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End-of-the-Year Contest 2019

End-of-the-Year Celebration

End-of-the-Year Contest 2019

We are thrilled to announce a very special contest featuring Carol Fitzgerald’s Bookreporter.com Bets On picks from 2019. One Grand Prize winner will be awarded all 52 books, while 13 other winners will receive a selection of four of these titles.

Winners

GRAND PRIZE WINNER:
Elizabeth S. from Oak Park, IL

SECOND PRIZE WINNERS:
Claire S. from Murrells Inlet, SC
Debbie S. from Lawrenceville, GA
Debra F. from Denver, CO
Donna I. from Summerville, SC
Dorothy B. from Burnsville, MN
Jo B. from Staten Island, NY
Kathleen N. from Kitchener, Ontario
Kay D. from Rogers, AR
Lisa A. from Baltimore, MD
Lisa N. from Minneapolis, MN
Roni S. from Staten Island, NY
Rosalie J. from Jamestown, NY
Vicki S. from Mr. Airy, MD

The Age of Light by Whitney Scharer - Historical Fiction


THE AGE OF LIGHT tells the story of Vogue model turned renowned photographer Lee Miller, and her search to forge a new identity as an artist after a life spent as a muse. "I'd rather take a photograph than be one," she declares after she arrives in Paris in 1929, where she soon catches the eye of the famous Surrealist Man Ray. Though he wants to use her only as a model, Lee convinces him to take her on as his assistant and teach her everything he knows. But Man Ray turns out to be an egotistical, charismatic force, and as they work together in the darkroom, their personal and professional lives become intimately entwined, changing the course of Lee's life forever.

An Anonymous Girl by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen - Psychological Thriller

Looking to earn some easy cash, Jessica Farris agrees to be a test subject in a psychological study about ethics and morality. But as the study moves from the exam room to the real world, the line between what is real and what is one of Dr. Shields’ experiments blurs. Dr. Shields seems to know what Jess is thinking…and what she’s hiding. Jessica’s behavior will not only be monitored, but manipulated. Caught in a web of attraction, deceit and jealousy, Jess quickly learns that some obsessions can be deadly.

Ask Again, Yes by Mary Beth Keane - Fiction

Francis Gleeson and Brian Stanhope, rookie cops in the NYPD, live next door to each other outside the city. What happens behind closed doors in both houses, the loneliness of Francis’ wife, Lena, and the instability of Brian’s wife, Anne, sets the stage for the explosive events to come. ASK AGAIN, YES is a deeply affecting exploration of the lifelong friendship and love that blossoms between Kate Gleeson and Peter Stanhope, born six months apart. One shocking night their loyalties are divided, and their bond will be tested again and again over the next 40 years.

The Beekeeper of Aleppo by Christy Lefteri - Fiction

Nuri is a beekeeper, and Afra, his wife, is an artist. Mornings, Nuri rises early to hear the call to prayer before driving to his hives in the countryside. On weekends, Afra sells her colorful landscape paintings at the open-air market. They live a simple life, rich in family and friends, in the hills of the beautiful Syrian city of Aleppo --- until the unthinkable happens. When all they love is destroyed by war, Nuri knows they have no choice except to leave their home. But escaping Syria will be no easy task: Afra has lost her sight, leaving Nuri to navigate her grief as well as a perilous journey through Turkey and Greece toward an uncertain future in Britain.

Chances Are... (Audiobook) written by Richard Russo, read by Fred Sanders - Fiction


One beautiful September day, three men convene on Martha's Vineyard, friends ever since meeting in college circa the '60s. They couldn't have been more different then, or even today --- Lincoln is a commercial real estate broker, Teddy a tiny-press publisher, and Mickey a musician beyond his rocking age. But each man holds his own secrets, in addition to the monumental mystery that none of them has ever stopped puzzling over since a Memorial Day weekend right here on the Vineyard in 1971: the disappearance of the woman each of them loved --- Jacy Rockafellow. Now, more than 40 years later, as this new weekend unfolds, three lives are displayed in their entirety while the distant past confounds the present like a relentless squall of surprise and discovery.

The Chelsea Girls by Fiona Davis - Historical Fiction


The Chelsea Hotel has long been New York City's creative oasis for the many artists, writers, musicians, actors, filmmakers and poets who have called it home --- a scene playwright Hazel Riley and actress Maxine Mead are determined to use to their advantage. Yet they soon discover that the greatest obstacle to putting up a show on Broadway has nothing to do with their art, and everything to do with politics. A Red scare is sweeping across America, and Senator Joseph McCarthy has started a witch hunt for Communists. As the pressure builds to name names, it is more than Hazel and Maxine's Broadway dreams that may suffer as they grapple with the terrible consequences, but also their livelihood, their friendship and even their freedom.

Daisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid - Fiction


Daisy is a girl coming of age in L.A. in the late '60s, sneaking into clubs on the Sunset Strip, sleeping with rock stars, and dreaming of singing at the Whisky a Go Go. The sex and drugs are thrilling, but it’s the rock and roll she loves most. By the time she’s 20, her voice is getting noticed, and she has the kind of heedless beauty that makes people do crazy things. Also getting noticed is The Six, a band led by the brooding Billy Dunne. On the eve of their first tour, his girlfriend Camila finds out she’s pregnant, and with the pressure of impending fatherhood and fame, Billy goes a little wild on the road. Daisy and Billy cross paths when a producer realizes that the key to supercharged success is to put the two together. What happens next will become the stuff of legend.

The Dearly Beloved by Cara Wall - Fiction


Charles is destined to succeed his father as an esteemed professor of history at Harvard, until an unorthodox lecture about faith leads him to ministry. How, then, can he fall in love with Lily after she tells him with certainty that she will never believe in God? James, the youngest son in a hardscrabble Chicago family, spent much of his youth angry at his alcoholic father and avoiding his anxious mother. Nan grew up in Mississippi, the devout and beloved daughter of a minister and a debutante. James' escape from his desperate circumstances leads him to Nan, and, despite his skepticism of hope in all its forms, her gentle, constant faith changes the course of his life. In THE DEARLY BELOVED, we follow these two couples through decades of love and friendship, jealousy and understanding, forgiveness and commitment.

The Deserter by Nelson DeMille and Alex DeMille - Military Thriller


When Captain Kyle Mercer of the Army’s elite Delta Force disappeared from his post in Afghanistan, a video released by his Taliban captors made international headlines. But circumstances were murky: Did Mercer desert before he was captured? Then a second video sent to Mercer’s Army commanders leaves no doubt: the trained assassin and keeper of classified Army intelligence has willfully disappeared. When Mercer is spotted a year later in Caracas, Venezuela by an old army buddy, top military brass task Scott Brodie and Maggie Taylor of the Criminal Investigation Division to bring Mercer back to America --- dead or alive. Brodie knows this is a difficult mission, made more difficult by his new partner’s inexperience and by his suspicion that Maggie Taylor is reporting to the CIA.

Elevator Pitch by Linwood Barclay - Psychological Thriller


It all begins on a Monday, when four people board an elevator in a Manhattan office tower. Each presses a button for their floor, but the elevator proceeds, non-stop, to the top. Once there, it stops for a few seconds, and then plummets. Right to the bottom of the shaft. It appears to be a horrific, random tragedy. But then, on Tuesday, it happens again, in a different Manhattan skyscraper. And when Wednesday brings yet another high-rise catastrophe, one of the most vertical cities in the world --- and the nation’s capital of media, finance and entertainment --- is plunged into chaos. Who is behind this? Why are they doing it? What do these deadly acts of sabotage have to do with the fingerless body found on the High Line?

The End of Loneliness written by Benedict Wells, translated by Charlotte Collins - Fiction


Jules Moreau’s childhood is shattered after the sudden death of his parents. Enrolled in boarding school where he and his siblings, Marty and Liz, are forced to live apart, the once vivacious and fearless Jules retreats inward, preferring to live within his memories --- until he meets Alva, a kindred soul caught in her own grief. Fifteen years pass, and the siblings remain strangers to one another, bound by tragedy and struggling to recover the family they once were. Jules, still adrift, is anchored only by his desires to be a writer and to reunite with Alva, who turned her back on their friendship on the precipice of it becoming more. But, just as it seems they can make amends for time wasted, invisible forces --- whether fate or chance --- intervene.

The Escape Room by Megan Goldin - Psychological Thriller

Invited to participate in an escape room as a team-building exercise, four ferociously competitive co-workers crowd into the elevator of a high-rise building, eager to prove themselves. But when the lights go off and the doors stay shut, it quickly becomes clear that this is no ordinary competition: they’re caught in a dangerous game of survival. Trapped in the dark, the colleagues must put aside their bitter rivalries and work together to solve cryptic clues to break free. But as the game begins to reveal the team’s darkest secrets, they realize there’s a price to be paid for the terrible deeds they committed in their ruthless climb up the corporate ladder.

The Favorite Daughter by Kaira Rouda - Psychological Thriller


Exactly one year ago, Jane Harris’ oldest daughter, Mary, died in a tragic accident. Lost in a haze of anti-depressants, Jane barely has even left the house. Now that’s all about to change. It’s time for Jane to reclaim her life and her family. Jane’s husband, David, has planned a memorial service for Mary; three days later, their youngest daughter, Betsy, graduates high school. Yet as Jane reemerges into the world, it’s clear her family has changed without her. Her husband has been working long days --- and nights --- at the office. Her daughter seems distant, even secretive. And her beloved Mary was always such a good girl. But does someone know more about Mary, and about her last day, than they’ve revealed?

The Gifted School by Bruce Holsinger - Fiction

Set in the fictional town of Crystal, Colorado, THE GIFTED SCHOOL observes the drama within a community of friends and parents as good intentions and high ambitions collide in a pile-up with long-held secrets and lies. Seen through the lens of four families who've been a part of one another's lives since their kids were born over a decade ago, the story reveals not only the lengths that some adults are willing to go to get ahead, but the effect on the group's children, sibling relationships, marriages and careers, as simmering resentments come to a boil and long-buried, explosive secrets surface and detonate.

The Girl He Used to Know by Tracey Garvis Graves - Romance


Annika Rose is an English major at the University of Illinois. Anxious in social situations, she'd rather be surrounded by the order and discipline of books or the quiet solitude of playing chess. Jonathan Hoffman joined the chess club and lost his first game --- and his heart --- to Annika. He admires her ability to be true to herself and accepts the challenges involved in pursuing a relationship with her. What follows is a tumultuous yet tender love affair that withstands everything except the unforeseen tragedy that forces them apart, shattering their connection and leaving them to navigate their lives alone. Now, a decade later, fate reunites Annika and Jonathan in Chicago.

The Girls at 17 Swann Street by Yara Zgheib - Fiction

Anna Roux was a professional dancer who followed the man of her dreams from Paris to Missouri. There, alone with her biggest fears --- imperfection, failure, loneliness --- she spirals down anorexia and depression until she weighs a mere 88 pounds. Forced to seek treatment, she is admitted as a patient at 17 Swann Street, a peach pink house where pale, fragile women with life-threatening eating disorders live. Women like Emm, the veteran; quiet Valerie; Julia, always hungry. Together, they must fight their diseases and face six meals a day. Every bite causes anxiety. Every flavor induces guilt. And every step Anna takes toward recovery will require strength, endurance and the support of the girls at 17 Swann Street.

Girls Like Us by Cristina Alger - Psychological Thriller/Mystery

FBI Agent Nell Flynn hasn't been home in 10 years. Nell and her father, Homicide Detective Martin Flynn, have never had much of a relationship. And Suffolk County will always be awash in memories of her mother, Marisol, who was brutally murdered when Nell was just seven. When Martin Flynn dies in a motorcycle accident, Nell returns to the house she grew up in so that she can spread her father's ashes and close his estate. At the behest of her father's partner, Detective Lee Davis, Nell becomes involved in an investigation into the murders of two young women in Suffolk County. The further Nell digs, the more likely it seems to her that her father should be the prime suspect --- and that his friends on the police force are covering his tracks.

The Golden Hour by Beatriz Williams - Historical Fiction

Newly widowed Leonora “Lulu” Randolph arrives in the Bahamas to investigate the Governor and his wife for a New York society magazine. After all, American readers have an insatiable appetite for news of the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, that glamorous couple whose love affair nearly brought the British monarchy to its knees five years earlier. What more intriguing backdrop for their romance than a wartime Caribbean paradise, a colonial playground for kingpins of ill-gotten empires? But as she infiltrates the Duke and Duchess’s social circle, and the powerful cabal that controls the islands’ political and financial affairs, Lulu uncovers evidence that beneath the glister of Wallis and Edward’s marriage lies an ugly --- and even treasonous --- reality.

The Gown: A Novel of the Royal Wedding by Jennifer Robson - Historical Fiction


London, 1947: Besieged by the harshest winter in living memory, the people of postwar Britain are enduring lives of quiet desperation despite their nation’s recent victory. Among them are Ann Hughes and Miriam Dassin, embroiderers at the famed Mayfair fashion house of Norman Hartnell. Together they forge an unlikely friendship, but their nascent hopes for a brighter future are tested when they are chosen for a once-in-a-lifetime honor: taking part in the creation of Princess Elizabeth’s wedding gown. Toronto, 2016: More than half a century later, Heather Mackenzie seeks to unravel the mystery of a set of embroidered flowers, a legacy from her late grandmother.

The Guest Book by Sarah Blake - Fiction

While Kitty Milton and her husband, Ogden, summer on their island in Maine, anchored as they are to the way things have always been, the winds of change are beginning to stir. In 1959 New York City, two strangers enter the Miltons’ circle. One captures the attention of Kitty’s daughter, while the other makes each of them question what the family stands for. This new generation insists that the times are changing. And in one night, everything does. So much so that in the present day, the third generation of Miltons doesn’t have enough money to keep the island in Maine. Evie Milton’s mother has just died, and as Evie digs into her mother’s and grandparents’ history, what she finds is a story as unsettling as it is inescapable, the story that threatens the foundation of the Milton family myth.

House on Fire by Bonnie Kistler - Fiction

Divorce lawyer Leigh Huyett knows all too well that most second marriages are doomed to fail. Yet five years in, she and Pete Conley couldn’t be happier with their blended family. But one rainy Friday night, Peter and Leigh receive horrific news. Peter’s son Kip, a high school senior, has crashed his truck and been arrested for drunk driving. And Leigh’s 14-year-old daughter, Chrissy, was with him. Twelve hours later, Chrissy is dead and Kip is charged with manslaughter. Leigh does her best to rally behind Peter and Kip. That is, until Kip changes his story and claims that he wasn’t driving after all --- Chrissy was, and he swears there is a witness. As they hurtle toward Kip’s trial date, husband and wife are torn between loyalty to their children and to each other, while the mystery of what really happened that night looms large.

I.M.: A Memoir (Audiobook) written and read by Isaac Mizrahi - Memoir


Isaac Mizrahi offers a poignant, candid and touching look back on his life so far. Growing up gay in a sheltered Syrian Jewish Orthodox family, Isaac had unique talents that ultimately drew him into fashion and later into celebrity circles that read like a who’s who of the 20th and 21st centuries: Richard Avedon, Audrey Hepburn, Anna Wintour, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Meryl Streep and Oprah Winfrey, to name only a few. In I.M., Isaac delves into his lifelong battles with weight, insomnia and depression. He tells what it was like to be an out gay man in a homophobic age and to witness the ravaging effects of the AIDS epidemic.

The Island of Sea Women by Lisa See - Historical Fiction

Mi-ja and Young-sook, two girls living on the Korean island of Jeju, are best friends who come from very different backgrounds. When they are old enough, they begin working in the sea with their village’s all-female diving collective, led by Young-sook’s mother. As the girls take up their positions as baby divers, they know they are beginning a life of excitement and responsibility but also danger. Little do they know that after surviving hundreds of dives and developing the closest of bonds, forces outside their control will push their friendship to the breaking point.

The Islanders by Meg Mitchell Moore - Fiction

Over the 12 short weeks of summer, three strangers --- former literary star Anthony Puckett, whoopie pie café owner Joy Sousa, and working mother Lu Trusdale --- will meet and grow close, share secrets and bury lies on Block Island. As the promise of June turns into the chilly nights of August, the truth will come out, forcing each of them to decide what they value most, and what they are willing to give up to keep it.

The Last Book Party by Karen Dukess - Fiction

In the summer of 1987, 25-year-old Eve Rosen is an aspiring writer languishing in a low-level assistant job. With her professional ambitions floundering, Eve jumps at the chance to attend an early summer gathering at the Cape Cod home of famed New Yorker writer Henry Grey and his poet wife, Tillie. Dazzled by the guests and her burgeoning crush on the hosts’ artistic son, Eve lands a new job as Henry Grey’s research assistant and an invitation to Henry and Tillie’s exclusive and famed "Book Party" --- where attendees dress as literary characters. But by the night of the party, Eve discovers uncomfortable truths about her summer entanglements and understands that the literary world she so desperately wanted to be a part of is not at all what it seems.

The Last House Guest by Megan Miranda - Psychological Thriller/Mystery


Littleport, Maine, has always felt like two separate towns: an ideal vacation enclave for the wealthy, whose summer homes line the coastline, and a simple harbor community for the year-round residents whose livelihoods rely on service to the visitors. Typically, fierce friendships never develop between a local and a summer girl, but that’s just what happens with visitor Sadie Loman and resident Avery Greer. Each summer for almost a decade, the girls are inseparable --- until Sadie is found dead. While the police rule the death a suicide, Avery can’t help but feel there are those in the community, including a local detective and Sadie’s brother, Parker, who blame her. Someone knows more than they’re saying, and Avery is intent on clearing her name, before the facts get twisted against her.

The Last Romantics by Tara Conklin - Fiction

When the renowned poet Fiona Skinner is asked about the inspiration behind her iconic work, The Love Poem, she tells her audience a story about her family and a betrayal that reverberates through time. It begins in a big yellow house with a funeral, an iron poker, and a brief variation forever known as the Pause: a free and feral summer in a middle-class Connecticut town. The Skinner siblings emerge from the Pause staunchly loyal and deeply connected. Two decades later, they find themselves once again confronted with a family crisis that tests the strength of these bonds, forcing them to question the life choices they’ve made and ask what, exactly, they will do for love.

Lost Roses by Martha Hall Kelly - Historical Fiction

It is 1914, and Eliza Ferriday is thrilled to be traveling to St. Petersburg with Sofya Streshnayva, a cousin of the Romanovs. The two met years ago one summer in Paris and became close confidantes. But when Austria declares war on Serbia and Russia's imperial dynasty begins to fall, Eliza escapes back to America, while Sofya and her family flee to their country estate. In need of domestic help, they hire the local fortuneteller's daughter, Varinka, unknowingly bringing intense danger into their household. On the other side of the Atlantic, Eliza is doing her part to help the White Russian families find safety as they escape the revolution. But when Sofya's letters suddenly stop coming, she fears the worst for her best friend.

Maid: Hard Work, Low Pay, and a Mother's Will to Survive by Stephanie Land - Memoir

At 28, Stephanie Land turned to housekeeping to make ends meet. With a tenacious grip on her dream to provide her daughter the very best life possible, Stephanie worked days and took classes online to earn a college degree, and began to write relentlessly. She wrote the true stories that weren't being told: the stories of overworked and underpaid Americans. Of living on food stamps to eat. Of the government programs that provided her housing, but that doubled as halfway houses. The aloof government employees who called her lucky for receiving assistance. She wrote to remember the fight, to eventually cut through the deep-rooted stigmas of the working poor. MAID explores the underbelly of upper-middle-class America and the reality of what it's like to be in service to them.

Mistress of the Ritz by Melanie Benjamin - Historical Fiction


Blanche Auzello and her husband, Claude, the mistress and master of the Ritz, allow the glamour and glitz of the hotel to take their minds off their troubled marriage, and off the secrets that they keep from their guests --- and each other. Until June 1940, when the German army sweeps into Paris, setting up headquarters at the Ritz. Suddenly, Blanche and Claude must navigate a terrifying new reality. In order to survive, and strike a blow against their Nazi “guests,” they must spin a web of deceit that ensnares everything and everyone they cherish. But one secret is shared between Blanche and Claude alone --- the secret that, in the end, threatens to imperil both of their lives, and to bring down the legendary Ritz itself.

The Mother-in-Law by Sally Hepworth - Psychological Thriller/Mystery

From the moment Lucy met her husband’s mother, she knew she wasn’t the wife Diana had envisioned for her perfect son. Exquisitely polite, friendly and always generous, Diana nonetheless kept Lucy at arm’s length despite her desperate attempts to win her over. That was five years ago. Now, Diana is dead, a suicide note found near her body claiming that she longer wanted to live because of the cancer wreaking havoc inside her body. But the autopsy finds no cancer. It does find traces of poison, and evidence of suffocation. Who could possibly want Diana dead? Why was her will changed at the 11th hour to disinherit both of her children and their spouses? And what does it mean that Lucy isn’t exactly sad she’s gone?

Mrs. Everything by Jennifer Weiner - Fiction

Growing up in 1950s Detroit, Jo and Bethie Kaufman live in a perfect “Dick and Jane” house, where their roles in the family are clearly defined. But the truth ends up looking different from what the girls imagined. As their lives unfold against the background of free love and Vietnam, Woodstock and women’s lib, Bethie becomes an adventure-loving wild child who dives headlong into the counterculture and is up for anything (except settling down). Meanwhile, Jo becomes a proper young mother in Connecticut, a witness to the changing world instead of a participant. Neither woman inhabits the world she dreams of, nor has a life that feels authentic or brings her joy. Is it too late for them to finally stake a claim on happily ever after?

My Ex-Best Friend’s Wedding by Wendy Wax - Fiction

Prized and stored away for safekeeping, the timeless ivory wedding dress sits gently folded in its box. To Kendra, Brianna and Lauren, it’s a reminder of what could have been. Once closer than sisters, Lauren and Bree have grown up and grown apart. A successful author, Lauren returns home to the Outer Banks, fiancé in tow, to claim the dress she never thought she’d wear. Bree, a bookstore owner, grapples with the realities of life after you marry the handsome prince. Now on the eve of her daughter Lauren’s wedding, Kendra struggles with a secret she’s kept for far too long. And vows to make sure the dress will finally bring Lauren and Bree back together --- knowing they'll need each other to survive the coming storm.

Nanaville: Adventures in Grandparenting (Audiobook) written by Anna Quindlen, read by Cynthia Farrell - Memoir


Before blogs even existed, Anna Quindlen became a go-to writer on the joys and challenges of family, motherhood and modern life, in her nationally syndicated column. Now she’s taking the next step and going full nana in the pages of this lively, beautiful and moving book about being a grandmother. Quindlen offers thoughtful and telling observations about her new role, no longer mother and decision-maker but secondary character and support to the parents of her grandson. She writes, “Where I once led, I have to learn to follow.” Eventually a close friend provides words to live by: “Did they ask you?”

The Nanny by Gilly Macmillan - Psychological Thriller


When her beloved nanny, Hannah, left without a trace in the summer of 1988, seven-year-old Jocelyn Holt was devastated. Haunted by the loss, Jo grew up bitter and distant, and eventually left her parents and Lake Hall, their faded aristocratic home, behind. Thirty years later, Jo returns to the house and is forced to confront her troubled relationship with her mother. But when human remains are accidentally uncovered in a lake on the estate, Jo begins to question everything she thought she knew. Then an unexpected visitor knocks on the door, and Jo’s world is destroyed again. Desperate to piece together the gaping holes in her memory, Jo must uncover who her nanny really was, why she left, and if she can trust her own mother.

The Nearest Exit May Be Behind You by Amulya Malladi - Fiction


A marketing director in a biotech company, Asmi rose through the corporate ranks and never really took the time to think about couplehood. She has good friends, a terrific sister who lives close by, and a married on-again, off-again lover in Paris she sees while she travels around the world for work. As Asmi reaches the big 4-0 and contemplates making some life choices, her boss announces he is retiring, and she is suddenly thrown into a corporate Hunger Games against her nemesis Scott Beauregard III to win a promotion. Worried that her inability to commit to a real relationship with a man is a personality flaw and afraid that she's unqualified for the job she desperately wants, Asmi must learn to lean in to have the career and life she wants and deserves, without worrying about what society expects from her.

A Nearly Normal Family written by M.T. Edvardsson, translated by Rachel Willson-Broyles - Psychological/Legal Thriller

Eighteen-year-old Stella Sandell stands accused of the brutal murder of a man almost 15 years her senior. She is an ordinary teenager from an upstanding local family. What reason could she have to know a shady businessman, let alone to kill him? Stella’s father (a pastor) and mother (a criminal defense attorney) find their moral compasses tested as they defend their daughter, while struggling to understand why she is a suspect. Told in an unusual three-part structure, A NEARLY NORMAL FAMILY asks the questions: How well do you know your own children? How far would you go to protect them?

Never Have I Ever by Joshilyn Jackson - Thriller

Amy Whey's sweet, uncomplicated life begins to unravel when the mysterious and alluring Angelica Roux arrives on her doorstep one night. Amy knows that something wicked has come her way --- a she-devil in a pricey red sports car who seems to know the terrible truth about who she is and what she once did. Roux tells Amy that if she doesn’t give her what she asks for --- what she deserves --- she’s going to make Amy pay for her sins. To protect herself and her family, and save the life she’s built, Amy must beat the devil at her own clever game, matching wits with Roux in an escalating war of hidden pasts and unearthed secrets. Amy knows the consequences if she can’t beat Roux. What terrifies her is everything she could lose if she wins.

The Night Before by Wendy Walker - Psychological Thriller

Devastated by the end of her last relationship, Laura Lochner fled her Wall Street job and New York City apartment for her sister’s home in the Connecticut suburb where they both grew up. Though still haunted by the tragedy that’s defined her entire life, Laura is determined to take one more chance on love with a man she’s met on an Internet dating site. Rosie Ferro has spent most of her life worrying about her troubled sister. Fearless but fragile, Laura has always walked an emotional tightrope. So when Laura does not return home the following morning from her blind date, Rosie fears the worst. As she begins a desperate search to find her sister, she is not just worried about what this man might have done to Laura. She’s worried about what Laura may have done to him.

The Only Woman in the Room by Marie Benedict - Historical Fiction


She possessed a stunning beauty. She also possessed a stunning mind. Could the world handle both? Her beauty almost certainly saved her from the rising Nazi party and led to marriage with an Austrian arms dealer. Underestimated in everything else, she overheard the Third Reich's plans while at her husband's side, understanding more than anyone would guess. She devised a plan to flee in disguise from their castle, and the whirlwind escape landed her in Hollywood. She became Hedy Lamarr, screen star. But she kept a secret more shocking than her heritage or her marriage: she was a scientist. And she knew a few secrets about the enemy. She had an idea that might help the country fight the Nazis...if anyone would listen to her.

Out of the Dark: An Orphan X Novel by Gregg Hurwitz - Thriller


Someone at the very highest level of government has been trying to eliminate every trace of the Orphan Program by killing all the remaining Orphans and their trainers. After Evan Smoak's mentor and the only father he ever knew was killed, he decided to strike back. His target is the man who started the Program and who is the most heavily guarded person in the world: the President of the United States. But the President knows that Evan is after him, and he has issued a counter-attack using the most powerful weapon he has: the first recruit of the Program, Orphan A. Now, with Evan devoting all his resources to outsmart his enemy, it’s Orphan vs. Orphan --- before the President harms more innocent people and the future of the country hangs in the balance.

Save Me the Plums: My Gourmet Memoir (Audiobook) written and read by Ruth Reichl - Memoir


When Condé Nast offered Ruth Reichl the top position at America’s oldest epicurean magazine, she declined. She was a writer, not a manager, and had no inclination to be anyone’s boss. But Reichl had been reading Gourmet since she was eight; it had inspired her career. How could she say no? This is the story of a former Berkeley hippie entering the corporate world and worrying about losing her soul. It is the story of the moment restaurants became an important part of popular culture, a time when the rise of the farm-to-table movement changed, forever, the way we eat.

Searching for Sylvie Lee by Jean Kwok - Fiction


Sylvie, the beautiful, brilliant, successful older daughter of the Lee family, flies to the Netherlands for one final visit with her dying grandmother --- and then vanishes. Amy, the sheltered baby of the Lee family, is too young to remember a time when her parents were newly immigrated and too poor to keep Sylvie. Seven years older, Sylvie was raised by a distant relative in a faraway, foreign place, and didn’t rejoin her family in America until age nine. Timid and shy, Amy has always looked up to her sister, the fierce and fearless protector who showered her with unconditional love. But what happened to Sylvie? Amy and her parents are distraught and desperate for answers.

The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides - Psychological Thriller

One evening, Alicia Berenson, a famous painter, shoots her husband Gabriel, an in-demand fashion photographer, five times in the face. Alicia’s refusal to talk, or give any kind of explanation, turns a domestic tragedy into something far grander --- a mystery that captures the public imagination and casts Alicia into notoriety. The price of her art skyrockets, and she, the silent patient, is hidden away from the tabloids and spotlight at the Grove, a secure forensic unit in North London. Theo Faber is a criminal psychotherapist who has waited a long time for the opportunity to work with Alicia. His determination to get her to talk and unravel the mystery of why she shot her husband takes him down a twisting path into his own motivations --- a search for the truth that threatens to consume him.

Someone We Know by Shari Lapena - Psychological Thriller


In a quiet, leafy suburb in upstate New York, a teenager has been sneaking into houses --- and into the owners' computers as well --- learning their secrets, and maybe sharing some of them, too. Who is he, and what might he have uncovered? After two anonymous letters are received, whispers start to circulate, and suspicion mounts. And when a woman down the street is found murdered, the tension reaches the breaking point. Who killed her? Who knows more than they're telling? And how far will all these very nice people go to protect their own secrets? In this neighborhood, it's not just the husbands and wives who play games. Here, everyone in the family has something to hide.

The Stationery Shop by Marjan Kamali - Fiction


Roya is a dreamy, idealistic teenager who finds a literary oasis in kindly Mr. Fakhri’s neighborhood book and stationery shop. When Mr. Fakhri introduces Roya to Bahman, who has a burning passion for justice and a love for Rumi’s poetry, she loses her heart at once. A few months later, on the eve of their marriage, Roya agrees to meet Bahman at the town square, but violence suddenly erupts --- a result of the coup d’etat that forever changes their country’s future. In the chaos, Bahman never shows. More than 60 years later, though, an accident of fate leads Roya back to Bahman and offers her a chance to ask him the questions that have haunted her for more than half a century: Why did he leave? Where did he go? How was he able to forget her?

The Summer Cottage by Viola Shipman - Fiction


Adie Lou Kruger’s ex never understood her affection for what her parents called their Cozy Cottage, the charming, ramshackle summer home --- complete with its own set of rules for relaxing --- that she’s inherited on Lake Michigan. But despite the fact she’s facing a broken marriage and empty nest, and middle age is looming in the distance, memories of happy childhoods on the beach give her reason for hope. She’s determined not to let her husband’s affair with a grad student reduce her to a cliché, or to waste one more minute in a career she doesn’t love, so it becomes clear what Adie Lou must do: rebuild her life and restore her cottage shingle by shingle, on her terms.

This Tender Land by William Kent Krueger - Historical Fiction

1932, Minnesota. The Lincoln School is a pitiless place where hundreds of Native American children, forcibly separated from their parents, are sent to be educated. It is also home to an orphan named Odie O’Banion, a lively boy whose exploits earn him the superintendent’s wrath. Forced to flee, he and his brother Albert, their best friend Mose, and a brokenhearted little girl named Emmy steal away in a canoe, heading for the mighty Mississippi and a place to call their own. Over the course of one unforgettable summer, these four orphans will journey into the unknown and cross paths with others who are adrift, from struggling farmers and traveling faith healers to displaced families and lost souls of all kinds.

The Turn of the Key by Ruth Ware - Psychological Thriller


When she stumbles across the ad, she’s looking for something else completely. But it seems like too good an opportunity to miss --- a live-in nannying post, with a staggeringly generous salary. And when Rowan Caine arrives at Heatherbrae House, she is smitten --- by the luxurious “smart” home fitted out with all modern conveniences, by the beautiful Scottish Highlands, and by this picture-perfect family. What she doesn’t know is that she’s stepping into a nightmare --- one that will end with a child dead and herself in prison awaiting trial for murder. Writing to her lawyer from prison, she struggles to explain the unraveling events that led to her incarceration.

 

Watching You by Lisa Jewell - Psychological Thriller


You’re back home after four years working abroad, new husband in tow. You’re keen to find a place of your own. But for now, you’re crashing in your big brother’s spare room. That’s when you meet the man next door. He’s the head teacher at the local school. Twice your age. Extraordinarily attractive. You find yourself watching him. All the time. But you never dreamed that your innocent crush might become a deadly obsession. Or that someone is watching you.

The Whisper Man by Alex North - Thriller


After the sudden death of his wife, Tom Kennedy believes that a fresh start will help him and his young son, Jake, heal. But the town of Featherbank has a dark past. Twenty years ago, a serial killer abducted and murdered five residents. Until Frank Carter was finally caught, he was nicknamed "The Whisper Man," for he would lure his victims out by whispering at their windows at night. Just as Tom and Jake settle into their new home, a young boy vanishes. His disappearance bears an unnerving resemblance to Carter's crimes, reigniting old rumors that he preyed with an accomplice. Now, detectives Amanda Beck and Pete Willis must find the boy before it is too late. And then Jake begins acting strangely. He hears a whispering at his window...

Whisper Network (Audiobook) written by Chandler Baker, read by Almarie Guerra - Mystery/Thriller


Sloane, Ardie, Grace and Rosalita have worked at Truviv, Inc. for years. The sudden death of Truviv’s CEO means that their boss, Ames, will likely take over the entire company. Each of the women has a different relationship with Ames, who has always been surrounded by whispers about how he treats women. Those whispers have been ignored, but the world has changed, and the women are watching this promotion differently. This time, when they find out that Ames is making an inappropriate move on a colleague, they aren’t willing to let it go. Sloane and her colleagues’ decision to take a stand sets in motion a catastrophic shift in the office. Lies will be uncovered. Secrets will be exposed. And not everyone will survive.