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December 5, 2003 Newsletter December 5, 2003
This Week on
Holiday Shopping -- Style
Books for the Holidays
Suspense/Thriller Spotlight: Read the First Chapter of PARANOIA and Read About Our New Author, Reed Arvin, author of THE LAST GOOBYE
Great Gift Idea for the Holidays: THE SONG READER by Lisa Tucker
Julia Leigh is Toni Morrison's Protégée in the Rolex Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative
What to Give A Booklover for the Holidays
This Week's Book Reviews and Features
Poll: Holiday Shopping
Question of the Week
Word of Mouth: Tell Us What You're Reading -- TWO Prizes This Week!
On The Book Report Network
Past Reviews
Can't See the Graphics? Read This Newsletter Online
Past Poll: Do you buy people books as holiday presents?
Past Question: Name a book you are planning to give this holiday season.
Check out here. Read more about WORD OF HONOR and the TNT movie here. Read about this fall's movies that are based on books here.
Holiday Shopping -- Style
This week when I was out and about the city I felt the holiday rush. People were racing around shopping and admiring the decorations. I confess that when I walked into a store right before Thanksgiving and heard blaring carols, I did a slight panic. I heard trees to be decorated, presents to buy and cookies to be baked, if such a thing were possible.

As promised, over the next few weeks we are going to spotlight titles that we think will make great holiday gifts. This week we want you to note THE SONG READER by Lisa Tucker, which is a great read for moms, aunts, sisters and teens. Check off that shopping list with this one! We also have ideas for books for book lovers --- a great roundup that includes SO MANY BOOKS, SO LITTLE TIME by Sara Nelson, the former editor of These are books you may want to put on the "to me/from me" list (a personal favorite of mine).

Next weekend we will celebrate the 100th Anniversary of Orville and Wilbur Wright's first flight in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. Tom Donadio has rounded up a great list of books that talk about this and what has happened with aviation over the past 100 years. (Yes, there are gift ideas here, too.)

This week we also introduce our new Suspense/Thriller author, Reed Arvin, author of THE LAST GOODBYE. I was sent this book to take a look at one Friday. By Saturday I knew we wanted to share Arvin with you as a Suspense/Thriller author. I'll quote the jacket here: "It's a thriller with a heart and a soul." For those of you who only like literary reads, but have wanted to try a thriller, this is the one you want to pick up. We're looking for 20 advance readers. Interested in being one? Send your name and mailing address to by Friday, December 19th.

Nelson DeMille's book WORD OF HONOR has been made into a movie starring Don Johnson, which will air on TNT December 6th and 7th at 8PM EST. Mark your calendars to watch and click on the cover above for more information about WORD OF HONOR.

Quick reminder as you start your holiday shopping. You can support by making your Amazon holiday purchases via the links on our website. We receive a percentage of those sales, which allows us to continue to deliver the quality editorial we do each week.

Enjoy your week..remember to BREATHE! Here comes the SNOW!

Carol Fitzgerald (
Read our feature Celebrating 100 Years of Flight here.
Read our review of SHEPHERD'S ABIDING here. Read a review of CHRISTMAS, PRESENT here. Read about MAGGIE'S MIRACLE here.
Books for the Holidays
My house has a collection of holiday books. We bring them out for the holidays and place them where they are readily accessible to guests. It's one of my favorite holiday traditions. Here are some new holiday titles:

Reviewed by Cindy Crosby
Jan Karon's loveable characters combined with the sweet background of the Christmas season make this full-length novel one that is sure to delight her loyal fans.

CHRISTMAS, PRESENT by Jacquelyn Mitchard (Fiction)
Reviewed by Joni Rendon
Jacquelyn Mitchard, bestselling author of THE DEEP END OF THE OCEAN, has written a poignant, uplifting and deeply moving Christmas story about love, loss and letting go.

And we have a roundup of nine additional titles that you will want to both give and get including MAGGIE'S MIRACLE by Karen Kingsbury.
Read our holiday books feature here.
Read more about PARANOIA here. Read more about Joseph Finder here.
Suspense/Thriller Spotlight: Read the First Chapter of PARANOIA and Read About Our New Author, Reed Arvin, author of THE LAST GOOBYE
PARANOIA by Joseph Finder will be in stores on January 20, 2004

New This Week:
-Read Chapter One of PARANOIA
-Read Fast Facts about Finder
-Read Critical Praise about PARANOIA
-See Finder's backlist

In Case You Missed Last Week:
-See our advanced readers of PARANOIA (in stores, January 20, 2004).
-Read about PARANOIA
-Read about Joseph Finder
-Visit to play the Paranoia game, take a quiz to find out how paranoid you are and get details on how to win a Paranoia T-shirt by pre-ordering your copy of PARANOIA now!

THE LAST GOODBYE by Reed Arvin will be in stores on February 17, 2004.

-Read about Reed Arwin
-Enter to be one of 20 advance readers of THE LAST GOODBYE by sending your name and mailing address (street address, not email address) to by Friday, December 19th.

Read our Suspense/Thriller feature here.
Read more about THE LAST GOODBYE  here. Read more about Reed Arvin here.
Great Gift Idea for the Holidays: THE SONG READER by Lisa Tucker
Leeann's older sister Mary Beth has a gift: she reads her customers' secrets from the songs playing in their minds. But as Leeann soon learns, every gift has its price. . .

The perfect gift for mothers and sisters.
Editor's Choice, Philadelphia Inquirer
Starred Review, Publishers Weekly
Featured on NPR and CBS The Early Show.

Also great for teens and music lovers.
Nominated for 2004 Best Books for Young Adults.
Featured in Seventeen.
Read more about THE SONG READER here.
Julia Leigh is Toni Morrison's Protégée in the Rolex Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative
Literature may soon have a new star. She is Julia Leigh, a 33-year-old Australian novelist who has just completed a year as the Protégée of Nobel Prize-winner Toni Morrison as part of the Rolex Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative. Launched in 2002, this international philanthropic programme pairs extraordinarily gifted young artists with renowned artists in their fields, allowing them to working closely together over the course of a year.
Read more about the Rolex Mentor and Protégé Arts Initiative, and Toni Morrison's Protégée here.
Read more about SO MANY BOOKS, SO LITTLE TIME here. Read more about METROPOLIS FOUND here. Read more about THE NEW GREAT AMERICAN AUTHORS' COOKBOOK here.
What to Give A Booklover for the Holidays
What is the best present you can give to a bibliophile this holiday season? A book, of course, or multiple books. But this year is extra special because a number of books are available that talk specifically about books --- the authors who write them and the people who purchase and collect them. The New York Public Library has even created a kit that allows individuals to take charge of their book collection to find any book instantly. You can be sure that the bibliophiles in your life will appreciate --- and treasure --- these thoughtful and very appropriate gifts.
Read our What to Give A Booklover feature.
This Week's Book Reviews and Features
GENESIS by Jim Crace (Fiction)
Reviewed by Stephen M. Deusner
Fertility is a curse for Felix "Lix" Dern, a celebrated actor who conceives six children with five women in this coldly calculated new novel by Jim Crace, winner of the National Book Critics' Circle Award and the Whitbread Novel of the Year.

OBSESSED by G.H. Ephron (Suspense)
Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub
In this gripping crime novel from G.H. Ephron, forensic neuropsychologist and expert defense witness Peter Zak tries to help a co-worker, Dr. Emily Ryan, who is being tormented by an unknown stalker.

BARBADOS HEAT by Don Bruns (Mystery)
Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub
Congressman Robert Shapply is attacked and murdered in front of his Washington D.C. home, and his son Nick is arrested and charged with murder. Journalist Mick Sever, who is covering the case, is best friends with the accused killer and is determined to find out the truth.

MR. TIMOTHY by Louis Bayard (Mystery)
Reviewed by Kate Ayers
Timothy Cratchit (of Tiny Tim fame) copes with the ghost of his newly dead father as he finds himself thrust into the search for a killer who brands young girls with a "G" and dumps their bodies in the streets of London.

NO ANGEL by Penny Vincenzi (Fiction)
Reviewed by Norah Piehl
Looking for a great story that will help you escape the stresses of the busy holiday season? Well, you've just found one in Penny Vincenzi's latest work, an old-fashioned family saga that's so hard to put down, you might just burn a batch of cookies or two.

NOT THE END OF THE WORLD by Kate Atkinson (Fiction/Short Stories)
Reviewed by Kathy Weissman
A boy who may have once been a fish. A stray cat that comes to resemble a live-in lover. A nanny who could be a Greek goddess in disguise. These offbeat, imaginative stories from a prize-winning Scottish writer are part modern realism and part fairy tale. The combination is endearing, unsettling and often very funny.

FULL CRY by Rita Mae Brown (Mystery)
Reviewed by Eileen Zimmerman-Nicol
Rita Mae Brown's third novel in her foxhunting series welcomes readers back to the wealth-studded hills of Jefferson County, Virginia for a final tour of a world where most business is conducted on horseback and stables are de rigueur for even the smallest of estates.

PRESENT VALUE by Sabin Willett (Fiction)
Reviewed by Amie Taylor
Writer and attorney-at-law Sabin Willett examines life in the exclusive world of Fritz Brubaker, a senior assistant controller, his high-powered attorney wife Linda, and their two children, Michael and Kristin ---- and reveals that things aren't always what they appear to be.

BLACK MAPS by Peter Spiegelman (Suspense)
Reviewed by Barbara Lipkien Gershenbaum
In his first novel Peter Spiegelman gives us a timely thriller that revolves around extortion, money laundering, insider banking businesses, drugs, arms dealing and mortal threats.

NIGHT FALLS LIKE SILK by Kathleen Eagle (Romance)
Reviewed by Jane Van Ingen
A connoisseur of exquisite objects, Cassandra Westbrook collects whatever catches her eye. While attending an auction, her interest is captivated by a set of Native American ledger drawings and --- almost as mesmerizing --- the handsome man who is bidding against her.

SPYGIRL: True Adventures from My Life As a Private Eye by Amy Gray (Memoir)
Reviewed by Joni Rendon
Nancy Drew meets Sex and the City in this hilarious memoir from real-life private eye Amy Gray. She learns a great deal about herself as she detects uncanny parallels between her investigations and her tumultuous love life.

A SPLENDOR OF LETTERS: The Permanence of Books in an Impermanent World by Nicholas A. Basbanes (Literature/History)
Reviewed by Robert Finn
Nicholas A. Basbanes continues the lively and richly anecdotal exploration of book people, places and culture that he began in 1995 with A GENTLE MADNESS and expanded in 2001 with PATIENCE & FORTITUDE.

COSMOPOLITAN: A Bartender's Life by Toby Cecchini (Memoir)
Reviewed by Bob Rhubart
Toby Cecchini has written an entertaining and insightful memoir about his bartending career and his experiences as part owner of Passerby, a bar/gallery in New York.
Read the reviews and features here.
Go to Search here Read about upcoming books here.
Poll: Holiday Shopping
Do you read holiday books?
I am not sure what I do.
Answer the Poll here.
Question of the Week
Here's our question of the week:

What is your favorite holiday book?
Answer the Question of the Week.
Read about ODD THOMAS here. Read about THE CONSPIRACY CLUB here.
Word of Mouth: Tell Us What You're Reading -- TWO 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 copy of THE CONSPIRACY CLUB by Jonathan Kellerman and ODD THOMAS by Dean Koontz
Please note that our next Word of Mouth update will be on December 19th.
Need more details about Word of Mouth? Click here.

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

--- Carol Fitzgerald (