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September 24, 2010 Newsletter September 24, 2010
You Never Know What a Book Can Inspire!

Last Sunday I was reading --- and enjoying --- MINI SHOPAHOLIC while sitting poolside on what was a brilliantly sunny late summer afternoon. The main character in these books, Becky Brandon is always scheming and thinking out of the box. Typically some wild consequences result as whatever she touches turns her into some modern fashion-addicted version of Lucy Ricardo. That said reading her escapades is one of those things that gets your brain going.

My husband and I got to talking about how the pool has been cold all summer no matter how hot the weather was --- and thus we hit on one of our repeat conversation threads about adding solar panels to heat the pool. You know those conversations where you talk about the same thing over and over, but nothing ever happens. In this case it’s because each time this comes up we only think about putting them on the roof and I forget that even if the panels are on the roof the water needs to get pumped to them from the pool filters which are two levels down in the back of the house making this a really bad idea. I always assume the panels were going to reflect on the pool to heat the water. Science is not my thing; I also have no memory about this from one discussion time to the next. This conversation starts to move to its usual dead end when I get inspired and I think it was from reading the latest Shopaholic book.

On the lower level of the yard where the filters sit there is a garden that is never used. It needs to be pulled out (another ongoing refrain of mine), and thus here comes my inspiration. Take the garden area, build a pool house there, add solar panels on top (sunny enough for the garden means sunny enough to heat water) and pump the water from the filters at a straight shot of about 20 feet away. Well, I will have you know, that my husband, the engineer, actually told me this was brilliant! In 25 years I am not sure I have ever been told I was brilliant about an engineering project around the house. I am now envisioning the turquoise shutters to decorate the pool house; Becky would be so proud! Marge Fletcher reviews Sophie Kinsella’s MINI SHOPAHOLIC this week and says “This is one of the most entertaining books I have read in years. Sophie Kinsella has the formula for humor down to a science. Despite a three-year gap between Shopaholic novels, she still has the science of shopping in the bag.” I think Marge sums it up perfectly.

A mea culpa to readers. Last week I mentioned how much I loved Charles Cumming’s THE TRINITY SIX, due in March, but it seems I wasn’t entirely clear in explaining the spy plot. The original five high-ranking British spies called The Cambrdige Five were actually double-agents working for the Russians during the 1930s, not fictitious characters as I may have led you to assume. As Marion from Issaquah, WA wrote me, “even as some were knighted and revered in their homeland, their actions had some terrible repercussions, and a couple of them actually fled to Russia.” Many thanks to for her insights!

Yesterday I joined Conor Grennan at the Rubin Museum of Art for a lunch celebrating his upcoming book, LITTLE PRINCES: One Man's Promise to Bring Home the Lost Children of Nepal, which will be out in January. When he was 29, Grennan decided to take a year off to travel the world after spending some time in a corporate job in Europe. His first destination was Nepal, where he was planning to volunteer in an orphanage for three months lest people think he was just frittering the year away. When he got there, he had no experience with children, no language skills to speak Nepalese, and he was not in great physical shape for the harsh conditions he encountered. As he worked with these children, he learned that they were not actually orphans, but rather they had been abducted by a child trafficker who told their parents he would educate and house them to keep them safe in this war-torn country. Grennan, who was appalled by this, started what has become a life’s mission to reunite these children with their families. What I have read of the book has a terrific voice and great passion, and Conor was a delight to talk to; see me pictured with him above. Another book to keep on your radar.

Last night I attended a mega-big book party to celebrate 75 Years of Penguin Books. It was like one of the book parties of old with wine and drinks flowing, lots of bookish conversation, and the absolute cutest cookies with their logo on them. I would have showed you the cookie, or at least a picture of one, but I ate each one I picked up! I know many of you have read the Penguin Classics and others of their mega-bestselling titles as well as some of their brilliant literary treats, and thus you can imagine how much there was to celebrate. The party was held at the New York Public Library, and the night was gorgeous enough to walk there and back from the office. I know there are few evenings like that left!

As promised, this week we have our review of Jonathan Franzen’s No. 1 New York Times bestseller and Oprah pick FREEDOM. Our reviewer Harvey Freedenberg says “…the inevitable question that lingers when one turns the last of FREEDOM’s 562 pages is whether this is a novel that will be read a generation or two from now. While it’s risky to predict how the winds of literary fashion may blow, Franzen’s novel has all the earmarks of a work of enduring merit and significance. Its penetrating examination of our uneasy times is surpassed only by the acuity of his insight into the souls of his troubled creations. In those terms, and apart from the grace and clarity of his prose, it is a novel of consequence and more than fulfills the bold promise of its title.” We have the reading guide available here. Also, Contributing Editor Dana Barrett has started a thread about FREEDOM on the blog, which you can read and comment on here.

Franzen is one of the many confirmed authors for the 27th Annual Miami Book Fair International, which will be November 14th-21st (with a Street Fair scheduled for the 19th-21st). Other authors include Ann Beattie, Dave Barry, Michael Cunningham, Pat Conroy, Carl Hiaasen, Sebastian Junger, Brad Meltzer, Sue Miller, Walter Mosley, Salman Rushdie, Gay Talese, Judith Viorst, and there will be MANY more. We’ll have lots more information about this event in the coming weeks and months, but I just wanted to get it on your radar. It’s one of the premier book events of the year and one of MY personal favorite events; I think this will be my sixth time attending it. What’s not to like about Miami in November! Can’t beat that for those of us up North. The big street fair is scheduled for November 19th-21st. Special travel packages have been put together for those of you who want to travel in from outside Miami for this event that you can read more about here.

This week we’re launching a One to Watch Author Spotlight feature for Liz Murray’s memoir, BREAKING NIGHT: A Memoir of Forgiveness, Survival, and My Journey from Homeless to Harvard. This book just debuted on the New York Times bestseller list and is gaining a lot of deserved media attention. Liz was born to loving parents, who unfortunately suffered from serious substance abuse problems. She spent much of her teen years homeless, sleeping at subway stops and the like while her parents suffered from their addictions, yet she managed to complete her education and graduate from Harvard. It's quite a story! We have 20 finished copies of BREAKING NIGHT to give away to readers who would like to read the book and comment on it. Enter here by Friday, October 1st at noon ET for your chance to win.

This week we also have a review of DON’T CRY by Beverly Barton, which is currently being featured in our Romantic Suspense Author Spotlight. Reviewer Donna Volkenannt says, “Strong characters, an engaging storyline and a powerful message of the debilitating grief over the loss of a child pack an emotional punch.” We have an exclusive interview with Beverly, which you can read here.

We also have a Q&A with author/illustrator Lane Smith about his book, IT’S A BOOK. As soon as this came in, two of our staffers came into my office and said, “You HAVE to read this NOW.” I did and it was such fun, with some very signature Lane Smith illustrations and a great message. While this is a children’s book, it really has appeal to all ages, and I think a lot of adults, traditional book enthusiasts especially, will get a kick out of it. Read the interview here and our review from Terry Miller Shannon here. There’s also a fun video about the book you can watch here.

When I was at the beach in North Carolina, I read SAFE HAVEN by Nicholas Sparks. The setting for this one was the beach as well, albeit further down the coast from me, but as folks were working up a powerful thirst and moving slowly in the heat, I did so very much relate! This one has elements of romantic suspense beyond women’s fiction as Katie the main character is hiding from her past. She meets and befriends a widower and his young children in the town, and from there begins to embrace life again. There’s high enjoyment in this one and many lovely moments as well as a solid sequence of action. Here's what Terry Miller Shannon, our reviewer, had to say: "Nicholas Sparks's bevy of fans will be wowed by SAFE HAVEN. But I also predict this book will attract many new admirers with its crossover into thriller territory."

This week marks my third Bets On selection in three weeks with UP FROM THE BLUE by Susan Henderson. This is one the best debuts I've read in a long time and will be a great book club pick. It's actually a Great Group Reads selection for October's National Reading Group Month as presented by the Women's National Book Association. We'll have the guide for UP FROM THE BLUE on shortly! You can read more about why I love it later in this newsletter.

Our poll asking “Which author would you most like to see on ‘Dancing with the Stars’?” has come to an end with more than 1,100 of you voting. I have informed Adriana Trigiani that she should warm up her dancing shoes! Check out the results here. She will be practicing in between getting ready for the release of her upcoming November 9th hardcover release of DON'T SING AT THE TABLE: Life Lessons from My Grandmothers as well as the paperback release of BRAVA, VALENTINE. Thanks to all who voted, and we hope someone from the book world gets to go dancing on a future season. Our latest poll asks "Approximately what percentage of the books you read appear --- or have appeared --- on bestseller lists?" You can weigh in here.

Garth Stein called me a couple of months ago about this project from the Seattle7Writers, many of whom I met in Seattle last March. This group will be hosting "The Novel: Live", which will feature 36 writers collaborating on one novel from October 11th-16th. How cool is that? You can check out more information here, and if you live in the Seattle area, I strongly urge you to go and report back! "The Novel: Live" has a Facebook page here. For those on Facebook, you can follow here; if you are not, we compile the week's postings here.

In other pop culture news, a while back I shared how much I loved the HBO special, "The 25th Anniversary Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame Concerts". For those of you who missed it, it’s out on DVD on Tuesday the 28th. I also have The Ghost Writer cued up for the weekend; I actually saw this film back in July, but think the rest of the family will enjoy it! Yowser, it was good.

I wanted to take a moment to introduce you all to the newest member of our editorial staff, Elizabeth Bruce. Elizabeth is a recent graduate of both Columbia University and the Columbia Publishing Program. She will be writing for the site, editing and helping us pull together features. We’re all thrilled to have her on board and look forward to her being a part of the team. She’s been here two weeks, and it already feels like she’s been a part of the staff for a lot longer than that; she fit right in. So nice when that happens!

The last few weeks I’ve been asking for your help in taking or passing along our CO-20 survey aimed at designing a site for readers between the ages of 17 and 30. I truly do appreciate all those who have helped out, and the response has been excellent. We’re really working on some great ideas in getting this project moving forward. The survey has about three more weeks, so please continue to share it by clicking here. We’re also preparing a redesign of our site and welcome input from kids and adults alike. Please click here to take the survey. Participants in the surveys will be entered into a random drawing for a $25 gift card to the bookstore of their choice.

I am hoping to have ONE MORE DAY of summer-like weather tomorrow. For my pool chair I have lined up THE WAVE by Susan Casey. I have been reading great things about it, and after loving the surf movies Riding Giants and Step Into Liquid, I am ready for this one. Here’s wishing you all a great week of reading.

Carol Fitzgerald ([email protected])


Oprah’s Current Book Club Selection: FREEDOM by Jonathan Franzen

FREEDOM by Jonathan Franzen (Fiction)
There is a certain amount of hubris involved in titling a novel with a word as capacious and controversial as “freedom.” Happily, Jonathan Franzen has the ability to produce a work fully worthy of that portentous term. He has done that with integrity, compassion and humor in a story that is as real as your next-door neighbors and as rich with contemporary relevance as tonight’s cable news broadcast. Reviewed by Harvey Freedenberg.

-Click here to see the reading group guide for FREEDOM.

Click here to read a review of FREEDOM. Talks to Beverly Barton, Author of DON’T CRY

New York Times bestselling author Beverly Barton has readers hanging on to their seats once again with her latest novel, DON’T CRY, which follows grief counselor Audrey Sherrod and Special Agent J.D. Cass as they try to unlock the key to a string of grisly murders, only to discover that the truth might lie in a series of horrific crimes that have long since been forgotten --- or at least by everyone but Audrey. In this interview with’s Donna Volkenannt, Barton discusses the places and people that inspired her most recent novel, revealing how she managed to portray a realistic police investigation and why she chose historic Chattanooga as a setting. She also contemplates Cracker Barrel’s reaction to one of the book’s creepiest murder scenes, speculates on why serial killers seem so normal, and reveals her plans for a spellbinding sequel.

DON’T CRY by Beverly Barton (Romantic Suspense)
J.D. Cass is a special agent called in to help the Chattanooga Police Department solve a series of grisly murders. Audrey Sherrod is a grief counselor who has experienced grief firsthand. J.D. and Audrey cross paths after the “Rocking Chair Killer” is connected with horrific crimes committed decades earlier. Reviewed by Donna Volkenannt.

-Click here to read a review of DON’T CRY.
-Click here to read an excerpt from DON’T CRY.
-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.


Click here to read our interview with Beverly Barton.


New Featured One to Watch Author: Liz Murray, Author of BREAKING NIGHT

Liz Murray's harrowing personal story, BREAKING NIGHT: A Memoir of Forgiveness, Survival, and My Journey from Homeless to Harvard, recounts her troubled childhood as her parents fought substance abuse problems that left Liz homeless for much of her teen years. Despite those odds, she still managed to graduate from Harvard and launch a successful career.

We have 20 copies of BREAKING NIGHT, which is in stores now, to give away to readers who would like to read the book and comment about it. If you are interested, please fill out this form by Friday, October 1st at noon ET.

-Click here to read an excerpt from BREAKING NIGHT.
-Click here to read Liz Murray’s bio.
-Click here to read critical praise for BREAKING NIGHT.
-Click here to watch Liz Murray discuss BREAKING NIGHT.

In the vein of THE GLASS CASTLE, BREAKING NIGHT is the stunning memoir of a young woman who at age 15 was living on the streets, and who eventually made it into Harvard.

Liz Murray was born to loving but drug-addicted parents in the Bronx. In school she was taunted for her dirty clothing and lice-infested hair, eventually skipping so many classes that she was put into a girls' home. At age 15, Liz found herself on the streets when her family finally unraveled. When Liz's mother died of AIDS, she decided to take control of her own destiny and go back to high school, often completing her assignments in the hallways and subway stations where she slept. Liz squeezed four years of high school into two, while homeless; won a New York Times scholarship; and made it into the Ivy League.

BREAKING NIGHT is an unforgettable and beautifully written story of one young woman's indomitable spirit to survive and prevail, against all odds.


Click here to read more about Liz Murray and BREAKING NIGHT.

font size="4"> Bets On: UP FROM THE BLUE by Susan Henderson

UP FROM THE BLUE by Susan Henderson (September 21st): Tillie Harris has just moved to a new town where she knows no one. Her husband is in Europe on a business trip that he wants to get behind him before their baby is born; she is due the following month. Thus when her labor pains begin, this plan is foiled, and she has only one person to reach out and call --- her father from whom she has been estranged. At this very vulnerable time, Tillie is forced to dredge up a number of memories that she has been trying to push away since she was a young girl --- about the year her mother disappeared.

While the story opens and closes with Tillie as an adult, her eight-year-old voice will be the one you will remember most. Her want and need to make her life normal --- and the utterly powerful love of Tillie for her mom --- is always there, pushing her to see a better life than what is real. Over and over again, she forgives and tries to make things right. Nothing in this book unfolds quite the way you would predict --- but what you read will haunt you. And it will be the kind of book you want to talk about once it’s done.

This is one of the strongest debut novels that I have read. As I was reading, Tillie Harris reminded me of the young girl in ME & EMMA, another book that I loved a few years ago, where there again was a plucky girl at the heart of the story. Don’t miss this brilliant paperback original that people are sure to be talking about.

-Click here to read more about UP FROM THE BLUE.


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


Now in Stores: MINI SHOPAHOLIC by Sophie Kinsella

MINI SHOPAHOLIC by Sophie Kinsella (Fiction)
Becky Brandon thought that having a daughter would give her a shopping friend for life. But motherhood is harder than she thought: two-year-old Minnie’s favorite word is “mine,” and she’s constantly creating havoc. And on top of everything else, there’s a huge financial crisis. Now Becky can’t afford a surprise party for her husband, and she must decide whether or not to accept help from an unexpected source at the risk of hurting the man she loves. Reviewed by Marge Fletcher.

-Click here to read an excerpt from MINI SHOPAHOLIC.

Click here to read a review of MINI SHOPAHOLIC.


Now in Stores: SAFE HAVEN by Nicholas Sparks

SAFE HAVEN by Nicholas Sparks (Fiction)
The suspense is palpable in this gripping love story, with an amazing twist in the tale. When an intriguing young woman meets a widower with two children, will her dark secret past prevent a love connection? Nicholas Sparks's fans will devour SAFE HAVEN, which is sure to attract a whole new crowd of admirers. Reviewed by Terry Miller Shannon.


Click here to read a review of SAFE HAVEN.

Now in Stores: A NOSE FOR JUSTICE by Rita Mae Brown

A NOSE FOR JUSTICE by Rita Mae Brown (Mystery)
With the ruins of her high-powered Wall Street job in her rearview mirror, Mags Rogers arrives at her great-aunt Jeep’s ranch to reassemble her life. But when someone pipe-bombs a nearby pumping station, things soon go south for Mags and her aunt. The sabotage is linked to a string of local murders, and human bones are found in Jeep’s barn. Now Mags must help solve a mystery that’s as old as Buffalo Bill. Reviewed by Sarah Rachel Egelman.

-Click here to read an excerpt from A NOSE FOR JUSTICE.
-Visit Rita Mae Brown’s official website,


Click here to read a review of A NOSE FOR JUSTICE.'s Fall Preview and Core Graphic Novel Lists

Fall is here, and with it comes a slew of new graphic novels worth reading. From the best in adult fiction and nonfiction to top selections for kids, teens and tweens, has sorted through the complete list to present you with the top graphic novels and manga for autumn.

-Click here to see's Fall 2010 Preview List. also has compiled the core list of essential books for booksellers, librarians, educators and fans of the format. Whether you have small, medium, or large shelf space, you'll find a complete list of recommendations here.

-Click here to see's Core Graphic Novel List.


An Interview with Lane Smith, Creator of IT’S A BOOK

Caldecott Honor recipient Lane Smith is wooing audiences once again with his most recent illustrated work, IT’S A BOOK, a story about a book-loving monkey, a tech-savvy jackass and a straight-talking mouse that reminds readers of all ages just why they became bookworms in the first place. In this interview, Smith talks about his inspiration for his latest tale and the books that influenced him as a child, weighing in on the debate over the perks of technology and the importance of print, and sharing a few of his favorite authors. He also addresses some of the controversies that have surrounded his previous picture books, speculates on why grown-ups are always underestimating kids, and muses on how being torn between three states has affected his work.

IT'S A BOOK written and illustrated by Lane Smith (Picture Book Fiction)
In this delightfully snarky picture book sure to tickle readers of all ages, a patient monkey tries to read while his progressive yet clueless jackass buddy struggles to figure out what a nonelectronic gadget called a "book" might possibly have going for it. Filled with sassy attitude and impudent humor, Lane Smith's love letter to old-fangled, turn-the-page books is irresistible. Reviewed by Terry Miller Shannon.

-Click here to read a review of IT’S A BOOK.

Click here to read an interview with Lane Smith.

Featured Women’s Fiction Author: Jennifer Crusie, Author of MAYBE THIS TIME

Jennifer Crusie's latest novel, MAYBE THIS TIME, puts a quirky, supernatural twist on a love story when Andie agrees to a favor from her ex-husband in hopes of finally gaining closure between them. Instead, a flood of emotions overcome Andie, a pair of rambunctious kids are on the loose, and an exorcist is called.

-Click here to read a review of MAYBE THIS TIME.
-Click here to read an excerpt from MAYBE THIS TIME.
-Click here to read our interview with Jennifer Crusie.
-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.

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. What follows is a hilarious adventure in exorcism, including a self-doubting parapsychologist, an annoyed medium, her Tarot-card reading mother, an avenging ex-mother-in-law, and, of course, her jealous fiancé. And just when she thinks things couldn’t get more complicated, North shows up on the doorstep making her wonder if maybe this time things could be different between them.


Click here to read more about Jennifer Crusie and MAYBE THIS TIME.

The Book Report Network's CO-20 Survey and's Redesign Survey

The Book Report Network is considering creating a website targeted to college and twenty-something readers. Before we do that, though, we wanted to get some feedback from readers aged 17-30, since we are planning this site for a very targeted audience. This is so new that for the moment we are using the code name “CO-20” for this project.

We estimate that it will take about 10 minutes to complete the survey. Respondents who complete the survey are eligible to enter a drawing to win a $25 gift card to the bookstore of their choice. 100 winners will be selected at random.

-Click here for more information about the CO-20 Survey.

We are also pleased to announce that is getting a new look this fall! We are conducting a survey of our readers to find out what changes and updates you would like to see as we redesign the site. After reading your answers to our 2009 Reader Survey about what you like on, we are coming back to you with more in-depth questions that will help us give you, the readers, what you are looking for.

We estimate that it will take about 10 minutes to complete the survey. Anyone who completes the survey will be eligible to enter a drawing to win a $25 gift card to the bookstore of his or her choice. Five gift cards will be awarded at random.

-Click here for more information about the Redesign Survey.


This Week’s Reviews

BAD BLOOD: A Virgil Flowers Novel by John Sandford (Thriller)
When Virgil Flowers arrives on the scene to investigate the “accidental” killing of a soybean farmer in southern Minnesota, he immediately breaks down the witness. But the next morning, the boy’s body is found hanging in his cell, and for veteran field agent Flowers, what initially appeared to be a cut-and-dry case quickly turns into a multi-generation conspiracy --- a series of crimes so monstrous that even he finds them difficult to fathom. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

MAN IN THE WOODS by Scott Spencer (Psychological Thriller)
What does it mean to get away with murder? This new novel by Scott Spencer --- author of A SHIP MADE OF PAPER, WAKING THE DEAD and the international bestseller ENDLESS LOVE --- depicts a good man who, in a moment of overwhelming rage, does something that is as bad as it gets. Reviewed by Kathy Weissman.

PIRATES OF THE LEVANT by Arturo Perez-Reverte (Historical Fiction)
Accompanied by his foster son Íñigo, Captain Alatriste accepts a job as a mercenary aboard a Spanish galleon. Their journey takes them to the most wretched outposts of the empire, culminating in a bloody battle that challenges even Alatriste’s hard-won resolve --- and creates tensions between foster father and son. For as Íñigo prepares to leave his mentor, he will find out if age really brings wisdom…or if he is condemned to repeat Alatriste’s mistakes. Reviewed by Curtis Edmonds.

THE DEVIL: A Jack Taylor Novel by Ken Bruen (Thriller)
America is the land of opportunity --- or at least for everyone but PI Jack Taylor. After being denied entry, Jack meets an eerily well-informed stranger at an airport bar, but forgets about him after resuming his old life in Galway. Yet when Jack is called to investigate a murder, the mysterious man resurfaces. After several more murders and many more coincidences, it seems that Jack has finally met his nemesis in an acquaintance who might just be the devil himself. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

THE MOSES EXPEDITION by Juan Gomez-Jurado (Thriller)
After years of searching, CIA operative and Vatican Secret Service Agent Father Anthony Fowler has finally found the Butcher of Spiegelgrund, a Nazi war criminal who’s been hiding for 50 years. But when a recovered stolen candle reveals the missing piece of a map to the Ten Commandments, Fowler suddenly finds himself on an expedition to Jordan. And unknown to him, there’s a deadly traitor in his midst --- one who might strike at any moment. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

YELLOW DIRT: An American Story of a Poisoned Land and a People Betrayed by Judy Pasternak (History)
On a craggy mesa in the northern reaches of the Navajo reservation lies what used to be a world-class uranium mine called Monument No. 2. Discovered in the 1940s, this lode affected the lives of hundreds of Native Americans and their families for generations to come. Transporting readers into a rarely glimpsed world, Judy Pasternak gives voice to the Navajo people’s perceptions, their complicated involvement with uranium mining and the story of their political coming-of-age. Reviewed by Barbara Bamberger Scott.

THE EINSTEIN ENIGMA by Jose Rodrigues dos Santos (Thriller)
On an unremarkable night in 1951, Albert Einstein met with Israeli Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion at his small home in Princeton. Their discussion: nuclear weapons and the existence of God. Now, nearly 60 years later, world-famous cryptanalyst Thomas Noronha is hired by Ariana Pakravan to decipher part of a document that’s being heavily guarded in Tehran, and it’s up to the two of them to find out why. The manuscript: Einstein’s Die Gottesformel: The God Formula. Reviewed by Barbara Lipkien Gershenbaum.

TRAIL OF BLOOD by Lisa Black (Mystery)
Seventy-five years ago, a madman nicknamed the Torso Killer terrorized Cleveland and was never caught. So when a decaying, decapitated body is found, everyone assumes it’s a newly discovered victim, including forensic scientist Theresa MacClean. But when more bodies turn up, Theresa’s case takes on a whole new meaning. Now she must find the lunatic intent on bringing the past back to life --- and try to avoid the killer’s watchful eye. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

Click here to read this week's reviews.

Poll and Question of the Week: Bestseller Lists


Approximately what percentage of the books you read appear --- or have appeared --- on bestseller lists?

Less than 25%
More than 75%
I’m not sure.

-Click here to answer our poll.


What is the last book you read purely because you saw it on a bestseller list?

-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 CROOKED LETTER, CROOKED LETTER by Tom Franklin, FALL OF GIANTS: Book One of the Century Trilogy by Ken Follett and A NOSE FOR JUSTICE by Rita Mae Brown. Tell us what you are reading and rate the titles 1-5 by noon ET on Friday, October 8th 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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