Skip to main content

July 2006 Newsletter

July 2006

This Month on

Reading In the Rockies

Exclusive Offer: Be the First to Read a Very Special Book --- THE BOY IN THE STRIPED PAJAMAS by John Boyne

YA-YAS IN BLOOM: A Special Opportunity to Write the Author With Your Questions

LOVE IN THE PRESENT TENSE by Catherine Ryan Hyde

Available July 25th in Paperback: THE GRACE THAT KEEPS THIS WORLD by Tom Bailey


Available July 25th in Paperback: COURTESAN by Diane Haeger

LILY'S GHOST by Cheryl Drake Harris

A SUDDEN COUNTRY by Karen Fisher 

THE LOST NIGHT: A Daughter's Search for the Truth of Her Father's Murder, by Rachel Howard

Available July 25th in Paperback: THE MEMOIRS OF HELEN OF TROY by Amanda Elyot

For Registered Readers --- A Very Special Offer

Newest Guides

This Month's Contest: Win 20 Copies of MAD GIRLS IN LOVE by Michael Lee West
Find a Guide by Title
Find a Guide by Author
Advice and Ideas
Register Your Group
Shop Amazon with this link and support Read more about Pages magazine here Find your local Booksense independent bookseller here.

Reading In the Rockies

I am writing this newsletter from the deck of the condo where I am staying in Beaver Creek, Colorado. I am on a weeklong vacation traveling to some of my favorite places in Colorado, which include Crested Butte and the afore-mentioned Beaver Creek. Today my boys and I spent some time at The Bookworm of Edwards Independent Bookstore in Edwards, Colorado. Every book in the store is hand-selected by owners Nicole Magistro and Neda Jansen. Nicole and I had corresponded via email and phone, so it was great fun to get to meet her today. We talked books, authors and book clubs. If you are ever out here on vacation, you want to check out this store.
We have two terrific contests this month --- one for a book that is coming out in September called The Boy in the Striped Pajamas that I cannot say enough wonderful things about. The second is an offer to ask questions and share comments about her books with Rebecca Wells, the author of Ya-Yas in Bloom and your other favorite Ya-Yas titles. It's not often that an author offers this kind of an opportunity to readers and we are delighted to share it with you.
We have the following new interviews with Book Clubs on

-Joanne Barretta of The Tiara Book Club from Kalamazoo, MI
-Terri Seay of the Metro Atlanta Book Club from Atlanta, GA
-Matthew Ring of The Dirty Glass Book Club from Winnipeg, Manitoba
-Susan Williams of The Ebony Pages Book Club from Nashville, TN
-Carey Yazeed of The Roots Book Club from Baton Rouge, LA
-Michele Williams of The Read Between the Wines Book Club from Long Beach, NY
-Maria Bongiovanni of Swerdlow Lab Book Club from El Cajon, CA
-Heather Wheeler of One Tree Hill Book Club from Auckland, New Zealand

We have the following new interview with a Bookseller currently running on

Kathy Magruder of Lee Booksellers in Lincoln, NE

Our discussion question is about summer meeting habits for groups.  How does your group handle summer? Do you meet less often? Are your reading choices different? Weigh in here.

In the interest of reading together, we have selected some titles that we will be discussing on our message board through August. We know that some groups may not meet during the summer months and for others of you an online book discussion may be a nice way to supplement your regular group reading. Our selections are below, along with brief descriptions of them and links to where you can log on and talk about them:

The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon: You can weigh in here.

Big Stone Gap, Big Cherry Holler and Milk Glass Moon known as the Stone Gap Trilogy by Adriana Trigiani: You can weigh in here.

Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen: You can weigh in here.

More Message Board News:
We wanted to create an option for readers to be able to post their own threads and host their own discussions on the Message Board. We had heard from a number of readers asking about this and we are happy to offer this opportunity. This is a place where you can start a discussion topic for your own book groups. Or, you can utilize our boards to start and host an ongoing discussion among members of your group for any reason. With summer, we are thinking about members who perhaps are traveling and still would like to weigh in.

Whether you need to work on scheduling, want to choose a new book, or just chat, the Message Board has a lot to offer.  Please remember that no topic is private; you may have new friends joining your group when you start posting!

If you have any questions, please feel free to email our Moderator Anne --- you can send her a note at [email protected].

One more quick note for those of you who enjoy entering contests. Our Beach Bag of Books feature has weekly contests through August 25th. Click here to see more details.

Here's wishing you all a July filled with terrific books and time for making some special vacation memories.

Carol Fitzgerald ([email protected])

Click here to learn more about starting your own discussion on the Message Board.
Click here to read our Librarian Interviews. Click here to read our Book Club Interviews. Click here to read our Bookseller Interviews.

Exclusive Offer: Be the First to Read a Very Special Book --- THE BOY IN THE STRIPED PAJAMAS by John Boyne

We have a contest this month that we are excited about as it gives us a chance to share a book with you that is not being published until September 12th. When we read it, we knew The Boy in the Striped Pajamas was a title that readers --- especially book club readers ---- would not want to miss. Thus we have two exciting ways for you to share this book with your group. First, we will select 35 groups to win one copy of the book as a special preview. Then 3 groups will be selected to win 12 copies of the book as soon as it is published. Trust that this is a title you want to remember.

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas is the stunning and gripping story of two boys, one the son of a commandant in Hitler's army and the other a Jew, who come face-to-face at a barbed wire fence that separates, and eventually intertwines their lives.

Interested? Send your name, mailing address, and a brief description of your reading group to [email protected].

Please specify whether you would like to receive 12 books for your group in September when the book comes out, or whether you would like to receive one of the Advanced Reader Copies for your group to preview. All entries must be received by 11:59PM on August 3rd, 2006.

-Click here to read our guide for The Boy in the Striped Pajamas.

Click here to read all the contest details.


YA-YAS IN BLOOM: A Special Opportunity to Write the Author With Your Questions

An emotionally charged addition to Rebecca Wells' award-winning bestseller Little Altars Everywhere and #1 New York Times bestseller Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood, Ya-Yas in Bloom reveals the roots of the Ya-Yas' friendship in the 1930s and roars with all the raw power of Vivi Abbott Walker's 1962 T-Bird through sixty years of marriage, child-raising, and hair-raising family secrets.

Ya-Yas in Bloom Special Write-In Opportunity:
For the second month of our feature on Rebecca Wells and Ya-Yas in Bloom, Rebecca wants to hear from her readers --- and respond to their comments and questions. So...we are giving you the opportunity to send your comments and questions to her. Write to [email protected] and tell her what you think of Ya-Yas in Bloom, and the rest of her books in the Ya-Yas series. Ask her about her inspiration for the books and her cast of spicy, sassy Southern belles and we'll send along your questions and post Rebecca's responses.

Click here to read our guide for Ya-Yas in Bloom.


LOVE IN THE PRESENT TENSE by Catherine Ryan Hyde

For five years Pearl has managed to keep the past from catching up to her and her bright, frail five-year-old son. Life has given her every reason to mistrust people, but circumstances force her to trust her neighbor Mitch with watching Leonard while she goes off to work. Then one day Pearl drops her son off...and never returns.


Click here to read our guide for Love in the Present Tense.


Available July 25th in Paperback: THE GRACE THAT KEEPS THIS WORLD by Tom Bailey

In The Grace That Keeps This World, Tom Bailey gives us an emotional page-turner, infused with a deep sense of foreboding. Alternately narrated by the Hazens and their neighbors in Lost Lake, the story perfectly captures the enduring rhythms of life in a rural town.


Click here to read our guide for The Grace That Keeps This World.


Within the intimate universe of one unorthodox family, Falling in Love with Natassia explores the blurred lines between love that heals and sex that harms. These characters will shock you with how forcefully their hurt hearts demand restitution; they will mystify you with the paths they choose as they move toward recovery and redemption.



Click here to read the guide for Falling in Love With Natassia.


Available July 25th in Paperback: COURTESAN by Diane Haeger

Amid the disapproving gossip of the Court, a royal romance defies all obstacles.

The Court of François I is full of lust, intrigue, and bawdy bon temps --- a different world from the quiet country life Diane de Poitiers led with her elderly husband. Now a widow, the elegant Diane is called back to Court, where the King's obvious interest marks her as an enemy to the King's favourite, Anne d'Heilly. The Court is soon electrified by rumors of their confrontations. As Anne calls on her most venomous tricks to drive Diane away, Diane finds an ally in the one member of Court with no allegiance to the King's mistress: his teenage second son, Henri.

Click here to read our guide for Courtesan.


LILY'S GHOST by Cheryl Drake Harris

As a doctor in Vietnam, Lily survived unimaginable terror and loss. Now, safely ensconced in a close-knit Maine town and a seemingly comfortable marriage, she no longer needs to be afraid, but she is: afraid of light, afraid of sudden sounds, afraid of seeing the wide-eyed child of war who haunts her. So Lily is unprepared for the act of betrayal that threatens to take away the one thing she cannot live without: her young son. Plunged into a bitter custody battle, befriended by a man with a heartbreaking secret of his own, Lily must fight --- to escape her own memories, to survive an uncertain future, and to protect, above all else, the love between a mother and child.


Click here to read our guide for Lily's Ghost.


A SUDDEN COUNTRY by Karen Fisher 

A vivid and revelatory novel based on actual events of the 1847 Oregon migration, A Sudden Country follows two characters of remarkable complexity and strength in a journey of survival and redemption.

Alive with incident and insight, presenting with rare scope and intimacy the complex relations among nineteenth-century traders, immigrants, and Native Americans, A Sudden Country is, above all, a heroic and unforgettable story of love and loss, sacrifice and understanding.


Click here to read our guide for A Sudden Country.


THE LOST NIGHT: A Daughter's Search for the Truth of Her Father's Murder, by Rachel Howard

The Lost Night is a richly woven exploration of memory and reconciliation. Stan Howard was a laid-back, handsome man who loved the music of Rod Stewart and seemed to have no enemies. His sudden and unexplained death left Rachel and her grandparents in shock, ill-equipped to talk about his murder and nearly estranged after years of silence.

In a culture saturated with who-dunnits and murder mysteries, The Lost Night is a rare look at the deeper emotional aftermath of murder and grief, an experience that touches more lives than most Americans would like to believe.  Compassionate and engrossing, The Lost Night shows us a side of murder seldom glimpsed.

Click here to read our guide for The Lost Night.


Available July 25th in Paperback: THE MEMOIRS OF HELEN OF TROY by Amanda Elyot

In this lush, compelling novel of passion and loss, Helen of Troy, a true survivor, tells the truth about her life, her lovers, and the Trojan War. This is the memoir that she has written --- her legendary beauty still undimmed by age.

Click here to read our guide for The Memoirs of Helen of Troy. 

For Registered Readers --- A Very Special Offer

This month we are running the following contests for Book Groups that have registered with us by July 14th.

Flirting With Forty by Jane Porter: Four groups will win the chance to chat with Jane Porter and receive 12 copies of Flirting With Forty.

More about Flirting With Forty:
Playful and smart, Flirting With Forty is a coming-of-middle age story of a woman not ready to give up on love and life. Her cheating husband got the second home and the Porsche in the divorce. She got the kids and a broken heart. Now Jackie, post-divorce and heading toward the big four-oh, is on vacation in sunny Hawaii and staring down her upcoming birthday --- alone. But not for long. She's soon falling for Kai, her gorgeous, much younger surf instructor, and the wild passionate fling they have becomes the biggest surprise of Jackie's life. When a choice must be made, can she, will she risk everything for her chance at happiness?

Click here to register your group.


Newest Guides

The Abortionist's Daughter by Elisabeth Hyde
All This Heavenly Glory by Elizabeth Crane
The Assassins' Gate by George Packer
Between, Georgia by Joshilyn Jackson
The Book of Bright Ideas by Sandra Kring
The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne
Breakfast with Tiffany by Edwin John Wintle
Courtesan by Diane Haeger
Eye Contact by Cammie McGovern
Falling in Love with Natassia by Anna Monardo
First Aid by Janet Davey
Flirting with Forty by Jane Porter
Forgivin' Ain't Forgettin' by Mata Elliott
The Gardens of Kyoto by Kate Walbert
The Girl in the Green Glass Mirror by Elizabeth
Gods in Alabama by Joshilyn Jackson
Good in Bed by Jennifer Weiner
The Hummingbird's Daughter by Luis Alberto Urrea
The Last Song of Dusk by Siddharth Dhanvant Shanghvi
Like Dandelion Dust by Karen Kingsbury
Lily's Ghost by Cheryl Drake Harris
Lipstick Jihad by Azadeh Moaveni
The Lost Night: A Daughter's Search for the Truth of Her Father's Murder by Rachel Howard
Love in the Present Tense by Catherine Ryan Hyde
Mad Girls in Love by Michael Lee West

The Memory Keeper's Daughter by Kim Edwards
1906: A Novel by James Dalessandro
Once Upon a Day by Lisa Tucker
The Other Woman by Jane Green
Potluck Club: Trouble's Brewing by Linda Evans Shepherd and Eva Marie Everson
Rolling Down Black Stockings by Esther Royer Ayers
Stupid and Contagious by Caprice Crane
A Sudden Country by Karen Fisher
Thirty-Three Swoons by Martha Cooley
Tomorrow They Will Kiss by Eduardo Santiago
Triangle: A Novel by Katharine Weber

Please note that these titles, for which we already had guides when they appeared in hardcover, are now available (or coming soon) in paperback:

Being Mrs. Alcott
by Nancy Geary
The Grace That Keeps This World by Tom Bailey
Going Overboard by Sarah Smiley
Looking for Peyton Place by Barbara Delinsky
The Memoirs of Helen of Troy by Amanda Elyot

The following Christian guides are now available on

Claire Knows Best by Tracey Bateman 
Divas of Damascus Road by Michelle Stimpson
Like Sheep Gone Astray by Leslie J. Sherrod
Rachel's Prayer by Leisha Kelly
A Sounding Brass by Shelley Bates
Skells by F.P. Lione


Is your group web savvy?

All of us are.
More than half of us are.
Less than half of us are.
No one except me is.

Click here to answer the poll.
This Month's Contest: Win 20 Copies of MAD GIRLS IN LOVE by Michael Lee West

A subscription to our newsletter is all you need to be entered in our monthly contest. This month, one lucky reader will win up to 20 copies of Mad Girls in Love for his or her entire reading group.

-Click here to read more about Mad Girls in Love.

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