More book news, Jan. 26, 2013

Compiled by Mary Louise Ruehr, Books Editor Published:

BOOK CLUBS

• Learned Owl Book Shop’s Book Club in a Bar: 7 p.m. Jan. 31, Bistro on Main, 1313 W. Main St., Kent — “Whose Body?” by Dorothy L. Sayers, the 1923 debut of Lord Peter Wimsey, the original gentleman sleuth. No registration, no rules; drop-ins welcome to the casual book group. For more information: 330-653-2252.

• Randolph Library Cookbook Club: 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Feb. 5, Randolph Town Hall, located next door to the library at 1639 S.R. 44 in Randolph. This month’s featured chef is Ree Drummond, also known as the Pioneer Woman on her blog and television show. Participants are asked to bring a dish and a copy of the recipe to the meeting. Cookbooks or recipe printouts are available at the Randolph Library. Cookbook Club members will taste and discuss the recipes and vote on next month’s chef. In addition, members may bring old cookbooks they no longer want for a voluntary cookbook exchange. For more information or to register: 330-325-7003.

• Pierce Streetsboro Library’s Book Discussion Club: 3 p.m. Feb. 11, meeting room of the library, 8990 Kirby Lane — “Blackbird House” by Alice Hoffman, a novel taking place in a Cape Cod farmhouse over the course of generations. Light refreshments served courtesy of the Friends of Pierce Streetsboro Library. For more information or to register: 330-626-4458.

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Best-sellers

PUBLISHERS WEEKLY BEST-SELLERS

The Associated Press

HARDCOVER FICTION

1. “A Memory of Light” by Robert Jordan (Tor)

2. “The Fifth Assassin” by Brad Meltzer (Grand Central)

3. “Gone Girl” by Gillian Flynn (Crown)

4. “Tenth of December: Stories” by George Saunders (Random House)

5. “The Husband List” by Janet Evanovich (St. Martin’s)

6. “The Third Bullet” by Stephen Hunter (Simon & Schuster)

7. “The Racketeer” by John Grisham (Doubleday)

8. “Collateral Damage” by Stuart Woods (Putnam)

9. “Kinsey and Me: Stories” by Sue Grafton (Putnam/Marian Wood)

10. “Cross Roads” by Wm. Paul Young (Faith/Words)

11. “The Twelve Tribes of Hattie” by Ayana Mathis (Knopf)

12. “The Forgotten” by David Baldacci (Grand Central Publishing)

13. “Threat Vector” by Tom Clancy (Putnam)

14. “Mrs. Lincoln’s Dressmaker” by Jennifer Chiaverini (Dutton)

15. “The Blood Gospel” by James Rollins (William Morrow)

HARDCOVER NONFICTION

1. “Shred: The Revolutionary Diet: 6 Weeks 4 Inches 2 Sizes” by Ian K. Smith (St. Martin’s Press)

2. “Killing Kennedy” by Bill O’Reilly (Henry Holt and Co.)

3. “My Beloved World” by Sonia Sotomayor (Knopf)

4. “Eat More of What You Love” by Marlene Koch (Running Press)

5. “I Declare: 31 Promises to Speak” by Joel Osteen (Faith/Words)

6. “No Easy Day” by Mark Owen (Dutton)

7. “The Plan” by Lyn-Genet Recitas (Grand Central)

8. “The End of Diabetes” by Joel Fuhrman (HarperOne)

9. “Barefoot Contessa Foolproof: Recipes You Can Trust” by Ina Garten (Clarkson Potter)

10. “The Virgin Diet: Drop 7 Foods, Lose 7 Pounds, Just 7 Days” by J.J. Virgin (Harlequin)

11. “Fat Chance” by Robert Lustig (Hudson Street Press)

12. “Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power” by Jon Meacham (Random House)

13. “Going Clear” by Lawrence Wright (Knopf)

14. “The World Until Yesterday: What Can We Learn from Traditional Societies” by Jared Diamond (Viking)

15. “Weight Watchers New Complete Cookbook” by Weight Watchers (Wiley)

MASS MARKET PAPERBACKS

1. “Odd Interlude” by Dean Koontz (Bantam)

2. “Return to Sender” by Fern Michaels (Zebra)

3. “The Columbus Affair: A Novel” by Steve Berry (Ballantine)

4. “Montana” by Debbie Macomber (Harlequin Mira)

5. “Big Sky River” by Linda Lael Miller (Harlequin HQN)

6. “Catch Me: A Detective D.D. Warren Novel” by Lisa Gardner (Signet)

7. “10th Anniversary” by James Patterson, Maxine Paetro (Vision)

8. “Full House” by Janet Evanovich (St. Martin’s Press)

9. “Left for Dead: A Novel” by J.A. Jance (Pocket Books)

10. “Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Choke Point” by Peter Telep (Berkley)

11. “Safe Haven” by Nicholas Sparks (Grand Central Publishing)

12. “After Tex” by Sherryl Woods (Harlequin Mira)

13. “Kill Alex Cross” by James Patterson (Vision)

14. “One Shot” by Lee Child (Dell)

15. “Sea Glass Winter: A Shelter Bay Novel” by JoAnn Ross (Signet)

TRADE PAPERBACKS

1. “Proof of Heaven” by Eben Alexander (Simon & Schuster)

2. “Fifty Shades of Grey” by E.L. James (Vintage)

3. “Fifty Shades Darker” by E.L. James (Vintage)

4. “Private Number 1 Suspect” by James Patterson, Maxine Paetro (Grand Central)

5. “Fifty Shades Freed” by E.L. James (Vintage)

6. “Home Front” by Kristin Hannah (St. Martin’s Griffin)

7. “Private London” by James Patterson (Grand Central Publishing)

8. “The Paris Wife” by Paula McLain (Ballantine)

9. “Death Comes to Pemberley” by P.D. James (Vintage)

10. “Life of Pi” by Yann Martel (Mariner Books)

11. “Reflected in You: A Crossfire Novel” by Sylvia Day (Berkley)

12. “Safe Haven” by Nicholas Sparks (Grand Central Publishing)

13. “Bared to You: A Crossfire Novel” by Sylvia Day (Berkley)

14. “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” by Stephen Chbosky (MTV Books)

15. “The Hobbit, or There and Back Again” by J.R.R. Tolkien (Mariner Books)

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

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WALL STREET JOURNAL BEST-SELLERS

The Associated Press

FICTION

1. “A Memory of Light” by Robert Jordan, Brandon Sanderson (TorBooks)

2. “Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Third Wheel” by Jeff Kinney (Amulet Books)

3. “Captain Underpants and the Revolting Revenge of the Radioactive Robo-Boxers” by Dav Pilkey (Scholastic)

4. “The Fifth Assassin” by Brad Meltzer (Grand Central Publishing)

5. “Gone Girl” by Gillian Flynn (Crown Publishing Group)

6. “Tenth of December” by George Saunders (Random House)

7. “The Husband List” by Janet Evanovich, Dorien Kelly (St. Martin’s Press)

8. “The Third Bullet” by Stephen Hunter (Simon & Schuster)

9. “The Racketeer” by John Grisham (Doubleday)

10. “The Heroes of Olympus, Book 3: The Mark of Athena” by Rick Riordan (Hyperion Books)

NONFICTION

1. “Shred: The Revolutionary Diet: 6 Weeks 4 Inches 2 Sizes” by Ian K. Smith (St. Martin’s Press)

2. “Jesus Calling: Enjoy Peace in His Presence” by Sarah Young (Thomas Nelson Publishers)

3. “Killing Kennedy” by Bill O’Reilly, Martin Dugard (Henry Holt and Co.)

4. “My Beloved World” by Sonia Sotomayor (Knopf)

5. “Eat More of What You Love” by Marlene Koch (Running Press Book Publishers)

6. “Killing Lincoln” by Bill O’Reilly, Martin Dugard (Henry Holt & Co.)

7. “I Declare” by Joel Osteen (Faith Words)

8. “StrengthsFinder 2.0” by Tom Rath (Gallup Press)

9. “No Easy Day” by Mark Owen with Kevin Maurer (Dutton Books)

10. “The Plan” by Lyn-Genet Recitas (Grand Central Publishing)

FICTION E-BOOKS

1. “Hopeless” by Colleen Hoover (Self-published via Amazon Digital Services)

2. “Safe Haven” by Nicholas Sparks (Grand Central Publishing)

3. “Gone Girl” by Gillian Flynn (Crown Publishing Group)

4. “Someone to Love” by Addison Moore (Addison Moore)

5. “The Fifth Assassin” by Brad Meltzer (Grand Central Publishing)

6. “Beautiful Creatures” by Kami Garcis, Margaret Stohl (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers)

7. “The Coincidence of Callie and Kayden” by Jessica Sorensen (Jessica Sorensen)

8. “The Forgotten” by David Baldacci (Grand Central Publishing)

9. “Fifty Shades of Grey” by E.L. James (Vintage Books)

10. “Fifty Shades Freed” by E.L. James (Vintage Books)

NONFICTION E-BOOKS

1. “Breaking Night” by Liz Murray (Hyperion)

2. “Brain Rules” by John Medina (Pear Press)

3. “Proof of Heaven” by Eben Alexander (Simon & Schuster)

4. “Going Clear” by Lawrence Wright (Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group)

5. “Shred: The Revolutionary Diet: 6 Weeks 4 Inches 2 Sizes” by Ian K. Smith (St. Martin’s Press)

6. “Killing Kennedy” by Bill O’Reilly, Martin Dugard (Henry Holt and Co.)

7. “No Easy Day” by Mark Owen with Kevin Maurer (Penguin Group)

8. “Merle’s Door” by Ted Kerasote (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)

9. “Cry Silent Tears” by Joe Peters (Harper Collins)

10. “Killing Lincoln” by Bill O’Reilly, Martin Dugard (Henry Holt & Co.)

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

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USA TODAY BEST-SELLERS

The Associated Press

1. “Safe Haven” by Nicholas Sparks (Grand Central Publishing)

2. “Hopeless” by Colleen Hoover (Self-published via Amazon Digital Services)

3. “Gone Girl” by Gillian Flynn (Crown)

4. “Proof of Heaven” by Eben Alexander (Simon & Schuster)

5. “The Fifth Assassin” by Brad Meltzer (Grand Central Publishing)

6. “Fifty Shades of Grey” by E.L. James (Vintage)

7. “Fifty Shades Freed” by E.L. James (Vintage)

8. “Fifty Shades Darker” by E.L. James (Vintage)

9. “Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Third Wheel” by Jeff Kinney (Amulet Books)

10. “Shred: The Revolutionary Diet: 6 Weeks 4 Inches 2 Sizes” by Ian K. Smith (St. Martin’s Press)

11. “A Memory of Light” by Robert Jordan, Brandon Sanderson (Tor)

12. “The Forgotten” by David Baldacci (Grand Central Publishing)

13. “The Hobbit” by J.R.R. Tolkien (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)

14. “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” by Stephen Chbosky (MTV)

15. “Beautiful Creatures” by Kami Garcia, Margaret Stohl (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers)

16. “The Third Bullet” by Stephen Hunter (Simon & Schuster)

17. “The Racketeer” by John Grisham (Doubleday)

18. “Beautiful Darkness” by Kami Garcia, Margaret Stohl (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers)

19. “Catching Fire” by Suzanne Collins (Scholastic)

20. “Mockingjay” by Suzanne Collins (Scholastic)

21. “Captain Underpants and the Revolting Revenge of the Radioactive Robo-Boxers” by Dav Pilkey (Scholastic)

22. “Killing Kennedy: The End of Camelot” by Bill O’Reilly, Martin Dugard (Henry Holt and Co.)

23. “Agenda 21” by Glenn Beck, Harriet Parke (Threshold Editions)

24. “Life of Pi” by Yann Martel (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)

25. “My Beloved World” by Sonia Sotemayor (Knopf)

For the extended, interactive and searchable version of this list, visit http://books.usatoday.com/list/index

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

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Review: ‘Me Before You’ will move reader to tears

By Alicia Rancilio, Associated Press

“Me Before You” (Pamela Dorman Books), by Jojo Moyes

There are books that you cannot put down. There are also books where you become so invested in the characters, you force yourself to stop reading to prolong the experience because you don’t want the story to end, and that’s what can happen when you read Jojo Moyes’ latest book, “Me Before You.”

The novel follows Louisa Clark, a young woman living an ordinary life in a small English town. She lives with her parents and helps support her family by earning a modest living. She has no dreams or aspirations. She didn’t attend college and has never traveled. She has a boyfriend who is obsessed with fitness, and she’ll occasionally watch him exercise to show her devotion to him.

Things begin to change when she takes a job as an aide for a quadriplegic named William Traynor, who was paralyzed in a freak accident. Before the accident, he was a corporate raider who loved adventure, culture and women.

They get off to a rocky start, but warm up as they teach each other about living in a different way. Their story doesn’t end there, like a TV movie. There are some very real obstacles in the way, and the book isn’t a fairytale.

Moyes writes well-developed characters, and it’s impossible not to care about them. You’ll find yourself laughing, smiling, feeling angry and, yes, crying.

My only suggestion: “Me Before You” should be sold with a pack of tissues.

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Reader sue Armstrong over drug-use denial in books

By PAUL ELIAS, Associated Press

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — An aide to former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said he was so taken by Lance Armstrong’s first memoir of battling back from cancer to win the Tour de France multiple times that he immediately read it “cover to cover” and recommended it to several friends.

Now he wants his money back — and then some.

Rob Stutzman and several others who bought Armstrong’s “It’s Not About The Bike” and “Every Second Counts” have filed a lawsuit in Sacramento federal court. It alleges Armstrong duped them into believing the books were inspirational true accounts of the cyclist’s accomplishments done without performance-enhancing drugs.

The lawsuit accuses Armstrong and the books’ publishers of committing fraud, false advertising and other wrongdoing for publishing the cyclist’s vehement denials that he wasn’t a cheat.

Armstrong admitted to cheating throughout his career in a televised interview last week. His lawyer Tim Herman didn’t immediately respond to inquiries for comment Thursday.

The lawsuit seeks class-action status on behalf of all readers who felt misled by Armstrong’s denials of drug use in “It’s Not About The Bike,” published in 2000, and “Every Second Counts,” published three years later.

“Although Stutzman does not buy or read many books, he found Armstrong’s book incredibly compelling and recommended the book to several friends,” the lawsuit stated.

The lawsuit filed Tuesday says Stutzman met Armstrong when the cyclist visited with Schwarzenegger.

“At that time, Stutzman thanked Defendant Armstrong for writing his book and told him it was very inspiring and that he had recommended it to friends who were fighting cancer,” the suit says. “In response, Armstrong thanked Stutzman.”

At least two authors have faced similar lawsuits when their supposed works of nonfiction were alleged to contain fabrications.

James Frey, author of “A Million Little Pieces,” and his publisher settled a class-action lawsuit in 2006 alleging he made up parts of his best-selling memoir by offering to refund the cost of the book.

In April, a federal judge in Montana tossed out a lawsuit alleging fraud filed against “Three Cups of Tea” author Greg Mortenson as imprecise, flimsy and speculative.

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Review: Om is where the heart is

By BROOKE LEFFERTS, Associated Press

“May I Be Happy: a Memoir of Love, Yoga, and Changing My Mind” (Dutton), by Cyndi Lee

Yoga students are often motivated and even inspired by watching teachers twist their strong bodies into pretzeled poses. In her new memoir, “May I Be Happy,” yoga guru Cyndi Lee may surprise yogis as she pulls back the curtain to share deep-seated insecurities about her body.

Lee has been practicing yoga since 1972 and now leads classes, teacher training sessions and special workshops worldwide. She has written other yoga books, but this time, she gets personal.

Recently, Lee realized it was challenging to preach to students about personal growth when she was stuck herself. Yoga unites body and mind, and while she led meditations and could do a headstand, Lee’s lifelong negative body image plagued her.

Her self-worth was wrapped up in her appearance, and although she was never what most would consider overweight, she never quite met her own expectations. The book follows her journey to discover the roots of her self-judgment, and the tools to get past it. “I didn’t know that taking care of myself wasn’t the same as actually caring about myself,” Lee writes.

She bravely shares intimate details of her life, which draws in readers. Her dancing and choreography experience in the 1980s for stars like Cyndi Lauper put her body under a microscope and in competition with many thin peers.

Lee’s visits with her mother — who suffers from dementia — spark memories of when she first became aware of her body and perceived its imperfections.

Since Lee was a teen, feelings of guilt, fear and shame overcame her regularly: “I was always getting mad at my body, but my body has been fine. It’s my relationship to my body that’s hurting me and my mind is the real troublemaker.”

Uncomfortable talking about puberty and sex, her mother contributed to Lee’s issues. Her mother’s preoccupation with her own appearance set an example that nagged Lee through adulthood.

Lee consults health experts and spiritual leaders, practices meditation, studies Buddhism and tries positive affirmations. She meets with her friend, actress Jamie Lee Curtis, once famous for her sexy body. Now 54, Curtis’ body has changed, but she offers Lee advice on acceptance.

She also recognizes that the hormone shifts of menopause affect her emotions and sex drive. Over time, she’s able to push out negative thoughts about her body and let in supportive ones. Releasing those thoughts is a challenge and, like yoga, a perpetual practice.

When Lee learns that her husband has betrayed her, she hits her lowest point. Dealing with her failing mother and tenuous marriage instead of returning to old habits, she finally finds the strength to believe she’s good enough.

Some of Lee’s stories include excessive detail and need editing. She often skips around in time, and there are no clear chapters, which can be confusing and interrupts the narrative’s flow.

But, Lee’s candor in her healing process will likely resonate with self-help fans. Downward doggers will appreciate her pose descriptions and the window into a teacher’s thoughts about students during the quiet intensity of a class. For the millions of people — especially women — who fight the fat talk in their heads, her words will be familiar and comforting.

In talking about her students, Lee says, “The honesty and vulnerability of each person touches me deeply.”

With this book, Lee has returned the gift.

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Review: Chevalier’s latest novel disappoints

By KIM CURTIS, Associated Press

“The Last Runaway” (Dutton), by Tracy Chevalier

Tracy Chevalier’s “Girl With a Pearl Earring,” which brought Dutch painter Johannes Vermeer to life, has become a near-classic in contemporary historical fiction. And her latest novel, “The Last Runaway,” takes on similarly fascinating and little-known subject matter — the Quakers’ role in the Underground Railroad during the mid-1800s.

Heroine Honor Bright leaves England for America, settles in Ohio and becomes intimately involved in the movement — helping runaway slaves reach freedom. Sounds great, right? But despite this compelling fictional backdrop, Chevalier’s storytelling just doesn’t do it justice.

Bright, despite her name, is anything but. Her character is flat and dull and spends much of her time longing for home, harshly judging her new American friends and family and talking about how she really shouldn’t be complaining about it. This criticism seems all the more confusing when we learn that Chevalier intended her latest novel as her “love letter home.” (She’s made her home in England for nearly 30 years.) The rest of the characters are similarly unsympathetic and undeveloped.

And the quilting. Clearly, the discussion of quilting — the patterns, the styles, the methods — is intended as a motif to carry the reader seamlessly through the story. Instead, it feels obvious, annoying and overdone.

That said, it’s a quick read as Chevalier’s writing is solid and compelling. “The Last Runaway” remains a page turner as readers are anxiously waiting for something to happen. But when things do happen, the action seems trite and well-trodden.

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