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What's New This Week: 7 Great Books Hitting Shelves Today
Posted by Hayley Igarashi on April 18, 2017

Need another excuse to go to the bookstore this week? We've got seven! Bulk up your Want to Read shelf with these brand-new standalone titles.


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Killers of the Flower Moon
by David Grann

You should read this book if you like: Nonfiction, true crime, The Lost City of Z, murder mysteries, the FBI, American history, the 1920s

Read our interview with David Grann here.


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Change Agent
by Daniel Suarez

You should read this book if you like: Science fiction, thrillers set in the future, genetic manipulation, fugitives, the meaning of identity


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The Stars Are Fire
by Anita Shreve

You should read this book if you like: Historical fiction, volunteer firefighters, persevering pregnant women, finding hope in the midst of loss

Read our interview with Anita Shreve here.


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Imagine Wanting Only This
by Kristen Radtke

You should read this book if you like: Memoirs, graphic novels, travel, ruins and abandoned places, explorations of love and loss



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The Golden Legend
by Nadeem Aslam

You should read this book if you like: Literary fiction, stories of resilience, secrets, Pakistan's past and present, the power of the human spirit



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Note to Self
by Connor Franta

You should read this book if you like: Nonfiction, diary entries and poetry, A Work in Progress, honest discussions about social anxiety, young creators


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The Thing About Love
by Julie James

You should read this book if you like: Contemporary romance, love-hate relationships, undercover stings, cocky FBI agents, Florida


BONUS: The wait is over—check out three of the buzziest sequels coming out today!

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The Adjustment
by Suzanne Young

The third book in The Program YA sci-fi series
(Start off the series with The Program)



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The Fix
by David Baldacci

The third book in the Amos Decker mystery series
(Start off the series with The Memory Man)



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The Hot Shot
by Kristen Callahan

The fourth book in the Game On sports romance series
(Start off the series with The Hook Up)





What are you reading this week? Let's talk books in the comments!

Check out more recent blogs:
Vampires Can Help: J.R. Ward on the (Sexy) Bloodsuckers That Shaped Her Life
17 Reasons Goodreads Members Love Libraries and Librarians
Underground Railroad, Evicted Win 2017 Pulitzer Prizes

Vampires Can Help: J.R. Ward on the (Sexy) Bloodsuckers That Shaped Her Life
Posted by Hayley Igarashi on April 17, 2017



J.R. Ward's The Chosen was released this month, the 15th book in her beloved Black Dagger Brotherhood paranormal romance series. Since the bestselling author has now spent more than a decade writing about vampires, Goodreads asked her to share her thoughts on the enduring appeal and power of the "children of the night."


OK, it just so happens that I love talking about vampires. Which is kind of handy, considering how much time I spend with them! And the question which is most often posed to me is this: Why? Why are these dangerous, sexy, mystical creatures so fascinating both to authors and readers?

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I think the most compelling reason for vampire stories, and their enduring appeal, comes from the conflict that they bring to any narrative. In my mind, all story is driven by conflict, and for the reader to be satisfied and entertained, the conflict has to be credible, resolvable, and unpredictable: Cue the children of the night. Vampires are like the Holy Grail of Holy Sh*t Did That Just Frickin' Happen. Whether they are the protagonists or antagonists, because of their superhuman powers, preternatural allure, and—at times—questionable moral compasses, they provide higher stakes and all kinds of story possibilities that, if Homo sapiens were trying to pull them off, would fail under the NFW (No F**king Way) rule.

Vampires also come with a commonly known lexicon. Instantly most folks get the gist of these marvelous creatures: the no-sunlight thing, the possible immortality, the taking a vein, the seduction. All of these particulars, and more, can be tweaked by the author, but there is not a lot of explaining and setup that needs to be done when you're jumping into a story with them. People get it, instantly, and are intrigued and excited. Exposition is the kiss of death for any story—the old adage of "show, don't tell" is as true now as it ever was—and when a vampire arrives, he or she carries the weight of all that have gone before. As an author, I don't have to explain much at all to get your attention and hold it with vampires.

And then there's the leather pants (!!!!) thing. There is a lot of romance in my books, and when you're trying to present a hero that makes readers think, "YASSSSSSS, absolutely I'd swipe right on that," you can't go wrong with a vampire. Seduction is their calling card, the air of deadly power their cologne, their glowing eyes and descending fangs the stuff of both nightmare and fantasy. They are the wild predator walking among us, only partially camouflaged by the trappings of civilization. The beast that is tamable by love.

But for me, there is also one other reason I like to have them in my books. (Not that it was a choice. The Brotherhood showed up and took over more than a decade ago, and they're still driving my bus!) Life is so hard. It can be brutal and cruel and mercurial. Because of this, people need an escape, and sometimes it's better to step into the shoes of something Other than us. We can watch things that have perhaps affected us personally through a prism of Otherness. It's like a buffer. Vampires have many human characteristics, good and bad, and in their struggles we see insulated reflections of ourselves. It's vivid but not glaring (if that makes any sense).

At the end of the day—or the night, as the case may be—vampires have shaped my life, and I will always be forever grateful to them (and my readers!) for lighting my way as I do what I love for a living!


J.R. Ward's latest book is The Chosen. Follow Ward on Goodreads and discover more of her books here.
17 Reasons Goodreads Members Love Libraries and Librarians
Posted by Hayley Igarashi on April 14, 2017



Here at Goodreads we love libraries all 52 weeks of the year, but National Library Week (April 9-April 15) reminded us just how much they mean to us.

We asked on Facebook and Twitter for you to tell us why libraries and librarians hold such a special place in your bookish heart. Enjoy some of our favorite answers below—and then leave your response in the comments!


1. "Because when I didn't have friends in high school, I had the library—and I had librarians that cared about me (and what I was reading)." Drew Smith

2. "I can borrow to my heart's content and still never run out of things to read." Valerie Westmore

3. "I just love the atmosphere and feeling of being in a space dedicated to knowledge and learning and reading. The library has been such a special place since I was little." Rachel Montgomery


4. "I love libraries because they provide access to great books for free. So paying overdue fines (25 cents a day) is my favorite bill of the month." Marla Kirsch Dym

5. "I love cruising the stacks, pulling out books, and reading a few pages. I once spent an hour in the foreign language section of our library, imagining what adventures were in the books in languages I could not read." Nancy Blair

6. "I started going to the tiny town library with my father when I was very young. I always felt very small but very important when I was there." Lu Anne Fazio

7. "It's fun to know that the book you're reading has been read and probably loved by someone else…and that it will be loved again after you're done, too." Oda Renate Lyngstad Oltedal

8. "They are magical! So many stories contained inside their sacred walls." Karma Christine Salvator-Writer

9. "Libraries are a refuge from the utter chaos that is modern-day life." Josh Justin

10. "It's like an extension of your personal library!" Dirk Todd Pratt

11. "There's a sense of peace in a library." Michelle Boisseau

12. "The valuable resources that libraries offer are incredibly important, and they can help improve one's situation immensely." cHaOsPiRaTiOnS

13. "Because librarians share the same enthusiasm about books of all kinds that I have." Cindy Guilliams

14. "I love the sharing of books between library branches so a book can be put on hold to be picked up at my convenience." Diane Heath

15. "The library is often a community hub. I love that everyone has a place where they are welcome." Mandy

16. "The smell…especially of old books." Nerd Herd Book Club

17. "Librarians can be as amazing as fairy godmothers, and a library can be your own Secret Garden." Elizabeth Winick


Which of the above reasons do you relate to the most? Do you have a special local library or a favorite librarian? Let's share stories in the comments!

Check out more recent blogs:
The Goodreads Hack to Find a Book at Your Library
How a Hit Musical and an Obsessed Daughter Inspired Melissa de la Cruz's New Book
7 Great Books Hitting Shelves This Week


(Top image credit: Librarian Evelyn Carnahan in The Mummy)
What's New This Week: 7 Great Books Hitting Shelves Today
Posted by Hayley Igarashi on April 11, 2017

Need another excuse to go to the bookstore this week? We've got seven! Bulk up your Want to Read shelf with these brand-new standalone titles.


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The Upside of Unrequited
by Becky Albertalli

You should read this book if you like: YA contemporary fiction, Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda, LGBT love stories, Tolkien fans, first kisses

Read our interview with Becky Albertalli here.


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If We Were Villains
by M.L. Rio

You should read this book if you like: Literary mysteries, Shakespeare plays, heroes and tyrants, deadly coming-of-age tales, betrayal, madness


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Sunshine State
by Sarah Gerard

You should read this book if you like: Nonfiction, essays about life and nature, bird rescue missions, Florida, modern human (and animal) survival


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The Shadow Land
by Elizabeth Kostova

You should read this book if you like: Historical fiction, Bulgaria, The Historian, dark secrets, young American women on dangerous adventures



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The Road to Jonestown: Jim Jones and the Peoples Temple
by Jeff Guinn

You should read this book if you like: Nonfiction, true crime, religious cults, new details about horrific tragedies, FBI files


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One Perfect Lie
by Lisa Scottoline

You should read this book if you like: Thrillers, suburban crime stories, high school baseball, suspicious teachers, killer twists



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Notes on a Banana: A Memoir of Food, Love, and Manic Depression
by David Leite

You should read this book if you like: Candid and courageous memoirs, foodies, heartfelt explorations of mental illness and sexual identity

Check out David Leite's book recommendations here.


BONUS: The wait is over—check out three of the buzziest sequels coming out today!

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Twist
by Kylie Scott

The second book in the Dive Bar contemporary romance series
(Start off the series with Dirty)



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The Burial Hour
by Jeffrey Deaver

The thirteenth book in the Lincoln Rhyme mystery series
(Start off the series with The Bone Collector)



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Blacksouls
by Nicole Castroman

The second book in the Blackhearts YA historical fiction series
(Start off the series with Blackhearts)





What are you reading this week? Let's talk books in the comments!

Check out more recent blogs:
Falling for Hamilton: How a Hit Musical and an Obsessed Daughter Inspired Melissa de la Cruz's New Book
Underground Railroad, Evicted Win 2017 Pulitzer Prizes
Library Week: Top Librarians on Their Favorite Recommendations

Underground Railroad, Evicted win 2017 Pulitzer Prizes
Posted by Cybil on April 10, 2017

The Pulitzer Prizes were announced this Monday with The Underground Railroad taking the prize for fiction.

Blood in the Water: The Attica Prison Uprising of 1971 and Its Legacy won the award for history and The Return: Fathers, Sons, and the Land in Between took the biography or autobiography category, while Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City was honored in the general nonfiction category.

This is the 101st year of the contest that honors excellence in the arts and journalism. There are seven categories for the arts, including fiction, nonfiction, poetry, drama, and music as well as 14 categories for journalism, included reporting, photography, cartooning, criticism, and commentary.

Be sure to add these winners to your Want to Read list:

The Underground Railroad
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Blood in the Water: The Attica Prison Uprising of 1971 and Its Legacy
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The Return: Fathers, Sons, and the Land in Between
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Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City
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See the complete list of this year's Pulitzer Prize winners. And here are the lists of past fiction, general nonfiction, biography, and history winners.


Check out more recent blogs:
Library Week: Top Librarians on Their Favorite Recommendations
Try The 'Reading Without Walls' Challenge This Month
The Top World War I Books on Goodreads

Falling for Hamilton: How a Hit Musical and an Obsessed Daughter Inspired Melissa de la Cruz's New Book
Posted by Hayley Igarashi on April 11, 2017

Melissa de la Cruz is a self-described "Hamilfan," aka someone who adores Lin-Manuel Miranda's hit musical and listens to the soundtrack on repeat. Her new book, Alex and Eliza: A Love Story, gives Hamilton a YA spin and puts a Schuyler sister in the starring role. Goodreads asked the Blue Bloods author to share how one night on Broadway started it all.

I saw Hamilton on Broadway with my family last June. We were fortunate enough to see the original cast perform (save for Jonathan Groff). It was a week after the Tony Awards, and the applause when Lin-Manuel Miranda appeared on stage was deafening and went on for ten minutes. In fact, there was so much applause that at times it distracted from the performance. Nevertheless, we were enthralled. I sobbed.

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I was so incredibly moved to see American history depicted by black and brown people like me. For a work of art to say, "You, yes you; you immigrant, you non-white person are part of the American story, the founding of this great country. This story is your story." I still get shivers up my spine. I had never realized how apart from the American mainstream I felt until Hamilton put me right in its center.

I loved the musical. I listen to it every day. I am a super "Hamilfan." However, it was my daughter who inspired me to write Alex and Eliza. She's ten years old, and she was obsessed with Elizabeth Schuyler. She wanted to know more about Eliza, and in her mind, Eliza was the hero of the play: "She told his story, Mama. We wouldn't know about it if it wasn't for her." She asked me so many questions about Elizabeth Schuyler that I finally had to do some research to answer them.

As I researched, I got deeper and deeper into their story, and I realized I had to write a book about this. For me, the story was about a poor boy and a rich girl—one of my favorite romantic tropes. I wanted to write a book that was like my favorites: Pride and Prejudice, Little Women—about the bonds of sisterhood, along with a swoon-worthy romance.

Some of my favorite historical romances include Sarah Maclean's books (One Good Earl Deserves a Lover is my fave of hers), and I wanted to honor those books, too—how fun and saucy they are.

I hope you enjoy Alex and Eliza—it's quite a different story and has a different sensibility than Hamilton, but I like reading it while listening to the soundtrack nonetheless. It's said that every work of art is a reaction or a sequel to a work of art that inspires us. For that, and for many more, I am grateful for Hamilton.

Melissa de la Cruz's latest book is Alex and Eliza: A Love Story. Follow de la Cruz on Goodreads and discover more of her books here.

Check out more recent blogs:
What's New This Week: 7 Great Books Hitting Shelves Today
Underground Railroad, Evicted Win 2017 Pulitzer Prizes
Library Week: The Goodreads Hack for Your Local Library
Library Week: The Goodreads Hack to Find a Book at Your Library
Posted by Cybil on April 13, 2017



It's National Library Week, and like all book worms we love to get lost in the stacks and to get the opinions of smart librarians. We also know that being a book lover can mean getting pretty resourceful when it comes to reserving books at the library.

So, yep, we have a hack for that: In addition to providing links to different retailers on a book's page (just below the book details section), there's a THIRD button there as well called called "Libraries." That's where you can add your local library link! Sidenote: If you have your optional Kindle ebooks button here, your Libraries button will be the fourth button you see.

Here's how:

1) Go to your Account Settings.

2) Click on the Book Links tab.

3) Search to see if your library is already in the system by looking at the "Popular Links" list on the right. (Hint: if the list is not showing alphabetically, first select sort by popularity, and then toggle back to sort alphabetically.)

4) If your library is in the system, click the "add" button and you will see it appear at the bottom of the "Customize My Links" list on the left. Use the arrow buttons to move it to the top of the list.

5) On the book page, the Libraries button will now say "Links." Click on that and you'll see your library system in the drop-down menu.


If your library isn't listed, you can add it in yourself. From the Book links tab, click on add a new link. Fill in the fields on the next page, as instructed, and click on 'Create Book Link' at the bottom of the page. Then contact our support team at support@goodreads.com so they can approve it for you.

If you have any problems with this, we have a team who can help you. Simply email Goodreads Support at support@goodreads.com and include the link to the library.



Goodreads is also a great online home for public libraries. Some libraries have set up standard user profiles, where they post reviews and add books to their online shelves. The Los Angeles Public Library Reads, the Aurora, Illinois, Public Library, and the Scottsdale, Arizona, Public Library are just a few examples.

Other libraries create public groups to interact with patrons. Groups make it easy for libraries to share reading recommendations while keeping each participant's individual reviews and ratings. The Manchester, Michigan, District Library Book Club is a good example of how libraries are using public groups.

(Top image: A sectional view of the New York Public Library. Credit: The New York Public Library Digital Collections)

Check out more recent blogs:
Try The 'Reading Without Walls' Challenge This Month
The Top World War I Books on Goodreads
The 2017 Hugo Award Finalists Are Here


Library Week: Top Librarians on Their Favorite Recommendations
Posted by Cybil on April 10, 2017

To properly celebrate National Library Week (April 9th through 15th), we asked the recipients of the American Library Association's I Love My Librarian Award to tell us about a book they love to recommend, and why. These librarians were honored for their contributions to "transforming lives and communities through education and lifelong learning" and were selected from nearly 1,100 nominations submitted by the public. That's another way of saying these recommendations come from the best of the best!

What great recommendations have you received from your local librarians? Tell us in the comments. And be sure to add these suggestions to your Want to Read list. Here are some of the librarians' top recommended books:

Kathryn Cole, librarian at Northside Elementary School, Chapel Hill, North Carolina

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Ghost
by Jason Reynolds

"From the very beginning you find yourself rooting for the main character Ghost Crenshaw, a kid who by the end of the story is a mix of trauma and triumph. From the first chapter to the last, Jason Reynolds pulls you into the storyline and connects you with the characters in a way that lasts long after the story is over. A must read for educators and one of my top recommendations to students."



Danielle S. Apfelbaum, librarian at the New York Institute of Technology, Old Westbury, New York

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Smarter Faster Better
by Charles Duhigg

"One of the things I love about this book is how it has helped me to reframe my idea of productivity in terms of motivation, focus, goal setting, managing others, decision making, innovation, and absorbing data.…For me, this book has definitely been a game changer."



Olga Valencia Cardenas, librarian at the Stanislaus County Library, Modesto, California

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Memory of Light
by Francisco X. Stork

"Stork allows the reader to experience the angst of what it feels like to be a young adult struggling with a mental illness. I recommend this powerful narrative to young adults, and anyone who interacts with young adults, as it may serve as a springboard for deeper discussion and self-exploration in this oftentimes taboo topic."



Elissa Checov, librarian at the Gwinnett Technical College/Gwinnett County Public Library, Lawrenceville, Georgia

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Austerlitz
by W.G. Sebald

"Because this work was a remarkable reading and listening experience—I did both. It was unlike any other."



Roosevelt Weeks, Sr., librarian at the Houston Public Library

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Showdown: Thurgood Marshall and the Supreme Court Nomination That Changed America
by Wil Haygood

"The book is about the contentious Senate confirmation hearing of Thurgood Marshall to the Supreme Court. The country is going through the process of selecting the next Supreme Court justice and it may prove to be just as contentious as Justice Marshall."



Lia Kharis Hillman, librarian at the San Francisco Public Library

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Lentil Underground
by Liz Carlisle

"I have many favorite books, but I'd like to recommend this book that I read recently, as Earth Day is nearing and the book's message brings home the importance of thoughtful stewardship of our land and resources. "



Jamille Rogers, librarian at Marguerite Vann Elementary School, Conway, Arkansas

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Beauty and the Beast
by H. Chuku Lee

"This is an awesome retelling of the fairy tale Beauty and the Beast centered in West Africa. The illustrations are amazing and the story provides an opportunity for students, especially African-American students, to make text-to-self connections."



Check out more recent blogs:
Try The 'Reading Without Walls' Challenge This Month
The Top World War I Books on Goodreads
The 2017 Hugo Award Finalists Are Here


Try The 'Reading Without Walls' Challenge This Month
Posted by Cybil on April 07, 2017



Books can take you anywhere and allow you to experience the world (or distant worlds, even) through new eyes. And that's why we're excited about a new event called Reading Without Walls, which challenges readers to explore beyond their usual literary comfort zones.

The rules of this challenge are simple. Just pick your next book using one of these suggestions:

1) Read a book about a character who doesn't look like you or live like you.

2) Read a book about a topic you don't know much about.

3) Read a book in a format that you don't normally read for fun (a graphic novel, a book in verse, or an audiobook).


Beginning this month, Reading Without Walls is planned as an annual event every April. It's meant to expand the range of books children read, but we think it's a great idea for readers of any age. You can check out the Reading Without Walls website more information, reading lists, kids' activity books, and more. And if you want to follow along on social media, check out the hashtag #ReadingWithoutWalls.

Reading Without Walls began as a pilot program last year when author and comic book artist Gene Luen Yang was appointed National Ambassador of Young People's Literature (you can see Yang announcing the project in the video here). Yang is the author of American Born Chinese, Avatar: The Last Airbender, and many more graphic novels.

We'd love to know how you get out of your reading comfort zones and how that's helped you become a better reader. Share your thoughts in the comments below!

Check out more recent blogs:
The Top World War I Books on Goodreads
Atwood Expands The Handmaid's Tale in New Audiobook
The 2017 Hugo Award Finalists Are Here


The Top World War I Books on Goodreads
Posted by Hayley Igarashi on April 06, 2017

Before world wars needed to be numbered, World War I was known as the Great War or the War to End All Wars. Today marks the 100th anniversary of the United States entering that war.

While bookshelves and movie screens are filled with World War II stories, we thought it would be a good time to discover (or revisit) some of Goodreads members' favorite fiction and nonfiction narratives about World War I. From the fall of an empire to the rise of a homefront, from the eve of combat to the aftermath of destruction, these are books of devastation, redemption, and hope.


All Quiet on the Western Front
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Fall of Giants
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The Girl You Left Behind
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A Farewell to Arms
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Dead Wake
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Birdsong
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Maisie Dobbs
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War Horse
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The Summer Before the War
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Johnny Got His Gun
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The Guns of August
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Lady Almina and the Real Downton Abbey
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Regeneration
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Moon Over Manifest
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Nicholas and Alexandra
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Rilla of Ingleside
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Do you have a favorite WWI book? Share it with us in the comments.

Check out more recent blogs:
Atwood Expands The Handmaid's Tale in New Audiobook
The 2017 Hugo Award Finalists Are Here
What's New This Week: 7 Great Books Hitting Shelves Today