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Friday, July 15, 2011

Friday, July 15, 2011

The titles below are discussed in the July 15th Newsletter Opener, which can be read here:

STILL MISSING by Chevy Stevens
NEVER KNOWING by Chevy Stevens
EYE OF THE NEEDLE by Ken Follett
THE DAY OF THE JACKAL by Frederick Forsyth
NEXT TO LOVE by Ellen Feldman
RICH BOY by Sharon Pomerantz
LOVE IN MID AIR by Kim Wright

The following are reviews, excerpts, interviews and features that currently appear on the homepage:

Don't Miss
A DANCE WITH DRAGONS: A Song of Ice and Fire, Book Five by George R.R. Martin (Fantasy)
In the aftermath of a colossal battle, the future of the Seven Kingdoms hangs in the balance --- beset by newly emerging threats from every direction. In the east, Daenerys Targaryen, the last scion of House Targaryen, rules with her three dragons as queen of a city built on dust and death. But Daenerys has thousands of enemies, and many have set out to find her. As they gather, one young man embarks upon his own quest for the queen, with an entirely different goal in mind.

THEN CAME YOU by Jennifer Weiner (Fiction)
Three women --- two seeking to earn money by donating their eggs, and one wealthier woman who believes a baby will ensure a happy ending for her marriage --- come together in this unexpected love story. Jennifer Weiner once again takes readers into the heart of women’s lives in a timely tale that interweaves themes of class and entitlement, surrogacy and donorship, the rights of a parent and the measure of motherhood. Reviewed by Jana Siciliano.

IRON HOUSE by John Hart (Thriller)
At the Iron Mountain Home for Boys, orphaned Julian survives only because his older brother, Michael, is fearless and fiercely protective. Decades later, Michael is an enforcer in New York’s world of organized crime. But when he revisits the place he was born and the brother he lost so long ago, he will encounter a whole new level of danger --- violence that leads inexorably to the one place he’s been running from his whole life: Iron House. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

FRENCH LESSONS by Ellen Sussman (Fiction)
Josie, Riley and Jeremy have come to the City of Light for different reasons. A single day in Paris will change the lives of these three Americans, as they each set off to explore the city with a French tutor, learning the truth about language, love and loss as their lives intersect in surprising ways. Reviewed by Hillary Wagy.

“THERE ARE THINGS I WANT YOU TO KNOW” ABOUT STIEG LARSSON AND ME by Eva Gabrielsson with Marie-Françoise Colombani (Memoir)
Here is a love story of a man and woman whose lives came to be guided by politics and love, coffee and activism, writing and friendship. Only one person in the world knows this story well enough to tell it with authority. Her name is Eva Gabrielsson, and she and Stieg Larsson shared everything, starting when they were both 18 until his untimely death at the age of 50. Reviewed by Barbara Bamberger Scott.

ORIGINAL SIN: A Sally Sin Adventure by Beth McMullen (Thriller)
After falling in love and making a quick exit from her nine-year career, ex-spy Sally Sin does her best to become Lucy Hamilton, a stay-at-home mom in San Francisco. Not even her adoring husband Will knows about her secret agent escapades. But when the agency becomes desperate to get her back on the job, how can Sally or Lucy or whatever her name is save the planet while keeping her family's world from spinning out of control? Reviewed by Sarah Rachel Egelman.

MAINE by J. Courtney Sullivan (Fiction)
The setting for this summer-friendly read is a perfect beach retreat, and the highly imperfect Irish-American family that inhabits it. When four women of different generations and sensibilities collide, fireworks --- not just the Fourth of July kind --- ensue. Reviewed by Kathy Weissman.

-Reading Group Guide

HOTWIRE: A Maggie O’Dell Novel by Alex Kava (Thriller)
On a crisp fall evening in western Nebraska, what started as a group of kids filming their drug-fueled party ends in an explosive light show, leaving the victims apparently electrocuted, with odd scorch marks as the only evidence. While Maggie O’Dell tries to make sense of the dif­ferent stories, sifting through what is real and what is hallu­cination, she realizes that the surviving teens are being targeted and systematically eliminated. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

I’M FEELING LUCKY: The Confessions of Google Employee Number 59 by Douglas Edwards (Memoir)
After half a decade on the “outside,” Douglas Edwards skillfully reminisces about his frantic and memorable years as marketing director and brand management expert for the ubiquitous Google organization. His absorbing memoir is a must-read for anyone who ever hit that special icon on their PC desktop. Reviewed by Pauline Finch.

ONE DOG NIGHT by David Rosenfelt (Mystery)
Noah Galloway is living with a horrible secret and the fear that his rebuilt life could be shattered. Now his dread has become a certainty, as he finds himself arrested for the arson murder of 26 people. What he needs is defense lawyer Andy Carpenter, who is not in the market for a new client. So Noah plays his hole card: a shared love for Andy’s golden retriever, Tara, and the knowledge of what her life was like before Andy rescued her. Reviewed by Maggie Harding.

JOY FOR BEGINNERS by Erica Bauermeister (Fiction)
In this moving tale, Kate throws a party for her female friends to celebrate her cancer recovery. Together they strike a bargain: Kate will do something that has always terrified her (white-water rafting) if each woman will accomplish one challenging task Kate chooses for her. Reviewed by Terry Miller Shannon.
-Reading Group Guide

WE ALL FALL DOWN by Michael Harvey (Mystery)
Chicago cop turned private investigator Michael Kelly is racing to save his city from a deadly new foe: a biological weapon unleashed underground. When a light bulb falls in a subway tunnel, it releases a pathogen that could kill millions. Kelly’s hunt for the people who poisoned his city takes him into the underworld of Chicago’s West Side gangs and the even more frightening world of black biology, where scientists play God. Reviewed by Stuart Shiffman.

THE ASTRAL by Kate Christensen (Fiction)
The Astral is a huge rose-colored old pile of an apart­ment building in the gentrifying neighborhood of Greenpoint, Brooklyn. For decades it was the home of the poet Harry Quirk, his wife, Luz, and their two children. But Luz has found (and destroyed) some poems of Harry’s that ignite her long-simmering sus­picions of infidelity, and he’s been kicked out. Now he must reckon with the consequence of his literary, marital, financial and parental failures. Reviewed by Norah Piehl.

VERY BAD MEN by Harry Dolan (Thriller)
Names in a manuscript: The cops see black words on a page; the killer sees red. Editor David Loogan, who we first met in BAD THINGS HAPPEN, finds a package on his doorstep that links to a fresh murder and points to several more planned attacks. Can the killer be stopped before he has crossed off all the names on his list? Reviewed by Kate Ayers.

FUN & GAMES by Duane Swierczynski (Thriller)
Charlie Hardie, an ex-cop still reeling from the revenge killing of his former partner's entire family, fears one thing above all else: that he'll suffer the same fate. Languishing in self-imposed exile, Hardie has become a glorified house sitter, until he finds himself squared off against a small army of the most lethal men in the world: The Accident People. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

BEFORE VERSAILLES: A Novel of Louis XIV by Karleen Koen (Historical Fiction)
Louis XIV is coming into his own as king especially now that Cardinal Mazarin, who was ruling until he was of age, has died. Now he finally has the opportunity to rule on his own. Unfortunately for Louis, there are distractions, both financial and matters of the heart, that pull him in opposite directions as king of France. Reviewed by Amy Gwiazdowski.

Jennifer Weiner is a #1 New York Times bestselling author, as well as the writer and co-producer of “State of Georgia,” currently airing on ABC Family. Her latest novel, THEN CAME YOU, is another timely tale that interweaves themes of class and entitlement, surrogacy and donorship, the rights of a parent and the measure of motherhood. In this interview, Weiner discusses her passion for writing books geared toward women, and expresses her opinions concerning the amount of press that female writers receive for both literary and commercial efforts in comparison to males. She also reveals the initial inspiration for the driving force behind THEN CAME YOU and shares insights about characters who continually surprise her.

Summer is upon us! At, this means it's time for us to share some great summer book picks with our Summer Reading Contests and Features. We will be spotlighting a different title or two on select days from Tuesday, May 31st through Wednesday, July 27th, so you will have to check the site each day to see the featured prize book(s) and enter. Some days may even feature special bonus prizes, including beach items, a beach tote stocked with goodies, and additional books. We also will be sending a special daily newsletter to announce the day's title(s), which you can sign up for here.

Our next prize book will be announced on Monday, July 18th at noon ET.

-Click here to see this year's featured titles.
-Click here to receive our special newsletter announcing each day’s prize book.

TURN OF MIND by Alice LaPlante (Fiction)
I like books that I can describe really succinctly, like TURN OF MIND by Alice LaPlante. Here’s the story. Dr. Jennifer White has Alzheimer’s. Her neighbor --- her best friend, the godmother of her daughter --- has been found dead in her home. All clues point to Jennifer, who was a hand surgeon before she became too incapacitated to work, and she cannot remember if she killed her friend or not. It’s brilliantly done as you weave in and out of Jennifer’s world as it unravels.

Since I finished it, whenever I misplaced something, or forgot a word or phrase, I found myself reflecting on the panic and frustration that surrounded Jennifer's life. What if I never remembered? What must that be like? It's a book I have been telling people about for months; four chapters in, I knew it was going to be a Bets On selection. Praise has been flying everywhere for TURN OF MIND; among the news, it was an IndieBound #1 selection for June.

-Click here to read a review.
-Click here to read an excerpt.
-Click here to read our interview with Alice LaPlante.

Paperback Spotlight
LEFT NEGLECTED by Lisa Genova (Fiction)
Sarah Nickerson, like any other working mom, is busy trying to have it all. One morning while racing to work and distracted by her cell phone, she looks away from the road for one second too long. In that blink of an eye, all the rapidly moving parts of her over-scheduled life come to a screeching halt. After a brain injury steals her awareness of everything on her left side, Sarah must retrain her mind to perceive the world as a whole. In so doing, she also learns how to pay attention to the people and parts of her life that matter most.In this powerful and poignant New York Times bestseller, Lisa Genova explores what can happen when we are forced to change our perception of everything around us. LEFT NEGLECTED is an unforgettable story about finding abundance in the most difficult of circumstances, learning to pay attention to the details, and nourishing what truly matters.

We have 20 copies of LEFT NEGLECTED, which will be in stores July 26th, to give away to readers who would like to read the book. If you are interested, please fill out this form by Friday, July 26th at noon ET.

-Click here to read a review.
-Click here to read an excerpt.
-Click here to read critical praise.
-Clcik here to read more in our Bets On feature.
-Click here to read Lisa Genova’s bio.
-Click here to see Lisa Genova’s backlist.

New in Paperback
July’s roundup of New in Paperback titles includes THE CONFESSION, John Grisham’s latest bestseller about a murderer who must try to save an innocent man from death row; Daniel Silva’s THE REMBRANDT AFFAIR, which marks the return of art restorer Gabriel Allon as he gets pulled into a race across the globe; SPIDER BONES by Kathy Reichs, in which forensic anthropologist Temperance Brennan tries to uncover the intriguing mystery linking three corpses found at three different locations; THE TEMPLAR SALVATION, Raymond Khoury’s highly anticipated follow-up to his much-talked-about debut, THE LAST TEMPLAR; RICH BOY, Sharon Pomerantz’s story of a middle-class Jewish boy who creates a new identity to suit the highest circles of Manhattan society; and SCOUT, ATTICUS, AND BOO, in which Mary McDonagh Murphy commemorates more than half a century of Harper Lee's classic, TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD.

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