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October 29, 2004 Newsletter October 29, 2004
This Week on
Turn Back That Clock and Read an Extra Hour!
Author Talk: Jeff Shaara, Author of TO THE LAST MAN: A Novel of the First World War
HOUR GAME by David Baldacci
MISSION FLATS by William Landay is Now in Paperback
Fall Football Reading
New in Paperback for October
This Week's Book Reviews and Features
Poll: Reading Excerpts
Question of the Week: More on Excerpts
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: Do you read before you go to sleep at night?
Past Question of the Week: Name the last book that kept you up reading a lot longer than you planned.
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Turn Back That Clock and Read an Extra Hour!
I have seen David Baldacci speak a couple of times, which is why I looked forward to his appearance at Borders in New York this week. Baldacci tells great stories and the hour flew by quickly as he shared tales of fan encounters, his law career and his characters. Many people ask authors how they feel about their books being made into movies. David has a great answer to this. When he makes a book deal he goes to Kinkos and blows up the check --- BIG --- like poster size. He puts it in his office. Then, when the director or producer calls and says things like, we think the heroine should be male, or the setting does not work so we are moving it, he pauses for a moment and then looks at the check, which usually is quite hefty, and says okay. The book is the book and the movie is the movie. Sounds really smart to me!

HOUR GAME had just hit stores Tuesday so the audience was not primed with questions about it. I had read three excerpts via e-mail and I was hooked on the story. By the way, during David's talk he said this about the book --- "Don't skim. Don't skip. The red herrings are there if you pay attention." I read our review yesterday when it came in and our reviewer Kate Ayers said the same thing, and she did not even hear Baldacci, so clearly careful reading is in order.

Seeing how this excerpt got me jazzed about reading HOUR GAME prompts our poll question this week about excerpts. We want to know if you read excerpts online before you decide to buy a book. Also, for our Question of the Week, we ask you to share one excerpt that prompted you to buy a book.

We are sharing a feature this week about the new Jeff Shaara book, TO THE LAST MAN. Our reviewer, Judy Gigstad, enjoyed this one as Shaara, who writes bestselling historical fiction, for the first time writes about World War One. Also, one of my favorite books from 2003, MISSION FLATS by William Landay, is just out in paperback. See more about both of these books below.

Next week we will be posting our Annual Reader Survey where we ask you to weigh in on what you are reading and how you find the books you read. I look forward to hearing from you once we post this.

Turn back your clock Saturday night and grab an extra hour of sleep --- or reading time! I am joking that I have planned 24 different ways to spend that hour. My younger son thinks this is perfect for extending his trick-or-treating adventure, which is what I call --- The Great Candy Grab. Maybe someone will give out BOOKS instead of candy!

Have a great weekend.

Carol Fitzgerald (

Author Talk: Jeff Shaara, Author of TO THE LAST MAN: A Novel of the First World War
In this interview Jeff Shaara, author of TO THE LAST MAN, explains why he decided to write a novel about World War One after exploring earlier periods in American history in previous books. He also discusses the appeal of two of his main characters, the research he conducted for this latest project, and the lessons that can be learned from such a gripping story.

TO THE LAST MAN: A Novel of the First World War, by Jeff Shaara (Historical Fiction)
Reviewed by Judy Gigstad
Jeff Shaara, the acclaimed author of bestselling novels set during the Civil War and the American Revolution, now turns to World War I, bringing to life the sweeping, emotional story of the war that devastated a generation and established America as a world power.
Read an interview with Jeff Shaara and a review of TO THE LAST MAN here.
HOUR GAME by David Baldacci
HOUR GAME by David Baldacci (Thriller)
Reviewed by Kate Ayers
A series of seemingly unrelated murders with different MO's leave investigators stumped, until someone pieces together the significance of the wristwatches left on the victims.
Read our review of HOUR GAME here, as well as an excerpt.
MISSION FLATS by William Landay is Now in Paperback
MISSION FLATS by William Landay (Mystery)
Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub
Police chief Ben Truman is investigating the murder of District Attorney Robert M. Danziger and joins a manhunt for Harold Braxton, the prime suspect. But soon Ben begins to question Braxton's culpability --- especially when he uncovers a secret history of murder and retribution dating back twenty years to a brutal killing that has been nearly forgotten.
Read our review of MISSION FLATS here.
Fall Football Reading
While it cannot be denied that the World Series and certainly this year's dramatic playoffs leading up to the fall classic have brought baseball fever to the peak of national enthusiasm, permit me the heresy of suggesting that it is football and not baseball that is truly our national pastime. While the fans of both sports can present passionate arguments for their game as America's number one sport, football is a game that finds its fans at several levels beyond the devotion of fans to their professional teams. Football finds passionate devotees not only at its National Football League games, but also at college games across the land and at countless high schools of every imaginable size.
Click here to read our Fall Football Roundup.
New in Paperback for October
Among the notable fiction titles featured in October's New in Paperback roundup are ELIZABETH COSTELLO by J. M. Coetzee, who was the recipient of the 2003 Nobel Prize in Literature, and the first volume of Neal Stephenson's bestselling series "The Baroque Cycle" and William Landay whose MISSION FLATS was one of our favorite debut suspense/thrillers in 2003. Our nonfiction selections include TREASON, in which Ann Coulter vehemently argues against the policies of the liberal party in the United States, and SO MANY BOOKS, SO LITTLE TIME, which focuses on Sara Nelson's decision to read one book each week for an entire year.
Read our New in Paperback feature for October here.
Read the reviews and features here. Read the reviews and features here. Read the reviews and features here.
This Week's Book Reviews and Features
A PAPER LIFE by Tatum O'Neal (Memoir)
Reviewed by Bronwyn Miller
In this honest and disturbing memoir, actress Tatum O'Neal talks openly about her not-so-typical childhood, her relationship with her neglectful parents, her volatile marriage to tennis great John McEnroe, and her addiction to drugs and alcohol.

THE ROAD TO THE DARK TOWER: Exploring Stephen King's Magnum Opus, by Bev Vincent (Reference/Fiction)
Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub
Bev Vincent presents a book-by-book analysis of each volume in Stephen King's Dark Tower series, tracing its connections to King's other novels and offering insights from the author about the creative process involved in crafting his lifelong work.

A TAINT IN THE BLOOD by Dana Stabenow (Mystery)
Reviewed by Andi Shechter
Thirty-one years ago in Anchorage, Alaska, Victoria was convicted of murdering her seventeen-year-old son. Though she pled not guilty at the trial, she never again denied her culpability. Now Charlotte has hired Kate Shugak to clear her mother's name.

LUX by Maria Flook (Romantic Suspense)
Reviewed by Sara Webb Quest
Maria Flook, the acclaimed author of INVISIBLE EDEN, is a rare, gifted writer who mixes poetry and crudity. In LUX, her most recent novel, she presents a course plot-scenario in beautiful, barren Cape Cod.

Reviewed by Robert Finn
Is it really possible to recreate Washington the human being from behind the picture on our dollar bill and the sculpted image on Mount Rushmore? In this book, historian Joseph J. Ellis has come about as close as anyone can to making that happen.

THE PAINTING by Nina Schuyler (Historical Fiction)
Reviewed by Cindy Lynn Speer
In 1860s Japan, a young women in an unsatisfactory marriage longs for her lover, celebrating her memories through beautiful paintings. One of these, wrapped around her husband's pots, ends up in the hands of an embittered solider who has lost his leg in the war.
Read the reviews and features here.
Poll: Reading Excerpts
Do you read excerpts of books online to help you select what books you may be interested in reading?

All of the time
Some of the time

Will you read excerpts of new authors, as well as old favorites?

Yes I will read new authors, as well as old favorites.
I only will read authors who I know.
I do not read excerpts online.
Answer the Poll here.
Browse through forthcoming books here. Read about books that have won awards here. Sign up for Author Newsletters here.
Question of the Week: More on Excerpts
Tell us about one book that you were intrigued to read after reading an excerpt.

Our next question update will be on November 12th.
Answer the Question of the Week.
Read more about TO THE LAST MAN here. Read more about METRO GIRL 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 METRO GIRL by Janet Evanovich and TO THE LAST MAN by Jeff Shaara

Please note that our next Word of Mouth update will be on November 12th.
Need more details about Word of Mouth? Click here.

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--- Carol Fitzgerald (

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