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December 2, 2016 Newsletter December 2, 2016
WHERE Did November Go? The Holiday Countdown is ON!
What a great Thanksgiving weekend we had. I cooked like mad on Wednesday, ate and entertained on Thursday, and from there I had three days with zero agenda and lots of leftovers (though somehow we still managed to cook two additional special dinners that weekend when my eyes crossed thinking about turkey).

There was lots of time for reading, as well as relaxing. First up was THIS IS HOW IT ALWAYS IS, a novel by Laurie Frankel, which will be published on January 24th. It’s a story about family, and how far a family will go to take care of each other, especially when they are hiding a secret. Claude is the youngest of five boys in the Walsh-Adams family. As a very young child, he makes it clear that he is happier wearing girls clothes and considers himself to be a girl. His parents, Rosie and Penn, know the path that Claude has chosen will be a difficult one, but they decide as a family to do what it takes to keep Claude’s wishes, even if it means keeping the true origins of their now-girl Poppy a family secret. And then one day, the secret is told; from there, their world that they carefully constructed implodes.

While the subject of transgender children is a courant topic, Laurie can write about it authoritatively as her second-grade daughter was born a boy. She knows the challenges that this presents --- and what a family must do to keep a child like hers safe and happy. This is a book that will make you think about what you would do to protect your own family secrets, because, if we're being honest, most families are not some version of a sitcom.

Next up was NEVER LET YOU GO by Chevy Stevens, which will be in stores on March 14th. Here Chevy shows the writing chops that I came to know her with in her first thriller, STILL MISSING. The protagonist, Lindsey Nash, was the victim of an abusive relationship. Eleven years ago, she fled one night with her young daughter. Her ex-husband, Andrew, was sent to jail. Now he’s out, and while she thinks she has covered her tracks, she gets the feeling she is being watched. Her home has been broken into. She goes through her days consumed with unease, knowing something is not right. I pride myself on cracking the clues in thrillers, but here Chevy completely surprised me. It has many twists and turns, and let’s just say you will want the lights on when you read.

Best Of lists are cropping up all over the place, and we are compiling them to share with you in a couple of weeks. As you know, I have been picking Bets On selections all year. I am finishing the last two books for my 2016 picks. The first is VICTORIA by Daisy Goodwin. After watching the final episodes of Season One of “The Crown” last weekend, I immediately was drawn back to VICTORIA, which I had started a couple of months ago. “The boxes” that Victoria went through each morning with her Prime Minister reminded me of how Elizabeth had been schooled by her father that the box should be flipped each day as the more important papers typically were buried on the bottom. I have been a fan of Daisy’s for a while now, but am happy to share that I think VICTORIA is her best book. And I am eager for the PBS show based on it coming on January 15th in the "Downton Abbey" time slot. Here’s a quick link with more about the show, including comments from the cast and Daisy.

The second final Bets On is THE ASSOCIATION OF SMALL BOMBS by Karan Mahajan, which has been showing up on many Best Of lists --- and with good reason. Karan writes compellingly about terrorism and its effects on a family and a young man who survived the death of his two friends in a terror attack. It’s so sharp. More on both books next week!

Those will be my 39th and 40th Bets On selections when I write about them next week. And we also will kick off our Bets On contest next week --- an opportunity to win these books. Be sure to check back for more about this.

While I did no Black Friday shopping, I broke down and bought an Amazon Fire Stick as I was tired of not being able to watch Amazon Prime shows on the TV as Amazon refuses to acknowledge our Google Chrome box for viewing; our Roku box is on the audio setup in the living room running Pandora. The hoops one must jump through these days to watch or listen to what you want! Of course, now Greg and Tom immediately watched “The Grand Tour,” the new Amazon show based on "Top Gear," which was popular in the UK and was about the VERY last thing I cared about watching. I was finally able to watch “Good Girls Revolt.” Thinking of that title, I think I was staging my own kind of revolt by telling them to put the remote down!

There are so many holiday rituals that unfold this time of year. One sparked a really funny memory for me. Years ago, when I was in college, we brought my roommate's much younger sister to the tree lighting at Rockefeller Center. We took the subway down to Manhattan from school at Fordham in the Bronx and stood in the crowds waiting for what seemed like forever for the tree to be lit. At the magical moment, the little girl bent down to get something on the ground and missed the lights coming on. Later we asked her what her favorite part of the day was. She said, "Ding dong, watch the closing doors please." Every year on Tree Lighting Day, I remember the year when the tree was upstaged by the subway!

Quick thing I want to mention now that you will hear more about in the weeks to come. The company that we have used to send this newsletter for the past 15 years will be sunsetting (aka closing) their business at the end of December as they move in a new direction. We are interviewing two new newsletter companies and should have a decision made next week. The good news is that the newsletter will be mobile friendly! We are planning to keep the layout the same --- and we will plan to get you a new sending email address for you to add to your address book to ensure that the newsletter hits your mailbox and not SPAM.

Now to this week’s update….

Mistress of the macabre Anne Rice returns with the latest installment in her Vampire Chronicles series, PRINCE LESTAT AND THE REALMS OF ATLANTIS. The irrepressible vampire Lestat de Lioncourt must battle a strange otherworldly form that has somehow taken possession of Lestat’s undead body and soul. It is through this unearthly spirit that we come to be told the mesmeric tale of a great sea power of ancient times --- and of how and why this force came to build and rule the great legendary empire of centuries ago that thrived in the Atlantic Ocean. As we learn of the mighty powers of this lost kingdom, we come to understand its secrets, and why the vampire Lestat --- indeed all the vampires --- must reckon so many millennia later with the terrifying force.

Rebecca Munro, who was positively THRILLED to have met “Ms. Rice” herself at a Barnes & Noble event on Wednesday night, reviewed the book for us and has this to say: “Even if you were initially thrown off guard by the title of the book, Rice’s ability to ease into her beautiful world with the same seamless transitions readers have come to know and love will assure you that Lestat has never fully left the building --- and neither has Rice’s immense talent.”

THE PRINCESS DIARIST isn’t Carrie Fisher’s first foray into writing --- she has authored WISHFUL DRINKING and SHOCKAHOLIC, among others --- and her latest book also features her trademark frankness and humor. However, this title may be one of her most intimate, just as the iconic Star Wars universe gears up for its next film installment. Fisher recently discovered the journals she kept during the filming of the first Star Wars movie, and she was astonished to discover the naiveté, vulnerability and precocious uncensored musing she documented as she was thrust into fame at barely 19. THE PRINCESS DIARIST excerpts those journals and features Fisher’s contemporary reflections. The result is a tender, hilarious and revealing collection about celebrity and identity.

Maya Gittelman has our review and calls the book “a moving, beautiful and sincerely incisive work. She’s so much fun, and so much more human than any of us...can begin to imagine. I’m so grateful for this authentic, brave book. For young women everywhere, Star Wars fans and the people who love or live with them, THE PRINCESS DIARIST is a must read.”

Greg and I are listening to THE PRINCESS DIARIST on audio, and it made yesterday's commute fly by; Carrie’s writing and her delivery are dead on. Traffic has been terrible for the last few months; a great audiobook has been the way to escape. Greg and I were sorry that Carrie’s is only five hours long.

Erika Johansen’s bestselling Tearling trilogy has bewitched and thrilled readers. She now concludes the series with THE FATE OF THE TEARLING. In less than a year, Kelsea Glynn has transformed from awkward teenager to powerful monarch. As she has come into her own as the Queen of the Tearling, she also has transformed her realm --- and made many enemies, including the evil Red Queen. To protect her people from a devastating invasion, Kelsea was forced to turn herself over to the enemy and name the Mace, the trusted head of her personal guards, regent in her place. But the Mace will not rest until he rescues the rightful sovereign. As the suspenseful endgame begins, the fate of Queen Kelsea --- and the Tearling itself --- will finally be revealed.

According to reviewer Amy Haddock, Johansen has written “a full, rich book that doesn’t take shortcuts on its pathway to a brilliant ending.... By the time I finished reading this concluding volume, I felt as though I had read more than one book and lived more than one life. THE FATE OF THE TEARLING is a triumph.” I remember meeting Erika before the first book in the trilogy was published; she clearly knew where her story was headed!

Other books we’re reviewing this week include THE WHOLE TOWN'S TALKING by Fannie Flagg, which tells the story of Lordor Nordstrom, his Swedish mail-order bride, Katrina, and their neighbors and descendants; THE FLAME BEARER, the 10th book in Bernard Cornwell’s Saxon Chronicles series; and ABSOLUTELY ON MUSIC, an intimate conversation about music and writing between the internationally bestselling author Haruki Murakami and his close friend Seiji Ozawa, the former conductor of the Boston Symphony Orchestra.

The attack on Pearl Harbor occurred 75 years ago on December 7, 1941. The history of Pearl Harbor is multifaceted, and though it’s a well-worn subject, new research continues to emerge. In honor of the 75th anniversary, we’ve collected a broad selection of books that inform and pay tribute. Each of the titles in our bookshelf brings a unique perspective to the narrative, so whether you’re a longtime devotee or just beginning to delve into this pivotal point in our history, you’ll find a powerful read on this shelf.

We’ve heard back from most of our readers who binged Linwood Barclay’s Promise Falls trilogy. Here’s what they had to say; I love that so many are planning to read more of his books after finishing the trilogy.

We’ve updated our Books on Screen feature for December. Christmas Day sees the arrivals of Live By Night (based on Dennis Lehane’s 2012 novel) and Hidden Figures (based on Margot Lee Shetterly’s instant New York Times bestseller that released this fall); “Good Behavior” and “Poldark” continue on the small screen; and DVD releases include Jason Bourne, Bridget Jones’s Baby, Sully and Snowden.

In this week’s Holiday Cheer contests, we gave away THE ANGEL OF FOREST HILL by Cindy Woodsmall, THE EXPATRIATES by Janice Y. K. Lee, MARRY ME AT CHRISTMAS by Susan Mallery and THE SWANS OF FIFTH AVENUE by Melanie Benjamin. Next week’s prize books will be CONSPIRACY OF SILENCE: The Tox Files, Book 1 by Ronie Kendig, LIKE FAMILY by Paolo Giordano, SPEAKING AMERICAN: How Y’all, Youse, and You Guys Talk: A Visual Guide by Josh Katz and TWELVE DAYS OF CHRISTMAS: A Christmas Novel by Debbie Macomber. The first contest of the week goes live on Monday, December 5th at noon ET.

This happens to be the perfect segue to our new poll. We’re curious to know if you’re planning to give books this holiday season. Click here to let us know!

Our previous poll asked if you typically read trade paperbacks or mass market paperbacks, and the results are in. 51% of you read both, 26% read only trade paperbacks, 4% read only mass market paperbacks, 5% read neither and 14% now read eBooks instead of paperbacks.

We have a new Word of Mouth contest to tell you about. Let us know by Friday, December 16th at noon ET what books you’ve finished reading, and you’ll have a chance to win THE GERMAN GIRL by Armando Lucas Correa (a recent Bets On title) and THE SEVENTH PLAGUE: A Sigma Force Novel by James Rollins.

Also kicking off this week is December’s Sounding Off on Audio contest, where we’re giving away the audio versions of Alice Hoffman's FAITHFUL, read by Amber Tamblyn, and Mary Higgins Clark and Alafair Burke's THE SLEEPING BEAUTY KILLER, read by Jan Maxwell. All you have to do is submit your comments about the audiobooks you’ve finished listening to, and you’ll be in the running to win both these audio titles. I'm looking forward to seeing what you have enjoyed!

News & Pop Culture:

The holiday had things quieter than usual this week, but we have a couple of fun things for you!

For our Knitting Readers, Melanie, who edits Word of Mouth, shared this with me: The Project Peace pattern by Christina Campbell. Here’s the scoop from the creator: “Last year after conducting the first ‘peace-along’ I jokingly said, ‘If we could get knitters around the globe to focus on peace for 21 days, we might create world peace.’ At this point I say, no joking, what have we got to lose? I’ve created a cowl pattern that has a bit of a soothing stitch pattern. It’s a 4-row repeat. Knit ~1 repeat per day and at the end of 21 days (or close to it) you’ll have a peaceful cowl. Optional i-cord edging. There will be a daily tip on how to infuse more peace into your life. These tips will be available on my blog each day from December 1-21. They’ll be simple things, some from me and others from a few guests.” There are now more than 14,800 people participating! I am not big on wearing cowls, but I am thinking this could be a fun way to knit a holiday present for someone.

For those who color: You have something in common with The Duchess of Cambridge.

Cory spent a chunk of last weekend flying his drone all around the house --- and outside the house. He's nailed this! I expect it to be doing chores for him by Christmas break. This is the same kid who as a child flew Lego creations that he built over the pool. He was ahead of his time!

The mild weather last weekend gave us a chance to finish clearing the gardens and put the patio furniture away, which had been lurking on our to-do lists. This weekend, we need to conquer holiday decorating and at least get the wreath up and candles in the windows. My parents brought us the huge poinsettia that you see above. Tonight we are doing a homemade pizza dinner here to celebrate our neighbor Diana’s birthday. For the rest of the weekend, we blissfully have no plans! I am trying not to dwell on the idea that Christmas is 23 days from now. This year truly has flown by.

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!
PRINCE LESTAT AND THE REALMS OF ATLANTIS: The Vampire Chronicles by Anne Rice (Paranormal Mystery/Thriller)
Audiobook available, read by Simon Vance
At the novel's center is the vampire Lestat de Lioncourt: hero, leader, inspirer, irresistible force, irrepressible spirit, battling (and ultimately reconciling with) a strange otherworldly form that has somehow taken possession of Lestat's undead body and soul. This ancient and mysterious power and unearthly spirit of vampire lore has all the force, history and insidious reach of the unknowable Universe. It is through this spirit that we come to be told the hypnotic tale of a great sea power of ancient times --- a mysterious heaven on earth situated on a boundless continent --- and how and why this force came to build and rule the great legendary empire of centuries ago that thrived in the Atlantic Ocean. Reviewed by Rebecca Munro.

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

Click here to read the review.
Featured Review: THE PRINCESS DIARIST by Carrie Fisher
THE PRINCESS DIARIST by Carrie Fisher (Memoir)
Audiobook available, read by Carrie Fisher and Billie Lourd
When Carrie Fisher recently discovered the journals she kept during the filming of the first Star Wars movie, she was astonished to see what they had preserved --- plaintive love poems, unbridled musings with youthful naiveté, and a vulnerability that she barely recognized. Today, her fame as an author, actress and pop-culture icon is indisputable, but in 1977, Carrie Fisher was just a (sort-of) regular teenager. With these excerpts from her handwritten notebooks, THE PRINCESS DIARIST is Fisher’s intimate and revealing recollection of what happened on one of the most famous film sets of all time --- and what developed behind the scenes. Reviewed by Maya Gittelman.

-Click here to read more about the book.

Click here to read the review.
Featured Review: THE FATE OF THE TEARLING by Erika Johansen
THE FATE OF THE TEARLING by Erika Johansen (Fantasy/Adventure)
Audiobook available, performed by Polly Lee
In less than a year, Kelsea Glynn has transformed from a gawky teenager into a powerful monarch. As she has come into her own as the Queen of the Tearling, the headstrong, visionary leader has also transformed her realm. In her quest to end corruption and restore justice, she has made many enemies. To protect her people from a devastating invasion, Kelsea gave herself and her magical sapphires to her enemy --- and named the Mace, the trusted head of her personal guards, regent in her place. But the Mace will not rest until he and his men rescue their sovereign, imprisoned in Mortmesne. As the suspenseful endgame begins, the fate of Queen Kelsea --- and the Tearling itself --- will finally be revealed. Reviewed by Amy Haddock.

-Click here to read more about the book.

Click here to read the review.'s Latest Bookshelf: Commemorating the 75th Anniversary of the Attack on Pearl Harbor

December 7th marks 75 years since Japan's 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor and six other military bases. The annual commemoration of Pearl Harbor fosters reflection, remembrance and ever-growing understanding. This particular anniversary is a unique opportunity to honor the dedication and sacrifices of those who fought and endured. Today, the legacy speaks to peace, cooperation and a commitment to freedom. The history of Pearl Harbor is layered and complex, as new accounts and research continue to surface today.

In honor of this milestone anniversary, we’ve curated a wide array of books to enlighten and pay tribute. Each of these titles brings a unique perspective to the narrative, so whether you’re a longtime scholar or just beginning to delve into this pivotal point in our history, you’ll find a powerful read on our bookshelf.

Click here to see our Pearl Harbor bookshelf.
Featured Review: THE WHOLE TOWN'S TALKING by Fannie Flagg
THE WHOLE TOWN'S TALKING by Fannie Flagg (Fiction)
Audiobook available, read by Kimberly Farr
Elmwood Springs, Missouri, is a small town like any other, but something strange is happening at the cemetery. Still Meadows, as it’s called, is anything but still. THE WHOLE TOWN’S TALKING tells the story of Lordor Nordstrom, his Swedish mail-order bride, Katrina, and their neighbors and descendants as they live, love, die, and carry on in mysterious and surprising ways. Nordstrom created, in his wisdom, not only a lively town and a prosperous legacy for himself but also a beautiful final resting place for his family, friends and neighbors yet to come. “Resting place” turns out to be a bit of a misnomer, however. Odd things begin to happen, and it starts the whole town talking. Reviewed by Roz Shea.

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

Click here to read the review.
Featured Review: THE FLAME BEARER by Bernard Cornwell --- Book #10 in the Saxon Chronicles
THE FLAME BEARER by Bernard Cornwell (Historical Fiction/Adventure)
Audiobook available, performed by Matt Bates
Britain is in a state of uneasy peace. Northumbria’s Viking ruler, Sigtryggr, and Mercia’s Saxon Queen Aethelflaed have agreed to a truce. And so England’s greatest warrior, Uhtred of Bebbanburg, at last has the chance to take back the home his traitorous uncle stole from him so many years ago. But the enemies Uhtred has made and the oaths he has sworn combine to distract him from his dream of recapturing Bebbanburg. New enemies enter into the fight for England’s kingdoms, and Britain’s precarious peace threatens to turn into a war of annihilation. But Uhtred is determined that nothing, neither the new enemies nor the old foes who combine against him, will keep him from his birthright. Reviewed by Curtis Edmonds.

-Click here to read more about the book.

Click here to read the review.
Featured Review: ABSOLUTELY ON MUSIC by Haruki Murakami and Seiji Ozawa
ABSOLUTELY ON MUSIC: Conversations with Seiji Ozawa written by Haruki Murakami, translated by Jay Rubin (Music)
Haruki Murakami's passion for music runs deep. Before turning his hand to writing, he ran a jazz club in Tokyo, and the aesthetic and emotional power of music permeates every one of his much-loved books. Now, in ABSOLUTELY ON MUSIC, Murakami fulfills a personal dream, sitting down with his friend, acclaimed conductor Seiji Ozawa, to talk, over a period of two years, about their shared interest. Transcribed from lengthy conversations about the nature of music and writing, here they discuss everything from Brahms to Beethoven, from Leonard Bernstein to Glenn Gould, from record collecting to pop-up orchestras, and much more. Reviewed by John Bentlyewski.

-Click here to read more about the book.

Click here to read the review.'s Holiday Cheer Contests and Feature
At, we kick off the holiday season in style with our Holiday Cheer Contests and Feature. As our gift to you, on select days in November and December, we are spotlighting a book and giving five lucky readers the chance to win it. You have to visit the site each day to see the featured prize book and enter the 24-hour contest. As always, we are sending our special Holiday Cheer newsletter on the days when there are contests. Click here to sign up for these email alerts.

Our next prize book will be announced on Monday, December 5th at noon ET.

This year's featured titles include:

Click here to read all the contest details and see our featured titles.
December's Books on Screen Feature
This month, Books on Screen truly is an embarrassment of riches. Christmas Day sees the limited releases of Live By Night, which follows the life of a young Boston gangster, Joe Coughlin (played by Ben Affleck), through the Prohibition era, and Hidden Figures, based on the true untold story of three brilliant African American women who helped launch John Glenn into space.

Another December means another moody Patricia Highsmith adaptation, and although A Kind of Murder doesn’t quite match Carol in terms of awards hype, the trailer is quite impressive. Later in the month, we can look forward to Julieta, a tender, relatively restrained movie from acclaimed filmmaker Pedro Almodóvar about one woman’s reckoning with the sudden reappearance of her long-lost daughter. However, my personal pick for December is A Monster Calls, based on the YA book of the same name, about a young boy dealing with his mother's terminal illness in darkly creative ways.

If you’re milking your last lazy month before New Year’s resolutions for all it’s worth, you’ll be happy to know there are tons of Books on Screen DVDs out this month, including Jason Bourne, Bridget Jones’s Baby, Sully and Snowden.
Click here to see all the movies, TV shows and DVDs featured in December’s Books on Screen.
More Reviews This Week
THE CHEMIST by Stephenie Meyer (Thriller)
Audiobook available, read by Ellen Archer
She used to work for the U.S. government, but very few people ever knew that. An expert in her field, she was one of the darkest secrets of an agency so clandestine it doesn’t even have a name. And when they decided she was a liability, they came for her without warning. Now, she rarely stays in the same place or uses the same name for long. They’ve killed the only other person she trusted, but something she knows still poses a threat. When her former handler offers her a way out, she realizes it’s her only chance to erase the giant target on her back. But it means taking one last job for her ex-employers. To her horror, the information she acquires only makes her situation more dangerous. Reviewed by Melanie Reynolds.

COUNTDOWN TO PEARL HARBOR: The Twelve Days to the Attack by Steve Twomey (History)
Audiobook available, read by Holter Graham
COUNTDOWN TO PEARL HARBOR is a fascinating look at the 12 days leading up to the attack on Pearl Harbor --- the warnings, clues and missteps. Pulitzer Prize–winning reporter Steve Twomey unravels the crucial characters and moments, and produces an edge-of-your seat drama with fascinating details about America at this moment in its history. By the end, the reader understands how assumption is the root of disaster, and how sometimes a gamble pays off. Reviewed by Ron Kaplan.

THE INHERITANCE: A Charles Lenox Mystery by Charles Finch (Historical Mystery)
Audiobook available, read by James Langton
Charles Lenox has received a cryptic plea for help from an old Harrow schoolmate, Gerald Leigh, but when he looks into the matter, he finds that his friend has suddenly disappeared. As boys they had shared a secret: a bequest from a mysterious benefactor had smoothed Leigh’s way into the world after the death of his father. Lenox, already with a passionate interest in detective work, made discovering the benefactor's identity his first case --- but was never able to solve it. Now, years later, Leigh has been the recipient of a second, even more generous bequest. Is it from the same anonymous sponsor? Or is the money poisoned by ulterior motives? Reviewed by L. Dean Murphy.

WHEN WE RISE: My Life in the Movement by Cleve Jones (Memoir)
Born in 1954, Cleve Jones was among the last generation of gay Americans who grew up wondering if there were others out there like himself. WHEN WE RISE is Jones' account of his remarkable life. He chronicles the heartbreak of losing countless friends to AIDS, which very nearly killed him, too; his co-founding of the San Francisco AIDS Foundation during the terrifying early years of the epidemic; his conception of the AIDS Memorial Quilt, the largest community art project in history; the bewitching story of 1970s San Francisco and the magnetic spell it cast for thousands of young gay people and other misfits; and the stories of Cleve's passionate relationships with friends and lovers during an era defined by both unprecedented freedom and possibility, and prejudice and violence alike. Reviewed by Bianca Ambrosio.

HANK: The Short Life and Long Country Road of Hank Williams by Mark Ribowsky (Biography)
Audiobook available, narrated by Tom Perkins
After he died in the backseat of a Cadillac at the age of 29, Hank Williams --- a frail, flawed man who had become country music’s most compelling and popular star --- instantly morphed into its first tragic martyr. Having hit the heights in the postwar era with simple songs of heartache and star-crossed love, he would become in death a template for the rock generation to follow. Now presenting the first fully realized biography of Hiram King Williams in a generation, Mark Ribowsky vividly returns us to the world of country’s origins --- in this case, 1920s Alabama, where Williams was born into the most trying of circumstances, which included a dictatorial mother, a henpecked father and an agonizing spinal condition. Reviewed by Barbara Bamberger Scott.

ELIZABETH: The Forgotten Years by John Guy (Biography)
Audiobook available, read by Alex Jennings
Elizabeth was crowned at 25 after a tempestuous childhood as a bastard and an outcast, but it was only when she reached 50 and all hopes of a royal marriage were dashed that she began to wield real power in her own right. For 25 years, she had struggled to assert her authority over advisers who pressed her to marry and settle the succession; now, she was determined not only to reign but also to rule. In this intimate biography of England's most ambitious Tudor queen, John Guy introduces us to a woman who is refreshingly unfamiliar: at once powerful and vulnerable, willful and afraid. Reviewed by Pauline Finch.

STONE COFFIN written by Kjell Eriksson, translated by Ebba Segerberg (Mystery)
One sunny summer morning, a young woman and her six-year-old daughter are run over by a car. Both are killed immediately. Is it an accident, or did someone kill them on purpose? The same morning, the husband of the deceased young woman disappears. During the police investigation, it turns out that the husband had recently bought a property that nobody knew anything about. A few days later, a macabre discovery is made in a forest nearby. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

DAYS WITHOUT NUMBER by Robert Goddard (Thriller)
Audiobook available, narrated by Gordon Griffin
Nick Paleologus, a coolly efficient Englishman, is summoned home to resolve a dispute that threatens to tear his family apart. His father, Michael, is a retired archaeologist and supposed descendent of the last Emperors of Byzantium. Michael has received a hugely generous offer for the family estate in Cornwall, but refuses to sell --- and refuses to divulge why. Soon the stalemate between Nick’s siblings and their father is tragically broken, and only then do they discover why their father was bound to protect the house at all costs. Their desperate efforts to conceal the truth drag them into a deadly conflict with an unseen and unknown enemy. Reviewed by Ray Palen.

DYING FOR CHRISTMAS by Tammy Cohen (Psychological Thriller)
Out Christmas shopping one December afternoon, Jessica Gould meets the charming Dominic Lacey and impulsively agrees to go home with him for a drink. What follows is a Twelve Days of Christmas from hell as Lacey holds Jessica captive, forcing her to wear his missing wife’s gowns and eat lavish holiday meals. Each day he gifts her with one item from his twisted past --- his dead sister’s favorite toy, disturbing family photos, a box of teeth. As the days pass and the “gifts” become darker and darker, Jessica realizes that Lacey has a plan for her, and he never intends to let her go. But Jessica has a secret of her own --- a secret that may just mean she has a chance to make it out alive. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

WHY FORAGE?: Hunters and Gatherers in the Twenty-First Century edited by Brian F. Codding and Karen L. Kramer (Economics)
Foraging persists as a viable economic strategy both in remote regions and within the bounds of developed nation-states. Given the economic alternatives available, why do some groups choose to maintain their hunting and gathering lifeways? Through a series of detailed case studies, the contributors to this volume examine the decisions made by modern-day foragers to sustain a predominantly hunting and gathering way of life. What becomes clear is that hunter-gatherers continue to forage because the economic benefits of doing so are high relative to the local alternatives and, perhaps more importantly, because the social costs of not foraging are prohibitive. Reviewed by Barbara Bamberger Scott.

THE ARCHITECTURE OF CHANGE: Building a Better World edited by Jerilou Hammett and Maggie Wrigley (Architecture)
THE ARCHITECTURE OF CHANGE is a collection of articles that demonstrates the power of the human spirit to transform the environments in which we live. This inspiring book profiles people who refused to accept that things couldn’t change, who saw the possibility of making something better and didn’t hesitate to act. It explores communal architecture produced not by specialists but by people, drawing on their common lives and experiences, who have a unique insight into their particular needs and environments. Running through their stories is a constant theme of social justice as an underlying principle of the built environment. Reviewed by Barbara Bamberger Scott.
Next Week's Notables: Noteworthy Books Releasing on December 6th

Below are some notable titles releasing on December 6th 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 December 5th, see our “On Sale This Week” newsletter here.

CHRISTMAS DAYS: 12 Stories and 12 Feasts for 12 Days by Jeanette Winterson (Fiction/Short Stories)
For years Jeanette Winterson has loved writing a new story at Christmas time, and here she brings together 12 of these tales. For the Twelve Days of Christmas --- a time of celebration, sharing and giving --- she offers these 12 plus one: a personal story of her own Christmas memories.

THE KNIFE SLIPPED: The Lost Cool & Lam Mystery by Erle Stanley Gardner (Hard-boiled Mystery)
Lost for more than 75 years, THE KNIFE SLIPPED was meant to be the second book in the Cool & Lam series, but was shelved when Erle Stanley Gardner’s publisher objected to (among other things) Bertha Cool’s tendency to “talk tough, swear, smoke cigarettes, and try to gyp people.” But this tale of adultery and corruption, of double-crosses and triple identities, shines today.

IN SUNLIGHT OR IN SHADOW: Stories Inspired by the Paintings of Edward Hopper edited by Lawrence Block (Mystery Anthology)
"Edward Hopper is surely the greatest American narrative painter. His work bears special resonance for writers and readers, and yet his paintings never tell a story so much as they invite viewers to find for themselves the untold stories within." So says Lawrence Block, who has invited 17 writers to join him in an unprecedented anthology of brand-new stories. Contributors include Stephen King, Joyce Carol Oates, Robert Olen Butler, Michael Connelly, Megan Abbott, Joe R. Lansdale, Jonathan Santlofer, Jeffery Deaver and Lee Child.

OF ALL THAT ENDS written Günter Grass, translated by Breon Mitchell (Essays)
In spite of the trials of old age, and with the end in sight, suddenly everything seems possible again: love letters, soliloquies, scenes of jealousy, swan songs, social satire, and moments of happiness crowd onto the page. The late Nobel Prize-winning author Günter Grass creates a wealth of touching stories condensed into artful miniatures.

OUT OF BOUNDS: A Karen Pirie Novel by Val McDermid (Mystery/Thriller)
When a teenage joyrider crashes a stolen car and ends up in a coma, a routine DNA test reveals a connection to an unsolved murder from 22 years before. Finding the answer to the cold case should be straightforward, but it’s as twisted as the DNA helix itself. Detective Karen Pirie finds that nothing is as it seems.

TOM CLANCY TRUE FAITH AND ALLEGIANCE: A Jack Ryan Novel by Mark Greaney (Thriller/Adventure)
The #1 New York Times bestselling series is back with the most shocking revelation of all. After years of facing international threats, President Jack Ryan learns that the greatest dangers always come from within.

THE UNDOING PROJECT: A Friendship That Changed Our Minds by Michael Lewis (Psychology/Economics)
Forty years ago, Israeli psychologists Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky wrote a series of breathtakingly original studies undoing our assumptions about the decision-making process. Bestselling author Michael Lewis examines how a Nobel Prize-winning theory of the mind altered our perception of reality.

THE WARS OF THE ROOSEVELTS: The Ruthless Rise of America's Greatest Political Family by William J. Mann (Biography)
Drawing on previously hidden historical documents and interviews with the long-silent "illegitimate" branch of the family, William J. Mann paints an elegant, meticulously researched and groundbreaking group portrait of the Roosevelt clan. This eye-opening masterwork is the story of a family at war with itself.

A WOMAN LOOKING AT MEN LOOKING AT WOMEN: Essays on Art, Sex, and the Mind by Siri Hustvedt (Social Science/Essays)
Siri Hustvedt has always been fascinated by biology and how human perception works. She is a lover of art, the humanities and the sciences. She is a novelist and a feminist. Her lively, lucid essays in A WOMAN LOOKING AT MEN LOOKING AT WOMEN begin to make some sense of those plural perspectives.

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Our Latest Poll: Giving Books for the Holidays
Are you planning to give books as gifts this holiday season? Please check all that apply.

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Word of Mouth Contest: Tell Us What You're Reading --- and You Can Win Two 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 December 2nd to December 16th at noon ET, three lucky readers each will be randomly chosen to win a copy of THE GERMAN GIRL by Armando Lucas Correa and THE SEVENTH PLAGUE: A Sigma Force Novel by James Rollins.

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.

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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 December 1st to January 3rd at noon ET, two lucky readers each will be randomly chosen to win the audio versions of Alice Hoffman's FAITHFUL, read by Amber Tamblyn, and Mary Higgins Clark and Alafair Burke's THE SLEEPING BEAUTY KILLER, read by Jan Maxwell.

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.

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