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LitChat is a fun, fast, and friendly way for book-lovers to talk about reading, writing and publishing on Twitter. We have moderated chat each Monday from 4-5 p.m. E.T.

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All #litchat sessions begin each Monday at 4 p.m. E.T. and run until 5 p.m. E.T. You can follow the #litchat conversation in Twitter, or login directly to our dedicated channel at www.nurph.com/litchat.

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From The Blog

The High Mountains of Portugal

By Yann Martel; Reviewed by Mary Vensel White
The High Mountains of PortugalFans of Yann Martel’s international bestseller, Life of Pi (2001), will find many familiar elements in his new novel, The High Mountains of Portugal. Once again, Martel plumbs the relationship between storytelling and truth and mixes tragedy with healthy doses of humor. There is another leading character from the animal kingdom; religion and faith are integral themes. But The High Mountains of Portugal is a more difficult, less cohesive read, and will no doubt produce polarized reactions.

The novel is divided into three dissimilar parts….

Finding Jake

By Bryan Reardon; Reviewed By Linda Lindsey Davis
finding jakeIn Bryan Reardon’s Finding Jake, Simon and Rachel Connolly are like many other married couples: they have a house in the suburbs and two children. They differ from other couples in that they made the decision 18 years ago for Simon to shift his writing career to be the stay-at-home parent caring for their children, and Rachel, an attorney with a major law firm, would be the one who commuted to work in the city. Their story is told from Simon’s point of view, as he reflects on being a stay-at-home father.

Seventeen years ago, when Jake was born, and then three years later when his sister Lanney arrived, Simon learned to accept being the only father on the children’s playground…

The Santa Claus Man

By Alex Palmer; Reviewed by Carolyn Burns Bass
The Santa Claus Man, #LitChatIt all began with the dead letters department at the New York City post office. Every year letters to Santa Claus, St. Nicholas, Sinterklaas, and other derivatives of the name, were destroyed as undeliverable mail per the policy of the U.S. postal department. In 1911 that policy changed and the New York City postmaster sent out a call for someone to receive all of the Santa Claus mail on behalf of the city’s children. A couple of years went by before John Duval Gluck, Jr. acted on impulse and stepped up. In 1913, fresh off an arrest and fines from his part in promoting the first and only bullfight in New York City, Gluck saw an opportunity to restore his reputation, bring joy to poor children on Christmas, and provide a lifestyle of prestige and privilege. The International Santa Claus Association was formed and Gluck became known as New York’s Santa Claus.

The Heart Goes Last

By Margaret Atwood; Reviewed by Carolyn Burns Bass

The Heart Goes Last #LitChatThe meaning of life and love is central to Margaret Atwood’s latest novel, The Heart Goes Last. Now before you think Atwood has gone soft and written a romance, stop right there. The Heart Goes Last is a brilliant satirical look into modern society with emphasis on the breaking economy, its opportunities for corporate greed, and its impact on the middle class. How far would you go to sleep in a bed every night? Would you kill your husband to preserve your comfort?

In a not-too-distant future the American economy has collapsed to the extent that cars have become real estate, rolling from place to place to protect the inhabitants who live inside from those on the outside who would commandeer the vehicle and abuse the residents ….

Girl Sent Away

By Lynne Griffin; Reviewed by Karen Struble, Ph.D.

Girl Sent AwayLord Acton’s famous saying, “Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely,” rings deafeningly true in Lynne Griffin’s new novel, Girl Sent Away. For parents of rebellious adolescents, Griffin’s story is a Nightmare with a capital N.  Basing her work on actual reports from teenagers sent to remote wilderness therapy camps, the author spins a harrowing tale of mental health care gone awry.

The novel’s main character, Ava Sedgwick, is a sixteen-year-old Massachusetts girl haunted by the unresolved trauma of losing her mother and sister during the 2004 tsunami that wreaked havoc on Thailand’s …

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