MLA Gold Award Site

BookBrowse's Free Weekly Newsletter

Back Issues | Subscribe


Talented authors work with the blank page as a canvas and paint gorgeous storyscapes saturated with color and detail. The Vanishing Velazquez, one of our Editor's Choice selections, is exactly such a masterpiece about a painting by one of Spain's great masters, Diego Velazquez.

Mother_s Day Velazquez's contemporaries enjoy the spotlight in our related Beyond the Book section, as do artists who painted their wives' portraits. The novel Paint Your Wife uses paint as a metaphor to tease apart many of life's complexities and is our other Editor's Choice in this issue. 
In other featured content, you can color in the panoramic Alaskan countryside with our First Impression reviews of The Alaskan Laundry; or paint your own imagery of eighteenth century England by joining our book club discussion of The Fair Fight - and by doing so you'll be entered for a very good chance of winning the book of your choice!

Happy painting and happy reading!

Your Editor
The content in this newsletter is a fraction of what is available to our members.
A year's membership to BookBrowse makes a great gift for Mother's Day (May 8)! 

Membership for myself
Gift membership
Subscription for library
fi1. First Impressions: Members Recommend

Each month BookBrowse gives away books to U.S. resident members to read and review (or discuss). Members who choose to participate receive a free book about every three months. Here are their opinions on one recent release.

 The Alaskan Laundry by Brendan Jones

 Publisher: Mariner Books
 Publication Date: Apr 2016
 Novel, 400 pages

 Number of reader reviews: 22
 Readers' consensus: 4.1/5.0

Members Say

"The author definitely describes what life is like along this part of Alaska. If you've been there you'll say to yourself 'yeah that's it,' if you haven't you'll want to go! Get the book, read it and enjoy!" - Gary R. (Bolingbrook, IL)

"Brendan Jones' engaging novel is about a girl from Philadelphia, who, at the turning point of childhood into adulthood, decides to leave the mundane and venture into a challenging lifestyle working in a remote fishing village in Alaska. The author writes with a sharp grasp of brutal hard work, relentless cold and wet, and long and lonely days that threaten Tara Marconi's decision." - Ann W. (Cashiers, NC)

"I recommend this book for any book club that enjoys a gritty adventure as well as for young adult readers just beginning their own 'journey.' I enjoyed this book. It is not a 'comfortable' read but one that will stay with the reader for a long time. Enjoy the journey." - Virginia W. (Chapel Hill, NC)

"I loved, loved, loved this book," - Barbara C. (Riverside, CA)

More about this book | Read all the reviews    Buy at Amazon | B&N | Indie
bc2. The BookBrowse Book Club

Find out more, or join us to discuss & win books!:

Book JacketThe Fair Fight by Anna Freeman

Published in paperback Apr 2016.
Also available in hardcover & ebook
480 pages

The Crimson Petal and the White meets Fight Club: A page-turning novel set in the world of female pugilists and their patrons in late eighteenth-century England.

Moving from a filthy brothel to a fine manor house, from the world of street fighters to the world of champions, The Fair Fight is a vivid, propulsive historical novel set in eighteenth-century England about people struggling to transcend the circumstances into which they were born and fighting for their own places in society.  The Fair Fight is a raucous read from a dynamic new talent.
Review | Excerpt | "Beyond the Book" | Discuss | Reading Guide

Discussions opening soon:

Opens May 3
About this book
Opens May 10
About this book
Opens 7 Jun
About this book

vanishing3. Editor's Choice

The Vanishing Velazquez by Laura Cumming

Hardcover (Apr 2016), 304 pages.
Publisher: Scribner. Nonfiction
BookBrowse Rating: 5/5, Critics' Consensus:  4.8/5
Buy at Amazon |  B&N |  Indie

Review by Kim Kovacs

Author Laura Cumming spins out a tale of obsession and ruin in her latest book, The Vanishing Velázquez (formerly published in England as The Vanishing Man: In Pursuit of Velázquez).

In 1845, a bookseller named John Snare attended a boarding school auction, which included not only the desks and books, but the artwork that hung on the walls. In the process he fell in love with a work of art: a portrait hung high on a dark wall, begrimed by years of coal smoke and other pollution. The sale catalog listed it as a Van Dyke, but Snare was immediately convinced that it was, in fact, a ... continued 

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 available.
diego4. Beyond the Book
Diego Velázquez's Contemporaries

For the "beyond the book" article for The Vanishing Velazquez, Kim Kovacs touches on the lives of five artists who were contemporaries of Diego Velazquez -  El Greco, Jusepe de Ribera, Juan van der Hamen, Francisco de Zurbaran and Bartolome Esteban Murillo:

Diego Velázquez (1599 - 1660) was a painter in the court of Spain's Philip IV during the Spanish Golden Age (Siglo de Oro), a period influenced by the Italian Renaissance, during which the arts flourished throughout the country. ... continued

paint5. Editor's Choice

Paint Your Wife by Lloyd Jones

Hardcover (Mar 2016), 320 pages. 
Publisher: Text Publishing Company.  
BookBrowse Rating: 5/5, Critics' Consensus:  4.7/5
Buy at Amazon |  B&N |  Indie 

Reviewed by Claire McAlpine 

Harry Bryant, mayor of a small New Zealand town, is unaware he is experiencing an existential crisis. Alma, a local artist, is painting and displaying portraits of the town's womenfolk on the many vacated shop windows, and the town is attracting visitors in a way not seen since the decline of its paint manufacturing industry. Forty years before, Alma painted many of these same women while their husbands were at war, including Harry's mother Alice, and now he has invited Harry and other men to paint their wives.  Alma's invitation recovers a sense of purpose in the men and ... continued

Full access to our reviews & beyond the book articles are for members only. But there are always four free Editor's Choice reviewsand beyond the book articles available.
wives6. Beyond the Book 
Artists Who Painted Their Wives

For the "beyond the book" article for Paint Your Wife by Lloyd Jones, Claire McAlpine briefly explores the lives of three artists who painted their wives, Pierre Bonnard, Henri Matisse and Paul Cezanne:  

In Paint Your Wife, Alma Martin, though just thirty and physically healthy, was left behind while other fit men went to war. The loss of both his young wife and some of his memory in a train accident had rendered him "a less-than dangerous male. A male without horns." During his rehabilitation, he began to draw. Art became his obsession; his way to recreate what he had lost and help others to see ...continued 

Read in full |  More about this book 
 7. Published This Week

Interested to know what notable books published this week?
Click on any book jacket image to read about it on BookBrowse.

The Alaskan Laundry A Series of Catastrophes and Miracles Great Falls Jungle of Stone City of Secrets 
Murder at the 42nd Street Library Rescued The Incident on the Bridge The Last Boy and Girl in the World The Adventurist 
Father's Day Gold of Our Fathers Hide Away These Heroic, Happy Dead Here Comes Exterminator! 
Sleeping Giants Keep Me in Mind The Ukrainian and Russian Notebooks 

8. Wordplay

Solve our fiendish Wordplay puzzle, and be entered to win the book of your choice! 

This week's Wordplay
Solve this clue: "H Now B C"
Enter now

The answer to last Week's Wordplay: G R T Bad R

"Good riddance to bad rubbish"

Meaning: To be glad to be rid of something or someone.

According to The Random House Dictionary of America's Popular Proverbs and Sayings, the earliest known usage of this expression in the USA is in the Assex Gazette in 1771. Finding no record for the Assex Gazette, we wonder whether this is a misspelling and should read Essex Gazette (a paper of this name was in print at that time in Salem, Massachusetts).

Perhaps the more interesting topic is the use of riddance. It's a word that has fallen out of use these days pretty much across the board except in this expression. But, according to, it used to be a general-purpose noun meaning "deliverance from" or "getting rid of" that was in use from at least the early 16th century, as seen by John Rastell' poem, Away Mourning

.... continued
About BookBrowse       

Get to know BookBrowse through our 4-part introductory series:

You might also be interested in our About section, including how we got started, profiles of our editorial staff and reviewers, and answers to frequently asked questions.

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.


© BookBrowse LLC 1997-2016. All rights reserved. Information at is published with the permission of the copyright holder or their agent.
It is forbidden to copy anything for publication elsewhere without written permission from the copyright holder.