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      Jayne Anne Phillips grew up in West Virginia hearing about the infamous Quiet Dell murders of 1931, real-life killings of a widow and her three children at the hands of a con man she met through a lonely hearts club.

Phillips learned about the grisly case from her mother, who remembered as a child walking past the “murder garage” where Asta Eicher and her children — 14, 12 and 9 – died, the road nearby lined with cars of souvenir-seekers.

    

  Huddy Marr, the proprietor of Bluff City Pawn shop in Memphis, is good at what he does: he knows jewelry, he knows guns and guitars. But the neighborhood is changing: A blood bank is set to open across the street from the retail space he leases from his brother Joe, and Huddy wants to move to a less seedy part of town. A pawn shop should stay right on the edge of seedy.

  New York Times-bestselling author Philip Kerr has written an intense psychological thriller, Prayer.

In the book, Gil Martins, an agent with the FBI’s Domestic Terrorism Unit in Houston, confronts the violence generated by extremism within our nation’s borders every day. He sees hatred and destruction wrought by every kind of “ism” there is, and the zealots who kill in their names. Until now, he has always been a part of the solution—however imperfect—a part of justice. But when Gil discovers he played a key role in wrongly condemning an innocent man to death row, it shakes his faith—in the system, in himself, and in God—deeply.

    Owen King’s new novel, Double Feature, is about a young man coming to terms with his life in the process and aftermath of making his first film.

Owen King joins us to talk about his novel, writing in the shadow of his father, Stephen King and the knack of being moving AND funny.

  American audiences have fallen in love with Jojo Moyes. Ever since she debuted stateside, she has captivated readers and reviewers alike, and hit the New York Times bestseller list with the word-of-mouth sensation, Me Before You.

Now, with One Plus One, she’s written another contemporary opposites-attract love story. One Plus One tells the tale of Jess Thomas, a single mother and housecleaner in a southern England seaside town, and the thrown-together relationship she develops with one of her clients, the wealthy, hopelessly geeky Ed Nicholls.

    Ace Atkins has taken over writing Robert B. Parker’s Spenser novels.

His latest is Cheap Shot about a mystery surrounding a New England Patriots linebacker.

Shirley Jackson Day

Jun 26, 2014

    

  It is Shirley Jackson Day – commemorating the day her famous story, "The Lottery," was published in The New Yorker. We welcome Susan Scarf Merrell whose new novel is Shirley - a psychological thriller set at Bennington College in the 1960s.

A young woman who moves with her professor husband into the home of novelist Shirley Jackson and Jackson’s husband, Stanley Edgar Hyman, narrate the book. She uncovers a chilling connection between the celebrated couple and the disappearance of a young co-ed on campus years before.

    

  Justin Kramon is a Philadelphia-based writer whose first novel was Finny and who’s latest is The Preservationist. The popular novel is about a thrilling love triangle that takes place between three college students.

The Preservationist stars Julia, a damaged young woman who finds herself in the sights of two men, one a fellow college student, the other older and an employee of a restaurant she frequents. So, the big question – which one is the psycho.

Kramon has also taught at several universities, including Haverford and Arcadia.

    Rick Springfield has been writing and performing music for more than four decades. An accomplished actor, he has starred on Broadway, headlined in Las Vegas, and starred in numerous movies and TV series.

His debut novel is Magnificent Vibration, in the book, Bobby steals a mysterious self-help book called Magnificent Vibration: Discover Your True Purpose from a bookstore and calls the 1-800 number scrawled inside the front cover, only to discover that he has a direct line to God.

    

  Mona Simpson is the acclaimed and award-winning author of Anywhere But Here and My Hollywood.

Miles Adler-Hart starts eavesdropping to find out what his mother is planning for his life. When he learns instead that his parents are separating, his investigation deepens, and he enlists his best friend, Hector, to help. Both boys are in thrall to Miles’s unsuspecting mother, Irene, who is “pretty for a mathematician.” They rifle through her dresser drawers, bug her telephone lines, and strip-mine her computer, only to find that all clues lead them to her bedroom, and put them on the trail of a mysterious stranger from Washington, D.C.

Their amateur detective work starts innocently but quickly takes them to the far reaches of adult privacy as they acquire knowledge that will affect the family’s well-being, prosperity, and sanity.

    

  Worst. Person. Ever. is a deeply unworthy book about a dreadful human being with absolutely no redeeming social value.

Raymond Gunt is a B-unit cameraman who enters an amusing downward failure spiral that takes him from London to Los Angeles and then on to an obscure island in the Pacific where a major American TV network is shooting a Survivor-style reality show. 

    A dark tale of greed, corruption, and unquenchable ambition, House of Cards reveals that no matter the country, politics, intrigue and passion reign in the corridors of power. More than twenty years since its first publication it is still considered to be the definitive political thriller.

Michael Dobbs' novel - both its 1989 and 2014 incarnations - is a delicious wallow in British bad behavior, both public and private.

Michael Dobbs is also Lord Dobbs of Wylye, a member of the British House of Lords. He is Britain's leading political novelist and has been a senior adviser to Prime Ministers Margaret Thatcher, John Major and David Cameron. House of Cards was made into an award winning TV series in the UK and for Netflix in the USA, starring Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright and directed by David Fincher.

    In her bestseller Room, writer Emma Donoghue imagined what life would be like for a little boy born into captivity, to a mother who'd been kidnapped and sexually assaulted.

And in her new novel, Frog Music, she's imagined a possible solution to a very real murder, one that took place in California in 1876. That crime was never solved. But Emma Donoghue has gone through historical records to write what might have happened.

    

  Maggie Shipstead's new novel, Astonish Me, is a compelling glimpse into the demanding world of professional ballet and its magnetic hold over two generations.

While garnering terrific reviews, Northshire Bookstore in Saratoga will host an interview and book signing with Shipstead. She will be interviewed by Darlene Myers, the Artistic Director and Choreographer of Northeast Ballet and Myers Dance Center.

Astonish Me is the story of Joan, a young American dancer who helps a Soviet ballet star defect in 1975. A flash of fame and a passionate love affair follow, but Joan knows that, onstage and off, she is destined to remain in the background.

She raises provocative questions about the nature of talent, the choices we must make in search of fulfillment, and how we square the yearning for comfort with the demands of art.

    Rachel Urquhart's debut novel, The Visionist, is based in real life: the Visionists were young Shaker girls who began to suffer mysterious fits, thought to be in communication with the spirit world.

The Visionist tells the story of 15-year old Polly Kimball who kills her abusive father in a fire. Her mother leads them to seek shelter in The City of Hope, a nearby shaker Settlement. She is anointed a visionist upon her arrival, where she is - by turns - worshipped and questioned.

    Mary Higgins Clark, #1 international and New York Times bestselling author, has written thirty-three suspense novels; three collections of short stories; a historical novel, Mount Vernon Love Story; two children’s books, including The Magical Christmas Horse; and a memoir, Kitchen Privileges.

In her latest novel, I've Got You Under My Skin, Laurie Moran’s husband was brutally murdered and only three-year-old Timmy saw the face of his father’s killer. Five years later his piercing blue eyes still haunt Timmy’s dreams. Laurie is haunted by more—the killer’s threat to her son as he fled the scene: “Tell your mother she’s next, then it’s your turn . . .”

  Lawyer-turned-novelist David Baldacci is best-known for his best-selling page-turners. Since the 1996 publication of his debut novel, Absolute Power, Baldacci has published 27 books for adults, plus three for young readers.

His latest is the YA novel, The Finisher. In the book, we meet “Vega Jane.” We are also introduced to Baldacci’s mythical world of Wormwood, where townsfolk, known as Wugmorts, live in constant fear of the dense and mysterious “Quag” that surrounds them.

    Amy Tan has a new novel for the first time in seven years. Her newest is The Valley of Amazement.

Like many of works by the author of The Joy Luck Club, it deals with China's history and also tense mother-daughter relationships.

    The young Mary Cassatt never thought moving to Paris after the Civil War to be an artist was going to be easy, but when, after a decade of work, her submission to the Paris Salon is rejected, Mary’s fierce determination wavers. Her father is begging her to return to Philadelphia to find a husband before it is too late, her sister Lydia is falling mysteriously ill, and worse, Mary is beginning to doubt herself. Then one evening a friend introduces her to Edgar Degas and her life changes forever. Years later she will learn that he had begged for the introduction, but in that moment their meeting seems a miracle. So begins the defining period of her life and the most tempestuous of relationships.

In I Always Loved You, Robin Oliveira brilliantly re-creates the irresistible world of Belle Époque Paris, writing with grace and uncommon insight into the passion and foibles of the human heart.

    Set in rural New York state at the turn of the twentieth century, superb new talent James Scott makes his literary debut with The Kept - a propulsive novel reminiscent of the works of Michael Ondaatje, Cormac McCarthy, and Bonnie Jo Campbell, in which a mother and her young son embark on a quest to avenge a terrible and violent tragedy that has shattered their secluded family.

    Pulitzer Prize-winning author Paul Harding returns with a follow-up to 2009's Tinkers. This time, Harding builds his story around the grandson of Tinkers protagonist, George Crosby.

In Enon: A Novel, Harding follows a year in the life of Charlie Crosby as he tries to come to terms with a shattering personal tragedy.

    Jamie Ford's first novel, Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, was a surprise New York Times bestseller. His second book, Songs of Willow Frost is the story of a Chinese-American orphan in Seattle during The Great Depression.

    Novelist Chang-rae Lee is known for his sober depictions of the world as we know it - family, immigration, war - and that makes his newest novel, On Such A Full Sea, something of a departure.

The new novel takes place in a chilling dystopia, a century or so beyond the present, where abandoned post-industrial cities like Baltimore have been converted into forced labor colonies and populated with immigrant workers. China is a distant, mythical memory.

Martin Fletcher has been called the gold standard of TV war correspondents and is rapidly building a new reputation as an author. He has won almost every award in television journalism, including 5 Emmys.

His latest novel is Jacob's Oath. As World War II comes to a close, Europe’s roads are clogged with 20 million exhausted refugees walking home. Among them are Jacob and Sarah, lonely holocaust survivors who meet in Huddle berg. Jacob is consumed with hatred and cannot rest until he kills his brother’s murderer, a concentration camp guard.

He must now choose between revenge and love, and avenging the past and building a new future. 

    Neil Gaiman, one of the world's most beloved fantasy authors, is known for his eclectic work including: The Sandman, Stardust, American Gods, Coraline and The Graveyard Book.

Now he's written his first novel for adults in eight years, The Ocean at the End of the Lane - a bewitching and harrowing tale of mystery and survival, and memory and magic which makes the impossible all too real.


  Our interview with Meg Wolitzer originally aired on The Book Show. The episode is online here.

Mitch Albom has carved out a special place among contemporary authors with New York Times best sellers such as Tuesday with Morrie, and Five People You Meet in Heaven.

The humanism and the gift of story telling is on full display in his new novel called, The First Phone Call From Heaven. It is the story of a small Midwestern town whose residents begin to get phone calls from the departed. It is a compelling novel with equal parts mystery, love story, and an allegory about the power of hope and belief.

Mitch Albom will be joining Joe Donahue on stage in Saratoga Springs this Friday night in a Northshire book store event at 7pm. For more information visit Northshire’s website.

    Elizabeth Gilbert - author of the #1 New York Times bestseller, Eat, Pray, Love, returns to fiction with her first novel in 13-years.

The Signature of All Things is an epic story of desire, ambition and the thirst for knowledge spanning the 18th and 19th centuries – telling the birth to death story of botanist Alma Whittaker.

    Archer Mayor's New York Times bestselling Joe Gunther series returns with a complex case involving two corpses, one escaped mental patient, and a long-held secret that binds them together.

Joe Donahue welcomes Mayor back to the show and they discuss Three Can Keep a Secret: A Joe Gunther Novel and Mayor being mistaken for his characters.

Chris Buck / The Guardian

    Critically acclaimed novelist Jonathan Franzen will deliver this fall’s Frances Steloff Lecture at Skidmore at 8 p.m. tonight.

The reading and discussion, titled “Jonathan Franzen: The Novel and the World,” will be in Gannett Auditorium of Palamountain Hall.

The program will include the awarding of an honorary doctorate to Franzen; a book signing by the author will follow the formal program. Franzen’s books will be available for sale.

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