Best Books of the Month: June 2011

Here are the noteworthy titles that have been racing up our most popular charts this month.

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Don't Breathe a Word by Jennifer McMahon Don't Breathe a Word
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Realistic mystery and dark fantasy intersect in this creepy page-turner. A 12-year-old girl who believes in the King of the Fairies goes missing one summer night. Fifteen years later, her brother gets an unnerving phone call that urges him to investigate family secrets and possible supernatural truths. Beadyjan says it has "multiple twists and turns, lies and promises and secrets...sometimes wondering if the Grimmest of fairy tales can come true." Realistic mystery and dark fantasy intersect in this creepy page-turner. A 12-year-old girl who believes in the King of the Fairies goes missing one summer night. Fifteen years later, her brother gets an unnerving phone call that urges him to investigate family secrets and possible supernatural truths. Beadyjan says it has "multiple twists and turns, lies and promises and secrets...sometimes wondering if the Grimmest of fairy tales can come true."
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The Murder of the Century by Paul  Collins The Murder of the Century: The Gilded Age Crime that Scandalized a City and Sparked the Tabloid Wars
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When a dismembered corpse is found in New York City in 1897, the subsequent murder investigation and trial fuels a media circus between rival tabloid heads Joseph Pulitzer and William Randolph Hearst. The public eats up all the grisly details of this Gilded Age love triangle gone wrong. Jeff says, "The author clearly did his research, and his joy at reveling in the sordid and often odd details of the period really comes across." When a dismembered corpse is found in New York City in 1897, the subsequent murder investigation and trial fuels a media circus between rival tabloid heads Joseph Pulitzer and William Randolph Hearst. The public eats up all the grisly details of this Gilded Age love triangle gone wrong. Jeff says, "The author clearly did his research, and his joy at reveling in the sordid and often odd details of the period really comes across."
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Jamrach's Menagerie by Carol Birch Jamrach's Menagerie
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In this evocative 19th-century adventure story with echoes of Moby Dick, a street urchin named Jaffy finds work as an exotic animal importer and embarks on an ocean voyage to capture a fabled dragon. The novel carries the reader from Dickensian London to a dramatic shipwreck at sea. Doskoi_panda says, "It delves into the essence of the survival of humanity struggling under impossible conditions, guilt, friendship, and loss." In this evocative 19th-century adventure story with echoes of Moby Dick, a street urchin named Jaffy finds work as an exotic animal importer and embarks on an ocean voyage to capture a fabled dragon. The novel carries the reader from Dickensian London to a dramatic shipwreck at sea. Doskoi_panda says, "It delves into the essence of the survival of humanity struggling under impossible conditions, guilt, friendship, and loss."
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Tolstoy and the Purple Chair by Nina Sankovitch Tolstoy and the Purple Chair: My Year of Magical Reading
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Nina Sankovitch vows to read one book every day for a year, choosing books she would have shared with her deceased sister. This memoir of grief, family ties, and lots and lots of books chronicles her efforts to read 365 works. Along the way she weaves the art of reading into her life with her husband and four young sons. Lisa calls it "an absolute joy...a way to reach out to more readers and those who grieve. And it is pure magic." Nina Sankovitch vows to read one book every day for a year, choosing books she would have shared with her deceased sister. This memoir of grief, family ties, and lots and lots of books chronicles her efforts to read 365 works. Along the way she weaves the art of reading into her life with her husband and four young sons. Lisa calls it "an absolute joy...a way to reach out to more readers and those who grieve. And it is pure magic."
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Joy for Beginners by Erica Bauermeister Joy for Beginners
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A Seattle cancer survivor named Kate makes a daring pact with six of her closest friends: They must each do one thing that's always scared them. But there's a catch. Kate gets to choose each challenge. The novel follows the friends as they struggle and succeed to overcome their fears. Jackie says, "This book will break your heart and stitch it back up again as you cry, laugh, rejoice, and embrace these women. This is one amazing book." A Seattle cancer survivor named Kate makes a daring pact with six of her closest friends: They must each do one thing that's always scared them. But there's a catch. Kate gets to choose each challenge. The novel follows the friends as they struggle and succeed to overcome their fears. Jackie says, "This book will break your heart and stitch it back up again as you cry, laugh, rejoice, and embrace these women. This is one amazing book."
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Hourglass by Myra McEntire Hourglass (Hourglass, #1)
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Part science fiction time travel, part paranormal romance, this young adult novel tells the story of Emerson Cole, an orphaned teen suffering from hallucinations. When her brother hires a consultant from the enigmatic Hourglass organization, she learns that she might not be crazy but powerful. MG Buehrlen says, "Mix humor, spunk, and Southern attitude with unexpected twists and turns, electric characters, and hot romance, and you've got a hit." Part science fiction time travel, part paranormal romance, this young adult novel tells the story of Emerson Cole, an orphaned teen suffering from hallucinations. When her brother hires a consultant from the enigmatic Hourglass organization, she learns that she might not be crazy but powerful. MG Buehrlen says, "Mix humor, spunk, and Southern attitude with unexpected twists and turns, electric characters, and hot romance, and you've got a hit."
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