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Bookreporter.com Updates

Friday, May 13, 2011

The following interviews, reviews and features began running on the Bookreporter.com website on Friday, May 13th.

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

HISSY FIT by Mary Kay Andrews
SILVER SPARROW by Tayari Jones

THE SNOWMAN written by Jo Nesbø, translated by Don Bartlett (Mystery)
It is Oslo in November, and the first snow of the season has fallen. A boy named Jonas wakes in the night to find his mother gone. Antihero police investigator Harry Hole suspects a link between a menacing letter and the disappearance of Jonas’s mother --- and of perhaps a dozen other women, all of whom went missing on the day of a first snowfall. As Hole’s investigation deepens, something else emerges: he is becoming a pawn in a terrifying game devised by the killer. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

SEAL TEAM SIX: Memoirs of an Elite Navy SEAL Sniper by Howard E. Wasdin and Stephen Templin (Memoir)
SEAL Team Six is a secret unit tasked with counterterrorism, hostage rescue and counterinsurgency. Less than half a year after Howard Wasdin graduated sniper school, he started fighting for his life. One of his many missions: capture or kill Somalian warlord Mohamed Farrah Aidid. From rooftops, helicopters and alleys, Wasdin hunted Aidid. Later, of the 18 Special Forces snipers in SEAL Team Six, Wasdin became one of the best snipers on the planet. But then everything quickly went to hell. Reviewed by Ray Palen.

BLOOD TRUST: A McClure-Carson Novel by Eric Van Lustbader (Thriller)
Just as former First Daughter Alli Carson is trying to put her life back together, she finds herself the prime suspect in her boyfriend’s murder, while Jack McClure is using his unique talents to hunt down an infamous terrorist. Together with several old and some new friends, they work to clear Alli’s name and rid the world of one of its worst criminals. Reviewed by Kate Ayers.

FRAGILE by Lisa Unger (Mystery)
Everybody knows everybody in The Hollows, a quaint, charming town outside of New York City. It’s a place where neighbors keep an eye on one another’s kids, where people say hello in the grocery store, and where high school cliques and antics are never quite forgotten. As a child, Maggie found living under the microscope of small-town life stifling. But as a wife and mother, she has happily returned to The Hollows’s insular embrace. As a psychologist, her knowledge of family histories provides powerful insights into her patients’ lives. So when the girlfriend of her teenage son, Rick, disappears, Maggie’s intuitive gift proves useful to the case --- and also dangerous.

MYSTERY WRITERS OF AMERICA PRESENTS THE RICH AND THE DEAD edited by Nelson DeMille (Mystery Anthology)
In this anthology, you'll read about a wealthy writer who plots murder against his hopeless agent, an aging actress who clings to her past of wealth and fame, and a spoiled rich boy who steps into dangerous territory with his mean antics, among others. THE RICH AND THE DEAD features mystery and crime stories set among the upper crust of society, going behind the scenes of the lifestyles of the two percent of the world that controls 60 percent of its riches --- and just how far they'll go to stay on top.

FATHER OF THE RAIN by Lily King (Fiction)
Gardiner Amory is a New England WASP who's beginning to feel the cracks in his empire. Nixon is being impeached, his wife is leaving him, and his worldview is rapidly becoming outdated. His daughter, Daley, has spent the first 11 years of her life negotiating her parents' conflicting worlds: the liberal, socially committed realm of her mother and the conservative, decadent, liquor-soaked life of her father. But when they divorce, and Gardiner's basest impulses are unleashed, the chasm quickly widens and Daley is stretched thinly across it.

Brianna Karp entered the workforce at age 10, supporting her mother and sister throughout her teen years in Southern California. Although her young life was scarred by violence and abuse, Karp stayed focused on her dream of a steady job and a home of her own. By age 22 her dream became reality. And then the Great Recession hit. Karp, like millions of others, lost her job. In the six months between the day she was laid off and the day she was forced out onto the street, Karp scrambled for temp work and filed hundreds of job applications, only to find all doors closed. When she inherited a 30-foot travel trailer after her father's suicide, Karp parked it in a Walmart parking lot and began to blog about her search for work and a way back.

FAITH by Jennifer Haigh (Fiction)
In the spring of 2002, a perfect storm has hit Boston. Across the city's archdiocese, trusted priests have been accused of the worst possible betrayals. Estranged for years from her difficult relatives, Sheila McGann has remained close to her older brother Art --- the popular, dynamic pastor of a large suburban parish. When Art finds himself at the center of the maelstrom, Sheila returns to Boston, ready to fight for him and his reputation. But what she discovers is more complicated than she imagined. Reviewed by Bronwyn Miller.

READING MY FATHER: A Memoir by Alexandra Styron (Memoir)
William Styron’s youngest child explores the life of a fascinating and difficult man whose own memoir, DARKNESS VISIBLE, so searingly chronicled his battle with major depression. Alexandra’s parents --- the Pulitzer Prize–winning author of SOPHIE’S CHOICE and his political activist wife, Rose --- were, for half a century, leading players on the world’s cultural stage. She was raised under both the halo of her father’s brilliance and the long shadow of his troubled mind. Reviewed by Stephen Hubbard.

MY NEW AMERICAN LIFE by Francine Prose (Fiction)
Temporarily submerged by our economic woes, the debate over immigration policy simmers just below the surface of American political and social life. In her lighthearted, consistently engaging new novel, Francine Prose tells the story of Lula, a savvy young Albanian immigrant trying to gain a foothold in a country that at times seems as strange as her native land. Reviewed by Harvey Freedenberg.

THE WHITE DEVIL by Justin Evans (Gothic Thriller)
The Harrow School in London is home to privileged adolescents known as much for their distinctive dress as for their arrogance. Seventeen-year-old Andrew Taylor is enrolled there, and when a schoolmate dies mysteriously of a severe pulmonary illness, Andrew is blamed. Soon he is an outcast, spurned by nearly all his peers. Then a pale, strange boy begins to visit him at night. Either Andrew is losing his mind, or the house legend about his dormitory being haunted is actually true. Reviewed by Barbara Lipkien Gershenbaum.

Sonya Sones’s first book for adults is, like her YA literature, a novel-in-verse. Her character, Holly, is a writer who's way behind on her deadline. But how can Holly concentrate on her work when her 50th birthday is rushing at her like a freight train and her 80-year-old mother is biting her nurses? Not to mention menopause, her daughter applying to colleges over a thousand miles away, and her husband being an irritating, finger-pointing stinker. Reviewed by Jana Siciliano.
-Reading group guide

HOW SHAKESPEARE CHANGED EVERYTHING by Stephen Marche (History)
Nearly 400 years after his death, William Shakespeare permeates our everyday lives: from the words we speak to the teenage heartthrobs we worship to the political rhetoric spewed by the news. In the pages of this book, Esquire columnist Stephen Marche uncovers the hidden influence of Shakespeare in our culture. Reviewed by Stuart Shiffman.

WHO SHOT THE WATER BUFFALO? by Ken Babbs (Historical Fiction)
Ken Babbs, famously a Merry Prankster and the best friend and working partner of Ken Kesey, has at last finished his first novel --- and the wait was worth it. Lieutenant Tom Huckelbee, leathery as any Texican come crawling out of the sage, and Lieutenant Mike Cochran, loquacious son of an Ohio gangster, make an unlikely pair training to be Marine chopper pilots on their way to Vietnam. Reviewed by Judy Gigstad.


Lily King is the award-winning author of THE PLEASING HOUR and THE ENGLISH TEACHER, which has garnered much praise and critical acclaim. Her third book, FATHER OF THE RAIN, follows Daley Amory as she watches the destruction of her parents' marriage against the backdrop of the last days of Richard Nixon's presidency. Joshua Bodwell --- a journalist and writer who, like King, lives in Maine, and has published short stories in several journals --- interviewed King about her craft, inspirations and autobiographical basis. Here, she reveals her love for Virginia Woolf, her propensity for exploring complex familial bonds --- like FATHER OF THE RAIN's father/daughter relationship --- and the erratic starts and stops that led to the completion of this visceral, textured novel.


Sisters Lisa Jackson and Nancy Bush team up once again to write WICKED LIES, the sequel to their 2009 supernatural thriller, WICKED GAME. Psychopath Justice Turnbull is on a mission fueled by a vicious murder two decades ago --- and Laura Adderley can sense that he’s coming, intent on destroying her.

We have 20 copies of WICKED LIES, which will be in stores May 31st, to give away to readers who would like to preview the book and comment about it. If you are interested, please fill out this form by Friday, May 20th at noon ET.

-Click here to read an excerpt from WICKED LIES.
-Click here to read critical praise for WICKED LIES.
-Click here to watch a special trailer for WICKED LIES.
-Read bios of Lisa Jackson and Nancy Bush.
-Read the backlists of Lisa Jackson and Nancy Bush.
-Visit the official websites of Lisa Jackson and Nancy Bush.


Lisa Unger, the New York Times bestselling author of BEAUTIFUL LIES, SLIVER OF TRUTH, BLACK OUT and DIE FOR YOU, returns with FRAGILE, her 2010 mystery that will be available in paperback on May 17th. The book takes place in The Hollows, a quaint, charming town outside of New York City, where a psychiatrist must use her intuitive gift to help find the missing girlfriend of her teenage son.

To celebrate the paperback release of FRAGILE, we are giving 20 readers the chance to win a copy of the book. All you have to do is fill out this form by Friday, May 20th at noon ET.

-Click here to read a review of FRAGILE.
-Click here to read an excerpt from FRAGILE.
-Click here to read critical praise for FRAGILE.
-Click here to read Lisa Unger’s bio.
-Click here to see Lisa Unger’s backlist.
-Visit Lisa Unger’s official website, www.LisaUnger.com.

FATHER OF THE RAIN by Lily King (Fiction)
Winner of the New England Book Award for Fiction and a New York Times Editors' Choice, Lily King's masterful third novel received glowing critical praise upon its initial publication and is poised to make an even bigger splash in paperback.

Gardiner Amory is a New England WASP who's beginning to feel the cracks in his empire. Nixon is being impeached, his wife is leaving him, and his worldview is rapidly becoming outdated. His daughter, Daley, has spent the first 11 years of her life negotiating her parents' conflicting worlds: the liberal, socially committed realm of her mother and the conservative, decadent, liquor-soaked life of her father. But when they divorce, and Gardiner's basest impulses are unleashed, the chasm quickly widens and Daley is stretched thinly across it.

-Click here to read a review of FATHER OF THE RAIN.
-Click here to read an excerpt from FATHER OF THE RAIN.
-Click here to read critical praise for FATHER OF THE RAIN.
-Click here to read an interview with Lily King.
-Click here to read Lily King’s bio.
-Click here to see Lily King’s backlist.
-Click here to see the 20 winners selected to read FATHER OF THE RAIN.

THE GIRL'S GUIDE TO HOMELESSNESS: A Memoir by Brianna Karp (Memoir)
Brianna Karp entered the workforce at age 10, supporting her mother and sister throughout her teen years in Southern California. Although her young life was scarred by violence and abuse, Karp stayed focused on her dream of a steady job and a home of her own. By age 22 her dream became reality. Karp loved her job as an executive assistant and signed the lease on a tiny cottage near the beach.

And then the Great Recession hit. Karp, like millions of others, lost her job. In the six months between the day she was laid off and the day she was forced out onto the street, Karp scrambled for temp work and filed hundreds of job applications, only to find all doors closed. When she inherited a 30-foot travel trailer after her father's suicide, Karp parked it in a Walmart parking lot and began to blog about her search for work and a way back.

-Click here to read a review of THE GIRL’S GUIDE TO HOMELESSNESS.
-Click here to read an excerpt from THE GIRL’S GUIDE TO HOMELESSNESS.
-Click here to read critical praise for THE GIRL’S GUIDE TO HOMELESSNESS.
-Click here to visit the book’s official website.
-Click here to read Brianna Karp’s bio.
-Click here to see the 20 winners selected to read THE GIRL’S GUIDE TO HOMELESSNESS.


May's roundup of New in Paperback fiction titles includes THE PASSAGE by Justin Cronin, an epic and gripping tale of catastrophe and survival involving a government experiment of apocalyptic proportions; INNOCENT, the highly anticipated follow-up to Scott Turow’s debut thriller, PRESUMED INNOCENT, in which Judge Rusty Sabich stands accused of murdering his wife; Brady Udall’s THE LONELY POLYGAMIST, a tragicomic story of a deeply faithful man who becomes entangled in a dangerous affair; FULL DARK, NO STARS, which comprises new and unforgettable short works from the #1 internationally bestselling Stephen King; and Nevada Barr’s 16th Anna Pigeon novel, BURN, in which the National Park Service ranger must navigate the post-Katrina urban jungle.

Among our nonfiction highlights are WAR by Sebastian Junger, author of THE PERFECT STORM, which details his 15-month tour of duty in the most dangerous outpost in Afghanistan's Korengal Valley; Susan Casey’s THE WAVE, which is about colossal, ship-swallowing waves, and the surfers and scientists who seek them out; and BREAKING NIGHT, Liz Murray’s amazing journey
from homelessness to Harvard that wowed audiences when it was published for the first time last year.


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