Click Here For Librarians Submitting a Book Become a Reviewer FAQ Contact Us About Us
Home Reviews Features Authors Quote Books Into Movies Book Clubs Awards Coming Soon
Search Contests WOM Bestsellers New in Paperback Newsletter Bibliographies Blog Updates

Friday, August 5, 2011

Monday, August 5, 2011

The titles below are discussed in the August 5th Newsletter Opener, which can be read here:

CLEOPATRA'S MOON by Vicky Alvear Shecter
DAMAGE CONTROL by Denise Hamilton 
THE LAST EMBRACE by Denise Hamilton
WHEN SHE WOKE by Hillary Jordan

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

COLD VENGEANCE by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child (Thriller)
Devastated by the discovery that his wife, Helen, was murdered, Special Agent Pendergast must have retribution. But revenge is not simple. As he stalks his wife's betrayers, he is also forced to dig further into Helen's past. And he is stunned to learn that Helen may have been a collaborator in her own murder. Reviewed by Barbara Lipkien Gershenbaum.

THE WILD ROSE by Jennifer Donnelly (Historical Fiction)
THE WILD ROSE concludes the sweeping, multi-generational saga that began with THE TEA ROSE and continued with THE WINTER ROSE. It is London, 1914, when World War I looms on the horizon, women are fighting to vote, and explorers are pushing the limits of endurance in the most forbidding corners of the earth. Into this volatile time, Jennifer Donnelly places her vivid and memorable characters. Reviewed by Norah Piehl.

THE SIXES by Kate White (Thriller)
A secret circle of really mean girls --- the dark side of female empowerment --- becomes the nemesis of a gutsy journalist heroine in this intriguing new thriller from the bestselling author of HUSH and the Bailey Weggins mystery series. Reviewed by Kathy Weissman.

THE GENTLEMEN’S HOUR by Don Winslow (Thriller)
Boone Daniels, the former cop turned PI, begins each day with the Dawn Patrol, a close-knit group of surfers. It’s the life Boone loves. To him, “There’s no such thing as a bad day at the beach.” So when one of their own is murdered --- especially an icon like Kelly Kuhio, a local hero --- and another surfer, a young punk from the Rockpile Crew, stands accused, the small world of Pacific Beach is rocked to its core. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

ADRENALINE by Jeff Abbott (Thriller)
Sam Capra ---- brilliant CIA agent, loving husband, expectant father --- loses everything that matters to him in a horrifying moment in London. An unknown enemy has set him up as a traitor. But that enemy has targeted the wrong man. Escaping from the CIA, Sam goes on a desperate hunt for the killer who stole his family, and must save his kidnapped wife and child. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

A GOOD HARD LOOK by Ann Napolitano (Fiction)
In the Milledgeville, Georgia of the early 1960s, ailing writer Flannery O’Connor and three other townspeople enter into relationships with disastrous consequences --- for them and the rest of their small town. Reviewed by Bronwyn Miller.

REIGN OF MADNESS by Lynn Cullen (Historical Fiction)
Princess Juana of Castile knows she may never inherit the Spanish crown, but she also is aware of her royal duty --- to marry and produce heirs. She begins her arranged marriage not knowing what to expect. But when circumstances change dramatically, Juana finds herself queen, and rumors of madness begin to circulate. Who is to be believed --- a young, love-infatuated queen or her well-liked husband? Reviewed by Amy Gwiazdowski.

ALICE BLISS by Laura Harrington (Fiction)
When Alice Bliss learns that her father is being deployed to Iraq, she's heartbroken. Alice idolizes her father, and he will miss seeing his daughter blossom from a tomboy into a full-blown teenager. At once universal and very personal, this is a transforming story about those who are left at home during wartime, and a teenage girl bravely facing the future. Reviewed by Jana Siciliano.

WILLIAM & CATHERINE: Their Story by Andrew Morton (Current Events)
For all who were fascinated by the pageantry and majesty of England’s royal wedding of the year, or who are simply enthralled by the royal family, WILLIAM & CATHERINE is the true tale of Prince William and Catherine Middleton’s fairy-tale romance and marriage in a hardcover edition that’s full of glossy photos and insider stories. Reviewed by Amie Taylor.

JUST ONE CATCH: A Biography of Joseph Heller by Tracy Daugherty (Biography)
Joseph’s Heller’s CATCH-22 was one of the most influential novels of the second half of the 20th century. In this first full-length biography, Tracy Daugherty demonstrates equal skill at exploring Heller’s work and his colorful life. Reviewed by Harvey Freedenberg.

THE PARADISE PROPHECY by Robert Browne (Thriller)
An ancient mystery linked to religious dogma, coded messages and fallen angels who wander the earth are the crux of THE PARADISE PROPHECY. Government agent Bernadette Callahan and religious historian Sebastian “Batty” LaLaurie race against time to decode an archaic text and try to defeat diabolical forces bent on destroying mankind. Reviewed by Donna Volkenannt.

THE PACK by Jason Starr (Thriller)
When Simon Burns is fired from his job, he takes on the role of stay-at-home dad for his three-year-old son. He meets a tight-knit trio of dads at the playground, and soon realizes they are different from other men he has met --- stronger and more confident, more at ease with the darker side of life. Simon is lured into their mix. As he experiences disturbing changes in his body, he suspects that when the guys welcomed him to their "pack," they were talking about much more than male bonding. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

PACIFIC HEIGHTS by Paul Harper (Thriller)
A man plays dangerous mind games with his lovers when he unearths some innermost secrets from their analyst’s files. When the doctor discovers what’s happening, she hires ex-cop Marten Fane, who employs some rather unorthodox methods, to clean up his client’s problems. Reviewed by Kate Ayers.

Fall is almost upon us, which is known as the biggest season of the year for books! The titles that come out in fall often become holiday gifts, and many are blockbusters. Here are some publisher picks that we know people will be talking about. Each day we will spotlight a different title and offer a contest to win one of three copies of the book. Check the site each day to see the featured book and enter to win. We also will be sending a special daily newsletter to announce each day's title, which you can sign up for here.

Our next prize book will be announced on Monday, August 8th 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. Bets On...
THIS BEAUTIFUL LIFE by Helen Schulman (Fiction)
THIS BEAUTIFUL LIFE by Helen Schulman is a haunting novel about what happens to a family when a 15-year-old boy gets an inappropriate video from a young girl he knows --- and forwards it on. This seemingly small action snowballs, and suddenly two kids are fodder for the tabloids in a story that will not go away. In the world as we know it now, stories go viral, the Internet has its own fingerprints, and visual memories are a mere click away.

The Bergamots live in Manhattan enjoying a family life they’ve created and filled with all the trappings of success --- a corporate job for dad, a lovely apartment, a Riverdale private school. The perfect life. A beautiful life. Until a single action unravels their world and puts it all at risk. Suddenly dad is asked to take a leave from his new job at a prestigious university, Jake ends up expelled from school, adopted daughter Coco wonders what’s going on, and Liz struggles to hold her fractured family together. And we see this family for what they really are --- folks trying very hard to make and keep a beautiful life that’s fracturing pretty quickly.

Schulman’s writing is so real and her prose is so tight that this is both a quick read and a lasting one. When I finished, I felt like I knew Liz, maybe because we all know women like her who are working hard each day to make a beautiful life. By the way, be sure to read to the end as the wrap in the epilogue alone is worth a discussion.
-Click here to read a review.

Author Spotlight/One-to-Watch
THE LANGUAGE OF FLOWERS by Vanessa Diffenbaugh (Fiction)
The Victorian language of flowers was used to convey romantic expressions: honeysuckle for devotion, asters for patience, and red roses for love. But for Victoria Jones, it's been more useful in communicating grief, mistrust and solitude. After a childhood spent in the foster-care system, she is unable to get close to anybody, and her only connection to the world is through flowers and their meanings.

Now 18 and emancipated from the system, Victoria has nowhere to go and sleeps in a public park, where she plants a small garden of her own. Soon a local florist discovers her talents, and Victoria realizes she has a gift for helping others through the flowers she chooses for them.

We have 20 copies of THE LANGUAGE OF FLOWERS, which will be in stores August 23rd, 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, August 12th at noon ET.

-Click here to read an excerpt.
-Click here to see the reading group guide.
-Click here to read Vanessa Diffenbaugh’s bio.

COMING UP FOR AIR by Patti Callahan Henry (Fiction) Ellie Calvin is caught in a dying marriage, and she knows this. With her beloved daughter away at college and a growing gap between her and her husband --- between her reality and the woman she wants to be --- she doesn’t quite seem to fit into her own life. But everything changes after her controlling mother, Lillian, passes away. Ellie’s world turns upside down when she sees her ex-boyfriend, Hutch, at her mother’s funeral and learns that he is in charge of a documentary that involved Lillian before her death. He wants answers to questions that Ellie is not sure she can face, until, in the painful midst of going through her mother’s things, she discovers a hidden diary --- and a window onto stories buried long ago.

-Click here to read a second excerpt.
-Click here to read Patti Callahan Henry’s bio.
-Visit Patti Callahan Henry’s official website,

Paperback Spotlight
THE HANGMAN'S DAUGHTER by Oliver Potzsch (Historical Fiction)
Magdalena, the clever and headstrong daughter of Bavarian hangman Jakob Kuisl, lives with her father outside the village walls and is destined to be married off to another hangman's son --- except that the town physician's son is hopelessly in love with her. And her father's wisdom and empathy are as unusual as his despised profession. It is 1659, the Thirty Years' War has finally ended, and there hasn't been a witchcraft mania in decades. But now, a drowning and gruesomely injured boy, tattooed with the mark of a witch, is pulled from a river and the villagers suspect the local midwife, Martha Stechlin.

-Click here to read an excerpt.
-Click here to see the reading group guide.
-Click here to read Oliver Potzsch’s bio.

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.

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

Click here to read the full newsletter.

Back to top