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August 22, 2014 Newsletter August 22, 2014
Another Year Rolls On By: Turns 18!

On Tuesday, will celebrate its 18th anniversary! This week brings up a treasure trove of memories for me --- from the pre-launch prep, to the site going live, to the 936(!) weeks of updates since then. It’s been such a privilege to bring you our updates each week; we spend a lot of time thinking about our growing audience of readers and what you want to see in this newsletter and on the site. I have had the pleasure of meeting some of you in person; others have become virtual friends. I still get all the reader mail and try to answer it as well. No matter how much we have grown, I still appreciate the personal contact. On behalf of the entire staff, I thank you for reading!

By the way, our entire company has only eight on staff in our New York office, which always amazes people. They are an incredibly dedicated team that I am very lucky to work with. A special thanks to Tom Donadio, our Editorial Director, who does yeoman’s work in focusing on the endless details that make what it is! I am going to be celebrating with the staff on Monday with a pool party at my house. We also treasure the dozens of reviewers all over the country who lend their voices to the site each week. Their words via reviews and interviews allow us to bring you the content that we do each week, and I am enormously grateful for their support. And we have others around the country who edit and post content for us that makes the site so much richer and vibrant. Support like this is appreciated and never taken for granted. We will hoist a glass to celebrate our readers, writers and all our volunteer team members!

Next week will be one of the three weeks of the year that we do not publish. It gives me and the team a chance to catch our breath on what is typically a very quiet week (the other two are over the Christmas/New Year’s holiday). I am going to be on a staycation, wandering no further than the pool and patio if I can help it. I have a pile of books that I am looking forward to reading, gardening and knitting projects to tackle, and time to cook nice dinners. While I will miss the beach, this is soooo much easier! By the way, I will be posting what I read on Facebook during the week and will compile what I read into a blog when we are back!

Lots to share before we move off on break. This morning I finished reading THE PAYING GUESTS by Sarah Waters, which will publish on September 16th. Set right after World War I, Frances and her mother take in two “paying guests,” otherwise known as boarders, to help them with the debts wrought during the war and to help with the upkeep of the home. A married couple, Lilian and Leonard Barber, moves in, and suddenly the dynamic of the house shifts. Almost the first half is a setup to what happens later, and it could have had a quicker pace, as it is more of a measured study. But I settled in and stayed with the setup thinking there was a reward ahead, and there was as I whipped through the second half on a few bleary-eyed nights. I have not read her earlier acclaimed work, FINGERSMITH, but I will seek that out.

Yesterday, the stunning cover of Kristin Hannah’s upcoming novel, THE NIGHTINGALE, was revealed. It’s releasing on February 3, 2015, but I was lucky enough to read a manuscript of it a while ago. I loved it! It's the story of two sisters living in France and the choices they are forced to make to survive against unthinkable odds. I have read many, many books set during this time period through the years, and for me THE NIGHTINGALE is up there with the best of them. It’s Kristin’s strongest book, and the entire time I was reading, I was thinking WHAT would I have done? She did an enormous amount of research that is woven seamlessly into the story. I look forward to sharing much, much more about it with you in the months to come, but I wanted it on your radar now. I love giving you the heads-up to special books.

A few months ago at a YA publisher preview, I heard about POSITIVE by Paige Rawl, which releases on August 26th. I devoured it in a day. Paige was in middle school when her secret that she was HIV-positive was shared with her closest friend. Overnight she was ostracized by her friends and classmates --- and the administrators in her school community did not rally to her defense. Her life quickly spiraled downwards to the point that she was suicidal. How she has come to terms with not only her condition, but also how she was empowered by it is the story of POSITIVE. Shara, our Editorial Manager, had the opportunity to meet Paige at a lunch and found it hard to grapple with the fact that the confident bubbly woman in front of her was the same person whose story was being written about. As kids of all ages head back to school, this kind of a book is a poignant look at the need for support, tolerance and acceptance, which is so critical for all.

This week, we’re wrapping up our Mystery Mayhem Author Spotlight of William Kent Krueger and his latest book, WINDIGO ISLAND, with our review and interview. In this newest installment of the Cork O’Connor series, the former sheriff is called upon to investigate when the body of a teenage Ojibwe girl washes up on shore. Her family believes her death was the work of a mythical beast known as a Windigo, but the parents of another missing girl believe more modern villains are to blame. Reviewer Joe Hartlaub raves, “Krueger demonstrates his penchant and ability for finding deep, rich and new veins of stories from the seemingly inexhaustible mine of the rural and deceptively peaceful northern Minnesota and its surrounding environs.” Joe had the pleasure of interviewing Kent for a FOURTH time. Click here for their discussion of WINDIGO ISLAND and Kent’s extraordinary career.

Fans of Sandra Brown have come to expect a new book from her every fall. This year, however, autumn has arrived early with MEAN STREAK, Brown’s latest heart-pounding thriller. Dr. Emory Charbonneau has disappeared on a mountain road in North Carolina following an argument with her husband, Jeff. Suffering from a head injury, Emory awakes cold, confused, and the captive of a violent man. Meanwhile, Jeff, still angry, delays in reporting Emory’s disappearance, turning him into a suspect. As Emory fights to survive, she begins to wonder if her violent kidnapper is, in fact, saving her from an even worse predator. According to reviewer Maggie Harding, “As always, the characters are unique, three-dimensional and, in some cases, larger than life. So even the most faithful follower of Sandra Brown will not be able to predict how the action will play out. MEAN STREAK is another enjoyable respite from the world at large.” I agree, and as I said last week, there were at least three "aha" moments as I read as Sandra again surprised me. I found this good video interview with Sandra the other day where she talks about how she “sees” her plot and characters. So interesting.

Chelsea Cain is back in ONE KICK, the introduction to a new series about Kick Lannigan, a woman with a remarkable skill set. Famously kidnapped at age six, Kick was trained as a lock picker, escape artist and bomb maker before her rescue five years later. Unable to resume a normal childhood, she focused on protecting herself by learning martial arts and knife throwing. Now two new children have gone missing, and a wealthy former weapons dealer, John Bishop, hires Kick to act as the crusader she has trained herself to be. But as she and Bishop close in on the kidnapper, Kick realizes she has never fully recovered from her own ordeal. Joe Hartlaub is quite pleased with the new direction Cain has decided to take: “Cain offers much more than what is otherwise a superlative thriller. In addition to a cast of intriguing, memorable characters of varying and extreme degrees of good and evil, she gives readers a glimpse into the network of child exploiters.” I am a longtime fan of Chelsea's and started this one. I look forward to finishing it.

One of the biggest debuts this fall is WE ARE NOT OURSELVES by Matthew Thomas, a multi-generational novel that charts the life of Eileen Tumulty, daughter of Irish immigrants raised in a dysfunctional home in post-WWII America. When Eileen meets Ed Leary, a seemingly ambitious, stable man, she believes she has found the perfect match to help her live the American Dream. But when the two marry, Eileen quickly learns that Ed does not have the same aspirations. Then a suffocating darkness enters their lives, and Eileen, Ed and their son must try to steel themselves against tragedy while preserving their hopes for the future. Norah Piehl calls the book “a strong and realistic portrait of a marriage” and adds, “Rest assured that Matthew Thomas's debut, WE ARE NOT OURSELVES, is worth the investment of time, attention and emotional involvement it asks of its readers....”

Be sure to check out this Q&A with Matthew, along with an interview with actress Mare Winningham (who performs the audiobook version, which I took a listen to this week and enjoyed enormously), and take a listen to an excerpt from the audiobook here. As promised last week, WE ARE NOT OURSELVES is a Bets On pick. My comments as to why will appear in the September 5th newsletter. By the way, it took Matthew 10 years to write this book!

Gregg Hurwitz takes readers to the jungles and mountains of Mexico in DON’T LOOK BACK. His latest thriller introduces readers to Eve, a newly single mother on the trip of a lifetime, rafting and hiking through southern Mexico. Eve is disturbed when she discovers a man throwing machetes at a human-shaped target, but is horrified when she finds the discarded items of a missing woman who seems to have encountered the same man. When a major storm wipes out the roads and all forms of communication, Eve’s tour group is trapped in the jungle with the dangerous man who is desperate to keep his secret hidden. Faced with incredible odds, Eve must fight for her life.

Joe Hartlaub has our review and says, “By the time you read the last paragraph, your world --- and that of the characters, at least the fortunate few who make it to the end --- will be turned upside down. You will avoid bridges, jeeps, huts in the middle of nowhere, vacations and Mexico. You also will probably begin sleeping with a light on, underneath a mosquito tent with a can of Raid and a shotgun at the ready. It won’t be enough.” I am never venturing into the jungle! I am listening to this on audio, narrated by Cassandra Campbell and Scott Brick. I am happy to be surrounded by concrete during my commute, though Gregg’s words have me feeling “jungly”!

Legendary author Jules Feiffer, who has won a Pulitzer Prize, an Academy Award and Lifetime Achievement Awards from the National Cartoonist Society and the Writers Guild of America, continues to add to his impressive resume with his first graphic novel. KILL MY MOTHER, which releases this Monday the 25th, is a loving homage to the pulp-inspired films and comic strips of his youth. It centers on five formidable women from two unrelated families, linked fatefully and fatally by a has-been, hard-drinking private detective. John Maher weighs in on this hugely anticipated release in his review: "The tale itself is captivating, and yet the art is somehow even more stunning. While Feiffer was better known as a writer earlier in his career, his idiosyncratic style has become a trademark, and here it’s in its finest form yet.... Simply put, KILL MY MOTHER is a masterwork by one of America’s finest cartoonists. Don’t miss it."

We’ve updated our Young Adult Books You Want to Read feature, reviews we’ve posted recently on our site that we think you’ll enjoy. This month’s selections are THE FAMILY ROMANOV: Murder, Rebellion, and the Fall of Imperial Russia by Candace Fleming, WILD THINGS!: Acts of Mischief in Children's Literature by Betsy Bird, Julie Danielson and Peter D. Sieruta, AMITY by Micol Ostow, I LOVE I HATE I MISS MY SISTER by Amelie Sarn and FRIDA & DIEGO: Art, Love, Life by Catherine Reef.

In our latest poll, we ask about your newspaper reading habits and which national newspapers, if any, do you read. Our previous poll question was: “Approximately what percentage of the books that you read are new (published in hardcover or paperback in the last year), and which ones are older?” Click here for the results.

We also posted a new Word of Mouth contest this week. Let us know what books you’ve read by Friday, September 5th at noon ET, and you’ll have the opportunity to win THE DROP by Dennis Lehane, THE LONG WAY HOME: A Chief Inspector Gamache Novel by Louise Penny and PERSONAL: A Jack Reacher Novel by Lee Child, all three of which we’ll be reviewing in two weeks when we return from our break.

Recently, Shara conducted a "Real Talk" interview with audiobook producer/director May Wuthrich. As part of her research, May invited her to watch an hour of her recording session with Mozhan Marnò (“House of Cards” fans will recognize her as reporter Ayla Sayyad), who was narrating READING LOLITA IN TEHRAN author Azar Nafisi’s newest book, THE REPUBLIC OF IMAGINATION: America in Three Books. Click here to check out some early highlights and learn what happens at an audiobook recording session!

Over the past few weeks, I have watched dozens of friends being doused with ice water as part of the “Ice Bucket Challenge” to raise money for ALS. This makes me think about one of my Bets On selections, UNTIL I SAY GOOD-BYE, where Susan Spencer-Wendel wrote about her diagnosis and struggle with ALS, as well as embracing joy in the midst of a devastating diagnosis. I suggest you pledge to read it besides donating to gain a better understanding of what ALS means for someone afflicted with it and their family.

In the world of TV, are any of you watching "Ray Donovan" or "Masters of Sex"? I love both. I caught a sneak preview of this Sunday's episode of "Ray Donovan," and it's Liev Schreiber's directorial debut; I loved the last unexpected for Ray!

Cory's friends have started to head off to school, and he leaves early next week. It's going to get really quiet around here fast. I am going to miss the foot traffic around the house, wondering who is sleeping over each night, and the extra faces at the dinner table. It's been such fun having them around again for the past three months. But this year I know that Thanksgiving will be here soon. The footsteps will be back, and once again food I think is in the fridges and cupboards will not be there! Bring on sophomore year!

Here’s to a great TWO weeks ahead…with thanks from all of us for being a part of…and read on….

Carol Fitzgerald ([email protected])

Now in Stores: MEAN STREAK by Sandra Brown
MEAN STREAK by Sandra Brown (Romantic Suspense)
Dr. Emory Charbonneau disappears on a mountain road in North Carolina. By the time her husband Jeff reports her missing, the trail has grown cold. Emory, suffering from an unexplained head injury, regains consciousness and finds herself the captive of a man with a violent past. As her husband's deception is revealed, and the FBI closes in on her captor, Emory begins to wonder if the man with no name is, in fact, her rescuer from those who wish her dead --- and from heartbreak. Reviewed by Maggie Harding.

-Click here to read more about the book.
Click here to read a review.
Now in Stores: ONE KICK by Chelsea Cain
ONE KICK: A Kick Lannigan Novel by Chelsea Cain (Thriller)
Famously kidnapped at age six, Kick Lannigan captured America’s hearts when she was rescued five years later. Trained as a marksman, lock picker, escape artist and bomb maker by her abductor, Kick could not return to the life of the average young girl after her release. When two children go missing in three weeks, an enigmatic and wealthy former weapons dealer approaches the now-21-year-old with a proposition --- and he won’t take no for an answer. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

-Click here to read more about the book.
-Click here to read an excerpt.
Click here to read a review. Talks to William Kent Krueger, Author of WINDIGO ISLAND --- Our Latest Mystery Mayhem Author Spotlight Title

William Kent Krueger is the award-winning author of ORDINARY GRACE, as well as 14 Cork O’Connor mysteries. In the latest book in the series, WINDIGO ISLAND, former-sheriff-turned-PI Cork O’Connor becomes involved in the investigation of a runaway teenage Ojibwe girl’s death and the grim circumstances surrounding her disappearance. In this interview with's Joe Hartlaub, Krueger discusses what compelled him to write about such a serious and disturbing subject --- the sexual exploitation of Native American women --- and the steps he would take to eradicate the situation. He also talks about honoring Ojibwe mythology by including some supernatural elements in his story, why he finds it’s nearly impossible for a man to write from a woman’s first-person perspective, and the part he likes to play in supporting local bookstores.

WINDIGO ISLAND by William Kent Krueger (Mystery)
When the body of a teenage Ojibwe girl washes up on the shore of an island in Lake Superior, the residents of the nearby Bad Bluff reservation whisper that it was the work of a mythical beast, the Windigo, or a vengeful spirit called Michi Peshu. Such stories have been told by the Ojibwe people for generations, but they don’t solve the mystery of how the girl and her friend, Mariah Arceneaux, disappeared a year ago. At the request of the Arceneaux family, Cork O’Connor, former sheriff turned private investigator, is soon on the case. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

-Click here to read more about the book.
-Click here to read a review.
-Click here to read an excerpt.
-Click here to read William Kent Krueger's bio.
-Click here to visit William Kent Krueger's official website.
-Connect with William Kent Krueger on Facebook and Twitter.
-Click here to see the 25 winners selected to read and comment on the book.
-Click here to read more in our Mystery Mayhem Author Spotlight.

Click here to read our interview.
An Interview with Matthew Thomas, Author of WE ARE NOT OURSELVES

A graduate of the University of Chicago, Matthew Thomas has an MA from the Writing Seminars at Johns Hopkins University and an MFA from the University of California, Irvine, where he received the Graduate Essay Award. His first novel, WE ARE NOT OURSELVES, was more than a decade in the making, and tells the sprawling story of Eileen and Ed Leary, a wife and husband drawn apart and together again by their complicated relationship with the American Dream. In this interview, Thomas talks about what compelled him to keep writing through all those years --- more practical than mystical --- and offers some advice to aspiring writers. He also discusses how, ironically, his characters were finally able to live when he stopped trying to recreate the real-life people on whom they are based, and why the language of baseball and identity are indefinitely intertwined.

WE ARE NOT OURSELVES by Matthew Thomas (Fiction)
When Eileen Tumulty meets Ed Leary, a scientist whose bearing is nothing like those of the men she grew up with in Woolside, Queens, she thinks she’s found the perfect partner to deliver her to the cosmopolitan world she longs to inhabit. They marry, and Eileen quickly discovers that Ed doesn’t aspire to the same, ever bigger, stakes in the American Dream. She encourages him to want more, but as years pass, it becomes clear that his growing reluctance is part of a deeper psychological shift. Reviewed by Norah Piehl.

-Click here to read more about the book.
-Click here to read a review.
-Click here to read an excerpt.
-Click here to listen to an excerpt from the audiobook.
-Click here to listen to an interview with actress Mare Winningham, who narrates the audiobook.

Click here to read the interview.
In Stores August 25th: KILL MY MOTHER by Jules Feiffer
KILL MY MOTHER: A Graphic Novel by Jules Feiffer (Graphic Novel)
Adding to a legendary career that includes a Pulitzer Prize, an Academy Award, Obie Awards, and Lifetime Achievement Awards from the National Cartoonist Society and the Writers Guild of America, Jules Feiffer now presents his first noir graphic novel. KILL MY MOTHER, a loving homage to the pulp-inspired films and comic strips of his youth, centers on five formidable women from two unrelated families, linked fatefully and fatally by a has-been, hard-drinking private detective. Reviewed by John Maher.

-Click here to read more about the book.
Click here to read a review.
Now in Stores: ADULTERY by Paulo Coelho
ADULTERY by Paulo Coelho (Fiction)
A woman in her 30s begins to question the routine and predictability of her days. In everybody's eyes, she has a perfect life: happy marriage, children and a career. Yet what she feels is an enormous apathy. All that changes when she encounters a successful politician who, years earlier, had been her high school boyfriend. As she rediscovers the passion missing from her life, she will face a life-altering choice. Reviewed by Donna Smallwood.

-Click here to read more about the book.

Click here to read a review.
Now in Stores: DEAR COMMITTEE MEMBERS by Julie Schumacher
DEAR COMMITTEE MEMBERS by Julie Schumacher (Fiction)
Jason Fitger is a beleaguered professor at a small liberal arts college. His department is facing cuts and squalid quarters, while another department is getting lavishly remodeled offices. His writing career is in the doldrums, as is his romantic life. In short, his life is a tale of woe, and the vehicle this novel uses to tell that tale is a series of hilarious letters of recommendation that Fitger is endlessly called upon by his students and colleagues to produce. Reviewed by Norah Piehl.

-Click here to read more about the book.

Click here to read a review.
Now in Stores: THE 6th EXTINCTION by James Rollins
THE 6th EXTINCTION: A Sigma Force Novel by James Rollins (Thriller/Adventure)
A remote military research station sends out a frantic distress call, ending with a chilling final command: Kill us all! Personnel from the neighboring base rush in to discover everyone already dead. The land is entirely sterile --- and the blight is spreading. To halt the inevitable, Commander Gray Pierce and Sigma must unravel a threat that rises out of the distant past, to a time when Antarctica was green and all life on Earth balanced upon the blade of a knife. Reviewed by Ray Palen.

-Click here to read more about the book.

Click here to read a review.
Now in Stores: THE STORY HOUR by Thrity Umrigar
THE STORY HOUR by Thrity Umrigar (Fiction)
Lakshmi Patil is lost in the sadness of her life. Dr. Maggie Bose is adrift and in danger of ruining her marriage. Brought together by Lakshmi’s suicide attempt, both women begin to see life from a new perspective, and realize their lives are more than what they perceive and can be more than what they thought. They begin their relationship as patient and doctor, and end up in a weird quasi-friendship from which neither can walk away. Reviewed by Amy Gwiazdowski.

-Click here to read more about the book.
-Click here for the reading group guide.
Click here to read a review.
Now in Stores: DON’T LOOK BACK by Gregg Hurwitz
DON’T LOOK BACK by Gregg Hurwitz (Thriller)
While on a rafting and hiking tour through the jungles and mountains of Oaxaca, in southern Mexico, Eve Hardaway spots a menacing man in his yard throwing machetes at a human-shaped target. With a violent past and deadly mission, he will do anything to avoid being discovered. Due to a major storm that wipes out the roads and all communication with the outside world, Eve’s tour group is trapped in the jungle with a dangerous predator who has a secret to protect. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

-Click here to read more about the book.

-Click here to read an excerpt.
Click here to read a review.
More Reviews This Week

TOP SECRET: A Clandestine Operations Novel by W. E. B. Griffin and William E. Butterworth IV (Historical Thriller/Adventure)
In the first weeks after World War II, a squeaky-clean new second lieutenant named James D. Cronley Jr. is spotted and recruited for a new enterprise that eventually will be transformed into something called the CIA. One war may have ended, but another one has already begun, against an enemy that is bigger, smarter and more vicious: the Soviet Union. Reviewed by Judy Gigstad.

by Alexander McCall Smith

When Angus Lordie and Domenica Macdonald head off on their honeymoon, Angus's dog Cyril goes to stay with the Pollocks. The long-suffering Bertie knows firsthand how stringent his mother's rules can be, and he resolves to help Cyril set off on an adventure. Meanwhile, Big Lou becomes a viral Internet sensation, and the incurable narcissist Bruce meets his match in the form of a doppelganger neighbor, who proposes a plan that could change both their lives. Reviewed by Roz Shea.

-Click here to read an excerpt.

by Courtney Miller Santo
Nearing 30 and trying to avoid the inescapable fact that they have failed to live up to everyone's expectations and their own aspirations, cousins and childhood best friends Lizzie, Elyse and Isobel seek respite in an oddly-shaped, three-story house. As they work to restore the almost-condemned house, each woman faces uncomfortable truths about her own failings. Reviewed by Bronwyn Miller.

-Click here to read an excerpt.
-Click here for the reading group guide.

THE HIGH DRUID'S BLADE: The Defenders of Shannara
by Terry Brooks

When his sister is kidnapped by a sorcerer, Paxon Leah follows the dark mage with nothing but his old family sword to protect him. He stumbles into a plot to overthrow the Druids and remake the world…and accidentally unlocks the powers of the ancient blade. Now, he must learn to master the sword’s power in order to protect not only his sister, but also those teaching him to control his powers in the first place: the Druids! Reviewed by Stephen Hubbard.

by John Scalzi

A new and highly contagious virus makes its way across the globe. For most, the virus is nothing worse than the flu, but for the unlucky 1% of the population, it results in locked-in syndrome: the victim is fully awake and aware but unable to respond. Fifteen years later, integrators are able to let the locked-in borrow their bodies, when a single murder rocks this new world and everything they thought was true. Reviewed by Sam Glass.

by Dana Haynes

Diego, an old colleague of freelance operative Daria Gibron, had been a bodyguard in Florence, protecting an engineer and her invention, when they were attacked by a highly trained paramilitary group. He alone escaped, and the White Scorpions, a Serbian mercenary group known for their indiscriminate violence, are now after him. At the same time, a small group of disgraced CIA agents have been waiting for their chance to exact revenge on the person they blame for their discharge --- Daria Gibron. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

by Michael Sloan

Robert McCall is a former covert operations officer for the CIA who tries to atone for past sins by offering, free of charge, his services as a troubleshooter (often literally), a protector and an investigator. In this novel, based on the 1980s television show and timed to come out shortly before the feature film version starring Denzel Washington, McCall goes up against an old enemy, a Chechen nightclub owner, who now runs an elite assassination service to try and save the life of an innocent woman. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

FLINGS: Stories
by Justin Taylor
(Fiction/Short Stories)

In this piercing collection of short fiction, Justin Taylor captures the lives of men and women unmoored from their pasts and uncertain of their futures. A man writes his girlfriend a Dear John letter, gets in his car and just drives. A widowed insomniac is roused from malaise when an alligator appears in her backyard. A group of college friends try to stay close after graduation, but are drawn away from --- and back toward --- each other by the choices they make. Reviewed by Miriam Tuliao.

by Brian Herbert
(Science Fiction)

A revolution has taken over the government of the United States, and the environment has been saved. But now the U.S. is ruled by a dictatorship, and the corporations are fighting back. Joining them are an increasing number of rebels angered by the dictatorship of Chairman Rahma. However, cracks are beginning to show as new weapons are developed by the old corporate powers and strange reports of mutants filter through the government's censorship. Reviewed by Pauline Finch.

ALIAS HOOK by Lisa Jensen

Meet Captain James Benjamin Hook, a witty, educated Restoration-era privateer cursed to play villain to a pack of malicious little boys in a pointless war that never ends. But everything changes when Stella Parrish, a forbidden grown woman, dreams her way to the Neverland in defiance of Pan’s rules. The magical forces of the Neverland open up for Stella as they never have for Hook. And in the pirate captain himself, she begins to see someone far more complex than the storybook villain. Reviewed by Jana Siciliano.

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 Throughout the year, features adult books on, 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 that we believe are great reads that you might enjoy.

Here are our latest featured titles:

THE FAMILY ROMANOV: Murder, Rebellion, and the Fall of Imperial Russia by Candace Fleming (History)
Here is the tumultuous and heartrending true story of the Romanovs --- at once an intimate portrait of Russia's last royal family and a gripping account of its undoing. Using captivating photos and compelling first person accounts, award-winning author Candace Fleming deftly maneuvers between the imperial family’s extravagant lives and the plight of Russia's poor masses.

WILD THINGS!: Acts of Mischief in Children's Literature by Betsy Bird (Literature/Essays)
A treasure trove of information for a student, librarian, new parent, or anyone wondering about the post-Harry Potter book biz, WILD THINGS! draws on the combined knowledge and research of three respected and popular librarian-bloggers. It chronicles some of the feuds and fights, errors and secret messages found in children’s books and brings contemporary illumination to the warm-and-fuzzy bunny world we think we know.

AMITY by Micol Ostow (Horror/Thriller)
Connor's family moves to Amity to escape shady business deals. Ten years later, Gwen's family moves to Amity for a fresh start after she's recovered from a psychotic break. But something is not right about this secluded house. Amity isn't just a house. She is a living force, bent on manipulating her inhabitants to her twisted will. She will use Connor and Gwen to bring about a bloody end as she's done before. As she'll do again.

I LOVE I HATE I MISS MY SISTER by Amelie Sarn (Fiction)
Eighteen-year-old Sohane and her younger sister, Djelila, have always shared everything. But now, Djelila is embracing her life as a secular teen, and Sohane is becoming more religious. Djelila is repeatedly harassed by neighborhood bullies for not following Muslim customs. In the year following Djelila’s tragic death, Sohane struggles with her feelings of loss and guilt, revealing a complex relationship between two sisters and the consequences they face for being true to themselves.

FRIDA & DIEGO: Art, Love, Life by Catherine Reef (Biography)
Nontraditional, controversial, rebellious and politically volatile, the Mexican artists Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera are remembered for their provocative paintings, as well as for their deep love for each other. Their marriage was one of the most tumultuous and infamous in history --- filled with passion, pain, betrayal, revolution and, above all, art that helped define the 20th century. Catherine Reef's dual biography features numerous archival photos and full-color reproductions of both artists' work.

Click here for more young adult books we recommend you read.
Our Latest Poll: Your Newspaper Reading Habits
Which of the following best describes your newspaper reading habits?

I only read print newspapers.
I only read digital newspapers.
I read both print and digital newspapers.
I do not read newspapers.

Which of the following national newspapers do you read? Please check as many as apply.

The New York Times (print)
The New York Times (digital)
The New York Times (print and digital)
The Wall Street Journal (print)
The Wall Street Journal (digital)
The Wall Street Journal (print and digital)
USA Today (print)
USA Today (digital)
USA Today (print and digital)
I do not read these national newspapers.
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 August 22nd to September 5th, FIVE lucky readers each will be randomly chosen to win a copy of THE DROP by Dennis Lehane, THE LONG WAY HOME: A Chief Inspector Gamache Novel by Louise Penny and PERSONAL: A Jack Reacher Novel by Lee Child

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

Please note: You must enter your full address, using correct capitalization and filling in all fields if you would like to be eligible to win this prize.

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

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