Skip to main content

Weekly Update

April 24, 2015

Bookreporter.com Newsletter April 24, 2015
Men and Women of Science; If My Professors Could See Me Reading Now!

When I was in school, I had zip science aptitude. I remember studying the periodic chart in high school and the torture of trying to memorize it; like trigonometry, calculus and chemistry, it is something that I never use today. I took a course called “Energy” when I was in college to fulfill a science requirement. I went to class every day and drew pictures of nuclear reactors that I could not understand (though I drew them just like what was on the board), but I did write a killer 20-page paper about “Women on the Alaska Pipeline” that saved my grade.

That said, this week I read two nonfiction books about the medical profession and loved them both. First up was THE NURSES: A Year of Secrets, Drama, and Miracles with the Heroes of the Hospital by Alexandra Robbins. Robbins shadowed nurses at four hospitals and interviewed scores more to develop the narrative for this story about those on the front lines of medicine. Four very different hospitals are profiled, each forming a different backdrop for the challenges of nursing care. It's very well done; I was completely engaged reading it (I have a few chapters left), and it's in stores now. And who does not look at that cover and think "Nurse Jackie"?

The second was BLACK MAN IN A WHITE COAT by Damon Tweedy, M.D., an upcoming BEA Buzz book, which will be in stores on September 8th. The book opens when Tweedy is in medical school at Duke and is mistaken for a janitor by one of his professors. He goes on to chronicle what he learned about people of color while he was studying, and how he often saw medicine differently from his colleagues because of his background. He brings an interesting and valuable perspective on healthcare in this country for all of those who are less privileged, without being preachy or political. It’s a clear view from a man in a white coat. I am looking forward to interviewing Dr. Tweedy at BEA.

Continuing my nonfiction reading, I have been listening to the audiobook of THE WRIGHT BROTHERS by David McCullough, which will be on sale on May 5th. It's narrated by McCullough, and I am enjoying it. As we have spent many happy days on the Outer Banks, I love hearing background on the area at the turn of the century, when life there was a lot more primitive. Oh, and here’s an interesting factoid for you: When the brothers were running their bicycle shop in Dayton, there was a huge controversy as biking became a pastime. There was a fear it would take people away from reading! I kid you not. Now with audiobooks, we can cycle on a stationary bike and listen to an audiobook. See how things go full circle? (Pun intended!) My younger son, Cory, is studying to be an aeronautical engineer, and for as long as I can remember, he has had an interest in flight. I'm looking forward to his reading this.

In our previous poll, we asked if television watching --- the 2015 version of the bicycle --- has interfered with your reading over the past year. 39% of you said sometimes, 24% said definitely, while for 36% of you, nothing gets in the way of your reading. I promised my answer. I watch a lot of television, movies and documentaries, but I still read as much as I did before. I thought about what I have given up. 1) Mindless shopping. I literally only shop when I need something. 2) Excess socializing. While I have a busy work social calendar during the week, on weekends I am not one who routinely hangs out with friends during the day. We often entertain for dinner on Saturday nights, but not usually during the day, and we try to keep Sundays free. 3) Organizing attics and photo albums. I do not think a picture has made it into an album since Cory was born! 4) I do not look at Pinterest. I went once and thought this is a rabbit hole I do not need to go down!

Our latest poll asks, "Do you typically feel the need to read books as soon as they are available?" Click here to tell us what you think. You know my answer. If you are in a book group, click here to let us know which of the 15 books noted your group has read.

We posted a new Word of Mouth contest today. Please let us know by Friday, May 8th at noon ET what books you’ve finished reading, and you’ll have the opportunity to win A GOD IN RUINS by Kate Atkinson, THE LAST BOOKANEER by Matthew Pearl, and the aforementioned THE WRIGHT BROTHERS by David McCullough.

We are thinking about adding a new feature where readers would weigh in solely on audiobooks, much the same way they do with print and eBooks (and occasionally with audiobooks) on Word of Mouth. We could use your help in evaluating if this is a good idea; the tentative title is "Sounding Off on Audio," the same title we used for our reader interviews about audio a few months ago. Click here to share your feedback on this idea.

Now moving on to this week’s very robust update.

From bestselling author Jon Krakauer comes MISSOULA: Rape and the Justice System in a College Town, a carefully reported narrative about a series of sexual assaults that took place at the University of Montana. The Department of Justice has reported that an estimated 110,000 women between the ages of 18 and 24 are raped each year, with few handled properly by university or local authorities. The college town of Missoula, Montana, is no exception, with 350 sexual assaults investigated between January 2008 and May 2012. Krakauer’s account of what happened in Missoula explains the brutal reality of why rape is so common on college campuses and how the broken justice system has continued to make college-aged women victims.

By the way, according to the New York Times, “Krakauer’s book was not scheduled for release this soon, and he was still making corrections to it in March. But he has said that its publication has been moved up in the wake of Rolling Stone’s botched and retracted article about an alleged fraternity gang-rape at the University of Virginia.”

Jana Siciliano has our review and says, "Krakauer is a gifted journalist, and this is a highly recommended book. Be prepared to be shocked --- and please take that shock and use it whenever you can to support a woman or man who has suffered that kind of violence themselves."

Nobel laureate Toni Morrison has written her first novel to be set in our contemporary moment. In GOD HELP THE CHILD, she explores the ways in which childhood traumas can shape the life of an adult through Bride, a stunning girl with dark, blue-black skin. In her youth, Bride is rejected by her light-skinned mother, who is ironically named Sweetness. Although she goes on to become a cosmetics mogul, her success does not translate to her personal life, particularly when it comes to Booker, the man she loves. In the end, Bride must learn that she cannot let the sins of others define her --- or keep her from the happiness she deserves.

According to reviewer Barbara Lipkien Gershenbaum, "Fans and newcomers alike will be forced to think about newspaper headlines screaming about abused children in a new light. The horror that these girls and boys suffer will feel more real after reading this masterpiece of a novel.” I'm adding this one to my reading pile.

David Baldacci reveals the drawbacks of a perfect memory in his latest thriller, MEMORY MAN. An athletic superstar, Amos Decker was the only person from his hometown to ever go pro on the gridiron. But that all changed when a violent collision knocked him off the field and left him with hyperthymesia, the inability to forget. Nearly two decades later, Decker is a police detective returning from a stakeout when he finds his entire family brutally murdered. Unable to forget every detail of the night, Decker leaves the force and winds up on the street acting as a private investigator. But now a man has come forth to confess to the murders, and it is Decker’s chance to learn what really happened that night --- even if it means remembering things he would rather forget.

Reviewer Ray Palen says, “Readers will find it very easy to empathize with the frustration Decker faces when he examines his life and will cringe when it seems that it is all unraveling on him again.”

Fans of NATCHEZ BURNING will be delighted to learn that Greg Iles has released THE BONE TREE, the highly anticipated second book in his trilogy featuring Southern lawyer Penn Cage. Picking up where the opening installment left off, this follow-up finds Penn and his fiancée shortly after escaping an attack by wealthy businessman Brody Royal and his Double Eagles, a KKK sect. However, the danger has only just begun as Penn has learned that Brody was not the highest-ranking leader of the Double Eagles. The true commander of the dangerous sect is Forrest Knox, the chief of the state police’s Criminal Investigations Bureau. Now the only way Penn can save his father from corrupt cops is to either make a bargain with Knox or destroy him.

Ray Palen has this to say in his rave review: “Only a writer at the top of his game like Iles can manage to keep all of these characters relevant and vital while having them explore the darkest and most dangerous events unfolding throughout the book.” Please also check out our discussion guide for THE BONE TREE, which was written by Ray, on our ReadingGroupGuides.com site here. I will see my husband again in a few days once he finishes this; the same thing happened with NATCHEZ BURNING.

Elizabeth Alexander --- the celebrated poet invited to speak at President Obama’s 2009 inauguration --- has released her first memoir, THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD. In the year 2012, Elizabeth found herself at a crossroads after the sudden loss of her husband. Here, she combines her poetic gifts with rich prose to convey the story of her love and loss. As she reflects on the beauty of her married life, the sudden trauma of losing her husband and the strength she found in caring for her sons, she realizes it is possible to find meaning in loss.

Jane Krebs has our review and says, “By using memory and exquisite descriptions of a well-lived life with Ficre Ghebreyesus, Elizabeth Alexander tells the story of her grief and the poignant realizations of what she has lost.... A happy ending can only come through appreciating the complexity and joyfulness of Ficre’s life, as well as lingering on the pages of this beautiful memoir.” I have had the pleasure of being in Elizabeth’s company three times over the last few months, and each was a complete delight. We spoke extensively about the book. I have four friends who lost their spouses at young ages, and THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD is something I think each could relate to. It will be my next Bookreporter.com Bets On selection, and you can read my commentary in next week’s newsletter.

Our latest New Release Spotlight features YOUR NEXT BREATH, Iris Johansen’s new thriller that releases on Tuesday the 28th. Catherine Ling was pulled off the streets of Hong Kong and into the CIA at only 14. Since then, she has become one of their most prized operatives and has learned not to get attached --- except when it comes to her son, Luke, and her mentor, Hu Chang. Kidnapped at age two, Luke has just been returned to her nine years later, and she has vowed never to lose him again. But now a vicious killer is stalking the people who have helped her in her long journey. As those close to her continue to die, it is up to Catherine to find out who is targeting her loved ones --- and go after the killer herself.

Our Women's Fiction Author Spotlight on Sarah Vaughan and her debut novel, THE ART OF BAKING BLIND, continues. In the 1960s, famous cookbook writer Kathleen Eaden gifted the culinary world with The Art of Baking, a guide to nurturing one’s family with delicious treats. Now five amateur bakers are competing to become the new Mrs. Eaden. Each competitor has a different reason for being there, and each will do anything to win. But as alliances form and secrets come to the surface, it becomes clear that perfection is near impossible anywhere outside of the kitchen. There is still time to enter to win one of 25 copies of THE ART OF BAKING BLIND, which releases on May 5th, and share your comments on it. The deadline for your entries is Thursday, April 30th at noon ET.

Also available this week is BIG WEED: An Entrepreneur's High-Stakes Adventures in the Budding Legal Marijuana Trade by Christian Hageseth, CEO of the firm Green Man Cannabis, located in Denver, Colorado. In celebration of its release, Christian has been kind enough to write a piece for us in which he discusses his dealings with legal marijuana and how the national conversation has changed. On the same controversial topic, we are also featuring JUST SAY YES, a memoir by Catherine Hiller about her experiences with the drug. Click here to read our reviewer Tom Callahan’s take on the book.

With Mother’s Day just a couple of weeks away, we wanted to remind you about our 10th Annual Mother’s Day contest. We’re featuring 27 books that are perfect for gift giving for moms. You’ll have the chance to win one of our 25 prize packages, which includes a selection of five of these books, along with some delicious Ghirardelli chocolate, tea from Tea Forté and Yardley Bar Soap. The deadline for your entries is Monday, May 11th at noon ET. Click here to take a look at our amazing lineup of titles and enter to win. (Please note that two of these titles --- the eShorts CAT AND JEMIMA J by Jane Green and WHAT SHE REALLY WANTS by Barbara Delinsky --- are available for free download on Amazon Kindle on May 5th.)

Our Spring Preview contests wrapped up this week, with THE DAYLIGHT MARRIAGE by Heidi Pitlor as our final prize book. Many thanks to all who entered these 21 contests…and a big congratulations to all our winners, which you can see here. You won’t be deprived of these 24-hour giveaways for long, as on May 15th we kick off our Summer Reading feature! You can sign up for Summer Reading newsletters here.

We’ve updated our Young Adult Books You Want to Read feature, books we’ve reviewed on our Teenreads.com site that we think our adult readers will enjoy. This month’s titles are I WILL ALWAYS WRITE BACK: How One Letter Changed Two Lives, by Caitlin Alifirenka and Martin Ganda with Liz Welch; BLACK DOVE, WHITE RAVEN by Elizabeth Wein; FIG by Sarah Elizabeth Schantz; and THE BULLIES OF WALL STREET: This Is How Greedy Adults Messed Up Our Economy, by Sheila Bair.

Last weekend, our reader Kathy Jund attended the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books, which I had so much fun attending for five years and was sorry to miss it this year. Click here to read our interview with Kathy and see a gallery of some wonderful photos she took at the festival.

News and Pop Culture:

Pulitzer Prize winner: ALL THE LIGHT WE CANNOT SEE by Anthony Doerr. One of many much-deserved awards for this book, and I also selected it as a Bookreporter.com Bets On pick when it first released.

X: The name of Sue Grafton’s upcoming book, which will be in stores on August 25th. Just X; USA Today has more and an excerpt, which you can see here.

Starbucks & Authors: Take a look at suggested beverages for some favorite authors here.

Alaska and Hawaii: Melanie told me that entries from the 49th and 50th states were submitted as Word of Mouth entries in the first 24 hours of the previous WOM contest! I promised I would give this a shout-out.

Ann Rule’s own true-crime story: I was saddened to read this piece about Ann Rule’s sons abusing her. Greg had the absolute pleasure of having dinner with her a few years ago at ThrillerFest; I was in San Diego and always will regret missing that dinner.

Coloring books for adults: I have been reading about these for weeks, and they really are quite stellar. Read more about them here. Hmmmm, wonder if I can color between the lines better than when I was a child. Remember outlining and then coloring between the lines?

Ten: The number of friends who told me that they are listening to/reading A FINE ROMANCE by Candice Bergen after my rave for it. Lovely!

Reese Witherspoon: Why is she in a book newsletter? Because she has been selected to narrate Harper Lee’s GO SET A WATCHMAN; read more about that here. I loved her in Walk the Line (and, of course, I now have been humming Johnny Cash songs channeling her Southern voice). It beats seeing her in those commercials for Hot Pursuit, which have been running all week.

Audiobook recommendation from Hedy, one of our readers: “Just wanted to let you know of a wonderful narration I am almost done with, THE LOVE SONG OF QUEENIE HENNESSY. Narrated by Celia Imrie (who starred in The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel). Just beautifully done and a wonderful sequel." Next up for her on audio is Candice Bergen.

Journey to a cover: Found this video, which shows the cover treatments done for HAUSFRAU before it was finalized.

Interstellar: Watched it last weekend and enjoyed it. It had science AND math, and thus I was a bit lost at times, but enjoyed it overall. The theory of relativity is explored. Hmmm…I know…I am betting the screenwriter wrote this to pass a physics class! Actually, I found out that he studied relativity science at the California Institute of Technology while writing the script.

Nicole Sherman, our amazing Advertising/Promotions Manager, has a birthday today. Yesterday to celebrate (as I am not in NY on Fridays), we consumed a Mrs. Fields cookie that was the size of a pizza with her name in writing; we cut it in slices. As one of her long list of tasks, Nikki, as we know her, handles winner selection for all contests. If you want to wish her a happy birthday, drop her a note at Nicole@bookreporter.com. And to be really nice to her on her birthday and throughout the year, be sure to spell your name right on all contest entries and use appropriate upper and lower caps (unless you are e e cummings). Trust that this would be better than flowers, chocolates or even a puppy.

I realized last Sunday that I am interviewing 11 authors at BEA/BookCon, not nine --- and yes, there was a small moment of panic when I did that math. I smiled when I saw the two other books as they were ones I was looking forward to and propelled them to the top of the stack. Whew!

Last Saturday, the weather was so beautiful that I was reading on the deck wearing shorts and a t-shirt. I broached the idea of opening the pool, working myself into a frenzy picturing myself floating in the water in April, something I
have never done. My husband, Tom, who is grounded more in reality-land when it comes to the pool, gave me a look and said, “No.” Okay, when it was 38 degrees yesterday morning, I have to admit he was very wise to have held me back! But we said words like "solar cover," and I felt myself swooning with excitement for the official pool opening.

Quiet weekend ahead. Cory is going to the Orchid Ball at NJIT (I hope he bought his date an orchid). Last weekend, he danced in a dance marathon and had many funny stories about that (I should have suggested that he watch They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?). The production involved in getting him a suit to fit for this semi-formal was amusing; he grew out of his old suit five inches ago.

Read on, and here’s to a great week ahead.

Carol Fitzgerald (Carol@bookreporter.com)

P.S. For those of you who shop online, if you use the store links below, Bookreporter.com gets a small affiliate fee on your purchases. We would appreciate your considering this!

Now in Stores: MISSOULA by Jon Krakauer
MISSOULA: Rape and the Justice System in a College Town by Jon Krakauer (True Crime)
Jon Krakauer chronicles the searing experiences of several women in Missoula --- the nights when they were raped; their fear and self-doubt in the aftermath; the way they were treated by the police, prosecutors, defense attorneys; the public vilification and private anguish; their bravery in pushing forward and what it cost them. Krakauer’s dispassionate, carefully documented account of what these ladies endured cuts through the abstract ideological debate about campus rape. Reviewed by Jana Siciliano.

-Click here to read more about the book.
 
Click here to read a review.
Now in Stores: GOD HELP THE CHILD by Toni Morrison
GOD HELP THE CHILD by Toni Morrison (Fiction)
At the center of Toni Morrison’s first novel to be set in our current moment is a young woman who calls herself Bride, whose stunning blue-black skin caused her light-skinned mother to deny her even the simplest forms of love. There’s also Booker, the man Bride loves but loses to anger; Rain, the mysterious white child with whom she crosses paths; and Bride’s mother, Sweetness, who takes a lifetime to come to understand that “what you do to children matters. And they might never forget.” Reviewed by Barbara Lipkien Gershenbaum.

-Click here to read more about the book.
 
Click here to read a review.
Now in Stores: MEMORY MAN by David Baldacci
MEMORY MAN by David Baldacci (Thriller)
Amos Decker returned from a stakeout one evening and entered a nightmare --- his wife, young daughter and brother-in-law had been murdered. His family destroyed, their killer's identity as mysterious as the motive behind the crime, and unable to forget a single detail from that horrible night, Decker finds his world collapsing around him. But over a year later, a man turns himself in to the police and confesses to the murders. Decker must endure the memories he would much rather forget --- and may have to make the ultimate sacrifice. Reviewed by Ray Palen.

-Click here to read more about the book.
 
Click here to read a review.
Now in Stores: THE BONE TREE by Greg Iles
THE BONE TREE by Greg Iles (Thriller)
THE BONE TREE is the highly anticipated second installment in Greg Iles’ epic trilogy featuring Southern lawyer Penn Cage, a tale that explores the conflicts and casualties that result when the darkest truths of American history come to light. It puts us inside the skin of a noble man who has always fought for justice --- now finally pushed beyond his limits. Just how far will Penn Cage, the hero we thought we knew, go to protect those he loves? Reviewed by Ray Palen.

-Click here to read more about the book.
-Click here for the reading group guide.
 
Click here to read a review.
Now in Stores: THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD by Elizabeth Alexander
THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD: A Memoir by Elizabeth Alexander (Memoir)
In THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD, Elizabeth Alexander finds herself at an existential crossroads after the sudden death of her husband, who was just 49. Reflecting with gratitude on the exquisite beauty of her married life that was, grappling with the subsequent void, and feeling a re-energized devotion to her two teenage sons, Alexander channels her poetic sensibilities into a rich, lucid prose that describes a very personal and yet universal quest for meaning, understanding and acceptance. Reviewed by Jane Krebs.

-Click here to read more about the book.
 
Click here to read a review.
New Release Spotlight: YOUR NEXT BREATH by Iris Johansen
YOUR NEXT BREATH by Iris Johansen (Thriller)
Catherine Ling is one of the CIA's most prized operatives. Raised on the streets of Hong Kong, she was pulled into the agency at the age of 14. If life has taught her anything, it is not to get attached, but there are two exceptions to that rule: her son Luke and her mentor Hu Chang. Luke was kidnapped at age two, and now, nine years later, he has astonishingly been returned to her. Catherine vows never to fail him again. Now, just as she is building a relationship with Luke, it seems that someone from Catherine's past is playing a deadly game with her, and using those she cares about as pawns.

Three are dead already: the former prostitute who helped Catherine when she was out on the street, a CIA agent with whom she worked closely, and the informant who helped her free Luke. Someone is picking off the people Catherine cares about one by one, with the circle narrowing closer and closer to those she loves the most. Catherine has made many enemies throughout her life, and she has no choice but to weed through her past to find out who is targeting her now, and then go after the vicious killer herself.

YOUR NEXT BREATH releases on April 28th.

-Click here to read an excerpt.
-Click here to read Iris Johansen’s bio.
-Click here to visit Iris Johansen’s official website.
-Click here to connect with Iris Johansen on Facebook.
 
Click here to read more in our New Release Spotlight.
Women’s Fiction Author Spotlight & Contest: THE ART OF BAKING BLIND by Sarah Vaughan
We have 25 copies of THE ART OF BAKING BLIND by Sarah Vaughan to give away to readers who would like to read the book, which releases on May 5th, and share their comments on it. To enter, please fill out this form by Thursday, April 30th at noon ET.

THE ART OF BAKING BLIND by Sarah Vaughan (Fiction)
In 1966, Kathleen Eaden, cookbook writer and wife of a supermarket magnate, published The Art of Baking, her guide to nurturing a family by creating the most exquisite pastries, biscuits and cakes. Now, five amateur bakers are competing to become the New Mrs. Eaden. There's Jenny, facing an empty nest now that her family has flown; Claire, who has sacrificed her dreams for her daughter; Mike, trying to parent his two kids after his wife's death; Vicki, who has dropped everything to be at home with her baby boy; and Karen, perfect Karen, who knows what it's like to have nothing and is determined her facade shouldn't slip.

As unlikely alliances are forged and secrets rise to the surface, making the choicest pastry seems the least of the contestants' problems. For they will learn --- just as Mrs. Eaden did before them --- that while perfection is possible in the kitchen, it's very much harder in life.

-Click here to read an excerpt.
-Click here to read Sarah Vaughan’s bio.
-Connect with Sarah Vaughan on Facebook and Twitter.
 
Click here to read more in our Women's Fiction Author Spotlight and enter the contest.
Bookreporter.com's 10th Annual Mother's Day Contest: Books Mom Will Love
Mother’s Day is a time to recognize the woman who raised and nurtured us. To celebrate, we're giving you the opportunity to win books and goodies for you or the special lady in your life in our 10th annual "Books Mom Will Love" contest. From now through Monday, May 11th at noon ET, readers can enter to win one of our 25 prize packages, which includes a selection of five books listed below, along with some delicious Ghirardelli chocolate, tea from Tea Forté and Yardley Bar Soap. (Please note that two of these titles --- the eShorts CAT AND JEMIMA J by Jane Green and WHAT SHE REALLY WANTS by Barbara Delinsky --- are available for free download on Amazon Kindle beginning May 5th.)

With books that are moving, uplifting, humorous and informative, look no further than Bookreporter.com for the perfect gift for Mom.

To enter, please fill out this form by Monday, May 11th at noon ET.

This year's featured titles are:

Click here to read more about the prize books and enter the contest.
Christian Hageseth, Author of BIG WEED, Talks About America’s Relationship with Marijuana and Why the Industry is on the Brink
Christian Hageseth is the CEO of the Denver, Colorado firm Green Man Cannabis and the author of BIG WEED: An Entrepreneur’s High-Stakes Adventures in the Budding Legal Marijuana Trade, which is now available. According to Hageseth, the marijuana industry is on the brink of a revolution. In this article, he explains how America’s perception of pot has changed since the '30s and why it’s high time we start taking the drug seriously.

BIG WEED: An Entrepreneur's High-Stakes Adventures in the Budding Legal Marijuana Trade
by Christian Hageseth, with Joseph D’Agnese (Business/Current Events)
Marijuana legalization is the hottest story in the US today. Twenty-two states have authorized sales in some form; Denver has more legal marijuana dispensaries than Starbucks franchises. We are witnessing the dawn of a new industry. Christian Hageseth is the face of the revolution --- an entrepreneur and father of three who worked in the white-collar professional world for 20 years before opening his first dispensary. In BIG WEED, he paints a colorful picture not only of how he got into the business, but of the big interests that are eager to do the same.

-Click here to read more about the book.

 
Click here to read Christian Hageseth's article on marijuana and the industry.
New Guides Now Available on ReadingGroupGuides.com
The following guides are now available on ReadingGroupGuides.com:

THE BONE TREE by Greg Iles (Thriller)
THE BONE TREE is an explosive, action-packed thriller full of twisting intrigue and deadly secrets, a tale that explores the conflicts and casualties that result when the darkest truths of American history come to light.

A DANGEROUS PLACE: A Maisie Dobbs Novel by Jacqueline Winspear (Historical Mystery)
Maisie Dobbs returns in a powerful story of political intrigue and personal tragedy: A brutal murder in the British garrison town of Gilbraltar leads the investigator into a web of lies, deceit and danger.

DIAMOND HEAD by Cecily Wong (Historical Fiction)
DIAMOND HEAD is a sweeping debut, crossing from China to Hawaii, that follows three generations of a wealthy dynasty whose rise and decline is riddled with secrets and tragic love.

DON'T TRY TO FIND ME by Holly Brown (Psychological Thriller)
When 14-year-old Marley Willits runs away, her parents embark on a public social media campaign to find her, exposing all their darkest secrets and changing their family forever in this suspenseful and gripping novel.

THE DREAM LOVER by Elizabeth Berg (Historical Fiction)
New York Times bestselling author Elizabeth Berg has written a lush historical novel based on the sensuous Parisian life of the 19th-century writer George Sand --- which is perfect for readers of Nancy Horan and Elizabeth Gilbert.

THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN by Paula Hawkins (Psychological Thriller)
Compulsively readable, THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN is an emotionally immersive, Hitchcockian thriller, and an electrifying debut that will forever change the way you look at other people's lives.

THE HURRICANE SISTERS by Dorothea Benton Frank (Fiction)
Filled with her trademark wit, sassy, heartwarming characters and the steamy Southern atmosphere and beauty of her beloved Carolina Lowcountry, THE HURRICANE SISTERS is New York Times bestselling author Dorothea Benton Frank’s enchanting tale of the ties and lies between generations.

I ALWAYS LOVED YOU by Robin Oliveira (Historical Fiction)
In I ALWAYS LOVED YOU, Robin Oliveira brilliantly recreates the irresistible world of Belle Époque Paris, writing with grace and uncommon insight into the passion and foibles of the human heart.

THE KING'S CURSE by Philippa Gregory (Historical Fiction)
From the #1 New York Times bestselling author behind the Starz original series “The White Queen” comes the story of lady-in-waiting Margaret Pole and her unique view of King Henry VIII’s stratospheric rise to power in Tudor England.

THE MEMORY HOUSE: A Honey Ridge Novel by Linda Goodnight (Fiction)
New York Times bestselling author Linda Goodnight brings a brand-new tale of tender love and a house that’s rich with secrets and brimming with sweet possibilities in the small town of Honey Ridge, Tennessee.

THE MEMORY PAINTER by Gwendolyn Womack (Thriller)
Two lovers who have traveled across time. A team of scientists at the cutting edge of memory research. A miracle drug that unlocks an ancient mystery.

MIMI MALLOY, AT LAST! by Julia MacDonnell (Fiction)
A "moving, funny masterpiece about love, memory, and the family ties we sometimes need to untangle" (Caroline Leavitt), MIMI MALLOY, AT LAST! is an unforgettable novel, alive with hope, unexpected romance and the magic of hard-earned insight.

WHERE THEY FOUND HER by Kimberly McCreight (Psychological Suspense)
Kimberly McCreight's taut and profoundly moving novel unwinds the tangled truth behind a tragedy, revealing that three women have far more in common than they ever could have imagined: that the very worst crimes are committed against those we love.


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

THE FORTUNE HUNTER by Daisy Goodwin (Historical Fiction)
A beautiful empress, a handsome horseman and a bluestocking heiress form a passionate love triangle in this historical novel from the New York Times bestselling author of THE AMERICAN HEIRESS.

GEMINI by Carol Cassella (Mystery)
When an unidentified Jane Doe, the victim of a hit-and-run, arrives in Dr. Charlotte Reese’s intensive care unit, she brings with her mysteries --- both medical and personal.

THE WEDDING GIFT by Marlen Suyapa Bodden (Historical Fiction)
Marlen Suyapa Bodden's THE WEDDING GIFT is an intimate portrait of slavery and the 19th-century South that will leave readers breathless.
 
Click here to visit ReadingGroupGuides.com.
More Reviews This Week

ORHAN’S INHERITANCE by Aline Ohanesian (Fiction)
When Orhan’s brilliant and eccentric grandfather is found dead in a vat of dye, Orhan inherits his decades-old business. Kemal has left the family estate to a stranger thousands of miles away, an aging woman in a retirement home in Los Angeles. Intent on righting this injustice, Orhan boards a plane to LA. There, he will unearth the story that 87-year-old Seda so closely guards --- the story that, if told, has the power to undo the legacy upon which Orhan’s family is built, the story that could unravel Orhan’s own future. Reviewed by Kate Ayers.

JUST SAY YES: A Marijuana Memoir by Catherine Hiller (Memoir)
As someone who has smoked weed almost every day for 50 years, author Catherine Hiller has produced an entertaining and positive narrative about long-term cannabis use. She describes climbing filthy tenement stairs in NYC to get her bi-monthly supply, giving advice about grass to an octogenarian couple, going to the Burning Man festival, filming Paul Bowles, smoking pot in the Caribbean, interviewing John Updike about marijuana, and being among the film crew at Woodstock. Reviewed by Tom Callahan.

REYKJAVIK NIGHTS: An Inspector Erlendur Novel by Arnaldur Indridason (Mystery)
In this prequel to his critically acclaimed Inspector Erlendur series, Arnaldur Indridason gives devoted fans a glimpse of Erlendur as a young, budding detective. The beat on the streets in Reykjavik is busy: traffic accidents, theft, domestic violence, contraband…and an unexplained death. When a tramp he met regularly on the night shift is found drowned in a ditch, no one seems to care. But his fate haunts Erlendur and drags him inexorably into the strange and dark underworld of the city. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

HOW I SHED MY SKIN: Unlearning the Racist Lessons of a Southern Childhood by Jim Grimsley (Memoir)
Jim Grimsley was 11 years old in 1966 when federally mandated integration of schools went into effect in the state and the school in his small eastern North Carolina town was first integrated. What he did not realize until he began to meet these new students was just how deeply ingrained his own prejudices were and how those prejudices had developed in him. Now, more than 40 years later, Grimsley looks back at that school and those times --- remembering his own first real encounters with black children and their culture. Reviewed by Barbara Bamberger Scott.

THIEVES FALL OUT by Gore Vidal, writing as Cameron Kay (Crime Fiction)
Lost for more than 60 years and overflowing with political and sexual intrigue, THIEVES FALL OUT provides a delicious glimpse into the mind of Gore Vidal in his formative years. By turns mischievous and deadly serious, Vidal tells the story of a man caught up in events bigger than he is, a down-on-his-luck American hired to smuggle an ancient relic out of Cairo at a time when revolution is brewing and heads are about to roll. Reviewed by Tom Callahan.

PICNIC IN PROVENCE: A Memoir with Recipes by Elizabeth Bard (Memoir)
Filled with enticing recipes for stuffed zucchini flowers, fig tart and honey & thyme ice cream, PICNIC IN PROVENCE is the story of everything that happens after the happily ever after: an American learning the tricks of French motherhood, a family finding a new professional passion, and a cook's initiation into classic Provencal cuisine. With wit, humor and a scoop of wild strawberry sorbet, Elizabeth Bard reminds us that life --- in and out of the kitchen --- is a rendezvous with the unexpected. Reviewed by Maggie Harding.

THE DEAD LANDS by Benjamin Percy (Post-Apocalyptic Thriller)
In Benjamin Percy's new thriller, a post-apocalyptic reimagining of the Lewis and Clark saga, a super flu and nuclear fallout have made a husk of the world we know. A few humans carry on, living in outposts such as the Sanctuary --- the remains of St. Louis --- a shielded community that owes its survival to its militant defense and fear-mongering leaders. A small group led by Lewis Meriwether and Mina Clark hopes to expand their infant nation and reunite the States. But the Sanctuary will not allow them to escape without a fight. Reviewed by Norah Piehl.

THE AGE OF SELFISHNESS: Ayn Rand, Morality, and the Financial Crisis by Darryl Cunningham (Graphic Nonfiction)
Tracing the emergence of Ayn Rand’s philosophy of objectivism in the 1940s to her present-day influence, Darryl Cunningham’s latest work of graphic-nonfiction investigation leads readers to the heart of the global financial crisis of 2008. Cunningham uses Rand’s biography to illuminate the policies that led to the economic crash in the U.S. and in Europe, and how her philosophy continues to affect today’s politics and policies, starting with her most noted disciple, economist Alan Greenspan (former chairman of the Federal Reserve). Reviewed by Matthew Burbridge.

KILLER, COME HITHER by Louis Begley (Thriller)
A horrified and incredulous Jack Dana digs into the facts surrounding the death of his uncle Harry of an apparent suicide. Aided by Harry’s most trusted associate, Kerry Black, and by his college friend Scott Prentice, who now works for the CIA, Jack discovers that Harry had pierced the secret of his most important client, Abner Brown, a right-wing multibillionaire notorious for backing extremist causes. The stakes and dangers are huge. Harry’s death now seems anything but a suicide. Reviewed by Stuart Shiffman.

THE WINTER FAMILY by Clifford Jackman (Historical Thriller/Adventure)
Spanning the better part of three decades, THE WINTER FAMILY traverses America's harsh, untamed terrain, both serving and opposing the fierce advance of civilization. Among its twisted specimens, the Winter family includes the psychopathic killer Quentin Ross and the dangerous child prodigy Lukas Shakespeare. But at the malevolent center of this ultraviolent storm is their cold, hardened leader, Augustus Winter --- a man with an almost pathological resistance to the rules of society and a preternatural gift for butchery. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

POSITIVE by David Wellington (Horror)
The tattooed plus sign on Finnegan's hand marks him as a Positive. At any time, the zombie virus could explode in his body, turning him from a rational human into a ravenous monster. If he reaches his 21st birthday without an incident, he'll be cleared. Until then, he must go to a special facility for positives. But when the military caravan transporting him is attacked, Finn becomes separated. To make it to safety, he must embark on a perilous cross-country journey across an America transformed. Reviewed by Sarah Rachel Egelman.

FOX IS FRAMED: A Leo Maxwell Mystery by Lachlan Smith (Mystery)
Faced with evidence of stunning prosecutorial misconduct, a San Francisco judge has ordered a new trial for the Maxwell brothers' father, Lawrence, who was convicted of killing their mother 21 years before. A prison snitch soon turns up dead, with Lawrence the only suspect, and Leo teams up with hotshot attorney Nina Schuyler to defend Lawrence against murder charges both old and new. Leo is forced to confront the darkness at the center of his life as he follows a trail of corruption and danger that leads to the very steps of City Hall. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

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:

I WILL ALWAYS WRITE BACK How One Letter Changed Two Lives by Caitlin Alifirenka and Martin Ganda, with Liz Welch (Memoir)
It started as an assignment. Everyone in Caitlin's class wrote to an unknown student somewhere in a distant place. Martin was lucky to even receive a pen-pal letter. There were only 10 letters, and 40 kids in his class. But he was the top student, so he got the first one. That letter was the beginning of a correspondence that spanned six years and changed two lives. In this dual memoir, Caitlin and Martin recount how they became best friends --- and better people --- through their long-distance exchange.

BLACK DOVE, WHITE RAVEN by Elizabeth Wein (Historical Fiction)
Emilia and Teo's lives changed in a fiery, terrifying instant when a bird strike brought down the plane their stunt pilot mothers were flying. Teo's mother died immediately, but Em has survived, determined to raise Teo according to his late mother's wishes --- in a place where he won't be discriminated against because of the color of his skin. But in 1930s America, a white woman raising a black adoptive son alongside a white daughter is too often seen as a threat.

FIG by Sarah Elizabeth Schantz (Fiction)
Fig’s world lies somewhere between reality and fantasy. But as she watches Mama slowly come undone, it becomes hard to tell what is real and what is not, what is fun and what is frightening. To save Mama, Fig begins a fierce battle to bring her back. The problem is that in the process of a daily sacrifice, she begins to lose herself as well, increasingly isolating herself from her classmates and engaging in self-destructive behavior that only further sets her apart.

THE BULLIES OF WALL STREET: This Is How Greedy Adults Messed Up Our Economy by Sheila Bair (Economics/Current Affairs)
In 2008, America went through a terrible financial crisis, and we are still suffering the consequences. As the former head of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, Sheila Bair worked to protect families during the crisis and keep their bank deposits safe. In THE BULLIES OF WALL STREET, she describes the many ways in which a broken system led families into financial trouble, and also explains the decisions being made at the time by the most powerful people in the country that led to the recession.
 
Click here for more young adult books we recommend you read.
Our Latest Poll: Reading Books as Soon as They Release
Do you typically feel the need to read books as soon as they are available?

  • Yes, always
  • Yes, but only if it is a favorite author or subject
  • No, it does not matter.
  • I usually do not pay attention to a book’s release date.
  • I am not sure how I feel.
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 April 24th to May 8th, FIVE lucky readers each will be randomly chosen to win a copy of A GOD IN RUINS by Kate Atkinson, THE LAST BOOKANEER by Matthew Pearl, and THE WRIGHT BROTHERS by David McCullough.

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.

As always, here are a few housekeeping notes. If you are seeing this newsletter in a text version, and would prefer to see the graphics, you can either read it online or change your preferences below.

Those of you who wish to send mail to Bookreporter.com, please see the form on the Write to Us page. If you would like to reach me, please write Carol@bookreporter.com. Writing any of the respond buttons below will not get to us.

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

The Book Report Network
250 W. 57th Street - Suite 1228
New York, New York 10107
connect with us twitterfacebook