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Friday, November 5, 2010

November 5, 2010

The following interviews, reviews and features began running on on Friday, November 5th.

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

SOUTH OF BROAD by Pat Conroy
STILL ALICE by Lisa Genova

No one knows the patterns and nuances of communication like forensic linguist Macy Reid. She is also an expert on kidnapping, having experienced firsthand the stark terror of being abducted when she was a child. So she is the perfect investigator to be called in when a Denver tycoon's eleven-year-old daughter is abducted --- for the second time. Reviewed Amie Taylor and excerpted.
-Click here to read an excerpt from DEADLY INTENT.

MOONLIGHT MILE by Dennis Lehane (Thriller)

Amanda McCready was four years old when she vanished from her Boston neighborhood, and when Patrick Kenzie and Angela Gennaro found her, they returned her to a broken home. Now Amanda is 16 --- and gone again. Haunted by their consciences, Kenzie and Gennaro immerse themselves in a world of drugs, thieves and Russian gangsters to try to find her. But the sins of yesterday don’t stay buried, and the crimes of today could end their lives. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

INDULGENCE IN DEATH by J.D. Robb (Futuristic Thriller)

A limo driver was shot with a crossbow. Then a high-priced escort was stabbed with a bayonet. Random hits, thrill kills and murderers with a taste for the finer things in life are making NYPSD Lieutenant Eve Dallas angry. And an angry Eve can be just as deadly as an efficient killer…especially when her investigation leads her into the rarefied circles her husband travels in --- and into the perverted heart of madness. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub and excerpted.

-Click here to read an excerpt from INDULGENCE IN DEATH.

EDGE by Jeffery Deaver (Thriller)

Shock ripples through Washington, D.C.’s secret agency when police detective Ryan Kessler becomes the target of a ruthless “lifter” --- someone who obtains information by any means necessary. Now a protection officer called Corte must try to save him --- and find out why Henry Loving is after Kessler in the first place. But for Corte, this assignment is more than a job --- it’s a matter of revenge: a choice between protecting his charges and exacting vengeance. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub and excerpted.

-Click here to read an excerpt from EDGE.

MY READING LIFE by Pat Conroy (Memoir)

Pat Conroy isn’t just a beloved storyteller: He’s also a voracious reader. But for him, reading isn’t a pastime or a source of inspiration --- it’s something that’s saved his sanity, if not his life. In MY READING LIFE, Conroy revisits a life of passionate reading, including everything from anecdotes about his school days to accounts of darker times --- and even lists of the books that have helped him through his life. Reviewed by Barbara Bamberger Scott and excerpted.

-Click here to read an excerpt from MY READING LIFE.

ATLANTIC: Great Sea Battles, Heroic Discoveries, Titanic Storms, and a Vast Ocean of a Million Stories by Simon Winchester (History)

Until 1,000 years ago, humans never ventured into the Atlantic Ocean. But once the first daring mariners navigated to far shores, the Atlantic evolved in the world’s growing consciousness of itself, linking the Americas in the West to Europe and Africa in the East. ATLANTIC is its biography --- an awe-inspiring and epic narrative spanning everything from earth’s geological origins to the pollutants of the present day. Reviewed by Ray Palen.

THE LAST BOY: Mickey Mantle and the End of America's Childhood by Jane Leavy (Biography)

Meticulously reported and elegantly written, THE LAST BOY is a baseball tapestry that weaves together episodes from Jane Leavy’s weekend with The Mick after he was banned from baseball, with reminiscences about the boy from Commerce, Oklahoma: a boy who would lead the Yankees to seven world championships, become a three-time American League MVP, win the Triple Crown, and duel his teammate for the home run title --- the same boy who would never grow up. Reviewed by Ron Kaplan.

THE MAN WHO INVENTED THE COMPUTER: The Biography of John Atanasoff, Digital Pioneer by Jane Smiley (Biography)

In her biography of physicist John Vincent Atanasoff, Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Jane Smiley tells the story of the dawn of the computer age and argues for some long overdue recognition of this brilliant scientist’s contribution to that technology’s birth. Reviewed by Harvey Freedenberg.

UP FROM THE BLUE by Susan Henderson (Fiction)

As Tillie Harris goes into labor, alone and terrified, she reaches out to a most unlikely source of comfort --- her long estranged father. In so doing, she unleashes the horrific and sorrowful memories of her childhood starting with the year her mother disappeared. Reviewed by Terry Miller Shannon.

-Click here to read more about UP FROM THE BLUE in our Bets On feature.

TO THE END OF THE LAND by David Grossman (Fiction)

A distraught middle-aged mother, wishing to escape "notifiers" bringing ill news from the war front, departs with her lover on a soothing backpacking trek across the Galilee. Over a number of weeks, the Jewish couple covers the countryside of Israel on foot, meeting strangers while the woman tells stories about the POW's son. Reviewed by Melanie Smith.

-Click here to see the reading group guide for TO THE END OF THE LAND.

BRYANT & MAY OFF THE RAILS: A Peculiar Crimes Unit Mystery by Christopher Fowler (Mystery)

The Peculiar Crimes Unit knows only this: a man named Mr. Fox got out of a locked room and killed one of their best and brightest, and now he has struck again. But as Arthur Bryant and John May’s search takes them into London’s tunnels, they discover what really lies at the heart of the Tube --- along with the madness that’s driving their man to murder.Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

RUSSIAN WINTER by Daphne Kalotay (Fiction)

A woman's memories take her back to a hostile Bolshevik-era Russia before the existence of the Soviet Union. Nina Revskaya grew up in Russia as a dancer when Lenin's Red Army fought the White Army and all citizens were suspected of being counter-revolutionaries. Through this bitter winter, a renowned ballet dancer falls in love, and the events that follow lead to her defection and desertion of her past. Reviewed by Melanie Smith.

-Click here to see the reading group guide for RUSSIAN WINTER.

THINK OF A NUMBER by John Verdon (Thriller)

Over a period of weeks, taunting letters arrive in the mail ending with a simple sentence:“Think of any number…picture it…now see how well I know your secrets.” And those who comply realize the writer predicts their random choice. For ex-NYPD homicide investigator Dave Gurney, what begins as a diverting puzzle soon escalates into a massive serial murder investigation. And it seems that he’s finally met an adversary who can’t be stopped. Reviewed by Joe Harlaub.

Author Talk

Jeffrey Deaver

Bestselling author Jeffery Deaver is back with his latest spine-tingling thriller, EDGE, which follows a senior federal protection officer as he tries to protect a Washington, D.C. police detective and his family from a ruthless “lifter” --- and find out why he has been ordered to extract information from them in the first place. In this interview, Deaver gives readers the scoop on his most recent novel, elaborating on why he chose D.C. as a setting and how the book compares to some of his other titles. He also reflects on the differences between writing stand-alones and series (and explains why he tends to stick to the latter), talks about his love of surprise endings, and sheds light on his plans for the future --- which includes the highly anticipated release of a novel about James Bond.

-Click here to read a review of EDGE.

Romantic Suspense Author Spotlight

DEADLY INTENT: The Mindhunters, Book 4 by Kylie Brant (Romantic Suspense)

No one knows the patterns and nuances of communication like forensic linguist Macy Reid. She is also an expert on kidnapping, having experienced firsthand the stark terror of being abducted when she was a child. So she is the perfect investigator to be called in when a Denver tycoon's eleven-year-old daughter is abducted --- for the second time.

The biggest stumbling block for Macy may be a member of her own team: Kellan Burke, the wisecracking, rule-breaking investigator who relishes getting under Macy's skin. Their styles couldn't be more different; the attraction between them, more explosive. And when it becomes apparent that Macy can't solve this case without confronting the demons from her past, Kell is just the man to take her there --- and back.

-Click here to read a review of DEADLY INTENT.

-Click here to read a second excerpt from DEADLY INTENT.

-Click here to read Kylie Brant's bio.

-Click here to see Kylie Brant's backlist.

-Click here to read critical praise for DEADLY INTENT.

-Click here to read more about DEADLY INTENT.

-Click here to see the winners of the ARC mailing contest.

Debut Suspense Thriller Author Spotlight

THE CRUELEST CUT by Rick Reed (Thriller)

The first victim is attacked in her home. Tied to her bed. Forced to watch every unspeakable act of cruelty --- but unable to scream. The second murder is even more twisted. Signed, sealed, and delivered with a message for the police, stuffed in the victim’s throat. A fractured nursery rhyme that ends with a warning: “There will be more.” For detective Jack Murphy, it’s more than a threat. It’s a personal invitation to play. And no one plays rougher than Jack. Especially when the killer’s pawns are the people he loves…

-Click here to read a third excerpt from THE CRUELEST CUT.

-Click here to read Rick Reed's bio.

-Click here to see Rick Reed's backlist.

-Click here to read critical praise for THE CRUELEST CUT.

-Click here to read more about THE CRUELEST CUT.

-Click here to see the winners of the ARC mailing contest.

-Visit Rick Reed's official website,

One to Watch Author Spotlight

BREAKING NIGHT: A Memoir of Forgiveness, Survival, and My Journey from Homeless to Harvard by Liz Murray (Memoir)

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 see the Advance Reader Comments for BREAKING NIGHT.

-Click here to read a third excerpt from BREAKING NIGHT.

-Click here to read an author talk with Liz Murray.

-Click here to watch a video about BREAKING NIGHT.

-Click here to read Liz Murray's bio.

-Click here read more about BREAKING NIGHT.

New in Paperback

November’s roundup of New in Paperback titles includes U IS FOR UNDERTOW, the continuation of Sue Grafton’s Kinsey Millhone series, which follows the private eye as she tries to solve the 16-year-old case of a missing girl with the aid of a man’s repressed childhood memory; RAINWATER, Sandra Brown’s moving story of a young woman’s struggle to survive the ravages of the Dust Bowl and the Great Depression; HOUSE RULES by Jodi Picoult, the troubling tale of a boy with Asperger’s syndrome --- and the unique ability to understand forensic analysis --- who suddenly is accused of murder; BRAVA, VALENTINE, Adriana Trigiani’s sequel to VERY VALENTINE, which finds her heroine traveling the world in pursuit of a once-in-a-lifetime business venture, only to discover a long-buried family secret; TRIPLE CROSS by Mark T. Sullivan, in which a former U.S. special agent tries to save his children from the clutches of a heavily armed paramilitary force that has taken them hostage at an isolated resort for the elite; and THE WAR by Geoffrey C. Ward and Ken Burns, a compelling, photo-enriched account of 40 individuals whose lives were touched --- and irrevocably changed --- by World War II.

Books into Movies

If last month’s stellar lineup of book-based blockbusters left you longing for more, then you’re in luck. November promises more big hits inspired by even bigger bestsellers, and’s Books into Movies roundup is spotlighting five must-see movies that you definitely won’t want to miss.

A suspenseful adaptation of an ex-undercover agent’s autobiography, Fair Game promises to keep theater-goers on their toes. For those of you with willful youngsters, there’sTangled, Disney’s 3-D take on “Rapunzel,” the beloved fairy tale by the Brothers Grimm. And let’s not forget The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest, the third and final adaptation of Stieg Larsson’s Millennium trilogy, and Love & Other Drugs, a comedic exposé of pharmaceutical big-shots derived from the real-life experiences of one-time Pfizer rep Jamie Reidy.

The real story of the month, though, is Harry Potter, who is returning to the big screens once again in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1, the first of two full-length features based on the seventh installment of J.K. Rowling’s spellbinding series. By splitting the final film into two, Warner Brothers is hoping to give fans more of what they want…and keep them hanging by a thread until the release of the much-anticipated finale.

But if throngs of costumed Harry Potter lovers are keeping you at home, then you can always take a look at our Books into Movies on DVD feature. This month, we’re spotlighting Charlie St. Cloud, the romantic drama starring Zac Efron that swept both film fans and booklovers off their feet in July.

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