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January 28, 2011 Newsletter January 28, 2011

January Was One Loooooong Month!

For five days in January, life in my house takes a celebratory route as both of my sons mark their birthdays. Today Greg turns 21, and Cory turned 16 last Sunday. I took Greg to lunch today (he ordered a martini with olives, making me feel like I was in an episode of "Mad Men," and I asked the waiter to please "proof him") before driving him to the airport, as he is flying to California to meet friends to continue his celebration aboard the Queen Mary in Long Beach. I love that he figured out how to make this momentous birthday special --- and applaud his efforts to extend the marking of this day by three extra hours by spending it on the West Coast. Bravo! Cory celebrated with his good friends, who we call son 2A and son 2B, both of whom keep things hopping.

I, on the other hand, am home for this weekend and am happy to share that, unless something changes, February will be both convention-free and travel-free for me. December and January were a total whirlwind, and I am really, really, really excited about not packing a suitcase for a few weeks. After this month’s events with libraries and indie booksellers --- and then this week exploring eBooks and Apps at Digital Book World --- I need some time to distill what I have learned; there are some ideas that I want time to both incubate and initiate for sites. And I am looking forward to delving into a huge stack of books that I have picked up along the way; I am way behind on my current reading, as well as "reading ahead."

This week I am announcing two new Bets On titles that readers of this newsletter were alerted to a while back, and we have reviews of both books this week as well. The first, A THOUSAND CUTS by Simon Lelic, is a book that was recommended to me by a colleague. I read it in the fall and knew right away it would be a Bets On selection. It’s one of those books where the story keeps twisting and turning, drawing you in even more with every page. See if this one line intrigues you: Samuel Szajkowski, a history teacher, walks into a school assembly and turns an ordinary day into a memorable one as he pulls a gun and kills three students and a co-worker before turning the gun on himself. You never thought of bullying quite like this. It's in stores --- as a trade paperback --- now. Joe Hartlaub has our review of A THOUSAND CUTS and calls it “a psychological study, one that is at times uncomfortable but always intriguing."

As an extra bonus, we have a special interview with Simon that sheds a lot of light on his motivation for writing the book.

My second Bets On pick is another trade paperback, DEEP DOWN TRUE by Juliette Fay. Juliette was one of my first ever Bets On picks with her 2008 book, SHELTER ME. In DEEP DOWN TRUE, Dana Stellgarten is picking up the pieces and rejiggering her life after her divorce. I like the way Juliette crafts her writing as much as I did the story. As reviewer Norah Piehl says, “What seems on the surface to be a fairly lightweight, breezy sort of novel actually tackles a host of serious issues in a remarkably thoughtful fashion. ” Click here to read her review.

This week we have a review of LITTLE PRINCES by Conor Grennan, who I’ve been lucky enough to meet twice now, first in September at a luncheon and then again two weeks ago at the American Library Association’s Midwinter Meeting in San Diego. His story is truly inspiring. After tiring of the grind of the corporate world, Conor opted out for a while. Instead of just doing the free-spirited travel he coveted, he first spent some time volunteering at an orphanage in Nepal, which he admits he did so he would look more altruistic than completely self-centered with his adventures. There he learned that most of the children were not actual orphans but victims of trafficking and abduction. Conor has since worked tirelessly to reunite these children with their families, and has documented his mission in LITTLE PRINCES. If you were a fan of Greg Mortenson’s THREE CUPS OF TEA, you’ll want to read LITTLE PRINCES. Alexis Burling has our review and says, “LITTLE PRINCES is quite possibly one of the most impassioned yet straightforward true tales you’ll have the pleasure of reading.” We also have some terrific videos of Conor discussing his book and mission that you can watch here.

Our Sneak Peek: An Early Look at an Upcoming Book program is back this week with an opportunity for you to get an early read on FRENCH LESSONS by Ellen Sussman, which will not be published until July. It’s the story of three strangers as they wind their way through the streets of Paris and how their lives intersect on a fateful day. If you have time to read this book by Monday, March 7th and comment about it, please enter here and answer some preliminary questions by Friday, February 11th at noon ET for the opportunity to enter to be selected as an early reader.

Our three author spotlights for January are wrapping up this week. You can read our review of DELIRIOUS, Daniel Palmer’s debut psychological thriller, here and an interview with Daniel here. Sherri Wood Emmons’s debut, PRAYERS AND LIES, about a coal mining town trying to find its way, was one of my favorite reads during my Christmas vacation, and you can read our review here and an interview with Sherri here. We also have a review of SENSELESS by Mary Burton, who is one of the more popular authors in our Romantic Suspense spotlight. Mary’s newest book, MERCILESS, is featured below. We also learned this week that Mary is not only a bestselling author, but also an accomplished baker and all-around kitchen talent. She shares some of her recipes on her blog, which you can check out here. Some yummy stuff there! Read our interview with Mary here.

We also have reviews of two books I currently am reading --- THE FATES WILL FIND THEIR WAY by Hannah Pittard and THESE THINGS HIDDEN by Heather Gudenkauf, both of which have at their heart things that happen when someone in the story was a teen. THE FATES WILL FIND THEIR WAY is about a missing girl, Nora, and the various sightings others have of her. Reviewer Barbara Lipkien Gershenbaum says, "As readers work their way through the novel, they might try guessing what could have happened to Nora, but the ending is a surprise."

THESE THINGS HIDDEN focuses on a young woman who seemingly has it all until she's falsely prosecuted for a crime and imprisoned. Upon her release, she tries to start a fresh life but slowly learns that she was, in fact, set up. Reviewer Bronwyn Miller says, "Fans of Jodi Picoult, Anita Shreve and Kim Edwards (especially of THE MEMORY KEEPER’S DAUGHTER) will enjoy Heather Gudenkauf’s well-paced story of suspense, betrayal, love, and what it really means to be a mother." And for the record, I could not decide which to read first after hearing about them last week at Winter Institute, so I started both!

Only a week remains in our annual Valentine’s Day contest. We have five sets of six great books to give away, as well as a heart-shaped box of truffles, a chocolate heart lollipop, and a chocolate-dipped strawberry bar, all from Godiva. What better way for book lovers to celebrate than with six new titles and some yummy chocolates? You can click here for more information about our titles, and enter our contest here by Friday, February 4th at noon ET; we are closing it by that date so the winners will have their prize by the time Cupid poises his bow and arrow.

This is also the final call for our Millennium Series Survey, a last chance for you to share your thoughts on Stieg Larsson’s international blockbuster trilogy and be entered to win one of three boxed sets. The survey closes Monday, January 31st at 11:59PM ET, so the clock is ticking! Click here to take the survey.

Last week we announced our new On Sale This Week special newsletter that we plan to launch in March. If you’re interested in subscribing to this bi-weekly newsletter highlighting all the latest books on sale for that week and those for the following week, click here. We plan to mail this newsletter on the first and third Tuesdays of every month to help readers plan ahead. Eventually, we'll make it a weekly feature.

In our recent poll asking "Do you own an eReader?" we had more than 800 responses, with 92 of you indicating that you own iPads. In the next week or so, I have some questions that I specifically would like to ask iPad readers, so if you have an iPad and have not already responded, can you shoot me an email with the subject line “I have an iPad” if you have time to answer some questions?

If you’re in a book group, we invite you to enter's "Share Your 2010 Picks" Contest, where your whole group could win a set of book group-perfect titles, most of which will not be available until later in the year. All you have to do is enter your group’s month-by-month choices on our entry form here, and we’ll pick some winners next month. You can check out the full list of prize books here. We know Mother Nature has been wreaking havoc with book club meeting schedules, so we're extending the contest until Monday, February 21st at 11:59PM ET.

I am headed outside to dig out some firewood from the wood pile with a plan for reading in front of the fire all weekend. I am longing for a low-key kind of weekend since this was one very long first month of the year with way too many interruptions from my reading. Here’s wishing you a great weekend of reading as this loooooong snowy month wraps up.

Carol Fitzgerald (


Now in Stores: LITTLE PRINCES by Conor Grennan

LITTLE PRINCES: One Man's Promise to Bring Home the Lost Children of Nepal by Conor Grennan (Memoir)
So as not to seem self-indulgent, Conor Grennan started his trip around the world by volunteering at an orphanage in Nepal. There, he met the mother of two of the wards and learned the terrible truth: that many had been taken from their homes by child traffickers. What happened next changed his life --- and those of countless others --- forever. Reviewed by Alexis Burling.

-Click here to read an excerpt from LITTLE PRINCES.
-Click here to find out why Conor Grennan wrote LITTLE PRINCES.
-Click here to watch videos of Conor Grennan talk about LITTLE PRINCES.


Click here to read a review of LITTLE PRINCES.

Now in Stores: THE RED GARDEN by Alice Hoffman

THE RED GARDEN by Alice Hoffman (Fiction)
A transforming glimpse of small-town America, THE RED GARDEN introduces us to Blackwell, Massachusetts --- and 300 years of passion, secrets and redemption. Presenting a web of tales where characters are defined by fate as well as their own actions, Hoffman weaves a world around a mysterious garden --- where only red plants grow, and where truth lies for those who look. Reviewed by Norah Piehl.

font face="verdana,helvetica,sans-serif" size="2">-Click here to read an excerpt from THE RED GARDEN.

Click here to read a review of THE RED GARDEN.'s Sneak Peek Feature: An Early Look at an Upcoming Book --- Our Latest Featured Title: FRENCH LESSONS by Ellen Sussman

At, we have the opportunity to read many great books well in advance of their release dates. Now, with our Sneak Peek Feature/Contest, we are offering our readers the chance to preview select early picks --- and share feedback on them. We know that readers champion books that they love, and we want you to be part of the excitement of upcoming releases as early as possible.

Our latest Sneak Peek Feature spotlights FRENCH LESSONS --- a story of three strangers whose lives intersect one day along the streets of Paris --- which releases in July 2011. We have 25 specially formatted early reader editions of Ellen Sussman's novel to give away to readers who would like to preview the book and share their comments about it. We really want to hear what you have to say about FRENCH LESSONS, so if you will have time to read it and answer some questions by Monday , March 7th, please enter this contest. If not, we plan to have more opportunities like this in the future.

How much can your life change in just 24 hours? Three Americans --- a heartbroken and pregnant young woman, a neglected ex-pat housewife, and the handsome, middle-aged husband of a powerhouse film star --- each spend a stormy day crisscrossing the city with three separate French tutors in this charming story of love and yearning. As they wander the avenues of Paris, exploring the language and rediscovering the pieces of themselves that have been missing, the city begins to work its magic on each of them, and at the end of the day, none will be left untouched.

-Click here to read an excerpt from FRENCH LESSONS.

Click here to read all the details of our Sneak Peek Feature/Contest for FRENCH LESSONS.’s Sixth Annual Valentine's Day Contest --- Enter to Win Some Sweet Treats for Yourself or Your Valentine
The countdown to Valentine's Day is on! Stuck on what to buy your Valentine? Our featured titles have the bookish answer. From January 21st through February 4th, readers will have the chance to win one of our five Valentine's Day prizes. Along with one copy of each of our featured books, winners will receive some delicious gourmet chocolate from Godiva --- including a heart-shaped box of truffles, a chocolate heart lollipop, and a chocolate-dipped strawberry bar.

Our featured Valentine’s Day titles are:

-BRAVA, VALENTINE by Adriana Trigiani

-EVERY ZOMBIE EATS SOMEBODY SOMETIME: A Book of Zombie Love Songs written by Michael P. Spradlin and illustrated by Jeff Weigel
-MARRYING DAISY BELLAMY: The Lakeshore Chronicles by Susan Wiggs
-THE PERFECT MISTRESS by Victoria Alexander
-PICTURES OF YOU by Caroline Leavitt
-WILD MAN CREEK: A Virgin River Novel by Robyn Carr

Click here to read all the contest details. Bets On: DEEP DOWN TRUE by Juliette Fay and A THOUSAND CUTS by Simon Lelic

strong>DEEP DOWN TRUE by Juliette Fay (Fiction)
Readers may remember Juliette Fay from her debut novel, SHELTER ME, which was one of my early Bets On selections. She returns with a new Bets On selection this week, DEEP DOWN TRUE.

Here, Dana Stellgarten is newly divorced and still a bit jangled about it. She has two kids with divided lives, shuffling between their mom and dad, a niece who shows up on her doorstep in all her Goth glory to clock some time with her, and enough drama in her life to make a woman get a job for some sanity as well as a paycheck. As she is thrown into the new work and dating worlds, Dana sorts through her life and starts to define herself beyond being a wife and a mother.

The book has strong, likable characters who are vividly portrayed, a storyline that really moves, and some great, deep-down honesty as Dana figures out who she really is. I also love that she volunteers for something called Comfort Food, delivering meals to those who are ill; it’s a plotline nicely woven into the story that gives it even more heart and allows us to see Dana’s inner core right from the start.

-Click here to read a review of DEEP DOWN TRUE.

A THOUSAND CUTS by Simon Lelic (Fiction)
Bullying is the topic du jour these days. But we have not seen a story quite like what I read in A THOUSAND CUTS by Simon Lelic.

Here’s the line that drew me in: Samuel Szajkowski, a history teacher, walks into a school assembly and turns an ordinary day into a memorable one as he pulls a gun and kills three students and a co-worker before turning the gun on himself. You never thought of bullying quite like this. It’s one of those books where the story unfolds and unfolds, and it gets better and better with each plot twist. It’s tight, makes you think, and when you’re finished, you will realize how well done it was. And it will give you pause to think about just how deeply the cuts of bullying run these days.

It was released in hardcover last March and is now out in paperback with a striking cover.

-Click here to read a review of A THOUSAND CUTS.
-Click here to read an interview with Simon Lelic.


Click here to see all the books we’re betting you’ll love. Talks to Sherri Wood Emmons, Author of PRAYERS AND LIES

First-time author Sherri Wood Emmons is captivating readers with PRAYERS AND LIES, her haunting debut that follows a small-town girl’s journey into adulthood --- and her gradual discovery of several unimaginable secrets that, once disclosed, threaten to shatter lives, destroy faith, and break bonds that she thought would last forever. In this interview with’s Bronwyn Miller, Emmons talks about the childhood memories that inspired the book, going into detail about her desire to write a novel set in West Virginia and the character who eventually became Reana Mae. She also discusses the challenge of writing from a young girl’s perspective, reflects on the difficulty of addressing child abuse as a mother, and muses on the coming-of-age novel that, when she was a teenager, made her feel more like an author and less like an odd duck.

PRAYERS AND LIES by Sherri Wood Emmons (Fiction)
Every year, Bethany and her family spend the summer in West Virginia’s Coal River Valley. And when she meets her cousin Reana Mae, they strike up a friendship that saves them both. But as Bethany grows older, she realizes that life there isn’t as simple as it seems. Dark secrets come to light --- and they could shatter lives, faith, and the bond she thought would last forever. Reviewed by Bronwyn Miller.

-Click here to read a review of PRAYERS AND LIES.
-Click here to read an excerpt from PRAYERS AND LIES.
-Click here to see the reading group guide for PRAYERS AND LIES.
-Click here to read critical praise for PRAYERS AND LIES.
-Click here to read Sherri Wood Emmons’s bio.
-Visit Sherri Wood Emmons’s official website,
-Click here to see the winners of PRAYERS AND LIES.


Click here to read our interview with Sherri Wood Emmons. Talks to Daniel Palmer, Author of DELIRIOUS

A songwriting techie and a first-time novelist, Daniel Palmer is the author of DELIRIOUS, a stunning debut that follows the sudden demise of an up-and-coming electronics star, who finds himself wanted for murder when someone starts eliminating his former employers --- and his only hope for salvation is his schizophrenic brother. In this interview with’s Joe Hartlaub, Palmer sheds light on some of the things that inspired DELIRIOUS, reflecting on his unconventional protagonist and the similarities between Charlie Giles and himself. He also speculates on what sort of gadgets the future has in store for us, reveals why he can never listen to The White Stripes the same way again, and explains why, more often than not, crafting a well-written story is just like coming up with a really good song.

DELIRIOUS by Daniel Palmer (Psychological Thriller)
One day, Charlie Giles is an up-and-coming electronics star. The next, he's a suspect for murder, as his old employers are picked off one by one. As his company is wrenched from his control, Charlie watches his life unravel. With nowhere to go, he turns to his schizophrenic brother, who uncovers dark family secrets that lie at the heart of the unfolding terror. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

-Click here to read a review of DELIRIOUS.
-Click here to read an excerpt from DELIRIOUS.
-Click here to read critical praise for DELIRIOUS.
-Click here to read Daniel Palmer’s bio.
-Visit Daniel Palmer’s official website,
-Click here to see the winners of DELIRIOUS.


Click here to read our interview with Daniel Palmer. Talks to Mary Burton, Author of SENSELESS

An ex-marketing whiz and a Southern girl at heart, Mary Burton is the critically acclaimed author of SENSELESS, a romantic suspense that follows homicide detective Deacon Garrison and the ill-fated Eva Rayburn, a mysterious woman who was implicated in a death at her sorority, only to find her hometown ravaged by murder 10 years later --- and every victim is linked to her. In this interview with’s Donna Volkennant, Burton talks about the strange things --- and weird phrases --- that sparked her novel, elaborating on how she manages to create such riveting characters and why she chose Alexandria as a setting. She also reveals how she unwinds after writing about dark and sensitive subjects, speculates on the similarities between baking and being an author, and gives readers a few hints about what they can expect in MERCILESS, the insta-sequel to SENSELESS that is now in stores.

SENSELESS by Mary Burton (Romantic Suspense)
After serving 10 years in prison for a crime she doesn’t remember committing, Eva Rayburn returns to her Alexandria, Virginia, home. She works three jobs and tries to maintain a low profile, but trouble comes knocking after burned bodies pile up. All the victims have a connection to Eva.

-Click here to read a review of SENSELESS.
-Click here to read an excerpt from SENSELESS.
-Click here to read Mary Burton’s bio.
-Click here to see Mary Burton’s backlist.
-Visit Mary Burton’s official website,
-Click here to see the winners of SENSELESS.


Click here to read our interview with Mary Burton.

Now in Stores: MERCILESS by Mary Burton

MERCILESS by Mary Burton (Romantic Suspense)
Each skeleton is flawless --- gleaming white and perfectly preserved, a testament to his skill. Every scrap of flesh has been removed to reveal the glistening bone beneath. And the collection is growing. When bleached human bones are identified as belonging to a former patient of Dr. James Dixon, Detective Malcolm Kier suspects the worst. Dixon was recently acquitted of attempted murder, thanks to defense attorney Angie Carlson. But as the body count rises, Kier is convinced that Angie is now the target of a brutal, brilliant psychopath. Angie is no stranger to the dark side of human nature. But nothing has prepared her for the decades-long legacy of madness and murder about to be revealed --- or a killer ready to claim her as his ultimate trophy...

-Click here to read a review of MERCILESS.


Click here to read more about MERCILESS.

Last Days to Take the Millennium Series Survey and be Entered to Win a Millennium Trilogy Boxed Set --- Closes Monday!
THE GIRL WHO KICKED THE HORNET’S NEST, the third volume in Stieg Larsson’s international bestselling Millennium series, is’s Book of the Year. This is just as much a celebration of the book as it is Larsson’s trilogy, which includes THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO and THE GIRL WHO PLAYED WITH FIRE. There was no denying the series’ global impact upon the release of THE GIRL WHO KICKED THE HORNET’S NEST. A copy of one of Larsson’s books seemed to be everywhere you turned --- in cafés, trains, buses, airports, pools, parks, and so on.

We hope you enjoy this special feature and tribute to the crusading journalist and his cyberhacking sidekick who have captivated readers and book lovers all over the globe. Here you will find information about all three novels, as well as the special deluxe boxed set, including reviews, reading guides, the official film trailers, and links to articles and information of interest to fans of the series.

In honor of this feature, we are giving away three boxed sets of The Millennium Trilogy. All you have to do is take our Millennium Series Survey, answering a few questions to share your thoughts on the series, and you are automatically entered in the random drawing to win one of three boxed sets. The survey will be open through Monday, January 31st at 11:59PM ET.

-Click here to take the survey and enter the contest.

Click here to see our special feature for The Millennium Trilogy.

This Week’s Reviews

TICK TOCK by James Patterson and Michael Ledwidge (Thriller)
When horrifying crimes rip through New York City, Detective Michael Bennett is called from his family vacation, leaving them open to attack. He enlists the help of a former colleague, FBI Agent Emily Parker, and his feelings for her grow --- as his relationship with his nanny takes an unexpected turn. But soon, a new crime leads to a shocking discovery, exposing the enormity of the killer’s plan. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

-Click here to read an excerpt from TICK TOCK.

J. D. SALINGER: A Life by Kenneth Slawenski (Biography)
One of the most mysterious figures in literary history, J. D. Salinger eluded fans and journalists for most of his life. Filled with new facts gleaned from countless sources, Kenneth Slawenski’s book captures Salinger’s unforgettable story in full --- uncovering details on everything from his first marriage, to the commitment to Eastern religion that dictated the rest of his life. Reviewed by Barbara Bamberger Scott.

-Click here to read an excerpt from J. D. SALINGER: A Life.

THE BOOK OF TOMORROW by Cecelia Ahern (Fiction)
In a modern gothic dusted with a liberal amount of magic, a diary that can prophesy 16-year-old Tamara Goodwin's future shakes up her present after she and her mother must leave their luxurious life to rough it in a gatehouse in the remote Irish countryside. Reviewed by Terry Miller Shannon.

THESE THINGS HIDDEN by Heather Gudenkauf (Fiction)
When the once-perfect Allison Glenn gets sent to prison, her sister Brynn faces rumors every day. She’s the only one who knows what happened, and when Allison is released, their secrets are focused on one small boy. If revealed, they could destroy them all --- his adoptive mother, the girl who tried to save him, and the two sisters who hold the key to everything. Reviewed by Bronwyn Miller.

THE CYPRESS HOUSE by Michael Koryta (Thriller)

Arlen Wagner has seen it before: a trace of smoke in the eye that’s a sign of imminent death. When he sees it on a train in Florida, he escapes with a young man --- only to get stranded at a boarding house that’s in the path of a hurricane. But a much deadlier force controls the country. And if they stay too long, they might not leave. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

THE ANATOMY OF GHOSTS by Andrew Taylor (Historical Mystery)
In the frigid winter of 18th-century Cambridge, a woman dies, a man goes mad, and the university guards its secrets. A bookseller fallen on hard times is sent to find out the truth of what happened that evil, sinister night. Could it really have been a ghost? Reviewed by Kate Ayers.

THE FATES WILL FIND THEIR WAY by Hannah Pittard (Fiction)
Sixteen-year-old Nora Lindell is missing. And the neighborhood boys get caught in the current of her absence. As time passes, the mystery of her disappearance grows. More eager to imagine Nora’s fate than scrutinize their own, the boys sleepwalk into adulthood, pining for a girl --- and a life --- that no longer exists, except in their imaginations. Reviewed by Barbara Lipkien Gershenbaum.

Click here to read this week's reviews.

Young Adult Books You Won’t Want to Miss

As you may or may not know, our company, The Book Report Network, has a number of websites about books and authors in addition to Throughout the year, features adult books on, our site for young adult readers, that we think will have definite appeal to a teen audience. In the spirit of sharing, we are now spotlighting a selection of titles each month from that we believe are great reads that you might enjoy.

Here are our latest featured titles:

ACROSS THE UNIVERSE by Beth Revis (Science Fiction/Thriller)
The spaceship Godspeed is on a 300-year journey across the stars to form a new settlement on Earth-Centauri. Amy has been cryogenically frozen with her parents to awake once the journey is completed, but something has gone wrong and she's awoken 50 years too soon. Someone is deliberately unplugging the cryogenic containers, and it's up to Amy to find out what's happening before the killer strikes again. Reviewed by Sarah A. Wood.

JUMPSTART THE WORLD by Catherine Ryan Hyde (Fiction)
When Elle must move into her own apartment at age 15, she is filled with rage at the situation. She is definitely not looking for friends or a love interest. Yet she makes such an emotional connection with Frank, her nice neighbor, that she finds herself developing a crush on him. Needless to say, her world is rocked when she discovers that he's transgender. Reviewed by Terry Miller Shannon.

THE LAST FULL MEASURE by Ann Rinaldi (Historical Fiction)
Tacy is facing the biggest challenges of her young life as the armies of the North and South collide in her hometown of Gettysburg. Not only is she desperately worried for her older brothers and father, who are out on the battlefield, she’s confused about her other brother, David. David used to be her friend, but now he’s always angry and downright mean. Life will never be the same for those who manage to survive one of the bloodiest battles of the Civil War. Reviewed by Chris Shanley-Dillman.

THE LOST GATE by Orson Scott Card (Urban Fantasy)
Orson Scott Card gave readers a brave, young hero with Andrew “Ender” Wiggin. Now he’s back with a new protagonist, Danny North, in a brilliant, original fantasy novel --- the first installment in his Mither Mages series --- that will appeal to teens and adults alike. Reviewed by Ray Palen.

THE RUNNING DREAM by Wendelin Van Draanen (Fiction)
Sixteen-year-old Jessica lives to run, and the track team is her second family. So when a tragic bus accident leaves her with an amputated leg, her entire world screeches to a painful dead end. But with the help of her friends and a hidden strength discovered deep within, she just may find the courage --- and the means --- to run again. Reviewed by Chris Shanley-Dillman.

SAPPHIQUE by Catherine Fisher (Fantasy)
In this thrilling sequel to INCARCERON, Finn is struggling to fit into the outside world as the long-lost Prince Giles. When another claimant emerges, Finn’s identity is cast into doubt. Incarceron, the prison, also has plans of its own and has built a body to finally escape and take control of the Outside. Reviewed by Benjamin Boche.


Click here to see all the young adult books you won't want to miss.


Poll and Question of the Week: Shopping for Books


What percentage of your books do you currently purchase at Borders or

Less than 10%
I'm not sure.
I never shop at Borders.
I do not buy books.

-Click here to answer our poll.


Tell us about your favorite place to shop for books and why you like going there.

-Click here to answer our question.


Word of Mouth: Tell Us What You're Reading --- and You Can Win THREE Books!

Tell us what books YOU are reading and loving --- or even those you don't.

This week we have three great prizes: FIVE readers each will win a copy of THE DEVOTION OF SUSPECT X by Keigo Higashino, HEARTWOOD by Belva Plain and IT'S ALL RELATIVE: Two Families, Three Dogs, 34 Holidays, and 50 Boxes of Wine (A Memoir) by Wade Rouse. Tell us what you are reading here and rate the titles 1-5 by noon ET on Friday, February 4th to ensure that you are in the running to win these books.

Click here for more details about Word of Mouth.

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 or change your preferences below.

Those of you who wish to send mail to, please see the form on the Write to Us page. If you would like to reach me, please write Writing any of the respond buttons below will not get to us.

Those who are subscribed to the newsletter by January 31, 2011 automatically are entered in our Monthly Newsletter Contest. This month, one winner will be selected to win the following five books: DAMAGE by John Lescroart, FAMILY AFFAIR by Debbie Macomber, THE INNER CIRCLE by Brad Meltzer, THE RED GARDEN by Alice Hoffman and SEPARATE BEDS by Elizabeth Buchan. Michael from Fort Collins, CO was last month's winner. He won OF LOVE AND EVIL: The Songs of the Seraphim, Book Two by Anne Rice, RESCUE by Anita Shreve, SECRETS TO THE GRAVE by Tami Hoag, UNBROKEN: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand, and WHAT THE NIGHT KNOWS by Dean Koontz.

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

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