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June 2005 Newsletter

June 2005

This Month on

Summer Reading

Special Feature and Contest: HOLY FOOLS

Special Feature and Contest: ROCOCO by Adriana Trigiani

A GOOD YARN by Debbie Macomber


He Said. . . She Said --- Join This Very Special Invite the Author Discussion for the Whole Story!

THE SUMMER GUEST by Justin Cronin


Christian Fiction: LEVI'S WILL by W. Dale Cramer

For Registered Readers: Michele Martinez, Author of MOST WANTED

Book Club Interviews

This Month's Poll: Traveling With Your Book Club

Newest Guides

Contest Winners
This Month's Contest: THE SUMMER GUEST by Justin Cronin
Find a Guide by Title
Find a Guide by Author
Advice and Ideas
Register Your Group

Summer Reading


Our lineup this month includes book from authors who are book club favorites, namely Adriana Trigiani and Joanne Harris. One of my favorite books from last summer, The Summer Guest by Justin Cronin, is now out in paperback and it's our newsletter contest giveaway book this month. We have added a guide for a book called Sarah by Marek Halter that is getting buzz as a title similar in feeling to The Red Tent. Trust that I only am touching on a very few titles here; there's lots more this month so keep reading.
Chatter this week has been all about Oprah selecting three Faulkner titles for her latest book club selection. We confess that these are not our favorite choices. In fact, my business partner, Jesse Kornbluth, wrote a terrific column about this, which you can read here

Do you know a teen who belongs to a book club? We have something that you will want to get on their radar. Random House has a teen book club program called Readers Circle and they want to know more about teen reading groups. For sharing this info, there are some very cool prizes that they are giving away --- namely a full set of Readers Circle books, a pizza party and a photo of the winning group on the Readers Circle website.  Click on the logo above for more information, and may we suggest that you forward this to a teen that you know?
Summer means it's time for beach reads. We wanted to be sure you know about the Summer Beach Bag of Books feature. Visit every week through August 19th to see a different featured title and a new contest prize --- a beach bag stocked with that book, plus summertime essentials that tie in to its theme. We are having a lot of fun with this contest.

Many of you have told us that you are reading THE KITE RUNNER. In fact, it's been the top-read guide for the past few months. We're wondering what your group thought of this book. Want to weigh in? Write Shannon McKenna at [email protected]. We'll run your replies next month.
Shannon is going to be working closely with me on She has been writing the book club column for Pages magazine with me for the past few months. In the June/July issue our column includes great summer reading selections and news about a DVD that Barbara Delinsky created for book clubs. Be sure to pick up a copy, or may we suggest that you subscribe

Our poll question is all about traveling with your book club. Whether across your town or across the world, we want to know what your do. Read on for more details.
Here's wishing you a terrific June. We hope that we have shared some great selections for your club to enjoy.
Carol Fitzgerald (
[email protected])


Click here to read our Summer Beach Bag of Books feature.

Special Feature and Contest: HOLY FOOLS

Joanne Harris, bestselling author of Chocolat and Five Quarters of the Orange, presents Holy Fools -- an intoxicating concoction that blends theology and reason, deception and masquerade, with a dash of whimsical humor and a soupçon of sensuality. The Oakland Tribune calls Holy Fools "a page-turner with an irresistible plot, unforgettable characters and believable settings." Elle Magazine says Holy Fools is "a fanciful soufflé of sex and intrigue in seventeenth-century France."  This new edition includes a "P.S." section -- 16 pages of extra back-of-the-book material that offers a behind-the-pages look at the author, insights into the writing of the novel, useful suggestions for further reading, and more. Enter today for your chance to win a copy of Holy Fools!

Read more about Joanne Harris and see the guide for Holy Fools here.


Special Feature and Contest: ROCOCO by Adriana Trigiani

Adriana Trigiani's new book Rococo will be in stores on June 21st. It's the uproarious tale of a small Italian American town poised for a makeover it never expected.
Brilliantly funny and as fanciful as flocked wallpaper, filled with glamorous locales from New Jersey to Europe, from Sunday Mass to the American Society of Interior Designers soirée at the Plaza Hotel, Rococo is Trigiani's masterpiece, a classic comedy with a heart of gold leaf.
Enter to win a limited edition CD and listen to an exclusive Q&A with Adriana Trigiani. In her new novel Rococo, Adriana takes on home decorating, lust, love, and complicated family dynamics. Learn about the inspiration behind the book, plus hear Adriana read a special excerpt from the book. Requests must be received by June 30, 2005. Winners will be chosen on a first-come first-serve basis.

Read the guide for Rococo here.


A GOOD YARN by Debbie Macomber

You might have heard about a wonderful little yarn store in downtown Seattle. Debbie Macomber can take you there! Thousands of women discovered it when they read her bestselling novel The Shop on Blossom Street. Whether this is a return visit or your very first, you'll find that A Good Yarn is a place of welcome and warmth. A place where women feel at home. Where they're among friends, old and new.


Click here to read the guide for A Good Yarn.



As girls growing up in Clare Valley, Australia, Anna, Bett, and Carrie Quinlan were childhood singing stars known as The Alphabet Sisters. The unbridled enthusiasm of their flamboyant grandmother Lola was the glue that held them together. As adults, though, the women haven't spoken in years -- ever since Bett's fiancé deserted her to marry the younger Carrie. Now Lola is turning eighty and she is determined to reunite the girls for a blowout bash. And no one ever says no to Lola.

Layering the lighthearted antics of small-town life with a heartbreaking story of loyalty lost and found, The Alphabet Sisters is an unforgettable story of two generations of women who learn that being true to themselves means being true to one another.

Read the guide for The Alphabet Sisters here.


He Said. . . She Said --- Join This Very Special Invite the Author Discussion for the Whole Story!

You love discussing books with your reading group . . . imagine the excitement of being able to discuss the book with its author! HarperCollins Publishers encourages reading groups to Invite the Author to their next book discussion.

Get both sides of the story in this very special Invite the Author discussion! Joining Cathi Hanauer, editor of the New York Times bestseller, The Bitch in the House is her husband, Daniel Jones, the editor of The Bastard on the Couch!

Click here for more information.

Click here for The Bitch in the House Guide.

THE SUMMER GUEST by Justin Cronin

Winner of the PEN/Hemingway Award for his radiant novel in stories, Mary and O'Neil, Justin Cronin has already been hailed as a writer of astonishing gifts. Now Cronin's new novel, The Summer Guest, fulfills that promise --- and more. With a rare combination of emotional insight, narrative power, and lyrical grace, Cronin transforms the simple story of a dying man's last wish into a rich tapestry of family love.

Stories unfold, secrets are revealed, courage is tested, and the bonds of love are strengthened. And always center stage is the place itself --- a magical, forgotten corner of New England where the longings of the human heart are mirrored in the wild beauty of the landscape.

Intimate, powerful, and profound, The Summer Guest reveals Justin Cronin as a storyteller of unique and marvelous talent. It is a book to treasure.


Read more about The Summer Guest 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.


From Elizabeth McGregor comes an unforgettably moving, richly layered novel with a timeless love story at its core. Beautiful, suspenseful, hauntingly erotic, A Road Through the Mountains tells of one woman's extraordinary journey to a new life with the help of the man she thought she'd lost long ago --- a journey that will take hold of your heart.

Lyric, tender, as fragile and enduring as love itself, A Road Through the Mountains draws upon its author's personal experiences and establishes Elizabeth McGregor as a major storyteller.

Read the guide to A Road Through the Mountains 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.

Christian Fiction: LEVI'S WILL by W. Dale Cramer

Dusk. A barn lot on an Amish farm in Ohio. Will's father doesn't recognize him at first-it's been eight years-so he holds a match up to Will's face to see him better. "I thought you were dead," Levi Mullet says flatly, then blows out the match and walks away. No hug. No party. This is not how it's supposed to be. Where's the fatted calf, the celebration?

Living in the Deep South, Will has raised a family of his own. But the heart of a prodigal is never far from home. For years he's worked-the only ethic Will understands-to overcome the unrelenting judgmentalism, the ban, of his father and the Old Order Amish, while a festering resentment takes its toll on his wife and children. Only when the life of Will's youngest son hangs in the balance does he begin to understand the truth-that love is the proof of God, and forgiveness is the proof of love.

Levi's Will is the haunting story of a fallen man seeking to reconcile the best of the old world with the lessons of the new, in the process building a bridge across three generations.

Click here to read the guide for Levi's Will.


For Registered Readers: Michele Martinez, Author of MOST WANTED

Michele Martinez, author of Most Wanted, will discuss her book with ten groups via phone chats and give away 12 free signed copies of her book to each the groups selected for this discussion.
Groups must be registered by June 15th to participate in the discussion and receive the free books.
Even if your group is not one of those selected, for a limited time Michele will personally appear by telephone at your book club or reading group meeting -- at no cost to you. Michele will even pay for the call. What could be easier? All you need is a group who's read Most Wanted and a phone with a speakerphone on it! Contact Michele by clicking here and she'll be delighted to arrange it with you.

To register your reading group click here.


Book Club Interviews

This month we bring you the following book club interviews:

Martha Pepek of "The Happy Bookers" from Hooksett, NH

Kay Richard of "The Ladies of the Club" from Gardner, MA

Vivien Roman of "Boston Reads" from Boston, MA

Allyson Samiljan of  "Palm Readers" from Palm Beach, FL

Nigel Tattersfield of "The Gleaners" from England

Kevyna Gardner of "Balaklava Community Library Book Group" from New Zealand


Read our Book Club Interviews here.


This Month's Poll: Traveling With Your Book Club

Has your book club ever visited a location connected to a book that you were reading? Check as many as apply.

We visited a site in our town.
We went to another city.
We took a day trip.
We took a weekend trip.
We went abroad.
No, but we would consider it.
No, we would never do this.

We'd love to hear about your travel adventures tied into a book that your club has discussed --- whether you went crosstown or across the world! Write [email protected] with details. Your comments could be part of a future feature both on and in Pages magazine.

Answer our poll here.


Newest Guides

The Alphabet Sisters by Monica McInerney
Because I Said So by Kate Moses and
Camille Peri
The Big Love by Sarah Dunn
The Bitch in the House by Cathi Hanauer
Blues in the Night by Rochelle Krich
Broken Verses by Kamila Shamsie
China Boy by Gus Lee
Confessions of a Bigamist by Kate Lehrer
The Dog Walker by Leslie Schnur
A Factory of Cunning by Philippa Stockley
Gonzalez and Daughter Trucking Co. by Maria
Amparo Escandon
A Good Yarn by Debbie Macomber
The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova
Levi's Will by W. Dale Cramer
Lighthousekeeping by Jeanette Winterson
The Linnet Bird by Linda Holeman
The Man with No Skin by Órfhlaith Ni Chonaill
Most Wanted by Michele Martinez
My Life in Orange by Tim Guest
Natives and Exotics by Jane Alison
The Optimists by Andrew Miller
Raising Hope by Katie Willard
Rococo by Adriana Trigiani
Sarah by Marek Halter
The Shop on Blossom Street by Debbie
Sultan's Harem by Colin Falconer
Tattoo for a Slave by Hortense Calisher


Click here to read our newest guides.

Contest Winners

Our winner in the Diane Haeger THE RUBY RING contest was:

Kam from Boulder Junction, CO                          

This group wins 12 copies of THE RUBY RING by Diane Haeger


This Month's Contest: THE SUMMER GUEST by Justin Cronin

A subscription to our newsletter is all you need to be entered in our monthly contest

Click here to learn more about THE SUMMER GUEST.

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
250 W. 57th Street - Suite 1228
New York, New York 10107