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December 16, 2011 Newsletter December 16, 2011
Elf Wanted!

I need an elf. Actually I need a few elves. It’s T-minus 8 days til Christmas, and my “make the holiday merry and bright” list has barely been touched. For presents, books are the answer. I have been making that list and checking it twice. Since many of my family members read this newsletter, my selections cannot be published here lest surprises be ruined, but I have found some “perfect” books for people. And the best part --- they are easy to wrap for those of us who are challenged by wrapping paper and tape!

In fact, we at are curious as to what you are doing about book giving this holiday season. Weigh in by answering our Poll and Question of the Week.

The tree is not up, and I am debating whether to put one up at the house or in North Carolina where we will once again spend Christmas on the Outer Banks. We are driving down on Christmas Eve. Last year, I had a tree in my office in New York and it was there 'til March as I did not have time to take it down. I decided NOT to repeat that holiday decorating idea this year. I think the hurricane in August and the blizzard in October have my festive holiday schedule off the mark. I was feeling so behind when one of our staffers told me her father only shops on Christmas Eve because “the stores are empty and everything is on sale.” A great idea, or a euphemism for procrastination?

And for those wondering about the candles in the windows that I referred to in the last newsletter, neither of our boys bit on that suggestion and tackled that when I was in San Francisco last week. BUT we have an amazing housekeeper who keeps me sane and things happening around the house, and thus Ingrid has placed them all in windows so now the timers can be attached. You can imagine my pep talk about making that happen. I always feel like I am in the role of a flight attendant encouraging everyone to watch the safety video when I “suggest” tasks like this. And I typically get the same amount of attention as a group of passengers!

By the way, Ingrid further qualified for sainthood --- beyond her usual accomplishment of “mining” the boys’ rooms and trying to keep them in some facsimile of de-clutter --- by finding my turquoise down vest in the coat closet today. The one I searched for last week and could not find anywhere. (WHO layered it under a coat?)

My next challenge: as we are driving to the Outer Banks on Christmas Eve and the grocery store there closes at 7:00, it’s either race like demons to get there or pack ahead. Which will we do? I know, it’s a cliffhanger, folks!

Our Holiday Cheer Contests have ended --- nice getting those prizes out the door yesterday! Thanks to all of you who participated and congratulations to the winners!

But never fear: around here, every end brings a beginning. Thus today, we announce our Bets On Contest! The Grand Prize: ALL of my 16 Bets On selections for 2011. Yes, for the next few weeks we will be featuring a special contest for all the books I picked as part of my Bets On Feature throughout the year on One VERY lucky person will win this prize, and 16 others each will win a copy of ONE of the books. The titles include bestsellers like THE PARIS WIFE by Paula McLain and RULES OF CIVILITY by Amor Towles. Enter by noon ET on Friday, January 6th for your chance to win. By the way, I already have selected FOUR Bets On titles for 2012.

The holidays roll on here through January 6th, thus our Holiday Author Blogs will continue for THREE more weeks with a chance to enjoy stories of book giving and receiving from more than 21 additional authors. This week, we heard from Javier Sierra, Carla Neggers, Maria Duenas, Connie Brockway and Susan Wiggs. This weekend, there will be pieces from Diana Gabaldon, John Connolly and Nancy Jensen. And still to come: Tami Hoag, NM Kelby and many more. Thanks go to Dana Wilson and Katherine Tandler for pulling these pieces together!

Also, don’t forget about our What to Give, What to Get feature, which is also still running. We have updated the feature with a TON of new accessories to supplement our great list of books, something to keep in mind when you are doing some last-minute online shopping! I was chastised, and rightly so, by one of our readers last week that most gifts on Accessories for Book Lovers were for eReaders. Katherine remedied that this week by selecting an additional 12 items that can be found here. There’s everything from the practical to the whimsical.

And in what has become an annual tradition, we have asked our staff and reviewers to list some of their favorite books of the year. I look forward to reading these lists to see what they have selected. It’s nice knowing what other book readers are reading. Hats off to Tom Donadio, our Editorial Director, for pulling both of these features together.

Speaking of this, the details for World Book Night, which will take place on April 23, 2012 --- a night of book celebration in the U.S., UK and Ireland that you will be hearing a lot about in the weeks and months to come --- have been finalized! During World Book Night, 50,000 people, named as book givers, will be giving away 20 books from a select list with a goal to have 1,000,000 people across the United States alone celebrating reading en masse. There will be 25 adult books and 5 young adult titles given away. The books were selected by a committee and were just announced this week. You can see the complete list of titles that includes books from authors like Jodi Picoult, Michael Connelly, Barbara Kingsolver and Junot Diaz, among others, here.

Interested in applying to become one of those sharing the books? Then do so here. I already signed up! Oh, and I am on the World Book Night Advisory Board committee, so much more about this to come. And I am counting on huge participation from our readers as book givers.

Happy to bring you our interview with Raymond Khoury, author of THE DEVIL’S ELIXIR, as well as Ray Palen's review where he says, "Raymond Khoury has created a novel that is packed with non-stop excitement and enough death, destruction and suspense to thrill any reader." Fun fact: this is our THIRD interview with Raymond since I started Been such fun watching him stretch his writing with this new book, so enjoy. THE DEVIL’S ELIXIR, a Suspense/Thriller Author Spotlight title, is in stores December 22nd. And may we say it would make a great gift for someone else, or my favorite, a “to me/from me” present!

We are also featuring an interview with Neal Baer and Jonathan Greene, the two authors currently featured in our Debut Suspense/Thriller Author Spotlight. These two have an interesting professional history: they BOTH worked on "Law & Order: SVU." Definitely check out the interview for some behind-the-scenes action, and a great discussion of the inspiration for their book KILL SWITCH. Joe Hartlaub tackled this interview and the review where he says, "This is an extremely impressive debut from a team that has a winning multimedia track record, and I look forward to the next two installments of their planned trilogy."

Speaking of our Author Spotlights, we continue to feature Eva Stachniak, author of THE WINTER PALACE, in our Historical Fiction Author Spotlight. The contest associated with the feature is still on! You have until noon ET on Thursday, December 22nd to enter to win a hardcover copy of THE WINTER PALACE, which is getting some great coverage all over town, including a feature in O Magazine as one of “Ten Titles to Pick Now.” Need further motivation to read this one? My husband started it when we were in San Francisco and never looked up the entire flight as he was enjoying it enormously. He had a "three-book" weekend; no wonder I married him. It will be in stores on January 10th.

As everyone knows, the holiday season is prime time for new movies, and this year is no different. There are three great films based on books hitting theaters now: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows and War Horse. After having read all the books in Stieg Larsson’s trilogy, I have no doubt that Dragon Tattoo will be thrilling, and I look forward to going with my sons and husband --- it’s a rare film that will entertain all of us! Sherlock and War Horse, the story of the bond between a boy and his horse during the First World War, both would be great family outings as well, even for those with younger children. And hey, movies are great places to hang with the family when hanging around the hearth and home get wearying.

Those who liked Stieg Larsson’s books have been writing to tell me how much they love Jo Nesbø’s. Like Stieg, Jo (pronounced Yo) is a Scandinavian thriller writer whose engaging tales lead you on twisting thrill rides led by protagonist Harry Hole, an officer of the law (and part-time alcoholic), with plots that examine crime, murder and the gamut of Norwegian society. In fact, my son Greg likes Nesbø’s books even MORE than Larsson’s --- unlike THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO, which was a bit slow to pick up, Greg says with THE LEOPARD Nesbø has you hooked from the very beginning. Our reviewer Joe Hartlaub says, "It is one of those books that makes one want to start tossing off terms like 'compelling,' 'startling' and 'riveting' in the hopes that if enough superlatives are piled one atop another that the speaker or writer can communicate just how high this work stands above its peers."

This week we have also updated our Young Adult Books You Want to Read feature. These titles include LEGEND by Marie Lu, a dystopian thriller about Day and June, who grow up on opposite sides of a divided United States, only to be brought together when Day is accused of murdering June's brother; DEAR BULLY edited by Megan Kelley Hall and Carrie Jones, in which 70 authors come together to share tales of bullying; and CHARLES DICKENS AND THE STREET CHILDREN OF LONDON by Andrea Warren, a short biography of the great writer and his world.

Last week, I got a funny note from Jack Stroud, an avid reader --- so avid, in fact, his wife handed him an iPad and demanded he shape up. He said, “My wife says, I can have all the eBooks I can get on the iPad, but if I buy another hardback book she will call a lawyer.” At this point, he has about 4,000 print books --- enough to fill a 24x24 room with two floor-to-ceiling walls of bookshelves! And when he got married, what was his mother’s wedding gift? 100 books so he could start this very library. Now THERE is an idea for my sons…

This is our last update of the year. We take a long break this time of year as publishing slows down a tad, and the staff can grab some well-earned downtime. And we can try to catch up. It’s been a very, very hectic year, and they have been amazing at keeping pace. We re-launched, and while continuing the regular updates every week. No small feat. I am enormously grateful to all of them for the sheer tenacity that it took to actually be double-publishing for months now and moving more than 10,000 pieces of content. Maureen Linehan has been overseeing that, and I am so appreciative of her masterminding all of the details.

We’ll keep our Facebook page updated…and we'll be tweeting…and the blog will have items of interest as they unfold. We also will continue to add to our Coming Soon features; January titles are there now. The goal over the next six weeks is to always be three months in advance. We have January live now with February lined up to go soon. We will be back on our regular rhythm as soon as possible.

This is the season when we all run run run; it’s what Nelson DeMille once called the “holidaze,” and the word stuck with me. And I think that my taking a step back on the holiday this year is not just about being busy at work, but wanting to pare back on the frenzy. I read a piece from the Seattle Times today that brought back some of the meaning of this season. It’s about people who are stepping in and paying off the layaway fees for customers at Kmart to give some people a more special holiday than they might otherwise have.

These random acts of kindness --- the book donations, the surprise gift you make or share --- are the moments that always mean the most to me. With that in mind, I totally forgot to mention in last week’s newsletter why I was featuring a photo of a collection of seemingly random turquoise objects above the opener. Well, as some of you may know, last week was my birthday. My friend Cathy, who knows that I love turquoise, buys me a turquoise object (no matter what it is) any time she sees one throughout the year! She collects these things throughout the year, wraps them and gives them to me all at once as a combined birthday/holiday gift. While the gifts are fun, there’s a deeper meaning here. It references all the times she thought of me throughout the year. And it makes me smile outside and in. Think how lovely it would be to do the same thing with books for someone all year.

As you race around these next few weeks, think about creating some moments like this. I have a stack of books packed for the beach…stacks actually. By the way, I loved THE SECOND TIME WE MET by Leila Cobo, which I read last week. It’s a wonderful novel about a young woman in Colombia and the son she gave up for adoption who, after a life-changing event, sets out to find her. I loved the characters and the way it flowed, and it wrapped up beautifully. It’s in stores February 29th.

Right now I am reading THE INNOCENTS by Francesca Segal, which will be out on June 5th. I am about 100 pages in and have been stealing time to read it late in the evening and early in the morning. More on this after the break. Francesca is the daughter of Erich Segal, so she definitely has some pedigree here.

Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanzaa...and here’s to whatever else anyone is celebrating. Thank you for reading and being a part of the family. We look forward to seeing you next year. Here's to enjoying old traditions and making some new memories.

Carol Fitzgerald ( Talks to Raymond Khoury, Author of THE DEVIL'S ELIXIR, In Stores Thursday, December 22nd

Raymond Khoury’s THE DEVIL’S ELIXIR marks the return of FBI agent Sean Reilly and his girlfriend, Tess Chaykin, who now find themselves in a deadly race against time to trace the long history of a secret, dangerously powerful drug. In this interview, conducted by’s Ray Palen, Khoury shares his research and opinions of the “war on drugs” in the United States and Mexico, describes the process of writing in the first person for the first time, and gives a glimpse into two planned sequels.

THE DEVIL’S ELIXIR by Raymond Khoury (Thriller)
When an evil drug lord blazes a path of destruction in an effort to possess a magical elixir with very special properties dating back to 1700s Mexico, no one who gets in his way is safe. FBI agent Sean Reilly and his girlfriend, archaeologist Tess Chaykin, may be the only two people capable of locating the secret of the devil’s elixir and stopping the deadly El Brujo drug lord in the process. Reviewed by Ray Palen.

-Click here to read a review.
-Click here to read an excerpt.
-Click here to read critical praise for Raymond Khoury and his books.
-Click here to read Raymond Khoury’s bio.
-Click here to visit Raymond Khoury’s official website.

Click here to read our interview. Talks to Neal Baer and Jonathan Greene, Authors of KILL SWITCH

In Neal Baer and Jonathan Greene’s debut thriller, KILL SWITCH, forensic psychiatrist Claire Waters takes on a troubling case that leads her directly into a maniacal killer’s path. In this interview, the former executive producers of “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” discuss the process of developing their book, which began as an idea for a feature film. They share how they met and began collaborating, discuss the different processes of writing for television versus penning a novel, and give advice to aspiring authors.

KILL SWITCH by Neal Baer and Jonathan Greene (Psychological Thriller)
Claire Waters is a dedicated forensic psychiatrist with unnervingly personal insights into the criminal mind. Quimby is a deranged inmate whose boyish good looks hide a history of dysfunction and abuse, and he triggers something in Claire she'd rather not face. As she tries to unlock Quimby's past, she is propelled into the mind of another killer --- a homicidal maniac who's watching her every move. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

-Click here to read a review.
-Click here to read an excerpt.
-Read bios of Neal Baer and Jonathan Greene.
-Click here to visit the book's official website.

Click here to read our interview.
Special Contest: Enter to Win Our Special End-of-the-Year Celebration, Featuring All 16 "Bets On" Titles from 2011
We are thrilled to announce a very special contest on featuring Carol Fitzgerald’s Bets On picks from 2011. One Grand Prize winner will receive a collection of all 16 books, while 16 others will win a copy of ONE of these titles. The deadline for entries is Friday, January 6th at noon ET.

Here are this year's Bets On titles:

-DEEP DOWN TRUE by Juliette Fay
-LEFT NEGLECTED by Lisa Genova
-NEXT TO LOVE by Ellen Feldman
-THE PARIS WIFE by Paula McLain

-SILVER SPARROW by Tayari Jones
-THE SISTERS by Nancy Jensen
-THE SOLDIER’S WIFE by Margaret Leroy
-THIS BEAUTIFUL LIFE by Helen Schulman
-A THOUSAND CUTS by Simon Lelic
-TURN OF MIND by Alice LaPlante
-WHEN SHE WOKE by Hillary Jordan
-WONDERSTRUCK by Brian Selznick

Click here to read all the details of's End-of-the-Year Contest and enter to win NOW!
In Theaters December 20th: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
At long last, Stieg Larsson’s international bestseller The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo will be in US theaters on December 20th (one day earlier from its original release date).

Hoping to distance himself from the fallout of a libel conviction, journalist Mikael Blomkvist retreats to a remote island in Sweden's far north where the unsolved murder of a young girl still haunts her industrialist uncle 40 years later. Ensconced in a cottage on the island where the killer may still roam, Blomkvist's investigation draws him into the secrets and lies of the rich and powerful, and throws him together with one unlikely ally --- tattooed, punk hacker Lisbeth Salander.

-Click here to see our updated feature on The Millennium Trilogy.

Click here to read more about The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and all the movies based on books releasing in December.
Now in Stores: THE LEOPARD by Jo Nesbo
THE LEOPARD written by Jo Nesbo, translated by Don Bartlett (Mystery)
Two young women are found murdered in Oslo, both drowned in their own blood. Media coverage quickly reaches fever pitch: Could this be the work of a serial killer? The crime scenes offer no coherent clues, the police investigation is stalled, and the one man who might be able to help doesn’t want to be found. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

-Click here to read an excerpt.

Click here to read a review.
Featured Historical Fiction Author: Eva Stachniak, Author of THE WINTER PALACE
In THE WINTER PALACE, award-winning author Eva Stachniak tells the epic story of Catherine the Great’s improbable rise to power, as seen through the ever-watchful eyes of an all-but-invisible servant close to the throne.

We have 20 advance copies of THE WINTER PALACE, which will be in stores on January 10th, to give away to readers who would like to preview the book and comment on it. If you are interested, please fill out this form by Thursday, December 22nd at noon ET.

-Click here to read a second excerpt.
-Click here to read Eva Stachniak's bio.

Catherine the Great is one of history’s most fascinating rulers --- a monarch whose 34-year reign brought Russia into the modern industrial world, whose affairs were the scandal of her court, and who truly embodied the ideals of the Enlightenment. Drawing on letters, diaries, and on-the-ground research in St. Petersburg, Peterhof and Tsarskoye Selo, award-winning author Eva Stachniak delivers a passionate novel that illuminates the early life of one of history’s most enigmatic and powerful women. THE WINTER PALACE tells the epic story of Catherine’s improbable rise to power, as seen through the ever-watchful eyes of an all-but-invisible servant close to the throne.

Click here to read more about Eva Stachniak and THE WINTER PALACE in our Historical Fiction feature.'s Favorite Books of 2011: Staff and Reviewer Picks Staff Picks
Before ringing in the new year, we at The Book Report Network reflect on some of our favorite books published for the first time in 2011. Though it was difficult to narrow down, each staff member chose up to five books that he or she enjoyed the most this year. Take a look and see if any of our selections match yours --- and which titles you may want to consider reading in the future.

-Click here to see our 2011 staff picks. Reviewer Picks
Recently we asked our reviewers to provide us with a list of some of their favorite books from 2011. Included is a mix of fiction and nonfiction titles, all published this year. Take a moment to read these varied lists of titles and see if you agree with their selections! Please note that due to personal and professional commitments, some reviewers were not able to participate in this feature.

-Click here to see our 2011 reviewer picks.'s Author Holiday Blogs --- Authors Write About Their Bookish Holiday Memories

Throughout this holiday season, more than two dozen authors will be sharing their favorite memories of giving or receiving a book at the holidays on our Holiday Blog.

Here are links to posts from authors who already have shared their stories:

-Susan Wiggs on Greetings from Ray
-Connie Brockway on Giving a Book to a Child
-Maria Duenas on Santa vs. The Three Kings
-Carla Neggers on Cookbooks
-Javier Sierra on His First Autographed Book
-Ken Denmead on THE HOBBIT
-Eva Stachniak on Learning English
-Katherine Anne Kindred on THE SNOW QUEEN
-Shelley Shepard Gray on Reading Aloud
-Robyn Carr on Books for Troops
-Denise Hamilton on THE RUSSIANS

-BJ Daniels on Unforgettable Gifts
-Caroline Leavitt on the Blue Bookshelf
-Alan Bradley on the Gift of a Proper Book

Charles J. Shields on the Gift of Words

-Keija Parssinen on Golden Links to her Childhood
-Teresa Medeiros on the Greatest Gift
-Alyson Richman on THE SAND LADY
-Kim Edwards on Book Gifts from Her Family

Keep an eye out for reader favorites like Sarah Addison Allen, Nancy Jensen and John Connolly, who will be posting on the blog very soon!

Click here to read's Author Holiday Blogs.
What to Give, What to Get: "Reader Perfect" Suggestions for Holiday Giving and Getting knows that readers crave ideas for gift-giving --- and getting --- at the holidays. With this in mind, we're offering a What to Give, What to Get Guide with suggestions in six categories: Accessories for Book Lovers, eReaders for Book Lovers, Eat, Drink & Be Merry, Faces & Places, Great Choices for Book Lovers and Holiday Spirit. We have book ideas for everyone on your holiday list! And while you're looking for gifts for others, may we suggest you jot down notes for books YOU want?
Click here to see this year's "What to Give, What to Get" feature.
Seven Days, Seven Stories — One Explosive Secret!

Know any kids who fancy themselves secret agents?

Then let them celebrate the holiday season with The 39 Clues: Rapid Fire --- seven original digital short stories!

Beginning on December 25th, a different top secret 99-cent story will be released daily, leading up to an explosive finale on December 31st. The daily digital stories can be read in any order, but codes hidden in each combine to unlock an exclusive card and medal on Each can be read on an eReader, tablet, smartphone or computer, and are a perfect pre-order gift for any kid with a device on their holiday list! Click here to learn more.

Click here to read more about The 39 Clues: Rapid Fire eBook series.
Celebrate World Book Night on April 23, 2012!

We are pleased to announce World Book Night, an evening of book giveaways that is set to take place simultaneously in the U.S., the U.K. and Ireland on the evening of April 23, 2012.

As a way of connecting with other readers, 50,000 people will head out into their communities that night to hand out free books. Sign up here by February 1, 2012 to apply to be selected to give books away. Everyone who signs up to do so will be given 20 copies of a title of their choosing from the list of 30 featured books (you list three choices in the application). The goal for the evening is to give away a million free books!

The list of featured titles includes some favorites like:

-THE POISONWOOD BIBLE by Barbara Kingsolver
-THE HISTORY OF LOVE by Nicole Krauss
-MY SISTER’S KEEPER by Jodi Picoult
-THE BOOK THIEF by Markus Zusak
-THE NAMESAKE by Jhumpa Lahiri

The entire list of 30 titles can be viewed here.

Keep an eye out for more information on World Book Night in the coming weeks. And apply now to be a book giver.

Click here to read more about World Book Night and to sign up to give away free books.
This Week's Reviews
LOCKED ON by Tom Clancy with Mark Greaney (Thriller)
Jack Ryan, Sr. is running for President of the United States again. But he doesn't anticipate the treachery of his opponent, who uses trumped-up charges to attack one of Ryan's closest comrades, John Clark. Clark is now in a race against time and must travel the world, staying one step ahead of his adversaries, including a shadowy organization tasked to bring him in, all while trying to find who is behind this. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

RED MIST: A Scarpetta Novel by Patricia Cornwell (Thriller)
Determined to find out what happened to her former deputy chief, Jack Fielding, murdered six months earlier, Kay Scarpetta travels to the Georgia Prison for Women, where an inmate has information not only on Fielding, but also on a string of grisly killings. But what Kay thought ended with Fielding's death and an attempt on her own life is only the beginning of something far more destructive. Reviewed by Barbara Lipkien Gershenbaum.

-Click here to read an excerpt.

DEATH COMES TO PEMBERLEY by P. D. James (Historical Mystery)
It is 1803, six years since Elizabeth and Darcy embarked on their life together at Pemberley, and preparations are underway for their annual autumn ball. Then, on the eve of the ball, a coach careens up the drive carrying Lydia, Elizabeth’s disgraced sister, who --- with her husband, the very dubious Wickham --- has been banned from Pemberley. She stumbles out of the carriage, shrieking that Wickham has been murdered. Reviewed by Norah Piehl.

-Click here to read an excerpt.

MICRO by Michael Crichton and Richard Preston (Science Fiction/Thriller)
Three men are found dead in the locked second-floor office of a Honolulu building, with no sign of struggle except for the ultrafine, razor-sharp cuts covering their bodies. The only clue left behind is a tiny bladed robot, nearly invisible to the human eye. Reviewed by Roberta O’Hara.

THE SCOTTISH PRISONER by Diana Gabaldon (Historical Fantasy)
Lord John Grey finds himself in need of help from one particular paroled prisoner of war --- Jamie Fraser. Unwilling to re-kindle their now distant relationship, he also knows Jamie is most likely the only one who can help him. Reluctantly, the two set out for Ireland to investigate a British officer of corruption charges. Reviewed by Amy Gwiazdowski.

-Click here to read an excerpt.

THE FORGOTTEN AFFAIRS OF YOUTH: An Isabel Dalhousie Novel by Alexander McCall Smith (Mystery)
Isabel and her fiancé know who they are and where they come from. But not everybody is so fortunate. Jane Cooper, a visiting Australian philosopher, has more questions than answers. Adopted at birth, Jane is trying to find her biological father, but all she knows about him is that he was a student in Edinburgh years ago. When she asks for Isabel’s help in this seemingly impossible search…well, of course, Isabel obliges. Reviewed by Roz Shea.

-Click here to read an excerpt.

FEAR AND LOATHING AT ROLLING STONE: The Essential Writing of Hunter S. Thompson by Hunter S. Thompson (Journalism)
As a journalist, Hunter Thompson was an American original. In this volume that collects the bulk of his writing for Rolling Stone, his talents and his obsessions --- most notably with our political process --- are vividly displayed. Reviewed by Harvey Freedenberg.

THE ALLOY OF LAW: A Mistborn Novel by Brandon Sanderson (Fantasy)
Even as science and technology are reaching new heights, the old magics of Allomancy and Feruchemy continue to play a role in the reborn world of Scadrial. Out in the frontier lands, they are crucial tools for those attempting to establish order and justice. One such is Waxillium Ladrian, a rare Twinborn, who can Push on metals with his Allomancy and use Feruchemy to become lighter or heavier at will. Reviewed by Stephen Hubbard.

BEST FRIENDS, OCCASIONAL ENEMIES: The Lighter Side of Life as a Mother and Daughter by Lisa Scottoline and Francesca Serritella (Humor/Essays)
New York Times bestselling author Lisa Scottoline and her daughter, Francesca Serritella, are the best of friends --- 99.9% of the time. In other words, they’re just like every mother and daughter in the world. Now they’re dishing about it all: their lives, their relationship, and their carb count. Reviewed by Roberta O’Hara.

MOZART’S LAST ARIA by Matt Rees (Historical Mystery)
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s early death was a tragedy. But was the cause ill health or ill will? This atmospheric mystery, set in 18th-century Vienna, introduces the composer’s gifted but unsung pianist sister, Nannerl, as a musical sleuth. Reviewed by Kathy Weissman.
Young Adult Books You Want to Read
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:

LEGEND by Marie Lu
(Dystopian Thriller)

In a bleak future, the United States does not exist. The Republic rules the western coast, and the Colonies exist in the east. Within the Republic, 15-year-olds Day and June come from vastly different worlds, yet they are more alike than they realize. Their paths cross after Day is accused of murdering June’s brother. Reviewed by Donna Volkenannt.

DEAR BULLY: Seventy Authors Tell Their Stories edited by Megan Kelley Hall and Carrie Jones (Social Issues)
Today’s top authors for teens come together to share their stories about bullying --- as silent observers on the sidelines of high school, as victims, and as perpetrators --- in a collection at turns moving and self-effacing, but always deeply personal. Reviewed by Jana Siciliano.

Andrea Warren’s latest nonfiction book for young readers is a short biography of famed Victorian writer Charles Dickens, focusing on the social issues of his day, and the ways in which his fiction shaped public opinion and helped enact social change. Reviewed by Sarah A. Wood.
Click here to see all the young adult books you'll want to read.
Poll, Question and Word of Mouth


Are you planning to give books as gifts this holiday season?

Yes, I am planning on giving print books (hardcovers/paperbacks).
Yes, I am planning on giving eBooks.
Yes, I am planning on giving a combination of eBooks and print books.

Yes, I am planning on giving a gift card that will allow the recipient to buy a book or an eBook.
No, I am not planning on giving any books or book gift cards this year.
I am not sure what I am doing.

-Click here to answer the poll.


What book that released for the first time in 2011 do you think was “The Book of the Year”? Since we know you may have trouble selecting just one, you can name up to three.

-Click here to answer the question.

Word of Mouth:

Tell us your current reading recommendations with your comments and a rating of 1 to 5 stars. During the contest period from December 16th to January 6th, FIVE lucky readers each will be randomly chosen to win a copy of 77 SHADOW STREET by Dean Koontz, GIDEON’S CORPSE by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child, and SLEEPWALKER by Karen Robards.

-Click here for more details about Word of Mouth.
-To see reader comments from previous contest periods, click here.

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