Skip to main content

October 3, 2003 Newsletter October 3, 2003
This Week on
Interviews You Won't Want to Miss and Our Latest Suspense/Thriller Author, Jonathan Kellerman Talks to Laurence Shames, co-Author of NOT FADE AWAY
Suspense/Thriller Spotlight: Introducing Jonathan Kellerman, Author of THE CONSPIRACY CLUB
Our Chick Lit Feature: Read Our Review of PUSHING 30
Bookreporter Talks to Micheline Maynard, author of THE END OF DETROIT
Author Talks: Steve Berry, author of THE AMBER ROOM; Jonathan Hull, author of THE DISTANCE FROM NORMANDY and Glen Hirshberg, author of THE TWO SAMS
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.
Read more about the THE CONSPIRACY CLUB here. Read  about Jonathan Kellerman here. Read more about A COLD HEART here.
Interviews You Won't Want to Miss and Our Latest Suspense/Thriller Author, Jonathan Kellerman
There are some books that make you feel and pause to remember what really matters in life. NOT FADE AWAY, by Peter Barton and Laurence Shames, which we are featuring this week, did that for me. It's the story of Peter Barton, who died in his 50s of cancer. A few of you may have heard of him; he ran Liberty Media. Most of you will not have, and it will not matter. Peter's story is his, but you will take away something from it to make your own. Peter's life and the legacy he shares in this book will spur you to think of the people in your life that make it matter. It also will spur you to think about how you may need to change it to matter more.

On a personal note, Peter reminded me of my friend Peggy Pollack. Peggy and I worked together at Mademoiselle magazine in the '90s. She was 38 and I was 37. We used to sit in her office and have long conversations about the horror of turning 40. Then Peggy developed colon and liver cancer in January of her 38th year and died that June. In one of our last heartfelt chats at Sloan Kettering, she made me promise to toast her the day I turned 40 ---which I did.

Her death had a profound impact on me; it made me realize that I was not living my life the way I wanted. I left the magazine shortly after this and started The Book Report, and since then have pursued a path that made me much happier. I dare you to read NOT FADE AWAY and not want to embrace life a little more or live your dreams a little bigger. See our review and an interview with Laurence Shames that will give you more insight into this book.

For years fall meant the debut of the new car models from Detroit as much as it meant falling leaves. People would flock to the showrooms to see the latest styles and colors, which were held under wraps and presented with showman-like style. These days the Detroit car market has changed and the new model year is set up with none of the same punch. Micheline Maynard charts what happened to change all that and talks about where she thinks the car market is headed in her new book, THE END OF DETROIT. We have an interview with Maynard this week, as well as a review of the book. For more, then go to

This week we announce our latest suspense/thriller author, Jonathan Kellerman whose next book THE CONSPIRACY CLUB will be in stores on November 25th. If you would like to submit your name to be one of 20 advance readers, please send mail to with your street mailing address by Friday, October 10th.

For those of you looking ahead. Michael Moore has a new book, DUDE, WHERE'S MY COUNTRY coming out next Tuesday, October 7. Whether you like Moore or hate him, you can't deny he always has something to say. And on Tuesday we will post a smart, funny --- and since it's Moore, sure-to-be-controversial ---interview. For all of you who remember his Academy Awards acceptance speech last year, we ask what he'd say if he has a "do-over." Check back Tuesday to read an interview people will be talking about.

This week's poll is all about the books you actually finish, as well as start --- fiction and nonfiction. Is there a difference, we ask?

Enjoy this week's lineup. Like what you see today? Forward this newsletter to a friend.

On Yom Yippur, we wish our Jewish friends a maningful day of reflection and prayer.

Have a great week. Stay warm.

-Carol Fitzgerald (
Read a review and excerpt of NOT FADE AWAY here.
Read more about The National Book Festival here. Read about books that have won awards here. Read about this fall's movies that are based on books here. Talks to Laurence Shames, co-Author of NOT FADE AWAY
Carol Fitzgerald, co-Founder of spoke with Laurence Shames, author of NOT FADE AWAY about how he came to write Peter Barton's story (a well-known thriller author introduced them), what he learned from Peter's life and death, and what readers are sharing with him after they read the book.

NOT FADE AWAY: A Short Life Well Lived by Laurence Shames and Peter Barton (Memoir)
Reviewed by Roz Shea
Peter Barton, the founder and CEO of Liberty Media, died in September 2002 at the age of 51. In this extraordinary memoir, Peter (in alternating chapters with mystery writer Laurence Shames) talks about his life and legacy and his journey to death --- a journey that is both frightening and appalling yet also full of wonder and discovery.
Read our interview with Laurence Shames here.
Read more about Sandra Brown here. Read advance reader comments about HELLO, DARKNESS here.
Suspense/Thriller Spotlight: Introducing Jonathan Kellerman, Author of THE CONSPIRACY CLUB
Sandra Brown, author of HELLO, DARKNESS, which will be out in hardcover on October 7th:
In Case You Missed Last Week
-See what advance readers had to say about HELLO, Darkness
-Sandra Brown answers reader questions
-Read Fast Facts about Brown
-Read the third chapter of HELLO, DARKNESS

Richard North Patterson, author of BALANCE OF POWER, which will be in stores on October 14th.
New This Week:
-Read Chapter Three of BALANCE OF POWER
In Case You Missed Last Week:
-Read Chapter Two of BALANCE OF POWER
-Read praise for BALANCE OF POWER

Jonathan Kellerman, author of THE CONSPIRACY CLUB (due in stores on November 25th)
-Enter to be one of our 20 advance readers by sending a note to with your name and street address mailing information by Friday, October 10th.
-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: Read Our Review of PUSHING 30
PUSHING 30 by Whitney Gaskell
Reviewed by Melissa A. Martin
As Ellie Winters approaches her 30th birthday, she feels as if her life is falling apart. But then one night she meets a witty and intriguing man, a television news anchor who is twice her age --- and one of the few men on earth who isn't interested in dating a younger woman.

In Case You Missed Last Week:
Whitney Gaskell, author of the debut novel PUSHING 30, talked with Co-Founder Carol Fitzgerald about the Chick Lit genre, turning 30, what's next for her and her new role --- being a mom.

See what readers had to say about PUSHING 30 by Whitney Gaskell and then enjoy previewing our second excerpt as we celebrate our first Chick Lit title.

Next week we'll announce our second Chick Lit author!
Read our Chick Lit feature here.
Bookreporter Talks to Micheline Maynard, author of THE END OF DETROIT
Micheline Maynard covers the automobile and airline industries for The New York Times and is a lecturer on the global auto industry at the University of Michigan School of Business. Co-Founder Carol Fitzgerald and reviewer Fara Warner talk with Maynard about her latest book THE END OF DETROIT, which details the mistakes and miscalculations of Detroit's Big Three automobile companies. She discusses the lessons that her book offers to executives and managers in various industries and whether or not Detroit will be able to regain "their grip on the American car market."

THE END OF DETROIT: How the Big Three Lost Their Grip on the American Car Market by Micheline Maynard (Business)
Reviewed by Fara Warner
In the 1970s, the U.S. carmakers --- collectively known as the Big Three --- dominated the American car market. Thirty years later, that control has ended as car buyers increasingly turn to inexpensive imports from Korea, high-quality cars from Japan and sleek performance cars from Germany. This detailed and well-reported book chronicles how the imports attacked the Big Three on their home turf and why the domestic makers allowed it to happen. For more about Micheline Maynard and THE END OF DETROIT, go to
Read our interview with Micheline Maynard and a review of THE END OF DETROIT and an excerpt.
Read an interview with Steve Berry, author of THE AMBER ROOM here. Read an interview with Jonathan Hull, author of THE DISTANCE FROM NORMANDY here. Read more about Glen Hirshberg, author of THE TWO SAMS here.
Author Talks: Steve Berry, author of THE AMBER ROOM; Jonathan Hull, author of THE DISTANCE FROM NORMANDY and Glen Hirshberg, author of THE TWO SAMS
Steve Berry talks about his debut novel, THE AMBER ROOM, which we recommend to readers who loved THE DA VINCI CODE. He explains the story of the original Amber Room, the details of its recent restoration and the research involved in writing the book, in addition to offering readers news about his next novel due to be published in September 2004.

Award-winning journalist and bestselling author Jonathan Hull discusses the inspiration for his latest novel THE DISTANCE FROM NORMANDY. He also talks about the parallels between this work and his debut novel LOSING JULIA and provides an impressive list of some of his all-time favorite books.

In this special interview with Wiley Saichek acclaimed author Glen Hirshberg chats about his latest book, THE TWO SAMS, and shares his writing influences and path to publication.
Read these author talks here, or click on each author's photo above this feature.
This Week's Book Reviews and Features
SPLIT SECOND by David Baldacci (Thriller)
Reviewed by Barbara Lipkien Gershenbaum
David Baldacci's latest novel is a riveting tale about how assassins reach their targets, despite the presence of the Secret Service. Baldacci uses his considerable talents to offer drop-dead action wrapped in a conundrum that plagues politicians and high-profile people everywhere.

MONSTROUS REGIMENT by Terry Pratchett (Fantasy)
Reviewed by Roz Shea
Ever since her brother marched off to battle a year ago, Polly Perks has been running The Duchess, her family's inn --- even though the revered national deity Nuggan has decreed that female ownership of a business is an Abomination. Polly must find her missing sibling to keep The Duchess in the family, so she disguises herself as a boy in order to join the army of Borogravia.

AVENGER by Frederick Forsyth (Thriller)
Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub
Attorney and former Vietnam tunnel rat Calvin Dexter has a mission in life --- to bring justice to those who have gotten away with murder. To this end, he is currently pursuing Zoran Zilic, a gangster who savagely killed an American aid worker on a relief mission in Bosnia.

SHIPWRECK by Louis Begley (Fiction)
Reviewed by David Exum
Louis Begley's latest novel is a tour de force that captures the madness of a high-profile author caught in a torrid affair with another woman.

AT THE STROKE OF MADNESS by Alex Kava (Mystery)
Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub
FBI Special Agent Maggie O'Dell is working on the case of a missing woman when she receives a call from Sheriff Henry Watermeier of New Haven County, Connecticut --- her body apparently has been found. But Maggie is about to learn that this is just the tip of the iceberg in what will be one of the most bizarre, cold-blooded and confounding cases of her career.

DEATH BY HOLLYWOOD by Steven Bochco (Mystery)
Reviewed by Stuart Shiffman
Screenwriter Bobby Newman witnesses through his telescope the brutal murder of an actor at the hands of a wealthy socialite. He chooses not to report the crime to the police, and this sets in motion a chain of events with a multitude of twists and turns.

OFFER OF PROOF by Robert Heilbrun (Thriller)
Reviewed by Barbara Lipkien Gershenbaum
In his stunning debut novel, Robert Heilbrun focuses on the NYPD's role in defending the indigent and the lost, creating a modern hero who must fight the most important battle of his career.

WHO'S LOOKING OUT FOR YOU? by Bill O'Reilly (Current Affairs)
Reviewed by Maggie Harding
Bill O'Reilly takes on those individuals and institutions in American life who are letting people down --- crooked corporate executives, corrupt politicians, sexually predatory priests and the Church hierarchy that protects them --- and what we should do about it.

MY TURN AT THE BULLY PULPIT: Straight Talk About the Things That Drive Me Nuts by Greta Van Susteren and Elaine Lafferty (Current Affairs)
Reviewed by Amie Taylor
Greta Van Susteren, host of Fox News Channel's On the Record with Greta Van Susteren, offers her opinions on everything from tort reform and education to NASCAR and Ozzy Osbourne in an interesting and informative discourse on today's hot topics of interest.

BOOGERS ARE MY BEAT: More Lies, but Some Actual Journalism by Dave Barry (Humor/Essays)
Reviewed by Bob Rhubart
In this hilarious new collection of columns, humorist and Pulitzer Prize winner Dave Barry voices his opinions on such subjects as the Olympics, the 2000 Democratic and Republican conventions, and the elections in Florida --- but also reveals his serious side when he discusses 9/11.

FLYBOYS: A True Story of Courage by James Bradley (History)
Reviewed by Curtis Edmonds
James Bradley's second book is a brutally honest portrayal of war on both the strategic and tactical level, as it focuses on the experience of American flyboys shot down over the island of Chichi Jima in World War II.

GIVEN UP FOR DEAD: America's Heroic Stand at Wake Island by Bill Sloan (History)
Reviewed by Curtis Edmonds
Bill Sloan has written a stark, comprehensive narrative of the battle for Wake Island, the "Alamo of the Pacific," telling the story of the American Navy and Marine forces that inflicted substantial damage to Japanese invaders in December 1941 before being forced to surrender.

THE CATHOLIC GIRL'S GUIDE TO SEX by Melinda Anderson and Kathleen Murray (Humor)
Reviewed by Roberta O'Hara
In this highly entertaining handbook, Melinda Anderson and Kathleen Murray provide guidance to those Catholics (and non-Catholics) who are concerned that their love life may be getting a little too lively.

WHO KILLED DANIEL PEARL? by Bernard-Henri Levy(Nonfiction)
Reviewed by Harold V. Cordry
Well-known European philosopher and writer Bernard-Henri Levy details his journey to Karachi, Pakistan, where he attempts to discover the truth surrounding Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl's ghastly murder.

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.

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.

Those of you who wish to send mail to the general mailbox at, please write to: If you would like to reach me, please write Writing any of the respond buttons below will not get to us.

Quick observation --- we have noticed that many of you have been changing your Internet providers in the past month. If you do, please be sure to "take us along" by signing up for the newsletter in your new name!

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

--- Carol Fitzgerald (