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Friday, October 1, 2010

October 1, 2010

The following interviews, reviews and features began running on Friday, October 1.

The titles bellow are discussed in the Newsletter Opener, which can be read here:

THE TRINITY SIX by Charles Cumming
THE STRAIN: Book One of the Strain Trilogy by Guillermo Del Toro and Chuck Hogan
THE TOWN by Chuck Hogan
AHAB'S WIFE: or, The Star-Gazer by Sena Jeter Naslund

FALL OF GIANTS: Book One of the Century Trilogy by Ken Follett (Historical Fiction)

Thirteen-year-old Billy Williams enters a man's world in the Welsh mining pits. Gus Dewar finds a career in Wilson's White House. Two orphaned brothers, Grigori and Lev Peshkov, embark on different paths half a world apart. Billy's sister Ethel, a housekeeper, takes a fateful step above her station, while Lady Maud Fitzherbert falls in love with a spy at the German embassy in London. In an unfolding drama of the early 20th century, these five lives become inextricably entangled. Reviewed by Roz Shea and excerpted.

-Click here to read an excerpt from FALL OF GIANTS.

DON'T BLINK by James Patterson and Howard Roughan (Thriller)

Reporter Nick Daniels went to Lombardo’s Steak House to interview a baseball legend, but walked out an accidental witness to the murder of an infamous mob lawyer. Now he’s caught in a war between Italian and Russian mob forces, and when he starts investigating the slaying on his own, only one thing is clear: the price of this story might be his life. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub and excerpted.

-Click here to read an excerpt from DON'T BLINK.

THE FALL: Book Two of the Strain Trilogy, by Guillermo Del Toro and Chuck Hogan (Horror)

A vampiric virus has taken over New York City, and no one can stop it from spreading --- except Center for Disease Control specialist Eph Goodweather. But it may be too late. A war is erupting among Old and New World vampires, and Eph’s ex-wife is stalking the city. Now it’s up to Eph to save his son and stop a terror whose aim is a fate worse than annihilation.Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

DARK ROAD TO DARJEELING: A Lady Julia Grey Novel, by Deanna Raybourn (Historical Mystery)

After eight months in the Mediterranean, Lady Julia Grey and her husband must put their investigative talents to work once more. They rush off to India to aid Jane Cavendish, an old and a newly widowed friend who’s about to give birth to a baby --- and discover the truth about her husband’s death. But Jane might be next, and there’s a chance that Julia and Nicholas won’t live to celebrate their anniversary. Reviewed by Amie Taylor.

ADAM & EVE by Sena Jeter Naslund (Fiction)

Hours before his highly suspicious death, Lucy’s husband entrusted her with an enormous secret: a flash drive containing evidence of extraterrestrial life. Devastated by his death, she contacted her husband’s friend --- who wants her to unravel a codex offering a reinterpretation of the Book of Genesis. Entrusted with her husband’s secret and a document that will shatter several world religions, Lucy embarks on a dangerous journey to protect the knowledge she possesses. Reviewed by Eileen Zimmerman Nicol.

AND THEREBY HANGS A TALE: Short Stories, by Jeffrey Archer (Fiction/Short Stories)

A couple in love, a priceless oil painting, a charmed Christmas cracker, an unsuspecting traveler, a shoeless wife --- regardless of whether Jeffrey Archer’s tales make you laugh or bring you to tears, they will keep you turning the page until you find out what happens to his remarkable cast of characters. Reviewed by Donna Volkenannt.

THE WIDOWER’S TALE by Julia Glass (Fiction)

Seventy-year-old Percy Darling thought he was happily settling into retirement…until a local preschool takes over his barn. Now he must reexamine the solitary life he has made in the decades since his wife’s sudden death. But when his effort to rebuild his bond with his oldest grandchild causes him to collide with two other equally estranged men, the lives of everyone in his community are upended…and none more so than his own. Reviewed by Norah Piehl.

THE WAY OF KINGS: Book One of The Stormlight Archive, by Brandon Sanderson (Fantasy)

The Knights Radiant fell centuries ago, but their Shardblades and Shardplates remain: mystical swords and suits of armor that make men into invincible warriors. Wars were fought for them, and one rages in Roshar now. While one commander tries to save his men and another struggles to save his sanity, a woman named Shallan plans a theft that will uncover lost secrets and reveal the reason behind this senseless fighting. Reviewed by Steve Hubbard.

HEAVEN'S FURY by Stephen Frey (Thriller)

Bruner, Wisconsin is really two different towns --- where the world is divided between the very wealthy and the working class. And it’s where Sheriff Paul Summers finds himself grasping for answers when a former flame is found spectacularly murdered in a snowbound estate. The last person to see her alive, Paul is the lead investigator and the leading suspect. Can he clear his name before a massive storm leaves everyone at the mercy of a remorseless killer? Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

VOYEUR by Daniel Judson (Thriller)

Remer was an effective Manhattan P.I. --- until one of his targets forced him into an early retirement. Now he’s living an anonymous life, running a liquor store in Southampton and trying to stay in the shadows. But when a voice from his past asks for help, he’s offered the chance to escape the threat that’s been haunting him for the last six years. The only problem is, it might not be enough. Reviewed by L. Dean Murphy.

THE THIEVES OF DARKNESS by Richard Doetsch (Thriller)

Ex-thief Michael St. Pierre thinks he’s left his criminal days behind…until he has to rescue his friend Simon from death in a desert prison. But his latest bout of law-breaking isn’t over. His girlfriend is connected to Simon’s case, and there’s someone following them to Istanbul. If they fail to execute some daring thefts and find the artifact that landed him there, then their families’ lives will be at stake --- and perhaps the fate of humanity itself. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

Author Talk

Bestselling author Ken Follett returns to the world of historical fiction with the first installment of his eagerly-awaited Century Trilogy, FALL OF GIANTS, an epic saga of five families whose lives become inexplicably intertwined as they try to navigate the earth-shattering dramas of World War I, the Russian Revolution and the struggle for women’s suffrage. In this interview, Follett reflects on his rules for reinterpreting the historical record, separating fact from fiction and elaborating on why the 20th century makes for such appealing subject matter. He also explains why the fight for women’s suffrage takes center stage in his latest novel --- and why he couldn’t have written it without his wife --- speculates on the similarities between the distant past and the present day, and shares his thoughts on the miniseries inspired by PILLARS OF THE EARTH, along with his plans for the rest of the trilogy.

Suspense Thriller Author Spotlight

He mutilates his victims. Slices their throats. And carves an X into their flesh. Five years ago, he claimed the lives of six women. Then the killings abruptly stopped --- no one knows why. Ex-homicide detective Frank Quinn remembers. Which is why he’s shocked to see one of the dead women in his office. Actually, she’s the identical twin of the last victim, and she wants Quinn to find her sister’s murderer. But when the cold case heats up, it attracts the media spotlight --- and suddenly the killings start again…
-Click here to read an excerpt from MISTER X.
-Click here to read John Lutz's bio.
-Click here to see John Lutz's backlist.
-Click here to read more about MISTER X.

In the vein of THE GLASS CASTLE, BREAKING NIGHT is the stunning memoir of a young woman who at age 15 was living on the streets, and who eventually made it into Harvard.

Liz Murray was born to loving but drug-addicted parents in the Bronx. In school she was taunted for her dirty clothing and lice-infested hair, eventually skipping so many classes that she was put into a girls’ home. At age 15, Liz found herself on the streets when her family finally unraveled. She learned to scrape by, foraging for food and riding subways all night to have a warm place to sleep.

-Click here to read an excerpt from BREAKING NIGHT.

-Click here to watch a video about BREAKING NIGHT.

-Click here to read Liz Murray's bio.

-Click here to read more about BREAKING NIGHT.

Books into Movies

Halloween will be here before you know it, so why not put down your rake and satisfy your sweet tooth at your local cinema? Film fanatics are in for a real treat this October, and is featuring seven soon-to-be blockbusters that will have you ditching your yard work for a day at the movies.

Comedy fans will be lining up for Tamara Drewe and It’s Kind of a Funny Story, a quirky film about a stressed-out teen starring Zach Galifianakis, while vampire lovers everywhere will be flocking to the theaters for Let Me In, the spooky thriller based on Swedish author John Ajvide Lindqvist’s novel of the same name. The Social Network and Secretariat are must-sees for anyone looking for a stimulating drama, while Red, a CIA flick featuring Bruce Willis, Morgan Freeman and John Malkovich, will have bookworms and action enthusiasts alike gunning for the big screen. Or, if you’re into documentaries, then Freakonomics is sure to satisfy your thirst for facts. Based on the bestseller by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner, this movie will tell you all you need to know about human behavior --- and highlight some seriously funny case studies along the way.

But if you’d rather have your Halloween candy at home, then you can always check out our Books into Movies on DVD feature, which is currently spotlighting How to Train Your Dragon, available on Blu-ray and DVD October 15th.

Young Adult Books You Won't Want to Miss

MOCKINGJAY by Suzanne Collins (Science Fiction/Fantasy)

Against all odds, Katniss Everdeen has survived the Hunger Games twice. But now that she’s made it out of the bloody arena alive, she’s still not safe. The Capitol is angry and wants revenge. Who do they think should pay for the unrest? Katniss. And what’s worse, President Snow has made it clear that no one else is safe either. Not Katniss’s family, not her friends, not the people of District 12.

I SHALL WEAR MIDNIGHT: A Tiffany Aching Adventure by Terry Pratchett (Fantasy/Action & Adventure)

After studying senior witches for years, Tiffany Aching is on her own. As the witch of Chalk, she performs the unglamorous task of caring for the needy. But when someone starts igniting fear against the witches, she discovers that “real” witchcraft isn’t always fun. Now Tiffany must find the source of evil and defeat it at its root. Because this time, the price of failure is her life, and if she falls, then so will Chalk.

FEAR: 13 Stories of Suspense and Horror edited by R.L. Stine (Suspense/Horror/Short Stories)

R.L. Stine has put together a collection of short stories by some of the most celebrated authors in the business that are sure to frighten, thrill and horrify readers of all ages. The last thing you want to do is stay up late at night, in the dark, all alone, and read this book.

THE THINGS A BROTHER KNOWS by Dana Reinhardt (Fiction)

Finally, Levi Katznelson’s older brother, Boaz, has returned. Boaz was a high school star who had it all and gave it up to serve in a war Levi can’t understand. Things have been on hold since Boaz left. With the help of his two best friends, Levi has fumbled his way through high school, weary of his role as little brother to the hero. But when Boaz walks through the front door after his tour of duty is over, Levi knows there’s something wrong. Boaz is home, safe. But Levi knows that his brother is not the same.

THREE BLACK SWANS by Caroline B. Cooney (Fiction)

Missy and her cousin Claire can finish each other’s sentences and practically read each other’s minds. In fact, it’s kind of creepy. So when Missy can’t find the courage to question her parents, she uses a school project to uncover an explanation. But when their video gets posted on YouTube, the cousins realize they’ve opened Pandora’s Box. Not only are their identities called into question, so is the future of everyone involved.

-Click here to see all the young adult books you won't want to miss.

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