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November 8, 2013 Newsletter November 8, 2013
Organizing Bookshelves, etc.

It’s amazing what you can do when you have power in late October and early November. For the last two years, power outages after storms kept us from turning the lights on, so there was not a lot of time for pre-winter organization. I am on a roll these days doing just that. First up, of course, is books. I moved my graphic novel collection to our New York office, which means I now have eight shopping bags of books lined up along a wall there eagerly awaiting new bookshelves and two huge empty shelves at home that now hold knitting books and journals. At the house, books also are migrating to new locations as I sort through what I have read, what I plan to read and what I want to finish --- three distinct groups. Note: there is no conversation about books, except for the aforementioned graphic novels, leaving the house. It’s like they are birds migrating to a new location.

Two staffers who are moving --- one to San Francisco and the other to Columbus, Ohio --- have been making steady trips to the post office with their personal book collections, having learned that shipping books via media mail is the most cost-efficient way to move them. I also have learned from them that packing books in liquor boxes is very efficient. They are sturdy and can handle the weight!

Also, here at the house I have sorted through toiletries. I now have three shopping bags of shampoo, conditioner and bath products from hotels across the country. I love hotels, thus as I am packing to leave one, I pack these mementoes like I am taking a piece of them home. If anyone knows a place to donate such items, please shoot me an email. I know that there are groups that pull together kits for troops and the homeless, and these would be perfect for that.

For years I have been looking for a smart way to store circular knitting needles, which I own a lot of. The stylish cases that I have found never hold enough. Are there really people with just ONE circular needle in a particular size? I had something in mind for this and was able to find the file box pictured above to fit the bill, and in a moment of pure kismet, it came in turquoise. Imagine that?

This week, I had the pleasure of going to a screening of The Book Thief, which opens in select cities today and “goes wide” on the 15th. I loved this book, and thus I was happy to see that the adaptation was so beautifully done. It all works --- the acting, the scenery and the costuming. The ending had me filled with emotion. I found myself ticking through what was missing and realized that none of it would have advanced the story on the screen any more than what we already saw. Perhaps I was filling in the blanks in my head from what I recalled from the book. It’s always dicey when I am watching a film of a book I know well as I feel like I am running my own dialogue in my head. Imagine how the author felt? Here are link to two interviews with Markus Zusak, Hypable and Word & Film, where he talks about that. It’s definitely worth seeing, and those of you in a book group may want to make this a group trip!

Last weekend, we went to a surprise party for our friend Cathy, and I sat at dinner with another friend, Lisa, who shared a list of books that she has read this year, which she keeps stored on her iPad. I immediately noted the books that I had read and not read. We clearly share a reading style as she has read many of my Bets On selections. Speaking of ways to keep track of what you have read, Bob, who is one of our readers, found an app for storing the books that he has read called Book Crawler. I have to check this out! Here’s why Bob likes it: “With paperbacks and changing cover art and eBooks, it is sometimes hard to remember what I have and have not read. It always is irritating to me to buy a book twice.”

Speaking of eBooks, please be sure to vote on our poll question, which asks what percentage of your book reading has been done via eBooks in the past month. I still prefer print books, and, in fact, I only read manuscripts on my iPad, but I want to hear from YOU. Please weigh in here; it will only take a minute.

Another big week for book releases….

Amy Tan of THE JOY LUCK CLUB fame returns with THE VALLEY OF AMAZEMENT, a story of a mother and daughter searching for meaning across decades and continents. Lucia, a rebellious 16-year-old when we first meet her in 1897 San Francisco, moves to Shanghai to marry a Chinese painter. Years later, in the twilight of imperial China, her daughter Violet is taken from her and forced to become a courtesan. In the decades that follow, these two women, haunted by betrayal, attempt to balance their identities astride the East-West divide of the early 20th century. Roz Shea has our review and says, “Tan’s books often deal with mother-daughter relationships, tapping her Chinese-American roots for the familial complexities that arise in the culture clash of East and West. It comes as no surprise that the underlying theme of THE VALLEY OF AMAZEMENT addresses these differences, but Lucia and Violet are unlike any mother and daughter we’ve met in Tan’s work and perhaps anywhere else.”

American history buffs will want to pick up Doris Kearns Goodwin’s THE BULLY PULPIT. In a look at the election fever and newspaper frenzy of the early 20th century, the book examines the tense friendship between Teddy Roosevelt and William Howard Taft during the era of trust-busting presidents and the golden age of muckraking journalists. According to reviewer Jana Siciliano, “Doris Kearns Goodwin has created an easy-to-read page-turner that will resonate with both readers who are interested in the personal politics of Roosevelt and Taft, and those who are obsessed with the history of media in America.”

Fifty years after JFK’s assassination, Philip Shenon joins the many who have attempted to unravel one of the most persistently enigmatic events in American history. Examining reigning theories and turning to both official reports and firsthand accounts of the investigation, Shenon brings his journalism skills to the table to provide a well-researched and engaging account of JFK’s death in A CRUEL AND SHOCKING ACT: The Secret History of the Kennedy Assassination. Reviewer Barbara Bamberger Scott calls the book “a thorough, fascinating and highly readable record of the details of the murder of John F. Kennedy in Dallas in 1963” and “one of the more impressive offerings in the 50th-year anniversary of that watershed event.”

In her new collection of essays, THIS IS THE STORY OF A HAPPY MARRIAGE, Ann Patchett traces her early life, the struggles of a creative life, and the hardship of heartbreak. Filled with the same beautiful writing and insight as her novels and memoirs, THIS IS THE STORY OF A HAPPY MARRIAGE is packed with wisdom on everything from writing as a job to navigating a failed long-term relationship. Terry Miller Shannon has our review and says, “I can't imagine anyone not loving this collection, staying up late and turning pages frantically while simultaneously dreading reaching the final page. Readers can expect an emotional journey. Some of the essays made me laugh or nod in agreement, while others made my heart ache.”

This week, we have our review of Kristina Riggle’s THE WHOLE GOLDEN WORLD, which we’ve been featuring in our Women’s Fiction Author Spotlight. A picture-perfect family is suddenly upended when it’s revealed that their 17-year-old daughter has been having an affair with her 30-year-old married teacher. Things get even more complicated when she sides with him in the trial, disputing her family’s claims of manipulation and arguing that she is truly in love. Reviewer Terry Miller Shannon calls the book “a riveting and thought-provoking page-turner that will appeal to fans of Jodi Picoult and Chris Bohjalian, as well as to anyone else who loves an involving read with a cast of complex women.” Read much more about the book in Terry’s interview with Kristina here. I am reading this now, and it’s very well done. For book groups, it would be great for discussion.

Wendy Webb’s upcoming novel, THE VANISHING, tells the story of a young woman named Julia, who is enticed with a mysterious job offer as a companion to an aging famous horror author long believed to be dead. When she takes the position and moves to Havenwood, the large manor in the wilds of Michigan where the author resides, she learns that its walls are filled with secrets, and it quickly becomes clear that Julia is unaware of just what she’s signed up for. The book doesn’t release until January 21st, but we have 25 advance copies to give away to those who would like to read and comment on it. To enter, please fill out this form by Thursday, November 21st at noon ET. Wendy is an author who we have had our eye on for a while now. This is a very well done paranormal mystery/suspense, and I love the way she builds both her characters and her story.

Mary Burton returns to our Romantic Suspense Author Spotlight with her latest effort, NO ESCAPE, which is now in stores. The book follows psychologist Jolene Granger, who is still reeling from a divorce with her Texas Ranger husband. Harvey Lee Smith, a notorious serial killer, is finally apprehended, and Granger is called in to evaluate him. As the investigation deepens, it is hard to tell what is more unnerving: the fact that her ex-husband is also working on the case, that Smith seems to have a strange obsession with Jolene, or that Smith has trained a successor who grows more deadly by the day. Would you like to be one of 25 readers who will win a copy of the book and submit their comments on it? Then all you have to do is fill out this form by Thursday, November 21st at noon ET.

Our giveaway of UNDER THE WIDE AND STARRY SKY by LOVING FRANK author Nancy Horan continues for one more week. In her latest novel, Horan focuses on the unlikely pairing of Robert Louis Stevenson and his wife, Fanny, who find themselves in a romance that spans decades and continents. The book doesn’t release until January 21st, but we have 25 advance copies to give away to readers who would like to read and comment on it. To enter, please fill out this form by Thursday, November 14th at noon ET.

’Tis the season for our Holiday Cheer feature! Once again, we’re celebrating this very special time of year by giving away books that are sure to get you in the holiday spirit. The contests kick off at noon ET on select days in November and December, and run for just 24 hours, so you will have to check the site to see what is being featured. As always, we’ll be sending our special Holiday Cheer newsletter on the days when there are contests. If you would like to sign up for these email alerts, click here. Our first contest will go live on Tuesday, November 12th at noon ET. That week’s prize books will be MRS. POE by Lynn Cullen, THE RETURNED by Jason Mott and TAKE ME HOME FOR CHRISTMAS: A Whiskey Creek Novel by Brenda Novak.

This month’s roundup of New in Paperback titles includes NOTORIOUS NINETEEN: A Stephanie Plum Novel by Janet Evanovich, TOUCH & GO by Lisa Gardner, THE STORYTELLER by Jodi Picoult, THE AVIATOR’S WIFE by Melanie Benjamin and CHANEL BONFIRE: A Memoir by Wendy Lawless. Click here to see our complete paperback listings for November.

There are plenty of movies to enjoy this month in theaters and at home. Among the notable theatrical releases (in addition to the aforementioned The Book Thief) are Chasing Fire, Ender’s Game, Great Expectations and Diana. And available on DVD are Paranoia, based on Joseph Finder’s bestselling thriller, and Parkland, the film adaptation of FOUR DAYS IN NOVEMBER: The Assassination of President John F. Kennedy by Vincent Bugliosi. Click here for all the movies, TV shows and DVDs included in November’s feature.

In our latest Word of Mouth contest, we’re giving away the aforementioned THE VALLEY OF AMAZEMENT, along with THE MINOR ADJUSTMENT BEAUTY SALON, Alexander McCall Smith’s new No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency book, and TATIANA, the latest Arkady Renko novel by Martin Cruz Smith. Click here to let us know what you’ve been reading by Friday, November 15th at noon ET for your chance to win these books.

This year’s Miami Book Fair International, which is celebrating its 30th anniversary, takes place Sunday, November 17th through Sunday, November 24th with the Street Fair from the 22nd through the 24th. For those of you who live in South Florida, or those planning to head to Miami for this stellar event, the schedule of events is now online here. Though I had hoped to be there and nearly purchased tickets, annoyingly we have a few big projects happening these next few weeks that are going to keep me in New York. Let me know if any of you will be attending; I would love to interview you about it! I had particularly wanted to see Joyce Maynard, Ann Hood and the aforementioned Amy Tan there. For a complete lineup of the authors attending the Fair, click here.

Mercury moves out of retrograde on Sunday at 4:08PM, not that I am counting the minutes or anything until that happens. Longtime readers will know what this means. New readers can read about the significance of Mercury retrograde here. May I use this as the reason why my laptop battery appears to have died? And what prompted me to choose this timing to decide to upgrade the Internet access at the office?

My reorganization efforts will have me sorting through a couple of huge piles of paperwork this weekend, most of which are headed to the circular file. The plants outside finally have stopped flowering, thus it’s time to trim and perhaps get the final outdoor cleanup done. And my book reorganization project has ensured that some of the books that I have “missed” are now on the teeter-tottering “to be read” pile. Of course, I have found myself sitting and reading instead of sorting when it all gets too daunting!

If you are a veteran, thank you for your service as we recognize you on Veterans Day; please take time to remember our veterans on Monday. Here’s to a great week…read on…

Carol Fitzgerald (

Now in Stores: THE VALLEY OF AMAZEMENT by Amy Tan

THE VALLEY OF AMAZEMENT by Amy Tan (Historical Fiction)
Amy Tan's latest novel tells the story of two women’s intertwined fates and their search for identity. Spanning more than 40 years and two continents, THE VALLEY OF AMAZEMENT transports readers from the collapse of China's last imperial dynasty to the beginning of the Republic, and recaptures the lost world of old Shanghai through the inner workings of courtesan houses and the lives of the foreigners living in the International Settlement, both erased by World War II. Reviewed by Roz Shea.

-Click here to read more about the book.

Click here to read a review.
Now in Stores: THE BULLY PULPIT by Doris Kearns Goodwin

THE BULLY PULPIT: Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and the Golden Age of Journalism by Doris Kearns Goodwin (History/Politics)
Doris Kearns Goodwin describes the broken friendship between Teddy Roosevelt and his chosen successor, William Howard Taft. With the help of the “muckraking” press, Roosevelt had wielded the Bully Pulpit to challenge and triumph over abusive monopolies, political bosses and corrupting money brokers. Roosevelt led a revolution that he bequeathed to Taft only to see it compromised as Taft surrendered to money men and big business. Reviewed by Jana Siciliano.

-Click here to read more about the book.
-Click here to read an excerpt.

Click here to read a review.
Now in Stores: A CRUEL AND SHOCKING ACT by Philip Shenon

A CRUEL AND SHOCKING ACT: The Secret History of the Kennedy Assassination by Philip Shenon (History)
The questions have haunted our nation for half a century: Was the President killed by a single gunman? Was Lee Harvey Oswald part of a conspiracy? Did the Warren Commission discover the whole truth of what happened on November 22, 1963? Veteran investigative journalist Philip Shenon finally provides many of the answers. Reviewed by Barbara Bamberger Scott.

-Click here to read more about the book.
-Click here to visit Philip Shenon's official website.

Click here to read a review. Talks to Kristina Riggle, Author of THE WHOLE GOLDEN WORLD

Kristina Riggle, the acclaimed author of REAL LIFE & LIARS, returns with a thought-provoking novel inspired by real-life events. THE WHOLE GOLDEN WORLD is about 17-year-old Morgan Monetti, who shocks her parents and her community when she chooses to stand by the man everyone else believes has exploited her --- popular high school teacher TJ Hill. In this interview with's Terry Miller Shannon, Riggle talks about how she kept this story --- which deals with some heavy issues --- upbeat, as well as why she feels most comfortable writing her novels from multiple perspectives. She also opens up about channeling her inner teenager, why poetry should always be written longhand in a notebook, and why sometimes it’s easier to ask strangers strange questions.

THE WHOLE GOLDEN WORLD by Kristina Riggle (Fiction)
Seventeen-year-old honors student and all-around good girl Morgan Monetti has a secret affair with TJ Hill, her calculus teacher, while declaring it’s fine because she's an adult. However, the legal system doesn't have the same view. We learn the gripping story of the relationship and its aftermath from the viewpoints of Morgan, her mother, and TJ's wife. Reviewed by Terry Miller Shannon.

-Click here to read more about the book.
-Click here to read a review.
-Click here to read Kristina Riggle’s bio.
-Click here to see the 25 winners selected to read and comment on the book.
-Click here to read more in our Women's Fiction Author Spotlight.

Click here to read our interview.
New Special Contest: Win an Advance Copy of THE VANISHING by Wendy Webb --- and Share Your Comments On It

We are celebrating the January 21st release of THE VANISHING by Wendy Webb with a special contest that will give 25 readers the opportunity to win an advance copy of the book and submit their comments on it. To enter, please fill out this form by Thursday, November 21st at noon ET.

THE VANISHING by Wendy Webb (Paranormal Mystery/Suspense)
Just as Julia Bishop’s life is collapsing around her, a stranger appears on her doorstep with an intriguing job offer --- he asks Julia to be a companion for his elderly mother, the famous and rather eccentric horror novelist Amaris Sinclair, whom Julia has always admired...and who the whole world thinks is dead. Julia jumps at the chance for a fresh start.

But when she arrives at Havenwood, the Sinclairs’ magnificent, centuries-old estate in the middle of the wilderness near Lake Superior, she begins to suspect her too-good-to-be-true job offer is exactly that. Mysteries and secrets haunt the halls of Havenwood and the forest beyond. Why did Amaris Sinclair choose to vanish from the public eye more than a decade earlier? What are the whispers Julia hears? And why, exactly, was Julia brought to Havenwood in the first place. For answers, Julia turns to Drew McCullough, the great-grandson of the mysterious Scottish nobleman who built Havenwood. Together, they realize something sinister and very close to her own family history is quickening out of the past.

-Click here to read an excerpt.
-Click here to read Wendy Webb’s bio.
-Visit Wendy Webb’s official website and blog.
-Connect with Wendy Webb on Facebook and Twitter.

Click here to enter the contest.
New Romantic Suspense Author Spotlight & Contest: NO ESCAPE by Mary Burton

We have 25 copies of NO ESCAPE by Mary Burton, which is now in stores, to give away to readers who would like to read the book and comment on it. To enter, please fill out this form by Thursday, November 21st at noon ET.

NO ESCAPE by Mary Burton (Romantic Suspense)
Even behind bars, serial killer Harvey Lee Smith exudes menace. Psychologist Jolene Granger has agreed to hear his dying confession, vowing not to let the monster inside her head. And Harvey has secrets to share --- about bodies that were never found, and about the apprentice who is continuing his grisly work...

He buries his victims alive the way his mentor Harvey did, relishing their final screams as the earth rains down. And as one last gift to the only father he knew, he'll make the most perfect kill of all.

Everything about this investigation is unnerving Jo, from Harvey's fascination with her to the fact that she's working alongside Texas Ranger Brody Winchester, her ex-husband. Harvey's protégé is growing bolder and more vicious every day. And soon the trail of shallow graves will lead them to the last place Jo expected, and to the most terrifying truth of all...

-Click here to read a review.
-Click here to read an excerpt.
-Click here to read Mary Burton’s bio.
-Click here to visit Mary Burton’s official website.
-Click here to read more about Mary Burton on the publisher’s website.
-Connect with Mary Burton on Facebook and Twitter.

Click here to read more in our Romantic Suspense Author Spotlight and enter the contest.
Special Contest: Win an Advance Copy of UNDER THE WIDE AND STARRY SKY by Nancy Horan --- and Share Your Comments On It

We are celebrating the January 21st release of UNDER THE WIDE AND STARRY SKY by Nancy Horan with a special contest that will give 25 readers the opportunity to win an advance copy of the book and submit their comments on it. To enter, please fill out this form by Thursday, November 14th at noon ET.

UNDER THE WIDE AND STARRY SKY by Nancy Horan (Historical Romance)
At the age of 35, Fanny van de Grift Osbourne has left her philandering husband in San Francisco to set sail for Belgium --- with her three children and nanny in tow --- to study art. It is a chance for this adventurous woman to start over, to make a better life for all of them, and to pursue her own desires. Not long after her arrival, however, tragedy strikes, and Fanny and her children repair to a quiet artists’ colony in France where she can recuperate. Emerging from a deep sorrow, she meets a lively Scot, Robert Louis Stevenson, 10 years her junior, who falls instantly in love with the earthy, independent and opinionated “belle Americaine.”

Fanny does not immediately take to the slender young lawyer who longs to devote his life to writing --- and who would eventually pen such classics as TREASURE ISLAND and THE STRANGE CASE OF DR. JEKYLL AND MR. HYDE. In time, though, she succumbs to Stevenson’s charms, and the two begin a fierce love affair --- marked by intense joy and harrowing darkness --- that spans the decades and the globe. The shared life of these two strong-willed individuals unfolds into an adventure as impassioned and unpredictable as any of Stevenson’s own unforgettable tales.

Click here to read an excerpt.
Click here to read critical praise.
Click here to read Nancy Horan's bio.

Click here to enter the contest.
Announcing's Holiday Cheer Contests and Feature
At, we kick off the holiday season in style with our Holiday Cheer Contests and Feature. As our gift to you, on select days in November and December, we will spotlight a book and give five lucky readers a chance to win it. You have to visit the site each day to see the featured prize book and enter the contest. If you think you will forget to check the site, no worries: we also send a special newsletter to announce the day's title. If you would like to sign up for these email alerts, click here.

This year's featured titles are:

Our first prize book will be announced on Tuesday, November 12th at noon ET.

Click here to read all the contest details and see our featured titles.
November’s New in Paperback Roundups
November’s New in Paperback roundups include the following highlights:

THE STORYTELLER by Jodi Picoult (Fiction)

Sage Singer becomes friends with an old man who’s particularly beloved in her community after they strike up a conversation at the bakery where she works. Josef Weber is everyone’s favorite retired teacher and Little League coach. One day he asks Sage for a favor: to kill him. When a shocked Sage refuses, he then tells her he deserves to die. Once he reveals his secret, Sage wonders if he’s right.

TOUCH & GO by Lisa Gardner (Thriller)
Investigator Tessa Leoni arrives at the crime scene in the home of Justin and Libby Denbe, a couple who seemed to have it all but now appears to have been abducted. Tessa knows better than anyone that even the most perfect façades can hide the darkest secrets. Now she must race against the clock to uncover the Denbes’ innermost dealings, a complex tangle of friendships and betrayal, big business and small sacrifices.

THE AVIATOR'S WIFE by Melanie Benjamin (Historical Fiction)
Melanie Benjamin pulls back the curtain on the marriage of one of America’s most extraordinary couples: Charles Lindbergh and Anne Morrow Lindbergh. Drawing on the rich history of the 20th century and featuring cameos from such notable characters as Joseph Kennedy and Amelia Earhart, THE AVIATOR'S WIFE is a vividly imagined novel of a complicated marriage ---revealing both its dizzying highs and its devastating lows.

LIFE AFTER LIFE by Jill McCorkle (Fiction)
Jill McCorkle’s first novel in 17 years is alive with the daily triumphs and challenges of the residents and staff of Pine Haven Estates, a retirement facility now home to a good many of Fulton, North Carolina’s older citizens. As she connects their lives through their present circumstances, their pasts, and, in some cases, their deaths, McCorkle celebrates the blessings and wisdom of later life and infuses this remarkable novel with hope and laughter.

CHANEL BONFIRE: A Memoir by Wendy Lawless (Memoir)
Wendy Lawless deftly charts the highs and lows of growing up with her younger sister in the shadow of an unstable, fabulously neglectful mother. Georgann, a real-life Holly Golightly who constantly reinvents herself as she trades up from trailer park to penthouse, suffers multiple nervous breakdowns and suicide attempts, while Wendy tries to hide the cracks in their fractured family from the rest of the world.

ASHENDEN by Elizabeth Wilhide (Fiction)
When brother and sister Charlie and Ros discover that they have inherited their aunt’s grand English country house, they must decide if they should sell it. As they survey the effects of time on the estate’s architectural treasures, a narrative spanning two-and-a-half centuries unfolds. We meet those who built the house, lived in it and loved it, worked in it, and those who would subvert it to their own ends.

-Find out what's New in Paperback for the weeks of November 4th, November 11th, November 18th and November 25th.
Books on Screen for November
It goes without saying that the closer we get to the holiday season, the more we can expect from our film studios and television networks. Now that Halloween is but a spooky memory and winter is in the air, moviegoers can look forward to plenty of quality entertainment this month. From hotly anticipated blockbusters (I’m lookin’ at you, Catching Fire) to smaller films with some seriously literary pedigrees, there’s something for everyone on screen in November.

There’s a lot for YA fans to be excited about this month. Last weekend (November 1st) saw the release of the controversial Ender’s Game, based on the Orson Scott Card bestseller that had young adults obsessing before they even knew who Harry Potter was. Later this month, teens and adults alike will be lining up for Catching Fire (if you’re not on line already), the second installment in Suzanne Collins’s Hunger Games franchise. Tickets are already selling out, so if you want to avoid a Hunger Games-like competition for yours, I suggest you get on it, and fast.

Speaking of fan-favorite sequels (and the Hemsworth brothers), Thor: The Dark World, a follow-up to 2011’s Thor, will be in theaters this weekend (November 8th). Whether you’re a fan of comic books, or a fan of watching Natalie Portman and Chris Hemsworth on the big screen (I wonder what that Venn diagram would look like), there’s no bad reason to get out and see Thor: The Dark World.

Mike Newell, who directed the amazing Four Weddings and a Funeral, is back with a very welcome retelling of Charles Dickens's complicated story of love and fortune, GREAT EXPECTATIONS. I, for one, feel like I've been waiting my whole life to see Helena Bonham Carter as the jilted and unhinged Miss Havisham.

The Book Thief, based on the Markus Zusak novel of the same title --- also hits theaters this weekend (with a wide release date of November 15th), and tells the inspirational story of courage in the face of Nazi brutality. Plus, it’s a movie based on a book about books, so it’s the best of all the worlds. But if you like your literature more Beat-ish, Big Sur released last weekend, of course based on the eponymous Jack Kerouac novel.

And be sure not to miss out on these two DVD releases: Paranoia, based on Joseph Finder’s bestselling thriller of the same name, and Parkland, the film adaptation of FOUR DAYS IN NOVEMBER: The Assassination of President John F. Kennedy by Vincent Bugliosi.
Click here to see all the movies, TV shows and DVDs featured in November's Books on Screen.
Celebrate the 30th Anniversary of Miami Book Fair International from November 17-24
Enjoy the 30th edition of Miami Book Fair International, the nation’s finest and largest literary gathering presented by the Florida Center for the Literary Arts at Miami Dade College.

Come see hundreds of great authors like Mitch Albom, Sherman Alexie, Dave Barry, Dan Brown, Meg Cabot, Pat Conroy, Doris Kearns Goodwin, Carl Hiaasen, Ann Hood, Cassandra King, Wally Lamb, Joyce Maynard, Terry McMillan, Ridley Pearson and Amy Tan. Click here to see the complete list of authors who will be in attendance.

There will be a number of intriguing panel discussions and conversations on literature, politics and more. They include "The Shots Still Echo: The Assassination of JFK," "Spinning Yarns: Authors on Knitting," "After the Apple e-Book Decision: The New World of Book Publishing and Book Selling," "Transforming Community" and "GLBTQ: Politics/Marriage/Religion."

On Friday, November 22nd, the Street Fair gets underway. The highlight is the Festival of Authors, with more than 350 authors reading and discussing their work. During Street Fair weekend, more than 250 publishers and booksellers exhibit and sell books, with special features like the antiquarians, who showcase signed first editions, original manuscripts and other collectibles.

-Click here for the full schedule of events.
Click here for more information about Miami Book Fair International.
More Reviews This Week

THIS IS THE STORY OF A HAPPY MARRIAGE by Ann Patchett (Memoir/Essays)
THIS IS THE STORY OF A HAPPY MARRIAGE takes us into the very real world of Ann Patchett’s life. Stretching from her childhood to the present day, from a disastrous early marriage to a later happy one, it covers a multitude of topics, including relationships with family and friends, and charts the hard work and joy of writing, and the unexpected thrill of opening a bookstore. Reviewed by Terry Miller Shannon.

THE ALL-GIRL FILLING STATION'S LAST REUNION is a fun-loving mystery about an Alabama woman today and five women who worked in a Phillips 66 gas station during the World War II years. The one and only Fannie Flagg, the beloved author of FRIED GREEN TOMATOES AT THE WHISTLE STOP CAFE, is at her hilarious and superb best here. Reviewed by Bronwyn Miller.

-Click here to read an excerpt.

THROUGH THE EVIL DAYS: A Clare Fergusson/Russ Van Alstyne Mystery by Julia Spencer-Fleming (Mystery)
On a frigid January night, Chief of Police Russ Van Alstyne and Reverend Clare Fergusson are called to the scene of a raging fire that quickly becomes a double homicide and kidnapping. As the days and hours tick by, Russ and Clare fight personal and professional battles they never could have imagined that will change their lives forever. Reviewed by Norah Piehl.

NO MAN'S NIGHTINGALE: An Inspector Wexford Novel by Ruth Rendell (Mystery)
A female vicar named Sarah Hussain is discovered strangled in her Kingsmarkham vicarage. Maxine, the gossipy cleaning woman who finds the body, happens to also be in the employ of former Chief Inspector Reginald Wexford and his wife. When called on by his old deputy, Wexford, who has taken to reading The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire as a retirement project, leaps at the chance to tag along with the investigators. Reviewed by Barbara Lipkien Gershenbaum.

BELLMAN & BLACK by Diane Setterfield (Gothic Horror)
Caught up in a moment of boyhood competition, William Bellman recklessly aims his slingshot at a rook resting on a branch, killing the bird instantly. Years later, when a stranger mysteriously enters William’s life, the terrible and unforeseen consequences of his past indiscretion take root. In a desperate bid to save the only precious thing he has left, he enters into a rather strange bargain with an even stranger partner. Reviewed by Kate Ayers.

ROTH UNBOUND: A Writer and His Books by Claudia Roth Pierpont (Literary Criticism)
Claudia Roth Pierpont, a writer for The New Yorker for more than 20 years, tells an engaging story even as she delves into the many complexities of Philip Roth’s work and the controversies it has raised. This is not a biography --- though it contains many biographical details --- but something more rewarding: an attempt to understand a great writer through his art. Reviewed by Shelby Wardlaw.

THE DAYLIGHT GATE by Jeanette Winterson (Gothic Horror)
Good Friday, 1612. Pendle Forest. A gathering of 13 is interrupted by local magistrate Roger Nowell. Is this a coven or a helpless group of women trying to save their family from the stake? Two already stand accused of witchcraft. The wealthy, respected Alice Nutter tries to defend them, haunted by her own past entanglement with magick. She doesn't believe in the Devil, but as she fights for justice, her life is endangered by forces visible and invisible. Reviewed by Norah Piehl.

T. C. BOYLE STORIES II: The Collected Stories of T. Coraghessan Boyle, Volume II by T. C. Boyle (Fiction/Short Stories)
By turns mythic and realistic, farcical and tragic, ironic and moving, T. C. Boyle’s stories have mapped a wide range of human emotions. The 58 stories in this new volume, written over the last 18 years, reflect his maturing themes. Along with the satires and tall tales that established his reputation, readers will find stories speaking to contemporary social issues, from air rage to abortion doctors, and character-driven tales of quiet power and passion. Reviewed by Jane Krebs.

THE DISCOVERY OF MIDDLE EARTH: Mapping the Lost World of the Celts by Graham Robb (History)
Graham Robb reveals the ancient secrets of the Celts, demonstrates the lasting influence of Druid science, and recharts the exploration of the world and the spread of Christianity. A pioneering history grounded in a real-life historical treasure hunt, THE DISCOVERY OF MIDDLE EARTH offers nothing less than an entirely new understanding of the birth of modern Europe. Reviewed by Sarah Rachel Egelman.

CUT TO THE BONE: A Body Farm Novel by Jefferson Bass (Mystery/Thriller)
On a sweltering hillside in Knoxville, Dr. Bill Brockton launches an unusual research facility. Brockton is determined to revolutionize the study of forensics to help law enforcement solve homicides --- but the scientist's plans are derailed by a chilling murder that leaves him reeling from a sense of déjà vu. As the body count rises, the victims' fatal injuries grow more and more distinctive --- a spiral of death that holds dark implications for Brockton himself. Reviewed by Ray Palen.

DEATH OF A NIGHTINGALE by Lene Kaaberbol and Agnete Friis (Mystery/Thriller)
Danish Red Cross nurse Nina Borg has been following Natasha Doroshenko's case for years now. Nina, who had tried to help Natasha leave her abusive Danish fiancé more than once, can't see the young Ukrainian mother as a vicious killer. But in her effort to protect Natasha's daughter and discover the truth, Nina realizes there is much she didn't know about this woman and her past. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

THE GOOD BOY by Theresa Schwegel (Mystery)
Edgar Award winner Theresa Schwegel (OFFICER DOWN) returns with THE GOOD BOY, her most dramatic and emotional novel to date, a family epic that combines the hard-boiled grit of her acclaimed police thrillers with an intimate portrait of a young boy trying to follow his heart in an often heartless city. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

DEAD MAN'S TIME by Peter James (Thriller)

During the investigation of a savage burglary in Brighton, Detective Superintendent Roy Grace realizes he has kicked over a hornets nest of new and ancient hatreds. At its heart is one man, Gavin Daly, who has a score to settle and a promise to keep --- both of which lead to a murderous trail linking the antiques world of Brighton, the crime fraternity of Spain’s Marbella, and New York. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

This Week’s Poll and Word of Mouth Contest


In the past month, what percentage of your book reading has been done via eBooks?

None, I just read print books.

-Click here to answer the poll.

Word of Mouth

Tell us your current reading recommendations with your comments and a rating of 1 to 5 stars. During the contest period from November 1st to November 15th, FIVE lucky readers each will be randomly chosen to win a copy of THE MINOR ADJUSTMENT BEAUTY SALON: No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith, TATIANA: An Arkady Renko Novel by Martin Cruz Smith, and THE VALLEY OF AMAZEMENT by Amy Tan.

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 a prize.

Also, we realize that many times, your opinion of a book will change as you get further along into the story. Thus, to ensure that your comments and ratings accurately reflect your entire reading experience, we ask that you finish reading the book before you submit your comments about it.

One important technical note: If you're using an iPad or another iOS device to access the Word of Mouth page and you would like to enter the contest, you must wait for the page to fully load before you can rate your book. Only then will the stars be clickable.

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

Contests Running on Other Sites in

We have a number of contests currently running on our other sites in Please take a look at them below, and enter for your chance to win some fabulous books!

THE LOST ART OF MIXING by Erica Bauermeister
We are celebrating the paperback release of THE LOST ART OF MIXING by Erica Bauermeister --- a luminous sequel to THE SCHOOL OF ESSENTIAL INGREDIENTS about the power of love, food and companionship --- with a special contest. 10 groups will have the opportunity to chat with Erica Bauermeister and receive up to 12 copies of the book, which is now available in paperback. The deadline for entries is Thursday, December 5th at noon ET.

We are celebrating the upcoming release of THE YELLOW EYES OF CROCODILES by Katherine Pancol, a hilariously entertaining mega-bestseller from France, with a special contest. 25 readers will have the opportunity to each win a copy of the book, which will be in stores on December 31st, for their group. The deadline for entries is Thursday, December 5th at noon ET.

THE RETURNED by Jason Mott
We are celebrating the release of THE RETURNED by Jason Mott --- a page-turning debut novel that explores timeless questions of faith and morality, love and responsibility --- with a special contest. 25 readers will have the opportunity to each win a copy of the book, which is now in stores, for their group. The deadline for entries is Thursday, December 5th at noon ET.

"What Are You Reading?" Monthly Contest Feature

Let us know what your group is reading in November, and you will be entered in a giveaway to win multiple copies of a book for your group! Our latest prize book is THE BOOK THIEF, Markus Zusak’s award-winning novel that will be released as a movie on November 15th. We have 12 copies of the book to give away to three groups. Enter here by Thursday, December 5th at noon ET for your chance to win copies for you and your group members.

THE KILLING WOODS by Lucy Christopher
Our latest Sneak Peek Feature spotlights THE KILLING WOODS by Lucy Christopher, who is best known as the author of the Printz Honor Book STOLEN. Her upcoming novel releases on January 7th, but we have 100 early reader editions to give away to readers who would like to preview the book and share their comments about it, both with us and on social networking sites. Those who send us their feedback by Tuesday, December 10th will be eligible to win a signed copy of the book from the author. The deadline for entries is Monday, November 11th at noon ET.

BATTLE BUNNY by Jon Scieszka, Mac Barnett and Matthew Myers
To celebrate the release of the hilarious mash-up from Jon Scieszka, Mac Barnett and Matthew Myers, we'd like to offer you the opportunity to make your very own Battle Bunny for a chance to win prizes! In BATTLE BUNNY, Alex is given a sappy book about a bunny's birthday, but decides to make it interesting by creating his own doomsday story on top of it. For this contest, we'd like you to grab a pencil, sharpen your creativity, and transform a page of this story! The deadline for entries is Friday, December 6th at noon ET.

We are celebrating the releases of RETURN TO ME: The Restoration Chronicles, Book 1 and PILGRIMAGE: My Journey to a Deeper Faith in the Land Where Jesus Walked with a
special contest that will give five readers the opportunity to win a copy of both of Lynn Austin's latest fiction and nonfiction works. The deadline for entries is Friday, November 15th at noon ET.

THE GOVERNESS OF HIGHLAND HALL: Edwardian Brides, Book One by Carrie Turansky
We are celebrating the release of THE GOVERNESS OF HIGHLAND HALL with a special contest that will give five readers the opportunity to win a copy of this first installment in Carrie Turansky's Edwardian Brides series. The deadline for entries is Friday, November 15th at noon ET.

by Julie Cantrell

We are celebrating the release of WHEN MOUNTAINS MOVE with a special contest that will give 25 readers the opportunity to win a copy of this sequel to Julie Cantrell's INTO THE FREE. The deadline for entries is Friday, November 15th at noon ET.

TRACES OF MERCY: Mercy Medallion Trilogy, Book 1
by Michael Landon Jr. and Cindy Kelley

We are celebrating the release of TRACES OF MERCY with a special contest that will give 25 readers the opportunity to win a copy of this first installment in Michael Landon Jr. and Cindy Kelley's Mercy Medallion Trilogy. The deadline for entries is Friday, November 15th at noon ET.

by Jim Stovall

In our latest monthly contest, 25 readers will receive a copy of THE GIFT OF A LEGACY, the third installment in Jim Stovall's series The Ultimate Gift. The film adaptation of book two, THE ULTIMATE LIFE, is now in theaters. The deadline for entries is Friday, November 15th at noon ET.

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.

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