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Oprah Has Selected Nathan Hill's New Novel, WELLNESS, as Her Latest Book Club Pick

This poignant and witty book is about marriage, the often baffling pursuit of health and happiness, and the stories that bind us together.

Jessica Knoll Pens an Exhilarating New Thriller

Two women from opposite sides of the country are brought together by violent acts of the same man. They become allies and sisters in arms as they pursue the justice that otherwise would elude them.

Douglas Brunt Writes About the Hidden History of One of the World's Greatest Inventors

Rudolf Diesel disappeared into thin air on the eve of World War I. This eye-opening book provides an astonishing new conclusion about his fate.

The Fates of Two American Families Become Intertwined in the Wake of the Great Migration

Braiding fact and fiction, COLEMAN HILL is a remarkable, character-rich tour de force exploring the ties that bind three generations.

Nothing is Quite as It Seems in Kate Atkinson's Collection of 11 Interconnected Stories

NORMAL RULES DON'T APPLY is a startling feast for the imagination, stories with the depth and bite to create their own fully formed worlds.

Latest Features and Contests's Mystery Mayhem Author Spotlight & Contest: VEIL OF DOUBT by Sharon Virts

When a mother is charged with murder in a town already convinced of her guilt, can defense attorney Powell Harrison find truth and justice in a legal system where innocence is not presumed? We have 25 copies of VEIL OF DOUBT by Sharon Virts to give away to those who would like to read the book, which releases on October 10th. The deadline for your entries is Friday, October 6th at noon ET.

» Click here to read more about the book and enter the contest. Bets On: THE RIVER WE REMEMBER by William Kent Krueger

THE RIVER WE REMEMBER is one of my three favorite books of the year and the best of William Kent Krueger’s three stand-alone titles. The setting in Kent’s books always becomes a character, and his latest is no exception. Here we start with a river, where the lifeless body of Jimmy Quinn --- a man with a lot of money and countless enemies --- has been found. He has been dead long enough for the catfish to have discovered him.

It’s 1958, and those who fought in World War II still are grappling with the effects of war as they move on with their lives. This backstory is critical to the storytelling. Sheriff Brody Dern is one of those men, as is Connie Graff, the former sheriff. Kent stretches his characters here and gives them the chance to step outside typically acceptable behaviors. As you read, you will see what I mean. Through this, he makes them even more multidimensional than we have seen in prior works.

» Click here to read more of Carol's commentary.

Bookreporter Talks To...

As part of our mission to expand The Book Report Network, we have been shooting video interviews with authors and posting them on our YouTube channel. We also have been making them available as podcasts. Carol loves interviewing authors, so this feels like a natural.

Carol had a fun and fascinating conversation with John Sargent about his memoir, TURNING PAGES: The Adventures and Misadventures of a Publisher. John spent four decades in the world of publishing and concluded his career in 2020 at Macmillan when he was fired, which completely surprised people in the industry. For years he fought for what he believed was right for authors, readers and the “publishing ecosystem,” the latter of which is a phrase he used again and again. But while TURNING PAGES is about his time in publishing, John touches on so much more. He explains how his boyhood in Wyoming influenced him as much as his time with bestselling authors. He also talks about the details in some of his essays, which include a lot of humor and self-deprecation. Watch the video or listen to the podcast.

Carol talks to Angie Kim about her new novel, HAPPINESS FALLS, which is September's Barnes & Noble and "Good Morning America" Book Club picks, and will be a Bets On selection. Much of the book revolves around 14-year-old Eugene, who has Angelman syndrome, and what he may know about the disappearance of his father. Angie talks about how long this story was in her head and why she felt that this was the right time to tell it. She notes that she aimed to look at the impact of someone who is verbally disabled on the entire family. Angie also discusses her creative writing work with students who have issues with oral communication and shares how the person who performs Eugene’s part for the audiobook was hand-selected by her from among this group. Watch the video or listen to the podcast.

Sarah Pekkanen joins Carol for a conversation about her new thriller, GONE TONIGHT, which is a Bets On pick. In this mother/daughter story, a mother will do anything she can to keep her daughter, who is now in her 20s, safe and living near her. She had her daughter as a teen and has been long estranged from her family. The book is told from the points of view of both the mother and the daughter. Sarah talks about ratcheting up the tension while also doing a slow reveal. Parts of the book take place in a memory care unit, and she explains how her earlier experience as a reporter helped her in developing character and setting background. Sarah also discusses lasagna pizza, which figures into the storytelling. And she shares a few hints about her next book, which will be in stores next summer. Watch the video or listen to the podcast.

» Click here for a complete list of our "Bookreporter Talks To" videos and podcasts, along with upcoming interviews.

Latest Reviews

Rouge by Mona Awad - Gothic Horror/Dark Humor

When her estranged mother Noelle mysteriously dies, Belle finds herself back in Southern California, dealing with her mother’s considerable debts and grappling with lingering questions about her death. The stakes escalate when a strange woman in red appears at the funeral, offering a tantalizing clue about her mother’s demise, followed by a cryptic video about a transformative spa experience. With the help of a pair of red shoes, Belle is lured into the barbed embrace of La Maison de Méduse, the same lavish, culty spa to which her mother was devoted. There, Belle discovers the frightening secret behind her (and her mother’s) obsession with the mirror --- and the great shimmering depths (and demons) that lurk on the other side of the glass.

Black Sheep by Rachel Harrison - Supernatural Thriller/Horror

Vesper Wright left home at 18 and never looked back --- mostly because she was told that leaving the staunchly religious community she grew up in meant she couldn’t return. But then an envelope arrives on her doorstep. Inside is an invitation to the wedding of Vesper’s beloved cousin, Rosie. It’s to be hosted at the family farm. Have they made an exception to the rule? It wouldn’t be the first time Vesper has been given special treatment. Something inside her insists she go to the wedding. Even if it means returning to the toxic environment she escaped. Even if it means reuniting with her mother, Constance, a former horror film star and forever ice queen. When Vesper’s homecoming exhumes a terrifying secret, she’s forced to reckon with her family’s beliefs and her own crisis of faith.

In Ross Gay’s new collection of small, daily wonders, again written over the course of a year, one of America’s most original voices continues his ongoing investigation of delight. For Gay, what delights us is what connects us, what gives us meaning --- from the joy of hearing a nostalgic song blasting from a passing car to the pleasure of refusing the “nefarious” scannable QR code menus, from the tiny dog he fell hard for to his mother baking a dozen kinds of cookies for her grandchildren. As always, Gay revels in the natural world --- sweet potatoes being harvested, a hummingbird carousing in the beebalm, a sunflower growing out of a wall around the cemetery, the shared bounty from a neighbor’s fig tree --- and the trillion mysterious ways this glorious earth delights us.

Few, if any, historians have brought such insight, wisdom and empathy to public discourse as Jill Lepore. Arriving at The New Yorker in 2005, Lepore brought a transporting freshness and a literary vivacity to everything from profiles of long-dead writers to urgent constitutional analysis to an unsparing scrutiny of the woeful affairs of the nation itself. The astonishing essays collected in THE DEADLINE offer a prismatic portrait of Americans’ techno-utopianism, frantic fractiousness and unprecedented --- but armed --- aimlessness. From lockdowns and race commissions to Bratz dolls and bicycles, to the losses that haunt Lepore’s life, these essays again and again cross what she calls the deadline, the “river of time that divides the quick from the dead.”

Summer 1980: Despite the local superstition that the Bendy Man haunts the woods, three girls go into a Minnesota forest. Only one comes out, dead silent, her memory gone. The mystery of the Taken Ones captures the nation. Summer 2022: Cold case detective Van Reed and forensic scientist Harry Steinbeck are assigned a disturbing homicide --- a woman buried alive, clutching a heart charm necklace belonging to one of the vanished girls. Each has ties to the original case in ways they’re reluctant to share. As Van and Harry connect the crimes of the past and the present, Van struggles with memories of her own nightmarish childhood --- and the fear that uncovering the truth of the Taken Ones will lead her down a path from which she, too, may never return.

Catch Her Death by Melinda Leigh - Mystery/Thriller

After Sheriff Bree Taggert’s takedown of cold-blooded murderer Travis Ekin, his family vows revenge. Travis’ mother and brothers are every bit as violent, and Bree is in their crosshairs. To complicate matters, Bree’s best friend, Dana Romano, walks into her date’s home and finds him shot in the chest. Dana tangles with an unidentified intruder, but he escapes through the back door. The crime scene is in another police department’s jurisdiction, and the lead investigator focuses on Dana as the prime suspect. While Bree and investigator Matt Flynn work off the books to clear Dana, Bree’s family receives deadly threats. A second dead body and a shocking piece of evidence link the two cases. Bree and Matt must find the killer fast --- before either case takes another deadly turn.

Carol is a divorced teacher living in a small town in Ireland. A second chance at love brings her unexpected connection and belonging --- and sparks a flurry of speculation. What does a woman like her see in a man like that? What happened to his wife who abandoned him and his children all those years ago? Carol and Declan know their relationship is the talk of the town, but the gossip only serves to bring the couple closer. When Declan becomes ill, their relationship falters. His children are untrusting and cruel, and Carol is forced to leave their beloved home and move back with her parents. It seems there are secrets in Declan's past, strange rumors that were never confronted, and suddenly the house they shared takes on a more sinister significance that affects them all.

What Kind of Mother by Clay McLeod Chapman - Supernatural Horror/Domestic Thriller

After striking out on her own as a teen mom, Madi Price is forced to return to her hometown of Brandywine, Virginia, with her 17-year-old daughter. With nothing to her name, she scrapes together a living as a palm reader at the local farmers market. It’s there that she connects with old high school flame Henry McCabe, now a reclusive local fisherman whose infant son, Skyler, went missing five years ago. Everyone in town is sure Skyler is dead, but when Madi reads Henry’s palm, she’s haunted by strange and disturbing visions that suggest otherwise. As she follows the thread of these visions, Madi discovers a terrifying nightmare waiting at the center of the labyrinth --- and it’s coming for everyone she holds dear.

Born into the steam and starch of a Chinese laundry, Anna May Wong (1905–1961) emerged from turn-of-the-century Los Angeles to become Old Hollywood’s most famous Chinese American actress, a screen siren who captivated global audiences and signed her publicity photos --- with a touch of defiance --- “Orientally yours.” Now, more than a century after her birth, Yunte Huang narrates Wong’s tragic life story, retracing her journey from Chinatown to silent-era Hollywood, and from Weimar Berlin to decadent, prewar Shanghai, and capturing American television in its infancy. As Huang shows, Wong’s rendezvous with history features a remarkable parade of characters, including a smitten Walter Benjamin and (an equally smitten) Marlene Dietrich.

Perfectly Nice Neighbors by Kia Abdullah - Domestic Thriller

Salma Khatun is hopeful about Blenheim, the suburban development into which she, her husband and their son have just moved. The Bangladeshi family needs a fresh start, and Blenheim feels like just the place. Soon after they move in, Salma spots her white neighbor, Tom Hutton, ripping out the anti-racist banner her son put in the front garden. Avoiding confrontation, Salma takes the banner inside and puts it in her window. But the next morning, she wakes up to find her window smeared with paint. When she does speak to Tom, battle lines are drawn between the two families. As racial and social tensions escalate and the stakes rise, it’s clear that a reckoning is coming…and someone is going to get hurt.

My Name Is Iris by Brando Skyhorse - Dystopian Fiction

After years of drifting apart, Iris Prince and her husband are going through a surprisingly drama-free divorce. It feels like her life is finally exactly what she wants it to be. Then, one beautiful morning, she looks outside her kitchen window --- and sees that a wall has appeared in her front yard overnight. Meanwhile, a Silicon Valley startup has launched a high-tech wrist wearable called "the Band." Pitched as a convenient, eco-friendly tool to help track local utilities and replace driver's licenses and IDs, the Band is available only to those who can prove parental citizenship. Suddenly, Iris, a proud second-generation Mexican American, is now of "unverifiable origin." Amid a climate of fear and hate-fueled violence, Iris must confront how far she'll go to protect what matters to her most.