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Friday, February 18, 2011

February 18, 2011

The following interviews, reviews and features began running on the website on Friday, February 18th.

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

MAKING TOAST: A Family Story by Roger Rosenblatt

THE SWEETNESS AT THE BOTTOM OF THE PIE: A Flavia de Luce Novel by Alan Bradley



A WIDOW’S STORY: A Memoir by Joyce Carol Oates (Memoir)

When acclaimed author Joyce Carol Oates’s husband was diagnosed with pneumonia, they thought he would be released from Princeton Medical Center in a day or two. Instead, he died of a hospital-acquired infection, leaving Joyce with the stunning reality of widowhood. Here is her frank acknowledgement of a widow’s desperation --- and an unprecedented view of a fiercely private woman. Reviewed by Sarah Rachel Egelman.

A DISCOVERY OF WITCHES by Deborah Harkness (Urban Fantasy/Paranormal Romance)

Diana Bishop, a scholar known for her work in the history and science fields, is about to become famous for a discovery at the Bodleian Library at Oxford University --- a manuscript considered lost for 150 years that just happens to be under a powerful spell. What she doesn’t anticipate is the added interest from witches, vampires and daemons that are also searching for the book. Reviewed by Amy Gwiazdowski.

A RED HERRING WITHOUT MUSTARD: A Flavia de Luce Novel by Alan Bradley (Mystery)

When Flavia de Luce had her fortune told, she didn’t think she’d find the poor soul bludgeoned in her own caravan. Was this an act of revenge by those convinced that the soothsayer abducted a local child? Flavia understands revenge, but not the connection to the missing baby. And as the red herrings pile up, she untangles dark deeds and dangerous secrets. Reviewed by Roz Shea.

THE TERROR OF LIVING by Urban Waite (Thriller)

Phil Hunt has lived in Washington State for 20 years, wanting only to make a living and taking the occasional illicit job to do so. But his last delivery goes horribly wrong. Now Hunt is on the run from two men: Drake, the deputy sheriff who intends to catch him, and Grady, the vicious hitman who means to kill him. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

THE MATCHMAKER OF KENMARE: A Novel of Ireland by Frank Delaney (Historical Fiction)

Heartsick Ben MacCarthy is still searching for his lost wife years after she went missing, when he meets Kate Begley, known as the Matchmaker of Kenmare. Together, they endure the perils of World War II in order to find Kate’s husband, while Ben holds out hope of finding his wife. The bond they form will transcend even the best of friendships. Reviewed by Kate Ayers.

POSER: My Life in Twenty-Three Yoga Poses by Claire Dederer (Memoir)

Ten years ago, Claire Dederer put her back out while breastfeeding her baby daughter. Told to try yoga by everyone from the woman behind the counter at the co-op to the homeless guy on the corner, she signed up for her first class. She fell madly in love. But to her surprise, Dederer found that the deeper she went into her poses, the more they tested her most basic ideas of what makes a good mother, daughter, friend and wife. Reviewed by Joy Held.
-Click here to see the reading group guide for POSER.

A HEARTBEAT AWAY by Michael Palmer (Medical Thriller)

A biological terrorist attack occurs during the State of the Union address, and President James Allaire is forced to quarantine the entire Capitol building. The only hope for the future of the U.S. government and the hundreds who are trapped is a virologist who is currently in solitary confinement, having been accused of terrorist attacks himself. Reviewed by Ray Palen.

THOUGH NOT DEAD: A Kate Shugak Novel by Dana Stabenow (Thriller)

When Old Sam Dementieff dies, the residents of Alaska’s largest national park are stunned. He and his niece, private investigator Kate Shugak, were especially close, but Kate is surprised when he leaves everything to her --- including a letter instructing her to “find my father,” who’s a bit of a mystery. Three days into her search, Kate gets threatened --- and worse. Reviewed by Barbara Lipkien Gershenbaum.

GONE by Mo Hayder (Thriller)

When murder detective Jack Caffrey interviews the victim of a carjacking, he is horrified by what he hears. In the back seat was an 11-year-old girl who is still missing. Before long, the carjacker starts communicating with the police, convincing Caffrey that he will take another car. And another child. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

THE ORACLE OF STAMBOUL by Michael David Lukas (Fiction)

THE ORACLE OF STAMBOUL is an impressive debut that is both versatile and interesting. Any and all readers out there who typically enjoy history, fiction or fantasy should take a good look at this charming and distinctive story about a Jewish child from the 1800s who possesses unusual abilities. Reviewed by Melanie Smith.
-Click here to see the reading group guide for THE ORACLE OF STAMBOUL.

DAY OF HONEY: A Memoir of Food, Love, and War by Annia Ciezadlo (Memoir)

When Annia Ciezadlo traveled to Beirut to meet her boyfriend's family, little did she know that she would spend six years in Baghdad and Beirut --- or that her experiences there would change her forever, eventually providing a rich feast of an enlightening and absorbing tale for readers. Reviewed by Terry Miller Shannon.

INHERENTLY UNEQUAL: The Betrayal of Equal Rights by the Supreme Court, 1865-1903 by Lawrence Goldstone (History)

In 1875, the most comprehensive civil rights legislation in the nation’s history granted all Americans "the full and equal enjoyment" of public accommodations. Eight years later, the Supreme Court overturned the Civil Rights Act. Examining celebrated decisions and those often overlooked, Lawrence Goldstone shows how the Court turned a blind eye towards racism and legalized the brutal prejudice of the Jim Crow era. Reviewed by Barbara Bamberger Scott.

TOURQUAI by Tim Davys (Mystery)

In the Tourquai neighborhood of Mollisan Town, Superintendent Larry Bloodhound rules the streets. However, there’s a cadre of wealthy elite who live above the law. So when Oswald Vulture is found headless in his ornate office, Bloodhound knows he must take special care. But this may be the perfect crime…and finding the truth means facing his own weaknesses. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

Author Talk

Deborah Harkness

A nationally known historian and a first-time novelist, Deborah Harkness is the author of A DISCOVERY OF WITCHES, the captivating tale of a reluctant witch who inadvertently unlocks a magical underworld of terrifying creatures when she stumbles across an alchemical manuscript in an Oxford library --- and finds herself unwittingly drawn towards a vampire geneticist. In this interview, Harkness addresses the similarities between herself and her spell-casting scholar, elaborating on her own interest in the study of magic and what led her to turn from writing serious nonfiction to fantastical narratives. She also gives the scoop on the real-life manuscript that inspired the one Diana Bishop discovers in her novel, speculates on the appeal of the paranormal, and hints at what’s in store for her star-crossed main characters.

One to Watch Author Spotlight

TIGER HILLS by Sarita Mandanna (Fiction)

As the first girl born to the Nachimada family in over 60 years, the beautiful Devi is the object of adoration of her entire family. Strong-willed and confident, she befriends the shy Devanna, a young boy whose mother has died under tragic circumstances. The two quickly become inseparable, until Devi meets Machu the tiger killer, a hunter of great repute, and a man of much honor and pride. Soon, they fall deeply in love, an attraction that drives a wedge between Devi and Devanna. It is this tangled relationship between the three that leads to a devastating tragedy --- an event that changes their fates forever and has unforeseen and far-reaching consequences for generations to come.

-Click here to read an excerpt from TIGER HILLS.

-Click here to read critical praise for TIGER HILLS.

-Click here to read Sarita Mandanna's bio.

-Click here to read more about TIGER HILLS.

Paperback Spotlight and Contest

THE MURDERER'S DAUGHTERS by Randy Susan Meyers (Fiction)
Lulu and Merry's childhood was never ideal, but on the day before Lulu's 10th birthday, their father drives them into a nightmare. She had been warned never to let her father in, but when he shows up drunk, he's impossible to ignore. He bullies his way past Lulu, who then listens in horror as her parents struggle. She runs for help, but discovers upon her return that he's murdered her mother, stabbed her five-year-old sister, and tried, unsuccessfully, to kill himself. For 30 years, the sisters try to make sense of what happened. One spends her life pretending their father is dead, while the other feels compelled --- by fear, by duty --- to keep him close.

-Click here to read more about THE MURDERER'S DAUGHTERS.

-Click here to read an excerpt from THE MURDERER'S DAUGHTERS.

-Click here to read critical praise for THE MURDERER'S DAUGHTERS.

-Click here to read Randy Susan Meyers's bio.

Suspense Thriller Author Spotlight

NO ONE WILL HEAR YOU by Max Allan Collins and Matthew Clemens (Thriller)

The first video arrives by email. An unidentifed man. A naked woman. Her scream caught in a freeze-frame. The producers of TV’s “Crime Seen!” can’t believe what they’re witnessing --- an all-out sadist “auditioning” for a starring role in reality television. And if he doesn’t get it, he’ll kill again. To meet the demented demands of the self-proclaimed “Don Juan,” former sheriff and TV host J.C. Harrow has no choice but to spotlight him along with another ruthless maniac who has captivated millions of viewers. Now two killers are locked in a bloodthirsty competition. For fame. For notoriety. For victims.

-Click here to read a second excerpt from NO ONE WILL HEAR YOU.

-Click here to read critical praise for NO ONE WILL HEAR YOU.

-Click here to read Max Allan Collins's bio.

-Click here to read Matthew Clemens's bio.

-Click here to read more about NO ONE WILL HEAR YOU.

-Visit Max Allan Collins's official website,

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

One to Watch Author Spotlight

THE PARIS WIFE by Paula McLain (Fiction)

A deeply evocative story of ambition and betrayal, THE PARIS WIFE captures a remarkable period of time and a love affair between two unforgettable people: Ernest Hemingway and his wife Hadley.

Chicago, 1920: Hadley Richardson is a quiet 28-year-old who has all but given up on love and happiness --- until she meets Ernest Hemingway and her life changes forever. Following a whirlwind courtship and wedding, the pair set sail for Paris, where they become the golden couple in a lively and volatile group --- the fabled “Lost Generation”--- that includes Gertrude Stein, Ezra Pound, and F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald. A heartbreaking portrayal of love and torn loyalty, THE PARIS WIFE is all the more poignant because we know that, in the end, Hemingway wrote that he would rather have died than fallen in love with anyone but Hadley.

-Click here to read a third excerpt from THE PARIS WIFE.

-Click here to read critical praise for THE PARIS WIFE.

-Click here to see the reading group guide for THE PARIS WIFE.

-Click here to read Paula McLain's bio.

-Click here to see Paula McLain's backlist.

-Click here to read more about THE PARIS WIFE.

-Visit Paula McLain's official website,

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

Young Adult Books You Won't Want to Miss

As you may or may not know, our company, The Book Report Network, has a number of websites about books and authors in addition to Throughout the year, features adult books on, our site for young adult readers, that we think will have definite appeal to a teen audience. In the spirit of sharing, we are now spotlighting a selection of titles each month from that we believe are great reads that you might enjoy.

Here are our latest featured titles:

BLOODY TIMES: The Funeral of Abraham Lincoln and the Manhunt for Jefferson Davis by James L. Swanson (History)
In this special adaptation for young people, James L. Swanson tells the intertwining stories of Abraham Lincoln’s funeral procession and Jefferson Davis’s manhunt during one of the bloodiest times in U.S. history. Complete with rare photos, newspaper clippings and eyewitness accounts, BLOODY TIMES is not to be missed. Reviewed by Benjamin Boche.

CRYER'S CROSS by Lisa McMann (Paranormal Thriller)
Kendall Fletcher’s world consists of her family farm; her best friend and sort-of boyfriend, Nico; soccer; dance; and her obsessive-compulsive disorder. When two classmates disappear, her rigid routine is disrupted by search parties, worry and grief. When she starts hearing voices, Kendall wonders if she’s completely losing her grip on reality, or if the missing students are reaching out to her for help. Reviewed by Chris Shanley-Dillman.

DEATH CLOUD: Sherlock Holmes: The Legend Begins by Andrew Lane (Mystery)
In 1868, 14-year-old Sherlock Holmes prepares to head home from boarding school for summer break. Instead, his brother Mycroft ships him off to live with their uncle and aunt. Sherlock’s summer vacation is shaping up to be lackluster --- until he discovers a body on his uncle’s grounds. Reviewed by Donna Volkenannt.

DELIRIUM by Lauren Oliver (Dystopian Fiction)
DELIRIUM begins Lauren Oliver's worthy dystopian trilogy about a much-changed world where personal choice is forbidden and love is a crime. Everyone in this civilization will eventually receive the cure for the disease "amor deliria nervosa," and suspects displaying early symptoms will be arrested and face immediate surgery. Reviewed by Melanie Smith.

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

Click here to read the full newsletter.

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