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December 2, 2005 Newsletter

December 2, 2005

This Week on

Bookish Images

Now In Stores: MARY, MARY by James Patterson

Introducing Our Newest Debut Suspense/Thriller Author --- Richard Hawke, Author of SPEAK OF THE DEVIL

Holiday Basket of Cheer: Spotlight on HOT FLASH HOLIDAYS by Nancy Thayer and Weekly Basket Giveaway

Now In Stores: FOREVER ODD by Dean Koontz

Announcing our Holiday What to Give/What to Get Guide!

What to Give/What to Get: Novel Ideas --- Fiction

What to Give/What to Get --- Slam Dunk: Sports Titles

What to Give/What to Get --- Just For Fun: Humor Books

December Books Into Movies

This Week's Reviews and Features Blog

Poll: Reading Holiday Books
Question of the Week: Best Book to Give
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 Question of the Week: What author would you most like to have over for a holiday dinner?
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
Holiday Basket of Cheer Promotion

Bookish Images

Many people remember lines from books. I remember scenes that take place in places I know. One is in Stephen King's THE STAND where he writes about all the cars backed up in the Lincoln Tunnel with dead bodies in them. I drive into the city through the tunnel many days and that scene streams back into my consciousness as I drive through the white-tiled tube.

The opener in our latest debut suspense/thriller, SPEAK OF THE DEVIL by Richard Hawke, takes place at the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade on Central Park West at 72nd Street outside the Dakota. There's a shooting as the Mother Goose float and the Berlin, Maryland Marching Band go by. Let's just say that I did not watch the parade on TV last week without that image floating around my brain.
I read SPEAK OF THE DEVIL over the summer and really loved it, which is why I am excited about bringing Hawke to your attention as our latest Debut Suspense/Thriller author. We have 10 advance reading copies to give away to readers. Interested in being selected to read SPEAK OF THE DEVIL and comment on it? Then send your name and mailing address to by Friday, December 9th.
I wrote a blog earlier today about Why the Holidaze is a Crazy Time of Year! I hope you had as much fun reading it as I did writing it. I am sure it will spark your own Holidaze thoughts. The Wall Street Journal had an interesting piece this week that I have not read about much in the media --- what the impact will be of Hanukkah and Christmas overlapping dates this year. Last time it happened was 1959. I see the weekends of the 16th and 23rd being insane for holiday shopping. Thus I am determined to get my list crossed off NOW.
For those of you who were consumed by turkey and family last week and missed the announcement of our What to Give/What to Get feature, read on. We have great gift selections in 12 categories. This week we spotlight three of them in this newsletter --- Novel Ideas, Humor and Sports. May they be perfect titles for someone on your list --- or you! Our Holiday Basket of Cheer title this week is HOT FLASH HOLIDAYS by Nancy Thayer. I read this book on the exercise bike last month and found myself biking a lot longer than I planned each morning since I was having fun reading it. Take a look at it and enter to win our contest!

What's on my reading pile? THE LION, THE WITCH AND THE WARDROBE by C.S. Lewis. I do not think I read it before --- and even if I did I want to refresh my memory before I see the movie.
Have a great weekend. Get some shopping done. If you would like to support, may we suggest you click on the Amazon graphic above this note to shop shop shop. If you would like to support your local independent bookseller, then click here to find out where the store is located.

Carol Fitzgerald (

List of titles reviewed and featured on December 2nd

List of titles reviewed and featured on November 25th

Now In Stores: MARY, MARY by James Patterson

MARY, MARY by James Patterson (Thriller)
Reviewed by Kate Ayers
While on vacation with his family at Disneyland, Alex Cross --- an FBI agent with a heart and a conscience --- meets Mary Smith, a killer with neither. Some pretty famous personalities start dying, and only Agent Cross can stop these vicious murders.

-Click here to read an excerpt from MARY, MARY.

Click here to read our review of MARY, MARY.


Introducing Our Newest Debut Suspense/Thriller Author --- Richard Hawke, Author of SPEAK OF THE DEVIL

The newest author in our Debut Suspense/Thriller feature is Richard Hawke, whose white-knuckle thrill ride of a novel SPEAK OF THE DEVIL has already garnered praise from critics, fellow authors and readers alike. Called "intense and intriguing" by Michael Connelly, SPEAK OF THE DEVIL promises to establish Hawke's place at the table of acclaimed Suspense/Thriller authors.

We are giving away 10 copies of SPEAK OF THE DEVIL to readers would like to preview the book and comment on it. If you are interested please send your name and mailing address to by Friday, December 9, 2005.

It all begins on a beautiful crisp Thanksgiving morning. A gunman takes aim on the crowd gathered for Manhattan's world-famous parade. Only one man in the throng sees it happening. And before the gunshots have even finished echoing off the venerable apartment buildings lining the parade route, that man is on the chase.

And that man doesn't know when to let up.

He's Fritz Malone, bastard son of a former New York City police commissioner, every bit as wry and old-style romantic as he is cool, smart and relentless. Within minutes of pursuing the parade shooter (within pages!), Fritz is tossed into a game that involves coldhearted criminals, dirty cops and long-buried secrets held by those who have no intention of allowing anyone to bring them up into the light of day. Ever.

Click here to read more about Richard Hawke and SPEAK OF THE DEVIL.


Holiday Basket of Cheer: Spotlight on HOT FLASH HOLIDAYS by Nancy Thayer and Weekly Basket Giveaway

The holiday season is upon us! At this means it's time for us to share the spirit of the season with you with our Holiday Basket of Cheer Contest.

Each week from November 4th through December 16th we will spotlight a different title, and readers will have the chance to win one of five holiday baskets filled with winter-themed items as well as two copies of the featured book. Why two? One is to keep, of course, and one is for someone on your holiday gift list. We will also include festive wrapping paper and a bow to make the gift-giving hassle-free.

This week our featured title is HOT FLASH HOLIDAYS by Nancy Thayer.

Our Holiday Basket of Cheer is a woven basket stocked with holiday-themed items. Along with two copies of HOT FLASH HOLIDAYS by Nancy Thayer, green-and-tan checkered wrapping paper and a matching bow --- winners will receive a cinnamon spice-scented Illuminations candle, Ghirardelli Hot Chocolate mix, gourmet vanilla marshmallows, sweet-smelling Cinnamon sticks, delicious Chewy Peps peppermint candies, soft comfy slipper socks and blue-green treated pinecones that will color your holiday fire.

HOT FLASH HOLIDAYS by Nancy Thayer (Fiction)
Reviewed by Roz Shea
When the Hot Flash friends gather at the spa to trim the Christmas tree, they share steaming mugs of hot chocolate, a few laughs, and a vow to make this holiday one to remember. And it is --- but not in the cheerful, ho-ho-ho way they expected. Instead, Christmas brings family conflicts, household accidents, plane delays --- and that's just the beginning.

Click here to read all the details of our Holiday Basket of Cheer Contest.


Now In Stores: FOREVER ODD by Dean Koontz

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FOREVER ODD by Dean Koontz (Suspense)
Reviewed by Sarah Rachel Egelman
In this follow-up to ODD THOMAS, our young protagonist is awakened late one night by the ghost of Dr. Wilbur Jessup, the stepfather of his childhood friend Danny. Odd, who sees ghosts, is summoned to the Jessup home, where the doctor's lifeless body is found. But when he realizes that Danny is missing from the scene of the crime, Odd sets out to save his friend.

-Click here to read an excerpt from FOREVER ODD.

Click here to read our review of FOREVER ODD.


Announcing our Holiday What to Give/What to Get Guide! knows that readers crave ideas for gift-giving --- and getting --- at the holidays. With this in mind we're offering a What to Give/What to Get Guide with "Reader Perfect" suggestions in 12 categories.

We have book ideas for everyone on your holiday list. And while you're looking for gifts for others, may we suggest you jot notes for the books YOU want?

Please note that all the titles spotlighted in the What to Give/What to Get Guide will be on our shopping checklist each week (found in the bottom of the newsletter opener), which you can print and bring with you when you do your holiday shopping.

Click here to read our What to Give/What to Get Feature.

What to Give/What to Get: Novel Ideas --- Fiction

Our Novel Ideas category will satisfy all the fiction fans on your list.



THE FAMILY TREE by Carole Cadwalladr

THE SHADOW OF THE WIND by Carlos Ruiz Zafon


Click here to read more about the Fiction Titles featured in our What to Give/What to Get Guide.

What to Give/What to Get --- Slam Dunk: Sports Titles






Our Slam Dunk category features all our favorite sports titles. We know the sports lover on your list will love these home-run hits.

CINDERELLA MAN by Jeremy Schaap

FAITHFUL by Stewart O'Nan and Stephen King


THE LAST SEASON by Phil Jackson

PRAYING FOR GIL HODGES by Thomas Oliphant 

THE RIVALS by Johnette Howard

Click here to read more about the Sports Titles featured in our What to Give/What to Get Guide.

What to Give/What to Get --- Just For Fun: Humor Books

Because everyone can use a little humor during the holidays, we've pulled together a list of humor books we know will make you and your loved ones laugh out loud.



SAFE BABY HANDLING TIPS by David & Kelly Sopp 

THIS BOOK IS NOT A TOY!: Friendly Advice on How To Avoid Death and Other Inconveniences by Chuck Goldstone 

THIS BOOK WILL CHANGE YOUR LIFE AGAIN!: 365 More Daily Instructions for Hysterical Living by Benrik 

Click here to read more about the Humor Titles featured in our What to Give/What to Get Guide.


December Books Into Movies

December promises a special gift for book lovers, offering up a fantastic assortment of movies based on books. On the 9th get tickets early for Rob Marshall's highly anticipated Memoirs of a Geisha, based on Arthur Golden's literary phenomenon. Not only is the story riveting, but the filmmaking, costumes and sets are so lush that Newmarket Press has released a lavish visual companion featuring over 150 full-color photographs and drawings detailing the production of the film. (May we suggest that it is the perfect gift for movie, book and history lovers alike?)

Another huge December 9th release is The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, a visual tour-de-force wrapped around a timeless tale of the battle between good and evil --- it's the perfect film for both children and adults. See our Narnia feature on for more about some of the companion books. Cheaper by the Dozen 2, Brokeback Mountain and Munich also are on the agenda.

Click here to read our Books into Movies Feature.

This Week's Reviews and Features

ARE MEN NECESSARY? When Sexes Collide by Maureen Dowd (Politics/Popular Culture)
Reviewed by Alexis Burling
Four decades after the sexual revolution, nothing has worked out the way it was supposed to. The sexes are circling each other as uneasily and comically as ever, from the bedroom to the boardroom to the Situation Room, and now New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd explores the mysteries and muddles of sexual combat in America.

THE PLANETS by Dava Sobel (Science)
Reviewed by Robert Finn
All aboard for a breezy tour through the solar system, drawing on mythology, poetry, music and folklore, as well as science. Your tour guide is Dava Sobel, a former science writer for the New York Times and author of two previous books of popular science.

AN IDIOT GIRL'S CHRISTMAS: True Tales From the Top of the Naughty List by Laurie Notaro (Memoir)
Reviewed by Jill McAfee
It's the most wonderful --- and most dreadful --- season of the year, when boxes of truffles attack your thighs, drunken holiday revelers stay long past their welcome, and your grandmother has conniptions at the department store over the price of hand lotion. In 10 brand-new stories and three previously published favorites, Laurie Notaro shares the sidesplitting daily disasters of the holidays.

DON'T KNOW MUCH ABOUT MYTHOLOGY by Kenneth C. Davis (Reference/Mythology)
Reviewed by Tony Leuzzi
In his popular question-and-answer style, Kenneth C. Davis introduces and explains the great myths of the world, as well as the works of literature that have made them famous. He offers a starting point for further research and a lifelong love affair with the great mythic literatures of the world.

Reviewed by Carole Turner
Former invalid Charlotte Heath runs away from home when she finds her husband with another woman. She seeks and finds refuge in a most unusual hotel in Boston --- a reverse brothel. There she eventually comes to terms with what it is she really wants out of life.

MAKING IT UP by Penelope Lively (Fiction)
Reviewed by Colleen Quinn
Booker Award-winning novelist Penelope Lively explores the unchosen path through short fiction, describing what might have happened had she made different choices in her own life.

A YEAR IN THE LIFE OF WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE: 1599 by James Shapiro (Biography)
Reviewed by Robert Finn
In this searching examination of what the year 1599 meant to William Shakespeare and to the England in which he lived, James Shapiro determines how the times in which Shakespeare was writing affected his labor on four of his greatest plays --- "Henry the Fifth," "Julius Caesar," "As You Like It" and "Hamlet."

MEMORIES OF JOHN LENNON edited by Yoko Ono (Nonfiction)
Reviewed by Barbara Bamberger Scott
Using words, drawings, poems and photos, friends, family and fans from all walks of life --- including some of the great artists of our day --- reminisce about John Lennon as a visionary and friend, musician and performer, husband and father, activist and jokester.

TONY AND ME: A Story of Friendship by Jack Klugman with Burton Rocks (Memoir)
Reviewed by Ron Kaplan
The close professional relationship between Jack Klugman and Tony Randall has long been famous. However, the details of their close personal relationship has not been revealed until now. Here, Klugman provides the ultimate insider's view in a memoir-style tribute to a celebrated friendship that spans nearly five decades.

FALLEN by David Maine (Fiction)
Reviewed by Norah Piehl
Following the success of THE PRESERVATIONIST, David Maine once again imaginatively probes the Book of Genesis in his second novel. Here, he explores the story of Adam and Eve after their expulsion from the Garden of Eden and the story of the world's first murder, when Adam and Eve's oldest son Cain killed his brother Abel.

THE ROSARY by Garry Wills (Religion)
Reviewed by Amie Taylor
Whether the rosary --- a form of meditative prayer --- is an old favorite or completely new to you, Garry Wills looks at the meaning of the beads and at the mysteries, or events, in the lives of Jesus and Mary that the beads are meant to signify.

THE COLOR OF LAW by Mark Gimenez (Legal Thriller)
Reviewed by Stuart Shiffman
A poor-boy college football hero turned successful partner at a prominent Dallas firm --- who long ago checked his conscience at the door --- catches a case that forces him to choose between his enviable lifestyle and doing the right thing in Mark Gimenez's debut legal thriller.

RUBBLE: Unearthing the History of Demolition by Jeff Byles (Architecture/History)
Reviewed by Barbara Bamberger Scott
In this charming and exceedingly thorough researching of the subject of purposeful architectural destruction, RUBBLE stretches over more than 500 years of razing and toppling, focusing on such events as London's Great Fire of 1666 and spotlighting the advent of dynamite.

Click here to read our reviews and features. Blog

December 2nd Entry:
Why the Holidaze is a Crazy Time of Year!

November 23rd Entry:
Musing the Miami Book Fair

November 18th Entry:
Books for Boys

November 17th Entry:
My 24 Hours with Joan Didion

October 30th Entry:
Time Time Time...See What's Become of Me....

October 21st Entry:
My Role as a Book Concierge to My Friends
Note: You can read past blogs here as well.
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Read a list of upcoming books here. Browse our author bibliographies by clicking here. Sign up for Author Newsletters here.
Poll: Reading Holiday Books
Do you read holiday-related titles?
I have not in the past, but I would like to do that this year.
Not sure how I feel about this.
Answer the Poll here.

Question of the Week: Best Book to Give

What book published this year would you want to give multiple copies of --- and why?

Please note: Our question of the week will update on December 16th.

Answer the Question of the Week 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 CONSTANT PRINCESS by Philippa Gregory and S IS FOR SILENCE by Sue Grafton.

Please note that our next Word of Mouth update will be on December 16th. 

Need more details about Word of Mouth? Click here.


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