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Friday, November 14, 2008

November 14, 2008

The following reviews, interviews and features are running on beginning Friday, November 14th. Also mentioned in newsletter opener, which can be read here:

LYRICS 1964-2008 by Paul Simon
DASHING THROUGH THE SNOW by Mary and Carol Higgins Clark

Reviews and Excerpts NIGHT KILLS by John Lutz (Psychological Thriller) A former NYPD detective is hunting for a madman: someone is shooting young women in the heart, defiling their bodies and only leaving their torsos to be found. No one knows the true motives behind this rampage of cold-blooded murders. . . or how much more terrifying it's going to get. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub and excerpted.

A SINGLE THREAD by Marie Bostwick (Fiction) It's a long way from Fort Worth, Texas, to New Bern, Connecticut, yet it only takes a day in the charming Yankee town to make Evelyn Dixon realize she has found her new home. The abrupt end of her marriage was Evelyn's wake-up call to get busy chasing her dream of opening a quilt shop. Finding a storefront is easy enough; starting a new life isn't. Little does Evelyn imagine it will bring a trio like Abigail Burgess, her niece Liza and Margot Matthews through her door. Reviewed by Jennifer McCord and excerpted.

JUST AFTER SUNSET: Stories, by Stephen King (Fiction/Short Stories) Gather around the campfire and prepare to lose all track of time and place, as you become immersed in these 13 gripping tales from Stephen King, who has published his first short story collection since EVERYTHING'S EVENTUAL six years ago. With this winning combination of suspense, horror, magical realism, ghost stories and more, "13" appears to be our lucky number. Reviewed by Terry Miller Shannon and excerpted.

DIVINE JUSTICE by David Baldacci (Thriller) Two bodies are discovered at the same time that former covert agent Oliver Stone goes missing. His friends, self-named the Camel Club, won't sit still until they find him. Nor will agent John Knox. The stakes are too high for some people to let Stone remain at large. With time running out, it will be a battle to see who ends up on top. Reviewed by Kate Ayers and excerpted.

A MERCY by Toni Morrison (Fiction) Nobel Prize-winning author Toni Morrison probes deep into the ugly history of American slavery in A MERCY. This brief and devastating novel offers a glimpse into her powerful literary style and keen insights into issues of race, violence, sex, history, identity and community while also demonstrating her brilliance and maturity as a writer. Reviewed by Norah Piehl and excerpted.

HOT, FLAT, AND CROWDED: Why We Need a Green Revolution -- and How It Can Renew America, by Thomas L. Friedman (Current Affairs) What a timely book! Following an election in which the future of the planet was hotly debated, the market is ripe for this accessible yet information-packed treatise on the perilous state of the environment, how we got here and how we must proceed if we are to avoid catastrophe. Reviewed by Eileen Zimmerman Nicol.

THE WORDY SHIPMATES by Sarah Vowell (History) Sarah Vowell brings her trademark wit and snark to the tale of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. THE WORDY SHIPMATES is her exploration of the Puritans and their journey to America to become the people of John Winthrop's "city upon a hill' --- a shining example, a "city that cannot be hid.' Reviewed by Jonathan Snowden.

ENDER IN EXILE by Orson Scott Card (Science Fiction) What happened during the years between ENDER'S GAME and SPEAKER FOR THE DEAD? What did Ender go through from the ages of 12 through 35? Taking place 3,000 years before he finally receives his chance at redemption in SPEAKER FOR THE DEAD, this is the long-lost story of Ender. Reviewed by Stephen Hubbard.

THE SEALED LETTER by Emma Donoghue (Fiction) Scandalous charges, shocking countercharges, stained dresses, sealed letters --- this is the stuff of 20th-century sex scandals like the Clinton/Lewinsky affair, right? Not so, proves Emma Donoghue in THE SEALED LETTER, a novel set in the Victorian era, centered on a highly publicized divorce case that ruined lives and riveted an entire country. Reviewed by Norah Piehl.

LEATHER MAIDEN by Joe R. Lansdale (Thriller) Gulf War veteran and Pulitzer Prize-nominated journalist Cason Statler returns home to the small east Texas town of Camp Rapture following a scandalous affair. He takes a job at the local paper and stumbles across his predecessor's notes on a cold case murder file. The further he digs into the case, the more certain he is that the unsolved crime is connected to a series of eerie, inexplicable events that have recently occurred in town. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

GIANTS: The Parallel Lives of Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln, by John Stauffer (History) With the hindsight that makes for history filled out and fully viewed, we can make linkages that, in their time, might not have been apparent or apropos. Such is the case with GIANTS, the linkage between two great men whose contemporaneous lives filled the stage with action, philosophy and legacy, but who, in their lifetimes, were neither close friends nor fellow travelers. Reviewed by Barbara Bamberger Scott. -Visit the publisher’s official website,

THE PRICE OF BUTCHER'S MEAT: A Dalziel and Pascoe Mystery, by Reginald Hill (Mystery) After a close encounter with a bomb, Detective Superintendent Andy Dalziel recuperates at the Avalon Clinic in the quaint seaside resort of Sandytown. But soon he begins to suspect that those outside the convalescent home have just as many problems as the residents. Reviewed by Ray Palen.

SOUTH OF HELL by P. J. Parrish (Mystery) With one phone call from a man he barely recalls meeting years ago, South Florida detective Louis Kincaid heads to the Michigan town of his college days to reopen a disturbing cold case and finds himself confronting his own painful past secrets --- secrets that risk his future with the woman he loves, detective Joe Frye. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

Graphic Novels BAT-MANGA!: The Secret History of Batman in Japan, by Chip Kidd Forty years after appearing as a yearlong serial comic, Japanese stories starring Batman and Robin have been brought back to the States. Straddling a fine line between campy fun and exuberant superheroics, BAT-MANGA! has a new, modern design and a broader appeal than you might expect. Reviewed by John Hogan.

BOURBON ISLAND 1730 by Appollo and Lewis Trondheim A team of ornithologists tries to catalog bird species on an island off the coast of Madagascar, but instead they get caught up in a surprising pirate tale. Perhaps most surprising is the clever use of animal protagonists. Reviewed by John Hogan.

John Lutz
Award-winning thriller author John Lutz began writing in 1966 and has since gone on to publish over 40 novels and 200 short stories. His latest work of fiction, NIGHT KILLS, marks the return of homicide detective Frank Quinn, who was featured in the previous works DARKER THAN NIGHT and IN FOR THE KILL. In this interview with's Joe Hartlaub, Lutz elaborates on the dynamic his protagonist shares with two recurring secondary characters and describes his fascination behind what motivates ordinarily cautious people to take unreasonable risks. He also shares details about his writing process and discusses some of his current projects, including a stand-alone caper story and a fourth Quinn novel to be released in 2009.

Suspense/Thriller Feature Ted Dekker and Erin Healy We have 20 advance reading copies of KISS by Ted Dekker and Erin Healy to give away to readers who would like to preview the book and comment about it. A description can be found by clicking the link below. If you are interested, please fill out this form by Friday, November 28th. KISS by Ted Dekker and Erin Healy (Suspense) On Sale January 7, 2009 After a car accident puts Shauna McAllister in a coma and wipes out six months of her memory, she returns to her childhood home to recover, but her arrival is fraught with confusion. Her estranged father, a senator bidding on the White House, and her abusive stepmother blame Shauna for the tragedy, which has left her beloved brother severely brain damaged. > Read More

The holiday season is upon us! At it's time for us to share the spirit of the season with our Holiday Basket of Cheer Contest. As you begin your holiday shopping, we want to remind you that books make affordable, personal and wonderful gifts for EVERYONE on your list --- and are a nice way to treat yourself as well!

From November 7th through January 5th we will spotlight a different title or collection of titles, and readers will have the chance to win one of five holiday baskets filled with winter-themed items as well as two copies of the featured book(s). Why two? One is to keep, of course, and one is for someone on your holiday gift list. We will also include festive wrapping paper to make the gift-giving hassle-free. > Click here for all the contest details.

This Week's Basket:
SANTA CLAWED: A Mrs. Murphy Mystery, by Rita Mae Brown and Sneaky Pie Brown (Mystery)
New York Times bestselling authors Rita Mae Brown and her feline partner, Sneaky Pie Brown, are back for the holidays in a new mystery featuring Mary Minor "Harry" Haristeen, the sleuthing cats Mrs. Murphy and Pewter, and corgi Tee Tucker. Can they save the season from a killjoy who has decided to gift the festive little town. . .with murder? Reviewed by Sarah Rachel Egelman.

Women's Fiction Feature
Marie Bostwick
A SINGLE THREAD by Marie Bostwick (Fiction)
On Sale Now
A SINGLE THREAD is a sometimes humorous and always touching story that features the strong, first person voice and lyrical style, small town values and the quilting imagery readers of Marie Bostwick's historical novels have come to love.

Advance Reader Comments for A SPOONFUL OF POISION, M. C. Beaton's newest Agatha Raisin mystery. Click here to read what they had to say.

HOLIDAY COUNTDOWN There's one gift that's perfect for everyone on your holiday list --- a book! Yes, everyone has people who are readers on their lists, which makes shopping for them easy. But beyond these kindred spirits, there's a book that can match just about any recipient's interests, even if reading is not their true passion. That is why we are going to be sharing 45 reasons why a book makes a perfect gift, counting down from today until Christmas Day, December 25th. Check back and see why we think this is the gift you want to give --- and, oh yes, receive!

WHAT TO GIVE/WHAT TO GET Need ideas for holiday gift-giving (and getting)? Check out these "reader perfect" suggestions in 13 categories. There's something for everyone on your list. Let the shopping begin!

October's roundup of New in Paperback fiction titles includes DUMA KEY, Stephen King's mesmerizing tale of a man whose recent injuries lead him to Florida's Duma Key, where he begins to paint --- even as dark mysterious forces guide his creative abilities; WORLD WITHOUT END, the highly anticipated sequel to Ken Follett's THE PILLARS OF THE EARTH, in which the residents of a 14th-century English town find themselves at a crossroad of new ideas; Dean Koontz's THE DARKEST EVENING OF THE YEAR, a supernatural thriller that tests the loyalty between a woman and the golden retriever she saved in the most dangerous encounter of her life; HOLLYWOOD CROWS, a crime novel from Joseph Wambaugh in which LAPD cops Hollywood Nate and Bix Rumstead become caught up with bombshell Margot Aziz; and THE EVER-RUNNING MAN by Marcia Muller, a Sharon McCone mystery that finds the San Francisco detective attempting to track down a shadowy figure who has been leaving explosive devices at the various offices of her husband's security firm.

Among our nonfiction highlights are BOOM!, in which Tom Brokaw explores how famous people, ordinary citizens and the national mindset were all affected by the tumultuous decade of the 1960s; SCHULZ AND PEANUTS, the first full-length biography of "Peanuts" creator Charles Schulz, written by acclaimed biographer David Michaelis; GONZO, Jann S. Wenner and Corey Seymour's startling portrait of journalist and author Hunter S. Thompson; and MY GRANDFATHER'S SON, a candid memoir by Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, who pays tribute to the one real hero in his life --- his maternal grandfather, whom he calls "Daddy.' > Read More

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