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Weekly Update

July 25, 2014

Bookreporter.com Newsletter July 25, 2014
It’s the Little Things…

One of the joys of summer is late nights in the pool. Last Friday night, I spent a lovely evening floating around the pool while chatting with Tom and the boys; it was one of those evenings where not much happens, but a memory is made that we will look back on and talk about --- the night we all hung out in the pool until midnight. I love moments like that; they are the ones I replay in my head over and over. The little things away from the routine that are my “ah” moments.

On Sunday, I lounged and read the new Ian McEwan book, THE CHILDREN ACT, which will be coming out on September 9th. It’s a slim novel, just 240 pages, but I found myself slowing to read and re-read paragraphs as I was absorbed in the language and the beauty of the writing as much as I was in the story. In it, Fiona Maye is a High Court judge in London presiding over cases in family court. She approaches the families that she works with, giving strong thought to her sensitivities to culture and religion as well as the law. As I read, I found myself thinking more about the pressure on our own judges and justices. One particular case grabs her and stays with her even after her decision is made. At the same time, she is grappling with issues in her own marriage, which give her pause to think not just about the future, but also about the past. I can see this being hugely popular with book groups as there is so much to discuss.

This week, we have spent a lot of time brainstorming new features in the office. We know our staff-sourced bookshelves have been popular on all our sites. This week, we add a bookshelf with books that have film adaptations set to be released before the year’s end so you can read the book before you see the movie. It includes some highly anticipated titles like GONE GIRL and MOCKINGJAY, as well as some lesser known but equally exciting ones like THIS IS WHERE I LEAVE YOU and FOXCATCHER. Oh, and for those who are panting for the February 2015 release of the 50 Shades of Grey film, we share the trailer here without comment.

Speaking of books to movies, I continued to listen to UNBROKEN this week in anticipation of its December 25th release as a film. When it first came out, I read 100 pages and sadly had to put it aside to jam on reading for some projects. But those 100 pages stayed with me. My commute has been a lot more interesting this past week as I listen to Laura Hillenbrand’s brilliant writing about the amazing life of Louis Zamperini narrated by Edward Herrmann. The book has been a bestseller since it was published, and it releases in paperback on July 29th. An edition for young readers will be published this fall. We have a discussion guide here for those of you who are interested in exploring this amazing story with your book group or just reading the discussion questions to enhance your own reading experience (the latter I always find interesting).

Yesterday, on our latest stop in our quest to expand our audiobook coverage, Greg and I visited Audible.com’s offices in downtown Newark, New Jersey, for a meeting with Beth Anderson and some of the team there. Beth arranged for us to meet their producer, Mike Charzuk, and watch part of a recording session for the fantasy novel TRIAL BY FIRE by Charles Gannon, which was being performed (the correct term for a narrator) by Kevin Pariseau, an accomplished stage actor who has appeared on Broadway and off-Broadway, as well as on television and in film. While the Engineer/Director Tim Warner ran the sound board, Greg and I got a glimpse into the behind-the-scenes production. We both enjoyed seeing the details that go into making one of these recordings. One tiny sniff or cough, and there is an edit to be marked.

My husband was off on a business trip to the Midwest this week with a lot of drive time, so he listened to AMERICAN CATCH by Paul Greenberg. Tom is great at remembering and sharing facts, thus hearing him talk about this book was interesting. Here’s one line that may surprise you that I picked up from their "about the book" copy as I could not remember exactly what he said: “In 2005, the United States imported five billion pounds of seafood, nearly double what we imported twenty years earlier. Bizarrely, during that same period, our seafood exports quadrupled. AMERICAN CATCH examines New York oysters, Gulf shrimp, and Alaskan salmon to reveal how it came to be that 91 percent of the seafood Americans eat is foreign.” Wild, right?

Another big publication week to share with you…

This week, we launch a special contest for Garth Stein’s ghostly coming-of-age story, A SUDDEN LIGHT, which releases on September 30th. (You remember Garth from his mega-bestselling THE ART OF RACING IN THE RAIN.) It’s the summer of 1990 when 14-year-old Trevor Riddell visits his family’s legendary mansion, Riddell House. His parents are currently bankrupt and testing out a trial separation, and it is up to Trevor to help his family dispatch Grandpa Samuel to a graduated living facility so they can sell Riddell House and live happily ever after. But there’s just one problem --- a ghost in Riddell House is burdened with fulfilling Elijah Riddell’s last wish: allowing the estate to return to untamed forest as penance for the millions of trees harvested over the decades. I am about 100 pages into this one and feeling new love for the trees around me as I read. We’re giving 25 readers the chance to win a copy of A SUDDEN LIGHT and comment on it. To enter, please fill out this form by Thursday, August 7th at noon ET.

Our latest Women’s Fiction Author Spotlight author is Martha Woodroof, whose debut novel, SMALL BLESSINGS, will be available on August 12th. Tom Putnam, a small-town college professor, divides his days between browsing the campus bookstore and caring for his neurotic shut-in wife, Marjory. He is shocked when Marjory befriends the bookstore’s charismatic new employee, Rose Callahan. Sensing that change is on the horizon, Tom returns home to a letter from a former mistress, informing him that their affair resulted in a son --- and that the now-10-year-old boy is on his way to meet him. I look forward to reading this one! We’re giving 25 readers the opportunity to win a copy of SMALL BLESSINGS and comment on it. To enter, please fill out this form by Thursday, August 7th at noon ET.

Drawing on extensive research and humorous personal anecdotes, Piers Dudgeon has published MAEVE BINCHY, a biography of the late beloved novelist. Here, he exposes Binchy’s difficult adolescence in Ireland that served as inspiration for her stories and discusses her famous loss of faith following a trip to Israel. It was not until Binchy could accept herself that she could become the compassionate, humble and clever figure she is remembered as today. These qualities would come to define Binchy both as a writer and as a person, and are celebrated in this biography. Reviewer Barbara Bamberger Scott says, “Dudgeon has cleverly woven the plots and people of Binchy’s books into her life story, drawing his own parallels between her stories and herself…. Dudgeon’s admiration for his subject is obvious, as is his wish to convey something of the broad scope of Binchy’s intellect, interests and remarkable ability to find grand symbols in small events.”

Last week, we posted our review of the hardcover edition of WAYFARING STRANGER, James Lee Burke’s latest novel. This week, we’re pleased to share with you Roz Shea’s review of the audiobook, which is performed by actor Will Patton, who currently stars in the TNT science fiction series “Falling Skies.” The audiobook was a winner for Roz, as she explains in her review: "Patton’s breathtaking portrayal of any of Burke’s memorable characters will keep you glued to the wheel of your car, help you escape the mind-numbing monotony of today’s air travel, or simply assist you in getting through a long, hot summer."

We also have a review of Lily King’s much-talked-about novel, EUPHORIA, courtesy of Jesse Kornbluth, who founded Bookreporter.com with me and went on to create and run HeadButler.com. English anthropologist Andrew Bankson has become increasingly frustrated by his research and is on the verge of suicide when he meets Nell and Fen, a couple who have just fled a bloodthirsty tribe and are desperate for a new discovery. When Bankson finds them a new tribe nearby, he sparks an intellectual and romantic firestorm between the three of them that threatens their bonds, their careers --- and their lives. Jesse has this to say in his review: “[F]or most of the novel it’s as if you’re taking the most fascinating anthropology course ever taught --- and, after class, over drinks, the rule-breaker of a professor tells you what she’s been up to with her colleagues.”

As promised, we’re following up last week’s review of THE SPARK AND THE DRIVE, our One to Watch Author Spotlight title, with an interview that reviewer Bronwyn Miller conducted with Wayne Harrison. Click here to read their conversation, as Wayne talks about his inspiration for his debut novel, the origin of the book’s title, the process of developing his characters, and his life as a “gearhead.”

In this week’s Summer Reading Contests, we gave away THE ART OF ARRANGING FLOWERS by Lynne Branard, THE HIDDEN CHILD by Camilla Läckberg and LAY IT ON MY HEART by Angela Pneuman. Today’s giveaway for LOOKAWAY, LOOKAWAY by Wilton Barnhardt will be ending tomorrow (Saturday) at 11:59am ET. Please fill out this form to enter. Be on the lookout for next week’s contests, where we’ll be giving away THE FORTUNE HUNTER by Daisy Goodwin, THE GOOD GIRL by Mary Kubica, THE MAJOR'S DAUGHTER by J. P. Francis and THE PERFECT STRANGER by Wendy Corsi Staub. Click here to see all of our featured titles.

Are you signed up for our Summer Reading newsletter so you get word as soon as these contests go live? If not, click here to get signed up! Please note: If you signed up for the Summer Reading newsletter in the previous years we’ve done these contests, you don’t need to do so again…you already are signed up!

Our Women’s Fiction Author Spotlight contest for Joshilyn Jackson and her novel, SOMEONE ELSE’S LOVE STORY, continues. College student and mother Shandi Pierce may think her life is complicated enough, but that doesn’t stop the handsome William Ashe from stepping between a robber and her son during a stick-up. It may seem like the perfect fairy tale, but William has some demons of his own. In anticipation of its August 5th release in paperback, we’re giving 25 hopeful romantics the chance to win a copy of the book and comment on it. To enter, please fill out this form by Thursday, July 31st at noon ET.

We’ve updated our Young Adult Books You Want to Read feature, reviews we’ve posted recently on our Teenreads.com site that we think you’ll enjoy. This month’s selections are Carlos Ruiz Zafón’s new novel, MARINA, along with three riveting works of nonfiction: IDA M. TARBELL: The Woman Who Challenged Big Business --- and Won! by Emily Arnold McCully, WOMEN HEROES OF WORLD WAR I: 16 Remarkable Resisters, Soldiers, Spies, and Medics by Kathryn J. Atwood, and REPORTING UNDER FIRE: 16 Daring Women War Correspondents and Photojournalists by Kerrie Logan Hollihan.

When you’re reading, do you always stop at the end of a chapter? Let us know by taking our latest poll! I try to do this before I fall asleep at night, and often mark where the chapter ends, but many times I confess I come up a page or two short before I have relaxed myself enough by reading to fall asleep!

In our previous poll, we wanted to know whether or not you pre-order books. 50% of you pre-order books either all of the time or some of the time, while 49% don’t (and of those in that "don't pre-order" percentage, 29% reserve books from the library rather than purchase them). We also asked how far in advance you pre-order a book from your favorite author. 24% of you order 2-4 months in advance, while 13% said 1 month. Click here for all the results.

We posted a new Word of Mouth contest this week. Let us know what books you’ve read by Friday, August 8th at noon ET, and you’ll have the opportunity to win BAGMEN by William Lashner, BIG LITTLE LIES by Liane Moriarty and THE LOST ISLAND: A Gideon Crew Novel by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child.

The longlist for this year’s Man Booker Prize was announced this week. Click here for all the nominees. The shortlist will be announced on September 9th and the winner on October 14th. It is worth noting that this is the first time the Man Booker Prize is being open to writers outside of Britain, Ireland and the Commonwealth. Thus, five American writers appear on this year's longlist: Joshua Ferris, Karen Joy Fowler, Siri Hustvedt, Joseph O’Neill and Richard Powers.

Tom is traveling on business this weekend, thus it’s just me and the boys. Next week, I am out three evenings at business functions, including two events with Daisy Goodwin, author of the aforementioned THE FORTUNE HUNTER, and a dinner that Lorenzo Carcaterra is hosting for the launch of THE WOLF. A very social week that I look forward to sharing with you next week. I must read lots this weekend to stay on top of my reading pile, as there is not going to be a lot of reading time going on next week, but rather book chatting will be happening!

Here's to a wonderful weekend where you do something that makes a memory, and here's to a great week ahead. Read on….

Carol Fitzgerald (Carol@bookreporter.com)

New Special Contest: Win an Advance Copy of A SUDDEN LIGHT by Garth Stein Before its September 30th Release
We are celebrating the September 30th release of A SUDDEN LIGHT by Garth Stein with a special contest that will give 25 readers the opportunity to win an advance copy of the book and submit their comments on it. To enter, please fill out this form by Thursday, August 7th at noon ET.

A SUDDEN LIGHT by Garth Stein (Supernatural Mystery)
In the summer of 1990, 14-year-old Trevor Riddell gets his first glimpse of Riddell House. Built from the spoils of a massive timber fortune, the legendary family mansion is constructed of giant, whole trees and is set on a huge estate overlooking Puget Sound. Trevor’s bankrupt parents have begun a trial separation, and his father, Jones Riddell, has brought Trevor to Riddell House with a goal: to join forces with his sister, Serena, dispatch Grandpa Samuel --- who is flickering in and out of dementia --- to a graduated living facility, sell off the house and property for development into “tract housing for millionaires,” divide up the profits, and live happily ever after.

But Trevor soon discovers there’s someone else living in Riddell House: a ghost with an agenda of his own. For while the land holds tremendous value, it is also burdened by the final wishes of the family patriarch, Elijah, who mandated it be allowed to return to untamed forestland as a penance for the millions of trees harvested over the decades by the Riddell Timber company. The ghost will not rest until Elijah’s wish is fulfilled, and Trevor’s willingness to face the past holds the key to his family’s future.

-Click here to read an excerpt.
-Click here to read Garth Stein’s bio.
-Click here to visit Garth Stein’s official website.
-Connect with Garth Stein on Facebook and Twitter.
 
Click here to enter the contest.
New Women’s Fiction Author Spotlight & Contest: SMALL BLESSINGS by Martha Woodroof
We have 25 copies of SMALL BLESSINGS by Martha Woodroof to give away to readers who would like to read the book, which releases on August 12th, and share their comments on it. To enter, please fill out this form by Thursday, August 7th at noon ET.

SMALL BLESSINGS by Martha Woodroof (Fiction)
Tom Putnam has resigned himself to a quiet and half-fulfilled life. An English professor in a sleepy college town, he spends his days browsing the Shakespeare shelves at the campus bookstore, managing the oddball faculty in his department and caring, alongside his formidable mother-in-law, for his wife Marjory, a fragile shut-in with unrelenting neuroses, a condition exacerbated by her discovery of Tom’s brief and misguided affair with a visiting poetess a decade earlier.

Then, one evening at the bookstore, Tom and Marjory meet Rose Callahan, the shop's charming new hire, and Marjory invites Rose to their home for dinner, out of the blue, her first social interaction since her breakdown. Tom wonders if it’s a sign that change is on the horizon, a feeling confirmed upon his return home, where he opens a letter from his former paramour, informing him he'd fathered a son who is heading Tom's way on a train. His mind races at the possibility of having a family after so many years of loneliness. And it becomes clear change is coming whether Tom is ready or not.

-Click here to read an excerpt.
-Click here to read Martha Woodroof’s bio.
-Click here to visit Martha Woodroof’s official website.
-Connect with Martha Woodroof on Facebook and Twitter.
 
Click here to read more in our Women’s Fiction Author Spotlight and enter the contest.
Now in Stores: MAEVE BINCHY: THE BIOGRAPHY by Piers Dudgeon
MAEVE BINCHY: The Biography by Piers Dudgeon (Biography)
Maeve Binchy's heartwarming tales of love, life and loss made her one of America’s best-loved storytellers. Her novels, which sold more than 40 million copies worldwide, captured imaginations on both sides of the Atlantic in a way that most authors only dream of. In this extraordinary biography, Piers Dudgeon reveals that the inspiration for many of her stories came from Maeve’s own hard-won experience growing up in Ireland. Reviewed by Barbara Bamberger Scott.

-Click here to read more about the book.
 
Click here to read a review.
Bookreporter.com Talks to Wayne Harrison, Author of THE SPARK AND THE DRIVE

Wayne Harrison is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop whose stories have appeared in The Atlantic, McSweeney’s, Ploughshares and Narrative Magazine. His debut novel, THE SPARK AND THE DRIVE, is about lonely 17-year-old Justin Bailey, who is captivated by legendary muscle car mechanic Nick Campbell and his wife, Mary Ann. But when Nick and Mary Ann’s lives are struck by tragedy, Justin’s world is upended. In this fascinating interview conducted by Bookreporter.com’s Bronwyn Miller, Harrison talks about how nostalgia for his years working as a mechanic --- “some of the most sincere of my life” --- inspired him to write this story and the surprisingly inelegant art of choosing the perfect book title. He also discusses his experience as a literary late bloomer, how teaching writing informs his own work, and the age-old question of whether or not fiction can be taught.

THE SPARK AND THE DRIVE by Wayne Harrison (Fiction)
Justin Bailey is 17 when he arrives at the shop of legendary muscle car mechanic Nick Campbell. Anguished and out of place among the students at his rural Connecticut high school, Justin finds in Nick, his captivating wife Mary Ann, and their world of miraculous machines the sense of family he has struggled to find at home. But when Nick and Mary Ann’s lives are struck by tragedy, Justin’s own world is upended. Reviewed by Bronwyn Miller.

-Click here to read more about the book.
-Click here to read a review.
-Click here to read an excerpt.
-Click here to read Wayne Harrison’s bio.
-Click here to visit Wayne Harrison's official website.
-Click here to connect with Wayne Harrison on Facebook.
-Click here to see the 25 winners selected to read and comment on the book.
-Click here to read more in our One to Watch Author Spotlight.

Click here to read our interview.
Bookreporter.com's Latest Bookshelf: 20 "Books on Screen" to Anticipate Before the End of the Year
It's safe to say that we're movie maniacs here at The Book Report Network. Which works out well for us, considering the abundance of amazing book-to-screen adaptations on big and small screens this year. In our monthly Books on Screen feature, we highlight --- sometimes with Jennifer Lawrence-level enthusiasm --- the films, television shows and DVD releases based on books that you can catch on screens that month. But there are so many exciting movies coming out between now and the end of the year that we simply couldn't wait to share them with you!

We've curated a bookshelf of 20 books on screen we're holding our breath for --- and saving up our movie money! We couldn't avoid including some of the huge movies slated for release later this year (here's lookin' at you, Gone Girl and Mockingjay), but we also tried to round up some of the smaller ones that have been getting good early buzz, like The Drop and Foxcatcher. Check out our bookshelf, and be sure to keep up with our regular feature so you don't miss any books on screen!

Click here to see our bookshelf of upcoming books on screen.
Women's Fiction Author Spotlight & Contest: SOMEONE ELSE’S LOVE STORY by Joshilyn Jackson
We have 25 copies of SOMEONE ELSE'S LOVE STORY by Joshilyn Jackson to give away to readers who would like to read the book, which releases in paperback on August 5th, and comment on it. To enter, please fill out this form by Thursday, July 31st at noon ET.

SOMEONE ELSE'S LOVE STORY by Joshilyn Jackson (Romance)
SOMEONE ELSE'S LOVE STORY is beloved and highly acclaimed New York Times bestselling author Joshilyn Jackson's funny, charming and poignant novel about science and miracles, secrets and truths, faith and forgiveness; about falling in love, and learning that things aren't always what they seem --- or what we hope they will be.

Shandi Pierce is juggling finishing college, raising her delightful three-year-old genius son Nathan, aka Natty Bumppo, and keeping the peace between her eternally warring, long-divorced parents. She has enough complications without getting caught in the middle of a stick-up and falling in love with William Ashe, who willingly steps between the robber and her son.

Shandi doesn't know that her blond god Thor has his own complications. When he looked down the barrel of that gun, he believed it was destiny: It's been one year to the day since a tragic act of physics shattered his world. But William doesn't define destiny the way others do. A brilliant geneticist who believes in facts and numbers, destiny to him is about choice. Now, he and Shandi are about to meet their so-called destinies head on, making choices that will reveal unexpected truths about love, life, and the world they think they know.

-Click here to read a review.
-Click here to read an excerpt.
-Click here to read more about the book on the publisher’s website.
-Click here to read Joshilyn Jackson’s bio.
-Click here to visit Joshilyn Jackson’s official website.
-Connect with Joshilyn Jackson on Facebook and Twitter.
 
Click here to read more in our Women’s Fiction Author Spotlight and enter the contest.
Bookreporter.com's Summer Reading Contests and Feature

Summer is 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 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 latest prize book is LOOKAWAY, LOOKAWAY by Wilton Barnhardt. To enter to win one of five copies, please fill out this form by Saturday, July 26th at 11:59am ET.

We will announce our next prize book on Monday, July 28th at noon ET.


This year's featured titles include:

 

Click here to read all the contest details and see our featured titles.
Suspense/Thriller Author Spotlight: THE WOLF by Lorenzo Carcaterra --- In Stores on Tuesday, July 29th!
THE WOLF by Lorenzo Carcaterra (Thriller)
My name is Vincent Marelli, though most people call me The Wolf. You’ve never met me, and if you’re lucky you never will. But in more ways than you could think of, I own you.

I run the biggest criminal operation in the world. We’re invisible but we’re everywhere. Wherever you go, whatever you do, however it is you spend your money, a piece of it lands in our pockets.

You would think that with that kind of power I would be invincible. You would be wrong. I made a mistake, one that a guy like me can never afford to make. I let my guard down. And because I did, my wife and daughters are gone. Murdered by terrorists with a lethal ax to grind.

That was my mistake. But it was also theirs.

I wasn’t looking for a war with them. No one in my group was. But they’ve left me with nothing but a desire for revenge --- so a war is what they’ll get. The full strength of international organized crime against every known terrorist group working today. Crime versus chaos.

We will protect our interests, and I will protect my son. We won’t get them all, but I will get my revenge, or I will die trying.

They will know my name. They will feel my wrath. They will fear The Wolf.

THE WOLF will release on July 29th.

-Click here to read an excerpt.
-Click here to read Lorenzo Carcaterra’s bio.
-Click here to visit Lorenzo Carcaterra’s official website.
-Click here to connect with Lorenzo Carcaterra on Facebook.
 
Click here to read more in our Suspense/Thriller Author Spotlight.
Debut Suspense/Thriller Author Spotlight: THE GOOD GIRL by Mary Kubica --- In Stores on Tuesday, July 29th!
THE GOOD GIRL by Mary Kubica (Psychological Thriller)
Born to a prominent Chicago judge and his stifled socialite wife, Mia Dennett moves against the grain as a young inner-city art teacher. One night, Mia enters a bar to meet her on-again, off-again boyfriend. But when he doesn't show, she unwisely leaves with an enigmatic stranger. With his smooth moves and modest wit, at first Colin Thatcher seems like a safe one-night stand. But following Colin home will turn out to be the worst mistake of Mia's life.

Colin's job was to abduct Mia as part of a wild extortion plot and deliver her to his employers. But the plan takes an unexpected turn when Colin suddenly decides to hide Mia in a secluded cabin in rural Minnesota, evading the police and his deadly superiors. Mia's mother, Eve, and detective Gabe Hoffman will stop at nothing to find them, but no one could have predicted the emotional entanglements that eventually cause this family's world to shatter.

THE GOOD GIRL releases on July 29th.

-Click here to read an excerpt.
-Click here to read critical praise.
-Click here to watch the book trailer.
-Click here for the digital book club kit.
-Click here to read Mary Kubica’s bio.
-Click here to visit Mary Kubica’s official website.
-Connect with Mary Kubica on Facebook and Twitter
 
Click here to read more in our Debut Suspense/Thriller Author Spotlight.
New Guides Now Available on ReadingGroupGuides.com
The following guides are now available on ReadingGroupGuides.com:

90 MINUTES IN HEAVEN: A True Story of Life and Death, 10th Anniversary Edition by Don Piper with Cecil Murphey (Memoir)
Ten years later, Don Piper reflects on his bestselling memoir, 90 MINUTES IN HEAVEN, the inspiring story of his journey from death back to life.

THE CARE AND MANAGEMENT OF LIES: A Novel of the Great War by Jacqueline Winspear (Historical Fiction)
The New York Times bestselling author of the Maisie Dobbs series turns her prodigious talents to a World War I stand-alone tale of romance and intrigue --- to be published in time for the Great War’s centennial.

THE GIVER by Lois Lowry (Dystopian Fiction)
Lois Lowry’s THE GIVER is the quintessential dystopian novel, followed by its remarkable companions, GATHERING BLUE, MESSENGER and SON.

LAY IT ON MY HEART by Angela Pneuman (Fiction)
This piercing, sly debut novel tells the story of one unforgettable month in a Kentucky girl's 13th year.

THE PARIS ARCHITECT by Charles Belfoure (Historical Thriller)
A gifted architect reluctantly begins a secret life devising ingenious hiding places for Jews in Nazi-occupied Paris.

THE QUEEN OF THE TEARLING by Erika Johansen (Fantasy)
THE QUEEN OF THE TEARLING is a brilliantly imagined adventure --- the first novel in an eagerly awaited trilogy --- in which an untested young princess must claim her throne, learn to become a queen, and combat a malevolent sorceress in an epic battle between light and darkness.

THE STAGER by Susan Coll (Fiction)
A comedy about rabbits and real estate from the acclaimed novelist Susan Coll, THE STAGER chronicles one family’s surreal descent into madness and discord as they attempt to sell their faux “Flemish villa.”

THE WIND IS NOT A RIVER by Brian Payton (Historical Fiction)
THE WIND IS NOT A RIVER is a gripping tale of survival and an epic love story in which a husband and wife --- separated by the only battle of World War II to take place on American soil --- fight to reunite in Alaska’s starkly beautiful Aleutian Islands.


Please note that these titles, for which we already had the guides when they appeared in hardcover, are now available in paperback:

THE CURIOSITY by Stephen P. Kiernan (Science Fiction/Thriller)
THE CURIOSITY is a powerful debut novel in which a man, frozen in the Arctic ice for more than a century, awakens in the present day and finds that the greatest discovery is love.

THE FIRE WITNESS by Lars Kepler (Mystery/Thriller)
Flora Hansen calls herself a medium and makes a living by pretending to commune with the dead. But after a gruesome murder at a rural home for wayward girls, Hansen begins to suffer visions that are all too real.

THE GIRL YOU LEFT BEHIND by Jojo Moyes (Fiction)
“Hopelessly and hopefully romantic” (Chicago Tribune), Jojo Moyes returns with another irresistible heartbreaker that asks, “Whatever happened to the girl you left behind?”

THE LOWLAND by Jhumpa Lahiri (Fiction)
Masterly suspenseful, sweeping and piercingly intimate, THE LOWLAND is a work of great beauty and complex emotion --- an engrossing family saga and a story steeped in history that spans generations and geographies with seamless authenticity.

THE NIGHT GUEST by Fiona McFarlane (Fiction)
THE NIGHT GUEST, Fiona McFarlane’s hypnotic first novel, is a tale that soars above its own suspense to tell us, with exceptional grace and beauty, about aging, love, trust, dependence and fear; about processes of colonization; and about things (and people) in places they shouldn’t be.

THE SIGNATURE OF ALL THINGS by Elizabeth Gilbert (Historical Fiction)
As Alma Whittaker's careful studies of moss take her deeper into the mysteries of evolution, the man she comes to love draws her in the opposite direction --- into the realm of the spiritual, the divine and the magical.
 
Click here to visit ReadingGroupGuides.com.
More Reviews This Week
SHOTS FIRED: Stories from Joe Pickett Country by C. J. Box (Thriller/Short Stories)
SHOTS FIRED is a collection of 10 riveting stories, three never before published. In “One-Car Bridge,” Joe Pickett goes up against a landowner with disastrous results, and in “Shots Fired,” his investigation into a radio call nearly ends up being the last thing he ever does. In “Le Sauvage Noble,” the stranger is a Lakota in Paris who enjoys playing the “noble savage” for the French women --- until he meets Sophie and discovers what “savage” really means. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

THE FORSAKEN: A Quinn Colson Novel by Ace Atkins (Thriller)
Thirty-six years ago, a nameless black man wandered into Jericho, Mississippi. In less than two days, he was accused of rape and murder and lynched. When evidence surfaces of his innocence, county sheriff Quinn Colson sets out to charge those responsible for the lynching. But as he uncovers old lies and secrets, he runs into fierce opposition from people willing to play dirty. He finds himself accused of terrible crimes, and it is anyone’s guess who will prevail --- or even come out of it alive. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

WAYFARING STRANGER – Audiobook written by James Lee Burke, read by Will Patton (Historical Thriller)
Second Lieutenant Weldon Holland narrowly escapes death at the Battle of the Bulge, saving a young, beautiful prisoner of war named Rosita Lowenstein in the process. The two marry and return to Texas, where Weldon enters the oil business and meets dangerous people hell-bent on destroying his marriage. The prospect of losing his wife prompts Weldon’s wildest and most courageous act yet --- one that takes its inspiration from his encounter years earlier with the notorious Bonnie and Clyde. Reviewed by Roz Shea.

EUPHORIA by Lily King (Historical Fiction)
English anthropologist Andrew Bankson has been alone in the field for several years, studying the Kiona river tribe in the Territory of New Guinea. He is on the verge of suicide when a chance encounter with the controversial Nell Stone and her Australian husband, Fen, pulls him back from the brink. When Bankson finds them a new tribe nearby, the artistic, female-dominated Tam, he ignites an intellectual and romantic firestorm among the three of them that burns out of anyone’s control. Reviewed by Jesse Kornbluth, founder of HeadButler.com.

INSIDE MAN by Jeff Abbott (Thriller)
Sam Capra's friend, Steve, has been murdered. The only lead is a mysterious, beautiful stranger Steve tried to protect. To avenge his friend, Sam goes undercover into the Varelas, one of Miami's most prominent and dangerous families. Now on the inside, playing a part where one wrong move means death, Sam faces a powerful, unstable tycoon intent on dividing his business empire among his three very different children, who each may hold murderous secrets of their own. Reviewed by Ray Palen.

A WEDDING IN PROVENCE by Ellen Sussman (Fiction)
Olivia and Brody have chosen the perfect location for their destination wedding: a friend’s idyllic inn in the Mediterranean town of Cassis. However, the weekend is quickly thrown off balance by guests. Olivia’s daughters, one reckless and one practical, both make brash decisions. Brody’s mother is coping with the fallout of her own marriage, and then there is Jake, the playboy best man. In the middle is Olivia, navigating the dramas and joys of starting a new life. Reviewed by Donna Smallwood.

THE SLEEPWALKER'S GUIDE TO DANCING by Mira Jacob (Fiction)
Celebrated brain surgeon Thomas Eapen has been sitting on his porch, talking to dead relatives. At least that is the story his wife, Kamala, tells their daughter, Amina. Reluctantly Amina returns home and finds a situation that is far more complicated than her mother let on, with roots in a trip the family took to India 20 years earlier. Amina soon realizes that the only way she can help her father is by coming to terms with her family’s painful past. Reviewed by Frederick Lloyd.

UNRULY PLACES: Lost Spaces, Secret Cities, and Other Inscrutable Geographies by Alastair Bonnett (Travel/Geography)
At a time when Google Maps Street View can take you on a virtual tour of Yosemite’s remotest trails and cell phones double as navigational systems, it’s hard to imagine there’s any uncharted ground left on the planet. In UNRULY PLACES, Alastair Bonnett goes to some of the most unexpected, offbeat places in the world to reinspire our geographical imagination. Reviewed by Sarah Rachel Egelman.

DOUBLE AGENT: The First Hero of World War II and How the FBI Outwitted and Destroyed a Nazi Spy Ring by Peter Duffy (History)
Before the United States joined World War II, the FBI uncovered a ring of Nazi spies in New York City, and President Franklin Roosevelt declared J. Edgar Hoover as America’s spymaster. As war began, a naturalized German-American was recruited by Nazis to convey messages to Germany. This man, William G. Sebold, approached the FBI and became the first double agent in the Bureau’s history, and the investigation led to the arrest of 33 enemy agents. Reviewed by Barbara Bamberger Scott.

LAST TO KNOW by Elizabeth Adler (Mystery/Thriller)
Detective Harry Jordan is out for a walk when the night is rocked by an explosion: the Havnel house is engulfed in a conflagration, and young Bea Havnel is seen fleeing, hair on fire, plunging into the lake. She survives but her mother does not, and Harry is pulled into the investigation. When it’s discovered that Lacey Havnel died not from the explosion but from a knife wound, it’s soon clear that a murderer is on the loose. And this murderer is poised to strike again. Reviewed by Judy Gigstad.

HERBIE'S GAME: A Junior Bender Mystery by Timothy Hallinan (Hard-boiled Mystery)
Junior Bender, the clown prince of crime fiction, returns in his most hard-boiled adventure yet --- a tale that will take him deep into a murderous conspiracy in present-day Los Angeles and uncover an increasingly confusing legacy of his burglar-mentor, Herbie Mott, who until very recently was always one step ahead of just about everybody. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

WHAT IS VISIBLE by Kimberly Elkins (Historical Fiction)
At age two, Laura Bridgman lost four of her five senses to scarlet fever. At age seven, she was taken to Perkins Institute in Boston to determine if a child so terribly afflicted could be taught. At age 12, Charles Dickens declared her his prime interest for visiting America. And by age 20, she was considered the 19th century's second most famous woman, having mastered language and charmed the world with her brilliance. Reviewed by Norah Piehl.

STRANGERS: A Nameless Detective Novel by Bill Pronzini (Mystery)
Cody Hatcher is the kind of teenager you don’t want your kids hanging with. That’s the book on him, and it’s why the citizens of Mineral Springs have no problem at all believing that he’s guilty of three rapes. His mother, Cheryl, an old lover of Nameless’s, is also being harassed by vindictive townspeople. It’s against such odds that Nameless must work to prove Cody innocent. Reviewed by Tom Callahan.

BRAVO by Greg Rucka (Thriller)
Still recovering from traumas both physical and emotional, Jad Bell is tasked with bringing in the Uzbek, principal organizer of the terrorist attack that nearly cost Bell his ex-wife and daughter. But the Uzbek is just the beginning: his employer, the Architect, has already set in motion another, even more devastating attack. At the center of it all are two women under deep cover. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

THE LAST TAXI RIDE: A Ranjit Singh Novel by A. X. Ahmad (Thriller)
Bollywood film icon Shabana Shah has been murdered, her body found in the apartment where New York City taxi driver Ranjit Singh ate dinner mere hours before. With his fingerprints all over the murder weapon, Ranjit is accused by the NYPD as an accessory to murder. His only credible alibi is Shabana’s Indian doorman, but he has vanished. With a Grand Jury arraignment looming in 10 days, and Ranjit’s teenage daughter about to arrive from India, Ranjit must find the doorman. Reviewed by Roz Shea.
Young Adult Books You Want to Read
Our company, The Book Report Network, has a number of websites about books and authors in addition to Bookreporter.com. Throughout the year, Bookreporter.com features adult books on Teenreads.com, our site for young adult readers, that we think will have definite appeal to a teen audience. In the spirit of sharing, we also spotlight a selection of titles each month from Teenreads.com that we believe are great reads that you might enjoy.

Here are our latest featured titles:

MARINA by Carlos Ruiz Zafón (Fiction)
Fifteen-year-old Oscar Drai meets the strange Marina while he's exploring an old quarter of Barcelona. She leads him to a cemetery, where they watch a macabre ritual that occurs on the last Sunday of each month. At exactly 10:00 in the morning, a woman descends from her carriage to place a single rose on an unmarked grave. When Oscar and Marina decide to follow her, they begin a journey that transports them to a forgotten postwar Barcelona and reveals a dark secret that lies waiting in the mysterious labyrinth beneath the city streets.

IDA M. TARBELL: The Woman Who Challenged Big Business--and Won! by Emily Arnold McCully (Biography)
Born in 1857 and raised in oil country, Ida M. Tarbell was one of the first investigative journalists and probably the most influential in her time. Her series of articles on the Standard Oil Trust, a complicated business empire run by John D. Rockefeller, revealed to readers the underhanded, even illegal practices that had led to Rockefeller's success.

WOMEN HEROES OF WORLD WAR I: 16 Remarkable Resisters, Soldiers, Spies, and Medics by Kathryn J. Atwood (History)
In time for the 2014 centennial of the start of the Great War, WOMEN HEROES OF WORLD WAR I brings to life the brave and often surprising exploits of 16 fascinating women from around the world who served their countries at a time when most of them didn’t even have the right to vote.

REPORTING UNDER FIRE: 16 Daring Women War Correspondents and Photojournalists by Kerrie Logan Hollihan (Biography)
A profile of 16 courageous women, REPORTING UNDER FIRE tells the story of journalists who risked their lives to bring back scoops from the front lines. Each woman experiences her own journey, both personally and professionally, and each draws her own conclusions. Yet without exception, these war correspondents share a singular ambition: to answer an inner call driving them to witness war firsthand, and to share what they learn via words or images.
 
Click here for more young adult books we recommend you read.
Our Latest Poll: To Stop or Not to Stop --- That is the Question
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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 July 25th to August 8th, FIVE lucky readers each will be randomly chosen to win a copy of BAGMEN by William Lashner, BIG LITTLE LIES by Liane Moriarty and THE LOST ISLAND: A Gideon Crew Novel by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child.

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, we ask that you finish reading the book before you submit your comments about it.

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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