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October 23, 2015

Bookreporter.com Newsletter October 23, 2015
When I Met Kevin Costner, Me on a Soapbox & Movie Screening Tickets --- None of These are Related!

I am here to tell you that, in case you are wondering, Kevin Costner has an amazing smile in person, as well as a laid-back, laconic way of speaking. I was at his publisher’s office on Monday for a meeting while he was there to shoot a video and do a meet-and-greet with the staff in advance of the publication of his book, THE EXPLORERS GUILD: Volume One: A PASSAGE TO SHAMBHALA, a sweeping adventure story that he wrote with Jon Baird.

Emily, Greg and I seized the opportunity to meet him and get books signed. THE EXPLORERS GUILD is beautifully designed, with a lush cover and pages that look like they were dipped in tea. Besides writing and illustrations, there are a number of graphic novel panels to tell the story. You can see a photo of him above signing books with his co-writer beside him and illustrator Rick Ross on the far left. You can see a video of Kevin and Jon talking about the book on "Good Morning America" here.

A few years ago, I met journalist and author Robin Gaby Fisher at an event at the Clinton Book Shop for a book she wrote called AFTER THE FIRE: A True Story of Friendship and Survival, which is the story of what happened to two young men who were burned in a fire at Seton Hall University. It was an event I still remember and reflect on --- one of those special evenings where the author, the men who inspired the story and the crowd are all on the same page. Robin now has co-authored CHOOSING HOPE: Moving Forward from Life’s Darkest Hours, helping Kaitlin Roig-DeBellis tell her story. Kaitlin was the Sandy Hook teacher who hid her class of 15 first-graders in a single-occupancy bathroom in her classroom during the events of December 14, 2012, and saved their lives by doing so. I have not yet read the book, and regrettably my schedule this week kept me from meeting up with Robin and Kaitlin at the Clinton Book Shop the other night.

So why am I mentioning this? Something happened with this book since it was published that makes me question the way comments and reviews are allowed to be posted on Amazon. As of the time I am writing this newsletter, CHOOSING HOPE has 246 customer reviews. Of them, 73% have given the book one star, while 27% have given it five. Now, everyone is entitled to their opinion on a book that they have read. But one-star reactions here are not from readers but rather from a group of people who claim that Sandy Hook never happened and was staged to further the cause of gun control.

Readers of this newsletter know that I stay out of the way of controversy and politics, but I am pretty outraged that a book is being critiqued here by those who are not evaluating the writing --- none have said they have read it --- but rather are voicing their own theories on what happened that day. I want to state that here at Bookreporter.com, we are very careful about reviewing comments from readers before they are posted. Comments like these never would have made it past our screeners. I believe in intelligent dialogue. I believe in a lively exchange of ideas, all of which I do not need to agree with. But I find that to allow a book to be reviewed not on its written word is wrong. And now I leave my soapbox!

Last Saturday, a crowd of about 200 had a wonderful day at the Hachette Book Club Brunch. It was lovely to meet so many of our readers there. The unfair thing: You know a lot about me, while I do not know as much about YOU! Rebecca Munro has our coverage of the event here, along with photos. She also covered the book party for Judah Friedlander, the author of IF THE RAINDROPS UNITED.

Again this week, we have a very special offer for our Bookreporter readers to attend a screening of the film Room (adapted from Emma Donoghue’s bestselling book).The screening offer is now open in 21(!) cities between October 26th and November 2nd, with select theater showings. Click here to see available cities and times so you can attend. Feel free to bring your family and friends as well. Once you see the movie, we'd love to hear what you think about it!

And now on to this week’s update….

Master of the legal thriller John Grisham returns with his latest surefire bestseller, ROGUE LAWYER. Sebastian Rudd runs his legal practice a bit differently than most --- he works out of a bulletproof van. Since Sebastian has no partners, his driver acts as his bodyguard, law clerk and confidant. They defend people other lawyers ignore, from drug-addled teens accused of molestation to vicious crime lords and even a homeowner accused of shooting at a SWAT team that mistakenly invaded his home. Although his clients’ histories are questionable, Sebastian believes that everyone deserves a fair trial, and he will go to any lengths necessary to secure one for each of his clients.

Stuart Shiffman has our review and advises, “You can certainly read ROGUE LAWYER as an entertaining legal thriller, but in fairness you should ponder the important questions it asks about America’s criminal justice system. John Grisham would expect nothing less.”

ROGUE LAWYER is one of the prize books in our new Word of Mouth contest, along with AVENUE OF MYSTERIES by John Irving and THE CROSSING: A Bosch Novel by Michael Connelly. Let us know by Friday, November 6th at noon ET what books you’ve finished reading, and you’ll be in the running to win all three of these hot fiction titles.

Singer, artist and author Patti Smith meditates on travel, literature and black coffee in M TRAIN. Beginning in the Greenwich Village cafe Smith visits every morning, the book collects her reflections and ruminations as she sips her favorite coffee. With prose that shifts between dreams and reality, Smith takes readers across a variety of times and landscapes to explore the world as it once was and as it exists today. From Frida Kahlo’s Casa Azul in Mexico to an Arctic explorer’s society and even Smith’s own seaside bungalow in New York’s Far Rockaway, readers follow along as Smith reflects on artistry and creation. Woven throughout are her own memories of life, love and loss, as well as her signature Polaroids.

According to reviewer Stephen Febick, "M TRAIN is not a memoir in the traditional sense. Rather, it combines all forms of art --- including photography, prose and poetry --- making for a beautiful read. The book radiates with the energy of youth but is also travel-worn and nostalgic like an old friend."

Bestselling author of THE SHOEMAKER’S WIFE Adriana Trigiani combines family ties, artistry and romance in ALL THE STARS IN THE HEAVENS. Here, she takes readers back to the golden age of Hollywood to tell the story of a young actress hungry for fame. Business is flourishing when 21-year-old Loretta Young meets Clark Gable, 13 years her senior, on the set of The Call of the Wild. Although he is already married, Gable falls for the vivacious young starlet instantly. Meanwhile, far from Hollywood, Sister Alda Ducci has been forced to leave her convent and travels west, taking up a job as Loretta’s secretary. For pious, innocent Alda, the job is life-changing, forcing her to apply her Italian ferocity and moral code to a world full of scandal, adventure and passion. As she and Loretta forge an unbreakable bond, their loyalties are put to the test by a seemingly insurmountable obstacle.

Reviewer Jane Krebs says, “Faithfully following many factual events of 1930s Hollywood, Trigiani writes imagined conversations and scenes, fleshing out well-known celebrities such as David Niven, Hattie McDaniel and Jack Oakie…. ALL THE STARS IN THE HEAVENS pays tribute to the incredible glamour and delicious behind-the-scenes intrigue of the early days of American filmmaking.”

Sarah Vowell offers a unique account of George Washington’s trusted officer and friend, the Marquis de Lafayette, in LAFAYETTE IN THE SOMEWHAT UNITED STATES. Originally drawn to the war out of a lust for glory, appreciation of Enlightenment philosophies and hatred of the British, Lafayette crossed the Atlantic expecting a united front. Instead, he found divisions between the Continental Congress and the Continental Army, rebels and loyalists, and conspiracy. Still, he found friendship and respect in General Washington and the American people, bonds that held strong even after the war. Chronicling General Lafayette’s years in Washington’s army, Vowell compares and contrasts the ideals of the American Revolution with the realities of war. I loved the multi-cast audiobook, which you can read more about here!

Norah Piehl has our review and raves, "Vowell is a great storyteller. Kudos to her for choosing to devote her talents to telling the story of our country’s founding in a way that is fresh, engaging and entirely original."

We’re featuring LAFAYETTE IN THE SOMEWHAT UNITED STATES in this month’s History Books roundup. Other titles include books about Shakespeare, Napoleon, Stalin, Churchill, Joan of Arc, Lady Bird and Lyndon Johnson, and many more.

Beloved author Elin Hilderbrand returns to Nantucket Island to celebrate the holidays with the Quinn family in WINTER STROLL, the sequel to WINTER STREET. This holiday season finds Winter Street Inn owner Kelley Quinn and his family busily preparing for Christmas. The Quinns have many reasons to celebrate this year, from Kelley’s reunion with his first wife, Margaret, to Kevin and Isabelle’s new baby, and Ava’s budding relationship. But when Kelley’s estranged wife, Mitzi, shows up uninvited, she brings unwanted drama to the Inn. And when Kevin’s ex-wife and Ava’s old boyfriend also arrive, it becomes clear that this will be no ordinary holiday celebration. As Hilderbrand’s characters struggle with jealousy, love and frenzy, they’ll need a true miracle to survive the holidays.

According to reviewer Vivian Payton, "WINTER STROLL...picks up right where WINTER STREET left off with its dysfunction, humor, drama, jealousy, romance and compassion.... Hilderbrand never disappoints me. I can identify with each of her detailed characters and their storylines, as her writing style is comfortable and inviting."

Our Sneak Peek Contest for THE GUEST ROOM by Chris Bohjalian --- set for release on January 5th --- continues. When Richard Chapman decides to host his brother’s bachelor party, he plans for a night of drinks and moderate debauchery. But with his wife, Kristin, and daughter gone for the evening, his home becomes the setting for wild drunkenness, an intimate moment with the hired entertainment, and murder. With two Russian bodyguards dead and their murderers, two hired dancers, missing, Richard and Kristin’s life descends into a nightmare. As they struggle to regain stability, the missing dancers desperately try to evade police and the gangsters who once held them hostage. We have 35 advance copies to give away to readers who can commit to previewing the book and sharing their comments on it by Friday, December 11th. To enter, please fill out this form by Friday, October 30th at noon ET.

This year’s Fall Preview contests have come to an end. Our final four prize books were ALONG THE INFINITE SEA by Beatriz Williams; DEPRAVED HEART: A Scarpetta Novel, by Patricia Cornwell; LOST OCEAN: An Inky Adventure & Coloring Book, by Johanna Basford; and YOU'RE THE BEST: A Celebration of Friendship, by the Satellite Sisters. Thanks to all who entered, and congratulations to the winners of our 16 contests, which you can see here.

We are delighted to present our newest bookshelf displaying 20 celebrity books releasing this year. From actors to musicians and talk show hosts to fashion icons, we’re not ashamed to admit we love reading about our favorite celebrities. To help us indulge in this passion, Nicole Sherman has curated this fabulous bookshelf full of memoirs and ruminations on life from stars such as Elvis Costello, Whoopi Goldberg, Donna Karan and Burt Reynolds. Whether you’re looking for insight on artistry or just some laughs and gossip, you’re sure to find something fun here.

Young adult (YA) books have been growing in popularity in recent years. I read a dozen of them over my summer vacation and blogged about some of my favorites here. Clearly they are not just for teens anymore! Do you read them? Let us know in our latest poll! And be on the lookout for our monthly "Young Adult Books You Want to Read" feature in next week’s newsletter.

In our previous poll, we asked you which book formats you’ve read in the past month. Click here to see which ones were the most popular.

Please don't forget to enter our current Sounding Off on Audio contest, where you'll have the opportunity to win CAREER OF EVIL: A Cormoran Strike Novel written by Robert Galbraith and read by Robert Glenister, and FIND A WAY written and read by Diana Nyad. Submit your comments about the audiobooks you’ve listened to, and you’ll be in the running to win both these audiobooks. Be sure to enter by Monday, November 2nd at noon ET.

This week saw the announcement of the shortlist for the 2016 Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence in Fiction and Nonfiction. Click here to see the nominees. The winners in the Fiction and Nonfiction categories will be announced at the RUSA Book and Media Awards in Boston on January 10th.

I've been listening to Tess Gerritsen’s latest book, PLAYING WITH FIRE. One of my librarian friends, Robin, turned me on to the coolest wireless Bluetooth headset the other day. It drapes around her neck and has two earbuds. It allows her to listen while doing a number of everyday household chores. She said she has increased her reading by three books a week by doing this!

News and Pop Culture:

How to Start a Cookbook Club: Read this, and I am inspired to give it a try. How about you?

Terry Gross of NPR: Many of you are fans of her work, thus I thought you would enjoy this New York Times piece about her. One of my career highs was when I did a group of interviews and someone told me that it was clear I had prepared as well as Terry Gross.

Harriet Klausner: For years, Harriet was the #1 reviewer on Amazon. She was a voracious reader and reviewer. Got sad news this week that she passed away at the very young age of 63. Here’s her obituary, and here’s a profile of her from Time magazine back in 2006.

"Outlander" Fashions to Knit and Crochet: My knitting publishing pal, Jennifer Hart, shared this week that Lion Brand Yarn is the official licensee of knit and crochet kits inspired by the popular books and television series "Outlander." There are seven knit and seven crochet easy-to-make designs made in their yarns. Click here and whip out your needles.

Book Festivals on tap for this weekend and a look ahead to Miami: We love meeting authors and know you do, too! Here is lots of information about the Miami Book Fair scheduled for November 15-22, where they have a really stellar lineup of authors. I have attended the Fair at least five times and always walk away loving the experience. The Boston Book Festival is this weekend, as well as festivals in Wisconsin and Tampa Bay. We have a list of all upcoming book festivals here.

The Skimm: Last week, I mentioned this newsletter, which drops in my mailbox each morning by 6:30am ET and has become my first read about the news of the day. I love smart, clever writing that makes me think and informs me. A number of you signed up to get it after seeing my share --- so many that I wanted to give more of you a chance to check it out by signing up here.

Adele: New album 25 is coming on November 20th; here's a video of the first single, "Hello," as well as an interview with her.

70 Degrees is a Wonderful Temperature: Here’s a map of how to spend every day of the year in the 70s by traveling around the United States.

Benjamin Moore’s Color of the Year: No, it is not turquoise, but I also am not wowed or inspired. Click here to see what it is.

"The Affair": Things get a tad more complicated for Helen this week when she hits a skid that takes her life off the rails in an uncharacteristic way.

"Homeland": I am enjoying this season; I really like the direction in which they are heading.

Quiet weekend on tap. I am heading to the Garden Center to buy the giant Amaryllis bulbs I love to give at the holidays. Last weekend, before the frost hit, we raced there and bought a number of perennials on sale and stashed them in the garage to plant this week. There’s still just enough time to get them in the ground before it freezes. Greg is headed into the city tomorrow as the program chair for the World Ship Society’s 50th Anniversary Luncheon. We hope Cory surfaces at some point, but since he made a cameo appearance on Tuesday night, I may have gotten all of my Cory time for the week!

Book and yarn organizing is on the agenda. Who wants to bet that instead of doing either, I will be reading? Take the bet! This is the last week before we change the clocks next Sunday. I crave getting my hour back, but will be sorry to leave the office in the dark each evening. Oh, and it’s time to lay in the Halloween candy. Hmmmmmm what do I want leftovers of?

Tom Donadio is ready for the World Series; the Mets have been his team for years! Bring on the Blue Jays or the Royals. He's ready!

Read on, and have a great week.

Carol Fitzgerald ([email protected])

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

Now in Stores: ROGUE LAWYER by John Grisham
ROGUE LAWYER by John Grisham (Legal Thriller)
Sebastian Rudd defends people other lawyers won’t go near: a drug-addled, tattooed kid rumored to be in a satanic cult, who is accused of molesting and murdering two little girls; a vicious crime lord on death row; a homeowner arrested for shooting at a SWAT team that mistakenly invaded his house. Sebastian believes everyone is entitled to a fair trial, even if he has to cheat to secure one. He hates injustice, doesn’t like insurance companies, banks or big corporations; he distrusts all levels of government and laughs at the justice system’s notions of ethical behavior. Reviewed by Stuart Shiffman.

-Click here to read more about the book.
 
Click here to read a review.
Now in Stores: M TRAIN by Patti Smith
M TRAIN by Patti Smith (Memoir)
M TRAIN begins in the tiny Greenwich Village café where Patti Smith goes every morning for black coffee, ruminates on the world as it is and the world as it was, and writes in her notebook. Woven throughout are reflections on the writer’s craft and on artistic creation. Here, too, are singular memories of Smith’s life in Michigan and the irremediable loss of her husband, Fred Sonic Smith. Braiding despair with hope and consolation, illustrated with her signature Polaroids, M TRAIN is a meditation on travel, detective shows, literature and coffee. Reviewed by Stephen Febick.

-Click here to read more about the book.
 
Click here to read a review.
Now in Stores: ALL THE STARS IN THE HEAVENS by Adriana Trigiani
ALL THE STARS IN THE HEAVENS by Adriana Trigiani (Historical Fiction)
The movie business is booming in 1935 when 21-year-old Loretta Young meets 34-year-old Clark Gable on the set of The Call of the Wild. Though he's already married, Gable falls for the stunning and vivacious young actress instantly. Far from the glittering lights of Hollywood, Sister Alda Ducci has been forced to leave her convent and begin a new journey that leads her to Loretta. Over the course of decades, they forge an enduring bond of love and loyalty that will be put to the test when they eventually face the greatest obstacle of their lives. Reviewed by Jane Krebs.

-Click here to read more about the book.
 
Click here to read a review.
Now in Stores: LAFAYETTE IN THE SOMEWHAT UNITED STATES by Sarah Vowell
LAFAYETTE IN THE SOMEWHAT UNITED STATES by Sarah Vowell (History)
Chronicling General Lafayette’s years in Washington’s army, Sarah Vowell reflects on the ideals of the American Revolution versus the reality of the Revolutionary War. Riding shotgun with Lafayette, Vowell swerves from the high-minded debates of Independence Hall to the frozen wasteland of Valley Forge, from bloody battlefields to the Palace of Versailles, bumping into John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, Lord Cornwallis, Benjamin Franklin, Marie Antoinette, and various kings, Quakers and redcoats along the way. Reviewed by Norah Piehl.

-Click here to read more about the book.
 
Click here to read a review.
Now in Stores: WINTER STROLL by Elin Hilderbrand
WINTER STROLL by Elin Hilderbrand (Fiction)
Christmas on Nantucket finds Winter Street Inn owner Kelley Quinn and his family busily preparing for the holiday season. Though the year has brought tragedy, the Quinns have much to celebrate: Kelley has reunited with his first wife, Margaret; Kevin and Isabelle have a new baby; and Ava is finally dating a nice guy. But when Kelley's estranged wife, Mitzi, shows up on the island, along with Kevin's devious ex-wife, Norah, and a dangerously irresistible old fling of Ava's, the Inn is suddenly overrun with romantic feuds, not to mention guests. Reviewed by Vivian Payton.

-Click here to read more about the book.
 
Click here to read a review.
An Interview with Geraldine Brooks, Author of THE SECRET CHORD

Geraldine Brooks is the author of five novels, including the Pulitzer Prize-winning MARCH, and two acclaimed works of nonfiction. Her latest book, THE SECRET CHORD, provides context for arguably the most fascinating and romantic man in the Bible: King David. Here she revisits some of the best-known episodes of David’s life, vividly reimagining him through the eyes of those who love him or fear him most. In this interview, Brooks discusses why she’s compelled to write about people whose faith defined their lives. She also opens up about the challenges of defamiliarizing such recognizable biblical characters and what David’s story can teach readers today.

THE SECRET CHORD by Geraldine Brooks (Fiction)
THE SECRET CHORD provides new context for some of the best-known episodes of King David’s life while also focusing on others, even more remarkable and emotionally intense, that have been neglected. We see David through the eyes of those who love him or fear him --- from the prophet Natan, voice of his conscience, to his wives Mikal, Avigail and Batsheva, and finally to Solomon, the late-born son who redeems his Lear-like old age. Reviewed by Susan Miura.

-Click here to read more about the book.
-Click here to read a review.

Click here to read the interview.
Sneak Peek Contest: Win an Advance Copy of THE GUEST ROOM by Chris Bohjalian and Share Your Comments on It
Our latest Sneak Peek Feature spotlights THE GUEST ROOM by Chris Bohjalian, the spellbinding tale of a party gone horribly wrong: two men lie dead in a suburban living room, two women are on the run from police, and a marriage is ripping apart at the seams. The book doesn’t release until January 5th, but we have 35 advance copies to give away to readers who can commit to previewing it and sharing their comments on it by Friday, December 11th. To enter, please fill out this form by Friday, October 30th at noon ET.

For our Sneak Peek program, your commitment to participate is critical, so please only enter this contest if you truly will have time to read THE GUEST ROOM and give us your feedback by the Friday, December 11th deadline. We take these project deadlines seriously. If you cannot commit, don’t worry…we will have more opportunities like this in the future.

THE GUEST ROOM by Chris Bohjalian (Fiction)
When Kristin Chapman agrees to let her husband, Richard, host his brother’s bachelor party, she expects a certain amount of debauchery. She brings their young daughter to Manhattan for the evening, leaving her Westchester home to the men and their hired entertainment. What she does not expect is this: bacchanalian drunkenness, her husband sharing a dangerously intimate moment in the guest room, and two women stabbing and killing their Russian bodyguards before driving off into the night.

In the aftermath, Kristin and Richard’s life rapidly spirals into nightmare. The police throw them out of their home, now a crime scene, Richard’s investment banking firm puts him on indefinite leave, and Kristin is unsure if she can forgive her husband for the moment he shared with a dark-haired girl in the guest room. But the dark-haired girl, Alexandra, faces a much graver danger. In one breathless, violent night, she is free, running to escape the police who will arrest her and the gangsters who will kill her in a heartbeat.

-Click here to read an excerpt.
-Click here to read more about the book on the publisher's website.
-Click here to read Chris Bohjalian’s bio.
-Click here to visit Chris Bohjalian's official website.
-Connect with Chris Bohjalian on Facebook and Twitter.
 
Click here to read more in our Sneak Peek Feature and enter the contest.
October's History Books Roundup
October's roundup of History titles includes PACIFIC, an enthralling biography of the Pacific Ocean and its role in the modern world from Simon Winchester, who explores our relationship with this imposing force of nature; DRINKING IN AMERICA, in which Susan Cheever chronicles our national love affair with liquor, taking a long, thoughtful look at the way alcohol has changed our nation's history; LADY BIRD AND LYNDON by Betty Boyd Caroli, a fresh look at Lady Bird Johnson that upends her image as a plain Jane who was married for her money and mistreated by Lyndon; and Michael Broers' NAPOLEON: SOLDIER OF DESTINY, the first volume of a majestic two-part biography of the great French emperor and conqueror that makes full use of his newly released personal correspondence compiled by the Napoléon Foundation in Paris.
 
Click here to see our History Books roundup for October.
Bookreporter.com's Latest Bookshelf: Celebrity Books: Biographies and Memoirs of the Stars
If there's one thing in the world we all can agree on, it's that we love a celebrity or two. Whether it be a favorite musician, a critically acclaimed actor or actress, or a long-standing political activist, there's at least someone in the celebrity sphere who tickles our fancy. There really is no one season to celebrate celebrities, except maybe the annual award show season. So, in the spirit of timeless pop culture favoritism, we have a roundup of the fall and winter's greatest celebrity books, many memoirs and some casual musings on how to live the good life.
 
Click here to see our "Celebrity Books" bookshelf.
What's New This Month on ReadingGroupGuides.com

We currently are giving away the following book on ReadingGroupGuides.com:

  • THE MARTIAN by Andy Weir
    Deadline for entries: Wednesday, November 4th at noon ET
The following guides are now available:

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

Click here to visit ReadingGroupGuides.com.
More Reviews This Week
KILLING REAGAN: The Violent Assault That Changed a Presidency by Bill O'Reilly and Martin Dugard (History/Politics)
Just two months into his presidency, Ronald Reagan lay near death after a gunman's bullet came within inches of his heart. His recovery was nothing short of remarkable --- or so it seemed. But Reagan was grievously injured, forcing him to encounter a challenge that few men ever face. Could he silently overcome his traumatic experience while at the same time carrying out the duties of the most powerful man in the world? Reviewed by Maggie Harding.

THE LAKE HOUSE by Kate Morton (Fiction)
One midsummer’s eve, the Edevanes discover that their youngest child, 11-month-old Theo, has vanished without a trace. Decades later, Alice Edevane is living in London, having enjoyed a successful career as an author. Theo’s case has never been solved, though Alice still harbors a suspicion as to the culprit. Miles away, Sadie Sparrow, a young detective in the London police force, stumbles upon the Edevanes’ old estate. Her curiosity is sparked, setting off a series of events that will bring her and Alice together and reveal shocking truths about a past long gone...yet more present than ever. Reviewed by Kate Ayers.

GOLDEN AGE by Jane Smiley (Fiction)
A lot can happen in 100 years, as Jane Smiley shows in her Last Hundred Years trilogy. But as its final installment opens in 1987, the next generation of Langdons face economic, social, political and personal challenges unlike anything their ancestors have encountered before. GOLDEN AGE brings to a magnificent conclusion the century-spanning portrait of this unforgettable family --- and the dynamic times in which they’ve loved, lived and died. Reviewed by Eileen Zimmerman Nicol.

WHAT YOU SEE: A Jane Ryland Novel by Hank Phillippi Ryan (Thriller)
A wedding is planned in Jane Ryland's family, but there's a disaster instead. Nine-year-old Gracie has been taken by her stepdad. Where are they? Is the girl in danger? Reporter Jane Ryland learns to her peril what happens when loved ones are pushed too far. Meanwhile, Detective Jake Brogan has a doozy of a case. At Boston's historic Faneuil Hall, a man is stabbed to death in front of a crowd of tourists snapping photos of the murder on their cell phones. Solving the case should be easy, but the pictures and surveillance video lead him to a dark conspiracy of extortion and stolen lives. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

GUARANTEED HEROES by William Lashner (Science Fiction/Dystopian Thriller)
In a nation still recovering from the nuclear tragedies of 40 years earlier, Clyde is working a dead-end guaranteed job at a diner, and Moonis is incarcerated in a Labor Camp for the Malcontented. But when Moonis’ sister, Cecily, goes missing, the old friends escape their prisons to search for her in post-fallout America. Moonis and Clyde follow Cecily’s trail until it leads them into the atomic-ravaged heart of the Midwest, an outlaw territory of dark legends and darker truths where Cecily is being held captive by a brutal gang lord. Reviewed by Ray Palen.

THE YEAR OF LEAR: Shakespeare in 1606 by James Shapiro (History)
Preeminent Shakespeare scholar James Shapiro shows how the tumultuous events in England in 1606 affected Shakespeare and shaped the three great tragedies he wrote that year --- KING LEAR, MACBETH and ANTONY AND CLEOPATRA. THE YEAR OF LEAR sheds light on these tragedies by placing them in the context of their times, while also allowing us greater insight into how Shakespeare was personally touched by such events as a terrible outbreak of plague and growing religious divisions. Reviewed by Sarah Rachel Egelman.

THE SEARCHER by Simon Toyne (Thriller)
On a hilltop in the town of Redemption, Arizona, the townspeople gather at an old cemetery to bury a local man. The somber occasion is suddenly disrupted by a thunderous explosion in the distant desert. As Sheriff Garth Morgan speeds toward the plane crash, he nearly hits a tall, pale man running down the road, who has no memory of who he is or how he got there. The only clues to his identity are a label in his handmade suit jacket and a book that’s been inscribed to him: both giving the name Solomon Creed. Solomon believes he is here for a reason --- to save a man he has never met…the man who was buried that morning. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

THE DIAMOND CAPER by Peter Mayle (Mystery)
When a Riviera socialite’s diamonds are stolen --- the latest in a string of seemingly unconnected but ever-more-audacious jewelry heists across France --- Elena flies in to investigate the insurance claim. Once reunited, Sam isn’t entirely distracted by domestic matters. In the pattern of these “perfect crimes,” he is beginning to see a master at work and is quickly determined to connect and solve the cases. But as he and Elena dig deeper, they begin to realize just how much is connected and how dangerous it may be to pursue the whole truth. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

BUFFALO TRAIL: A Novel of the American West by Jeff Guinn (Historical Fiction/Western)
Fleeing to Dodge City, Cash McLendon falls in with an intrepid band of buffalo hunters determined to head south to forbidden Indian Territory in the Texas Panhandle. When a massive migration of buffalo arrives, he thinks his luck has finally changed. Little do Cash and his fellows know that their camp is targeted by a new coalition of the finest warriors among the Comanche, Cheyenne and Kiowa. An enormous force of 2,000 is about to descend on the camp and will mark one of the fiercest, bloodiest battles in frontier history. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.
Our Latest Poll: YA Books for Adults
Young adult (YA) books have been growing in popularity. They clearly are not just for teens anymore! Do you read them?

  • Often
  • Sometimes
  • Rarely
  • No, but I would be interested in doing so.
  • I have no interest in reading YA books.
     
Click here to vote in the poll.
Word of Mouth Contest: Tell Us What You're Reading --- and You Can Win Three Books!

Tell us about the books you've finished reading with your comments and a rating of 1 to 5 stars. During the contest period from October 23rd to November 6th at noon ET, five lucky readers each will be randomly chosen to win a copy of AVENUE OF MYSTERIES by John Irving, THE CROSSING: A Bosch Novel by Michael Connelly, and ROGUE LAWYER by John Grisham.

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

-To see reader comments from previous contest periods, click here.
 

Click here to enter the contest.
Sounding Off on Audio Contest: Tell Us What You're Listening to --- and You Can Win Two Audiobooks!
Tell us about the audiobooks you’ve finished listening to with your comments and a rating of 1 to 5 stars for both the performance and the content. During the contest period from October 1st to November 2nd at noon ET, three lucky readers each will be randomly chosen to win the audio versions of both Robert Galbraith’s CAREER OF EVIL: A Cormoran Strike Novel, read by Robert Glenister, and FIND A WAY, written and read by Diana Nyad.

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

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

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