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November 14, 2005 - PB

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April 6, 2005 - PB

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Februrary 17, 2005

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February 03, 2004 -PB

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Join our Newsletter! Newsletter Update

Posted to subscriber list on
January 18, 2005

Hello, readers!

19 new reviews were (finally) posted to today. Click on the book cover to read the review; click on reviewer's name to learn more about the reviewer.

If you are wondering why you have not received a newsletterin the mail for some time; let me tell you what happened. I sent the last newsletter in October. I had been having difficulty getting it to send for the past month but was relieved when it seemed to go through. But then, moments later, I realized that was totally gone; the only evidence it existed was a strange message about checking e-mail. Since this was all happening after 11 at night, I had to wait until morning to resolve it and worse, I had to wait until California started its business day. Basically, my web host server changed the rules on me and thus I had inadvertenly violated my contract. To get back, I had to promise to never, ever send another newsletter through my web host. Unfortunately, time has been tight and I did not have chance to research alternatives until this weekend -- so fingers are crossed that this new solution works.

by Frieda Arkin
Reviewed by Mary Whipple

This is a saga of the totally unlikely marriage of a grandly Teutonic woman, Hedwig Kessler, and her diminutive cousin Berti, two upper-class German Jews forced to leave their homeland during the rise of the Nazis. The characters are subtle, and finely-honed, and their story is told with grace and unexpected humor.

by Jennifer Haigh
Reviewed by Olivia Boler

Born and raised on Bakerton's Polish Hill, the five Novak children come of age during wartime, a thrilling era when the world seems on the verge of changing forever. This is a family saga and a love story, a hymn to a time and place long gone, to America's industrial past and the men and women we now call the Greatest Generation.

by Jean-Christophe Grangé
Reviewed by Jana L. Perskie

French reporter turned author Grangé has come up with a real page-turner in his fourth book. This terrific suspense thriller delves into contemporary Turkish politics, exploited Turkish immigrant workers in Europe, the ins-and outs of the French police system, neurological research and experimentation, plastic surgery, serial killers, amnesia, and memory erasure or distortion.

by Adam Fawer
Reviewed by Judi Clark

David Caine is a compulsive gambler who can calculate amazing calculations in his head. He also suffers from seizures. He is offered an experimental drug to control his seizures and finds himself tapping into a collective unconcious or the everywhen. An action-packed thriller with big ideas: Heisenberg's uncertainty principle, Einstein's theory of relativity, Schrödinger's cat, Laplace's demon and probability theory.

by Joyce Carol Oates
Reviewed by Carisa Richner

A haunting story of the powerful spell Niagara Falls casts upon two generations of a family, leading to tragedy, love, loss, and, ultimately, redemption.

by Diane Mott Davidson
Reviewed by Shannon Bloomstran

Just when you thought it was safe to go back on to the snowy streets of fictional Aspen Meadows, Colorado, *POW!*, another murder rocks the small town. Luckily it happens to be the home of America’s #1 crime-fighting caterer, Goldy Schulz.

by Natalie R. Collins
Reviewed by Jana L. Perskie

When Allison Jensen was six, she and her best friend were playing in the woods near home. One moment her friend was beside her; then she was gone. Now, years later, trying to fill in the gaps of a patchwork memory, to make sense of the senseless, Allison still can get no answers from the Mormon community in which she lives.

by M. K. Preston
Reviewed by Cindy Lynn Speer

Chantalene Morrell, a Gypsy from Tetumka, Okla., returns in search of the men who lynched her father and caused her mother to disappear. She gets a whiff of what she's up against when the butcher offers her information and ends up murdered, but a dauntless Chantalene, aided by a local boy back home for a visit, plumbs the depths of the hostile town and her own memories.

by Tony Eprile
Reviewed by Mary Whipple

Eprile fuses a searing political and cultural satire with a haunting coming-of-age story to render South Africa's turbulent past with striking clarity.

by Mo Yan
Reviewed by Mary Whipple

Jintong, the only son of Shangguan Lu, tells the story of his remarkable mother, his eight sisters, and their families as they live through these seminal events. This family saga is set in rural Gaomi, in northeast China, and vividly portrays political and historical events--most of them bloody--over the course of the twentieth century.

by David Liss
Reviewed by Sebastian Fernandez

Benjamin Weaver, the quick-witted pugilist turned private investigator, returns in this sequel to the Edgar Award–winning novel, A Conspiracy of Paper.

by Michael Crichton
Reviewed by Judi Clark

Once again Michael Crichton gives us his trademark combination of page-turning suspense, cutting-edge technology, and extraordinary research. State of Fear is a superb blend of edge-of-your-seat suspense and thought provoking commentary on how information is manipulated in the modern world.

by Joan Hess
Reviewed by Cindy Lynn Speer

Way down south in Maggody, Arkansas, Police Chief Arly Hanks must keep the peace when the Civil War -- or a darn good replication -- masks a modern-day murderer!

by Robert B. Parker
Reviewed by Hagen Baye

It is 1947, the year Jackie Robinson breaks major-league baseball's color barrier by playing for the Brooklyn Dodgers-and changes the world. This is the story of that season, as told through the eyes of a difficult, brooding, and wounded man named Joseph Burke. Burke, a veteran of World War II and a survivor of Guadalcanal, is hired by Brooklyn Dodgers manager Branch Rickey to guard Robinson.

by Pete Hamill
Reviewed by Jana L. Perskie

A rich historical and personal portrait of Manhattan from the bestselling writer who is for many the living embodiment of the city.

by Matthew Smith
Reviewed by Jennifer Leblanc

Marilyn Monroe's death in August 1962, apparently a suicide, shocked the world. The coroner's report stated that her death was due to a massive overdose of Nembutal capsules. Looking back at thousands of documents, many never before published, and interviewing dozens of sources, Smith argues strongly for a startling new version of events.

by Karen Joy Fowler
Reviewed by Jana L. Perskie

Six Californians join to discuss Jane Austen's novels. Over the six months they meet, marriages are tested, affairs begin, unsuitable arrangements become suitable, and love happens. With her finely sighted eye for the frailties of human behavior and her finely tuned ear for the absurdities of social intercourse, Fowler has never been wittier nor her characters more appealing. The result is a delicious dissection of modern relationships.

by Paula Marantz Cohen
Reviewed by Jana L. Perskie

Jane Austen centered her classic novels around "three or four families in a country village." So does Paula Marantz Cohen in this witty twist on Pride and Prejudice---except this time the "village" is Boca Raton, Florida.

by Iris Murdoch
Reviewed by Mary Whipple

One of the very best things that and the Internet in general has done for us readers is to make out-of-print books accessible and affordable. As such, we appreciate Mary Whipple's review of a book from an author who should not be forgotten --even if her book is no longer available through a publishing house.

Keep reading!

Judi Clark

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