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September 2004 Newsletter September 2004
This Month on
September: Time to Hit the Books --- With Your Reading Group
Special Feature and Contest: ALL THAT MATTERS by Jan Goldstein
Go Behind the Pages with P.S.™
SWEET AND VICIOUS by David Schickler
For Christian Readers --- And Others Too!
Invite the Author to Your Group's Meeting
Book Club Interviews
This Month's Poll
Newest Guides
This Month's Contest: Win THE WAY THE CROW FLIES by Ann-Marie MacDonald
Find a Guide by Title
Find a Guide by Author
Advice and Ideas
See Upcoming Guides
Read the guide for SAVANNAH BLUES here. Read the guide for LITTLE BITTY LIES here. Click here to read the guide for HISSY FIT.
September: Time to Hit the Books --- With Your Reading Group
I kicked the sand from between my toes and buckled back down to work this week. I love summer and hate so much to see it end. While all the seasons are the same length, it seems that summer is MUCH shorter than winter. Do any of you feel the same way?

Our Special Contest this month is for ALL THAT MATTERS by Jan Goldstein. The prize: Three groups will be awarded up to 20 copies of the book. To enter we are asking that you write at least 15 words about the excerpt that we are sharing. It can be feedback about it, or why you think from reading this your group would want to read this book, or something else you might like to share. See details below.

We also are bringing you information about a new line of books from HarperPerennial called P.S. Each title includes 16 extra pages of information that gives readers a "behind-the-book" look at both the author and the book. For those of you who always are looking for more information to supplement your discussions, these titles are perfect for you. Would love to hear from you if you read these books and use them with your groups!

Many readers have written asking us to suggest books that are FUN to read. They are looking for books that are not that "heavy" to intersperse into their schedules. One of our favorite authors who wraps great writing with humor is Mary Kay Andrews. Her books, SAVANNAH BLUES, LITTLE BITTY LIES and her latest, which is just out, New York Times Bestseller HISSY FIT, have characters that will make you laugh, but also get you talking. Mary Kay herself is the member of two book clubs. You can read more about her at And she'd love to hear what you have to say about her books, so if your group reads them, drop her a line at [email protected].

I am VERY pleased to tell you that more than 1,015 groups have registered with If you have been away this summer, or have not yet registered your group, please see the link above the poll in this newsletter that will direct you to our registration page. You can help us by sharing info about registering groups with your friends who are in book clubs, your local bookseller and your local library. We appreciate your help. Note: once a group is registered, there is no need to register again. For those of you who would like more details see the link below.

Also, this month we add guides for THE CURIOUS INCIDENT OF THE DOG IN THE NIGHT-TIME by Mark Haddon and MY SISTER'S KEEPER by Jodi Picoult. Both have been oft-requested guides and we are happy to share them with you. We also have a guide for a book that is just out called OUTSIDE VALENTINE that I just read. It's written by Liza Ward, who is the granddaughter of two of Charlie Starkweather's victims. She writes her novel in three voices --- Caril Fugate, the victims' son and a girl who lives in the town where some of the murders took place. I confess to a serious interest in the minds of serial killers and the lives that they affect, so this one really captivated me. While Starkweather and Fugate have been the subject of many books and films, the story here is very unique, especially given the author's perspective. The guide with what I think is the most provocative title this month --- THE HAZARDS OF SLEEPING ALONE by Elise Juska.

We have added a list to --- The Most Borrowed Books from Libraries, which is being compiled twice a month by Library Journal.

Here's wishing you a September book club discussion that is lively --- with no one dominating and everyone having read the book. Seriously!

Carol Fitzgerald ([email protected])

Special Feature and Contest: ALL THAT MATTERS by Jan Goldstein
Twenty-three year old Jennifer Stempler has nothing left to lose: the love of her life dumped her, her mother died in a senseless car accident five years ago, and her father seems to have forsaken for his new family. But when she decides to make an attempt on her own life, her depression proves no match for her Nana's determination.

The feisty and irrepressible Gabby Zuckerman refuses to let her granddaughter self-destruct and is determined to teach her how to trust and hope again. But Gabby has a secret of her own--one that reveals a heartbreaking truth that will challenge Jennifer to provide the only gift she has left to give.

CONTEST: Read an excerpt of Jan Goldstein's heartwarming debut, All That Matters, and submit your feedback about it (at least 15 words) to [email protected] by September 30, 2004 for a chance to win up to twenty free copies for your book club. Three sets of prizes will be awarded.
Read more about ALL THAT MATTERS and our contest here.
Go Behind the Pages with P.S.™
Just as DVDs include outtakes and behind-the-scenes footage in feature film releases, P.S. from HarperPerennial will go beyond the hardcover printing to give paperback readers an additional 16-page section, offering a behind-the-pages look at both the author and the book. Each P.S. section will feature interviews and insights into the making of the book, recommendations for further reading, related online resources, and more. P.S. titles are a great way to deepen your book club discussion! Enter today for your chance to win copies of one of the inaugural P.S. titles for you and your book group.

Titles include The Way the Crow Flies by Ann-Marie MacDonald, Four Spirits by Sena Jeter Naslund, Quicksilver by Neal Stephenson, and more.
Go Behind The Pages with P.S. by clicking here.
SWEET AND VICIOUS by David Schickler
Sexy and willful, Grace McGlone is saving herself for the right man. When Henry Dante pulls into the small Wisconsin town where she works at the car wash, she instantly knows he's the one. He knows it too. But when Grace discovers Henry has "The Planets" --- a stolen set of famous Spanish diamonds --- stashed in the back seat of his truck, she's having none of it.

Passionate, criminal, comical, and possessing all the dark enchantment of a fairy tale, Sweet and Vicious is a modern love story shot straight from the heart of David Schickler's miraculous imagination.
Read the guide for SWEET AND VICIOUS here.
Read the Dearest Dorothy series reading guides here. Browse through the Mitford series reading guides here.
For Christian Readers --- And Others Too!
The Dearest Dorothy Series by Charlene Ann Baumbich
For the legions of readers who enjoy books that celebrate life's simple pleasures, eighty-seven-year-old Dorothy Jean Wetstra and her beloved farming town of Partonville, Illinois, will become instant favorites. In this hilarious, touching series, Charlene Ann Baumbich introduces readers to Dearest Dorothy, who tools around town in a 1976 Lincoln Continental nicknamed "The Tank," plays bunco regularly with her pals, and grabs a stool at Harry's counter often enough to stay on top of the latest-breaking news-which she is often creating.

The Mitford Years Series by Jan Karon
Come away to Mitford, the small town that takes care of its own. Nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Mitford is a crazy quilt of saints and sinners --- lovable eccentrics all. Seen through the eyes of Father Tim, the long-suffering Village Rector, Mitford abounds in both mysteries and miracles, compelling readers to return again and again to this beloved series.

In the tradition of James Herriot, Bailey White, and Garrison Keillor, author Jan Karon brilliantly captures the foibles and delights of a hilarious cast of characters.
Read guides for Christian titles here.
Invite the Author to Your Group's Meeting
Invite the author to your next book group meeting!
This Fall, 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.

September Authors -- Entries must be received by September 23, 2004:

Christopher Moore will discuss Fluke: Or I Know Why the Winged Whale Sings.

Lewis DeSoto will discuss A Blade of Grass. (This is a P.S. title, with an additional 16-page section, offering a behind-the-pages look at both the author and the book.)

Nell Freudenberger will discuss Lucky Girls: Stories.

November Authors -- Entries must be received by October 21, 2004:

Sena Jeter Naslund will discuss Four Spirits. (This is a P.S. title, with an additional 16-page section, offering a behind-the-pages look at both the author and the book.)

Susan Choi will discuss American Woman.

Edmund White will discuss Fanny: A Fiction.
Sign up now at for your chance to talk with one of these authors!
Book Club Interviews
This month we bring you the following book club interviews:

Kathy Roberts of "R.E.A.D." from Mokena, IL

Dr. Sandra Spencer of "The Bluestockings Book Club"
from Denton, TX

Lindsay Waddell of "The BF Book Club" from Atlanta, GA

Pamela Lockman of "Wild Women Who Read (WWWR)" from
Winnipeg, MB

Caren E. Glickson, Ph.D of "Southern Connecticut Wellesley Book Club" from Stamford, CT
Read our Book Club interviews here.
Read how to Register Your Group here. Click here to browse Library Journal's Most Borrowed Books list. Click here to browse our Book Awards feature.
This Month's Poll
We are planning to add message boards to before the end of the year. What would you like to see as topics on these boards? Please check as many as apply:

What Other Groups are Reading
Best Books for Discussion
Tips for Leading a Discussion
Using/Finding a Book Club Facilitator
How to Handle Sticky Book Club Situations
Place to Post Groups That Are Looking for Members
Online book group discussions on around a specific title that are facilitated on message boards

Are there any other topics that you would like to see?

Yes (Please specify)
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
Acqua Alta by Donna Leon
All That Matters by Jan Goldstein
The Cloud Atlas by Liam Callanan
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon
The Dearest Dorothy Series by Charlene Ann Baumbich
Every Inch of Her by Peter Sheridan
Fire Along the Sky by Sara Donati
Fluke by Christopher Moore
The Fortress of Solitude by Jonathan Lethem
The Hazards of Sleeping Alone by Elise Juska
Her Husband by Diane Middlebrook
Hissy Fit by Mary Kay Andrews
How to Be Lost by Amanda Eyre Ward
Iokaste by Victoria Grossack & Alice Underwood
Lamb by Christopher Moore
Lunch at the Picadilly by Clyde Edgerton
The Mitford Years Series by Jan Karon
My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult
No Horizon Is So Far by Liv Arnesen and Ann Bancroft
Outside Valentine by Liza Ward
Purple Hibiscus by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
The Romanov Prophecy by Steve Berry
She Is Me by Cathleen Schine
Skels by Maggie Dubri
The Sleeping Father by Matthew Sharpe
Sweet and Vicious by David Schickler
When the Finch Rises by Jack Riggs
You Remind Me of Me by Dan Chaon
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 WAY THE CROW FLIES by Ann-Marie MacDonald
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 WAY THE CROW FLIES by Ann-Marie MacDonald for his or her entire reading group.

Here is a description of the book:

For Madeline McCarthy, high-spirited and eight years old, her family's posting to a quiet air force base near the Canadian-American border is at first welcome, secure as she is in the love of her beautiful mother, and unaware that her father, Jack, is caught up in his own web of secrets. The base is host to some intriguing inhabitants, including the unconventional Froehlich family, and the odd Mr. March whose power over the children is a secret burden that they carry.

Soon after the McCarthy's move tragedy strikes, and a very local murder intersects with global forces, binding the participants for life. As the tension builds, Jack must decide where his loyalties lie, and Madeleine learns about the ambiguity of human morality -- a lesson she will only begin to understand when she carries her quest for the truth, and the killer, into adulthood twenty years later.
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.

Don't forget to visit our other websites from,,,,, and

Carol Fitzgerald ([email protected])

The Book Report Network
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