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April 16, 2004 Newsletter April 16, 2004
This Week on
Inspired By A Book
Author Talk: Lisa Tucker, Author of SHOUT DOWN THE MOON
THE WAR ON CHOICE: The Right-Wing Attack on Women's Rights and How to Fight Back by Gloria Feldt
Debut Suspense/Thriller: One To Watch --- Our Latest Author is Lauren Kelly, author of TAKE ME, TAKE ME WITH YOU
Suspense/Thriller Spotlight: Clinton McKinzie, author of CROSSING THE LINE and Rick Riordan, author of SOUTHTOWN
Our Latest Update is Live
This Week's Book Reviews and Features
Poll: Which of the following books are you looking forward to reading?
Question of the Week: What Book Would You Suggest to Give a Graduate?
Word of Mouth: Tell Us What You're Reading -- TWO Prizes!
On The Book Report Network
Past Reviews
Can't See the Graphics? Read This Newsletter Online
Past Poll: What kind of books do you turn to when you need comfort?
Past Question of the Week: Who is your favorite "comfort read" author?
Read more about Hover Car Racer here. Read more about CURSED BY A HAPPY CHILDHOOD here. Read more an interview with Lois Lowry and more about MESSENGER here.
Inspired By A Book

I have read books that have inspired me to do a lot of things --- plan a trip, cook a special meal, paint a room and write some old friends. Last Saturday I read a book that inspired me to swing on the swings in the yard with my younger son and rebuild the roof on his fort. I kid you not. And it was a lot of fun. I forgot how high I could swing!

So what book inspired me? It's CURSED BY A HAPPY CHILDHOOD by Carl Lennertz, someone who I have known for years in various roles in the publishing industry. It comes out on May 4th and I want you to note it now as a great Mother's Day or Father's Day gift. Yes, you can think that far in advance! It's a memoir of his life growing up in the suburbs of New York in the 60s and 70s with notes on what he wants his daughter to know about him --- and the lessons he learned. It made me smile and it made me swing with reckless abandon.

Many of you probably grew up reading THE GIVER by Lois Lowry. A couple of years ago she wrote a companion book that carried many of the same themes called GATHERING BLUE. Now the third book in what has become a trilogy from Lowry has come out --- MESSENGER. For all of you who wondered what happened to Matt as he moved on in his life, and to Jonas, Gabe, and Kira, you will want to read MESSENGER. Click on the link above to read an interview with Lowry and a review of MESSENGER.

This week's lineup gets its energy from both well-known authors and some people we think that you probably may not have heard of. That's the true joy of --- working the mix each week to constantly surprise you. I hope we have.

It's FINALLY going to be lovely here this weekend. I plan to drag out a lawnchair from the basement, plop it on the grass and get some reading done! And okay, maybe I will do some winter garden cleanup too. I am sure I can find a book to inspire me!

Have a good week.

Carol Fitzgerald (

Author Talk: Lisa Tucker, Author of SHOUT DOWN THE MOON

In this interview Lisa Tucker, author of SHOUT DOWN THE MOON, talks about the special connection she has with her characters, the various themes that are addressed in her current novel and her future writing projects.

SHOUT DOWN THE MOON by Lisa Tucker (Fiction)
Reviewed by Roberta O'Hara
Patty Taylor can handle anything. But when Willie's father shows up one day, newly paroled from prison and intent on getting her and his son back, Patty begins a journey that will transform her from a girl who can put up with anything to a woman with a voice that can bring the house down.

Read an interview with Lisa Tucker and a review of SHOUT DOWN THE MOON here.
THE WAR ON CHOICE: The Right-Wing Attack on Women's Rights and How to Fight Back by Gloria Feldt

If you think your right to control your own body is guaranteed by law ...

If you think your reproductive freedoms are safe ...

You need to read the startling truth about THE WAR ON CHOICE.

In her groundbreaking new book, THE WAR ON CHOICE: The Right-Wing Attack on Women's Rights and How to Fight Back, Gloria Feldt, the President of Planned
Parenthood® Federation of America, lays out in frightening detail the 30-year campaign to undermine the hard-won laws protecting a woman's freedom.

Read an excerpt, author Q&A and reading group guide here.
Read more about Lauren Kelly and TAKE ME, TAKE ME WITH YOU here.
Debut Suspense/Thriller: One To Watch --- Our Latest Author is Lauren Kelly, author of TAKE ME, TAKE ME WITH YOU

Lauren Kelly, who explores the secret kinship of "soul mates," in a mysterious and demonic love story is our newest Debut Suspense/Thriller author. TAKE ME, TAKE ME WITH YOU will be in stores on April 27th.

New This Week: See who our 10 advance readers are.
Read an excerpt from TAKE ME, TAKE ME WITH YOU.

Here's the Plot: Lara Quade, a disaffected intellectual associated with a prominent Princeton research center, is a young woman whose physical beauty has been scarred in a childhood accident. She is jarred out of the routine of her life by a seemingly chance meeting with a young man named Zedrick Dewe, whom she seems to know somehow as he in turn seems to know her. What is the connection between them? Who has brought them together? And why are they drawn so powerfully to one another? Their encounter leads to a highly charged erotic experience that takes an abrupt turn from tender to violent, predictable to terrifying. And from this initial episode springs a sequence of inexplicable events and revelations so shocking that they lead Lara, long in denial about her life, to uncover the truth about the buried hurt and rage in the tortured past of her family.

Read about Lauren Kelly and TAKE ME, TAKE ME WITH YOU here.
Read more about Clinton McKinzie and CROSSING THE LINE here. Read more about Rick Riordan and SOUTHTOWN here.
Suspense/Thriller Spotlight: Clinton McKinzie, author of CROSSING THE LINE and Rick Riordan, author of SOUTHTOWN

Rick Riordan, author of SOUTHTOWN, which is on sale on April 27th.

Will Stirman stages a bloody escape from prison and sets out for Southtown, an area in San Antonio, to exact revenge on those who put him behind bars. Tres Navarre's boss, Erainya Manos knows why Stirman may be looking for her, but she's not talking. Sam Barerra, the other person with clues to the danger is fighting a losing battle with dementia. SOUTHTOWN is a story filled with greed, vigilanitism --- and deception.

Clinton McKinzie, author of CROSSING THE LINE, which is on-sale on 4/27. New this week: McKinzie answers our advance readers' questions.

In CROSSING THE LINE, FBI agent Mary Chang is hot on the trail of Hidalgo, a murderous drug lord who recently relocated to a Wyoming canyon. Determined to bring Hidalgo to custody, Chang enlists Special Agent Antonio Burns and his renegade brother, Roberto. Despite Mary's and Anthony's efforts, their plans soon descend into a world of loss, betrayal and terror.

Read our Suspense/Thriller feature here.
Our Latest Update is Live

Our latest update is live. Here are some of the latest that we added this month:

Awake by Elizabeth Graver
Beautiful Girls by Beth Ann Bauman
The Book of Joe by Jonathan Tropper
The Boy on the Bus by Deborah Schupack
A Breath of Fresh Air by Amulya Malladi
Cosmopolitan Girls by Charlotte Burley and Lyah Beth LeFlore
The Dew Breaker by Edwidge Danticat
Digging Out by Katherine Leiner
Evenings at Five by Gail Godwin
Fade to Clear by Leonard Chang
The Forest Lover by Susan Vreeland
Good Grief by Lolly Winston
The Growing Seasons by Samuel Hynes
A Hole in the Universe by Mary McGarry Morris
Little Children by Tom Perrotta
The Photograph by Penelope Lively
A Star Called Henry by Roddy Doyle
Stones from the River by Ursula Hegi
Swimming Naked by Stacy Sims
The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
Until the Real Thing Comes Along by Elizabeth Berg
The Wedding by Nicholas Sparks

More guides will be added later this month.

Click here to read our latest Reading Group Guides update.
This Week's Book Reviews and Features

LOUD AND CLEAR by Anna Quindlen (Current Affairs)
Reviewed by Robert Finn
Anna Quindlen, one of America's favorite novelists and a Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist, once again gives us wisdom, opinions, insights and reflections about current events and modern life.

IDEAL MARRIAGE by Peter Friedman (Fiction)
Reviewed by Bob Rhubart
Sixteen-year-old Andre Schulman discovers the book IDEAL MARRIAGE: Its Physiology and Technique" (1930) by a Dutch gynecologist. Armed with it, he sets out in quest of a glorious future --- to have "my own ideal marriage someday."

THE PRIESTLY SINS by Andrew M. Greeley (Fiction)
Reviewed by Marie Hashima Lofton
Andrew M. Greeley tells the story of Father Herman Hoffman, a gifted and innocent young man who becomes swept up in "the Crisis" after witnessing child abuse in his first parish appointment.

BAD MEN by John Connelly (Thriller)
Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub
In 1693, the settlers on the small Maine island of Sanctuary were betrayed to their enemies and slaughtered. Since then, the island has known three hundred years of peace --- until now.

THE ROAD TO RUIN by Donald Westlake (Suspense)
Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub
John Dortmunder and his band of crooks return to the scene of the crime world in an attempt to steal a fleet of automobiles from the corrupt CEO of a now-defunct conglomerate.

FLASHPOINT by Suzanne Brockman (Romantic Suspense)
Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub
Jimmy Nash is a member of Troubleshooters Inc., a company that specializes in covert operations. He and a quickly assembled team of expert operators have come to the earthquake-ravaged country of Kazbekistan to track down a missing laptop computer that may hold secrets vital to national security.

A HOLE IN TEXAS by Herman Wouk (Fiction)
Reviewed by Stuart Shiffman
Guy Carpenter is a physicist with a quiet, settled life: a prestigious job at NASA, a devoted wife and new baby, and a troublemaking cat. But he is about to get mixed up in an international scandal of enormous proportions.

SHARPE'S ESCAPE: Portugal, 1810 by Bernard Cornwell (Historical Fiction)
Reviewed by Curtis Edmonds
Captain Richard Sharpe returns to action in the twentieth book of Bernard Cornwell's bestselling series, this time in a scorched-earth campaign against French forces in Portugal.

THE KING OF AMERICA by Samantha Gillison (Fiction)
Reviewed by Stephen M. Deusner
In her second novel, Samantha Gillison follows a young art collector named Stephen Hesse --- loosely based on scion Michael Rockefeller --- through the villages and rain forests of New Guinea and eventually to his death.

HADRIAN'S WALL by William Dietrich (Historical Fiction)
Reviewed by Sarah Rachel Egelman
Built in the second century to shield Roman Britannia from the barbaric Celtic tribes, Hadrian's Wall has maintained the security of the Roman Empire's northern outpost for more than two hundred years. But now a Roman bride has come to unleash jealousy, passion and an epic war that will shake a tired and tottering empire to its core.

THE SINGING FIRE by Lilian Nattel (Fiction)
Reviewed by Barbara Lipkien Gershenbaum
THE SINGING FIRE ignites a passionate glimpse into nineteenth century London, as it became a haven for Jews who immigrated to that city in search of freedom and a better life. Lilian Nattel tells the story of two unforgettable female immigrants and the child who unites them.

THE FACE OF THE ASSASSIN by David Lindsey (Suspense)
Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub
When a mysterious woman arrives at the home of Paul Bern, a forensic artist who lives in Austin, Texas, she brings him two things: a human skull that she says was smuggled out of Mexico, and an incredible secret that brings him face to face with the unimaginable.


Read the reviews and features here.
Read Author Bibliographies here. Search here Read about the Light Wedge reading light here.
Poll: Which of the following books are you looking forward to reading?

Which of the following books are you looking forward to reading? Check as many as apply.

The Art of Mending by Elizabeth Berg
The Body of David Hayes by Ridley Pearson
The Full Cupboard of Life: More From the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith
Good Grief by Lolly Winston
Islands by Anne Rivers Siddons
Loud and Clear by Anna Quindlen
My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult
Nighttime is My Time by Mary Higgins Clark
Now Is the Time to Open Your Heart by Alice Walker
The Shifting Tide by Anne Perry
Sleeping Beauty by Phillip Margolin
Therapy by Jonathan Kellerman
Three Weeks with My Brother by Nicholas & Micah Sparks
A Year at the Races: Reflections on Horses, Humans, Love, Money, and Luck by Jane Smiley
None of the above

Answer the Poll here.
Read about books that have won awards here. Read our Books Into Movies feature here.
Question of the Week: What Book Would You Suggest to Give a Graduate?

Graduation time is approaching. What book would you suggest to give a graduate?

Our next question update will be on April 30th.

Answer the Question of the Week.
Read more about NIGHTTIME IS MY TIME here. Read more about THREE WEEKS WITH MY BROTHER here.
Word of Mouth: Tell Us What You're Reading -- TWO Prizes!

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 copy of NIGHTTIME IS MY TIME by Mary Higgins Clark and THREE WEEKS WITH MY BROTHER by Nicholas and Micah Sparks. Please note that our next Word of Mouth update will be on April 30th.

Need more details about Word of Mouth? Click here.

As always, here are a few housekeeping notes. If you are seeing this newsletter in a text version, and would prefer to see the graphics, you can either read it online (see the link on the upper right) or change your preferences below.

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Happy reading! Don't forget to forward this newsletter to a friend or to visit our other websites from,,,,, and

--- Carol Fitzgerald (

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