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April 23, 2004 Newsletter April 23, 2004
This Week on
Sailing and Discovering a Bestseller (Before It Was One)
Author Talk with Alexander McCall Smith, author of THE FULL CUPBOARD OF LIFE: More from the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency
Debut Suspense/Thriller: One To Watch --- Our Latest Author is Lauren Kelly, author of TAKE ME, TAKE ME WITH YOU
Suspense/Thriller Spotlight: Clinton McKinzie, author of CROSSING THE LINE and Rick Riordan, author of SOUTHTOWN
New in Paperback for April
This Week's Book Reviews and Features
Poll: Which of the following books are you looking forward to reading?
Question of the Week: What Book Would You Suggest to Give a Graduate?
Word of Mouth: Tell Us What You're Reading -- TWO Prizes!
On The Book Report Network
Past Reviews
Can't See the Graphics? Read This Newsletter Online
Past Poll: What kind of books do you turn to when you need comfort?
Past Question of the Week: Who is your favorite "comfort read" author?
Read more about Hover Car Racer here. Read more about QUEEN MARY 2: The Greatest Ocean Liner of Our Time by John Maxtone-Graham here. Read more about PAST DUE here.
Sailing and Discovering a Bestseller (Before It Was One)
New York this week has been aflutter with the arrival of the Queen Mary 2 ocean liner. I think any child over the age of 6 can recite the stats on the ship as the local newscasters here have been sharing them incessantly with a tone that reflects both shock and awe. My older son, who usually must be dragged from bed at 7:45AM, was awake at 4:55AM Thursday to watch the ship entering the harbor on TV. The plan this Sunday is to watch her and the QE2 leave New York to sail across the Atlantic. For those of you who are wondering what the excitement is all about, may we recommend QUEEN MARY 2: The Greatest Ocean Liner of Our Time by John Maxtone-Graham? For information, click on the cover above.

April is National Poetry Month. To celebrate our Quote of the Day feature has been a verse of poetry each day all month. You can find Quote of the Day on the home page of

I got many anxious notes this week from people asking "what happened to the Coming Soon feature?" Clearly we somehow rotated the graphic for Coming Soon out of the newsletter last week. Do not despair. This feature is so popular that we actually upped its profile online. You now can find it right on top of the home page of! We have titles listed through August and will be adding more in the weeks to come. Click on the graphic at the right to bookmark this very popular feature.

We are offering a special opportunity this week. We are looking for 10 readers who would like to receive an audiobook copy of PAST DUE by William Lashner. We have 10 audiobooks to give away. Interested in having a listen? Then write us at by Friday, April 30th sending us your name and your e-mail address. Lashner is one of my favorite authors; I discovered him when we featured him as a suspense/thriller author last May. I am thrilled to share that the paperback of FATAL FLAW, which is just out, hits the New York Times bestseller list this week. All of you who discovered him with us last year can now say, "I read him before he was a bestseller!"

We love when that happens! And we bet you do too. PAST DUE, his new hardcover, will be in stores on Tuesday. For more about it, click on the graphic above.

Have a great week.

Carol Fitzgerald (
Read our Coming Soon feature here.
Author Talk with Alexander McCall Smith, author of THE FULL CUPBOARD OF LIFE: More from the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency
In this interview Alexander McCall Smith talks about his inspiration for THE NO. 1 LADIES' DETECTIVE AGENCY, why he decided to write a series of novels based on the story of Mma Ramotswe and what he hopes American readers will learn about Africa while reading these books.

THE FULL CUPBOARD OF LIFE: More from the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith (Mystery)
Reviewed by Barbara Bamberger Scott
In the fifth novel of Alexander McCall Smith's internationally bestselling series set in Botswana, the genteel and traditionally built Mma Ramotswe investigates the motives of various suitors who may be pursuing a wealthy hairdresser for her money, not her love.
Read an interview with Alexander McCall Smith and a review of THE FULL CUPBOARD OF LIFE: More from the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency here.
The Next Generation of Inspiration Is Here.


7 Essential Ingredients for a Balanced Life

Real-world strategies for living a life of meaning.

New from the creators of Chicken Soup for the Soul

Read more about LIFE LESSONS FOR WOMEN here.
Read more about Lauren Kelly and TAKE ME, TAKE ME WITH YOU here.
Debut Suspense/Thriller: One To Watch --- Our Latest Author is Lauren Kelly, author of TAKE ME, TAKE ME WITH YOU
Lauren Kelly, who explores the secret kinship of "soul mates," in a mysterious and demonic love story is our newest Debut Suspense/Thriller author. TAKE ME, TAKE ME WITH YOU will be in stores on April 27th.

Here's the Plot: Lara Quade, a disaffected intellectual associated with a prominent Princeton research center, is a young woman whose physical beauty has been scarred in a childhood accident. She is jarred out of the routine of her life by a seemingly chance meeting with a young man named Zedrick Dewe, whom she seems to know somehow as he in turn seems to know her. What is the connection between them? Who has brought them together? And why are they drawn so powerfully to one another? Their encounter leads to a highly charged erotic experience that takes an abrupt turn from tender to violent, predictable to terrifying. And from this initial episode springs a sequence of inexplicable events and revelations so shocking that they lead Lara, long in denial about her life, to uncover the truth about the buried hurt and rage in the tortured past of her family.
Read about Lauren Kelly and TAKE ME, TAKE ME WITH YOU here.
Read more about Clinton McKinzie and CROSSING THE LINE here. Read more about Rick Riordan and SOUTHTOWN here.
Suspense/Thriller Spotlight: Clinton McKinzie, author of CROSSING THE LINE and Rick Riordan, author of SOUTHTOWN
Clinton McKinzie, author of CROSSING THE LINE, which is on-sale on 4/27.

In CROSSING THE LINE, FBI agent Mary Chang is hot on the trail of Hidalgo, a murderous drug lord who recently relocated to a Wyoming canyon. Determined to bring Hidalgo to custody, Chang enlists Special Agent Antonio Burns and his renegade brother, Roberto. Despite Mary's and Anthony's efforts, their plans soon descend into a world of loss, betrayal and terror.

Rick Riordan, author of SOUTHTOWN, which is on sale on April 27th.

Will Stirman stages a bloody escape from prison and sets out for Southtown, an area in San Antonio, to exact revenge on those who put him behind bars. Tres Navarre's boss, Erainya Manos knows why Stirman may be looking for her, but she's not talking. Sam Barerra, the other person with clues to the danger is fighting a losing battle with dementia. SOUTHTOWN is a story filled with greed, vigilanitism --- and deception.

Read our Suspense/Thriller feature here.
Read a review of FATAL FLAW here. Read a review of A BODY TO DIE FOR here. Read a review of THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA here.
New in Paperback for April
Alice Sebold's extraordinary first novel THE LOVELY BONES, which soared to the top of bestseller lists immediately upon its hardcover publication, is now available in paperback!

This month's roundup also includes the New York Times bestselling legal thriller FATAL FLAW, the third entry in William Lashner's Victor Carl series; A BODY TO DIE FOR, Kate White's second novel featuring magazine writer-turned-sleuth Bailey Weggins; THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA, Lauren Weisberger's tale of a wannabe writer who works for a demanding and unrelenting fashion magazine editor; SHEET MUSIC, an erotic thriller from M.J. Rose that is also a gripping tale of psychological suspense; and an updated and expanded edition of I AM THE CENTRAL PARK JOGGER, Trisha Meili's unforgettable story of trauma and recovery.
Click here to read April's New In Paperback feature.
This Week's Book Reviews and Features
THERAPY by Jonathan Kellerman (Suspense)
Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub
Jonathan Kellerman has established himself as one of the world's most popular authors with his long-running and successful series of Alex Delaware novels. Delaware's new adventure leads the sleuthing psychologist on a harrowing exploration into the realm he knows best: the human psyche, in all its complexity, mystery and terrifying propensity for darkness.

THE MASTER QUILTER by Jennifer Chiaverini (Fiction)
Reviewed by Melissa A. Palmer
The Elm Creek Quilters are trying to arrange a wedding quilt as a surprise present for newlyweds Sylvia and Andrew. This close-knit group celebrates the joy of new beginnings and the ongoing success of their business --- until forces conspire to threaten their happiness and prosperity.

I AM NO ONE YOU KNOW: Stories by Joyce Carol Oates (Short Stories)
Reviewed by Barbara Lipkien Gershenbaum
This assortment of stories from prolific and respected writer Joyce Carol Oates reflects her major themes and possesses a powerful emotional thread. Each tale is charged with ethos and pathos, which renders them startlingly realistic, and readers will be challenged to probe the inner reaches of their souls as each story unfolds.

OBJECT OF VIRTUE by Nicholas B.A. Nicholson (Fiction)
Reviewed by Roberta O'Hara
Sasha Ozerovsky is a young expert in Russian art at an exclusive Manhattan auction house. If he can determine for whom an exquisite 1913 Fabergé figurine was made and where it has been hiding for the past century, its value --- and Sasha's career --- will soar. But Sasha soon discovers that the piece once belonged to his family, and he must face questions about their past that he never dared to ask.

EMMA BROWN: A Novel From the Unfinished Manuscript by Charlotte Brontë by Clare Boylan (Fiction)
Reviewed by Kathy Weissman
With only two chapters from the author of JANE EYRE to guide her, Irish writer Clare Boylan has produced a suspenseful and emotionally satisfying Victorian-style mystery that gives us not one but two bold, intelligent heroines.

KINGS OF INFINITE SPACE by James Hynes (Fiction)
Reviewed by Sarah Rachel Egelman
Paul Trilby's life is in shambles, both personally and professionally. He has been dumped by his wife, as well as three subsequent girlfriends. Once an English professor at a prestigious university, he's now working as a temp writer for the General Services department of the Texas Department of General Services. But even here, Paul cannot escape the curse his life has become.

SPIN SISTERS: How the Women of Media Sell Unhappiness and Liberalism to the Women of America by Myrna Blyth (Current Affairs)
Reviewed by Heather Grimshaw
Blowing the whistle on a job she herself had for over ten years at Ladies Home Journal as editor-in-chief, Myrna Blyth contends that the American media has been characterizing women as victims and has convinced the most well-educated, rich and healthy audience in history that they are miserable.

FAREWELL, JACKIE: A Portrait of Her Final Days by Edward Klein (Biography)
Reviewed by Jocelyn Kelley
Bestselling author Edward Klein, who knew Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis for more than a dozen years, explores the last six months of her exceptional life after being diagnosed with non-Hodgkins lymphoma.

EDUCATING ALICE: Adventures of a Curious Woman by Alice Steinbach (Memoir/Travel)
Reviewed by Shannon McKenna
Alice Steinbach's childhood hero was Nancy Drew --- an inspiration that serves her well as she travels the world on eight adventures as an informal student, taking lessons and courses in French cooking in Paris, Border collie training in Scotland, traditional Japanese arts in Kyoto, and architecture and art in Havana.

BEST ENEMIES by Jane Heller (Fiction)
Reviewed by Jocelyn Kelley
Book publicist Amy Sherman must publicize a book written by the woman who stole her fiancé --- and who used to be her best friend. She is forced to welcome the one woman she hates most in the world and her ex-fiancé back into her life. This novel explores the complex dynamic of female friendship, betrayal, love and honesty.

MIRANDA BLUE CALLING by Michelle Curry Wright (Romantic Fiction)
Reviewed by Amie Taylor
Miranda Blue has moved to the middle of nowhere to run her phone companion business and lick her wounds after the end of a lousy romantic relationship. But what she doesn't realize is that love will find people when the time is right, no matter how much they hide.

THE RIVER AT THE CENTER OF THE WORLD: A Journey Up the Yangtze, and Back in Chinese Time by Simon Winchester (Travel/History)
Reviewed by Robert Finn
This trade paperback is a new edition of Simon Winchester's vivid 1996 account of his 3,964-mile journey along China's Yangtze River, which he nominates as not just "the great artery of China" but actually "the most important river in the world."

THE WIFE by Meg Wolitzer (Fiction)
Reviewed by Heather Grimshaw
Meg Wolitzer has penned a wise and compulsively readable story about a woman forced to confront the sacrifices she has made in order to achieve the life she thought she wanted. But it's also an unusually candid look at the choices all men and women make for themselves --- in marriage, work and life.

ISLANDS by Anne Rivers Siddons (Memoir)
Reviewed by Maggie Harding
The Scrubs is a group of Charleston childhood friends who are inseparable. They vow that, when the time comes, they will find a place where they can live together by the sea. However, bad things begin to happen --- a hurricane, a fire, deaths --- but still the remaining Scrubs cling together.

ONE GIANT LEAP: Neil Armstrong's Stellar American Journey by Leon Wagener (Biography)
Reviewed by Curtis Edmonds
Journalist Leon Wagener has written the first ever biography of Neil Armstrong. Relying on hundreds of interviews with family and friends of Armstrong, plus generous access to the NASA files, Wagener explores the life of one of America's true heroes.
Read the reviews and features here.
Read Author Bibliographies here. Search here Read about the Light Wedge reading light here.
Poll: Which of the following books are you looking forward to reading?
Which of the following books are you looking forward to reading? Check as many as apply.

The Art of Mending by Elizabeth Berg
The Body of David Hayes by Ridley Pearson
The Full Cupboard of Life: More From the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith
Good Grief by Lolly Winston
Islands by Anne Rivers Siddons
Loud and Clear by Anna Quindlen
My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult
Nighttime is My Time by Mary Higgins Clark
Now Is the Time to Open Your Heart by Alice Walker
The Shifting Tide by Anne Perry
Sleeping Beauty by Phillip Margolin
Therapy by Jonathan Kellerman
Three Weeks with My Brother by Nicholas & Micah Sparks
A Year at the Races: Reflections on Horses, Humans, Love, Money, and Luck by Jane Smiley
None of the above
Answer the Poll here.
Read about books that have won awards here. Read our Books Into Movies feature here.
Question of the Week: What Book Would You Suggest to Give a Graduate?
Graduation time is approaching. What book would you suggest to give a graduate?

Our next question update will be on April 30th.
Answer the Question of the Week.
Read more about NIGHTTIME IS MY TIME here. Read more about THREE WEEKS WITH MY BROTHER here.
Word of Mouth: Tell Us What You're Reading -- TWO 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 NIGHTTIME IS MY TIME by Mary Higgins Clark and THREE WEEKS WITH MY BROTHER by Nicholas and Micah Sparks. Please note that our next Word of Mouth update will be on April 30th.
Need more details about Word of Mouth? Click here.

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--- Carol Fitzgerald (

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