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October 28, 2016 Newsletter October 28, 2016
Lining Up the Candy!

No matter how many times I swear it’s not going to be like this, October is one very crazy month. There are tons of publisher previews that tug me out of the office, and I somehow have events on three Saturdays --- no matter that I promise myself each year that I will not commit to that schedule. Layer in that there’s always a ton going on around the house to say goodbye to summer and prep for winter, and I feel like there is no catching up. My lists have lists; I suppose I should consider this holiday prep when lists again make babies. Plus, there’s that hour that I miss…the one we lost back in March for Daylight Saving Time. I need to hold on one more week to get it back! I am writing this as darkness is just peeling away at 7am.

Last weekend’s event for Book Group Leaders in Toms River, New Jersey was a smashing success. When you have planned for 85 people and are told that 97 are now showing up for an invite-only presentation, you know something special is happening. I loved getting a chance to talk to readers and to share some of my favorite books of the year, ones I think will be great for book groups. The audience was very enthusiastic, and moments like this are the reason I do not have a good handle on the word “no” when it comes to my schedule. Above you can see me prepping with Kelly Coyle-Crivelli from Penguin Random House’s Library Marketing Team, who also presented.

Next up is the Miami Book Fair. The Fair takes place from November 13-20th on the campus of Miami Dade College in downtown Miami. I have not been there in five years --- and I have missed it. This year, 600(!) authors will be doing events. I am happy to share that I will be doing a program on Saturday morning, November 19th at 10am called “Book Clubs: What’s Trending.” I will be talking about great book club reads for fall and winter, and I will be interviewing Gayle Forman about her latest novel, LEAVE ME, and her experience with book groups.

As a sponsor of the Fair, I have two extra passes that I would like to share with our readers. If you are going and would like to be the recipient of a set of passes for you and a friend, send me an email at [email protected] with the subject line “Miami Book Fair Passes,” and I will select someone to join me. Please share this with your friends in the South Florida area who are readers and may have an interest in the Fair. Not living in Florida? Trust that the weekend of events on November 18-20th are worth flying in for!

Amusingly, while looking online for info on the event, I came across this photo of me there in 2007. I was thinking of wearing that outfit again this year...I wonder if anyone will remember! I bought that skirt in Scottsdale at the first ThrillerFest and then knitted a tank top to go with it when I could not find one in a store that worked.

We have a terrific blog written by seven of our readers who attended the Hachette Book Group Brunch last Saturday. Many thanks to Melanie, Marcia, Valerie, Denise, Linda, Anne and Kathleen. You can read their comments here. And special thanks to Linda for sharing photos!

John Grisham's new book, THE WHISTLER, is an electrifying thrill ride through the darkest corners of the Sunshine State. Lacy Stoltz is an investigator for the Florida Board on Judicial Conduct. With nearly a decade of experience under her belt, she knows that most problems are caused by incompetence, not corruption. Now, though, a previously disbarred lawyer is back in business with a new identity. Working under the name Greg Myers, he claims to know of a Florida judge who has stolen more money than all other crooked judges combined, and he wants to put a stop to it. The case is assigned to Stoltz, who immediately suspects that this one could be dangerous --- not to mention deadly.

Stuart Shiffman, our resident Grisham aficionado, calls the book "a fast-paced and well-plotted mystery that has a message for its readers. His themes and characters are always entertaining and thoughtful. THE WHISTLER is no exception." Here’s a terrific interview with Grisham on "CBS Sunday Morning," and here he is on "CBS This Morning" in another well-done piece. I am amused at how he twirls in his chair during the latter interview. It made me wonder why they have chairs that move on the set.

We are giving you an opportunity to win THE WHISTLER, along with THE TWENTY-THREE (the final book in Linwood Barclay’s Promise Falls trilogy that our early readers are crazy about) and THE WRONG SIDE OF GOODBYE by Michael Connelly, both of which we’re reviewing next week, in our Word of Mouth contest. All you have to do is let us know by Friday, November 4th at noon ET what books you’ve read for your chance to win all three novels.

The literary world was saddened by beloved author Pat Conroy's passing earlier this year. Now, his team brings us A LOWCOUNTRY HEART: Reflections on a Writing Life, a new collection of letters, interviews and magazine articles spanning Conroy’s long literary career. Ranging across diverse subjects such as favorite recent reads, the challenge of getting motivated to exercise, and processing the loss of dearly missed friends, these pieces offer a unique window into the life of a true titan of Southern writing. Last weekend was the Pat Conroy Literary Festival, which is planned to run every year around the time that would have been Pat’s birthday. It started last year at his 70th birthday celebration. This year’s theme was “Place as Character and Muse in Southern Literature.”

Barbara Bamberger Scott has this to say in her review: “Conroy can still, and will always, remind us that gentility is more than accent and birthright; it comes from within and is best when shared. He graciously acknowledges his readers, calling them a ‘magic audience.’ Surely the feeling is mutual; his writing brought magic moments to us all.” I read this book a few months ago, and it’s a way to feel like you are sitting and visiting with Pat.

In MISTER MONKEY, Francine Prose follows the exploits and intrigue of a group of characters affiliated with a way off-off Broadway children’s musical. “Mister Monkey,” which revolves around a playfully larcenous pet chimpanzee, is the kind of family favorite that overstays its welcome. Margot, who plays the chimp’s lawyer, knows the production is terrible and bemoans the failure of her acting career. She has settled into the drudgery of playing a humiliating part --- until the day she receives a mysterious letter from an anonymous admirer...and later, in the middle of a performance, has a shocking encounter with Adam, the 12-year-old boy who plays the title role.

Harvey Freedenberg has our review and says, “Prose shifts her point of view no fewer than 11 times, as the narrative proceeds almost in the manner of a relay race, at times giving the novel a feel of linked stories that blend together into a seamless whole…. For all the apparent slightness of its foundation, MISTER MONKEY is a solidly constructed and winning addition to her body of work.”

Other books we’re reviewing this week includes BRIDGET JONES’S BABY, the latest installment in Helen Fielding’s series that can also be seen on the big screen (the film is currently in theaters); new novels from Jonathan Lethem (A GAMBLER’S ANATOMY) and T.C. Boyle (THE TERRANAUTS); and THE NINE OF US, a memoir from Ambassador Jean Kennedy Smith, the last surviving child of Joe and Rose Kennedy, who talks about growing up with her siblings in such a large, close-knit family.

My latest Bets On pick is THE OTHER EINSTEIN by Marie Benedict, which we reviewed last week and is the fictionalized story of Albert Einstein's wife, who in reality was a brilliant physicist in her own right. Click here to see why I’m betting you’ll love this book, especially if you’re a fan of such novels as LOVING FRANK, MRS. POE, THE PARIS WIFE and THE AVIATOR’S WIFE.

We’re nearing the homestretch of our audiobook contest on, where nine book groups will receive audio versions of three much-talked-about novels. Three groups will win Jodi Picoult’s SMALL GREAT THINGS, three will win Imbolo Mbue's BEHOLD THE DREAMERS, and three will win Colson Whitehead's THE UNDERGROUND RAILROAD. To enter, please fill out this form by Wednesday, November 2nd at noon ET. In order to qualify as a winning group, your group must be able to commit to listening to and discussing your audiobook and sharing your feedback with us by Friday, January 27th.

Speaking of audiobooks, time is also running out to enter this month’s Sounding Off on Audio contest. Let us know by Tuesday, November 1st at noon ET what audiobooks you’ve finished listening to, and you’ll have a chance to win the aforementioned SMALL GREAT THINGS, along with Brit Bennett's THE MOTHERS. I am listening to Taraji P. Henson’s AROUND THE WAY GIRL, which I am enjoying. I have never watched "Empire," but will give it a whirl after listening to this. She has great spunk, and I find myself smiling and fist bumping the air listening to her.

We’ve updated our Young Adult Books You Want to Read feature, books we've recently featured on that we think will appeal to an adult audience. This month’s titles are THE RAINS by Gregg Hurwitz (his first YA novel), WRECKED by Maria Padian, and THE WEIGHT OF ZERO by Karen Fortunati. I am reading WRECKED, and it’s really terrific. I look forward to Gregg’s book, which is on my bedside pile.

Which bestseller lists, if any, do you typically look at? Take our poll and let us know! We love reading these as it gives us a chance to get to know you better, since we cannot all meet face to face.

Congratulations to Paul Beatty, whose novel THE SELLOUT has been awarded the 2016 Man Booker Prize for Fiction. Beatty is the first American author to win the prize in its 48-year history (US authors only became eligible two years ago).

News and Pop Culture:

Reader Mail: Many thanks to Agi, who noted that we had the wrong “About the Book” copy for Chaim Potok’s THE CHOSEN (which is being reissued on November 1st in honor of its 50th anniversary). We somehow had the copy for Kristina Ohlsson’s THE CHOSEN (coming December 6th).

Remember I mentioned there would be a pop quiz about VICTORIA by Daisy Goodwin and VICTORIA: THE QUEEN by Julia Baird, which are both coming out on November 22nd? Well, THE CHOSEN will be on the pop quiz, too!

Ina Garten’s New Book, COOKING FOR JEFFREY, is Out: Check out this funny piece on how one writer wishes she was married to Ina Garten.

"This Is Us" and "Pitch": Two new shows this season, the first on Tuesdays at 9pm ET on NBC and the other on Thursdays at 9pm ET on FOX. The first is stronger than the second, but they both have twists in them that will keep you watching. Not sure that either will be as strong in its second year as they are loaded so well this year, but I am enjoying season one.

"The Circus": As a rule, I stay away from politics. However, this non-partisan program that airs on Sunday nights at 8pm ET on Showtime is my favorite show about the election. Besides the discussion of the candidates and the campaigns, I am amused by what they eat and drink. Every episode has at least one scene in a restaurant.

The Skimm: Have told you about this one before. Newsletter with topline news that drops into my mailbox at 6:30 each morning. It’s the news written in a plucky voice. Its target audience is millennials, but trust me, it’s good reading for all ages. Every Friday they note a Skimm Read, sometimes two. This week it was Amor Towles' A GENTLEMAN IN MOSCOW, which we reviewed here the week of its release. Love seeing the news that they choose to share with their audience. I like seeing their take on it. You can sign up for it here.

Liane Moriarty’s BIG LITTLE LIES: It’s coming to HBO in 2017. We have a trailer here. Reese Witherspoon, Laura Dern, Nicole Kidman and Shailene Woodley are starring. Or should that be co-starring?

Cubs or Indians?: Pulling for Chicago here for no reason other than I have visited there more. Either team winning will be historical. Just hoping it’s a good series. Loved this video of the Blackhawks traveling in Cubs gear. Wonder what LeBron does in response?

Top Ten Yarn Shops in the Country: Great piece in USA Today. I have been to two of them and have my sights on two more. Got to meet the legendary Steven Be from StevenBe in Minneapolis this week. Cooking up an idea to do something with him. Stay tuned. Meanwhile, I picked up the gorgeous yarn above when he did a meet n' greet at a terrific yarn store called Annie & Company in New York.

Lee Child: He knows the movie is not like the book, and he is okay with that. Good interview with him in Vanity Fair.

George R.R. Martin: Love this. A fan letter Martin wrote as a kid to correct a continuity error in a comic book.

That Time My Daughter Talked to a Stranger: Such a lovely piece about where kindness can lead. We need more of this.

I just folded up the beach towels one last time --- ready to store them in the linen closet for winter. This weekend may be a good time for a fire in the fire pit! We still need to get the cover on the pool.

Once again I will overbuy candy for Halloween. The houses in our neighborhood are spaced far apart, so not many kids trek here. Greg and Nicole went candy shopping for the office yesterday, and I think they brought back eight bags of candy. And we were super indulging all day. At one point Nicole said, “We did not get Snickers.” Very funny moment. I think we will get peanut M&Ms here at the house. I need to think about the leftovers!

I miss making Halloween costumes for the boys. While those days were really hectic --- proving that October madness is not a new thing in my life --- it always was this way. Their preschool was very politically correct, though we did not know that was what it was in those days and we did not choose the school because of this. Somewhere along the way, there were some families who did not celebrate Halloween due to their religious beliefs. So the school would have a theme for a costume parade every year. Trust that this never overlapped with what the boys wanted to be for the holiday, so there were two costumes being made every year. Luckily, the boys were five years apart, and the school repeated themes every four years, so Cory often wore hand-me-downs from Greg --- unless there was some new inspiration!

I'm thinking about some fall meals since there is a nip in the air. I have vowed with my friend Kim not to wear stockings until November 1st! I have no big plans for the weekend. Amen to that! Wait, maybe I should find my stockings!

Read on, and have a great week.

Carol Fitzgerald ([email protected])

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

Featured Review: THE WHISTLER by John Grisham
THE WHISTLER by John Grisham (Mystery)
Audiobook available, read by Cassandra Campbell
What happens when a judge bends the law or takes a bribe? Lacy Stoltz is an investigator for the Florida Board on Judicial Conduct, and a corruption case crosses her desk. A previously disbarred lawyer is back in business as Greg Myers; he claims to know of a judge who was secretly involved with the construction of a large casino on Native American land. Greg’s only client is a person who knows the truth and wants to blow the whistle and collect millions under Florida law. Lacy immediately suspects this case could be dangerous --- but it also could turn out to be deadly. Reviewed by Stuart Shiffman.

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

Click here to read the review.
Featured Review: A LOWCOUNTRY HEART by Pat Conroy
A LOWCOUNTRY HEART: Reflections on a Writing Life by Pat Conroy (Essays)
Audiobook available, read by Scott Brick
This new volume of Pat Conroy’s nonfiction brings together some of the most charming interviews, magazine articles, speeches and letters from his long literary career, many of them addressed directly to his readers with his habitual greeting, “Hey, out there.” Ranging across diverse subjects, such as favorite recent reads, the challenge of staying motivated to exercise, and processing the loss of dear friends, Conroy’s eminently memorable pieces offer a unique window into the life of a true titan of Southern writing. Reviewed by Barbara Bamberger Scott.

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

Click here to read the review.
Featured Review: MISTER MONKEY by Francine Prose

MISTER MONKEY by Francine Prose (Fiction)
Audiobook available, performed by Kirby Heyborne and Nan McNamara
“Mister Monkey” --- a screwball children’s musical about a playfully larcenous pet chimpanzee --- is the kind of family favorite that survives far past its prime. Margot, who plays the chimp’s lawyer, knows the production is dreadful and bemoans the failure of her acting career. She’s settled into the drudgery of playing a humiliating part --- until the day she receives a mysterious letter from an anonymous admirer…and later, in the middle of a performance, has a shocking encounter with Adam, the 12-year-old who plays the title role. Reviewed by Harvey Freedenberg.

-Click here to read more about the book.

Click here to read the review. Bets On: THE OTHER EINSTEIN by Marie Benedict

THE OTHER EINSTEIN by Marie Benedict (Historical Fiction)
Albert Einstein brings to mind the words “brilliant” and “eccentric,” along with a vivid visual of his shock of white hair. THE OTHER EINSTEIN by Marie Benedict looks at the man behind the science through the eyes of Mileva “Mitza” Marić, the woman who was his partner in his life --- and, it seems, in his work. Mileva was the physicist who stood at his side to unlock some of the biggest scientific theories of the 20th century. She also was the woman who championed him and held their family together against formidable odds.

The emotional disconnect portrayed between him and his wife and children encourages the idea that Einstein was somewhere on the autism spectrum, explaining his cavalier attitude and jaded purview of both Mileva and their kids. I always knew Einstein was a complicated man, but I was bowled over by the story of his personal life that is uncovered here. Reading about Benedict’s research is interesting and gives insight into the complexities of the scientific and academic worlds during these years. While this is a work of fiction, there surely is truth in this multilayered story. Even if one quibbles with what is true about the science, the realities of Einstein as a family man seem without dispute.

THE OTHER EINSTEIN is perfect reading for fans of LOVING FRANK, THE PARIS WIFE and THE AVIATOR’S WIFE, as this is another look at a woman who was a partner in a famous man’s life, at a time when such partnerships were avant-garde. Book groups, bring on your discussions!

-Click here to read more about the book.
-Click here to read a review.
-Click here to read an excerpt.
-Click here to see advance readers’ comments.

Click here for more books we’re betting you’ll love.
Featured Review: A GAMBLER'S ANATOMY by Jonathan Lethem
A GAMBLER'S ANATOMY by Jonathan Lethem (Fiction)
Audiobook available, read by Mark Deakins
Alexander Bruno travels the world winning large sums of money from amateur “whales” who think they can challenge his peerless acumen at backgammon. But after a troubling run of bad luck in Singapore and Berlin --- perhaps brought on by his chance encounter with childhood acquaintance Keith Stolarsky and his girlfriend Tira Harpaz, or perhaps the emergence of a blot that distorts his vision --- Bruno passes out and is brought to the hospital. There, he’s given a depressing diagnosis and his only hope is to return to Berkeley, where he discovered his psychic abilities, and undergo experimental surgery paid for by the scheming Stolarsky. Reviewed by Sarah Rachel Egelman.

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

Click here to read the review.
Featured Review: THE TERRANAUTS by T.C. Boyle
THE TERRANAUTS by T.C. Boyle (Fiction)
Audiobook available; performed by Lynde Houck, Joy Osmanski and Charlie Thurston
It is 1994, and in the desert near Tillman, Arizona, a grand experiment involving the future of humanity is underway. As climate change threatens the earth, eight scientists dubbed the "Terranauts" have been selected to live under glass in E2, a prototype of a possible off-earth colony. Closely monitored by an all-seeing Mission Control, this New Eden is the brainchild of ecovisionary Jeremiah Reed, for whom the project is both an adventure in scientific discovery and a momentous publicity stunt. His young, strapping Terranauts must impress watchful visitors and a skeptical media curious to see if E2’s environment will somehow be compromised, forcing the Ecosphere’s seal to be broken --- and ending the mission in failure. Reviewed by Jana Siciliano.

-Click here to read more about the book.

Click here to read the review.
Featured Review: BRIDGET JONES'S BABY by Helen Fielding
BRIDGET JONES'S BABY: The Diaries by Helen Fielding (Fiction)
Audiobook available, read by Morwenna Banks
As Bridget careers towards baby-deadline, a series of classic Bridget Jones moments finally leads her into pregnancy --- but just not quite as intended. It's a pregnancy full of cheesy potatoes, outlandish advice from Drunken Singletons and Smug Mothers, chaos at scans and childbirth classes, high jinks and romance, joy and despair --- but all of it dominated by the terribly awkward question: Who's the father? Reviewed by Allison Sharp.

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

Click here to read the review.
What's New This Month on
We currently are giving away the following books on

  • Enter to Win Audiobooks for You and Your Book Group --- Listen, Discuss and Give Feedback is proud to be hosting a very special contest. We are giving away audiobooks to nine book groups in total: three groups will win Imbolo Mbue's BEHOLD THE DREAMERS, read by Prentice Onayemi; three will win Jodi Picoult's SMALL GREAT THINGS, read by Audra McDonald (with Cassandra Campbell and Ari Fliakos); and three will win Colson Whitehead's THE UNDERGROUND RAILROAD, read by Bahni Turpin. Enter here by Wednesday, November 2nd at noon ET. In order to qualify as a winning group, your group must be able to commit to listening to and discussing your audiobook and sharing your feedback with us by Friday, January 27th.

  • MY NAME IS LUCY BARTON by Elizabeth Strout
    Each month, we ask book groups to share the titles they are reading that month and rate them. From all entries, three winners will be selected, and each will win 12 copies of that month’s prize book for their group. October's prize book is
    MY NAME IS A LUCY BARTON by Pulitzer Prize–winning author Elizabeth Strout, an extraordinary novel about a simple hospital visit that illuminates the tender relationship between a daughter and her mother, which is now available in paperback. Enter here by Wednesday, November 2nd 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
More Reviews This Week
THE NINE OF US: Growing Up Kennedy by Jean Kennedy Smith (Memoir)
Audiobook available, read by Lorna Raver
Before Joe and Rose Kennedy’s children emerged as leaders on the world stage, they were a loving circle of brothers and sisters who played football, swam, read and pursued their interests. They were children inspired by parents who instilled in them a strong work ethic, deep love of country, and intense appreciation for the sacrifices their ancestors made to come to America. "No whining in this house!" was their father’s regular refrain. It was his way of reminding them not to complain, to be grateful for what they had, and to give back. In THE NINE OF US, Jean Kennedy Smith --- the last surviving sibling --- revisits this singular time in their lives. Reviewed by Carole Turner.

YOU WILL NOT HAVE MY HATE by Antoine Leiris (Memoir)
Audiobook available, read by Gildart Jackson
On November 13, 2015, Antoine Leiris’ wife, Hélène Muyal-Leiris, was killed by terrorists while attending a rock concert at the Bataclan Theater in Paris, in the deadliest attack on France since World War II. Three days later, Leiris wrote an open letter addressed directly to his wife’s killers, which he posted on Facebook: “For as long as he lives, this little boy will insult you with his happiness and freedom.” In his determination to honor the memory of his wife, Leiris became an international hero to everyone searching desperately for a way to deal with the horror of the Paris attacks and the grim shadow cast today by the threat of terrorism. Now he tells the full story of his grief and struggle. Reviewed by John Bentlyewski.

LIVIA LONE by Barry Eisler (Thriller)
Audiobook available, read by Barry Eisler
Sold by her Thai parents along with her little sister, Nason, marooned in America, and abused by the men who trafficked them, the only thing that kept Livia Lone alive as a teenager was her determination to find Nason. The Seattle PD sex-crimes detective has never stopped looking. And she copes with her failure to protect her sister by doing everything she can to put predators in prison. But when a fresh lead offers new hope of finding Nason and the men who trafficked them both, Livia will have to go beyond just being a cop. She’ll have to relive the horrors of the past, take on one of the most powerful men in the US government, and uncover a conspiracy of almost unimaginable evil. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

THE APARTMENT by S. L. Grey (Psychological Thriller/Horror)
Audiobook available, read by Nicholas Guy Smith and Fiona Hardingham
Mark and Steph have a relatively happy family with their young daughter in sunny Cape Town until one day when armed men break into their home. Left traumatized but physically unharmed, Mark and Steph are unable to return to normal and live in constant fear. When a friend suggests a restorative vacation abroad via a popular house swapping website, it sounds like the ideal plan. But once Mark and Steph arrive in Paris, they quickly realize that nothing is as advertised. When their perfect holiday takes a violent turn, the cracks in their marriage grow ever wider and dark secrets from Mark's past begin to emerge. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

EVERY MAN A MENACE by Patrick Hoffman (Thriller)
San Francisco is about to receive the biggest delivery of MDMA to hit the West Coast in years. Raymond Gaspar, just out of prison, is sent to the city to check in on the increasingly erratic dealer expected to take care of distribution. In Miami, the man responsible for getting the drugs across the Pacific has just met the girl of his dreams --- a woman who can't seem to keep her story straight. And thousands of miles away in Bangkok, someone farther up the supply chain is about to make a phone call that will put all their lives at risk. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

NOBODY'S SON: A Memoir by Mark Slouka (Memoir)
Audiobook available, read by Tom Zingarelli
Born in Czechoslovakia, Mark Slouka’s parents survived the Nazis only to have to escape the Communist purges after the war. Smuggled out of their own country, the newlyweds joined a tide of refugees moving from Innsbruck to Sydney to New York, dragging with them a history of blood and betrayal that their son would be born into. From World War I to the present, Slouka pieces together a remarkable story of refugees and war, displacement and denial --- admitting into evidence memories, dreams, stories, the lies we inherit, and the lies we tell --- in an attempt to reach his mother, the enigmatic figure at the center of the labyrinth. Reviewed by Sarah Jackman.

PUBLIC LIBRARY AND OTHER STORIES by Ali Smith (Fiction/Short Stories)
Audiobook available, read by Ali Smith
Why are books so very powerful? What do the books we’ve read over our lives make of us? What does the unraveling of our tradition of public libraries, so hard-won but now in jeopardy, say about us? The stories in Ali Smith’s collection are about what we do with books and what they do with us: how they travel with us; how they shock us, change us, challenge us, banish time while making us older, wiser and ageless all at once; how they remind us to pay attention to the world we make. Woven between the stories are conversations with writers and readers reflecting on the essential role that libraries have played in their lives. Reviewed by Norah Piehl.

TELL THE TRUTH, SHAME THE DEVIL by Melina Marchetta (Thriller)
Audiobook available, read by Zaqi Ismail
When Bish Ortley, a suspended cop, receives word that a bus carrying his daughter has been bombed, he rushes to be by her side. A suspect has already been singled out: a 17-year-old girl who has since disappeared from the scene. Thirteen years earlier, her grandfather set off a suicide bomb in a grocery store, a bomb her mother confessed to building. Has the girl decided to follow in their footsteps? To find her, Bish must earn the trust of her friends and family, including her infamous mother, now serving a life sentence in prison. But even as he delves into the deadly bus attack that claimed five lives, the ghosts of older crimes become impossible to ignore. Reviewed by Norah Piehl.

ECHOES OF SHERLOCK HOLMES: Stories Inspired by the Holmes Canon edited by Laurie R. King and Leslie S. Klinger (Mystery Anthology)
Audiobook available; narrated by Alison Larkin, Clive Chafer, Derek Perkins, Donald Corren, Anne Flosnik and Kate Reading
In this follow-up to the acclaimed IN THE COMPANY OF SHERLOCK HOLMES, expert Sherlockians Laurie R. King and Leslie S. Klinger put forth the question: What happens when great writers/creators who are not known as Sherlock Holmes devotees admit to being inspired by Conan Doyle stories? While some are highly regarded mystery writers, others are best known for their work in the fields of fantasy or science fiction. All of these talented authors, however, share a great admiration for Arthur Conan Doyle and his greatest creations, Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson. Reviewed by Ray Palen.

HILLARY by D.W. Buffa (Political Thriller)
When Robert Constable, President of the United States, dies in bed with a woman in a New York hotel room, the public is told that he died suddenly and peacefully of natural causes --- and alone. The President’s wife, Hillary Constable, asks young senator Bobby Hart, who serves on the Senate Intelligence Committee, to find out who had her husband murdered and why. As Hart begins to learn more about the President’s shady dealings, he uncovers a massive global criminal and financial conspiracy, headed by a secret underground organization. Yet the closer Hart gets to the truth, the more shocking secrets are revealed that could threaten his life, American Democracy, and the future of the nation. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.
Next Week's Notables: Noteworthy Books Releasing on November 1st

Below are some notable titles releasing on November 1st that we would like to make you aware of. We will have more on many of these books in the weeks to come. For a list of additional hardcovers and paperbacks releasing the week of October 31st, see our “On Sale This Week” newsletter here.

Grandpa and Noah are sitting on a bench in a square that keeps getting smaller every day. As they wait together there, they tell jokes and discuss their shared love of mathematics. As Grandpa teaches Noah about life, Grandpa, Grandma, Noah and Noah's father, Ted, all meet in this peculiar space that is growing dimmer and more confusing all the time.

THE AWARD by Danielle Steel (Fiction)
By 1944, Gaëlle de Barbethad lost her best friend, brother and father to the war. Fueled by her loss, she risks her own life to bring Jewish children to safety. While Gaëlle goes on to have a fulfilling life in the years following, she speaks little of her wartime experience. Until her granddaughter succeeds in getting her named as a recipient of the Legion of Honor Medal.

A CHRISTMAS MESSAGE by Anne Perry (Historical Mystery)
The year is 1900, and Victor Narraway is giving his wife, Vespasia, an unforgettable Christmas present --- a trip to Jerusalem. Pursued by a shadowy figure with evil intent, they embark on a dangerous yet ultimately enlightening pilgrimage to the holy city, where a mysterious message on an ancient parchment may finally be revealed.

FAITHFUL by Alice Hoffman (Fiction)
Shelby Richmond is an ordinary girl until one night an extraordinary tragedy changes her fate. Her best friend’s future is destroyed in an accident, while Shelby walks away with the burden of guilt. She has to fight her way back to her own future and finds a circle of lost and found souls --- including an angel who’s been watching over her ever since that fateful icy night.

FRANTUMAGLIA: A Writer's Journey written by Elena Ferrante, translated by Ann Goldstein (Essays)
FRANTUMAGLIA invites readers into Elena Ferrante’s workshop. Consisting of over 20 years of letters, essays, reflections and interviews, it is a unique depiction of an author who embodies a consummate passion for writing.

THE LYRICS: 1961-2012 by Bob Dylan (Music History/Criticism)
Nobel Prize laureate Bob Dylan is one of the most important songwriters of our time. THE LYRICS is a comprehensive and definitive collection of Dylan’s most recent writing, as well as the early works that are such an essential part of the canon. Dylan has edited dozens of songs for this volume, an annotated and updated version that first released in 2014.

SAY NO MORE: A Jane Ryland Novel by Hank Phillippi Ryan (Mystery/Thriller)
When Boston reporter Jane Ryland reports a hit and run, she soon learns she also witnessed the collapse of an alibi, and now she must tell all to the police. She's also digging up the inside scoop for an exposé of sexual assaults on Boston's college campuses. But a disturbing anonymous message, SAY NO MORE, has Jane truly scared.

THE TWENTY-THREE: A Promise Falls Novel by Linwood Barclay (Thriller)
Hundreds of people are going to the hospital with similar flu-like symptoms, and dozens have died. Investigators quickly zero in on the water supply of Promise Falls. But the question for many, including private investigator Cal Weaver, remains: Who would benefit from a mass poisoning of this town?

THE WRONG SIDE OF GOODBYE: A Bosch Novel by Michael Connelly (Thriller)
One of Southern California's biggest moguls is nearing the end of his life and is haunted by one regret. When he was young, he had a relationship with a Mexican girl, his great love. But soon after becoming pregnant, she disappeared. Desperate to know if he has an heir, the dying magnate hires Harry Bosch, California's newest private investigator.

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Young Adult Books You Want to Read

Here are this month's books we featured on that we think will appeal to an adult audience:

THE RAINS by Gregg Hurwitz (Science Fiction/Horror)
In one terrifying night, the peaceful community of Creek's Cause turns into a war zone. Chance Rain and his older brother, Patrick, have already fended off multiple attacks from infected adults by the time they arrive at the school where other young survivors are hiding. Most of the kids they know have been dragged away by once-trusted adults who are now ferocious, inhuman beings. The parasite that transformed them takes hold after people turn 18 --- and Patrick's birthday is only a few days away. Determined to save Patrick's life and the lives of the remaining kids, the brothers embark on a mission to uncover the truth about the parasites --- and what they find is horrifying.

WRECKED by Maria Padian (Fiction)
Everyone on campus has a different version of what happened that night. Haley saw Jenny return from the party, shell-shocked. Richard heard Jordan brag about the cute freshman he hooked up with. When Jenny accuses Jordan of rape, Haley and Richard are pushed to opposite sides of the school’s investigation. Now conflicting versions of the story may make bringing the truth to light nearly impossible --- especially when reputations, relationships and whole futures are riding on the verdict.

THE WEIGHT OF ZERO by Karen Fortunati (Fiction)
Seventeen-year-old Catherine Pulaski knows Zero is coming for her. Zero, the devastating depression born of Catherine’s bipolar disorder, almost triumphed once; that was her first suicide attempt. In an old ballet-shoe box, Catherine stockpiles medications, preparing to take her own life before Zero can inflict its living death on her again. Before she goes, though, she starts a short bucket list. The bucket list, the support of her family, new friends, and a new course of treatment all begin to lessen Catherine’s sense of isolation. The problem is, her plan is already in place, and has been for so long that she might not be able to see a future beyond it.

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Our Latest Poll: Bestseller Lists
Which bestseller lists do you typically look at? Please check all that apply.

  • Amazon
  • Barnes & Noble
  • Indie bookstores
  • Los Angeles Times
  • New York Times
  • Publishers Weekly
  • USA Today
  • Wall Street Journal
  • Washington Post
  • Other (Please specify)
  • I do not look at bestseller lists.
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 21st to November 4th at noon ET, three lucky readers each will be randomly chosen to win a copy of THE TWENTY-THREE: A Promise Falls Novel by Linwood Barclay, THE WHISTLER by John Grisham, and THE WRONG SIDE OF GOODBYE: A Bosch Novel by Michael Connelly.

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 3rd to November 1st at noon ET, two lucky readers each will be randomly chosen to win the audio versions of Brit Bennett's THE MOTHERS, read by Adenrele Ojo, and Jodi Picoult's SMALL GREAT THINGS, read by Audra McDonald with Cassandra Campbell and Ari Fliakos.

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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