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November 6, 2015 Newsletter November 6, 2015
Hello Darkness, Not My Friend

The clocks changed last weekend, and all week I felt like my body clock has been out of whack. The sun sets outside my office window at 4:47 and plunges the world into darkness shortly afterward. Our office closes at 6, but by 5:20 my head is feeling like I should be heading home. I have decided that life in two different hemispheres would be lovely --- I would always have extended periods of sunlight. The summer-like temperatures this week have my body even more confused, but ah, it was nice to wear summer shoes for a few more days.

I spent my drive time this week listening to the audiobook of YEAR OF YES by Shonda Rhimes, which is in stores on Tuesday. I LOVE this book, and Shonda's narration made it all the more personal. There are parts at the beginning where the pacing of her speech takes on the same staccato beat as her "Scandal" character Olivia Pope's. For me there were several highs in it; the school bake sale and her thoughts on motherhood were among them. But one part that particularly struck a chord was a speech she gave accepting an award where she spoke about diversity.

In MANY of the meetings that I sit in on, mainly about kids and teens books, people talk about diversity --- how to show it in books and build careers for diverse authors. She spoke about how she is recognized for creating diverse characters on her shows. She said that instead of thinking that she is showing diversity on her shows, she sees it as normalizing, showing the world as it is. Ponder that thought. Somehow that word "normalizing" feels even more inclusive to me as it reflects how the world looks and encourages us to mirror it, instead of trying to artificially create it. By the way, I am not alone in my praise of this book; everyone who has had an early look at it is buzzing about it.

On Tuesday, I was interviewed by CBS Radio/WBBM in Chicago about Amazon opening their first bricks and mortar store in Seattle, which was big news this week. I loved when the interviewer said something along the lines of everything old is new again. So true. When we first opened our office in the city, there were five bookstores within walking distance, including one right across the street. Today there is none.

A few months ago, I read AFTER THE CRASH by Michel Bussi (in stores on January 5th) and noted it would be one of my first Bets On selections of the year. With the holidays coming up, we wanted to get this one on your radar now, so in that spirit, we are giving 35 lucky readers the chance to win an advance copy of the book and submit their comments on it. Already a near-million-copy bestseller in Europe that has received rave reviews across the board, the novel focuses on a tragic Alpine plane crash and the mystery surrounding its only survivor, a three-month old baby girl. Although her survival was miraculous, Lylie may never know who she truly is, as there were two baby girls aboard the flight. For two decades, Lylie and detectives have struggled to determine whether she is the beloved grandchild of a hardworking country woman or an heiress from a prominent family. But now someone has discovered the truth --- and they will kill to hide what happened after the crash.

For your chance to win an advance copy of AFTER THE CRASH, which I found to be a page-turner, and share feedback on it later, please fill out this form by Thursday, November 19th at noon ET. One thing: by accepting to win the prize, we would like your assurance that you will be able to read it and submit your comments on it by Monday, January 4th.

Master of horror Stephen King delivers a brilliant collection of short stories --- complete with autobiographical comments --- in THE BAZAAR OF BAD DREAMS. Combining both recent stories and brand new ones, King dazzles with his short fiction, providing an introduction for each story about its origins and his motivations for writing it. Although each story contains its own horrifying narrative, themes of morality, guilt and supernatural powers tie these tales together. From “Afterlife,” which features a man doomed to repeat his life’s mistakes, to “Obits,” about a man who kills people by writing their obituaries, each story is eerie, compelling and sure to thrill fans and new readers alike.

Joe Hartlaub has our review and says that THE BAZAAR OF BAD DREAMS "demonstrates conclusively that King still knows how to spin a heck of a yarn while also creating some of the best work of his career." Watch Stephen King on ABC's "Good Morning America," listen to his interview on NPR's "Diane Rehm," and read his New York Times interview! I want to listen to this on audio.

Although Detective Harry Bosch has retired from the LAPD, he returns for another chilling adventure in Michael Connelly’s THE CROSSING. Bosch’s half-brother, defense attorney Mickey Haller, has been tasked with an impossible case. His client, a former gang member who has given up his old ways, has been accused of brutally murdering a woman in her bed, but Haller is sure it’s a setup. Although Bosch wants to help, he’s hesitant about working for the defense after 30 years as a homicide cop. Still, his curiosity compels him; before he knows it, he’s teaming up with his former partner, Lucy Soto, and hunting for clues inside the police department. It's not long, however, before he realizes that the killer has also been hunting him.

According to Joe Hartlaub, "THE CROSSING is a complex mystery, one in which the reader is given some but not all of the answers well ahead of Bosch. Part of the fun is watching Bosch catch something here and miss something there before eventually getting completely on the right track and smoking out the baddies."

Stacy Schiff, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of CLEOPATRA, unpacks another famous period of history with THE WITCHES: Salem, 1692. Beginning with a minister’s daughter screaming and convulsing, Schiff chronicles the panic that overtook the town of Salem over an exceptionally brutal Massachusetts winter. Although the hysteria ended less than a year later, its effects were deeply felt, with 19 men and women hanged and one elderly man crushed to death. Even the most educated men and prominent politicians in the colony were swayed by the rumors, with accusations flying through the air at neighbors, parents and even children. This regrettable moment, however, was the only period when women played the central role in American history. Schiff explores how these young girls were able to take charge and change the course of American history forever.

Barbara Bamberger Scott has our review and says, “Schiff has brought these bizarre and distressing occurrences back into focus in a lengthy, well-researched work.... Executions are conjured up by Schiff in cinematic detail.” I had the pleasure of hearing Stacy speak about THE WITCHES at a regional bookseller conference. Her passion for research has her unwrapping stories that most would overlook and then telling them in a quintessentially readable style.

We will have our review of John Irving’s AVENUE OF MYSTERIES next week. In the meantime, check out Irving's appearances on CBS's "The Late Show with Stephen Colbert" and PBS' "Newshour," or listen to him on NPR's "Diane Rehm" and "Morning Edition.”

My latest Bets On pick is AFTER THE WIND by Lou Kasischke, which is now available in paperback. This book unpacks the harrowing story of Mount Everest’s worst tragedy: the deaths of eight climbers on May 10, 1996. Kasischke, who survived, tells readers what went wrong and how the climbers ran out of time, as well as the love story that saved his life. Click here for my Bets On commentary and here for a Q&A with the author.

Our New in Paperback feature has been updated for November. Titles include AT THE WATER'S EDGE by Sara Gruen (which is the current prize in our What’s Your Book Group Reading This Month? contest on; JACQUELINE BOUVIER KENNEDY ONASSIS: The Untold Story by Barbara Leaming; THE NEWS SORORITY: Diane Sawyer, Katie Couric, Christiane Amanpour — and the (Ongoing, Imperfect, Complicated) Triumph of Women in TV News by Sheila Weller; and THE SLOW REGARD OF SILENT THINGS by Patrick Rothfuss.

Today marks the nationwide release of Room, based on Emma Donoghue’s novel of the same name. Told entirely in the voice of Jack, a five-year-old boy who has been raised in a single room, the story revolves around the escape of a mother and son held captive for the entirety of the young boy’s life. Our entire staff advanced screened this one, and we all think it has the potential to win some major awards come next year. If you see it, we are curious as to what you have to say about it!

There are plenty more Books on Screen to feast on throughout the month. Here’s a sampling: The Peanuts Movies; The 33 (based on Hector Tobar’s DEEP DOWN DARK); the second part of The Hunger Games: Mockingjay; the pilot of the Amazon Prime series "Z: The Beginning of Everything" (based on Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald by Therese Anne Fowler), which became available yesterday; and Murder She Baked: A Plum Pudding Mystery (based on PLUM PUDDING MURDER by Joanne Fluke) airing on Hallmark.

There are so many notable memoirs and other nonfiction books to be thankful for this month that we decided to make it the subject of our latest poll question. Which of the 14 titles that we list are you most looking forward to reading? Click here to weigh in!

In our previous poll, we asked if you read young adult books. Almost 70% of you read them often or sometimes, while only 14% have no interest in reading them. Click here for all the results.

We have a new Word of Mouth contest to tell you about. Our current prize books are ALL DRESSED IN WHITE: An Under Suspicion Novel by Mary Higgins Clark and Alafair Burke, THE MAGIC STRINGS OF FRANKIE PRESTO by Mitch Albom, and TRICKY TWENTY-TWO: A Stephanie Plum Novel by Janet Evanovich. What books have you finished reading? Let us know by Friday, November 20th at noon ET for your chance to win all three of these major upcoming fiction titles.

In this month’s Sounding Off on Audio contest, we’re giving away audio versions of both the highly anticipated BOYS IN THE TREES: A Memoir written and read by Carly Simon and the aforementioned YEAR OF YES: How to Dance It Out, Stand in the Sun and Be Your Own Person written and read by Shonda Rhimes. All you have to do is let us know by Tuesday, December 1st at noon ET what audiobooks you’ve finished listening to, and you’ll be in the running to win these two prizes. I purposely selected memoirs as the prizes this time, as I feel the experience of hearing a memoir read by its author is a very special one.

News and Pop Culture:

Reader Mail: Got a note from Gary in Chicago about my aforementioned radio interview: “Just wanted to let you know I heard you on WBBM today here in Chicagoland. I was listening on the way in to work and I thought, hey, that's Carol from my favorite website. Great job on the interview, and I love your site.” And Cathy wrote that she is going to be in New York City in December to visit her brother. She tries to visit often, making “a few, concrete plans for the weekend and inevitably, he patiently joins me in discovering eclectic book stores that I have read about. I was just curious if you had visibility to any book related activities occurring that weekend? Readings, book signings, etc.? Any information/ideas you might have would be greatly appreciated.” December is a slow time for events in bookstores as so many are concentrating on selling books. I am hoping we can meet up at the office at some point. For readers planning trips to the city, we are always up for visits, as long as we can plan in advance. Series Feature: Got some nice notes about our update to this feature, which now boasts almost 200 series titles for kids. You can take a look at it here.

"The Affair": Previewed episode five, which airs on Sunday night. Book folks, you will appreciate the author guest star. And more about Noah's book will be revealed. By the way, there are only 10 episodes in season two, whereas "Homeland," which I also am loving, has 12.

Lucy: We all love Lucy, thus I had to share the news that CBS will air "The Christmas Episode” and the classic "Lucy Does a TV Commercial" episode (remember "Vitameatavegamin"?). "The episodes will be presented seamlessly, without interruption in between” on December 23rd. The shows will be in color for the first time.

"Longmire": Netflix renewed it for a fifth season. Season four debuted on the service in September. Nice to see for Craig Johnson, an author who wears a cowboy hat well.

11.22.63, based on Stephen King’s novel: Hulu has set a premiere date for the nine-hour miniseries that centers on a high school history teacher who travels back in time to stop the JFK assassination. James Franco stars, while Kevin Macdonald (The Last King of Scotland) directs and EPs the first two episodes. Premiere date is February 15th, and, yes, this is Presidents' Day. Episodes will be released to subscribers weekly.

Amazon and Conspiracy Theorists: Remember the book I was on a rant about two weeks ago? Well, the Seattle Times is on it as well.

"60 Minutes" Piece: With no credit to Sam Quinones, author of DREAMLAND: The True Tale of America’s Opiate Epidemic, who did extensive research on the subject, "60 Minutes" ran a piece about heroin in Ohio last week. See what the author had to say here.

Girl on the Train Filming in Ardsley and Irvington, NY: Westchester looking like the UK; I love it.

Seriously, No Zeal for Teal?: In the Wall Street Journal today, there is an article about a lack of zeal for teal! I cannot imagine that. Mary Kay Andrews’ Tybee Island home is featured in the piece, though they reference her as Kathy Trocheck (her real name, though I am thinking she is better known as MKA), and we KNOW she has a zeal for teal!

Amazon Store, according to Forbes: Nothing to do with selling books?

Savannah Book Festival: The lineup for this event taking place February 11-14th is here. And it’s a great one.

Are any of you planning to go to the Miami Book Fair? If so, drop me a note. I cannot be there this year, but would love reader coverage!

Yesterday, I enjoyed a lovely lunch with two debut authors: Christine Reilly, author of SUNDAY’S ON THE PHONE TO MONDAY (April 2016), and Catherine Lowell, author of THE MADWOMAN UPSTAIRS (March 2016). There is a true joy in speaking with new writers, pre-publication, both in hearing their stories and feeling their enthusiasm. The same happened on Wednesday at a Hachette Books preview over lunch, where Lee Boudreaux introduced the first author of the debut line of her imprint Lee Boudreaux Books, Sunil Yapa, whose book, YOUR HEART IS A MUSCLE THE SIZE OF A FIST, will be in stores in January.

With my extra hour last week, I cleaned the refrigerator. I know; wild times! And I organized my “to-be-read books,” which means I have them on shelves and in stacks. I still need to organize them by on-sale date and age. This weekend, I want to read and get to the movie theater to see Spectre; I will admit to a wild crush on Daniel Craig. My husband indulges me as he knows I leave the theater and go home with him! And I am looking forward to watching the aforementioned "Z" on Amazon Prime.

I just started HIS RIGHT HAND by Mette Ivie Harrison. I loved her first book, THE BISHOP’S WIFE, and selected it as a Bets On pick earlier this year. I love her character, Linda Wallheim, who is a Mormon bishop’s wife. Last weekend, I started a debut novel called THE LIGHTKEEPERS by Abby Geni, which is coming in January. It takes place in the Farallon Islands, which are set off the coast of California. Miranda, the protagonist, is there on a yearlong residency photographing the landscape. The others on the island are a group of quirky scientists studying sharks, birds, seals and other wildlife. Weeks into her arrival, Miranda is assaulted, and a few days later, her assailant is found dead under mysterious circumstances. The isolated island, which is enough to have me on the edge of my seat --- as well as the residents who would have had me rowing from the island post-haste, sharks or no sharks --- have lured me in. It’s edgy and tight, and I look forward to finishing it. Yes, I am reading two books simultaneously. What else is new?

Greg is heading to a friend’s 100-acre farm near Cooperstown for a Land Rover celebration of Guy Fawkes Day and off-roading. I do not grasp the concept of off-roading in the car you just spent two weekends working on, but alas, to each his own. Cory most likely will make a cameo appearance at some point over the weekend for dinner and leftovers. Nice that he is close enough to be able to do that.

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, gets a small affiliate fee on your purchases. We would appreciate your considering this!

Now in Stores: THE BAZAAR OF BAD DREAMS by Stephen King
THE BAZAAR OF BAD DREAMS: Stories by Stephen King (Thriller/Short Stories)
Audiobook available, narrated by Stephen King and 14 others
Since his first collection, NIGHTSHIFT, published 35 years ago, Stephen King has dazzled readers with his genius as a writer of short fiction. In this new collection, he assembles, for the first time, recent stories that have never been published in a book. He introduces each with a passage about its origins or his motivations for writing it. There are thrilling connections between stories: themes of morality, the afterlife, guilt, what we would do differently if we could see into the future or correct the mistakes of the past. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

-Click here to read more about the book.
Click here to read a review.
Now in Stores: THE CROSSING by Michael Connelly
THE CROSSING: A Bosch Novel by Michael Connelly (Thriller)
Audiobook available, narrated by Titus Welliver
Detective Harry Bosch has retired from the LAPD, but his half-brother, defense attorney Mickey Haller, needs his help. A woman has been brutally murdered in her bed, and all evidence points to Haller's client, a former gang member turned family man. The murder rap seems ironclad, but Haller is sure it's a setup. Though it goes against all his instincts, Bosch reluctantly takes the case. Soon his investigation leads him inside the police department, where he realizes that the killer he's been tracking also has been tracking him. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

-Click here to read more about the book.
-Click here to read an excerpt.
Click here to read a review.
Now in Stores: THE WITCHES by Stacy Schiff
THE WITCHES: Salem, 1692 by Stacy Schiff (History)
Audiobook available, narrated by Eliza Foss
It began in 1692 when a minister's daughter began to scream and convulse. It ended less than a year later, but not before 19 men and women had been hanged and an elderly man crushed to death. The panic spread quickly, involving the most educated men and prominent politicians in the colony. Neighbors accused neighbors, parents and children each other. Aside from suffrage, the Salem Witch Trials represent the only moment when women played the central role in American history. In curious ways, the trials would shape the future republic. Reviewed by Barbara Bamberger Scott.

-Click here to read more about the book.
Click here to read a review.
New Special Contest: Win an Advance Copy of AFTER THE CRASH by Michel Bussi and Share Your Comments on It
We are celebrating the January 5th release of AFTER THE CRASH by Michel Bussi with a special contest that will give 35 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 19th at noon ET.

AFTER THE CRASH by Michel Bussi (Psychological Thriller)
Hailed as "a novel so extraordinary that it reminded me of reading Stieg Larsson for the very first time" (Sunday Times, UK), a near-million copy bestseller in Europe --- centered on a tragic plane crash in the Alps and the mystery surrounding its only survivor, an infant girl.

After nearly two decades, the old detective has to admit defeat: he cannot unravel the mystery of Lylie. The only survivor of a devastating air accident, she has never known who she truly was: the beloved grandchild of a hardworking country woman, or the heiress of a powerful family. Now 18, Lylie is herself conflicted, tortured by not knowing. But someone knows. Someone’s found out. And someone may kill to preserve what happened after the crash...

-Click here to read an excerpt.
-Click here for critical praise.
-Click here to read Michel Bussi’s bio.
Click here to enter the contest.
Now in Stores: CAREER OF EVIL by Robert Galbraith
CAREER OF EVIL: A Cormoran Strike Novel by Robert Galbraith (Mystery)
Audiobook available, narrated by Robert Glenister
When a mysterious package is delivered to Robin Ellacott, she is horrified to discover that it contains a woman's severed leg. Her boss, private detective Cormoran Strike, is less surprised but no less alarmed; there are four people from his past who he thinks could be responsible. With the police focusing on the one suspect Strike is increasingly sure is not the perpetrator, he and Robin take matters into their own hands, and delve into the dark and twisted worlds of the other three men. But as more horrendous acts occur, time is running out for the two of them. Reviewed by Kate Ayers.

-Click here to read more about the book.
Click here to read a review.
Now in Stores: THE GROWNUP by Gillian Flynn
THE GROWNUP: A Story by the Author of Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn (Psychological Thriller)
Audiobook available, narrated by Julia Whelan
A canny young woman is struggling to survive by perpetrating various levels of mostly harmless fraud. On a rainy April morning, she is reading auras at Spiritual Palms when Susan Burke walks in. A keen observer of human behavior, our unnamed narrator immediately diagnoses Susan as an unhappy woman eager to give her lovely life a drama injection. However, when the "psychic" visits the eerie Victorian home that has been the source of Susan’s terror and grief, she realizes she may not have to pretend to believe in ghosts anymore. Reviewed by Norah Piehl.

-Click here to read more about the book.
Click here to read a review.
Now in Stores: THE JAPANESE LOVER by Isabel Allende
THE JAPANESE LOVER by Isabel Allende (Historical Fiction)
Audiobook available, narrated by Joanna Gleason
In 1939, as Poland falls under the shadow of the Nazis, young Alma Belasco’s parents send her away to live in safety with an aunt and uncle in their opulent mansion in San Francisco. There, as the rest of the world goes to war, she encounters Ichimei Fukuda, the quiet and gentle son of the family’s Japanese gardener. Unnoticed by those around them, a tender love affair begins to blossom. Following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, the two are cruelly pulled apart as Ichimei and his family are declared enemies and forcibly relocated to internment camps run by the United States government. Reviewed by Jana Siciliano.

-Click here to read more about the book.
Click here to read a review.
November's New in Paperback Roundups
November’s roundup of New in Paperback fiction titles includes AT THE WATER'S EDGE by Sara Gruen, a gripping and poignant love story about a privileged young woman’s awakening as she experiences the devastation of World War II in a tiny village in the Scottish Highlands; THE SLOW REGARD OF SILENT THINGS by Patrick Rothfuss, which brings us into the world of one of The Kingkiller Chronicle’s most enigmatic characters, a broken girl trying to live in a broken world; and THE SIEGE WINTER, a powerful historical novel by the late Ariana Franklin and her daughter, Samantha Norman, told by two courageous young women whose fates are intertwined in 12th-century England’s devastating civil war.

Among this month’s nonfiction offerings are THE NEWS SORORITY, Sheila Weller's lively and exhilarating narrative that reveals the hard struggles and inner strengths that shaped Diane Sawyer, Katie Couric and Christiane Amanpour, and powered their success; JACQUELINE BOUVIER KENNEDY ONASSIS by Barbara Leaming, the first book to document Jackie's 31-year struggle with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD); and I STAND CORRECTED, Eden Collinsworth's unforgettable story of the year she spent living among the Chinese while writing a book featuring advice on such topics as the rules of the handshake, making sense of foreigners, and behavior that is considered universally rude.

-Find out what's New in Paperback for the weeks of November 2nd, November 9th, November 16th and November 23rd.
November's Books on Screen Feature
In the calm before the awards season storm, we are gifted with thoughtful, character-driven films in November, which means plenty of Books on Screen. The top of the crop this month are Brooklyn, the tender, poignant story of a young Irish immigrant who finds love in 1950s Brooklyn; Carol, in which two women are drawn into a passionate, precarious love affair; and The Danish Girl, a movingly intimate portrait of Lili Elbe, one of the first known recipients of gender reassignment surgery.

If you’re still broken up over “Mad Men” ending and don’t have the heart to watch any more mid-century period dramas, there’s always The 33, the true story of the 33 Chilean miners trapped underground for 69 days, or Spotlight, about the Boston Globe’s controversial, Pulitzer Prize-winning investigation into allegations of abuse against the Catholic Church. The latter comes highly recommended; glowing reviews claim a tour-de-force performance by its incomparable ensemble. Forgive me for laying it on thick; I know it’s a hard sell against the final installments of The Hunger Games movies and the Craig-as-Bond franchise.

On significantly smaller screens, we have six pilots from Amazon Prime, including “Z: The Beginning of Everything,” about the notorious belle-turned-flapper Zelda Fitzgerald, and “Good Girls Revolt,” which traces the early tremors of feminism in the change-resistant newsroom. All Amazon pilots are available to stream now, and series will be ordered according to success and/or popularity.
Click here to see all the movies, TV shows and DVDs featured in November’s Books on Screen.
Coming November 15th: Miami Book Fair International 2015
The Miami Book Fair International, now in its 32nd year, is an eight-day event that opens Sunday, November 15th with the popular Evenings With… series, featuring six nights of readings and discussions with noted authors from the United States and around the world.

On Friday, November 20th, the Street Fair gets underway. The highlight of the Street Fair is the Festival of Authors, with more than 450 authors reading and discussing their work, including the Latin American and Spanish authors who participate in the IberoAmerican Authors Program. Thousands of South Florida schoolchildren will help kick off the Street Fair, making the trip downtown Friday to hear authors and participate in Children’s Alley activities, including theater, arts-and-crafts, storytelling and readings by children’s book authors. Comics and graphic novels are once again featured, and a new section just for kids and teens, as well as presentations over the weekend by renowned graphic novelists and illustrators.

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.

Authors attending the event this year include Mitch Albom, Elizabeth Alexander, Charles Belfoure, Bill Clegg, Ann Hood, Paula McLain, Garth Risk Hallberg and Amy Tan. See the full list here.
Click here for more information about Miami Book Fair International 2015.
More Reviews This Week
SHOPAHOLIC TO THE RESCUE by Sophie Kinsella (Fiction)
Audiobook available, narrated by Clare Corbett
Becky’s father has vanished from Los Angeles on a mysterious quest with her best friend’s husband. Becky’s mum is hysterical; her best friend, Suze, is desperate. Worse, Becky must tolerate an enemy along for the ride, who she’s convinced is up to no good. Determined to get to the bottom of why her dad has disappeared, help Suze, contain Alicia, and reunite her fractured family, Becky knows she must marshal all her trademark ingenuity. But just when her family needs her more than ever, can Becky pull it off? Reviewed by Hillary Wagy.

AMAZING FANTASTIC INCREDIBLE: A Marvelous Memoir by Stan Lee, Peter David and Colleen Doran (Graphic Memoir)
Audiobook available, narrated by Peter Riegert
In this gorgeously illustrated, full-color graphic memoir, Stan Lee --- comic book legend and co-creator of Spider-Man, the X-Men, the Avengers, the Incredible Hulk, and a legion of other Marvel superheroes --- shares his iconic legacy and the story of how modern comics came to be. Moving from his impoverished childhood in Manhattan to his early days writing comics, through his military training films during World War II and the rise of the Marvel empire in the 1960s to the current resurgence in movies, AMAZING FANTASTIC INCREDIBLE documents the life of a man and the legacy of an industry and career. Reviewed by Sarah Rachel Egelman.

CHRISTMAS BELLS by Jennifer Chiaverini (Historical Fiction)
Audiobook available, narrated by Christina Moore
Jennifer Chiaverini’s resonant and heartfelt novel chronicles the events of 1863, when the peace and contentment of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s family circle was suddenly, tragically broken, cutting even deeper than the privations of wartime. Through the pain of profound loss and hardship, Longfellow’s patriotism never failed, nor did the power of his language. “Christmas Bells,” the poem he wrote that holiday, lives on, spoken as verse and sung as a hymn. Reviewed by Carole Turner.

THE GOLEM OF PARIS by Jonathan Kellerman and Jesse Kellerman (Supernatural Thriller)
Audiobook available, narrated by John Rubinstein
It’s been more than a year since LAPD detective Jacob Lev learned the remarkable truth about his family, and he’s not coping well. He’s back to drinking, he’s not talking to his father, the LAPD Special Projects Department continues to shadow him, and the memory of a woman named Mai haunts him day and night. While Jacob has tried to build a bridge to his mother, she remains a stranger to him, imprisoned inside her own tattered mind. Then he comes across the file for a gruesome unsolved murder that brings the two halves of his life into startling collision. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

TIGHTROPE by Simon Mawer (Historical Thriller)
Audiobook available, narrated by Kate Reading
As Allied forces close in on Berlin in spring 1945, a solitary figure emerges from the wreckage that is Germany. It is Marian Sutro, whose existence was last known to her British controllers in autumn 1943 in Paris. Returned to an England she barely knows and a postwar world she doesn’t understand, Marian searches for something on which to ground the rest of her life. When the mysterious Major Fawley, the man who hijacked her wartime mission to Paris, draws her into the ambiguities and uncertainties of the Cold War, she sees a way to make amends for the past and to find the identity that has never been hers. Reviewed by Ray Palen.

ALLEGIANCE by Kermit Roosevelt (Historical/Legal Thriller)
In this long-awaited follow-up to IN THE SHADOW OF THE LAW, Caswell “Cash” Harrison is given the opportunity to serve as a clerk to Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black. He and another clerk stumble onto a potentially huge conspiracy aimed at guiding the court’s interests, and the cases dealing with the constitutionality of the prison camps created to detain Japanese-Americans seem to play a key part. Then Cash’s colleague dies under mysterious circumstances, and the young, idealistic lawyer is determined to get at the truth. Reviewed by Stuart Shiffman.

HAS#TAG: A Crime Story by Eryk Pruitt (Crime Fiction)
Odie Shanks is the manager of a pizza parlor in Virginia, with dreams of Hollywood fame and stardom. When the establishment is robbed, he see cross-country crime as his ticket to the Big Time. Meanwhile, college student Melinda Kendall is on her own crime spree across the south, on the run from her drug-dealing, angry boyfriend. Eryk Pruitt’s second novel (following DIRTBAGS) is a wild ride across the American South. Reviewed by Tom Callahan.
Our Latest Poll: Anticipating November Nonfiction/Memoirs: Which Will You Want to Read?
Which of the following nonfiction titles/memoirs releasing in November are you planning to read? Please check all that apply.

  • ALEX HALEY: And the Books That Changed a Nation, by Robert J. Norrell
  • AMAZING FANTASTIC INCREDIBLE: A Marvelous Memoir, by Stan Lee, Peter David and Colleen Doran
  • AND YET… : Essays, by Christopher Hitchens
  • BOYS IN THE TREES: A Memoir, by Carly Simon
  • BUT ENOUGH ABOUT ME: A Memoir, by Burt Reynolds and Jon Winokur
  • DEAR MR. YOU by Mary-Louise Parker
  • DESTINY AND POWER: The American Odyssey of George Herbert Walker Bush, by Jon Meacham
  • GRATITUDE by Oliver Sacks
  • JOHN LE CARRE: The Biography, by Adam Sisman
  • KNITTING PEARLS: Writers Writing About Knitting, edited by Ann Hood
  • MAKE 'EM LAUGH: Short-Term Memories of Longtime Friends, by Debbie Reynolds and Dorian Hannaway
  • PETTY: The Biography, by Warren Zanes
  • WOODY: The Biography, by David Evanier
  • YEAR OF YES: How to Dance It Out, Stand in the Sun and Be Your Own Person, by Shonda Rhimes
  • None of the above
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 November 6th to November 20th at noon ET, five lucky readers each will be randomly chosen to win a copy of ALL DRESSED IN WHITE: An Under Suspicion Novel by Mary Higgins Clark and Alafair Burke, THE MAGIC STRINGS OF FRANKIE PRESTO by Mitch Albom, and TRICKY TWENTY-TWO: A Stephanie Plum Novel by Janet Evanovich.

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 November 2nd to December 1st at noon ET, three lucky readers each will be randomly chosen to win the audio versions of both BOYS IN THE TREES: A Memoir written and read by Carly Simon and YEAR OF YES: How to Dance It Out, Stand in the Sun and Be Your Own Person written and read by Shonda Rhimes.

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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