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This Week's Top 10
July 24, 2014
In This Issue
Hardcover Editor's Choice
A Man Called Ove
Book Club:
Tomlinson Hill
Beyond the Book:
Yaddo Artist's Retreat
Thomas Goetz
Publishing Soon:
A Spy Among Friends
Paperback Editor's Choice:
The Valley of Amazement
Beyond the Book:
Here Come the Russians...
Themed Reads:
E C H A Silver L
The Angel of Losses

In this issue we invite you to meet the cumugeonly but ultimately loveable Ove who has already won the hearts of readers in the author's home country of Sweden, go beyond the book to discover Eastern European and Russian authors, find out the source of the expression "out of the frying pan, into the fire", and much more!

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1. Editor's Choice

A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman

Hardcover (July 15, 2014), 352 pages. 
Publisher: Atria Books.  
BookBrowse Rating: 5/5 
Critics' Consensus:  5.0/5 
Buy at Amazon |  B&N |  Indie



A Man Called Ove is a perfect selection for book clubs. It's well written and replete with universal concerns. It lacks violence and profanity, is life-affirming and relationship-driven. The book is bittersweet, tender, often wickedly humorous and almost certain to elicit tears. (Reviewed by Linda Hitchcock)

Read the review |  More Editor's Choices |  More reviews by Linda

Full access to our reviews & beyond the book articles are for members only. But there are always four free Editor's Choice reviews and beyond the book articles on our homepage.

2. The BookBrowse Book Club

Book Jacket
Tomlinson Hill: The Remarkable Story of Two Families who Share the Tomlinson Name - One White, One Black 
by Chris Tomlinson

Published Jul 2014,  448 pages

Foreign correspondent Chris Tomlinson returns to Texas to discover the truth about his family's slave owning history.
Tomlinson Hill tells the story of two families, one black and one white, who trace...

More Discussions
Opens 02 Sep
About this book 
Opens 28 Jul
About this book 


3. Beyond the Book: Yaddo Artists' Retreat

Every time we review a book we also go beyond the book to explore a related topic. Here is a recent "beyond the book" article for The Hundred-Year House by Rebecca Makkai  

Hardcover (July 10, 2014), 352 pages. 
Buy at Amazon |  B&N |  Indie 

Rebecca Makkai makes clear in her dedication that although nothing in The Hundred-Year House is based on her stay at Yaddo, a creative artists' retreat in Saratoga, New York, the book is indebted to the time and space they gave her to write it. Like Laurelfield, it was once a privately held estate.  Yaddo was founded in 1900 by Spencer Trask and his wife, Katrina, a poet. Their four ...continued

4. Author Interview

Thomas Goetz, author of The Remedy discusses Germ Theory, science, and the impact of technology on society.

Read the Interview |  The Remedy

5. Publishing Soon

Each month BookBrowse previews 80-100 notable books. Here is a particularly interesting title from these upcoming books.

A Spy Among Friends by Ben MacIntyre

Hardcover (July 29, 2014), 384 pages. 
Publisher: Crown.  
Critics' Consensus:  5.0/5.0
Buy at Amazon |  B&N |  Indie 


Kim Philby was the greatest spy in history, a brilliant and charming man who rose to head Britain's counterintelligence against the Soviet Union during the height of the Cold War - while he was secretly working for the enemy. And nobody thought he knew Philby like Nicholas Elliott, Philby's best friend and fellow officer in MI6. The two men had gone to the same schools, belonged to the same exclusive clubs, grown close through the crucible of wartime intelligence work and long nights of drink and revelry. It was madness for one to think the other might be a communist spy, bent on subverting Western values and the power of the free world.... continued

Read full synopsis & reviews

6. Editor's Choice

The Valley of Amazement by Amy Tan

Hardcover (July 15, 2014), 448 pages.
Publisher: Ecco. 
BookBrowse Rating: 5/5
Critics' Consensus:  4.6/5
Buy at Amazon |  B&N |  Indie

"Mirror, Mirror on the wall
I am my mother after all!"

In my pre-retirement days as a professor of women's studies, I made this the official mantra of a class I periodically taught called "Mothers and Daughters." Honesty compels me to admit that I did not think this up myself. I borrowed it from a poster or a T-shirt I came across in a catalog somewhere. And how true this saying is! For better or worse, the mother-daughter relationship is pivotal in a woman's life, and often when we least expect it, we find ourselves saying or doing something learned from our mothers that we swore we never... continued
(Review by Judi Sauerbrey)

Read the review |  More Editor's Choices |  More reviews by Judi

Full access to our reviews & beyond the book articles are for members only. But there are always four free Editor's Choice reviews and beyond the book articles on our homepage.

7. Beyond the Book

Here Come the Russians and East Europeans!

Every time we review a book we also go beyond the book to explore a related topic. Here is a recent "beyond the book" article for A Replacement Life by Boris Fishman
Hardcover (June 03, 2014), 336 pages. 
Buy at Amazon |  B&N |  Indie 
Gary ShteyngartBelarusian-born Boris Fishman is part of a group of outstanding American writers of Russian or East-European origin which includes Josip Novakovich, from Croatia; Aleksandar Hemon, from Bosnia; Olga Grushin, from Russia; and Gary Shteyngart, of Russian-Jewish origin (who is explored thoroughly in this review of Little Failure). With the exception of Olga Grushin, whose novels take place entirely ...continued 

Read "beyond the book" in full |  More about this book 

8. Themed Reading: Russia

Whatever your interests you can find the books that are just right for you by browsing and cross-referencing our recommended reading lists by genre, time period, setting and wide variety of themes - including books set in Russia: 

The Romanov Sisters by Helen Rappaport

Hardcover June 2014

They were the Princess Dianas of their day - perhaps the most photographed and talked about young royals of the early twentieth century. The Romanov Sisters captures the joy as well as the insecurities and poignancy of those young lives.

All That Is Solid Melts into Air by Darragh McKeon
Paperback April 2014  
A gripping end-of-empire novel charting the collapse of the Soviet Union through the focalpoint of the Chernobyl disaster.

The Man Without a Face by Masha Gessen
Paperback March 2013  
The chilling account of how Vladimir Putin, a low-level, small-minded KGB operative, ascended to the Russian presidency and destroyed years of progress to make his country once more a threat to her own people and to the world.

Red Plenty by Francis Spufford
Paperback February 2012  
Red Plenty is history, it's fiction, it's as ambitious as Sputnik, as uncompromising as an Aeroflot flight attendant, and as different from what you were expecting as a glass of Soviet champagne.

9. Wordplay

Solve one of our fiendish wordplay puzzles, and be entered to win the book of your choice!

This week
Solve this clue: "E C H A Silver L"
Enter now


The answer to last Week's Wordplay: O O T F P, Into T F

"Out of the frying pan, into the fire"

This expression appears to have its roots in the fables of 15th century Italian scholar Abstemium, who wrote 200 fables based on the themes of the classic Aesop's fables.

The Fish and the Frying Pan. Some fish, still alive, were being cooked in hot oil in a frying pan. One of the fish said, "Let's get out of here, my brothers, in order to save our lives." Then the fish all leaped out of the frying pan together, and fell into the burning coals. Stricken by even greater pain as a result, they cursed the plan which they had followed, saying, "What a far more horrible death we are facing now!"

Many of the fables traditionally attributed to the slave known as Aesop who lived in Greece in the 5th century cannot be traced any earlier than a few centuries after Aesop's death and a great many others have their roots in more modern times. Indeed it is far from clear whether even the early fables are correctly attributed to Aesop or whether such a person even existed. Both Herodotus and Aristophanes make passing mention to Aesop in their writings later in the 5th century BC but even at that time it seems that Aesop's fables had come to encompass certain types of fables in the oral tradition that did not have a known origin. ... continued  

10. Win This Book

The Angel of Losses by Stephanie Feldman

Publication Date: Jul 2014

Enter the Giveaway

From the Jacket
The Tiger's Wife meets A History of Love in this inventive, lushly imagined debut novel that explores the intersections of family secrets, Jewish myths, the legacy of war and history, and the bonds between sisters.


"Feldman's debut novel is an unusual combination of literary thriller, family drama, and Jewish mysticism... Fans of Elizabeth Kostova's The Historian or the works of Lev Grossman will find something here in a similar vein, but with a little quieter pacing and a little more spirituality." - Library Journal

"This impressive debut from Feldman is a page-turner that celebrates sisterly love." - Publishers Weekly

"Family saga, mystery, and myth intersect in Feldman's debut novel...the vivid, imaginative unraveling makes the investigative approach to reading this tale worthwhile." - Booklist

5 people will each win a hardcover copy of The Angel of Losses.
This giveaway is open to residents of the USA only, unless you are a BookBrowse member, in which case you are eligible to win wherever you might live.

Enter the giveaway

Past Winners

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A lot of BookBrowse's content is available for free but full access is for members. Membership is $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year. See the many membership benefits here! 

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