RT Daily Blog

Extended Review: How To Tell Toledo From The Night Sky By Lydia Netzer

BY Cyndy Aleo, JULY 03, 2014 | PERMALINK

The cover of How to Tell Toledo From the Night SkyWhen Lydia Netzer's first book, Shine, Shine, Shine, was released, it was amazing, and quirky ... and it was at the forefront of a small recent trend of quirky, socially impaired characters.

I wasn't sure how well it would be received. It was smart — so smart it involved complicated equations as love notes — and super-quirky, and I wasn't sure of its mass market appeal in an industry that sometimes seems dominated with "more of the same." 

Seeing how well that book did was great, but Netzer's sophomore effort (if we don't count June's novella "Everybody's Baby"), How to Tell Toledo from the Night Sky, is astounding. Netzer manages to take a blend of magical realism, the quirk factor of her previous novel, and her own unique voice to create a novel that stands out from the crowd being created by authors like Matthew Quick and Graeme Simsion.


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Cover Breakdown: Rooms by Lauren Oliver

BY DJ DeSmyter, JUNE 25, 2014 | PERMALINK

In our Cover Breakdowns feature, I've been taking closer looks at recently revealed covers that have caught my eye. Today, I examine the cover for Lauren Oliver's upcoming adult novel, Rooms, due out on September 23. As a major Lauren Oliver fan, I'm super excited to read Rooms and I'm rather in love with the cover. Take a look:

Isn't it pretty?

Wealthy Richard Walker has just died, leaving behind his country house full of rooms packed with the detritus of a lifetime. His estranged family — bitter ex-wife Caroline, troubled teenage son Trenton and unforgiving daughter Minna — have arrived for their inheritance.

But the Walkers are not alone. Prim Alice and the cynical Sandra, long dead former residents bound to the house, linger within its claustrophobic walls. Jostling for space, memory and supremacy, they observe the family, trading barbs and reminiscences about their past lives. Though their voices cannot be heard, Alice and Sandra speak through the house itself—in the hiss of the radiator, a creak in the stairs, the dimming of a light bulb.


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Five Books Karen White Can't Do Without

BY RT BOOK REVIEWS, JUNE 09, 2014 | PERMALINK

Karen White's June release, A Long Time Gone — about a woman who returns home only to become tangled up in a murder-mystery, earned a rare Gold rating from RT reviewer Debbie Haupt, a rating that typically indicates that a book has earned a spot on that reviewers keeper shelf. So we decided to ask the author which books she keeps coming back to. Below are five of the books Karen White just can't do without.

Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

I still have stiff thumbs from holding this book open while I pushed my two children on swings at the park. All day. To the point that they were asking to go home because it was getting dark and they were hungry. It transported me to a different place and time, to a different world where I knew these characters like family, and felt their hurts as if they were my own. Beautiful writing, mesmerizing characters, a blazing romance, and a page-turning plot makes this book #1 on my keeper shelf.

Lord of the Far Island by Victoria Holt


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Exclusive Excerpt: Anna Godbersen's The Blonde

BY RT BOOK REVIEWS, MAY 12, 2014 | PERMALINK

Do you guys remember when that mega-addictive YA series The Luxe hit shelves, back in 2007? We were instantly obsessed with the books and their author, Anna Godbersen. So when we heard she was writing her adult debut, starring Marilyn Monroe as a blackmailed spy, well, we had to know more! So today we’ve got for you an exclusive excerpt from The Blonde, so we can all savor the awesomeness until tomorrow when the book comes out!

Chicago, March 1959

The cover of The Blonde

It had taken three Seconal just to stitch together a few hours sleep last night, and Marilyn asked for a second Bloody Mary when she realized that the descent into Midway wasn't going to be smooth. The plane was small, and she could hear every thrum of the engine and the wind through its walls, and that was before they hit the weather over Lake Michigan. For the first time in some years her fear of flying rose beyond a hazily pleasant fatalism, and she put her palm against the little oval window and let her eyes scan the blue surface below to the place where it met land. She wanted to make it there. If she had a father, somewhere in the world, then there was a reason to land safely after all.


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Same Book, Different Reaction: Eleanor Moran Talks Rebecca

BY RT BOOK REVIEWS, APRIL 22, 2014 | PERMALINK

We love re-reading our favorite books as much as the next bookworm. But there's no denying that a book can lose its charm over time and when we return to it years later, our interpretations of the text can be skewed thanks to our life experiences. Don't even talk to us about watching Reality Bites once you're past your angsty twenties. Eleanor Moran, author of The Last Time I Saw You, knows this sad phenomenon to be true. Today, she talks about one of her favorite classics, Rebecca, and how her initial impressions of the book have shifted over the years. Take it away, Eleanor!

Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again ...

The cover of The Last TIme I Saw You

I cannot think of a single opening line that is more memorable and evocative than those first few words from Daphne Du Maurier’s Rebecca. I was fourteen when I first read it — longing for first love, and far too spotty and geeky to find it (a typical writer in waiting, really). Also, perhaps most crucially, I’d grown up with a very distant father whom I adored, though I only saw him intermittently. To me, the imperious and unknowable Maxim de Winter seemed like the perfect romantic hero.


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A Change Of Scenery: Notable April Mainstream Novels

BY RT BOOK REVIEWS, APRIL 07, 2014 | PERMALINK

When people need a fresh start, sometimes packing up and moving seems like the best option. In this month’s mainstream overview we take a look at four books featuring characters in need of a change of scenery — and the lessons they learn along the way.

The coer of The Sea House by Elisabeth Gifford

In Elisabeth Gifford’s The Sea House, after buying a sea house, Ruth and Michael are ready to kick their new life together into gear and start a family. But when Ruth discovers notes and a diary belonging to Reverend Alexander, the house’s former inhabitant, she falls into a 100-years-old mystery riddled with secrets and folklore. What does this mean for her and Michael?


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March Seal Of Excellence

BY RT BOOK REVIEWS, MARCH 31, 2014 | PERMALINK

Each month the RT editors select one book that is not only compelling, but pushes the boundaries of genre fiction. This book stands out from all the others reviewed that month, in the magazine issue and on the website. March 2014's RT Seal of Excellence — the editors' pick for best book of the month — is awarded to Sophie Littlefield's latest mainstream novel House of Glass.


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Friday Free For All: Four Friends By Robyn Carr

BY RT BOOK REVIEWS, MARCH 28, 2014 | PERMALINK

A photo of Robyn Carr next to a poster of her book, Four Friends

This week we had the pleasure of attending a lunch to celebrate Robyn Carr's mainstream women's fiction novel, Four Friends. If you haven't had the pleasure of meeting Robyn and you get the chance to chat her up, do it because she is absolutely charming and hilarious. Reviewer M.H. Morrison loved Carr's latest novel, saying: "Moving from her usual small-town setting to the suburbs hasn’t changed the full-bodied life Carr brings to this cast of mature women on the cusp of transformation." If you're intrigued, we've got four paperback copies to give away! This giveaway is open to U.S. residents only and you can enter using the widget below. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


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Tags: RT Daily Blog, Mainstream, Romance
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Very Short Reviews Of Difficult Books

BY RT BOOK REVIEWS, MARCH 26, 2014 | PERMALINK

Ah, classic literary fiction. It can be so wonderful, but at times dense, leaving us wishing for a guide to lead us through the venerable prose. Enter: Italian artist and writer Francesco D'Isa, who reviews the classics in a candid, tongue-in-cheek (and very short) way. We're happy to bring his column, "Very Short Reviews of Difficult Books," to English language readers! Check back here every Wednesday for three new reviews from Francesco.

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Solaris by Stanislaw Lem

It’s not a science fiction story but a philosophical and religious allegory: an imperfect man living an imperfect love through an imperfect god. Deep, touching and above all not boring like both movies.

Plot: A scientist tries to study a planet while the planet tries to study the scientist.

Rating: 94 out of 100.

Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy

The best soap opera of all time: a romantic story that feels almost real. You will try and read it in one shot and when it comes to an ends you'll get the feeling that life is just a bunch of details here and there.


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New Publisher Alert: ReShonda Tate Billingsley & Victoria Christopher Murray's Brown Girls Publishing

BY RT BOOK REVIEWS, MARCH 20, 2014 | PERMALINK

The business of publishing is always fascinating, especially in this digital age we find ourselves living in. A new development we’re excited about is the creation of Brown Girls Publishing, run by bestselling authors ReShonda Tate Billingsley and Victoria Christopher Murray. We wanted to know more about this new venture, and the ladies were kind enough to oblige.

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The cover of Open Door Marriage

Why did you decide to start Brown Girls Publishing?

Our motivation for creating Brown Girls Publishing was the fact that there are so many talented authors who for various reasons, don’t have a publishing deal, or aren’t able to write in genres that are near and dear to them. We also saw an opportunity to introduce some fresh voices in a market where so many genres have become formulaic and repetitive.

Tell us about some of your recent and upcoming releases, and why you decided to publish them?


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Tags: Aspiring Authors, Publishing Industry News, RT Daily Blog, Mainstream, Romance
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