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September 17, 2010 Newsletter September 17, 2010
Whole Lot of Reading Going On

When I write the newsletter opener each week, it usually involves at least three trips from my office downstairs to the kitchen for something crunchy to eat, typically big pretzels with salt. I munch and type. A few months ago I decided to cut back on carbs, and two friends suggested I roast kale. They went on and on and on about its heavenly delights and how it tastes just like potato chips. Wow! I bought some, tossed it in oil and salt as directed, and baked it. And when I chewed it, I was not thinking potato chip. Maybe to cows it tastes like a potato chip. To me, well, maybe I had a bad batch of kale and the potato chip tasting one evaded me. Today I am trying carrot chips, these really nifty carrots I found in North Carolina that look like chips. They are orange; they are in no way close to potato chips, but at least I like carrots, unlike kale.

Last weekend I spent a delightful day swinging in the hammock reading THE TRINITY SIX by Charles Cumming, which will be out on March 15th. I am going to be meeting him in a couple of weeks, and I wanted to be sure I “had my homework done.” Of course this felt like anything BUT homework. The novel sets up like this. In the 1930s, there were five Brits who were the most celebrated Russian spies. Flash forward to the present day, and Sam Gaddis, a Brit academic, is given some leads that there was a sixth member of this Cambridge spy ring. Every time he gets close to someone who can help with this story, they die under mysterious circumstances. It’s fast, furious and very smart with well-developed and interesting characters.

I have moved back to my habit of reading more than one book at once, trying to inhale many simultaneously. Luckily they all have different enough plots so I am not confusing storylines. Let me share my current stash, starting with the frothy fun of MINI SHOPAHOLIC by Sophie Kinsella. This is what I call a “romp of a read.” Becky Brandon (neè Bloomwood) is addicted to shopping, but now her mini shopper, who was born when we last left off with the Shopaholic series, is now a Terrible Two example of over-the-top behavior while her mom sees her as a perfect little mannequin to dress. It’s just fun when you love a character and you get to meet up with her again. And, ahem, the book cover matches quite nicely with all my outfits, making it a perfect reading accessory. You can laugh; I am, too.

I am juggling humor with very serious as I read UNBROKEN: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand, which will be out November 16th. Hillenbrand is the author of SEABISCUIT, a favorite, and UNBROKEN is proving to be just as wonderful for me. It’s the story of Louis Zamperini, whose plane crashed into the Pacific Ocean during World War II and what happened to him after that, as well as what came before that gave him the strength to work through his fate. I am not far into it, just up to the part where he is an Olympian headed to war, but I am loving it. Hillenbrand’s sense of pacing as she tells a story is quite brilliant, making nonfiction so enjoyable. It’s reading as wonderfully as watching "The Pacific". Which reminds me that a few weeks ago I was in Raritan where I ate at one of my favorite Italian restaurants, Espo’s, which I hesitate to tell you about since they already always have a long line to get in most nights; I LOVE their heavenly meatballs. While in town, we saw signs for the John Basilone Day Parade. Those of you who watched this series will remember him as one of the characters. Next weekend is a weekend of celebration that I want to try to get to. Check it out here.

Remember THE LAST TEMPLAR by Raymond Khoury? Well, he is back with THE TEMPLAR SALVATION, a follow-up that will be out on October 19th. In the last book, Raymond writes one of the all-time cinematic openers as horses climbed the steps of the Met to facilitate a theft of antiquities. Well, this time there is a scene to match that outside the Vatican as well as another with a plane, proving that Raymond has not lost his touch of creating powerful suspense. Having a blast revisiting FBI Agent Sean Reilly and his lady love, Tess Chaykin. Once again, an enjoyable read.

The week was not just about reading. Monday night I had dinner with Debbie Macomber, where we talked lots and lots about knitting. Debbie has a new line of yarns called, very appropriately if you know her books, Blossom Street, which you can see both here and in her yarn shop, A Good Yarn Shop, which is turning two this year. Debbie had recently been to Turkey to see the yarns being dyed and made, and her stories were wonderful. I was ready to jump on a plane with her next time. I raced home from dinner to watch the last episode of the season of "Rizzoli and Isles" on TNT; I have not missed one week, and this final show was really over the top. Missed it so far? You can watch episodes online here.

Tuesday night my son Cory and his friend joined me at the kickoff event for the latest Artemis Fowl book, THE ATLANTIS COMPLEX, by Eoin Colfer. The tour is called Artemis Rocks, and it is a fun, fun event. Colfer does standup comedy and then interviews the character of Artemis Fowl. You can see me standing, looking dark and spyish with Artemis above. The complete list of tour dates is here, and if you can snag a young person to take to this, you will have a blast.

When it was announced that Oprah was making her latest pick, her first in a long time, it was instantly rumored to be Jonathan Franzen’s FREEDOM. Despite some misdirection, this was all but confirmed when leaked photos of the book featuring the Oprah seal started appearing in the blogosphere. We just uploaded the reading group guide for FREEDOM on and will have our own review of FREEDOM coming soon. For my thoughts on why this pick was made, please see my quote in USA Today here. By the way, my highlight on "Oprah" this week was not Franzen, but rather Paul Simon’s surprise appearance on the show on Monday to sing a song for her. Missed it? Click here.

While I am not Oprah, I have my own new Bets On selection, ROOM by Emma Donoghue. I am not alone as the buzz for ROOM has been steadily growing throughout the year at different trade shows and conferences; it’s the IndieBound #1 Pick for September and on the very short list for the Man Booker Prize, and now it’s finally in stores. While it has gotten all this acclaim already, I did not want to hold back my praise for it as a Bets On, which I promised as soon as I finished it. Our reviewer Norah Piehl says, “As I was reading Emma Donoghue's new novel, I often had to put it down for a while, overwhelmed by what I was reading. The content is devastating, to be sure, but just as affecting is her ability to capture, in small moments and spot-on phrases, the inner life of a little boy who has lived through experiences most of us could barely imagine.” We also have a special “behind-the-book” essay here for ROOM, detailing a lot of the creative process and plotting that went into the book. Jack’s voice still haunts me, showing the power of the writing.

This week we also review three of our recent spotlighted titles, as well as feature interviews with the authors accompanying them. Francine Rivers’s HER DAUGHTER’S DREAM released this week and marks the conclusion of her Marta’s Legacy two-book series. Some of you may remember, and even won, HER MOTHER’S HOPE, which we featured in the spring. HER MOTHER’S HOPE was an instant New York Times bestseller, and HER DAUGHTER’S DREAM is the much-anticipated sequel in the multigenerational family saga about mothers and daughters. Our reviewer Melanie Smith says of the two-part series, “I count it as a favorite in the historical fiction genre.” We also have an author talk with Francine that you can read here. I read both books and just loved them. Visit her website at

Tatiana de Rosnay’s hotly-anticipated second U.S. release, A SECRET KEPT, was our most recent One to Watch Author Spotlight title, and it also hit shelves this week. Tatiana, who is one of Europe’s most successful novelists, had a huge hit with SARAH’S KEY, her major U.S. debut. SARAH’S KEY became a book club favorite and was voted as one of the Top 10 Discussion Books during our 10th Anniversary Contest. Don’t worry, we’ll have the full list soon. Our reviewer Kate Ayers says, “A SECRET KEPT will bring its readers smiles, but also tears and days of thoughtful meditation.” You can click here to read a special author talk with Tatiana. Also, visit and register your book club to win a chance to chat with Tatiana and win copies of A SECRET KEPT.

Michael Walsh’s EARLY WARNING has been our featured Suspense/Thriller Author Spotlight title and is in stores now. Michael brings back top secret agent Devlin in the follow-up to 2009’s HOSTILE INTENT. Resident suspense/thriller guru Joe Hartlaub says, “Yes, EARLY WARNING is a thriller. It is also politically incorrect and as impolite and necessary as a wake-up fist in your face. You need this book more than any other I could name at the moment. Read it, study it, underline it, and quote it loud, proud and repeatedly.” Click here to read an interview Joe conducted with Michael about EARLY WARNING and its shadowy Devlin character.

One more title in stores this week and also on our review docket is Jillianne Hoffman’s PRETTY LITTLE THINGS, which I mentioned last week as one of my summer vacation favorites. I flew through this one and have to say this is Jillianne’s best book. It’s always so much fun to watch an author hone his/her craft with every book. Joe Hartlaub also has this review and says, “Hoffman, who has demonstrated the ability to bring chills in hot climates ever since her debut, RETRIBUTION, really pulls out the stops here.”

Author Jennifer Crusie’s MAYBE THIS TIME is currently in our Women’s Fiction Author Spotlight. It was quite exciting to see MAYBE THIS TIME hit the New York Times bestseller list at No. 15, tied with Laura Lippman’s I’D KNOW YOU ANYWHERE. We posted our review last week, and what perfect timing for Sarah Rachel Egelman’s interview with Jennifer, which you can read here.

We have a review of Janet Evanovich’s latest, WICKED APPETITE, but also wanted to remind her readers who may have missed it that Janet and her daughter, Alex, have written a graphic novel together called TROUBLEMAKER, which brings readers a new story of her Barnaby and Hooker characters from her Alex Barnaby series. It's a nice way for her fans to get another Evanovich book to read! We'll have copies of this one to give away in our next Word of Mouth contest starting next week.

Last week we also told you about JUSTICE by Michael J. Sandel. This book is culled from the author’s popular class at Harvard, which is always one with a waiting list, and has since begun webcasting it live for alumni and archiving classes as episodes here. It’s just out in paperback, and this week we bring you our review from Stuart Shiffman, who actually used parts of the book in a program he taught. I loved his quote at the end of his review: “Beyond the mere contents of the book or the Socratic dialogue of the lectures, whatever road one takes to follow the moral discussions of Sandel, there is a timely message for all of us to end the bitter bickering that serves no purpose in the discussions of important issues. Perhaps that is an unintended message of JUSTICE. But whether intended or unintended, raising the level of political discourse beyond that presently followed in our sound-bite society cannot be a bad thing. Sandel, through his book and his teaching, has made a major contribution to raising the level of political debate for all of us.” Amen to that. We will have more on his November 7th online event in the weeks to come.

If you haven’t already, please vote in our poll asking, “Which author would you like to see on ‘Dancing with the Stars’?” This is turning into one of our most successful and fun polls in a long time. One author holds a commanding lead, but your vote could change that! If you don’t see one of your favorites on our list, please answer our question asking, “Name up to three additional authors you would love to see on ‘Dancing with the Stars.’” As I mentioned last week, our poll was inspired by a blog post from Young Adult author Ally Carter, who questioned why no author has ever been featured on the show. We’ll also be posting the poll on our Facebook page before it ends Friday, September 24th. You can keep up with all our Facebook posts here.

I am headed to the beach in New Jersey this weekend to celebrate my dad’s 81st birthday. Looking forward to watching him blow out some candles and checking out the waves. They are supposed to be pretty nice as there is a storm somewhere in the Atlantic. I confess that after Earl I lost track of the names of the storms. I am trying to forget that Wednesday will be the first day of fall. Thus far, swimming in my wetsuit has been working just fine! Here’s wishing those of you observing Yom Kippur an easy fast and to all a week of great reading.

Carol Fitzgerald ([email protected])


An Interview with Francine Rivers, Author of HER DAUGHTER'S DREAM

Prolific author Francine Rivers is moving American readers yet again with HER DAUGHTER’S DREAM, the heart-wrenching sequel to HER MOTHER’S HOPE that follows Carolyn Arundel as she struggles to heal the wounds that ripped her family apart during the Cold War, only to find herself facing the same difficulties with her own daughter, May Flower Dawn. In this interview, Rivers discusses the generational conflicts that played themselves out in her own household, elaborating on the difficulty of writing a family drama and the challenge of exploring real-life issues in a fictional setting. She also offers insight into the ways in which faith can help heal unresolved trauma and reveals what men can learn from reading a book about mother-daughter relationships.

HER DAUGHTER’S DREAM by Francine Rivers (Historical Fiction)
Growing up isn’t easy for Carolyn Arundel. Tensions form when her grandmother moves in to care for the household, and Carolyn believes she’s to blame. She tries to find herself in college, but reemerges more lost than ever. And when she returns home to raise her own daughter, she discovers how repetitive history can be. Now it’s up to May Flower Dawn to heal old wounds, or a wall might separate the women in her family forever. Reviewed by Melanie Smith.

-Click here to read a review of HER DAUGHTER'S DREAM.
-Click here to read an excerpt from HER DAUGHTER'S DREAM.
-Click here to read Francine Rivers's bio.
-Click here to see Francine Rivers’s backlist.
-Visit Francine Rivers’s official website,
-Click here to see our finished copy winners.


Click here to read an interview with Francine Rivers.


An Interview with Tatiana de Rosnay, Author of A SECRET KEPT

Much to the delight of American readers, bestselling author Tatiana de Rosnay is returning with her second English-language novel, A SECRET KEPT, which follows the trials and tribulations of Parisian architect Antoine Rey after his sister unveils a haunting truth about their mother’s past. In this interview, de Rosnay discusses her fascination with family secrets and the appeal of stepping outside the bounds of conventional literary genres. She also reveals what inspired her to mix a masculine hero with a motorcycle-riding, female mortician, shares some of her favorite books and authors, and sheds light on the quirks --- and perks --- of being a writer who is half French and half English.

A SECRET KEPT by Tatiana de Rosnay (Fiction)
A birthday celebration results in near tragedy when an old family secret surfaces. It is so shocking that the young woman driving spirals out of control and into a short fugue. But the real shock comes later, when she remembers what it was that sent her off the road. Reviewed by Kate Ayers.

-Click here to read a review of A SECRET KEPT.
-Click here to read an excerpt from A SECRET KEPT.
-Click here to see the reading group guide for A SECRET KEPT.
-Click here to read Tatiana de Rosnay’s bio.
-Click here to see Tatiana de Rosnay’s backlist.
-Click here to see our advance copy winners.


Click here to read an interview with Tatiana de Rosnay. Talks to Jennifer Crusie, Author of MAYBE THIS TIME

Writing on her own for the first time since 2004’s BET ME, bestselling author Jennifer Crusie pays homage to Henry James with her latest novel, MAYBE THIS TIME, which follows heroine Andie Miller as she tries to sever ties with her ex-husband, only to wind up in a haunted house with her jealous fiancé, two delinquent children and a truly horrible housekeeper. In this interview with’s Sarah Rachel Egelman, Crusie discusses the challenge of taking a solo stab at THE TURN OF THE SCREW, elaborating on the differences between her book and James’s novella, and the difficulty of writing ghost stories. She also speculates on the existence of supernatural powers, muses on the importance of communities and familial relationships, and sheds light on why the state of Ohio is the best place to set a novel.

MAYBE THIS TIME by Jennifer Crusie (Fiction)
Andie Miller is ready to move on in life. She wants to marry her fiancé and leave behind everything in her past, especially her ex-husband, North Archer. But when Andie tries to gain closure with him, he asks one final favor of her before they go their separate ways forever. A very distant cousin of his has died and left North as the guardian of two orphans who have driven out three nannies already, and things are getting worse. He needs a very special person to take care of the situation, and he knows Andie can handle anything. Reviewed by Sarah Rachel Egelman.

-Click here to read a review of MAYBE THIS TIME.
-Click here to read a third excerpt from MAYBE THIS TIME.
-Click here to read Jennifer Crusie’s bio.
-Click here to see Jennifer Crusie’s backlist.
-Click here to read critical praise for MAYBE THIS TIME.
-Click here to see our advance copy winners.


Click here to read our interview with Jennifer Crusie. Talks to Michael Walsh, Author of EARLY WARNING

Picking up where he left off with HOSTILE INTENT, Michael Walsh is back in action with EARLY WARNING, the second installment in the Devlin series that follows a top-secret NSA operative as he tries to track down a ring of radical insurgents who will stop at nothing short of destroying the United States. In this interview with’s Joe Hartlaub, Walsh addresses the social and political issues that inspired his latest novel, elaborating on the possibility of a terrorist attack in Times Square and the ethical dilemmas that face contemporary journalists. He also muses on the importance of Western philosophy, offers advice to the federal government, and unveils his future plans for the mysterious and elusive Devlin.

EARLY WARNING by Michael Walsh (Political Thriller)
"All Enemies Foreign And Domestic" is the National Security Agency's motto. The NSA's most lethal weapon is back. Code-named Devlin, he operates in the darkest recesses of the US government. When international cyber-terrorists allow a deadly and cunning band of radical insurgents to breach the highest levels of national security, Devlin must take down an enemy bent on destroying America --- an enemy more violent and ruthless than the world has ever known. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

-Click here to read a review of EARLY WARNING.
-Click here to read an excerpt from EARLY WARNING.
-Click here to read Michael Walsh’s bio.
-Click here to see Michael Walsh’s backlist.
-Click here to read critical praise for EARLY WARNING.
-Click here to watch a trailer for EARLY WARNING.
-Click here to see our advance copy winners.


Click here to read our interview with Michael Walsh. Bets On: ROOM by Emma Donoghue

ROOM by Emma Donoghue (September 13th): I was three chapters into ROOM when I knew it was going to be a Bets On pick. While the story and its premise are disturbing and raw --- a young woman has been kidnapped, and during her captivity has borne a child who she is trying to raise with as normal a life as possible --- I could not tear myself away from the pages. I had to find out what was going to happen to Jack and Ma, as well as Old Nick. The voice of Jack, the five-year-old boy who is at the heart of ROOM, is unforgettable. He’s innocent and sharp as well as endearing. Picturing him in the 11 x 11 world that he has come to know as home will break your heart, but reading his words will remind you that joy can be found even in the midst of devastating sadness. And there are moments when Jack’s view of the world will just make you smile and even laugh.

I will not be alone in selecting ROOM for special notice and attention. Praise for this book has been coming from all over since we heard about it before Book Expo America in May. And that makes me smile.

And beyond the words, the packaging for this book is perfect; the crayon-lettered title captures the tone and feel so perfectly. You can picture Jack’s mom working with him to form them, looking over his shoulder and encouraging him. It will remind you of the simple joys of childhood and the times when happiness can be delivered in small bites.

-Click here to read a review of ROOM.
-Click here to read an author talk with Emma Donoghue.


Click here to see all the titles we’re betting you’ll love.


Now in Stores: WICKED APPETITE by Janet Evanovich

WICKED APPETITE by Janet Evanovich (Urban Fantasy)
Life in Marblehead, Massachusetts has been pleasantly predictable. That is, until Diesel shows up. In the hope of hunting down relics representing the Seven Deadly Sins, Diesel latches on to pastry chef Lizzy Tucker and charms his way through Salem --- only to be thwarted by his criminal mastermind cousin. Caught in a race against time, Diesel and Lizzy soon find out that more isn’t always better, as they battle Wulf and the first of the deadly sins. Reviewed by Roz Shea.

-Click here to read an excerpt from WICKED APPETITE.

Click here to read a review of WICKED APPETITE.

An Interview with Elizabeth Rosner, Author of BLUE NUDE --- Now Available in Paperback

Elizabeth Rosner is an award-winning poet and bestselling author whose most recent novel, BLUE NUDE (now available in paperback), follows the relationship between a once-prominent German painter and his Israeli-born art model, who also happens to be the granddaughter of a Holocaust survivor. In this interview, Rosner discusses the techniques that help her find inspiration for her books, going into detail about how she managed to connect with her German characters given her own family history and revealing why art became a useful tool for connecting her two protagonists. She also addresses the differences between writing her first and second novels, shares her thoughts on happy endings, and speculates on the similarities between poetry and prose.

BLUE NUDE by Elizabeth Rosner (Fiction)
Danzig, Margot and Merav couldn’t be more different: Danzig and Margot’s father was a Nazi official, and Merav’s grandmother survived the Holocaust. Yet their worlds collide when Merav models for Danzig’s art students. Although Danzig hasn’t produced a painting in years, Merav might just be the muse he’s been looking for --- if only Merav can open herself up to the horrors of his haunted past. Reviewed by Alexis Burling.

-Click here to read a review of BLUE NUDE.
-Visit Elizabeth Rosner's official website,


Click here to read an interview with Elizabeth Rosner.

Now Available in Paperback: JUSTICE by Michael J. Sandel

JUSTICE: What’s the Right Thing to Do? by Michael J. Sandel (Philosophy)
Justice isn’t just a spectator sport for Michael J. Sandel. In this acclaimed book based on his legendary Harvard course, Sandel offers a rare education in thinking through the complicated issues and controversies of today. A lucid and engaging guide for those yearning for a more thoughtful public discourse, JUSTICE addresses the big questions of political philosophy --- and challenges readers to question their convictions along the way. Reviewed by Stuart Shiffman.

-Click here to watch episodes of Justice, Harvard's philosophy course with Michael Sandel.


Click here to read a review of JUSTICE.

Featured Mystery Mayhem Author: William Kent Krueger, Author of VERMILION DRIFT

VERMILION DRIFT finds Corcoran O'Connor digging deep into his family's past to uncover the truth behind a series of murders known in Minnesota's Tamarack County as "The Vanishings." This latest installment in William Kent Krueger's award-winning series is now in stores.

-Click here to read a review of VERMILION DRIFT.
-Click here to read an excerpt from VERMILION DRIFT.
-Click here to read an interview with William Kent Krueger.
-Click here to read William Kent Krueger’s bio.
-Click here to see William Kent Krueger’s backlist.
-Click here to read critical praise for VERMILION DRIFT.

William Kent Krueger’s gripping tale of suspense begins with a recurring nightmare, a gun, and a wound in the earth so deep and horrific that it has a name: Vermilion Drift. When the Department of Energy puts an underground iron mine on its short list of potential sites for storage of nuclear waste, a barrage of protest erupts in Tamarack County, Minnesota, and Cork is hired as a security consultant. Deep in the mine during his first day on the job, Cork stumbles across a secret room that contains the remains of six murder victims. Five appear to be nearly half a century old --- connected to what the media once dubbed "The Vanishings," a series of unsolved disappearances in the summer of 1964, when Cork’s father was sheriff in Tamarack County. But the sixth has been dead less than a week. What’s worse, two of the bodies --- including the most recent victim --- were killed using Cork’s own gun, one handed down to him from his father.


Click here to read more about William Kent Krueger and VERMILION DRIFT.

Featured Romantic Suspense Author: Beverly Barton, Author of DON’T CRY

Master of romantic suspense Beverly Barton returns with DON'T CRY, a taut thriller that finds detective J.D. Cass teamed with a family counselor he can't stand. But the two put aside their differences to track down a brutal killer and find they have more in common than they care to admit.

-Click here to read a third excerpt from DON’T CRY.
-Click here to watch a book trailer for DON’T CRY.
-Click here to watch an interview with Beverly Barton.
-Click here to read Beverly Barton’s bio.
-Click here to see Beverly Barton’s backlist.

-Visit Beverly Barton's official website,
-Click here to see our finished copy winners.

More about DON'T CRY:
The crime scenes are horrifying: the victims arranged with deliberate care, posed to appear alive despite their agonized last moments and the shocking nature of their deaths. Chattanooga grief counselor Audrey Sherrod moonlights for the local police. It’s clear to her, and to Special Agent J.D. Cass, that the murders are the work of a deranged serial killer. At first, the only link is the victims’ similar physical appearance. But then another connection emerges, tying them to a long-ago series of horrifying crimes Audrey hoped would never resurface --- crimes that hit all too close to home. Each grisly new discovery proves the past has not been forgotten, and the worst is yet to come. Audrey went looking for the truth and she’s about to find it…and it will be more twisted and more terrifying than she ever imagined.

Click here to read more about Beverly Barton and DON'T CRY.

What’s New on

With more than 3,000 discussion guides now available, continues to be the leading place for book clubs to find all the resources they need on the web.

Our Blog continues to be a big hit among our readers. Throughout the month we are sharing postings from regular contributors --- including authors, librarians, book club facilitators, booksellers and experts in the publishing industry --- as well as special guests. The latest blog can be found here, and here are quick links to some recent posts:

October is National Reading Group Month!
-September is Library Card Sign-Up Month
-Discussing FINNY by Justin Kramon
-Got Some Hidden Writing Talent in Your Book Club?
-International Literacy Day 2010
-Daphne Kalotay: RUSSIAN WINTER
-Classics on Audio - That's one way to do it!

The following guides are now available on

THE AGE OF THE UNTHINKABLE: Why New World Disorder Constantly Surprises Us and What We Can Do About It by Joshua Cooper Ramo
by Teri Woods

AMERICA'S PROPHET: How the Story of Moses Shaped America
by Bruce Feiler

by Oscar Casares

by Tess Callahan

by Joshilyn Jackson

BENDING TOWARD THE SUN: A Mother and Daughter Memoir
by Leslie Gilbert-Lurie

by Kira Morgan

by Elin Hilderbrand

CHANGING SHOES: Getting Older --- NOT OLD --- with Style, Humor, and Grace
by Tina Sloan

CHEERFUL MONEY: Me, My Family, and the Last Days of Wasp Splendor
by Tad Friend

COLD: Adventures in the World's Frozen Places
by Bill Streever

by Jess Walter

by Joanna Scott

by Rick Moody

by Jonathan Franzen

by Francine Rivers

by Joshua Gaylord

by Claire LaZebnik

by Laurie Sandell

JUST FOOD: Where Locavores Get It Wrong and How We Can Truly Eat Responsibly
by James E. McWilliams

by Nicholas Sparks

by Kristina Riggle

by Karen Kingsbury

by Anne Zouroudi

by River Jordan

by Michele Andrea Bowen

by Natasha Solomons

by Bill Clegg

by Barbara Kyle

by George Dawes Green

by Daphne Kalotay

by Tatiana de Rosnay

by Mindy Starns Clark

by Victor McGlothin

by Belinda Acosta

SOLOMON'S OAK by Jo-Ann Mapson
by Kevin Alan Milne

THE TENTH PARALLEL: Dispatches from the Fault Line Between Christianity and Islam
by Eliza Griswold

by Deborah Willis

THE WAVE: In Pursuit of the Rogues, Freaks, and Giants of the Ocean
by Susan Casey

by Julia Glass

by Hilary Mantel

Please note that these titles, for which we already had the guides when they appeared in hardcover, are now available in paperback:

CHRONIC CITY by Jonathan Lethem

by Lorrie Moore
by Penny Vincenzi

The following new guide is now available for Christian book groups:

CHASING LILACS by Carla Stewart

Click here to visit

This Week’s Reviews

LOST EMPIRE: A Fargo Adventure by Clive Cussler with Grant Blackwood (Thriller/Action & Adventure)
While scuba diving in Tanzania, Sam and Remi Fargo find a relic from a long-lost Confederate ship. Yet when an anomaly sends them on an unexpected chase, they discover that they’re not alone in the hunt. As it turns out, Mexico’s ultranationalist ruling party is set on securing the artifact for themselves. Propelled on a transcontinental chase, the Fargos must outsmart their ruthless opponents…or pay the price of certain death. Reviewed by Judy Gigstad.

THE WARMTH OF OTHER SUNS: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration by Isabel Wilkerson (History)
The mass movement of American blacks from the segregated south to northern cities between 1915 and 1970 is one of the most significant migrations in American history, arguably as important as the earlier settlement of the American west. Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Isabel Wilkerson has examined this human tidal wave in both personal and scholarly terms in a book that challenges much of the conventional wisdom on the subject. Reviewed by Robert Finn.

PRETTY LITTLE THINGS by Jilliane Hoffman (Thriller)
No one notices when 13-year-old Lainey Emerson goes missing --- except FDLE Special Agent Bobby Dees. Haunted by the unsolved disappearance of his own daughter, Dees follows his initial hunch until a string of instant messages leads him to believe that Lainey has been abducted by an online predator. As Agent Dees soon discovers, she isn’t the only victim, and this faceless monster will stop at nothing to keep him on his trail.
Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

THE WATERS RISING by Sheri S. Tepper (Post-Apocalyptic Fantasy)
Following an apocalypse called the “Big Kill,” humanity has been blasted back to the Middle Ages. But the mysterious rising of the sea and a looming conspiracy against one kingdom’s traditions prove that we can’t escape our past, even if we forget it. Reviewed by Max Falkowitz.

ESPERANZA by Trish J. MacGregor (Supernatural Thriller/Fantasy)
Tess Livingston and Ian Ritter are caught in a struggle between the living and the dead in a South American city high in the Andes Mountains. Fate brought them together to fight a mystical battle to save a city from ghosts that can possess the living to experience life once more. Reviewed by Amy Gwiazdowski.

THE PROPHECY by Chris Kuzneski (Thriller)
Jonathon Payne and David Jones, former Special Forces operatives and best friends, are drawn into a battle surrounding the discovery of a centuries-old message. After a mysterious woman is gunned down while talking to Payne and Jones on the campus of the University of Pittsburgh, the hunt for the assassin begins. Reviewed by Donna Volkenannt.

THE CARETAKER OF LORNE FIELD by Dave Zeltserman (Horror)
Jack Durkin is the ninth generation of Durkins who have weeded Lorne Field for nearly 300 years. Though he and his wife Lydia long to leave, Jack must wait until his son has come of age to tend the field on his own. If the field is left untended, a horrific monster called an Aukowie will grow --- a monster capable of taking over America in just two weeks. Or so it’s said…
Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

Click here to read this week's reviews.

Poll and Question of the Week: Dancing with the Authors


Which author would you most like to see on “Dancing with the Stars”?

Dave Barry
Sandra Brown
Candace Bushnell
Meg Cabot
Ally Carter
Lee Child
Janet Evanovich
Neil Gaiman
John Grisham
Carl Hiaasen
Stephen King
James Patterson
Nora Roberts
Nicholas Sparks
Adriana Trigiani

-Click here to answer our poll.


Name up to three additional authors you would love to see on “Dancing with the Stars.”

-Click here to answer our question.


Word of Mouth: Tell Us What You're Reading --- and You Can Win THREE Books!

Tell us what books YOU are reading and loving --- or even those you don't.

This week we have three great prizes: FIVE readers each will win a copy of THE FALL: Book Two of the Strain Trilogy by Guillermo Del Toro and Chuck Hogan, MINI SHOPAHOLIC by Sophie Kinsella and ROOM by Emma Donoghue. Tell us what you are reading and rate the titles 1-5 by noon ET on Friday, September 24th to ensure that you are in the running to win these books.

Click here for more details about Word of Mouth.

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 [email protected]. Writing any of the respond buttons below will not get to us. 

Those who are subscribed to the newsletter by September 30, 2010 automatically are entered in our Monthly Newsletter Contest. This month, one winner will be selected to win the following five books: FALL OF GIANTS: Book One of the Century Trilogy by Ken Follett, MINI SHOPAHOLIC by Sophie Kinsella, A NOSE FOR JUSTICE by Rita Mae Brown, SAFE HAVEN by Nicholas Sparks, and ZERO HISTORY by William Gibson. Sally from San Antonio, TX was last month's winner. She won BURN: An Anna Pigeon Novel by Nevada Barr, I'D KNOW YOU ANYWHERE by Laura Lippman, THE RED QUEEN by Philippa Gregory, SPIDER BONES by Kathy Reichs, and THREE STATIONS by Martin Cruz Smith.

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

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