Biography

Goodreads Choice Awards – 2017


 

GoodreadsChoiceLogo2017

 

 

Most of the winners of major book awards are selected by members of the groups that give the award – much like the film industry’s Academy Awards are selected each year. Mystery writers vote on the major mystery awards; romance writers vote on the Rita Award, etc.

 

 

 


Goodreads, the popular readers/authors site, has a slightly different model for the Goodreads Choice Awards. During the year, readers chat about books they’re reading and make lists of their favorites for their friends and followers to see. They also rank books they’ve read with stars, indicating how much they liked (or disliked) the titles published that year. There are thousands of books listed on the site, with thousands of comments, giving anyone who’s interested a way to see how a book (published in the U.S. in English) is viewed by the Goodreads group. Amazon acquired Goodreads, so these reviews and stars probably have an impact on book sales.

 

 


During October each year, the Goodreads staff looks at the stats and does the math, then nominates 15 books for each of 20 categories that have an average rating of 3.5 stars or more.

 

 


The members of the Goodreads community vote in elimination rounds. They are allowed to vote in all twenty categories, giving a broader view of a book’s popularity. If you sign up to become a member of Goodreads, you can vote as well.

 

 


Opening round now closed  (voting on the selected 15 in each category, write-ins accepted) : Oct. 31st thru Nov. 5th

 

 

 

Semifinal Round now closed: Nov. 7th thru Nov. 12th  (voting on the original 15 along with the top 5 write-ins in each category – voters can change their minds about the original vote):

 

 

Final Round now closed: Nov. 14th thru Nov. 27th  (voting on final top 10 books in each category)

 

It's December 5th and the winners have been announced. Click on the links and see how close the voting in some categories was.

 

 

Here are the 2017 links for eight of the categories (once there, the other twelve categories are an easy click away):

Fiction

Mystery & Thriller

Historical Fiction

Fantasy

Romance

Science Fiction

Non-Fiction

YA Fantasy & Science Fiction

 

 

 

 

The 2016 Goodreads Choice Awards went to:

Fiction: Liane Moriarty “Truly Madly Guilty”

Mystery & Thriller: Stephen King  “End of Watch”

Historical Fiction: Colson Whitehead “The Underground Railroad”

Fantasy: J.K. Rowling “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child”

Romance: Colleen Hoover  “It Ends With Us”

Science Fiction: Pierce Brown  “Morning Star”

Non-Fiction: Lin-Manuel Miranda, Jeremy Carter “Hamilton: The Revolution”

YA Fantasy & Science Fiction: Sarah J. Maas  “Court of Mist and Fury”

 

 

Did you read any of the winning choices from 2016? If so, what did you think? Let us know in the comment section.

 

 

The 2015 Goodreads Choice Awards went to:

Fiction: Harper Lee’s “Go Set a Watchman”

Mystery & Thriller:  Paula Hawkins’ “The Girl on the Train”

Historical Fiction:  Kristin Hannah’s “The Nightingale”

Fantasy:  Neil Gaiman’s “Trigger Warning”

Romance:  Colleen Hoover’s “Confess”

Science Fiction: Pierce Brown’s “Golden Son”

 

 

 

The 2014 Goodreads Choice Awards went to:

Fiction: Rainbow Rowell's "Landline"

Mystery & Thriller:  Stephen King's "Mr. Mercedes" 

Historical Fiction:  Anthony Doerr's "All the Light We Cannot See"

History & Biography:  Helen Rappaport's The Romanov Sisters: The Lost Lives of the Daughters of Nicholas and Alexandra"

Romance:  Diana Gabaldon's "Written in My Own Heart's Blood"

Science Fiction:  Andy Weir's "The Martian"

 

 

The 12 additional categories include cookbooks, horror, non-fiction, children’s books and more.

 

 

It’s interesting to note that in 2013, 1,953,770 total votes were cast for the Goodreads Choice Awards.

The final tabulation for 2015 was 3,007,748 votes.

In 2016?  3,550,346 votes.    :-)

This year's final total was 3,887,698!

 

Happy reading! You're in for a treat.  :-)

 

 

 

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Crimefest 2017

 

CrimeFest2016Banner.jpg

CRIMEFEST had its beginnings in 2008 as a convention for fans of crime novels and has become one of the biggest crime fiction events in Europe. Its reputation is such that top crime novelists, publishers and reviewers now attend from around the world.

 

This year the CRIMEFEST awards dinner was held on May 20, 2017 in Bristol, England. Take a look at all the nominees and click on the book titles to read more about them. Eligible titles were submitted by publishers, then (except for the Audio category) British crime fiction reviewers voted to establish the shortlist and the winning title. The winners are indicated in red.


The eDunnit Award is for the best ebook published in both hardcopy and ebook.

Linwood Barclay for The Twenty-Three
Steph Broadribb for Deep Down Dead
Michael Connelly for The Wrong Side of Goodbye
Ragnar Jonasson for Blackout
*Laura Lippman for Wilde Lake
Ian Rankin for Rather Be the Devil
Andrew Taylor for The Ashes of London
L.C. Tyler for Cat Among the Herrings

Last Laugh Award
The Last Laugh Award is for the best humorous crime novel first published in the British Isles in 2016.

Ken Bruen & Jason Starr for PIMP
John Dufresne for I Don’t Like Where This Is Going
Judith Flanders for A Cast of Vultures
*Mick Herron for Real Tigers
Carl Hiaasen for Razor Girl
Vaseem Khan for The Perplexing Theft of the Jewel in the Crown
L.C. Tyler for Cat Among the Herrings
– Chris Whitaker for Tall Oaks

 

AUDIBLE SOUNDS OF CRIME AWARD
The Audible Sounds of Crime Award is for the best unabridged crime audiobook first published in the UK in 2016 in both printed and audio formats, and available for download from audible.co.uk. Audible UK listeners picked the shortlist and the winning title. The winning author and audiobook reader(s) share the £1,000 prize equally.

Ben Aaronovitch for The Hanging Tree, read by Kobna Holdbrook-Smith
Rachel Abbott for Kill Me Again, read by Lisa Coleman
Fiona Barton for The Widow, read by Clare Corbett
Lee Child for Night School, read by Jeff Harding
Anthony Horowitz for Magpie Murders, read by Allan Corduner & Samantha Bond
*Clare Mackintosh for I See You, read by Rachel Atkins 
Peter May for Coffin Road, read by Peter Forbes
Holly Seddon for Try Not to Breathe, read by Jot Davies, Lucy Middleweek & Katy Sobey

 

BEST CRIME NOVEL FOR YOUNG ADULTS (AGES 12–16)
CRIMEFEST introduced a new award recognizing crime novels for young adults.

Leigh Bardugo for Crooked Kingdom
Kerry Drewery for Cell 7
John Grisham for Theodore Boone: The Scandal
Erin Lange for Rebel, Bully, Geek, Pariah
Patrice Lawrence for Orangeboy
*Simon Mason for Kid Got Shot
Simon Mayo for Blame
Eliza Wass for In The Dark, In The Woods

 

Please visit www.crimefest.com for nominees and winners in other categories (Scandinavian crime fiction; short short story; crime novels for children 8-12; biographical or critical).

Congratulations to all the nominees and winners for the Crimefest Awards-2017!  :-)

 

 

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Author Profile: Edith Maxwell

 

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Edith Maxwell writes award-winning short stories, has several series of full-length mysteries out and has been nominated for Agatha Awards in both the Short Story and Historical Fiction categories for this year’s Malice Domestic mystery conference. At this writing, she has eleven published novels since 2012 under the names Tace Baker, Maddie Day, and Edith Maxwell, with #12 due out next month. She is working on three more to be published in the near future. She is the one of the most prolific traditionally published authors I know and she is loving all of it!

 

I first met Edith at a Writers Police Academy conference in the Fall of 2012. At the time, she had just published her first Lauren Rousseau title, “Speaking of Murder,” as Tace Baker. I was hooked by the intelligent, worldly, complex female lead character. She attended WPA in order to research police procedure, and also gathered tons of information about firefighters and EMS personnel that she might use in future novels.

 

While following her career the last few years, it’s become apparent that solid research underpins all her books. Happily, combined with her own personal experiences, the result is richly developed backgrounds and storylines.

 

For the Country Store series, Maxwell took a trip to Indiana in order to investigate the setting, special southern Indiana phrasing (“I can’t eat another bite ’cause I’m as full as a tick”), and foods specific to the region. As it happens, she was also returning to the area of her grad school days and the site of a university packed with her own Maxwell family history. Friends of hers in the grad program had restored an old country store and turned it into a restaurant and bed & breakfast, the basis for Robbie Jordan’s ‘Pans ‘N Pancakes’ establishment in the series. In addition, Maxwell loves to cook and there are virtual cooking lessons woven throughout the stories as well as yummy recipes to be found.

 

Fun fact: my mom had an amazing collection of antique cookware, so when Robbie chats about the vintage pieces in her store, I can see the tools in my mind’s eye. Maxwell/Day’s details? Wonderful!

EdithMaxwellAntiques-11

The Local Foods series features an organic farmer as the lead character, and guess what? Edith ran her own small certified organic farm for a few years and that expertise infuses the series with effortless realism. Readers can pick up tips about what it takes to grow produce organically, both the pitfalls and the plusses, while enjoying the cleverly crafted mysteries.

 

The Quaker Midwife series is a project close to Edith’s heart. She is a Quaker herself and some of the history and the daily practices of the Society of Friends have found their way into this series. Maxwell now lives in Amesbury, Massachusetts where the books are set, and the local history influenced her short story writing. One of the short stories became the impetus for a 19th c. midwife character. Rose Carroll, the Quaker midwife, is perfectly placed to be a sleuth, since she gets to go where men (and the police) can’t in 1888, and hears all kinds of secrets that help solve the crimes. Beautifully written, “Delivering the Truthis well-deserving of the Agatha historical mystery nomination this year.

 

Click on the link to check out Maxwell’s YouTube video of a walking tour of Amesbury, Massachusetts. Maxwell is wearing an authentic self-made 1888 dress and bonnet while she conducts the tour and chats about the sites mentioned in “Delivering the Truth.” What a fun and terrific way to launch a series!

https://youtu.be/D-1BKTI9-f8 

 

Plus, as Maddie Day, Edith has a new cozy foodie mystery series, Cozy Capers Book Group, set on Cape Cod. “Murder on Cape Cod will be the first title launched in 2018. The lead character runs a bicycle repair and rental shop and hosts a weekly cozy mystery book group. My dad’s family came from the Cape, and I’m looking forward to reading Maxwell/Day’s take on the region.

 

So, how does she keep up this writing pace and still maintain the quality in her books? First, she is doing what she loves. She has a writing schedule for each day – mornings are the best for her – but when a deadline looms, she sometimes goes away for a few days on retreat. She turns off the internet so that there are no distractions at all and she can write from dawn ‘til midnight if she needs to. When slipping away to a retreat, Maxwell likes to take along comfy clothes, walking shoes, a laptop, a favorite pen, and an actual paper notebook. Oh, and of course, wine and dark chocolate.  :-)

 

Maxwell writes traditional mysteries with absorbing puzzles to solve, and appealing characters that engage us on every page. With strong female leads, fascinating details, and multi-layered plots, this is an author we want to follow, wherever (or whenever) she leads us.

 

Book Cover - A Tine to Live A Tine to Die

 

Read the review of “A Tine to Live, A Tine to Die,” (Local Foods series) here.

 

 

 

 

 


Book Cover - Grilled for Murder

 

Read the review of “Grilled for Murder,” (Country Store series) here (written as Maddie Day)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Book Cover - Delivering the Truth

 

 

Read review of “Delivering the Truth” (Quaker Midwife series) here:-)

 

 

 

 

 

 

"Delivering the Truth" has been nominated for an Agatha Award for Best Historical Mystery. And “The Mayor and the Midwife” has been nominated for an Agatha for Best Short Story. Read the short story here.


Edith Maxwell is a member of the Wicked Cozy Authors, the New England gals that share writing advice and their own experiences every week at www.wickedcozyauthors.com. She also writes with Killer Characters, and with the Midnight Ink authors.

For more information about Ms. Maxwell and her many projects, please visit www.edithmaxwell.com

 

Edith MaxwellDeliveringtheTruth AgathaBanner

 

Photo "Writer" taken by Patti Phillips

Other photos provided by Edith Maxwell

 

 

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CrimeFest 2016

 

CrimeFest2016Banner.jpg

CRIMEFEST had its beginnings in 2008 as a convention for fans of crime novels and  has become one of the biggest crime fiction events in Europe. Its reputation is such that  top crime novelists, publishers and reviewers now attend from around the world.

 

This year the CRIMEFEST awards dinner was held on May 21st in Bristol, England. Take a look at all the great nominees. The winners are indicated in red.
 


The eDunnit Award is for the best ebook published in both hardcopy and ebook.

Eligible titles submitted by publishers, then British crime fiction reviewers voted to establish the shortlist and the winning title.


Linwood Barclay: “Broken Promise”
Michael Connelly: “The Crossing”

Judith Flanders: “A Bed of Scorpions”
Suzette A. Hill: “A Southwold Mystery”
Laurie R. King: “Dreaming Spies”
Jax Miller: “Freedom’s Child”
Denise Mina: “Blood, Salt, Water”  

Andrew Taylor: “The Silent Boy”

 

The Last Laugh Award is for the best humorous crime novel first published in the British Isles in 2015. Eligible titles were submitted by the publishers, then voted on by British crime fiction reviewers.


Sascha Arango: “The Truth and Other Lies”
Alan Bradley: “As Chimney Sweepers Come to Dust”
Simon Brett: “Mrs Pargeter’s Principle”

Christopher Fowler: “Bryant & May and the Burning Man”
Elly Griffiths: “Smoke and Mirrors”
Malcolm Pryce: “The Case of the ‘Hail Mary’ Celeste”
Mike Ripley: “Mr Campion’s Fox”
Jason Starr: “Savage Lane”

 

 

Audible Sounds of Crime Award is for the best audio book.


Rachel Abbott: “Sleep Tight,” read by Melody Grove & Andrew Wincott

Lee Child: “Make Me,” read by Jeff Harding
Harlan Coben: “The Stranger,” read by Eric Meyers
Robert Galbraith: “Career of Evil,” read by Robert Glenister
Paula Hawkins: “The Girl on the Train,” read by Clare Corbett, India Fisher & Louise Brealey
Stephen King: “Finders Keepers,” read by Will Patton
David Lagercrantz: “The Girl in the Spider’s Web,” translated by George Goulding, read by Saul Reichlin
Clare Mackintosh: “I Let You Go,” read by David Thorpe & Julia Barrie

Ian Rankin: “Even Dogs in the Wild,” read by James Macpherson
 


The H.R.F. Keating Award is for the best biography or critical book in crime fiction.


David Stuart Davies & Barry Forshaw: “The Sherlock Holmes Book”

Martin Edwards: “The Golden Age of Murder”
Fergus Fleming: “The Man With the Golden Typewriter: Ian Fleming’s James Bond Letters”
Barry Forshaw: “Crime Uncovered: Detective”
Julius Green: “Curtains Up: Agatha Christie A Life in Theatre”
Maysam Hasam Jaber: “Criminal Femmes Fatales in American Hardboiled Crime Fiction”
Fiona Peters & Rebecca Stewart: “Crime Uncovered: Anti-hero”
Adam Sisman: “John le Carré: The Biography”

 


The Petrona Award celebrates the best in Scandinavian fiction.


Karin Fossum: “The Drowned Boy” translated by Kari Dickson
Kati Hiekkapelto: “The Defenceless” translated by David Hackston
Jørn Lier Horst: “The Caveman” translated by Anne Bruce
David Lagercrantz: “The Girl in the Spider’s Web” translated by George Goulding
Hans Olav Lahlum: “Satellite People” translated by Kari Dickson

Antti Tuomainen: “Dark As My Heart” translated by Lola Rogers

 

Congratulations to all! :-)

 

For more information about CrimeFest, please visit www.crimefest.com

 

 

 

 

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Goodreads 2015 Choice Awards

 

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Most of the winners of major book awards are selected by members of the groups that give the award – much like the film industry’s Academy Awards are selected each year. Mystery writers vote on the major mystery awards; romance writers vote on the Rita Award, etc.
 

Goodreads, the popular readers/authors site, has a slightly different model for the Goodreads Choice Awards. During the year, readers chat about books they’re reading and make lists of their favorites for their friends and followers to see. They also rank books they’ve read with stars, indicating how much they liked (or disliked) the titles published that year. There are thousands of books listed on the site, with thousands of comments, giving anyone who’s interested a way to see how a book (published in the U.S. in English) is viewed by the Goodreads group. Amazon acquired Goodreads, so these reviews and stars probably have an impact on book sales.

 

During October each year, the Goodreads staff looks at the stats and does the math, then nominates 15 books for each of 20 categories that have an average rating of 3.5 stars or more.

 

The members of the Goodreads community vote in elimination rounds. They are allowed to vote in all twenty categories, giving a broader view of a book’s popularity. If you sign up to become a member of Goodreads, you can vote as well.

 

Opening round completed: Nov. 3rd thru Nov. 8th   (voting on the selected 15 in each category, write-ins accepted)

Semifinal Round completed: Nov. 10th thru Nov. 15th  (voting on the original 15 along with the top 5 write-ins in each category – voters could change their minds about the original vote)

Final Round Completed: Nov. 17th thru Nov. 23rd  (voting on final top 10 books in each category)

Here are the 2015 voting links for eight of the categories. Final results are now available.

Fiction

Mystery & Thriller

Historical Fiction

Fantasy

Romance

Science Fiction

Non-Fiction

YA Fantasy & Science Fiction

 

Curious about the winners in six of the twenty categories for the 2014 Goodreads Choice Awards season?

Fiction: Rainbow Rowell's "Landline"

Mystery & ThrillerStephen King's "Mr. Mercedes" 

Historical Fiction:  Anthony Doerr's "All the Light We Cannot See"

History & BiographyHelen Rappaport's The Romanov Sisters: The Lost Lives of the Daughters of Nicholas and Alexandra"

RomanceDiana Gabaldon's "Written in My Own Heart's Blood"

Science Fiction:  Andy Weir's "The Martian"

The 14 additional categories included cookbooks, horror, non-fiction, children’s books and more.

Did you read any of the winning choices from 2014? If so, what did you think? Let us know in the comment section.

 

The 2013 Goodreads Choice Awards went to:

Fiction: Khaled Hosseini’s “And the Mountains Echoed”

Mystery & Thriller:  Dan Brown’s “Inferno”

Historical Fiction:  Kate Atkinson’s “Life After Life”

History & Biography:  Brian Jay Jones’ “Jim Henson”

Romance:  J.R. Ward’s “Lover at Last”

Science Fiction:  Margaret Atwood’s “MaddAddam”

 

It’s interesting to note that in 2013, 1,953,770 total votes were cast for the Goodreads Choice Awards.

At the end of voting in 2014, there were 3,317,504 votes.

At the end of voting this year, there were 3,007,748 votes cast.

 

Happy reading!  :-)

 

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“When Pride Still Mattered: A Life of Vince Lombardi” by David Maraniss

 

Book Cover - When Pride Still Mattered

“When Pride Still Mattered: A Life of Vince Lombardi,” an incredibly well researched biography, takes an unflinching look at Lombardi’s personal life as well as his famed professional milestones.

 

Vince Lombardi, a legend in American football, is often remembered for having said, “Winning isn’t everything, it’s the only thing.” He was a taskmaster, a leader, and well respected as a coach, but it took over two decades to reach national fame in the NFL. He spent a number of years as a coach at St. Cecelia’s in Englewood, NJ before moving on to a coaching position at his alma mater, Fordham University in NYC and then to West Point.

 

His next professional move was to the NFL, where he was an assistant coach for the NY Giants. He worked with some of the greats – Frank Gifford, Kyle Rote, and Charlie Conerly among others. His solid strategies for training the offensive line proved that he had the stuff of head coaches. At the age of 45, he became head coach and general manager of the Green Bay Packers. He transformed them from a sadly disorganized losing team, to winners of the only three consecutive NFL championships in the history of the game (the last championship before the Superbowl was created, followed by SuperBowls I and II). One of his famous quotes, made at the first team meeting: "I have never been on a losing team, gentlemen, and I do not intend to start now!"

 

Living in a family of football fans as I did, Lombardi was a household name. His ability to have turned around the sad sack Packers and create that amazing team was talked about, rehashed and dissected. The tactic of running the ‘sweep’ repeatedly was astounding to me – if a team runs the same play against the opposition again and again, why can’t the other team defend against it? After all, they knew what was coming. The play was so famous that even the fans knew what was coming. And, of course the opposition did, but not trained well enough against it to keep the Packers from rolling over them.

 

“When Pride Still Mattered” includes interviews, conversations, and assessments from players that worked with Lombardi through the years. There are detailed descriptions of important games and even information about the early Players Association. Read this section and you’ll understand the need to form the first players union back then.

 

Maraniss’ notes about Lombardi’s family are equally revealing. Having a famous father that spent more time with the players than at home, was difficult for Lombardi’s son and daughter. A bizarre story of Susan handing out towels in the ladies room at the Giants games boggles the mind. The strain on his marriage was apparent as Marie took a back seat to her husband’s chosen profession, even during their honeymoon. If she had not attended each and every home game, she might not have seen him at all during the season.

 

That winning spirit pushed Lombardi to greatness in football and Maraniss details the highs and lows along the way.  “When Pride Still Mattered” looks at the principles that drove Vince Lombardi’s life both on and off the field, and lets you draw your own conclusions about whether that driving force is worth the sacrifices made.

 

I highly recommend David Maraniss’ “When Pride Still Mattered,” not only for the fascinating look into the life of a football icon, but for its literary style as well. Lots of biographers turn a person’s life into a list of facts and cute moments and we are left knowing little more than what has already been written in newspaper articles or on the internet. Whether you are a football fan or a fan of sports in general, “When Pride Still Mattered” is worth your time.

 

 

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“Unbroken” by Laura Hillenbrand

 

Book Cover - Unbroken

Resilient: Attribute of someone who can "bounce back" after shock or injury, whether of the physical or psychological kind.

 

Before Louis Zamperini, the subject of Hillenbrand’s “Unbroken,” became an Olympic runner, he had been a juvenile delinquent, getting into so much trouble that some thought he might not survive his teenaged years. He was restless, reckless and unimpressed by boundaries or rules, outsmarting his targets at every turn. His parents tried, but were unable to rein him in. He was unbowed by physical or verbal threats. Then in high school, his brother helped save Zamperini from himself by persuading the principal to let him race. Over the next year, training consisted of being hit with a stick, running over hills and trails, and running until he dropped. Eventually, running was all he wanted to do.

 

As he matured, he became one of the best distance runners in the world, but WW2 broke out and Zamperini’s future changed. He joined the Army Air Corps, and then was shot down in the Pacific after Pearl Harbor. Despite the ordeal of drifting over 1000 miles in open seas for 47 days with no provisions and surrounded by sharks, he and another airman survived, only to be captured by the Japanese once they reached land in the Marshall Islands. His non-stop harrowing experience at the hands of torturers who never heard of the Geneva Convention would have broken a different man, but Zamperini had an incredible inner strength that brought him through. Resilience.

 

This non-fiction account of his courage and endurance in the face of inconceivable challenges has been on the NYT bestseller list for over 165 weeks. In “Unbroken,” Hillenbrand’s descriptions are gritty, raw and oh, so real. I smelled the decaying bodies. I was in the water when the enemy aircraft shot at the raft. I was terrified when Watanabe (a guard who singled him out) came close and demonstrated the worst form of man’s inhumanity to man.

 

We civilians would hope that this kind of mistreatment does not occur if our loved ones in the military are wounded or captured by the enemy. We also hope that they will return to us mentally and emotionally unscarred by whatever traumas they have experienced, but we know this is not always the case. Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome is a very real possibility for people serving at the front lines and while nobody gave it a name in WW2, Zamperini must have been a clear example. That Zamperini was capable of forgiveness years later is remarkable in itself, but his action of forgiveness moved even his former enemies.

 

Hillenbrand has shown once again that truth is sometimes more riveting than fiction – remember her engrossing retelling of the story of “Seabiscuit?”

 

Zamperini died July 2, 2014 at the age of 97. His son, Luke, gives talks about his father’s inspirational life and Zamperini’s legacy will also live on in an upcoming movie.

 

Please visit www.laurahillenbrandbooks.com for more information about future plans for “Unbroken.”

 

 

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