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January 2004 Newsletter January 2004
This Month on
Happy Reading in 2004!
A Special Contest and An Offer for Your Group to Chat or e-Mail with Lisa Tucker, author of THE SONG READER
ALL HE EVER WANTED by Anita Shreve
Invite the Author!
Most Requested Guides
Book Club Interviews
This Month's Poll
Newest Guides
This Month's Contest: Win THE FIVE PEOPLE YOU MEET IN HEAVEN by Mitch Albom
Find a Guide by Title
Find a Guide by Author
Advice and Ideas
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Click here for information about how to have your book club featured. Read about this fall's books that have been made into movies. See lists of book award winners here.
Happy Reading in 2004!
Happy 2004! After the flurry of holiday madness, which I call "wrap, rip and indulge," we escaped for a weeklong vacation to the Outer Banks where I spent a lot of time reading. One afternoon we ventured out to a bookstore in Duck called Duck's Cottage where I met Jamie Layton, a bookseller. I mentioned that I loved to look at bookstores since I owned a company that had seven sites online that talked about books and authors. Before I could say more, she said, "My favorite site online is" You can well imagine the chat we had after that as we traded ideas and suggestions.

The next day I came back to mail from Ellen Engelking from the Harry W. Schwartz Bookshop in Milwaukee who told me that she uses to help the over 200 book clubs registered at that store to prepare for meetings.

Both of these encounters prompted this week's poll questions about whether you work with bookstores or libraries for input for your book club. We also want to hear if you have heard of any really good bookstore or library programs.

Many of you have requested a guide for THE FIVE PEOPLE YOU MEET IN HEAVEN. We're happy to bring that to you this month, and also share that this is the Contest book this month --- one club will win up to 20 copies of the book, just for being signed up for this newsletter. May we suggest that you forward this newsletter to other members of your group to increase your group's chances of winning?

Many of you have told us that you LOVE to talk to authors during your discussions. Read on for details on how Lisa Tucker, author of THE SONG READER will make herself available to groups these next two months --- and also about a special contest where you can win books for your group.

Also, HarperCollins has details about the authors available this winter as part of their Invite the Author program.

Lots to read this month. Happy Reading!

Carol Fitzgerald ([email protected])
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Read more about THE SONG READER here. Read more about Lisa Tucker here. Read an excerpt from SHOUT DOWN THE MOON here.
A Special Contest and An Offer for Your Group to Chat or e-Mail with Lisa Tucker, author of THE SONG READER
Chat or E-mail with Lisa Tucker, Author of THE SONG READER and Enter a Special Contest to win signed copies for your group. Many of you have told us that you would love the opportunity to chat with an author, either by e-mail or by phone. Lisa Tucker, author of the critically acclaimed book, THE SONG READER, is offering readers a chance to do just that between now and March 31st. She also is offering a contest where readers can win up to 12 signed copies of THE SONG READER for their group.

To be eligible send the answer to the following question, along with your name and your mailing address to be eligible to [email protected]. All entries must be received by 11:59PM on February 1, 2004.

On what two days during the week were people instructed to call Mary Beth and "leave a short message telling her the songs and the particularly important lines they had hummed for the last few days?"

The answer may be found by reading the excerpt located at:

Already read THE SONG READER with your group? Then take this opportunity to read an excerpt from SHOUT DOWN THE MOON, which will be in stores in April 2004. Click on the cover above for more details.
Read more about THE SONG READER, how your group can talk or e-mail Lisa Tucker and win copies for your group here.
From the author of the number one New York Times bestseller Tuesdays with Morrie comes this long-awaited follow-up, an enchanting, beautifully crafted novel that explores a mystery only heaven can unfold.

In The Five People You Meet in Heaven, Mitch Albom gives us an astoundingly original story that will change everything you've ever thought about the afterlife -- and the meaning of our lives here on earth. With a timeless tale, appealing to all, this is a book that readers of fine fiction, and those who loved Tuesdays with Morrie, will treasure.
Read a guide for THE FIVE PEOPLE YOU MEET IN HEAVEN by Mitch Albom here.
ALL HE EVER WANTED by Anita Shreve
"A marriage is always two intersecting stories." This realization comes perhaps too late to the husband of Etna Bliss - a man whose obsession with his young wife begins at the moment of their first meeting, as he helps Etna and her companions escape from a fire in a hotel restaurant, and culminates in a marriage doomed by secrets and betrayal. Written with the intelligence and grace that are hallmarks of Anita Shreve's bestselling novels, this gripping tale of desire, jealousy, and loss is peopled by unforgettable characters as real as the emotions that bring them together.
Read a guide for ALL HE EVER WANTED here.
Search here. See the Media Book Club Picks here. Search here.
Invite the Author!
Invite an author to your next book group meeting!

Throughout the Winter, these acclaimed authors are available to speak via telephone about their books with your book group. A limited number of groups will be selected to participate. Sign up now at for your chance to talk with one of these authors!

In February, Michael Perry will discuss Population: 485 -- Meeting Your Neighbors One Siren at a Time. Groups will be chosen at random from entries received by January 22, 2004.

In February, Jane McCafferty, award-winning author of One Heart, will discuss her new collection of short stories, Thank You for the Music. Groups will be chosen at random from entries received by January 22, 2004.

In March, Tom Franklin will discuss his novel, Hell at the Breech. Groups will be chosen at random from entries received by February 19, 2004.

In March, Adam Braver will discuss Mr. Lincoln's Wars: A Novel in Thirteen Stories. Groups will be chosen at random from entries received by February 19, 2004.
Read more about how to get your group involved in the Invite the Author program here.
Most Requested Guides
Click here to see a list of the most requested guides for December 2003.

What do you think was the number one request?
See the most requested guides for December 2003 here.
Book Club Interviews
This month we bring you the following book club interviews:

Alison Melville of "Women in Abu Dhabi" of United Arab Emirates

Susan Mullen of "Stages and Pages"of Portland, ME

Lidia Dormier of "The Novel 8" of Smithtown, NY

Steven Feyl of "The BiblioFeyls" of Pleasantville, NY
Read our Book Club interviews here.
This Month's Poll
Does your group work with a bookstore or library as a resource to guide you in making your selections?

We always use a bookstore.
We sometimes use a bookstore.
We always use our library.
We sometimes use our library.
Our group does not use a bookstore or a library for recommendations.

Can you share anything special that your local bookstore or library does for reading groups (even if you do not participate with them)?

Yes (Please Explain)

Answer our poll questions here.
Check out our Author Bibliographies here. Read about the titles that readers are talking about. Publishers and Authors add your guides to Details here.
Newest Guides
All He Ever Wanted by Anita Shreve
Any Human Heart by William Boyd
The Crazed by Ha Jin
The Five People You Meet In Heaven by Mitch Albom
Hell at the Breech by Tom Franklin
Holy Fools by Joanne Harris
Last Call by Laura Pedersen
The Mermaids Singing by Lisa Carey
The Miracles of Santo Fico by D. L. Smith
Population: 485 by Michael Perry
Resistance by Anita Shreve
A Thousand Acres by Jane Smiley
True Fires by Susan Carol McCarthy
When the Messenger Is Hot by Elizabeth Crane
See the Newest Guides here.
What To Do When No Guide is Available Search for thousands of book reviews and author interviews. Search lists of books coming out in the next few months.
This Month's Contest: Win THE FIVE PEOPLE YOU MEET IN HEAVEN by Mitch Albom
A subscription to our newsletter is all you need to be entered in our monthly contest. This month, one lucky reader will win enough copies of THE FIVE PEOPLE YOU MEET IN HEAVEN by Mitch Albom for his or her entire reading group.
Read contest details here.

Do you like what you see here, and want to forward it to a friend? Then click our link on the bottom of the page to do just that!

Happy reading. We'll see you next month.

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Carol Fitzgerald ([email protected])