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October 27, 2006 Newsletter

October 27, 2006

This Week on

Happy Halloween

Now in Stores: LISEY'S STORY by Stephen King

Now in Stores: FAREWELL SUMMER by Ray Bradbury

Now in Stores: CHRISTMAS LETTERS by Debbie Macomber

Now in Stores: ONE GOOD TURN by Kate Atkinson

Special Spotlight: The Harriet Bean Series by Alexander McCall Smith

New Featured Suspense/Thriller Authors: Jonathan and Faye Kellerman, Authors of CAPITAL CRIMES

Featured Historical Fiction Author: Jeff Shaara, Author of THE RISING TIDE

Don't Miss: MIXTIONARY --- Now In Stores and the Mixtionary Contest

New in Paperback for October

This Week's Reviews and Features Blog Poll: Keeping Books

Question of the Week: Books that "Define" You
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
Suspense/Thriller Author Spotlight Promotion
Debut Suspense/Thriller One to Watch Promotion
Mystery Mayhem Promotion

Historical Fiction Promotion

One to Watch Promotion
Chick Lit Promotion
Books Into Movies
Bestseller Lists

10th Anniversary Page and Pictures

Happy Halloween

Anyone with children may be shaking their heads like me at how Halloween as a holiday has grown since we were kids. We had a costume and a pillowcase for trick or treating and at the house there was a cut pumpkin with a candle. This pumpkin was carved with a knife. Really elaborately decorated homes had cornstalks! Now there are these over-the-top displays with spider webs, large size lawn ornaments, orange lights and store-bought bags for hauling the loot --- and complete pumpkin carving kits.
Somehow the holiday crept up on me this year and we have none of our Halloween paraphernalia out of the attic, so I feel like the Grinch of Halloween. I can see I better get a move on lest I disappoint the kids who show up at our door expecting our usual "over the top" excitement. My younger son is going out as Jack Bauer from "24". My mission for this weekend is to make a tape of Kiefer Sutherland saying, "My name is Jack Bauer and this is the longest day of my life," that Cory can play when people ask who he is. I also need to make him a mask. Okay, there's half a day accounted for! For those of you who have a little ghost or goblin that may enjoy a book, we have a terrific roundup of Halloween Books for kids on
Speaking of books for kids, Alexander McCall Smith has written a series of books for children. So for those of you who are fans who want to share his books with the younger set, look no further than our feature below!
Our lineup this week continues the theme of last week of bringing you more of the titles that are racing into bookstores these fall months. It is the biggest fall that we have seen in years, and there are books that are certain to get you out browsing and buying. We have excerpts of some of the titles to give you a chance to do some reading ahead at home before you leave for the store. Our lineup this week also has some advance reader feedback about SMALL ACTS OF SEX AND ELECTRICITY by Lise Haines.

We have been enjoying reading the poll results about how you shelve your books. It's always fun to see what others do. I finally put all my yarn into one cabinet last week and I now feel like I should attend a Knitters Anonymous meeting and say, "I am Carol and I am addicted to yarn." You know a hobby is out of control when you need to buy furniture to house it. I found myself perusing a catalog this week for a cabinet for organizing it better after I spent an hour online reading message boards for what other people do.
As I mentioned I will be attending the Miami Book Fair on November 16-19. As always, there is a stellar lineup of authors. I was slipped the schedule for the author panels this week, which should be live shortly, and once again I am trying to figure HOW I am going to see everyone who I want to catch either reading or talking. If you are planning to be there, please let me know and perhaps we can meet up. Among the authors who I am excited about seeing are Sara Gruen (WATER FOR ELEPHANTS), Nora Ephron (I FEEL BAD ABOUT MY NECK), Charles J. Shields (MOCKINGBIRD), Paul Levine (KILL ALL THE LAWYERS), Brad Meltzer (THE BOOK OF FATE), Sy Montgomery (THE GOOD GOOD PIG) and Lisa Unger (BEAUTIFUL LIES).
The clocks change this weekend. We gain the hour that we lost back in April. I have 24 things planned for this hour, as usual. #1 would be to read a book in bed while knitting. Yes, that will be a way to multi-task the hour and make it into three! Or wait, I can haul the Halloween stuff out of the attic. Have a great week and enjoy your extra hour no matter how you spend it.

Carol Fitzgerald (

List of titles reviewed and featured on October 27th.

List of titles reviewed and featured on October 20th.


Now in Stores: LISEY'S STORY by Stephen King

LISEY'S STORY by Stephen King (Romantic Thriller)
Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub
Lisey Debusher Landon lost her husband Scott two years ago, after a 25-year marriage of the most profound and sometimes frightening intimacy. Lisey knew there was a place Scott went --- a place that both terrified and healed him. Now it's Lisey's turn to face Scott's demons. What begins as a widow's effort to sort through the papers of her celebrated husband becomes a nearly fatal journey into the darkness he inhabited.

-Click here to read an excerpt from LISEY'S STORY.

Click here to read a review of LISEY'S STORY.

Now in Stores: FAREWELL SUMMER by Ray Bradbury

FAREWELL SUMMER by Ray Bradbury (Fiction)
Reviewed by Pauline Finch
Is it a gloriously long narrative poem? Is it a short story morphed into wishful eternity? Is it the collective memory of a lost and winsome generation? Ray Bradbury's FAREWELL SUMMER is all that and more --- another unique and deceptively simple masterpiece, told as only he could tell it.

-Click here to read an excerpt from FAREWELL SUMMER.

Click here to read a review of FAREWELL SUMMER.


Now in Stores: CHRISTMAS LETTERS by Debbie Macomber

CHRISTMAS LETTERS by Debbie Macomber (Romance)
Reviewed by Terry Miller Shannon
Katherine O'Connor's dislike of parenting guru Wynn Jeffries's philosophy does not prevent her from landing in a holiday romance with him. Can K.O. prove to her new love that his child-raising theories are completely off base --- without destroying the relationship?

-Click here to read an excerpt from CHRISTMAS LETTERS.

Click here to read a review of CHRISTMAS LETTERS.


Now in Stores: ONE GOOD TURN by Kate Atkinson

ONE GOOD TURN by Kate Atkinson (Thriller)
Reviewed by Norah Piehl
With ONE GOOD TURN, Kate Atkinson adeptly follows up her sensational CASE HISTORIES with another smart, sophisticated mystery novel featuring the irresistibly reluctant detective Jackson Brodie, as Atkinson continues to blur the boundaries that divide literary and crime fiction.

Click here to read a review of ONE GOOD TURN.

Special Spotlight: The Harriet Bean Series by Alexander McCall Smith

We know that many of you are fans of Alexander McCall Smith, which is why we thought you would love to know about his new series of books for children --- the Harriet Bean series. Humor, suspense and a charming cast of characters abound in this delightful mystery series starring nine-year-old Harriet Bean. Kids who are fans of Nate the Great or Junie B. Jones will appreciate the antics of Harriet and her aunts as they discover each other and uncover baffling bedlam --- and have loads of fun doing both. These stories manage to feel both up-to-the-minute and enchantingly old-fashioned. Readers of series chapter books won't be able to resist them. Why do we think these will be books that you will want to read along with the kids?

Click here to read our Harriet Bean series feature.


New Featured Suspense/Thriller Authors: Jonathan and Faye Kellerman, Authors of CAPITAL CRIMES

Our newest Suspense/Thriller feature spotlights the powerhouse husband and wife literary team of Jonathan and Faye Kellerman, whose new page-turner is CAPITAL CRIMES. The book hits shelves November 21st and, with two thrillers in one, is bound to be a runaway bestseller.

-Click here to read an excerpt from CAPITAL CRIMES.
-Click here to see our Advance Copy Winners.
-Click here to read Fast Facts for Jonathan and Faye Kellerman.
-Click here to read Faye Kellerman's backlist.
-Click here to read Jonathan Kellerman's backlist.

Internationally bestselling husband and wife Jonathan and Faye Kellerman team up for a powerful one-two punch with CAPITAL CRIMES, a gripping pair of original crime thrillers.

Some of progressive state representative Davida Grayson's views have made her unpopular. Although her foes are numerous no one suspects that any buttons Davida might push could evoke deadly force.

But now Davida lies brutally murdered in her office, and Berkeley homicide detectives Will Barnes and Amanda Isis must unravel Davida's complex, before the killer pulls off a repeat performance.

Baker Southerby was a child prodigy performer. But something leads him to become a Nashville cop. His partner, Lamar Van Gundy, is a would-be studio bassist who earned himself a detective's badge. As part of Nashville PD's elite Murder Squad, they catch a homicide that's high-profile even for a city where musical celebrity is routine.

CAPITAL CRIMES is page-turning, psychologically resonant suspense ---- just what we've come to expect from two of the world's most successful crime writers.

Click here to read more about Jonathan and Faye Kellerman and CAPITAL CRIMES.

Featured Historical Fiction Author: Jeff Shaara, Author of THE RISING TIDE

We are so excited to be launching a NEW Feature --- Historical Fiction --- and Jeff Shaara is the perfect inaugural author. A modern master of the historical novel, Shaara has painted brilliant depictions of the Civil War, the Revolutionary War and World War I. Now he embarks upon his most ambitious epic, a trilogy about the military conflict that defined the twentieth century that begins with THE RISING TIDE, which comes out November 7th.

-Click here to see our Advance Reader Copy Winners.
-Click here to read a new excerpt from THE RISING TIDE.
-Click here to read Fast Facts for Jeff Shaara.

THE RISING TIDE begins a staggering work of fiction bound to be a new generation's most poignant chronicle of World War II. With you-are-there immediacy, painstaking historical detail, and all-inclusive points of view, Shaara portrays the momentous and increasingly dramatic events that pulled America into the vortex of this monumental conflict.

More than an unprecedented and intimate portrait of those who waged this astonishing global war, THE RISING TIDE is a vivid gallery of characters both immortal and unknown: the as-yet obscure administrator Dwight D. Eisenhower, whose tireless efficiency helped win the war; his subordinates, clashing in both style and personality, from George Patton and Mark Clark to Omar Bradley and Bernard Montgomery. In the desolate hills and deserts, the Allies confront Erwin Rommel, the battlefield genius known as "the Desert Fox," a wounded beast who hands the Americans their first humiliating defeat in the European theater of the war. From tank driver to paratrooper to the men who gave the commands, Shaara's stirring portrayals bring the heroic and the tragic to life in brilliant detail.

Click here to read more about Jeff Shaara and THE RISING TIDE.

Don't Miss: MIXTIONARY --- Now In Stores and the Mixtionary Contest

MIXTIONARY(n.) A guide to communicating efficiently in the modern world, in which new-fangled ideas and phenomena leave us at a loss for words. (root words: Mixed Up and Dictionary)

This gift-sized book is a guide to communicating efficiently in the modern world --- in which new-fangled ideas and phenomena leave us at a loss for words. Examples of Mixtionary words include:

guru + shoe
A deeply knowledgeable style queen to whom you can turn for guidance in matters of footwear. 
complications + kid
Complexities in life that arise because of children.
idiot + bid
People who pay far too much for junk sold on eBay.

Play the Mixtionary Mix Your Own Words Sweepstakes on! 
Take some words tucked in the back of your mind and mix them together to see what you get.

10 Lucky winners will be selected by the Mixtionary team to win a gift certificate to Cold Stone Creamery where you can mix ice creams and tidbits to your heart's content. 1 Lucky winner will receive an iPod Nano so you can mix your own tunes! Click here to enter.

-Click here to visit the Mixtionary website,

Click here for more about MIXTIONARY.


New in Paperback for October

October's roundup of New in Paperback fiction titles includes THE HISTORIAN, the much talked-about literary debut for Elizabeth Kostova involving the hunt for the most famous vampire in history; the suspenseful and horror-filled FOREVER ODD, a follow-up to Dean Koontz's 2003 thriller, ODD THOMAS; ORDINARY HEROES by Scott Turow, the engrossing story of a man who is plunged into the mystery of his family's secret history; THE TENTH CIRCLE, in which Jodi Picoult explores the unbreakable bond between parent and child; and CHRIST THE LORD, a powerful novel by Anne Rice that focuses on the early years of Jesus Christ.

Among our nonfiction highlights are 700 SUNDAYS, Billy Crystal's heartfelt and humorous portrayal of his youth and the special time he shared with his father; A CRACK IN THE EDGE OF THE WORLD, a wide-ranging study of the history, science and folklore of earthquakes from Simon Winchester; MY FBI, former FBI Director Louis J. Freeh's account of American law enforcement during the Clinton administration and in the run-up to September 11th; and ARE MEN NECESSARY? in which New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd raises bold questions about the state of the sexual union.

Click here to read our New in Paperback feature.


This Week's Reviews and Features

THE DISSIDENT by Nell Freudenberger (Fiction)
Reviewed by Alexis Burling
From the PEN/Malamud Award-winning author of LUCKY GIRLS comes a bold, intricately woven first novel about an enigmatic stranger who disrupts the life of one American family. It is both a multilayered story meant to entertain its audience and a meandering exposé on the very nature of art, truth and perception.

THE RETURN OF THE PLAYER by Michael Tolkin (Fiction)
Reviewed by Harvey Freedenberg
In this biting satire, Michael Tolkin takes readers back to the world he created in his novel THE PLAYER. Readers of that book will enjoy the chance to return to the sometimes bizarre and troubled life of Hollywood executive Griffin Mill, as he struggles through an epic midlife crisis.

UNDER ORDERS by Dick Francis (Mystery)
Reviewed by Marge Fletcher
"Sadly, death at the races is not uncommon. However, three in a single afternoon was sufficiently unusual to raise more than one eyebrow." Super-sleuth Sid Halley's quest for answers draws him deep into the darker side of the horse-racing game, in a life-or-death power play that will push him to his very limits --- both professionally and personally.

THE WRONG MAN by John Katzenbach (Psychological Thriller)
Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub
Scott Freeman is a man of reason --- a college professor grounded in the rational and practical. He becomes uneasy though after finding an anonymous love letter hidden in his daughter's room. But the reality of Ashley's plight far exceeds Scott's worst suspicions.

SLAY RIDE by Chris Grabenstein (Thriller)
Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub
Scott Wilkinson is a successful young advertising executive on his way to the top. Christopher Miller is an FBI legend who has been willing to do whatever it takes to see that justice is done. However, at age 50, he's ready to spend more time with his family. Two weeks before Christmas, Scott goes on a routine business trip that will forever entangle their two lives.

DIANA by Sarah Bradford (Biography)
Reviewed by Carole Turner
The former Princess of Wales has been the subject of many books and countless newspaper and magazine articles. This definitive biography by historian and royal biographer Sarah Bradford cuts through the myths and half truths surrounding Diana to present a realistic look at one of the 20th century's most unforgettable women.

INTERNAL COMBUSTION: The True Story of a Marriage and a Murder in the Motor City by Joyce Maynard (True Crime)
Reviewed by Sarah Rachel Egelman
Joyce Maynard was riveted when she saw television coverage of the trial of Nancy Seaman, accused of killing her husband of 32 years. It was hard to imagine that the tiny fourth grade teacher could commit such a brutal act. Maynard's chilling work delves beyond the events of the crime itself to explore the lives of an American family who seemed to have everything.

Click here to read our reviews and features. Blog

October 6th Entry:
-Bouchercon 2006 --- A Prairie Escapade

September 8th Entries:
-What I Did On My Summer Vacation
-Reflecting on 9/11: The Books

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. Poll: Keeping Books

How do you shelve your books?

Alphabetically by author
Alphabetically by author, separated by fiction and nonfiction
Alphabetically by title
Alphabetically by title, separated by fiction and nonfiction
I have no system.
I don't buy books.
Do you have enough bookshelf space?

Yes, because for each book that comes in, one moves out.
No, I always am buying more shelving.
No, and as a result there are stacks of books everywhere.
I am not sure.
Answer the Poll here.

Read a list of upcoming books here. Browse our author bibliographies by clicking here Click here to visit our 10th Anniversary Page.
Question of the Week: Books that "Define" You

What five books would "define" you?

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 two great prizes: FIVE readers each will win a copy of LISEY'S STORY by Stephen King and THIRTEEN MOONS by Charles Frazier.

Please note that our next Word of Mouth update will be on November 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 or change your preferences below.

Those of you who wish to send mail to, please see the form on the Write to Us page.  If you would like to reach me, please write Writing any of the respond buttons below will not get to us.

Those who are subscribed to the newsletter by October 31, 2006 automatically are entered in our Monthly Newsletter Contest. This month one winner will be selected to win the following five books: THE COLLECTORS by David Baldacci, ECHO PARK by Michael Connelly, FAREWELL SUMMER by Ray Bradbury, THE INNOCENT MAN by John Grisham and MOTOR MOUTH by Janet Evanovich. Last month's winner was Judy from Marshaltown, IA, who won THE BOOK OF FATE by Brad Meltzer, FOR ONE MORE DAY by Mitch Albom, FRAGILE THINGS: Short Fictions and Wonders by Neil Gaiman, THE GUY NOT TAKEN: Stories by Jennifer Weiner and THE TESTAMENT by Eric Van Lustbader.

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

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