Sunday, July 31, 2011

"This book practically jumped off the shelf at me," says Lynn

Yellow Dirt
A world-class deposit of uranium runs under the Navajo reservation in the American Southwest. The radioactive “yellow dirt” lay entombed beneath its earthen shield until the U.S. government came calling, desperate to make atomic bombs. Despite warnings from doctors and scientists that long-term exposure could be harmful, even fatal, thousands of Navajo uranium miners worked unprotected to fuel the nuclear arsenals of the Manhattan Project and the Cold War. Long after the uranium boom ended, the neighbors continued to live with contamination. Mine waste and gritty tailings from processing mills ended up in their drinking supplies, in their walls and floors, in their playgrounds, their bread ovens, their churches, and even their garbage dumps. People are still dying.

Few knew what had happened until Judy Pasternak wrote a prizewinning newspaper series that galvanized a powerful congressman and a famous prosecutor to press for redress and repair of the grievous damage. In this critically acclaimed book, Pasternak introduces Adakai, also known as the Gambler, his children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. Their story, along with gripping new details from government and industry files, knits the personal and the political into a grand tale of betrayal, of willful negligence, and, ultimately, of reckoning.

Lynn says:
"This book practically jumped off the shelf at me recently and I HAD to read/buy it for personal reasons (having been to a Navajo reservation for a teaching interview back in either '88 or '92 that had a glaringly large number of birth defects in the population from uranium contamination)...

Very reminiscent of the journalistic sleuthing in exposes like Reisner's Cadillac Desert, Yergin's The Prize or Patel's Stuffed and Starved, Yellow Dirt uncovers the calculated shirking of responsibilities by the least ethical players and follows the relentless dedication of indigenous as well as legal, journalistic and scientific actors in a drama that reads almost like a John Sayles script with the Four Corners region as its backdrop.  Spanning from the dawn of the nuclear age (since just before the Manhattan Project) into the present day, Pasternak documents how mining practices that utterly ignored workers' safety, the largest accidental release of radioactive material in US history (dwarfing 3 Mile Island in PA), on top of contamination of water and soils with herbicides and heavy metals combined to tear apart the communities of the area and make of the Four Corners region a collection of extremely unsafe hotspots for residents whose high rates of cancers, lung ailments, eye and liver disorders, neuropathy and other birth defects are still being felt to this day.

The diaspora created in the wake of the (very tardy) recognition of the dangers of living on contaminated land has flung extended families far and wide, but those who have chosen to remain or return to their ancestral home are determined to restore life to a degree of health unseen in decades.  After complaints have fallen on deaf ears in the halls of power for so many years, it feels like a small victory for these people to be finally signing documents ensuring belated gov't-issued homes to replace those deemed dangerous by the EPA now that new generations have already been born and old ones have suffered silently and died surrounded by heavily contaminated walls with only the most polluted of water to drink. Reading about every inch of painful progress in the David v. Goliath struggle between some of the most powerless and vulnerable (yet mightily determined!) on this continent and some of the most blindly driven by profit, is sobering indeed, yet also a celebration of the human spirit and the fact that, as Milton Yazzie, one of many in the book who have seen their loved ones fall victim to nuclear power's dark side, says, there are 'people out there with hearts and not only dollar signs'."

Be Prepared (To Laugh, A Lot)

The Worst-Case Scenario Surival Handbook: Paranormal
On hit TV shows, in best-selling books, blockbuster films, video games, and comics, pop culture has been overrun by hordes of vampires, zombies, werewolves, ghosts, wizards, and other paranormal creatures. Luckily, the authors of the Worst-Case Scenario Survival Handbook series are back with all-new, expert advice designed to help readers fend off the furry, fanged, freaky, and frightful. This classic handbook format is packed with new illustrated instructions for crucial scenarios ranging from the domestic (How to Host a Cocktail Party When Your House is Haunted) to the scary (How to Survive a Zombie Attack in the First Day, First Week, and Long Term) to the practical (How to Break Up with a Vampire).

Take a peek inside:
The Worst-Case Scenario Survival Handbook: Paranormal                                                             

TC Tidbit: You May Be Surprised At the Authors of These Kids Bookss

Check out this list of obscure children's books by famous authors.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Jackie Loves This Debut Novel of Great Love, Great Mistakes, Great Grief and Greater Happiness

Unsaid is told from the perspective of Helena Colden, a veterinarian who has just died of breast cancer. Helena is forced to witness the rapid emotional deterioration of her husband David. With Helena's passing, David, a successful Manhattan attorney, loses the only connection that made his life full. He tries to carry on the life that Helena had created for them, but he is too grief-stricken, too angry, and too quickly reabsorbed into the demands of his career. Helena's animals likewise struggle with the loss of their understanding and compassionate human companion. Because of Helena, David becomes involved in a court case to save the life of a chimpanzee that may hold the key to unlocking the mysteries of animals consciousness. Through this case all the threads of Helena's life entwine and explode - unexpectedly, painfully, beautifully.

Jackie says:
"This book smashed into my heart like no other, and I freely admit that I sobbed uncontrollably through the last 25 pages or so. This is a story of great love, great mistakes, great grief and greater happiness.

Helena has died from breast cancer but cannot leave this world yet--her guilt holds her.  She has to make amends, and she tried to do so until her dying breath, but didn't attain her goal.  She must rely on her grieving husband to finish what she started, but that means that he must first find out about the horrifying mistake she made years ago, a hidden pain that has haunted her life, and now her death.

The role of animals in the lives of humans is a constantly reoccurring theme in this book--Helena was a vet and also, secretly, involved in exciting research regarding communication with animals.  Her death sets into motion a series of people to people meetings as well as animal to people connections, that steamroll into the ending that left me in tears.

I don't want to tell you more--I want you to read the book.  Keep the tissue box handy and just let yourself fall into the spell of this remarkable, unforgettable, stunning debut novel."

Ticket's Are Still Available For Tomorrow's Event with George R.R. Martin!

A Dance With Dragons

Dubbed “the American Tolkien” by Time magazine, George R. R. Martin has earned international acclaim for his monumental cycle of epic fantasy. Now the #1 New York Times bestselling author delivers the fifth book in his landmark series—as both familiar faces and surprising new forces vie for a foothold in a fragmented empire.

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.

Fleeing from Westeros with a price on his head, Tyrion Lannister, too, is making his way to Daenerys. But his newest allies in this quest are not the rag-tag band they seem, and at their heart lies one who could undo Daenerys’s claim to Westeros forever.

Meanwhile, to the north lies the mammoth Wall of ice and stone—a structure only as strong as those guarding it. There, Jon Snow, 998th Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch, will face his greatest challenge. For he has powerful foes not only within the Watch but also beyond, in the land of the creatures of ice.

From all corners, bitter conflicts reignite, intimate betrayals are perpetrated, and a grand cast of outlaws and priests, soldiers and skinchangers, nobles and slaves, will face seemingly insurmountable obstacles. Some will fail, others will grow in the strength of darkness. But in a time of rising restlessness, the tides of destiny and politics will lead inevitably to the greatest dance of all.

Martin will be signing books at our Historic Lodo store starting at 2:00 pm tomorrow, Sunday, July 31.

This event is a booksigning only. Mr. Martin will not be making a presentation. Free tickets for a place in the booksigning line are available with the purchase of A Dance With Dragons at any Tattered Cover location. Each ticket will admit one person into the booksigning line. Due to the number of fans we are expecting for this event, there will be no personalizations. There will be a two book limit per ticket. Mr. Martin will only sign books, he will not be able to sign memorabilia of any kind. And, although costumes are welcome, no weapons of any kind will be allowed in the store.

TC Tidbit: Jerry Lewis As "Catcher"'s Holden and More Movie AdaptationsThat Never Got Made

Check out the whole list on

Friday, July 29, 2011

Bonus TC Tidbit: The Man Booker Prize 2011 Long List

Put together by our friends at

Learn more about The Man Booker Prize here.

Wendy's Book Group Best Bets

Left Neglected
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.

 The Very Thought of You
England, 31st August 1939: The world is on the brink of war. As Hitler prepares to invade Poland, thousands of children are evacuated from London to escape the impending Blitz. Torn from her mother, eight-year-old Anna Sands is relocated with other children to a large Yorkshire estate which has been opened up to evacuees by Thomas and Elizabeth Ashton, an enigmatic, childless couple. Soon Anna gets drawn into their unraveling relationship, seeing things that are not meant for her eyes and finding herself part-witness and part-accomplice to a love affair with unforeseen consequences. A story of longing, loss, and complicated loyalties, combining a sweeping narrative with subtle psychological observation, The Very Thought of You is not just a love story but a story about love.

Ruth Rendell is widely considered to be crime fiction’s reigning queen, with a remarkable career spanning more than forty years. Now, in Portobello, she delivers a captivating and intricate tale that weaves together the troubled lives of several people in the gentrified neighborhood of London’s Notting Hill.Walking to the shops one day, fifty-year-old Eugene Wren discovers an envelope on the street bulging with cash. A man plagued by a shameful addiction—and his own good intentions—Wren hatches a plan to find the money’s rightful owner. Instead of going to the police, or taking the cash for himself, he prints a notice and posts it around Portobello Road. This ill-conceived act creates a chain of events that links Wren to other Londoners—people afflicted with their own obsessions and despairs. As these volatile characters come into Wren’s life—and the life of his trusting fiancée—the consequences will change them all.

Portobello is a wonderfully complex tour de force featuring a dazzling depiction of one of London’s most intriguing neighborhoods—and the dangers beneath its newly posh veneer.

 The Woman in the Fifth
From the New York Times bestselling author of Leaving the World and The Moment comes the riveting story of a luckless college professor for whom Paris becomes a city of mortal danger.

A runaway bestseller in the UK and France that has been made into a film starring Ethan Hawke and Kristin Scott Thomas, this suspenseful tour de force from the internationally renowned Douglas Kennedy is the quintessential sophisticated commercial novel.
Harry Ricks is a man who has lost everything. A romantic mistake at the small American college where he used to teach has cost him his job, his marriage, and the love of his only child. Hounded by scandal, he flees to Paris, where a series of accidental encounters lands him in a grubby room with a job as night watchman for a sinister operation. Just when he begins to think he has hit rock bottom, romance enters his life in the form of Margit—a cultivated, widowed Hungarian ÉmigrÉ who shares Harry's profound loneliness but who keeps her distance, remaining guarded about her past. As Harry wrestles with Margit's reticence, he begins to notice that all those who have recently done him wrong are meeting unfortunate ends—and it soon becomes apparent that he has stumbled into a nightmare from which there is no escape.

The Woman in the Fifth further establishes Douglas Kennedy as an author who "always has his brilliant finger on the entertaining parts of human sorrow, fury, and narrow escapes" (Lorrie Moore).

The Past Continually Interupts The Present According to the Author

Life on the tiny island of Guernsey has just become a whole lot harder for fifteen-year-old Cat Rozier. She’s gone from model pupil to murderer, but she swears it’s not her fault. Apparently it’s all the fault of history.

A new arrival at Cat’s high school in 1984, the beautiful and instantly popular Nicolette inexplicably takes Cat under her wing. The two become inseparable—going to parties together, checking out boys, and drinking whatever liquor they can shoplift. But a perceived betrayal sends them spinning apart, and Nic responds with cruel, over-the-top retribution.

Cat’s recently deceased father, Emile, dedicated his adult life to uncovering the truth about the Nazi occupation of Guernsey—from Churchill’s abandonment of the island to the stories of those who resisted—in hopes of repairing the reputation of his older brother, Charlie. Through Emile’s letters and Charlie’s words—recorded on tapes before his own death— a “confession” takes shape, revealing the secrets deeply woven into the fabric of the island . . . and into the Rozier family story.

The UK trailer:

TC Tidbit: A Little Ditty From Neil Gaiman

Thursday, July 28, 2011

"Anyone looking for a contemplative study of character need to read this," says April

Once Upon a River
Bonnie Jo Campbell has created an unforgettable heroine in sixteen-year-old Margo Crane, a beauty whose unflinching gaze and uncanny ability with a rifle have not made her life any easier. After the violent death of her father, in which she is complicit, Margo takes to the Stark River in her boat, with only a few supplies and a biography of Annie Oakley, in search of her vanished mother. But the river, Margo's childhood paradise, is a dangerous place for a young woman traveling alone, and she must be strong to survive, using her knowledge of the natural world and her ability to look unsparingly into the hearts of those around her. Her river odyssey through rural Michigan becomes a defining journey, one that leads her beyond self-preservation and to the decision of what price she is willing to pay for her choices.

April says:
"Margaret Louise "Margo" Crane is just like any other teenage girl in small town Michigan. Truly.  She lives on a river with her father (and her mother until her mother left) surrounded by nature and several branches of her tangled family tree.  Her grandfather, Old Man Murray, favors her above his plethora of grandsons because she can sit quietly for hours in a fishing boat.  To be frank, Margo speaks as much as a doe does.  Out of season.

Her paradise is much murkier than she knows though.  Shortly after her grandfather dies, she is raped by her uncle; and the series of repercussions leads her to the Stark River--her last solace.  On the river, Margo survives with the skills her grandfather gave her, a stolen rifle, and an obsession with Annie Oakley.

The book progresses much like a canoe trip down any river:  Regular off-beat noise of one's paddle hitting the side of the canoe, minutes without anything moving followed by thirty seconds worth of cacophony and mayhem.  There is not a lot of dialogue, but the novel never feels like the narrator is simply telling you a story.  The reader is there with her.  You can feel the water under her boat.  Margo grows as she moves from
temporary haven to temporary haven; she is smart and hard to shake.

Any Michigander who misses their home river should pick up this book.  Anyone looking for a contemplative study of character needs to read this."

A New Theory About Human Sexuality

Since Darwin's day, we've been told that sexual monogamy comes naturally to our species. Mainstream science—as well as religious and cultural institutions—has maintained that men and women evolved in families in which a man's possessions and protection were exchanged for a woman's fertility and fidelity. But this narrative is collapsing. Fewer and fewer couples are getting married, and divorce rates keep climbing as adultery and flagging libido drag down even seemingly solid marriages.

How can reality be reconciled with the accepted narrative? It can't be, according to renegade thinkers Christopher Ryan and Cacilda Jetha. While debunking almost everything we "know" about sex, they offer a bold alternative explanation in this provocative and brilliant book.

Ryan and Jetha's central contention is that human beings evolved in egalitarian groups that shared food, child care, and, often, sexual partners. Weaving together convergent, frequently overlooked evidence from anthropology, archaeology, primatology, anatomy, and psychosexuality, the authors show how far from human nature monogamy really is. Human beings everywhere and in every era have confronted the same familiar, intimate situations in surprisingly different ways. The authors expose the ancient roots of human sexuality while pointing toward a more optimistic future illuminated by our innate capacities for love, cooperation, and generosity.

With intelligence, humor, and wonder, Ryan and JethÅ show how our promiscuous past haunts our struggles over monogamy, sexual orientation, and family dynamics. They explore why long-term fidelity can be so difficult for so many; why sexual passion tends to fade even as love deepens; why many middle-aged men risk everything for transient affairs with younger women; why homosexuality persists in the face of standard evolutionary logic; and what the human body reveals about the prehistoric origins of modern sexuality.

In the tradition of the best historical and scientific writing, Sex at Dawn unapologetically upends unwarranted assumptions and unfounded conclusions while offering a revolutionary understanding of why we live and love as we do.

TC Tidbit: Jodi Picoult Is Jumping Into the YA Scene

from her Facebook page:
"Color me happy! My daughter Sammy and I JUST finished editing the young teen chapter book we co-wrote, BETWEEN THE LINES. You will all get to see it on 6/26/12 -- it's about a prince who wants to break free from his fairytale existence...and the girl who falls for him while she's reading. It's sweet and romantic and funny -- and to celebrate, we're going out for ribs!!"
Read more about it here.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Meet Rosanne Cash Tomorrow Night!

"One of the best accounts of an American life you'll likely ever read." -Julia Keller, Chicago Tribune
As moving, disarming, and elusive as one of her classic songs, Composed is Rosanne Cash's testament to the power of art, tradition, and love to transform a life. For more than three decades she has been one of the most compelling figures in popular music, having moved gracefully from Nashville stardom to critical recognition as a singer-songwriter and author of essays and short stories. Her remarkable body of work has often been noted for its emotional acuity, its rich and resonant imagery, and its unsparing honesty. Those qualities have enabled her to establish a unique intimacy with her audiences, and it is those qualities that inform her long-awaited memoir.

Cash will be discussing and signing the new paperback edition of her best selling memoir at 7:30 at our Historic Lodo store.  Free numbered tickets for a place in the booksigning line will be available at 6:30 pm. Seating for the presentation prior to the booksigning is limited, and available on a first-come, first-served basis to ticketed customers only.

Saba has spent her whole life in Silverlake, a dried-up wasteland ravaged by constant sandstorms. The Wrecker civilization has long been destroyed, leaving only landfills for Saba and her family to scavenge from. That's fine by her, as long as her beloved twin brother Lugh is around. But when a monster sandstorm arrives, along with four cloaked horsemen, Saba's world is shattered. Lugh is captured, and Saba embarks on an epic quest to get him back.

Suddenly thrown into the lawless, ugly reality of the world outside of desolate Silverlake, Saba is lost without Lugh to guide her. So perhaps the most surprising thing of all is what Saba learns about herself: she's a fierce fighter, an unbeatable survivor, and a cunning opponent. And she has the power to take down a corrupt society from the inside. Teamed up with a handsome daredevil named Jack and a gang of girl revolutionaries called the Free Hawks, Saba stages a showdown that will change the course of her own civilization.

Blood Red Road has a searing pace, a poetically minimal writing style, violent action, and an epic love story. Moira Young is one of the most promising and startling new voices in teen fiction.

TC Tidbit: Wow! We Are Grateful and Flattered!

Tattered Cover got a VERY nice mention is this story about The Top Facebook Pages For Book Lovers!

Check out the article here.

Visit our Facebook page here.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Classic Pete and His Coffee Table

Boris Pasternak's Dr. Zhivago is one book on my coffee table that I haven't read. In fact, I haven't read what's considered a classic book in quite some time. There was a bad experience a few years back with James Joyce's Ulysses. I couldn't understand what he was writing and would have rather gone to a drunken dentist than read another page. So I rented the movie and was equally dumbfounded. Next I tried Nabokov's Lolita, which I could understand. I just didn't like it. Luckily the movie was okay. My saving grace was Joseph Heller's Catch-22. I thought that one was hysterical and made for a pretty good movie as well.

So here is Dr. Zhivago, the book I'm always going to read next but never do. Sometimes I set my dinner plate on it and sometimes a cup of coffee. Sometimes I shift its position and sometimes I glance at the book jacket. But will I ever read it? Maybe next, maybe not.

What else is on my coffee table? I have What Would Buddha Do? Answers to Life's Daily Dilemmas by Franz Metcalf (Buddha is no help when it comes to James Joyce). And then there's an autographed copy of The Lady Matador's Hotel by Cristina Garcia (a prized possession to be sure). I also have the movie tie-in version of One Day by David Nicholls. And last but not least I have an actual dictionary that I actually still use -- and also set my coffee on.


When Dreams Don't Quite Play Out As Planned

Stone Arabia, Dana Spiotta's moving and intrepid third novel, is about family, obsession, memory, and the urge to create—in isolation, at the margins of our winner-take-all culture.

In the sibling relationship, "there are no first impressions, no seductions, no getting to know each other," says Denise Kranis. For her and her brother, Nik, now in their forties, no relationship is more significant. They grew up in Los Angeles in the late seventies and early eighties. Nik was always the artist, always wrote music, always had a band. Now he makes his art in private, obsessively documenting the work, but never testing it in the world. Denise remains Nik's most passionate and acute audience, sometimes his only audience. She is also her family's first defense against the world's fragility. Friends die, their mother's memory and mind unravel, and the news of global catastrophe and individual tragedy haunts Denise. When her daughter, Ada, decides to make a film about Nik, everyone's vulnerabilities seem to escalate.

Dana Spiotta has established herself as a "singularly powerful and provocative writer" (The Boston Globe) whose work is fiercely original. Stone Arabia—riveting, unnerving, and strangely beautiful—reexamines what it means to be an artist and redefines the ties that bind.

TC Tidbit: These Are Fighting Words!

Read more about the game here.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Bonus TC Tidbit: One HOT Poster for The Upcoming Hunger Games Movie

The "motion" version of this offical Hunger Games poster is amazing...and very noisy.  So we've taken it off of BTC  but never fear, here's a link for you to see it in all of its flaming glory. 

My No-Looking-Back Foray into Dystopian Fantasy with "The Hunger Games"

Heather, our Director of Marketing  at TC,  talks about her immersion into the world of  The Hunger Games Trilogy:

I'll begin by saying that, in addition to as much adult sci fi and fantasy I can find the time to read, I do read quite a bit of Middle Grade and Young Adult (YA) literature in the same genres. However, until I read the Hunger GamesTrilogy by Suzanne Collins, I hadn't read much in the way of "dystopian fantasy." I actually hadn't planned on reading The Hunger Games (I had heard it was extremely violent, not generally my cup of tea), though it had been recommended to me by many TC staff members who know what I like to read.

Well, low and behold, my book club, which is a group of 40 to 50-something professionals and moms, that had a hard time picking The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. Le Guin (one of the rare sci fi novels I've been able to sneak onto our reading list, and one of the best novels, sci fi or otherwise, out there) decided to read The Hunger Games.

My sister, a member of my book club, who finished The Hunger Games before I'd even picked it up, warned me that once I started reading, I wouldn't be able to stop with the first novel. So, taking her advice, I made sure I had the whole trilogy on hand when I started reading. Three or four days later, with one marathon reading day included, I wistfully finished the last page of Mockingjay, the third book in the series. (By the way, Book Two in the series is Catching Fire.)

The books ARE extremely violent. But not overwhelmingly or gratuitously so. The world of Katniss Everdeen (the teen heroine of the story), and the unspeakable horror that is the "hunger games" of the title, completely captured my imagination. Suzanne Collins is a wonderful, descriptive writer, and her characters are true, believable people. I like stories where good and evil aren't always black and white, and where choices have both good and bad consequences. Collins delivers such a story, and more.

So, now of course, I'm hooked. Next up, Divergent by Veronica Roth, which another TC staffer (one of those always recommending The Hunger Games) says is a must read. After that, who knows? Any and all suggestions are welcome!


"The lineup of writers who have contributed to this mystery is akin to the Murderers' Row of the 1927 New York Yankees. There is not a weak spot in the bunch." —David Baldacci

More than twenty New York Times bestselling authors team up to create a first-rate serial novel -- a collaboration that combines the skills of America's greatest storytellers to produce a gripping, spellbinding mystery.

"The lineup of writers who have contributed to this mystery is akin to the Murderers' Row of the 1927 New York Yankees. There is not a weak spot in the bunch."
—David Baldacci, from the Introduction

Alexander McCall Smith. Sandra Brown. Faye Kellerman. J.A. Jance. Jeffery Deaver. Kathy Reichs. Lisa Scottoline. Jeff Lindsay. These are only a handful of the names that make up the all-star lineup of authors behind No Rest for the Dead, a tale of vengeance, greed, and love that flows seamlessly, in the words of David Baldacci, "as it passes from one creator's mind to the next."

When Christopher Thomas, a ruthless curator at San Francisco's McFall Art Museum, is murdered and his decaying body is found in an iron maiden in a Berlin museum, his wife, Rosemary, is the primary suspect, and she is tried, convicted and executed. Ten years later, Jon Nunn, the detective who cracked the case, is convinced that the wrong person was put to death. In the years since the case was closed, he's discovered a web of deceit and betrayal surrounding the Thomases that could implicate any number of people in the crime. With the help of the dead woman's friend, he plans to gather everyone who was there the night Christopher died and finally uncover the truth, suspect by suspect. Solving this case may be Nunn's last chance for redemption … but the shadowy forces behind Christopher's death will stop at nothing to silence the past forever.

In this innovative storytelling approach, each of these twenty-five bestselling writers brings their distinctive voice to a chapter of the narrative, building the tension to a shocking, explosive finale. No Rest for the Dead is a thrilling, page-turning accomplishment that only America's very best authors could achieve.

From the Introduction of No Rest for the Dead:

There is always that case, the one that keeps me awake at night, the one that got away. It'll always be there, gnawing at the edges of my mind. It doesn't matter that ten years have passed, it doesn't matter that the case is officially closed. An innocent woman was executed, I was the one who helped make it happen, and on the sad night when the needle was inserted into her arm, injecting her with death, part of my life ended too.
It never felt right, never made sense. Sure, there was motive and opportunity, there was the physical evidence. But if you met her, if you knew her the way I got to know her . . . It wasn't until later, after I'd taken a step back from the case, that I realized it had angles I hadn't seen, layers I hadn't uncovered, back when it mattered, back when I could have saved her….

With contributions from:David Baldacci (Introduction)
Jeff Abbott
Lori Armstrong
Sandra Brown
Thomas Cook
Jeffery Deaver
Diana Gabaldon
Tess Gerritsen
Andrew F. Gulli
Peter James
J.A. Jance
Faye Kellerman
Raymond Khoury
John Lescroart
Jeff Lindsay
Gayle Lynds
Philip Margolin
Alexander McCall Smith
Michael Palmer
T. Jefferson Parker
Matthew Pearl
Kathy Reichs
Marcus Sakey
Jonathan Santlofer
Lisa Scottoline
R.L. Stine
Marcia Talley

TC Tidbit: "Under the Banner of Heaven" To Become a Movie

Under the Banner of Heaven

Read about it here.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Charlie Joe's Tip #10: It's Easy to Convince Others That You Do In Fact Read, Even If You Do In Fact Don't

Charlie Joe Jackson's Guide To Not Reading

Charlie Joe Jackson may be the most reluctant reader ever born. And so far, he’s managed to get through life without ever reading an entire book from cover to cover. But now that he’s in middle school, avoiding reading isn’t as easy as it used to be. And when his friend Timmy McGibney decides that he’s tired of covering for him, Charlie Joe finds himself resorting to desperate measures to keep his perfect record intact.This is the hilarious story of an avid non-reader and the extreme lengths to which he’ll go to get out of reading a book.

Jackie says:
"Charlie Joe Jackson REALLY hates to read.  For twelve glorious years he has managed to avoid it almost completely (exception: Shel Silverstein's The Giving Tree because it only has 62 words).  But middle school is proving difficult ground to manipulate his way around the written word.  It doesn't help that his best book-reading buddy has begun to blackmail him, and now there are girls to pay attention to too.  But Charlie Joe comes up with a daring master plan that almost works.  This is a quick and fun read for an adult and has plenty of laughs to keep a reluctant reader, especially a boy, turning the pages."

New International Mystery Series Begins!

Killed at the Whim of a Hat
The launch of a brand new series by the internationally bestselling, critically acclaimed author of The Coroner's Lunch 

With worldwide critical acclaim, Colin Cotterill is one of the most highly regarded "cult favorite" crime writers today. Now, with this new series, Cotterill is poised to break into the mainstream. Set in present day rural Thailand, Cotterill is as sharp and witty, yet more engaging and charming, than ever before.

Jimm Juree was a crime reporter for the Chiang Mai Daily Mail with a somewhat eccentric family--a mother who might be drifting mentally; a grandfather--a retired cop--who rarely talks; a younger brother obsessed with body-building, and a transgendered, former beauty pageant queen, former older brother. When Jimm is forced to follow her family to a rural village on the coast of Southern Thailand, she's convinced her career--maybe her life--is over. So when a van containing the skeletal remains of two hippies, one of them wearing a hat, is inexplicably unearthed in a local farmer's field, Jimm is thrilled. Shortly thereafter an abbot at a local Buddhist temple is viciously murdered, with the temple's monk and nun the only suspects. Suddenly Jimm's new life becomes somewhat more promising--and a lot more deadly. And if Jimm is to make the most of this opportunity, and unravel the mysteries that underlie these inexplicable events, it will take luck, perseverance, and the help of her entire family.

Read an article with Cotterill talking about his new series.

TC Tidbit: The Winners of the Wimpy Kid DIY Comics Contest

See them all here.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

A Memoir and Much, Much More

A beautifully written and darkly funny journey through the world of the allergic.

Like twelve million other Americans, Sandra Beasley suffers from food allergies. Her allergies—severe and lifelong—include dairy, egg, soy, beef, shrimp, pine nuts, cucumbers, cantaloupe, honeydew, mango, macadamias, pistachios, cashews, swordfish, and mustard. Add to that mold, dust, grass and tree pollen, cigarette smoke, dogs, rabbits, horses, and wool, and it’s no wonder Sandra felt she had to live her life as “Allergy Girl.” When butter is deadly and eggs can make your throat swell shut, cupcakes and other treats of childhood are out of the question—and so Sandra’s mother used to warn guests against a toxic, frosting-tinged kiss with “Don’t kill the birthday girl!”

It may seem that such a person is “not really designed to survive,” as one blunt nutritionist declared while visiting Sandra’s fourth-grade class. But Sandra has not only survived, she’s thrived—now an essayist, editor, and award-winning poet, she has learned to navigate a world in which danger can lurk in an unassuming corn chip. Don’t Kill the Birthday Girl is her story.

With candor, wit, and a journalist’s curiosity, Sandra draws on her own experiences while covering the scientific, cultural, and sociological terrain of allergies. She explains exactly what an allergy is, describes surviving a family reunion in heart-of-Texas beef country with her vegetarian sister, delves into how being allergic has affected her romantic relationships, exposes the dark side of Benadryl, explains how parents can work with schools to protect their allergic children, and details how people with allergies should advocate for themselves in a restaurant.

A compelling mix of memoir, cultural history, and science, Don’t Kill the Birthday Girl is mandatory reading for the millions of families navigating the world of allergies—and a not-to-be-missed literary treat for the rest of us.

Jackie says:
"It was the title that caught me.  I was just going to skim through it to get an overview, but I quickly got pulled in by Beasley's honest and quirky writing style as well as the amazing amount of information that she's packed into this book.  I've been affiliated with the food industry for a big chunk of my life, and the issues covered in this book address that side of things, as well as the terrifying realities of living with multiple and severe food allergies.

Beasley really got the short end of the stick when it comes to allergies--the title refers to the idea that she can't even eat her own birthday cake at her parties, she can't even be kissed on the cheek by someone who did without getting a kiss shaped hive from it.  Her salad, cut up special for her but, alas, with a knife that had also been used to cut cheese leaves her curled up fighting for breath and consciousness on a secluded couch at a wedding reception.  Nightmare scenarios abound.  But she's got a great attitude about it, though she must always, always, always be hyper vigilant and questioning of just about everything to keep herself safe.  Despite all of this, she was a food writer for a couple of years, and she's very good about adding all sorts of background to the foods and why they cause allergic reactions in some, as well as just a general history of food that I found very interesting.

This book really opened my eyes to a whole lot of dangers and difficulties suffered by the allergic, and has increased my compassion level and sensitivity significantly. It's very well written, and very worthy of a read by just about everyone."

The First in a New House of Night Mini-Series of Novellas

Dragon's Oath

The first in an enthralling new mini-series of novellas from the #1 bestselling authors of the House of Night, Dragon’s Oath tells the story behind the House of Night’s formidable fencing instructor – the love that will transform him, and the promise that will haunt him.

In early 19th century England, long before he’s a professor at the Tulsa House of Night, Bryan Lankford is a troublesome yet talented human teen who thinks he can get away with anything… until his father, a wealthy nobleman, has finally had enough, and banishes him to America. When Bryan is Marked on the docks and given the choice between the London House of Night and the dragon-prowed ship to America, he chooses the Dragon – and a brand new fate.

Becoming a Fledgling may be exciting, but it opens a door to a dangerous world.... In 1830’s St. Louis, the Gateway to the West, Dragon Lankford becomes a Sword Master, and soon realizes there are both frightening challenges and beautiful perks. Like Anastasia, the captivating young Professor of Spells and Rituals at the Tower Grove House of Night, who really should have nothing to do with a fledgling…
But when a dark power threatens, Dragon is caught in its focus. Though his uncanny fighting skills make him a powerful fledgling, is he strong enough to ward off evil, while protecting Anastasia as well? Will his choices save her—or destroy them all?

TC Tidbits: The Best of the Harry Potter Spoofs

from our friends at

Friday, July 22, 2011

Local Author Jennifer Petkus Is Dead On With Her New Mystery Series

Good Cop, Dead Cop
Alex Munroe hated being dead, but he hated not being a cop even more. Luckily the discovery of the afterlife means death isn't quite the disability it once was and new technology has allowed him to partner with rookie cop Linda Yamaguchi. Of course technology still can't give him a physical body or the ability to interact with the billions of other dead people, except through the Internet. But technology has allowed Alex to expand his mind and access the world of information in ways he would have never thought possible when alive, which is a useful skill when the dead start to go missing, and it's up to Alex and Linda to solve the mystery of their disappearance.

Read an excerpt here.

Jackie is just RAVING about this book, saying:
"Jennifer Petkus is a Denver author who is doing the city proud, and I'm not just saying that because Tattered Cover plays a roll in the book.  The concept of this book is absolutely brilliant--the afterlife has been discovered, teeming with all the people who have ever died.  Until just recently, they had no way to talk to each other let alone the living world, and sadly, many have gone insane from the isolation.  But now the internet is able to help--these disembodied folks can sign on to Afternet with their energy signatures and communicate with the world and each other.  Some are even employed like police officer Alex Monroe, who works with a living partner, Linda, getting disembodied witnesses statements, doing special surveillance (he is invisible, after all), etc.  Alex and Linda start to get reports of missing disembodied people and discover a sinister plot against the dead--because the disembodied can't move through physical objects, they can be trapped.  Someone is doing just that to thousands of people.

This book has it all--humor, action, bits of philosophy and social/cultural commentary, a science-geek level of very plausible and fascinating sci-fi details that make the mind race--and it's very hard to put down once you open its covers.  I'm going to be handselling this book like crazy, it is so fresh, intelligent and engaging that I can't imagine this staying a hometown book for long.  Five stars just aren't enough!  READ THIS BOOK!"

Meet The Author Tonight!!!

Gabriel Allon has been hailed as the most compelling creation since “Ian Fleming put down his martini and invented James Bond” (Rocky Mountain News). A man with a deep appreciation for all that is beautiful, Gabriel is also an angel of vengeance, an international operative who will stop at nothing to see justice done. Sometimes he must journey far in search of evil. And sometimes evil comes to him.

In a dangerous world, one extraordinary woman can mean the difference between life and death. . . .
For Gabriel and his wife, Chiara, it was supposed to be the start of a pleasant weekend in London—a visit to a gallery in St. James’s to authenticate a newly discovered painting by Titian, followed by a quiet lunch. But a pair of deadly bombings in Paris and Copenhagen has already marred this autumn day. And while walking toward Covent Garden, Gabriel notices a man he believes is about to carry out a third attack. Before Gabriel can draw his weapon, he is knocked to the pavement and can only watch as the nightmare unfolds.

Haunted by his failure to stop the massacre of innocents, Gabriel returns to his isolated cottage on the cliffs of Cornwall, until a summons brings him to Washington and he is drawn into a confrontation with the new face of global terror. At the center of the threat is an American-born cleric in Yemen to whom Allah has granted “a beautiful and seductive tongue.” A gifted deceiver, who was once a paid CIA asset, the mastermind is plotting a new wave of attacks.

Gabriel and his team devise a daring plan to destroy the network of death from the inside, a gambit fraught with risk, both personal and professional. To succeed, Gabriel must reach into his violent past. A woman waits there—a reclusive heiress and art collector who can traverse the murky divide between Islam and the West. She is the daughter of an old enemy, a woman joined to Gabriel by a trail of blood. . . .

Set against the disparate worlds of art and intelligence, Portrait of a Spy moves swiftly from the corridors of power in Washington to the glamorous auction houses of New York and London to the unforgiving landscape of the Saudi desert. Featuring a climax that will leave readers haunted long after they turn the final page, this deeply entertaining story is also a breathtaking portrait of courage in the face of unspeakable evil—and Daniel Silva’s most extraordinary novel to date.

This was filmed a couple of years ago, but Silva has some interesting things to say about his writing process:

TONIGHT.    Free numbered tickets for a place in the booksigning line will be available at 6:30 pm. Seating for the presentation prior to the booksigning is limited, and available on a first-come, first-served basis to ticketed customers only.

TC Tidbit: The 100 Most Beautiful Words in the English Language

at least according to

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Bonus Tidbit: Happy Birthday Pooh!!!

90 years old today! 

Living "Chamara" Isn't Easy

Chamara is difficult to translate from Korean to English: To stand it, to bear it, to grit your teeth and not cry out? To hold on, to wait until the worst is over? Such is the burden Samuel Park’s audacious, beautiful, and strong heroine, Soo-Ja Choi, faces in This Burns My Heart, an epic love story set in the intriguing landscape of postwar South Korea. On the eve of marriage to her weak, timid fiancé, Soo-Ja falls in love with a young medical student. But out of duty to her family and her culture she turns him away, choosing instead a world that leaves her trapped by suffocating customs.

In a country torn between past and present, Soo-Ja struggles to find happiness in a loveless marriage and to carve out a successful future for her only daughter. Forced by tradition to move in with her in-laws, she must navigate the dangers of a cruel household and pay the price of choosing the wrong husband. Meanwhile, the man she truly loves remains a lurking shadow in her life, reminding her constantly of the love she could have had.

Will Soo-Ja find a way to reunite with her one true love or be forced to live out her days wondering “what if ” and begin to fully understand the meaning of chamara?

He is not just telling her to stand the pain, but giving her comfort, the power to do so. Chamara is an incantation, and if she listens to its sound, she believes that she can do it, that she will push through this sadness. And if she is strong about it, she’ll be rewarded in the end. It is a way of saying, I know, I feel it, too. This burns my heart, too.

Read a Q&A with the author here.

Does your book club want a chance to chat with Samuel Park?  Find out how they can here.

TC Tidbit: The Cast for "Gods Behaving Badly"

Christopher Walken as Zeus and more interesting casting choices.  Read about them HERE.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

"Frankly, I'm in awe of this collection," says Jackie

Alethea Black's deeply moving and wholly original debut features a coterie of memorable characters who have reached emotional crossroads in their lives. Brimming with humor, irony, and insights about the unpredictable nature of life, the unbearable beauty of fate, and the power that one moment, or one decision, can have to transform us, I Knew You'd Be Lovely delivers that rare thing—stories with both an edge and a heart.

Read a piece by Alethea Black about writing this book on (there are some bonuses to be had there as well).

Jackie says:
"If every short story writer was able to write with such succinct intensity and blazing purity of message, I'd be a much bigger fan of the genre.  At the very least, I am now a HUGE fan of debut author Alethea Black.  There are thirteen stories in this amazingly slim volume, but the quality of reading experience for each and every one of them rivals many novels that are told in ten times the pages.  She is able to use just a few words to convey a highly charged emotional setting, getting you completely invested in the characters within a couple of paragraphs.  Frankly, I'm in awe of this collection, and cannot recommend it highly enough.  I especially loved the author's notes section at the end of the book where she explains her inspiration for every story. I also think this would be a great read for a book club--there are an amazing number of issues covered in these stories should lead to some very lively discussions."

A Fresh Batch of Wendy's Book Club Suggestions

Corduroy Mansions
A delightful new setting—London—a wonderful new cast of characters and one incredibly clever dog.

Corduroy Mansions is the affectionate nickname given to a genteel, crumbling mansion block in London’s vibrant Pimlico neighborhood and the home turf of a captivating collection of quirky and altogether McCall-Smithian characters. There’s the middle-aged wine merchant William, who’s trying to convince his reluctant twenty-four-year-old son, Eddie, to leave the nest; and Marcia, the boutique caterer who has her sights set on William. There’s also the (justifiably) much-loathed Member of Parliament Oedipus Snark; his mother, Berthea, who’s writing his biography and hating every minute of it; and his long-suffering girlfriend, Barbara, a literary agent who would like to be his wife (but, then, she’d like to be almost anyone’s wife). There’s the vitamin evangelist, the psychoanalyst, the art student with a puzzling boyfriend and Freddie de la Hay, the Pimlico terrier who insists on wearing a seat belt and is almost certainly the only avowed vegetarian canine in London.

Filled with the ins and outs of neighborliness in all its unexpected variations, Corduroy Mansions showcases the life, laughter and humanity that have become the hallmarks of Alexander McCall Smith’s work.
(Get the reading guide here.)

 The Lake Shore Limited
Four unforgettable characters beckon you into this spellbinding new novel from Sue Miller, the author of 2008’s heralded best seller The Senator’s Wife. First among them is Wilhelmina—Billy—Gertz, small as a child, fiercely independent, powerfully committed to her work as a playwright. The story itself centers on The Lake Shore Limited—a play Billy has written about an imagined terrorist bombing of that train as it pulls into Union Station in Chicago, and about a man waiting to hear the fate of his estranged wife, who is traveling on it. Billy had waited in just such a way on 9/11 to hear whether her lover, Gus, was on one of the planes used in the attack.

The novel moves from the snow-filled woods of Vermont to the rainy brick sidewalks of Boston as the lives of the other characters intersect and interweave with Billy’s: Leslie, Gus’s sister, still driven by grief years after her brother’s death; Rafe, the actor who rises to greatness in a performance inspired by a night of incandescent lovemaking; and Sam, a man irresistibly drawn to Billy after he sees the play that so clearly displays the terrible conflicts and ambivalence of her situation.

How Billy has come to create the play out of these emotions, how it is then created anew on the stage, how the performance itself touches and changes the other characters’ lives—these form the thread that binds them all together and drives the novel compulsively forward.

A powerful love story; a mesmerizing tale of entanglements, connections, and inconsolable losses; a marvelous reflection on the meaning of grace and the uses of sorrow, in life and in art: The Lake Shore Limited is Sue Miller at her dazzling best.
(Get the reading guide here.)

Red Hook Road
In the aftermath of a devastating wedding day, two families, the Tetherlys and the Copakens, find their lives unraveled by unthinkable loss. Over the course of the next four summers in Red Hook, Maine, they struggle to bridge differences of class and background to honor the memory of the couple, Becca and John. As Waldman explores the unique and personal ways in which each character responds to the tragedy—from the budding romance between the two surviving children, Ruthie and Matt, to the struggling marriage between Iris, a high strung professor in New York, and her husband Daniel—she creates a powerful family portrait and a beautiful reminder of the joys of life.
(Get the reading guide here.)

The Tiger
A gripping story of man pitted against nature’s most fearsome and efficient predator.

Outside a remote village in Russia’s Far East a man-eating tiger is on the prowl. The tiger isn’t just killing people, it’s murdering them, almost as if it has a vendetta. A team of trackers is dispatched to hunt down the tiger before it strikes again. They know the creature is cunning, injured, and starving, making it even more dangerous. As John Vaillant re-creates these extraordinary events, he gives us an unforgettable and masterful work of narrative nonfiction that combines a riveting portrait of a stark and mysterious region of the world and its people, with the natural history of nature’s most deadly predator.
(Get the reading guide here.)

Games to Play After Dark
When Kate and Colin meet at a party in Manhattan their connection is electric. They marry quickly, moving to the suburbs, and in the light of day they seem like any young couple, but the games they play after dark are far from routine.
(Get the reading guide here.)

American Music
Honor is a physical therapist with a mysterious patient in Milo, the Iraq war veteran whose destroyed back is the only testament to his emotional scars. When Honor touches him, she and Milo are overwhelmed by startling visions of the past: Of 1930s New York, where a young marriage is tested by the arrival of an intriguing cousin; of a female photographer whose life's work is irrevocably stolen; of a young mother determined to make it on her own; and of 17th-century Turkey, where the forbidden love affair of a eunuch and the sultan’s concubine threatens a tragic end. As the stories converge in a crescendo of revelations, they bring Honor and Milo closer to healing and understanding. A breathtaking mystery and meditation on love, American Music is a compassionate and wondrous novel.
(Get the reading guide here.)