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Archives - Weekly Update

I do love an extra day in February, which only happens every four years. I have a few friends who have birthdays on February 29th, so they celebrate once every four years, which is one way to stay young. Of course, this does mess up my February/March calendar system, where in a 28-day month all the dates for February and March fall on the same day of the week. Here is an article about the science behind Leap Day.

Thank you to those of you who sent birthday wishes to Tom Donadio last week. When we came back from the long weekend on Tuesday, he mentioned he received a number of great notes!

I LOVE the picture that I received from Beth, who was the Grand Prize winner of our End-of-the-Year Bets On Contest (you can see it above). She shared, “I just sent you a picture of me with all the Bets On selections from 2019 that I won. I received the last two boxes tonight. I’m so excited to read and listen to them! Thanks so much! I enjoy Bookreporter and ReadingGroupGuides so much, and it’s a dream come true to read all these books!” I am so looking forward to seeing her comments as she reads them.

A belated Happy Birthday to Tom Donadio, our intrepid Editorial Director, who finished another circle around the sun yesterday. Every review, every piece of copy on the site and every newsletter is meticulously looked at and edited by Tom. He has amazing relationships with our reviewers, most of whom we never have met in person. He juggles and rejuggles and is just unflappable. He does not miss a beat...EVER!

For those of you who would like to wish him a Happy Birthday, his email is He was under the weather for part of this week, and so was I, so we each hunkered down at home instead of at the office. We will celebrate next week with pizza and Entenmann's cake! I am on week three of my cold, and this is really super boring. I am counting on the three-day weekend to kill all germs.

Last Friday night, as we were getting ready to send the newsletter, we heard the sad news that Mary Higgins Clark passed away at the age of 92. We reviewed so many of her books throughout the years, including countless stand-alone mysteries and her Under Suspicion series, which she co-wrote with Alafair Burke. Our own Barbara Lipkien Gershenbaum, a frequent reviewer of her work, shared this with us: “Mary Higgins Clark was one of the world's best mystery writers. She had a sharp and clear writing style combined with a talent for creating characters who were finely limned. Her ability to create plots that kept readers on the edge of their seat is well known, and her stellar reputation grew with each of her many books regardless of genre.”

Clearly I came in contact with a cold germ, or two, or three last week, and this week I was down for the count, with sneezing and coughing the only exercise that I managed for most of the week. I literally spent most of the week in bed. Unlike when I was a kid and being home sick meant I would watch television reruns and ring a bell for my mom to bring lunch or a tray of snacks, I was sitting with my laptop and my laptop cooler (the latter to keep my laptop cool while my electric blanket was on heat level 14) answering email and directing projects. I also had eucalyptus aromatherapy in a diffuser and Vicks in the vaporizer. It was like a spa with sneezing and coughing --- and typing.