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October 17, 2003 Newsletter October 17, 2003
This Week on
High-Rolling Books --- A New Way to See Vegas!
Author Talk: Homer Hickam, author of THE KEEPER'S SON
Suspense/Thriller Spotlight: We Interview Richard North Patterson and Review BALANCE OF POWER
Our Chick Lit Feature: Kim Green, author of IS THAT A MOOSE IN YOUR POCKET? --- Read an Excerpt!
Author of the Month: David Baldacci
New In Paperback for October
This Week's Book Reviews and Features
Poll: Do you finish the books that you start?
Question of the Week
Word of Mouth: Tell Us What You're Reading -- THREE Prizes This Week!
On The Book Report Network
Past Reviews
Can't See the Graphics? Read This Newsletter Online
Past Poll: How many of the on your bookshelves how many have you actually read?
Past Question: Name up to three books on your bookshelves that have been there at least one year that you still want to read.
High-Rolling Books --- A New Way to See Vegas!
Greetings from Las Vegas where I am attending the Bouchercon Mystery Conference. The attendees at this event are a wonderful mix of authors, publishers and readers of the mystery/suspense/thriller genre. There are author panels throughout each day, and endless conversations about books and writing into the night.

Thursday after the opening reception a group of us watched the baseball playoffs. We decided that the Yankees/Red Sox game defined suspense in a whole new way! I have to admit that watching baseball with Lee Child (Yankee fan) and Mark T. Sullivan (Red Sox fan who worked at Fenway in the '70s) will be quite a memory.

As we all know reading is typically a private experience. The opportunity to meet with other passionate readers and talk about authors --- both new and old --- is like being in one big book club for four days. This is my first Bouchercon Conference. The next will be held in Toronto next October. Keep this in mind if you want to think about spending a bookish weekend that is truly unique.

Our robust lineup this week includes Jesse Kornbluth's in-depth interview with Richard North Patterson, which you will not want to miss. BALANCE OF POWER, Patterson's new book takes on the issue of gun control. Also, Joe Hartlaub (who is a card-carrying member of the NRA) reviews the book and shares his perspective. Patterson's long view of how government regulates --- and how laws are shaped --- make BALANCE OF POWER interesting reading no matter what your personal politics are.

Also, we look at Homer Hickam's new one and feature an Author Talk with him, as well.

Endless thanks to Tom, Wiley and Gena who worked to get this lineup done this week before I left town. Their diligence ensured that we are again delivering a huge lineup of titles this week.

Like what you see today? Forward this newsletter to a friend.

Have a great week. And yes, I'll roll a couple for you!

-Carol Fitzgerald (

Read more about our October Author of the Month here. Read about books that have won awards here. Read about this fall's movies that are based on books here.
Author Talk: Homer Hickam, author of THE KEEPER'S SON
New York Times bestselling author Homer Hickam has departed from his successful memoirs to embark on a series of novels featuring Coast Guard Lt. Josh Thurlow, beginning with THE KEEPER'S SON. In this interview Hickam talks about his inspiration for this latest work, the importance of humor in his books, and his next novel, which will continue the adventures of Thurlow and his diverse crew.

THE KEEPER'S SON by Homer Hickam (Fiction)
Reviewed by Roz Shea
Josh Thurlow is a lighthouse keeper's son and captain of a small Coast Guard patrol boat operating off Killakeet Island. He and his crew must battle German U-boats, whose attacks threaten the lives of merchant seamen and the Killakeet Islanders.
Read an Author Talk with Homer Hickam, our review of THE KEEPER'S SON and a reading guide.
Read more about THE CONSPIRACY CLUB here. Read more about Jonathan Kellerman here. Read a review of A COLD HEART here.
Suspense/Thriller Spotlight: We Interview Richard North Patterson and Review BALANCE OF POWER
Richard North Patterson, author of BALANCE OF POWER, which is now in stores.

New This Week:
Richard North Patterson likes to grapple with controversial topics, and his new novel, BALANCE OF POWER, is no exception --- this time, he takes on gun control. His timing couldn't be better; the book was published just as the suspects in the DC sniper shootings went on trial and as the Senate was moving toward a vote on a bill that would give gun manufacturers and dealers immunity from civil lawsuits. So as he talked with Jesse Kornbluth, he often left the book behind to deal with politics --- and the political agenda of the National Rifle Association.

-Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub
President Kerry Kilcannon and his fiancée, television journalist Lara Costello, have at last decided to marry. But a series of killings that occur right after their wedding challenge their marriage and his presidency in ways so shattering and personal that Kilcannon vows to eradicate gun violence and crush the most powerful lobby in Washington --- the Sons of the Second Amendment.

-Richard North Patterson answers readers' questions.

In Case You Missed Last Week:
-See what our advance reviewers had to say about BALANCE OF POWER
-Read three chapters of BALANCE OF POWER
-Read praise for BALANCE OF POWER

Jonathan Kellerman, author of THE CONSPIRACY CLUB (due in stores on November 25th)
-Read Chapter One of THE CONSPIRACY CLUB
-See who our advance readers are
-Read about Jonathan Kellerman
-Read Jonathan Kellerman's bibliography
Read our Suspense/Thriller feature here.
Read about Richard North Patterson here. Read about BALANCE OF POWER here.
Our Chick Lit Feature: Kim Green, author of IS THAT A MOOSE IN YOUR POCKET? --- Read an Excerpt!
Read chapter one of IS THAT A MOOSE IN YOUR POCKET? and see our 20 advance readers.

Here's the plot:
After being passed over for a promotion, and currently between boyfriends, thirtyish Jen Brenner figures its time for a major life change. So it's good-bye to San Francisco and her sexy ex-boyfriend --- and howdy to roughing it in the wilds of Montana.

As a reporter for Montana's Meredith Gazette, Jen is suddenly getting cruised by park rangers and interviewing ranchers who think crème brûlée is men's hair gel. Then she meets a rugged western vision in jeans and snakeskin boots: EPA agent Bruce Mortensen. So what if he has baggage --- a manipulative soon-to-be-ex-wife and a jealous ten-year-old daughter? He's a real man who's making her feel like a real woman for the first time in her life.

But is it really love or just the hottest sex ever? Jen's on a mission to find out...especially when her ex comes back into the picture. Now she's caught between two men who couldn't be more different. And what happens next will surprise everyone --- even her...
Read our Chick Lit feature here.
Read more about IS THAT A MOOSE IN YOUR POCKET here. Read more about Kim Green here.
Author of the Month: David Baldacci
Bestselling author. Former attorney. Philanthropist. Engaging speaker and activist. Loving husband and father. All of the above fittingly describe David Baldacci, whose affinity for writing began when he was in high school. However, it wasn't until he read John Irving's The World According to Garp that he knew he wanted to be a novelist.

The years Baldacci spent in Washington, D.C. as a trial and corporate attorney gave him plenty of background to write a number of bestselling political and legal thrillers, including Absolute Power, Total Control, The Simple Truth, Last Man Standing and his latest, Split Second. He has also ventured away from the suspense/thriller genre to write mainstream fiction with Wish You Well and The Christmas Train, both of which were bestsellers. In addition to being a widely read author, Baldacci is a sought-after speaker, an advocate for literacy and the importance of reading (particularly among children and teenagers), and is involved in a number of philanthropic activities.

To celebrate the release of Split Second, AuthorsOnTheWeb has chosen David Baldacci as our Author of the Month. Readers can learn more about Baldacci's life and works through fast facts and biographical information, as well as links to his website, bibliography, an interview and book reviews.
Read more about David Baldacci, our Author of the Month here.
Read our new in paperback feature here. Read our new in paperback feature here. Read our new in paperback feature here.
New In Paperback for October
This month's roundup of New in Paperback titles include NO WAY TO TREAT A FIRST LADY, PARADISE ALLEY and THE LIVES OF THE MUSES --- all of which were national bestsellers when originally published in hardcover. We're also featuring the works of such award-winning writers as Jonathan Franzen, Tim O'Brien and Jose Saramago, who is the author of THE CAVE (a Los Angeles Times Best Book of the Year) and recipient of the 1998 Nobel Prize for Literature.
Read our New in Paperback for October feature here.
This Week's Book Reviews and Features
ELIZABETH COSTELLO by J. M. Coetzee (Fiction)
Reviewed by Stephen M. Deusner
J .M. Coetzee, winner of the 2003 Nobel Prize for Literature, explores the Australian novelist Elizabeth Costello's responsibility to herself and her public in this inventive novel comprised of academic lectures, talks and arguments.

GOLDEN BUDDHA by Clive Cussler and Craig Dirgo (Adventure)
Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub
In his first feature-length adventure, Juan Cabrillo, captain of the Oregon, and his crew of expert intelligence and Naval men must put Tibet back in the hands of the Dalai Lama by striking a deal with the Russians and the Chinese. But in order to accomplish this, he must locate --- and steal --- a golden Buddha that contains records of vast oil reserves in the disputed land.

LETTER FROM HOME by Carolyn Hart (Mystery)
Reviewed by Kate Ayers
Barely into her teens, Gretchen Grace Gilman lands her dream job as a journalist in the sweltering summer of 1944 --- but she ends up writing stories about the murder of her good friend's mother.

THERE MUST BE A PONY IN HERE SOMEWHERE by Kara Swisher, with Lisa Dickey (Nonfiction)
Reviewed by former AOLer Jesse Kornbluth.
Are you one of those who made a fortune (on paper) in AOL stock, only to watch it disappear? Have you wondered what AOL and Time Warner honchos were really thinking when they merged? Or are you an AOL subscriber perplexed by a service that's not "so easy to use" as it promises? Veteran reporter Kara Swisher tells all.

TERRORISM AND TYRANNY: Trampling Freedom, Justice and Peace to Rid the World of Evil by James Bovard (Political Science & International Relations)
Reviewed by Harold V. Cordry
James Bovard focuses his critical eye on Washington and their motives behind the war with Iraq and protecting the homeland. From airport security mishaps to increased surveillance of individuals and the skyrocketing numbers of detainees, Bovard believes that the war on terrorism is threatening our personal liberties and right to privacy.

THE EVE OF DESTRUCTION: The Untold Story of the Yom Kippur War by Howard Blum (History)
Reviewed by Stuart Shiffman
On October 6, 1973, on Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the Jewish calendar, the Arabs launched a surprise attack against Israel. Investigative reporter Howard Blum tells the story of the Yom Kippur War by detailing the actions of the nations involved and its individual participants.

THE HOTEL RIVIERA by Elizabeth Adler (Fiction)
Reviewed by Amie Taylor
Lola Laforet lives on the Cote d'Azur, owns a beautiful little hotel and spends her days in paradise. But even paradise has its problems when Lola becomes the prime suspect in her playboy husband's disappearance, tries to keep her struggling hotel afloat, and has her interest piqued by a naked man on a sloop anchored in what she prefers to think of as "her" bay.

LIVES OF THE CIRCUS ANIMALS by Christopher Bram (Fiction)
Reviewed by Corey Mesler
Critically acclaimed novelist Christopher Bram explores contemporary New York theater, spending several days and nights with a diverse handful of men and women.

THE MOVIES OF MY LIFE by Alberto Fuguet (Fiction)
Reviewed by Jonathan Shipley
Holed up in a Los Angeles hotel room, seismologist Beltrán Soler suddenly finds himself recalling the fifty most important movies of his life -- films that affected him during his childhood and adolescence in the 1960s and '70s.

HOW TO MEET CUTE BOYS by Deanna Kizis (Chick Lit)
Reviewed by Melissa Martin
Benjamina Franklin is a star journalist who chronicles her dating disasters for Filly, a women's magazine. When Benjamina meets Max, she believes she has finally met the man of her dreams. The only problem is that Max turns out to be younger --- much younger.

A PARCHMENT OF LEAVES by Silas House (Fiction)
Reviewed by Judy Gigstad
Young Saul Sullivan and a Cherokee girl named Vine form an unlikely union. However, it soon becomes clear to Vine that Saul's brother Aaron is obsessed with her. And when Saul leaves for a year to work in another country, Vine will never be the same again.

MONSTER OF THE MIDWAY: Bronko Nagurski, the 1943 Chicago Bears, and the Greatest Comeback Ever by Jim Dent (Sports)
Reviewed by Stuart Shiffman
Jim Dent, author of the New York Times bestseller THE JUNCTION BOYS, recounts the triumphs of the legendary football star Bronko Nagurski during the 1930s and '40s, when the Chicago Bears were the kings of professional football.

AMERICAN ROULETTE by Richard Marcus (Memoir)
Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub
Richard Marcus tells his never-before-heard story of ripping off gambling casinos. Follow Marcus, along with several of the world's great professional casino cheaters, as he travels from Las Vegas to Monte Carlo, pilfering large sums of money from casinos.

GOODBYE, LITTLE ROCK AND ROLLER by Marshall Chapman (Memoir)
Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub
Legendary country singer and songwriter Marshall Chapman uses twelve of her most resonant songs as entry points to her life's adventures, as she chronicles the many places she has been and what went through her mind as she was traveling there.
Read this week's reviews and features here.
Go to Search here Read about upcoming books here.
Poll: Do you finish the books that you start?
Have you been reading more nonfiction books in the past year?
Not sure

When you are reading fiction, do you usually finish the books that you start?
I finish all the books I start.
I finish at least 75% of what I start.
I finish less than 75% of what I start.
I am not sure what I do.
I do not read fiction.

When you are reading nonfiction, do you usually finish the books that you start?
I finish all the nonfiction books I start.
I read just enough of a nonfiction book to get a sense of the topic and then I stop.
I flip through nonfiction books more than read them cover to cover.
I only read nonfiction as reference.
I am not sure what I do.
I do not read nonfiction.
Answer the Poll here.
Question of the Week
Here's our question of the week:

Name up to three books you might have missed that you discovered by reading our newsletter or website.
Answer the Question of the Week.
Read about THE AMBER ROOM here. Read about NOT FADE AWAY here. Read a review of TRIBECA BLUES here.
Word of Mouth: Tell Us What You're Reading -- THREE Prizes This Week!
Tell us what books YOU are reading and loving --- or even those you don't.

This week we have some great prizes:

FIVE readers each will win a signed copy of THE AMBER ROOM by Steve Berry, a copy of NOT FADE AWAY by Peter Barton and Laurence Shames and a copy of TRIBECA BLUES by Jim Fusilli (for more about TRIBECA BLUES, go to

Please note that our next Word of Mouth update will be on October 24th.
Need more details about Word of Mouth? Click here.

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Happy reading....and don't forget to forward this newsletter to a friend.

--- Carol Fitzgerald (