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January 18, 2005

January 5, 2004 - PB

December 19, 2004

November 7, 2004

October 17, 2004 - PB

October 13, 2004

September 16, 2004

September 6, 2004 - PB

August 26, 2004

July 25, 2004

July 11, 2004 - PB

July 5, 2004

June 3, 2004

May 16, 2004

May 1, 2004 - PB

April 25, 2004

April 4, 2004

March 23, 2004 - PB

March 18, 2004

February 26, 2004

February 03, 2004 -PB

January 27, 2004

January 15, 2004

December 28, 2003

December 6, 2003

November 14, 2003

October 22, 2003

October 6, 2003

September 26, 2003

Check out our Gift Center! Newsletter Update

Posted to subscriber list on
December 19, 2004.

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.


by Christopher Moore
Reviewed by Mary Whipple

Christmas crept into Pine Cove like a creeping Christmas thing: dragging garland, ribbon, and sleigh bells, oozing eggnog, reeking of pine, and threatening festive doom like a cold sore under the mistletoe....

by Jimmy Buffett
Reviewed by Judi Clark

Join Tully Mars and a perfect sun-soaked island-hoppping quest for a lens for a lighthouse owned by octagenarian Captain Cleopatra Highbourne and aided by lots of interesting characters. If you are even the least bit of a parrot-head, you know you have to read this.

by Helen Dunbar
Reviewed by Cindy Lynn Speer

This novel blends a sharply defined reality with a soaring leap of imagination in the story of an enigmatic narrator we know only as Oz, a Kansas girl raised by a family of dead people.

by RM Johnson
Reviewed by Jana L. Perskie

An absorbing an provacative novel about the lowdown schemes and broken dreams that follow a fractured marriage.

by RM Johnson
Reviewed by Judi Clark

An urban soap opera of sex, drugs, and deceit -- all mixed up into a story about finding love and finding self. A surprisingly good read.

by Susanna Clarke
Reviewed by Jana L. Perskie

Sophisticated, witty, and ingeniously convincing, Susanna Clarke's magisterial novel weaves magic into a flawlessly detailed vision of historical England.

by Cintra Wilson
Reviewed by Olivia Boler

Cintra Wilson has fused an hilarious yet strangely touching coming-of-age story with a blistering satire of our celebrity-debased culture.

by Jose Saramago
Reviewed by Mary Whipple

Tertuliano Máximo Afonso is a history teacher in a secondary school. He is divorced, involved in a rather one-sided relationship, and he is depressed. To lift his depression, a colleague suggests he rent a certain video. Tertuliano watches the film and is unimpressed. During the night, noises in his apartment wake him. He goes into the living room to find that the VCR is replaying the video, and as he watches in astonishment he sees a man who looks exactly like him-or, more specifically, exactly like the man he was five years before.

by Louise Erdrich
Reviewed by Carisa Richner

Fleur Pillager takes her mother's name, Four Souls, for strength and walks from her Ojibwe reservation to the cities of Minneapolis and Saint Paul. She is seeking restitution from and revenge on the lumber baron who has stripped her reservation.

by Louise Erdrich
Reviewed by Carisa Richner

For more than a half century, Father Damien Modeste has served his beloved people, the Ojibwe, on the remote reservation of Little No Horse. Now, nearing the end of his life, Father Damien dreads the discovery of his physical identity, for he is a woman who has lived as a man.

by Tony Hillerman
Reviewed by Cindy Lynn Speer

Former Navajo Tribal Police Lieutenant Joe Leaphorn comes out of retirement to help investigate what seems to be a trading post robbery. A simple-minded kid nailed for the crime is the cousin of an old colleague of Sergeant Jim Chee. He needs help and Chee, and his fiancée Bernie Manuelito, decide to provide it.

by Jim Fusilli
Reviewed by Chuck Barksdale

In the latest installment of Jim Fusilli's critically acclaimed series, enigmatic hero and occasional private eye Terry Orr has been asked by his precocious daughter, Bella, and her friend Daniel Wu to search for a gifted student who has suddenly disappeared. Orr's search uncovers a hornet's nest of family secrets.

by James Rollins
Reviewed by Jana L. Perskie

James Rollins has transported readers to the dark heart of the Amazon, the bowels of the earth, far below the ocean, and the top of the world. Now he embarks upon another gripping and terrifying adventure: to a nightmare buried beneath a treacherous desert wasteland.

by John Shors
Reviewed by Jana L. Perskie

In 1632, the Emperor of Hindustan, Shah Jahan, overwhelmed with grief over the death of his beloved wife commissioned the building of a grand mausoleum to symbolize the greatness of their love. The story surrounding the construction of the Taj Mahal occurs, however, against a scrim of fratricidal war, murderous rebellion, unimaginable wealth, and, not least of all, religious fundamentalism. Beneath a Marble Sky recounts that story.

by Alice Hoffman
Reviewed by Cindy Lynn Speer

Hoffman weaves a web of tales, all set in Blackbird House, a small farm on the outer reaches of Cape Cod. These interconnected narratives are as intelligent as they are haunting, as luminous as they are unusual.

by Louis Auchincloss
Reviewed by Mary Whipple

In his sixtieth book, Auchincloss offers another illuminating historical glimpse into the rarified world of Manhattan's high society from an author who has spent his entire life and career immersed in it.

by Margaret Drabble
Reviewed by Mary Whipple

Barbara Halliwell, on a grant at Oxford, receives an unexpected package--a memoir by a Korean crown princess, written more than two hundred years ago. A highly appropriate gift for her impending trip to Seoul; but from whom? The story she avidly reads on the plane turns out to be one of great intrigue as well as tragedy. Then she meets a certain Dr. Oo.

by David Baldacci
Reviewed by Jana L. Perskie

As a series of brutal murders darkens the Wrightsburg, Virginia countryside, the killer taunts police by leaving watches on the victims set to the hour corresponding with their position on his hit list. Sean King and Michelle Maxwell are already investigating a crime involving an aristocratic and dysfunctional Southern family, but when they're deputized to help in the serial killer hunt they realize the two cases may be connected.

by David Baldacci
Reviewed by Jana L. Perskie

It was only a split second--but that's all it took for Secret Service agent Sean King's attention to wander and his "protectee," third-party presidential candidate Clyde Ritter, to die. King retired from the Service in disgrace, and now, eight years later, he hears the news: Once again, a third-party candidate has been taken out of the presidential race--abducted right under the nose of Secret Service agent Michelle Maxwell.


Well that wraps up book reviews at for this calendar year. If you want to see a complete list of all books reviewed, check here. We posted a few less reviews this year than last year, but that's only because I ran out of time and missed posting a review three weeks ago. (I think that means I'm behind before the new year even starts... ugh, don't even think about it.)

2004 has been a great year for We've added some wonderfully talented volunteers to our "staff" and have been able to diversify further in our reading recommendations. Although I've had to cut down on many of the features that the site used to offer (i.e. monthly raffles), site visitors have increased nonetheless -- I'm finding people will visit even when not bribed! It must be because you appreciate that we have honest, well-written reviews; that we don't just fall for the market hype even though we do like to keep abreast of the new books. You are also very understanding that we are a volunteer organization and that we take the time to write reviews because we love to read. And you are super patient that since this is our hobby (and we must work day jobs) that we can't adhere to a schedule, and that sometimes we are very, very late in posting new reviews (such as this past six weeks). Anyway, the point is I am thankful for all of you that visit us and to the reviewers who volunteer their precious time and talent.

So it is with these thoughts that I sincerely wish everyone the warmest and happiest of holidays.

Keep reading!

Judi Clark

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