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December 19, 2003 Newsletter December 19, 2003
This Week on
Happy Holidays From The Book Report Network!
Suspense/Thriller Spotlight: Read the Third Chapter of PARANOIA and Read About Our New Author, Reed Arvin, author of THE LAST GOODBYE
Holiday Books: We've Added One More This Week!
Debut Authors To Watch --- Jilliane Hoffman, author of RETRIBUTION and Jodi Compton, author of THE 37TH HOUR
New in Paperback
This Week's Book Reviews and Features
Poll: Rate This Year's Books
Question of the Week
Word of Mouth: Tell Us What You're Reading -- THREE Prizes!
On The Book Report Network
Past Reviews
Can't See the Graphics? Read This Newsletter Online
Past Poll: Do you read holiday books?
Past Question: What is your favorite holiday book?
Browse through author profiles and interviews here. Enter the John Grisham contest here. Read about this fall's movies that are based on books here.
Happy Holidays From The Book Report Network!
Are you ready for the holidays? I just about am. I am wrapping up some of my favorite books of the year for family and friends, which is a nice way to celebrate the season. I hope that they enjoy them as much as I did.

We created our special holiday card, which you can view below! Thanks to all of you for reading our website --- and making it such fun to bring you our updates each week.

Please note that we are taking a three-week holiday break this year, so our next update will be on Friday, January 9th. After family festivities that run this weekend and next week, I am headed out of town to the beach in North Carolina for a week. I have a stack of books that I am packing and my plan is to read, sleep and relax --- mostly read.

We are not leaving you without lots to do while we are gone.

Once again we are not doing a "Best Of" list this year. I actually loathe compiling lists like that since I truly do not like being "the supreme arbiter" on what's good to read. Instead we are asking YOU what you think the best books are in our Question of the Week.

We are bringing you a feature called, "If You Loved THE DA VINCI CODE, You May Like These Books." There are so many books that have been recommended to us for readers who liked Dan's book, so we are sharing 20 of them with you.

And we have our annual author interview roundup --- Author Interviews of 2003. Click on the link above to read all the interviews that we have done.

We have much to explore with our Suspense/Thriller and Debut authors this week including part one of an interview with Jilliane Hoffman and a link to Joseph Finder's new website ---

Ever wanted to interview John Grisham? Here's your chance! And with it comes a chance to win a HP Pavilion 7000 Digital Entertainment Notebook PC. Write the ten questions that you would ask Grisham to become eligible to win. Sounds like fun to us. See complete details by clicking on John's picture above this letter.

Quick reminder for those of you doing last minute shopping or "to me/from me" shopping (my favorite kind), 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. Many thanks to all of you who have been doing this over the past few weeks. We appreciate it!

Have a wonderful holiday and here's to a wonderful 2004.

-Carol Fitzgerald (
Read our holiday card online here.
Dan Brown's THE DA VINCI CODE was one of the most talked about --- and controversial --- books of 2003. Some people believe it was one of the best books (if not the best book) they have ever read, and at one point this summer it was atop every bestseller list in the country. In fact, USA Today recently reported that an astounding 90 books have seen sales increases thanks to the popularity of Brown's latest thriller.

With this in mind, we have assembled 20 books --- both fiction and nonfiction --- that we think you'll especially enjoy if you liked THE DA VINCI CODE.
Read our list of suggestions of reading if you liked THE DA VINCI CODE.
Read more about PARANOIA here. Read more about Joseph Finder here.
Suspense/Thriller Spotlight: Read the Third Chapter of PARANOIA and Read About Our New Author, Reed Arvin, author of THE LAST GOODBYE
Susan Banton, who read all 12 of our Suspense/Thriller authors in 2003 weighs in with her final overview and weighs in to rate all twelve authors!

PARANOIA by Joseph Finder will be in stores on January 20, 2004

New This Week:
-Read Chapter Three of PARANOIA
-Visit Finder's new website ---

In Case You Missed Last Week:
-Read a second excerpt from PARANOIA
-Read Fast Facts about Finder
-Read Critical Praise about PARANOIA
-See Finder's backlist
-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.

New This Week
-Find out who the advance readers of THE LAST GOODBYE are.
-Read Fast Facts about Arvin and more about his backlist.

In Case You Missed Last Week:
-Read about Reed Arvin
Read our Suspense/Thriller feature here.
Read more about THE LAST GOODBYE  here. Read more about Reed Arvin here.
Holiday Books: We've Added One More This Week!
Looking for books to enjoy that capture the spirit of the season? We have a new Richard Preston and many more!

THE BOAT OF DREAMS: A Christmas Story by Richard Preston (Fiction)
Reviewed by Roberta O'Hara
Thirteen-year-old Will and his sister Lila, whose father recently died in Vietnam, discover evidence that someone has been visiting their trailer. When they come home to find a rugged, cantankerous, somewhat smelly old man watching television, it takes them a while to realize who he is --- Santa Claus!

We also have the new title by Donna VanLiere title, THE CHRISTMAS BLESSING (Remember the movie of her bestseller THE CHRISTMAS SHOES will be showing again on Sunday, December 21st) as well as Anne Perry, Jacquelyn Mitchard, Jan Karon and many more.
Read our Holiday books feature here.
Debut Authors To Watch --- Jilliane Hoffman, author of RETRIBUTION and Jodi Compton, author of THE 37TH HOUR
RETRIBUTION is a haunting debut novel by Jilliane Hoffman that will be in stores on January 6, 2004.

Chloe Larson, a beautiful law student, is looking forward to a wonderful future with successful New York businessman Michael Decker --- but her plans are forever shattered after a madman brutally rapes and tortures her. When she gets a moment for retribution; she seizes it.

New This Week:
-The first of a two-part interview with Jilliane Hoffman. Jilliane Hoffman's background in law enforcement helped serve as the inspiration for her debut novel, RETRIBUTION. In Part One of a two-part interview conducted by Co-Founder Carol Fitzgerald, and reviewers Joe Hartlaub and Bethanne Kelly Patrick, Hoffman discusses why she made sex crimes the topic of RETRIBUTION, the development of her characters and why she wrote some scenes as graphically as she did.
-Read what our advance readers had to say about RETRIBUTION.

THE 37TH HOUR is a stunning debut novel by Jodi Compton that will be in stores on December 30th. Compton's lead character, Sarah Pribek is a "missing persons" investigator in the Twin Cities who ends up living the nightmare she walks others through each day when her husband, a fellow officer, goes missing. In her travels to find him, she learns about his troubled past and secrets that help her define who he is. For those of you who always have wanted to catch an author at the start of a series, this is a book you want to read! The storyline is complex with a terrific metaphor weaving through it about being lost and found.

New This Week:
-See who our 10 advance readers are.

Read more about Jilliane Hoffman and Jodi Compton here.
New in Paperback
This month's roundup of New in Paperback titles includes John Grisham's 2003 legal thriller THE KING OF TORTS and THE BEST REVENGE, a gripping psychological suspense novel by bestselling author Stephen White. We're also featuring the works of Nora Roberts, Sandra Brown and Ross King, whose compelling historical narrative MICHELANGELO AND THE POPE'S CEILING was a New York Times bestseller when first released in hardcover.
Read our New in Paperback titles for December.
This Week's Book Reviews and Features
THE MURDER ROOM: An Adam Dalgliesh Mystery by P. D. James (Mystery)
Reviewed by Barbara Lipkien Gershenbaum
P. D. James has crafted a fascinating and provocative mystery that goes to the heart of the genre: MURDER. The novel brings the very act of murder into the spotlight as a cultural phenomenon, a reflection of society and the multitude of ways it changes lives.

BLACKLIST: A V.I. Warshawski Novel by Sara Paretsky (Crime Fiction)
Reviewed by Judy Gigstad
In her 11th V.I. Warshawski novel, Sara Paretsky, one of the most distinguished writers in American crime fiction, has written a story of secrets and betrayals --- all of them with the power to kill --- that stretch across four generations.

THE PLEASURE OF MY COMPANY by Steve Martin (Fiction)
Reviewed by Roberta O'Hara
Daniel lives much of his life as a bystander, watching from his apartment window as the world goes by. But it is through Daniel's growing attachment to Clarissa, and to Teddy, that he finally gains the courage to become an active participant in the outside world. In doing so, he discovers love --- and life --- in the most surprising places.

YOU LOOK NICE TODAY by Stanley Bing (Fiction)
Reviewed by David Exum
Robert Harbert, Executive Vice President in charge of Global Corporation's Total Quality department, becomes involved in an intimate relationship with his beautiful assistant. But it isn't long before CaroleAnne levels a stunning charge: that she has been the target of an organized campaign of sexual harassment from her first days at the company.

I AM WHAT I ATE... and I'm Frightened by Bill Cosby (Humor)
Reviewed by Maggie Harding
In this original collection of humorous musings and digressions about our obsessions, the legendary Bill Cosby reflects back on his own 65 years of dining and wants food lovers and overindulgers everywhere to know that they are not alone.

THE FUNNY THING IS... by Ellen DeGeneres (Humor)
Reviewed by Roberta O'Hara
Comedian Ellen DeGeneres has crafted a wildly entertaining book that contains hundreds of succinct insights into her psyche, supplemented by easy-to-understand charts, graphs, and diagrams.
Read the reviews and features here.
Go to Search here Read about upcoming books here.
Poll: Rate This Year's Books
Thinking back over this year, tell us which phrase best describes how you feel about the books you read:

These were among the best books I have ever read.
Some standouts, a lot of disappointments.
An average year for books.
This year there were really slim pickings for good titles.
Not sure how I feel.
Answer the Poll here.
Question of the Week
Here's our question of the week:

What do you think was the BEST book of 2003? (Note: To be sure the book was published in 2003, please check the copyright line!)
Answer the Question of the Week.
Read about RETRIBUTION here. Read about THE 37TH HOUR here. Read about MR. PARADISE here
Word of Mouth: Tell Us What You're Reading -- THREE Prizes!
Tell us what books YOU are reading and loving --- or even those you don't.

This week we have some great prizes: FIVE readers each will win a copy of RETRIBUTION by Jilliane Hoffman, THE 37TH HOUR by Jodi Compton and MR. PARADISE by Elmore Leonard. Please note that our next Word of Mouth update will be on January 9th.
Need more details about Word of Mouth? Click here.

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

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

--- Carol Fitzgerald (