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Weekly Update

July 22, 2016

Bookreporter.com Newsletter July 22, 2016
Readers in the Rain!
On Monday afternoon, I drove to the beach (for those of you who live in New Jersey, that would be “down the shore”) to meet up with my friend Beverley at her vacation home. The two of us then made our way over to the Stone Harbor Women’s Civic Club, where Jennifer Gensemer and Deb Martinelli had invited me to speak about Summer Reading and Book Group Books. For Beverley and me, this was like our old-home days at Mademoiselle magazine where we did “On Location” events. Then, our focus was on hair, makeup, clothes and accessories, and we were on stage at Saks Fifth Avenue in New York; now, it was books and authors at the beach.

As we were driving towards the beach, there was a massive black storm cloud behind us. I felt like if we slowed down, it would catch us! We made it into the building just before the monsoon rain hit. For a while there, we wondered if anyone would be at the event, but right on time cars came flying into the parking lot. Our audience made their way into the room under the shelter of umbrellas or racing with fleet feet. When I looked up, there were 70 people there --- really, really lovely. For the next two hours, I talked books and authors (60 in all; you can see me talking about BEHIND CLOSED DOORS above), and the audience shared their feedback on what they were reading. Beverley later told me there was lightning crashing on the beach right outside the windows; I never saw it, but was focused instead on the electricity generated by the audience.

Above you can see the numerous door prizes that were pulled together for the event, many from our BEA Speed Dating event that Deb had shipped home. Most of the audience was in a book group, and there were lots of notes made all night of “what to read next.” I got to meet Rosalie and Rhoda, both of whom have been longtime Bookreporter readers. It's always nice to put a face to an email address. Really a perfect evening! I joked before we started the night that after all those years at Mademoiselle, I still think about what I am going to wear before I leave the house. Yes, I was in teal, and here is the pattern for the scarf I was wearing.

My hat goes off to Jen and Deb (who you can see above to the left and right of me, respectively) for pulling together a very special evening.

I have decided I am tired of polls, except the ones about books that we are running on Bookreporter and ReadingGroupGuides.com. The other night, I joked that I was 100% sure I was going to eat dinner, 80% sure I would hit the pool and 90% sure the giant hibiscus flowers would bloom. I was right about one of those things --- and it was dinner; the hibiscus bloomed the next day. And look at the margin of error with me talking about a life I control! So in that vein, forget looking ahead to November and instead we have a brand new poll for you right now. We’d like to know if you ever read the last page of a book first. Click here to cast your vote. Our previous poll asked, “What is the format of the book you are currently reading?” Most of you are reading hardcovers or paperbacks, but a good number of you are tackling eBooks and audiobooks, including those on digital audio. You can see all the results here.

I applied for a new passport last Saturday. The new photo without me smiling looks like an inmate shot; I loved my last passport photo. I should have done a retake; why I did not I do not know. It’s not like the woman in the UPS store would have minded taking a few more shots on her digital camera. But from what I hear, I am not the only person saying this. Entering foreign countries, we all are going to look like non-emotional or angry Americans! Given the state of the world today, I think smiling photos should be required. I will vote for that!

Last weekend, I zipped through THE GIRL BEFORE by J. P. Delaney. The setting: a minimalist home. The structure: Then: Emma and Now: Jane. The story bounces between both narratives in a brisk way. It's one fast-paced thriller. It's not out until January, but it will be a Bookreporter.com Bets On selection! You will hear lots more about this one.

Ruth Ware’s first psychological thriller, IN A DARK, DARK WOOD, was an instant bestseller, a BEA Buzz Book and a Bets On title. Her new novel, THE WOMAN IN CABIN 10, matches that debut in eerie intensity and suspense. Lo Blacklock, a travel writer and journalist, has just been given the assignment of a lifetime: one week on a select luxury cruise. At first, the journey is pleasant and posh. But then Lo witnesses a scene out of a nightmare: a woman being thrown overboard. Yet all passengers remain accounted for --- and so the ship sails on as if nothing has happened, despite Lo’s frantic attempts to find the truth.

Roz Shea has our review and calls the book "a skillfully crafted locked room mystery... Leave your lights on and check your door locks as you cruise through the pages of this tasty little thriller." I am pleased to announce that THE WOMAN IN CABIN 10 also will be a Bets On pick; Ruth does not disappoint in her sophomore effort! You can read my commentary in next week’s newsletter.

Women’s fiction powerhouse Jane Green’s new novel, FALLING, is that perfect, heartfelt summer read. When Emma Montague left the confines of her upper-crust British life for New York, she felt sure it would make her happy. But she realized the relentless, cutthroat world of finance wasn’t the life she wanted either. Emma then settles in the picturesque waterfront town of Westport, Connecticut. She begins renovating the dilapidated cottage she rents from Dominic, a local handyman who lives next door with his six-year-old son. Unlike any man Emma has ever known, Dominic is confident, grounded and committed to being present for his son, whose mother fled shortly after he was born. As their connection deepens, Emma finds herself feeling at home in a way she never has before. But just as they start to imagine a life together, fate intervenes in the most shocking of ways.

According to reviewer Norah Piehl, “Jane Green is a skilled storyteller, adept at creating three-dimensional characters and placing them in realistic, compelling situations. Emma, for all her wealth and ambition, is also believably vulnerable and, at times, insecure.”

Jennifer Close moved to Washington, D.C. for her husband’s work on the Obama campaign, which inspired her new book, THE HOPEFULS. Here, she tells the story of a young wife who follows her husband and his political dreams to D.C., a city of idealism, gossip and complicated dynamics among the young aspiring elite. When Beth arrives there, she hates everything about it. Everyone feels fake and pretentious --- and once they realize she doesn’t work in politics, they smile flatly and turn away. Soon Beth and her husband, Matt, meet a charismatic White House staffer named Jimmy, and his wife, Ashleigh, and the four become inseparable. But as Jimmy’s star rises higher and higher, the couples’ friendship --- and Beth’s relationship with Matt --- is threatened by jealousy, competition and rumors.

Reviewer Bronwyn Miller calls THE HOPEFULS “an insightful, engrossing and entertaining look at marriage and ambition, set against the backdrop of the rousing world of politics…. Close has a knack for artfully telling a relatable story in a breezy, readable way.” I had the pleasure of attending a breakfast where Jennifer spoke when I was at BEA. As I have been reading this, she has painted a photo of the Washington power game as I perceive it.

Our Sneak Peek Contest is back! This time, we’re giving away advance copies of THE OTHER EINSTEIN by Marie Benedict, a work of fiction that restores the narrative of the brilliant, intriguing woman who history forgot in favor of her husband. It is the story of Einstein's wife, a powerful physicist in her own right. To this day, her contribution to the special theory of relativity is hotly debated --- the Einstein we know may have been inspired by her own profound and very personal insight. Mitza Maric has always been a little different from other girls. While other young women her age are wives, she’s the only girl studying physics at an elite Zurich university. And then fellow student Albert Einstein takes an interest in her, and the world turns sideways. Theirs becomes a partnership of the mind and of the heart, but there might not be room for more than one genius in a marriage.

In anticipation of the novel’s October 18th release, we’re awarding 50 advance copies to readers who can commit to sharing their comments on it by Friday, September 16th. To enter, please fill out this form by Thursday, August 4th at noon ET. I am reading this now, and it’s going to join my shelf of “the women behind the famous men.” Please enter if you have time to meet our deadline; I think you will enjoy it!

AFTER YOU, the sequel to Jojo Moyes’ heartwrenching ME BEFORE YOU now available in paperback, is our latest Paperback Spotlight title. After the transformative six months spent with Will Traynor, Louisa Clark is struggling without him. When her grief culminates in a startling accident, Lou returns home to her family. Her body heals, but Lou knows her heart still needs some help. Which is how she ends up in a church basement with the quirky members of the Moving On support group. This move leads her to the strong, capable Sam Fielding --- a paramedic and the one man who might be able to understand her. Then a figure from Will’s past appears and complicates Lou’s fragile hopes for the future. We reviewed AFTER YOU when it released in hardcover last year; see reviewer Katherine B. Weissman’s take on the book here. Here’s a terrific piece from the Wall Street Journal written by Jojo on the difficulties of writing in an age of narrative overload.

My latest Bets On pick is Wendy Walker’s debut psychological thriller, ALL IS NOT FORGOTTEN, which we reviewed last week. Click here to see why I’m betting you’ll love this book and, like me, will be anticipating Wendy’s next thriller.

You’ll have a chance to win the audio versions of ALL IS NOT FORGOTTEN (read by Dylan Baker) and Cathleen Schine’s THEY MAY NOT MEAN TO, BUT THEY DO (read by Cynthia Darlow) in this month’s Sounding Off on Audio contest. Let us know by Monday, August 1st at noon ET what audiobooks you’ve finished listening to, and you’ll be in the running to win both audio prizes.

In this week’s Summer Reading contests, we gave away ALL THE TIME IN THE WORLD by Caroline Angell, BEN-HUR: A Tale of the Christ by Carol Wallace, DAUGHTERS OF THE BRIDE by Susan Mallery, and the aforementioned THE WOMAN IN CABIN 10 by Ruth Ware. Next week’s prize books will be AGE OF CONSENT by Marti Leimbach (I read this, and it is both haunting and sharp), BACHELOR UNFORGIVING by Brenda Jackson, BEFORE THE FALL by Noah Hawley (a Bets On pick), and GOOD AS GONE by Amy Gentry (I read this and thought about the TV show "The Family" that I enjoyed this spring on TV; it had me questioning what happened throughout). The first contest of the week will go live on Monday, July 25th at noon ET.

We’ve updated our History Books feature for July. This month’s highlights include three titles that revolve around the Kennedy clan (BOBBY KENNEDY: The Making of a Liberal Icon, KICK: The True Story of JFK's Sister and the Heir to Chatsworth, and VENDETTA: Bobby Kennedy Versus Jimmy Hoffa); THE HOUSE BY THE LAKE: One House, Five Families, and a Hundred Years of German History by Thomas Harding; and THE REAL PETER PAN: J. M. Barrie and the Boy Who Inspired Him by Piers Dudgeon.

We’ve also posted a new Word of Mouth contest. Let us know by Friday, August 5th at noon ET what books you’ve finished reading, and you’ll have an opportunity to win SWEET TOMORROWS, the conclusion to Debbie Macomber’s Rose Harbor series, and Megan Abbott’s latest thriller, YOU WILL KNOW ME.

News and Pop Culture:

Reader Mail:

Got this lovely note from Barbara Khan from Baer Books: “I don’t know why it took me so long to find the Bookreporter newsletter. Now that I have, yours is one of the few book-related newsletters that I always read. I actively make time to do so, even though I am busy being a full-time travel advisor and book reviewer and blogger. I have suggested to my followers to sign up, because your newsletter is chock full of great book news and I love the simple, no fuss layout. Keep up the good work, and thank you for all your hard work.” We appreciate this endorsement enormously!

Stephanie wrote, “Just wanted to say that I love your newsletters, and I look forward to them every Friday. I just finished BELGRAVIA by Julian Fellowes, one of the books reviewed in your newsletter this week. It is very engaging and pulls the reader in. Loved it!! I added it to the Word of Mouth.” Thrilled to hear this; love when our readers share what they are reading with us on Word of Mouth.

The Strand Bookstore Test: To work in this store where there are 18 miles of books, you first take this quiz.

Movie Trailer for The Girl on the Train: Take a look here.

Megan Abbott: By the Book piece by her in the New York Times.

"Making a Murderer": Read this week that there will be new episodes of this Netflix hit!

Eye in the Sky: Terrific film that really makes one think about fighting a war long-distance.

"The Circus" on Showtime. I don't talk politics, but I will share that I am enjoying this series. It’s just 30 minutes long each Sunday and looks back at the week of the campaign with interesting insight. It was on hiatus after the primaries until July 3rd. It gives a look at the campaign beyond social media and traditional media.

"Ballers": I got a kick (pun intended) out of this show last season and forgot it came back on HBO last week.

"Odd Mom Out": Love this show; Meredith Vieira guest-starred this week. It’s on Bravo!

"Ray Donovan": Feels off for me this season. Anyone else feeling the same way?

I wrote this newsletter last night as Nicole, Rebecca and my friend Beverley spent today at the Random House Open House, where they have a fabulous author lineup, including Paula McLain, Curtis Sittenfeld, Emma Cline, Imbolo Mbue, Martha Hall Kelly, Catherine Banner and Kimberly Williams-Paisley, among others. And I am looking forward to discussing Jodi Picoult’s SMALL GREAT THINGS over lunch in an informal book group discussion.

This is going to be a busy family weekend. My sister and her children are in town at my parents’ beach house, and we are headed there on Saturday; then we head back to our house Sunday as Tom’s sister and her daughters will be here along with his mom. I will try to squeeze some reading in between, but I think I will be well behind my usual page pace. But we all love the idea of hanging out with family.

One thing to keep in mind: Some of you have written me to say that you've been traveling this summer, but always make it a point to go through your inboxes and check out the newsletters you've missed when you return home. This really makes us smile, but please note that if you would like to catch up on what's going on online, you can click here to see past issues of the newsletter.

Read on, and have a great week.

Carol Fitzgerald (Carol@bookreporter.com)

P.S. For those of you who are doing online shopping, if you use the store links below, Bookreporter.com gets a small affiliate fee on your purchases. We would appreciate your considering this!
Featured Review: THE WOMAN IN CABIN 10 by Ruth Ware --- a Bookreporter.com Bets On Title
THE WOMAN IN CABIN 10 by Ruth Ware (Mystery/Thriller)
Audiobook available, read by Imogen Church
Lo Blacklock, a journalist who writes for a travel magazine, has just been given the assignment of a lifetime: a week on a luxury cruise with only a handful of cabins. At first, Lo’s stay is nothing but pleasant. But as the week wears on, frigid winds whip the deck, gray skies fall, and Lo witnesses what she can only describe as a dark and terrifying nightmare: a woman being thrown overboard. The problem? All passengers remain accounted for --- and so the ship sails on as if nothing has happened, despite Lo’s desperate attempts to convey that something (or someone) has gone terribly, terribly wrong. Reviewed by Roz Shea.

THE WOMAN IN CABIN 10 will be a Bookreporter.com Bets On selection. Read Carol Fitzgerald's commentary about the book in the July 29th newsletter.

-Click here to read more about the book.
-Click here to read an excerpt.
 
Click here to read the review.
Featured Review: FALLING by Jane Green
FALLING: A Love Story by Jane Green (Romance)
Audiobook available, read by Jane Green
When Emma Montague left the strict confines of upper-crust British life for New York, she felt sure it would make her happy. But the cutthroat world of finance and relentless pursuit of more began to take its toll. On the move again, Emma settles in the picturesque waterfront town of Westport, Connecticut, where she decides to remake the dilapidated cottage she rents from Dominic, a local handyman who lives next door with his six-year-old son. They become friends, and slowly much more, as Emma finds herself feeling at home in a way she never has before. But just as they start to imagine a life together as a family, fate intervenes in the most shocking of ways. Reviewed by Norah Piehl.

-Click here to read more about the book.
-Click here to read an excerpt.
 
Click here to read the review.
New Sneak Peek Contest: Enter to Win an Advance Copy of THE OTHER EINSTEIN by Marie Benedict and Share Your Comments on It
Our latest Sneak Peek Feature spotlights THE OTHER EINSTEIN by Marie Benedict, a compelling story that reveals the forgotten woman whose light was lost in Einstein’s enormous shadow. The book doesn’t release until October 18th, but we have 50 advance copies to give away to readers who can commit to previewing it and sharing their comments on it by Friday, September 16th. To enter, please fill out this form by Thursday, August 4th 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 THE OTHER EINSTEIN and give us your feedback by the September 16th deadline.

THE OTHER EINSTEIN by Marie Benedict (Historical Fiction)
What secrets may have lurked in the shadows of Albert Einstein’s fame? In 1896, the extraordinarily gifted Mileva “Mitza” Maric is the only woman studying physics at an elite school in Zürich. For her, math seems like an easier path than marriage, until she falls in love with fellow student Albert Einstein. Charismatic and brilliant, Albert promises to treat her as an equal in both love and science. But as Albert’s fame grows, is there room for more than one genius in a marriage?

This is the untold story of Albert’s first wife, a brilliant scientist in her own right, whose contributions to the special theory of relativity have been hotly debated.


-Click here to read an excerpt.
-Click here to read Marie Benedict's bio.
-Click here to visit Marie Benedict's official website.
-Click here to connect with Marie Benedict on Facebook.
 
Click here to read more in our Sneak Peek Feature and enter the contest.
Paperback Spotlight: AFTER YOU by Jojo Moyes --- the Sequel to ME BEFORE YOU
AFTER YOU by Jojo Moyes (Romance)
AFTER YOU is the sequel to ME BEFORE YOU, which is now a major motion picture. Look out for Jojo Moyes' new book, PARIS FOR ONE AND OTHER STORIES, coming October 18th.

How do you move on after losing the person you loved? How do you build a life worth living?

Louisa Clark is no longer just an ordinary girl living an ordinary life. After the transformative six months spent with Will Traynor, she is struggling without him. When an extraordinary accident forces Lou to return home to her family, she can’t help but feel she’s right back where she started.

Her body heals, but Lou herself knows that she needs to be kick-started back to life. Which is how she ends up in a church basement with the members of the Moving On support group, who share insights, laughter, frustrations and terrible cookies. They will also lead her to the strong, capable Sam Fielding --- the paramedic, whose business is life and death, and the one man who might be able to understand her. Then a figure from Will’s past appears and hijacks all her plans, propelling her into a very different future.

For Lou Clark, life after Will Traynor means learning to fall in love again, with all the risks that brings. But here Jojo Moyes gives us two families, as real as our own, whose joys and sorrows will touch you deeply, and where both changes and surprises await.

-Click here to read a review.
-Click here to read an excerpt.
-Click here to read Jojo Moyes' bio.
-Click here to visit Jojo Moyes' official website.
-Connect with Jojo Moyes on Facebook and Twitter.

 
Click here to read more in our Paperback Spotlight.
Featured Review: THE HOPEFULS by Jennifer Close
THE HOPEFULS by Jennifer Close (Fiction)
Audiobook available, read by Jorjeana Marie
When Beth arrives in DC, she hates everything about it. At dinner parties, guests compare their security clearance levels. They leave their BlackBerrys on the table. They speak in acronyms. And once they realize Beth doesn't work in politics, they smile blandly and turn away. Soon Beth and her husband, Matt, meet a charismatic White House staffer named Jimmy, and his wife, Ashleigh, and the four become inseparable. But as Jimmy’s star rises higher and higher, the couples’ friendship --- and Beth’s relationship with Matt --- is threatened by jealousy, competition and rumors. Reviewed by Bronwyn Miller.

-Click here to read more about the book.
 
Click here to read the review.
Bookreporter.com Bets On: ALL IS NOT FORGOTTEN by Wendy Walker
ALL IS NOT FORGOTTEN by Wendy Walker (Psychological Thriller)
I read ALL IS NOT FORGOTTEN by Wendy Walker a long while back in manuscript and then refreshed myself with the story by listening to the audiobook, which is narrated brilliantly by actor Dylan Baker (you’ll know his voice from “The Good Wife” and “The Americans”).

At the heart of the story is the rape of Jenny Kramer, a young teen who was assaulted in the woods where she wandered off to while a party was going on. A decision is made to erase the memory of what happened to Jenny that night so she can move on with her life. But she does not bounce back to being the teen she was. There are many layers of hurt here, including a scar on her lower back that keeps bothering her. While the memory of that night is gone, there are triggers that remain.

Her parents bring their own complications to the story. Her mom is obsessed with the idea that her private perfect world and her perfect daughter have been dallied with. She also is harboring some deep secrets of her own that she would rather not have unraveled. She wants Jenny’s memory suppressed, while her father would prefer that Jenny can recall details to capture her assailant. The stress between Jenny’s parents makes an already difficult situation more tedious.

The story is told from the perspective of Jenny’s therapist, Dr. Alan Forrester, a psychiatrist. He is very familiar with this memory drug that has been administered to Jenny. A soldier in his practice is being given the same drug to help him cope with the PTSD he suffered from a combat mission. Forrester is the one who is holding all the cards, and he is dealing them one by one, at a pace that he chooses, as he tries to work with Jenny. What is being held back? What is really going on? And most of all, who is the attacker and why did he target Jenny? The rape is looked at again and again, which may be troubling for some readers. There is a lot of digging for details, and each layer of them drives the story in a new direction.

There’s a lot to think about (pun intended) in this psychological thriller where the story rolls and unfolds, taking readers off in many directions with some dead ends. What would you do if Jenny was your child? What bad memories would you want to erase for your child? Once you finish, you’ll be looking for people to talk about it with!


-Click here to read more about the book.
-Click here to read a review.
-Click here to read an excerpt.
 
Click here for more books we're betting you'll love.
July's History Books Roundup
July's roundup of History titles includes three books that focus on the Kennedys (BOBBY KENNEDY: The Making of a Liberal Icon, KICK: The True Story of JFK's Sister and the Heir to Chatsworth and VENDETTA: Bobby Kennedy Versus Jimmy Hoffa); THE HOUSE BY THE LAKE by Thomas Harding, a groundbreaking and revelatory new history of Germany, told over a tumultuous century through the story of a small wooden house; Bill Yenne's WHEN TIGERS RULED THE SKY, an in-depth account of the legendary World War II combat group, the Flying Tigers; and THE REAL PETER PAN, Piers Dudgeon's examination of the fascinating and complex relationships among Peter Pan's creator, J.M. Barrie, and the family of boys who inspired his work.
 
Click here to see our History Books roundup for July.
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 series of 24-hour contests for these titles on select days through August 25th, so you will have to check the site each day to see the featured prize book and enter to win. We also are sending a special newsletter to announce the day's title, which you can sign up for here.

Our next prize book will be announced on Monday, July 25th at noon ET.

This year's featured titles include:

Click here to read all the contest details and learn more about our featured titles.
What's New This Month on ReadingGroupGuides.com
We currently are giving away the following book on ReadingGroupGuides.com:

  • A CERTAIN AGE by Beatriz Williams
    Deadline for entries: Wednesday, September 7th at noon ET.
The following guides are now available:

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

Click here to visit ReadingGroupGuides.com.
More Reviews This Week
THE SINGLES GAME by Lauren Weisberger (Fiction)
Audiobook available, read by Heather Lind
When America’s sweetheart, Charlotte “Charlie” Silver, makes a pact with the devil --- the infamously brutal tennis coach Todd Feltner --- she finds herself catapulted into a world of celebrity stylists, private parties, charity matches aboard mega-yachts, and secret dates with Hollywood royalty. Under Todd’s new ruthless regime, Charlie the good girl is out. Todd wants “Warrior Princess” Charlie all the way. Celebrity mags and gossip blogs go wild for Charlie as she jets around the globe chasing Grand Slam titles and Page Six headlines. But as the Warrior Princess’s star rises on and off the court, it comes at a cost. Reviewed by Sarah Jackman.

GUILTY MINDS by Joseph Finder (Thriller)
Audiobook available, read by Holter Graham
The chief justice of the Supreme Court is about to be defamed, his career destroyed, by a powerful gossip website that specializes in dirt on celebs and politicians. Their top reporter has written an exposé claiming that he had liaisons with an escort, a young woman prepared to tell the world her salacious tale. Intelligence operative Nick Heller has just 48 hours to disprove the story. But when the call girl is found murdered, Nick resolves to find the mastermind behind the conspiracy before anyone else falls victim to the maelstrom of political scandal and ruined reputations predicated upon one long-buried secret. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

OUTFOXED: An Andy Carpenter Mystery by David Rosenfelt (Mystery)
Audiobook available, read by Grover Gardner
Lately, defense lawyer Andy Carpenter has been involved in a county prison program where inmates help train dogs the Tara Foundation has rescued to make them more adoptable. One of the prisoners Andy has been working with is Brian Atkins, who has 18 months left on a five-year term for fraud. Brian has been helping to train Boomer, an adorable fox terrier the Tara Foundation rescued from a neglectful owner. But one day, Andy arrives at the prison to discover that Brian has used Boomer to make an ingenious escape. The next day, the man on whose testimony Brian was convicted is found murdered. Brian is caught and arrested for the crime, though he forcefully protests his innocence. Reviewed by Stuart Shiffman.

HOUSEBROKEN: Admissions of an Untidy Life by Laurie Notaro (Humor/Essays)
Audiobook available, read by Laurie Notaro
Laurie Notaro isn’t exactly a domestic goddess --- unless that means she fully embraces her genetic hoarding predisposition, sneaks peeks at her husband’s daily journal, or has made a list of the people she wants on her Apocalypse Survival team (her husband is not on it). She chronicles her chronic misfortune in the domestic arts, including cooking, cleaning, and putting on Spanx while sweaty (which should technically qualify as an Olympic sport). HOUSEBROKEN is a rollicking new collection of essays showcasing Notaro’s irreverent wit and inability to feel shame. Reviewed by Maggie Harding.

WHITE BONE by Ridley Pearson (Thriller)
Audiobook available, read by Todd Haberkorn
When ex–military contractor John Knox receives a text from partner Grace Chu warning that she fears her cover may have been blown while on assignment, he jumps into action. Knox must locate her overseas handlers, convince them of the threat, and then attempt to retrace the well-hidden steps of a woman who had been attempting to determine how one million euros’ worth of AIDS vaccine disappeared, all while eluding angry poachers on a parallel trail. As the threat from Al-Shaabab militants interferes with his pursuit of Grace, Knox finds himself pitted against the most savage and suicidal fighters in the world. Reviewed by Ray Palen.

KICK: The True Story of JFK's Sister and the Heir to Chatsworth by Paula Byrne (Biography)
Audiobook available, read by Antonia Beamish
Encouraged to be “winners” from a young age, Rose and Joe Kennedy’s children were the embodiment of ambitious, wholesome Americanism. Yet even within this ebullient group of overachievers, the fourth Kennedy child, the irrepressible Kathleen, stood out. Lively, charismatic, extremely clever, and blessed with graceful athleticism and a sunny disposition, the alluring socialite fondly known as Kick was a firecracker who effortlessly made friends and stole hearts. Paula Byrne recounts this remarkable young woman’s life in detail as never before. Reviewed by Amie Taylor.

WOLF LAKE by John Verdon (Mystery/Thriller)
Audiobook available, read by Christopher Lane
Former NYPD star homicide detective Dave Gurney is called upon to solve a baffling puzzle: Four people who live in different parts of the country and who seem to have little in common report having had the same dream --- a terrifying nightmare involving a bloody dagger with a carved wolf’s head on the handle. All four are subsequently found with their wrists cut --- apparent suicides --- and the weapon used in each case was a wolf’s head dagger. Troubled by odd holes in the official approach to the case, Gurney begins his own investigation --- an action that puts him in the crosshairs of not only an icy murderer and the local police but the darkest corner of the federal government. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

THE DREAM LIFE OF ASTRONAUTS: Stories by Patrick Ryan (Fiction/Short Stories)
A would-be Miss America auditions for a shady local talent scout over vodka and Sunny D; a NASA engineer begins to wonder if the woman he’s having an affair with is slowly poisoning her husband; a Boy Scout troop leader, recovering from a stroke, tries to protect one of his scouts from being bullied by his own sons; a grandmother, sentenced to driver’s ed after a traffic accident, surprises herself by falling for her instructor. THE DREAM LIFE OF ASTRONAUTS balances heartbreak with wry humor as its characters try to make sense of the paths they find themselves on. Reviewed by Sarah Rachel Egelman.

NIGHT OF THE ANIMALS by Bill Broun (Futuristic Fiction)
Audiobook available, performed by Ralph Lister
Over the course of a single night in 2052, a homeless man named Cuthbert Handley sets out on an astonishing quest: to release the animals of the London Zoo. When he was a young boy, Cuthbert’s grandmother had told him he inherited a magical ability to communicate with the animal world --- a gift she called the Wonderments. Ever since his older brother’s death in childhood, Cuthbert has heard voices. These maddening whispers must be the Wonderments, he believes, and recently they have promised to reunite him with his lost brother and bring about the coming of a Lord of Animals…if he fulfills this curious request. Reviewed by Maya Gittelman.

THE GIRL WHO ESCAPED ISIS: This Is My Story by Farida Khalaf and Andrea C. Hoffmann (Memoir)
Audiobook available, read by Lara Sawalha
In the early summer of 2014, Farida Khalaf was a typical Yazidi teenager living with her parents and three brothers in her village in the mountains of Northern Iraq. In one horrific day, she lost everything: ISIS invaded her village, destroyed her family and sold her into sexual slavery. THE GIRL WHO ESCAPED ISIS is her incredible account of captivity and describes how she defied the odds and escaped a life of torture, in order to share her story with the world. Reviewed by John Bentlyewski.

THE GRAVEYARD OF THE HESPERIDES: A Flavia Albia Novel by Lindsey Davis (Historical Mystery)
Audiobook available, read by Sarah Feathers
In first-century Rome, Flavia Albia, the daughter of Marcus Didius Falco, has taken up her father's former profession as an informer. Her beloved, the plebeian Manlius Faustus, has recently moved in and decided that they should get married in a big, showy ceremony as part of beginning a proper domestic life together. Also, his contracting firm has been renovating a rundown dive bar called The Garden of the Hesperides, only to uncover human remains buried in the backyard. In the choice between planning a wedding and looking into a crime from long ago, Albia would much rather investigate a possible murder. Or murders, as more and more remains are uncovered, revealing that something truly horrible has been going on at the Hesperides. Reviewed by Carly Silver.

SOHO SINS by Richard Vine (Mystery)
They were the New York art scene’s golden couple until Amanda Oliver was found murdered, and her husband Philip confessed to shooting her. But was he a continent away when she died? Art dealer Jackson Wyeth sets out to learn the truth, and uncovers the secrets of Manhattan’s galleries and wild parties, a world of beautiful girls growing up too fast and men losing their minds. But even the worst the art world can imagine will seem tame when the final sin is revealed. Reviewed by Tom Callahan and Joe Hartlaub.

DR. KNOX by Peter Spiegelman (Thriller)
Audiobook available, read by Keith Szarabajka
Adam Knox runs a clinic near Los Angeles’s Skid Row, making ends meet by making house calls on those too famous or too criminal to seek other medical care. When a young boy is abandoned at his clinic, Knox is determined to find the boy’s family and save him from the not-so-tender mercies of the child welfare bureaucracy. But Knox’s search for the volatile woman who may or may not be the boy’s mother leads him and his friend, a former Special Forces operator, into a labyrinth of human traffickers, Russian mobsters and corporate security thugs; and squarely into the sights of a powerful, secretive and utterly ruthless family that threatens to destroy Dr. Knox and everything --- and everyone --- he holds dear. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.
Next Week's Notables: Noteworthy Books Releasing on July 26th
Below are some notable titles releasing on July 26th that we would like to make you aware of. We will have more on many of these books in the weeks to come. For a list of additional hardcovers and paperbacks releasing the week of July 25th, see our “On Sale This Week” newsletter here.

BLUE MOON: Mundy’s Landing Book Two by Wendy Corsi Staub (Thriller)
A century ago, the Sleeping Beauty Murders terrified Mundy’s Landing. The victims and the killer were never identified. Now, on the 100th anniversary, the Historical Society is offering a hefty reward for solving the case. But Annabelle Bingham, a woman living in one of the three Murder Houses, can’t escape the feeling that her family is being watched.

COUSIN JOSEPH: A Graphic Novel by Jules Feiffer (Graphic Novel)
While in the midst of the Great Depression, Big Sam sees himself as a righteous, truth-seeking patriot, defending the American way. At the same time, he makes secret trips on behalf of Cousin Joseph, a mysterious man on the phone, to pay off Hollywood producers to ensure that they will only film upbeat movies that idealize a mythic America.

DARK MATTER by Blake Crouch (Science Fiction/Thriller)
A masked abductor knocks him unconscious, and then Jason Dessen awakens to find himself strapped to a gurney, surrounded by strangers in hazmat suits. In this world he’s woken up to, Jason’s life is not the one he knows. Is it this world or the other that’s a dream?

HEROES OF THE FRONTIER by Dave Eggers (Fiction/Adventure)
Josie and her children’s father have split up, she’s being sued by a former patient, and she’s grieving the death of a young man senselessly killed. When her ex asks to take the children to meet his new fiancée’s family, Josie makes a run for it to Alaska, accompanied by her kids. But as they drive, Josie is chased by enemies both real and imagined.

KILLER LOOK by Linda Fairstein (Mystery/Thriller)
New York City is one of the fashion capitals of the world, but high fashion means high stakes, as Alex Cooper quickly discovers when businessman and designer Wolf Savage is found dead in an apparent suicide. When the man’s daughter insists that Savage’s death was a homicide, the case becomes much more than just a media sensation.

TRULY MADLY GUILTY by Liane Moriarty (Psychological Thriller)
Sam and Clementine have a wonderful, albeit busy life. Clementine and Erika are each other’s oldest friends, but theirs is a complicated relationship. Two months after Erika invites them to her neighbors’ barbeque, it won’t stop raining, and Clementine and Sam can’t stop asking themselves one question: What if we hadn’t gone?

VALLEY OF THE MOON by Melanie Gideon (Fiction)
Lux is a single mom struggling to make her way in the world when she stumbles across an idyllic community called Greengage where she feels instantly at home. It seems like a place from another time --- until she realizes it actually is. Lux must raise her son in her world, but every day she is more strongly drawn in by the sweet simplicity of life in Greengage.

WICKED by Joanne Fluke (Mystery/Thriller)
For one month, Eve Carrington will participate in an exclusive writers workshop where she will live, write and share her work with nine other aspiring authors. Her biggest rival, Angela, is writing a murder mystery based on the workshop and its participants. But when life begins imitating art, death starts knocking out the competition.

YOU WILL KNOW ME by Megan Abbott (Psychological Thriller)
How far will you go to achieve a dream? That’s the question a celebrated coach poses to Katie and Eric Knox after he sees their daughter Devon, a gymnastics prodigy, compete. But when a violent death rocks the gymnastics community, Katie finds herself drawn to the crime. What she uncovers forces her to consider if there’s any price she isn’t willing to pay to achieve Devon’s dream.
 
Click here to see the latest "On Sale This Week" newsletter.
Our Latest Poll: Last Page First?
Do you ever read the last page of a book first?

  • Always
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  • I often am tempted, but I resist.
  • No, it would ruin the reading experience for me.
  • No, but I would be open to doing this.
Click here to vote in the poll.
Word of Mouth Contest: Tell Us What You're Reading --- and You Can Win Two Books!
Tell us about the books you’ve finished reading with your comments and a rating of 1 to 5 stars. During the contest period from July 22nd to August 5th at noon ET, three lucky readers each will be randomly chosen to win a copy of SWEET TOMORROWS: A Rose Harbor Novel by Debbie Macomber and YOU WILL KNOW ME by Megan Abbott.

To make sure other readers will be able to find the books you write about, please include the full title and correct author names (your entry must include these to be eligible to win). For rules and guidelines, click here.

-To see reader comments from previous contest periods, click here.
 
Click here to enter the contest.
Sounding Off on Audio Contest: Tell Us What You're Listening to --- and You Can Win Two Audiobooks!
Tell us about the audiobooks you’ve finished listening to with your comments and a rating of 1 to 5 stars for both the performance and the content. During the contest period from July 1st to August 1st at noon ET, two lucky readers each will be randomly chosen to win the audio versions of Wendy Walker’s ALL IS NOT FORGOTTEN, read by Dylan Baker, and Cathleen Schine's THEY MAY NOT MEAN TO, BUT THEY DO, read by Cynthia Darlow.

To make sure other readers will be able to find the audiobook, please include the full title and correct author names (your entry must include these to be eligible to win). For complete rules and guidelines, click here.

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

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