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November 5, 2010 Newsletter November 5, 2010
An Extra Hour: How to Spend Those 25 Hours? Let Me Count the Ways!

I am so looking forward to having an extra hour this weekend. I have a stack of books that I have been longing to read, and of course I have the absurdly misguided assumption that given the extra hour I will be able to work my way through them. I am delusional, I know; it’s more like I will spend the extra hour sorting and re-sorting what I want to read next. Do you do that, too? I always am reading books for work with various missions --- whether it be for something we are planning to feature or something we are featuring now or something people are telling me I HAVE to read NOW. I make piles, rearrange and prioritize them. This is not to say that reading is a chore, but I usually have some kind of a motive when I am reading, and sometimes there are titles that I eagerly anticipate that just must wait their turn.

With new books coming all the time, I never get a moment to “read backwards,” meaning that if a book has been out a while, there’s no going back. I hear a cry of “onward” in my head, and I look longingly at the books I have missed and realize that someday I am going to have some amazing twilight years of entertainment.

I had a realization today about books. Evolutions in music have led to so many formats; I think there has been a new one every decade for the last 40 years if you really think about it. I KNOW I have much of the same music on albums ('70s and earlier), cassette tapes ('80s), CDs ('90s) and now housed quite conveniently in one iPod ('00s). I cannot picture replacing the books on my bookshelves the same way converting everything to eBooks. For the moment, I do not even want an eReader. I still picture myself rocking away in a chair in my twilight years...books in hand...working through the books I “missed.”

Fall is the biggest season for publishing, and thus MANY BIG books hit the stores between September and December jockeying for dates to make sure they all get attention. You can vote on what big books you're excited about in our latest poll. We’re spotlighting some of those titles this week, including MOONLIGHT MILE by Dennis Lehane, which marks the return of Patrick Kenzie and Angie Gennaro, the Boston private investigators who helped make Lehane a household name. I got to talk with Dennis a few months ago and asked him why he decided to bring Patrick and Angie back now, and he said he was driving along one day and started hearing their voices again. And then he went home and started banging out the manuscript. You can watch a great video interview with Dennis here about his inspiration. Joe Hartlaub has our review this week and says, “Lehane shows no rust at all in MOONLIGHT MILE. Its ending is surprising and of great consequence, and will leave his readers wondering what will come next.” One note from me: Dennis became a dad recently, and his knowing that special love for his child, in this case his daughter, infuses these pages.

Joe also has our review of Jeffery Deaver’s EDGE this week, and says, “If you’re not swallowing your hand every 10 pages or so, then either you don’t have a pulse or you’re not paying attention.” We also have an interview with Jeffery, who was tapped by Ian Fleming’s estate to write the latest James Bond novel. One of my favorite headlines of the week was in USA Today, where they said, “Meet Deaver. Jeffery Deaver.” That project, of course, is shrouded in secrecy, but there are some clues as to what to expect that you can see in a video here. We share a lot of author videos we find on our Facebook page and in our weekly update blog. We also have started a Twitter page you can follow here.

We kept Joe extra busy this week, and so he has a third review, this time of INDULGENCE IN DEATH by J.D. Robb, the nom de plume of Nora Roberts. Joe says, “There is a cat-and-mouse game being played here, and everyone wants to be the cat.” Hard to believe this is the 31st book under her J.D. Robb alter ego. Wow.

On the nonfiction side, Simon Winchester’s ATLANTIC: Great Sea Battles, Heroic Discoveries, Titanic Storms, and a Vast Ocean of a Million Stories is reviewed by Ray Palen. I caught some of Simon’s talk at the New England Independent Booksellers Conference in Providence last month, and I was instantly intrigued by the stories he shared from his research. Although the Pacific is the bigger and often thought of as the “cooler” ocean, with great surf stories and the dramatic coastline on the western United States, it’s the Atlantic that was the stage for so many important events throughout history. Ray says, “In the hands of a writer with his gifts and talent for phraseology, what could have been an antiseptic textbook type of read is instead an exciting and enthralling literary experience that will appeal to anyone who is interested in history and engaging storytelling.

One more nonfiction highlight this week is Barbara Bamberger Scott’s review of MY READING LIFE by Pat Conroy. Pat has become one of the most beloved American novelists over the years, thanks to THE PRINCE OF TIDES, THE GREAT SANTINI, SOUTH OF BROAD and many, many more. With MY READING LIFE, he reveals his influences and inspirations for his writing, recalling a lot of memories from reading with his parents, school assignments and wandering the library. I always love reading and hearing about what makes authors tick. Barbara says, “Through his reading choices over a lifetime of enjoying and producing literature, this new book reveals the private Conroy...”

Pat Conroy will also be one of hundreds of authors featured at this month’s Miami Book Fair International, happening November 14th-21st. I’ve been mentioning this event for a few weeks now, as it’s one of my favorites and one of the biggest book events of the year. The programming schedule was just announced, and I have been reviewing the lineup trying to decide what events I am going to see. There are hundreds of authors appearing there, ranging from George W. Bush to Jay-Z; you can click here to see the full list. If you live in the area, I encourage you to attend or even volunteer. If you’re looking for a warm-weather vacation with thousands of booklovers, then this is your paradise! The Fair has put together some travel and lodging information here. If you are going to be in town for this event, let me know and we can try to meet up. Drop me a line at [email protected].

Jonathan Franzen is another author scheduled to appear at the Miami Book Fair. As you all know by now, his bestseller FREEDOM was the most recent Oprah pick, and likely the last she will make before she changes networks. Oprah will interview Franzen on her November 29th show. This should be interesting, considering their history. Get more information about the show and submit a question here.

The holidays are coming…the holidays are coming. We’re planning something special for our Holiday Cheer Contests on --- featured books and contests where on select days you may win bonus surprises. I know I am dating myself here, but remember those game shows with things like the Daily Double where suddenly a special prize was awarded at random? Well, that is what we are planning. These contests will not just happen once a week, but rather several times a week. Want to be sure you are aware of the contest on a particular day? Then click here now and sign up for special newsletter alerts about these contests. We’ll also have our What to Give/What to Get guide going up next Friday, and on the 19th we will start sharing a third year of author holiday blogs on

Last weekend I read a book that is coming on January 4th that I want you to have on your radar now called LEFT NEGLECTED by Lisa Genova, who many of you will remember as the author of STILL ALICE, a favorite book of mine from two years ago and a Bets On Pick. In it, Sarah Nickerson had a busy life --- a husband, three kids (one a baby), a high-powered job and a long commute where she always tried to fit in one more thing. Well, she’s flying down the Mass Pike one morning trying to make a call when she looks up and sees a string of red lights in front of her --- stopped traffic. She cannot stop and rolls her car. When she awakens, she realizes she does not recognize the entire left side of her body; something called left neglect, hence the title of the book. Once again Genova has brought readers a compelling story, and I dare you to pick up your BlackBerry while driving once you finish it. Mine’s been buried in my handbag as soon as I turn on the ignition since I started reading it! LEFT NEGLECTED will be a January Bets On pick, the first time I am “repeating an author.”

Also this week I read a wonderful YA book called BETWEEN SHADES OF GRAY by Ruta Sepetys, which will be in stores in March. It’s the story of a little-spoken-about series of events that happened in Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia where Stalin exiled people from those countries to Siberia during World War II. The war ended, but they stayed prisoners for 15 years! More than 20 million people were killed during these years, 14.5 million of whom were starved to death. The book is brilliant, and I was enveloped in the story from the first page. I had the pleasure of meeting Ruta this week, where she talked about her research and the story of her own family that led her to write the book. This too will be a future Bets On pick.

This week we have some excellent reader comments from the winners of our contest for Liz Murray's BREAKING NIGHT: A Memoir of Forgiveness, Survival, and My Journey from Homeless to Harvard that you can read here.

Oh and for total humor…just after I hit send on the newsletter last week, Cory wandered into my office and told me he was going to a Halloween party and that he had a costume. Next thing I knew, he had on shorts, a turtleneck and sandals to create the character Aang from Avatar, and his body was painted in highlighter in a blue-green color (which I immediately hoped was not PERMANENT!). He also went trick-or-treating. Which shows that, with kids, you just never know!

Have a great week…spend that extra hour well. How many words can YOU read in an hour?

Carol Fitzgerald ([email protected])

Click here to sign up for's Holiday Cheer Featured Book and Contest Alerts.

Now in Stores: MOONLIGHT MILE by Dennis Lehane

MOONLIGHT MILE by Dennis Lehane (Thriller)
Amanda McCready was four years old when she vanished from her Boston neighborhood, and when Patrick Kenzie and Angela Gennaro found her, they returned her to a broken home. Now Amanda is 16 --- and gone again. Haunted by their consciences, Kenzie and Gennaro immerse themselves in a world of drugs, thieves and Russian gangsters to try to find her. But the sins of yesterday don’t stay buried, and the crimes of today could end their lives.
Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

-Click here to watch Dennis Lehane talk about MOONLIGHT MILE.


Click here to read a review of MOONLIGHT MILE.

Now in Stores: INDULGENCE IN DEATH by J.D. Robb

INDULGENCE IN DEATH by J.D. Robb (Futuristic Thriller)
A limo driver was shot with a crossbow. Then a high-priced escort was stabbed with a bayonet. Random hits, thrill kills and murderers with a taste for the finer things in life are making NYPSD Lieutenant Eve Dallas angry. And an angry Eve can be just as deadly as an efficient killer…especially when her investigation leads her into the rarefied circles her husband travels in --- and into the perverted heart of madness. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

-Click here to read an excerpt from INDULGENCE IN DEATH.

Click here to read a review of INDULGENCE IN DEATH.

An Interview with Jeffery Deaver, Author of EDGE

Bestselling author Jeffery Deaver is back with his latest spine-tingling thriller, EDGE, which follows a senior federal protection officer as he tries to protect a Washington, D.C. police detective and his family from a ruthless “lifter” --- and find out why he has been ordered to extract information from them in the first place. In this interview, Deaver gives readers the scoop on his most recent novel, elaborating on why he chose D.C. as a setting and how the book compares to some of his other titles. He also reflects on the differences between writing stand-alones and series (and explains why he tends to stick to the latter), talks about his love of surprise endings, and sheds light on his plans for the future --- which includes the highly anticipated release of a novel about James Bond.

EDGE by Jeffery Deaver (Thriller)
Shock ripples through Washington, D.C.’s secret agency when police detective Ryan Kessler becomes the target of a ruthless “lifter” --- someone who obtains information by any means necessary. Now a protection officer called Corte must try to save him --- and find out why Henry Loving is after Kessler in the first place. But for Corte, this assignment is more than a job --- it’s a matter of revenge: a choice between protecting his charges and exacting vengeance. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

-Click here to read a review of EDGE.
-Click here to read an excerpt from EDGE.


Click here to read an interview with Jeffery Deaver.

Now in Stores: MY READING LIFE by Pat Conroy

MY READING LIFE by Pat Conroy (Memoir)
Pat Conroy isn’t just a beloved storyteller: He’s also a voracious reader. But for him, reading isn’t a pastime or a source of inspiration --- it’s something that’s saved his sanity, if not his life. In MY READING LIFE, Conroy revisits a life of passionate reading, including everything from anecdotes about his school days to accounts of darker times --- and even lists of the books that have helped him through his life. Reviewed by Barbara Bamberger Scott.

-Click here to read an excerpt from MY READING LIFE.
-Click here to see the reading group guide for MY READING LIFE.


Click here to read a review of MY READING LIFE.

Now in Stores: ATLANTIC by Simon Winchester

ATLANTIC: Great Sea Battles, Heroic Discoveries, Titanic Storms, and a Vast Ocean of a Million Stories by Simon Winchester (History)
Until 1,000 years ago, humans never ventured into the Atlantic Ocean. But once the first daring mariners navigated to far shores, the Atlantic evolved in the world’s growing consciousness of itself, linking the Americas in the West to Europe and Africa in the East. ATLANTIC is its biography --- an awe-inspiring and epic narrative spanning everything from earth’s geological origins to the pollutants of the present day. Reviewed by Ray Palen.

Click here to read a review of ATLANTIC.

Featured Romantic Suspense Author: Kylie Brant, Author of DEADLY INTENT

Kylie Brant returns with DEADLY INTENT, the fourth installment in her Mindhunters series, in which forensic linguist Macy Reid searches for the kidnapped daughter of a Denver tycoon. However, Macy must first confront her own demons with help from an unlikely source.

-Click here to read a review of DEADLY INTENT.
-Click here to read a second excerpt from DEADLY INTENT.
-Click here to read Kylie Brant’s bio.
-Click here to see Kylie Brant’s backlist.
-Click here to read critical praise for DEADLY INTENT and the Mindhunters series.
-Click here to see our finished copy winners.

No one knows the patterns and nuances of communication like forensic linguist Macy Reid. She is also an expert on kidnapping, having experienced firsthand the stark terror of being abducted when she was a child. So she is the perfect investigator to be called in when a Denver tycoon's 11-year-old daughter is abducted --- for the second time. The biggest stumbling block for Macy may be a member of her own team: Kellan Burke, the wisecracking, rule-breaking investigator who relishes getting under Macy's skin. Their styles couldn't be more different; the attraction between them, more explosive. And when it becomes apparent that Macy can't solve this case without confronting the demons from her past, Kell is just the man to take her there --- and back.

Click here to read more about Kylie Brant and DEADLY INTENT.

Featured Debut Suspense/Thriller Author: Rick Reed, Author of THE CRUELEST CUT

Before committing to writing full-time, author Rick Reed was a police detective who once tracked and apprehended one of the Midwest's most notorious killers. This experience gives THE CRUELEST CUT, his first novel, a jolt of realism.font>

-Click here to read a third excerpt from THE CRUELEST CUT.
-Click here to read Rick Reed’s bio.
-Click here to see Rick Reed’s backlist.
-Click here to read critical praise for THE CRUELEST CUT.

-Visit Rick Reed’s official website,
-Click here to see our finished copy winners.

When a killer plays mind games with a cop, there are no rules.

The first victim is attacked in her home. Tied to her bed. Forced to watch every unspeakable act of cruelty --- but unable to scream. The second murder is even more twisted. Signed, sealed and delivered with a message for the police, stuffed in the victim’s throat. A fractured nursery rhyme that ends with a warning: “There will be more.” For detective Jack Murphy, it’s more than a threat. It’s a personal invitation to play. And no one plays rougher than Jack. Especially when the killer’s pawns are the people he loves…


Click here to read more about Rick Reed and THE CRUELEST CUT.

November’s New in Paperback Roundup

November’s roundup of New in Paperback titles includes U IS FOR UNDERTOW, the continuation of Sue Grafton’s Kinsey Millhone series, which follows the private eye as she tries to solve the 16-year-old case of a missing girl with the aid of a man’s repressed childhood memory; RAINWATER, Sandra Brown’s moving story of a young woman’s struggle to survive the ravages of the Dust Bowl and the Great Depression; HOUSE RULES by Jodi Picoult, the troubling tale of a boy with Asperger’s syndrome --- and the unique ability to understand forensic analysis --- who suddenly is accused of murder; BRAVA, VALENTINE, Adriana Trigiani’s sequel to VERY VALENTINE, which finds her heroine traveling the world in pursuit of a once-in-a-lifetime business venture, only to discover a long-buried family secret; TRIPLE CROSS by Mark T. Sullivan, in which a former U.S. special agent tries to save his children from the clutches of a heavily armed paramilitary force that has taken them hostage at an isolated resort for the elite; and THE WAR by Geoffrey C. Ward and Ken Burns, a compelling, photo-enriched account of 40 individuals whose lives were touched --- and irrevocably changed --- by World War II.

Click here to see our New in Paperback feature for November.

Books into Movies/Books into Movies on DVD for November

If last month’s stellar lineup of book-based blockbusters left you longing for more, then you’re in luck. November promises more big hits inspired by even bigger bestsellers, and’s Books into Movies roundup is spotlighting five must-see movies that you definitely won’t want to miss.

A suspenseful adaptation of an ex-undercover agent’s autobiography, Fair Game promises to keep theater-goers on their toes. For those of you with willful youngsters, there’s Tangled, Disney’s 3-D take on “Rapunzel,” the beloved fairy tale by the Brothers Grimm. And let’s not forget The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest, the third and final adaptation of Stieg Larsson’s Millennium trilogy, and Love & Other Drugs, a comedic exposé of pharmaceutical big-shots derived from the real-life experiences of one-time Pfizer rep Jamie Reidy.

The real story of the month, though, is Harry Potter, who is returning to the big screens once again in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1, the first of two full-length features based on the seventh installment of J.K. Rowling’s spellbinding series. By splitting the final film into two, Warner Brothers is hoping to give fans more of what they want…and keep them hanging by a thread until the release of the much-anticipated finale.

But if throngs of costumed Harry Potter lovers are keeping you at home, then you can always take a look at our Books into Movies on DVD feature. This month, we’re spotlighting Charlie St. Cloud, the romantic drama starring Zac Efron that swept both film fans and booklovers off their feet in July.

Click here for more details about November’s films.

Now in Stores: REBEL by Zoe Archer

REBEL: The Blades of the Rose by Zoe Archer (Historical Romance/Fantasy)
Nathan Lesperance is used to being different. He's the first Native attorney in Vancouver, and welcome neither with white society nor his sometime tribe. Not to mention the powerful wildness he's always felt inside him, too dangerous to set free. Then he met Astrid Bramfield and saw his like within her piercing eyes. Now, unless she helps him through the harsh terrain and the harsher unknowns of his true abilities, it could very well get him killed...


Click here to read more about REBEL.

Miami Book Fair International: November 14-21, 2010
Miami Book Fair International
November 14-21, 2010 - Street Fair: November 19-21
Wolfson Campus, Miami Dade College

Street Fair
November 19-21
$8.00 admission Saturday and Sunday
$5.00 Seniors
18 & under FREE

Enjoy the 27th edition of the nation’s finest and largest literary gathering presented by the Florida Center for the Literary Arts at Miami Dade College. Renowned authors such as Carlos Fuentes, Walter Mosley, Pat Conroy, Nora Ephron and hundreds more, plus 200 exhibitors from around the country and plenty of activities for the kids.

For more information, visit or call (305) 237-3258.

This Week’s Reviews

THE LAST BOY: Mickey Mantle and the End of America's Childhood by Jane Leavy (Biography)
Meticulously reported and elegantly written, THE LAST BOY is a baseball tapestry that weaves together episodes from Jane Leavy’s weekend with The Mick after he was banned from baseball, with reminiscences about the boy from Commerce, Oklahoma: a boy who would lead the Yankees to seven world championships, become a three-time American League MVP, win the Triple Crown, and duel his teammate for the home run title --- the same boy who would never grow up. Reviewed by Ron Kaplan.

THE MAN WHO INVENTED THE COMPUTER: The Biography of John Atanasoff, Digital Pioneer by Jane Smiley (Biography)
In her biography of physicist John Vincent Atanasoff, Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Jane Smiley tells the story of the dawn of the computer age and argues for some long overdue recognition of this brilliant scientist’s contribution to that technology’s birth. Reviewed by Harvey Freedenberg.

TO THE END OF THE LAND by David Grossman (Fiction)
A distraught middle-aged mother, wishing to escape "notifiers" bringing ill news from the war front, departs with her lover on a soothing backpacking trek across the Galilee. Over a number of weeks, the Jewish couple covers the countryside of Israel on foot, meeting strangers while the woman tells stories about the POW's son. Reviewed by Melanie Smith.

-Click here to see the reading group guide for TO THE END OF THE LAND.

UP FROM THE BLUE by Susan Henderson (Fiction)
As Tillie Harris goes into labor, alone and terrified, she reaches out to a most unlikely source of comfort --- her long estranged father. In so doing, she unleashes the horrific and sorrowful memories of her childhood starting with the year her mother disappeared. Reviewed by Terry Miller Shannon.

-Click here to read more about UP FROM THE BLUE in our Bets On feature.

BRYANT & MAY OFF THE RAILS: A Peculiar Crimes Unit Mystery by Christopher Fowler (Mystery)
The Peculiar Crimes Unit knows only this: a man named Mr. Fox got out of a locked room and killed one of their best and brightest, and
now he has struck again. But as Arthur Bryant and John May’s search takes them into London’s tunnels, they discover what really lies at the heart of the Tube --- along with the madness that’s driving their man to murder. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

RUSSIAN WINTER by Daphne Kalotay (Fiction)
A woman's memories take her back to a hostile Bolshevik-era Russia before the existence of the Soviet Union. Nina Revskaya grew up in Russia as a dancer when Lenin's Red Army fought the White Army and all citizens were suspected of being counter-revolutionaries. Through this bitter winter, a renowned ballet dancer falls in love, and the events that follow lead to her defection and desertion of her past. Reviewed by Melanie Smith.

-Click here to see the reading group guide for RUSSIAN WINTER.

THINK OF A NUMBER by John Verdon (Thriller)
Over a period of weeks, taunting letters arrive in the mail ending with a simple sentence:
“Think of any number…picture it…now see how well I know your secrets.” And those who comply realize the writer predicts their random choice. For ex-NYPD homicide investigator Dave Gurney, what begins as a diverting puzzle soon escalates into a massive serial murder investigation. And it seems that he’s finally met an adversary who can’t be stopped. Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub.

Click here to read this week's reviews.

Poll and Question of the Week: Books and Authors to Anticipate


Which of the following books just out or coming out soon are you most looking forward to reading? Please check as many as apply.

THE CONFESSION by John Grisham
DON’T SING AT THE TABLE: Life Lessons from My Grandmothers, by Adriana Trigiani
EDGE by Jeffery Deaver

FULL DARK, NO STARS by Stephen King
HELL’S CORNER by David Baldacci
MOONLIGHT MILE by Dennis Lehane
MY NEST ISN'T EMPTY, IT JUST HAS MORE CLOSET SPACE: The Amazing Adventures of an Ordinary Woman, by Lisa Scottoline and Francesca Scottoline Serritella
RESCUE by Anita Shreve
THE REVERSAL by Michael Connelly
WORTH DYING FOR: A Reacher Novel, by Lee Child
None of the above

-Click here to answer our poll.


Which author(s) would you most like to see a new book from? We know you cannot pick just one, so you can name up to five!

-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 DON'T SING AT THE TABLE: Life Lessons from My Grandmothers by Adriana Trigiani, FULL DARK, NO STARS by Stephen King and LIPSTICK IN AFGHANISTAN by Roberta Gately. Tell us what you are reading and rate the titles 1-5 by noon ET on Friday, November 19th 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 November 30, 2010 automatically are entered in our Monthly Newsletter Contest. This month, one winner will be selected to win the following five books: THE EMPEROR'S TOMB by Steve Berry, FULL DARK, NO STARS by Stephen King, HELL'S CORNER by David Baldacci, INDULGENCE IN DEATH by J.D. Robb, and MOONLIGHT MILE by Dennis Lehane. Patricia from Lakebay, WA was last month's winner. She won AMERICAN ASSASSIN by Vince Flynn, THE BRAVE by Nicholas Evans, CHASING THE NIGHT by Iris Johansen, OUR KIND OF TRAITOR by John le Carre, and WORTH DYING FOR: A Reacher Novel by Lee Child.

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

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