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Imbolo Mbue’s Debut Novel, a Bets On Pick, Exposes Trapdoors in the American Dream

BEHOLD THE DREAMERS revisits the financial crisis of 2008 through the eyes of an immigrant couple making a new life in America.

How Well Do You Know the Couple Next Door? Your Spouse? Or Even Yourself?

This Bets On title, Shari Lepena's debut thriller, is a twisty, rollercoaster ride of lies, betrayal, and the secrets between husbands and wives.

We're Betting You'll Love This Deft Blend of Mystery, Romance and New York City History

Debut novelist Fiona Davis dives into the history of the Barbizon Hotel through the eyes of a journalist obsessed with a decades-old murder.

Louise Penny Returns to the Mystery Scene with Her 12th Chief Inspector Gamache Novel

In A GREAT RECKONING, which follows a crime of corruption and compassion, an old map is the catalyst to uncovering shattering secrets.

THE NIX Explores the Resilience of Love and Home, Even in Times of Radical Change

Nathan Hill's first novel takes readers from the suburban Midwest to New York City to the 1968 riots that rocked Chicago and beyond.

Elizabeth Letts Goes Behind Enemy Lines to Tell the Story of Nazi War Horses

From the author of THE EIGHTY-DOLLAR CHAMPION comes THE PERFECT HORSE, a tale of rescue, adventure, courage and sacrifice.

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Bookreporter.com's Summer Reading Feature

All summer long, we at Bookreporter.com have been sharing some great summer book picks with our Summer Reading Feature. While our series of 24-hour contests have ended, we encourage you to take a look at our featured titles for some sizzling summer reading ideas. And click here to see the winners of our 52(!) contests.


Debut Suspense/Thriller Author Spotlight: WE ARE UNPREPARED by Meg Little Reilly

Ash and Pia move from hipster Brooklyn to rustic Vermont in search of a more authentic life. But just months after settling in, the forecast of a superstorm disrupts their dream. Fear of an impending disaster splits their tight-knit community and exposes the cracks in their marriage. Where Isole was once a place of old farm families, rednecks and transplants, it now divides into paranoid preppers, religious fanatics and government tools, each at odds about what course to take.


Bookreporter.com Bets On: BEHOLD THE DREAMERS by Imbolo Mbue

I had the pleasure of hearing Imbolo Mbue present her debut novel, BEHOLD THE DREAMERS, a few months ago. Two minutes into her presentation, I found myself racing to get a copy of thebook. Shedrew me in from the first page; I barely looked up as I read. It’s the story of Jende and Neni Jonga, a young Cameroonian couple living in Harlem who are making a new life in New York just as the Great Recession upends the economy. Jende wants his six-year-old son to have the best of what America has to offer --- an education and opportunity. But Jende lacks the papers to get a legal job.


Bookreporter.com Bets On: THE COUPLE NEXT DOOR by Shari Lapena

In her debut thriller, THE COUPLE NEXT DOOR, Shari Lapena took me on a ride where every turn brought a twist that propelled the story into a new direction. Some were more subtle than others, but each time I thought Just keep reading. I was 100 pages in one night before I looked up, devoured another 200 pages the following morning, and then raced home to finish it. Most chapters had cliffhanger endings that made me turn the page and say “More!”
 

Bookreporter.com Bets On: THE DOLLHOUSE by Fiona Davis

When I worked at Mademoiselle, the Barbizon Hotel was legendary as our Guest Editors stayed there. Thus, when THE DOLLHOUSE by Fiona Davis came across my desk, I was eager to read it. The history of the hotel is woven into a modern-day story. When the hotel was converted into high-end condos, a limited number of apartments were allocated for longtime residents. A story about one of these fictitious tenants, Darby McLaughlin,forms one of the narratives in the book. The other is of a modern-day woman, Rose Lewin, who is at a crossroads in her life. How their stories intertwine includes a mystery that has its roots back in the 1950s.

Latest Reviews

In THE GIRL WITH THE LOWER BACK TATTOO, Emmy Award-winning comedian, actress and writer Amy Schumer mines her past for stories about her teenage years, her family, relationships and sex, and shares the experiences that have shaped who she is --- a woman with the courage to bare her soul to stand up for what she believes in, all while making us laugh. Ranging from the raucous to the romantic, the heartfelt to the harrowing, this highly entertaining and universally appealing collection is the literary equivalent of a night out with your best friend.

The One Man by Andrew Gross - Historical Thriller

Poland, 1944. Alfred Mendl and his family are brought on a crowded train to a Nazi concentration camp after being caught trying to flee Paris with forged papers. A renowned physicist, Mendl holds knowledge that only two people in the world possess. And the other is already at work for the Nazi war machine. In Washington, DC, Intelligence lieutenant Nathan Blum routinely decodes messages from occupied Poland. But never did he expect the proposal he receives from “Wild” Bill Donovan, head of the OSS: to sneak into the most guarded place on earth on a mission to find and escape with one man --- the one man the Allies believe can ensure them victory in the war.

We may love books, but do we know what lies behind them? In THE BOOK, Keith Houston reveals that the paper, ink, thread, glue and board from which a book is made tell as rich a story as the words on its pages --- of civilizations, empires, human ingenuity and madness. In an invitingly tactile history of this 2,000-year-old medium, Houston follows the development of writing, printing, the art of illustrations and binding to show how we have moved from cuneiform tablets and papyrus scrolls to the hardcovers and paperbacks of today.

Nothing is simple when you’re 35th in line for the British crown, least of all marriage. But with love on their side and plans to elope, Lady Georgiana Rannoch and her beau, Darcy O’Mara, hope to bypass a few royal rules. Throwing their cares to the wind, nothing could deter them from their mission --- except the news that Georgie’s future father-in-law has just been arrested for the murder of a wealthy American. With the elopement postponed, they head for Ireland where Darcy’s father insists he’s innocent, and it’s up to Georgie and Darcy to prove it --- for better or worse.

What the Kennedys are to politics, the Mannings are to football. Two generations have produced three NFL superstars: Archie Manning, the Ole Miss hero–turned–New Orleans Saint; his son Peyton, widely considered one of the greatest quarterbacks ever to play the game; and Peyton’s younger brother, Eli, who won two Super Bowl rings of his own. And the oldest Manning child, Cooper --- who was forced to quit playing sports after he was diagnosed at age 18 with a rare spinal condition --- might have been the most talented of them all. In THE MANNINGS, longtime Sports Illustrated writer Lars Anderson gives us, for the first time, the never-before-told story of this singular athletic dynasty.

Clyde Barr has been away from Colorado’s thick forests, alpine deserts and craggy peaks for 16 years, running from a past filled with haunting memories. But now he’s back, having roamed across three continents as a hunter, adventurer, soldier of fortune and, most recently, unjustly imprisoned convict. And once again, his past is reaching out to claim him. By the light of a flickering campfire, Clyde receives a frantic phone call from his sister, Jen. No sooner has she pleaded with him to come rescue her than the line goes dead. Clyde doesn’t know how much time he has, where Jen is located, or even who has her. All he knows is that nothing short of dying will stop him from saving her.

The Widower's Wife by Cate Holahan - Mystery/Thriller

Ana Bacon, a young housewife, tumbles off a cruise ship into the dark and deadly waters. But did she take her secrets with her? Investigator Ryan Monahan is a numbers man. So when his company sends him the Bacon case, which could net a $10-million payout, Monahan doubts that her death is just a tragic accident. But the husband has a substantial alibi, and a number of witnesses claim to have seen Ana fall. So the official ruling seems to be substantiated. Still, the more Monahan uncovers about Ana’s life, the more he realizes how many people would kill to keep her secrets hidden. And the closer he gets to the truth, the greater the odds grow that he, too, will take a fatal fall.

Repo Madness by W. Bruce Cameron - Mystery/Humor

Ruddy McCann, former college football star, now Michigan repo man, is finally getting his life back on track. He has a beautiful fianceé, Katie Lottner, a somewhat stable job stealing cars and a lazy, lovable basset hound. With his job suddenly in jeopardy, his fiancé wanting a break and a new court-ordered psychiatrist insisting he take his medication, Ruddy finds himself missing the one thing he thought he would be happy to be rid of --- the voice of Alan Lottner, dead realtor and Ruddy's future father-in-law. When Ruddy finds out that the tragedy defining his life may be a lie, he soon discovers that his own redemption may be within reach. Alan's voice returns, and Ruddy and Alan work together to bring down a corrupt banker, win back Katie's love and stop a serial killer before he can strike again.

The American Girl by Kate Horsley - Psychological Thriller/Mystery

Seventeen-year-old American exchange student Quinn Perkins stumbles out of the woods near the small French town of St. Roch. Barefoot, bloodied and unable to say what has happened to her, Quinn’s appearance creates quite a stir, especially since the Blavettes --- the French family with whom she’s been staying --- have mysteriously disappeared. Now the media, and everyone in the idyllic village, are wondering if the American girl had anything to do with her host family’s disappearance. When she is arrested for the murders of the Blavette family, she finds an unlikely ally in journalist Molly Swift, who must unravel the disturbing secrets of the town’s past in an effort to clear Quinn’s name.

Yongju is an accomplished student from one of North Korea's most prominent families. Jangmi, on the other hand, has had to fend for herself since childhood, most recently by smuggling goods across the border. Then there is Danny, a Chinese-American teenager whose quirks and precocious intelligence have long made him an outcast in his California high school. These three disparate lives converge when they flee their homes, finding themselves in a small Chinese town just across the river from North Korea. But will they find their way to the better lives they risked everything for?

At just 47 years old, William Giraldi’s father was killed in a horrific motorcycle crash while racing on a country road. This tragedy, which forever altered the young Giraldi and devastated his family, provides the pulse for THE HERO’S BODY. In the tradition of Andre Dubus III’s TOWNIE, this is a deep-seeing investigation into two generations of men from the working-class town of Manville, New Jersey, including Giraldi’s own forays into obsessive bodybuilding as a teenager desperate to be worthy of his family’s pitiless, exacting codes of manhood.

Secrets of Nanreath Hall by Alix Rickloff - Historical Fiction

Back in England after the harrowing evacuation at Dunkirk, WWII Red Cross nurse Anna Trenowyth is shocked to learn that her adoptive parents have been killed in an air raid. She desperately needs their advice as she’s been assigned to the military hospital that has set up camp inside her biological mother’s childhood home --- Nanreath Hall. Anna was just six years old when her mother, Lady Katherine Trenowyth, died. All she has left are vague memories that tease her with clues she can’t unravel. Anna’s assignment to Nanreath Hall could be the chance for her to finally become acquainted with the family she’s never known --- and to unbury the truth and secrets surrounding her past.