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September 2005 Newsletter

September 2005

This Month on

Discussing Books in Many Venues Talks to Nancy Pearl, Author of BOOK LUST and MORE BOOK LUST


Just for Book Groups: A DVD Hosted by Barbara Delinsky


LEAVE ME ALONE, I'M READING by Maureen Corrigan

AFTER THE APPLE by Naomi Harris Rosenblatt

VITA by Melania G. Mazzucco

Books-To-Movies: Some Favorite Reading Group Titles Coming to a Theatre Near You

For Registered Book Clubs: This Month's Special Offer

Book Club Interviews

This Month's Poll: Keeping a Record

Newest Guides

Thinking Ahead: Here's a tip for October

This Month's Contest: THE PLOT AGAINST AMERICA by Philip Roth
Find a Guide by Title
Find a Guide by Author
Advice and Ideas
Register Your Group

Discussing Books in Many Venues

This newsletter is reaching you later than usual this month as the Labor Day holiday and a week of vacation slowed our world down. Nonetheless it, and the website this month, are filled with a number of features and discussion guides that will grab your attention.

I heard Nancy Pearl, author of MORE BOOK LUST, speak at the American Library Association Convention and I was so impressed with her that Shannon McKenna and I interviewed her. As Pearl is a former librarian and since this is National Library Card Month, I thought there was no better time to share this with you.

I read that many college campuses have their freshman class all reading the same book so they have something in common to talk about when they first meet. Here is a listing of some of the schools and the books that were assigned: THE CURIOUS INCIDENT OF THE DOG IN THE NIGHT-TIME (Seton Hall), THE KITE RUNNER (Duke) and THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN (University of Pennsylvania).

I love hearing novel ways for books to be promoted to readers. Here is my current favorite, which I read in the New York Times. The protagonist of Anita Shreve's forthcoming novel A WEDDING IN DECEMBER, which is in stores October 10th, is an innkeeper. Her publisher is shipping free copies to more than 100 inns and B&Bs, hoping readers will be drawn over the book while relaxing. Nice idea.

Our thoughts go out to our readers in the Gulf states affected by Hurricane Katrina. We know that many of those who have been left homeless by the storm are looking for reading material. We have pulled together a list of addresses of places that are looking for books with the thought that you might be interested in making donations. You can click on the graphic above to get to this page. Please share this with friends who might be interested. We learned this week that ironically the New Orleans Public Library's choice for its One Book, One New Orleans read this year was RISING TIDE: THE GREAT MISSISSIPPI FLOOD OF 1927 AND HOW IT CHANGED AMERICA by John M. Barry.

For those of you who want to vote for books nominated for the Quills Awards, the deadline is Thursday, September 15th. You can vote at your local Borders store or by clicking here.

Here's wishing you a good September. Treasure these last fleeting days of summer.

Carol Fitzgerald ([email protected])

Click here to register your reading group. Talks to Nancy Pearl, Author of BOOK LUST and MORE BOOK LUST

Carol Fitzgerald and Shannon McKenna interviewed Nancy Pearl, librarian and bestselling author of BOOK LUST and MORE BOOK LUST. Pearl discusses the inspiration behind these two titles and talks about the current state of literature and reading. She also shares her opinion on the elements that make a book a good reading group selection and dispenses useful tips on how to foster insightful book club discussions.
For more information on Nancy Pearl, including her latest book recommendations, log on to
To read more about MORE BOOK LUST click here.
To read more about BOOK LUST click here.

Click here to read our interview with Nancy Pearl, author of BOOK LUST and MORE BOOK LUST.



In an astonishing feat of empathy and narrative invention, our most ambitious novelist imagines an alternate version of American history. In 1940 Charles A. Lindbergh, heroic aviator and rabid isolationist, is elected President. Shortly thereafter, he negotiates a cordial "understanding" with Adolf Hitler, while the new government embarks on a program of folksy anti-Semitism. For one boy growing up in Newark, Lindbergh's election is the first in a series of ruptures that threaten to destroy his small, safe corner of America-and with it, his mother, his father, and his older brother.

Click here to read our guide for THE PLOT AGAINST AMERICA.


Just for Book Groups: A DVD Hosted by Barbara Delinsky

Barbara Delinsky, author of such book group favorites as LOOKING FOR PEYTON PLACETHE VINEYARD and THE SUMMER I DARED, is a longtime devotee of book groups. As a member of one for the last 18 years, she knows how much they look forward to one-on-one author discussions --- and how much personal information on the author can enhance the understanding of a book.
Because she only rarely can meet with groups face-to-face, Barbara has made a DVD, divided into short, 3- to 7-minute segments in which she tells groups about herself, about what it's like to be a writer, and about her books.

The segments are accessible from a menu, allowing you to watch as much or as little as you want, based on the running time for each segment and the time constraints of your group. You can spend three minutes at it, or 70 ---   your choice. 

Click here for details on how to get your complimentary copy.



A mesmerizing, allegorical, and beautifully wrought first novel about one boy's wonder with the sea during the summer that will change his life, and the lives around him.

One moonlit night, thirteen-year-old Miles O'Malley slips out of his house, packs up his kayak and goes exploring on the flats of Puget Sound. But what begins as an ordinary hunt for starfish, snails, and clams is soon transformed by an astonishing sight: a beached giant squid. As the first person to ever see a giant squid alive, the speed-reading Rachel Carson-obsessed insomniac instantly becomes a local curiosity. When he later finds a rare deepwater fish in the tidal waters by his home, and saves a dog from drowning, he is hailed as a prophet. The media hovers and everyone wants to hear what Miles has to say.

-Click here to read our interview with Jim Lynch on
-Click here to read critical praise for THE HIGHEST TIDE.
-Click here to read an excerpt from THE HIGHEST TIDE.

-Click here to read our review of THE HIGHEST TIDE.

Click here to read a guide for THE HIGHEST TIDE.


LEAVE ME ALONE, I'M READING by Maureen Corrigan

As book reviewer for NPR's Fresh Air and contributor to many publications, Maureen Corrigan literally reads for a living. For as long as she can remember, books have been at the center of her life, a never-failing source of astonishment, hard truths, new horizons, and welcome companionship. Now Corrigan has added a volume of her own to the shelf of classics, by reading her life of reading with all the attention to complexity, wit, and intelligence that any good book-or life-deserves.

Part memoir, part coming-of-age story, and part reflection on favorite and influential books, LEAVE ME ALONE, I'M READING views the world through an open book. From her unpretentious girlhood in the working-class neighborhood of Sunnyside, Queens, to her bemused years in an Ivy League Ph.D. program, from the whirl of falling in love and marrying (a fellow bookworm, of course), to the ordeal of adopting a baby overseas, Corrigan has always had a book at her side.

Moving from page to life and back again, Corrigan writes ultimately of fashioning a complicated, sometimes contradictory self out of her class background, her classroom teaching, and her own classics of literature; a list of favorite books is also included. In LEAVE ME ALONE, I'M READING, Maureen Corrigan invites us to accompany her on the journey of a lifetime.P>

Click here to read more about LEAVE ME ALONE, I'M READING.

AFTER THE APPLE by Naomi Harris Rosenblatt

In AFTER THE APPLE, psychotherapist and scholar Naomi Harris Rosenblatt offers a vivid retelling of some of the Bible's most famous (and infamous) women. There is Eve, the first rebel; Sarah, the founding mother of the people of Israel; the wickedly cunning Jezebel; the mysterious Queen of Sheba; and several more unforgettable characters.


Click here to read our guide for AFTER THE APPLE.

VITA by Melania G. Mazzucco

A family epic, a love story, and a fascinating new image of America at the dawn of the twentieth century, VITA conveys a lost world that sparks the imagination as well as the heart. Just as the novel's characters unlock one another's secrets, readers will find much to discover and discuss in each captivating chapter. This guide is designed to enhance the experience of reading groups and individuals in exploring VITA. We hope that the following questions will enrich your reading of Melania G. Mazzucco's extraordinary novel.

Click here to read the guide for VITA.

Check out our Author Bibliographies here. Read about the titles that readers are talking about. Publishers and Authors add your guides to Details here.

Books-To-Movies: Some Favorite Reading Group Titles Coming to a Theatre Near You

The following Reading Group-friendly books have movies that are based on them releasing in theatres in the upcoming months. In preparation, your group may want to add these books to your discussion list so you can compare and contrast the book and the movie. Here is a brief guide to what readers and moviegoers can look forward to along with their planned release dates:

Everything is Illuminated, directed by Liev Schrieber, based on the book by Jonathan Safran Foer - September 16th 

Capote, directed by Bennett Miller, based on the book by Gerald Clarke - September 30th

The Greatest Game Ever Played, directed by Bill Paxton, based on the book by Mark Frost - September 30th

The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio, directed by Jane Anderson, based on the book by Terry Ryan - September 30th 

In Her Shoes, directed by Curtis Hanson, based on the book by Jennifer Weiner - October 7th 

North Country, directed by Niki Caro, based on the book CLASS ACTION by Clara Bingham and Laura Leedy Gansler - October 21st

Jarhead, directed by Sam Mendes, based on the book by Anthony Swofford - November 4th

Bee Season, directed by Scott McGehee and David Siegel, based on the book by Myla Goldberg - November 11th

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, directed by Mike Newell, based on the book by J.K. Rowling - November 18th

Pride and Prejudice, directed by Joe Wright, based on the book by Jane Austen - November 18th 

Memoirs of a Geisha, directed by Rob Marshall, based on the book by Arthur Golden - December 9th 

All the King's Men, directed by Steven Zaillian, based on the book by Robert Penn Warren - December 16th

For Registered Book Clubs: This Month's Special Offer

This month, is offering the following contest for book clusb, who are registered with us by Friday, September 16th. Click here to register.
Five registered reading groups will win a chance to chat with Denise Hildreth and win 12 copies of SAVANNAH FROM SAVANNAH for their group. 5 groups will also win 12 copies of SAVANNAH FROM SAVANNAH. Want your group to be included in the chance to win this? Then be sure that they are registered with by Friday, September 16th.
Though first place in a fiction contest guarantees that Savannah Phillip's novel will be published, she soon discovers that her mother --- Savannah, Georgia's most charming if diva-like citizen --- is behind her literary win.

So, mortified and furious, she resolves to give up her dreams of literary fame and moves home to prove herself to her mother, her city, and herself.
Following in the footsteps of her career hero, a columnist for The Savannah Chronicle, Savannah gets a job at the paper and sets out to turn the journalism world on its ears.

Her very first assignment is a quest for truth, investigating what appears to be a rigged beauty pageant. Readers will journey with Savannah as she forges new dreams, uncovers the heartache of loss, and comes to terms with her unique calling.
More about Denise Hildreth:
Denise Hildreth is an author and an international speaker. She has been involved in numerous writing projects, including co-writing a #1 hit single with her husband, recording artist Jonathan Pierce. She currently resides in Nashville, TN with her husband and two dogs.

See the guide for SAVANNAH FROM SAVANNAH here.


Book Club Interviews

This month we bring you the following book club interviews:

Cara Foran of "Naked Suit" from Washington, DC

Vanessa Johnson of "The Perfect Ex-Sample" from Baltimore, MD

Read our Book Club Interviews here.


This Month's Poll: Keeping a Record

Does your group keep a record of the books that you have read?
Yes, we have been doing this for years.
No, but this would be a great idea.
No, we are not that organized.
I am not sure if anyone is doing this for our group.
If your group is keeping a record, and you would be willing to share it with us, please write [email protected] with your name, the name of your group and your mailing address.

Answer our poll here.


Newest Guides

After the Apple by Naomi Harris Rosenblatt
American Taboo by Philip Weiss
The Art of Uncontrolled Flight by Kim Ponders
The Bastard on the Couch by Daniel Jones
The Highest Tide by Jim Lynch
The Last Run by Todd Lewan
Light on Snow by Anita Shreve
Necklace of Kisses by Francesca Lia Block
New Town by Harry Blamires
The PayPal Wars by Eric M. Jackson

A Perfect Divorce by Avery Corman
Savannah from Savannah by Denise Hildreth
The Secret Fruit of Peter Paddington by
Brian Francis
Sheltering Sky by Paul Bowles
Vita by Melania G. Mazzucco

Click here to read our newest guides.


Thinking Ahead: Here's a tip for October

In the spirit of Halloween, dress up as your favorite character from a book for your October meeting. If this sounds like too much work, instead think about describing a character and having other group members guess who you are talking about.


This Month's Contest: THE PLOT AGAINST AMERICA by Philip Roth

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

Click here to learn more about THE PLOT AGAINST AMERICA.

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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