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November 19, 2004 Newsletter November 19, 2004
This Week on

It's ALL About the Reader

METRO GIRL by Janet Evanovich

Christian Chick Lit Author Roundtable


Book Journalist Roundtable: Talks to The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, USA Today and Publishers Weekly

SEDUCTRESS by Betsy Prioleau is Now in Paperback and Enter the Seductress Contest

This Week's Book Reviews and Features
Poll: Which of these books have you read or do you look forward to reading?
Question of the Week: What Author Would You Invite for the Holidays?
Word of Mouth: Tell Us What You're Reading -- TWO Prizes!
Quick Links to Features On The Book Report Network
Past Reviews
Can't See the Graphics? Read This Newsletter Online
Past Poll: Do you read excerpts of books online to help you select what books you may be interested in reading?
Past Question of the Week: Tell us about one book that you were intrigued to read after reading an excerpt.
Suspense/Thriller Author Spotlight Promotion
Debut Suspense/Thriller One to Watch Promotion
Mystery Mayhem Promotion

Fantasy Author Spotlight Promotion

One to Watch Promotion
Chick Lit Promotion
Click here to read more about YIDDISH WITH DICK AND JANE. Read more about SANTA KID here. Browse through Book Awards here.

It's ALL About the Reader

Wednesday night I attended the National Book Awards. They are "the Oscars of publishing" made all the more controversial this year since there was lots of discussion/flack/haranging about the nominees who were not well-known names. Garrison Keillor was the master of ceremonies and he spent most of his remarks talking about how much writers owe to their readers. I loved hearing that. I think in this business sometimes the reader gets forgotten, which always saddens me.

Judy Blume was honored with the National Book Foundation Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters. Her speech referenced her readers, as well, and she read some delightful letters from children who were some of her first readers. Their sincerity in these notes, which clearly showed how she had touched her audience, choked her up as she read them. Blume was the first children's author ever honored with this award. Watching her and recognizing what she has done to make so many children wild about reading just warmed my heart. Before Blume accepted her award, a young girl named Abby Boyle (her dad, Kevin Boyle, won the nonfiction award later that evening) read from ARE YOU THERE GOD? IT'S ME, MARGARET. Hearing this story read in Abby's voice gave this book, these awards and these speeches even more meaning that evening.

One personal note: I teeter-tottered around the cocktail party realizing again that I was not a girl who was made to wear stiletto mules. It is very hard to have a smart conversation while hoping you are not going to fall off your shoes.

For those of you looking for a great --- and very witty --- Hanukkah gift, may we suggest YIDDISH WITH DICK AND JANE by Ellis Weiner and Barbara Davilman? See more about it by clicking on the cover above. And for your amusement, we share this link with you for a video about the book.

Also, just out this week is SANTA KID by James Patterson, which is his first children's book. It's a picture book about the North Pole being bought by Exmas Express and Santa's Kid, the little girl who saves Christmas. The illustrations are a lot of fun.

Thanks to the more than 1,700 of you who already responded to our 3rd Annual Reader Survey. For those of you who have not yet been polled, it's your chance to weigh in on what you buy, where you buy it, what you read and what prompts you to read it. Your replies will help us program in the weeks and months to come, so please do weigh in. My original goal was 1,000 respondents. Seeing the terrific initial response last week I said I would love to see 2,000 respondents by December 5th. Hmmm...should I revise that to 3,000? May we suggest that you vote now?

Reminder...for sharing your thoughts in this poll you can be entered to win a $100 gift certificate from Amazon, as well as two other $25 gift certificates. Click on the link below to learn more. One quick comment. There are three parts to the survey, so if you only answered one or two parts and would like to finish the survey, please click on the link below to access it.

Thanks to all of you who gave me ideas for ways to listen to books and music while I swim. I am exploring these and am sure I will have more to share with you in the weeks to come.

A note on next week...we will be updating on Wednesday instead of Friday. Be sure to check back as we will have an interview with Nelson DeMille and a review of his new one, NIGHT FALL. As you know, I really enjoyed this one, which will be in stores Monday.

Enjoy your weekend.

Carol Fitzgerald (

Answer our 3rd Annual Reader Study here.

METRO GIRL by Janet Evanovich

Reviewed by Roz Shea

Janet Evanovich, best known for her Stephanie Plum adventure series, has written a stand-alone novel featuring a new heroine, Alexandra (Barney) Barnaby. In METRO GIRL "Wild" Bill Barnaby has mysteriously disappeared. Big sister Alex travels to Miami, Bill's last known sighting, on a harrowing hunt to save her brother --- and possibly the world.

Read an excerpt from METRO GIRL here.

Read more about the author here.


Read a review of METRO GIRL here.

Christian Chick Lit Author Roundtable interviewed eleven authors who write in the Christian Chick Lit genre --- Judy Baer, Tracey Bateman, Kristin Billerbeck, Lori Copeland, Penny Culliford, Sharon Dunn, Robin Jones Gunn, Neta Jackson, Annie Jones, Allie Pleiter, and Laura Jensen Walker. These talented writers discuss the essential elements of a Chick Lit novel, the differences between Christian Chick Lit and its secular counterpart, the scenes or characters they are especially proud to have written, and the impact that this genre (and its subgenres) can have on female readers. Click here to read the roundtable.

Read our Christian Chick Lit Roundtable here.


Read more about our Chick Lit promotion here.

Reviewed by Jocelyn Maeve Kelley

Four strong women from different walks of life all come to the beautiful isle of Corfu seeking the same thing --- refuge. Between marriage woes, dead-end careers and demanding families, these ladies need a vacation and surely will be able to relax, right? Well, perhaps not.

Read an excerpt here.


Click here to read a review of PAGING APHRODITE.


Book Journalist Roundtable: Talks to The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, USA Today and Publishers Weekly's co-Founder Carol Fitzgerald interviewed four prominent book journalists --- Charlotte Abbott, Book News Editor of Publishers Weekly; Bob Minzesheimer, Book Reviewer and Publishing Reporter of USA Today; Sam Tanenhaus, Editor of the New York Times Book Review; and Steve Wasserman, Editor of the Los Angeles Times Book Review. The fast-paced and lively discussion included conversation about book prizes and awards, bestseller lists and influences on readers.

Read our Book Journalist Roundtable here.

SEDUCTRESS by Betsy Prioleau is Now in Paperback and Enter the Seductress Contest

SEDUCTRESS: Women Who Ravished the World and Their Lost Art of Love, by Betsy Prioleau (Women's Studies)
Reviewed by Judy Gigstad
In this road map to restoring feminine sexual power, Betsy Prioleau introduces and analyzes the stories and stratagems of history's greatest seductresses.

Betsy has 50 Seductress t-shirts that she will award in a random drawing. Want to enter? Write her at to tell her who you think should be the Seductress of 2004. Be sure to include your mailing address in case you are the winner. E-mail must be received by December 18th. Hint: This could make a great  gift for YOUR favorite seductress.

For more on Betsy Prioleau go to

Read a book discussion guide for SEDUCTRESS here.

Read our review of SEDUCTRESS 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

THE GODFATHER RETURNS by Mark Winegardner (Fiction)Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub
Thirty-five years ago, Mario Puzo's great American tale The Godfather was published. Now, in The Godfather Returns, acclaimed novelist Mark Winegardner continues the story --- the years not covered in Puzo's bestselling book or in Francis Ford Coppola's classic films.

MEN AND CARTOONS: Stories by Jonathan Lethem (Fiction/Short Stories)
Reviewed by Sarah Rachel Egelman

Disastrous party games, magical spray, vengeful writers, a permanent traffic jam and various superheroes. All are found in Jonathan Lethem's collection of quirky yet serious short stories.

ADMISSIONS by Nancy Lieberman (Fiction)
Reviewed by Norah Piehl
Nancy Lieberman's debut novel is a searing satirical send-up of the Manhattan private school admissions process, "the Manhattan parents' version of a blood sport." 

CITY ROOM by Arthur Gelb (Memoir)
Reviewed by Robert Finn
Arthur Gelb's chatty retelling of his 45-year rise from copy boy to managing editor at the New York Times gives a vivid glimpse of the inner workings of a great newspaper that is also a national institution.

Read the reviews and features here.
Poll: Which of these books have you read or do you look forward to reading?

Which of the following books have you read or do you look forward to reading?

Citizen Girl by Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus
I Am Charlotte Simmons by Tom Wolfe
Life Expectancy by Dean Koontz
London Bridges by James Patterson
Men and Cartoons by Jonathan Lethem
Metro Girl by Janet Evanovich
Night Fall by Nelson DeMille
A Redbird Christmas by Fannie Flagg
Runaway by Alice Munro
Skeleton Man by Tony Hillerman
State of Fear by Michael Crichton
Twisted by Jonathan Kellerman
Whiteout by Ken Follett
Wolves Eat Dogs by Martin Cruz Smith
None of the above

Talking turkey, do you prefer white meat or dark meat?
White meat
Dark meat
I do not like turkey.

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: What Author Would You Invite for the Holidays?

What author would you like to have a holiday meal with?

Our next question update will be on December 3rd.

Answer the Question of the Week.
Read more NIGHT FALL here. Read more about TWISTED 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 NIGHT FALL by Nelson DeMille and TWISTED by Jonathan Kellerman.

Please note that our next Word of Mouth update will be on December 3rd.

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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--- Carol Fitzgerald (

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