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Weekly Update

September 12, 2014

Bookreporter.com Newsletter September 12, 2014
Temps are Chilling, and Reading is Heating Up
I am a huge fan of Jonathan Tropper, and I am looking forward to the adaptation of THIS IS WHERE I LEAVE YOU hitting theaters next Friday (I saw a preview of it at BEA, and it was such fun). Somewhere in my house is a copy, but since the fiction section of the Fitzgerald Family Library needs a cleanup, I cannot find the original copy. Of course, I may have loaned it out, and --- the horror of horrors for a booklover --- it was not returned. Thus I bought a new copy so my husband, Tom, could read it.

Saturdays for him start with the Times crossword puzzle and Sudoku, which occurs post-golf. Later, as he went to retrieve the book thinking he had left it on the kitchen counter, it was on the deck rail, and we had had a popup thunderstorm…a frog drowner. He brought the wet book inside with a plan to blow it dry if it did not dry on its own. By Sunday it was pronounced readable, and he was lost to conversation as he read on the patio. As I floated in the pool reading, I liked hearing his full guffaws and belly laughs knowing I was not alone in enjoying the humor of this book. He finished it in a day. Now we can plan to see the movie…I always like it when the book has been read first!

Speaking of films, all week I have been following the Toronto Film Festival as the film based on STILL ALICE by Lisa Genova starring Julianne Moore debuted there; I just saw the news that Sony Pictures Classics picked it up for distribution here in the U.S. While I have not seen a release date for it yet, they want it for Oscar season release. We will have more about this for you as news becomes available.

Why do I like to see books made to film, though for me the books typically are better? Because it gets more people exposed to the author…and to the power of storytelling through books. Hollywood turns to books for material again and again. Why? Because the writing and plots are thought through and developed. In many cases, there already is an audience who has proven a book works, and these days no one likes taking chances. These books have validation going in.

Speaking of advance thumbs up, I read two excellent books last week --- Genova’s upcoming INSIDE THE O’BRIENS (April 2015) and Lisa Unger’s CRAZY LOVE YOU (February 2015), but I am going to hold off on telling you more about them (except to note them as future Bookreporter.com Bets On selections) until next week as we have a HUGE lineup of just-released books this week, and I have read MANY of them and want them on your reading lists NOW. In the next few weeks, I am planning to start a new column called "Upcoming Bets On Titles," where I list upcoming books to note. We know many booksellers, librarians and book group readers read this site --- as well as you “über-readers” who start the buzz early!

And with that note…this week’s stellar lineup.

Ian McEwan, who many of you know for his bestseller, ATONEMENT, has released a new book, THE CHILDREN ACT. I see it as a bestseller for so many reasons. It follows High Court judge Fiona Maye as she presides over cases in the family court. Renowned for her intelligence and sensitivity, Fiona is facing private sorrows at home as her husband has expressed a desire to have an affair. At the same time, she is called on to try an urgent case: 17-year-old Adam is refusing medical treatment that could save his life. With his religious parents standing behind him, Fiona must decide if the secular court should overrule his faith. But when Fiona visits Adam in the hospital, their encounter sparks powerful new feelings for both of them. McEwan is spot-on in this book, which is why THE CHILDREN ACT is one of my latest Bets On picks. You can read my commentary here.

Michael Magras has our review and calls THE CHILDREN ACT “[McEwan's] best work since 2007’s ON CHESIL BEACH... Few authors have McEwan’s gift for unnerving readers with provocative plots. Abducted toddlers, mothers in cement, cancer-plagued teens --- he knows how to strike a nerve. In Fiona, McEwan has created a powerful portrait of a woman in turmoil, over her legal decisions as much as her marriage. And the cool precision of his writing adds to the effect.”

My second Bets On pick this week is FIVE DAYS LEFT, Julie Lawson Timmer’s heart-wrenching debut novel. Mara Nichols is a successful lawyer, devoted wife and adoptive mother who has received a life-shattering diagnosis. With her birthday approaching in just five short days, Mara has decided to end her life to spare her family her devastating end. Still, as her birthday gets closer, she begins to realize she is not so sure that she’s ready to die. Meanwhile, her online friend, Scott Coffman, has been fostering an eight-year-old boy while the boy’s mother serves a jail sentence. Now her sentence is nearly up, and Scott must prepare to say goodbye to the boy he has come to love as a son. With the days counting down, Mara and Scott must decide how much they’re willing to sacrifice for the ones they love. You can see more of what I had to say about this here.

According to reviewer Terry Miller Shannon, “FIVE DAYS LEFT boasts a unique plot, which is sure to be thought-provoking as readers ponder Mara’s (especially) and Scott’s predicaments. Mara’s disease process feels true-to-life and utterly real, and her unbearable choice undoubtedly will wring readers’ hearts…. I am quite impressed with Julie Lawson Timmer’s debut novel and look forward to reading future books from this promising new literary voice.”

Set during the collapse of civilization, STATION ELEVEN by Emily St. John Mandel tells the story of five people connected by strange twists of fate. Beginning with the on-stage death of Arthur Leander, a famous actor, the novel follows the onset of an epidemic that wipes out nearly 100 percent of the world’s population. Rushing to administer care to Arthur is EMT Jeevan Chaudhary, a man who later barricades himself in a high-rise apartment to escape the outbreak. Fifteen years later, we meet Kirsten Raymonde, a former child actress who played Arthur’s daughter. Kirsten is now an actress with a troupe that moves between the settlements of the post-apocalyptic world performing for scattered groups of survivors. But when they arrive in St. Deborah by the Water, they encounter a violent prophet who digs graves for anyone who dares to leave.

Reviewer Norah Piehl calls STATION ELEVEN “brilliant” and adds, “STATION ELEVEN is about what is worth preserving --- whether artifacts, relationships, memories or culture --- and makes a passionate argument for recognizing the fragility of human civilization and treasuring even something as humble as a snow globe or as ethereal as a symphony or play.” I had the pleasure of interviewing Emily during BookExpo America (BEA) as this is a BEA Buzz book. She did research into a number of things we take for granted, like gasoline to run cars, to see how this would be impacted in a global crisis. It made me think of the cars still running how many years later on "Walking Dead"!

For an adventurous and spirited view of the Civil War, try NEVERHOME. Written as a series of diary entries, Laird Hunt’s latest novel introduces readers to Ash Thompson, a soldier who is not at all who he --- or rather, she --- seems. Ash is a woman who has left her husband behind on their family farm to join the cause. As we follow her through bloodshed, hysteria and heartbreak, she takes on the roles of hero, folk legend and traitor to the American cause. Told in a fresh and clear voice, Ash’s journey will pull at your heartstrings as you wonder why her husband could not join the battle. I was lucky enough to also interview Laird at BEA as this too is a BEA Buzz title, and he shared that there were thousands of women disguised as men during the Civil War. This was the last war where such a thing was possible as it’s the final time that physical exams were not done on soldiers.

Reviewer Jana Siciliano says of NEVERHOME, “The emotional wallop that it packs, through the simple diary-like telling of the day-to-day struggles of this exceptional young lady, makes Laird Hunt’s latest novel a haunting and lyrical literary set piece… a beautifully and carefully written narrative that gives an air of mystery and intrigue to an otherwise overdone period of history.” There has been lots of chatter that this measures up well against COLD MOUNTAIN, praise I agree it deserves.

Also available this week is Maureen Corrigan’s SO WE READ ON: How The Great Gatsby Came to Be and Why It Endures, a study of one of the world’s most read books. Written nearly a century ago by a man who died believing himself a failure, THE GREAT GATSBY is now a revered classic. While many of us have read it, Corrigan argues that we have missed what makes it so unusual and encourages readers to re-experience its greatness. She invites readers into archives, high school classrooms, and even out onto the Long Island Sound to explore the novel's hidden depths, a journey chronicling Gatsby’s rocky path to recognition and its insightful commentaries on the themes of race, class and gender.

Stuart Shiffman reviews SO WE READ ON and praises the author for offering “readers wonderful insight into the life of its troubled author and some suggestions as to why readers seem to be 'borne back ceaselessly' into its thrall.... SO WE READ ON enriches THE GREAT GATSBY and those who read it.”

I wrote in an earlier newsletter how I got to talk to Maureen about this book. New York-area readers who join us at the Hachette Book Group's Book Club Brunch on October 18th will be able to hear Maureen talk about this book in her own words. Not in a book group? You can still join us. Maybe attending will give you the impetus to start your own group!

Our latest Paperback Spotlight title is FALLEN WOMEN, Sandra Dallas’s debut mystery that tells the story of two sisters, both born into one of New York’s wealthiest families in the late 19th century. Beret grows up to be one of the city’s most celebrated socialites, while Lillie becomes estranged, moving to Denver and sinking into obscurity. One day, Beret hears news that her sister is dead, murdered in the brothel in which she had been working. Shocked and confused, Beret leaves the comforts of New York to seek the truth about her sister’s life and death. I read this when it released in hardcover and was reminded what a wonderful storyteller Sandra is. Click here to read more about FALLEN WOMEN and Sandra in our Paperback Spotlight.

We’re so excited and honored to share a piece written exclusively for us by retired four-star General Tony Zinni, whose new book, BEFORE THE FIRST SHOTS ARE FIRED: How America Can Win or Lose Off the Battlefield (co-written with Tony Koltz), is now available. In this special feature, he discusses three books spotlighting three of his favorite generals --- George Washington, Ulysses S. Grant and George C. Marshall --- that he believes serve as best examples of particular military brilliance. According to the General, “They certainly were not leaders without flaws, but they knew their profession well and delivered victory because they clearly saw the path to victory and made key strategic decisions at critical times.” Click here to read the entire essay. Many thanks to General Zinni for his recommendations!

Our Fall Preview feature kicked off this week for a fourth year in a row! On select days this month and next, we will spotlight a different title and offer a 24-hour contest to win five copies of the book. We also will be sending a special newsletter to announce each day's title. You can sign up here to receive the Fall Preview newsletter. If you have problems signing up, please send a note to John@bookreporter.com and he will handle this for you. Next week we'll be giving away THE MATHEMATICIAN’S SHIVA by Stuart Rojstaczer; that giveaway will start Tuesday, September 16th at noon ET.

We’re happy to share a blog post from one of our readers, Elizabeth Eckhart, who tells us why the book-to-screen adaptation of Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander saga currently airing on Starz is doing a great job of "maintaining the integrity of the series," exceeding readers’ and viewers’ expectations alike. Read much more of her musings here. Many thanks to Elizabeth for taking the time to craft such an insightful piece.

Our current poll questions about your newspaper reading habits and the national newspapers that you may or may not read will be up for one more week. Click here to cast your votes!

Also continuing is our Word of Mouth contest. Let us know by Friday, September 19th at noon ET what books you’ve finished reading, and you’ll be in the running to win the aforementioned THE CHILDREN ACT by Ian McEwan, NEVERHOME by Laird Hunt and STATION ELEVEN by Emily St. John Mandel. What a great troika of reading!

Our ReadingGroupGuides.com site receives tons of "Request a Guide" notes on a daily basis, but we've noticed that the absolute most popular book you'd like discussion questions for is Donna Tartt's Pulitzer Prize-winning bestseller, THE GOLDFINCH. There is currently no guide available for the 700-plus page-turner, but that doesn't mean we can't come up with our own book group discussion questions. So here is our official call to help create an **unofficial** guide for THE GOLDFINCH. IF you have read the book, please send us questions you think would spark a lively group discussion --- or, as the case may be, DID spark a lively discussion among the members of your own group. You can submit as many questions as you like, but please make sure to submit discussion questions --- as in questions that would spark lively conversation, NOT questions for the author. The deadline for entries is Friday, October 31st at noon ET. You can enter your question(s) here. We’re looking forward to seeing what YOU would want to discuss.

I’d like to point out a special contest on another site in our network, 20SomethingReads.com, that is winding down soon. We have 50 copies of Charlee Fam’s debut novel, LAST TRAIN TO BABYLON, to give away to readers who would like to read the book, which releases on October 28th, and share their comments about it. Winners will be asked to read the book and answer a set of questions about it by Friday, October 17th. The deadline for entries is Thursday, September 18th at noon ET.

The shortlist for this year’s Man Booker Prize was announced this week, and you can see the six finalists here. The winner will be announced on October 14th.

I love going to author events, and thus I was thrilled to learn that a town near me in New Jersey, Morristown, is holding the Morristown Festival of Books on the evening of September 26th and the day on September 27th. I am looking forward to attending, and if you live in the area and are going to be there, let me know. Ishmael Beah, Dorothea Benton Frank, Caroline Leavitt and Martha Woodruff are among the expected guests. I have heard from a few of you that you will be there, and I am hoping that more of you attend. So nice that there is a book festival this close to home. Full details are here.

Tom and I are headed to Cape May today for the afternoon wedding of our friends, Donal and Susan. Then we are spending tonight and tomorrow with our friends Beverley and Don at their new home in Cape May Court House. I'm back home Sunday to relax before the work week commences; the pace has picked up post-Labor Day, and I need time to rest up! The falling temperatures spurred us to order a solar cover for the pool, which has an odd shape. Thus we have two circles on order, which we will overlap. See how geometry comes in handy beyond the classroom?

Great audiobook listening this week. Greg and I commuted into the city with Truman Capote’s BREAKFAST AT TIFFANY'S on the car’s CD player; it’s narrated by Michael C. Hall, who many of you may know as Dexter on the Showtime series of the same name. I confess we were halfway through the first disc before I recognized this. Not sure I ever read the novella. And yes, I want to watch the movie again. Note that Holly’s blondness is referred to again and again in the story; as I am a brunette, it's lovely to see that Audrey Hepburn had the role.

Next up, we are in the middle of David Sedaris’s LET’S EXPLORE DIABETES WITH OWLS. While my friend Annie has been touting his work to me for years, I have not read him yet. (Note: I always announce that I have not read a book or an author with great guilt.) I had dinner one night with his sister, Amy, and she was fabulous. I have watched her television appearances more than once, but somehow David is a new find for me. He narrates, and Greg and I laughed non-stop, sitting in the garage to grab a few more minutes of listening. We agreed that we did not love the first piece, but from then on, we were completely engaged and consumed with laughter. Driving to the beach today, I re-listened to the first disc with Tom. I was watching his face, looking for his reaction to the jokes we had loved; he did not let me down. It’s seven hours, which means we will have lots more fun listening to brighten the commute next week.

Read on…there are lots and lots of great books out there --- and here’s to a great week.

Carol Fitzgerald (Carol@bookreporter.com)
Now in Stores: THE CHILDREN ACT by Ian McEwan
THE CHILDREN ACT by Ian McEwan (Fiction)
Two days after her husband of 30 years tells her he plans to have an affair, Fiona Maye, a High Court judge who regrets her childlessness, must decide whether or not to grant a hospital’s emergency request to give a blood transfusion to a 17-year-old boy dying of leukemia. He and his parents are Jehovah’s Witnesses who have refused the treatment on religious grounds. McEwan’s latest novel is a powerful reminder that one’s actions often have unforeseen repercussions. Reviewed by Michael Magras.

-Click here to read more about the book.
-Click here to read an excerpt.
-Click here to see why we're betting you'll love this book.
 
Click here to read a review.
Now in Stores: STATION ELEVEN by Emily St. John Mandel
STATION ELEVEN by Emily St. John Mandel (Post-Apocalyptic Fiction)
One snowy night, a famous Hollywood actor slumps over and dies onstage during a production of King Lear. Hours later, the world as we know it begins to dissolve. STATION ELEVEN charts the strange twists of fate that connect five people: the actor, the man who tried to save him, the actor's first wife, his oldest friend, and a young actress with the Traveling Symphony, caught in the crosshairs of a dangerous self-proclaimed prophet. Reviewed by Norah Piehl.

-Click here to read more about the book.
-Click here to read an excerpt.
 
Click here to read a review.
Now in Stores: FIVE DAYS LEFT by Julie Lawson Timmer
FIVE DAYS LEFT by Julie Lawson Timmer (Fiction)
The lives of two people will forever change in five days. Minutes, hours and days tick by with ominous urgency. Mara Nichols is determined to control her future after a devastating medical diagnosis, but she faces an impossible decision. Meanwhile, her online friend, Scott Coffman, is helplessly suffering the impending loss of a young foster child he loves. Reviewed by Terry Miller Shannon.

-Click here to read more about the book.
-Click here to read an excerpt.
-Click here to see why we're betting you'll love this book.

 
Click here to read a review.
Now in Stores: NEVERHOME by Laird Hunt
NEVERHOME by Laird Hunt (Historical Fiction)
She calls herself Ash, but that's not her real name. She is a farmer's faithful wife, but has left her husband to don the uniform of a Union soldier in the Civil War. NEVERHOME is a novel that tells the harrowing story of Ash Thompson during the battle for the South. Through bloodshed, hysteria and heartbreak, she becomes a hero, a folk legend, a madwoman and a traitor to the American cause. Reviewed by Jana Siciliano.

-Click here to read more about the book.
-Click here to read an excerpt.
 
Click here to read a review.
New Paperback Spotlight: FALLEN WOMEN by Sandra Dallas
FALLEN WOMEN by Sandra Dallas (Historical Mystery)
It is the spring of 1885, and wealthy New York socialite Beret Osmundsen has been estranged from her younger sister, Lillie, for a year when she gets word from her aunt and uncle that Lillie has died suddenly in Denver. What they do not tell her is that Lillie had become a prostitute and was brutally murdered in the brothel where she had been living. When Beret discovers the sordid truth of Lillie’s death, she makes her way to Denver, determined to find her sister’s murderer.

Detective Mick McCauley may not want her involved in the case, but Beret is determined, and the investigation soon takes her from the dangerous, seedy underworld of Denver’s tenderloin to the highest levels of Denver society. Along the way, Beret not only learns the depths of Lillie’s depravity, but also exposes the sinister side of Gilded Age ambition in the process.


-Click here to read a review.
-Click here to read an excerpt.
-Click here to read Sandra Dallas’s bio.
-Click here to visit Sandra Dallas’s official website.
-Click here to connect with Sandra Dallas on Facebook.
 
Click here to read more in our Paperback Spotlight.
Special Feature: Strategic Moments --- General Tony Zinni Recommends Three Books Highlighting the Military Brilliance of Three Generals
We are honored to share with you a wonderful essay written exclusively for us by retired four-star General Tony Zinni, whose new book, BEFORE THE FIRST SHOTS ARE FIRED: How America Can Win or Lose Off the Battlefield (co-written with Tony Koltz), is now available. In this special feature, he discusses three books spotlighting three of his favorite generals --- George Washington, Ulysses S. Grant and George C. Marshall --- that he believes serve as best examples of particular military brilliance. According to the General, “They certainly were not leaders without flaws, but they knew their profession well and delivered victory because they clearly saw the path to victory and made key strategic decisions at critical times.”
 
Click here to read General Tony Zinni's "Strategic Moments" feature.
Bookreporter.com’s Fall Preview Contests and Feature
Fall is known as the biggest season of the year for books. The titles that release during this latter part of the year often become holiday gifts, and many are blockbusters. To celebrate the arrival of fall, we are spotlighting a number of outstanding books that we know people will be talking about in the days and months to come.

We will be hosting a series of 24-hour contests for these titles on select days in September and October, so you will have to check the site each day to see the featured prize book and enter to win. We also will be 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 Tuesday, September 16th at noon ET.

This year's featured titles include:

Click here to read all the contest details and see our featured titles.
Now in Stores: FESTIVE IN DEATH by J. D. Robb
FESTIVE IN DEATH by J. D. Robb (Mystery)
Personal trainer Trey Ziegler was in peak physical condition. If you didn’t count the kitchen knife in his well-toned chest. Lieutenant Eve Dallas soon discovers a lineup of women who’d been loved and left by the narcissistic gym rat. While Dallas sorts through the list of Ziegler’s enemies, she’s also dealing with her Christmas shopping list --- plus the guest list for her and her billionaire husband’s upcoming holiday bash. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

-Click here to read more about the book.
 
Click here to read a review.
Now in Stores: THE MONOGRAM MURDERS by Sophie Hannah
THE MONOGRAM MURDERS: The New Hercule Poirot Mystery by Sophie Hannah (Historical Mystery)
For the first time ever, the guardians of Agatha Christie’s legacy have approved a brand-new novel featuring Dame Agatha's most beloved creation: Hercule Poirot. In THE MONOGRAM MURDERS, Poirot plunges into a mystery set in 1920s London --- a diabolically clever puzzle that will test his brilliant skills while baffling and delighting longtime Christie fans and new generations of readers discovering him for the first time. Reviewed by Ray Palen.

-Click here to read more about the book.
 
Click here to read a review.
Now in Stores: THE KING’S CURSE by Philippa Gregory
THE KING’S CURSE by Philippa Gregory (Historical Fiction)
Lady Margaret Pole is a woman whose family can claim rights to the English throne --- a fact that the current king wants hidden. Married off to a knight, Margaret becomes accustomed to hiding, not only herself but also her family name. When tragedy strikes and her world crumbles, she pulls herself out of poverty and finds a place back at court. Still, she never forgets those years of tyranny and what it cost her and her family. Reviewed by Amy Gwiazdowski.

-Click here to read more about the book.
-Click here to read an excerpt.
 
Click here to read a review.
Now in Stores: SO WE READ ON by Maureen Corrigan

SO WE READ ON: How The Great Gatsby Came to Be and Why It Endures by Maureen Corrigan (Literary Criticism)
Maureen Corrigan, the book critic for NPR's "Fresh Air," points out that, while THE GREAT GATSBY may be one of the most popular novels in America, many of us first read it when we were too young to fully comprehend its power. Offering a fresh perspective on what makes GATSBY so great and utterly unusual, SO WE READ ON takes us into archives, high school classrooms, and even out onto the Long Island Sound to explore the novel's hidden depths. Reviewed by Stuart Shiffman.

-Click here to read more about the book.

 

Click here to read a review.
More Reviews This Week
ROBERT B. PARKER’S BLIND SPOT: A Jesse Stone Novel by Reed Farrel Coleman (Mystery)
In Paradise, a young woman is found murdered, and her boyfriend --- a son of one of the town’s most prominent families --- is missing and presumed kidnapped. Though seemingly coincidental, there is a connection between a reunion of Jesse Stone’s old Triple-A team in New York City and the crimes back in Paradise. As Jesse, Molly and Suit hunt for the killer and for the missing son, it becomes clear that one of Jesse’s old teammates is intimately involved in the crimes. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

THE DOG by Joseph O'Neill (Fiction)
Distraught by a breakup with his long-term girlfriend, the hero of Joseph O'Neill's latest novel leaves New York to take an unusual job in a strange desert metropolis. In a Dubai at the height of its self-invention as a futuristic Shangri-La, he struggles with his new position as the "family officer" of the capricious and very rich Batros family. And he struggles, even more helplessly, with the "doghouse," a seemingly inescapable condition of culpability in which he feels himself constantly trapped. Reviewed by Harvey Freedenberg.

LOVELY, DARK, DEEP: Stories by Joyce Carol Oates (Fiction/Short Stories)
LOVELY, DARK, DEEP is a collection of 10 mesmerizing stories from Joyce Carol Oates that maps the eerie darkness within us all. Fearful that her husband is “disappearing” from their life, a woman becomes obsessed with keeping him in her sight in “The Disappearing.” “A Book of Martyrs” reveals how the end of a pregnancy brings with it the end of a relationship. And in the title story, the elderly Robert Frost is visited by an interviewer, an unsettling young woman, who seems to know a good deal more about his life than she should. Reviewed by L. Whitney Richardson.

THE ORGANIZED MIND: Thinking Straight in the Age of Information Overload by Daniel J. Levitin (Cognitive Psychology)
The information age is drowning us with an unprecedented deluge of data. At the same time, we’re expected to make more --- and faster --- decisions about our lives than ever before. But somehow some people become quite accomplished at managing information flow. In THE ORGANIZED MIND, Daniel J. Levitin, PhD, uses the latest brain science to demonstrate how those people excel --- and how readers can use their methods to regain a sense of mastery over the way they organize their homes, workplaces and time. Reviewed by Barbara Bamberger Scott.

AN ITALIAN WIFE by Ann Hood (Historical Fiction)
AN ITALIAN WIFE begins in turn-of-the-century Italy, when 14-year-old Josephine Rimaldi is forced into an arranged marriage to a man she doesn't know or love who is about to depart for America, where she later joins him. Bound by tradition, Josephine gives birth to seven children. The last, Valentina, is conceived in passion, born in secret and given up for adoption. Josephine spends the rest of her life searching for her lost child, keeping her secret even as her other children go off to war, get married and make their own mistakes. Reviewed by Rebecca Munro.

HEROES ARE MY WEAKNESS by Susan Elizabeth Phillips (Romance)
He’s a reclusive writer whose macabre imagination creates chilling horror novels. She’s a down-on-her-luck actress reduced to staging kids’ puppet shows. He knows a dozen ways to kill with his bare hands. She knows a dozen ways to kill with laughs. But she’s not laughing now. When she was a teenager, he terrified her. Now they’re trapped together on a snowy island off the coast of Maine. Is he the villain she remembers, or has he changed? Her head says no. Her heart says yes. It’s going to be a long, hot winter. Reviewed by Donna Smallwood.

STRANGE SHORES: An Inspector Erlendur Novel by Arnaldur Indridason (Mystery)
A young woman who has disappeared has left in her wake a tempest of lies, betrayal and revenge. Decades later, somewhere in the same wilderness, Detective Erlendur is on the hunt. He is looking for the missing woman but also for his long-lost brother, whose disappearance in a snowstorm when they were children has colored his entire life. Slowly, the past begins to surrender its secrets. But as Erlendur uncovers a story about the limits of human endurance, he realizes that many people would prefer their crimes to stay buried. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

PRINCE HARRY: Brother, Soldier, Son by Penny Junor (Biography)
Prince Harry, one of the most popular members of the British royal family, has had a colorful life. After losing his mother at 12 years old, he spent his teenage years making questionable choices under intense international media scrutiny. As he's grown, he has distinguished himself through military service, flying helicopters for the RAF. As he reaches his 30th birthday, Prince Harry is proving himself a prince of the people. Reviewed by Carole Turner.

INTERNATIONAL NIGHT: A Father and Daughter Cook Their Way Around the World by Mark Kurlansky and Talia Kurlanksy (Memoir)
Once a week in the Kurlansky home, Mark spins a globe and wherever his daughter's finger lands becomes the theme of that Friday night's dinner. Their tradition of International Night has afforded Mark an opportunity to share with Talia the recipes, stories and insights he has collected over more than 30 years of traveling the world writing about food, culture and history, and his charming pen-and-ink drawings, which appear throughout the book. Reviewed by Pauline Finch.
Our Latest Poll: Your Newspaper Reading Habits
Which of the following best describes your newspaper reading habits?

I only read print newspapers.
I only read digital newspapers.
I read both print and digital newspapers.
I do not read newspapers.

Which of the following national newspapers do you read? Please check as many as apply.

The New York Times (print)
The New York Times (digital)
The New York Times (print and digital)
The Wall Street Journal (print)
The Wall Street Journal (digital)
The Wall Street Journal (print and digital)
USA Today (print)
USA Today (digital)
USA Today (print and digital)
I do not read these national newspapers.
 
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 September 5th to September 19th, FIVE lucky readers each will be randomly chosen to win a copy of THE CHILDREN ACT by Ian McEwan, NEVERHOME by Laird Hunt and STATION ELEVEN by Emily St. John Mandel.

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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