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Weekly Update

July 2, 2015

Bookreporter.com Newsletter July 2, 2015
Have a Firecracker 4th!

I am ready for a looong weekend --- and it looks like the weather is going to cooperate as well! Flowers around the house are looking spectacular. You can see the hydrangeas above; oddly, there are only blossoms on the bottom of the plants. We also have a potted gardenia tree this year, and I love watching those blossoms POP (another photo above)! After long commutes Monday and Tuesday nights this week, I opted to work from home these last two days, which was lovely, besides being time-saving.

On Thursdays, our town has a Farmer’s Market in the afternoon. I like being able to shop there; I so wish that this was on Fridays.

Two weeks ago, we shared details about Random House’s “Off The Page” event, which I will be attending and speaking at on Saturday, July 11th in Hudson, NY. I had a pair of tickets to give away. Tara O'Donnell is our winner, and she will be joined by her friend, Kasime. I checked back with Random House to see what we could offer our readers as dozens of you indicated you were interested in being my guest. They are offering a 10% discount to our readers who use the promo code “BOOKREPORTER” when you sign up. If you are attending, let me know! Attendees will receive a complimentary Random House tote bag filled with summer reads, goodies and gifts. The day will kick off with a talk from Ruth Reichl, bestselling author and legendary food critic. I will be hosting a book group session, and there will be other sessions with lots of lifestyle topics, like cooking, traveling and living your best life. Gretchen Rubin --- the author of the bestselling THE HAPPINESS PROJECT --- will wrap up the day. More details about the day and signup are here.

Something to do during downtime this holiday weekend if you are in a book group: Answer our ReadingGroupGuides.com Book Group Survey here! The survey closes on July 15th, so the clock is ticking. It will take about 15 minutes to answer the whole survey; we really are looking in depth at this topic, and we want as much feedback as possible. So grab coffee, tea, lemonade or wine, and mosey on over to answer --- and share this please! Remember, there are prizes...many of them. $2,500 in all!

With summer vacation from school in full swing across the country, we have two things for kids. First up is our first Sneak Peek Contest on Kidsreads.com, featuring WARREN THE 13th AND THE ALL-SEEING EYE written by Tania del Rio and illustrated by Will Staehle. If you know a reader between the ages of 10 and 13, you want to consider this opportunity for them --- a chance to read a book in advance --- and weigh in on it. It’s a really fun, clever story. Warren is a 12-year-old Victorian bellhop with terrible luck --- balanced by tons of optimism. He takes great pride in his deceased parents’ hotel, but is made miserable when his evil Aunt Anaconda takes over management. Anaconda believes that the hotel’s grounds are hiding a mysterious treasure known as the All-Seeing Eye, and she’ll do anything to find it. Now it is up to Warren to beat Anaconda --- and the hotel’s many wacky guests --- to the punch by finding the treasure first and preserving his family’s legacy. The book doesn’t release until November 24th, but we have 100 advance copies to give away to readers who can commit to previewing it and sharing their comments on it by Friday, August 28th. To enter, please fill out this form by Tuesday, July 28th at noon ET.

We’ve also been thinking a lot about summer reading for kids with our “Get Ready for Summer!” Contest on Kidsreads.com. With titles from a variety of genres and authors, we hope this promotion will give you some fantastic options for kids --- and a chance to win a number of great reads for them! From now through Monday, July 27th at noon ET, five lucky readers will win a copy of each of the featured books. Click here to enter.

And now on to this week’s update, which Tom Donadio, our intrepid Editorial Director, clocked out in just 3.5 days. Hope you are as impressed as I am!

Art restorer, spy and assassin Gabriel Allon returns in THE ENGLISH SPY, the 15th installment in Daniel Silva’s thriller/espionage series. When an iconic member of the British Royal Family is murdered by a bomb explosion on her yacht, Gabriel is called in to investigate. First on the list of suspects is Eamon Quinn, a master bomb maker who sells his skills to anyone who can afford them. Teaming up with professional assassin Christopher Keller, Gabriel sets out to track down this elusive man --- all the while moving ever closer to an old enemy who would stop at nothing to see him dead.

Kate Ayers has our review and raves, “THE ENGLISH SPY is a surefire blockbuster among this summer’s releases. It no doubt will shoot to the top of the charts, with Gabriel Allon taking care of some very nasty business in ways that will make you want to read with only one eye open, but also will make you want to cheer. The world needs more men like this Israeli agent. And more authors like Silva.”

From former New York Times reporter and Newsweek press critic Charles Kaiser comes THE COST OF COURAGE, the true story of a family who lived through the French Resistance. Drawing upon his personal relationship with the family as well as numerous official documents, Kaiser tells their heroic story for the first time, beginning in the autumn of 1943, when Andre Boulloche became de Gaulle’s military delegate in Paris. Boulloche was assigned with coordinating all Resistance movements in the northern region of France --- until he was betrayed, arrested and taken prisoner by the Gestapo. While he suffered through concentration camps, his brave sisters continued the fight, even when they lost their parents and older brother. Since then, the family has chosen to remain silent about their painful ordeal --- until now, speaking through Kaiser to share their dramatic tale.

Reviewer Stuart Shiffman calls the book “a moving tribute to one family, the Boulloches, who undertook the dangerous and secret effort to fight tyranny in the ‘City of Light’ during the Nazi occupation…. THE COST OF COURAGE vividly and eloquently recreates the heroism of many through the eyes of one French family.” When I was at Winter Institute in February, I had the pleasure of meeting Charles, and I am eager to read this book, which has been getting lots of praise.

Paul Levine turns the legal system into a high-stakes playing field in BUM RAP. Former NFL linebacker and current lawyer Jake Lassiter is fed up with shady clients and corrupt prosecutors. He is practically ready to turn his back on law and Miami when he gets a call from Victoria Lord, the sexier half of a local legal team. Victoria’s partner has been arrested for murder, and the only person who can provide an alibi has fled the city. Now Jake and Victoria must track down the witness before the feds --- or the Russian mob --- find her first.

According to reviewer Joe Hartlaub, “Levine has always been a master of balancing the comedic with the thrilling, and BUM RAP proudly displays all of his skills and talents as he puts a very interesting twist on the classic ‘locked room’ mystery theme…. BUM RAP is one of those rarities: a book that is fun but still ever-so-gently makes you care about the characters.” I love that Paul is mixing his characters together here. Joe has it right; Paul strikes the right chord between humor and thrills. I'm looking forward to seeing him at ThrillerFest next week; more on that in a bit.

Our Sneak Peek Contest for Charles Belfoure’s HOUSE OF THIEVES --- which releases on September 15th --- continues. In this compelling drama, Belfoure takes readers to New York City’s Gilded Age, where architect John Cross has found himself in some trouble. Devoted to preserving the family name, Cross is furious when his son racks up an incredible gambling debt. Forced to bargain with Kent, the city’s most infamous criminal, Cross finds himself using his architectural knowledge to help Kent rob the homes of his friends. But as his exploits begin to garner police attention, Cross must fight to protect his family. There is still time to enter to win one of 75 advance copies of HOUSE OF THIEVES. Please note that entry in our Sneak Peek contests is a serious commitment, so please only enter if you absolutely can read the book and share your comments about it by Friday, August 21st. To enter, please fill out this form by Thursday, July 9th at noon ET.

Our previous Sneak Peek for Linwood Barclay's BROKEN PROMISE was a huge success with readers. We are VERY excited about this book, which will be in stores on July 28th. The contest ran in June, and the comments are now in. You can see those here.

Summer is also a terrific time to catch up on your favorite books as they hit the big screen, so to get you ready, we’ve prepared our Books on Screen bookshelf featuring June through December releases. Although you’re probably already familiar with some of these movies, such as Jurassic World, our bookshelf also features other highly anticipated films, such as Gillian Flynn’s second movie adaptation, Dark Places, and autumn’s Everest, based on several books about the 1996 Everest tragedy. Whether you’re looking for high-tech thrills or new iterations of classic stories, you’re sure to find something exciting in our latest bookshelf.

Meanwhile, our Summer Reading contests are still going strong. Because of the long holiday weekend, we gave away just one book this week: FLAME TREE ROAD by Shona Patel, which we also review here. Next week, we’re back to giving away four books: FAST SHUFFLE by David Black, THE FLYING CIRCUS by Susan Crandall, LUCKY US by Amy Bloom and PRETTY IS by Maggie Mitchell. Check back Monday, July 6th at noon ET for the next 24-hour giveaway.

In our staff meeting this week, we were talking about THE BOOK OF SPECULATION by Erika Swyler --- which we reviewed last week and featured as a Summer Reading contest book a couple of weeks ago. Our intern, Isabel DaSilva, is reading it now, and I asked her to share some interesting background she found on the story: “THE BOOK OF SPECULATION is a book about a book. In the midst of reading --- and thoroughly enjoying --- it, I found Swyler's Tumblr page. There, she had a series of posts in which she describes her process of creating numerous hand-made manuscripts. Calling it ‘Adventures in Making a Fake Old Book,’ Swyler takes readers through her bookmaking process, from the aging of the paper to the creation of sketches that now appear in the printed books to the way she hand-bound and gilded the covers, all of which she then sent out to publishers when she was pitching the story."

Isabel also discovered this contest where “her publisher is giving away copies of her hand-made manuscripts of THE BOOK OF SPECULATION to three lucky readers on July 24th --- a portentous date known in her book as 'Drowning Day' because of the (not-so-happy) fates that await the characters. Through her unique creation of these manuscripts and by gifting them to her readers, Swyler has taken her message from THE BOOK OF SPECULATION about the power of passing along books and is making it a reality.” I also found a lovely opinion piece in the New York Times by Erika here where she talks about her mother’s shoes.

I’d like to remind you about our Audiobooks.com contest that we announced in last week’s newsletter. From now until Friday, July 17th at noon ET, we’re giving away five three-month subscriptions to Audiobooks.com, a site that allows readers to download books straight from their app, making the process easy and efficient.

Click here to learn more about Audiobooks.com, which I have been using and enjoying --- this is a great time to start a free one-month trial. Wouldn’t that be perfect for some holiday weekend listening? Just click here to get started. Trust me, it is VERY easy to do! Then enter for your chance to win OUR contest here. And if you win our contest, you will be bonused three extra months. Win-win!

While we’re on the subject of audiobooks, we encourage you to participate in our new “Sounding Off on Audio” feature, which we like to think of as “Word of Mouth” for audiobooks. Let us know what audiobooks you’ve listened to, along with comments about both the audio performance and the content of the story, and a rating of 1 to 5 stars, by next Friday, July 10th at noon ET. Three winners will be randomly chosen to receive either a digital version or CD of both IN THE UNLIKELY EVENT by Judy Blume, narrated by Kathleen McInerney, and THE WRIGHT BROTHERS by David McCullough, narrated by the author. I cannot wait to share the first round of comments next week.

Speaking of Word of Mouth, you also have until Friday, July 10th at noon ET to let us know what books you’ve finished reading, and you’ll be in the running to win the aforementioned THE ENGLISH SPY by Daniel Silva, along with DEXTER IS DEAD by Jeff Lindsay and THE IDEA OF LOVE by Patti Callahan Henry.

And don’t forget to take our current poll, which also closes on Friday, July 10th at noon ET. Are you planning to read Harper Lee’s GO SET A WATCHMAN, which releases on July 14th? If so, will you read (or re-read) TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD? Click here to let us know!

News and Pop Culture:

Harper Lee: As we count down the days to the release of GO SET A WATCHMAN, we’ve learned that a newly updated version of Mary McDonagh Murphy’s 2012 documentary,
Harper Lee: Hey, Boo, will air Friday, July 10th on PBS (check local listings). You can see a preview here.

And More Harper Lee News: Who starred as Scout in the 1962 movie version of To Kill a Mockingbird? We all can picture her, but what was her name? Mary Badham. She was nominated for an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress at age 10. To celebrate the release of GO SET A WATCHMAN, she will read from both TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD and GO SET A WATCHMAN at 92nd Street Y's Poetry Center in Manhattan on July 14th at 7:30 pm. Tickets are $24. Not in New York and want to watch? Note that the livestream will be here.

Snoopy as a Spokesperson: Love Snoopy? Then read here about his latest role --- encouraging literacy!

Everest on "Dateline": Last week, I talked about how much I enjoyed AFTER THE WIND by Lou Kasischke. On Sunday night, "Dateline" aired an hourlong piece about the avalanches that happened on Everest following the earthquake in Nepal and what it meant for climbers on the mountain. It was wonderfully done. You can watch some of it here.

Glen Campbell: I missed CNN’s telecast "Glen Campbell: I’ll Be Me" on Sunday night where it shattered all kinds of records. If you missed it as well, note that HLN will encore the documentary this Friday at 8pm ET, and the film will encore on CNN/U.S. on Saturday, July 4th at 9pm ET.

"Nurse Jackie": I loved the finale last week. It kept us all wondering, which I thought was perfect. One of our readers, Judy, and I had a lively exchange about this. I found a few articles for those of you who are pondering the finale as well. You can read one here, and an interview with Merritt Wever, who fans know as Zoey, here. Alternate endings had been proposed by the writers/producers. See those here and here.

The Hunger Games: The Exhibition: Nice piece in USA Today about an exhibition that opened this week in New York City at Discovery Times Square. It will be open for six months and features the costumes, props and set memorabilia from the book and movie.

This weekend will be about barbecues, reading, knitting, and kicking it back a big notch. No parades or fireworks in town. I am not much of a drinker, but last week I created a cucumber jalapeno margarita that was amazing! Before you ask, the recipe is here. My husband also bought me Skinny Girl Mojito; supposedly it is all I need chilled in a bottle. Will try it out. And yes, there is a lime thing going on here. Lime goes with turquoise.

Next week will be B-U-S-Y. ThrillerFest, the thriller authors’ conference, is in town, and there will be lots of catching up with some of our favorite authors who will be on hand for the event. Nelson DeMille is being honored as the ThrillerMaster, and Greg Iles, Charlaine Harris and Mark Billingham are Thriller Spotlight Guests. Kathy Reichs is the recipient of the Silver Bullet. On Saturday, I will zip from the Random House “Off the Page” event into the city for the Thriller Awards banquet dinner, where the nominees are listed here. I am skipping San Diego Comic-Con this year as it also is next week; I just could not figure out a way to clone!

Here’s to a wonderful, long weekend for all of you…read on…

Carol Fitzgerald (Carol@bookreporter.com)

P.S. For those of you who shop online, 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 ENGLISH SPY by Daniel Silva
THE ENGLISH SPY by Daniel Silva (Thriller/Adventure)
She is an iconic member of the British Royal Family, beloved for her beauty and charitable works, resented by her former husband and his mother, the Queen of England. But when a bomb explodes aboard her holiday yacht, British intelligence turns to one man to track down her killer: legendary spy and assassin Gabriel Allon. Gabriel's target is Eamon Quinn, a master bomb maker and mercenary of death who sells his services to the highest bidder. Reviewed by Kate Ayers.

-Click here to read more about the book.
-Click here to read an excerpt.
 
Click here to read a review.
Now in Stores: THE MELODY LINGERS ON by Mary Higgins Clark
THE MELODY LINGERS ON by Mary Higgins Clark (Thriller)
As the sole assistant to a famous upscale interior designer, Lane Harmon is accustomed to visiting opulent homes. When called upon to assist in redecorating a modest townhouse in Bergen County, she learns the home belongs to the wife of notorious and disgraced financier Parker Bennett, who has been missing for two years. Gradually, Lane finds herself drawn to Eric, the Bennetts’ son, who is determined to prove that his father is not guilty. Lane doesn’t know that the closer she gets to the Bennetts, the more she puts her life --- and her daughter's life --- in jeopardy. Reviewed by Barbara Lipkien Gershenbaum.

-Click here to read more about the book.
Click here to read a review.
Now in Stores: THE COST OF COURAGE by Charles Kaiser
THE COST OF COURAGE by Charles Kaiser (History/Biography)
In the fall of 1943, André Boulloche became de Gaulle’s military delegate in Paris, coordinating all the Resistance movements in the nine northern regions of France only to be betrayed by one of his associates, arrested, wounded by the Gestapo, and taken prisoner. His parents and oldest brother were arrested and shipped off on the last train from Paris to Germany before the liberation, and died in the camps. This is the first time the Boulloche family has cooperated with an author to recount their extraordinary ordeal. Reviewed by Stuart Shiffman.

-Click here to read more about the book.
-Click here to read an excerpt.
 
Click here to read a review.
Sneak Peek Contest: Win an Advance Copy of HOUSE OF THIEVES by Charles Belfoure and Share Your Comments On It
Our latest Sneak Peek Feature spotlights HOUSE OF THIEVES by Charles Belfoure, a novel that takes readers on a breathless journey from the wealthy halls of high society to the sewers of the criminal underworld during the Gilded Age in New York City. The book doesn’t release until September 15th, but we have 75 advance copies to give away to readers who can commit to previewing it and sharing their comments on it by Friday, August 21st. To enter, please fill out this form by Thursday, July 9th at noon ET.

For our Sneak Peek program, your commitment to participate is critical, so please only enter this contest if you truly will have time to read HOUSE OF THIEVES and give us your feedback by Friday, August 21st. We take these project deadlines seriously. If you cannot commit, don’t worry…we will have more opportunities like this in the future.

HOUSE OF THIEVES by Charles Belfoure (Historical Fiction)
John Cross only cares about two things: becoming the most prominent society architect in New York and upholding his family’s spotless reputation. His entire life changes the day he discovers that his oldest son, George, has racked up an unfathomable gambling debt to Kent, the city’s most notorious criminal mastermind. Desperate to save his son’s life and uphold his family’s good name, he uses his architectural knowledge to help Kent and his gang of thieves pillage the homes of his friends and clients until the debt is paid in full.

When his exploits catch the attention of detectives, John realizes that it’s only a matter of time before they find out that he’s the culprit. With the cops breathing down his neck and Kent refusing to let him off the hook, John realizes that if he’s not careful, his entire life --- and his family’s --- will come crashing down.

-Click here to read an excerpt.
-Click here to read Charles Belfoure’s bio.
-Click here to visit Charles Belfoure’s official website.
-Connect with Charles Belfoure on Facebook and Twitter.
 
Click here to read more in our Sneak Peek feature and enter the contest.
Now in Stores: CHINA RICH GIRLFRIEND by Kevin Kwan
CHINA RICH GIRLFRIEND by Kevin Kwan (Fiction)
On the eve of her wedding to Nicholas Young, heir to one of the greatest fortunes in Asia, Rachel should be over the moon. But she still mourns the fact that her birthfather, a man she never knew, won't be able to walk her down the aisle. Until a shocking revelation draws Rachel into a world of Shanghai splendor beyond anything she has ever imagined. Meanwhile, Singapore's It Girl, Astrid Leong, is shocked to discover that there is a downside to having a newly minted tech billionaire husband. Reviewed by Amie Taylor.

-Click here to read more about the book.
 
Click here to read a review.
Now in Stores: BUM RAP by Paul Levine
BUM RAP by Paul Levine (Legal Thriller)
NFL linebacker-turned-lawyer Jake Lassiter has had it with shifty clients, dirty prosecutors and a legal system out of whack. It’s enough to make a man want to leave Miami and never look back --- until he gets a call from Victoria Lord, the better half of hot local legal team Solomon & Lord. Her partner in life and law has been arrested for murder. What’s worse: the only person who can clear him has fled the city. Now it’s up to Jake and Victoria to track down the witness before she’s roped in by the feds…or eliminated by the Russian mob. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

-Click here to read more about the book.
-Click here to read an excerpt.
-Click here to visit Paul Levine’s official website.
Click here to read a review.
Now in Stores: THE ASSASSINS by Gayle Lynds
THE ASSASSINS by Gayle Lynds (Thriller)
Former military spy Judd Ryder is walking to his D.C. home when he spots a man coming out of his row house who looks like him and is wearing his clothes. As Ryder slows to follow, the imposter is killed in a hit-and-run that's no accident. Was the man the intended victim, or was it Ryder himself? Soon Ryder learns that the key to the mysterious events of the past and to his double's murder is an infamous Cold War assassin, the Carnivore. Two of the last people to see the Carnivore were Ryder and CIA trainee Eva Blake, and someone is using them to lure him out. Reviewed by Ray Palen.

-Click here to read more about the book.
 
Click here to read a review.
Bookreporter.com Talks to John Gilstrap, Author of AGAINST ALL ENEMIES
John Gilstrap’s novels read like blockbuster movies, sort of a cross between Midnight Express and Black Hawk Down. Indeed, he has signed contracts for three screenplays. (More details here.) Gilstrap --- whose latest novel, AGAINST ALL ENEMIES, is his seventh thriller featuring hostage rescue specialist Jonathan Grave --- chats with Bookreporter.com’s Dean Murphy about the psyche of his protagonist, the craft of writing, his life as an author, and the power of the written word.

AGAINST ALL ENEMIES: A Jonathan Grave Thriller by John Gilstrap (Thriller)
Jonathan Grave finds it hard to believe that a fellow combat vet has gone rogue, killing American agents and leaking sensitive intel to hostile foreign interests. With black ops assassins on the trail of his old friend, Grave sets out to get to him first. He finds far more than he bargained for --- not only the wily operative, but evidence of a conspiracy so dangerous and far-reaching that an unthinkable tragedy is in motion. Grave and his elite team of specialists must expose a deadly high-level secret --- and do it in time to avert a catastrophe of historic proportions. Reviewed by L. Dean Murphy.

-Click here to read more about the book.
-Click here to read a review.
 
Click here to read our interview.
Bookreporter.com's Latest Bookshelf: Books on Screen to Anticipate the Rest of the Year
A few months ago, we brought you a roundup of the Books on Screen that released from January to May. Entertainment enthusiasts know that there's still plenty of films adapted from books to anticipate in 2015.

This summer alone has already brought us Jurassic World, and we're still looking forward to Dark Places and The Fantastic Four in August. When temperatures cool later in the year, we'll have Everest --- based on a number of books about the 1996 Everest tragedy, including Jon Krakauer's INTO THIN AIR and Lou Kasischke's memoir, AFTER THE WIND --- as well as a darkly intense iteration of Macbeth.

We can look forward to movies about men with high-tech gadgets (Spectre, Jobs), impressive literary pedigrees (Brooklyn, The Light Between Oceans, Victor Frankenstein) and forward-thinking social politics (The Danish Girl, Carol). Not to mention movies based on books with built-in, eager fan bases, like Room and The Martian.


Check out our bookshelf here for our top 20 titles hitting the big screen later this year, and be sure to keep up with our monthly Books on Screen feature for a more in-depth look at the adaptations we'll be watching in theaters and at home.
 
Click here for our bookshelf displaying our top 20 titles hitting the big screen later this year.
Bookreporter.com's Newest Feature: Sounding Off on Audio: Tell Us What You're Listening to --- and You Can Win Two Audiobooks!
Tell us your current audiobook listening recommendations with your comments and a rating of 1 to 5 stars for both the performance and the content. During the contest period from June 16th to July 10th, THREE lucky readers each will be randomly chosen to win the digital version or a CD of both IN THE UNLIKELY EVENT by Judy Blume, narrated by Kathleen McInerney, and THE WRIGHT BROTHERS by David McCullough, narrated by the author.

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.
 
Click here to enter the contest.
Bookreporter.com's Summer Reading Contests and Feature
Summer is finally here! At Bookreporter.com, 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 number of 24-hour contests for these titles on select days throughout the summer, 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, July 6th at noon ET.

This year's featured titles include:

Click here to read all the contest details and see our featured titles.
More Reviews This Week
THE FATEFUL LIGHTNING: A Novel of the Civil War by Jeff Shaara (Historical Fiction)
In the concluding novel of his epic Civil War tetralogy that began with A BLAZE OF GLORY and continued in A CHAIN OF THUNDER and THE SMOKE AT DAWN, Jeff Shaara tells the dramatic story of the final eight months of battle from multiple perspectives: the commanders in their tents making plans for total victory, as well as the ordinary foot soldiers and cavalrymen who carried out their orders until the last alarum sounded. Reviewed by Stephen Hubbard.

-Click here to read an excerpt.

THE SANTANGELOS by Jackie Collins (Fiction)
A vicious hit. A vengeful enemy. A drug-addled Colombian club owner. A sex-crazed Italian family. And the ever-powerful Lucky Santangelo has to deal with them all, while teenage daughter Max is becoming The "It" girl in Europe's modeling world. And her Kennedyesque son, Bobby, is being set up for a murder he didn't commit. But Lucky can deal. Always strong and unpredictable with her husband, Lennie, by her side, she lives up to the family motto: Never cross a Santangelo. Reviewed by Hillary Wagy.

VIXEN: A Nameless Detective Novel by Bill Pronzini (Mystery)
When Nameless is hired by Cory Beckett, a beautiful young woman who claims to be a model, to find her missing brother, Kenneth, it seems to be a routine matter. Kenneth has fled San Francisco in a drug-induced panic to avoid trial on a charge of stealing a valuable necklace from the alcoholic wife of the man for whom he works, wealthy yachtsman Andrew Vorhees. When agency operative Jake Runyon locates and questions the frightened young man, Cory's motives come into question and the case takes on darkly sinister complexities. Reviewed by Tom Callahan.

ENCHANTED AUGUST by Brenda Bowen (Fiction)
Lottie Wilkinson, Rose Arbuthnot, Caroline Dester and Beverly Fisher each decide to take a break from their current lives to spend time at Hopewell Cottage, an old, pretty cottage on a small island. When they arrive, they are transformed by the salt air, the breathtaking views, and the long, lazy days. Gradually, the ladies begin to open up: to one another and to the possibilities of lives quite different from the ones they’ve been leading. Change can’t be that hard, can it? Reviewed by Jana Siciliano.

-Click here to read an excerpt.

FLAME TREE ROAD by Shona Patel (Historical Fiction)
1870s India. In a tiny village where society is ruled by a caste system and women are defined solely by marriage, young Biren Roy dreams of forging a new destiny. When his mother suffers the fate of widowhood, Biren devotes his life to effecting change. Just when his vision for the future begins to look hopeless, he meets Maya, the independent-minded daughter of a local educator, and his soul is reignited. It is in her love that Biren finally finds his home, and in her heart that he finds the hope for a new world. Reviewed by Roz Shea.

-Click here to read an excerpt.

ANA OF CALIFORNIA by Andi Teran (Fiction)
Fifteen-year-old orphan Ana Cortez has just blown her last chance with a foster family. It’s a group home next --- unless she agrees to leave East Los Angeles for a farm trainee program in Northern California. Despite being a fish out of water in this rural setting, Ana eventually comes to love Garber Farm. But when she inadvertently stirs up trouble in town, Ana is afraid she might have ruined her last chance at finding a place to belong. Reviewed by Norah Piehl.

BOBBY WONDERFUL: An Imperfect Son Buries His Parents by Bob Morris (Memoir)
When he finds his parents approaching the end of their lives, Bob Morris begins to see his relationship to them in a whole new light, and it changes his way of thinking. How does an adult child with flaws and limitations figure out how to do his best for his ailing parents while still carrying on and enjoying his own life? And when their final days on earth come, how can he give them the best possible end? BOBBY WONDERFUL recounts two poignant deaths and one family's struggle to find the silver lining in them. Reviewed by Stephen Febick.

AS NIGHT FALLS by Jenny Milchman (Psychological Thriller)
In her isolated home in the shadowy woods, Sandy Tremont prepares dinner after a fight with her daughter, Ivy. Nearby, two desperate men on the run make their way through the fading light, bloodstained and determined to leave no loose ends or witnesses. After almost 20 years as prison cellmates, they have become a deadly team: Harlan the muscle, Nick the mind and will. Opening the door to the Tremont home, Nick brings not only a legacy of terror but a secret that threatens to drag Sandy with him into the darkness. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.
Our Latest Poll: Anticipating Harper Lee’s New Novel
Are you planning to read GO SET A WATCHMAN, a sequel (of sorts) to Harper Lee’s TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD, releasing July 14th?

  • Yes, as soon as it releases
  • Yes, sometime after it releases
  • No
  • Maybe

Are you planning to re-read TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD before you read GO SET A WATCHMAN?

  • Yes
  • No
  • That is a good idea!
  • I have not read TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD, but will do so before reading GO SET A WATCHMAN.
  • I have not read TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD and do not plan on doing so before reading GO SET A WATCHMAN.
  • I am not planning to read GO SET A WATCHMAN.
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 June 19th to July 10th, FIVE lucky readers each will be randomly chosen to win a copy of DEXTER IS DEAD by Jeff Lindsay, THE ENGLISH SPY by Daniel Silva, and THE IDEA OF LOVE by Patti Callahan Henry.

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.

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

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