Skip to main content

April 8, 2005 Newsletter

April 8, 2005

This Week on

What a Lineup....

Listen Up with Audiobooks

Author Talk: Karen Neuberger, Author of THE SECRET LANGUAGE OF GIRLFRIENDS

Suspense/Thriller Author Spotlight: Announcing Steve Berry, Author of THE THIRD SECRET

Suspense/Thriller Author Spotlight: Francine Mathews, Author of BLOWN

Suspense/Thriller Author Spotlight:  Jess Walter, Author of CITIZEN VINCE

Suspense/Thriller Author Spotlight: Iris Johansen, Author of COUNTDOWN

One to Watch: Victor Gischler, Author of SUICIDE SQUEEZE

Remembering Pope John Paul II

Baseball Books: Remembering What the National Pastime Is All About

This Week's Reviews and Features Blog

Poll: Dan Brown Books
Question of the Week: Fact from Fiction
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: How do you keep your place in your book?

Past Question of the Week: What book did you pass along as a "must read?"
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
Read our Author Bibliographies here.

What a Lineup....


This has been a week of pomp and ceremony. I feel like I am on news overload with every tradition completely wrung through and out. Those of you who know my rather low opinion of cable news reporting can imagine what a field day I had with this subject this week. I now completely understand the definition of the word "cloying." I am not being irreverent here. There are just times I want to watch and not have things explained and over explained.

We share a feature with Papal titles that was compiled by Marisa Emralino as part of our lineup this week. Please note that this newsletter is arriving a tad late since there were a number of features that we wanted to include and there are just so many hours in a day. New books from Mary Higgins Clark, Sue Monk Kidd, Elizabeth Berg, Alice Hoffman, Ridley Pearson and the Pulitzer Prize winner GILEAD, are all here this week just as a start.

The other big news this week is our new partnership with To celebrate we are asking you to participate in our month long Audiobook Survey. Answer it and you can be eligible for a really terrific prize. Also, we are looking for some audio readers --- and audio reader wanna bes --- for a special project. Interested? See complete details below. There will be lots more audio news in the weeks to come so listen up.

Last week I referenced Steve Berry's new book,THE THIRD SECRET, as a title that was timely as it takes place during a papal conclave where the third secret of Fatima is revealed. This week we announce this title as our latest suspense/thriller offering. Interested? See details on how to become one of our 20 advance readers below.

I received lots of notes this week from readers who told me that they learned everything that they know about papal conclaves from ANGELS AND DEMONS. That, and the fact that THE DA VINCI CODE is weighing in at the top of the NYT bestseller list, is prompting our Dan Brown Poll this week. I know you may wonder why I am asking. Bottom line: I am so curious as to why this book continues to sell and sell and sell. Our Question of the Week asks you to name a fiction title that taught you something factual you did not know about.

Be sure to see our reader feedback about TOWELHEAD by Alicia Erian. I love seeing reader comments about books that I have read.

Confession of the week. I read the results of last week's poll and was impressed that 83% of you use a bookmark. I either stick a flap in the cover or commit complete book bad behavior by folding down a corner of a page. I know. Bad. Don't mail me bookmarks. Some habits just cannot be broken.

Have a great week. Sunny here. I am planning to get outside.



Carol Fitzgerald (  
Read more about Audiobooks here. Answer the audiobook survey here. Click here for

Listen Up with Audiobooks

This week we are kicking off our new partnership with with two exciting features. The first is our Audiobook Survey. Weigh in on how you listen --- or not. For answering, you can enter to win a Creative Labs Muvo MP3 player and a year of Audible's Premium Listener service that allows you to download two audiobooks each month. We'll be selecting one winner. The survey will be open through Friday, May 13th.

Audio Feedback Needed:
We are looking for some audiobook listeners to try out some audio titles and give us feedback about them and the technology. We are looking for two categories of listeners:
1) Listeners who already love audiobooks, but have never downloaded them.
2) Readers who would love to try audiobooks and are not current listeners.
Click for more details.

Read more about audiobooks here.


Author Talk: Karen Neuberger, Author of THE SECRET LANGUAGE OF GIRLFRIENDS

In this interview Karen Neuberger, author of THE SECRET LANGUAGE OF GIRLFRIENDS, talks about the importance of female friendships and what women can do to nurture them. She also explains what the "secret language" is, identifies the members of her "Broad Squad," and discusses some of the wonderful ways women celebrate their girlfriend relationships.

THE SECRET LANGUAGE OF GIRLFRIENDS: Talking Loudly, Laughing Wildly, and Making the Most of Our Most Important Friendships, by Karen Neuberger with Nadine Schiff (Inspiration)
Reviewed by Pauline Finch
The coming together of a personal crisis and this heartfelt collaboration by an abundantly empathic and creative woman was a genuine revelation for reviewer Pauline Finch. She now realizes what this girlfriend thing is all about, and not a moment too soon.

If you want to read more about this book, go to

Read an interview with Karen Neuberger and a review of THE SECRET LANGUAGE OF GIRLFRIENDS here.


Suspense/Thriller Author Spotlight: Announcing Steve Berry, Author of THE THIRD SECRET

Steve Berry has been a favorite with our readers since his first book, THE AMBER ROOM. Many of you may remember THE ROMANOV PROPHECY, which is now out in paperback. His new book, THE THIRD SECRET, which will be in stores on May 17th, talks about the third secret of Fatima and also shares a riveting story about the events during a Papal conclave.

We have 20 advanced reading copies of THE THIRD SECRET to give away to readers who would like to preview the book and comment about it. If you are interested, please send your name and mailing address to by Friday, April 22, 2005. ONE NOTE: Please put Steve Berry in the subject line, as we are also sending the Iris Johansen entries to this same e-mail address.

Read more about THE THIRD SECRET here:

Explosive in both its pace and its revelations, THE THIRD SECRET is a remarkable international thriller. Bestselling author Steve Berry tackles some of the most controversial ideas of our time in a breakneck journey through the history of the Church and the future of religion.

Click here to read more about Steve Berry and THE THIRD SECRET.


Suspense/Thriller Author Spotlight: Francine Mathews, Author of BLOWN

 ( )


Our latest Suspense/Thriller Author is Francine Mathews whose new book, BLOWN, will be in stores on April 26, 2005. In the opening chapters a crazed killer hands cups of tainted water to runners participating in a Marine-sponsored marathon. From there Mathews' character Caroline Carmichael is called in --- and from there the action is non-stop.

See our Advance Readers here.
Read an excerpt of BLOWN here.

BLOWN by Francine Mathews (Suspense)
On Sale: April 26, 2005
Former CIA analyst Francine Mathews has created "one of the toughest female secret agents we've seen in a long time." (USA Today) Using her firsthand expertise of international espionage, Mathews offers another brilliantly realized suspense novel so intense, so authentic, it lethally blurs the line between fact and fiction. In BLOWN, Caroline Carmichael returns in a white-hot tale of terror on the streets of Washington, where one woman must gamble her life to save her country.


Read more about Francine Mathews and BLOWN here.


Suspense/Thriller Author Spotlight:  Jess Walter, Author of CITIZEN VINCE

Jess Walter, whose CITIZEN VINCE hits bookstores April 12th, is one of our featured Suspense/Thriller authors.
-Read advance reader comments about CITIZEN VINCE.
About the Book:
It's the fall of 1980, eight days before the presidential election that pits a beleaguered hangdog Democrat against a suspiciously sunny Republican. In the Pacific Northwest, a small-time thief named Vince Camden is headed to his witness-protection job at Donut Make You Hungry. But Vince is about to learn that it's not so easy to leave your old self behind --- especially when your old self is being hunted by a killer. Over the next unforgettable week, Vince will find himself enmeshed in a local politician's troubles, torn between a beautiful young law clerk and a neurotic prostitute, playing poker with a not-yet-celebrated New York Mafioso, and looking for redemption in --- of all places --- a voting booth.
Read more about Jess Walter.
Sign up to get news about Jess Walter.


Read more about Jess Walter and CITIZEN VINCE here.

Suspense/Thriller Author Spotlight: Iris Johansen, Author of COUNTDOWN

Fiction meets fact as bestselling author Iris Johansen and real-life forensic artist and veteran northern New Jersey police sergeant Daniel Sollitti get together to discuss their work. Mr. Sollitti completed his formal forensic art training at the United States Secret Service Training Facility in Maryland and studied 3-Dimensional clay reconstruction of a skull under forensic sculptor Seth Wolfson. Ms. Johansen's newest hardcover, COUNTDOWN --- her sixth thriller featuring forensic sculptor Eve Duncan --- will be released on May 10th, while last year's bestseller, BLIND ALLEY, is now available in paperback.

Want to be one of our 20 advance readers of COUNTDOWN? Then send your name and mailing address to by Friday, April 15th.

More about COUNTDOWN:
In this relentless psychological thriller a young woman is caught in a maze of secrets and stalked by a merciless killer. The countdown begins the moment you open this riveting novel that only grows more electrifying as the pages turn, more exciting as time runs out. . .

Read more about Iris Johansen and COUNTDOWN here.

Read more about our One to Watch feature here.

One to Watch: Victor Gischler, Author of SUICIDE SQUEEZE

Our latest One to Watch author is Victor Gischler, whose new book SUICIDE SQUEEZE went on sale on March 29th.
New This Week:
-Read another excerpt from SUICIDE SQUEEZE.
-Read advance reader comments about SUICIDE SQUEEZE.
Here's the skinny on SUICIDE SQUEEZE:
The Edgar Award-nominated author of GUN MONKEYS delivers an adrenaline rush of a novel that features a special appearance by Joe DiMaggio. The high spot of Teddy Folger's life was the day in 1954 that he got an autographed baseball card from Joe DiMaggio himself. It's been downhill ever since.

Read more about Victor Gischler and SUICIDE SQUEEZE here.


Remembering Pope John Paul II

The world mourns the passing of Pope John Paul II, spiritual leader to millions and an inspiration to many more. One does not need to be a member of the Catholic Church to recognize his contributions to society; his presence affected the worldwide political landscape, brought hope and solace to every location he visited, and gave the centuries-old image of Christianity a new face. We at have assembled a collection of works --- many of which were written by the pontiff himself --- as a tribute to one of the most influential and inspirational figures of the past three decades.
Read our Pope John Paul II feature here


Baseball Books: Remembering What the National Pastime Is All About

With all the disillusionment caused by the recent steroid-fueled headlines, fans can still take comfort from a number of new titles that serve to remind us of what a great game baseball has been and continues to be. After all, except for the ugly strike in 1994-95, the national pastime has survived wars, a depression, and even the threat of talking pictures and television.

Read Ron Kaplan's annual spring Baseball Books feature here.


This Week's Reviews and Features

GILEAD by Marilynne Robinson (Fiction)
Reviewed by Norah Piehl
An ailing minister writes a letter to his son, gazing back over his life and forward toward his death, in Marilynne Robinson's exquisitely crafted Pulitzer Prize-winning novel.

NO PLACE LIKE HOME by Mary Higgins Clark (Thriller)
Reviewed by Barbara Lipkien Gershenbaum
In Mary Higgins Clark's newest thriller, a young woman who is haunted by what occurred when she was ten years old is ensnared into returning to a place she had wanted to leave behind forever --- her childhood home.

CUT AND RUN by Ridley Pearson (Thriller)
Reviewed by Roz Shea
FBI Witness Protection Agent Roland Larson falls in love with Hope Stevens, a whistle-blowing accountant under his safeguard whose testimony had put away prominent members of the Romero crime family --- but then she vanishes. This taut cat-and-mouse thriller is a stand-alone novel that finds Ridley Pearson at the top of his game.

PLAN B: Further Thoughts on Faith by Anne Lamott (Essays)
Reviewed by Cindy Crosby
Anne Lamott's lively essays tackle everything from parenting to the War in Iraq; the collapse of the body in middle-age and racial tension at her small congregation to angst over her departed mother. Readers who loved TRAVELING MERCIES will enjoy catching up with this talented columnist.

THE YEAR OF PLEASURES by Elizabeth Berg (Fiction)
Reviewed by Roberta O'Hara
In this rich and deeply satisfying novel by the beloved author of THE ART OF MENDING and OPEN HOUSE, a resilient woman embarks upon an unforgettable journey of adventure, self-discovery, and renewal.

THE ICE QUEEN by Alice Hoffman (Fiction)
Reviewed by Kathy Weissman
Half Grimm's fairy tale, half "Nova," Alice Hoffman's new novel is an intriguing synthesis of magic and science. A girl's angry childhood wish comes true, and she becomes a remote, haunted woman with a morbid curiosity about death. Then she survives a lightning strike, and her frozen heart begins to melt.    

UNCENSORED: Views & (Re)views by Joyce Carol Oates (Essays/Literary Criticism)
Reviewed by Brandon M. Stickney
In this gripping collection by Joyce Carol Oates, her ninth book of nonfiction, she brings together thirty-eight diverse and provocative pieces from the New York Review of Books, the Times Literary Supplement, and the New York Times Book Review.

THE BOY WHO LOVED ANNE FRANK by Ellen Feldman (Historical Fiction)
Reviewed by Sarah Rachel Egelman
On February 16, 1944, Anne Frank recorded in her diary that Peter, who she at first disliked but eventually came to love, had confided in her that if he got out alive, he would reinvent himself entirely. This is the story of what might have happened if the boy in hiding survived to become a man.

SNOBS by Julian Fellowes (Fiction)
Reviewed by Amie Taylor
Julian Fellowes's debut novel is a must-read for those who long for life in a country manor, a title, and admittance to the inner circle of Great Britain's aristocracy. Here's one instance where fiction is more entertaining than fact!

Click here to read this week's reviews and features.

Read our reviews and features here. Read our reviews and features here. Read our reviews and features here. Blog

What Endings Can Teach Us
American Dreams
Note: You can read past blogs here as well.
Sign up here to get notified each time this blog is updated.
Click here to read the blog.
Read a list of upcoming books here. Visit by clicking here. Sign up for Author Newsletters here.
Poll: Dan Brown Books
You may be wondering why we are asking these poll questions this week. I just read that THE DA VINCI CODE again will top the New York Times bestseller list on Sunday, April 10th. Also, ANGELS AND DEMONS has in-depth information about the papal conclave. So, let us know:
Have you read THE DA VINCI CODE?
No, but I intend to.
No, I am not interested.
Have you read ANGELS AND DEMONS?
No, but I intend to
No, I am not interested.
Answer the Poll here.

Question of the Week: Fact from Fiction

Question: Name a fiction book that taught you something factual that you did not know about.

Please note: Our next question update will be on April 22nd.

Answer the Question of the Week here.

Read more about THE MERMAID CHAIR here. Read more about  COMPANY MAN 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 THE MERMAID CHAIR by Sue Monk Kidd and COMPANY MAN by Joseph Finder. Please note that our next Word of Mouth update will be on April 22nd.

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.

Those of you who wish to send mail to, please see the form on the Write to Us page. We were forced to move to this format after we were inundated with SPAM at the other address. If you would like to reach me, please write Writing any of the respond buttons below will not get to us.

Quick observation --- we have noticed that many of you have been changing your Internet providers in the past month. If you do, please be sure to "take us along" by signing up for the newsletter in your new name!

Happy reading! Don't forget to forward this newsletter to a friend or to visit our other websites from,,,,, and

--- Carol Fitzgerald (

The Book Report Network
250 W. 57th Street - Suite 1228
New York, New York 10107