and publishing colleagues gather en masse. In case you have not seen the news elsewhere, the Fiction Prize was awarded to Phil Klay for REDEPLOYMENT, the Nonfiction Prize went to Evan Osnos for AGE OF AMBITION: Chasing Fortune, Truth, and Faith in the New China, Jacqueline Woodson won the Young People’s Literature Award for BROWN GIRL DREAMING, and the Poetry Prize went to Louise Glückfor FAITHFUL AND VIRTUOUS NIGHT.

Ursula K. Le Guin was awarded the Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters and gave a spirited speech about the importance of literature and writing, and the aims of art, which she feels are in conflict with those of "commodity profiteers." You can watch that speech here.

Kyle Zimmer from First Book was honored with the Literarian Award for Outstanding Service to the American Literary Community. The Award honors individuals for a lifetime of achievement in expanding the audience for literature. Kyle shared some sobering and sad stats: 45% of kids are raised in homes that are poor, and 80% of kids read below grade level. As Kyle says, “Books are the most powerful force in the universe.” She noted that slaves were not allowed to read; dictators kept books from people; and girls today are tortured and shot for reading. If books did not matter, why would they be withheld like this to change the balance of power? Among my regrets of the night: I did not meet Anthony Doerr, who was nominated for ALL THE LIGHT WE CANNOT SEE.

As you know, here at Bookreporter, we’re big fans of book festivals and other events where we can meet our favorite authors and share stories with fellow readers. In an effort to get more people involved in these festivals --- and as this is the second weekend of Miami Book Fair International --- we’ve coordinated a list of upcoming festivals both near and far that you may want to have on your radar. We want to make sure our list is as complete as possible, so if you think we’re missing any events, please don’t hesitate to email John@bookreporter.com with the festival name, location, dates and a link to the event's website. One of Cory’s best friends, Josh Ehrenberg, is attending the Miami Book Fair for the first time this weekend (he goes to the University of Miami where a week's vacation starts today). I look forward to hearing what he has to say about it.

Interested in seeing what is happening at the Miami Book Fair? Then tune in to PBS, where select programming will be streamed over the weekend. Jeffrey Brown from PBS and author Kelly Corrigan will be co-hosting. Click here for the complete schedule.

And now to this week’s update…

Our latest featured Women’s Fiction author is Jane Green, who's in the spotlight for her upcoming novel, SAVING GRACE, which releases on December 30th. Grace and Ted Chapman seem like the perfect literary power couple, with Ted’s successful career as a novelist and Grace’s beauty and style. But no one knows that Grace suffers from the terror of Ted’s rages, made worse when his longtime assistant quits. Confronted by Ted’s rage and dark secrets of her own, Grace feels completely vulnerable until a competent new assistant, Beth, shows up. But Grace may have to save herself when Beth proves that she is too good to be true. I read this a couple of months ago and got caught up in the domestic drama. It’s a reminder that life is often not as wonderful as it seems to be.

We’re featuring a contest that will give 25 readers the chance to win a copy and share their comments on it. Click here to enter. In addition, if you purchase the book, you will be eligible for a free eBook of HAPPY FOOD, Jane's latest cookbook. For a preview of some of the holiday-friendly recipes in HAPPY FOOD, click here.

Combat veteran and Special Agent John Puller returns for another thrilling escapade in THE ESCAPE by David Baldacci. This time, he is tasked with hunting his own brother, Robert, a devilishly smart and terrifying man convicted of treason. Robert has escaped from the most secure prison on earth, and it seems that only John has a chance at finding him. But when disturbing details about Robert’s conviction come to light, Puller’s allegiances --- and life --- are put on the line.

Ray Palen has our review and calls THE ESCAPE “a vital and relevant thriller that will call to mind both the Edward Snowden case and the risk our nation faces every day with WMDs that could be used against us at a moment's notice. Hold your breath and enjoy the ride.”

From the exciting new collaboration of Mary Higgins Clark and Alafair Burke comes THE CINDERELLA MURDER, the start of a new suspense series. Television producer Laurie Moran’s latest project, “Under Suspicion,” is a cold case series that re-examines unsolved crimes. For its second episode, Laurie decides to feature the Cinderella Murder, a case about the suspicious murder of UCLA student Susan Dempsey. Susan’s murder was left unsolved because of too many loose ends, unanswered questions and suspects who included Hollywood’s elite. Laurie knows the case is perfect for television, but Cinderella’s murderer may have other plans.

According to reviewer Renee Yeager, “Clark and Burke each bring her own style of success to the story; it will be interesting to see what intriguing cold cases they have Laurie and her team feature in future installments of the series. The possibilities are endless and should make for satisfying reading for mystery and thriller fans alike.”

Picking up where her coming-of-age memoir A STORY LATELY TOLD left off, Anjelica Huston has written WATCH ME, which details her relationship with Jack Nicholson, her acting life and much more. Beginning in Hollywood, Huston tells the story of meeting and falling in love with Nicholson and describes their powerful, turbulent and exhilarating relationship. From there, she discusses her more popular acting roles, including Morticia Addams of Addams Family Values and Etheline Tenenbaum of The Royal Tenenbaums. For all you audiobook lovers, there is also an audiobook version of WATCH ME. You can listen to an excerpt here and an interview with Huston here.

Reviewer Jana Siciliano says of WATCH ME, “Yes, it plays against the backdrop of Tinsel Town with audacity and bravado, but it also showcases the elegant and elegiac memories of a woman for whom the remarkable was a regular event. Her spare style belies the beautiful and lithesome heart and depth of her perspective, which makes WATCH ME a memoir that screams ‘Read Me!’ You’ll be glad you did.”

If you were inspired by Laura Hillenbrand's bestseller, UNBROKEN, then you’ll love DON’T GIVE UP, DON’T GIVE IN: Lessons from an Extraordinary Life by Louis Zamperini and David Rensin. Here, Zamperini (who sadly passed away in July at the age of 97) shares his wisdom and insights he gained from his remarkable experiences as detailed in UNBROKEN. Despite nearly dying in a plane crash, then becoming a prisoner of war, Zamperini always remained positive and motivated --- with a peppering of mischief. Now he reveals his secrets for success, offering lessons that will help readers transform their lives for the better.

Carole Turner has our review and says, “There are a lot of self-help and inspirational books currently in print. Some are written by people who spent years in academia getting credentials in some rather narrow fields. DON’T GIVE UP, DON’T GIVE IN is different, not so much in the advice given, as in the way the author learned his lessons: he definitely received a PhD from the School of Hard Knocks.”

Our History Books roundup for November has been updated by Greg. Among this month’s featured titles are NAPOLEON: A LIFE by Andrew Roberts, CHINA 1945: Mao’s Revolution and America’s Fateful Choice by Richard Bernstein, THE SPHINX: Franklin Roosevelt, the Isolationists, and the Road to World War II by Nicholas Wapshott, and A ROYAL EXPERIMENT: The Private Life of King George III by Janice Hadlow.

In this week’s “Sounding Off on Audio,” we hear from Marlene Cole, who has been listening to audiobooks --- long and short --- since 1989 and shares with us some tips for the best experience. We also interview Laura Hilger, who tells us about the series that got her hooked, good narrators she can’t remember and bad ones she’ll never forget. If you are an audiobook aficionado and would like to be interviewed, then drop me a note at Carol@bookreporter.com with the subject line "Audiobook Lover."

Remember, if you have not yet answered our Audiobook Survey, it's open to both listeners and non-listeners. Finish it by Monday, December 1st at noon ET, and you will be eligible to receive prizes. Click here to get started.

This week in our Holiday Cheer contests, we gave away BY WINTER'S LIGHT by Stephanie Laurens, MASTERING THE ART OF FRENCH EATING by Ann Mah, A QUILT FOR CHRISTMAS by Sandra Dallas and THE SOCIAL CLIMBER'S BIBLE by Dirk Wittenborn and Jazz Johnson. Next week, we’ll be featuring two 24-hour contests, where five readers will be awarded a copy of DOLLBABY by Laura Lane McNeal, while five others will win MR. MIRACLE by Debbie Macomber. We’re sending a special newsletter to announce each day's title; if you’re not signed up yet to receive the Holiday Cheer newsletter, please do so here. If you have problems signing up, please send a note to John@bookreporter.com and he will handle this for you. Our first prize book of the week will be announced on Monday the 24th at noon ET.

Our current Word of Mouth contest continues. Let us know by Friday, December 5th at noon ET the books that you’ve finished reading, and you’ll have the opportunity to win the aforementioned THE CINDERELLA MURDER and DON’T GIVE UP, DON’T GIVE IN, along with BETRAYED: A Rosato & DiNunzio Novel by Lisa Scottoline, which we’ll be reviewing next week.

I just may need to re-watch The Graduate this weekend as my own quasi-memorial service for Mike Nichols. I came across this video of Simon and Garfunkel singing "Mrs. Robinson" at a tribute to the legendary director, where he received the 38th AFI Life Achievement Award on June 10, 2010. We’ll be wrapping up watching "Broadchurch" this weekend; we will then see how many red herrings we missed along the way!

I also am caught up in a podcast that Nikki in our office turned me on to called “Serial” from the creators of "This American Life," hosted by Sarah Koenig. “It follows one story --- a true story --- over the course of a whole season.” This first story is about a murder that took place 15 years ago. Adnan Syed was convicted of the murder of his ex-girlfriend, Hae Min Lee, when he was in high school; he has been in prison since then. We are seeing the case from many angles and pondering his guilt or innocence. I personally would love to be reading it, though I have been listening to it as I drive and am addicted to it. I loved seeing notes from many of you last week about what you watch/listen to. Keep them coming!

Greg is picking up our fresh-killed turkey tomorrow, which I know sounds so harsh; we get a little dossier on what it ate, which I confess is a bit disconcerting. Quick note that next week’s newsletter will arrive on Wednesday instead of Friday so the staff can enjoy the long weekend.

Read on…and have a great week…

Carol Fitzgerald (Carol@bookreporter.com)

PS. If you are getting a head start on holiday shopping, if you use the store links below, Bookreporter.com gets a small affiliate fee on your purchases. We would appreciate your considering this!

Now in Stores: THE ESCAPE by David Baldacci
THE ESCAPE by David Baldacci (Thriller)
In ZERO DAY and THE FORGOTTEN, readers met John Puller. A combat veteran and special agent with the U.S. Army, Puller is the man they call to investigate the toughest crimes facing the nation. But all his training, experience and skills will not prepare him for his newest case, one that will force him to hunt down the most formidable and brilliant prey he has ever tracked: his own brother. Reviewed by Ray Palen.

-Click here to read more about the book.
 
Click here to read a review.
Now in Stores: THE CINDERELLA MURDER by Mary Higgins Clark and Alafair Burke
THE CINDERELLA MURDER by Mary Higgins Clark and Alafair Burke (Mystery/Thriller)
Television producer Laurie Moran believes she has the ideal case to feature on an episode of her reality drama, “Under Suspicion”: the Cinderella Murder. When Susan Dempsey, a beautiful and multi-talented UCLA student, was found dead, her murder raised numerous questions. With the help of lawyer and host Alex Buckley, Laurie knows the case will attract great ratings. The suspense and drama are perfect for the silver screen. But is Cinderella’s murderer ready for a close-up? Reviewed by Renee Yeager.

-Click here to read more about the book.
 
Click here to read a review.
New Women’s Fiction Author Spotlight & Contest: SAVING GRACE by Jane Green
We have 25 copies of SAVING GRACE by Jane Green to give away to readers who would like to read the book, which releases on December 30th, and share their comments on it. To enter, please fill out this form by Thursday, December 4th at noon ET.

Special Offer! If you purchase SAVING GRACE, you are eligible for a free eBook of HAPPY FOOD, Jane Green's latest cookbook. For a preview of some of the holiday-friendly recipes in HAPPY FOOD, click here.

Here is how to claim your free gift:

1. Order SAVING GRACE from your favorite bookseller between now and December 29th.
2. Email your proof of purchase to happyfood@tandemliterary.com.
3. You will receive an email response with a unique single-use code to redeem your free copy of HAPPY FOOD.

SAVING GRACE by Jane Green (Fiction)
Grace and Ted Chapman are widely regarded as the perfect literary power couple. Ted is a successful novelist and Grace, his wife of 20 years, is beautiful, stylish, carefree and a wonderful homemaker. But what no one sees, what is churning under the surface, is Ted’s rages. His mood swings. And the precarious house of cards that their lifestyle is built upon. When Ted’s longtime assistant and mainstay leaves, the house of cards begins to crumble and Grace, with dark secrets in her past, is most vulnerable. She finds herself in need of help but with no one to turn to...until the perfect new assistant shows up out of the blue.

To the rescue comes Beth, a competent young woman who can handle Ted and has the calm efficiency to weather the storms that threaten to engulf the Chapman household. Soon, though, it’s clear to Grace that Beth might be too good to be true. This new interloper might be the biggest threat of all, one that could cost Grace her marriage, her reputation and even her sanity. With everything at stake and no one to confide in, Grace must find a way to save herself before it is too late.

-Click here to read an excerpt.
-Click here to read Jane Green's bio.
-Click here to visit Jane Green's official website.
-Connect with Jane Green on Facebook and Twitter.
-Click here to read more about Jane Green's latest cookbook, HAPPY FOOD.
 
Click here to read more in our Women's Fiction Author Spotlight and enter the contest.
Now in Stores: WATCH ME by Anjelica Huston
WATCH ME: A Memoir by Anjelica Huston (Memoir)
In A STORY LATELY TOLD, Anjelica Huston described her enchanted childhood in Ireland and her glamorous but troubled late teens in London. That memoir of her early years ended when she stepped into Hollywood. In WATCH ME, Huston tells the story of falling in love with Jack Nicholson and her adventurous, turbulent, high-profile, spirited 17-year relationship with him and his intoxicating circle of friends. Reviewed by Jana Siciliano.

-Click here to read more about the book.
-Click here to listen to an excerpt from the audiobook.
-Click here to listen to Anjelica Huston talk about WATCH ME.
 
Click here to read a review.
Now in Stores: DON’T GIVE UP, DON’T GIVE IN by Louis Zamperini and David Rensin
DON'T GIVE UP, DON'T GIVE IN: Lessons from an Extraordinary Life by Louis Zamperini and David Rensin (Memoir)
Louis Zamperini’s struggle to survive the unimaginable --- brought to life in his autobiography, DEVIL AT MY HEELS, and in Laura Hillenbrand’s bestseller and its film adaptation, UNBROKEN --- elevated him to his rightful place among our country’s greatest heroes. Now Zamperini, who passed away in July at the age of 97, reveals the wisdom he learned along his incredible journey. In DON’T GIVE UP, DON’T GIVE IN, he offers never-before-told tales that embody his simple yet essential secrets of success. Reviewed by Carole Turner.

-Click here to read more about the book.
 
Click here to read a review.
Now in Stores: FAMILY FURNISHINGS by Alice Munro
FAMILY FURNISHINGS: Selected Stories, 1995-2014 by Alice Munro (Fiction/Short Stories)
FAMILY FURNISHINGS brings us 24 of Alice Munro’s most accomplished, most powerfully affecting stories, many of them set in the territory she has so brilliantly made her own: the small towns and flatlands of southwestern Ontario. These stories illuminate the quotidian yet extraordinary particularity in the lives of men and women, parents and children, friends and lovers as they discover sex, fall in love, part, quarrel, suffer defeat, set off into the unknown, or find a way to be in the world. Reviewed by Harvey Freedenberg.

-Click here to read more about the book.
 
Click here to read a review.
Bookreporter.com's History Books Roundup for November
November’s roundup of History titles includes NAPOLEON: A LIFE by Andrew Roberts, the first one-volume biography to take advantage of the recent publication of Napoleon’s 33,000 letters, which radically transform our understanding of his character and motivation; CHINA 1945: Mao’s Revolution and America’s Fateful Choice, Richard Bernstein’s riveting account of the watershed moment in America’s dealings with China that forever altered the course of East-West relations; THE SPHINX: Franklin Roosevelt, the Isolationists, and the Road to World War II, in which Nicholas Wapshott recounts how an ambitious and resilient FDR devised and doggedly pursued a strategy to sway the American people to abandon isolationism and take up the mantle of the world's most powerful nation; and A ROYAL EXPERIMENT: The Private Life of King George III, Janice Hadlow’s surprising, dramatic and ultimately heartbreaking account of King George III’s radical pursuit of happiness in his private life with Queen Charlotte and their 15 children.
 
Click here to see our History Books roundup for November.
Bookreporter.com's Holiday Cheer Contests and Feature
At Bookreporter.com, we kick off the holiday season in style with our Holiday Cheer Contests and Feature. This year’s Holiday Cheer titles include books that you want to give and get, as well as a couple of “hot” 2015 titles. The contests kick off at noon ET on select days in November and December, and run for just 24 hours, so you will have to check the site to see what is being featured. As always, we’ll be sending our special Holiday Cheer newsletter on the days when there are contests. Click here to sign up for these email alerts.

Our next prize book will be announced on Monday, November 24th at noon ET. Next week's prizes will be MR. MIRACLE: A Christmas Novel by Debbie Macomber and DOLLBABY by Laura Lane McNeal.

This year's featured titles are:

Click here to read all the contest details and see our featured titles.
Bouchercon 2014: Seven Mystery Superstars Give Us the Inside Scoop
Bouchercon 2014, aptly called “Murder at the Beach,” took place in Long Beach, CA, last weekend (November 13-16). Bouchercon is an annual event held by the World Mystery Convention, which brings together all parts of the mystery and crime fiction community for a weekend of thrilling panels and awards. Unfortunately, none of our staff was able to attend --- our own Carol Fitzgerald has attended eight times in the past and was sorry to miss this year --- but we had a few amazing authors and friends who were kind enough to do some sleuthing for us. Here, seven mystery authors and lovers --- Dana Haynes, Ali Karim, William Kent Krueger, Clair Lamb, Keith Raffel, Wendy Corsi Staub and Wendy Webb --- share some highlights of Bouchercon 2014, including best books, best panels...and best drinks.
 
Click here for the inside scoop on Boucheron 2014.
Sounding Off on Audio: Interviews with Listeners About Their Love of Audiobooks
As we continue to explore the world of audiobooks, we bring you our newest Bookreporter.com feature, “Sounding Off on Audio,” where we interview listeners about their love of audiobooks. Find out what they listen to, who their favorite narrators are, why they enjoy audiobooks, and much more. Whether you are a seasoned listener of audiobooks or have only a passing curiosity, we hope that you find these interviews to be fun and informative --- and perhaps come across a title or two that you can add to your audiobook listening list. Whenever possible, we will try to provide samples for your listening pleasure as well.

This week, we chat with Marlene Cole, who, since retiring, has enjoyed the freedom to indulge in whatever book strikes her fancy. Now that she is no longer pressed for time, Marlene relishes the chance to listen to a good, unabridged audiobook. She’s been listening to audiobooks --- long and short --- since 1989, and here she shares with us some tips for the best experience.

-Click here to read our interview with Marlene Cole.

We also interview
Laura Hilger, who loves to garden, train her dogs and, of course, listen to audiobooks. She talks to us about the series that got her hooked, good narrators she can’t remember and bad ones she’ll never forget, and why she doesn’t like listening to romance novels while she’s driving.

-Click here to read our interview with Laura Hilger.

 
Click here for more "Sounding Off on Audio" interviews.
Voice Your Thoughts About Audiobooks in Our Survey --- Whether You Listen or Not --- and Enter to Win a Book or an Audiobook on CD!
Do you listen to audiobooks? If you have a smartphone, you can easily listen to an audiobook, so we want to know if you are tuned into them or not. We would like to hear from both listeners and non-listeners, so chime in with your thoughts in our Bookreporter.com Audiobook Survey. The questions have been designed so you can respond either way. Finish the survey, and you can enter a drawing for the chance to win one of 25 books or audiobooks on CD. There will be 25 prizes for listeners and 25 prizes for non-listeners.

The survey will be open until Monday, December 1st at noon ET. Please note that prizes are limited to respondents in the U.S. and Canada.

-Click here for the official rules.
 
Click here to take the survey.
More Reviews This Week
THE LAUGHING MONSTERS by Denis Johnson (Literary Thriller)
After 10 years’ absence, Roland Nair returns to Freetown, Sierra Leone, to reunite with his friend, Michael Adriko. Adriko is an African who styles himself a soldier of fortune, newly engaged to a college girl named Davidia from Colorado. Together the three set out to visit Adriko’s clan in the Uganda-Congo borderland --- but each of these travelers is keeping secrets from the others. Their journey through a land abandoned by the future leads Adriko, Nair and Davidia to meet themselves not in a new light, but rather in a new darkness. Reviewed by Eileen Zimmerman Nicol.

THE CHURCHILL FACTOR: How One Man Made History by Boris Johnson (History/Politics)
On the 50th anniversary of Winston Churchill’s death, Boris Johnson celebrates the singular brilliance of one of the most important leaders of the 20th century. Taking on the myths and misconceptions along with the outsized reality, he portrays --- with characteristic wit and passion --- a man of contagious bravery, breathtaking eloquence, matchless strategizing and deep humanity. Reviewed by Barbara Bamberger Scott.

PARCELLS: A Football Life by Bill Parcells and Nunyo Demasio (Sports/Memoir)
The modern history of the NFL can’t be told without Bill Parcells as a central character. During his decades-long tenure in the NFL, he coached some of the game’s greatest players, turned failing franchises into contenders, and mentored a new generation of its brightest coaches all on the way to his enshrinement in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2013. Now, with remarkable candor, Coach Parcells opens up about his life and extraordinary career. Reviewed by Miriam Tuliao.

JOAN OF ARC: A LIFE TRANSFIGURED by Kathryn Harrison (Biography)
In JOAN OF ARC: A LIFE TRANSFIGURED, Kathryn Harrison gives us a Joan for our time --- a shining exemplar of unshakable faith, extraordinary courage and self-confidence during a brutally rigged ecclesiastical inquisition and in the face of her death by burning. Deftly weaving historical fact, myth, folklore, artistic representations, and centuries of scholarly and critical interpretation into a compelling narrative, she restores Joan of Arc to her rightful position as one of the greatest heroines in all of human history. Reviewed by Barbara Bamberger Scott.

THE LAWS OF MURDER: A Charles Lenox Mystery by Charles Finch (Historical Mystery)
It’s 1876, and Charles Lenox, once London’s leading private investigator, has just given up his seat in Parliament, primed to return to his first love: detection. With high hopes, he and three colleagues start a new detective agency. But as the months pass, and he is the only detective who cannot find work, Lenox begins to question whether he can still play the game as he once did. Then comes a chance to redeem himself, though at a terrible price: a friend, a member of Scotland Yard, is shot near Regent’s Park. Reviewed by L. Dean Murphy.

FOR THE DEAD: A Poke Rafferty Thriller by Timothy Hallinan (Thriller)
After seven years in Bangkok, American travel writer Poke Rafferty finally feels settled. All that is endangered when his adopted daughter, Miaow, helps her boyfriend buy a stolen iPhone that contains photographs of two murdered police officers. As Miaow’s carefully constructed personal life falls apart, Rafferty discovers that the murders are part of a conspiracy that reaches the top rungs of Bangkok law enforcement and beyond. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

THE MURDER OF HARRIET KROHN by Karin Fossum (Psychological Suspense)
On a wet night in November, Charlo Torp, a former gambler, makes his way through the slush to Harriet Krohn’s apartment. Certain that paying off his debt is the only path to winning his daughter’s forgiveness, Charlo plans to rob the wealthy old woman’s antique silver collection. The following morning Harriet is found dead, her silver missing, and the only clue Inspector Sejer finds is an abandoned bouquet. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub and Barbara Lipkien Gerhsenbaum.

WANT YOU DEAD by Peter James (Thriller)
When Red Cameron meets handsome, charming and rich Bryce Laurent through an online dating agency, it’s instant attraction at first sight. But as their love blossoms, the truth about his past begins to emerge, and with it his dark side. Everything he has told Red about himself turns out to be a tissue of lies, and her infatuation with him gradually turns to terror. Within a year, and under police protection, she evicts him from her flat and her life. But far from being over, her nightmare is only just beginning. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

-Click here to read an excerpt.
-Click here for the reading group guide.

PROOF OF ANGELS by Mary Curran Hackett (Fiction)
While fighting a horrific blaze, Sean Magee becomes trapped by flames and is nearly overcome by smoke. Just when it seems that all is lost, he’s led to a window --- by what he swears is divine intervention. And then he jumps…into a new life. Coming through that fire, he knows that he can no longer be that man whose heart is closed to the world. But before he can face his future, he must confront his past and everyone in it: the family, the friends, the woman --- and the love --- he carelessly left behind. Reviewed by Vivian Payton.

-Click here to read an excerpt.
-Click here for the reading group guide.

MEAN BUSINESS ON NORTH GANSON STREET by S. Craig Zahler (Thriller)
Partnered with a boorish and demoted corporal, Jules Bettinger investigates a double homicide in which two policemen were slain and mutilated. The detective looks for answers in the fringes of the city and also in the pasts of the cops with whom he works --- men who stomped on a local drug dealer until he was disabled. Bettinger soon begins to suspect that the double homicide is not an isolated event, but a prelude to a series of cop executions. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.
Our Latest Poll: Giving Books During the Holidays
What types of books do you typically give over the holidays? Please check as many as apply.

Fiction
Nonfiction
Children’s/teen books
Classics
Holiday-themed books
Cookbooks
Gift books
Coffee table books
None of the above
I do not give books over the holidays.

 
Click here to answer the poll.
Word of Mouth Contest: Tell Us What You're Reading --- and You Can Win THREE Books!
Tell us your current reading recommendations with your comments and a rating of 1 to 5 stars. During the contest period from November 14th to December 5th, FIVE lucky readers each will be randomly chosen to win a copy of BETRAYED: A Rosato & DiNunzio Novel by Lisa Scottoline, THE CINDERELLA MURDER by Mary Higgins Clark and Alafair Burke, and DON’T GIVE UP, DON’T GIVE IN: Lessons from an Extraordinary Life by Louis Zamperini and David Rensin.

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 complete rules and guidelines, click here.

Please note: You must enter your full address, using correct capitalization and filling in all fields if you would like to be eligible to win this prize.

Also, we realize that many times, your opinion of a book will change as you get further along into the story. Thus, to ensure that your comments and ratings accurately reflect your entire reading experience, your review WILL NOT be posted if you have not finished the book.

One important technical note: If you're using an iPad or another iOS device to access the Word of Mouth page and you would like to enter the contest, you must wait for the page to fully load before you can rate your book. Only then will the stars be clickable.

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

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Happy reading! Don't forget to forward this newsletter to a friend or to visit our other websites from TheBookReportNetwork.com: www.20SomethingReads.com, www.Teenreads.com, www.Kidsreads.com, www.ReadingGroupGuides.com, www.GraphicNovelReporter.com, www.FaithfulReader.com and www.AuthorsOnTheWeb.com.

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